Monday, November 28, 2016

Week 17 - Efa Vita Gas

Inona vao vao? Salama tsara ve ianareo? I hope you all had a great week! I had a sweet week if I do say so myself haha. We have been finding tons of amazing people and families! It has been awesome! Everyday we go out I think of it as a big game of hide and seek as we go around looking for the people that God has prepared to hear the amazing message of the restored gospel. And lately we have been finding people like crazy! It has been awesome! We have a bunch of people and families progressing and it is so exciting! This week we found Armel and his family. We walked in and he was like, "I just wanna know where the truth is. Everyone uses the Bible but they all use it differently. They even have different versions and I wanna know who's right." Usually when an investigator says something like that you have to try not to jump out of your seat and give him a chest bump or something. Well at least I do. haha. We shared the first lesson with him and after he was very humble and the spirit was so strong. He said, "Thank you for this. Thank you for finding me. Keep going, there are a lot of people like me looking for the truth and I am just so happy you guys found me." Wow. That was awesome. Gosh I love being a missionary! There is nothing better than getting to look and find people like Armel and his family everyday! This week we had President and Sister Foote in town. President Foote is the man with the master plan dude. He is legit. I could listen to him talk for hours. He rivals Holland in my book and hopefully one day President Foote will speak in General Conference. He said something that made me realize how lucky I am to be on a mission right now. He said imagine a little kid, if you tried to hand a kid a hundred dollar bill or a balloon what one would he take? The balloon most likely. Because he doesn't understand the value of the money. He said that is the same decision people make when they decide not to serve a mission. They do not understand what they are giving up. He said if every young man could know the experiences and growth he would have on his mission there is not one kid who wouldn't decide to go on a mission. I believe and agree with that one hundred percent! I love being a missionary and am so grateful I have the opportunity to be here. I feel so blessed to serve these amazing Malagasy people everyday. I hope you all have a great week! I love you and miss you all! Veloma!
 Some little girls that ran up and held my hand on the path and they wouldnt let go so I decided to take a pic with them.
 A malagasy board game, they dig holes in the dirt and play this game with the pit of the leches. I bet you didnt even realize you were taking your family game of Monopoly for granted huh?
 The next pic I feel like should be the cover of a Wheaties box but thats just me. Some kids wanted to show off their guns for the camera.
 A pic of a little girl carrying her brother like all the malagasies carry their babies here.
 A cute little kid that always brings a huge smile to my face when we see her.
 This dude rockin a Karl Malone jersey.
 Some little kids cuz they are awesome.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Week 16 - Another Good Week In the Neighborhood

Yo! What's up everybody? First off, I wanna give shout out to my Bingham boys! Way to go on the championship! Back on top baby!! Now you all just need two more rings to tie me ;) Hoping basketball can pull it out this year too!! Anyways this was a great week! We had fun and worked hard while doing it! I will talk about the fun first. Today is pday and this morning we played soccer and the six elders in my house bought some water balloons and hid them at the church and when the other elders came we soaked em! Haha! People were wondering why we had water balloons and we just said hey we may be missionaries but we are still dumb teenagers that like to have fun! Especially on pday!! That was great! I am currently a little soaked as they got some revenge haha. But on the serious side we had great week working! 13 people came to church this week again! That was great to see! We have been finding lots of great families that are progressing really well and we are very excited about that!! One sad thing happened this week...Solo and his wife Olga have a baptism date for December 3. We went to our lesson with them and Olga was gone and Solo was drunk as can be. My companion and I went in his house and just sat there with him as he rambled on as a drunk companion and I were sitting in silence for awhile. It was very sad to see. I didn't know how to react. My sports and intense side wanted to freak out at him and ask why he just got wasted as we had never seen him like that and didn't even know he drank. Then my other side just wanted to cry for him and his family. It is hard seeing someone so close to something so great, not quite make it. I have faith he can turn it around though. He didn't come to church either so he will not be getting baptized on Dec 3 but I have faith he can in January! There are great things you see being a missionary and there are hard things. But overall you can just show them the door and the people all have their agency of whether they want to enter into eternal happiness or not. I love being here and love giving people that opportunity. It is a great feeling and very humbling every day, especially as these people are poor beyond imagination. I love the people of Madagascar and love being here. I hope you all have a great day and week!
Some pics of me playing with the crazy Malagasy kids

 a pic of my hands after playing with the malagasies haha little dirty huh
 Some pics of my first time holding a lemur - it was this lady's pet and it is illegal to have them as pets but it was fun playing with it haha

 Some random pics
The kid in the red is hilarious; he reminds me of Dax (my cousin) haha!

Monday, November 14, 2016

Week 15 - Thalia Straight Ballin Out

What is up everyone?! Another week down and boy was it a good one!! A lot happened this week but I especially want to talk about the most "golden investigator" the world has ever seen haha. Her name is Thalia. We found Thalia a couple weeks ago and when we found her she told us about all the trials and problems she has had in her life She was an orphan, at 11 years old she would go around and beg for money and food and that is how she would live. I cant even imagine that. She has also has two kids but doesn't get to see one and the other she sees a little as the dads of both have taken them to France. She asked us why she has had so many trials when she has tried so hard to follow God and be close to him. My companion and I both looked at each other and knew that this lady was one of those people that God has been preparing for a long time and she now finally gets her answer. She has progressed faster than anyone else I have taught so far. She came to church last Sunday and we gave her a Hymn book and left a pamphlet about the Word of Wisdom in it on accident. We didn't know it was in there but when we went to visit her she said she had read it. She also said it is very hard but she stopped drinking coffee, stopped chewing tobacco, and stopped drinking. Also she worked at a bar and she quit her job as she figured that if you weren't supposed to drink alcohol they probably don't want you selling it to others to drink. And she had friends come over with beer but she didn't drink any. We hadn't even taught her the Word of Wisdom lesson yet!!! She just read the pamphlet and kept all the commitments we would've asked of her but she went above and beyond too! Wow. I was amazed and so happy. She has a baptismal date for December 3.  That was a highlight of the week for sure. Also had 13 investigators at church this week! That is the most we have had since I've been here and it was awesome!! We were so happy seeing so many investigators walk up the long path to the church that we even started dancing for them as the walked up the path. It was an awesome day and week. I love seeing people make these great changes in their life as there is nothing that can bring more true and pure happiness than this gospel! I believe that with all my heart. I hope you all have a great day and week! I love and miss you all! Veloma!
 This first pic I call "Paradise"
  the next one is paradise with a Malagasy that wanted to be in the pic too haha
 a cool view of Madagascar
 another cool view of some lady selling some food
me with my two favorite kids from the branch, the one is 15 and other is like 7 haha the 15 year old is a funny cool kid and the 7 year old just loves me so i like him haha
 an early happy thanksgiving from Elder Shoe with a wild turkey after the pic I caught it and plan on serving up some good grub on thanksgiving ;)
 next is a pic of a way rich and sick house we found haha the lady didnt live there she was the guardian and basically just answers the door
 they have these weird ducks all over and they are scary lookin so I took a pic of it
me with a Malagasy boy scout
one of my fav pics is this one with these kids haha they are all way high whenever we see them and I have learned how to talk like a teenager Malagasy and talk to them like that so they like me haha and they wanted to get a pic with me and so we did and I think it is so funny they all have these gang signs and I didn't even know they were doing that but I did my fav 3 point gang sign haha these guys are like my age and older but shows how small Malagasies are
 A pic of our English class we had three classes like this on Saturday! Tons came to English!
 a pic of these kids I found playing basketball and yes the tree behind them was their hoop
 Some lady gave us these leches which are now my favorite fruit! They are so good!
 saved the best pics for last, my favorite meal here in Madagascar
Don't get to jealous I know your mouths are watering just looking at it....don't knock it til ya try it!!

Monday, November 7, 2016

Week 14 - Broken Beds But Not Broken Hearts

What is Crackalackin everybody?! (go watch the movie Madagascar if you don't know what Crackalackin is) Hope you all had a great week! I had a good one here! It was a good, hard working week! First off, I will explain the subject of this email. We went to teach this one family this week and walk in and there are not enough chairs and not enough room on the floor in their house. So the lady invites me to sit on her kid's bed. So I do and then next thing I know there is now room on the floor to sit down. Yep, I sat on the bed and went right through to the floor and broke the entire bed...pretty embarrassing. I was thinking to myself what the heck you dummy these people are already poor and now you are breaking their beds!? So I said I am sorry about 100 times and then me and my comp ran to a little place and bought nails and rope. Ran back to the house and I went Bob The Builder on that thing man. I was nailing anything I could and roping stuff and idk what I did but the lady said I was good at making beds so I guess she was satisfied with the end result haha. Then I taught a lesson on repentance which I had a great object lesson for haha. It was funny and a good memory and my comp took some pics of me fixing the bed that I will attach in this email. Other than that, this week was a great one! We taught a lot of great people and had lots of people commit to come to church! But it was pouring rain Saturday and Sunday and that made a lot of those people not come, which was sad but we still had some come! It was good to see the ones that were diligent and didn't let a little rain scare them away. I am currently working on learning how to say "Do you think if it was raining, the Savior would've waited to suffer for our sins until it was a sunny day?" I would like to say that to our investigators with the lame excuse of not coming cause it was raining haha. Hopefully next week we will have lots come to church though! Being a missionary is great! Nothing better than going out everyday searching for people who want to change their lives! I love it here! I hope you all have a great day and week! Love and miss you all!
Bob the Builder aka Elder Shoemaker fixing the broken bed
 Fixing the broken bed (pregnant Mom here is 16 and
 this will be her second child...she was married at age 14)
 Some kids getting some leches from the trees...they are this way good
fruit they have here!!! Dang they are so good!!! I love them!
 A pic of some kids, I love taking pics of the kids!
 I am all about those after lesson workouts on the tiny bar and bench some guy made haha.
 Another pic of some kids. Kids in America have iPhones, kids here have old bike tires with water bottles. They run and punch the bike tire along with the water bottle as they run.
  A pic of me at the sweet pizza place at the beach!
 A pic of us at the pizza place
  The pizza place itself
 A pic explaining my life here in Madagascar...too big for everything.
  A cool pic of just Madagascar, I guess
 A pic of some kids
I have a video of me killing this stupid cockroach but it is taking too long to load so here is a pic of it haha