Elder Scott Weber's mission to Madagascar. Check back for weekly emails and pictures of Madagascar!

Alma 26:12 - Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

narary kely izahay tamin'alahady

The title translates as we were a little sick on Sunday. And by a little sick, it was quite a bit. Both my American companion and I must have eaten some bad food on Saturday, because Saturday night and Sunday (WARNING SLIGHTLY GRAPHIC) we both were throwing up and having dirrahroea. We stayed home all day Sunday and literally slept almost the entire day. We also then slept all night. Today we are both doing better, still extremely tired, but our stomachs are feeling better.

The letter this week will be a little short, because I took a long time writting President this week.

This area is awesome. We are woking hard to apply some changes. Right now our program is filled almost completly with women and teenage girls, with very few families and very few men. In our mission we tract a stat called FLF. It stands for Father Led Families. Why do we tract that? Because families and fathers help build the church. We are looking for real growth in our mission. Real growth is people that join the church and then stay. We tract real growth through church attendence, convert retention, active melchezidek priesthood holders, and reactivation. We care about real grwoth, because that is what brings stakes, and once we have stakes we can get a temple. The goal is a temple here. I know that as soon as there is a temple here in Madagascar the work will explode. But right now, we have a lot going inactive because they havent been to the temple. Less people will go less innactive once there is a temple here. Here is the principle on looking for families and worthy melcheidek priesthood holders. If I have a branch that has 500 people attending church everyweek, but I only have 10 melchezidek preisthood holders, it cannot become a ward, because a ward needs a minimum of 16 worth priesthood holders. And then you need a certain number to have a stake, and a certain number to have a temple. This is the problem that we are facing. So when we find women that want to learn, we dont just reject them, but if they dont progress quickly, we can not afford to hold on to them and hope that they will eventually progress, we need to be finding and teaching and reactivating the families.

This last week we had a zone meeting (meeting of all the missionaries in the zone with the zone leader conducting and teaching, usually once a month, zone conference is the same, but it is run by the Assistants and President Adams, once every like 3 months and it is on Thursday this week) At the zone meeting Elder Evans brought up a very good point. If investigators are not coming to church, and do not have a bap date set as a goal, after a month of teaching them are they really progressing??? We have this part member family that we are teaching, the daughters are members but the parents are not, they have been learning since March, but the father still drinks and smokes, and the father and mother do not have a bap date, and do not come to church. We are going to stop teaching them soon, because they are not progressing and we could be using the time better.

I think this letter is making me and missionaries seem cold hearted, but this is the main principle I am trying to explain. We are not giving up on people, but our call is to help people help people come closer unto Christ by helping them recieve the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. There are a lot of people who just arent ready yet to recieve. We are not giving up hope, but we put them in the area book, and in some time with new missionaries down the road, they may be ready to recieve.

I love the work, it is going well, there is a lot we need to do to make this work go better, and that is the goal.

This is my personal belief, that before the end of 30 years, there will be a temple operating here in Madagascar. Hopefully it will be a lot sooner, but the things that will hold the temple are the following, priesthood holders (right now I think we are doing pretty well), tithing (you cant get a temple if people are not paying their tithing), and the stakes. Personal hope, I hope that before I finish my mission there will be 4 stakes and 2 districts. I dont think its an impossible goal, but hopefully at least 3 stakes and 1 district. The district in Antsirabe from what I have heard is really close to becoming a stake, hopefully within the next year. The other stake might form here in Tana. And then maybe a new district in Fort Dauphin, becuase the work is going so well down there. We will see though.

Until next week,

Elder Weber

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