Tuesday, September 27, 2011

September 27, 2011

hey! its nice to here from you all!! so this week has been pretty good. i swear the days are all squished together into one big day. it doesnt feel like ive been here for 7 weeks... it feels like a life time and no time at all all at the same time hahaha. if that makes sense. so i got lots of letters from yall and i wrote most everyone an individual letter so if i dont say much about you in my email its not cause i forgot about you. life is good though. ive had some tough days but ive learned you just gotta work through them, find fun ways to unwind a little bit and ignore the "zone leaders" who arent even for our zone who think they have all the power in the world. haha. you can really tell that most of these elders have never been put in a leader ship position because you give them an ounce of power and they take it and think they can control every missionary around.... oh well. im sure they are great guys. but when they tell us not to toss a little foam ball around at 945 at night and im doing it with MY zone leader it gets a little annoying.. quiet time is at 1015 and i respect that. but im gunna play pass for a couple minutes to clear my head before that. so today im getting out of the mtc for a little bit! its my companions MRI today so we will see how that go's. its like 50/50 for me if he is actually hurt or not.... its hard to tell. it seems like he is doing it for attention or for an excuse, but we will find out. hes a great guy but we all have our problems. i just try to acomidate him any way i can. so we found out on sunday from our branch presidency that all of our district leaves on the 10th of october except for one person who leaves on the 11th haha. can you guess who that person is???? yeup i fly to madagascar allllllll by my lonesome. thatll be wierd. its a three day flight by myself. im just some country town boy who flew on an airplane once when i was what 9? hahah. should be an exciting moment in my life.

i get to call you guys from the airports though. and there is no limit to time. i just dont know what time it will be at your house when i get into england hahaha. it might be like 3 in the morning. oh well i guess we will find out. we had a really good lesson yesterday form our teacher. he was our origional teacher and we all really liked him, unfortunatly he has to quite soon because of the pressures at schoool. he was an amazing teacher who really new how to bring the spirit and how to relate to us. is name was rahalahy bell. cool guy. ill miss him. we got 3 new teachers in return though wich is kinda funny. they are all great guys and help us in different ways. oh! so i got the package you guys sent yesterday wich was awesome! i didnt expect it but i guess mom was pretty close at that sisters reunion. and i got a letter from dad yesterday wich was nice. i like how in your dear elder dad you used lol hahahaha. the best part was that u used it litteraly . that really made me lol ;) but really the food here gets old after like 2 weeks. its not like its descusting but its cafateria food... sooo elder west says hi hahaha, hes our DL. good guy. ill send some pictures home eventually with all the people in my district. i am so excited for madagascar. i know that when i get there im not going to be able to understand a thing and that its gunna smell funny and be hot and im gunna live very differently but i cant wait, i wouldnt trade it for anything. i keep telling myself to just talk when i get there. always. im not going to be afraid to say something cause i might mess up. i know im going to mess up every one of my sentences for about 3 months at least. but the more i do it the faster i learn. i learn by doing so thats what im going to do hahaha. some of these sentences today are pretty funny sounding but i like it. it seems the longer we have been there the better we get along with all the people in our buildings. we have always gotten along with the frenchies and malasians and huns(mongolians) really well but now we mets some tongans and the other frenchies and its just fun to be able to talk to anyone around. ive met a ton of people. i love meeting and talking to new people. im so glad that i was able to learn so much about grandpa herman. and how friendly and loving he was. it really inspires me to be the same way. i cant wait for the day where i can meet all of my great ansestors who have blessed me and my family so much.

something they do here at the mtc though is they try to make you feel extremely bad for the things youve done. i dont like that at all. its a guilty till proven inocent belief here i think. im not saying that the people here are bad. i can see why they do it. people come out who havent resolved things so they think that the only way to get them to confess is by scaring the crap out of everybody and making every one of us feel horrible... its justifided in some ways i just think there is a better way of going about it. its not all bad though and we havent had a really heavy talk for about 2 weeks. and our teacher are all really supportive and reasure us that we are ment to be here. i truely believe everything in this life happens for a reason. god and his beliefs and attitude are unchanging. but he mends our individual plans constantly to fit around the decisions we've made in our life so that we always have path back to him. lyndi put it really well in one of her letters how merciful god is. i was very appreciative of her words. oh ya i got lyndis pictures of Kasper and her letters to me. i will write her back by hand cause im out of time. tiako ianareo.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

September 20, 2011

hey! its me again. so ive gotten a few dear elders wich were very nice. i cant believe colter and his pregnant wife! got 15 yards from a grizzly! thats pretty freakin awesome. and did he get any pictures of the elk? one of my district members said that when he gets home he wants to go up to canada and go elk hunting haha. i told him we hunt with a bow so he said he would come up a week earlier to learn how to shoot a bow hahahahah. i told him it was a deal but, i just wanna see him try and shoot a bow. lol. so its my 6th week here. soon im gunna have to ask you all to stop sending me hand writen letters. its still ok for now but if you sent them next week im not sure if they will get to me before i ship off to madagascar. im so ready to go its crazy. i know im going to know next to nothing about the language when i get there but i dont even care. its going to be so much easier to focus on my mission while im in mada. and i know that if i work hard there the lord will bless me so that i will have the ability to bless his childrem. sorry i dont send more hand writen stuff but i just dont like how long the mail takes to get there. i will send more though in the next couple weeks. we get our flight plans either this week or next, probably next but its still pretty exciting. something interesting happening here is that my companion is having really bad back problems. he didnt want to go to the doctor but i convinced him because there is no way he would be able to serve in mada for 2 years with a bad back. its all hiking and mountains. so we spent about 4 hours at the docs yesterday and now we have to wait to see a specialist and such. and you know what that means?? i get to go on a field trip!!! i get to get out of the concentration camp for a while hahaha. seriously it feels like the mtc is my world at the moment. just a square mile compound where i am confined to hahaha. im starting to forget things about the outside world. 8() its weird being in here. but i know its for a good purpose. the food is decent but its the same thing and then sometimes it makes you sick and there mashed potatos are just potato flakes. moms potatos are way better. and there pie tastes nothing like lyndis pie, and there steak is not steak. its just a hunk of cooked roast. but if you close your eyes and picture your favorite food....... its still taste bland hahah. but i shouldnt complain, ive learned so much here. oh! and really dont be suprised if i come back like a bean pole. its going to happen. which is awesome. the belts we bought at the missionary mall are already starting to fall apart. if its not to inconvinient for you to find some quality ones and send them to me i would apreciate it very much and if you would include in that package some duct tape and stuff. not a ton of candy though cause i got a ton from aunt booboo wich i am very thankful for! the package she sent me was awesome.

so i sent lyndi some hand writen letters like 2 weeks ago and i dont think she got them wich is unfortunate but i did get her dear elder wich was very nice. kasper sounds like a stud. hes seriously going to be the coolest kid. and if i could tell her one thing its that kids will get hurt. probably not as much as we got hurt as kids just cause we were crazy... but god will protect them, especialy when the testimony of the parent is so strong. seriously i think thats the only reason none of us are dead... hahaha. how are things going back at home? dallin got his licence back and driving like a old grandma? haha. hows school going for emily? is she staying strong? highschool can be horrible some days and then awesome others. i just hope she makes them more awesome. stay possitive! stay with the lord! :). i dont know how much more there is to tell you... everything here is the same. we spent about 10-12 hours in a 10 by 10 brick room staring at a chalk bored... thats probably the worst part. we get so antsy in that room. its pretty funny the things we do to entertain ourselfs when things just get to stressfull. i fit 41 origionaly double bubbles in my mouth. elder schiefert fit 40. i won! haha dont judge me. i really am trying to stay focused. you would thing the mtc would be the easiest place to focus but i say its one of the hardest. for many many missionaries. but i will keep working hard and keep you all in my prayers. thank you for your love and prayers for me. always strive to read and to learn more about our god and his son jesus christ. its is incredible how much there is for us to constantly learn. the lord will bless us all if we are willing, truely willing to recieve them. the lord does nothing until we have faith. its the first principle of the gospel. after faith, all else follows. continually build your faith and your testimony will be stengthened 20 fold. even more if you allow it.

tiako ianareo
elder riley h bates

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

September 13, 2011 - fianakaviako!!!! (family of mine) haha

hello hello hello. we got up and decided to go to the laundry room really early this morning so its 6 in the morning right now hahaha. im kinda tired. but since ive got here i dont think ive went a day without being tired. whats new with me this week? hmmmmmm lots of the same. class food class food class and food, and the occasional fireside. oh and im in choir, i have been since my first week here but i dont think i told yall that. i got a dear elder from nanie and lyndi this week, thankyou very very much! and lyndi dont worry about it being long, i got time to read it. and i got one from dallin. and a hand writen letter from mom wich was really nice. this sunday was 9/11. its amazing how little i thought about that tragic event while i was home. but watching the mamorial video while in the mtc was definatly something else. its hard to think about people being able to kill so many. we watched some pretty graphic videos in the fireside that i hadnt seen since it first happened, i think i was 9. while watching those mamorials two scriptures came into my head. 3 nephi 12 38-45. and D&C 98 23-about 35. those speak about love. godly love. i think one of the hardest christlike attributes can be the love that is spoken of in these two scriptures. all though it happened a long time ago we must still apply this principle. what good comes from hate? there is oppotition in all things. but how great would it be if we could take that oppotition out of some situations. we can do that with love, as soon as we choose love instead of hate it deminishes a conflict imidiatly. i wish i would have learned this concept a long time ago. but better late than never haha. that was something i thought about alot this past couple days. oh! dallin! i ment elder kindsy kindt!!! he was sitting behind me in a fireside and he saw my nametag and just happened to ask me if we were related! haha he is super cool. we talked about you and your hilarious antics for like 45 minutes. hes gunna write you a letter but its gunna take a while obviously haha. super good guy though. we laughed alot. oh and for you to do list, itsnt not that dificult really bro.
1. stay worthy.
2. learn the gospel now! go through preach my gospel, learn the lessons. be a missionary in you mind.
3. the food here is pretty impressive. dont worry bout that.
4. gain a strong testimony, one that can not be broken my say trying to learn a language or spending 6 hours in a class. love those classes. it will help alot.
5. love your scriptures. read them. feast on them like its says in 2 nephi. ill let you find the verse for yourself haha.
6. be excited. try to come out without a girlfriend. but your a stud so if that isnt posible then only write her on p days!!!!! im serious. a couple of our guys write every day and the are having a rough time. dont do that.
7. dont get those microfiber towels. they dont fit the big guys. hahahaha.

tiako ianareo. i think of you all in my prayers and when i can allow my brain to be distracted. i miss you all a ton. if we keep god and christ close to our hearts our lives will be blessed, even if its just a blessing of a feeling of comfort and calmness what a wonderful blessing that is.
ps. still havent heard anything about hunting ahhaha. whats the deal??? im itchin to here. its already been 2 weeks. colter musta got somethin already. haha.

theres a scripture i want you to read. keep reading 2 nephi 25: 22-26 but there is also a scripture in mosiah 22. vers 16 i think. im not sure the verse but alma says to amon that if he wants something and he dillagently prays with all hope and confidence then god will give him anything he wants. we can have the same promise. whenever times are hard and you dont think you can handle something pray to your heavenly father. let him be your best friend and your guide through life. i promise you he will comfort you when times get hard. but you must also pray to hime when times are good. tell him about your day. you dont only call a best friend when you need something right?  treat god the same way. he will lead you and guide you and walk beside you. i heard a comparison once i cant remember where from but it talked about a man walking along the sand and he looked back and there were two sets of footprints in the sand and when times were hard there was only one set of footprints. he asked god why he left him when times were hard. but god said that i did not leave you my son. those were the times that i carried you. god will carry you if you have all faith in him. he loves you. i love you (tiako ianaro)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

September 6, 2011

hey family! or fianakaviako (family of mine) its been a long week and i am pretty exausted. my mind feels like its about to explode. but i am hangin in there. the language of malagasy really isnt that complicated the only problem is that for every verb there are 5 different ways to say the word depending on what the topic is.... hahaha its kinda hard to remember one of them let alone all of them. but ill get it. a week ago from today i got the extreme privalage of listening to elder Jeffery R Holland! who came to speak to us in our devotional. that man is all inspiring and loves everyone of us very much. he is very straight forword and doesnt hide his emotions which i really like. he talked alot about how we as missionaries have no right to go out and serve and then not live the principles we are teaching after we get back from our mission. i dont see how i could do that after even just the experiences ive had just in the mtc even. but theats whats amazing about us humans. we tend to forget these strong spiritual anchors very quickly and loose sight of the big picture, that picture being the plan of salvation. God loves us and wants so badly for all to return to him. im gunna try and help him out haha.  oh, i still havent gotten colter and karmyns adress yet. i would apretiate that please :) i have class every day for 7 hours. i have a feeling that after this experiance collage wont scare me so much hahaha. i got nannies letter she sent over dear elder. it was very much apreciated seeing as how i havent gotten one for about a week now because they take so long to get here. AND yes i know that hunting season has started..... its not something i like to think of alot hahaha. but that doesnt mean i dont wanna hear all about it! seriously tell me all about it hahaha. tiako ianareo ( i love y'all)
Dad. its so nice to here about all the willing service givers in this church. its very inspiring to me. tell dallin to stop hurting himself so that he can hold a job haha. cause if he had any other job and got hurt this much he would be fired. but i love him. i want to thank you for raising me to love service. without a father so willing to serve others i dont think i would have half the desire i have now to serve my fellow men. i am so thankful for all that you have done for me and i wish i would have showed that earlier in my life. you and mom have done a more than exeptable job of raising a family full love. i love how supportive our whole family is. not just imidiate family but all of us. its amazing. i look forword to hearing more about the family and all your adventures. shoot a big one for me hahah. times running low on the clock so i will have to wait till next week to email again. tiako ianao.