Monday, March 30, 2015

Farming Fact number 7 - 3/30/15

So Mangahazo is a food here in Madagascar that is similar to voamanga or sweet potato. They grow it here because it is very filling even though it eats up calcium. SO! Farming fact of the week. DO not just feed your pigs mangahazo because it has no nutritional value but you have to feed it vitamins and proteins and......Otrikaina "I think you translate this as Energy" just like any other animal if you want it to survive. Also! Apparently it is good to put Cow blood in your animal food because of the protein that is inside the blood. Hmm.... Who knew?

So things are going great here in Manandona. We are kind of weeding out some people in our schedule so that we can focus on some more core families but things are going pretty well. Life in Fort D Is SO SWAG! There is not a better place in the world. I definitely will just cry when I have to leave this area because nothing can compare to it.

One of the cool things that happened this week was when we went to Maharivo and tried to find Jean Florice. He is a way cool less active. He got an injury on his hand and because of that can't work on his fields and Elder Christiansen and I are going to go on Tuesday and maybe Wednesday and go mamboly (plant or farm) some mangahazo! I am way excited for it, and we are going to get our greffie and our DMB and just go ham on those fields. I am SO STOKED! Farming is AWESOME! (Even though i suck at using a shovel)
It hasn't been raining as much lately which has been great and it makes it so that we can actually drive out to Besoa. OH! Yea So Richard came to church (The 1st councilor in the branch presidency) since his foot is healed! So that is way cool, and he can finally mandray some anjara in all of this. :)

Well sorry this is short. But I love you all and thank you for your prayers.

Love Elder Lehr

Monday, March 23, 2015

Farming fact number 6! - 3/23/15

Note: Elder Wiscombe (a member of our previous ward) arrived in Madagascar on Wednesday with one other missionary. It just so happens that he has been assigned to Fianarantsoa where Elder Lehr served for 7 months. The missionaries stop in Antsirabe on their way to Fianarantsoa and stay overnight. Elder Wiscombe and Elder Covey got to stay at Elder Lehr’s apartment.  So awesome for them to get to see each other so soon. A couple pics are attached as well as some of the baptism.

Elder Wiscombe, Elder Christiansen, Elder Covey and Elder Lehr

Elder Wiscombe and Elder Lehr (so good to see a friend from home)

Baptism in Manandona

So good for Elder Lehr to see Elder Mack again

In madagascar, matetka (Often) when you have a cow that has given birth, it can get about 3 liters of milk a day :) 

So this week was SUPER BUSY! I am SO Tired haha We have just been goin going going! Its been way awesome since my companion is going to be going home at the fara-parany april and is still working his socks off. Elder Christiansen is a great companion and a super great example to me. I am grateful to have been able to be with him for so long already :)

So, our branch has been getting better little by little. And we had a baptism on saturday! Nirina is a way cool investigator and even though not alot of people came she was still way cool about it.

We had a soire de quartie (family home evening) with an inactive family, and we had the entire branch council there. It worked out really well and i feel like this family is going to come back. They would be a huge support since their family makes up about 90 percent of the primary. They have SO MANY KIDS!

I did have the chance to go on a split with elder Morse in Ambohimena and it was so fun! We had Tahiry and Sitraka come with us as member help and they are way cool members. They are both getting ready to go on missions by june and are a huge help to the antsirabe branches.

One way cool experience this week for me was when we went to an inactive family who is related to our DMB. (Our new branch mission leader) And she was just talking about how she was kind of discouraged because of all the stuff that she had heard about with the branch and all the gossip about it, and we just sat in silence as Max (the DMB) testified with all his heart that this church was true and basically gave a first lesson right there.It was such a powerful experience to hear him testify that there was an apostasy and that God restored the Church of Jesus Christ again on the earth through the Prophet Joseph Smith. It was SO COOL! We have some of the Coolest members here in Fort D, but we also just have some small obstacles to overcome :)

Well, i need to head off now, but thank you all for your prayers and for actually being interested in how the work goes on here in madagascar. It is the best place in the world.


Elder Lehr

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Farming Fact number 5 :) (Just love the title and judge me later) - 3/16/15

Elder Lehr and Elder Galbreath

Elders with the District President's family

Painting of Mt Timp Temple version 1

Painting of Mt Timp Temple version 2

Elder Christiansen, Elder Fox and Elder Galbreath

In the farming world there are a very many needed traits in order to be successful. One of the most important traits is that of the "Fitihirizam-bola" Or Saving money. One of the things that is so hard sometimes for these people to grasp is that of trying to set priorities in their spending. They have never had to save before, and it's been a difficult thing to try and teach, but as we have been teaching basic financing principles, we have shown them how to be self reliant and how they can start having an income that will mitombo "Grow" and grow and grow. So. Farming fact number 5: "You have to save money and have goals in what you want to accomplish with your fiompiana."

Well this week has been chalk full of activities and what not. We had an audit, a fireside with President Adams, and then we had some meetings with the district president and also had our World cup finals on Saturday. It was way sad though because the world cup ended like any church ball event and basically....Nobody won :) After that we got ready for a SWAG Zone conference with President Adams. It was SO MUCH FUN! We got to watch the Meet the Mormons movie and I can't even begin to describe how many times I cried. Seeing President Hayden, and Orem and The mall, and families that are super cute. Dang, What a mahamariage trunky film! haha

Also we are gong to have a baptism this Saturday. Nirina is getting baptized! We are going to try and find a river, and do a whole bunch of stuff this next little while to get ready for it.

Seriously....There are TOO Many things to do right now. Translations, Strengthening, Preparing the branch for the next couple of months, Meeting with the district, and There is Just NOT enough time. BUT it's ok, because the Lord has really been helping us to know what to do and how to use our time to the fullest in helping this branch.

Last and not least....ELDER MACK IS COMING TO ANTSIRABE!!! WHAAOOO! My son is coming back to me! I can't even begin to describe how happy I am :) It was the best present I could ask for. Hes gonna be with Elder Gariki from Tahiti and they are going to Swag it up in Andranomanelatra. SO STOKED! I am way sad though because Elder Galbreath went home yesterday and he has been one of my heroes here on the mission. Working as hard as he could to the very end. Many tears were shed this past week because of his leaving.

Well love you all. Thank you for your prayers and for all that you do.

Love Elder Lehr

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Farming fact number 4 - 3/9/15

Trying to keep the cabbages from falling off

Elder Christiansen and Elder Lehr

Elder Lehr with his Malagasy friend

Elder Lehr and Elder Galbreath

SO! When you harvest your rice, and.......Mikapka vary....Hit the rice?....and then you dry the rice, and put it in your 250 Kilo bags...It is a very good idea to hire help because you could spend up to 20,000 ariary for all the help and what not, and then sell the stems of the rice for 30,000. SO You get a 10,000 ariary profit! WHAO! Ny fambolaina is SO SWAG!
This week has been pretty crazy! We had some meetings with the district and the other branch presidents about using agendas, talked about branch council, had dinner with our district president and his AMAZING WIFE (Literally the malagasy version of my dear Aunt Kathy) and then we had more meetings and interviews, and then went to work :)
Excitingly, due to the branch presidency change, our sunday school president is now on fire wanting to fulfill his calling. It is incredible to see someone that in one sense wanted to start another church, and now just wants to have this branch rolling! Some amazing things are happening in Fort Dona right now :)
This Week we also had the APS with us, and that was super fun. Me and elder Payne went out to Ibity and talked with a Dadabe about getting his sewing machine that he had that the church let him use. And the church needed it for a different thing. HOLY COW! I have never seen a more peeved dadabe in my life. He literally told us to come back tomorrow with the police and take it with his dying fingers still around the sewing machine. Elder Payne was getting pretty frustrated with the guy. Haha he even told him that "We are men of maturity and we don't need to act like this" And the dadabe responded "I am not mature and I will never be mature as long as you are trying to take this sewing machine away from me." Then he started to spew out apostasy like it was yesterdays breakfast. I love FORT DONA! Haha get to deal with ALL Types of people here :)
On Saturday we went to a tree planting activity for the district and it was super cool! I got to use all my cool farming skills that I have acquired and it's been a blast :)
Well thanks everyone for all of your prayers :) I am very grateful for that.
Love Elder Lehr

Monday, March 2, 2015

Farming Fact 3 - 03/02/15

Apparently they had a soccer or “football” tournament.  Elder Tolman (senior missionary) took these pics of the team.

Farming fact number 3: The Omby (Or cow) Is of great worth here in the pride lands of Fort Soa, and Fort Dona. A baby omby is worth about 100,000 ariary and in the span of not so long a time will be worth about 500,000 and then the really big ones well get to a million ariary. Cows are the Prime target of herding....I think that's how you say it in english......For ny Fiompiana. Also it is pretty easy to miompy the omby just because they eat as you walk and walk. Farming and ranching? herding?....Anyway they are the best!
So.....this week went pretty swell, and we are both very healthy. We had Elder Christiansen's birthday yesterday, which was a very interesting day. We had President Jaquot come up to Manandona and it ended in a very very interesting testimony meeting. BUT IT'S OK! The church is still true and the sacrament still renews your covenants. :) Afterwards we cleaned and organized the Bureau and then went to an institute and seminary meeting with President Roje which was SUPER COOL. Hes so good at translating that he just grabbed a conference thing on his ipad, put earplugs in his ear and then went off translating. It was SWAG!
Investigatorwise: well nirina is probably going to be pushed back to the 21st of March even though she is ready just because our weeks have been a little hectic. We shall see how things go and what not, but all is well in Fort Dona.
Oh! We got a new branch presidency in the Dona, and they are way swag! I feel that we are going to get a lot more people back to church and that the work is going to go a lot more smooth.
Sorry there is not much this week, but thanks for all your prayers of protection and safety. We definitely felt that this week :)
Love Elder Lehr