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.
(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