Monday, July 3, 2017

Week 48 - Sambatra be izaho

Salama Everyone! I hope you all are doing well! First, I would like to thank everyone for the birthday wishes and emails. I am grateful for all the amazing people I have in my life and I feel very blessed. This week was great. We met a lot of great new people and there are lots that are progressing well. This small little branch has a big place in my heart and I feel grateful everyday being able to serve with these great people. Yesterday was great as we had lots of investigators come and it was a very special fast and testimony meeting for me as 3 of our investigators overcame the nervousness and shyness and bore their own personal testimonies. They were all great and one especially hit me. I was on a split with Elder Hunter two weeks ago and we tracted into a cool young couple. They let us in and we shared a message with them. One woman who is family of the husband we were teaching kept coming in and out of the lesson and would sit and listen until something else stole her attention. I didn't think much of her...just figured she was wondering why the heck two white guys were in her house. So we finished the lesson and set up a return time. Then Elder Shelby and I went back to the return time and the husband was not home but lots of other family was. But we had another time we could go catch so we gave an invitation to church and said we would stop by another day. The one woman who was in and out of the lesson the first time told me she would come to church. I laughed a little as everyone says that. I said, "Ok don't let me down." She laughed and said, "I won't I am coming." I told her, "Ok I hope so I will be happy if you do." We walked to our next time not thinking anything about it. Sunday morning comes and in walks that woman whose name is Francine. I was pretty shocked but very happy. She came all by herself and seemed very nervous. She met a member and sat by her. Then Francine got up and bore her testimony. She said that she was not going to come to church that day. She was too shy and nervous. But she said she felt something pushing her to go and she knew it was the Spirit. She said she was glad she came and was uplifted by the testimonies of the other members. This was a very small and simple experience for me but I felt the Spirit very strongly. I thought about how hard it must have been to come with no one else and then to get up and bear testimony and that she realized it was the Spirit telling her to come. I am so grateful for the Spirit and that we can have that guidance in our lives as long as we search and listen for that guidance. As a missionary, I pray everyday to feel that Spirit and pray that those we teach will feel that Spirit. I know that it is there as we share this great message about the Restored Gospel. I am grateful for people like Francine that open their hearts and listen with a broken heart and contrite spirit. I know that all people no matter where you are or who you are can feel that Spirit. I know that we learn all truth from that Spirit and that Spirit alone. I know this Gospel is true through that same Spirit. I am no religious scholar or professor but I know this is true through the Holy Spirit of God. It is there if you will just listen and look for it. I know this is His work and He is in charge. I invite all who may not know if this is true to pray sincerely and ask God to help you feel that Spirit, I know you will feel it if you just ask sincerely. I hope you all have a great week! You are all in my prayers!

***WARNING!  Do not look at pictures below if you get queasy at the sight of blood! Eek!***

 A pic from the festivities for the Madagascar Independance day last week.
 And a cool pic of a part of our area.
 Me with Herindraza our 2nd counselor and his wife Rosemine, we had dinner with them Friday night!
 This was the birthday present the other missionaries got me haha. Really nice of them as these are pretty expensive here in terms of Malagasy money.
 Sunday morning we woke up to our land lord killing some goats haha. Sorry if its gross but the video is a lot worse!

 Happy Birthday to me haha eggs and flour is a Malagasy tradition they do here...the eggs and flour are definitely better in a cake but it was a fun time. Had dinner with lots of the members and this great family last night!