Five investigators from the other branch were baptized as well, so we had many people there to join with these brand new members of the Church, as they began their first step of a lifetime of Christlike discipleship. Elder Rasmussen and I played the prelude music (keyboard) at the baptism on Saturday. We showed up and started playing. It actually sounded okay, even though there were a few mistakes. I am thankful that I was able to see them as they were converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ. It also was good to hear them bear testimony of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon.
That was obviously the highlight of the week! We still attempted to celebrate the Fourth of July later in the day, and went to a restaurant that already had many people there. It turns out that we actually walked into someone's birthday/karaoke party. So, attempting to get out of that awkward situation (I say awkward because neither my companion nor I are from Madagascar, so we naturally got stares, and nobody shows up to parties uninvited here), we quickly ate the food and returned home.
Happy (belated) Anniversary to Andre and Marietta Pinson (my parents!) !!! They have been married for 32 years or, in missionary terms, a lot of transfers.
Church yesterday was good. We had 25 investigators attend church this week, even though we stopped counting the family of 5 as investigators. I was hoping we would have 30 investigators at church, but maybe next week that goal will be accomplished. Elder Rasmussen and I taught Elders' Quorum again, using the David A. Bednar's conference talk, "Come, and See" or "Avia Fa Ho Hitanareo". The lesson was a good one in my opinion. Elder Rasmussen and I teach and get along well together, which is very beneficial to our investigators. Each of us learns from the other every day, which is how I believe missionary work should be.
I called President Foote on Saturday to welcome him to the mission and to say hello (I have not met him yet because he is nowhere close to Fort Dauphin), which was sort of intimidating, yet it was cool to talk to my new mission president for the first time. He sounds like a basketball coach, which is probably accurate for a guy who has to motivate and manage a ton of young people. I have really noticed and gained a stronger testimony that the Church is divinely guided.
A lot of members here have problems with Sabbath Day observance, which is causing many to go less active and inactive. I brought this up in ward council and, and after having my idea dismissed at first, I reiterated my point again, and it was approved, that sometime this month, there will be a lesson dedicated to emphasizing what activities are appropiate and what is not appropiate on the Sabbath Day. All of this was after I saw a story on LDS.org (when I was typing the baptismal program) about the Church leaders reaffirming the importance of Sabbath Day observance.
I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only true church upon the earth,especially when it does not regress at the death of apostles or the legalization of what is not acceptable to God, as saddening as both of those events are. And somewhere in the mix of turmoil, chaos, and moral decay all around, I find myself in Madagascar taking part in the work that will change the lives of many in the future. I am grateful for my Heavenly Father, and I continue to ask for His support as I strive to keep His commandments and help build His kingdom.
Have a great week, everyone,