Monday, December 26, 2016

Christmas & Disrespectful Chickens


Christmas was very nice. We went to Church, then went to a members house after. I ate a four course meal and almost died I was so full.

We hung out for a while then went back to our Church and saw Elder Bingham doing his skype.  I did my skype on Christmas Eve. Seeing my family was the greatest thing ever.

Before skype, was my ward's Christmas party. I showed up a little late and it looked like they did not plan anything and were just winging stuff it was funny.  Then they asked if the missionaries would come up and dance for every one. We awkwardly walked up and they started playing music and we danced in front of everyone. It was awful. Then the guy came up with another idea and asked the primary to come up and sing a Christmas song. Then, they called on random people asking them to share stuff. The party was a little bad.

Funny Story of the Week:
Earlier in the week we were teaching a family when a Chicken walked in. We were perfectly fine with it, but the family acted like this Chicken was disrespecting us or something so the dad grabbed it and threw it out the window. Within 5 seconds it would come back in and we would tell them that it was no problem. But these guys would not have it. So the dad grabbed the chicken and put it in the shelf and shut the door. 20 sec later it found its way out and walked right in front of us. The dad grabbed it again and it would squawk loud every time. But this time he didn't know where to put it so he just chucked it under the bed really hard, it came walking out from under the bed again and he just kicked it out the door. My comp. and I were laughing that whole lesson.

I really do love my mission. I love the crazy people, and the opportunity to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with them.

I am so grateful for all who emailed me this Christmas Season and sent me some love from home.

 Elder Allen

Grandma Jeanne sent it to Sam.  So cute.  

Sam's comp, Elder Randri. 


Then Sam's feet and a chicken.

Monday, December 19, 2016

"... his Father in Heaven is looking after him"

Missionaries serving in the Capitol of Antananarivo

Merry Christmas Everybody,
This has been a great week. I love the Christmas Season it makes you more happy and thankful for what you have. My new companion is awesome, he is so loving and genuine towards the Malagasy people. He has taught me a lot through example of how to treat others, and show love.

Touching Story: The other day an old man walked up to us and asked if he could sell his phone to us for 2,000 Ar. because his 9 year old kid was dying and he needed 2,000 Ar. to pay the Ambulance. You have to pay ambulances up front or they wont do anything. I quickly gave him a 2,000 Ar. and told him to keep his phone. He took the money and ran off. We went to our next appointment and hoped that we weren't just swindled out of 2,000 Ar. by that man. As we were leaving the appointment, we were walking down the same road and saw the same guy walking up to us. He told us that he had been looking for us.  He pulled out the money we gave him and started to hand it back to us. He said thank you very much but my son is already dead... We told him to keep the money and then asked him if there was anything we could help him with. He said no, but then we pulled out a Plan of Salvation pamphlet and gave it to him. We also told him that his Father in Heaven is looking after him and that he would see his son again. We left him with our number, told him to call us if he needed anything, and then separated.

Funny Story : We were teaching a part member family, the wife is baptized but the husband is still working on repentance. He had previously stolen 3 million Ar. and had to get forgiveness from the guy he stole from before he could be baptized.  We had happened to be teaching about repentance that day. I had forgotten to tell my new companion about why he still was not baptized and during the lesson my comp started to give crazy examples of sins and what we would need to do if we did such things. For example he said, If you stole like 3 million Ar. then you would have to pay it back and receive forgiveness. When I heard that I instantly looked at the family and saw the guy and his wife look at each other with red faces. I told my comp afterwards the reason he was not baptized and we started to laugh because he happened to get the number exactly right, and the sin.

  Cool Story 2: I had to give a talk in my church and wanted to share a story that I had found about Christ, but it was in English. It was long and no one in my house wanted to help translate it for me. I almost gave up on it and moved onto something else but then I had an idea. I took it to the English class that I teach and found a kid that was the best at English. I convinced him to translate it into Malagasy for me and he did the whole thing. He actually asked me to bring another story next week so that he could translate something else.

I am grateful for all the experiences life gives us. I am grateful for this world we have and all the gifts God has given us.  There are two ways you can look at life. God just sent us here to challenge us and test us to see who can make it back to him. Or, he gave us this beautiful planet for our happiness and benefit, and gave us all the things we need to have joy, excitement, and experiences. Take advantage of all the great things about the world and stop trying to find fault in things and people. Just be like Jesus Christ.
Elder Allen

(we screen shotted/screen grabbed these photos from videos that his Mission President's wife posted to Facebook.  They aren't the best quality but something is always better than nothing.)

Mission Christmas Party

Monday, December 12, 2016

I Have Never Felt the Spirit and Love of Christ More

This week has been good. I have a new companion, his name is Randrianavalona. He is a Malagasy and the place he is from is actually really close to where we work. He is really funny but does not speak much English. He is also the complete opposite of my last companion.

The work is getting better every transfer, I think it is because I get a little better at the language every transfer. I still don't know what is happening most of the time in lessons but hopefully the understanding will come. I have to give a talk in church next Sunday because my comp jokingly declined himself from the task. It will be very interesting with my broken Malagasy. But I am glad I get the chance to share a message about the Savior.

Christmas is very different in Madagascar. There is no snow, no decorations, no trees, just a regular day. But it will give me the chance to think about Christ more. I am grateful for that. We have a Christmas party coming up. We get to watch one Christmas movie. I am rooting for the new Star Wars movie, but that probably won't happen.

I am very grateful to be a missionary during this Holiday Season because I have never felt the spirit and love of Christ more than here.
Elder Allen

Monday, December 5, 2016

I am Enjoying all the Good Stuff and the Bad

Send Sam some love for Christmas.  His email address is  He would love to hear from you.

This week is transfer week. I am staying in Ampefiloha but my companion Elder Band is going to Itsosy. My new comp is a Malagasy who's original mission was in South Africa but his Visa expired so he is back here. He can speak pretty good English but he chooses not to. I will definitely get a lot of practice with the language this transfer. I am pretty excited.

The work is going good. I am starting to get used to all the weird things that happen to me every day. I think when I return to America I will never be surprised ever again.

I did just find out that one of my investigators rents out rooms for prostitution. That was way awkward when in mid-conversation a hooker and a skinny guy in a hoodie walk up to pay our investigators for a room. They did tell us that they don't rent it out to minors though, so that is good. I am not sure how we are going to tell them that they have to stop the family business if they want to get baptized. Their only other source of income is a bar they just opened up... We will wait and see.

It is rainy season now. It has rained every day this week. It is good and bad. Depends on if you forget your rain jacket or not. I am enjoying all the good stuff in Madagascar but I am also enjoying the bad. The mission is an adventure. I love it.

Elder Allen

Monday, November 28, 2016

Much I COULD Do On My Own

Hello Everybody,

This week has been an interesting one. There is something going on here called the Frankafoana right now. Every French speaking country gets together and has a conference. It is funny because Madagascar is being really fake just for this week. They made rules for everyone. For this week no one can sell things on the streets, they advise you to stay inside as much as possible, you can't wear sandals, and other crazy things. They also have made the road from the airport to the convention way nice, like first world status. While the rest is still good old Madagascar. It is really funny. I think that was the reason some guy spit in my face. He probably assumed I was French. Everyone here gets really surprised when they realize I do not speak French.

For Thanksgiving we didn't do anything. But the day after Thanksgiving we ate at the Carlton. That is the place where all the French people are staying so it is really nice. The Carlton is gated and has security but we just say Bonjour to the guard and he lets us in every time.

This week I went on a split with my zone leader and his plan was to see how much I could do on my own. So every lesson, he just sat back and stayed quiet unless I asked him to add his thoughts. That day I realized there is a lot more I can say and do than I thought. I even answered people's questions. That is one thing I am still not very good at, understanding native Malagasies.

Madagascar is one of the coolest places ever. The people are great, and the adventure never ends.
Thanks for the love.
Elder Allen

Elder Freestone

 Selfies in front of the mirror

Monday, November 21, 2016

Memorable Moments In Mada

The same old missionary work has been going on, but also there were a couple of weird things that happened.

-During a lesson there was a Malagasy Soap Opera going on in the background. It looked like it was filmed and written by 12 year olds. It was very bad.
-Today we went to  The Croc Farm. We threw a chicken in the cage and watched it get destroyed.
-I also held a Lemurs hand and fed it nuts.

-While waiting to meet up with a member a random man walked up to us. He claimed to be a Prophet of God. It was pretty fun  talking to him.
-While Elder Band and I were walking to an appointment a guy spit on my face, then he ran away.
-When we arrived at one of our times the investigator was really busy because his pig was giving birth. The sad part was it gave premature still birth. He showed us the whole thing.

Those were all the memorable moments from the week. It was a really good week though.

I finally feel like I am able to connect and communicate with my investigators. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the greatest thing we can have and live in our lives. I am very grateful to see all the love and blessings God has for all of his children here in Madagascar. I love this Country and the opportunity to live one of the weirdest lifestyles ever.
Thanks for all the love and support from home.
Elder Allen

Monday, November 14, 2016

We Cannot Wait Around

Dear America,

I heard the news.

Madagascar is still doing good. This week Elder Band and I have been bringing some members to come teach with us. During a lesson the member asked our investigator where he works, he told him that he is still looking for a job. The member told him of some good places to find jobs and even some openings that he knows of. The investigator said that he was waiting for God to guide him to a new job. The member told him that maybe God sent him to tell him of those job openings. The investigator did not agree with him.

The Malagasy people are so funny and weird sometimes... All the time. After that lesson, the member told us that if he is going to wait for God to show him everything that he needs to do then he will never do anything.

This reminds me of a story in the Book of Mormon. The Brother of Jared had a problem. He needed to find a way to light up the inside of his boats during their journey across the sea. Instead of just asking God to tell him what he should do he offered a solution, but still with the intent of needing God's help. He asked God to touch the stones and make them light up. God was more than happy to help.

That is how we need to live. We cannot wait around waiting for God to do stuff for us. We need to work, and find the solutions to our own problems. If we do our part and do all that we can do first, then God will handle the rest if we ask.

Elder Allen

P.S. I have a sweet guitar in my apartment so I get to play guitar everyday.  I haven't found a piano yet.  There is an electronic one at the church, but they take the cord when no one is using it.

Monday, November 7, 2016

His Whole Family Said YES


Our lessons this week have been awesome. We have this investigator named Franky who has already almost finished reading the Book of Mormon. We have only taught him and his family like three times but he has done all the work in finding the truth for himself. Last time we visited him I asked him if he knew the Book of Mormon was true. He said yes. Then I asked him if he knew the teachings of Jesus Christ would bless his life. He said yes. Instantly after that I asked him if he would then follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized by some one holding the priesthood authority of God. His whole family said yes. The spirit in that room was so strong it made me cry.

I know that as a missionary it is not my job to convince people or do the work for them. All I do is invite, and give them a Book that if they read they will instantly know how true it is. The Book of Mormon is the evidence of the Restoration of the Gospel. If anyone wants to know if Joseph Smith was a Prophet or not, all you have to do is read the Book of Mormon.

Halloween here was just like every other day, except there is a day of the dead the day after Halloween. No decorations, just a lot of drunk guys on the streets.

Today for P-day we are buy groceries for the week.  I am going to make brownies and banana muffins today for Swarays this week.  Those are when you eat at a members house. This upcoming week is my comps birthday. We are eating good. We are going to go eat at a way good place.  We are going to a 5 star restaurant in Mada called the Carlton. It is pretty expensive there, like 17,000 Ar for a burger. I think that is like 5 or 6 bucks.  Then probably just chill for the day.

Next P-day we are planning on going to a Crock farm.  You get to throw a chicken in and watch the crocks hunt it down.  I will probably bribe the guys there to let the lemurs climb on me.  That it is how the zoos here work.  They charge 500 Ar for the malagasys but 10,000 Ar for Vazas and you have to bribe the workers if you want to go into the cage with the monkeys.  I will try to take a lot more pictures this week.

I am very grateful for Madagascar. It is definitely changing my perspective.
Elder Allen

Today at the cyber cafe. 

A Silent Charlie Chaplin film poster.  The Malagasys put their own dialogue to it.

Monday, October 31, 2016

"Bagoas" Sam in Mada

This week was transfer week. We have two new guys in our house. Elder Bingham is from Utah, he has been in Mada as long as my companion, Elder Band. Then we also got a brand new trainee in the house. Elder Smith is from Texas. That is all the new news. I gave myself a haircut the other day, then had Elder Bingham clean up what I screwed up on. It looks more like it did when I went into the MTC.

Today is Halloween! I am way bummed though because they don't celebrate it here in Madagascar. And I am not allowed to dress up.

Our lessons are going great. We are beginning to see some progress with our investigators. I am slowly beginning to understand people a little better, so I have been playing around with talking to strangers in Malagasy a little more. Before I would just stand there not knowing what to say or even how to say anything.

No funny stories from this week, it was a pretty regular week. I had an old lady hit on me though. She called me "bagoas" which means handsome. I thought that was nice.

Also after a lesson a guy kissed my hand, which means he really appreciates me. I think our message really touched his heart. He also sang to me. like a whole song, it was like 2 min. long. It was awesome. He might have been a little drunk.

Madagascar is doing good. How is life back in America?
Thanks for the love and support.
Elder Allen

Elder Mccrary just went home i only knew him for one day but he was really cool 

Elder Tangarasi lived in my house last transfer but just went home as well. 

Elder Maluleka is the zone leader that i go on splits with all the time.
(he was the umbrella story guy.)

Monday, October 24, 2016

Weird Things Have Happened


Some weird things have happened this week. First off the work is coming along great. I am learning how to teach and lead most of our lessons, but I am still not very good at understanding people yet.

I saw everyone in my MTC district this week because we had to do VISA stuff, so that was fun. I got to go on a split with my old comp. and my new one. All three of us taught together, it was fun.

I saw a mini running with the bulls this week. We were just walking down a calm path and all of a sudden we looked up. Whenever a Rugby team wins they purchase a bull and run with it down the streets, then they kill it and eat it that night.

Another time during the week we were just walking and a drunk guy was having a hard time walking so I grabbed his arm and helped him stand. When I looked down at his hands and Ii noticed he had two thumbs. This man had six fingers on both hands.

Funny Story 1: I was in a lesson with a fairly new investigator who is a dad with a young son. During our lesson I started getting a little distracted because I noticed their little cat on the window. The guy's son was sneaking up on the cat and when he got close he put his right hand against the cat's neck and the window. My first thought was, that is probably uncomfortable for the cat. But then in about 5 sec. the little kid started punching his cat in the face with his left hand. I started laughing during the lesson. But then concealed it very quickly. I was the only one that could see this happening. I thought he was going to beat it to death. He then grabbed his tow truck and started driving it over the cats body. This kid was destroying this poor cat. Elder Band asked me after the lesson why I kept giggling. I guess I did not hide it very well.

Funny Story 2: One night Elder Band and I were making bread when all of a sudden we heard a loud noise outside our front door. We have a set of stairs in front of our door so I made the joke that our neighbor probably just fell down the stairs. Then we heard a loud moan. Shorlyt after the loud moan, someone ran full speed into our door almost breaking in. They tried a couple of times. Elder Band ran and locked the door while I grabbed the broom ready to fight. But after a couple of attempts of breaking in we heard another noise that sounded like he fell down the stairs again. This dude was drunk and at the wrong house. He kept falling down the stairs and trying to get into his house . He left shortly after. We think he was probably our neighbor coming home drunk and tried getting into the wrong door.

That was my week.
Thanks for all the love and support while I am here.
Elder Allen

Interviews with President

"Walking through the poopy water"