Monday, December 15, 2014

12/15/14 - Open House, Zone Conference, Transfers


Hey everyone! How is it going!?  I thought I'd throw some French/Malagasy at you.  First off let me give you the word of the week.  The word is "soiree" (su-aw-ray).  You hear it used sometimes back home.  It's one of the French words that we use here.  It means 'a little get together' or members use it when they're talking about getting together for family home evening.  Malagasies mix alot of french words in their conversation.  (Mom:  Madagascar was a French colony and there is still a lot of French influence there.  Many of the wealthy still speak French.  One of the islands in the mission, La Reunion, is French speaking.) 
Well, this week is transfer week.  Here's the news.  Elder Lehr is leaving Fianarantsoa...  he says "finally!"   He has been here for a long time - 7 1/2 months and he is so ready to go to a new area. He is going to double province and go to Antsirabe.  He will be in a trio with Elder Christiansen (Elder Snell's mission dad) and Elder Andriamanganoro (I hope I spelled that right).  Malagasy names are long and hard to spell.  That'll be a fun companionship. I'm gonna miss my swag mission dad.  So my new companion is going to be Elder Hammer.  I don't know much about him but I hear he's pretty swag!  He was in Elder Coleman and Elder Johnson's mission group.  He'll come down from Tana and get here Wednesday night.   In the meantime it's a trio companionship with Kono and Coleman!  What what?!  Exciting stuff.
This past week, our schedule was pretty much shot as we focused on the open house.  We didn't get to do a lot of teaching.  We taught 6 lessons total last week.  On Thursday and Saturday we didn't teach at all because we were at the porto veit (open house) all day Thursday and then zone conference on Saturday.  So we felt like the porto veit was a success.  We got some great contacts and are excited to teach them more.  I have a couple of pics of the open house so you can see what it looked like.  It ended up great.  There was a station for everything - young mens, young womens, elders quorum, etc.  The members did a great job of putting a lot of it together.  I got to split with Elder Glazier and walk around giving flyers to people.  It was so cool!  Elder Glazier is a stud.  We were in the MTC together and talked about how when we were in the MTC we never thought we could do what we're doing now.  Look at us now.  It is so amazing to see how much we have progressed from then until now. 
So zone conference, was AMAZING!  It was a long day but full of so much useful information.  President Adams is the man and inspired us a ton.  He is an amazing person, both he and his wife.  So grateful to have them here.  He talked a lot about obedience. There was a great quote that they shared about how the work of the Lord cannot be stopped. "Our enemies have never done anything that has injured this work of God, and they never will...  This work cannot be injured by any mortals except for ourselves." - President Heber J Grant.  I love this quote.  No one can stop the work of the Lord.  It is so important to be obedient.  It is by our obedience that we can choose to help move the work forward.  If we are slothful and don't follow mission rules, then obviously the work is not going to move forward.  They also talked to us about gossip.  That is a problem here.  Gossip does nothing but harm.  Sister Adams asked me and Elder Lehr to put together the song "School thy Feelings" to sing.  Some of the words are:  "School thy feelings.  Let wisdom's voice control.  School thy feelings there is power in the cool, collected mind.  Passion shatters reason's tower, makes the clearest vision blind."  Just don't gossip. It is hurtful.  I've seen gossip so bad over here.  It has ruined relationships and lives.  We are to teach this and be examples of this. 
To answer mom's questions, we did get our suits!  They look way sick!  I'll get a picture sent next week. I forgot to take one.  I loved Sister Staheli's miracle stories.  (Mom:  The Stahelis taught the mission prep classes.  Brother Staheli was Mission President in Paris, France).  I have not had a really cool miracle story like the stories she used to tell us.  I have definitely had alot of little miracles. Here's one.  Yesterday, we realized that we had no water and no food to cook and we couldn't buy food because it was Sunday.  It had been a busy week and we didn't think about it.  No food and water?  We prayed.  Our neighbors saw us trying to fill up water and they gave us a full bucket of water!  We were so grateful.  We used our filtered water bottles to drink.  Then I remembered that my mom had sent some Heber Valley dried soup mixes and some saimin.  We hadn't needed to use it yet.  So we cooked that up and it was a delicous meal! :)  
Well, our baptism is this Saturday! I'm super stoked!  Have an awesome week everyone! Veluma!

-Elder Mack
The porto veit (open house) at the church building

Rufen's adorable daughter Melony

Elder Lehr with Jean Chry and his family

So it hailed again.  This was an average size of the hail.  They were massive and it came down hard.

Paela and his daughter

The fancy restaurant that President Adams took us to

President brought all the letters and boxes in the office!  No padded envelope yet mom but I got your Thanksgiving card and Lia's letter.

My meal.  So dang good.

AP selfies

Elder Lehr saying goodbye to Mario

... and Francia

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