Anyway, things are going really well here in Ambositra, and the work is progressing pretty well. We actually are planning on there being a baptism this upcoming Saturday, so we are very excited for that! Our investigators Rauphin and Julie will be getting baptized (if all goes well). Also, one of our newer investigators--named Nahary--came to church this last Sunday, which was awesome! He is the brother of one of our stronger members, and is a young married man with a great wife and three cute little daughters. They would be an incredible addition to the branch, and a great pillar of strength as well. As far as other updates regarding the missionary work, that's about all at this point in time. I will be sure to update you all if anything major happens. Aza manahy! (Don't worry!)
With regards to the questions that were posted by my incredibly awesome mother: the first one is with regards to our eating situation, and the marketplace that we usually go to. As far as that is concerned, we mostly get just meat and produce from the marketplace, and you can get bread and other such things from most every epicerie or little shop that you find evenly spaced about every ten to twenty meters on the streets. I haven't really eaten anything new or interesting as of late, but I have seen some hotelys that have advertised the fact that they have tongotr'omby there to eat (that is cow feet, in case you were wondering), and that's been interesting me, so I may or may not be trying that sometime in the future. Hohitantsika! (We will see!)
Second question, which asks in regards to the Zone Conference that took place last week and as to what I learned from it. As far as that is concerned, the biggest single thing that I learned from Zone Conference would have to be the need for absolute, complete and one hundred percent honesty. That includes every facet of our lives, whether we are conducting business with a another person, talking with parents, or are simply alone in a certain situation, then there is still--and always will be--a need for intergrity and honesty. Our Zone Conference was focused on a talk given by Elder Tad R. Callister which covered the definition, need, and blessings of integrity. Elder Callister stated that integrity is the foundation of our character, and thus everything that we do is founded upon the integrity of our mind and actions. Elder Callister told the story of a man driving home from somewhere, and became thirsty. He drove into a gas station, went up to a soda machine, and put in some money for the soda. But, to his surprise, out of the machine came the soda AND the money. Thinking to himself that the soda was "too expensive anyway" he quickly pocketed the change and drove off. But then, no sooner had he done so than the thought popped into his head, "Would you sell your soul for some change?" The man immediately thought that his soul was not worth some cheap change (obviously) and thus returned to the gas station, presenting the change to the current worker and explaining what had happened. Now, this story may seem extreme to use, and may cause us to think that keeping a little bit of change is not a big deal. I certainly thought the same thing when I first read the story. But then--and I am sure it was the Spirit prompting these thoughts to enter my mind--the scripture came to mind that "no unclean thing can enter the kingdom of God." I know that this scripture is true, and I also know that taking money from a defective soda dispenser is--as little and inconsequential of a sin it may be--still wrong. How many sins would have kept Christ from being a worthy Savior for us? One. How many sins can keep us from inheriting the Fanjakana Selestialy (Celestial Kingdom)? One. Let us just say that integrity is important. Our integrity can make or break our eternal salvation. So, let us be full of integrity, and have our lives and actions founded upon a solid foundation of integrity and honesty, rather than founding our lives upon rationalizations. I personally don't want to achieve anything lower than my full potential in respect to the eternities (and anything for that matter). I doubt anyone in their right mind would settle for something less than what is their absolute best, and what is the greatest possible outcome. Who would shoot for a C grade when they know they can very well get a perfect A? So, I ask all of you this week to make the most of your potential and begin building a foundation of integrity in your lives.
I thank you all so much for everything you do for me, especially the encouraging words and thoughts you send me each week. You are all the best friends and family I could ever ask for!!!
|Two adorable girls at one of our investigator's houses.|
|The woodshop where I got the marketeurie temple pictures made of wood.|
|Two of our less-active members. The guy on the right is the most adorable old man ever, and has not one tooth in his mouth.|
|A waitress lady at one of the restaurants we eat at who always jokes around with us.|
|Selfies of me in a taxi brousse on the way to Anjoma. The Malagasies really know how to pack their cars full. In one of the pictures, the fifteen-seated car was carrying twenty-three people. So, yes, it was a little stuffy and cramped.|
|A picture with some friends at the restaurant, who like using props in their pictures (such as cake).|
|A cool picture of the misty mornings we have here in Ambositra.|
|The church in Anjoma.|
|Anjoma's washing machine.|
|Some artistic flowers that I like.|
|The cave that we went spelunking in (don't worry, it was completely safe).|
|Views from the mountain we climbed.|