This is the email from August 26th. It didn't send I am sorry. Note from mom: His Dad and I gave him a really hard time about the short emails we received last week with no blog post. Also, I corrected numerous spelling and punctuation mistakes to make it easier to read. He must have had a particularly sticky keyboard this week, plus he can't find the apostrophe on their keyboards.
It is really weird to think that it is almost the end of August already. This month has flown by. I am also almost finished with being trained, which is pretty exciting. Nothing that crazy happened this week.
I did go on two splits this week. The first was on Wednesday with Elder Smith, one of the APs. He is way awesome and he goes home in December. He has worked in a lot of cool areas and he is just a cool guy.
The other split I went on was with Elder Midgley who is in my group; It was a fun experience to go with someone in my own group and we both struggled with the language the whole day. But it was a good experience either way.
Also this week, we had a way awesome combined zone meeting between the two zones here in Tana. We had a speaker come and talk to us. Br. Oday. Br. ODay is a returned missionary that served in Madagascar 6 years ago. After his mission he started a nonprofit here in Mada, and has since started a for-profit business as well. He keeps traveling back and forth, and he has been living with a malagasy family while here in Mada. He talked about some culture things that he learned after his mission because he was living with malagasies, and he thought that he knew everything about the culture when he was a missionary. He taught us some new things that we didn't know. For example, it is rude to thank people for making you food, because we are their guests and it is expected. Little things like that. We learned some other food things that would be kinda hard to explain here. Essentially be careful of how much we take, because if the family seems like they are doing well off, they actually might not be. For example he said the family that he has been living with only eats meat the one day a week that they feed the missionaries. They don't have the money the rest of the week.
Besides that on Saturday my branch had a branch activity which was a lot of fun. I am trying to send pictures but depending on how long they take I might have to get off before they load. It was a fun activity, the game we played was the human knot where they get all knotted up with their hands and then have to untangle. It requires going over and under and fun stuff like that. It was way fun. Then we had President Adams(mission President) come and talk to the branch, and the area seventy also came and talked. Its Elder Vand... I dont remember his name, so if you could find it on LDS;org that would be great. He just got sustained this April 2013 conference, so it shouldn't be too hard to find.
I have a picture with him if that one loads too, who knows. He talked about a lot of things and it was great getting to meet him and also having the branch get to meet him. The activity was on Saturday and almost every adult member was there at the activity. It was remarkable.
Note from mom: We looked and the only name of a 70 sustained in April that starts with a "V" is Elder Vinson, so I don't know if that is right or not.
I is amazing to see the work here. The work is all about the temple. Preparing for a temple of the Lord to be built here in Mada. There are two districts in Mada that hopefully will be stakes in not too long. Plus a third stake in Tana and then we should be on the map for a temple. Something President Adams said to my branch on Saturday, "My wife and I started our missions almost 48 years ago exactly. When we started our missions, there were fewer than 10,000 members in Brazil. Now, Brazil is a lot larger than Madagascar, but in my adult lifetime, Brazil now has over 300 stakes, at least 10 or 11 temples, and at least that many missions. They now have 1,400,000 members in Brazil." The members were surprised and happy to know that this is the future that Madagascar holds. He also said, "Currently there are 100 missionaries serving from Madagascar missions in Madagascar, Africa, and all over the world. There is one sister in Utah, there is an Elder from a small rural town serving in New Zealand(that's the one I met in the MTC), and a sister that just got her call to Singapore. Soon there will be 200 missionaries serving from Madagascar, and then after that 400 missionaries serving. And they will come home and will be a blessings to the church here in Madagascar and to the country of Madagascar." The work here is going. By the way, we have a baptism on Saturday, just thought about that. But the work is going and Madagascar will be a stronghold for the church in coming years.