Here has come the middle of November, and life is moving along smoothly and wonderfully. I am so excited for the Christmas season that is coming up, and for all that is involved with that. Speaking of the Christmas season, I have been asked to play for the ward Christmas concert. IT is actually a combined choir between two wards, and it includes about 20 songs of which they have asked me to play for about 15 of. It is a little crazy, and I have already told them that there is a transfer in December and there are no guarantee. But they are persistent in asking.
This week was a wonderful week, we taught more times then we ever had before, and we did a bunch of member splits. We did splits several different days in order to teach a large number of lessons we have planned. We have been able to work really hard.
We had 4 baptisms scheduled for this Saturday, but now we will only probably have 2 or 3. The interviews were yesterday, and one of the investigators didnt show up to church, which makes it hard to do the interview that was scheduled. And one of the other people didnt pass the interview, some things came to light, and she was not prepared to be baptized. Therefore we have rescheduled her for January and will continue to teach her and help her prepare better for the interview.
We have been doing some reactivation work trying to help church attendance. And this week we saw a tender mercy of the Lord. This past Wednesday, we did a member split in two areas far apart in order to teach many times. I was working in Soavimasoandro, and Elder Bowler was working in Ivandry. We had a plan to meet back together at 9PM, and so we each had that much time to fill no matter what happened. While working some of my plans fell through and so I had some free time. So I turn to my member help and say, "Take me to a less-active member near here". We go and find this lady that has been somewhat less active. I also found out that her son is less active, but is a Melchizedek Priesthood holder. Elder Bowler, while also working had some free time and turned to his companion and said the same thing. And he found two sets of less actives including one that is a large family with several priesthood holders. So that day alone we found a bunch of new members that we had not known about and we are working with them to help them return to church. This week our church attendance was 130, the highest I have seen while working here, and we had 12 investigators attend. The Lord is blessing this area. The ward has also been working hard to help where they can. Yesterday I go to share a spiritual thought with a less active we have been working with that did not attend yesterday, and I show up to find the entire bishopric and executive secretary visiting, and sharing spiritual thoughts. It was a blessing to see the Lord working through many different ways to bring a message to her.
The work is progressing, because the work is true. If it was not true, it would not progress so well. Our DMP had a talk in church yesterday and asked the question, "why do we all come so far to this church? There are a lot of churches that are a lot closer to where we live, and most of us walk to church because we dont have the money for the bus, so why do we come this far?" And the answer is clear, it is because this church is the true church and so it is worth the sacrifice that it takes. Whether it be walking an hour to church, or whether it be saving money each week to pay for the bus. The sacrifice is worth the reward that will come after this life.
Mom Note: I can't remember if I mentioned this before, but DMP stands for Directeur des Missionaires de Paroisse (very loosely translated as Ward Mission Leader). DMB (pronounced "day m bay") is for a Branch or branche in French. They seem to use a lot of French for the church terminology.
This week has been a wonderful week, and I am always looking forward to upcoming weeks.
With all the best until next week.