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




Sunday, September 17, 2017

Greetings from President Foote

Dear Parents,

Greetings from the Madagascar Antanarivo Mission.
We are continually blessed to be able to work with such tremendous Elders and Sisters in this Mission.
Recently, there have been incidents of the bubonic plague in a few of the communities in Madagascar.  We are taking every precaution to insure the safety of each Missionary.รข€‹
As a precautionary measure, we have temporarily moved the Elders in Toamasina (Tamatave) to Antananarivo.  All other missionaries remain in their assigned areas.
All Missionaries are required to take doxycycline each day and for thirty days after their return home, as a preventative measure for malaria but also is prevenative for many other diseases, including bubonic plague. It is very important for them to take this medication. We would ask you to encourage your missionary to be obedient in this matter.
We reiterate that these moves are precautionary.  The missionaries are safe and we have measures in place to keep them safe.  
Please continue to pray for your missionaries and for the Malagasy people  and the great work that is going on here

Sincerely
Raymon D. Foote
President, Madagascar Antananarivo Mission

Monday, September 11, 2017

A Pretty Good Turn Out

Hello,

The weeks have been going by quite quickly lately. We had about 20 investigators come to church yesterday. It was a pretty good turn out.

We have a baptism coming up for a young man named Pascal. He is a really smart kid that just understands it all. We do not have to do much explaining with him. He also comes to church every week. We have a couple of pretty cool families that we have been teaching lately as well. They all come to church and are all going to be baptized next transfer.

I have sent some photos of a plane that Elder Monson and I found while walking around in our area. It was pretty cool.





I finished reading the New Testament last week and I am almost finished with Doctrine and Covenants. I have read everything except the Old Testament, except I think I will just start reading the Book of Mormon again.

Last Monday I wanted to get a hair cut but I do not trust the Malagasies because they always give the missionaries "black man" cuts. That is all they are good at. I walked over to a hair cut place with my old comp, Elder Wilson and asked the guys if we could just use their clippers. It was really funny because the whole time the Malagasy guys were studying the way to cut a white man's hair.

That is all from the week.
Sincerely,
Elder Allen



Monday, September 4, 2017

The Most Comforting Truths

Hello,

This week was pretty nice. We just had a Stake Conference last Sunday and I got to see a lot of people I knew back in Ampefiloha.
Funny story actually.  On our way to the conference we heard someone calling us over from across the street in English. There was a white lady and her white husband in the back of a car. We walked over and started talking to them. It so happened to be the American Ambassador and his wife. They told us they had been in Mada for about four weeks and they look for LDS missionaries wherever they go. They travel around the world a lot. They actually ended up giving us a ride to church. During the drive the lady kept telling us that she had so many LDS friends. She called herself a "Dry Mormon". They told us if we needed anything to just call them. She said we could eat at their house, swim in their pool, and if we needed someone to sew our pants that she would do that. Nice people.

Something I have been noticing more and more lately is that Malagasy Children are just like Ewoks from Star Wars. You hear little voices speaking a weird language behind you and then when you turn around they jump and then scurry away from you. It makes me think of Return of the Jedi every time.

Some bad news from this last week is that one of our investigators died. We were walking around heading to appoitments when a lady ran up to us and said that Gi is dead. At first we did not quite understand but then we realized she was talking about a man that we had previously started teaching. We walked with her to the house and there were a lot of people there. It so happened that he had died just barely. His dead body was on the bed and his wife was crying over it. Someone told her that the "Prayers" are here so she turned around in tears and looked at us. A man pointed at my companion Elder Monson and asked him to pray. So we prayed for the peace and comfort of this family and then placed a Plan of Salvation book with them. The message is always centered on how families can be together forever. That is  one of the most comforting truths.

Sincerely,
Elder Allen


Monday, August 28, 2017

I Like this Area A Lot

Hello,

This last week went by really fast. Last Saturday we had a Baptism for a young man named Tahiry.  I gave a small talk about Baptism at the program.


Afterwards we went out to work and caught some appointments. At one of the appointments a lady had a new born baby. She gave birth last Wednesday. There is a saying here when some one gives birth that I find really funny but a little sexist. It goes like this, "Congratulations, you have a received a Water Carrier." That is if they had a baby girl. If it is a boy then you say, "Congratulations, you have received a Wood Chopper." She had a girl.

On Sunday we had 13 Investigators show up to church. Three families and a couple of single young men. The work has been going really good here. I like this area a lot.

Later that night, Elder Monson and i went to go catch our last appointment,  but they were not there yet so we waited for a while. Shortly, an old Bebe (grandma) walked out of her house and began talking to us as we were waiting. She then gave us money and demanded us to go buy ourselves some bread, the only problem was that it was the sabbath. We did not want to be rude so we walked over to the nearest Episeri and then returned without bread. We told her they were out of bread and just returned the money. She then ran inside and yelled out to us, "can you eat rice?" We obviously replied yes and then she came outside with two plates of rice with some veggies on top. We kindly thanked her and then ate dinner with this charitable Bebe. To give you a good visual of what she looked like is that old witch Yubaba from the film Spirited Away. Except she was dark skinned and a lot more skinny.

That is all the stuff.
Sincerely,
Elder Allen






Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Zone Conference

Zone Conference


A New Area


Hello 
My first week in Ambohibao was great. My Companion Elder Monson is from Salt Lake City Utah, he has been out on the mission one transfer longer than me. We live in a two man house so it is way chill every night, but we have been working really hard lately so we are not at the house very often. I probably live in the nicest house in the mission of Madagascar. We both get our own personal bathroom. 



Church yesterday was pretty good, I had to bare my testimony in Sacrament Meeting because I was a new missionary. The ward seems really great here. We teach a lot of people and run around a lot each day. Ambohibao is around five times the size of my last area, it is pretty big but I like that.

Last Thursday we were heading to our District Meeting in a Taxi Bus when all of a sudden we ran into some crazy traffic, we dicided to get out and just walk the rest of the way. 




We walked by a huge line of stopped cars until we saw what was causing the traffic. A huge semi truck full of boxes of bottled beer had fallen over in the middle of the road. There were broken beer bottles all over the place and a small river of it flowing down the street. There were so many people crowded around and some trying to steal the bottles that were still in tact. After District Meeting was over we headed back up to our house. As we were walking I saw a guy walking down the street with a Cig in is mouth a huge smile on his face and about six bottles of beer in his arms. I guarantee he stole those from that crash. 

That is the VaoVao from this past week.
Sincerely,
Elder Allen







This is the material for my suit. It has a dark gray outside and a blue and white stripped inside.  I will have someone make my suit here in Madagascar.

Monday, August 14, 2017

New Adventures in Tana

Hello,
I just arrived to the missionary office in Tana and started emailing. I woke up at 4:00 am to see the sunrise at the beach this morning, but it was cloudy and raining so we did not see the sun. That is fine though it was a nice time at the beach. Then I got a ride from a family of members that were heading up to Tana from Tamatave. That was a long drive starting at 6:30am - 3:30pm. I am very tired right at this moment. My new area is Amboibo which is in the North Zone of Tana. My Companion is Elder Monson. These last couple of days I have been on splits with people in Tamatave. The rest of the Elders went up to Tana last Saturday but there was not enough room in the car for all of us so I stayed back until today. It was really fun to work in a lot of the areas in Tamatave before I left. It was a sad Goodbye.  I will miss everyone in Tamamtave.  But, I am excited for new adventures in Tana and ready for a change.

Love,
Elder Allen







Monday, August 7, 2017

Prepare Ourselves for Eternal Joy

Hello,

The work here has been pretty good lately. We have been teaching a lot more lessons and visiting members. It has been great. We still do not get a lot of people at church except for Seta Pierre and his daughter Jiselle. They should be getting baptized in a couple of weeks.

This next week is probably my last week in Tamatave but I still do not know for sure. I should be leaving Ambolomadinika though. I also hit my year mark on August 3. It has not felt like I have been here for very long but also it does.

I am grateful for the chance I have had to be here and share a message about the Restoration of the Gospel. I am even more thankful for the opportunity I have had to study, ponder, and pray about this gospel myself, everyday for a year. I plan to do that for the rest of my life. Our lives are such a short piece in an eternity. I do not think we have been placed on this earth without a way to know what is required of us during our short time here. There is a purpose to this life and that purpose is to prepare ourselves for eternal joy. It all leans on the things we do whether we receive that joy or not. I do not think God grants it unto us, he only shows us the way to receive it. If we do not follow the way he has prepared for us than we will not get there. For those who feel they still do not know that way I urge you to start searching. God places things here for us to know his will. His tools are Prophets, Scripture, Prayer, the Holy Spirit, and greatest of all his son Jesus Christ. He is the key and center to everything. Through him, from him, because of him, and in the name of him we can come to know all things.
Sincerely,
Elder Allen