This week Jacob did not send a main letter to send out, but rather 2 separate letters to us. Here is a nice glimpse into what his personal letters home are like.
Dad: First off, there’s this thing called old man strength. It’s real and it’s dangerous. That’s why you can outrun Kyle and Jam on the sleds.
I’m so glad to hear that you and Kyle were able to go do something one on one, that’s a really cool experience and I’m sure that he enjoyed it very much. Those pictures that mom sent me of your beard are great! It is filling in very nice, I shaved for the second time in my life this morning, 2 months after the last time. It also looks like the time you spent at the Rhoton’s cabin was super great and sledding was fun. I’m sorry to hear that it is warming up because that means the snow is slowly fading and we are going in to spring and summer.
I’m sorry that there aren’t any Malagasy restaurants, but I’ve been learning how to cook it and we eat it about 2-3 dinners a week. I’m getting pretty good at it. I hope the Coleman’s are doing well. Zane and Brock are doing great on their missions it sounds like from their emails. I love those guys. I’ve played the piano for 2 of the past 5 sacrament meetings and for one of the baptisms. I’m feeling more comfortable playing in front of crowds.
I’m very sad that I didn’t study my patriarchal blessing as much before my mission because there is so much that it has to offer. Honestly, if I didn’t have my blessing, I wouldn’t have any direction in life. It really has so many things in my blessing. If you have a copy of my patriarchal blessing, you can definitely read it and I really want you to read it. There are two paragraphs about my mission and they are really cool. If you don’t mind, read those two paragraphs and then write me a little bit on your perspective of them. Thanks dad!
We aren’t really finding many new investigators, but we are teaching all of our recent converts. It’s very important, especially with recent converts to still be taught very consistently after baptism.
Elder Walker, a former AP said that baptism is a spiritual rebirth, and we need to treat the converts as babies. We need to tend for them every week, continue to make sure that their testimonies are being strengthened, and when they fall and don’t come to a week of church or an activity, the ward and the missionaries run over and are supportive towards them. Just as you would if a little baby fell from a crib.
We haven’t had much success this week because Elder Wilson has been dead sick the entire week! I’ll let you know more about that in the big email. Thanks for everything dad, you are such a stallion. I love you tons and hope you have another productive week of work and that the family is not contentious!
Dearest Mother: I will tell you that this week was great, for reasons not normal to every other week. Tuesday, we worked a regular day and taught some of our most beloved investigators and recent converts. Then, Tuesday night Elder Wilson got sick, headache, sore throat, stomach ache, fever, which seemed like the common cold. We stayed home Wednesday and he slept all day! I stayed home with him, cleaned the house spotless and listened to a bunch of talks. Thursday, he was sicker than Wednesday, and he continued to sleep. Friday, his fever and stomach ache was gone, but his sore throat got worse, a lot worse and his headache remained.
That night, we got into contact with Sister Foote, I don’t know if you guys know this, but the senior couple in the office (The Woolleys) are now home after Elder Woolley had a stroke, and the Millers, who where the mission doctors who just arrived in December, had to return home to take care of Sister Miller’s dad who just had a heart attack. The Tanner’s take care of the humanitarian side of our mission. So, we went from having 3 senior couples to having 1, and the Tanners aren’t really working with the missionaries. So, we have the office elders Elder Hunter and Elder Alvarez basically running all the finances and everything for every missionary in Madagascar, Mauritius and Reunion. Sister Foote was promoted to mission doctor because she is a mom.
So, now you are caught up, we called Sister Foote, and she then got a hold of a doctor in South Africa, and spoke to Elder Wilson. They prescribed him some medication and Elder Jensen and I went to a pharmacy and picked it up for him. The sickness continued until Sunday in which we took Elder Wilson to a private physician which ended up being of no help because they couldn’t run any of the tests that the South African doctor needed done. Through the past week, plenty of phone calls, he has been diagnosed with either Mono or Tonsillitis. He is supposed to keep taking the medicine and should be good in about a week or two, we are praying very hard. So, because of that, we haven’t been working at all, I’ve gone on a few splits this week and visited as many as possible, but haven’t done much.
On the bright side, I have taken myself to much studying and service and I have grown a lot spiritually this week. I’ve fixed a lot of problems with our house (all minor), and the house looks brand new.
This has been a very great day and everything is going a lot better. Elder Wilson has been doing better, but his throat is absolutely killing him. Even cold things hurt to swallow and eating has become a chore. We’ve got some applesauce and pudding for him to eat, but it isn’t as filling. It’s been a difficult week for us, but we’ve been strengthened as a companionship and have a cleaner house.
Saturday, there was also a miracle, Sylvain, one of our greatest investigators got baptized! On Saturday afternoon, at around 3 pm, Elder Wilson entered the waters of baptism with him. A few things about Sylvain, he is one of the kindest, most soft-hearted person I’ve ever met. I have yet seen someone who can feel the spirit better than he can. He has four kids, two of them are twins. Unfortunately, his wife and him and separated, and she has the kids. He lives in a small bungalow where he sleeps on the floor, yet evertime we come over, it’s like Christmas for him. I love him so much and he really is a 50 year old stripling warrior in Madagascar. I love him to tears and I am so happy that he is able to progress more in these next few years in his life than he has in the past 50. We keep teaching him twice a week and he loves it. One of our new members Fr. Raymond helps us teach him. He got baptized a little over a year ago and they have become great friends. It is such a great miracle to see the ward fellowshipping in new members. In Madagascar, everyone is everyone’s family, it’s beautiful.
Sorry mom, this email has a lot of things that you can use for the big email as well. Thanks for compiling one last week, and that would be great if you could do the same this week.
I’m so glad to hear that Carter got a 3.9 gpa and that he is doing a lot better in school. It sounds like he’s finally getting in the swing of things. I’m glad to hear about Becca too! I’m glad that she has found time to work hard in College and work at Deseret Book, Good to hear that Jam still has the smooth moves with girls and that he’s so dang handsome that he gets referrals. He probably used as a referral for tons of girls, it’s just they are so scared to ask him out because he’s so hot. Haha! I love Jam and the picture of him with the projector screen while doing his laundry. Wow, Carter and Harry’s birthdays are this week! That’s crazy! I will send them a big birthday wish this next week. Tell them to be ready for it. I love you all tons and I’m grateful for everything that you guys have been doing to Maharitra hatramin’ny farany (Endure to the end) by living worthily to partake of the sacrament, and enjoy the blessings of the gospel. Have a great week!