Monday, January 19, 2015

1/19/15 - Potty Break, Cyclone, and Journey Concert


Hey y'all! This week has been quite the week here in Mada.  Its been one of our harder weeks... BUT, we'll get to that in a bit. First, I want to give a shout out to my "bogosy" (handsome) cousin of mine Makoa who just got back home from the Philippines Tacloban Mission.  I love you Koa. You were a superb missionary who truly loved the people.
So, for the word of the week, we'll do a greeting.  I've already taught you 'hello' I believe.  It's 'salamo'.  There, if I didn't then now I just did.  So, to say, "Whats up?" or, "Whats new?" you would say, "Inona no vaovao."  This translated is, "Nothing new?"  If there is something new, you would usually say, "Misy kely" which means, "There exists a little".  Then you would just say what was new with you. 
So, this past week was definitely a weird one.  We had a huge problem this week with people not being home.  We were tracting a lot this week and we had a harder time getting people to commit to times.  Funny story, so me and Elder Hammer were tracting around and we walk by this building that I thought was a house and there were some people outside. We go over and I tell them who we are and the work that we are doing.  Then they said something and I didn't understand them so I asked them, "Is there a time we can come back and teach you?"  Then they all started laughing. Elder Hammer turns to me and apologizes and says, "I just understood what they said, Elder Mack.  This is a church and they are on potty break." Sooo embarrasing!  Soo embarrasing!  haha!  But that's how you grow right!?  By making mistakes.  I am bold! haha 

Well, along with bad tracting, its cyclone season! Yay. haha  We had the tail end of the cyclone come over our area and it was raining soo hard this past week.  In fact, on Saturday, President Adams called us and told us not to work that day.  It was hard to not go out.  Saturdays are our favorite days because that is when we get to see all of our favorite families.  We were somehow still able to get about 15 lessons this week even without Saturday.  It's not bad but this is the worst that me and Elder Hammer have seen.  It's okay though.  If we didn't have bad weeks, we would not be able to recognize the great weeks.  Going through this week makes the previous week even awesome-er. 

Mom asked about President Rakotovoa's conversion story.  He was one of those investigators that was very stubborn with the missionaries.  He would just sit and listen to them.  He followed the commitments, prayed, and read from the Book of Mormon.  One night while he was in bed he heard a voice tell him, "Tena marina ity boy ity," which means, "This book is true."  He shook his wife awake and asked her if she had said something.  She said no and told him to go to sleep.  He was immediately converted and he became super strong!  His testimony has just grown and grown. 
So, guess what!?  This Sunday, we got 2 investigators to church! What what?!  Slowly gaining more.  We went down to the house of the 16 brothers on Sunday, the day after the cyclone.  We were supposed to pick them up to come to church.  We came to the path to their house and the path was destroyed.  The cyclone put trees and debris in the way of their path.  It was so sketchy.  Me and Elder Hammer struggled to get to their house. We finally got to their house and they told us that they didn't want to try going down with their little ones. They said they would come next week and they made sure that we would come back and teach them that night.  They were super interested, but didn't want to die going down the path.  The cyclone didn't do much here but it did knock down a lot of trees, fences, etc.  Nothing big. 

We live next to a church called the "Let My People Go" church.  They're insane haha  They dress kind of like muslims do, except more colorful.  When you look inside the building, it looks like a bunch of colorful muslims at a Journey concert or something.  They are so loud.  They actually have colored disco lights that just shine around and they blast music.  Crazy.  But a huge tree fell in front of the door and people couldn't go in.  It's the power of God!  haha  During personal studies we can just hear them screaming and singing rock songs.  Some songs you hear on the radio.  One of the most popular ones is "Tsisy Karaha Anao."  You should look it up.  It's super good.

So, that is it for this week.  Really nothing much happened.  Just hoping for a better week. Maybe no rain!  That would be nice but probably not going to happen because there's supposed to be another cyclone. :p  Hopefully not as bad.  My poor rain gear is getting destroyed.  haha  It may be water proof but it's not Madagascar proof.  Don't worry mom.  I'm good and safe! :)  Sometimes when it rains though, it's nice to go out with an umbrella.  Malagasies will just walk under your umbrella and then you can contact them. haha!

Oh one more thing, I think I only have two more weeks left here in Fianarantsoa. Super sad. I love it here but I think I'm ready for a change.  That would be nice.  I think I'll probably be called to serve in Tana next.  We'll see.  Excited!  That's all folks!  Have a great week! 

Love you all.  Amin'fitiavan foana.
Elder Mack

Mom:  No pictures.  Other news from Madagascar:
  • Cyclone:  So I looked up a few things in regards to the cyclone in Madagascar.  Cyclone season goes from November 15, 2014 - April 30, 2015 this year.  This current active cyclone is called Chedza.  There have been 48 deaths reported on the island so far.  It hit the west coast of Madagascar on Friday, January 16 and then on Saturday, January 17 it hit the South East of the island.  Jordan is in the central mountain region.  The home that they live in is a good structure.  It is much better than most homes that the Malagasy people live in.  Some of the elders said that they were able to sleep through the cyclone Saturday night.  The news said there were gusts up to 130 km/h (about 80 mph) with torrential rains.  Lots of flooding.
  • Politics:  Madagascar is on a list of countries with a high threat of political instability in 2015.  On Monday, January 12 the entire government resigned.  President Rajaonarimampianina named the Air Force General Ravelonarivo as the new head of government.  Others are calling that appointment unconstitutional.  Looks like politics will be sketchy for awhile there
  • New Mission President:  The Deseret News published a list of new LDS Mission Presidents effective July 2015.  The new Madagascar Antananarivo Mission President will be Raymond Foot.

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