Monday, November 28, 2011

November 28, 2011

so lets see what i can tell yall about this week. monday was good. i went to the guitar guy and mine should be done in a week from today!! haha so im pretty excited about that!! tuesday we teached some people. just our regular investigators... we having had much luck at finding lately. buht we are still workin hard! wednesday was the same as tuesday. teachin the gospel. our investigators right now are all iao iao iany which means like on the fence. which can be a little discouraging. but all we can do is our best and look for the grace of god to make up the rest. if your still looking for a scripture to put on my plaque i would like you to but alma 29;9. its my favorite. 

so ill send yall some more pictures tis week but wednesday i fell through our resent convert louises stairs. ya like all of them.... hahaha its funny now but at the time it made me a little home sick. because i have now broken a chair and well a set of stairs and it just made me feel to big for this country haha. which i am but thats alright. i am lasa kely vety vety. (becoming small quickly) haha im trying to learn the language as best i can but when i have a trainer who is so new it leaves me to kinda learn things on my own which is incredably dificult. but i am striving. thursday was the american thanksgiving so my companion decided to take the day off and cook a meal. which ment killing plucking and gutting a turkey then cooking it. which was fine i guess. he has been in a slump lately so i just want him to be happy. once he is happy we can start working hard again. cause if theres issues the work doesnt go very well no matter what. so we killed this little turkey and i cooked it. mom would be impressed hahaha. it looks decent from the picture anyways ;). it didnt taste that bad either. so that was thursday. then friday we had interviews with president. my first one in the mission and i loved it. president donnely is one of the most inspired men ive met. there is no doubt that he is a servent of god. and he hinted that i may get transfered sooner or later so thats kinda exciting if i do get transfered. i want the beach hahaha. then saturday i went out to ankazobe. i dont know how far it actually is but going there it takes about three hours cause we have to take a taxi be south into tana then buy tickets to ankazobe then wait about an hour for the bus to leave and then we go right back where we came from north to ankazobe haha. so the drive is about 2 hours tottal really. and thats on taxi be not a taxi brusse. so my legs dont fit inbetween the seats at all hahaha no lie. so thats an interesting ride. then we got there at around noon and went to the group leaders house. there are only about 30 members in ankazobe.... i baptized a little girl in this canal haha. that was a cool experience. went and taught a couple tiles then went tot the hotel. ankazo be is very hard to work. its about as big as bow island if not smaller and everyone is prodastent. story of my life hahahaha. gotta love it though. sunday we went to church there and taught a couple people. then the group leader fed us rice and laoka and we took a bus home. got home at about 6. it was a long weekend haha. and now its today and i get to email yall. i send robyn and beven both a letter so they should be getting that in a couple weeks at mom and dads house. 

so does mom have christmas music playing yet??? haha it seems like christmas is coming so quickly. im way excited to talk to all of you. see how things are going at home. should be fun. the way it works is that i give you my phone number here and you call me at a certain time. cause getting credit here for phones is rediculous. ill let you know more about that in a couple weeks. the mission seems to be going by fast until i think about it hahaha. oh ya and president asked me to sing at the office christmas party. so just for the APs the elder missionaries and president and his wife and his councilers. that should be cool. i have no idea what i will do though haha. i'll figure somethin out though. it does mean that i get fed a goooooooooood dinner from sister donnely haha. she was in the catering business. she cooks good food. not as good as moms though. ive been missin that sunday dinner lately haha. you dont realize what youve got till its gone! i love you all with all my heart. tell colter to be carefull if he does end up having to go fight fires. your all in my prayers. 

be fitiavana mandrakizay

elder bates

Monday, November 21, 2011

November 21, 2011

hallo hallo hallo!(supossed to be british) haha how are yallz doin???? i missed you guys a ton this week! but thats alright. cause i dont miss you right now............ hahahah kidding but im so glad to hear goff is alright. i hope the anderson family takes care of him! :D lol thats way cool that nannie and grumpy oh i mean grampy got to talk to a rm from mada! it makes sense that he recognizes the house its one of the oldest in the missions. they are acctually talking about getting rid of it haha. way fun. and dallin sent me an email telling me all about his trip without mommy and daddy hahaha that sounded like an absolute blast! i got pictures from lyndi and i will attempt to send a few pictures today. i didnt take many this week. but i will send one to prove that i ate the spiders.... it would have been rude not to haha.  

so first if through this email i am sending singing robyn happy birthday in whatever accent she wants!!!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY! but shes gunna have to use her imagination for her gift hahahaha. but i misss her tons and i also give her a huge sloppy kiss on the cheek. i expect bevan to pass that along for me! im sorry but your gunna have to remind me how old you are robyn cause the hair is grey but to me your still my 18 year old big sister driving around in a honda sprint.... haha. 

woo hoo for the first snow storm of the year!!! not gunna lie i really do miss it. i wanna take the skido for a rip right now or go snowboarding with dallin in the mountains..... but i think ill just sweat it out here.... lol not like i have much of a choice. its weird though. somethimes i feel like i can get in a car and drive for a few hours and be home.... dont ask me why cause i dont know haha. sounds like yall are hard at work though! i have a feeling some people may be thinking it good for dad to get some more employees....especially with capital region. i would agree with them cause thats usually always the case haha. is gordan around again this winter? im sure he'd love some moose.... i know i would lol. im sure dallin will get up earlier and quicker eventually..... if you pray really really hard hahahaha. 

so lets see i guess ill tell you a funny story i already shared with dallin.... but first you must understand something...... wez dont eat much here and its usually not very healthy food so our bowels dont like us very much. i havent been solid since a week in country actually. to much info? to bad hahaha so we were working in ambohiboa which is a little closer to our home and i had a situation. however close to our home i was i wasnt going to make it. so i used a ditch. luckly i was prepared with toilet paper. the funniest part is though that i didnt realize this ditch was also a walking path. that is until a man walked passed me. now you think he would be discusted or walk by quickly but not in mada. its a very normal think to see people using nature as there restroom. so he told me to enjoy and i thanked him hahahaha. welcome to madagascar. i hope you enjoyed that story. i know lyndi probably did. hahaha

now to answer my some questions. the building we meet in is a church rented building. it has a plaque and all. but it is very small. it doesnt look small from the street but our branch has about 110 active members and its not enough room. and i really dont mind emails. its nice to get them as well. and i get to reply to them as soon as i read them cause we email in the morning. then we go into the office and get our mail so i cant reply to them until the next week. but i still like getting those haha. we email at a cyber cafe about 3 minutes from our house. the internet is actually very good when the power is on. but usually the power gos out at least once haha. i am able to print off thing and read them if i like. it cost money but thats fine. im out of my alotment at the moment but i will get more in 10 days. i starve till then though hahaha. there is a baptismal font in the mandroso ivato chapel. so when we have baptisms in ambohiboa or ambohimanarina then we do them there. but we also have an area called ankazo be in our area so once of us goes out there every weekend. its my turn next weekend. and will be baptising a little boy in the river. and yes dad talatamaty is by the airport somewhere hahaha. i dont know which direction though. my bearings are all screwy here cause i havent seen a compass. sounds like you got it right though. and the office is like right in the middle of tana. by the mouselee. you can see the locations of some of the church buildings and the office building if you go to and go to the church building locations map and look at madagascar. so that is all i can think of to tell yallz this week. i miss you all to bits!! hahah seriously though

be fitiavana mandrakizay
Elder R.H Bates

Monday, November 14, 2011

November 14, 2011

Subject: another week in the heat!

hello hello hello inona no vao vao haha so this week has been really decent.lots of hard work and fun. and first things first. we did eat the spiders.they were juicy and pretty bitter. crunchy to. like when you bit into it yougot an explosion of this goo in your mouth. thats the juicy part. the legswhere the crunchy part. they were like toothpicks and a half. not even mybig chompers could handle them... so really if you like a variaty of texturein you snack then cook up some giant spiders in some oil and a littletomato. i would play around with the recipe cause it needed a littletweeking. maybe some paprika,a little spice would have been nice haha. tryit some time i dare you. after the third time it got easier to down. i got dear elders this past week!! woo hoo! haha those were nice to get.i got 2 from mom and 2 from dad and then 1 from emj and 1 from sister hoy.maybe a couple other people but my mind is drawing a blank right now. solets see what went on this week. well for starters they are doingrenovations on the house we are in so the walls have all been painted and wehad some fun with the workers cause they were all RM's so we played somejokes on them. i am my fathers son ; ) haha its pretty dang hot here. i dontknow the exact temp because i have yet to see a thermometer in this countrybut i sweat 24/7 lol litterally if i had to guess an average temp it isprobably like 35-40 C on a normal day but even malagasy's have been sayingthat it is unusually hot for tana so its like  45 or something im sure. butim not tanning that much cause of the doxxyciclene we take for malaria. itmakes your skin funny. but it also clears up zits wich is a bonus. haha. sohave you found where im livin yet? i think the only way your gunna find itis by typing it in on google maps. where i live is talatamaty. thats thearea. where i work is ambohimanarina its outside of the capital city ofantananarivo. it takes us about an hour on taxi be to get to the office butwe go there every p day hahaha. cause thats where the mail gos. so send melots!!!!! :D haha. its just nice to get something ya know? but i am very faraway and its understanable for sure if you guys for get about me from timeto time................. NOT haha but all joking aside i do understand.mbola manana be fitiavana mandrakizay ho ianareo aho hahaha.(i still loveyall a ton for ever and ever) i know its a mouth full aint it.

so i missed hunting season so much i went out and bought a camo hat....hahaha its a sweet one and i where in on the occasional p day. still haventgotten any pictures of those moose by the by.... hahaha my mouth is wateringjust talking about it. what i wouldnt give for some nice tender moose meat.or any kind of meat other than a sliver of pork with 2 inches of fat on thetop then the skin still attached... so when it goes down the pig hair givesyour tounge a nice little scratch.... that is a favorite to feedmissionaries here cause its the best thing they got here. haha but they dohave some good laoka. laoka is what tops the rice. like when mom makes thatrice and ananas (pinnaple) stuff the ananas is the laoka. its pronouncedloke. like vanjambory. deliciouce. or this coleslaw type stuff is good. orsome cucumber stuff is good. or this shredded veggie stuff with this goodsauce. i love rice right now by the way. it is soooo goood with the rightloaka and it fills you up more than anything else in this country haha. butwe dont make it for our self because we dont have time to cook like thatusually so its oatmeal and peaches or egg on toast hahaha. which does notfill you up....... oh well! you gotta love the mission. i am feeling so weakthough haha. cause we dont physically work out and we just walk all over allthese hills so im loosing a ton of muscle... its sad and i got sick of itand so we are starting a work out program tomorrow. i hope it works out. ohya! i took out some personal fund for the makings of a guitar. we are goingto look into it today. imma get one custom made for about 200 bucks. i hopethats alright hahaha. but if your woundering why thats the antony(reason)

holy cow so emily is driving!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! haha i knew shewould pass shes a stud. it would be weirder i think if i was at home viewingit for myself but im not so its kinda not that weird haha until i use myimagination and pretent that im there... then its weird! lol but im happyfor her! dont be going to crazy kid! ha. not gunna lie im missing the snow.i can just picture dallin and emily going snowboarding or getting the skidooout for the first time.... you dont think the heat would get boring but itdoes...... its great for vaccations but when your hiking around all day in ashirt and tie and slacks with a backpack on its getts old quick. i dont knowif i mentioned this yet but malagasy people are very very blunt about somethings hahaha so they mention to me how i sweat all the time and they dontunderstand that its just from the heat and they think im out of shape causethey think all people are like them...... no joke haha. so when i have zitson my face they point it out and say something i still dont understand, andthey give missionaries nicknames here and my nickname is elder bota.... botameans fat or chubby... hahahaha so they call me fat. but even strangers callme fat. especially little kids. its not a big deal. or they tell you yournot good at malagasy hahaha wich is funny cause i just tell them to try andspeak english and they cant and the dont have much else to say. definatlysome fun times.

hows blaine doin!?? i didnt get an email from him this week cause hes homenow. i hope hes adjusting alright! send him my love for sure! all hes gottado is stay active and the rest will pan out. we have a dieing missionary inour house who leaves on thursday. he is definatly ready to go home but ihave grown to love him alot. the andersons actually know him pretty good.his name is elder goff. or flow haha. he is way cool. but way scared to gohome. he doesnt have much at home cause both of his parents have alreadypassed away and he feels like all his friends are out on missions. but hewill be alright haha. hes got a strong heart. hes just gotta stay true tohis beliefs when he gets home.

oh ya! so i baptised a couple old ladies on saturday. hahahaha it was funny.they arent my investigators but they didnt trust elder walker who is eldergoffs companion because he is really small. so they asked me to do it. causeaparrently i am big? whoda thunk..... hahahaha but the first one was a bebe(grandma) and she did not go under for the life of her so i had to do it acouple times but shes clean now hahahaha the second one was a mother who isabout 45 and she went down but didnt seem to want to come up again...... ihade to lift her right out of the water. like her feet were off the ground.then as she was getting out of the faunt she bathed herself in the waterjust to make sure we didnt miss anything haha. malagasy's are funny people.i love them. and elder wilson, my companion baptised our investigatorlouise. she is so excited. she wanted me to give her the holy ghost but idefinatly am not mahay(good) enough yet so it didnt happen. our branchpresident did it. it was fun none the less.

right now it is 12 at night here... i think that is so funny. what are yalldreamin about?? haha last night i didnt dream. not that i remember anyways.haha did yall hear about spencers hoys call to bulgaria!? that is insane!the guy is gunna be a stud for sure. im way excited for him. he you shouldget dallin to contanct jordan hardick for me and get him to send me an emailtellin me whats goin on in his life haha. or dear elder or somethin! haha heshould have his papers on already and im way curious. kyle kristienson aswell. id like to here from both of them!!!!! just a thought though lol. okeniary tsy maintsy mangata-dalana aho(i gotta ask for a path hahaha) its thepolite way to say gotta go. then they respond by pointing at the door andsaying theres your path hahaha. fun fun fun. i love you all a ton! and youare all always in my thoughts and prayers. take care back at home! dont haveto much fun in the snow haha. veloma

Saturday, November 12, 2011

November 12,2011 - Pictures!


On the Plane

 "yes that is a plate of spiders..... they were interesting"

Riley didn't say for sure, but my guess is the next two pictures were the result of falling into a gutter of poo...

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

November 7, 2011

Subject: hola. oops wrong language haha

hey family! how are ya!? so im sorry if last week was a small letter... i sent a bigger one with pictures but aparently it didnt go through? kinda really frustrated about that. thats madagascar for you though.... sorry ill try and send them again. so i know that i have a couple dear elders at the office but we dont go there till the afternoon so i cant reply to them yet... but i know they are there and i will reply to them next week. so ive told you exactly where i live haha it in talatamaty. i dont know my adress. nobody in this country does... the house we live in is very nice. the church rents nice houses for all the missionaries. its got a douple shower and stuff but its not that big. compared to a malagasy house its huge. lol i work in ambohimanarina. its about 20 km from our house so we take taxi bes all the time which sucks because i dont fit in any of the seats hahaha. a taxi be is like a jumbo van that they put 10 or so benches in and pile about 50 people into. its an advendure. ha. just look up a taxi be on google. when at home i eat sedaap. its itchy ban essentually haha. or canned peaches and oatmeal....; they dont give us much money to work with haha. then when we have dinner apointment. which isnt usually that offten. we eat rice and loke. loke is the stuff you put on the rice. there is some really good ones. the power jsut went out. no suprize though it happens everyday. we were lucky though cause today it only lasted 10 minutes. usually im studying by candle light at night. so back to the loke. my favorite is vanjimbory it translates into round peanut but its a bean. its only here in mada and its delicous.

 EMILY  HAPPY FREAKIN BIRHTDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! cant get you a present this year but ill make up for it! haha. you will knock them dead on the drivers test today. just dont be nervous! especially since you are taking it in veg lol. dont be goin out all crazy just cause your sixteen though... hahahaha you already got enough crazy in you. you are all still sleeping right now wich i think is funny but here it is the 7th. emilys birthday. shes s16 wich is nuts. is she gunna drive around in my truck? hahaha everyody will hear her coming. thats for sure. take care of the big blue piece of rust for me! i do like that thing haha. 

so the work here is goin alright. its kinda tough and its starting to get really hot and i sweat 24/7 litterally but ill live. so far we have one baptism for this saturday. wich is exciting because she is definatly ready. she is very excited. and her husband just started learning with us as well which is amazing! haha father led families are where its at. seriously.  we need the preisthood in this country. her name is louise and she is about 37 i think. definatly an awesome person. im very excited for her. we are starting to find a lot of people to teach however. its fun but stressfull at the same time. i think i told you that usually people let you in there door once out of courtesy then the next time they tell you not to come back. but we tracked into this one guy his name is pascel (haha people have some funny names here) who we invited to come to churh and he actually came after only the first lesson!! that is like a fanomina. sorry my spelling sucks. but that was awesome. coming up on wednesday i will have been in country about a month. it doesnt feel like that though. it feels like a year and it feels like a day at the same time... i wake up in the morning sometimes and think that i can just get in a car and drive for a couple hours and be home. thats a weird feeling. the days blend together so much its hard for me to remember what happened in the week. but  i did slip and fall in some mud.... haha it rains every day here and we get pretty wet. my companion really did fall into a rice patty. he was covered in mud yesterday. but it was right by louises house and she washed him off hahahaha. it was quite comical.

lets see so thats 2 moose this year. hahaha of course the 1st year im gone. thats alright though. send me pictures! haha thats definatly a funny storyy though. i cant believe you shot the think so many times and it still wouldnt drop. i can just imagine colter yelling from the bush its gunna charge me!!!! its gunna charge me!!!! hahahahahaha then he comes busting out of hte bush with an angry moose on his tale lol. thats awesome though. i agree he should get a bullet belt. good idea kelly.  i got a picture of madysen and dallin. the kid looks like a mountain man..... madysen not dallin hahahah but seriously i didnt think an 18 year old could have such a big beard. its kinda impressive haha. he looks like a huderite.... im gunna write a book called my brother the huderite hahaha itll be famous.seriously though hes even got the wings on the side of his slitely balding head haha hes a huderite.  madysen is very cute however. welcome to the family!! 

so the pictures arent sending. i keep getting this email that says theres a problem with dads email that it wont recieve them; i have no idea. im just gunna get them all put on a cd and send it home to you. sorry!

Lyndi Sidenote

I just wanted to say sorry to all who were looking for a post last week, I was busy visiting family and didn't get around to it. Riley sent a couple of very short letters to my Dad, but they didn't really tell too much of what was going on in the mission so I've decided not to post them. But Dallin (Riley's brother) decided that I could post the email he received from Elder Bates, so I've already posted it, and it should be just below this post.

October 31, 2011 - A letter to Dallin

hey bro! so its called a taxi be bicause its not a car and its not a bus... its like a hybrid between a bus and a van. like one of those rv vans! but with benches.... and they pack as many people on the things as possible! seriously it is probably as wide as the old huderight van we had and a little longer and they fit about 35-45 people on it. welcome to a 3rd world country haha. its crazy here. i fell off as i stepped off the taxi and into a gutter and roled my ankle and fell int a gutter full of poop. hahahahaha it was interesting. then the rice patty. search up rice patty images on google and look for the little trails between each pool and you will understand. i walk through rice patties every day at work and the trail is very slim and rice patties can get very deep. but i slipped on the trail and my leg went into the water hahahaha. fun times. 

it is so exciting to me and brings me so much joy to hear about all you are doing in the church! seriously i will regret the stupid things i didnt before my mission for the rest of my life. but that is how we learn and grow. you are going to be 50 times the missionary i am because you will be prepared. i prepared myself in the mtc. not fun. i even talked to my branch president about some past sins. i was scared i was gunna be sent home. i hate that feeling. you will be so incredibly blessed for your decisions you are making now to be so involed with church. seriously. i look up to you and your great examle. ive learned on my mission even in this short time how small i am. (i know ironic seeing as how i am bigger than every single malagasy in this country) but i was reading in mosiah chapter 4 verse 9-11( probable some of my favorite scripture) and it really made life alot clearer for me. that and my patriarticle blessing. charish that and let it guide your life in worthiness. haha. charish this gospel with all your heart. it really is gods plan for us. but it seems like you already know that :P im so incredibly proud to call you my brother and i miss hanging out with you. i wish we would have spent more time together. 

itis a very very poor place here. hard to see all off the beggers and the starving people but it makes them an extremely humble people. but it causes problems to. its so sad. but i will tell you that it is very hard to be hendry(good) on this mission because there are very few missionaries who follow all the rules. nobody can understand you when you speak in english and so you can say whatever you want, it is a very open culture here so nobody really cares what happens. ive seen boobs every day since ive been in country because girls just whip them out to feen there kids and dont cover up. haha that is pretty weird. but you get used to it quick... missionaries here are just a different breed. i think god really did send me here to test me haha. i bet he though hmmmm lets send him to a place where girls tough you and where nobody cares what you do and see how good he is... haha its difficult litter bro. its bad but i can handle that. its hard to stay spiritual on your mission though. as weird as that sounds but its true. satan doesnt leave you alone on your mission. he doesnt say oh hes and apostle of god cant really do anything to him.... he is on your heals every day. him personally not just his miniuns. haha. dont forget that. now that you are so hendry (wich i am so proud of) satan will work incredibly hard on you. i feel like you are an emissary in gods work. you will do great things in your life. but we have to be worriors. its a constent fight with evil. the world is a disgusting vulger place and we are in the generation where there is more corruption in every minute of our life than ever before. we must be in the worl but not of the world. what an incredibly difficult task. during my teenage years i failed big time at that..... i was of the world in mind. now i pay for it everyday. but i know that through having a pure love for christ and god and there plan and gospel i can still do good things and be strong. i just have to fight my past in ways i wish i never had to do. im sorry im getting so heavy on you bro hahaha lately i just write whats on my mind. cause being set apart as a missionary many thoughts on life and past words from prophets come to my mind and i feel they are there to be shared hahaha. i hope ot was all good advice. 

so i work in an area where not many people at all are interested in the gospel. its super difficult. but we have this one super mazoto (dilligent) investigator who is super excited to get baptised and stuff. i finally feel the joy of bringing a soul unto christ. ive i only bring one my two years will be worth it. haha. i do need to strive more to learn the language and stuff. i cant understand a word said to me usually hahah. i can talk about the gospel ok but its super hard. but there is a reason im here and god knows that reason. thats all i need. i pray for you every day. stay strong and dont let the devil getcha down. take care of emily for me. i miss her and worry about her. she is in a difficult time in her life. help her with her fight. thank you so much for your example to me in missionary work

tiako ianao