This week we were rushing to get the baptizees ready for Saturday, rushing to get the program ready for the baptism, and rushing with no other apparent purpose then just to rush.
The baptism of Ravaka, Malala, Julienne, Nombinina, and Clara went off well. Our ward mission leader forgot to call all of the people for talks and prayers, so Elder Nash and I ended up giving both talks, the music, and baptizing. By the end I was run ragged, but immensely pleased with the results. All of the baptized bore their
testimonies, and one really stood out among the already heart-felt and touching words given. Sister Malala is the young woman who has only been learning for two weeks, and yet she seemed to have the deepest and most intense conversion of all. Had it not been for this highly unusual sensitivity to the Spirit, it would have
been impossible to pull the whole thing off for her. The next day during Sacrament meeting, every single one of the speakers commented about how strong the Spirit had been the day before at the baptism, and how their own personal testimonies had been strengthened by it. I had a few really strong impressions come to me.
Sometimes I wonder if maybe baptisms end up meaning less to us Malagasy missionaries than others, like missionaries in Europe because here, they happen all the time. But the thing that I value the most is seeing the conversion process of these people. The moment when they decide that they know the church is true, and you watch their countenance change is something of indescribable worth. To me, that's the best. To me, there's nothing better.
This past weekend we also had the national independence holiday of Madagascar. Things got absolutely insane! It was a crazy and fun weekend. We went and nistangatsangana-ed with all of the excited party goers, watched some fire-works, and even lit a bunch off ourselves. It was quite a treat. Btw to mitsangastangana is to, essentially, go and stand around. Imagine all the people who just stand around, talk, and eat stuff during New Years Eve on Time Square....same idea I suppose, just more Malagasy. I didn't break mission rules or commandments, so I'd say it was a success. And that's all I'll say about that.
I have whipped the sniffles. It is quite cold outside, so my throat isn't always super clear. O well. I'll live.
Praying for ya,