I have officially been on my mission for two months, and it feels like just yesterday I entered the MTC. Big shoutout to some of my best friends Elder Rhoton and Elder Coleman, they are on their way to Taiwan and Japan this week. I hope their plane rides are much better than mine 🙂 This week has been another splendid seven days in paradise.
is going very well and my love for the people has skyrocketted. Every time I walk down the street, I get stared down by absolutely everyone, but if I give them a quick, generous smile, they become your best friend and are so happy that they get to talk to a vazaha (Malagasy slang for white dudes). The kids here are especially cute, they are so awesome and love calling us vazaha as well. Every time we pass a little kid on the street aged from 2-14, they hit us up with the punch line: “Bonjour Vazaha,” screaming it from the top of their lungs. It’s so funny to reply to them in Malagasy and they are just awe-strucken. Little kids also love giving us Dona’s (fist-bumps) and will come running across the road if you hold out your fist to them. There are always some Malagasy’s that you can figure will call you a Vazaha, and I beat them to it and call them a Vazaha, and they are confused at first, but then bust out laughing because we basically just roasted them!
Anyways, this week was a very successful week. We’ve been having great success and the lord is blessing our hard work. We were able to get 4 of our families to church this week and they are really progressing towards their baptismal dates! Jacky and Ursula in particular are doing very well at progressing. Last week out of the blue, Ursula, Jacky’s wife, had a total change in heart. She began being so interested in the gospel, studied as much material as she could. Previously, she had trouble coming to church, paying attention in lessons, and studying the gospel in general. This week, the spirit must have worked strong on her because she was fully engaged in the lessons, asking and answering questions, and attended church this week! I am so grateful for her change of heart and the spiritual strength she has developed. I am overjoyed that she is allowing the gospel to change her life and follow the example of our Savior Jesus Christ. I love missionary work and the trials and joys that come from it. But most of all, I love this church, and the restored church and doctrine it has to guide Heavenly Father’s imperfect children on this earth.
Today, for p-day, we went to Fullpoint Beach. It is supposedly the nicest beach in Northern Madagascar, and it really did well. After a two hour bus ride we arrived and it was super windy. We got a volleyball and played beach volleyball for about an hour or so, then posed for some sweet pictures. We are allowed to wade in the water up to our calves and it was so nice to feel the warm ocean water. It is such a pretty beach and it was a nice day to relax with a coconut in one hand, just sitting on the beach.
Spiritual Thought: So we were learning this week in our zone meeting the role of trainers and trainees. There was a story that I thought of and it directly relates to everyone. This is the story of the violinist: A young man at the age of eight had a considerable talent in playing the violin. His father recognized his potential and purchased expensive lessons so he could learn how to master his talents. The son went to the lessons because his father wanted and encouraged him to continue to grow and develop his talent. However, after the lessons, he wouldn’t practice his violin. He became lazy because becoming a better violinist required diligent work. As he continued to drift into laziness, it talent ceased to improve and he never touched anyone’s lives with the sweet and sacred sound that only his violin could create. Essentially, we are the son, and the dad is our Heavenly Father. He has given us everything, even His only begotten son. However, although he has given us everything, it is only up to us to allow it to bless our lives. When we read our scriptures, go to church, and follow the gospel principles, we grow and our spiritual talent increases. Don’t become lazy, and always work towards the goal of enduring to the end.
I love you all, and I’m grateful for each and everyone of you and the particular role you’ve played in my life. Have a wonderful week!