Monday, April 23, 2018

Week 90 - Midororo amin'ny Ace

Salama Daholo! Tena mahafinaritra be ity herinandro lasa ity! Somary henjakenjana kely ny grevy any Analakely fa tokony tsy maninona izany! Haha. Enga anie salama tsara ianareo! We had a great week! First week here in Anjanahary with Elder Shelby, although definitely not my first week with Elder Shelby ha. This is starting our 5th transfer together haha. But we had a great week man, it was awesome! We found tons of new investigators and families that are interested and now progressing. It's been a really fun and exciting week. Looking forward to a new week coming up. This week we had a great lesson with Rodeo. He is a stud. He is changing so much and you can even see it in his physical appearance. He should be getting baptized in two weeks! This week we taught him the importance of the Book of Mormon and making sure he truly believes it is the word of God. We talked a lot and he shared many of the blessings he has received from his reading in the Book of Mormon. Towards the end of the lesson I told him how great it is that he believes and knows its the word of God. Then I asked him if he had prayed and asked Heavenly Father yet. He said no but that he already knew and he has already seen the blessings. I told him again how great that was. But then I asked him to read Moroni 10 and when he finished I invited him to pray about it. He got a little confused and said he didn't feel like he needed to pray but that he already knew. We then talked about the Spirit and how he can get an answer directly from his Heavenly Father.  I then asked if he would read and pray. He said sure I will do it for you since you want me to but I already know it's true. I said no don't do it for me but do it for you. He kinda got frustrated with me haha. He said I don't get it , do I have to pray?? I already know. I then told him that maybe someday he will come across someone talking bad about the church or the Book of Mormon or maybe he will learn something that he doesn't understand fully. I told him that his personal knowledge and belief of its truthfulness is great but when doubts and confusion come it won't hold him steady in the faith. We then talked about the importance and how great of a blessing it is to be able to ask God. And if we know we have received an answer from God, we also know that he never changes no matter what people say or what confusion we may have. We can always fall back on that spiritual witness we received. I am so grateful for a loving Heavenly Father that answers the heartfelt prayers of his children. I wish more people in this world of confusion would go to the only source of truth, our Heavenly Father. He will always answer and guide us as long as we truly desire that and are sincere. I know the Book of Mormon is true. I have felt the Spirit witness to me and I know I will never forget that. I hope you all have a great week! Mazotoa!
 Pics of the dirtiest area in Tana, 67h. I think is among the dirtiest cities in the entire world. That river is the famous "poop river" it smells almost as good as it looks!!  

 The bags Dorgivier's mom made for you, mom! 
 Pics of me with Mshweshwe and Van Niekerk before they went home to South Africa.

 Some pics of Tana and people working in rice fields.

  A pic of a little truck hauling mattresses haha. 

 We had a meeting with our ward mission leader and ward missionaries than they wanted to take a pic. Sadly most the ward missionaries are missing but we will take another one next time. 
 Me with these two families that are leaving to go to temple today!
 Us with Patrick and Faniry's family! And our investigator Zo! 

Monday, April 16, 2018

Week 89 - Matokia Ny Tompo

Akory aby! The weeks keep flying by too fast. I hope you all had another great week! First and foremost I wanna give a BIG shoutout to my bro-ski!! Big Brax got a mission call to Uruguay Montivideo West Mission! Muy Bien!! Couldn't be happier for you man! But other than that great news it was another tsara be week here in Anjanahary. Highlight of the week was a great family we teach accepted a bap date for May! Paula and her daughter Noela and son Henintsoa all accepted. Paula's husband works out of town lots and so we will try to get him to join the party when he returns. They are a great family that didn't really go to church besides Christmas and Easter because they "wouldn't feel uplifted" when they went and they have been coming to church for awhile and it is great seeing the blessings it's bringing their family! Nothing better than seeing families brought together through living the Gospel. This week in studies I read a lot in the the book "The Infinite Atonement" by Tad R. Callister. The book makes me think a lot haha. I suggest it for anyone who wants to better understand the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I really love this paragraph, "Does not each of us confront those moments in life when faith and reason of the world are seemingly incompatible and we must choose between the two? We find ourselves at a spiritual crossroad. One path paved with the knowledge and reason of man, the other paved with faith in God. It may come when there is a lack of funds to pay our tithing. It may knock when the Lord calls us to a position far beyond our natural abilities. It may be when we are called to serve at a moment of inconvienence. It may come with the loss of a job, the death of a loved one, or a sudden unexpected illness, but come it will. Do not all men, at some time in their lives, face that dilemma..the reason of the world versus faith in Jesus Christ." I love that quote. The point of our lives here on Earth is to be tried and tested. And our faith is usually what is being tried and tested. Is our faith strong enough to trust in God even when the knowledge and reason of the world says otherwise? I know that we can have faith like those in the scriptures. Nephi, Job, Moses, and many others were great examples of this kind of faith. I know that as we place our trust and faith in Heavenly Father and the Savior there is nothing in this life we cannot overcome. Heavenly Father is willing to help us he just needs to see that we have faith in Him first. I know that as we do the little things everyday we will strengthen our faith and as we always trust God, things will workout. I hope you all have a great week! Aza maditra!! Mazotoa!
 A pic of some kids playing music on side of road to make money.  
 People pushing handcarts like this are just part of the traffic in Mada but when they go down a hill they don't slow us up too much ha. 
 Some kids playing soccer.
 Two daughters of a member family. 
 A sunset from mission office. 
 a pic of us and our group of members teachin Paula, Noela, and Henintsoa.
 Me and Mswheswhe with Henintsoa, a son of our investigator family. 

  Pics with Paula and her family along with member helps and Saoly and her family. 
 Malagasies aren't very good at "crazy pics." Ha.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Week 88 - Tsy Azonareo ny Dakako. Za Ngeha Mandaka Be

Akory aby?! Inona vaovao am'nareo! Avy nidoladola kely tany Tamatave izahay ary tena tsara izany e! I hope you have all had a great week! This was an awesome week for us! We were able to go to Tamatave and go on splits with Elders there. That was awesome. Tamatave is in good hands. Also we had the great opportunity to watch General Conference! A great weekend filled of instruction and uplifting reminders and messages. I'm very grateful for the great men that lead this church under the direction of Heavenly Father and our Savior. This week we also had a great lesson with Rodeo. Man this guy is a stud. He is very open with us and talks about things he struggles with in his life. This week he talked about how he tries to always do whats right but sometimes things happen and he doesn't expect them and he slips up. I could tell how bad he just wants to choose the right and follow Christ and man, that's all you need in the first place. I told him I love his desire to follow Christ and as long as he holds onto that, the day will come where he will overcome. No matter how many times we mess up, as long as we have that desire to follow Christ we will make it. But when the day comes when we say man this "Mormon" stuff is just too hard or we simply give up, that's when we may not see success and happiness in the end. I loved the talk by Elder Lynn G. Robbins on Saturday morning about repentance and the grace of the Lord. He quoted this “Success,” it has been said, “isn’t the absence of failure, but going from failure to failure without any loss of enthusiasm.” Man I love that! The only way we can go from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm is if we have faith and rely on the Atonement of Christ. He later said, "Repentance isn’t His backup plan in the event we might fail. Repentance is His plan, knowing that we will." I don't know about you, but that gave me a whole new look on lots of things. Obviously that doesn't mean that sin is ok or should be something we are comfortable with. But it means that as long as we never give up, as long as we follow Christ with all we have no matter how imperfect we are, we are gonna be able to receive forgiveness in the end. I love Gordon B. Hinckley's quote, "All you gotta do is try. But you have to REALLY try!" I'm so grateful for the Atonement of our Savior that allows us to pick ourselves up and learn from each mistake. No matter how big or small. I know we will improve everyday if we never let go of that true desire to follow Him. If we have the desire, we will do all we need to do to live His Gospel and receive His grace. Being a missionary is the best. There are millions of people that don't know that great message and I love sharing it with them. I hope you all have a great week!! Mazotoa! 
 Pics from our drive to Tamatave this week! Lots of the beautiful views. People washing their cloths by the streams and such. 

 More pics of drive to Tamatave. Pics of where traffic just halted forever because they were fixing the road.
  Pics of some fruit stands on side of road. 

 A guy hauling stuff on his bike. And some other stuff! 

 Me with Elders Andrianjakanavalona and Randrianarison.
 Pics of one of the districts in Tamatave. We got that huge burger fries and a drink for 3 dollars. Haha. 
 Pics of Tamatave! Some little kids.  
 Some views of Tamatave.

 A selfie with Elder Bariniaina while i was trying to help him pray in English haha. 

  A guy hauling his cart barefoot. 
 And a flooded basketball court. 
 Some action shots of us washing the duster. 

 Pics of me and Eric, who I baptized over a year ago and he helped us teach a lesson and he's going on a mission. Such a stud.

  And a pic of Stromberg, Blatter, and I at soccer today.
A pic of our dinner with Jeremia and Alfredines family and our investigators Paola Henintsoa and Noela.