This weekend we have three baptisms in our area, and they are some amazing people. Their names are Manivo, Sitraka, and Fabian. They are a mother and two teenage kids. I've only had a few lessons in which to talk with them, but already I love them and know that they were specially prepared for the message that we bring. When I think of the term "the elect" my mind immediately jumps to Hery and Nirina from Ambohimena, and Manivo and her kids here in Sabotsy Namehana. The are absolutely 100 percent ready for baptism and it is so exciting to see the light in there eyes as we discuss religious subjects and as we put the final touches on their preparations for baptism. In fact, after Manivo & Co., we have about 6 to 9 more baptisms before Island Conference on the 23rd. This area is on fire, especially considering that we are in Antanannarivo - not province. So far I love my new area and everything is definitely working out well.
My new companions name is Elder Slater. He is a stud. We work hard, have fun, and keep the rules. That's all I ask for in a companion.
When I think on the differences and similarities of my areas, I realize that Ivato and Sab Nam are very similair. And yet, I like Sab Nam so much more. Why is this? I think my abilities in Malagasy are a strong factor for my new dispostion on areas as a whole. Also, I believe that Antsirabe taught me two things: how to work, and how to love the people. Once those things are in place, I have faith that you can be at home in any area of the mission, no matter how well or not well it used to be going. Whether it's the bandit-infested jungles, or the garbage rivers of inner-city, you can love your area.
Translating for the Lehnharts is at once awesome, and exhausting. Not so much much stressful or difficult as I had originally thought it would be though. I definitely enjoy translating from English to Malagasy more than the reverse, but on the whole it isn't too difficult to translate. We go to the church at eight in the morning and from that time till 12:00 I have to translate everything, including Branch Council and Branch Presidency Meeting. By the end of the last meeting, I am tired.
Funny story: Manivo gives us something to drink every time we come over for a time. The first time we got to drink some sort of sour fruit thing that I loved and Elder Slater hated. On our second visit, we had to choke down three glasses of literal mouth-wash. I'm not even kidding. We think that she thought the drink was just going to be mint flavored or something. Afterwards both Elder Slater and I were doubled over in pain.
So these past few weeks I've been quoting a lot of scriptures in Malagasy to people. This is kinda weird because I remember it in English and then quote it in a different language. I've been trying to do some concerted reading in Malagasy,
but I feel like I just don't have much time! The reading is pretty clear to me, so that isn't a problem. But it is just that we get home really late at night and we only sometimes have time to do all of our studies in the morning.
Answers to questions:
I love the new clothes! The pants are super-durable and fit quite nicely, if a bit snug in the waist. I can definitely tell right now that they will both probably endure well this next year. The shirt is fantastic and superbly white. I had no
idea cloth could shine so! As per usual in my life of mishaps and unfortunate events, I got some sort of miserable dark stain on the front of the shirt within an hour or so of putting it on. Why I expected anything different..I just don't know.
The pants of my new suit are really more like my old skinny jeans before I sold them to Elder Riding. I'm going to go and get them re-tailored. While I'm there, I'm
also going to get the torso taken it - it is just so malalka (spacious or roomy)! On the whole though, the suit looks great. The fabric is very unique and for the most part the suit was well made.
Yes, I found the money from that wonderful lady Aunt Susan. Bless her.
First of all about the new house: it is downright gorgeous. We have more space than we know what to do with, a fancy new shower and water system that really works, some lovely neighboors who persist in trying to communicate with us in French, and the senior couple who watch and watch out for us daily for fear that we are going to burn down the new mansion or otherwise harm it in any way, shape, or form. I love it. I now live in Analamahitsy, which is kinda far away from our working area, Sabosty Namehana. Long drives every day.
I love you guys. Till next time.