Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Ambohimanarina, Madagascar Week 4

January 12, 2015  - A friendly (drunken) man, young teen masters of the rock polishing trade and a crazy lady!

This week was pretty good. I did get diarrhea again a few days ago, and I still have it right now. It probably wasn't a good idea to drink the soup broth at a local roadside shack, it probably wasn't filtered water (I can guarantee it wasn't filtered, none of the water here is).

I feel as though I have gotten a lot better at the language this last week. My comprehension of the language has gotten pretty decent. I still have a hard time responding to some things though, as the amount of words sitting ready at my disposal is limited.

Today my letter will be shorter than usual, it is very difficult typing on a French keyboard, when I have the American layout memorized. My wpm right now is at like 10 instead of the usual 120, it is very frustrating. The only thing that keeps me typing is this scripture, Revelation 3:21 "To him that overcomes will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne". I must overcome the significant trial of French keyboards. On most computers you can switch to the American layout, but not on this one, very sad.

A few days ago Elder Schroedter and I went through a part of our area that I had not yet been through. In order to do so we had to go down a very long and steep downhill path (travelling back upwards wasn't near as fun). As we were going down we noticed an older lady whom we had seen before previously in a different part of town, we said Manahoana and decided to continue downwards. We then continued downwards and met a friendly and drunken man (those two adjectives are synonymous here in Madagascar, the promised land). He was excited to see two white dudes and firmly led us to his house (a wooden shack, smaller than my good old bathroom at home (which I do dearly miss, mind). As the seven of us sat on top of each other, the friendly (drunk) man gave us a heart-warming introduction: "I smoke weed, I drink alcohol, and I do things with girls that aren't appropriate (this is the PG translation of course), but I still love the Bible and believe it is true". After some more small-talk, we moved on to holy things. We gave a brief introduction to the Restoration of the Gospel and asked the chap if we could return, he said that he would be more than happy if we did. We then asked if he would come to church on Sunday, and to our uttermost surprise (not) he said he would! SPOILER ALERT: he didn't come. But yeah, I am still really interested to meet this man again (hopefully a little more sober the next time).

Immediately following that we met some 20 year olds polishing rocks (a very successful trade in 3rd world countries I hear, who needs meals when you can buy fancy looking rocks?) and they said that we could teach them later. When we returned a wild pack of young girls followed and listened to the outdoor lesson. They all said they wanted to learn and that they were around 18 years of age (from their size and looks I would've guessed 13 or 14 max). They most likely just wanted to flirt with white boys, and hope to eventually go to America with them. But yeah, they all promised to go to church on Sunday as well, but lo, Sunday arrived and not a single one of them was there, nothing that I didn't expect.

After meeting with the friendly (drunken) man and the masters of the trade, we decided to call it a day and head back home. But alas! On the way home we met the older lady who we had seen 3 times now again. She insisted that we entered her home (cardboard box) and help her, so naturally (reluctantly, she seemed crazy) we did enter. After we began with a prayer she began ranting about how she needed help and that she was in trouble with the police and that her husband was gone until late every day. The next 10 minutes transpired as follows: CRAZY LADY: I need help! SCARED MISSIONARIES: You should pray to God and he will help you. CRAZY LADY: I need help! Help me! SCARED MISSIONARIES: The only advice we have is to pray to God for help. And it continued, with little to no other words added to the mix. We have since seen that exact lady 3 times more, I believe that we are cursed. Now we try to keep our distance whenever we see her, she could have commited murder for all I know. She isn't interested in the Gospel, she only wants the protection from the government methinks.

Well that is it for today. We weren't able to meet with T--- my good ol' monkey friend this week, we called and he said that there was a death in his family. We returned to his house at a later date and noticed that there was a lock on the gate. He probably just doesn't want to meet with us anymore, though he did say we were always welcome.

That is all,
Elder Anderson

Local Roadside shacks in Ambohimanarina from Google.
These are along the main street in town that Benjamin 
travels each day. 

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