Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Next Week - 9/29/14

Hey guys, This is going to be a short email since a lot of stuff is happening.
1st. My area is splitting and Elder Miller is going to be with Elder Connult. Pure french awesome man. Hehe SUCH a heavy french accent.
2nd. In my area I am........Training again.... :)
3rd. We called the APS this morning, wondering when we had to go to Tana and they were like...."Well, if you could leave in about 4 hours that would be awesome." Yep......So we are going to have to leave in a couple of minutes right now.
4th. This week was great. Elder Miller baptized Rose and Andry on Saturday. And then Frere Mario baptized his son, Tefy, and another girl named Hiantriana. It was pretty swag.
Right now I am just trying to be mentally prepared for another 3 months of being in this area. 7 months is a long time to be in an area for Madagascar. SO LONG! But I am pretty excited :)
Anyway I love you all and I will talk to you next week. Wish me luck on the taxibrus :)
Elder Lehr

Part 2:

So, it has been kind of crazy with everything going on. I am still grateful to be alive, and the ride to Antsirabe went well. 

Tomorrow I am going to go to Tana with Elder Garcia and Elder Morley. We will be doing splits with different elders and what not in Tana. Then on Thursday we shall head out again to Antsirabe and probably spend the night. Then we shall go to Fianarantsoa.

I already feel a lot better. After all of the stuff was done with the taxibrus and everything the stress started to part a bit. Also when I was talking to Elder Arieus and Elder Web (in Antsirabe) they agreed that we are going to get through these next little phases together.

I am actually super excited to train again. I think that with the area that we have that it will be a great opportunity to just tract and try to find as many families as we can. Elder Connult (pronounced conue like the little boat) is going to be Elder Miller's companion and I think it's going to be pretty fun. He is a pretty cool guy, and I think we will have some fun :)

Monday, September 22, 2014

What I have learned in the past 9 months - 9/22/14

This email is in response to Mom asking Elder Lehr what he had learned over the past 9+ months. Thought it was worth sharing.
I am SO STOKED to have Jantzen come to Madagascar. I can't even describe how awesome that is. I want to just talk to him about how cool it is, and what not. I will actually have a BRO in Madagascar! I would give ANYTHING to train that kid, but i also know that whoever does train him, will be a lucky guy :)
So with transfers coming I have heard a lot of different things that could go on. Recently the APs called and asked us about our area and if we thought it could be split. We said yes. So depending on when they are splitting it, I could see myself pulling an Elder Morley and staying for another 3 months or so, or I could leave this transfer and go somewhere.....I have no idea. A lot of the regular missionaries think that I am staying but more of the zone leaders think that I am leaving so...We shall see :)
As for what I have learned the last 9 months? Well Mom, The Plan of Salvation and the gospel of Jesus Christ is truly healing balm for everything. For me, the gospel has LITERALLY become the WAY or the METHOD that we have to follow and do if we want to PREPARE to return to meet God. Otran hoe "like" We have to have faith, repent, make covenants, and endure to the end every single day. And if we do that then we can access the power of the atonement to change, and to prepare to live a celestial law. If we do not abide a celestial law then we can't go to the Celestial Kingdom. So, We have to repent EVERY DAY. We have to strive to keep our covenants EVERY DAY. And as we do those things, we will become new people. Born again, and will receive the blessings of eternity.
2nd. Prayer is a healing, wonderful gift given by our Heavenly Father. Probably my favorite time in the day is to kneel down on the floor next to my bed, and just talk. There is something....Special...Humbling...and meek in kneeling down to pray. It is a sign to me of trying to be submissive, and it helps me to talk to him, and to try to give myself to him. I have learned that prayer brings peace of heart and mind.
3rd. The Book of Mormon is true. Without a doubt in my mind, the Book of Mormon is true. The bible is the word of God also, and we should spend some serious time reflecting in the New Testament. Recently I have been looking in the "Harmony of the Gospels" and comparing the gospels, and trying to find out more about Jesus's ministry in the New Testament. And I can truly say that it is the word of God, and that it has been a special experience for me to understand more about the parables and teachings of Jesus Christ. I love it :)
4th. Malagasy is such a fun language :)
5th. Family is SO IMPORTANT!
6th. Self reliance is the key to opening the windows of heaven. It allows you to place your faith in the Lord, and to increase your trust in him.
7th. The temple must be the focus of our activities. We must always look to the example of the temple. As we strive to give "Holiness to the Lord" every day, then we shall be purified, and sanctified by degrees until we become completely new creatures.
8th. Cooking together with missionaries, and spending time with other missionaries builds friendships which will last beyond this life.
9th. I know that the prophet Joseph Smith was a prophet. I know he saw God the Father and Jesus Christ. Before my mission, I never received a burning in the bosom, or such things like that, and even here I have not received such a revelation, but do I still know that the Church of Jesus Christ was restored for these latter days, and that the name of that church is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and that it contains all of the keys and powers needed to bring salvation to the children of men? Yes. I know it with all the certainty of my soul.
10. It's hard to live the law of consecration. There are so many blessings it brings, but it's hard because I still have parts of me that want to be selfish, but I know that through that law, we can practice living a heavenly life. Through this law, we give all that we have to God, and in return God gives everything he has to us. There is no rich or poor, there is no bond or free. It is not just giving all of our worldly possessions but our very hearts and souls. And that is why missionaries change so much, is because they spend 2 years trying to give all they have to God, and that’s what brings about a quickening of the intellect, and a strength of spirit. It is the power that comes from keeping their covenants with God.
Sorry that's a lot Mom. But I hope it answered your questions :)
I am excited to see what happens with transfers, and I love being here.
Elder Lehr

What a swag week - 9/22/14

First off, This week has just been way swag. I got the packages from you mom, and those M and Ms have SO MUCH SUGAR! Candy here is totally not the same. I ate like half a bag and I felt full.....SO AWESOME!
Many a baptism interview were done yesterday for the other branch, and we shall be getting Andry and Tefy their baptism interviews this Tuesday. It is pretty freakin' exciting. We found out that Rosy might actually be married to a guy and we were like "WHEN DID THIS HAPPEN?§ What the garglemesh?§" So we are going to talk to her more about it on Tuesday to see if she really is married, and what not because if she is then we will need to wait so that she can be Vita soratra (Legally married)
On Wednesday we had an awesome CEP meeting or our (Priesthood executive meeting) and talked about trying to find more potential melk. priesthood holders. We gave the example that if you baptize a hundred women, it’s awesome because we are having people make covenants, but if we still have only 14 active melk. Priesthood holders...Then did we really grow? We encouraged the people in the meeting to start focusing on finding more potential melk. Priesthood holders, and to try to help us find families to teach. We also set a goal for us to try to have 40 fully active tithe paying melk. Priesthood holders by next year. 

Sorry, accidentally did the "Send button."
Elder Miller and I are doing a lot of searching in our program, and trying to find ways that we can combine people to teach so that we can find some more Families. We have SO MUCH of Fianarantsoa that has not even been touched, and we know that there are families waiting for the gospel. It’s pretty exciting and I am very very grateful for the time that I have to serve here.
This next week is going to be pretty awesome with the zone leaders coming this Wednesday, and then we should be getting transfer news on Sunday. SO EXCITING! I still don't know if I am staying or getting transfererd. I could see both happening depending on the will of President Adams in trying to split out area or not. So we will just keep pushing on in the Lord's work :)
Love you all, and I will report next week

Elder Lehr