So........... Today is Thursday, and I leave Monday! And in between now and then I have the following.....
In field Orientation (8 hours tomorrow :( not really looking forward to that one), Departure Devotional, TRC (Teaching Resource Center - teaching members, kinda like a FHE), Culture day with our teachers, Packing, dry cleaning, finish purchasing items (like deodorant because supposedly we learned that they don't really have it in Madagascar, and if they do its really bad), Worldwide Broadcast with President Monson, Packer, and other members of the twelve, and so much more! It is going to be an absolutely crazy last few days. We recieved a whole new schedule for Sunday because the broadcast is at a weird time, and the choir rehearses for like 2 hours and everything. And so normally the departure devotional is on Sunday, but because of the schedule, they moved it to Saturday which changes our whole schedule for saturday too! These last few days are going to be a sprint.
Mom notes: FHE is Family Home Evening. In the church, each family is encouraged to spend a night (typically Monday is set aside) to spend with the family. It frequently has a song and prayer, lesson, games, and treats.
So I found out the other day that one my teachers found my blog and read the whole thing to see what I said about our teachers! He said the only think I ever said was that they were nice. So I figured since its my last week I should share a little about them. We have 4 teachers.
The head teacher is Br. Chad Burton, who is a fellow red-head, but he didn't spend too much time with us this 6 weeks because he is also a big dude at EFY and so he had to work 3 weeks with EFY instead of with us. We tell him that he loves EFY more, but we know he loves us because during those three weeks whenever he by some chance wasn't working with EFY, he came to spend time with us, even though that meant that he sacrificed food and sleep for us. He has been home a couple of years from his mission (I think 3) and so he was there during the civil war back in 2009. I can tell you that story on Monday, it is a really really good one! Don't worry, there may be riots while we are in Mada, but I feel 150% safe because Malagasy's love the white guys and would never do anything to hurt us. They actually all get really protective of us supposedly. Br. Burton loves telling stories and he has a lot about the riots. If they are going to start a riot and they see you, they will tell you that they are going to riot and help you get out of the area. :)
Mom note: EFY - Especially for Youth - a summer program the church puts on where teens ages 14-18 can spend a week, typically held at a local college, with friends, lessons, fun, dances, etc. I will try and write up and share any of the stories he tells us on Monday. He is allowed to call us from the airport in Chicago while he has his layover. Hopefully he can find a pay phone these days.
We also have Br. Sell who is the most recent back, he has been home like 1.5 years. He is also the only teacher so far that is getting married. He is awesome and teaches us so much. He has been there since the beginning, and he plays an awesome investigator named Henry.
Br. Sender played our very first investigator when we got here to the MTC. He is so knowledgable and teaches so much. Some of his spiritual thoughts were amazing!
Br. Aldous is our new teacher who was hired like a week after we got here. He is still learning the ropes, but is awesome and a great guy to be around! Hi Br. Aldous! He is the teacher that found my blog and read it, so I figured I would shout out to him and see if he reads it before I leave.
Today while at the health center for my companion, I found that one of the secretaries' son was one of the first missionaries ever on Mada and he served back when it was french speaking. She has a huge book that sits in the health clinic with pictures from his mission which was so cool to sit down and look through. She keeps it there for all of the Mada missionaries that she spots and lets us look through it which is awesome!
I am sorry things came up today and so my email is not very long. I am so excited to go to Mada and hopefully I can write a little more later this weekend.
Lots of Love. Talk to you on Monday.
Last Friday, we received a short message with his flight plans for Monday - Wednesday as well. He leaves the Salt Lake City airport around 11am. After flying to Chicago and sitting around O'Hare for about 5 hours, he spends Monday night on a plane to London - arriving at Heathrow Tuesday morning. He then has a 9 hour layover in London. They fly to Johannesburg overnight Tuesday and arrive Wednesday morning. They finally take their last leg and arrive in Madagascar at 2:10 PM. Here is what Scott had to say about his flight plans.
I didn't do the math. :) I also received this short note in a separate email.It is a total of 51 hours elapsed time, 41 if you take out the 10 hours of time zones. Flight time is way too much!
We learned something true at devotional on Tuesday. No mission can reach its full potential without the help of members. From hearing stories of our teachers, that is a large reason why Mada is having the success that it is. It's because of the members. Supposedly an average day consists of teaching 7-9 times. (lingo for our mission times are appointments because the word is the same). One of our teachers once did 15 times in a day without doing splits. Supposedly we do a lot of splits and so those days you have like 13 or 14 times. We can have about 40 investigators at any given time in our area if we chose to work. When you hear stories about people baptizing whole villages, that can be my mission, if we work hard. One of our teachers baptized a whole little village of about 60 over several months because of hard work.
I think I may include some of that in the other email too, cause I just realized how well I wrote that.