Sunday, February 21, 2016

above the grey land and the spasms of bleak dust which drift endlessly over it, you perceive, after a moment, the eyes of The Salto Texas Man

(dont mention my long abscence)

i had a great idea during branch presidency meeting to form a new class during the third hour of sunday for all the youth who arent baptized but over 8 which not only gets us out of having to sit through elders quorum but is finally gonna get like 5 to 7 10 to 15 year olds baptized. and we can grab people from the ward to teach so they can help us to communicate with extremely thick extremely unable to understand vazaha speech kids. plus we dont have to waste proselyting time anymore going to visit them during the week! yay effiency. i named it the baptism prep class
biggest obstacle so far: the unbatized 12 year olds know the doctrine better than our 25 year old members
the ward and missionaries havent got around to baptizing them for a variety of reasons: the parents went less active while they were 8, or they were living in the country, or their the only member of their family who prays at the church, etc etc
ones been praying since 2012
other events:

one of my favorite investigators aunt died so we went to her funeral. they keep the body in the house for 3 days the vezos here "not for 3 months like those tandroys". the whole family comes out to see the body get taken to the ancestral home and placed in the family tomb. resting in the family tomb is a huuuuge deal in madagascar, and you really should live in the same neighborhood as your dad, grandad, and rest of your extended family. theres a proverbs here: one house while alive, one tomb when dead. its good cause you dont have to teach them about the importance of families or their eternalness
we have dinners with the members alot here, but not as much as they want. members in madagascar are desperate to feed the missionaries, they fight about it. but we legitly have no time in our program to eat with them, too many lessons. a common convo: "hey sr noro wants a soiree, can you guys go?"
"is she willing to do it at 8:30?"
"no, she says she sleeps then"
anyways when you do go they throw a TON of food at, insane amounts. and its rude if you dont almost all of it, but your not alllowed to exactly all of it. just a tiny bit left. also it rude if you thank them for it. its a hard situation to navigate.

but seriously look at all this rice
the loaka
sr zaza, a saint who would have been bishop down here long ago is she wasnt a woman. frying up some bokoboko, which translates to breadballs. imagine less sweet donuts.

went on a split to elder johnson and leos area #ToliaraUppers and we taught their super cool investigator whos a pro chef who lost it all by getting in on the drugs and women and some bad indian guys who were working in the south of madagascar and framed him for armed robbery and murder, now hes living in a little reed shack in toliara looking to cook at one of the italian places here and change his life around and is just extremely cool and nice and dilligent at reading the scriptures and coming to church and everything. completely keeping all the commandments now. 4 years in a malagasy prison, which is worse than the worst thing you can imagine. living in a nice house here already seems tougher than being in prison, honestly. they dont really feed prisoners here. 

this picture represents the despair of malagasy prison

also seems relevant to malagasy prison

the paint arounds his eyes are because his eyes are infected. "malagasy medicine. often the vazahas do not beleive"

theres so many people at church right now they have to sit outside and listen. unfortunately the branch will never split cause theres no men and no leaders

we biked out to this beach on the far side of town last p day. ethereal, in a word

some primitive salt collecting facilities on the way


he returns to the sea