Adriakaiky! I spent so long on this email to you guys last week, so to find out that it didn't even send was a huge bummer. I saw the email from gmail this morning saying that the earthlink server had rejected my email because the file size was too big - aka -, too many pictures of lemurs :'< . So today you guys will be getting two emails from me; hope that makes up for last week. I edited the pictures out. And here it is:
News this week: Someone named their son after me. I can't remember all the other Malagasy names in the boys title, but his first name is "Matthew." This is seriously one of the biggest honors I'll ever have! The boy is the grandson of my favorite investigators in Sabotsy Namehana, Julian. I think I've already told you about him. Anyways, a few weeks back he had told me and Elder Ortiz that he was going to get his daughter to name her son after me, but I totally thought it was only a joke. And then last week the baby is born and Elder Ortiz texts me with the crazy news! Holy cow was I blown away.
Half way through last week we were on our way to a time with a lady who is getting baptized this Saturday named Abeline. We were stopped by her sister on the path, saying that Abeline was at the home of Frere Toié because his father had just died earlier that morning! So we trooped on over there to help with anything that could be helped with, and mostly because the Spirit directed us that way, just in time to attend the viewing ceremony. I described one of these ceremonies back in when I was in Antsirabe. We didn't know a single person in the visiting group of respect-payers, but we stood with them solemnly anyways, consoling the family members to not be sad anymore. In the end we ended up sharing a spiritual thought with those of the family who were members, or at least affiliated themselves with the church. The spiritual thought was obviously picked out by God, perfect for the situation. I forget the exact verse number. Anyways, it was about paradise and the resurrection and stuff. The Spirit was so powerful during that time, and I feel positive that everyone left strengthened and bettered for the exchange. They were still sad, but not in a way that was counter-productive and paralyzing. I love missionary work. Sometimes you get to use your calling in a different way than is normally thought of, like comforting a family in need.
Other unusual opportunity presented itself when Elder Nash and I broke up a domestic violence dispute that was way out of hand by the time we arrived. I won't go into the circumstances of the situation, as they are sad. Regardless, I can affirmatively say that the Spirit lead us to the right places at the right times to prevent more harm from being inflicted and sustained. Follow the Spirit! That's what I'll say about that one.
BTW the reason I am emailing so late in the day is that we went to a lemur park this morning. That's right, a bonafide lemur park! The lemurs were on the whole pretty nice, though completely wild. They had had little experience with people before, so it was pretty difficult to coax them in with endless bananas and peanuts. One of them was probably sent by Satan himself to give us rabies and other wicked monkey diseases. This especially ratsy fanahy (evil spirited) one bit the heck out of my hand and arm! That's right; he bit me! Twice! This same especially mean male lemur also bit Elder Nash twice. Once, horribley on the hand, and the second time a seriously vicious attack on his right nipple. It was horrible and awesome to behold. On the whole, it was the best P-Day I've ever had. Seriously.
Well I'll talk to you guys more next week. Praying for you...Right now I'm off to go play frisbee.
Are you and Brady still feeling unwell? I'd imagine that the heaviest hitting part of the virus has probably disappeared by now, but all those stories still worry me. I'll give some extra special prayers for you lovely people. Don't be gettin' sick or nothin no more before I get home! I only got seven months left woman! Hold on!!!