#31 Kelly, Lahateniko & a Cyclone

Week 31.2This week was great. Lets get right to the good stuff.  So, due to the lack of a big program, we headed out for a few days looking for the ‘elect,’ as Elder Ellis put it. We had been praying all week that we would find a golden family that was ready for the gospel. We approached tracting positive and energetic attitude. After knocking a few doors, a tin door just down the path really stood out to me. After being rejected a few times, I felt impressed to go down and knock it. As it started to rain we knocked the tin door and yelled the accommondate “Hody o!” A taller malagasy man who was chasing a chicken saw us and stood with a smile 20 yards away standing under a tin roof and replied “Ho avy ny orana” (Here comes the rain). We asked him if we could speak for just a sec, he ran over quickly, we introduced ourselves and then he quickly invited us in.

We entered a very small alley and into an even smaller house with two rooms. Rodin, the father, accompanied by his wife, Rodin, their 23 year old son Kelly, and a few other little kids. They were very excited to hear our message and embraced it. After remarking that they didn’t have too much time to speak, they asked us to come back. We briefly explained the Restoration pamphlet and the happiness that will come from it, invited them to church and set up a return time for Sunday afternoon.

Week 31.3When we returned back on Sunday, they were ready and excited. They read the pamphlet and had many good questions for us. Earlier that morning, the son Kelly had gone into the city to visit a friend and on the way, saw one of our meeting-houses in Mahamasina and decided to stop by. Conveniently, that was just a few minutes before sacrament meeting started. The members accepted him quickly and he attended the meeting.  He received a Book of Mormon from one of the members and had read the introduction and the testimonies of the witnesses all before the lesson. He was more than interested, he was prepared by God for our message. We answered his questions and he is very excited to learn more about our church and his savior Jesus Christ. He lives in Mahajanga and was here on vacation visiting his family for just a few days. We have one more visit with him just before he heads back to Mahajanga. The Lord really does help us in his work, this was a miracle. I am even more excited to see what Heavenly Father has in store for this area. “Ask and ye shall receive, knock and it shall be opened up unto you.”

Also, this week I have a Lahateny (Lahateniko: My talk).  I gave my first talk in sacrament meeting.  To be honest, I wasn’t very scared at all, actually I was very excited. I had only been in the ward for a couple of weeks and the second counselor asked me to give one.  As I prepared it, I wrote most of it down on a piece of paper in order to make sure that if for some reason I forgot what I was saying, I wasn’t caught swallowing my tie.  I spoke about missionary work and the importance of what we do.  It was a wonderful opportunity to explain to them that missionary work isn’t complete without the help of the members, in fact, members are one of the biggest parts.  Honestly, I cannot remember what I said exactly.  I shared a few scriptures, a quote from Gordon B. Hinckly, and spoke through the Spirit.  It really is true that the Spirit will lose your tongue and this is exactly what happened.  I didn’t stutter with my malagasy at any point during those 15 minutes.  This was the first time I felt one hundred percent fluent and expressed any thought I had in my head, and was able to explain it the exact same way that I felt.  It was only through the Spirit that this could have happened.

Week 31.1So, before all of that, we had a cyclone on Wednesday.  Everyone said it was going to be super bad, but I wasn’t sold on it.  When Wednesday came, it was literally raining all day and super windy.  I didn’t see any tin roofs flying nor too much debris, but it was powerful.  Also, the night before, Elder Tshuma made some of his famous tacos and it kept Elder Shoemaker and I at the toilets throwing up.  But I will admit, they tasted really good, but not worth the trip in the long run.  From the window of our house, we were able to see all the lack of Malagasies on the street and the cars running through the whipping weather.  Life is great here in Madagascar, it’s paradise on earth.  Have a great week everyone, be safe and enjoy spring. Loves all around the world.

Week 31.4I just barely got my Fitbit synced so now it is no longer October 24th, but March 13th.  I don’t have all the stats, but last week, had a day that was 13.5 km.  I think that’s a few miles (it calculates to 8.4 miles).

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