Monday, February 20, 2012

I am not sure who came up with the name for plancakes, but someone did, haha. Whoever did though was a genius. I love pancakes now. I feel like I took so many good foods for granted back home. Pancakes being one of them. But now, I love them. So much. They are the best.
Life with Andrianjarasoa is going pretty well, kind of hard though. Sometimes I just get so impatient with myself when I can't think of how to say something, but I know the language will come with time. It's just hard, but I'm not stressing too hard about it. And the other thing is he is really new too, so he is still learning how to teach lessons. So its just kind of hard between me not knowing the language and him not quite used to teaching, but it's okay. We just keep going forward and try to do the work. We have two baptisms on saturday. They are the kids of these two really cool parents who have been trying to get legally married for two years now, but it's super hard here in Madagascar sometimes, so they just have to wait. The man is really diligent and nice, and I feel bad he has to wait sooo long. But sometimes you just have to keep pressing forward, you know? That's just patience. I guess that's a lesson I've been thinking about and learning lately. I want so badly to be mahay at this language! But I am only two months in so far, so I guess I shouldn't expect too much.. patience!
Another lesson is not to itch flea bites. It just makes it worse. I applied a coat of deet from that can you packed, I hope it works.
Oh yeah, and I sent a REAL letter on wednesday, the 15th, so hopefully it gets too you before too long. When you see it, you are going to laugh, haha. For some reason they needed to put 5 stamps on the thing, and the envelopes aren't necessarily big. And then you can show of real malagasy stamps to everyone. Woohoo!
Oh yeah, and I tried to send a letter to Eric, but the lady at the post office didn't know what the heck Samoa was. She didn't believe me that it was a country, so she didn't take it, haha. She kept telling me to write the continent, but I didn't know. I still don't know. So maybe I'll send the letter to is mom and have her forward it? Oh yeah, and Eric's mom, Mrs. Johansen, thank you for the talk and
Eric's letters, they have been really nice to read! I've really appreciated them.
There are 8 missionaries here in Antsirabe, all split up into different sections of the town. The part I work in is called Mahazoarivo, and the other sections are: Antsirabe East, Manandona, and Ambohimena. That's Antsirabe!
So I am not sure if the rice is in shells or what, but I think so? yeah, I am not a rice expert. I just eat the stuff.

Oops, I wasn't finished.
Okay, yeah. Rice. The longer I've been here, the more and more I like it. We had a suare with some members yesterday, and we had rice and an omelette as the loaka (the loaka is really whatever you put on the rice. Meat, soup, omelettes, pig ears, whatever you want).
Tell Brittany thank you for the picture! ahahaaha it's sooo good. My hair was so long! It'll be fun to show everyone it, haha. I try to explain how long it was to some people, but they don't believe me sometimes. Oh how little they know.
That's good you have been finding some success with jobs, even if it is just a little bit, here and there. That's way better than none. Just keep trying and pressing forward. I pray for you all the time, and I know you can succeed, so go prove me right!
Hm.. I don't know blake ryan..
Oh yeah, there was a cyclone last week too, on tuesday. I am actually pretty far inland though, so it didn't really hit too bad. The widn was pretty hard, but the rain wasn't too bad. I mean I have seen some serious rain here, and it wasn't too bad during the cyclone. We just stayed in the house all day, as told by the assistants to the president, and at about 3pm it was all gone. So we got into our p-day clothes and went out looking for people to help. We help people move trees out of the roads and stuff. A looot of trees fell over, and fences too. We help President Pierre rebuild his fence too. All in all it wasn't too bad.
Okay well, I think that's about it for this week.

Monday, February 13, 2012

That's Andrianjarasoa standing in front of this super cool grove of trees. There is this mega cool path on the west side of Antsirabe, and while walking to a referrals house, we were able to walk through it!

Me standing in front of one of the many rice fields here. They are everywhere.

Plan-cake Fridays. Every friday is weekly planning day, so we make plan cakes to celebrate. This was one of the good weeks.

Elder Watts baptising Sitraka. Notice the beautiful baptismal font.
So in the news about the transfer, Elder Watts did get transfered to the nice ocean town of Tamatave, and I have stayed here with Elder Andrianjarasoa. It's crazy cause technically I am older on the mission than he is, but it doesn't really matter too much cause he is already mahay (fluent) with Malagasy, haha. And I am also really excited cause I am thinking this will be an invaluable experience with getting mahay at the language. So now, we are just working hard and getting work done. I am teaching him english too, cause after his mission he wants to go to BYU. He loves America too, haha. He's way funny. He always says, "El-dare Bear-ger-aaa" and "Awesome friends!" haha. He's way cool. I am not exactly sure why he didn't like Congo, he just didn't. And I don't really know if they just let people change easy peasy, but I am sure they can adjust to certain cases.
Ah dang! I can't believe Jason has had his farewell already! That's crazy! He's going to be in the MTC way sooon. Sweet stuff! I am super excited for him! And that part about prisons being the lead in name extractions, haha I think that is way cool. I would've been there if I could've been, Jason! But you'll have all of us at your homecoming, lucky man. Go get 'em tiny tiger.
I don't remember how I knew about David Archuletta... I think another missionary said it or something.. I think he is going to Chile?
Anyway, enough about that.
Yeah, the new missionaries came last week, though I haven't been able to meet any of them yet. I probably won't for a really long time, haha. For none of them came here to Antsirabe. And I don't see any of the other missionaries much. Oh well, haha.
I'll be sure to try and not eat the rocks too much. I hate biting into rocks. Or the rice shells. I am not sure what they are but they are hard and they hurt.
I'll write a letter next week and you can send it to chases pouch, okay?
And also, you talked about being much more comfortable with send boxes of chocolate to the gang. Well... you know my address. :)
It sounds like your work is going pretty well! I'll keep praying for you!
The work here is good. I am now Senior Companion and District Leader already, plus my malagasy companion. So I think I'll be progression into the work pretty fast, haha.
Thanks for all you do!
I love you!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Awwww.... dang. All that talk of superbowl food has gotten my stomach churning! Cookies, spoodle, ice, pigs in blankets... american food is so good! I can't even believe it. Anyway, that's good everyone was able to come over and watch the super bowl! That sounds like a lot of fun. And i am glad cat is getting a solid workout. good for him.
The baby missionaries haven't come in yet, I think they either come in this week or next week. I am pretty sure it is this week. Transfer news comes out tonight, but i am pretty certain I am not going anywhere, haha. Mostly because we got a Malagasy companion, Elder Andrianjarasoa, so what I think is happening is that Elder Watts is leaving, and I stay with the malagasy. Which would be really good, for I could increase my malagasy quite a bit that way, and he really wants to learn english too, so it would be good all around. I won't know for sure though until tonight, so don't take my word on it! Yesterday, Andrianjarasoa and I went to Sarodroa (which is about 50 kilometers north of Antsirabe) and on the way back, we have to wait for a bus with room to pick us up. So we waited. and waited. every bus was full. After 4 hours past, the zone leaders just came and got us. But, the highlight of the story is I got to talk to him in malagasy for 4 hours. I'm a real up and come-r.
So to answer your question, yes, there are local malagasy missionaries. I have a malagasy companion. And the thing is, he came here after not liking congo, so he is really new too. It's pretty much like we are training eachother. He's a super hard studier though. He's mega diligent.
Sitraka is about 16 or 17? One of those ages. And her brother is a couple years younger, but not too much.
I am not scared of Chameleons. They are sweet and change colors and have cool eyes.
Okay, Eric has probably got me beat with that octopus and raw fish. I have eaten lots of rice though, and sometimes you find rocks or other hard things that hurt. That's pretty cool. They don't really eat that much weird stuff though. I mean sometimes the meat is kind of weird, but not that big of a deal. I've had duck, but that's not weird. I don't know, I just eat a lot of bananas. They are nice.

I am super excited for Jason! Yes! Going in to the MTC! He is going in the mtc the same day as David Archuletta. Lucky lucky guy. Go get 'em jason! I am so proud of you, my cool, cool buddy.

Anyway, I don't have too much more time. Thank you for the email! I love long emails, they are the best. I am sorry mine was not very long. Hopefully next week will be longer, yeah?
Okay, until next week!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Here is a picture of me, just peacin' out with the geckos. Sometimes they are just chilling on the walls when you come home, as was the case with this little guy.
I am not sure of the spiders are poisonious.. some people say they bite, but others don't. They aren't scared of them, so I'm not really worried. They are all really scared of Chameleons, and not those spiders, haha so I'm not scared. This kid had a big Chameleon in a bag the other day, and when we pulled it out, everyone started freaking out. This kid told us that they would shoot their tongue into our eyes, haha. Silly kids.
This week we had our first zone conference, which went really well! I got to meet a bunch of new elders from Fianarantsoa, Ambositra, and Toliary. Also, I got to meet the new Senior Couple who just came. They are the Cornelious' (I might have spelled that wrong), and they are a nice couple from Cedar City. They talked about how getting used to the country is a bit tough, and just how crazy it is. It really is. I can't really explain what it's like here, as far as just the whole scheme of things is. It's just crazy, haha. And yeah, I feel for the new couple, though I have already gotten used to it all. Cause for me, this is what I wanted. I wanted to go somewhere that would just blow my mind, and be a great exciting experience. But as a couple from the heart of Cedar City, Utah, I can imagine it's all quite a shock. I trust they'll get used to it pretty quickly though, for this is where the Lord sent them!
Anyway, Zone Conference was really good, and got us all motivated to start pressing forward and working hard. And following the conference, they made a great lunch for us at the Fareea's house. The Fareea's are a senior couple here in Antsirabe. They are from Tahiti, and don't speak English. They are solid in French and Tahitian though! We had an elder here, Elder Tahiata, who couple speak to them and translate for us, but he got transferred to Tamatave last transfer, haha, so now we just try to get by. Anyway, the food was way good though, I loved it so much. It was rice and chili and it was super good. Sister Donnelly (the mission presidents wife) made an apple sauce cake for dessert. Oh my... it was the best. The very best. I loved it. I dream of it.
As for some stories to tell... hmm... well yesterday while in the zone leaders car, I saw the car in front of us start slowing down. I wondered what in the world they were doing, and then I saw some chickens fly out in front of it. "Oh," I thought, "those silly chickens, they need to watch were they are going." Then I saw one fly under. "Oh," I thought, "that's a brave chicken, he's just going to stand still." I was wrong. For some reason that single chicken thought it would be a good idea to try and jump through the tires. Well, I saw chicken guts.
As for happy news, we had a young investigator get baptised yesterday! Her mom was baptized about a month ago, the first saturday I was in country, and then she got baptised yesterday! Her name is Sitraka (see-cha-kah). Her brother seemed interested too, the last time we taught him, so we'll see if he wants to follow up.
I am really excited for next week. Next week, supposedly the new Elders from the Mtc come, and I am very happy. I won't be the youngest here anymore, haha. I will love that. President said there are 9 new elders next week, which is quite a bit, which is good! I remember when I was in the mtc, Bro. Jenkins read us a letter from a kid who was in the group before us, and the elder said something like "I am excited to see how much I've improved [in malagasy]," and I feel the same way, haha. I'm not too sure any of the new kids will come down here to Antsirabe, which is a shame, but it'll be fun nonetheless.
Okay, I can't think of anyone's addresses that I need right now, but I'll let you know if I do.
Okay, thanks for all you do! I hope you liked this letter, haha, I tried to make it interesting.
I love you! I love you all!