Monday, May 1, 2017

Week 39 - Project Big Fish

Akory Koahy?! Inona vao vao? I hope you all are doing good and cheering on the Jazz! We will see how the Utah fair weathered fans come out after this next series though haha. Don't pull out your Golden State Jerseys you all bought two years ago too fast now ha. Go Jazz! Anyways it was a great week here in Madagascar! Like always we had a very fun and hard working week! I am loving Fort Dauphin and love working in such a tiny branch that is brand new. Every Sunday I am reminded of how much work we have ahead of ourselves. Just need to search for those that are ready to get this branch going and help move forward the work of Salvation. We had great lessons and experiences this week. Too much to type about in fact. One of my favorite experiences though was when I was approached by a few angry old investigators. I didn't know these women but as we were talking to some members I had three women call me over as Elder Nichols talked to the members. They proceeded to tell me that they used to learn with the missionaries and come to church but that they don't anymore. I of course asked why. Long story short, they said that they were offended by a Branch President and some other members that weren't doing what they should be. I will admit I laughed a little as they said this. They told me if our Branch President didn't have that calling right now they would come to church. I listened to them talk for awhile and then stopped them. I asked them what the importance of our church is. They didn't answer. I pointed to the tag on my chest and said Jesus Christ is. He is the reason I go to church every week. He is the reason I left my family and loved ones for 2 years. Not a branch president or leader of the church or some other member but Jesus Christ. I told them I know this Church is true and that through attendance and applying the principles taught in this church only can people draw closer and learn more about our Savior and Heavenly Father. I asked them if they knew what the Apostles were they said yes. I said good they were the leaders that Jesus Christ himself chose. Pretty sure that choice is about as accurate as you can get. And guess what? One betrayed Him, one of the chosen leaders of Christ's church openly betrayed the Son of God. And also the one Christ set apart to be the leader of the leaders, Peter, denied Christ thrice. Wow the leaders of the church aren't perfect?! Christ only is perfect. And man that must be frustrating for our Heavenly Father and Savior that they have to call a bunch of sinners to lead their church here on Earth. I know that Christ is the only person to ever live that is perfect. I told the women the church is true whether or not the members are. It does not change the doctrine; it does not change the Book of Mormon. It is sad when people offend people at church and we should be sensitive to others but did Christ get all mad and complain when his two set apart leaders didn't really step up to the plate? No, He dealt with it, in fact He forgave them and loved them. So if we offend someone obviously that is not Christlike but if we who were offended go and hold grudges, we are being just as unChristlike as those that offended us. I felt very strongly about this topic and speaking to these women. I know that not one person here on earth is perfect. I know we have a true and living prophet and he is very close to God and a very humble worthy and obedient man but he is not perfect. Neither is your bishop, relief society president or home teacher. We go to church each week to become like our Savior but not to find faults in others. We need to look in the mirror and say what can I do better? Not what can he or she do better. I know that if we do this we will learn to love all. Even those who offend us. I know this is the Church of God. The church of our Savior Jesus Christ who suffered for all of our sins and weaknesses. I am so grateful for that. I hope I can learn to love as He did. I know He loves us all. I hope you all have a great week!! The church is true!!!
  Pics from the lemur park last Monday! Cool little boat ride too! There were tons of lemurs and it was way cool! They just climbed on us and followed us around cuz we had a backpack full of bananas haha.

 A couple pics of the group at the lemur park!

 It rained pretty good and was a little flooded on the streets.

  Some pics of a dinner with one of my favorite families! My eyes are closed in like all the pics we took ha.
 Some kids!
 Cool view of our area!
 Me, Nichols, and Dimby, who is our member help I talk about in the voice recording! He is a stud and wears an old tag that an old missionary gave him cuz he wants to be a missionary so bad! 
 Some pics with Donne and his fam at dinner last night! We made them brownies and they went crazy haha.

Pic from our dinner with the Branch President of Bazari Be Branch and his family! They are awesome and we had a little dance party and we made brownies for them! It was fun!

P.S. My companion just got back from going to the bathroom. He told me that you know you are in a 3rd world country when you ask if you can use the bathroom and the people lead you to the back of the house and say pee here hahaha. Madagascar is great.