What a week it has been here in paradise. I honestly feel like it is out here. The streets are so clean. The towns are just nice and quiet. The rice paddies. It's hard to describe what's it's like out here. So just buy a plane ticket already and come visit me to see what it's like!!(kidding). Except now we are in the winter season, and here in Antsirabe is where it gets the coldest. Right now I'm wearing both of the sweaters I have and I'm still a little chilly. It gets SO cold out here!! But yeah. That's the weather report for now!
This week we had a way fun opportunity to go and help a member build a house! Now I know what you're probably thinking. Some of you might be thinking the way we went about it was going around and chopping up some wood and doing it that way. Some of you might be thinking we layed bricks. Nope. We used straight mud! So here's how you go about building a malagasy house as far as my knowledge to this point. So first you dig a big hole and that becomes your mixing bowl so to speak. You keep cutting away at the sides to get the dirt and then you throw in some water and mix it up, with your feet! That was mine and Elder Mack's main job. We just jumped right in there and squished it all together until it was the right consistency. But that's not all! They throw grass into the mix. That's to keep the mud from crumbling up once it's dry. After that you literally just grab chunks of it and slab it onto the place you want your house. And about every foot you go up you add tree branches to the corners for added stability. We helped them get the walls of the house up high and next week they're going to roof it. So hopefully I'll get to go again and see the way they do that. But it's so interesting huh?? Malagasies. Genius.
In other news we got to go to church in Sarodroa this week. I thought the area was in the middle of nowhere. The church is even more tucked away. We parked off to the side of the main road and took a nice 30 minute hike to get there. It was very cold and we were even getting some rain, but it was still so beautiful up there. I left my camera on the charger and forgot to take it with me, so I'll have to wait til next time to get pictures. But they will come! The branch out there is actually pretty solid. They usually have about 80 people come to sacrament meeting in their humble meeting house. It's a building with one room maybe about the size of half a basketball court. That might even be pushing it. We get there a little early and watched as lots of people came in soaking wet from the rain with the biggest smiles on their faces. They don't have much in the eyes of the world. But in reality, they've got everything. We got to go and get to know some of the members out there and had a great time. We get to go there once every 6 weeks, so I'll still have one more trip! Have a told you that I love this place yet?
This week I came across a talk called "The fourth missionary". So good and I'd highly recommend it for anyone. But one thing that it reminded me of is the importance of living a consecrated life. It talked about how there's a lot of missionaries who go out on their missions, work hard and give great service, and then come home unchanged. Why? Because their heart was in the wrong place. It's all about where your heart and desires are. I think a lot of times we think of a great missionary as someone who just works hard and gives it all they got. Which is true. But a changed one is someone who surrenders. One who gives up. Haha that might sound weird, and I don't know if I'll be able to explain this right. But what I mean by that is that we sometimes have to give up and surrender things that are a part of us for that of the Lord's will. Whenever we disobey, speak bad of others, or anything against the will of the Lord, we're fighting his desires for the things we want for ourselves. And that's pointless! The only way to become a true disciple of Christ is to surrender to his will. And that might seem hard to people at first. But in reality it's the smartest thing to do. Only he can mold and shape us to reach our full potential. So that's something I've tried to remember and be better at. Whenever there's some little thing that might not be the best, whether it's getting frustrated with people or other things like that, I've been telling myself to just give up my anger and do what the Lord would have me do. Whew. Deep stuff! Haha. So yeah. That's a little insight of what I've been focusing on this week. Good on you if you stayed through the end of all that!
Well I don't have a whole lot else to say I guess... I'm still loving the life out here. Transfers are this sunday and Elder Mack could be leaving. I hope not though!! We'll see what happens. Anyways, ankafizo the pics that I put up. Have a great week everyone! Love you!!!
Split with Elder Rigby
Sitrake behind the wheel...
Who are the vazaha?
Gonna eat well tonight!