Monday, April 14, 2014

Week 18 in Mahajanga

Another good week with a baptism, and more to come!  And a new companion.  Again.

Subject:  "Well don't blame me-" "I blame you."

We had a baptism this week! It was actually just a bunch of primary kids, but we had to teach them since they are over nine years old. So that's that.
What we are REALLY looking forward to is the end of May, when we should have a couple families getting baptized. That will be a great day.

Edmond and Nirine should be getting dunked then, since they have been progressing so well. They come to church every week now, and even came to the baptism yesterday. That combined with how much they read the Book of Mormon means they should be just about ready! Their daughter (and two of her friends) is definitely ready, and even comes to seminary and other activities. Their son is a thirteen year old stud. So that will be four people going down in May.

We are trying to get Frank ready for that day as well, but he just does not come to church! He says every week that he'll be there, and then doesn't show up. When we ask him, he just says that he was tired and didn't happen to make it. We'll try sending a member to pick him up on Sundays, but if Frank doesn't start coming his date will have to be pushed back. It's sad too, because he's just such a nice guy, and diligent at reading. But we should get him in the end. He is ready to be baptized, but he still has just a little bit of laziness holding him back after years of not going to any church at all.

Justin, if anybody remembers him, is still super far away, but reading the Book of Mormon and Bible like a beast. He's good to be baptized once he gets back, but I'll almost definitely have left this area by the time that happens.

And there's this lady named Pathy and her two kids. The lady split from her husband a while ago, but she's diligent to learn, so we'll teach her.

Add to that Arlette and her daughter (the wife and daughter of Diam, who is already baptized), Sandratra, and possibly a couple others, and the baptism at the end of May should be quite a grand event! So we're pretty excited about that.

Another exciting thing from this last week was the senior missionary couple that stopped by here. They had a (much needed) training seminar to present to the branch about how to prepare a Sunday School lesson. They emphasized that the lesson preparation should begin the WEEK before you deliver it, not in the sacrament meeting right before. The Shupes also mentioned a lot of other good teaching tips about making eye contact, how to ask questions, and making assignments and commitments for the students to do throughout the week. It was a really good meeting, with a pretty good turn out. Elder Marsh drew the short straw for translating, so I got to sit in the back the whole time and learn a little bit.

The Shupes also brought us two shiny new bikes, that we will be putting to good use starting this week. That will be good, but it's going to cut down the amount of help we get from the members, since almost none of them have bikes. We'll look for a solution to that, but for now, we'll be cruising along the roads of Madagascar on what I'm told are the best bikes in the mission! We're grateful for that.

Another thing that the Shupes brought up is... my new companion! Yes, this is transfer week, and I'm getting a new companion while Elder Marsh is getting transferred to... well, America. The guy finished off his mission like a stud, and in four days he'll show up with his family in America. Good for him.

My new companion, by the way, is also my old companion. I doubt that anybody remembers, but Elder Hamm was my MTC companion all those years ago. And now we're back together again. This transfer was decided by mission president and the APs, and one of the APs was also in my MTC group (Elder Evans). Not that that means anything, just an interesting point.

Anyway, Elder Hamm is a stud, and we're ready for an awesome time ahead of us.

So that's about everything from my week. The three T's of missionary work: Teaching, Transferring, and bapTizing.

Have a great week everybody, and keep rocking up life in America!

I love you all!

- Elder Arrington

PS: Emily, happy birthday! (better late than never, right?)

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