First off, new progress with our investigators: we have some new-ish investigators who have accepted baptismal dates. Two families who are both friends, one named Njaka and Tsiory, and then Mamy and his wife. They also all committed to come to church this next Sunday, so I am way excited about that. That's one thing I've really been trying to focus on this past week, is being willing to be straightforward and give baptismal goals and dates out in the first or second lesson at the latest. We also did that with another investigator, who kind of has an interesting story. Her name is Antoinette, and she has an online boyfriend in Cote d'Ivoire who is a member and told her to learn from us. So she is. Yeah, a little weird, but she and her family accepted a baptismal date as of yesterday, so we will see how they progress.
Secondly, the thing I love most about people in Madagascar is their acceptance and kindness. Even though they don't know you, most people will let you in, even if they don't progress later on. They are so kind and considerate, even if you are a complete stranger. Of course, those are general statements, and there are people who are unkind here, however the majority of people are very kind, open, friendly, and willing to just let you in and have a talk.
Third, about my week: this week has been one of the craziest of my mission, I'll be honest. Last Tuesday, Elder Smithson started feeling weird in his chest, so we talked with the mission nurse, and as of Thursday he has been in South Africa doing tests on his heart. And I am currently there with him.
No, just kidding! I'm still here in Tamatave, and have actually been able to work in my area of Ambolomadinika every day this last week, despite my lack of having a companion. I have been going on member splits like crazy though. But it has truly been a blessing and testimony strengthener for me, because despite the odds I have been able find a member that can go out with me every single day, for the entire day, so I can teach our investigators and help them continue to progress. So that has probably been the best experience of this week. And I still don't know what's going to happen, so I still have more member splits planned all the way through Thursday. Definitely a huge blessing from God.
And now, last of all: my mom asked me what's the true importance of scripture study and how does it help us? I will put it very simply: those members who study their scriptures help in the progression of God's church. Those who don't do nothing to progress it. It's very simple. Those who are diligent in studying scriptures improve in their spirituality and come closer to God. Those who don't...well...don't. It's very simple. I have seen that on the days when I read the Book of Mormon and study the scriptures, I have the Spirit. When I don't, then I don't. So, to be very short and concise, those who study the scriptures and apply them WILL progress, come closer to God, help progress the work, become better people, and in the end obtain eternal life. Those who don't will not. Simple as that. I've seen it time and time again here in Madagascar, as well as back in America. So, to make it clear, read your scriptures! Apply them daily, and you will see changes in your life.
Anyway, thank you all for being such great friends and family, and for supporting me in this work. I love you all! Until next week!
|A member family|