Monday, March 23, 2015

What Were Your Thoughts As You Put On Short Shorts And A Hijab This Morning

He's back

Another 6 weeks have come and gone and its transfers again. And I dont think I've written anything of significance on this blog since last transfers, which i know is just devastating to my legions of rabid fans who are frothing at the mouth to catch ever honeyed word that drops from my lips. So here y'all go.

TrAnSfErS: I'm staying in Betongolo with Elder Ahlstrom as my companion, which is exactly what i wanted (breathe a little 'yay' to yourself right now and join in my mild excitement). Me and Tallstrom get along really well so only having 6 weeks together would have been a travesty, but more importantly this area is chockfull of really cool people and investigators and I'm not ready to leave them behind just yet.

(On the right: Ahlstrom, on the left: Me)

The other cool thing about being an office elder is that when transfers happens everyone who switching cities stops at our house and sleeps there for a night. #ITriedToThinkOfASlumberPartyJokeButTheyAllWerentFunny So we get to meet a boat load (taxi be load) of missionaries. And I gotta say, even thought guys in the 18-22 year old range are usually among my least favorite creatures on this earth (ranking slightly above guys in the 14-18 range) everyone in this mission seems really dope and dedicated to working hard and helping people out in anyway they can. Most days it feels like I'm meeting some of the best people I've ever met. Honestly, it was pretty intimidating until i figured out how to turn admiration into jealousy, jealousy into spite, and spite into a comfortably artificial sense of superiority instead of, you know, changing.

Picture thyme: none of these are particularly good, but I'm posting em cause i'm just excited to have a camera again 

Other cool events of the week:

We had another baptism! Its the sisters investigator; Tina (Tina is a mans name here) so i dont actually know him too well. 

But i do know his friends pretty well, theyre all the bandis in our ward (bandi means cholo in malagasy [cholo means punk in spanish]) 

i forgot to show you guys the picture from my birthday soiree at Soeur Helens too, a quick explanation: the fomba here is on your birthday they throw eggs and flour on you (preferably before someones told you the fomba)  

I think thats it for this week, i want to write more/better but this comp has a truly terrible keyboard (types french but printed in english)

Monday, March 9, 2015

Kamera Kwest 2: The Klumps

Only got time to say one thing this week, and its this: Ya boy finally bought a (chinese knock-off) camera (with pirated second rate french software) and now hes back in business

​And i of course mean the weird selfie taking business.

I also got a picture of my beloved Ratsimbazafy and my namako Ahlstrom being cute together, now you can finally see what they look like. Ratsimbazafy and the other visa waiters have officially departed to South Africa and now Ahlstrom and I are empty-nesters. Its very sad but at least we have each other.

Other than that I've been drowning in rain and reading a lot of Hugh Nibley (hence the title last week). I'll wrap up with a personal favorite of his quotes 

"In our day, as in various other times in history, the sanctity and the authority of the temple have been preempted in the religion of mammon. Our banks are designed after the manner of ancient temples, with imposing fronts, ceremonial gates and courts, the onyx, the marble, the bronze—all are the substances of ancient temples. The sacred hush that prevails, the air of propriety, decorum, and dedication; the pious inscriptions on Zions Bank's walls are quotations from Brigham Young (the one man who really had it in for business). The massive vault door, through which only the initiated may pass, gleams chastely in immaculate metal. The symbol makes the reality of all that is safe and secure—that is, the Holy of Holies. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. This is the Lord speaking. We declare that our trust is in God, and we give ourselves away by stamping that declaration where it belongs—on our coins and bills."

Hi, I'm Hug Nibbles, merman applegeist and scalder

no pictures again... this is totally starting to cramp my style. Imma keep it short and sweet this week

biggest thing this week, me and Elder Ahlstrom were caught in what i am deciding to classify as a tropical storm on friday. right in the middle of our prime proselyting time, it starts coming down like normal and we decide to just keep contacting cause if you cant handle a little rain, then get out of the 'gascar. Eventually it starts getting a little more aggressive, and me and Ahlstrom decided to take a hint and wait it out for a few minutes underneath the overhang of an epicerie. Usually the rain will dies down or out after a few minutes. but it just keeps on keepin on and Ahlstrom and i start sharing glances. we start to become fascinated with the rapidly forming whitewhater (brownwater) rapids river rushing down the street we were just contacting on and marveling as its carries a few metric tons of garbage down its wake, along with several pairs of flip flops, a wicker bag, (the kind you use for transporting a half dozen geese on the back of your bike... they have those in america, right?) a whole bunch water bottles and a small child. eventually we realize were gonna lose a ton of work time if we keep waiting it out so we decided to suck it up and get out to work. spoiler alert: everyone cancelled their lessons. For a people that live, in essence, a submarine lifestyle malagasies sure are scared of the rain. 

"our meeting was at 12 and its 1 now. where are you?"

"well, its raining Elders!"

yeah there's a lot of nonsense like that. In essence were walking around in this stuff for hours and not accomplishing anything cause no one wants to talk while its raining and the whole time its only picking up and flooding in a more dramatic fashion. By the time we decide to go home weve been as wet as if we had just gone swimming in full proselyting clothes for the last hour and its past the point of misery and has crossed back over to being fun. we'd just wade up and down streets, watching waves and riptides go by and marvel at the openings of the malagasy "sewer system", where the water was coming out so fast it was pressurized and jetting out of grates six feet in the air.   

Eventually when we got back to Betsarety (our hood) we were wading up to our mid thighs (or in french, the mid-cuisse, which i know thanks to gasy menus being in teny fransay). it looked like this picture of a missionary in Tomatave
 except our water was higher, browner, more generally filled with sewage and we were lacking in the bicycle rain jacket department. A couple malagasies thought it was absolutely hilarious to see vazahas in the drink and made some loud comments, so i went up to each and every one and made some some happy small talk, told them i loved them and then gave them a sopping wet hug before they could get away.

Also, remember those gaping sewer pits im terrified of falling into every night i mentioned before? Well the water was about two feet over the pit on our path home and we would have walked right into it if there wasnt an awesome malagasy right there warning everyone. there was a bunch of people standing around the approximate area who were to scared to progress so me and Ahlstrom had to lead a bunch of people around the pit, very slowly, very cautiously. The tension has never been so high. Ahlstrom even had to lead a couple kids and their mother home "because they didnt have an umbrella." what? All this nonsense left everything in my bag (except, miraculously, my malagasy scriptures) completely ruined. My bag is waterproof, but that only means so much. 

And then after all that when we got home we realized we had left our keys at the office so we had to make the trip two more times. It was one of the more awesome experiences of my life. See y'all next week, folks.