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

Monday, May 11, 2015


  Since I last emailed...
   On last Monday we had family home evening at our branch president's house, along with Elder Fox and his parents. Our branch president, President Danielson, lives in a very nice house compared to the average citizen of Madagascar, yet he lives sort of far away, so he has vans that take us over to where he lives. We had maybe what was the best food I have eaten since I left the MTC. Some sort of potato lasagna casserole with vegetables. There was also dessert, which was pudding and oranges or something. He called us and told us that we are invited to his house again today. We are really looking forward to it! I really like this branch that we are assigned to. The members are definitely friendlier and the branch seems to be better organized. There is still a high rate of inactives, but the branch seems determined to do something about it. I think that many of the investigators here have been prepared to learn the Gospel. They still have much to learn,yet many attend church as much as the members of the branch do. We had 22 investigators attend church yesterday. I believe that my adjustment to Fort Dauphin has been a good on. I have met many of the members and I shared my testimony at church yesterday.
  On Tuesday, if I remember correctly, we taught several lessons. Sometimes my companion and I ask investigators to start the lesson with prayer, so we can see if they understand Who they are praying to. I guess the religious culture here is that you can pray to Heavenly Father or Jesus Christ. Most of our investigators understand that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are two separate beings, as well as the fact that we pray to Heavenly Father (as Jesus taught), yet many of them end up praying to Jesus. It is confusing as to why that is, but we are helping our investigators to understand the significance of praying to Heavenly Father, and ending in the name of Jesus Christ.
  On Wednesday, Elder Roush and his family were here. They took us to lunch and that was really cool. I already knew that Elder Roush remembered seeing Jordan (older brother) when he was serving his mission in Syracuse, but when I asked Elder Roush's parents about it, they seemed to remember much more, even mentioning  that Jordan had served in their Ward for several months and had baptized their daughter's best friend and that she is still very active. The Mormon world is small.               
 Thursday, I cannot recall any significant events, except for the fact that both of those days were overcast and rainy. If the weather is not overcast, then it is similar to a summer day back in South Carolina. On Friday, we had dinner with a family in the ward. The food was good, except for the fish that still looked very much like a fish after it was cooked. I know that I sound like a picky American. I thought that being here would cause me to be a fan of seafood. I believe that the exact opposite is what has happened, I think it has more to do withe appearance of the seafood. lol!
  On Saturday, the missionaries here taught English class. Then we had a meeting with the branch president, where we talked about the progression of the missionary work, investigators we are teaching, etc. Sunday was the best day of the week, We taught the lesson in Elder's Quorum about how to be kind to others who don't share our believes while being true in our knowledge of what is right. The scripture in Doctrine and Covenants 121:41-44 which teaches us that part of a Priesthood holder's responsibility is to bear testimony.
"No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned; By kindness, and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy, and without guile—Reproving betimes with sharpness, when moved upon by the Holy Ghost; and then showing forth afterwards an increase of love toward him whom thou hast reproved, lest he esteem thee to be his enemy; That he may know that thy faithfulness is stronger than the cords of death." The best part of Sunday was being able to Skype and talk to my family. It was great to see them! 
 Our goal this week is to teach 30 lessons, hopefully we will be able to accomplish this! Stuff kept happening last week that prevented us from teaching so much. President Adams will be coming here this weekend. We are looking forward to seeing him and going to dinner with him.
Have a great week, everyone. 

      Love, Elder Pinson

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