Monday, July 27, 2015

7/27/15 - Happy 19th Birthday Elder Mack!

Me and Elder Thompson

Aloha O'e!!!
Hey y'all! It's been a super exhausting week here.  Me and Elder Thompson are working hard and are tearing this area apart!  First - thank you everyone for the birthday wishes!  It was really nice!  So, this week....
Monday:  Elder Rice came with us to a soiree at Maman Tendrys.  Elder Rice just finished his mission and his last dying wish was to visit his members in Ambohimangakely.  The soiree went really well and me and Elder Iata got to say our goodbyes as well.

Tuesday:  This day was moving day.  We went and said goodbye to a lot of people and investigators. They were really sad to hear that they won't be having missionaries in their area for a while.  Haingo was kinda upset because now she has to wait longer to get baptized.  Well I got Elder Thompson that evening.  We met at the bureau and taught English class.  Class is now on Tuesdays and there are a lot of people that come.  It  is crazy!  In Antsirabe we sometimes  had a couple but usually no one came.  In Ambohimangakely only Fi came and learned. haha!  But there were so many people that they had to do two separate classes.  I was amazed.  After class one of our ward members came to learn sign language.  In this area we have this guy named Jewels.  He is incredible.  He is deaf but he can read and he can do sign language.  We helped him get on skype and he was able to communicate with some sister missionaries down in Washington D.C.  It was way cool.  Even though they are living on opposite sides of the world, they can still speak to each other with their hands.  Well now I have to learn sign language because we have to translate the talks and lessons for Jewels.  Wish me luck :p
Wednesday:  We went on a split with Elder Wiscombe!  He is a baller.  He is from Elder Lehr's ward back home and he came down to pick up his trainee.  He came on a split with us waiting to get his fresh meat from America.  haha!  We taught a few lessons.  One was a contact and they were not really interested.  We taught Zo and Jean Luke.  This is an investigator family.  Way cool family and way fun to talk with.  They just need to start keeping their commitments.  Yikes.  We gave them homework to read in the Book of Mormon.  Our last lesson was way cool.  Wiscombe gave a great spiritual thought on Christ and how he knows that He lives.  I think the coolest part was that the son in the family told me, "So Elder Mack, you're my grandchild!"  I was of course confused.  Then he said, "I'm Elder Lehr's trainer!" and I was like, "OHHH!!"  haha!  He is way cool!  Rasolofonarina is his name.

Thursday:  District meeting twas good.  We taught a really cool guy named Sambatra.  He is getting ready for baptism but he is one of the most converted people I have met.  He's 20 years old I think.  I asked him if he had a girlfriend but he told me and Elder Thompson, "No, I got to wait till after my mission to get a girlfriend."  I was amazed!  He will be baptized the Saturday right before Thompson leaves.  We went back to Zo and Jean Luke to see if they did their homework - nope.  Haha!  Lety e! We taught an investigator family.  Christoffe and Niry are the parents.  They are a little bit slower at learning but they have been very diligent in coming to church.  Way cool!  Then they invited us to a didipoitra.  What is that you may ask?  A circumcision.  The fomba gasy is that when a boy turns three he becomes a man by getting circumcised.

Friday:  We went to the circumsision.  Yikes.  Haha!  It was way interesting.  So according to fomba gasy two men have to hold down the kid while he gets his treatment :p  But there was only one guy that came which was the grandpa so they asked me to hold the kid but I wouldn't do it because I'm too nice so Thompson did it.  haha!  He held the kid DOWN!!  Haha!  I filmed :p haha.  The people love it when you follow the fomba gasy.  You become one with the people when you do that.  Then according to fomba gasy the grandpa eats the fore skin... ewwww!  We taught Ernesto.  He will be baptized right before Thompson leaves too.  He is a weird guy but I love him.  He is very diligent and always does him homework.  He just quit the use of  coffee and it's been great with him.

Saturday:  Me and Thompson went ham and found a lot of less active melchizedek priesthood holders.  One guy said he doesn't come because some guy in the ward stole his turtle.  But yah, we are working on him.  We were so tired at the end of the day.  Yikes... haha!

Sunday:  Church was great.  Jewels just sat next to me.  He pulled out his Book of Mormon and paper and taught me how to sign some things.  It was way fun!  He is a way good teacher!  We gave Ernesto a practice baptism interview and he did well!  We just need to fix a few things but I think he'll be ready by his date!

Well I'll stop there.  I love you guys!  I hope you all have a fantastic week!  Thanks again for the birthday wishes!

-Elder Mack
Email chat this morning:
Mom:  Happy birthday!  What did you do today? 
Elder:  I played basketball and got a haircut.  I'm gonna make a cake.  Elder Thompson is going to take me to get fabric to get a suit made.  So funny story.  The secretary got my birthday wrong on the newsletter so elders have no idea about my bday.  I might get some birthday wishes on Thursday though.  I know that I made one in Fianarantsoa but in Andranomanelatra I gave that suit to Sitraka.  He has helped us almost everyday and the people there are so poor.  He has worked so hard to get money for his mission.  He's sacrificed so much and what he wanted was a suit and so I gave him mine.  I'll try not to give big things away but I felt that was the right thing to do for him.
Mom:  I bet you want to give all of your things away.  I think Mumford gave a lot of things away before coming home.  His mom mentioned bleaching his shirt three times. 
Elder:  I think most elders mostly just come home with souvenirs.  Yes, shirts get destroyed here.  Elder Rigby's shirts look like poop.  My shirts are changing too.  Tell dad that the security guard wearing The Bus shirt just bought that shirt off the streets.  The clothes that people donate in America come to Madagascar and people sell them.  It made it half way across the world.  Tell everyone that I have no more time to email.  I got to go.  Thanks again for the bday love!
Scouts - let's not let nature look like this.  A fire on the hillside.

This is the right way to get around the rice paddies

Elder Iata fell into the rice paddie so he is washing himself right here
When there is a birthday Malagasies smash eggs on that person's head and pour flour all over them

These people live right next to the dumps of Madagascar.  They found old mosquito nets at the dump and made tents out of it.  My heart broke a little... 

So we actually had to fish for our meal one time.  That was fun!  I got it on video for you mom.

Bucket of fish
This is Angel.  She wanted a picture souvenir from me.  I kept doing ugly faces though in the pics and she was getting mad.  This is when they caught me while I was laughing.  Haha.

We said our goodbyes to Dababe Andre and his fam
Saying goodbye to Haingo and her daughter

Maman Tendry and her two beautiful daughters Kanto and Mendrika.  The meaning of their names?  Beautiful and Worthy.

Said goodbye to Fi and his wonderful family.  Fi helped us all the time and has helped me a lot with my Malagasy!

This is Elder Lehr's trainer Rasolofonarina

My new area Anjanahary

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