Saturday, November 1, 2014

11/1/14 - received letter by snail mail dated 10/7/14

(Elder Mack wrote a handwritten letter on 10/7/14 when he was only in Madagascar for less than a week.  He mailed it on 10/15/14 and we received it 11/1/14.  Just over 2 weeks to get here.  Look at the scan below of the stamps.  Pretty cool stamps.) 

Aloha 'Oe!

Salamo my beautiful family!  How is everyone doing!?  Miss you all so much!  I am finally doing real missionary work!  It doesn't feel real right now.  It feels like a dream that I'm not waking up from.  Sooo  weird.  My whole life we've talked so much about preparing for a mission and it's here.  Well, I am very grateful for all the preparation I have received.  You all have had such a big part in my preparing for a mission.  Thank you!  The mission is a definite challenge.  It's not Utah that's for sure. 

Thanks so much for sending me a package.  So cool of you all.  Okay, I have not received it yet but I know I will by the time you get this letter haha.  So just thanking you now!  I actually have to wait a little longer for mail since I'm sooo far away from the mission office in Antananarivo.  So this has been a very good week.  Today was actually the hardest.  Both me and my companion Elder Lehr were exhausted all day.  We both just wanted to sleep but we stayed obedient and were able to make contacts with 2 new families today.  We made two return appointments and they loved our message!  The spirit was really working through us.  It's awesome!  We also went to Andrys house today and gave him a Bokini Mormona.  Oh how I will never forget the smile on his face when he got it.  I had the impression that he is going to be an amazing servant of the Lord.  He has been really good with his commitments and he has even started coming to church.  It's incredible watching the convert process.  And guess what the next step is?  Baptism! 

You know for the longest time I thought missionary work was all about baptizing and getting people to church.  I mean, that's awesome and everything and everyone goes through it but the main task of being a missionary is helping others to come unto Christ.  I have been really thinking about the mission purpose.  "Help OTHERS come unto Christ."  'Others' doesn't just mean helping converts.  You help everyone.  Baptism is not the end of teaching someone.  You have to nourish and strengthen their faith and testimony.  We help less actives all the time here.  We want everyone to continue to grow.  I drew a little picture showing how others come unto Christ. 
Notice the missionary only has one arrow going to others?  The missionaries job is just to put others on the right path.  Then god does the rest.  Missionary work is truly amazing.  What's better than helping people receive these blessings?  The same blessings we have received throughout our lives? 

Well, I love it here but I'm not quite to the point where I want to stay.  haha.  Utah is still home.  Elder Connault has been out for 16 months and wants to move to Madagascar after his mission.  I love Elder Connault.  He's from France.  I think when I get the language down I will feel the same.  haha.  The language is going good.  Elder Lehr says he can see progress everyday in my learning.  I'm so glad.  I'm hoping I can be mahay (fluent) quickly.  It's killing me that I can't talk much.  Well, I love you and miss you all so much.  Hope all is well.  Be safe.  I love you!

-Elder Mack


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