Hello everyone: The baptism was a nice little shin-dig! A lot less people showed up to give support then I am used to. In Antsirabe, pretty much the entire ward would show up to welcome the new members into the church. Still though, there are some very diligent members that help us ceaselessly and have definitely got the vision of what it is going to take for us to get a temple here in Madagasar. Will lazy members get it done? Most certainly NOT.
Manivo, Sitraka, and Fabien all got baptized as planned, and they were joined by the newly minted eight year old son of the 1st counselor in the Branch Presidency. Harking back to my dawn-of-time Ivato days, the water was only 18 inches deep - and that is being generous. There also wasn't enough clothes for everyone so I opted to sit out and let Elder Slater do all the baptisms. It is a way incredible experience to personally baptize someone, but I'm happy to see a ward member do it or give another missionary the experience.
This coming weekend we have two more baptisms on the line-up. The peoples names are Hasina and Lova. Both are these people are as of yet unbaptized spouses of another member. These two families happen to live in the exact same neighborhood/fenced off compound of huts. They live right beside each other.
Though I love my area immensely, it seems to be somewhat lacking of adventures at the moment. I think I may actually like my area more than Antsirabe, but it definitely is much less exciting. Fine by me. In my opinion, adventure after adventure distractes and sets you off to go possibly look for more adventures than can probably be gained by following the missionary hand-book, if you know what I mean. I think the reason I love my new area so much is that me and my companion, Elder Slater, have really given ourselves over to working as hard as we possibly can. It feels so nice to walk in the house after a long, successful day, clean up the house a little bit - as we do have an up and running chore list -, plan, write in the journal, and hit the sack. Which, may I just say, is exactly the things that the White Handbook tells us to do. Me and my comp were talking about it during comp study, and we both expounded on the wonders of just following ALL of the rules. It was like before in my mission, it was a burden to be totally obedient. In fact, I'm pretty sure most missionaries still think such things.
Dad, the living room looks incredible! That floor is so nice. In my current house we have a wood floor as well and I have been converted. The only weird thing is that in our house there are little weird, black, eight pointed stars placed at random throughout the house. Seeing as witchcraft and sorecery most certainly exist in this land, these things are a bit disconcerning. But, it wouldn't be me first time to live in a haunted house, and we already gave the house a blessing so we should be ok.
As I said in Dad's email, this area seems to be much less prone for adventures and the like. On the flip side though, it could just be that I've become desensitized to the crazy things that I see every day, so I don't really notice them for what they would be to an American tourist anymore. I feel like the vacation-missionary phase of my mission has come to an end. I am completely and totally at home here in Mada, so there really isn't anything that surprises me anymore.
Well I love you and miss you guys. Merry Christmas and have a Happy New Year!