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 7, 2015


Elder Pinson makes his return to Antananarivo!
  But before that, he had to endure an excruciatingly painful 10 hour drive along the potholed-roads of Ambanivohitra (the boonies, or any place that is far away from main cities and a ton of technology).
In all honesty though, I felt like I was in a clothes dryer. To make things worse, a gas container from the overhead compartment fell directly on my head. It felt like I got Floyd Mayweather-ed in the neck. I survived though. After hours of being crammed on a bus and a kid throwing up behind me, I made it to Tana. It was good to be back! I have met a lot of new missionaries that I have never seen before, and I saw some from my MTC group that I had not seen in over a year, including Elder Coleman (my companion from the MTC). 
Elder Nelson and I get along very well. I think that he and I will be good friends. He is an obedient missionary and is very likeable. I was feeling sick yesterday, and he told me to get rest some because he could see that I was not feeling well, even though I probably should have worked. I was just feeling under the weather, my throat was really sore. I tried to get up at one point but I was really zonked and kept sleeping. I felt bad about that because I felt like I was being lazy. But he understood that I was feeling guilty about that so he told me not to worry.
  The house that we live in is probably one of the nicest ones I have lived in thus far, definitely the largest house. Only the two of us live here so cleaning will be a challenge. Antananarivo is the capital of Madagascar for those who did not know, and I happen to be serving in Ambohipo (which is sort of a subdivisions of Antananarivo), so the dialect used here is the official dialect of Madagascar. We live in the city, and we actually live not too far away from the mission office. We have church at the mission office, so that is cool.
  Because we are both new to Ambohipo, we have had to essentially start from scratch. We didn't find many of investigators last week, yet surprisingly we were able to teach around 10 lessons. Replacing other missionaries always reminds you that you need to work smart so you don't ruin the work of those who were there before.  Last week was probably not the greatest statistically, but I believe this week will be an improvement. We do have some investigators that we have been especially focusing on at the request of one of the missionaries who was just working here. He had a good lesson with them about conversion and about what that means. One new investigator, when we were teaching about the Restoration, asked questions like, "How was the church of Jesus Christ restored if there was an apostasy?"  We will share the story of Joseph Smith with him on Saturday.
There is a special lesson that Elder Nelson and I prepared for some investigators. We planned on sharing that lesson this past week but that did not happen, so we should share it this week.
  The new ward is great! It is probably one of the strongest wards in the mission. We had 184 people at church this past Sunday. The dialect is Merina which is the basic one that every missionary learns.   The people in Ambohipo and Antananarivo are not as friendly as the people in some of other areas where we have served (Tamatave, Antsirabe, etc.) but, since I have been back here in Antananarivo, I have not really had people being offensive to me or my companion. I believe that We have already become friends with some of the members in Ambohipo Ward, and the ward mission leader is known for being a great help to the missionaries. He understands that we are whitewashing the area, and he wants to make sure that we can continue the work that the other missionaries started.  The scripture that stuck with me this week is from Alma 29, Verse 9 and 10:

"I know that which the Lord hath commanded me, and I glory in it. I do not glory of myself, but I glory in that which the Lord hath commanded me; yea, and this is my glory, that perhaps I may be an instrument in the hands of God to bring some soul to repentance; and this is my joy. 

And behold, when I see many of my brethren truly penitent, and coming to the Lord their God, then is my soul filled with joy; then do I remember what the Lord has done for me, yea, even that he hath heard my prayer; yea, then do I remember his merciful arm which he extended towards me."

  This scripture defines what missionary work is to me. It is the opportunity to be an instrument of God, to bring others unto Him. We are able to share with others the joy that we have received through our conversion to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Have a Great Week All!

Elder Pinson

No comments:

Post a Comment