Monday, June 27, 2016

6/27/16 - Mini Zone Conference, Baptism, & Missing Friends

Hey y'all!  39 jour et mbola manisa ny neniko.  How's it fandehana?  You faly to mahita me amin'ny little sisy!???  Happy Madagascar Independence Day!  Today we didn't do much more than work for the holiday but we got to have dinner at Abel and Livas which was fun!

President, Sister Foote, their daughter, and the APs came up to Mahajanga this past week. We thought we were not getting a zone conference but they gave us a mini one with just the four of us.  It was great, inspiraitonal, and life changing!  President is an amazing individual and I am so grateful for his leadership here in Madagascar.  I had my second to last interview with him.  He gave me great advice for finishing strong and how to conduct myself when I get home.  He says that getting on a misson is a shock but going back is an even bigger culture shock.  Am I ready? WE'LL SEE!!!  President talked about looking for the elect and how there are a lot of people that do not know they are the elect because of the craftiness of men.  Mormon saw us in a vision preaching the gospel.  We are called to find the elect.  The APs talked about being full purpose misisonaries and having integrity.  In D&C 121:45 it talks about how keeping clean thoughts and having faith will give you courage and that priesthood power will come to us as the dews of heaven!  What an awesome promise!  What a great meeting.

Saholy got baptized!  Agnez and Carlos as well!  It was a great meeting and it was really cool having the Footes at the baptism!  The waves were a lot more pleasant this time.  The water actually receeded way far so we had to walk out a little ways to get deep enough.  They all bore manificent testimonies.  Each one of them said that it was the Book of Mormon that convinced them of the truthfullness of the gospel.  It truly is the most correct book in the world.

Danio and Chaelle had been missing for a little over a month now. We have not been able to get ahold of them by phone.  We went to their house often hoping that they would be home but they were never there.  No one around knew where they were either.  We went to church on Sunday and after sacrament they come walking in!  We were so happy so see them!  They said they had been gone at sea on a little dinky boat doing some work and they said it was way scary because they went so far out that they couldn't see land at all.  Danio said that he's still ready to learn and wants to try still catch his baptism date.  We'll see!

Love you guys!  Have a great week!

Elder Mack

Elder Olsen sifting the rice

It looks like we're on vacation but we're just visiting Felicia at work


Bought a bat

Yes, we did end up eating him

We set up the room for the APs and Office Elders

Baptism today!

Mack, Cooley, & Olsen

Mahajanga elders with Saholy, Agnez, & Carlos

Monday, June 20, 2016

6/20/16 - Last Transfer

Ry papako malala, Je t'aime!
Hey y'all!  So today officialy starts off my last transfer.  As I was laying in bed last night I thought alot about my mission and the success I've seen and the souls that I have been able to be the Lord's tool for, and I am happy.  I think about being home and not being on a mission anymore.  It's sad and hurts me inside a little.  I never thought a mission would end.  It doesn't feel real.  The group right before me goes home this Wednesday and they have been alongside my group the whole mission and now they are headed home.  Elder Coleman goes home, Hammer, Delbar, Koplin, Ahlstrom, etc.  All incredible Elders that have helped shape me into who I am now.  I am grateful for missions and for the joy it brings to families.  My first interview in country I remember President Adams asking me, "Why are you here on a mission?"  I remember telling him a quote that one of my dear friends had displayed in her home - "A missionary leaves their family for two years so that other families can be together for eternity."  I have loved everyone that I've taught and have prayed and fasted for them in hopes that they will come to the truth and partake of salvation.  Isn't that a missionaries goal? Missionary service never ends.  Like President Holland said, "RM does not mean retired Mormon." Once a missionary, always a missionary. 

I got news that I will finish my mission here in Mahajanga with Elder Olsen serving with all our heart, might, mind, and strength.  It's been 6 months in this area and man is this transfer going to  be great!  Before I give a little update on my investigators I want to give a shoutout to the steak plate king himself.  Happy Fathers Day Dad!  You're exactly the kind of husband and father I want to be one day!  Thank you for treating my mom with respect and loving her and for always being worthy of the priesthood to have in our home.  I love you!

- Saholy and her kids came back from Tana and Aniez is all better.  It was so nice seeing them and seeing everyone healthy.  One of the first things Saholy asked is about their baptisms.  We told them next Saturday is the day!  They're ready!  I took Elder Cooley with me last Saturday to do their baptism interviews and they nailed it!  We will be having those three baptisms this Saturday!  Pics to come next week!

- We gave Doe a baptism date for the 23rd of July.  That will be my last baptism.  Doe, if you guys don't know, moved here from Tolear.  He moved in with his Grandpa who had lived in America for like 3 years.  He is way cool and is so good at English.  He was in the US army.  He didn't have any friends when he came here and then two white guys knocked on his door.  He is 17 and would love to serve a mission one day.  He felt very welcomed into our friends group at the church.  He comes to the church activities and didn't hesitate at all to come to church.  He is doing well and should catch his date.

- Juliette's son Erik is doing well also.  We have given him and his son Fifaliana a baptism date for the 23rd as well.  They had learned before from missionaries but moved away to a place where there was no church.  When he came back he didn't get in contact with the missionaries till now so we are prayinig for him to be able to catch his date.  He came to church the past couple of weeks and is loving it.  He is feeling welcomed and is feeling good being baptized.

I love you guys.  Have a great week!

Elder Mack

Monday, June 13, 2016

6/13/16 - "Please bless my wonderful children as they preach the gospel"


Hey y'all!  First of all - Spence! Happy Birthday Kid! 

Well, this Saturday is transfers and then I start my  last transfer.  Man, that's so unreal!!  Tsy mino akory aho!!!  I just heard that Hunter Ensign from my home ward just getting back and I'm blown away because he left just right before I did.  Austin Barker gets back next month then yours truly... yikes.
Work rocks! Mahajanga is getting a little chilly but it's still not to the point that I need a sweater. Malagasies are so funny with the weather. They think that it's not supposed to rain during these months but its cloudy as heck and they laugh when I ask if it's going to rain.  They say "No!" and then it rains.... dang it.  Haha!  Don't worry mom - I am healthy.  It is very clean in this area. This IS the best area in the mission. We cook a lot at home and the food has been so good and so cheap!  I have had the best food in my mission here!  This week me and Cooley are going to take pills and drain ourselves of our worms.  Haha!  Don't worry mom, if they're there they don't bother us.  Our investigators are doing great.  I'll give you updates on a few and then call it good.

- There was a baptism yesterday for Braddah Sean!  He has learned from the missionaries for a while but had a problem with cigarettes which he finally overcame so he could be baptized! 
- Saholy, and her two kids Aniez and Carlos are so close to baptism. They were supposed to get baptized this Saturday but Aniez got sick and had to be taken to Tana to get help.  We have been praying for her and she is doing just fine now.  They plan to be back Tuesday and they hope they will be baptized next Saturday.  Their interview will be done this week too.  I love Saholy so much. We always call her mom because she likes to feed us.  Whenever we are with her she and she prays she always says, "Please bless my wonderful children as they preach the gospel."  I love it. :)
- So, we got a really cool referral from one of the members in Tana.  The referral is for a whole family.  The wife's name is Irina.  I still havn't met the husband because he's in Tana for a little longer and then he'll come up.  But Irina has already been to church twice and is way diligent in learning the gospel.  She has three young kids and brings them to primary.  She loves it.  Hardy is the Primary President and has been looking for new teachers.  I was joking around with her that I was going to baptize a new teacher just for her!  Haha!  

- Nirina is a very interesting investigator.  She is an Adventist and that's cool because I have never taught a progressing Adventist yet in my mission.  They are kind of like Jehovah Witness, very hard headed.  Haha!  But they are great.  Nirina has been curious about this church and has already accepted a Book of Mormon.  She has not asked any questions though.  She says she won't ask any questions until she finishes reading the Book of Mormon.  We already taught her many things, up to the plan of salvation.  We started teaching her the principles of the gospel including faith, and repentance but she already knew that.  She said she just needs to finish the book.  Since that was so important we decided that we would help her read when we come over.  That way she can finish the  book and hopefully progress more.  Maybe she will even start asking some questions.

Well, love you guys!  Congrats to my boy Dakota on his marriage!  You're awesome man!  Have a great week!

Elder Mack


Doe coming with us to help teach!

Malagasies love smores!!

Love Birds ❤jklolz

Ralaibary is my swag homie

Left to right: Me, Antsa, Hery, Lunydah.  I was trying on Antsa's Harry Potter glasses.  Haha!

and Ralaibary.... POSE!!!

Monday, June 6, 2016

6/6/16 - Some pics from Elder Mack, 59 days left - make every day count

We went to Fabrices to ask for help and caught him asleep at 3 in the afternoon.  Haha #toohottosleep

This is Deverral the Chameleon.  :) 

Teaching Malagasies how to roast marshmallows!

After church lunch appointment at Clamentines and Jeans!