This week was a pretty average week, nothing really spectacular happened. During lessons I can understand most things that are said, as long as they are concerning holy things. I feel like my ability is improving each week (who would've thought). I got sick a couple of days ago, so that was not fun. It wasn't that bad though, it only lasted like half a day.
Today Elder Schroedter and I went over to the office to drop off some baptism documents. The Taxi Be (Van packed with a bunch of Malagasies (I feel really bad for the Malagasy that I was almost sitting on, poor guy) ride took 2 hours to get to the office from our area. Traffic today was really bad, Elder Hein said that the reason for the traffic today was that today everyone was returning to school from their families today and tomorrow. So, after we arrived at the office we stayed for like 20 mins and then went back on the bus. Before we returned I bought a donut from a shady looking street shop, it was pretty good (not quite sure if I would classify it as good enough to justify the inevitable diarrhea) The ride home was only 1 and a half hours (much better than 2 (sarcasm)).
A lot of our investigators have been progressing really well. In fact, just yesterday we got three more to commit to a baptism date, now all we have to do is get them to actually come to church. One of the major problems in the Madagascar mission is that it is very hard for people to actually come to church. If you ask them to come they will accept and promise to show up, but when Sunday morning comes very few actually attend. Yesterday one of our AP's went on surprise splits with me and Elder Schroedter to see how we were doing as a companionship (he probably just wanted to make sure that we didn't accept any of the Rongony from the Malagasies we met last week - haha). While the three of us were walking along the sewage and litter streams to our next appointment he shared a story about a family that he was teaching. In summary: he and his companion taught a family and got them all baptized and coming to church. Everything seemed fine and good. Then a few months later when a new companionship was in the area they came to visit at a different time and noticed that the father wasn't there, Eventually the companionship learned that the Father of the family lived in a different house with another woman, and that he only was with his family during the regular times that the AP and his companion would visit the family and during church in the mornings. The family had been lying to the misisonaries for months, and the AP and his companion didn't notice. The moral of his story was that Malagasies are flawless liars, they start from the time they are young. When they are just small children their parents will tell them to say that no one is home so that they aren't disturbed, even when they are. They continue the rest of their lives and become expert liars. Elder Weber (the AP) reassured us that they were amazing people, but they had problems with lying. Even though all of our investigators and less-active members promise that they will come to church next Sunday, very few of them actually do.
This week we taught T--- ("I am just like that monkey") again, the lesson was about the Plan of Salvation. Things were going pretty good until we talked about the ressurection. He was concerned by the fact that after we are resurrected we get a body. He firmly believes that God doesn't have a body. We then said that when Christ was resurrected he had a body. He then responded saying that when Christ was resurrected he went straight through walls trying to explain that he didn't think that we needed bodies after this Earth life. I think that if we could convince him that God has a body, and that he isn't a spirit only, that he would progress drastically. If you have any ideas please let me know.
In closing, I am having a great time in Madagascar, even though I still hate rice with a passion, it is a real shame that rice is the only thing they eat. All day, every day. Rice. Oh, I also am not too fond of the amount of litter. There are some areas that are literaly just huge mounds of junk and trash. The uncleanliness and the sewage lines on ground level also aren't my favorite, but that's just life I guess. I also hate the fact that the computers are all in French, it makes it hard to type.
Pic Elder Schroedter took at the church waiting for
investigators who didn't show.
Trash in Ambohimanarina