First, I did get the package, so that was quite delightful. I actually got it right after I sent off all my emails and went to the office. I was just like, o well. I really liked what you had in there.
Alright so now we go to an Easter in Madagascar. They celebrate Easter Sunday by having low-key family parties and going to the Catholic church for candy. Quite similar to the American version - minus the eggs and bunnies. Then comes Monday....and the whole country shuts down. They have two Easter days. The religious one on Sunday, and then the party-your-brains-out one on Monday. It seems like a lot of people drink, walk long distances for no apparent reason, and generally have a good time. The closest thing I could relate it to is maybe, Carnival minus the parades? - you get the picture.
President cancled P-Day and moved it to Tuesday because literally everything is shut down. We did get to go out and work though. And we were dogged all day long and had no times what so ever. We were only able to set up member times because of the holiday, and none of them were home when we stopped by. Happy Easter! I really don't blame them. Most other missionaries didn't get any times either.
In the morning we went and did service for a member. Her name is Souer (Sister) Fanza. She is a lady in her mid-fifties that is widowed, lives alone. So we went over to her house and she started us on the bushes. I was wishing I had our sharp clippers back home. All the time we worked though we knew that delicous food was in our future. We ended up only working for maybe an hour at the most before she called us in and we had an amazing lunch. Mom, Dad - if you guys come and pick me up - then we are going to have a dinner at Fanza's house. Her cooking is top-rate. I dare say it rivals the best cooks of Cajunland - ha! I just can't get enough of it. Every time she feeds Horn and I, we leave feeling stuffed. Good times.
O cool story to share. Horn and I were eating at this really nice - but cheap - restaurant that is by our house. We were sitting down and talking about the day when an asian-looking French woman came up to us. She said, "Of all the places in the world I never thought I'd meet the missionaries here," in perfect English. She then went on to explain that she is a member from France and has come to visit some family and friends. We gave her the address for the church in Ivato and chatted a bit more with her. What a cool lady! It was so nice to hear a testimony from someone who spoke English and was not a missionary. Kind of trippy, to be honest.
Well we had a great week this week. Lots of times taught. On the 17th we should have at least four people being baptized. Wohoo! It has been a long time coming for one of these familes - parents named Faby and Zafy - as they have been working on getting married for years. The other is Eric and Vola, whom I spoke of in my last email. I am sooooo excited!
Wow those were such cool pictures! It was like I was still there! Everyone looks the same. Me and Horn did get a good laugh out of the Elders hunting for eggs.
General Conference: We actually won't even be seeing it for a month :(. I was so excited for conference...and then we found out that we weren't gonna get to see it. And if I go to a far-away province then I probably won't see it at all. Gahh! It is pretty amazing - the scripture study everyday and nearly 24/7 spirit rush helps me so much.
I am going to send my SD card with a letter today. No, I did not make a back-up because we don't have a jump drive or anything like that. No worries though! I have faith that it will make it safely home - I'm livin on a prayer! (insert wailing Bon Jovi tenor). I can't believe we'll be talking in a month. Aaaahh!
Veloma amin Fitiavana,