Monday, September 28, 2015

9/28/15 - Sick, Superman is Back, and a Birth

Tena mirary be aho tamin ny herin lasa teo. tsy nanao asa betsaka...

Hey ya'll!  Wow, I'm not gonna lie I kinda had a junk week... I got sick again.  Ugh.  Sorry mom. :p Haha!  My mom keeps worrying about me and tells me to take my vitamins.  I was pretty destroyed the whole week.  I'm not quite sure what happened.  It was Wednesday and I was on a split with Ernesto and I almost fainted on the way home.  I got home and took my temperature. It was 103.7.  Yikes... gotta love Madagascar. :p Haha!  I felt bad for Elder Tainter for having to take care of me. He's so outgoing and we had to stay at home.  But don't worry everyone I'M HEALED!!!  Superman is back and he's ready to go ham this next week!! I'll mention a few things that happened this week but my son will probably have a better description of the week in his letter.

1. Christoffe and Niry are still not quite ready to be baptized. They didn't come to church and they need more reviewing so we're going to push their date back just a little bit.  Hopefully we can get them baptized by the end of this month.  They have been trying so hard to remember things but it is hard for them sometimes.

2. I got to go on a split on Friday with the zone leaders trainee Elder Lehnardt. Way cool kid! I was still kind of still feeling poopy from being sick so me, being the awesome trainer that I am, had him take over the lessons for that day!  YES!!  Haha!  I was pretty impressed.  He did great!  We were able to teach Samson and the lesson went way well. Samson came to church again! Woo hoo!

3. Patrick's wife gave birth!  After we left Samson's house, I rushed over to go see if she gave birth and she had!  She just got back from the hospital!  The pic is on Elder Lehnardt's camera so I'll get it by next week!  The babys name is "Anahy" and is oh so cute.  I'm still way sad that they are moving. They are one of my favorite families.

4. Elder Tainter's training is going way well.  He is going to be a great asset to this mission.  I felt bad for hurting our week when I was sick but we'll get back in the swing of things this week.

Not much to write about this week but that's alright!  Have a good week everyone!

-Elder Mack

Monday, September 21, 2015

9/21/15 - Sambatra's baptism, listening to the spirit, and happy Sunday!

Salama ianareo!  Na dia tsy nandeha tsara ny asa tam' asabotsy, mbola nisy Batista!

Hey guys!  Me and Elder Tainter had a balling week!  Training is going really well.  I love watching Elder Tainter's progress.  It is such a neat experience.

Talata:  We did a lot of tracting today.  Tracting is really humbling.  I'm not going to lie. Getting doors slammed in your face, getting sworn at, etc.  It's just not fun.  I've been letting Elder Tainter do most of the talking and I'll try not to say much.  It's hard to just watch him sweat.  But when we do get a house that accepts you it surely motivates you to keep going.  We tracted into this one family. It's actually a brother and sister.  They are both older and not married.  The sister is handicapped and her house was destroyed by the last storm so she has been living with her brother in his small house. This Tuesday morning we are going to see what we can do to help.  They thanked us for our kindness and told us that they wanted to come to church.  Woo hoo!  #servicefodays

Alaorbia:  Me and Elder Tainter did member splits and had a 10 lesson day!  I had Elder Tainter go on splits with Ernesto.  They couldn't communicate much the whole day.  I remember having a day like that when I first got to Mada.  It's scary but nothing makes you learn more than when you get pushed.  We found some less actives and the spirit taught the lessons.  This work rocks!

Alakamisy:  We are preparing Christoffe and Niry for their baptsim in a few weeks. We had a practice interview today.  They need a lot of reviewing.  We'll keep doing that.  We also had a zone meeting today and talked about the incredible confirming power of the spirit.

Zoma:  We've been going ham on less actives this week.  Today we taught a bunch of lessons.  We were able to teach Samson.  Samson has been someone that people have been working with for awhile.  We didn't really know the problem other than he just did not have the desire to come back to church.  We noticed that when we went to the house that he would just be kind of serious but during the last lesson Elder Tainter and I decided to take a different approach and spend the first little while just getting to know him.  We asked about work and things that he likes.  We laughed and it was a great time.  Then Elder Tainter shared a wonderful spiritual thought.  I know the spirit was there.  It was the same with other less actives that we taught, Perline, and Faniry.  We have been trying so hard and still have not seen them come to church once since I've been here.  We took the same approach. It was a great day listening to the spirit.

Asabotsy:  Today was Sambatra's baptism!!  We were so excited for him!  It was a wonderful day. After the baptism he made sure to tell me that there was nothing that was going to stop him from going on a mission.  I had to hug him after he said that!  Haha!  He said as soon as he makes his full year then he will go.  The rest of the day we did a whole lot of tracting because appointments that we had fell through.  But in the wise words of my previous comp Elder Thompson, "No matter what happens the rest of the day after a baptism, it is still a successful day."  We didn't see a lot of success tracting but it was impossible to be sad.  Why?  Cause there was a baptism.  Earlier in the week me and Sambatra found this less active named Andry.  He has been less active for a long time. His wife was not a member.  recently we got a text from him asking us to come to their house to teach her. Today we found the house and were able to teach them a beautiful lesson about the spirit. Andry bore testimony of the truth of all this and it was a wonderful day.

Alahady:  Church was awesome!!  I can't tell you how happy I was.  We had 130 people in attendance.  Guess who came to church today?!  Samson, Andry, Perline, Faniry, etc!  We had 6 that we taught this week come back to church!!  Me and Tainter were dancing in the back!  Haha!  Oh what a wonderful feeling it is!  The spirit is real.  I know that to be true.  It confirms truths.  It directs people to the right path.  We just need to listen!

Well I love you all.  I hope everything is good in your 1st world country.  Joke.  Have an amazing week!

Bisous, bisous!
Elder Mack

Funny pose today

P-day at the mission home

Me and my parents!!

Christoffe and Niry's wedding

Olivier and Liva's wedding


Us Asians - me and Elder Liao

Madagascar has an American mall in Ivandry... WOW!

Sambatra's baptism

The tunnel!!

Monday, September 14, 2015

9/14/15 - Lots of Love, and Let the Spirit Lead

Ity no Zanako Malalako, Henoy Izy!!!

Dang I'm tired... DON'T CARE!  HERE'S DA WEEK!!

Tuesday: Today we were able to teach Ernesto's cousin Nimrode! He is progressing well.  We taught the Plan of Salvation today.  It felt so good seeing that it clicked in him. We taught English class which was way fun and then finished the day with Dina sy Nichard.  They are FINALLY READY TO GET MARRIED!!!!  haha!  It took forever.  Now they just need to save up the money to get married.

Wednesday:  What a day. It was a 7 lesson day.  No real outstanding lessons but the spirit was strong in all of them and that rocked.  We taught Haja.  It was getting kind of annoying because he doesn't really want to talk about the gospel.  He wants to talk about his ex-girlfriend.  Yikes!  But still a good day!  We got another couple to set a date to be married so then they can get baptized!  The goal is on November 21 they will be married and then on the 28th there will be a baptism!

Thursday:  We went to Christoffe and Nirys marriage.  It was great but I felt like throwing up the whole day.  I felt dizzy too.  I went home right after the wedding.  I think I got dehydrated.  Ugh. Why is water such a necessity!!!??  We ended up staying home the rest of the day. 

Friday:  Today was my first district meeting as "da man"... haha nah nah... as district leader.  We did a lot of tracting.  We got to continue teaching the Plan of Salvation to Nimrode and it was awesome!  Tonight we had a ward activity.  We were on our way to the church.  There were two different paths.  One was a clean path and the other one was a not so clean path.  I didn't feel like going on the dirty one but we ended up choosing that one.  Then Tainter had the feeling we should go up another path.  As we walked up the path I heard, "Hey, hey, hey!  I've been looking for you guys.  I need a blessing.  I'm about to give birth."  It was crazy to see the spirit lead us.  We were able to give her a blessing and still make it on time to our activity at the church.  When we got there the person that was supposed to bring the lesson didn't show up so of course it was left up to the missionaries to teach.  Me and Tainter decided to teach about home teaching and how important it is.  The members thought it was great!  We had them do role plays.  It ended up being real fun.

Saturday:  Today was Olivier and Liva's wedding!  It was awesome that they finally made it.  They told me that they had a cousin in Fianarantsoa pull some strings and they were able to get married!  It was a miracle.  Yay!  Oh it was wonderful and it was great to see old friends again.  Right after the marriage ceremony Olivier came straight up to me, grabbed my hand and said, "Elder Mack when can you baptize me?"  The gospel has got to be true.  To see that spark in someone's eyes and to know they've trusted and waited so long for that moment and now they can have it.  It is an incredible feeling.  Sadly, they have to wait a little for the new missionaries to come in to be baptized but since I am the district leader I think I get to do their interview :)  Sambatra had his baptism interview and NAILED IT!!!  He gets baptized on the 19th!  Yay!!!

Sunday:  Today was the first day in the new church!  I'm glad that I didn't get lost trying to find it. The APs didn't come to church so I translated for Jewels for 3 hours.  Yikes.  It is a weird feeling to go from talking with someone using your hands and then talking to someone with your mouth again. Haha!  We taught Ernesto a great lesson about missionary work and we are hoping it sparked his interest a little :)  We did a lot of tracting today.  Elder Tainter got a lot of practice.  We accidently knocked on a muslim church.  Oops!  Haha!  They answered and they were in their robes.  They were so nice.  They brought us in and gave us a tour which was so cool!  We got to see the Karan which was so dope!

Training is going well!  Life is good!  Me and Tainter are doing great and are excited for this up coming week!  This past week was a wonderful week of love!  Two weddings and another two planned.  God is good!  The gospel is true!  Double dragons are real (inside joke)!

Bisous bisous!
Elder Mack

Thank you Elder Tainter and mom Kerrie for the following pictures!  Three generation picture - Elder Lehr (grandpa), Elder Mack (dad), and Elder Tainter (son/grandson)

Dinner at Carnivore

Monday, September 7, 2015

9/7/15 - Goodbye Thomspon, Hello Tainter, and a miracle!

Salama Ianareo-O!!!! tena marina fa izaho niteraka tam alakamisy! Arabaina!

Hey y'all!  Well, it has finally happened.  I have a kid :p  hahaha!  I'm training!  Yay!  Oh my gosh it is way fun.  I met Elder Tainter on Thursday and he is a baller!  Dang, that boy is so outgoing.  I swear, he is ALWAYS looking for ways to serve.  He is definitely a Preach My Gospel missionary.  I love it!  Here's my week:

Tuesday:  I got to go on a splits with the Elders from Mahajanga Elder Coleman and Elder Heiden. Oh they are ballers.  I missed Coleman soo much!  We got to tract a lot.  We were able to get into this one house and teach a family but then we found out that they actually live in Tanjambato. (Dang it Elder Snell!)  Well we passed by this apartment building and we decided to tract it.  Yikes the people were soo mean.  I felt like an American missionary at that moment.  Joke.  Zero people accepted in the whole building.  The highlight of the day was when Sambatra was able to overcome a trial and we set a new date for him next week Saturday to be baptized. :)

Wednesday:  Thompson died.  My companion finished his mission today.  He's headed home.  I'll miss him.  I went on splits again.  I got to go with Elder Horspool who is also training.  The split was great.  We took Ernesto with us and Elder Horspool did not really know what to think about him.  haha!  Ernesto is seriously one of the most diligent people I know but he is still a clown.  When he would bear his testimony, it was strong and wonderful.  It was amazing to see him change.  A few months ago he had so many problems but he changed his whole life around. It is incredible.  We went to Christoffe and Nirys and they told us they will be getting married on the 10th.  Yay!  We just need to finish the lessons then they can be baptized! 

Thursday: We had our training meeting in the morning and I got my baby boy!  I promise I'll take good care of him Mama Tainter :)  We weren't able to go out to work till 5:00pm but when we did, we went to a less active's house.  The lesson went great and Tainter bore an impressive testimony on his first day!  We then taught Christoffe and Niry and it went very well as usual.  They rock!  Then I had to play a little trick on my son so I took him to a member's house (he did not know they were members) and I had him teach Sr. Manda.  Sr. pretended to be a hard headed Jehovah Witness.  It was a safe learning moment.  I can remember the agony of my first lesson in Mada.  Tainter did really good.  Proud dad.  Sorry Mama Tainter I'm just breaking him in.

Friday:  My sons first full day of work!  Woo hoo!  I had Elder Tainter go through the area book and he found this teaching record that was a "must return".  We followed the map and it took us to a less active's house.  The lady there told us that the guy we were trying to find moved but she wanted a little spiritual thought.  It went great and we invited her to come back to church.  SHE CAME!  #ballingmissionaries #imhumble  Then we taught Joseph Richard the Dentist.  I shocked Tainter because I slayed (with love) Joseph Richard right in front of him.  Elder Thompson taught me well.  My poor boy, he's only two days old and he had to see that.  Joseph Richard asked for another blessing and we gave it to him.  On Sunday guess who finally came to church? YAY!!  HE DID!

Saturday:  We finally taught Haja today.  Haja is the guy who stopped us on the street weeks ago and asked us about eternal marriage.  He finally called us!  So here's his story.  He was dating one of the members before she got baptized and when she was about to get baptized she broke up with him because he wouldn't accept the gospel.  She said she wanted an eternal marriage.  He is more open now and he wants to be a member so he can marry her in the temple!  He loves her.  Kinda cute right?  One problem is he knows a lot of our members and their former sins.  Yikes.  He needs to learn about how people can change.  They can repent and be forgiven.  We'll fix that.  I am just hoping he actually gains a testimony for himself and not just because he wants the girl back.  

Sunday: We had a great fast Sunday!  A lot of less actives came to church.  It was great!  Then there were a lot of investigators that came to church.  Outstanding!  I love this work.  Today I got a call from Fy from Ambohimangakely.  Do you all remember Olivier and Liva?  They have been investigators for 3 years but they have not been able to get baptized because they are not legally married.  If you remember the guy had already been married but he was not able to get a divorce because his first wife moved to France.  They have been very diligent about learning the gospel for the past 3 years.  I just found out they are getting married on Saturday.  Finally!  I don't know how it happened.  It seemed an impossible situation.  I'll find out on Saturday when we go to the wedding.  It's a miracle!!  Woo hoo!

Well y'all, it was an outstanding week.  This is truly the work of the Lord and I love it.  I have a great son.  It is weird to think that when Tainter is at a year, I'll be home already.  Yikes!  I love you all.
Bisous bisous!
Elder Mack
We had to kill our own goose.  He tasted so good.  Thank you goose.

Last week Elder Mack attended a famadihana which means "turning of the bones."  He said it is a Malagasy tradition where every seven years the extended family opens their ancestor's tombs, they gather the bones together, and hold them in the air and dance with them.  It is looked at as a way of respecting their ancestors and bringing the family back together.  Here they are preparing the bones to dance with.  The family invited the missionaries to their famadihana.

The tomb

A Malagasy oven.  Coals on the bottom and on the top.


Taken this morning by Sister Foote.  She called it, "More P-day fun!"