Monday, July 25, 2016

7/25/16 - Happy Birthday, Baptism & the Spirit Teaches Truth

Hey y'all!
 
Ity ny semaine farany e!  Izaho dia hiasa mafy amin'ny fo'saina, sy tanjaka rehetra kara ny efa nataoko naharitran' ny mision!

How's it going guys!?  Elder Olsen and I had an awesome week!  Thanks for the birthday wishes first of all.  This Wednesday I am going to be in hiding.  The members are probably going to try to egg me so I better keep a low key.  Thank you Elder Olsen for telling people when my birthday was.  Pray for me.  Haha!  Elder Olsen got way lucky cause on his birthday I was sick and we didn't go out.  The members tried to get to him but couldn't.  Haha! 

The baptism on Saturday was awesome!  All four of us elders got to be in white.  There were four people who got baptized - Eric, Fifa, Doe, and Jaque.  It was an awesome meeting.  Fifa is 10 and during the ordinance he started crying.  I asked him after the service why he was crying and he said because he was so happy to be baptized, and happy to see his dad make good decisions and be baptized as well. The area is literally going so good right now so I'm not ready to leave.  I've been here forever but I also feel as if I just got here.  All of our investigators who were baptized gave great testimonies at church.  Eric gave so much thanks to God and said that he KNOWS that this church is true and that The Book of Mormon IS the word of God.  We had such an awesome week and I'm grateful for the miracles we have seen.  Me and Elder Olsen have learned to really connect and let the spirit work because the spirit really is the teacher.  If companionships don't work together than the spirt can't work.  This week two people and one family that we've taught have asked to be baptized because of knowledge they have received through the spirit.  I want to tell you guys about an amazing family.  I've talked about Irina before.  She has a boy about our age come and learn from us.  His name is Jean Claude.  From the beginning he has been really diligent in learning and has come to church every week.  We asked him all the time though when we could teach his father.  He kept telling us that his dad is not ready.  We found out that his dad used to be a pastor and me and Olsen understood why he might not want to have the lessons.  Irina went to Tana for a little while because her husband was in an accident.  That's when Jean Claude decided that he wanted to be baptized.  That sparked his dad's interest a little and he sat in on one of the lessons.  Then he asked us to come back!  We taught him about the restoration and gave him a Book of Mormon and bore TESTIMONY on how much we know the truth of what we say.  The spirit was felt so strongly and I felt words come to my mind and come out of my mouth.  The next lesson we had was this past week.  Jean Claude's fathers tells us he feels what we say is true and he wants to be baptized too!  Yesterday, he brought his whole family to church and even brought a friend.  He had a wonderful time there.  This church is true.  I know it with all my heart that it is.  We may look at some people and feel that they will never accept the gospel but the spirit can soften any level of the heart. When they invite the spirit into their hearts, there is a change. 

I love you guys!  I'm not ready for this adventure to end but, "C'est la vie!"  It's my last week!  I'm not backing down!  Have an awesome week everyone!

Elder Mack


Mirindra and his family

Funny faces for days

Saholy feeding her kids

Me and Olsen trying out the latest fashion.  How do we look?


Bon appetite!

My new ride

Saying goodbye to Lunydah

I got a cute smile don't I?  :D


Olsen and I

Scary voodoo doll baby.  Ahhhhh!


I take care of Olsen

We're not trunky whatsoever

This is Jean Claude's parents and cousins.  Jean Claude was working so he's not in the pic. 

This is Fabrice's dad.  We call him pirate man because he used to work on a ship.

This is Feno and his family

This is my English class!

Baptism!!!





My fantastic four


The waves were a little rough on us but it still was a great baptism!

Dada and Doe

Dada

Jean Claude right next to me and Carlos on the end

This is Fabrice's mom!  She's my favorite

Lovely Hardie

This is Doe.  My bestie just got baptized!  I did his confirmation. 

This is one of Lunydah's friends Rahary.  She wants to be baptized.

This is Ralaibary.  He may look old but he'll take you down.

This is Branch President Paul.

These are Narina's kids.  We stopped by to take a pic. 

Clamentine and Jean

Back when I was with Elder Olsen in Anjanahary forever ago I made a deal with him that if I make a basketball shot from really far that he had to buy me a snickers and then I swished it! I forgot about it until today when we were at Shoprite and I was looking at the snickers and it clicked it my head "YOU OWE ME A SNICKERS!" and then I got it

Monday, July 18, 2016

7/18/16 - Choose to be like the Savior

Hey y'all!
 
17 days today.... That can't be real....!  I'm doing good but I am feeling ready to see you guys.  And then I'll want to come back here.  Haha!  Seriously - this place would be paradise if you guys were here with me.  I have so many mixed feelings right now.  It's driving me a little insane.  I am grateful for technology so I can still keep in touch with some people here. 

We have a baptism this coming Saturday!  Erik, his son Fifaliana and Doe!  I'm way stoked!

Our investigators are all good and happy.  We have built up a good pool of investigators and I feel good about leaving these good people for whatever new missionary comes up to Mahajanga with Elder Olsen.

One of my favorite talks is The Character of Christ by Elder Bednar!  Check it out.  It's life changing. Choose to be like the Savior.

Short but sweet.  Love you guys!

Elder Mack
 
My last companion - Elder Olsen

Let's go teach!!!

This is how Fabrice makes shelves.  He takes a box from the missionaries and nails it to the wall.

This is Clamantine's sister.  She came for vacation with her children and showed interest in the church so we got to teach her.  She thinks I'm funny.

Fish anyone?

Kiss da fish!!!  Everyday is fish eating day!

Dinner appointment at Jean Louis!  He served in New Zealand.  Way good at English.  I met him when he first got off his mission and he came home to Antsirabe. 

Playing monopoly with Fabrice and Fabien
 

Monday, July 11, 2016

7/11/16 - Listen to the Lord and have happiness and more fish than you could handle

Raha tsy manisa ny taratasy ataoko androany dia telo tavela.  Mahagaga!
 
Hey y'all!  How's it going!?  Elder Olsen and I had an awesome week.  We are first preparing Erik and Fifaliana for baptism.  They have their interviews this Saturday.  I'm way excited for them.  It's weird thinking that my last baptism here will be next week. 

We just finished the lessons with Doe as well.  He will be baptized next week.  His grandpa is a funny guy.  He's the one that lived in America for a while.  Way good at English.  We were coming back from Norbers and he saw us outside his house and invited us in.  Whenever we go to his house he tries to always dodge the topic of religion because he believes he's too old for it now.  We had a great conversation with him last night though. He believes he's found all the happiness that he's ever wanted and it's not really because of God but because of the hard work in his life.  He jokingly said that if there's a hell, "I wouldn't mind going to hell because paradise doesn't have whisky."  I don't have any right to judge him but I feel it's sad not knowing that God loves us, is a part of everything we do in our lives, and wants so much more for us.  It's awesome that his grandson has accepted it.  His grandpa eventually agreed to accept a Book of Mormon.  If he tests the Lord he WILL find more happiness. 

I'm so grateful for the truth in my life.  For this gospel.  I'm grateful for the plan of salvation.  I'm grateful that families can be together forever.  I love mine.  I want them forever. 

This past week me and Elder Olsen did alot of tracting.  I kind of relate our week of tracting to a certain story with the apostles.  They fished on one side but didn't get anything. Christ told them to go to the other side and they got more fish than they could handle.  There were these two paths that we tracted.  On the first one we tried and just got nothing.  One person let us in but was a pastor.  He loves hearing about the gospel but is not interested at all in changing.  We prayed in the hope of finding new familes and people to teach as we tract.  We are led to a path next to where we were and we FILLED our program.  Saturday we couldn't fit everyone in.  We had to reschedule a few people.  I thought we were going to run out of restoration pamphlets.  I felt on fire that day!  Haha!  We met four wonderful new families that day.  I wish I could have more time to teach them but eh c'est la vie. The area is going really well.  I'm really sad that my time is coming to an end but I'm ready to see you guys. 

Love you all!  Have a great week!

Elder Mack

Volleyball on P-day


Get-together with Norber.  We had brochette.  We POUNDED that! 

I'm a walrus

Look how much brochette we ate!  Yes, that's an orange eyebrow. 

This is Lunydah on the left and Antsa on the right.  They found mom on Facebook!  Lunydah conducts the music and I play piano for sacrament meeting.  Antsa is a new convert and when she saw a picture of Lia fell in love with her.  She said Lia looks like her best friend when she was little.