Haha! It is so great to hear the many wonderful things that are happening while I am away from home. Now let me tell you about some of the things I have experienced :)
First things first... Elder Munanira and I are now officially Zone Leaders. Elder Munanira is the District leader as well, and then I am the Senior companion. Ya guess what....Right as we got assignments to be zone leader the unthinkable happened....the next day all Rahtsy (meaning bad or wickedness/ Probably spelled wrong) broke loose. So much drama happened on Monday it was kind of ridiculous. I felt totally inadequate to be a zone leader, and was just praying for my zone because I love them so much, and it hurt to see some of them wounded from unkind words and miscommunication. They then asked if they could have a "pow wow" of sorts so that they could talk about what happened. I about leaped for joy at this. I felt that this would be a perfect healing opportunity. So they talked for about an hour, and then at the end of the day...I took 2 Elders aside who were on opposite ends of the drama, and just walked and talked to them. As we were talking i had one of the coolest impressions come to me. I had the thought that Elder Munanira and I were called to be zone leaders because instead of just "counseling these elders" we would be able to "Listen and Love them" and that was one of the reasons we had been called at this time as zone leaders. It was a really cool feeling to have as I listened to their stories and how they were doing.
Yesterday President Parish came and talked to all the elders in our zone, and kind of chastised us about some of our conduct. It was absolutely amazing! Even though we felt a little bit like Coriantpn in the Book of Mormon when Alma is talking to him....The love that each of us felt in that room was almost palpable. It was the perfect example to us of D&C 121:43-45. I believe that the experience we had during that meeting will be a foundation and turning point for some of these elders. We will all remember this experience during our mission and for after the mission when some of us are called into leadership positions.
I am so grateful for my branch presidency and the example they have set for me. They and the MTC Presidency are my heroes, and are the perfect example of who I want to emulate because they are so Christlike in their actions thoughts and spirit.
ENY ARY! So Elder Munanira and I have also had the great opportunity to visit with Claudia. She is a native of Madagaskara, and speaks English, French and Malagasy. She talks SO FAST! But she is so kind. We met her during TRC Last week, but saw her yesterday during dinner. We talked to her for a long time, and have even set time today to pick her up and go to dinner together. She is THE BEST! She has inspired me to attempt a poem in Malagasy....WHICH IS SO HARD BTW! But I am very very excited for it. :)
Today as we were getting our suits dry cleaned we saw Elder Kocherhans! He and his companion are studs. He is doing very well and I am very excited to try and get him and Elder Steele together. He leaves January 13th, which is absolutely crazy! He looks very excited to go, and I am very happy to see that he is doing ok. :)
Btw I forgot my camera again today, but I got the package, and will attempt to get pictures probably next time....yes I am a slacker.... I am trying to work on it.
The Malagasy is coming very well. It's kind of hard to remember all the verbs, but it's also crazy how some of the words will come right when I need them. We are experiencing the Gift of tongues little by little. In fact I will just share a little testimony in Malagasy for ya.
Fantatro fa Tia'Atra antsika, sy Fantatro Fa Vavaka no fomba amalian'Atra antsika.
Fantatro fa marina ny mpaminany i Joseph smith. Fantatro fa Fitiavana no antony ahazoantskia ny Fanahy Masina. Tiako ny Fianakaviako sy Tiako ny mpamonjeko dia Jesoa Kristy. Amin'ny Anaran'i Jesoa Kristy Amen.
I love you all, and hope that you have had a very great Toana Voavoa. (New Year)
Thank you all for the letters and packages! They truly brighten my spirits more then you could ever know. I wish that I had time to write to each of you, but sadly I do not. Thank you so so much for your support and love. Remember that we can endure to the end today....through the atonement of Jesus Christ. He will give us the strength TODAY to keep our covenants. I know he loves us. I know he died for us. I love him.
-Love Elder Lehr
P.S. So today I tried to write my poem in Malagasy, and dang it is really hard. It's not very long, but I have to create an image more than just rhyme or use rhythm. It's been an enjoyable thing to try to do. I love writing poems.
I told Noelle but on Tuesday we got to have Elder Stanley Ellis come and speak to us. He is amazing. He showed us the movie SCROOGE and I was like YES!!!!!!!! That in and of itself made the MTC worthwhile to come to during this time of the year. From Scrooge he talked about the 2 types of repentance that we can have.
1st Mandatory repentance.
2nd. Voluntary Repentance.
Mandatory is a "If you don't repent you are going to hell"
Voluntary is like Scrooge where he says "I will not be the man I was. I will take the time that I have left to live, and then give all that I have left to give."
By following Scrooge's example we can most definitely have the Spirit of the Lord with us to help us become better. One of the problems that we have as a culture is that we make goals and try to do them, fail, but then we think that it was not worth it to have even tried. That is the problem. It is better that we try to be better than not trying at all. It's part of the process to fail and then get back up. We in essence try to be a little bit better today than yesterday. "I will not be the man I was yesterday."
It was a really powerful message that was given. I am excited to go to Madagascar.
|Elder Kocherhans and Elder Lehr|