I got the package from you guys last Monday, and lemme' tell ya, it was fantastic. Elder Nash and I greedily consumed the entire contents of the precious box. I've gotten a lot of packages from you guys in the past year or so, and a lot of them have been equally splendid, but I'd still rank this latest addition quite highly. The Gushers were something extra special....Nash and I almost cried as we ate the beautiful things. Yum. We also got really sick, but I'll take stomach aches over not eating delicious food any day.
Coming up on the 25th of this month we'll be having a projected 8 baptisms. This is incredible! as you might guess. A lot of the people who are getting baptized have been learning for at least over a month or more, except for one. There is the 18 year old daughter of one Sister Julienne who has come to church twice so far that has decided that she wants to be baptized with the other investigators in her household. We only met and taught her this past Sunday, and we gave her the option of being baptized at a later time to allow for ample time to receive all the lessons. She said that she couldn't do it, but absolutely had to be baptized with the other members of her family in two weeks. Though this was a little bit nerve-racking for us, the missionaries who have to teach her everything in two weeks, it was still amazing to see how much her once non-existent testimony had grown in the very short time of her relationship with church. As we taught the family about Joseph Smith and the Restoration of the Gospel - which most, but not all, had already learned previously - the Spirit was so powerful in that house. Even for those who had heard it before - and Elder Nash and I have heard it quite few times before - the truthfulness of it all was witnessed by the power of the Holy Spirit. We now have the somewhat difficult task of going through all the lessons effectively for this young woman, but we're thinking that it should be do-able. Pray for us!
On Sunday we had good old Pentecost: the wonderful day when the Apostles received the Holy Ghost. Wonderful then, but not so wonderful at the present for the missionaries of Madagascar. Why? I'll first start by saying Malagasy people really like their holidays, and their drinking. When holidays arrive, the amount of alcohol consumed by the populous increases tenfold. They also get much more rowdy and rude, as you might guess. Sunday, the actual day of Pentecost wasn't really bad at all...but Saturday is another story. We were yelled at, made fun of, harassed, literally attacked, and at one point we even had rocks thrown at us. Pretty much no one was home, and we ended up wandering around, searching for something to do the entire day, something of worth. Mine and Elder Nash's area is not really known for its sparklingly polite people, so over the months we had disciplined ourselves in not paying any attention to the harassment. I'm glad that we had received this training prior to Saturday, for boy o' boy was our patience tested! At close to the fever-pitch of the whole charade, I even said to Nash, "Let's just pretend that they're all talking about how cool we are, and complimenting us and stuff" just to make it through the torment.
I'm not gonna lie -- it wasn't fun. But I'm still thankful for it because it gave us the opportunity to show the people of our area that we really do love them, and even when they're drunk as a skunk we'll still not disrespect them. Maybe that's why people were so much nicer to us on Sunday....who knows?
I thank yall for the concern over my illness, but on the whole I've pretty much shrugged the thing off. I'm quite thankful that Madagascar is not sharing in on the over 100° June weather back home. Instead, we are going in the exact opposite direction. I usually wear sweaters and jackets out to work every day now, and I'm often shivering in the mornings and nights. This past week went really well. I was still sick on Monday and Tuesday, but from Wednesday on me and Elder Nash went after it. On that note, btw, Elder Nash and I are still together making us the longest standing companionship of the moment in the whole mission.
Prayin' for ya.
Well that's about all the time I have for today. I love you guys so much and pray for you constantly. The Church is true! Woo!