#43 Pentecost, Great Attendance, and Fr. Sunee

This week was incredible.  So as Malagasies always do, when they have a holiday, they celebrate the day before and the day after.  Malagasies just love partying.  Yesterday was the official celebration of Pentecost.  It’s funny because they just extend the days of the holiday so that they don’t have to work!  Haha.  When went over to Fr. Emile’s house and had a great lunch with him and his family and some of their extended family.  Their new baby boy just got blessed yesterday during sacrament meeting and it was great.  Fr. Emile served his mission in Cape Town and still speaks some English.

Yesterday at church we a had a good attendance, especially from investigators.  We had 15 come to church!  It would have been 19, but there were a few investigators that have been coming constantly for the past months that suddenly weren’t able to come, but the rest of their families came.  Next week we should be seeing more in the audience.  We’ve been working a lot with members and the work has been progressing so much better.  We’ve got members lined up with us daily and they are paired up with teaching investigators.  We’ve been getting referrals and the members are helping us teach them and they have been bringing the investigators and recent converts to church.  We have a baptism on June 17th for one investigator Alfred.  He is incredibly powerful and spiritual.  Optimistically speaking, we could have a massive baptism on July 1st.  About 20 people could possibly be baptized, if not even more than that.  We’ll see.  We are trying to get some families married and then they will be able to be baptized.  We printed off a talk and gave it to the local leaders from Jeffrey R. Holland in the April 2001 general conference.  The work truly is hastening and the local leaders are helping a lot!

Last but not least, Fr. Sunee.  He’s 23 years old and teaches the investigators class occasionally.  He’s a returned missionary from The Congo and speaks great English.  Anyways, he got married this past Saturday and flies out today to get married in the temple in South Africa.  Because it is so expensive to go to the temple for most members, this is a great occasion for him and his soon-to-be eternal wife.  What a great blessing it is that we have temples in which we can do eternal, saving ordinances.  I love the temple and I miss it a lot.  He is going to start his eternal family off right by being sealed for time and all eternity.

I love this gospel and I especially love sharing it.  I encourage all that haven’t read Elder Holland’s talk to read or watch it.  It is simply inspiring.   No pictures yet, sorry.

Personal letter excerpts:  We have a very calm day today for p-day and are going to play the piano and cyber.  We are cybering at the church and there is only one computer.  So, I’ve been teaching Elder Modisakeng the piano and he’s currently practicing.  We will come back to the church later when his mother is on and he will cyber and I will practice the piano.  It’s a great day!

Another one: I just barely got on, it’s about 8:20 here and we finally walked up to the church.  I played the opening hymn yesterday in Sacrament meeting and it was difficult, I was able to get through most of it, but it was tough.  5 minutes before sacrament meeting they asked me to fill in and I was happy, until I found out the songs.  They were tough.

P.S.  When we skyped with Jake over Christmas,  he explained that most members go to the temple only once in their lifetimes. In a ward, there are very few endowed members.  It is a really big deal to go to the temple because it is so expensive.  Generally, a family will set the goal to go to the temple and then speak with the Bishop.  At that time, they come up with an amount of money that they can save over a few years while sacrificing for it.  When the time comes, they use all the money they saved and the church helps make up the difference.  If not, no one would ever make it to the temple.  So this is pretty phenomenal to start a marriage off in the temple.

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