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 7, 2016


  Hello from Madagascar!

So this was another good week of missionary work. It was actually an improvement from last week. We taught 30 lessons and we had 32 hours of proselyting. Elder Tambula and I have been really trying to be effective in our missionary work. I have noticed that, since we have kept the lessons concise, we have had more time to go and either look for new people to teach, or go teach someone who we already are teaching. What is so great about that is that more than half of those lessons were taught with a member present, so that shows that this ward is truly participating in missionary work. Having members allowing us to teach investigators in their homes has made it easier for us to teach more lessons.
 Today is Zone Conference. I am writing at an earlier time  than usual. An hour and a half from now, I have to be at the mission office. I am sure the conference will be great and help me to be a better missionary. So about the sign language learning, I am not learning American Sign Language alone or Malagasy Sign Language alone. I am learning a fusion of both of those, because the deaf member has to learn American Sign Language so he can go to the temple. Right now I am not very skilled. In addition to that, I probably won't be learning sign language as much anymore now, because the deaf member prefers the missionaries (none of which are super great at signing) over the members (some which actually know how to sign). President Foote wants us to help him rely on the members in the ward more ( he has been a member for years), which basically means that we are probably not going to visit him much anymore. We want to get more people to attend church. For some reason, many of the people who normally attend were not at church on Sunday.
  It looks like there are going to be a few baptisms on March 26th and a few baptisms on April 16thWe have not really been able to find new families to teach yet, so most of our investigators now are either referrals or from part-member families. Many of the people we teach are preparing for baptism. We had a cool experience this week. We were teaching this one lady whose children are already members of the Church. She had been taught by other missionaries in the past and, because she was not progressing, the missionaries stopped teaching her. Other missionaries had already started teaching her again when I got here. When I asked her one day if she was ready to be baptized, she said she was still not ready. This past week , we were teaching her and, in the middle of the lesson, she started to get emotional like she was going to cry. When we asked her if she had questions about the lesson, she said, " I am ready to be baptized. What do I need to do to get baptized?" I said, "Well, first of all, we should set a goal or a day when you can be baptized. When do you want to be baptized?" And she said, "Saturday (which would have been two days ago)". So we set a goal for the 26th of March. I felt the Spirit confirm to me that what we had taught her was true and that baptism in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is God's will.  I finished reading 1 Nephi this week in the Book of Mormon. Nephi is a good example of always being obedient to the commandments of God and I am working hard to be an obedient son, so that I can always teach with the Spirit.
  I am going to start taking more pictures of Madagascar, because they're worth a thousand words and I am running out of stuff to say. Hope everyone has a great week

Elder Pinson

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