So this week was incredible and better than the last.
Last week at church, one of our members brought three guys to church, Bawan, Guy de Laf, and Fahazotoa. They were super participative in the gospel principles class and between Priesthood meeting we set up a time to meet them this week. On Wednesday evening we taught all of them and it was such a great lesson. They were all focused so well at our teachings and love the message of the Restoration. They had some good questions and Fahazotoa doesn’t have a super solid Christian background, but caught the enthusiasm of his peers and has been learning and embracing God and Jesus Christ in his life. All three of them live in one of our strongest members’ house Sr. Mihaja and Fr. Soja(about 40 years old). When we returned on Saturday for our return lesson, we decided to bring a less-active member Mbola to help us teach him, and he’s about their same age. Well it was more than successful, as Mbola taught his new-friends about the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith, he was grinning so much. You could tell he loved sharing the gospel in his life and it was probably the most recent time in a while that he felt the spirit and it brought him happiness. Fr. Soja and Sr. Mihaja also bore powerful testimonies in how the Book of Mormon had blessed their lives and shared their conversion stories. When we pulled out three branch new Books of Mormon, one for each of them, they were beyond excited to have it and said “We give you thanks for bringing this light and knowledge into our lives.” It was the best lesson of the week. Bawan, Fahazotoa, Guy de Laf, Fr. Mbola and the others all came to church yesterday and we greeted them as they came in. It was super incredible to see them so happy at church.
We had MLC (missionary leadership council) on Friday night for a couple of hours. Elder Wolfgramm and Hunter flew up from Ft. Dauphin and the zone leaders in Tamatave also caught a bus down to be here for the meeting. Elder S. Mark Palmer, the Seventy, came to give us instruction and counsel about being leaders in life. He spoke in April 2017 general conference “Then Jesus Beholding Him Loved Him.” He had us read it in preparation and it talks about leading with love. Some of my favorite things he said were: “In a council, it’s not about who’s right, but what’s right” “Leadership is an opportunity to serve, love, and learn” “Praise in public, correct in private” “When you gossip and label someone as a bad missionary or whatever, you don’t all them to repent.” We ended with a great lasagna dinner and got to ask questions to President Foote and Elder Palmer for an hour or so concerning his calling and doctrinal questions. It was really incredible and inspiring.
Last week we were walking through a rice patty and saw a kid running with a sling shot on the side of the small path. He was looking up in the sky and we followed his eyes to see a bird flying about 80 feet above the rice fields. Like a sharp shooter, he pulled back his sling shot, launched a unripe lime and nailed this bird. Injured, it managed to glide to a tree about a football field away. They ran over to the bottom of the tree and started launching more limes until they hit the bird, dazed it, and it fell out of the tree. They came back to the path feeling victorious and they said that they were going to cook him for dinner and it was going to be their food. Malagasy kids are ballers.
Faly and Charlina are progressing well, we haven’t been able to meet with Vincent and Hanitra this week, but we’ve visited and they and the new baby are doing well. Have a great week!