Sunday, January 29, 2017

No Internet... Gotta Love Mada

Dear Mada Parents--

This is Sister Woolley for President and Sister Foote, writing from my home in Provo.  Apparently, an underwater cable has been damaged in the Indian Ocean which has taken out Telma, the phone and internet provider in Madagascar.  The consequence of this is that your missionaries will not have access to email either to receive or send until the repairs are made which may be as long as 15 days.  President Foote was afraid you would be concerned when you didn't hear from your missionaries this week, and ask me to send an explanation.

I hope I have email addresses for all the Mada parents.  Please spread the word to any I may have missed.

Madagascar is a wonderful place to serve despite some occasional difficulties--we miss it already.

Sister Woolley

Monday, January 23, 2017

When Can I Be Baptized?


This new transfer has been great. My new companion is Elder Keyes who is about 3 transfers ahead of me on the mission. He is a funny guy who is from South Africa, talks with an accent, and knows everything about video games.

This Sunday was really awesome. We were sitting in Sacrament with no investigators at church like usual, when Nosy and Silley jump out of no where and sit by us. They are some investigators I have been teaching for a while now They live pretty close to the church in a little city of wood/trash buildings no bigger than a van. They stayed for sacrament but then had to leave. Before they left they asked if we could come and teach them that day and we said yes. That night we made our way across a path made out of banana peels, corn on the cob, and trash while passing mothers that all make the same joke that they will give their naughty kids to the Vasas in order to make them cry. After all of that, we made it to Nosy's house. In the lesson I asked them what they thought about church. The wife had a question about one of the talks that was about Eternal Marriage. I told them about the sealing power of the priesthood and how it can seal things here on earth and also in heaven in Matthew 16.  I brought the lesson back to Joseph Smith and how God restored that authority so we could use that power which had been lost. Which means we still have that power to seal families here on earth and for eternity today. Then they understood that we told them that the same priesthood power is what you need when you get baptized. Then I brought up baptism and explained how it is the door to that path towards eternal marriage, the wife instantly asked,
When can I be baptized?... 
When I heard that, I could not hold back my joy. I asked her, "How about February?"  They both said yes. I am so touched by this little humble family that has so many temporal things they could be worrying about, but instead all they can think about are the Godly things.

I know that if we align our paths with God, then we will start to see a change in our lives. We will have eternal joy, and more blessings than we can handle. D&C 111:11.

Elder Allen

New Comp Elder Keyes

 Elder Keyes, Rice Paddies.

Climbing out of a loft

Baptism font (Elder Keyes, 

 3 elders on wall are Elder Keyes, Sam, Elder Smith,

 Sam's house saying good-bye to Sister Wooley (nicest lady in the world)

Monday, January 16, 2017

Teaching English and Sleeping through Earthquakes

Dear Home,

The mission is going good, this week is transfer week for us. I am staying in Ampefiloha for one more transfer. My new companion is Elder Keyes from South Africa. We are also getting two other new guys in my house.

Apparently there was an Earthquake the other day. I slept through it. That morning Elder Bingham told me that he had like a weird dream or something where he woke up and the room was shaking. I told him that I didn't feel anything or wake up so maybe it was just a dream, then we went out to work. Every house we went to the families wanted to talk about the Earthquake that I had no idea happened.

Last Sunday at church there weren't  a lot of priesthood holders that showed up so Elder Smith and I had to bless the Sacrament in Malagasy. Thankfully they had one of those little help cards up there for us to just read from.

The language is getting better but I still have a hard time understanding the things people say to me. I can sometimes understand every word in a sentence but not the sentence because Malagasies think different than English. For Example: If a kid was about to put something in his mouth and a mother would say in English, don't eat that or don't put that in your mouth. That does not make sense to Malagasies, you have to say, don't receive that in your mouth. It makes it hard to just translate your thought. First, you have to change it to a way that is understandable for them, then translate it to English. Also, their sentences are opposite of English, V.O.S. It is all fun though, if someone does not understand then you just keep trying until they do.

The other day in the English Class that we teach I had all of the students teach me Malagasy. I am going to start doing that every time. They love it, and we both benefit. I will say things in Malagasy and they will translate it into English and they will also correct my Malagasy, its great.

Malagasy Proverb I learned from the kids in English Class: Ny Adala tsy adala, fa ny adala izay mahadala adala no Adala.  

(Insert from mom:  I tried to translate this proverb into English and I came up with this..."The fool is not a fool, but the foolish are mad over that the fool is a fool."  ????)

Elder Allen

Dear Parents,
Some of you may have heard about an earthquake in Madagascar this morning.  It was actually in the town of Ambatomifanongoa near Antsirabe.  Some of us even felt it here in Antananarivo.  We want you to know we have checked with all of our missionaries and they are all fine.  The  Antsirabe elders noticed some cracks in their walls and ceiling—we will look into all of that.
Once again, the Lord takes care of his missionaries.
Please let me know if you have any other questions or concerns.
Sister Woolley
Madagascar Antananarivo Mission Secretary

Monday, January 9, 2017

Pray and Ask God and Please be Sincere


This week was a good one. One of my favorite investigators came to church this Sunday. His name is Franky and he told me that the only reason he has not already been baptized is because of his wife. But we just found out that she has been cheating on him. But now he knows about that he finally decided to come. The sad part is he came alone. But we have the coolest member named Fr. Tolotra who is about 3 1/2 feet tall and walks with a cane because of his legs that sits and talks with all of our investigators, nicest little guy. I am telling you, the members make it or break it. I am grateful for the ones that make it.

The other day I was on a split when I tracted into a big families house. They let us in but seemed a little off. When I asked if they had a faith, this really proud woman answered, "Yeah we are JDUBS and actually I am a missionary like you guys but for my church." My first thoughts were, Oh S#@~.. We had just walked into a lions den. But I kept it cool. I decided right then and there I was not going to bible bash with this family because it is a waste of time and you don't return after anyway.  So i just told her, "Oh that is cool."  Then told her our purpose and then shared a simple sweet message trying to not be too deep with doctrine because I knew she would just argue about it. I told them what the gospel was and how it is like a path but if the path is lost or losing some parts then we cannot make it to our destination. I explained the apostasy and how it happened. Then brought up, because of that there must be a restoration. I explained Joseph Smith and then asked if there were any questions. Some of the guys actually said, "that makes a lot of sense". But then the girl just went off trying to explain to those guys why it is actually wrong. The things she said were the craziest things I have ever heard but I did not want to argue so I just listened. But my comp could not help it. He went off countering everything she said. And then I sat through like 30 min of war. I stopped it and just told them we have to go now but if you really want to know truth then you should pray and ask God if Joseph Smith is a Prophet and to please be sincere.

Funny Story: I was walking down a path and a little kid yelled JACK at me. I did not understand why but then my Malagasy Comp who did not know how to explain in words pulled out his planner and drew a big boat and wrote TITANIC. Apparently I look like Leonardo DeCaprio to a lot of people here. That was the second time some one had told me that.

Quote:"Families are not just meant to make things run smoothly here on earth and to be cast off when we get to heaven. Rather, they are the order of heaven. They are an echo of a celestial pattern and an emulation of God's eternal family."

Elder Allen

Monday, January 2, 2017

Be Patient, Endure, & have Charity


This week was pretty fun. We had lots of Swarays at members' houses and I ate food until I was going to die. I went to a wedding during the week and helped cater the food. I ate so much at the wedding also. It was great, everyone danced and did karaoke.

For New Year's, we played ping pong and there were fireworks at midnight. At one of the Swarays, I got really tired after eating so I laid down on like a wooden table for a second. I fell asleep for like 2 hours at a member's house. I woke up really groggy and had to walk over to another appointment we had after. It was pretty funny.

Here is a quote my dear friend Ben sent me, ¨You must never give into despair. Allow yourself to slip down that road, and you surrender to your lowest instincts. In the darkest times, hope is something you give yourself. That is the meaning of inner strength.¨ -Uncle Iroh

My New Years Resolution is to be patient, endure, and have charity. There is never any use in worrying about things that you cannot control or are in the past. So just continue moving forward. Learn from your mistakes, be better, more loving, and more hard working every day.  Just be like Jesus.

Elder Allen

I think the elder's at the table are his roommates. 
Elder Bingham and Elder Smith and not sure the others.  

His companion Elder Randri is with the pizza.