Monday, March 23, 2015

3/23/15 - Andranomanelatra, Daughter, Driving

Akoryabio!! (I miss my betsileo dialect already)
Hey y'all! :) Super excited to tell you about my week, new area, new comp (my daughter), etc. but first I gotta give a shout out.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY to the most gorgeous women on the face of the planet - my mother! :)  Hope it was spectacular and that the other kids cleaned the house spotless and treated you extra special, like a queen!  Love you mommy! :)
One other business to take care of just really fast, WORD OF THE WEEK! What what!!  My favorite :p  Let's do a commandment just because! "Mahatsiarovo ny andro sabata hanamasina azy". So this is commandment number 4 - "Keep the sabbath day holy." Then in my last letter, I actually used another commandment - "Manajà ny rainao sy ny Reninao." That's commandment number 5 -  "Obey thy father and thy mother".  So "fomba gasy."  A lot of men have a super long pinky nail just because its good for scratching your head, picking your nose and ears.  That's really all its used for. So a lot of missionaries have it and a member in my last area wanted me to grow it so I did.  Mom thought it was gross and wanted it gone. "Manajà ny rainao sy ny reninao" and poof,  gone :p hahaha.  I couldn't play ukulele with it anyway haha. 
SOO, LET'S GET TO THE NEW AREA SHALL WE!!?? :) This area is KILLAH!! I love it soo much!  Super pretty area!  So to answer moms questions first, the trip to Antsirabe was good!  The road is rough but the scenery was beautiful!  We did go by taxi brus.  There were 4 other elders with me. Glazier and Rigby were going to Tana. Connault went to Tamatave. Covey went to Tana to pick up his trainee and then they will head back.  The trainee is from Elder Lehr's home ward - Elder Wiscombe.  While they were driving back down to Fianarantsoa they stayed in Elder Lehr's house for the night.  They got to have time together so that's cool.  Elder Hammer's new companion is Elder Payne.  He was our last AP.  My comp is a baller! Elder Gariki is from Tahiti and was born and raised a member. We are pretty much the same person but he's buff. Yah, we have a lot in common. He is way good at ukulele too! :p  Our house is small but nice!  It is one story. We have two rooms for us to study and sleep. The washing machine works but the dryer doesn't.  We just hang up our stuff.  In our house are the zone leaders Elder Fox and a Malagasy Elder.  (I call him Elder Aina because I can't pronounce his full name yet.)  Then there is me and Gariki. Being senior comp is nothing special really. haha.  It just means that I've been out longer! But I did like dad said and got some good rules established and will set goals every week. I know that we will help each other with problems that we may have.  It's going to be a great companionship.  We have a super nice place to email at. The internet is super fast and that is so nice.  I'll probably Skype here for Mother's Day :)  (Mom:  49 days and counting)  I don't know if we have a post office here yet.  We have a little store just right outside our house where we can buy groceries.  I think we will only cook on Sundays. During the week we are usually far from home so for most of our meals we eat out.  Food is super cheap here but it can be sketchy though.  I eat "vary sy loaka" everyday and my stomach is finally turning Malagasy.  My stomach has not been kind to the bathroom lately.  Fianarantsoa is a richer area than Antsirabe. We ate way too good there and then I come to one of the most poorest areas - my poor stomach. haha.  But this place is so pretty.  They are farmers here.
So I serve in Andranomanelatra.  It is not actually in Antsirabe. So the deal is that we have a car. We drive outside of Antsirabe to our area, go to the church to drop off the car and get our bikes, and then we go around like that. Super cool! Driving is HECKAH scary. There are no rules really on the road. They do have police but they just stop you to see if they can bribe you. haha. I haven't had that happen to me yet, but yah, it happens.  I think I would just pretend I didn't know Malagasy. :p  haha.  Driving is fun but I pray for safety on the road everyday. Yikes.  Haha mom, don't worry, I'm safe :p  So this area is huge.  There's a few houses like every 1/2 mile or something. Houses are far from each other.  It's kinda hard to get good stats in this area because most of our time it seems like we are spending just getting to the appointment.  What I love is that in this area we spend most of our time on less actives.  We don't have a lot of investigators but reactivation is just as good as a baptism. Work is going good here.  I'm super excited to really dig into this area.  So we actually kind of have two areas.  Once a week we drive down to Saradroa which is like a 45 minute drive.... it's super far but the area is SOO PRETTY!!  You pass by this place that is just like a lake of rice patties.  The green landscape looks soo pretty!!  This is a super nice area.  We have investigators out there who are getting ready to be baptized!  That's exciting!  Then once a transfer, I believe, we go and attend sacrament meeting over there.  Our branch is good.  It is a work in progress but people love each other.  The church looks like a house like in Fianarantsoa but smaller.  We have our meeting in the living room.  I have no idea how we fit 100 people in there.  We had people in the hall way and outside looking in through the window yesterday. 
One quick little funny story that happened this week and then I'll close this letter.  On Wednesday we tracted and got a contact.  We went to the contacts house on Friday and she wasn't there but her husband was.  So we thought we could still share something but then our member help turned to me and said that the man was drunk.  We were disappointed but the guy kept wanting us to teach him so I thought we would give him a little vatsapanahy (spiritual thought).  Worst mistake ever.  haha.  So I decided to teach the word of wisdom.  Yup.  I figured he wasn't going to remember it anyway.  I get so frustrated with how many people drink here so I was just like, "Eh! Yolo."  We shared with him what the word of wisdom was and then I shared a scripture from 1st Corinthians 3:16-17.  It talks about how our bodies are temples.  In Malagasy it says, "Ny vatanarea dia ny tempolin'i andriamanitra." All of your bodies are a temple of god. The drunk guy read it and was just like. "Okay, so all of your bodies are temples but mine is not so I can drink because it said all of you, and not me".  Such a shmuck.  Don't try to teach drunk people.  Not worth your time.  I took the book and read it to him and told him, "See, it says all of us."  Then he got mad and then we left. 

Well, otherwise it was a great week!  Super excited to see what this coming week brings!  Have a good one!  And happy birthday again momma! bisou! <3
-Elder Mack

This is a recent convert - Olga and her baby Clara

Look how buff they are
My new area
Our member help - Njaka ny anarany

In my new area we have two branches.  One is in Andranomanelatra and the other is in Saradroa.  This is the Saradroa church building.

Corn... mmm <3

Isn't my daughter pretty?  Elder Gariki

I got my daddy back!

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