(just tryin to give more detail through out this letter) a missionary in our house related Madagascar to something i see too. Madagascar is the Mexico of Africa. its great haha i love it. so i forgot my camera today. azafady. but living conditions are great. for the missionaries and the rich. we stay in probably the nice apartment complex the mission rents. so yay for that. but i work in probably the least prosperous area. struggles. but our apartment is two stories. its got a fireplace which we use a lot cause who doesnt love a nice fire? you can buy like 10 bundles for less than a dollar (like 40 cents) and we got a giant bundle for like 80 cents one time and it was glorious.
...quick math problem for you. the money here is ariary. the bills are (starting with the biggest) 10000, 5000, 2000, 1000, 500, 200, and 100. the coins are 50. 20. and 10. 2500 ariary is about a dollar. so if i have a 10 ariary coin. how much is that worth in dollars (cents)...(that was really for caleb but please get back to me with your answers haha)...
so we have a kitchen and the kitchen sink is the only one with filtered water. two and a half bathrooms. but we have way limited hot water so one usually showers at night and the other at morning. theres a loft area. a study room. a living room. its WAY nice. i'll send pics next week. for my camera today i apologize.
living conditions for our members are rough. my area (Manandona) has no electricity and the only running water is the pumps that the church has provided around the town. houses are made out of brick or clay or crap haha its actually cool to watch em make bricks. the rooms are tight and the bed or maybe two beds and a couple chairs are usually the only furniture. life is tough. i talked last week of how easy it is to be humble. its crazy easy in that sense to be humbled. oh and its all mountains and rice patties out there. love it. some roads are WAY sketch and could easily get the truck stuck somewhere but it hasnt happened...yet...lol.
so my companion is pretty tight, he is WAY good at the language and im not just saying that cause im new and everyone sounds good. he was asked to translate for meetings only six months in. he is from vegas. he graduated a year early in high school and did a year at utah state before coming out here at 18. i know all about his love life haha. hes a funny guy and a great trainer. trainers gotta have a lotta patience...especially in this area...anyways!
glad to hear about everything you all have told me. life goes on huh? hope caleb is doin well in football. hasnt written me in a couple weeks im upset. lol jk i know everyone is busy, i really appreciate all your love and support.
so the weather right now is spring. its gotten down into the fifties i think this last week which is weird cause the first two weeks was warm. its like im back in texas and mother nature forgets what time of the year it is. but i get to use my sweaters so i look fresh. haha summer and rainy season comes in december so im lookin forward to that! whoop! a regular sunday here is alright. wake up maybe study a but, leave by 9 to greet people about half an hour early. church is at ten. who knows what theyre saying. they could just be roasting me for an hour idk haha then e. bowler "teaches" a temple prep class. we dont have a manual so we read moses and talk about covenants and its not well structured. then preisthood. then branch council. then we teach (hopefully) a time then lunch at 3 with the branch prez. (thats the only time we have food with a member throughout the week) then we got out and try to teach somemore. usually (this is with most days) we teach the most towards the end of the day cause thats when people come home from working. cause no lights otherwise.
a usual day is like this. wake up. eat. get dressed by eight. personal study for an hour. companionship study for an hour then language study. then lunch around 11:30 12ish with the zone leaders at besovana, the hotely, we eat at. then we head out to do work. about a 25 minute drive. (one time we did it in 15) it was crazy! no speed limits, stop signs. lights, stop lights, lined roads. crosswalks. there is only one paved road from antsirabe to the dona and only one road through the dona. so a lotta walking otherwise up and down mountains and rice patties, but no i have never fallen in a rice patty...yet. what the branch lacks in beauty, is taken in the landscape. yesterday was fast sunday and we started our fast at 3:30 on saturday and went all the way to 3:40 on sunday...broke a white handbook rule by going over 24 hours. gonna get struck down or something haha i really am tryin to be more obedient. its helping for sure. it was a great opportunity to fast though. loved it.
ill give you more detail about the branch specifically next week.
so things i needed to mention today:
-HAPPY BIRTHDAY AUBREY GRACE.
-letters (through regular post office) address [they told us it was unreliable]
Antananarivo 101, Madagascar
-thru UPS/Fedex/DHL (this one is expensiver)
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
Dingana III, Andrainarivo
Antananarivo 101, Madagascar
-if you were to send anything (dont have to) but i would like my electronic razor, patriarchal blessing (laminated?), food? love, letters?
oh and they recommend putting Jesus stickers on it especially on the seals so they wont open em haha
-i started reading Fotopampianarana sy Fanekempihavanana on monday and im already on section 77. i read about 30-40 minutes a day and its a shame i never really took just that much time outta the day to read. ive gotten so far. i love progress. (D&C btw and its crazy how fast i can say that haha)
-i also read a ton of conference talks. i LOVE them. ones i would recommend from the last session would be "Follow Up" by M. Russel Ballard and "Your Four Minutes" by idk haha but they are both way good. tell me what you learn from them. find em in the Liahona, the Ensign, and online. read em. gimme feedback.
for my challenge to you all this week i would just like each of you to take 30 minutes out of your day. read a conference talk. read the Book of Mormon. the Bible. the Doctrine and Covenants. but study it and put all your focus on it for just thirty minutes a day. i know itll strengthen you and bless you.
time for a third world prob.
Listening extra close to the sacramental water prayer, not because i specifically want to hear the commandments and blessings, but to make sure it is properly worded and blessed (cause who knows what water they are using) #TWP
well once again thanks for your love and support! i love you all! stay fresh.