Welcome to the beautiful November. It is hot here, and every day I sweat. The rainy season has kinda started, but right now is just some rain in the evenings occasionally. Soon it should be starting to downpour and rain each afternoon for like three hours. I am not sure exactly when that is going to happen, malagasies are not very accurate on their predictions.
Something crazy happened this week.... We got a referral from church headquarters. This does not normally happen so it was something new. It came from a recent convert for her family that lives in our area. We were really excited, but leads a little into the problem we are currently facing. Right now our problem is that we have too many people to teach. Right now we have a very full schedule, and we have a bunch of contacts that we need to schedule times with. This is a very good problem to have, but it is still a problem. We have started to go on splits with ward missionaries from time to time, but now we are going to need to start doing that several times a week in order to teach all of the times that are planned and the ones that are not planned yet.
Mom note: Elder Weber uses the term "times" as shorthand for appointments to teach lessons.
Also right now, we are working hard with the ward to get things rolling in the correct direction. Right now the stake and mission have declared that Ward and branch councils need to be happening every week in order to help organize the church and to get things going. When Pres. Adams came into country, he said that the meetings were never happening. Now, the meetings in a lot of the wards are happening the way they are supposed to. My ward recently has been struggling a little. The first Sunday in this ward, we had ward council, and it went great!! There were a few too many people there (some auxiliaries had brought counselors and secretaries), but it was a pretty good meeting. Then we had a dry spell until yesterday. We had another "ward council", and it was interesting. The only people who showed up were the bishop and his counselors, the Young Women president, the Ward Mission Leader, and the missionaries. We were missing over half of the council which was a little weird. But the meeting happened, which is progress.
We are also trying to help them catch the vision. Right now, we are teaching about 25-30 investigators. We are working extremely hard to build this ward. We are working to help them start to develop a Ward mission Plan, because right now there is not one, and so there is no direction to the work. We are working to figure out who the ward missionaries are, and this Saturday we hopefully have a meeting with them to help teach them about their responsibilities. Most of our Ward missionaries were probably called to be ward missionaries, but never had the calling explained to them of what the are supposed to do. We want this ward to look forward to getting split, which if they work hard, should happen no later than 1.5 years, I think.
So in our teaching pool right now, we have a lot of people. Today I'll share a small story about one of them. Ok I cant decide which one, so I will do 4 really short ones.
1) Faneva. The definition of his name is Flag or Banner, very common name here in Mada. He is a 10 year boy who is the son of a less active mother, who has been returning to activity. He will be baptiazed here on November 23 with a few other of our investigators. He is way quick to pick up the doctrine, and he has such a great spirit about him.
2) Tiana. This is a great story from this week. Two weeks ago, "the guy who works at the cyber", as we called him before, asked us if we had this book, and on his phone was a text reading, Ny Bokin'ny Mormon. We said, "of course, we will drop one off later, when can we teach you?" He scheduled an appointment with us for yesterday morning before church. He told us at the lesson that he ha been trying to read the book, but it was hard because he didnt know any of the people in the book. So we sat down and explained the Book of Mormon, and then taught him about the restoration. Following that, he said, in English(forgot to mention he speaks some english, he learns it while he works at the cyber, he listens online to people talking and he learns) , anyways, he said, "I think I want to give this book to my mom." And we were excited, but his mom lives far away. She may live in an area where there are no missionaries or a church, but we will see. He volunteered to go with us to visit his mom even. Anyways he looks really promising, and we set some more times with him for this week. He works the cyber though from 7 am to 9 PM. He asked us when we could teach, and we told him that we work everyday from morning to evening, and he said, how about 6AM on Tuesday and Thursday? We both thought, "man thats early in the morning," but responded with an enthusiastic YES. So we have that to look forward to tomorrow morning.
3) Ok two was enough for this week. hahaha that was longer than I was thinking.
Election update - they are still counting the votes, but the results seem somewhat conclusive right now. There will probably be a run-off election in December between two candidates. One, being supported by the current president, and the other being supported by the old President. AKA possibly an election style of the coup in 2009. Also I learned that Madagascar is not currently recognized by the United States as a legitimate government, and has not been since 2009. But Madagascar was praised for holding the elections, and taking a good step in the right direction.
Well this ended up pretty long and I have to write President still and go shopping.
LOTS OF LOVE,
Elder Scott Weber