Monday, November 7, 2011

Last Rodeo

The illness is not completely gone. Sister Donnelly doesn't want to give me an antibiotic for it because she says I could build up a tolerance to antibiotics and then they won't be as effective.

Back on the 15th of October I had my last baptism here in Madagascar. And baby, that one needs to go down in the record books. To recap: the sky was dark and gray; a usual scene for Fort Dauphin baptisms. Waves were rolling in above our heads as me, Elder Peaden, and Elder Ravelomahefa stood along the shore with the baptizes. It was grim, I tell ya. But press on we did, right into the murky emerald-green water, we were unaware that what gave the water its interesting color was the chopped up seaweed. After the first big wave, we looked at our once white and clean baptismal clothes to find them covered in yucky, sticky, green leaves. To our horror the seaweed had the nerve to penetrate even into our own personal Holy of Holies; aka our garments. All of the baptizes didn't seem to notice the green stuff stuck in their hair and everywhere as they emerged from the water. But are we a bunch of wimps that would cower at a little bit of seaweed and waves? NO! Even though us missionaries were complaining about the circumstances, we were having a great time. We are Malagasy missionaries, of course. What else could you expect?

I baptized two people: Tsena and a grandma. Grandma went under the water without a hitch, but the 16 year old young man named Tsena was a different story. Right as I went to dunk him, the water level dropped super fast. The result was Tsena doing a Matrix-pose (think Neo when he dodges the agent's bullets the first time) supported by me. Only his ankles and the back of his head was even touching the water - that isn't enough for a baptism by immersion. We redid the dunking right when a wave came so he was immersed and then the back draft of the wave pulled him out of the water and me almost down into it.

As the baptizes were heading back in, I looked around me and enjoyed the moment. Right at that time, as I was looking at one of the big, lumpy, green mountains that dot the shoreline sitting off in the distance, a very distinct impression came to me. It went something like this, "This'll be your last rodeo Elder Cryer. So soak it up, enjoy it, and remember every detail." A wonderful feeling of peace and comfort came over me then that was indescribable. Right then I knew for a fact that this was my last baptism here in Madagascar. This was a slightly odd idea because I thought that I'd still have one more baptism before the end, but that baptism has been pushed back to sometime in December. A lot of things contributed to this happening, but as each one was revealed to us it idn't make me sad or depressed at all. If anything it only strengthened my testimony about God's love for me, and I know that God will always be ready to comfort us in our time of need.

I'm thinking of some plans on how to get my stuff on the airplane and home safely. I'm going to declare everything, not gonna lie about anything I've got. I plan on
being 100 percent honest with the customs people, so the most they can do is take my souvenirs away.

That's all I have time for today. Prepare for the end! The Church is true! Mexican food rocks!

Elder Cryer

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