Ok well another fantabulous week here in Madagascar. Though we actually got less times and had to drop some more people, this week went so much better than last week. My attitude change has a lot of different factors that feed into it. My getting better at the language, time in the country, going to the waterfalls, the food. I absolutely love the food here! Give me a giant bowl of rice and loque(topping) and I am set. Wanna add some vegetables and beans in there? Go ahead! Something changed in my stomach and in my tastebuds drastically of late. I have eaten entire dishes of only vegetables. Amazing right? I just pray really super hard before every time I eat at a members house, and badda bing, the food tastes good. Considering the fact that I have never eaten a vegetable in my life before coming to this country, this is further proof of the blessings of God.
I have also discovered the amazing street food they have here - wonderful, spicy, sweet. This country is really into sugar bread. AKA, bread that has almost no flavor beyond a slight sweetness. Yet, it is still amazing! The food is also very, very cheap as well. It took me about a month to realize the startling wonder of that which is street food. And to my credit, I sill haven't gotten sick :D. Let us hope that this trend of health keeps up.
So I am understanding people better and better. Not perfectly, but much better. This comes as a relief because my main talent is in saying whatever I want. I am satisfied with where I am (for now). Malagasy, the easiest language ever. I can already tell that I will plateau in a couple of weeks and then I will realize, again, that I am horrible. But until then, I'm riding high on the false sense of security and comfort. I'll ride this one out while it lasts.
About provinces: though I have stated in the past that I will probably stay in Tana for the rest of my mission, this was misleading. President Donnelly knows that there are many more baptisms to be had in the provinces and not very many to be had in Tana. So he has said that everyone will be getting in loads and loads of province time. Sounds good to me! One guy just triple provinced. He went from the French island of La Reunion to Tamatav (on the east coast. Companionships average 15 baptisms a month) to Anstirabae (below Tana, has amazing food, picturesque, and about the same bap rate as in Tamatav). It is very good to know.
I hope everything else is just absolutely fantastic. Probably not, but hey, when you live on the other side of the world as your family, ignorance is bliss.
Dad, I have been thinking about the deep doctrine stuff that always seems to come up in gospel doctrine. Here in this poor and primitive country, I get to focus on the basics of the gospel. It has been such a joy to learn more and more about things I first learned about in Primary. Who needs the deep doctrine when there are basic principles of monumental importance to be had first? When I come home I probably won't even be able to have any distinguishable form of higher thought. I'll be limited to, "Is the rice done? Get that roach out of my food! Joseph Smith translated the BoM, right? O ok, good to know". The golden basics :P.
Yes! That is so funny that we beat Canada in ice hockey. That's pretty embarrasing that we beat probably the best team in the world and the country that is hosting the Olympics. That is still so crazy to think that Robbie is leaving and Seth just got home. I'm ecstatic that Rob is going into the MTC.
Our main mode of transportation is walking and taxi-bays. For some reason the church will noy allow us to drive any kind of cars. Something about there not being traffic laws, traffic lights, stop signs, etc. They had cars here when the mission first began but took them away after there were many accidents. So we end up walking miles per day and riding on these way over-crowded vans called taxi-bays. The are able to pack like six people to a row. This presents problems to all of us missionaries. Especially to big and broad guys like me ;P. Everyone laughs when I have to sit down in between five Malagasys and I pretty much crush all of them. I've learned to find humor in the situation as well. In a couple of the provinces they have bikes, so, that will be a treat.
So, this is the big tamale email. Well, it is time to jet. Pray for me. I pray for all of you all the time.