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.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

August Rush.

Letter dated August 4, 2014

By the way, August rush is a very good movie if you havent seen it before. Dont worry, I didnt watch it here on the mission, I was just thinking about a good title and it seemed to come to mind. Or I could steal my companions email title for the week. "Why are they putting bozaka on the pig?" hahahaaha I'll get to that in a minute.

This week was a good week of a lot of solid work. We unfortunately got dogged a bunch this week, but that happens, its part of life. We still did teach a lot of people and got a lot done. We have some amazing investigators right now. One interesting story is about a cool boy we met. Well we found out that he has been coming to church for a while, but is not a member/ He is almost 16 years old. So here in the interesting predicament. He is not a member, but his parents are. But they have been less active for a long time. The current mission policy here is that we are not to baptize people under the age of 18 if they are not part of a family unit. The reason for this is, because a lot of time you can find kids that are really active in coming to church; and then once they get baptized they are still diligent for a time, but it is very very easy for them to go inactive here if they do not have a family support system. So we want to be careful about baptizing people that are young, but dont have the family support system to help them go to church and stay active. His situation is interesting because his family is members, just inactive ones. So we are going to call president Adams and ask his opinion on the situation. After all, he holds the keys to baptism of converts, and so everything goes though him. I think the policy is a very good one for this mission, because I have seen A LOT of those problems here in Mada, where there will be a random 16 year old less active on the records (or more) that doesnt have any other member of their family as members. So that is sometimes frustrating. I feel like this may not make the most sense, but hopefully you catch my drift. 

Norbert is progressing well. Our lesson on Sunday was interesting. We showed up and interrupted their scripture study. (they were doing companionship study) It was a great lesson. They started asking deep doctrinal questions about curses and things from their reading in 2nd Nephi. They are great investigators. They also have a very very very interesting conversion story. They were fed up with their previous church, so then one day, his kids asked him what his church was, and he pointed to one of ours! So they were one Sunday morning sitting at home, and he felt impressed to go to church, his new church, and so they go to the church and sit down. They get there at 8 oclock, when it started at 9. They were the first ones there, and so the guadiran opened the church for them and they sat down in the chapel and waited.
Mom Note: I'm not sure if guadiran is a mispelling of guardian or a word they use there that is similar to our words.  In France, each church building has a concierge who came to unlock it before church, kept it clean, etc. This might be what he is talking about. They sometimes lived in or near the church building.
People started coming in and greeting them and everything. A few weeks later they find out that they are going to the wrong ward, and then the missionaries in Ambohimanarina started teaching them. Now they are on a roll. And now they will be getting baptized here in a few weeks and will be members. They are amazing, and he loves to share the gospel. This last Saturday, their rental place was being rented for a wedding and they gave the gospel principles book and the Book of Mormon to the bride and groom as a present. He loves this church and he is making sure that every one knows it. He is going to be a huge tool in helping the church grow here in Madagascar. 

Okay, you probably want to know about the pig...

So first Ill tell you about the pole. So this is typical malagasy style. There is an area in my area that has a nice brick wall around it. Now there is also an electric pole that is half outside the wall, and half inside. This is my theory. The pole has always been bent at an angle, and so when they started building the wall, they realized that the wall couldnt go where the pole was bent. And so they built the ppole into the wall. It is really funny to see, but it is typical malagasy style. Too lazy to fix the pole, and so they just worked around it and built it into the wall. I will send a picture next week.

Ok so the pig. This week we were on the path to an investigators house. On the way there we hear a pig screaming, nothing unusual yet. We get a little bit farther, and we are standing on a ledge above an open area. Now there is a crowd of people surrounding something, and we hear low pig grunts. STOP READING HERE IF GORY THINGS BOTHER YOU. later we get to see the pig. The carved a big hole in his neck to kill him. And then they dragged him over to another part of the field. At this point we get invited down to come help. We polity decline, but continue watching. They then put a bunch of dead grass and weeds on the pig. And then the cool stuff. They lit him on fire. We asked why and they say it is because of the hair, the easiest way to remove the hair is to burn it off. And so we then watched them scrape off all of the hair. It was a good experience. I have seen other animals slaughtered here before, but this was  the first pig. It cost them probably 300,000AR for the pig (150 dollars) and it was for a wedding. It was a highlight of my week.

That is probably all for the week. Oh I almost forgot, we had our monthly meeting with the stake president. Us, President Adams, and the stake president meet monthly to discuss the stake and it was a very good meeting.

And I forgot to answer the questions.

The new stat is for the whole mission. It is measured by counting all the hours and minutes that are spent either actively contacting or actively teaching. So when we enter a house for an appointment we start counting, and when we leave we look at the time again. Then we right down how many minutes the lesson was. We then do this also for the time we spend contacting. The not the end of each day and week, we total it up and report it. So if you have a low time at the end of the week, it means that you are filling your time with things that are probably not the most effective. We should always be finding or teaching, and this is helping to push us all to be better with our time. 

Ok there is a transfer in two weeks. After this transfer, there will be I believe only 7 missionaries older than my group. 4 malagasies and 3 vahazas. And then in December we will be the oldest. Those seven leave between August and December. We currently have like 71 missionaries and in the next 8 weeks we will be recieving another 29 (14 in 2 weeks, 15 in october)..... hehehe talk about interesting transfers coming up. We will see what happens. I think that  a second time on my mission is a possibility. We shall see.

Elder Weber 

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