That means happy Fathers Day. Yesterday was Father's Day here too so this was going to be my happy Father's Day email anyway. Happy Father's Day Dad, I love you so much. I'm so happy you are my Dad. I don't really know what else to say, but I love you a bunch.
The shooting sounds like a blast, glad you got to mess around a little bit with someone that shoots pretty good. Congrats and arabaina on your clean match and 4th place, you lost to some very good shooters. And you almost beat Silent Sam so that's pretty cool stuff.
Thankyou for the wishes from Christian and the spiritual thought from Lorenzo Snow, I really like it alot. That might have helped me pre-mission but it also might have done nothing so no big deal.
I haven't been out a year. I couldn't even catch my year mark holding my breath. So I will deal with that maybe next year. Too much crap to do here right now. We just got a new assignment, that we need to meet with every auxilary presidency every week for the next little while. That's ten extra meetings during the week for the two branch elders.
Bigger faith, Daniel and the lions or David and Goliath?
Hmm... That's hard. I might go with David on this one. Daniel stood up for what was right and didn't back down, but David straight volunteered and ran at it head first.
Take the winner from 2 and put him against Joseph Smith.
Hands down Joseph Smith on this one. Just too much to count. Not one act of faith like David fighting Goliath. Just repetitive over and over and over again being persecuted, tarred and feathered, driven out of town, having his family killed, his friends killed, falsely imprisoned countless times. Never backed down, never gave up. Incredible. No contest.
Still rocking a 6 pack?
Not even close. Biking every day still isn't enough to keep Antsirabe off my gut. My MTC pants all fit like they did when I left now, I need to start working out again, but I am so tired all the time haha I'll get around to it.
Bro Reegen called me and he asked me to talk on sunday, About YOU!! This is going to be the easiest talk ever! So he wants to know a few fun things about Mada. Any changes in you that you/we have noticed and how you being on a mission has blessed our family. So what should I tell everyone? It is also Alyssa Tuckers farewell. Any advice for her.
Hmm. I don't know what you should tell people. You probably know just as well as I do. I have definitely gotten a lot more patient though. Try not to cry too much. Tell Alyssa to work hard and never count days, weeks, months, or even years. It makes things go so much faster. Also tell her if she hasn't already then take a colored pencil and read the Doctrine and Covenants and mark every scripture that is a promise to missionaries or about missionary work. It might take a while.
A few fun things about Madagascar. People are crazy poor, and they don't have a lot of stuff in their house. So they play cool games that they make up and use rocks and garbage mostly for props in games. They take tires and two sticks and have races, they push it like a wheelbarrow and it rolls pretty good. They take two rocks and bang them together on the ground for stories, and sometimes they put leaves or grass between them for extra effect. I saw a group of kids the other day running around with corn stalks yelling rebel type stuff, pretty funny. They are so much more creative than American kids. They are also much dirtier. Always dirty.
I know you don't want to be reminded but saturday is one year. Wow I can't believe it. Hope your package arrives.
If you know I don't want to be reminded then don't remind me. Come on.
Someone in their blog mentioned that there are elections coming up in Mada. Do you hear about it? Is it anything like here? Are there any problems?
I hear all about it all the time. Look up on the international news, I think there is an article about it. I think the date got pushed back again though, it was supposed to be last September originally.
They also said independence day was coming up. What do they do?
Not sure yet, two weeks and I can tell you all about it. June 26th is the date.
Any transfer news?
Not yet, next Sunday is transfer news. I'll be able to tell you next Monday what the news is, should be pretty big.
So, since it's Father's Day I am gonna give you (Dad) the stories this week. First things first, got my suit made. Just a business suit but this guy is good so I can trust him with the cowboy suit next. It looks sharp. No pictures yet, sorry. Next week though.
This week was a huge Rally. Like racing. They had a course set up that was essentially just downtown Antsirabe and then an outlying area. However, they didn't close down any roads or anything, so they just had police at all the intersections that stopped traffic when a rally car was coming. So the cars were passing semi-trucks and pousse pousse and bikers on the road. Pretty scary sometimes actually. We were coming back from a lesson on Friday and had to jump off the road on our bikes a couple times because they just assume you will move so they don't slow down for you. But no harm no foul.
On Tuesday I learned to knit. Pretty interesting really, although I made what is basically a low quality shoelace. So we are learning on Tuesday mornings now in Andranomanelatra. The Branch President has three daughters that live with him. All three got married, have one kid, and then the husbands bailed. I think they all have divorces though, at least two of them got them. So they teach us and feed us lunch and it's way cool. Their kids are adorable.
On Wednesday we had splits for baptism interviews. Bebe Balbine and Iando, in Andranomanelatra are getting baptized next Saturday, the 29th. First people that I have taught and are getting baptized while I am here. Super excited! And also Iando asked me to do her baptism! So I am super excited for that. Then we have another baptism the week after that in Mahazoarivo. Way cool stuff! I'm excited.
On Wednesday night we had a soiree at a members house, the daughter turned 11 maybe, not sure exactly. So they gave us some good food and we had a good time and talked and Elder Moore gave her his picture of the temple he kept in his Book of Mormon and I didn't have anything to give her so I just felt super lame. I am gonna print out a picture of the Columbia River Temple today so I won't get stuck like that again.
Then on Friday we went less active hunting, on splits. So I found this lady, who tried to avoid me but I am clever so I walked with her and talked to her. I asked why she hadn't been coming to church and she said it was too far. I said while you are still young, you can go good on your feet. She wouldn't give though. So I asked her why she got baptized. She said, I kid you not, "I got an answer to my prayer from the Holy Ghost that that is the true church and I should be baptized there". You got an answer to a prayer and you left the church because your old church is closer? Holy cow, I asked her, if Jesus Christ himself was standing in Tana would you go? And she said of course. So I asked, if you received an answer to your prayer then you know that this church is the only true church on the earth and that only through the ordinances and enduring to the end in this church can you receive salvation. And you stopped going because it is too far to walk. Then we had to go.
So, this story goes back a little ways. When I was in Itaosy, right before Elder McLaughlin went home, we were talking to this wood carver who was making stuff for him. Then his daughter and her husband showed up, said they wanted to learn. We asked when they could, and they could only learn after like 9 at night. We can't do that, so we told them to come to church and we would work something out. They never showed up and I forgot about it. Fast forward six months. I get transferred to Mahazoarivo, see a lot of potential in Andranomanelatra. I decide we need to start working out there more, so we open up a day and go out there. I am diligent and won't bend on the rules or stop trying to find people out there, so the Branch President becomes my friend. Two or three months after that, working out there every week, we get a referral from the branch president. His son and daughter in law just moved to Andranomanelatra from Tana. Cool, sounds good. We go there, find out they lived in Itaosy. He was a reciever(money collector) on a taxi be. We talk and talk some more and then I ask if they know that wood carver in Itaosy, because they lived close by there. Sandy goes "yeah that's my Dad" and then her husband, Hery, says "Yeah, we talked to you a long time ago there, you don't remember?" So of course at that point I remember perfectly and am just flabbergasted (however you spell that) that they were in two obscure parts of both my areas. Pretty cool. And now, they are way diligent and come to church all the time and have a baptism date for August 24th. Amazing the stuff that happens when you work hard.
Small miracle in Mahazoarivo also. We were contacting people here in town and saw one guy on a bike. He lived far away but wanted to learn, but we were in a hurry so we couldn't go to his house. Then later we got dogged at two times and had three hours to kill. So we started contacting again. Found an older guy on a bike, headed home. He said he was interested in learning so we followed him to his house and it was way far. So we started teaching him, he is way diligent, comes to church every week and all the activities and gives us sweet potatoes every time we go over. Two or three weeks after we started teaching him we come out of a lesson at his house and standing in the yard is the first guy from that day. It's his son. They are father and son, we contacted them on the same day on opposite ends of the area and they are both learning now. Amazing stuff happens every day.
I think that is all my stories for today. Videos and pictures on Photobucket! Love you so much. Happy late Fathers Day.