The Comp: Elder Te'e is from Tonga and tells me he has a reputation as being one of the skinniest tongans ever. dudes about the same height as me but with about 10x as much muscle, so that tells you whats normal for tongans. hes about a year and a half into the mission and had to learn malagasy through english, which is very much his second language. very impressive. He is suuuuper quiet and passive though, but a really good missionary. you just have to get him going first. im not sure if this has been good or bad for me, as im sure you all know i dont exactly like making descisions or being disciplined or taking initiative.... but im essentially (trying to) doing all of that now. Interesting thing about him, hes super mahay-dalana, he can see a path one and have it memorized and mapped out immeadiately i think he knows the arra better than i do already. Also an enormous reserve of innate cleverness, he told me he just learned to play chess last transfer but he is insanely good at it. you can tell he doesnt really have an overall strategy but the mans logistics are perfect. he will not once make a mistake or not see something. you never get something for free from him.
The Area: Still Ambohipo, still strong. Our ward is absolutely fantastic and ive made a lot of good friends here. Ive also seen baptized or baptized 4 people here so far, all just amazingly strong members now. Our Bishop is probably the best bishop in all of madagascar, just saying. We also have 2 families ive been working with since i first got here, both have made amazing progress and overcome alot and i really want to get them baptized before i leave. with some luck they might make it. Ive already told you a little about both of them, the couples are Nalia and Alex and Haja and Sonja. both are waiting to get legally married before they can be baptized (no one here is legally married). The problem with nalia and alex is they had some marital issues and money problems but weve worked that out and haja and sonja had a whole bunch of stuff come up (2 deaths, a hospitalization, a fight with the power company down here...etc.) Now theyre ready but waiting on the signature of Hajas boss for the marriage. In madagascar, if your a soldier youre not allowed to get legally married until your boss signs of on it... which usually takes several years cause you not allowed to push him towards doing it and it has to be submitted by form and go through all this bureaucracy and most of the time the boss isnt even in town anyways. Hajas boss has been in Toliara for months now... maybe i can get garcia to contact him for us.
Me: six-foot-two in heels. I had to take a sixk day yesterday which im happy to report has only been my second on the mission. i mostly read CS Lewis and walked the trail of tears ie the dozen or so yards between my bed and the bathroom. Doing better now. Trying to be more disciplined and more proactive in learning the language. i learned a lot of proverbs (ohabolana) and riddles (ankamantatra) and slang (teny bandy) this week and its been super fun. i also gave one of the talks at the baptism this last saturday, which was pretty darn intimidating. i went up confident cause i love public speaking but what i learned was i love public speaking in english. in malagasy i get the flutters and the locked throat and the red face that people always talk about and frankly it wasnt enjoyable. ive always loved manipulating the english language and i felt like my little painters brush was replaced with this unweildy massive log. But aside from speech giving (kabary) i love malagasy and im getting really comfortable in it. I still have so much to learn and still talk awkwardly but i get along alright. Ive said before talking a second language is like trying to talk around a wet sock in your mouth, and its still like that. But i ve gotten much better at wet sock talking. I think its like swimming, when you first jump in its terrible but as you go one you become skillfull and talented and its even a joy. But its never as natural as running, especially with something as alien as malagasy. I love madagascarand i love the mission, and im very happy. Writing this has made me self rflective though, so sorry for the overall gray tone.
Well that was pallid and flavorless but at least i got some info out to you guys this week! I love you all
Elder McCrary, ny anarako
By the way, i should tell you guys the history of my name in madagascar
at first, i went by McCrary, but its very hard for people to say and read (most common guess is M. C. Crary which i kinda like)
so i started showing people my malagasized spelling, Makarary, which was much more clear. But it means nothing and malagasies are big on names meaing something and the closest sound to it the makes sense is makamarary, which means to bring sickness. so i stopped that.
then i went by Maka-irery, which sounds close to the original, and means to bring by yourself, or to bring only. It was a good name and people got it but it still didnt really have meaning, so now i got by
Makahery, which i think sounds even closer to the real name and means to bring or take power or strength. A good malagasy name
i shared pictures on google drive with some of you a while ago, so check that out for visual aids
anyways, rehefa lava ny bozaka, very ny kisoa. rehefa lava ny firesahana, very ny soa. (when the grass is long, the pig is lost. when the talk is long, the goodness is lost.)