This week was a fairly enjoyable week. Just like every week in the MTC the devotionals were overwhelmingly spiritual, the days were long, but the week was short.
First off, our devotional this week really was exceptional. We had President Maynes come and speak to us, he is the president of one of the quorum’s of the Seventy. He spoke about how there were several accounts of Joseph Smith’s first vision, one in 1820, 1832, 1835, and 1838. He was talking about how tons of people think that because these accounts have some minor differences, it means that his story is fake. When in reality, it would only be the same everytime if it was fake and memorized. He told the story to different audiences, similar to the way I would describe a story to my Jam vs. to a teacher. Jam would want to know everything about the story and different parts would be enunciated, and when I would tell it to a teacher I would just give them the critical parts. The first vision of Joseph Smith was real and true.
Second, we’ve been trying to get our teacher Rahalay Evans so come to lunch with us for four weeks and he said he’ll only come if we can/will speak in full Malagasy. Needless to say, I learned a lot of words for food, and such. Rahalay Evans is awesome and tough on us when he needs to be to help us grow and become stronger investigators. This last week, we also taught one of investigators Solo (Soeur Winnie) and it was one of our toughest lesson ever. We had prepared a 35 minute lesson and had a solid lesson structure. After opening with her and praying, we followed up on our commitment we extended to her to read and pray about the Book of Mormon to find out for herself if it is true. She was reading in 1 Nephi 4, where Nephi kills Laban (verse 12), and she stopped right after that and stopped reading. She’s like, “The Holy Ghost wouldn’t prompt someone to kill someone because that is in the 10 commandments, and God wouldn’t break his own commandments.” After around 8 minutes of attempting to recover from this argument we were having in extremely broken Malagasy, and trying to find the scripture that was in the verse literally right after. We basically lost the whole discussion and the spirit was gone! It was so funny, but frustrating too. She kicked us out of her house saying: “Fanahy Masina ratsy be! Veloma!” (translates to: The Holy Ghost is Bad! GOODBYE!”), and we told her that we would come back with an answer. Yesterday (2 lessons later) we turned her around and she committed to (fake) baptism! YAY! This was a very frustrating, necessary, humbling experience that will definitely prepare us for the mission field!
Today, we receive our flight plans! This has been the P-day we have all been waiting for. I cannot wait to fly for 56 hours in crammed planes with no leg room 🙂 Anyways, this week has been fun and the language is coming along very well. I can understand almost everything my teacher is saying and while we were conversing with our investigators! I love you all, God be with you till we meet again.
From a private email: To answer all your questions: Yes, we do converse in Malagasy about regular stuff (instead of gospel topics) to develop casual language. I can converse and get to know someone for about 30 minutes. I am the best ping pong player in our ZONE. I have challenged those that think they are the best and through my hard training, I was able to defeat them. The next best is Elder Hunter, (I beat him 7/7 games yesterday, even though they were really good matches). No, we haven’t gotten in trouble with the ping pong table because we keep it in our dorm room, and one of the members of our branch presidency said that, if we keep it in our room they won’t get mad at us. No, neither Zane nor Brock has come over to play, we’re in different building so it’s tough to meet up. Yes, I have MTC gas suuuuper bad, I’m ripping them super hard, all the time haha. Really, there is one thing I need in that package you are going to send me and that it: peppermint essential oil (or something else to clear sinuses/congestion), and another thing that I can’t think of right now (I’ll email you later tonight! I do need a haircut, and I get one tomorrow (They are totally gonna hack it 😦 ). Thanks dad for sending me one of your business cards! Is the card under my name? Email me the status of my credit card once you find out! Yeah, the Haka dance really is super crazy! I’ll send you some more photos for today! Love you!