What's up guys. So I guess you heard that `we didn't have email which is true...I am at the office right now and had permission to have email for a little so I am going to send as many emails as I can! I will send my voice recording too so you guys can hear about my week like that! I am gonna try and go fast and see how many I can do but not sure how much time I have! I love you all and hope you have a great week!
Sorry dont have time to explain all these but dang those tin roofs will get ya. I had my first trip to a Malagasy "hospital". On the bright side, it was the fastest trip to the doctors I have ever had hahahaha. (Warning: this post contains pictures with some blood, in case you get queasy.)
Tuesday, January 31, 2017
Monday, January 30, 2017
We received an email on January 27th stating: "Apparently, an underwater cable has been damaged in the Indian Ocean which has taken out Telma, the phone and internet provider in Madagascar. The consequence of this is that your missionaries will not have access to email either to receive or send until the repairs are made which may be as long as 15 days." We are hoping to hear from Elder Shoemaker by next P-day!
These pictures were posted on the Mission President's Wife's Instagram account from a few days ago:
These pictures were posted on the Mission President's Wife's Instagram account from a few days ago:
Missionaries working hard in Antananarivo
Monday, January 23, 2017
What is up everyone?! It was a great and crazy week to say the least! I love my new area! We are teaching a lot of great families and had 17 investigators at church! The work is great and should be seeing some baptisms soon! Tana is a lot different than Tamatave but Madagascar is just great all around! I have loved my first week here! It was hard leaving Tamatave and the people I have grown the love but that is the life haha. This week I read a great scripture I believe it is D&C 130 verse 20 and 21. If that is not it I am sorry haha. It talks about how all the blessings we receive are dependent on our obedience. Dang that makes life a lot easier huh? Want some blessings? Do what you are supposed to, it is that easy. Doesn't say that our lives will be perfect or we won't have hard times and trials but I believe and know that if we are obedient we receive blessings. My MTC teacher told us a great quote that I might have wrote about already but I don't remember. "When you are almost obedient, you almost get blessings." I love that and it sums up my spiritual thought for the week. I had one of the greatest and most spiritual experiences of my life this week. As I told Thalia I was leaving, she told me a lot more about what led her to have Masako bring us to talk to her. First off, a long time ago, she was a Muslim and she had a dream that she was drowning in a lake but then a man dressed in white reached in and pulled her up. She couldn't tell who he was but she asked who he was and the man said, "My name is Jesus Christ." She ended up leaving the Muslim church and investigating Christian churches. Then she said she just felt like something was missing and she had a dream two weeks before we started teaching her. She had a dream of a tall white guy with dark hair who she didn't recognize. In the dream, the guy helped her with just a simple little random act of service. She said she thought it was really weird that she dreamed that but then two weeks later she saw me and Elder Nortje walk by her house. She thought she recognized me as the guy in her dream so she told her friend Masako to bring us to her house to talk to her. She didnt tell us she had a dream until the day I was leaving Tamatave, but she just wanted to know who we were and what we were doing after she saw us that first time. Long story short, she is now the Young Womens teacher in the branch I was serving in in Tamatave. Her telling me this made me feel so many emotions. Mostly I was grateful that Heavenly Father had prepared her to hear our message. I know this gospel is true! I know there are so many people that need this in their lives and I can't wait to go find more! I love what I am doing right now! Have a great week everyone! Love you all!
Some pics of me with President Honore and his family before I left Tamatave. He is the Branch President. They are an awesome family!
The view out of my window in my room
A pic of my room
Some pictures of my new area!! Way cool mix of city and the country side!
Here is a pic of the funeral. You can see the blue van in background with the coffin on top. (Schyler's first day in his new area, he and some other Elders had to carry the dead body into the church before the funeral. Eek!)
A pic of the sweet court we played bball on this morning with the youth and other elders!
An action shot haha
Elder Schnoor snapped some pics of when I told English class in Tamatave that it would be mine and Elder Bennett's last week teaching them. They then swarmed us for autographs haha...Malagasies are weird but gotta love em.
Monday, January 16, 2017
Salama! Hope you all are doing well! I had a great last week here in Tamatave! Yes I am getting transferred to an area in the capital city, Antananarivo. It is called Ambohimanarana or something close to that hahaha. I am really excited for this new area! I will definitely miss Tamatave but I was lucky enough to spend a good three transfers here! My last week in Tamatave was a great one to end on! We had 19 investigators at church!!!! That is great especially as the branch is split and there are 4 missionaries in the Ankirihiry branch in Tamatave. So we only work in half the area and had 19 investigators come to church! That is definitely something that is making it hard to leave here. It was really hard saying bye to all of the investigators I teach and the recent converts and members. I cant believe that I have only known these people a couple months yet I feel like I have known them forever. They are some of the greatest people I have ever met and I feel so blessed to have been able to know them and serve them. One of our families we teach made me feel so good. I told them I would be leaving and the dad, Joseph, said, "Well I really don't want you to leave but if you do you have to come back. You can come back when you are married and have a little baby and you won't have to stay in a hotel cause those things are really expensive. You will always have a place to stay at our house." Wow...that made me feel so good as these people that have barely anything are offering me so much. I am really going to miss Joseph and his family but I may need to take him up on his offer as I feel as though they are lifelong friends that I have been blessed to serve. An experience from this week: We had lots of people try and bible bash with us this week it seemed like...not sure why haha. We taught one guy about the Book of Mormon and he just tried to bible bash with us. After awhile of me just listening to this guy just rant about all these questions he had and why he didn't believe this book was the word of God I had to speak up. I stopped him and asked him if he believed God loved him. He said yes. I asked if he believed if God answers prayers. He said yes. I said good I do too. I said, "I know God loves you and your family and he does not want you to be led astray. All we are asking you to do is pray and ask him if this is true. That's it. We don't need to answer all of your questions because there is only one you need to ask and that one you ask God. Ask him if this book is true and I know he will say yes." He said ok. I know that if we ask Heavenly Father with a sincere and open heart we can be taught the truth of all things. It is that simple. I love these scriptures in the Book of Mormon that I read the other day. In 3rd Nephi chapter 26 verses 9, 10, 11. It talks about how God expects us to have faith and as we exercise that faith we will learn and grow more in the gospel. God could have given us all the answers to any question if he wanted but that would go against the Plan of Salvation. The plan was to come to earth and walk by faith not by sight. I know that is true and as we have questions we must first doubt our doubts before we doubt our faith. If we have questions, pray and ask God, exercise your faith, and the greater things will be made manifest unto you. I love this Gospel! I love this work! Have a great week everyone!
The ladies often have face paint like this and carry stuff on their heads like this also. Asked her if I can take a pic with her and she asked why and I just said cause you look very Malagasy so she said oh ok hahaha.
2 pics of Me with Joseph and Shoas family - love those people.
One with Jarom and his two kids and mom. I have mad respect for him. His wife left him when kids were little and they don't know her but he drives the pous pous bike things and makes enough to put food on the table dang love them too.
Me with a baby lemur that Thalia actually had haha.
Me with my English class before they asked for my autograph ahhaha.
Two little girls with their dolls. They were putting mud on the dolls face like it was makeup.
Me at church with Honore and Vitashoa's family. They are all related somehow haha. It was awesome seeing all them come to church! All of them are investigators!
Another one with me and Joseph and Shoa's family at church. Dang I am gonna miss them (love Joseph's glasses hahaha).
One of me with just a bunch of random members haha.
One of me and Thalia and her daughter who is 9 but way tall haha. Her daughter would be baptized but lives with the dad in Reunion island and is just here for a little while.
Me with some members and investigators Elda and Julia
Me with Jeno and some kids. Jeno is a recent convert in the other missionaries area so I don't teach him but he helps us on splits sometimes.
Me with Jean Cleude and Bobo who I taught a couple times but they moved but just were baptized this last baptism
Me with Tatamo's family. They are the people that gave us that awesome dinner on Christmas!
Me with two of the young men in the ward that I became pretty good buddies with...haha they are funny kids.
Me with Elijah and Sandy and their kids! First week all of them came to church!! It was great!
And last one is me and President Paul and his wife. President Paul is our district president and his wife is the one who makes us the fish that I love!