A behind-the-scenes look at Evan's two-year mission in Madagascar for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Wednesday, October 8, 2014


   So there wasn't a big email last week. Sorry. You can blame that on the poor internet connection here in Tamatave. I wasn't happy either. Anyway, in the past two weeks, we had transfers, I went on a split with Elder Gaul (the zone leader), and I taught a lot in Malagasy. From our house, we lost Elder Babb, but we gained Elder Christiansen, Elder Snell, and Elder Andrianaivo. It is interesting having 6 people in the house now instead of 4. 
    We also got new furniture, including a real couch. Anyway, today, our zone played football on the beach, which was fun. Life here is really ordinary, except for the rare moments that define foreign missions. I can't say that I have fully adjusted to life in Tamatave, but I know I can endure life here. Hearing American music blasted everywhere and seing sports when you eat at restaurants keeps us American missionaries from losing it. We are truly in our own world right now. But I had a pretty good week, even though I missed conference. We are supposedly going to watch it with our wards on the 25th and 26th. That will be fun. Well, I can't think of much else to talk about. If people have questions about specific things in Tamatave, I will be able to answer them but, other than that, have a great week. So I made a list of the weird things that I happened this week. Because Madagascar is a ridiculously foreign place.
To start:
                    1) One day last week, we were teaching one of the girls who had just gotten baptized, along with her parents who were recent less-active converts. Some people walk up outside of the doorway and say "Odio", which is just like a verbal knock. So they let them in....and it is two Jehovah's Witnesses who come in and start sharing scriptures and giving out one of their pamphlets in Malagasy. We hadn't even started our lesson yet. That was weird.
                    2) We went to a member soiree on the night of the 22nd, and ate dinner with the family of two of our branch missionaries. They served some bread with tangy seaweedish vegetables, which was okay, but the worst part was when they started passing around the drinks. They natural juice in Madagascar, and not everyone makes good natural juice. There was this juice that was bright green and literally tasted like mint toothpaste, listerine, and water. Imagine swallowing after brushing your teeth. I had to drink that stuff. 
                    3) While another American elder and I were taking a rickshaw to go to the cyber where all the other missionaries were (last week), a policeman pulled us over and asked to see copies of our passports and visas. When the other elder asked why, the guy answered "because you are foreigners". That guy was kinda racist.
                     4) I'm pretty sure I got bit on the neck by a spider this week. One of the spiders that was large enough to do some screaming if found crawling around in the house. Something was crawling on my neck, and I reached to grab it, and chucked a decent-sized spider away from me.
                     5) While Elder Ratsimbarson and I were conducting our nightly planning and totaling up the stats from the week to report to our zone leader, one of the other elders ran in our room and said that something was going on outside. So we went outside, and there was a mob punching a thief, and it looked like they were trying to set him on fire. They let him get away, but we saw to guys run after him, one with a metal rod, another with a giant piece of splintered wood. These people take shoplifting seriously.
                     6) We watched some people slaughter a cow and a lamb this morning from our kitchen window. It was really gory. But we were all so mystified, so we kept watching.
Well, that's all for now!
Love you all,

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