First off, my health is great. I honestly can't remember the last time I was sick. I still have yet to throw up during my entire mission, and I can't remember the last time I had diarrhea. So you have nothing to worry about, Mom. ;)
Secondly, the ways that living in Madagascar has changed me and my perspective. Now, if I were to fully answer this question, we'd be here ALL day. Seriously. But, to be more succinct, I would say that my entire perspective on life and needs vs. wants, etc. has completely changed since I have been here. Some people say that your average American single-story house is a modest home. Wrong. A single, six-foot by eight-foot room is a modest home. Also, I know people here in Madagascar who feed a family of eight off of about 5000 Ariary a day (that's like a buck fifty). THAT is what a humble, simple meal-plan looks like. There are some people I know who have never eaten out in their entire life, and sometimes they don't even have laoka with their rice, but their entire diet for a day is rice, breakfast, lunch, and dinner. THAT is humble. Some kids (teenagers especially) may think it's cool to skip school, and that it won't be a big deal. Well, I know that 100% of Malagasy people would kill to get an American education. Some of them, due to lack of money, never go to school. I know members, investigators, and other random people who don't know how to read. These are grown adults that cannot read a single book. Now, this is not because they weren't smart or good at school. No. They couldn't afford it. So you students out there, thank your lucky stars that you get a nice, quality education. Also, thank God that you can actually afford a quality education. Education is what gets people out of poverty, and some Malagasies can't afford it. So when you're skipping class to go "hang out" or something...well...just don't, actually. Don't do that. Why would you waste precious time where you could be learning precious information? So let's stop being stuck up Americans who are "too cool for school" and start being mature, intelligent people who make the most of the precious opportunities we have. Anyway, sorry about that little rant. Feels kind of good to get that off my chest. ;)
But, third question: experiences with investigators this past week. We had a pretty cool first lesson with our investigators Tiana and Laura, a young couple with two kids who we kind of street-contacted last week. We taught them on Saturday (I think?) and it was a great lesson. When I started telling the story of Joseph Smith, the Spirit just came into the room, and I could tell that they felt it as well. We ended with talking about the existence of living prophets and apostles, and continuing revelation, and they both were following it perfectly, nodding with interest. They told us that, during our lesson, they felt something different than from all the other missionaries that have come by their house. They accepted the commitment to pray and ask God about it, so hopefully they will do so. We didn't give them a pamphlet though, because we are out of pamphlets. The entire mission hasn't had any for like two or three months now. :P
Last question: what I have learned about God's personal love for me and for the people of Madagascar. What I have learned is very simple: God knows, loves, and cares for every single one of us. I have felt His love for me personally many times out here on the mission. Now, this feeling of His love didn't come from some miraculous experience, but from a simple, silent feeling that everything is going to be okay, and that He knows what I--and everyone else--are going through. I know that God loves us and cares about us. It's as simple as that. Don't ever doubt that. And, if you start to doubt that, ask Him. He will show you His love, and let you feel it. I've felt it. I've seen individuals here in the middle-of-nowhere Madagascar feel it. And I know that every one can feel that love.
Anyway, that's about all for this week. I love you all and hope you have an awesome week!
|Our investigators' adorable daughter, Herita.|
|A Madagascar Sunset|
|The tacos we made the other day. WAY good, by the way.|
|Some of our investigators washing clothes. Oh, and see that hole? Yeah, that's a well. And my planner fell down into it as I was helping them. Luckily, I got it out with the bucket. :P|
|This is a picture of my leg the other day. The fleas here in Antsirabe are pretty intense. They don't care about bug spray or anything. So I just have to deal with them. :P|
|The following pictures are of our house.|