"And now, my beloved brethren, I would that ye should come unto Christ, who is the Holy One of Israel, and partake of his salvation, and the power of his redemption. Yea, come unto him, and offer your whole souls as an offering unto him, and continue in fasting and praying, and endure to the end; and as the Lord liveth ye will be saved."

Monday, September 28, 2015

What a week, teaching an agnostic and I hate bars, they are evil

Hey hey, so this has been an awesome week here in Ambohipo, we are just living it up here and the work is slowly but surely progressing.

Tuesday we went out to work early as we had english class in the afternoon and visited Raymond and his family again. We had planned on leaving a Book of Mormon with them but decided to review a bit and ended up talking about priesthood and authority for almost the entire lesson. Really it was a really good thing that we decided to review as the concept of authority and the need for authority had not yet fully set in and it must be full understood for the investigator to understand the restoration of the priesthood to Joseph Smith.

We ended up having to contact as the rest of our times fell through which is fine, there are still people to find and teach. But that afternoon we had our english class which was great as ever. Then right after that we had our coordination meeting with Bishop Roger, it was pretty productive in my opinion.

Wednesday we only managed to teach Vincent, and then Alex and Nalia. Vincent really surprised me during our meeting with him as he normally just rambles on but that time he actually discussed his concerns with us. He has worries for his brother who is not really behaving himself which in turn was causing his mother to have a hard time (his mother is very old and should be relaxing, not dealing with her adult son misbehaving). We listened and all that I could think about was that we needed to read some of the Book of Mormon with him, as he had not been reading, so right as I was about to tell that to Elder Pinson he turns to me and says "you know, I think that we need to read in the Book of Mormon with him". Well you could say that I was a bit shocked but we ended up reading passages in the Book of Mormon with him and bearing testomony of it to him and he just loved it. He told us that the scriptures that we had read had really helped him and that he was going to share them with his family, yes! It was just amazing to see the affect that the scriptures had on him.

Thursday we visited with Hary Tina and also watched some General Conference with him as he was very interested in that. We watch a talk or two and then discussed them, he said that he wanted to keep watching and studying them so we also left him with the comittment to share the Conference with his family as they do not learn with us yet. We then had a lesson with this young married couple named Cedric and Landy, which have been learning for about two weeks, and they gave us the sad news that they will be moving to another part of Tana. That makes us sad but at least we can give their names to the missionaries that work near them so they can continue learning.

Friday I got to go on a split! I had the great chance to work in Manakambahiny with Elder Kissi, who by the way, is so awesome. We had a great day and taught some amazing people.

Sunday we taught Bebe Razafy and her husband Victor and we actually believe that they could be on the brink of progressing. We were able to teach well and share many important doctrines while the entire time they were listening and Bebe Razafy started reading through the first pamphlet that we gave them as soon as it got in her hands. Then to end our day we found a new person to teach names Carros. He happens to be an agnostic that believes that God exists but does not believe that Jesus is the Son of God or that the Bible is true. It was just so interesting meeting with him as the way we taught had to be different from the way that we were used to. In the end we put a lot of effort on the importance of prayer and we just talked  to get to know him. It just caught me by surprise when near the end of the lesson he just tells us "ok guys I just gotta tell you that I really hate Jesus". Both Elder Pinson and I were very shocked but we feel that he could become a very strong investigator if we took the time and were patient.

That is about it for this week, I hope that everyone has had an amazing week and that we all have another great one in coming,
Elder Nelson

Monday, September 21, 2015

New families and going a lot to the office

Ok sorry but this week is going to have to be shorter, I am running abit short on time this week.

Monday we took it slow and walked around, got a hair cut, went to ShopRite, and got to work in the evening. Unfortunately the people that we had set a time with were unable to meet with us or in other words they were not home. It was a bit of a bummer but it happens sometimes.

Tuesday we went out early because of our english class in the afternoon and I am so glad that we did because we found this awesome new family to teach. Their names are Solofo, Angeline, Marcelline, and Raymond. Raymond and Marcelline are Solofo's parents while Angeline is his wife. They learned very well and participate a suprising amount. We focused mostly on the Apostasy and on the importance of living Apostles and Prophets. Then that afternoon we had english and it was just a great time. We made a super hero smackdown with an accompaning bracket where everyone got a super hero/villan name (superman, spiderman, doc oc, ect) and they dueled it out. We had some 20 people there and everyone just got way into it and had a blast.

Wednesday was super good as we were able to teach a new investigator, meet with Cedric and Landy (they are super cool) and we ended the day meeting with Alex and Nalia. We had chosen to learn about grace, and how it connects with conversion and repentance. We extended an invitation to church but they said that they would tell us their decision on Saturday.

Friday we wre at the office all day, blegh. We had a meeting with the bishopric and the recent converts in the ward but it started late and when it ended it had gone way long. Then after that we met with our Ward Mission Leader named Kennedy and discussed the progress of the work that we were doing.

Saturday we were again at the office but this time for interiews with President Foote which was just so fun. President Foote is a great person to talk with and is just so full of energy. We got out to work and again ended our day with Alex and Nalia.We changed our lesson last second to a lesson on faith and I believe that is what was needed. They still have not yet come back to church but I feel that progress was made.

Sunday we had had Kennedy show us an area that we had never been in before and the members that lived there which will help us alot in the future. Then as it was getting dark we decided to visit Solofo's family again and it was just amazing. While Solofo was not there even more family members were and they all wanted to learn. It was again so fun teaching them as they all participate well. We felt that we should go through Joseph Smith as they were just eating everything up and it seems that they all understood what was taught, now we will see if it will lead them to make changes in their lives.

That is about it everyone, have a great week! Mazoto a ianareo rehetra!

Elder Nelson

Also I sent some pictures of the end of my time in Ampefiloha, our DMP wanted to feed us as one of us would be leaving, it was so good! Then I have a few pictures of Elder Pinson and a video of our last english class (it is a bit long but it was super fun)

This video is of their Super Hero Smack Down.  It's just over 27 minutes long.  Enjoy if you watch, but you might want to make popcorn first!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Ambohipo, it is all just one big hill

This week was just insanely good and like the title says we climbed up and down the big hill which is our area but we had agreat time and I can't wait to tell you all about it!

We went easy on our Pday activities this last Monday; playing basketball at the office, went to ShopRite, ect. But that evening we had a great lesson with some investigators from the previous missionaries; Felana, Eniko(?), and Rota. After only meeting with these people a few times I can definetaly say that Felana is the one who is the most excited about learning while Eniko and Rota just sit there and don't seem like they are paying attention. We had a great lesson on the role of prayer and Felana was just eating it up while the rest were just sorta there.

Tuesday we had a rough time as we went out with not much of a program and began tracting. We looked and looked but we couldn't really get anyone to really let us in but we randomly found this less active member but she doesn't live in our area but we invited her to attend church and we got her number to get to the missionaries. After that we got to attend our English class here and we just had a blast. This class is probably the best one that I have ever attended because 1.) there are people there that speak english so we can help them more, 2.) Elder Pinson is just so fun to teach with, for example we got in each others face and "argued" as an example of what it means "to get in each others face" and the class just loved it, so much fun. The only thing is that the class is right in the middle of our work time so both Elder Pinson and I were thinking about changing the time.

That night we had been invited to have dinner with a member named Mama Be and her family. I don't know why her name is Mama Be but apparently everyone just calls her that and she just loves having the missionaries over. It was great and there was some really good food, it just took a while to start which annoyed Elder Pinson a bit but in the end it was great.

Saturday (sorry I jumped a bit but I like Saturday) was an amazing day in my opinion. We start off with some great personal and companionship studies, then right after that we have a meeting with our bishop. Bishop Roger is an amazing person that is just full of fire and loves the gospel, we ended up have an amazing discussion with him. Later that day we got to teach Hary Tina again! It was super fun to teach him and he seems to really enjoy the times that we have. We reviewed a lot on the Apostacy, especially on the fact that there must be living Apostles and Prophets for the true church to be on the earth. We then showed him a picture of President Monson and the rest of the Twelve and he just ate it up.

Then that evening we got to teach Alex and Nalia, one of the most amazing experiences on my mission. We had prepared a super good lesson for them but we thought that we might not be able to teach it. But as we get inside and talking Nalia asked us an amazing question "how can we better apply what we learned mast time"(whic was about conversion) and it just so happened it was perfectly suited to be answered by that before mentioned lesson that we had prepared, which was about Repentance and what it really does for us. It just seemed that every thing in that lesson just went perfectly with the lesson, every little thing went smoothly, and at the end both of us agreed that Alex and Nalia were both touched by the Spirit and were pondering about what we had learned, the best lesson that I have ever had the blessing to attend.

Then the last thing for this week is that on Sunday we found this new family which we name after the grandmother of the family, Bebe Razafy (bebe means grandmother). She just had so many questions and concerns, one was that she did not believe that there was any truth on the earth and if there were Apostles and Prophets on the earth then she didn't know where they were. We bore testimony to them that what she had just said was our purpose for visiting them; to tell them that there really were prophets and apostles here on the earth, people that can actually recieve reveletion an guidance from God. I am looking forward to returning to their home and aiding them to know what we have told them is true.

That's it for this week, have a time everyone!
Elder Nelson

Monday, September 7, 2015

Here we are in Ambohipo and I love it!

Hi again from Mada! Man this week has just been crazy and different but just as great.

Monday was my last day of work in Ampefiloha with Elder Tshuma. It was a bit sad but we had a great time, ending with a little soriee with some members. It was even better because we talked and taught a short lesson to the members brother, hopefully something comes of it! Then that night we went through our Area Book one last time to make sure that it was all in order.

Tuesday I managed to get a split authorized so the elders that were leaving Ambohipo (Elder McCrary and Elder Te'e) could show me around and have me meet the investigators that were progressing, which was accomplished and it has been going great. There are some amazingly cool people here in Ambohipo and I just look forward to meeting with them all.

That night I also got my new companion, Elder Pinson and he is such a baller. Elder Pinson is probably the hardest worker I have ever seen and is just amazing at the language, there are so many things that I could learn from him. He is from south Carolina, loves sports, is sort of a quiet guy, super smart, and showed me how to make grits so thumbs up for that.

Wednesday was our first day of work together and it was just really great. We have these two families that we teach that have learned everything but they are having problems getting legally married and that is really the only thing blocking them right now. They are named Haja and Sonia, and Alex and Nalia.

That morning we had put a lot of effort into preparing the lesson for Alex and Nalia and it just went so well, it was all clear and everyone had a great spiritually up lifting experience. That goes to show that we recieve success when we plan well.

Friday was a very interesting day as we did not have much of a program that day, so we decided to go through our Area Book that day, and what a great idea that was. That Area Book was such a mess, there were so many old and useless records in there, some as far back as 2000. Also I think that it had not been touched or had any additions/revitions made in it for at least 8 months, which pretty much makes life difficult. Elder Pinson would go through the book and I would call anyone that had a number. IN the end we got a giant pile of papers to get rid of and 4 people that we were able to contact and set up times with.

Probably my favorite investigator right now would be this guy named Hary Tiana. We met with him for the first time ever and it was one of the best lessons I have ever attended. Hary just asked so many great questions and accepted what we taught, and accepted to read the pamphlet that we gave him and after that to share it and teach it with his family. I am looking forward to seeing him again this week.

Then Sunday. We attended Ward Council and it was such an amazing experience. Our bishop is full of drive, energy, and love for the gospel, and he just gets everyone going. Plus the rest of the ward council is amazing, I have been told that Ambohipo is one of the best wards in Madagascar, I am just looking forward to being here. Then during church I got my first every opportunity to translate and let me say that it was not easy. Since we attend church at the Mission Office the office couples have a choice of church meetings to attend. I was able to translate for the Rossiters and know that translating is not easy, it requires both an ability to speak and listen at the same time which is very difficult. But now I have a great opportunity to practice every week and it gives me something new to study for.

Then a little we hit a little bump; Elder Pinson got sick. Not deathly sick but he was just feeling so miserable that we got home he slept for most of the day. By the evening he was feeling good enough to go work which we did.

I think that is about it for this week, have a great week everyone!
Elder Nelson