Monday, November 24, 2014

Antananarivo Madagascar Mission, MTC Week 2

November 20, 2014

Manahoana olona rehetra! (hello everyone) Week 2 is now over, I feel that during that time my knowledge of the Malagasy language and the gospel has improved greatly. I can form most of my thoughts into Malagasy sentences know, the only thing I need to work on is to further expand my vocabulary and learn the rest of the grammar and rules.

My companions and I get along really well, despite the fact that both of their native languages aren't English. This Tuesday the General Relief Society President gave a talk during the devotional, she talked mainly about the atonement and the role that we have to play in it. The District meetings aren't my favorite because my District is comprised of me and my 2 companions. During the meetings it is just us 3 leading a discussion about the gospel or reviewing the Tuesday devotional with a member of the branch presidency for an hour, we all have to have a lot of things ready to say.

Waking up early is still not fun, rising at 6:30 is drastically different than my summer time rising at 11:00. Every morning my companions have to yell at me at 6:40 in order for me to get up. The most commonly used phrase by my two international companions is "Wake up Elder Anderson!". The showers at the MTC are really bad. Every morning I miss my old shower, the showers here are either freezing or scalding and have a weak stream.

During these last 2 weeks my companions and I have improved our teaching skills a lot. Now that the language barrier is starting to become less of an issue we can plan for our "investigators" (role-playing teachers) a lot more efficiently. Although during one of the earlier fake lessons this week instead of saying Fantatro fa hanampy anao ny Bokin'i Mormona (I know that the Book of Mormon can help you) I said Fantatro fa hamaky anao ny Bokin'i Mormona (I know that the Book of Mormon can read you). So my companionship laughed after the lesson was over because of the mistake. Another funny moment was during our classroom time and our teacher was teaching about conversion and coming closer to Christ. During this time the mood was very serious and spiritual. Our teacher then asked how we can personally come closer to Christ, and Elder Gariki from Tahiti responded saying, "Elder Tangarasi can stop go to the bathroom so much". After that it was hard for me to stop laughing during the rest of the time in class. What Elder Gariki said was funny becuase the past few weeks Elder Tangarasi has had a really bad cough, so whenever we would go by a restroom he would go.

My time is running out so that is all I can write, I love you all and wish you the best.
-Elder Anderson

Elder Anderson, Elder Tangarasi, Elder Gariki, Elder Heiden,
 Elder McCrary and Elder Cyusa.

Mom note:
Benjamin has not sent any pictures home yet - so this is all we've got :) He's not as into pictures as his mom and sister, Christine. 

Antananarivo Madagascar Mission, MTC Week 1

Dear Friends and Family,                                        November 13, 2014

So the first week at the MTC is over. I don't really know what to type about. It is a unique experience, never being alone and having every minute planned before hand. The language is coming along pretty well I think. I can say simple prayers and bear simple testimonies in Malagasy.

I have two companions for my time at the MTC. One of them, Elder Gariki, is from Tahiti, French Polynesia and speaks French as his native language. He can speak some English so we can communicate. He likes playing Basketball. My other companion, Elder Tangarasi, is from Vanuatu. He speaks some language that I have never heard before as his native tongue. He can speak English very well though, so that is good.

The food here isn't amazing, but not terrible. My teachers are all nice returned missionaries from Madagascar. My favorite part of the MTC is learning a new language, my least favorite part is waking up. I don't like waking up as early as we do here, and I don't like having a schedule that I have to follow for every hour and minute of every day. I got some cold or something while here so the last few days have been miserable. The weather here is dry and cold like the rest of Utah during the winter, nothing I'm not used too. My companions always look like they are freezing to death though. The climate is definitely different from Tahiti. That is all I have time to talk about today, I love and miss you all.

Elder Benjamin Anderson

Elder Anderson, Elder Tangarasi, Elder Gariki, Elder Heiden, Elder McCrary and Elder Cyusa. Elder Heiden, Elder McCrary and Elder Cyusa left for Madagascar Nov. 8th.
 My district and zone is just me, Elder Gariki and Elder Tangarasi.

Elder Burningham - childhood friend,  going to the
 St. Louis Mo. Mission

Mom note:
Benjamin is doing great! He said that the dearelder letters are getting mixed up however because there is another Benjamin Anderson and he is going to Japan. I called and left a message. I have sent a letter every day and Benjamin has only received 2. He said he got one from Dad yesterday but it was only a partial letter. I have started writing his name as Ben Mark as the first name instead of Benjamin, maybe that will help. He said that he gets letters from the other guys girlfriend in Idaho and the other Benjamin's parents. He said that the mission code will be correct MAD-ANT and the mailbox 54 - and still the letter for the other guy. So, not sure exactly how they are messing them up but they are. He has no idea who this other guy is, so they can't exchange mail to the correct owner.

*This problem has since been resolved. fixed the computer problem that was mixing the letters up. And - they printed all the letters that had been sent and gave them to him.