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

Monday, September 28, 2015


  Hello everyone!

       Another week as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Madagascar is over.  In all honesty, not much happened this week. We taught English class on Tuesday, I went on a missionary exchange and there were a few meetings. Other than that, not too much to mention.
A frequent challenge of missionary work in Madagascar...people not being home when they say they will. I have mentioned that before, and I have been a missionary for a while, but I still cannot understand why people are so inconsistent with their daily schedules. Example--- we were walking along the road Saturday night going home, and a woman stops us and says "You lied! You said you would visit us on Sunday, but you did not." First of all, we told the person that we would maybe stop by if possible because her husband was not there most of the time and we were going to try to see if he was home if we had time to spare. We told the woman that we would visit them at 2. She said her husband would be home by then. So we left church a little early to go home, eat lunch, and then go teach them. We showed up a little late, and, NOBODY WAS THERE!!
    We lost a few of our investigators this week. Some of them gave excuses that made us believe they don't really want to learn (they are still in Ambohipo, but they moved to another house, and are busy right now) and the others are moving to another place in Tana. Hopefully they learn will be willing to be taught by other missionaries.  We had more new people attend church and we had more proselyting hours as well.  One less active member who had not been to church for several years has been attending church for the past 3 weeks, since my companion and I have been teaching him. Things like that really help you to feel that you are fulfilling your calling as a missionary. 
     I was on a missionary exchange with one of the elders from my MTC group, and we decided to talk to this old man. I told him who we were, that we were teaching about the gospel of Jesus Christ, and he invited us into his home. It turns out that his son has a family as well, so it will be good to teach and help them to understand the true teachings of Jesus Christ and help them progress in the gospel.
    Officially, Elder Bednar will be here in Madagascar for some conferences on the 24th of OctoberWe don't know too much about his schedule when he will be here, but right now, it doesn't sound like he will be meeting with the missionaries. I was looking forward to meeting him, but you don't always get what you want. Some other general authorities will be here with Bednar as well, including Elder Hallstrom (of the Seventy) and some others. That will probably be the highlight of October, except for conference. Speaking of conference, it is this week! Most of you probably know that we won't be able to see conference until several weeks after the real event because of translation. Either way, that is something good to add to the calendar! 
   I was supposed to share a story a while back.  It is nothing really big, but it was significant to me at the time. It was when I was serving in Fianarantsoa, and we were tracting (knocking on doors, looking for people to share the Gospel with) one day. We were walking along a path going to someone's house when a man stopped my companion and I and asked if we could help his brother, who was sick. He mentioned that his brother was not able to work because of his poor health. He also mentioned that there had been an issue with "fanafody gasy" (which is basically witchcraft), and it sort of made my companion and I nervous because we did not want to deal with someone who had dealt with that stuff. After thinking about it, we decided that it would be okay to go to the house where his brother lived. We arrived there and told his brother that we were missionaries and that we wanted to talk about the gospel of Jesus Christ, and about our message. We asked him if we could start with a prayer, but he said he did not want to. After talking with him for a little while, his heart softened and we said a prayer. We explained to him about the priesthood and the benefit it is to those who have faith. He agreed to let us give him a blessing.  After everything was over, we left, and gave a Book of Mormon and some contact information to the sick man's brother. I don't know if anything resulted from that visit, but I believe that we did something right in adminstering to that sick man. What really impressed me from that occasion was that the teachings of faith and the power of the priesthood caused someone to change from not willing to pray to being humble enough to accept the help of God within only a few minutes. I believe that this lesson is really valuable in the work that we, as Latter-day Saints, undertake to bring back the lost sheep.
   I want all of you to learn Malagasy. So, I am going to start teaching new short lessons every blog entry. 

Lesson One: "Days of the Week"

Monday- Alatsinainy (emphasis on the "ai")
Tuesday- Talata (emphasis on the second "a")
Wednesday- Alarobia (emphasis on the second "a")
Thursday- Alakamisy (emphasis on the "i")
Friday- Zoma (emphasis on the "a")
Saturday- Sabotsy (emphasis on the "o")
Sunday- Alahady (emphasis on the second "a")

Well there isn't much else to mention. Have a great week, everyone. I appreciate the support and prayers.

Love,  Elder Pinson

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