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

Monday, October 26, 2015


  Goodbye October! November is almost here! There is a lot to mention this week. Tuesday was just like normal Tuesdays. We spent the whole day at the church and we taught two lessons, had our meetings, and taught English class. On Wednesday, there was zone conference. We set goals as to the number of families we want to see baptized within the next 3 months, as well as the number of other investigators we want to see baptized in the next 3 months. We had an investigator accept a baptismal commitment. We also had two investigators that we have taught for a while attend church. There was also a new guy at church and we taught him. In total, we had 5 investigators at church which is higher than ever since I have been here in Ambohipo.
  Our mission wants to have some sort of vision when it comes to baptisms. In the past, there were baptism goals which caused missionaries to baptize people who were not ready for the sake of statistics. That is obviously not good for the people being baptized, not good for the Church, and is the exact opposite of true, Christlike missionary work. We want to baptize members who are willing to make those important lifetime commitments to God and, by so doing, bless their lives. President Foote, as usual, shared really inspiring stories from his mission. Then there was lunch! Pulled pork! I probably inhaled down more of the food than most of the other missionaries (I guess they didn't realize that they were basically eating nectar and ambrosia). 
Nothing much to mention from ThursdayOn Friday, however, my stake had a devotional with Elder Donald Hallstrom and his wife. Elder Van Reenan (one of the Area Seventy) and his wife were there as well. I already met Elder Van Reenan about a year ago when I was still in Tamatave. After the devotional, I was able to shake hands with Elder Hallstrom. I took a few notes during the devotional. Sister Hallstrom said something that I really thought was true. She said that a possible reason why the Savior allowed each of the Nephites to feel his hands, feet, and sides was to demonstrate that salvation is obtained individually and not collectively. It is for that same reason that all ordinances in the Church are completed one by one.  Elder Hallstrom also talked about the culture of God and how it is more important and significant than any other culture on this earth. He said that if our culture is preventing us from living according to the culture of God, then we need to change and repent. I don't have any exact quotes, but that was the main idea.
Saturday and Sunday were regular work days.
   Today, I played basketball at the mission office. Then, Elder Heo (my companion) and I went to go buy some soccer jerseys. I got 5 really cool ones for about 11 to 12 dollars (total, not each). I guess the major event of this next week will be watching General Conference. Yep, that's right. Now, I am finally able to watch it!  It will be great to hear the inspiring messages that the prophet, apostles, and other general authorities shared. 
  To answer questions, rainy season is probably going to officially start not too far into the future. Not really looking forward to that. It rained Monday night and on Tuesday afternoon. We walk a lot from place to place, because there are a lot of hills and stairs so biking is not really realistic. We have a lot of investigators who are doing well. 

Last of all, the MALAGASY LESSON! (Plan of Salvation words)

The Plan of Salvation                                 Ny Drafitry' ny Famonjena

Ny Fiainana Talohan'ny Nahaterahana          The Preexistence
Ny Fahariana                                                The Creation
Ny Fahafahana Misafidy                               Agency
Ny Fahalavoan'i Adama sy i Eva                  The Fall of Adam and Eve
Ny Sorompanavotana                                  The  Atonement
Ny Fitsanganana amin'ny maty                    The Resurrection
Ny Fitsarana Farany                                     The Final Judgment
Ny Tsy Fahafatesana                                    Immortality
Ny Fiainana Mandrakizay                             Eternal Life 
Ireo Fanjakam-boninatra                              The Kingdoms of Glory

Okay. Have a great week, everyone!
Elder Pinson

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