Monday, April 21, 2014

Week 19 in Mahajanga

Apparently Michael is the senior companion in this case (and technically the district leader since there’s no other companions there), although I’m not sure that really matters, as he says.

Is is true that he has an investigator named Hary that owns a barber shop?  Hary?

No pictures again today.  We’re going to have to get after that boy!

Subject:  I can’t sir.  It’s a liquid.

Sandratra, whom some of you may remember, is still just progressing like a stud. He's reading the Book of Mormon, coming to church, and has friends that are members. And he even came to a church activity earlier today. He's going to get dunked as surely as an Oreo gets dunked in a glass of milk.

That church activity, by the way, was one to remember. They kept telling everybody to be at the church early on Monday, because the bus that we would be riding out to the activity (a special bus that they were renting for the day) would be leaving at 7am sharp.

After they made that announcement, I turned to Elder Hamm and asked, "what are the odds that they actually leave at 7?"

"There's not a chance."

And so it was. We missionaries were a little late because we had stopped by the cyber in the morning to check emails before we headed out, but made it there by 7:45. About half of the other people were there. And the bus hadn't even come!

It was at least 9:30 before we left. But since we had been thinking that the ride there would be two hours and it was only half of that, it wasn't much of a loss of time.

The activity was alright, just hanging out and picnicking at a pretty nice area with a slow running river (or "temptation", in missionary terms). We had a fun time just hanging out with the members.

When we realized how late it had gotten, Elder Hamm and I started walking and hitch hiking. We got a ride decently soon, with this nice family that took us back to main Mahajanga in the back of their truck, for free! We tried to give them money, but they refused. Nice people.

And just a fun day.

The rest of the week went pretty well too. We did some tracting, which I have learned that I actually prefer over street contacting. It's just too awkward for me to grab random people off the street. Through that effort we found two new guys, named Fas and Tresh. They are brothers that go to college, and even though they were laughing a bunch with us, they got real serious when we mentioned our message, and they promised to read the First pamphlet and pray about it. They weren't there when we came back for our return appointment, but I'm sure we can hunt them down again this week.

We also taught this twenty year old guy named Hary who works as a barber. Since he lives pretty far away, Hary told us to just teach him in his "barber shop", so... we did. I wasn't sure how good an environment we could set up in a tiny little room with a door facing a busy street, but it actually worked out pretty well.

Hary, along with another barber that works there and his girlfriend, were very good and listened well. I got a little bit concerned when some random punk looking kid walked in to get his eyebrows trimmed, since he just didn't look like the type that would listen well. But boy was I wrong!

Even the new kid listened really well, and everybody accepted a First pamphlet and set up a return appointment when they could all be back there, including the random kid with freshly trimmed eyebrows. In fact, we were riding our bikes earlier this morning and that very kid waved at us and yelled, "don't forget about our appointment!" I wasn't expecting that. But sometimes it might be just the people that don't LOOK like they need the gospel who want it the most. Go figure.

Dad sent a picture of Steven going to Mormon Prom this week with...

HER. When I first saw the picture it was stretched out, so I was like, "when did Steven get so fat?". But then I downloaded it and it showed up stretched out the other way, so I thought, "oh, Steven's not fat.

He's tall!" I don't know what to think about that any more, but suffice it to say that Steven, whatever his dimensions may be, is looking good. Way to be kid.

Side note, I recently asked Elder Hamm if he had trained yet on his mission, and he revealed that not only has he never trained, but he's never been the senior companion! He's gotten close a couple times, but I'm as close as he's ever gotten to a junior companion (and, just for the record, I am older by like two months. Just saying.). He joked that if Elder Horne gets sent up here this next transfer (one of the other elders from our MTC group) Elder Hamm could end his mission having never been the senior companion at all!

That's okay though. Except when training, being the senior companion doesn't really mean much. The senior works with his junior as an equal, and both people get a say in decision making.

And that's pretty much been our week. Crazy delayed activities, teaching awesome people, and all that good stuff. And oh yeah, a rat ran across my foot in one of our lessons yesterday.

You gotta love life on the mission!

I love you all!

- Elder Arrington

PS: Emily, thank you for your email!

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