Anyway, it's been a bit of a crazy week. Two major stories stick out: firstly, our shower broke and flooded parts of our house, so that was fun. But now it's all fixed and whatnot, so no losses. Secondly, we got a call from Tana on Thursday that our current house's contract ends at the end of this month, so we had to find a new house in about eight days. But luckily we have a new house that we've found and will move in as soon as possible. So that's all good now.
Now, as for my mother's questions. Firstly, about the kids begging for food that a lot of you probably saw on the CNN special the other day. As for that, let me just say that we are lucky to go a one or two hours without having someone ask us for money or food. Usually it is little kids who will just call us out from the sides of the roads and command us to give them money. It's very sad to see that they feel entitled to us giving them money. But I will say that that is one of the hardest things of this mission, is seeing the poverty and knowing that I am not allowed to do anything about it. It is very hard. But I know that what I am bringing them is much more important than money or food, and will help them so much more than any amount of food or money could.
Second question, about our time usage here on earth, and how important it is that we use our time wisely. Literally, our time here on earth is a blink of the eye in comparison to eternity, and our entire life after this one, which will continue for eternity, all depends on what we do here on earth during this short time period. Don't waste this precious time. Life is a gift from God. Use it to its fullest potential. Of course we won't be perfect in using our time right now, but the goal is to build up to that point where we are using our time here on earth as we should, and THAT is using our time here to its fullest potential: learning and continuing to progress until the end.
The third question is about teaching as the Savior taught, and as far as that goes, I have tried to use two tactics in lessons in my attempts to emulate the Savior's style of teaching. The first one is asking as many deep, thought-provoking questions as I can. In the Bible, the Savior often taught an incredibly potent lesson by asking a single question or a series of questions that cause the learner to discover the answer for himself. Secondly, the Savior also followed up his questions with simple statements of truth that prompt the learner in the right direction, or cause him to see the true message that Christ was trying to convey. For example, with the instance of the woman taken in adultery, the only answer Christ gave to the people was that of "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her." It was a very simple, straight-forward statement that taught an entire lesson simply through the single statement. And that is the way that I have come to try and teach. Involve the learner or investigator by asking questions that cause him to think more deeply about the topic at hand, and then follow the question and their answer up with a simple statement of truth relating to the doctrine and topic that will prompt their thoughts in the right direction, as well as help them understand more fully the true doctrine they are trying to learn. Of course I am nowhere near perfect at it: not even close. But I have noticed that lessons go so much better when I follow those two simple steps, as did the Savior. He was the ultimate and perfect teacher/missionary, so I try to follow His example in everything that I do.When I do so, then I find that the missionary work goes visibly better than it does if I simply recite line-by-line the lessons from Preach My Gospel. That's not good teaching. Real teaching is asking the questions that the Spirit prompts you to ask, which will help the investigator more than anything else.
I know this email is shorter than my usual ones, but I don't want to waste too much time, as it is a Tuesday and not a Monday, because yesterday was a Malagasy holiday called Lundi de Pentecote which is simply the Monday of Pentecost. So yesterday all the cybers were closed. But, the point being, the thought of my email is the same: keep up the faith, keep up the hard work, and don't give up. We're all doing a great work, not just us missionaries. But I know that God will bless us if we continue to do His will for us here on earth.
Amim-pitiavana, ary mandrapahatonga ny herin'andor ambony,
|Pictures from the savika (bull wrestling) thing that we went to yesterday for Lundi de Pentecote.|
|Pictures when we went on splits with Elder Lehr and Razafindretsetra last week. And yes, that is this Malagasy family's entire house that you can see in the background.|
|An adorable little girl and me.|
|A Malagasy man on the street.|
|The branch president's wife in Anjoma.|
|A creepy spider in the bathroom.|
|A little boy with my nametag, which is adorable.|