My mom actually sent me questions this week, so I've got something to talk about now! Wooooo! So, let's get into the questions she asked, and then after that I will talk about General Conference, which I got to watch these past two days!
Anyway, first question about the fleas. The fleas have toned down a lot and are nowhere near as bad, but lately I've been getting a weird skin infection type of thing that I have no idea what it is. But I called the mission nurse and am now taking some antibiotics to hopefully get rid of it. I know you all want to see pictures of gross sores all over my arms and legs, so don't worry, pictures are most definitely on their way. :)
Secondly, the things that I usually have to do during church services every Sunday. Well, let me tell you... Usually, sacrament meeting starts out fine, but we run the stereo speaker. Then all of a sudden they announce that we are giving a talk because the branch president's wife (who is currently there at the church meeting) was assigned to give a talk, but doesn't want to. :) So we whip up a quick talk and give that. Then the next hour we find out that the teacher of the investigator class didn't show up, and thus also making it so that we must give the lesson that we have had about fifteen seconds of time to prepare. Then in the third hour the branch surprises us by telling us that we are teaching a lesson to the Elder's Quorum about how to give blessings and consecrate oil, because absolutely none of the Melchizedek Priesthood holders in our branch know how to...So that is a classic Sunday here in Ambositra. Really quite a satisfying day of rest, am I right? Anyway, no one's bitter about that.
So, moving on to the third and final question posed by my mother this week, asking about times that I have been asked to give a priesthood blessing. Thus far I have only been asked on three occasions. Wait, no, make that four. The first two were in Tamatave, and we only gave one of the two, because the second one was a teenage girl that just wanted a "blessing" from some white men. :) And then there have been two times here in Ambositra: a lady asking us to bless her with money as she is on her way to the bank, which we didn't do and a diligent member of the church asked us to give his daughter a blessing of health, which we gave gladly. But, as you can see, the Malagasy perspective of a "blessing" is not really the same thing that we would think of.
Anyway, that is all for the questions this week, and now we can go into General Conference, because I finally had the opportunity to watch it these past two days (even though the opportunity happened only because Elder Delbar was bed-ridden due to sickness). But anyway, conference was absolutely incredible. I want to ask each and every one of you to please watch it if you have not yet seen it. That was probably one of the most emotional and powerful General Conferences that I have ever viewed in my life. Absolutely incredible. Among my favorite talks were those given by Elders Renlund, Christofferson, and Holland. My personal all-time favorite would have to be Elder Holland's. That is not just because of his powerful and incredible skill at speaking and conveying his message, but because of the wonderful brotherly imagery that he used when describing the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I love that because He truly is our big brother, who--not through compulsion, but through His own agency--chose to suffer, bleed, and die for each and every one of us. That is why it is said that only by God's grace are we saved. It is His grace, His love, that caused Him to send His only Begotten Son down to earth to suffer and die for us, so that we could all have the opportunity presented before us to return to Him again, and obtain eternal life. Christ is the Way, the Light, and the Life. He gives us the opportunity to receive eternal life. Of course we still need to work and act in accordance with His commands, but there is no other way that we can return, other than by and through Him.
It is my firm testimony that that is the absolute truth, that if it were not for Christ's choice, we would never be able to obtain the Kingdom of God. And we are all forever and eternally indebted to Him for that. Let us all show more appreciation to Him for His incomprehensible sacrifice through the things that we do each day in following His commandments.
I know that my email is short this week, but time is not on my side, and neither is the power company which keeps shutting off the power, so that is all for this week. I love you all, and hope you all know that. Also, please know that Christ loves each and every one of you as well, and wants to help us in any way that He can.
Elder Hyrum Snell
|Trip to Antsirabe last week.|
|Four paintings I had done in Antsirabe, which turned out incredible!|
|Trip to Antsirabe last week. Me and my dad/trainer Elder Christiansen, who is currently on his way home to the states! Crazy...|
|Trip to Antsirabe last week. Elder Christiansen, Elder Delbar, and Elder Lehr.|
|These next pictures are from the split, at one of our investigators' houses, because Elder Hein (one of the Zone Leaders) actually was trained in Ambositra, so we went to some people he knew.|
|A picture of me with the Zone Leaders on the splits we did this last week.|
|These two pictures are of my lovely sores that have been bugging me the past five days or so. You are all so welcome. :)|