You weren't kidding about the lots of questions. I'll see if I can put a dent in it. I did write about 20 questions. Call me curious.
I am taking all my vitamins and my malaria pills every day. I wasn't sure if you gave me enough that I should be taking what it says to take or just one a day, so let me know but I have been doing what it says to do. Only two kinds of vitamins right? Explain if I am doing something wrong there ha-ha
Eating lots of rice and shredded leaves, lots of fruit, and lots of water. Making lots of pasta, corned beef, meat from the market, and sedaap (like top ramen but with Chinese food flavor, super good) Who knew Top Ramen was a universal food oh and fruit juice! So many juices here, passion fruit, guava, cranberry kiwi, medley of fruits, and then many many more. I have found one I didn't like and they only sell that one on the street.
My allowance is fine, I am definitely budgeting hard though.
The house is drafty and boring, there's not much to say except only half the burners work on the stove and we always wear a sweater.
Investigators are cool in general, we are teaching a lady named Hanta (ee-yawn-tuh) and she seems really interested in the church but she never comes, and last week she invited us to her church. We didn't go, but it's really weird conflicting messages.
Members are very interesting, they are all converts, except a few of the little little kids, so they have a lot of interesting things. We taught them a better way to pass the sacrament for example.
The other house people are way cool, Elder Austin from the MTC is still with me, we get along really well and Elder Walker is way cool as well.
I listed all the animals in the other email, but I don't remember if I mentioned the crocodile or not.
My drum is sick, it's not super nice, but it does well for now ha-ha it has some carvings on it that pretty sweet, and I played every drum the guy had before I bought it. Also, it was my first bartered purchase. Talked him down about 20,000 from his original price so I was pretty happy.
I can tell you I didn't open them until that holiday, and I might wait a little bit but no promises. I had asked about sending packages, if he would wait until designated holiday to open it. Should have known his answer, he is too much like his Dad and Grandpa G.
I am writing in my journal fairly often, not every day but I am doing well.
The sunsets don't exist because it's flat and I am in the city. Whatever though, sun goes down at like seven so I don't usually miss it.
My companion is British, so he doesn't get my humor, and I don't think his is very funny. Other than that though we get along really well, I think we are working well together and he is teaching me the language really well. He is very street Malagasy, but not the food. He doesn't like to eat street food. It's way good though!
Daily routine, get up at 6 30, eat breakfast, shower and get dressed, personal study at 8, companion study from 9 to 11, then language study until noon. Language study is usually going over words from the previous day that I wrote down because I didn't know, then reading from the Book of Mormon in Malagasy to work on pronunciation, and then working on phrases I can use during lessons. Pretty helpful, and I am definitely improving. Understanding is still pretty hard, but it's getting better!
Teaching story, we taught Marcelline a practice bap interview to identify any concerns she might have. None at all. So happy. Then she goes (translated) "Elder Galbreath hasn't talked, give a spiritual thought." and hands me a book of Mormon. I flipped right to the waters of Mormon and nailed it with baptism and the blessings it brings and asked her what was keeping her from being baptized. She said nothing was. I just about hit the roof. So happy. I bore testimony about the blessings of baptism, and closed the lesson. Felt so cool.
Fun story, Elder Walker and I found some ping pong stuff in the house, but no table. So, being thrifty and inventive, we put the table in the middle of the room and played off the floor. We did alright.
Favorite scripture for the week is at the end of 2 Nephi chapter 2. Lehi is addressing Jacob I believe, his firstborn in the wilderness. At the end of the chapter he says that he tells them these things so that they can gain eternal happiness with our father in heaven. I just thought that was a wonderful thing for him to say, to explain his motivation as a father. I'm glad I have a Dad that loves me and wants the best for me.
I got a haircut and boy, is it a haircut.
I love hearing from you guys! Brightens my week. We are in ampitatafika right now at a decent cyber. The zoo last week was sick! I saw a fossa, turtles, lemurs, camels, peacocks, and the ever wild fahaza (white people if you don't remember)
I got sick for the first time this week. We ate at a member’s house on Tuesday and they fed us cow tongue. It was alright, it was really slimy tasting though. So Wednesday morning we do our study time and have lunch and go outside to try to catch a bus to Itaosy. Then it hit me. I said "Elder McLaughlin, we need to go back to the house. I ran across the street and back in the house, sat down on the toilet and did not move until Thursday morning. It was terrible. I'm pretty sure I lost ten pounds. But I'm all better now and I will never eat cow tongue again. Ever.
We had a zone conference on Saturday with Elder Cook of the Seventy, and it was way good! He talked a lot about strict obedience, and he called us the Green Beret missionaries, which is fitting of my new haircut ha-ha. He said that because of how early the work here is, he said we are setting the foundation for the church in Madagascar for generations to come, so we better do it right. Way cool conference though, he also said that our white handbook is the book of blessings because every rule has a blessing attached to it. Also I proved I can still grab rim on a hoop, even with my suit on. Skill.
Let’s see, what else. We have two investigators getting baptized in the next couple weeks! I'm way excited for both of them, two ladies named Marcelline and Volasoa. Both way cool. Marcelline's whole family is already members, except for her parents who we are teaching and will be baptized as soon as they can get married. So excited for them all!
I don't think I need anything really, I'll start a list for next week of things I think of. Mac and cheese is never a bad thing though. I love you! I'm being good, so no worries there.
I don't know what else ha-ha love you all!
Rule to live by number 1- Never eat cow tongue.