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

Monday, March 14, 2016


  Hello everyone! Another week as a missionary in Madagascar is beginning!

  This past week was great. We had zone conference. The food was excellent. I ate 3 pulled pork sub sandwiches and several dessert bars. The spiritual side of the conference was good as well. Elder Kevin Hamilton of the Seventy presided, and he emphasized the fact that we need to be more obedient to the small mission rules, like wearing clean white shirts, not wearing bookbags, and keeping our shoes polished. We also had opportunities to ask him questions. I asked him which apostle had the best since of humor. He said that President Packer was very witty. ( Learn something new every day.) Later that day, after the conference was over, we went to this one all-you-can-eat meat restaurant. I spent about 15 dollars there. I ate cow tongue, crocodile, snake, and some other stuff as well. For real. 
 As far as the work goes.  We taught 26 lessons this week and had 30 hours of proselyting? We  should have a baptism on the 26th and then several baptisms on the 16th. Two of the people we had planned to be baptized on the 26th are going to be out of town, so their baptisms will be changed to the 16th of April. Not a major challenge.
  I really believe that the reason the work is going so well is the help from members. It is really interesting to see the difference between a ward that is willing to fellowship the investigators and a ward that is not. One has success with baptisms.  The other does not. We have not found many new investigators lately, but, the ones that we are teaching now are progressing overall, so we are not complaining. We did find one new family to teac this week, so that is excellent!
  When we went to visit one of our investigator families this week, they were not there, but some people who lived near by called us into their house. There was a sick girl there who needed a blessing. Apparently, missionaries had blessed her one time before, but she was sick again. So we  gave the girl a priesthood blessing and told them to take her to the hospital. Apparently, the girl was not able to keep down food and fluids and she was sort of slow to respond to us when we talked to her. When they took the girl to the hospital, there was no medicine there for her. Later, the girl was really weak and fell asleep. After she woke up, she was fine. The girls parents were appreciative to us for giving her a blessing and we are teaching them now. They seem really interested in learning.
  My companion and I were at the office the other day with a few people from my MTC group and we were talking to the mission secretary about when we were going to get our itineraries to go home and she said that the Church usually wants them issued 4 months before the missionaries go home. So she said we still had time and she starts to count off "April, May, June, July" and then realized that we go home in June. She had forgotten it was time to book our flights!  So she asked those of us who were there to tell her the airports that we were flying into.  Then she sent emails to the other missionaries in our group saying that it  was time for her to start arranging flight plans. I would expect to have travel plans within the next few weeks.
So, we will be getting our itinerary in a few weeks. That is something to look forward to, but strange to think about also.  I have talked to several people from my MTC group during the past few days and they are all expressing the same emotion. Wonder. How in the world have we already been in Madagascar for over 600 days? 

I took some pictures with the broken camera. Hopefully they are not too bad. 

I will try to mention more next week. In the meantime, have a great week everyone.

                  Elder Pinson

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