Monday, October 27, 2014

Another day, another week, another time to serve the Lord. - 10/27/14

Another day, another week, another time to serve the Lord.
This Week was full of adventure. I Also got a miracle call from the Assistants telling me that this person that I had met in Tana was Coming to Fianarantsoa and he is going to bring a bunch of people to church. His name is Norbert. He lives in Ambohiboa and is a stud. He has already brought about 60 people into the church by himself. I love the guy.

So on Sunday we went to meet him and once I saw him he just came over and gave the biggest hug to me. What a cool guy! He totally remembered me from being in Ivato, and we had a great reunion. So we then went to church and I had the great opportunity to play piano. And to add more to that, both branch presidents told everyone "Every Saturday the Elder is teaching piano. So if you want to learn go to the class." What the garglemesh!!!!? Well, that's how life goes :)
After church Norbert and his family basically kidnapped Elder Connult and Elder Coleman to go to a Vody Ondry (The Malagasy way of getting married). And then they called us and wanted us to come. So we did! It was a super fun experience and we got to do a lot of missionary work there. After that we visited a recent convert whose husband had died. It was a really cool experience as we went with people from both branches and sang songs to help them and to pray for them. Death, birth, marriage. These things are SO IMPORTANT to these people. It is a very very sacred time for them, and the fact that you go to that shows in more ways than one that you care for them.
The work is going good here in Fianarantsoa....Haha at least there is so much work to do that we are always busy :) I love being with Elder Mack. It's been fun to be with him and preach the gospel.
Well sorry this is such a short email, but the power went out today so we don't really have a lot of time to email. Love you all and I hope you have a great day.
Elder Lehr

(Funny thing about Elder Lehr and the piano is that he didn't have a desire to take lessons when he was younger. So he didn't. But after being in Mr. Blackburn's choir class in junior high and learning to read music, he really wanted to play. So he taught himself to play the piano. He does a pretty good job of it, too. He also desired to play the organ. With the help of his dear friend, Brian Plummer, he can even do that pretty well Now his musical talents are being used to serve and benefit others. So awesome!)

Monday, October 20, 2014

A kids volcano project. Almost got killed by a dead man, and LEMURS! - 10/20/14

Oh what a week, what a week.
1st. We had so many crazy things happen this week it wasn't even funny. In all honesty I haven't even thought about my investigators this week, just because of everything that has been going on. SO! To start things off I guess I will tell about how we got a new missionary in our apartment! Elder Coleman. He is basically a perfect mixture of my brother Christian and Eddie Heaton. He is SO FUNNY!  Love the guy!
Elder Mack and I had the great opportunity to go the Famangian'ny olona maty. (The visiting of a dead person) And Frere Liva taught us the way that you talk to the family of someone who had died. It was SO COOL! They thought it was amazing that guests would do their way of things, and really appreciated our visiting. Then on Friday we went to the actual burying of the body, and got to go inside the tomb. It's basically a small house that has places already prepared for the family members. It was also SUPER clean, and SUPER HOT! Haha Elder Mack and I just came out of the tomb sweating like it was raining outside. It was an amazing experience and I think it will help the people that we are teaching really realize that we care about their culture and about their lives. One quick thing about going into the tomb. So they were trying to lift the body and move it from one section of the tomb to the other, and the feet of the dead person almost nailed Elder Mack in the face! That was pretty awesome and so we joke around that he almost got killed by a dead guy :)
A little bit ago I bought 2 coke bottles and put them in the freezer just for a little bit.....( Meaning that I forgot they were in there and woke up the next day) Opened the freezer and found that 1 of my coke bottles had EXPLODED! That was pretty cool. And then when I tried to open up the other bottle, all the carbonation started to go up and it became a fountain of living water....or coke.... So when I have a kid and they have to do some of those volcano projects....I have found the perfect project for him....FROZEN COKE!
This morning we went to a national park called Ranomahafana which is "Hot water." It is a beautiful rainforest about 2 hours away by taxibrus. SUPER Expensive for people who aren't Malagasy, but absolutely beautiful. We had an awesome time and got to see some really cool things like lemurs, trees, waterfalls, and some cool beetles called "Giraffe beetles". Super fun.
The work is going great in Fianarantsoa, but it's been kind of frustrating with the branch. A lot of things have been coming up that really make it hard for the work to progress. It really is true that we need "to clean the inner vessel before we clean the outer vessel." That's why the atonement is so cool. We are not here to judge other people, but if someone has struggles...Then we HELP EACH OTHER! We all need help, and sometimes we need to "Bring others to the feet of the Savior because they cannot bring themselves, and THEN He can heal them." So true. Izay Ilay Izy. (That's that)
I really love being here in Fianarantsoa. It's such an amazing place, and I love teaching the gospel. It really is the answer to our fears, concerns, and everything in our lives. I love being a missionary, a representative of Jesus Christ. I know with all that I am, that God Lives. Izay Ilay Izy.
Love you all

Elder Lehr

Monday, October 13, 2014

Baptisms - 10/13/14

Elder Lehr and his mission "father" (trainer) Elder Rasolofonarina who completed his mission a few transfers ago (love the shirt!)

Elder Lehr sees Elder Rasolofonarina again. Sweet reunion. He loves his trainer.
Well, things have been going really well this week. We have been doing tracting, teaching, talking, walking, and we had a baptism on Saturday.
We had 4 people from our branch that were baptized and then 3 from the other branch. I had the opportunity to baptize 3 of them. Elder Rakotoarisoa baptized 1 of them. And then Elder Garcia baptized 3 of the ones from his branch. It was a way awesome experience. Haha as I was baptizing a girl named Dophene, she got super scared and totally started to cry. So we got her to calm down and then I dunked her. She came out just crying. Probably the only baptism I have seen where someone was not crying because of joy :) hehe
Things are kind of crazy here in Fianarantsoa. Elder Rakotoarisoa is our temporary branch president, and we are trying to find some new land so that we can get 2 new churches here in Fianarantsoa. And we are trying to find and teach more families. A couple days ago, Elder Mack and I were walking in a place called Sahalava. In that place we were able to meet... A bunch of women. They are all SUPER Funny, and we found out that 4 of them are married and they all have their own families. So...OUR PRAYERS WERE ANSWERED! The Lord has truly been blessing us as we have been trying to find new people to teach.
Elder Mack and I are doing really Good. I really like him, and we have a lot of fun every single day :) haha as we were making the baptism program on Friday he taught me how to use a hash tag..;For example: #Firstandonlytimeeverusingahashtag
The electricity "Jiro" in Fianarantsoa has been going in and out like the style of the 80s. It's been kind of annoying to have it go in and out all the time, but we are getting through it. Just pray for rain :)

Elder Mack is doing pretty awesome. People have already said that his accent is good.....Now he just needs to learn Malagasy :) Which he is already making leaps and bounds. I really feel that he will be able to be fluent in about 6 months. The Lord will bless him and he and I will be able to mifosafosa (Gossip) all the time in Malagasy :) just kidding :)

As we have been working and finding new Investigators, it's interesting how much satan tries to destroy the work. He really does hate us all, and wants to stop this truth from spreading. But I know that when all Hell breaks loose....You are on the right track :) The people of Madagascar are so amazing. They are so smart. Sometimes so poor. But I have seen the gospel literally change people's lives to where God blesses them beyond imagination. I love this work. I love being here in Fianarantsoa and I love all the blessings we receive here.


Elder Lehr

Monday, October 6, 2014

Probably the swaggest son ever - 10/6/14

Elder Lehr and Elder Mack

Elder Lehr at "The Crown of Thorns"

Elder Mack at "The Crown of Thorns"

"The Crown of Thorns" in Laindastra

First....My son is such a swag demon. He was pretty much an answer to prayer. My companion's name is Elder Jordan pahako Mack. We connect SO WELL. It is super nice. We have been working hard for the last couple of days, and we have been playing hard as well. I love singing with this Tenor 2, and we have just been having a great time.
Lets begin though at the start of this story.
So on Monday we arrived in Antsirabe, and we left Tuesday morning to Tana. Then I became companions with Elder Web for Tuesday and Wednesday. SO MUCH FUN! We got to be with Elder Herin and Elder Razafamandimby from Fort Dauphan. We had almost too much fun. Then Thursday came and we had some training with President Adams. It was really awesome to because he was cracking jokes and just having a fun time with us. Then we met our Trainees, and the heavens opened and Elder Mack descended to meet me.........Yes! After talking to the guy a bit, I found that there was a lot of things that we had in common. This is going to be an AWESOME 12 weeks, and I will be very sad when the time comes that I do leave.
So Thursday we went back to Antsirabe, and then in the morning we went with Rakotomalala and Roje, and I got to sleep on a mattress as we went to Fianarantsoa. (Haha well there were only 5 seats available and 6 missionaries that needed to fill them.....So I slept with the luggage all the way to Fianarantsoa :)

On Friday we taught Andry. And then on Saturday we found 3 new families that we could teach, and then had meetings with President Adams, and then got fed at their hotel. The Food was SO GOOD! I then got interviewed by President and it was just a good time to be with him.
On Sunday we had church, and I translated in the other branch for some of the couple missionaries. That was kind of fun. Then we taught one of the families that we tracked into named Gilbert. He was super drunk but I think that he is super ready to receive this gospel. We gave a blessing to his wife who was crippled. Then we taught Pierre and Zoma, and about 15 other people in a small room. That was fun :) Then we taught Hoby and guess what???! His father and mother were there! The Lord is really preparing this family to be able to come into the gospel. We asked them what their feelings were about Hoby being baptized, and they said that they would talk to him and see if he is ready to stay committed to a church and if so then they did not have a problem. His mom and dad are SUPER COOL!
Then today, Elder Mack and I went up by Laindastra and climbed the mountain. It was very very beautiful. We were inside a cloud and we took some awesome pictures and just had a good time enjoying the scenery and visiting the crown of thorns that is like 5 feet wide. IT'S HUGE! Haha
Anyway I love you all. I am very excited to be with Elder Mack. I think that we are going to work hard and have an awesome time. Anyway I love you all.

Elder Lehr