Friday, August 26, 2016

I just want to go and be out there.

Hello Mom,

The MTC is going by so fast. I feel like I just got here, but I get my flight plans in a week. I am definetly not ready to talk to native Malagasy speakers, let alone my teacher even when he speaks slow. But I don't care. I just want to go and be out there.

I teach about 1-2, 20 min. lessons a day in Malagasy to fake investigators. I am not allowed to use my language notes so I just have to go in and piece sentences together. It is really hard and the investigators are hard on you. They think it is funny to make up the worst possible situations. It is not funny. It is really pushing me to get better though so I kind of like it.

When I teach, I can feel the spirit and what it wants me to say. But the spirit speaks to me in English so.... I have to teach really simple lessons with the vocabulary of a 4 year old. So asking effective questions and answering good questions the way I want to ends up not right and sometimes translated completely wrong. It is the most humbling part of the day.

For example, one day my companion and I were preparing a lesson for an investigator that we previously taught and had  asked her to read the Book of Mormon. We had the best lesson planned and had figured out all these different ways to teach it in Malagasy. We were going to ask her to commit to being baptized, that is how good we thought it was going to be. When we went in, we talked to her about her weekend and asked how her family was doing. After, we finished praying with her, we asked if she read the Book of Mormon at all and what she read. She said yes and I was stoked until she brought up Nephi killing Laban and how that is against the commandments so the book is bad and she doesn't like it. I knew what to do in this situation, and I could have answered her questions, but because of my lack of communication I could not share my thoughts.  I did not have the scriptures marked in my Malagasy version BOM so we were doomed. We fumbled with words desparetly trying to calm down this angry lady that just kept saying that the BOM was very bad. It was awful. If this lesson was filmed it would be considered the worst and funniest missionary lesson ever taught. There was a part where she put her hand on the BOM and just said, ny bokin i' Mormon ratsy be! (the book of mormon very bad) I impulsively put my hand on the BOM after her and waited for the words to come for what to say, it got silent and when I answered her, all I said was, ny bokin i' Mormon tsara be (the book of mormon very good). It was so dumb. I started laughing right after I said that. While I was just repeating what she was saying but turning it to positive my companion was playing charades with her. He didn't know how to respond to her in Malagasy so he stood up and started acting out what he wanted to say. I just busted a gut laughing again. He was pretending to be her and praying in a high girly voice. It was so funny. Then she actually kind of understood what he was saying during charades. It calmed back down and she asked us one last simple question. It was, "Who said this book is true?" I don't know much malagasy but I did know how to say The Holy Ghost so I just answered meekly, "Fanahy Masina".   She didn't like that answer, she stood up and told us to leave. It ended very poorly. The worst teaching experience ever.

Since then I have been studying so much harder so that I can know the scriptures better and in Malagasy. I hope that never happens in the field.

I love you and miss you mom. Hope you like that story about the two worst missionaries ever.

Elder Allen

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