Karakory Ianareo! Hello (Tamatave Dialect) everyone!
So, this week was my first official week in Madagascar and Tamatave. I’ve never been so tired after a day in my entire life. Every night, I hit the pillow and I’m asleep in less than a minute. Missionary work is so amazing, but just drains you of all your energy. I love it here and the people are my favorite part. This week has been full of many ups and downs! I love it here in Ambolomadinika, and this new area is really starting to pick it’s pace.
There is a member here about twenty-three years old and he’s really been helping us out. His name is Stefan and he’s really generous and is currently trying to prepare to go on a mission. He has come with us everyday teaching and really devoting his time to us. Which, is a great thing to have and a valuable asset, but he doesn’t have a job right now so he can’t put his papers in because he doesn’t have enough money yet. We’ve been trying to help him understand that a mission is more important, and he’s going to look for a job this week.
Anyways, we’ve been able to get 4 investigators to church this week and have 9 people on baptism dates for November 12th! It’s super exciting, and I feel like I’m starting to make a measureable difference in changing people’s lives. I love the language here and I feel like I am coming along. I can almost teach about the restoration by heart, but with some needed pauses along the way. However, it is getting there, and I love learning the language. The dialect here is difficult, but with Elder Nelson and the other elders in the house I’m starting to pick it up.
So, in Madagascar, there are a few ways of transporting yourself around the city. One is a Posiposy, which is a tricycle with a spot to sit in the back, and a Malagasy will drive you around to anywhere in Tamatave for about 1000 ariary ($0.33). Really cheap, and an effective way to get from place to place that is relatively far and too distant for walking. A funny story is when Elder Nelson and I got into a posiposy and we told him where we wanted to go and we hopped on. We didn’t realize how small this Malagasy was, and he was struggling pretty hard to get us going. For him, we were big Americans and he was trying to pedal us around and working really hard. So, we tipped him a little bit and he was to gracious. There are also Tuc-Tucs, which are my preferred favorite, but are expensive and mainly used for longer distances. I really want to buy one and ask around a few times and a brand new Piaggio (Tuc-Tuc) costs around 5,000,000 Francs (1,000,000 Ar) which is about $330. They are these like three wheeled vehicles that just cruise around and are super awesome. I really want one so bad, like I’ve had daydreams about them.
This morning, for P-day, we went to a really cool lemur park. When we got there, there was an issue about ticket prices. It was 20,000 Ar for a visitor, which is outrageously expensive, and 1,000 Ar for a Malagasy (resident). We were able to talk the price down to 4,000 for each of us, because we were residents and had resident cards. Anyways, the park was awesome and I finally got to see some really interesting lemurs, pictures will be attached below. They are so cool, unfortunately we weren’t able to hold the lemurs and play with them, which is what you can do at other parks. I’m kinda bummed about that. We also got to see a bunch of tortoises and hiked to a really cool waterfall. I was so tempted to jump in the waterfall because it is so hot and humid here and I really needed to cool off.
So, on of the families we are teaching and they are really incredible. Noro is the mother, Hiary the father, Franky is their son, and Elise is their cute little girl. Their family is super interested in the church and we’ve taught them two lessons, but have been previously been taught by missionaries. They are really receptive to the gospel and they are among the 9 people we have preparing to be baptized on November 12th, the day after my birthday. Woohoo! Their little kids are so cute was well. I was sitting with Franky and Elise, while they were both sitting on my knees and we read Ny Famerenana Aminy Laoniny ny Filazantsaran’i Jesoa Kristy (The Restoration) pamphlet together. We took turns reading, and for being 9 years old, Franky could read super well in malagasy, way better than me by a long shot and I could really feel the Holy Ghost testifying of truth. After reading the entire pamphlet together, our lesson was up and we gave them some awesome commitments for baptism they they are excited to keep and very enthusiastic about. I love them and they are such an awesome family!
I love it here in Madagascar and I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else in my life. I love you all, I heard about the wind carnage that swept through Utah. My prayers and blessings go out to all of you. Email me and tell me how you all are doing!
From our chit chat: There are 12 elders in Tamatave, 6 in our house (our district). The numbers of baptismal dates are 9 just for Elder Nelson and I.