My companion and I are doing great. This week has been a bit more difficult than in the past but we have pushed through it all. Our investigators are doing reasonably well, in fact one of our FLFs (father led families) came to church for the first time on Sunday. His name is Cerve and he came to sacrament (though a bit late) with his wife. I had been praying so hard that they and the rest of our investigators would come because it is very easy to get into peoples houses and teach them but for some unknowable reason they find it very difficult to come to church, it can be a bit frustrating. But it was great for them to come, made our day.
Now it is time for what happened this week;
Mondays are usually pretty simple, we have our studies, cyber/email, shop, and teach about two lessons. But this past Monday we only taught one lesson, Pasquel and Natasha. We taught them on Tithing, the word for tithing is fahafolokarena, and they just ate it up. They understood the need for tithing and what it is used for, super cool people. They agreed, I believe, to begin paying tithing. Now all we need to do is teach them the fifth lesson, have Pasquel find another job so he can come to church, and become legally married. Mom you asked me how difficult it is to become legally married here it actually isn't very difficult. Apparently it isn't to expensive to become married, it can be on any day, and over all the ceremony and legal stuff isn't to hard. The hard part most of the time is people getting their kopy. This is pretty much their birth certificate, or a copy of it, saying that they are an actual person of Madagascar. But the problem is it can be difficult and expensive to get their kopy because their kopy is at the hospital where they were born and it can be expensive to get it. Ohatra (example) say you were born in Fort Dauphin (bottom of Mada) but now live in Tamatave (east coast near the top of Mada) it is very expensive for the average malagasy to travel there and back and sending it can take time. So Pasquel already has his kopy and they are waiting for Natasha's which is coming from Toliary (bottom of Mada on the west coast).
Tuesday was a bit difficult but also good because Elder Webb got a small stomach bug for a few hours so we had to stay home but the lesson we taught when we finally got out was excellent, I could actually teach a decent amount.
Wednesday was our weekly service of English and it just dragged, by the end both Elder Webb and I were just drained and I didn't even teach! They just had Elder Webb draw a person and began asking the name of every part of the body at the end of class. We taught Pasquel and Natasha again (since they are close to baptism we try to meet with them more often) and we taught them on the temple. They didn't entirely get it but it's ok, it is a foreign subject to most people. In the evening we taught a recent convert on the Plan of Salvation and really I think I gave a decent explanation of the pre earth life. By the end of the lesson there was just this peaceful feeling in the room, great lesson all around.
Thursday was our district meeting, it was ok, not much stood out. Taught an investigator named Toky, he is doing so well and learning a bunch. I have heard here that there is a difference in people we teach in how smart they are and how much knowledge they have. Toky is definitely super smart but he doesn't have a lot of knowledge so to speak. He is great to teach, if only he would come to church I say again it is a very common problem.
Friday we taught a whole bunch. First we found this less active families house and taught the son who is currently going to school, his name is Njaka. He hasn't been to church for years because his dad had this fight or disagreement apparently with someone in the church and hasn't been back since. But we will continue teaching him and see where it goes, he seems so cool. Again taught Pasquel and Natasha (dang I didn't realize how much we taught them this week) and we reviewed the temple with them because they were still a bit confused. Next time I teach them I will be on a split with the malagasy elder that lives in our house, Elder Razafimandimby. He is super cool and fun to be around but I am a bit nervous to go on a split with him on Tuesday because I still don't understand much but we will see. Last thing on Friday is that we taught an investigator getting baptized on the 20th I believe (great way to celebrate my birthday I think). He has learned everything so we are just reviewing things with him.
We spent so much time at the church on Saturday because we attended a baptismal service, Elder Webb was asked to baptize a ten year old investigator of the sister missionaries in our area, and we had a meeting with our Branch President right after so we were there for a long time.
Sunday was a bit difficult because our branch council decide to go longer than usual and some of our usual people couldn't learn. But we did teach two people named Nahavaly and Jean Claude. They aren't related, Nahavaly is a helper at a members house and Jean Claude lives there; I actually don't know his connection to the family. Any way we taught them on the Plan of Salvation and they have been making some progress but we both feel they have a hard time learning or focusing but they are improving a little.
Also side note on Sunday, I don't know what it is with Elder Webb and dogs but he was again attacked by a pair of them. Basically we had passed this pair of dogs dozens of times and nothing had happened but for some reason they decided they didn't like Elder Webb and charged. We were on a small path with a small drop on one side and a fence on the other, Elder Webb was in front and it had been raining for a bit. I look up bacause I hear some growling and see Elder Webb freeze and lift his foot to kick the dogs (because they were charging) but since it had been raining the ground was slippery and Elder Webb became unbalanced and fell. Seeing this I charge the dogs while stepping over Elder Webband they back off, they probably didn't expect or see the giant white guy behind the smaller white guy. Basically I drive them off, they leave still growling and looking mean, and we go on our way. Yep so that happened, Elder Webb said he could feel the paws of a dog on him, it was just weird.
I think that is it for this week, it has been good to hear from everyone that you are all doing good. Also mom will you tell the activities days girls and their leaders that I got their package of notes last Monday, I enjoyed them so much and they made me smile and laugh. Think of you all,