As of right now the work is going really great here in Ankoranadrano. There are about 6 baptisms that are coming up this next Saturday, so we have now entered the rush to get everyone ready set and geared up for the baptismal interview. Two of the people have been learning for some time, but the other four have only been learning from the missionaries for a little over a month. They've been diligently coming to church for the entire time we've known them, and their baptismal date which had originally been set back when they first started learning draws near. I feel sure that they will be fine and that everything will work out.
This Saturday we have a Ward Missionary activity. We are planning on the centerpiece being a viewing of the Restoration video, which was translated by missionaries into Malagasy. There will be a spiritual thought from the Bishop, a game and lesson-type thing from us, and then some snacky-type food provided by the ward. It should be quite the little get-together, and we are hoping for a huge out-pouring of support by the ward. Our biggest hope is that this outpouring of support will be manifested in the form of many referrals. And maybe even promises of some delicious dinner-appointments...that'd be ok too.
This week a way awesome thing happened to us. We went out tracting and contacting people with one sister in the ward named Soeur Tina. She and her husband are have been called on a mini-couple mission by the ward. Anyways, on Friday we went out for an hour with her. Our original plan was for us to just try to contact diligent investigators that had fallen through the cracks in the numerous changes of missionaries. As we were walking towards our appointments a couple of people started saying hi and asking us where we were going. We jumped at the opportunity to invite them to church and before long had gathered the entire surrounding neighborhood around us. I seriously felt like one of those old-time missionaries that started the work in England all those years ago. Maybe it was because we were with a Malagasy, or maybe it is because she - the Malagasy - was with some vazahas, or maybe we just got really really lucky; either way every single person at that gathering was glued to us and wanted to learn more. We talked a little bit about the church and its teachings, but we mostly just invited them to church for the following Sunday. We had originally started out the day with two fat stacks of invitations, but by the end of our street meeting we had handed all of them out! This Wednesday and Sunday we are going back to try and teach anyone who will let us in, which we hope will be a lot. Pray for us!
In conclusion, I got my package yesterday! And it was AWESOME!!! The candy was absolutely exquisite - though it did make me sick - and I think you'll be happy to know that I showed some self-restraint by not going ahead and eating the entire load on my first go. Now I can portion my chocolates out for a few very happy weeks to come :D. Both me and Elder Nash have already read the entire article about Madagascar from National Geographic. There were alot of things which I have personally seen, so that was neat. But there were also tons of things which I have not even come close to experiencing: Baobabs, rainforests, lemur-stew, and total ambanivohitra (countryside) life were extremely interesting to see. Thanks again mama.
This week was pretty fantastic as we were able to see all of General Conference...finally. Conference was absolutely fabulous. We got to watch all but one of the sessions in English, so that was for sure a major improvement over 6 months ago. And besides, I was able to understand the one Malagasy session pretty well.
Well I love you all super much and pray for you guys. Wish me luck this next week...and gimme some prayers...Looking forward to possibly eating some tasty lemur stew someday after they recently tasted me.