Monday, January 25, 2016

1/25/16 - Bribery, futbol, and a bunch of baptism dates

Arabaina ry dadatoa sy nenitoa fa nahazo mpamaky kitahy ianareo! :)

Hey y'all! :) Wow.  I can't even describe to you guys my feelings of this past week.  It was crazy mifangaro (mixed up) week.  Not a big letter today but let's check da highlights!!

- Sambatra was walking home late one night, around 10:00 and the cops saw him.  They asked him for his ID and he didn't have it on him so they took him to prison. When I heard that I was just so mad. Cops here are soo lame.  Sambatra is such a good guy.  They said that he has to pay 200,000 ari ari to get out. We went to the station to go see him and the big guy at the gate wouldn't let me in because I didn't have a judge note.  I was able to bribe him and then he let me in.  Haha.  Don't be alarmed.  That's how things work here.  Sambatra looked so scared.  We got him some food and a Book of Mormon to read and what was funny was the officer started asking questions about the book.  Sambatra told him that when he gets out that he would give him the Book of Mormon. This whole trial took a couple days of work.

- Lea is a wonderful daughter of God.  I talked to President Foote about her and he said that we can baptize her!  Her mom is active but does not have a calling yet.  President and Bishop agreed that when Lea's mom has a calling that we will baptize Lea! 

- On Thursday we had a zone futbol activity! Wayyy fun!  We got to play on that way nice turf field again. Senior comps won! Woo hoo!

- There was a world-wide mission conference and it was incredible!!  That was on Friday.  I loved Elder Bednar's talk about the role of the holy ghost. We can bring the gospel message to the people but they have to allow it into their heart.  They need to invite the spirit in.  The spirit is so important in the miracle of conversion.

- We had a great turn out of investigators at church. Janine came with Ianta and her two daughters. They have all accepted baptism dates.  Maritina has accepted a baptism date as well. Nimrode and Dola will have their baptism interviews this week and then next week they get baptized.

- The sisters in the district have been teaching this guy named Donne and I gave him a baptism interview last Saturday.  He is more than ready for baptism!  I had a great talk with him.  I felt the spirit with him and then he asked me to baptize him.  So Saturday I'll be doing that for him.

I probably only have three weeks left in this area. Ohh boyy... gotta rack up the member dinner appointments, get some people to sign my journal and take lots and lots of pictures.  Bye guys! Have a fantastic week!  Bisous bisous!

- Elder Mack

Tana north zone missionaries - Elder Mack in the green and white stripes with the hat.

Elder Mack at the beginning and end of the video
Elder Mack running with the yellow shoes
Elder Mack in the middle of the huddle facing the camera

Tana North Zone futbol activity

Tana missionaries getting ready to watch the world-wide missionary conference broadcast - elder Mack is on the back row.

Elder Mack on the last row, far left

The broadcast was moved outside for better reception - Elder Mack on the first row, far right

Tana Missionaries - Elder Mack by the tree on the last row

Monday, January 18, 2016

1/18/16 - Zone Conference, trying something different, and wanting to follow Christ

Akoryabio!  Kay, mila mahay amin ny betsileo indray

Hey y'all!  Wow!  What a week!  I love those weeks that once you get to Sunday you're exhausted!!  haha!  P-day comes, you get refreshed, and then you can go ham again the next week!  Bum bum bum... WORK!!!!  How's everyone doing?  I'll give a few highlights from this past week:

- So both Dola and Nimrode are doing great.  They are progressing towards baptism!  Not much else to say about them other than they are BALLERS!!!

- We are teaching this lady named Lea.  She was taught by missionaries before but they would not baptize her because she cannot speak and communicate that she understands.  Well, I can tell that she knows things and so I tried something different.  :p  I grabbed my picture book and showed her pics of the Joseph Smith story.  I gave her signs.  I taught her the sign for Joseph Smith.  She would see the picture and then do the sign.  Then I showed her the picture of God and Jesus appearing to Joseph.  I taught her those signs and then she did them.  We kept doing that through all of the pictures and she was getting it.  It was amazing!

- Our zone meeting was great!  We learned about setting goals.  It was way cool.  We set some goals for progressing investigators, bringing people to church, and helping people commit to a baptism date.  Those three things are necessary in an investigator's progression.

- Janine, Lemanana, and Ianta are all doing very good.  It was way weird to see them go from not being interested to now they are coming to church.  They came to church again yesterday and they loved it.  Manda was telling me that they were participating in Relief Society and they were laughing and having a good time.  Janine told me something great during our last lesson.  She told me that she is Catholic but that she has never wanted to follow Christ until she started learning from the missionaries.  She wants to keep coming to church and feeling of the spirit.

That's all folks!  Have a great week!

-Elder Mack

Tana North Zone missionaries

Monday, January 11, 2016

1/11/16 - Miracle of the pictures and going to Relief Society

Tena ohatra mampatruny be ny hern andro fa tsa manahy!

Hey y'all!  How's everyone doing?!  Just dandy I hope?  Mahafinaritra be izany!  Well, this was transfer week and it was fun as ever.  Haha!  We have a new office elder living with us.  His name is Elder Monsen!  He is Elder Glazier's kid and I totally prophesied to him a while back that we would either be comps or live in the same house together.  Haha!  And fate had it! BAM!  The house has been hectic lately.  People are coming and going but I think this is the last time I will see a transfer week here.  It's kind of sad that this is my last transfer in Anjanahary.  BETTAH KILL IT!!!

- Dola is such a baller!  He told us that he was a professional soccer player.  He's legit!  He showed us a video of him playing in Paris, France.  He has also played all around Africa.  He has been progressing so well.  He is so humble and was so ready for this gospel.  Whatever we ask him to do he does.  He will be baptized on the 6th of February.  For the lesson on Monday we were planning on teaching plan of salvation but felt the need to change it to discussing goals and we brought him a picture of Jesus Christ and the temple.  I took out the pic from my bag and Dola and his wife glanced and each other with wide eyes and laughed.  I asked them, "What?"  Dola told me that after church he told his wife that he really wanted a big picture of Jesus Christ and the temple to put up on his wall but his wife said she didn't know where to get one.  Next day, BAM!  Ask and ye shall receive!  Haha!

- Dola gave us a referral.  One of his workers was getting really interested and finally joined one of the lessons.  Her name is Maritina.  Come to find out, she's getting married to one of the members in the ward named Mady.  He is brothers with Willie who we are helping to prepare to go on a mission. She is way cool and came to church yesterday and she said she just loved it. She loved the spirit and the help from the talks in sacrament meeting.

- Lemanana and Ianta are so cool and are starting to progress well. Ianta and her sister came to church yesterday and had a fantastic first experience.  I attended Relief Society (I'll tell you why in a second) and they took part and felt welcomed.  I introduced them to bishop and they were like amazed because in other churches, you can't just go up and shake the pastor's hand.  A big no no.  Haha!  But they loved meeting him and bishop is a great man who builds great relationships with people.

- Rain, rain, and more rain.... Yikes!  Elder Monsen just became the new office elder but came on a split with us and he said that is the first time in his mission he has had water in his shoes.  Haha!

- Jewels brought a referral to church yesterday.  It was a deaf girl.  We were so surprised!  Jewels is soo funny.  He has been trying to teach her and has already dropped a baptism date on her!  Haha! Go Jewels!  We took Jewels teaching with us one day and he had so much fun teaching I guess that he started doing it on his own.  The thing is that this lady does Malagasy sign language and me and Jewels have been learning American sign language from some sister missionaries in DC over Skype.  So during the 3rd hour of church the APs took Jewels to priesthood and then I took his friend to Relief Society and attempted to translate for her.  It's so hard to change.  Haha!  I hope she got a lot out of it.  The Relief Society, when they do closing prayers, they hold hands in a circle and it was way weird because I had to stand in the middle of the circle and translate for Francine and the prayer was wayyy too long!!  Haha!

This was a way fun week!  I love training!  I'm bringing out Elder Tambula's loud side a little and he is sooo funny.  Haha!  I don't even think he means to be funny but he is!  Well... love you all!  Have a fantastic week!  Bisous bisous!

Elder Mack

This is not a fist bump anymore.  We call this a 'DONA'. 

This is Mirado's dad

A funeral right outside the house.  This is how they take their dead to the burial place - carry them on the top of a taxi be. 

I taught Jewels some piano!  He can play, "How Firm a Foundation" now!  Haha!

Monday, January 4, 2016

1/4/15 - Happy New Year!

Hey y'all!

Happy New Year!! Here's some highlights this week:

- At our ward party:  Christof and Niry brought the daughter of an old invesigator family to the party.  She loved it and told her parents, whom we used to teach, about it and they wanted to start learning again. I saw the mom on the street and she said she really wanted us to come over.  We get there and this time everyone is ready to learn.  They had notebooks and their Bible out all ready to learn!  I was like, "YESS!!"  Haha!  This is Lemanana and Ianta if you guys remember those names. They said they will come to church next week!

- Church was great! Before church, we went to Mosesy and Nadia's house to pick them up to go to church.  When we got there and they were all ready to go!  We went together to church and it was fantastic. Testimony meeting was great! Mosesy, even though he was less active for a long time, bore a wonderful testimony. 

- Dola is still doing really well. I don't think we'll make his baptism date goal but that's okay. We need to give him more time to learn.  I think Nimrode will be getting baptized soon. Woo hoo! 

- With New Years everyone was partying or on vacation so our plans were kind of shot.  We did a ton of tracting and met some cool new people!

I love you guys!  Have a great week!

-Elder Mack

Mosesy and Nadia!  We can see who wears the pants in the family.  Haha!

Flooding sucks

The couple that lives above us just got married.  French guy, Malagasy gal. 

Ward Christmas party

Man-powered ferris wheel

Tambula made lunch for us

Christof and Niry soiree.  The activity was arm wrestling!  Yah, Faniry beat Bruno.  Haha!

New Year's party

Nadia and Mosesy's daughter all ready for church