Ha-ha that just means title ha-ha but you wanted a title so there. The working title can be "My Mom told me to write an email title on these so I did and this is it" that one is dope. funny boy!
Alright, so just a couple short stories and then I will let you post up all my amazing answers to questions.
Ok. First story. There is a tree by the church building, and it has these weird little fruits. So I climbed the tree and ate a bunch of them. They were way good! Tart and kind of sour but still delicious. Then I realized that the top of the tree was at roof level. Then I realized that Elder McLaughlin was already on the roof taking all the good fruit from there. So I hurried up to the roof and grabbed some fruit. I didn't get sick or anything from that, but I had a very gassy stomach for the rest of the day. Pretty dope.
Speaking of gassy, we went to teach this investigator named F. We started with a hymn, and then I asked who they wanted to pray. They asked me to pray, and so I started the prayer. I literally said the addressing part, (Ry Ray any-andanitra) and this kid lets out the loudest, wettest fart you can imagine coming from a four year old. I was trying so hard not to laugh, and I finally had it under control so I could keep praying. Then just as I start talking again McLaughlin can't hold it all in and so I hear him laughing and it all starts over again. Ridiculous.
Alright that's it. Love you all!
1) I sent a package last week, let me know when you get it so I have an idea how long it takes. (Not really a question just a statement)Are you glad I told you, now you can be excited for 6-8 weeks?
1a) what do you want in your Christmas package? For you? Things to share with the people of Mada?
Hmm. I think I need a Christmas tree. Just a little baby one, but they don't have them here. OK Mom G is a genius. She was just telling me she sent one to Daniel and so I was actually looking up miniature trees last night. Thanks Mom! Also a Santa hat for around the house in December. I don't really know what else I need, you can just divide up what I asked for last time I guess, and you know me. Deodorant would be nice though, they don't sell normal deodorant here. Weird right? Maybe this is why he said it smelled there? Yeah, and pictures from home! Like the family pictures I still haven't seen any of. You can email me those too actually; I can look at pictures on here and even print them off actually, but that costs money so I won't print off too many.
1b) what are some things your housemates/companion like so I can send then something too.
Um, they like soccer Elder McLaughlin especially. I am planning on doing some Christmas shopping for them around here though and I don't know where I will be at Christmas actually, because those transfers happen right before Christmas. So don't worry about them, if you send me some cookie mix and maybe frosting? They will be plenty grateful for that.
2) So how exactly did you lose your Captain America doll? Sorry action figure?
Alright story time. Gather round. Alright so first full day in country. Don't understand literally anything anyone says but I am trying really hard. This lady walks up and sees my backpack on the ground with Cap riding in the mesh pocket on the strap. She says something that I don't understand and points at it, but I don't know what she said so I just kind of smile at her. I thought she said she liked it. American mind, thinking I get compliments. Then she grabs it and gives it to her kid. In about half a second I realized what had just happened. She had said "can I take?" in very, very poor English with a ridiculously heavy accent, and I had been expecting Malagasy so I didn't know what she was saying. She took my smile as a yes. Crap. So the Captain America actions figure I had planned to keep with me my entire mission was gone to some street kid on the first morning in country. Dope.
3) Tell me about something fun you experienced
Not that ^ that's for sure. The living room ping pong match I think was the best thing as far as fun goes here ha-ha although we played "valo mafinaritra" with a less active family and I totally dominated.
3a) something spiritual?
Hmm. Well, I don't get much out of church, that's for sure. We taught this guy named F though, and he wants to learn really badly. His wife is an inactive member, and they are so cool! We were talking about the word of wisdom, and we read D&C 89 the whole way through, and he got really quiet for a second. We let him think, then he looked us right in the eye and he said "I want to get baptized. What do I need to do?" So much spirit in that room. It was almost palpable.
3b) something different we would not experience here.
Um, everything? Ha-ha it's like another planet here. Women have absolutely no shame about breastfeeding. At all. In the middle of the lesson, in church, front row before their own baptism, doesn't matter. Also people pee everywhere. People pull over their scooters, and pee off the side of the road. Everywhere and anywhere. And it's not weird.
4) What is on your mind lately?
Mostly the language. I have been thinking about Christmas a lot lately actually, and I have decided to be the best housemate ever at Christmas time. I freaking love Christmas and I didn't realize that until they don't really celebrate it here. I will not give up my Christmas.
5) How was the baptism? Oh yeah, Chase's went great except Daniel had to dunk him twice. His toe popped up. Daddy did a nice job but he cried when he was giving Chase the message from you. He is such a baby, I never cry like that. (big grin here) We had the party after and Dad won the day by giving him this video game he wanted. Surprised are you? He is such a spoiler. He loves doing it though.
The baptism was pretty cool; hardly anyone came though, five men and four women. Plus the people they brought with them. But yeah, nothing exciting really. I told Dad about it a little too.
He wasn't kidding when he said they were smaller people.
This is their baptismal font!
1) What is the best thing that happened to you this week?
The best thing that happened to me this week was probably the baptism! That was so cool; the best part was the members’ testimonies after they got baptized. Volasoa gave the typical "I know that what the missionaries taught me is true" testimony, but you could really tell she was feeling the spirit, and Marcelline blew me away! She got up and gave specific testimony about a few things and then she said (roughly translated) "I know the Book of Mormon is true because I prayed about it and I got an answer that it is true, and I know that Thomas S Monson (she remembered the prophets name! Huge deal here) is a true prophet because I prayed about it." Oh my gosh I was so freaking happy I almost cried.
As far as things happening to me personally I don't really know, I finished second Nephi the other day, so that was pretty sweet. The last few chapters are like diamond encrusted in the gold of the rest of the scriptures. Freaking awesome. I'm going to go buy a Kevin Durant jersey/shorts combo today for 30,000 (about 15 bucks) if I can find the guy again.
2) tell me a little more about the street food. I understand about the cows tongue thing. I had a similar experience at a members home in Korea, never ate that combination of food again or since.
The street food is actually way good, especially if you get it fresh. They mostly just have a fire going and a kettle of hot oil on top and they dump in bread dough with stuff in it, or they throw in little rolls, like egg rolls but full of noodles and stuff (so good). It's the stuff the members and investigators make for you that will give you trouble. They don't always cook it all the way through, and the rice is usually almost rotten because that's when it's the cheapest. So that can be shady but I have only been sick from food once, and I guess after a while your stomach develops extra walls of lining and a small army to fight all the nasty crap you put in it. Looking forward to that day.
3) I saw a video from Elder Moulton of the kids near the mission home. They look a lot like the same kids that are in the article from LDS living about the church in Mada.
Um, cool? I don't know if that's really a question or not ha-ha but the kids here are freaking adorable! So cute, especially Leon! I sent mom a picture of him last week, hopefully she showed you. He is like a freaking genius. He is reading the Book of Mormon. I can't even do that in Malagasy. He is so funny though, and he likes me too so that helps.
4) Are you enjoying this experience?
I am enjoying myself every now and then. I am trying to find a balance between being a super sick diligent missionary and not killing myself with the rules. I manage to have a pretty good time still though. It probably helps that I enjoy teaching ha-ha even though I'm not very good at it. Also English class is the highlight of my week, aside from p-day when I get to read your emails of course. I'm definitely not the same person I was pre-mission and I suspect I never will be again but! I am still me, and I am still awesome. No doubts there. Just learning to speak like these people is a challenge, and trying to be a missionary is never an easy task. I was looking through my planner from the MTC yesterday trying to find an email address (for Bro Sell) and I saw a quote I really liked. I thought I would share it with you. "Difficulty is one excuse that history has never accepted."-Benjamin Disraeli
5) Tell me two unique things that you did this week that we would be amazed at here.
Hmm. I lived in Madagascar, that's pretty amazing. I led a full lesson in Malagasy, about the Book of Mormon. That was pretty dope. I climbed a tree and picked fruit I have never even seen before and ate about two handfuls of it. They were roughly the size of strawberries, the shape of gourds, and the color and texture of oranges. They gave me the worst farts ever. I don't really know what else is interesting, stuff is starting to seem routine. I love you!
1) Will you be able to watch conference in two weeks?
We don't get to watch it live, but they give us recordings a couple weeks after it that we get to watch so I will get to see it. I am so excited! I never realized how awesome general conference talks are.