We all have our parts to play. Michael is playing his part in Madagascar.
Play it well.
Subject: "You already lost one war this way, let's not make the same mistake twice."
Happy birthday Mom!
I remember on Friday, as we were doing our nightly planning session, and I looked at the date and was like, "this is my Mom's birthday!" I even told Elder Stokes, and he said to say "happy birthday" to you, from him. So there you go. Not just one, but TWO missionaries in Madagascar wished you a happy birthday.
In other news, we thought we had enough time to get back home after going to the office and things to send emails, but there have been no busses for the last FORTY FIVE MINUTES. Which is just ridiculous. Usually you don't have to wait more than five. Anyway, we're at a cyber in Analakely today instead of our normal one, trying to email really quick before going out to work.
Anyway, this week has been pretty good. We finally had a baptism! Granted, it was the son of our branch president, but still. We're starting to have a little bit of real progress here. We have some people that seem like they are progressing really well. Some others got evicted from their house, others apparently moved to Fort Dauphin (pretty much the farthest place on the island), and others couldn't come to church because they had to lead a wake yesterday. But they said they'll come next week, and they are still learning really well.
We also found this guy named Tojoasa, who seems like he could be way cool. He let us right in after we knocked on his door, and promised to read the pamphlet that we gave him. We've only taught him once so far, but I'll let you know how things go from here.
Another of my proud moments from last week was introducing Lova (a member) to David (an investigator). David had learned from missionaries about a year ago, but didn't progress because he had no friends in the church. One of the missionaries that taught David told me about him, and we're starting to teach him now, and get him a friend! Now there's nothing (except smoking) to stop him from baptism!
We also tried tracting a little bit with our branch mission leader, Mamy. So we showed up at this nice, big house, and the owner wasn't there. But as we're waiting at the door, big old money-banks/owner-of-the-house pulls up in a car, gets out, and asks why we're there. We explain, and he says that he "needs to think about it first". Right. Like we've never heard THAT one before. But we'll come back anyway.
It was just funny, because Mamy turned to us as we walked away from owner-of-the-house's house and said, in English, "Jesus? No, no, no... Money, money money!" sounding exactly like that scene in Toy Story when Andy is playing with his toys and Ham gets all his money. It was hilarious. We love Mamy. He's an awesome member, and actually understands the doctrine.
Mamy, in helping us teach one of our lessons, told the investigator a bit about his conversion. Apparently, Mamy used to be Catholic, and a pretty lazy one at that. He wouldn't read the Bible, or dress up to go to church or anything. Then, he started learning from the missionaries, and started wanting to learn. Right as he had that desire to study for himself, a friend gave Mamy a Bible, another friend gave him a white shirt, and his dad gave him slacks to wear to church. Mamy is now one of the most knowledgeable members that we have, and helps us out whenever he can. So we love him.
There was also a zone conference on Thursday, which was just fantastic. President gave us a lesson about integrity, and one of the missionaries showed us what kind of missionaries we should be by showing us the difference between a cheap little dagger and a sword that he had picked up in Fort Dauphin. Obviously, we want to be useful swords in God's hands, not little broken daggers. And we got sloppy joes at the mission home, which brought much joy to Elder Stokes and myself.
Speaking of Elder Stokes, we've been finding better opportunities for him to talk in lessons. So far I've had him just talk as much as he can, and I fill in the gaps. I think I'll start just not speaking at all, and try to make him teach the entire lesson. Because you only get better with practice, so you might as well practice a lot.
And on that note, I want to thank Mom for practicing her missionary skills, and trying to be a better member. The rest of you, get out there! You can, as Mom does, start out just talking to people. Having a conversation. It's not that hard, so do it!
I also hear that Steven not only went to Homecoming, but was asked to go by someone else! While I was reading Dad's version of how it all went down, I told it to Elder Stokes and we were both like, "that kid is a playa!" Keep up the good work, my little "playa" of a brother.
Everybody, keep working hard and staying active in the church. We all have our part to play. Play it well.
- Elder Arrington