Monday, February 23, 2015

Ambohimanarina, Madagascar Week 10, Cockroach-bane

February 23, 2015

The biggest news as of now is probably that we are moving houses soon. We are moving tomorrow, so that is pretty fun. Right now our current house is just wretched in every way imaginable. Whenever it rains it floods like mad in every room. Whoever made the roof wasn't thinking straight or something (See: Marijuana and its Many Side-Effects). The roof is literally just flat with a border around it, so whenever it rains the water stays trapped on top, and eventually seeps down the walls into every room. Our current house is also extremely dirty and messy as of late, we will most likely all be up until 1 AM tonight, murdering and disposing of cockroaches, spiders, and dust bunnies. Everyone in the mission says that the Talatamaty house (our house) is by far the dirtiest house in the mission. Every night we walk in inches-deep water in our house, and then it gets dirty because of the flooding (the circle of life: floods, dirtiness, and the dirty floodiness). I haven't actually seen the new house, but the Zone Leaders say that it is way better than our current one, so I will take their word for it. I am excited to change houses, but not too excited to do the whole moving process. Hopefully our new house can stay clean, I was just a little disappointed (to say the least) when I arrived at our Talatamaty house 2 months ago and witnessed how immensely dirty it was. The night previous to that moment I stayed at the AP's house, and it was decently clean. It is safe to say that my spirit was lessened when I first stepped into our incredibly filthy house, it will be nice having a new and clean house to stay in.

In other news, I got my first baptism this week (it still counts as mine even if my companion did the baptizing right?) It was a pretty cool experience (The baptismal water was cold that day, get it?) . There were three investigators that got baptized last Saturday: An eight year old son of a member, one of the Zone Leader's investigators, and one of our investigators named M---. M--- is 12 years old right now, he is a friend of one of the members, that is how we found him. The baptismal font was a decent sized box looking thing, the water was cold and an eerie shade of green (good thing that it was Elder Schroedter who did the baptism, am I right?). The day of the baptism was very rainy and cold (cold for the Malagasies, the perfect temperature for me). M--- later told us that the water was cold as well, that is a real shame. But yeah, a lot of members came to the baptism, along with M---'s family, so all is well. Elder Schroedter also didn't mess up at all when doing the Baptism, I was proud. Elder Hein missed a word and had to dunk his investigator twice (I'm sure the investigator particularly enjoyed getting submerged in freezing water an additional time, but, as I always say, "You can't get dunked in a baptismal font too many times").

Our new church building is almost ready to receive members, I think the only thing missing right now is the Church Plaque on the outside gate, the plaque on the building just got placed this week. I really hope that we receive the keys to the new building soon, our current building right now is cramped and small. We literally have people sitting on steps outside of the Sacrament Hall, due to the fact that the main hall is already full. I always feel embarrassed whenever we have new investigators witness the untidiness of our very small church-house. I will rejoice when we finally can use the new, nice, and big church-house while we pray. Although, it is rather nice being able to sleep during Sacrament meeting on the stairs, outside of the view of the other members. Sometimes we just have to sacrifice our desires (like sleeping during Sacrament) for the greater good (getting an adequate chapel for our Sunday Meetings).

Recently our members have been helping us (the missionaries) a lot more. The work goes a lot smoother when the members help us. One positive thing that happens when members teach with us is that the investigators can see that there are actually black Malagasies in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and not just a bunch of white "vazahas". One of the most commonly asked questions by investigators that still haven't gone to church is: "What language are the Sunday meetings in, because my French isn't really that great". They ask this question because they assume that our meetings are in French, because they assume that we are French, and they assume that there are actually more than 6 white dudes living in Ambohimanarina. I guess that they think our church meetings in Madagascar are composed of the only 6 or so white dudes that live around our area. Yesterday we received help from an adult-age sister and her brother from our ward. While we were journeying across the rice paddy I biffed it and slipped, landing hard in the mud. Everyone laughed as I attempted to wipe the mud off my pants with some grass located nearby. They then told me that I shouldn't use that grass because dogs pee on it (that is what I understood at least). Later that night I almost fell again, but I likely caught myself this time, no harm done. But I really do appreciate it when members help. Having member help can sometimes seal the deal of a lost soul's salvation. I am really grateful that the members have been helping us a lot lately.

And that's that. Thank you for reading.
The One... The Only... Elder Anderson, Cockroach-bane

Benjamin did not send pics this week so I posted my favorite from last week. He has some sort of bug bite under his eye and yet he still looks so handsome! He said it looked like his companion socked him - haha.

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