Monday, October 24, 2011

October 24, 2011 - Email to Lyndi

hey lyndi!! so the french keyboard im using makes it really hard for me to
write so it will
probably be not so good of a letter and i apolagize. but all of the news
you sent me was super exciting. and dont worry about how much you write me..
any letter is a good letter. i completly understand that other people have
lives haha. i am hard at work here anyways. the president asked me to play
robyns song before testimony meeting tonight at island conffrence wich is
really exciting. oh ya its island confrence so like all the missionaries on
the island (about 75) are in tana learning and we did a huge prosaliting
project and such. it was pretty cool.
i wounder what day it was that karmyn poped. you probably told me its just
funny cause a few days ago i randomly thought to myself that karmyn probably
had her baby. that is way exciting though! i vote for ryland hahaha... i still dont know the really name though... still havent read that other email haha. but its all good.
kasper getting an ear infection is no good!!! i bet he is so uncomfortable.
i have been kinda sick these past couple days and it sucks! but hopefully it
doesnt turn into mallaria..... hahaha oh well i promise i will come home
alive. that would be funny if the home number. it would be pretty quiet at
the house for a while haha.

love you dones tena tiako ianao! tell jared to keep workin hard! many
blessings will come i promise.

October 24,2011 -Email to the family

hey family! how are you all!? this has been quite a busy week. i dont actually remember most of it.... haha the days are flying by. and im wat tired and a little sick. tonga soa madagascara haha. means welcome to madascascar. so the exciting funnythings that happened to me this week is that one i fell out of a taxi be and into a gutter of poop....... hahahaha and two i fell into a rice patty. not all the way in but enough. im still alivethoughand super excited to here about madysen!!! nice name choice...... hahahahahaha jk but seriously im super excited for you!
we have been teaching a few people and 4 or 5 of our investigtors came to the giant islang confrence this last weekend wich was super exciting cause our area isnt usually very easy to get tot to that. oh y so its island confrence this weekend. so all the missionaries on island are in tana right now. about รจ( elders. and some really exciting news is that elder nelson is here on island this weekend! an apostle hasnt been to madagascar since elder scot dedicated it like 15 years ago! so thats pretty awesome!  ummm lets see what else i can tell you. i havent recieved muck mail yet wich is completely understandable. i am half way across the world. lol. but i dod get a short dear elder from mom telling me a little about her reunion. it sounds like a good but tiring time haha. im tellin you its a completely different world over here.... i love it though and i love all of you. sorry this email isnt longer.....

tiako ianareo

Monday, October 17, 2011

October 17, 2011 - Numero Uno

* The spelling throughout this email is a little off. When he puts a "z" it should be a "w" but I'm not going to go through it all and change it, so good luck. -Lyndi

hey hey ehy so first of the key boards are different here and its really throughing me off hahah. lets see what do i tell you first... ummm i am serving in the amboimanarina/amboibao/ankazo be area!! my traiiner is elder wilson and he has only been in country 4 months. he is already way mahay at malagasy but we are still learning alot of things together. our area is one of the hardest baptism wise in the mission right now. we feel like we dont really know what to do but god put us here together for a reason.  life here is like a total 180. its ast and very very very poor. we teach a family that has 6 kids and they all sleep on one bed smaller thn a queen. and there houses are pretty much the size of our downstairs bathroom. its dirty sticky wet everything is uphill and i dont fit anywhere hahaha but i woudnt tradethis for anyhting: i absolutely love it. seriously though when i saay i dont fit anywhere it maen it haha. everythink is made for a 5 foot malagasy. everywhere i go i get looks and i hear geza be vaza! haha which means thats a huge whiite guy! lol but the peole are really amazing.

today was the first day i didnt feel tired all the time. which means im pretty much acustomed to the time which is awesome. i still cant understand a word aid to me but i am trying really hard to just talk to people. it getss easier and easier every day. one problem though is that malagasy girls seem to like big guys. especially big white guys. they go gaga for white guys. i get the thirsty eyes all the time! haha but i aint no thing haha. oh ya! so remember when we were at aunt leslies and mckelle (sorry bout the spelling) talked about elder goff!? well i am living with him. he is a really cool guy. way mahay at malagasy. he will live with me for a month then hes goin home. hes a fun guy. we have lots of fun in the house haha. so ive dropped 2 bap dates so far and they both said yes! way awesome right? they may not go through but at least they accepted haha. oh and the only place you can send mail is to the mission office. thats where packages go and everything. and dear elders work here so feel free to send me those!! haha tell everyone who wants to write me to send me a dear elder. i can^pick them up from the office every week. seriously the key oboqrds here are stupid haha. that is so cool that jordan got his call!!! tell him i sent a ton of congrats. chille will be so awesome. and tell spencer i say cograts as well! i cant wait to here where he is going! seriously missions are the bomb. its a ton of work but im still on an mtc high i guess haha. so how is life at home feel free to tell me everything! i am half way around the world remember. it would take a long time for the grape vine to get here from canada. speaking of canada...... everybody here thinks canada is french speaking..... so the all think that cause im from canada that i should speak freanch... and i dont hahaha.... i barely speak malagasy but i have gotten really good at saying i dont speak french.. they think all white guys speak french till you tell them you dont then they are dumb founded.

so the house i live in is the tolatamaty house which is haunted haha. its a nice enough house but it is definatly weird. oh and i think i already have some flees. its very normaly here though. you get used to them. hahaha. gotta love thise country. oh and if you send me packages zith anything expencive in it you better be very very good at hiding it. lots of problems with theft in the postal service. always send american candy with it or something to through them off. and if its electrongic put it in something metal hahaha. they customs guys have xray machines..this country is crazy but im still alive and doing very well. i am adapting very quickly. i actually kina like it here haha. god new i would. thats why he sent me. oh i figured out why the key boqrd is so silly.. its cquse its french. they do things wierd haha. oh! has karmyn poped yet??? ha i hear that should be pretty soon. so ill tell you a little about my area. its awesome. i still dnt knoz my way around very xell but that will change. we have alot of countryside. like we cross rice paties ands stuff. that is sketchy enough as it is. garunteed i will fall into one sooner or later haha. but it is cool. there are alot of builings every where and a ton more people but the are friendly enough. they loveit zwhen white guys speak malagasy. they will talk to you just because of that. but then probably wont show up to church. and every body and there dog asks you for money wich is really sad. alots of people let us in cause they think we will give tem money. xe tell them xe have soething better but to them nothing is better than money... its tough to deal with. but i love the people enough to get past that and i just want to help them in any way i can, except give them money... haha that wont help anything. they need to learn to work and actually build up there country.

so this past weekend was general confrience so i got to watch it twice. i had to watch one session in malagasy so i just read my scriptrues hahha. next weekend is what we call island confrence. we never have these anymore but elder nelson is coming to the is island so he will talk to us all and that will be really sweet. every missionary on the island will be in tana which is crazy!! haha. so people are very blunt here sometimes wich is really funny cause they will straight up be like you suck at malagasy and you just have to laugh it off cause they dont mean anything by it. they are great people. just miss led. imma do my best to change that. hmmmm lets see what else i can tell you. there are a ton of hills in our area and my feet have some pretty narly blisters hahha but they are starting to calace over wich is awesome! cause then i will be able to cruise! haha:

oh i can tell you about taxi be's and stuff. so there are taxis, taxi be's, and taxi bruises. taxis are really expensive but nice cause you dont have to sit shoulder to shoulder zith 100 other peope haha. taxi be's are like there bus system.... they are really cheap, like 200 ariary. wich is like 6 cents. but i barely fit on one bench and they sit 2 to a bench and zhen it gets really full they put a board across the half a fot lane and expect you to squeeze your butt in there..... its a little squeeze for malagasy's imagine me hahaha. and we take those all the time because our area is a long ways from our house and its to expencive to take a taxi every day and not efficient at all to walk haha. we walk home alot because there is no night life here. people drink during the afternoon cause if you drink at night you are like a witch or something... no joke haha. andit gets dark at like - so ze take flashlights everywhere with us.. one cause most people dont have power so we are the power wich is candels or our flqshlight. most of the time both though and a malagasy will take the flashlight from your hand cause they like to use it lol. they are a funny people. but i can see zhy im here. its a long way from home but god really does knoz everyone of us. how cool is that. hahahaha so they pronounce my name really funny here.... they say there t's like a ch and so its sounds a hech of alot like the B word....... its funny. you gotta love it!

well tiako ianareo batsika you are all in my prayers
Elder Riley Bates

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

He made it!

hey! so im officially in madagascar. its freakin crazy here but i love it. i cant help but say hi to everyone on the street. sorry i couldnt call you but we are super busy. its probably a good thing though cause you would have been able to smell me through the phone hahahah. seriously 2 and a half days of travel doesnt do anyone good. i love you all soooooooo much. it was great talking to all of you. now its back to work.

Arrival (hopefully)

Alright so I have not received any official word that Elder Bates is safe and sound in Madagascar yet. But I will post this in good faith that everything went as planned.

So in these past couple days Elder Bates hopped on a couple planes. One in Salt Lake City which took him to Chicago, and then another one to London, and then another to Johannesburg, and then a final one to Antananarivo Madagascar, and if everything went smoothly he would have arrived at 2:10pm Mada time which was 5ish (am) our time. So Elder Bates is most likely in Madagascar right now!

While Elder Bates was enroute he was aloud to call family from the airports. Which meant I got to talk to him! It was so good to hear his voice and he sounded so good. He said that the only part that was hard about being out of the MTC was entering a world with a lot of crap right out in the open. For example tons of magazines everywhere with scantily clad women, or girls walking around who don't dress modestly at all. He was very excited to take an air bus from the Chicago to London. He also mentioned that he was a little nervous, I mean just the thought of living in a different country for 2 years without family or really knowing the language that well is pretty nerve racking.

He said once he got into London that he slept on the floor of the airport for a long time (he had about a 9 1/2 hour layover there) and by the time he called me he had been there for about 5 hours already with not much to do, so he was happy to talk about ANYTHING no matter how dumb it was.

He also mentioned that he would really like to know more about what is going on at home, and that it will not make him miss it too much. So if your writing him letters don't be afraid to tell him about the happenings of your friends in fear that it would make him miss it a lot.

Here are his exact flight plans (mostly for his own records):

british airways leave salt lake at 1120am 10th
british airways arive in chicago at 325pm 10th
british airways leave chicago at 805 pm 10th
" " arive in london at 945 am 11th
" " leave london at 710 pm 11th
" " arive in joeburg at 655 am 12th
south african airways leave joeburg at 10 am 12th
" " arive in antananarivo at 210 pm 12th.
these are all local times. so your gunna have to do the math to figure out what time it will be there each time.


Monday, October 10, 2011

October 10, 2011

In a just an hour or so Elder Bates will be airborne and on his way to Madagascar! I'm pretty sure these past 9 weeks passed by really quickly for everyone. It will take him about 3 days to get to Mada, with one long layover. Elder Bates hasn't flown that much before, only once when he was 9 with the rest of his family, and he has been made "flight leader". Whatever that means, I guess he just has a little more responsibility to make sure they get to their destination.

I am really excited because if everything goes as planned I should get to talk to my brother within the next couple days (hopefully today).

We are all really excited for Elder Bates, we know he will be a great missionary and serve the people of Madagascar with great love. We pray for a safe flight with out any major hiccups.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

October 4, 2011

* Alright so the last post mentioned that I wasn't sure if there was an email this week. But he did send one and Elder Bates' Dad (also doubles as my Dad) just forwarded to me tonight, so here it is.

alright. so how yall doing!? hahaha i am getting pretty anxcious to get out of here holy cow. i just cant wait to start teaching people in my very very broken malagasy hahaha. this will probably be my last time emailing seeing as its my last p day, but i may get another chance on saturday, im not sure. there is alot to do this week. so ive got some good news.. im flying out with the rest of my district! they lied to me whe they told me someone was flying alone. SORRY for the little scare. lol but i am flight leader for the trip which will be pretty interesting haha. i will send you all a copy of my flight plans in the mail today so that you can see. you will probably get it about the day i get to madagascar. so howd you all like general confrence!? i would like to imform mom and dad that i dressed up for it and stayed awake. i even took notes! hahaha. i loved it. the words of the apostles are so powerful. i found ut interesting how lots of them talked as if they were talking to a non member. or how basic it really all was. the gospel of jesus christ is simple. its amazing. he ment for everybody to understand it. 

so this week ive had a very bad cold. im coughing up a storm!! and my nose is full of some new species of liquid. it kinda sucks but it is impossible to not get sick in the mtc. its full of 2400 19 year old boys who arent very health concious. its kinda gross when you think about it hahaha. its kind of a bummer but it doesnt really affect anything. its just really annoying. its super hard to get better too. itll go away though. ugh being sick sucks. but my teachers tell me that we will probably feel sick most of the time in madagascar. they say you get used to it. 

leaving is kinda scary... its been weird to think that ive been here for 2 months already. thats a 12th of my mission. it really has just flown by. but now my real mission starts. out in the field. in the furthest mission from the church you can get. thats pretty crazy. we did the math and .1 percent of missionaries go to madagascar... thats a pretty small number. i wonder what makes me part of that point one percent... i just dont know! but the lord does haha and thats al that matters. flying half way around the work will be cool. thatll be really cool. im exited! 

so if you send me letters to madagascar they will take about a month to get there and then another month to get them back. ya thats what mailing half way around the work is like haha. so im thinkin if people want to send me letters you could give them my email. i dont think to many people will be wanting to talk to me other than my family but you never know. ive gotten a few from other people. im not sure what my mission president thinks about emailing everybody but i dont really wanna spend my pday emailing a ton of people. just a few select people close to my heart. everybody is important but there are some who i wanna write hahah. so my companions back seems to be doing alot better! wich is good. im just glad that epidemic is over. it was interesting. 

all the guys in my district are awesome. there is a reason they got call to mada. they are all pretty special. they are all very smart and super fun. we all have a good sense of humor wich can be a bad thing cause we get distracted and joke around alot. they are harmless jokes though. it makes the mtc bareable. 

well i gotta get going. i love you all with all of my heart. heart im malagasy is fo haha. it sounds funny when you use it in english sentances. anyways. i will write you all letters before i fly out but you wont get them till after im already in mada... just know that even though im half way across the world i am safe. i know that you will be safe cause i pray for it every night. sometime its hard to know that all i can really do to help you is pray. but then i remember that god is the best choice always. prayer is so unbelievably powerful. remember what your knees are for. ill see you all in aproximatly 22 months.

tiako ianareo 

ELDER Riley H Bates 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

October 5,2011

*(This is Lyndi)Alright so I'm not sure right now if Riley sent an email this week or not. We think not. But I will not actually know for sure until tomorrow as the main email sender/receiver is not home this week and his minions sidekicks, well sometimes lack in computer skills. So I thought for those expecting a post today I would share a personal letter Riley sent to me and I got it in the mail just today! I will be leaving some stuff out. But heres some of the letter:

Ry Lyndi Hamon (ry is dear)

Hey! How are you? I know I probably won't get another letter from you because by the time you get this I will be flying out to Mada in about 4 days, Crazy! I can guarantee you I'm not ready haha. But I'll be alright.

As of lately I have found it really hard to stay focused in the MTC. It's crazy boring here I mean, I love the gospel and I love reading the books and stuff but we sit in a classroom for approximately  13 hours every day. That Sucks! haha oh well I have 13 days left.

I fly half way around the world, how crazy is that. And I guess in a way I am flight leader or whatever ha.

Its so nice to hear about Kasper and all of his stories. He seems to be getting quite the personality. He's gonna be quite the lady killer. Not literally I hope ;) haha (lyndi: yes he actually drew the winking face like that in his letter).

Im glad you guys know some people over there! Meeting people is fun as well though.

(Lyndi: I told him about "new" couches we got) Im glad you explained what 3 pieces meant or else I would have thought you only got the cushions, and the two arm But seriously grandma couches are in for the season. do you remember those ugly green/blue things we used to have for couches, and the ones before that were just as lovely haha. it's good to see you keeping the tradition. Those people sound extremely nice. You should get their address and tell your good friends the missionaries to go "tracting" that way. Then you won't offend them and lose a shed ha. But they do sound like wonderful people.

...I look up to her (Robyn) as I look up to you and Colter. It's amazing to witness how much I have really learned from all of you. You all are so special to me. So are Emily and Dallin. I wish I would have come to this conclusion earlier. I miss you all so much and its incredible to me to notice it all now and not then, if the makes sense.

I have been blessed with an incredible family. I wouldn't trade ya'll for the world. I would do anything for anyone of you. Just as I would and am for the Lord...

Tiako ianao
Elder Riley H Bates