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

Tuesday, February 3, 2015


    So I guess the first thing everyone wants to know is "How did transfers go?" Well, my companion is not going anywhere. I am a little disappointed, but I have learned a few things: 1) President Adams must have confidence in me, because he believes I am a positive influence on my companion, and 2) I am most likely being set up to train. (Or at least that is what some missionaries believe). Overall, the transfer had a lot of people disappointed; 22 companionships in Madagacar are not changing. That is significantly more than half, if I remember correctly. 
  To update everyone, Solo did not attend church this week. I am disappointed, but I will try to figure out what the problem is tomorrow when we teach him again. Something is either going on his life right now or maybe he had no intentions to come after all.  So I used personal money to buy a Malagasy Bible and a new bookbag (to other one fell apart). I will probably use personal money to have the standard works bound in personalized casing. I will have to buy another triple combination in Malagasy (the other one was destroyed by water). Also, there is someone who makes custom suits for relatively cheap here. I want to have one made, but I need suggestions a to what it should look like. 
   I went to Shoprite, and bought food. I had to use a little personal money this pat week to buy food, because I ran out of allotment. It was only about 5 dollars or less. Anyway, today I bought stuff to make oatmeal for breakfast each morning. I also bought stuff for grilled cheese, as well as pizza stuff. I just need to know a good recipe to make pizza dough. I bought a few other various items a well. I still have not checked about the saline solution, and I need to remember to take my medicine. I have not taken it today, and I did not take it yesterday because it was fast Sunday. 
   I have one interesting story from this week to mention. So, yesterday, after church, we traveled to this one place in Ampitatafika called Ankazotoho. We were walking far to an appointment, and an old couple stopped us to get our attention. I am a little suspicious when it comes to random people we meet on the side of the streets, because I thought they were stopping us to ask for money or to confront us because of our beliefs. Turns out the guy was sick, and wanted help. By sick, I mean, both of his legs were yellow. When he poked his leg, an indentation was left that did not go away for about 10 seconds.He said that the doctors had no idea what the problem was, and that he had been sick for 3 years. He also said he was partial to the Catholic faith but, nevertheless, I felt the need to give him a blessing.  
  Meanwhile, this strange guy walks up and confronts my companion about random nonsense and starts yelling in French. I was trying to ask my companion his thoughts (If we should give the old man a blessing or not), but the other guy was being a nuisance. At this time, a crowd of about 20 people had gathered around us, probably thinking "What are these two vazahas going to do?" (One of the names they call foreigners) So I said (essentially) to the yeller, "Did you already drink? Are you drunk right now?" And the guy went silent, looked at me, and said, "No no no no no" and I said, "yeah yeah yeah yeah". Then I basically said, "We're trying to help this brother right here (referring to the sick guy), and you're preventing us." The guy then said something like, "Thanks be to Father Gabriel (showing us his cross, even though my companion said that Jesus resurrected himself after his crucifixion), to which I replied, "You pray to Gabriel? Well, we pray to God." 
  And just like that, the confrontaion was over. We shook hands, and the crowd dispersed, all impressed by the religious smackdown two Mormon missionaries just delievered. Righteous indignation at its finest. After that, I gave the sick man, Rakotondrasoa Joseph, a blessing (in English), explaining our purpose and priesthood authority beforehand. Sometime during the lesson, I turned to see a group of kids standing in the doorway, apparently still surprised by what happened. We later returned to teach the two old people about The Restoration. They accepted the teachings, and said they will attend church when the man is healthy enough to walk to the bus stop. That's all for this week.
Love to all,

           -Elder Pinson

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