Monday, April 17, 2017

Week 37 - Ilay Kristy Velona

What's up! I am here in Fort Dauphin and it is definitely the coolest place I have ever been in the world! I will let the pictures do the talking on that one although the pictures don't do it justice. I hope you all had a great Easter week! Easter on the mission was great! Lots of pondering and reading about our Savior and what he did for us and his resurrection! I know He lives and because of that we can all return to Him and our Heavenly Father again one day. There is a ton to talk about this week but I have no idea where to start. Fort Dauphin is great, it is very poor though. We teach many people that don't know how to read or write. Also they speak the two hardest dialects of Malagasy here: Antanosy and Antandroy. My first lesson here the guy said he needed a translator as we were speaking in the main and basic dialect of worried me a little haha. Most people can understand but it is definitely a lot different. It is great though. I am learning a lot of the words and phrases of these dialects to help the people more but we are told to teach and preach in the basic dialect as that is what the church and the standard works of the church use. A little difficult sometimes but it is a great experience!!! I love my new area and have met and love so many new people here already!!! The Malagasies are great no matter where you go!! My little spiritual thought and Easter thought is a scripture in Luke if I am not wrong haha dang my memory is already leaving me. In the chapters of Christ's Atonement in Luke it says something different than the other accounts in the Bible. There is a verse saying that an angel was there strengthening Christ as He was in the Garden of Gethsemane. It stood out to me as Elder Nichols showed me this scripture in Companion study. I thought a lot about it. I wonder who the angel was that was chosen to strengthen Christ. I wonder how thankful Christ was for that. And I wonder how great the angel felt knowing he could help our Savior and strengthen Him through part of the most important event in the history of the world. I thought a lot about this one little verse. Even our Savior the most perfect person to walk the Earth, the most obedient, humble, strong, and brave man to ever live needed strengthening. Luckily there was someone there for Him. I hope I would've been there for Him. I hope He would've thought that He could count on me to help Him. I know that is the reason we are here. That is what a true follower of Jesus Christ is. Someone willing to strengthen and help those around them. Someone you can count on. Someone loving. I hope that one day I can be like that. I hope I can follow the Savior's example and learn to love as He did. I know He lives. I know He loves us. He loves you and He wants to help you. He wants to strengthen you. We need to let Him. And if we are at a place in our lives where we don't need strengthening at the moment we need to go and help others find Him, find the strength that comes from knowing our Savior. And we need to be His hands here on Earth to help strengthen our brothers and sisters. I am so grateful for what my Savior went through for me. I know that as we live His gospel we can find the most true and pure happiness there is. I hope you all have a great week!!! Love you all!!!
 A few more goodbye pics from Ambohimanarina. Gerard and Lalao's family...
  and Lydias kids! Love them and miss them!
 The airport in Fort Dauphin
Shoemaker and Nichols round two #DreamTeam
  A cool view of my new area! 
 Basketball court we play at every morning at 5:30
 Our zone pic after bball!  
 Fort Dauphin...nuff said.
 Some pics of our house haha. I got the top bunk.

 A family we taught were eating these for dinner when we came....I am not joking haha.
  A birthday dinner with Elder Nichols with a great family! Malagasy tradition is to egg and flour you when it is your birthday!!
 Our house is the green one in the bottom right corner...really close to the beach!!
 Awesome family!
 Our church building!
 View from the front door of our church building.  
 View from the top level where we have Sacrament meeting!
  Me and Elder Nichols with some of our investigators at church.
 Went to the beach today and it was crazy as the whole village was practically there and saw some members! It was a big party for Easter. We were trying to find members that invited us and stopped by and hung out with them for a little. It was crazy!
 Then the pics of the coolest hike and view I have ever seen......dang!

 Coolest.hike.ever. Also don't have the pic as it is on another elders camera but we had two guides with swords as apparently a group called the Dahalo lives in the mountains and they steal people's cows and kill the guides had big swords and stuff hahaha. I dont know if that is true but it made it all feel a lot cooler haha. Basically modern day Gadianton robbers hahaha.

 A few more pics of the hike!! It was literally like the jungle! Saw a wild lemur!! It was so dang cool!

I got the pic of the guides with swords! haha there are a lot of legends about these Dahalo guys. I have heard they are real from stories from other missionaries but have a hard time believing they really live in those mountains haha. It was such a sweet day!