Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Finale: Take Care Of Yourself

Thank you so much to everyone who wrote me this week. Im not going to respond well right now to you all because id rather do it in person in a little bit.

Thank you so much to my parents, who sent on this mission have done eveything for me my whole life and are my role models in everything I do.

Thank you so much to my Grandmother who never failed to write me or take time to involve herself in my life, and to all my extended family who supported and prayed for me as well.

Thank you so much to my great friends, especially Jeff, Jeremiah, and Reed who have unfailing been everything a friend should be and more no matter how physically distant we've become.

Thank you so much to Elders Cyusa, Heiden, Horspool, Ahlstrom, Garcia, Te'e, Johnson, Liao, Wilmot, Band, Walker, and Reynolds, each and every one of my perfect companions who each became a bizarre replacement of friends, family, and girlfriends, a man-wife who literally never left my side (they werent allowed). Im severely indebted to all of you for your care and for whatever personal development Ive had over the past two years.

In addition to that, every great missionary Ive ever lived with, perhaps too long of list to write. Each of you were a brother to me.

Thank you so much to Presidents and Sisters Foote and Adams, who were my parents. I can distinctly remember meeting each of you and feeling impressed that I was standing in the presence of someone who was truly great, like shaking hands with Lincoln or Einstein. 

Thank you so much to God and Jesus Christ for literally every thing.

Ive never been good at bearing my testimony or talking about spiritual things when writing you guys, but I think I must get over that now. Henry B Eyering taught me i should fear God more than i fear being trite. I want everyone who reads this to know that I know its all true. God. Jesus Christ. His Atonement. Joseph Smith, and all the prophets after him all the way down to Thomas S Monson. Ive felt it, seen it, said it far too many times to count. I know it more than I know anything else. I want it to infect and permeate through every part of my  life until God stops me from being me and makes me into something better. Im still working on it. But i know fully that it can happen and will happen, through Jesus Christ and His church. It can happen for you. Im sure it already is happening for you. YOu already know it, probably better than I. But Id like to remind you. 

I love you all so very much. I thank God for you every day.

And I thank you for reading.

Friday, October 14, 2016

On A Siggler From The Conductor

Seriously it must be an in joke in the first presidency to never say signal right. 

Uhhhhhh I have very little to say sorry. Im loving and a ppreciating my mission more every day. Im both sad and ready to go home. I loved General Conference, even though it was less bombastic than last time. It taught me a lot. It made repent. Therefore, its of infinite value to me.

MAN signing up for classes is scary. 

Were going on a lot of splits recently, and im loving it. Pictured is split with Elder Nortje, my afrikaans man crush from south africa and my split with elder monsen, the only person ive ever met who knows lore from the legend of zelda better than i do. He an interesting Cristoph Waltz looking mix of Crossfitter, Wrestler, and mega nerd. He told me all of Dragon Ball Z over the course of just one lunch sitting somehow.

theres a picture of lot 923b because as monsen and i turned a corner and simultaneously saw it i expressed "thats a pretty nice door!" and he simultaneously exclaimed "it looks like its from a horror movie" .

"Milk Sheck" and "T Shirtererie" are among my favorite french/english abominations seen in madagascar.

Modia Vadiko Fa Izaho Ngoma is hilarious because it translates to "get back home spouse, for i am horny". great picture with it.

Do you see how high that one kids kite is?????

The aforementioned Tony and Gina, investigators extraordinaire. This is the couple that had a dream and has never stopped coming to church since.

And this is Clovis Sely, Claudia, Dolin, Jacqueline, and Haritina, from last week. They came to conference and i love them with my whole heart. They eat every lesson up and talking to them casually or about the gospel is among the purest joys ive experienced.

to wrap it up with the video

Elder Soper is an exceptional song writer, able to create tunes on the spot. Pretty impressive. He created a theme song for another missionary in our district, named, no joke, Jean Paul Javier Parraga. We performed it impromptu at District Meeting.

The lyrics:
Oh Parraga   
Oh Parraga   
Parraga, Parraga   
Parraga, Parraga   
Oh Parraga   
Oh Parraga   
Parraga, Parraga   
Parraga, Parraga  
Oh Parraga   
Oh Parraga 
Oh Parraga   
Oh Parraga   
Parraga, Parraga   
Parraga, Parraga   
Oh Parraga   
Oh Parraga   
Parraga, Parraga   
Parraga, Parraga  
Oh Parraga   
Oh Parraga   
Parraga, Parraga   
Parraga, Parraga   
Oh Parraga   
Oh Parraga   
Parraga, Parraga   
Parraga, Parraga  

See you next week! For the last time...

I Really Identify With Judges 11:37

The work remains amazing and madagascar still alternates between hilarious and infuriating. I think the charm may wear off in about 3 weeks, which seems about right.

The aesthetic remains larges the same, with the important discover of this masterpeice painted on the side of a school in our area

whenever i see it, i whisper "I caught ya peekin', laddy"  

A photo essay of me getting my face painted in "the most vezo style you can do"

We went Foulepointe on p day, which is why theres all these beachy pics again

a $100 camera sticking out of a $2 house

okay thats enough entertaining pictures time to talk about the people im teaching

A personal favorite right now is Clovis Sely and Jacqueline, not pictured above. We were tracting one day, starting talking with this friendly woman, and we hit off great casue shes from tulear and yall remember how i was there and whatnot. We had a great chat with her and her fam, i could see her husband and i thought we were in for a baller first lesson for sure. But then she revealed to me that the man was not actually her husband, he had just left for tulear the day before to attend a relatives funeral. (read: no man in the house read: THWARTED) i was very dissapointed and gave em the usual spiel about where church and "come on over if theres time on sunday". Surprisingly enough, their two daughters came and so we invited them to start attending our bap class, a place for all of our young men and women to learn the gospel on fridays who dont have grown men with them. They turned out to be super dilligent, until one week they didnt come and so we stopped by their house to find, lo and behold, they hadnt attended because they were out buying medecine for their dad for their dad who had just come back from tulear! he was, of course, very sick, as all thing that have just lived in tulear are. What proceeded after that was probably the single best 1st lesson ive ever had with their dad and mom and all them together. Clovis Sely straight up said stuff like ''Oh i get it, joseph smith continued the work of the apostles. But what about the time in between Jospeh Smith and the apostles? Oh no one had the authority. I gues that means all the other churhces are false. Wow i have like a big responsibility in the Catholic church, but i can see that church isnt true. I really need to switch over to this one.'' I cant really express how great it was.

Were also teaching Ernest and Olga, a lovely couple thats still a little new. Ernest works at a factory that makes plastic things and the factory excess he takes and molds into sculptures, Tim Burton's Willy Wonka style. 

All the old stalwarts are doing great as well.      

Here weve got Ndrina and Lucie, so quiet and intellectual, and finally coming out of their shell with the ward. their papers are soon to be finished, which means baptism is fast approaching. Ill probably juuuust miss it. Ndrina is a paradox, and extremely organized and mechanically inclined malagasy. He probably would have been an engineer in another life, though he still kind of is, as he the head of a team of house builders. Dont think the american version, think a bunch of guys covered in dust breaking rocks and using mud as mortar.

And the perfect, insanely talkative Frederick and Eleanor, still moving forward towards marriage and baptism, making real progress. Their house is a black hole that it is impossible to leave in under and hour and a half. Some times it takes 30 minutes just to cut through all the talk and stories and get an opening prayer out. Their smallest child, Leon, is the most angelic boy ive ever met. One day they sent him off to primary and finding there was no teaching and bunch of kids making a mess, he carefully organized the room, sat down, and waited with his arms crossed. His usually cleaning in some way when we come over. 

I should mention their duck and geese that the kids are holding, named "Qui Qui" which beeing transladed means "Quack Quack" and "vavan'la pelle" which being translated means "Shovel-mouth". Classic Eleanor quote "be careful just in case he sh*ts on the table" followed promptly by shovel mouth pooping on the table.

I guess that it for today folks.   

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

I Update This Blog Once In Whenever I Feel Like It

kind of like the garbage who come to our house whenever they run out of money to buy alcohol. they must have a lot right now cause our trash is building up.
Elder Walker officially shipped out this week for Fort Dauphin and i now eagerly await his replacement, the New Zealandish Elder Reynolds. Me liking Flight of the Conchords should be the only thing required to make this companionship work, right? I once said of this man "weve both been on our missions for more than a year and i just barely found out he existed" -ive never been credited as observant.
Im staying in Andranomadio in Tamatave btw for the 0 people who both care and are geography prodigies
Im heading into my final vestigial transfer i just kinda tacked on at the end because im afraid of going home, and i cant even express how bizarre its been seeing my mtc group going home. Heiden has already gone full portland on me, im talking a steady stream of photos of flannels and beards and old cars, and Cyusa is heading out tommorow. By the time you read all this, there will be offical no one in the madagascar mission that was here when i arrived, even all the office couples have shipped out. Im a coelacanth, a streched metaphor i brought up to mention that the fished a real coelacanth out of the toamasina coast recently. Cool!
youll be wanting some pictures after that block of text.

"bad tempered dog"

Morarano companionship of Lingani and Keyes, our resident South Africans. Keyes Is leaving tommorow to go open up and area in the city of Ansirabe with my son, Elder Wilmot. fun fact, my mission looks like the timeline of groundhog day. I went to ambohipo twice, i was with garcia twice, and now ive lived in a four man house with 3 white guys and one black guy, two being from South Africa, one being American, and one being from an island best described as "near Australia" twice. (Wilmot, Iata, and Deklerk was the first house, for those curious i.e. no one)

Sahidy and Perline and their family. Theyre among my favorite investigators of all time, and consitently hilarious and overwhelming. Perlines talks at all times with the urgency of a blaring submarine alarm in the thickest of Betsimitsaraka accents all the while being busy busy busy. you cannot stop her from doing stuff and shes constantly feeding you as you try to teacher her around all the flying strawberry juice, herbal tea, cooking bread fruit and fried bananas. All the while Sahidy is pontificating in his raspy halting manner as they talk over each other, all in pretty thick northern accent. Theyre pretty sahirana (struggling? busy?) right now going back and forth to the countryside to bild a new tomb for their ancestors and moving the bones and doing a the required parties and whatnot that malagast tradition dictates, as well as trying to quit coffee and alcohol, so their progress is a little slow at the moment. A favorite moment is when Perline described the health effects of cigarettes as making a spider in your insides, every time she calls us "prophet boys", and when she profusly refused for not having and food ready because she was just busy dealing with setting up her grandmass funereal, a recent robbery of her house, fixing their phone, etc., and then conjured a pot our of nowhere of cooked akondro lahy (man-bananas) andwouldnt lest us leave until we ate all of them.   

Walker and i bonded over being ridiculously anaylitical. We had a lot of stupid arguments as to whether or not its possible for the universe to have a limit or whether or not its possible for your eyes to perceive 3D images. This is graph we spontaneously drew on our fridge while trying to determine the ideal amount of lessons to hit in a week, factoring in the progress of your investigators, the quality of your lessons, and your personal enjoyment. 45 to 55 was the hypothesized magic range. We experimented and determined it was correct.


So Walkers departure and Reynolds arrival are separated by an unfornate gap, so ive been working with members ofr the past three days, the aforemention Be Fabio (Big Fabio) and yes thats his real name. His twin, who is even shorter, buffer, and is just as negative and reserved as Fabio is smily and hyperactive, is named Be Mario. Fabio is very good at english but sometimes he throws out a hilarious "dont camera me" or "they had a big tree christmas"

Everyone say goodbye to Dongfan

Thats all for now. Im sending this to all of you now but its inteded as blogpost, so enjoy your digital sneak peak you first world computer owners

Sunday, May 22, 2016


long time no see

and long time no write! so first things first, i should probably tell you my transfenews. I just finished training Elder Wilmot in Ambohipo 2, now theyre closing down ambohipo back to one area and shipping elder Wilmot, Elder Iata, and Elder ME out. Wilmots off to a city called antsirabe, Iata is staying in tana and going to go be companions with his cousin(!) and im shippinf out to and area called Ambolomadinika ("little hills" which is also gonna be the name of my first psychedelic noise pop album) in a coastal city called Tamatave (in the french) or Toamasina (in teny gasy). Im beyond excited, and ill be living with my old friend Elder Johnson again! its funny because we only worked together one transsfer, but im gonna end up living with him longer than anyone else. So im gonna be packing my bags, learning teny betsimitsaraka, and taking plenty of anoying pics of the beach and the jungle! my new companons name is Elder Band, but i havent met the guy yet. pics next week!

...of elder band, but plenty of pics of ME this week. 

ive been campaigning my whole mission for them to make this change

So one of the weird events of this week is that my old companion, Elder Garcia, went home (or "died" in the extremely narrow missionary vernacular) but i was lucky enough to get to see him on the way out, and the APs even let him have a long talk with me right before he went home. We had a great discussion about life and the mission and whatnot. Garcia has big plans when he gets home to grind out a bunch of work hours in a lumber mill and then go to BYU, get married and start haing kids very quickly. >He wants to be and english teacher and basketbal coach, as well as have 5 kids. "why 5?" "i grew up in a house with four kids, and i always felt like its just barely wasnt enough" we also talked about the insanity of Kareem Abdul Jabbar holding the all time NBA scoring record despite never shooting threes (garcia is good enough at english to make basketball interesting to me)

the cousins, the Venuatu Two, Iata and Tavo. Tavo had the same trainer as me, and Iata and i have gone on so many splits together we consider each as as having already been companions (wrote his name in my Preach My Gospel and everything) Ive learned enough of their national language, Bislama (a kind of pidgin english) to insult them and have simple discussions with them, though they prefer talking to each other in their island language of nadoar. Fun fact, their island is called Tana, which is also the nickname of the capital of Mada. ask Tavo to tell you the story abut when he was harpoon fishing and got dragg away by a shark and got his coral scars, and ask Iata about how he t-boned his horse into another during a race and got his back scars. Ive been promised a tract of land, free housing, free food, a horse and a girl when i come to visit Venuatu.

amissionary classic: the coke break. we sat in this little bar area and sung malagasy songs together. some girls were peeling potatoes behind the divide and joined in with us. It felt so picture book, in a way, like the unassuming start of a movie.

I took Elder Bingham, a registered audiophile, to help me purchase the very best (fake chinese) Beats by Dr. Dretm. Theyre really good and i hope they last. even if they dont, they cost like fsixth of the price of real ones so...

i also got a malabary made ofr myself, or traditinal malgasy mens formal wear. this is what male farmers (ie 95% of the countries men) men wear when they arent working. also tryin to collect the different tribal hats. this one is Betsileo

Razazarohavana (im pretty sure i slaughtered the spelling of this) my old betongolo housemate, former missionary and current bum. i saw him while on a split with Elder (T)Ahlstrom in Ambohimanariona, a branch which prays at a glamour church the church built right next to the US embassy. "you the guys with that nice church by the american embassy?" is a common question.

Delphin and his family, one of the awesome mebers of Ambohipo! Delphin (the young guy) was baptized by himself and helps us all the time, and were teaching his family now. His house is notable for being built on a cliff fce, with the ladder that leads up to his families room a few inches from the edge. freaks me the right out every time. they make fun of the trepidation i take on that latter, while three year olds rocket down it like its nothing 

 the missionary wall, its has all the pictures of the current missionaries. It was weird seeing garcias picture move over to the other side. all my friends are dying! im gonna watch ahlstrom and johnson die, then liao cyusa and heiden not long after that. Horspool and Te'e are already long gon, and im starting to get pretty close to the top

i also got a super tacky suit jacket made that i love, and took these tacky phots to compliment it

the kids of Zakary and Felana, absolutely angelic investigators that Elder De Klerk and Iata Baptized. the kids are Elisa, Emmanuella, and Iando.






photo evidence that malagasy kids are taught from the womb to twerk. their mother was sitting there, clapping and cheering her daughter on and telling her to go lower

caught a pic of this guy who got super angry at me because i walked near his shoes 

it was so nice to skype some of yall on moms day! kids, tell your mom you love her (I love you Mom)