Monday, June 15, 2015

6/15/15 - The Great City of Tana & Elder Iata from Vanuatu

Me and my new companion Elder Iata

Salam-e! Raha nandika teny ity soratra ity ianao dia tena tsara fanahy ianao :p

First of all, a little shout out to my friend Rachael Hosman for getting her call to Atlanta Georgia! I am so proud of you! You will be a great missionary! :)

So I am in a new area... :p  I was SOO SAD to leave Andranomanelatra.  It was such a beautiful area. I miss being with Elder Mumford.  I totally thought I was going to be his last comp.  He is such a great guy.  I am now in the great city of Tana!  I have a cool area but I'm walking up and down hills all the time.  My feet HURT!  Going from a car in Andranomanelatra to walking up and down hills is a little bit of a change. haha!  My new comp is Elder Iata.  He just got done training and so I'm a mission momma again.  He is a great comp who really has the desire to work hard.  He's from Vanuatu, from the island of Tanna, and his native tongue is Bislama.  Soo sick!  I got to hear him on the phone with one of his cousins who I served with in Antsirabe and it was insane!  It made me wonder if that is what people think when I speak English?  He is learning some English.  We have been able to communicate just fine.  Elder Iata was in the MTC when the earthquake hit Vanuatu.  He said his family is fine. 

So my new area is about one of the farthest areas north but it is like 15 minutes from the mission home by taxi.  Oh yah!  That is something new for me.  I get to learn the taxi system. There are a lot of people here that try to rip vazaha off.  Ppff.  Losers.  One taxi driver last night was trying to get 20,000 ari ari off of us.  Ratchet.  The normal cost is like 8,000, maybe.  I've even gotten a taxi ride for 5,000.  A taxi bé costs like 800 ari ari.  It is a lot slower and it is packed full of people but you get to where you want to go.  I don't fit in most taxi bés. haha! 

Well this area is a way fun area.  It is pretty big.  It is also kind of hard to find people to accept us here.  In Fianarantsoa I remember people would just tell us to come in without even an introduction or anything.  Maybe they were just hoping for a handout.  But we've done a lot of tracting this week.  When I got here they had no program in place.  There were maybe 3 investigators and about 8 recent converts.  The cool thing is that we can build the program the way we want it to be.  We've been able to do bus tracting which is a lot of fun.  That's something I kind of missed from Fianarantsoa.  That is when people are forced to sit next to you and they can't leave when you're talking to them.  haha! We've found some neat people this way and also some weird ones.  Some guy was just blown away that we spoke Malagasy and he was trying to get us to swear.  haha!  He was like, "Come on.  Just whisper one in my ear."  So funny. 

The other day we were accepted into a house of this one family and it is way small. It reminded me kind of like Harry Potter's room in the Dursley's home.  It might even be a little smaller than that but they fit their whole family in it. We taught a lesson about the Godhead and that we should pray to God and not Jesus.  During the lesson the mom acted like she understood that and even told us, "That makes sense."  Then at the end of our lesson the mom prayed hard core to Jesus and we facepalmed a little. haha!  We have been working with some great families out here.  There are only about 5 men in the branch that have the Melchizedek Priesthood.  That makes things a little hard.  The Branch President only has one counseler. One family we are working with the children are members but the parents are not.  The parents are not legally married yet.  The problem is that the father was already legally married to another women.  They broke up like 30 years ago or something.  This family is very strong and they have been learning from the missionaries for about three years now.  They go to church every Sunday and they follow everything but getting that divorce for them is hard.  First of all the guys wife moved to France.  Second, to get a divorce without one of the spouses is big money.  They would have to pay seven million ari ari to get that divorce.  Yikes!  They are still going faithful though.  There are good people out there. 

Love you all!  Have a great week!
-Elder Mack

This is my new house.  It's huge but it was so dirty.  We took on the challenge of cleaning it and while we were cleaning we found some new souvenirs.  This is for my brother Spencer.
Yah - I was having a little too much fun with this...

I've mommed both of their mission kids.  Elder Stokes on the left.  He's from Lehi.  Elder Rice is on the right.  He's from Idaho.


Malagasy's are way creative.  Look - the capo is a pen and string.
Bogosy le izy!

My new favorite little girl :p  Nilaina

I found this little guy too while we were cleaning.  And the hat I'm wearing!  Dibs!  See all the things you find when you clean a little?

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