Salama jiaby e! This week has been great, not as productive as the last few, but we had a fun week. So, to begin. Elder Tshuma is officially dead. He left our area this morning and getting ready for the 3 hour flight to Johannesburg, South Africa on Wednesday. He left a week before the end of transfer because he is going home with Elder Maluleka whom is going home a little early to surprise his mom on her birthday. Anyways, he’s a great guy, really good missionary. He stuck it out until the last days and we had a great time, although it felt too fast. He’s going home to give his mommy a kiss and relax, and he’s pretty excited for that. Anyways, due to him going home early a week, I’m on splits with Elder Shoemaker and Passey until I get my new companion next Wednesday (9 days).
So, because he went home, we had a bunch of soirees. Literally, we got fed lunch a few times and dinner every night this week except Sunday. It was wonderful meeting with members and recent converts from all around Tana, enjoying some Malagasy cuisine, and seeing the relationships Elder Tshuma built with those he served. It set a great example for me.
For p-day today, we rented out this massive indoor gym place for all of the Elders in Antananarivo called the Village de Joire. I’m not certain what that means, but we played volleyball and indoor soccer for two hours and it turned out being a lot cheaper than we thought, 2500 ariary per person ($0.85). I’m sorry this email is short, I’ve got a pretty big headache and I’m just wiped from soccer.
Also, this guy Nirena, one of our investigators, showed up at church yesterday. We haven’t seen him in a while, but I sent him a text Sunday morning and he showed up! He loved church and we sat next to him and helped him understand what was going on and the purpose behind everything especially the sacrament. What a special treat this was for Elder Tshuma as this was his last sacrament meeting in Madagascar.
I love you all, have a great week and enjoy your families.
Love, Elder Jacob Stromberg
Excerpts from letters to mom: For p-day today, we played soccer and volleyball at this massive indoor gym thing. Unfortunately, I took off my fitbit and when I went to go pick it up it was gone. I’m really confused right now because us missionaries were the only ones in the whole complex and it was sitting right next to my buddy’s watch and his was still there. What I think happened is that a cleaner or someone came by and snatched it up, but what I hope it was, was a missionary picked it up, but I spoke to a lot of people and they said they didn’t. I’m really sad, but this week I had: 114,767 steps, 88.31 km, and 269 flights of stairs. Pretty impressive. I’m really sad, but I’m praying that it will turn up somehow.
Anyways, onto some better news. We watch general conference on Saturday and Sunday this week. I’m really excited. I’m glad that you were able to get a lot out of it and that Elder Palmer’s talk was good. He’s got a great accent. I absolutely love general conference and I think it’s because I take it a lot more seriously.
So, a few weeks ago, it was raining. Usually, I have my missionary handbook attached to my nametag and then latched on to my pocket. Because it was raining I took my planner and missionary handbook and put it in my bag and then, running through rain and trees, I hopped onto a bus heading home for the day. After relaxing for a few seconds, I looked down to realize that my plaque was gone. Unfortunately, the magnetic one was also gone because I lost it in the ocean while I was in Tamatave. So, the nametag I made was a blank tag from the mission office. I took a piece of paper, colored my name, and taped the paper to the tag. My new plaque should probably be here within the next few weeks, but it needs to get sent from South Africa. Until then, I get to use this “special” tag.
I’m heading out right now, but I love you tons. Most people have phone here in Tana, but hardly anyone had any in Tamatave. It’s nice because I can send texts Sunday morning to remind investigators to come. I love Jesus Christ, he is the Savior of us all. Thanks for all of your support throughout the years.