Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Dearest Maman,
I am not sure why my email didn't quite get to you last week. I suppose it got lost somewhere over the Sahara, but alas, I have sent it again and I do trust you have received it. I did write last week, so don't you think I have forgotten (heaven forbid). I did not forget. I also included a selection of photos for your viewing pleasure, which I trust will be welcomed greatly. If for any reason this 'ghost email' does not appear in your inbox for a second week in a row, please tell me and I will alert the guard! The little yellow friend-in-a-box told me that it 'sent successfully' though, so I do not expect any further problems.
As far as life this week though, it has been good. This is going to be very missionary-like of me, so I apologizes for those who are "in it for the thrill," but I had a very spiritually uplifting week. I can't really describe it super well, but after listening to some talks that a returned missionary put on my USB, I just felt the spirit this whole week. I mean, I would earnestly say I have felt the spirit abundantly these past however-many-months, yes, but this week it has been really strong. Every single thing that went wrong this week, whether investigators not being home or those little racial things people say that just sort of gnaw at you, meant absolutely nothing to me. I can't really describe it well, like I said, but it just felt like I had been lifted up to the next level. Like everything on this earth is just passing and none of the hardships or annoyances have eternal meaning. The scary part is that so many things can take this away. A stray thought about 'that girl over there' can rip that feeling away and your stranded back on earth, lost in the weariness of it all yet again. So, you have to watch your thoughts. That's what has been the hardest for me this whole mission so far. I have seen some cool blessing this week from it though.
It's crazy how real this gospel is, haha. Sometimes we are blind and we can't see it. Sometimes we even blind ourselves. Once the eyes are opened though... it's cool.
That's been the spiritual side of this past week. It's been nice.
By the time I get to talk to you all again, we will have received transfers (unless I am mistaken). I have been in this area five months, one week, and two days to be exact. Now, five months really isn't too long of a time. A lot of missionaries have been in areas much longer than that, but it has been my longest area like I told you in a recent email. It could go either way. I feel like I have already told you all this though.. so I guess what I am really just trying to say is that if I do get transferred, I will let you know in a week.
We have a baptism coming up though. It's for a young teenage kid named Francis. His baptism should be on March 2nd, so if I am still here, I will be there, haha. He is a cool kid. He is friends with another 16 year old kid who got baptised back in September, Patrick. We go out and teach with Patrick every saturday, and Francis is his friend that he has brought into the church. We honestly haven't had a ton of baptisms lately, but I feel like our RCLA work has been going well.
I like rice.
The storms are a brewin'.
I attached another picture. Here we have a little part of the town up close by the ocean. You see the water up the path in the picture? That is the tide coming up, or as the locals call it 'samota'. That's a very local word, and offical Malagasy doesn't have a word for that, as far as I can tell, but here in Mahajanga the locals have gave it a life of its own.
I always feel like my emails are kind of lame, but I promise I will let anyone read my mission journals when I get home. They are a daily log of how I feel.. well.. daily. It's cool. So yeah, y'all can read those in a while.
LOL!! (lots of love)
Elder Ber.chair.a
p.s. I am stoked Brittany won that Disneyland Trip! Her idea to wait until I get home to use it is great too. Let's do it.

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