This past week was great! My companion, Elder Rasoloniaina, and I are exhausted every day and working hard. So we have this one man named Leonar and his wife who have been learning for about two months from the missionaries. Leonar is about 85, and reminds me of a Malagasy version of the karate master from 'Karate Kid'. I just think they look alot alike ;P. Leonar was born a terribly long time ago in a place called Farafangana, which is very far from civilization. He is from the Tandroy tribe, and therefore fluent in Atandroy, but fortunately also speaks a bit of Marina.
Our lessons with Leonar are always interesting, as well as entertaining, affairs. He complains near constantly about his eyes, and the fact that reading the Scriptures is hard because his glasses suck, and even when he bought new glasses he still says that his eyes are bad so he can't really read that much. He also claims that if his eyes were better, then he'd be able to stand more of the dialect we use. During our lessons, he is always excited to talk or tell us about something...even when we are talking. As soon as he starts off rambling, we finish saying whatever we were going to say quite rapidly. He enjoys learning from us, and coming to church. He seems to be learning the doctrine little by little, so maybe the Spirit really is doing the bulk of the teaching - which is as it should be.
Leonar and his wife are currently waiting on their marriage, which is on its way eventually. Yesterday when we were teaching him and his wife about the temple, he asked when he and his wife could go to the temple. We said that there would probably be a temple here in a few years, so if when he and his wife got baptized all they would have to do is wait a bit. To this he said saucily, "If we're even alive at that point. Geeheehee!" Leonar is as witty an old man as they come.
Finding efforts here in Fort Dauphin are very different than what they were in other areas. For instance when I went out tracting in my other areas we usually wouldn't get let in all that often (as is to be expected with tracting), but when we could get in the door the people were usually pretty diligent. Here in Fort Dauphin everyone and their dog lets you into the house, but that does not mean they are ready to receive the message. A lot of times they are laying around and other times they just want to hear what we have to say but have no intention of following the principles found in the lessons. So far we haven't actually found anyone ready to progress through tracting, but we press on none the less :D.
I'm salama tsara as of the moment (healthy), though the fleas continue to make attacks upon our very lives. This last week I found a flea inside of my foot. I was just looking at my foot one night and boom! I see this weird looking growth right under my big toe. I asked an elder if a flea had crawled into my foot - and he should know because at that time he was in fact pulling TWO of them out of his own foot - and he confirmed my fears. I sanitized a knife and finger-nail clippers and sliced it out.
My week has been good, I suppose, though the low turnout to church was pretty depressing for both companionships. I was told by a couple investigators who are Protestant that this past sunday there was "Fandraisana (Receiving of the Sacrement)" so even though they are planning on getting baptized in our church, they had to go and take the Sacrament at their old place. We're going to have to go back and teach on the subject "Receiving a Testimony for Yourself". But ahh well. So goes the work of the missionary.
Well I have less than 60 days left at this point. AHHH! Scary and exciting all at the same time. I'm super excited to see you guys; thanks for wishing me a happy birthday.
Till next time,