Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Oh the blessings of emailing :) - 7/28/14

Akory aby!
Wow, these last 2 weeks have been absolutely poopy where the work has been concerned, BUT! At the same time we have met some really cool people throughout the week that makes up for it. One of our investigators named Claymond is from Manakara and so it was fun talking to him and some of his cousins and learning some sakalava and vezo phrases. Malagasy is the BEST! :)

So i will just get this out of the way. I mean....It had to happen some time on my mission.....Last week as Elder Miller and I were enjoying our wonderful pizza after a hard days work of climbing there was a drunk french guy with 2 malagasies, and the french guy tries to blubber some malagasy to me....And then he kisses me. I mean I know that I am bogaosy be laotra, but COME ON!......That's all I will say about it.

Also Mom you are right. We got Frere Patrick as our new DMB, and he is SO SWAG! I feel that with him the work is really going to progress. We had an awesome sacrament meeting where we had 169 at church and 17 investigators at church. I was like YES! That kind of helped with the fact that all of our FLF"s have been bailing on us.

I cant believe its almost August. Time is just going going going. In fact it's not enough. One of the things that has really touched me this week as I have been reading the scriptures and trying to help others, is that the Lord really does know each of us. I read my patriarchal blessing in elders quorum yesterday and it really hit me again of just how much my Heavenly Father really does know me. I love this work and I love being here. We have crazy things happen every day, but it's one of the greatest things to be able to talk to someone and to love them, and to have a message that you know will bless their lives. I know this work is true, and I am very grateful for being able to serve these people. They are the best :)
Have a great week everyone!
Elder Lehr

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Probably one of the cheapest and coolest foods - 7/21/14

Wow Mom and Dad! I can't believe that Trek is today! That is SO COOL! I can't wait for the day that I will finally be able to go. ESPECIALLY since I can totally where my betsileo lamboany and my betsileo hat with those old type of clothes and I would look SO SWAG! I think that you guys are going to have a lot of fun. Mom, just try to remind Dad that the other kids are going to have to do most of the work the years pass to word this.....Maybe Dad will just have to wait for the resurrection for his body to catch up with his young spirit :) I think that's a pretty good way to describe that :) Throw in some gospel terms :)

So one thing that was kind of interesting this week was that on Thursday almost ALL of our times fell through. SO I asked Elder Miller what we should do, and he said, "Well lets try to go see Noanoa right now even though we have him in about 2 hours. We will just see if he is home." So I was like "Lets bounce." And thus as we were walking we ran into a guy who had learned from a way old missionary, and wanted to learn again. So he is going to call us about setting up a time." Then about 30 seconds later we ran into this way drunk woman that thought we were Jehovah's witnesses, and started to ask about how she could receive strength to stop drinking and how she could join the congregation. That made me laugh a little as I thought about my really good friends from Sweden who are Jehovah's Witnesses, and told her how we were not temoin ny jehova but missionaries from ny fiangonan"i JESOA KRISTY ho an" ny olomasin"ny andro farany, and that we could still help her if she wanted even though we were not the people that she was looking for. She gave a weird look to us, and then said that she would like it if we prayed with her. SO WE DID!
It was also way cool on Sunday where we had about 4 people that were less active come to church, and some other less active recent converts. I was pretty happy about that. And we also have this one family that lives super far away but is super mazotoa at going to church, and so we were teaching her and her family. They seem pretty swag, but we shall see :) OH! Menza and Eddie came to church as well! Ever since Menza's husband has come back from Fort D. Things have just been progressing with them and they are doing everything they can to be vita soratra and to obey the word of wisdom. Its pretty cool :)
On a final note maybe, I can't believe how fast Elder Miller is growing. He and Elder Garcia are just superb. There was a time on Thursday where this one less active has a daughter that was really sick, and I forgot my Malagasy missionary handbook, so i translated the blessing from English to Malagasy for Elder Miller. He anointed and I sealed. When he began I was absolutely awestruck as his pronunciation and his speed was just like a Malagasy. Literally he said everything perfectly. It was a pretty cool miracle. Also there would be times I would be teaching and he would just jump in with faith, and just blow everyone away. He is going to be a super duper pooper scooper missionary :)
Oh! I almost forgot! We found a super cheap food to do that is way good! So we have our ramen here in Madagascar called "Presto" so we basically get a bunch of potatoes, peppers, onions, garlic, carrots, and green onions, and boil them. Then we add pepper, and other spices, like curry and salt, and then add the noodles at the end, and it is SUPER GOOD! We basically make a soup, broth, awesome thingy that is super cheap. And then we get some homemade bread across the street for super cheap too. It ends up to be about 4 dollars for the 4 of us, and it lasts for 2 meals. So I could say that is a pretty good cooking strategy :)
Eny ARY! Well things are going going going. And it's interesting that as I have been doing my personal study...Before I had a goal of finishing the Book of Mormon 1X a transfer but while I was doing it, I had a thought to read the Doctrine and Covenants. And it has been such a cool experience! I love reading the Doctrine and Covenants because I feel like I am getting to know more of Christ's personality as I read his words to those early saints. It's been really cool, and not going to lie, it's easy to forget that you want to continually try to improve each day when you just get used to how things are, but I know that as I just keep trying that things will happen, and then the spirit will help me be a good boy :)
Elder Lehr

Monday, July 14, 2014

What a week! - 7/14/14

Elder Lehr and Elder Miller

I guess one of the most effective ways to describe what is happening this week is to kind of just go in order of days.
Tuesday; got in a taxibrus at 8:00 in the morning and got to Tana at about 6:30. When we arrived I found myself inhaling some of the dirtiest air I have ever taken into my body. I truly forgot how dirty Tana was. Because of said bad air, I got sick and am still trying to recover.
Wednesday: Got to meet with the other trainers, and said goodbye to Elder Gaul and Elder Evans. SO SAD! I am glad for the opportunity to hang out with them after everything is done. They are some swag guys.
Thursday: I gave birth at around 2:00 to a really tall 18 year old Man named.......Elder Miller. He is SO COOL! He is more of a quiet guy, but oh is he awesome! (From Boise, Idaho) He is way good at sports and is excited to be here. Elder Morley got an Elder Garcia as his companion. They are all way tall, and I am just short....Hmm I guess that is what happens when you have a malagasy father and a mexican mother on the mission. :) (This mission lingo can get interesting - He is referring to his trainer, Elder Rasolofonirina and his next companion, Elder Trujillo) We all left by taxibrus a little bit later and stayed a night in Antsirabe. The main problem was that Elder Garcia got some really bad motion sickness and was......relieving some lunch on the side of the taxibrus for almost the entire 4 hours. It's ok though. We had an awesome time staying with Elder Cartmill and Elder Ralaivo (he is from Fianarantsoa).
Friday: We leave Antsirabe at around 2:00 and during the entire trip they were blasting music as loud as they could. I almost couldn't hear anything for the rest of the night and am still recovering.
Saturday: We met with the branch president, attended a fireside with the couple missionaries, and taught a couple of people. The fireside was really good as the couple missionaries went into a lot more depth about the plan of salvation and it led into how we need to all prepare to go to the temple so that we can give those ordinances necessary to go return to live with our Heavenly Father to our ancestors. It was way cool.
Sunday; We went to church, had class, got a little frustrated at some of the teachers and people since the missionaries that usually come to Fianarantsoa have already been in Madagascar for a couple of months and are at least ok at the language. And it is a little weird for them to have someone that barely knows anything at all. (Elder Lehr had to remind the people that Elder Miller literally just arrived in the country. They were more willing to help after that)  Elder Miller is a stud though and I think will pick things up pretty fast. Also in our investigator class, the teacher was talking about the word of wisdom and was asking every single person what their problem was with the word of wisdom. NOT OK! That should definitely be something only with the bishop and the person.
So all in all, it has been a really good week. I feel bad because I am still trying to figure out how I can help Elder Miller progress and become the type of person that he can become, and he is trying with all his might. It's definitely not something I am used to and will take a lot of praying and fasting to know what to do, but I am excited to be with him. I figure that this will help me to see that the lessons are not really that important, but if the new missionary can grow and learn every day, then it will be worth it. I think he is going to teach me a lot of really cool things. It's an exciting time :)

Elder Lehr

Monday, July 7, 2014

Tena Tsy Fantatro.....7/7/14

Andrimbosary River

I guess I will just get it out of the way, but yesterday we received transfer news......
And............. I am Training!...
Yep, Elder Morley and I will both be training here in Fianarantsoa, and Elder Midgley will be going to Itosy to be with my companion from the MTC. (Elder Munanira) Not going to lie, it's kind of scary since I am still not pro at the language, but I know that this will be an awesome opportunity. So Elder Morley and I are to take a taxibrus tomorrow morning and go to Tana. This will be my 7th time being on this.....Road....(Shivers).......Hopefully I won't die :)
Saturday and yesterday were absolutely awesome. On Saturday we had all of our 9 investigators come. And I had the honor to baptize Marsaline and Lucy, who have been waiting for over 3 years to be baptized because they couldn't get legally married. Then I got to baptize a girl named Francia. We all went to a river called Andrimbosary and got to do the baptisms there. The only real problem that happened was, 1. It's winter here and is cold 2. It rained and made it colder....But it was totally worth it! It was so cool to see them finally make this amazing covenant with our Heavenly Father. Haha though when I tried to baptize Francia, she didn't bend her legs and so we had to redo it since she didn't go under. This made her really afraid since the water is COLD! So when we did it again...She still didn't bend her legs. So I used force and "thrusted" her down into the cold pits of Andrimbosary.
On Sunday, all 9 of the investigators came to church and received the gift of the Holy Ghost. It made the spirit in the meeting really tangible and special. I am so glad that I was able to witness such amazing things here in Fianarantsoa.
So many crazy things have been happening with transfers, but that is ok. It's just all part of the process. :)
...I don't really know what else to really write.... But I know that this gospel is true. I know that Jesus lives, and that he died for us. I truly know with all my heart that this gospel is true, and that Joseph Smith was a prophet. I know that the Lord protects us and that he guides us.
Elder Lehr

Elder Lehr and Elder Midgley

Elder Lehr and Elder Morley