Monday, October 16, 2017

Bubonic Plague Slowing the Work

Note from Mom:
**Many of you have asked for an update on the Bubonic Plague Epidemic in Madagascar right now.  Some of you have seen the news or have heard about it.  It is pretty bad.  Sam says it seems to be getting worse before it is getting better.  I have received letters from the mission president every week.  I have included them on Sam's blog if you are interested.  The President has asked us to join the mission in a Special Fast this coming Sunday Oct. 22 on behalf of the people of Madagascar, the missionaries and the work.  If you aren't able to fast with us, just send some extra prayers their way.

I talked to Sam this morning.  He is good!  He is frustrated and bored and wants to get out and work.  There are many restrictions right now on the missionaries.  It is a scary place to be and they can't do the things they are used to and that frustrates them.  There is a whole group of missionaries in the MTC right now waiting to go.  Sam said he thinks they will keep them here in the states until they get things under control.  They are definitely aware of our concerns and doing everything they can to keep our missionaries safe and protected!  Thanks for your concern!!  Jenn




Hello,

There is not much more news about our situation here with the plague, except for the people living in my house are now leaving to go work in Ambositra. That is a province in Mada that is in the middle of nowhere. I am staying here in Ambohibao inside of Tana. There are not many missionaries here anymore.  I am doing okay.  The whole lifestyle here at the moment gets really boring and I am going a little bit crazy but I am doing fine.  The work goes on when it can because of the many restrictions. It still is not as bad as the missionaries in Russia have it so i feel a little blessed for that. We actually have baptisms coming up soon in about a week or two. We are pretty excited about that. There are no recorded problems in this area with the plague so it is still okay for us to be here.  We can still visit our fixed scheduled times that are not too sketchy looking houses.  We have good work days and also really open days where there is nothing to do.  I like to be busy!

There were a couple of crazy things that happened this week. The first is one night walking home from work we witnessed a huge car crash. A car slammed into the back of a parked Semi. When it hit i looked over and right at that moment a guy fell out of his side door and I am pretty sure that he was dead. A week later we were walking out to one of our areas that is pretty far away from our house when I heard a lady yell, "it is because of the Plague!" I looked up and saw on the sidewalk a teenage boy laying dead on the ground. A stranger was moving his body over to the side of the road while that lady was running away plugging her nose. That was a little downer at the beginning of the day.

Life here has become a little crazier but we are still trying our hardest to continue our purpose.
"Jesus is our friend not just a trend."
Sincerely,
Elder Allen




Saturday, October 14, 2017

A Letter & Invitation from the Mission Office

Dear Parents,
Hello from the Madagascar Antananarivo Mission!

New information concerning the plague in Madagascar. The plague along with other diseases are ever present in this country.  We would again ask you to encourage your missionary to take their Doxycycline faithfully.  Doxycycline is an effective deterrent to the plague as well as many other illnesses.  It is so important to be faithful in taking the medicine.

We continue to keep an accurate update from local government, World Health Organization, the Area Authorities from South Africa as well as our Area Medical Adviser in South Africa, local doctors, and the epidemiologist from Salt Lake City.  We have moved the Missionaries from areas that are known to have had  confirmed cases of plague. They are not riding on public transportation, they  have been asked to not go into less clean areas, English classes have been cancelled until further notice, public meetings and large gatherings are not to take place in Antananarivo, They have been issued masks to be worn in public such as stores, and they have been educated on symptoms as well as what to do if they become ill.

If situations change we will act quickly to ensure the safety and protection of the missionaries.
 
We have been made aware that some of you did not receive the first update for which we apologize. We are trying to keep you informed to the best of our ability.  We are multitasking with many responsibilities and will do all we can to help you with your concerns. Would you please confirm that you have received this email?

We know that this is a bit unsettling for you to hear news of these matters and to be far from those you care so much for.

We will be holding a special Fast on October 22, this will include our mission , two stakes two districts and all of our branches, We will fast for the people of Madagascar,  the missionaries, as well as the ongoing missionary work here for which these great elders and sisters want to move forward with.  We would certainly invite you to join with us to ask for Heaven's help in this effort.  Your love and support and prayers will be a great uplift to your missionary and all of us.

We love these missionaries.  Their health and welfare are ever on our minds. We would like to assure you that we are all working hard to keep everyone healthy and well informed by working closely with the missionaries on preventative measures.
This is a tremendous opportunity to grow in unity and obedience as this mission confronts this obstacle.

Raymon D. Foote
President Madagascar Antananarivo Mission

Sister Boyle
Mission Medical Advisor

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Just Be Positive & Generous


Hello,

My email is a day late because my new comp was really sick yesterday and I had to stay home with him, so I didn't get a P-day to get to the Cyber.  But he is all good today so I had a little bit of time to email.

Madagascar has become a little weirder for us missionaries. The Bubonic Plague is getting pretty bad so it has restricted us from doing a lot of work. We can only visit the people we already had for fixed programs. We also have to just walk really far everyday because we cannot take a bus. We have two other missionaries living with us now because they were evacuated from their area because of the Plague. It gives us time to make good meals though so that has been great. We have been eating like kings lately.

General Conference was really good this year. I really got a lot from all of the talks. One thing that I particularly noticed was the importance of just being a positive generous person. Also, gaining from hard things. Life can be a hard stressful thing or it can be an amazing experience full of joy. It all just depends on our attitudes and focus. If we learn to put Christ at the center of our lives and look outward in order to bless others then we can receive that joy. Sometimes we are not in a situation or place to gain or receive for ourselves but to give and help others. We are not just receivers and takers. We are to be used to bless the lives of others. God can use us to do marvelous things and to benefit someone else, but it requires us to allow him to do that. That is why we must put Christ at the center of our lives.

Sincerely,
Elder Allen


Thursday, October 5, 2017

oUpdate on the Outbreak of the Bubonic Plague

Dear Parents

Hello once again from the Madagascar Antananarivo Mission.  The work is progressing because of the constant love and diligence of the missionaries. We continue to marvel at the faithful, positive elders and sisters you have shared with us and the people of Madagascar.

We are sending you another update on the information we have received about the outbreak of the bubonic plague here in country and the precautions that the mission is taking to insure the safety of your missionary.  We are monitoring the situation closely.

First, we have instructed the missionaries to not go door-to-door contacting in the areas of concern at this time.  Secondly, we are stressing the importance of taking Doxycycline, and ensure you that they are, with the exception of a few who are unable to for other health reasons.  In addition, all missionaries are instructed to keep their homes clean, wash their hands often, and to not ride on public transit.

We have moved missionaries from areas close to areas that have had known cases of the bubonic plague. We have relocated them to outlying communities until the health situation subsides.

Thank you for your support and prayers


President Raymon D Foote

Madagascar Antananrivo Mission

Monday, October 2, 2017

Training a Greenie


Hello,

A new era is beginning. I am training a perfectly healthy boy named Elder Howell from Texas. It is a new experience training a new missionary. It is hard, it requires much focus and lots of encouragement. He has been doing really good with the language. Learning little by little. I think he is still adjusting to Madagascar. It really is a different place. He seems to enjoy it though so that is good.I am also the district leader for this area.

I am excited for General Conference this weekend. It is always one of the most inspiring things for a missionary in the field.

I have sent some photos of Elder Wilson and i when he gave me a hair cut at a Malagasy Place.



There is also a photo of a Journal that i wrote in for a member. I drew an Ugly Goblin and then put my face over the head. You lift up my face in order to see the Goblin.

Fun Fact: I am working in an area where Scotty George once worked. Scotty George lives in my Ward back home, he has a page filled up in that same Journal.

Sincerely,
Elder Allen








Monday, September 25, 2017

Baptism of Pascal!!

Hello,
The transfers have began. My companion Elder Monson was transferred on Friday.   I will be training a new missionary in the area that I am in now. I will not meet my "kid" until Thursday. Until then I will be living and working with the Zone Leaders.

The area is still going really good, we had 18 people at Church last Sunday and Pascal received his confirmation. I baptized him on Saturday at 2:00 pm.

Here are some other photos from the week.

Elder Allen






Monday, September 18, 2017

Twenty to Church

**We got  letter from the mission president that there is the Bubonic Plague in Tamatave, which is Sam's last area he was in. They have pulled all of the missionaries out of that area for now.  Luckily Sam is back in Tana doing great.  But I did get on his case to take his Doxycyline!!!  Always an adventure!!  Thanks for all of the love, prayers, and support!    Jenn

Hello,

There is nothing too new this week except that the work has been getting better. We had over 20 investigators at church this week and it was the first time for about five of them. Five regulars did not show up so the newbies made up for it. Next week if all goes well then we could possibly have 30 investigators at church. That would be the dream. We have been getting more and more investigators from the family of diligent investigators. They tell their families about the church and then they ask if they can learn from the missionaries as well. It has been pretty cool. We also have a Baptism this Saturday for Pascal.

These are some photos of Elder Monson's and my own suit that we just had made. It was about 110,000 Ar to make one. That is like 40 dollars.


Something new from this week is that last Monday while on a bus I was talking with the guy next to me who seemed to know a lot about the church. I got his address and then we went to talk with him that next day. When we got there he pulled out all the standard works and opened them up. He had every page full of marks and cross references. Every single line was highlighted in a different color. He went off about our church and how he knows it is true and started to rant on about all of his studies. He wants to go to America and share his studies of the Bible, The Book of Mormon, D&C, and the Pearl of Great Price with the Prophet. He is a pretty passionate guy and I felt bad telling him that I could not pay for his trip there.

That is the week.
Sincerely,
Elder Allen