Well it seems as though you all have had quite the interesting week. Why does it seem like every email I receive from home is devastatingly interesting? I don't remember it being nearly that exciting. Pleasant, to be sure, but it seems like there are always adventures going on amongst you.
Well the news of this week is that I am still in Ivato. As President Donnelly himself told me, it was a matter of direct revelation regarding my stay in Ivato. You can't argue with that.
On a high note, we finally have housemates! Woohoo! Six months in a giant house with only one person to talk to in English is pretty lonely. The Sisters were moved out of their area (Ambohibao) and two Elders were brought in to whitewash the area. Their names are Elder Tenney and Elder Wall. Elder Tenney is from the same group as Horn, so he is pretty old. Also, he is Zone Leader of the North Zone, so that pretty much completely strips away all of my former power as District Leader - hossana! I'm so happy! Elder Wall is from the group right behind me so he is still pretty young. As is to be expected with whitewashing an area, it's tough. But I'm sure the Lord will turn things in their favor soon and bless them immensely as He blessed the Sisters. It is only a matter of time.
On Friday and Saturday I was majorly sick again. I can honestly say that I am sick of being sick. Today when I go to the office I am going to grab a worm-pill and see if some of those buggers have been causing the problem. After throwing up for awhile, I made a vow to never eat hotely or street food again. We'll see how that works out ;)
Being the leader of an area is exceedingly hard, as I am now finding out. We've had to drop seven different groups in these past two weeks. If people are not interested or don't want to do what is neccasary to fully accept the gospel in their lives, we can't keep visiting them. There were some people who had been hanging around since before I was even in country. It always makes me very sad to drop people, but it has to be done. How can we ever find people who will progress if we only teach people who won't? That is the current thinking of the mission so a lot of elders are cutting out the chaff and moving onto those who are honestly seeking for the truth.
In an attempt to help the area get better and to breath some new life into it, we had an activity. On Saturday we had a big showing of the Joseph Smith, First Vision film and then watched the big game against Germany and Argentina ( 4-0, Germany). We had a really good turnout and everyone had lots of fun. Snacks were served and I even led a small testimony meeting after the first film. A few investigators showed up, for which I am so incredibly grateful. Not suprisingly, all but one of the investigators has a baptismal date. But I'd say the whole event was well worth it for that one new investigator. We plan on holding an activity a month and having a million soirees with different families in order to get a fresh pool of investigators going.
Though the area is still hard, we have two baptisms coming up! Woohoo! Their names are Tina and Jaequlliene. The other elders are having a baptism as well with a guy named Faly. I found and taught him up till close to the end before he moved into the other area, so that is super cool. It is wonderful to know that no matter the sore trials we face (or quite easy life) we can always lift up our heads and see the Lord's hand lifting us and supporting us in all things. I pray that we can all keep such a clearness of mind, though I will no doubt be challenged to do otherwise before the end of this.
Well I miss you all, can't wait to get your emails next week. Have fun.
The Usually Ungrateful But Sometimes Repentant One