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

Monday, June 15, 2015


  Akory izy io!


   Maybe sometime I will write a weekly update in Malagasy, just not today. As far as my health, there always seem to be stomach issues here for most of us. It might be the food or it might be the antibiotics that we have to take daily to ward of Malaria.
  Unfortunately, the family baptisms did not happen this week. Blame it on Madagascar's policy of having a man and a woman both obtain documents from their birthplace before they can be legally married. We have sent away for the documents and had hopes that they would be here by last week. But alas, they have yet to arrive. Go figure! More so than drinking and smoking, people not being legally married is the number one cause of some people not being able to be baptized here.  It is frustrating, yet the Lord provides a way for all of his commandments to be kept, so this family of five will be baptized not too far in the future (The parents are not legally married, so we decided to wait and baptize everyone at the same time). 
  Last Sunday I was asked to speak in Sacrament meeting on yesterday. I think the talk I shared at church went well, considering it was in Malagasy. Never would I have imagined my first few months here that I would be able to stand and give a talk and be completely understood. I am here as a testament that it can be done.  I didnt really have time to prepare until the Saturday before, so I am glad that all went well. The branch president said that he enjoyed my talk and several members complimented me and said that understood me. I counted 22 of our investigators at church yesterday, including a few new "FLFs", or father-led families who we have been teaching for no more than a month. We have been teaching Armand, the guy that sprays pesticides in the house. He says that he is already convinced that the Church is true and he came to church this week. The missionary opportunities are definitely here in Fort Dauphin, the members faithfully give us referrals and we just follow up, after that it is just a matter of teaching by the power of the Holy Ghost and helping our investigators to gain faith in Jesus Christ. 
  Awesome that trek was held this year! I Remember attending trek and really believing that spending three days in the woods was an achievement. Now I am on a two year trek. Haha. I heard about Erica and Cashe being sealed in the temple. That is way awesome! I know of at least one family of 4 or 5 that we have set goals for themselves to prepare to attend the temple. It is not easy by any means (Fort Dauphin to Johannesburg is several hundred miles), yet the blessings of the temple will be worth it for them. I am glad to hear that many of the young men were at church this week. Hopefully that continues. And Bruce is the man! He doesn't let injury stop him from carrying out his priesthood responsibilies. He will be back to riding his bicycle in no time. 
  Today, I read Jeffrey R. Holland's talk: "Are We Not All Beggars?" It really teaches us that all we have to do to keep the commandment to help the poor, is to do what we can do.

Have a great week everyone!

Elder Pinson

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