Monday, March 24, 2014

Week 15 in Mahajanga

On the upside, missionary work is making good progress!  On the down side, Michael’s camera got taken….

Subject:  "Now when you go around loving everybody, you'll smell so sweet!"

The weeks really are just flying by. Part of that might be because I get so distracted laughing at Elder Marsh freaking out about going home, since he now has three weeks total left of his mission.

He's actually doing a great job of not getting trunky, but it still reaches him when he reads emails. But Elder Marsh does a great job of getting focused again right after that, so it's all good.

The real problem with our work this last week started on Thursday, when my companion got pretty sick, and that lasted through Saturday night. The poor guy had to stay pretty near a bathroom most of those three days, so we didn't get to work as much as we normally would.

That being said, we still caught more total lessons this week than we have had since I came to Mahajanga (or even back in Sabotsy Namehana, for that matter).

One of my favorite people that we are teaching now is named Albert and Joseline. They and their family are super nice and diligent. My companion and I decided to really focus on getting to know them on our first meet up with them, rather than just quickly introducing ourselves and then jumping right into teaching them. And it turned out that getting to know people can get you a long way!

They have enjoyed us coming over to their house much more than other investigators might, and the lessons are much more fun and can progress much better, since we are more like friends now, rather than random white dudes talking about Jesus.

That's awesome too, because plenty of other white people do that, so we try to stick out and do things different than other preachers. Becoming friends, and encouraging them to get an answer to prayer, rather than trying to Bible-proof everything. So we're basically trying to do a better job of applying the Holy Ghost in our lessons. And it's working out pretty well.

Another favorite that I've had is this new guy named Siverlon. He's just been really diligent, and even when we met him on the street for the first time he was full of questions. Even better, he listens to our answers to his questions. Could life get any better?

So the missionaries here in Mahajanga teach a Preach My Gospel class. In the last class we were explaining about effective questions, and I mentioned that one example of a less effective question would be, "who is God?" because people will always just answer that according to their current faith, which gets you nowhere.

Then I remembered that that's exactly how my companion (most of my companions, actually) starts every first meeting, and I just threw out that it's wrong in front of everybody. Granted, nobody else knew that, but I think he heard it.

A lot of missionaries here seem to do that, and I just don't get it. They ask somebody what they know about God, the person answers according to their faith, and then the missionaries have to shut down their faith in what other churches say. And usually they do that with a bunch of Bible scriptures, which is just a prelude to extended Bible bashing. So we don't like that.

In other news, I got robbed this week. I was getting on a bus and talking on the phone, setting up an appointment with an investigator, and people were just pushing and shoving around, and in all the hustle and bustle, I successfully set up the lesson and squeezed into the bus. Right after that I checked my goods, making sure I had everything. I didn't.

My camera was gone. Right out of my pouch. By the time I realized it was gone, there was nothing I could do. So that wasn't the highlight of my week.

On the bright side, only a few pictures were actually lost. Almost everything was backed up, and Elder Marsh had taken similar pictures of just about everything that I lost. So the only real loss is the camera itself.

And today we went out and bought a new camera. Nothing too fancy, but it should hold up until the end of my mission. I'll just have to keep it more secure than I did the other one.

Other than that, this week has been pretty good. Lots of good teaching appointments, lots of diligent investigators, and lots of success.

Have a great week everybody!

- Elder Arrington

PS: Sorry, no pictures this week :P

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