Monday, February 9, 2015

Ambohimanarina, Madagascar Week 8

February 9, 2015

This week was pretty good, we had 5 investigators come to church this week, and 5 is more than 1. So this week wasn't bad. I am definitely getting better at the language, but you probably already assumed as much due to the fact that inside of every weekly email I have never failed to mention the following: "I am getting better at Malagasy". In more impressing news, I almost type as fast with the French keyboard layout as I used to type with the English keyboard layout back home. I am very happy with my improvement as a missionary. 

Yesterday I'm pretty sure my companion and I broke records. We taught 10 lessons on Sunday in addition to being at our church apartment (I said apartment not house) for 5 hours during the day along with an additional 2 hours set apart for eating. I'm sure you are all scratching your heads right now with your jaws touching the floor, wondering how my companion and I accomplished such an extraordinary feat. I will reveal unto you our secret combinations. We split off with native members of our branch and taught 2 lessons during 1 period of time 2 separate times during the day. 2 birds with one stone, or better still, 7 birds with 4 stones. 

Our DMB (Tojo) (Branch Missionary Helper-dude) has been helping us a lot recently, so that is nice. some days we will only have Lessons with a member present because he will hang with us the whole day. It really helps the investigators, I think, if a member is present in the lesson with them. Tojo is a pretty cool guy, he speaks really good English. Very few people here can speak English at all. The only ones are probably just the return missionaries. But yeah, I really like Tojo, he is pretty cool.

Yesterday one of the lessons we taught was pretty unique. There is this one chap that we have been teaching for a while, but the last few times he has been drunk. We knocked on his curtain (few people have doors here) and saw him looking particularly interesting. I swear one of his eyes was looking straight up and the other was looking straight down while it appeared to me that he was attempting to do his best Jack Sparrow impersonation. I turned to my companion and said, "This bloke is drunk off his knocker", but we taught him anyways. T--- is half Malagasy and half French, it is hard to understand him because when he speaks he has a surprisingly thick French accent. He has the face and hair of a Frenchman, but the skin tone of a Malagasy. We started the lesson off with the usual prayer, he got down on his knees once and wasn't back in his seat after that (this man was pretty drunk). Tojo was new so he introduced himself to T---. To my utter surprise, he took Tojo's hand and kissed it and said something in French after hearing his name. Not a common thing in Madagascar. We then shared the scripture stating that our bodies are temples and gave a quick message. After that we gave him the small pamphlet about the Word of Wisdom, and to my surprise, he began kissing it and kept on saying "Tiako" or I love. I thought it was pretty weird. Then a neighbor of his entered his house and noticed how drunk he was. They got into an argument and it ended with the man leaving and telling us that we needed to cast the Devil out of T---, and that we were wasting our time. After that he revealed to us hidden documents pertaining to the land in his possession, and that he would kill us if we told anyone the location of his "deed" because people would try to steal it. I had to try and hold back my laughter. We then attempted to end the lesson, but he kept on telling us how he wasn't Malagasy, but he was half and half. I eventually just spoke up and said the following in Malagasy, "I understand good, your mom was white and your father was Malagasy, but right now I am going to end with a closing prayer". His talking ceased, and I quickly took the opportunity and offered a prayer. We then offered him our hands to let him shake them (he decided it would be more appropriate to kiss them instead) and left. That was a very interesting lesson.

A few days ago I went on splits with one of the Elders in my house (The native Malagasy one called Elder Rawawarohavana). It was a pretty good experience. Elder Tangarasi was sick so my companion stayed with him. We taught 2 lessons. I was nodding off like mad in the first one, I don't know why though. Maybe it was because I didn't understand that much of the conversation, Elder Razazarohavana is very good at Malagasy (who would've thought?). The second lesson I taught a part of it and thought that it went pretty well. It was a good experience teaching with a native Malagasy I think.

Well, that's all for this week folks. The work goes strong. If only they would all come to church.

Elder Anderson

This is a picture of a door barricaded shut. When I went on splits with Elder Rawawarohavana we had an appointment right by this house. He told me that it was barricaded because a crazy lady lived there and broke everything in her sight. I heard her yelling nonsense to herself, so I can confirm she was crazy. I thought it was pretty interesting. They obviously don't have the resources to treat mental illness properly.

Food that I ate today, steak panne and frites. The main point of the picture is the huge pile of salt. While pouring from the shalt shaker, the lid broke fell off.  I decided to cover the spill with the convenient piece of lettuce that was part of my meal. It was a very expensive and nice restaurant for Madagascar, around 3 Dollars when converted to USD.

This wiring looks safe! Lol.

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