Monday, January 30, 2012

January 30, 2012 - Pictures

 This is where they keep cattle at night

January 30, 2012

hallo hallo hallo!!!!   

how are you!? me om pretty good. im tired and sore and my brain feels like mush but im good hahaha. so i will start by telling you about my new area. I'm in Antsirabe. its south of tana about 3 hours. up in the mountains. its almost the highest point in Madagascar. its pretty beautiful!! but i guess it can get very cold in the winter. as in like 10°c or so i think hahaha. which is pretty cold. its way hot today; oh ya! i got all 4 of my packages from home. it was pretty awesome. but more on that later. so my area is south of Antsirabe about 20 km its called Monandona. which translates into have bump hahaha kinda funny. but we have 4 different areas we work. 2 groups and 2 branches. it can get pretty hecktic. but i love it.we had a branch meeting in Manandona and the one girl was getting mad at us cause we dont pray out there all the time then we told here we have 3 other places to pray at. its crazy. definatly the hardest area in the mission to work. dont know why I'm here hahahah but Elder Robinson is a tank. he is only a group ahead of me so we do alot of learning together. i think i am destined to have young companions haha but Elder Robinson is very easy to get along with and loves to work and helps me alot with my malagasy. we get along great. he is a little different in some ways but its way fun. we have a blast. its hard for us to work our area because its so big and we arent aloud to right at night so we have to head home at like 4 so we work another area with another companionshp in Anstirabe as well. so just to give you an idea of how big out area is we road a total of 90 km this week and we had a zone confrence. so that takes out a hole day and im still not used to riding a bike and my bum hurts all the time. and I'm a little sick right now. so that slows us down a little. so a normal week we ride about 150km. so that gives you some idea i think. its alot!! hahaha but i am starting to really love it here. our area is way ambany voatra (country side) and lots of people cant even read but they love god. the problem is getting people to church... but you just gotten tell them they need to show there faith! that usally gets them. some people walk like 20 km just to get to church sometimes. thats alot of walking. the people here continue to amaze me every day.   

so another good bonus about Antsirabe is the food! they are like the food capital of Mada and have lots of(this is how Riley wrote it: ove) good hotels that sell food for cheap then youve got chez billys who has way good food but is expensive. so we only eat there once and a while. but i must say i have grown to really love rice. there are days when i crave some vary tsara maso hena kiso. which is just rice and the laoka is kidney beens and pork. if your lucky the pork doesnt even have the skin on it anymore! but the hair does a good job of scratching the tounge and throat if you have a little itch hahahahaha. tonga soa madagaskara! hahaha

 so another awesome thing about Anstirabe is that I'm living with Elder Worthen. an elder who came with me on my group. hes from Idaho and we get along way good. its cool to see how we are each progressing. he is now a senior comp already and is comp doesnt speak any english.... so he is having a tough time. but is way dilligent. so thats fun. ive taken quite a bit of money about my personal acount lately and i hope you dont mind. its tough moving areas haha. but i think im good for a while on that. so my first saturday out here i baptised a man named Jean Flerissa. it was in a pond. it was pretty cool. i didnt even know him but because of clothing situations i was the man for the job. ill send you pictures of that. i got stuck in the mud. its pretty funny. 

sounds like the family is all doing good wich is fantastic. i love hearing all about home. Emily havin parties sounds like a good time for sure. were there boys there!? hhha ooo lala the french would say haha. anyways i hope that email was descriptive enough and long enough. the last week was kind of a disapointment. oh and dad asked me if we had to buy the bikes. no the church provides them but we have to pay for repairs. wich are many unfortunatly haha.   

be fitiavana mandrakizay   Elder Bates

Monday, January 23, 2012

January 23, 2012

Letter to Dad/ the Family: hey family how are you!!! sounds like life there is cold and fun. life here is cold as well comparitavle in madagascar. i am in the mountains of madagascar. antsirabe is quite cold. but nothing compared to there. hahah so life back at home sounds pretty usuall other than emily working so much lol. soory my email wont be very long this week. im holding everybody back from luch. but i will tell you all about my new area and i will send pictures newt week. so i am in the manandona area. it is the biggest area in the mission. huge. it goes all theway from the south end of antsirabe to the city of ambositra. its about 90 km in total. so from like edmonton to vegraville. and its all mountainess. we dont have a car so we ride bikes all over the mountains. my legs hate me hahaha. i havent riden a bike since i was like 15..... so y butt is pretty purple from the seat. but i am going to get way skinny which is exciting hahaha. i just have to eat healthy and it will be a good skinny. so my new companion is elder robinson and he is a great guy. he is a dilligent missionary and a hard worker. our hous is tiny and sucky haha i will be sure to take pictures. but i really cant write much more this week im sorry. i will be sure ti be more detailed next week.   be fitiavana mandrakizay   elder riley bates Letter to Lyndi: hey lyndi! how are you§? im glad your life is pretty much going good. i cant write a huge leter this week but i still want to tell you a little bit. its way cool that kasper is poopin on the toilet ahha. he isa genius.i know it. and my companion elder robinson is awesome. he is a dork but so funny and easy to get along with haha. oh andi forgot to tell dad in my short email to him but all four  packages are here in mada and i should get them on i am excited for that! haha. lets see. so the house i am in sucks. it is dirty and small and old lol. but thats fine. we are actually moving to a new hosue in 2 weeks but its even smaller than the other. i am going to send pictures of everything next week. so letts see. ya i am in manandona the biggest area in the mission and its in the mountains and stuff so we just teach a bunch of very unejucated people.most cant read. but they know how to mke rice and are very excepting of the gospel. i love it. i am dead every night form the work but i love it. having a good companion is like night an day. it really does make things easier. but i need to go so i will write youmore next week. so sorry. oh i also forgot to say in my other email but i baptised a man in a place called ibidy. i will send pictures of that next week. it was in a pond and i got stuck in the mud hahaha.  be fitiavana mandrakizay elder riley bates

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Birthday Boy

Just a shout out to Riley, as it is his 20th Birthday today! I wish we could all be there to celebrate with you and eat some delicious cake with you.

If you wanna give Elder Bates a Birthday wish leave it in the comments or on his Facebook wall and I will be sure to pass it on to him.

January 16, 2012

Alright so Dad and I (Lyndi) both got emails this week, and I will share bits from each. So enjoy.

Letter to Dad:

hey dad! haha dont feel bad about a short email its fine. my emails are pretty short lately as well. sounds like youve had a pretty slow winter though. must be nice for a change! i watched videos on the church website alot while in the mtc ( partly cause it was one of the only entertaining things to do) but there are alot of good ones on there worth watching. i think ive seen them all now though ahha. im glad moms birthday went good and everything. oh ya! so i know that i have one package here in madagascar somewhere!!! hahaha its at some post office and the driver rougie is sopposed to go pick it up. and i got a transfer to antsirabe which is 2 hours south of tana. my new companion will be elder robinson and he is in the group ahead of me so hes even younger than my first companion haha. its going to be interesting but ill handle it just fine. itll be nice to get a change in senory. 

i cant even believe ive been on my mission 5 months now. soon ill be a quarter done. it really is kinda flying by. days melt together. i dont even know the date lost days. i just know that i work then on monday i email haha. i forgot it was my birthday tomorrow till i got all these emails reminding me. a birthday is really that important anyways. not on a mission anyway. i was never one for birthdays hahaha. i am glad i am not there though this year considering last year on my birthday was the biggest blizzard and i had to work for like 21 hours that day. haha no fun. 

its been cold hear the past couple weeks. depressing to cause its been cloud cover. we never saw the sun for a week and a half. it was raining alot and cold. haha and by cold i mean like 15°c but it made me want to wear a sweater.

i love you tons and hope everything at home works out geat for you. i pray for you guys all the time and know that the lord watches over you. i will tell you more about my new area next week. im just excited for a change. i have a feeling its not going to be any easier than my last companionship. but im not worried. the lord had tested my patience all throughout my mission. he wants me to learn something. maybe i still havent learned it. im always trying to be open minded tough. im not to worried. i love you and am so greatfull for all you have taught me throughout my life. i wouldnt be the man i am today without you as my father. id be like some other dude and well thats just not what i would have wanted haha. 

be fitiavana mandrakizay

Elder Riley H Bates

Letter to Lyndi:
hey lyndi!! how the heck are ya!? sounds like youve had a pretty good week which im glad for. i got your birhtday card!! and i got moms envelope with all the letters from the christmas party! aparently it was a great party cause thats all anybody talked about but like all the stickers!! haha especially the my little poney ones. definatly suites me. ive always wanted a my little poney. turns out i got like 50 of them. pretty lucky right? im thinkin of reusing some of the onces cause i got like full pieces of paper full of just stikkers. hahahaha. and i dont think im gunna be getting any cake hear. i dont have any big plans for tomorrow. my birthday was never really that important to me haha. but it is your aniversory! its mine to though cause thats what they call birthdays here in madagascar. so its ny aniversariko tomorrow. 

turns out i got a lengthy letter from dad and a shorter one from dallin emily and mom. its wasa nice week for letters. mom uses her i pad alot it seems haha, i think its funny. mom with an ipad. staring at if for like 10 minutes just to find the email ap then pushing the letters very methodically one by one till he email was done. all the while emily hovering over her telling her what to do and where to do it and mom getting all scrunchy faced and annoyed hahahaha. it makes me laugh to think about it.

...a mission is a huge decision. its really the first decision in an lds boys life that he has to make on his on and it means something. the choice we make weather to go or not changes our lifes. and the mission is always the best choice even if you dont stay out for the whole 2 years. you learn so much no matter what. 

i think going to utah would be really fun and its a simpler trip to make than going somewhere crazy haha. car shoping is fun! get a minivan! get a hummer! get a TRUCK hahahhahahahaha get another motorcycle and have a bike trailor manufactured for carseats and just pull the kids behind the bike! im a genius. i really am. ahaha seriously though fun times im sure. holy cow lyndi kasper is a smart kid! i hope since you and colter both have these like genius babies that i will too. especially if colter can concieve a child as smart and talented as that hesston. it shouldnt be to hard for me ;) hahaha kidding. seriously though smart kid. im inpressed. and im excited to get that package. looks like shoes. i like shoes hahahaha. 

ya im 20 tomorrow here. that makes me pretty old. but it makes you older.... hahhahahaha sucker!!!!!!!!what are you like 60 now. or just 23. i cant remember. hahaha just kidding. age doesnt matter anymore. once you hit the 20's peoples attitudes change slightly. theres a curse with that would teen. haha but life here is good. im tired and stressed and lonely and questioning alot of things but its good. ive never thought so clearly in my life and i know the lord just wants whats best for me. i got transferd to antsirabe 2 hours south of tana and i leave on thursday. itll be a nice change. i love you with all my heart and pray for you always

be fitiavana mandrakizay

elder riley h bates 

Monday, January 9, 2012

January 9, 2012 - pics

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


January 9, 2012

hey family! how are yall doin!? how is the new year treating you? tell me everything! hahahah life here has been good. its been a cold depressing week here as we havent seen the sun for a week now and its been raining on and off and the temperature has been like 15°C which is freezing! haha. but we have done a lot of teaching and some finding and the work has been progressing better now which is awesome! i may be transfered in the next 2 weeks but most likely elder wilson will be transfered before me so that will be good for him to get a change. we no for sure that one of us will be transfered. so thats exciting. lets tell you about my week. last monday we went into the office and hung out for a bit. a pretty slow day all around there as it was p day. then tuesday we worked in ambohibo and got soaked because it rained all day. and it was freezing cold that day. i swear i could see my breath ;) hahaha then wednesday we went to ambohimanarina. got a couple new investigators. they are friends of our recent convert louise who is so freakin awesome. already doin missionary work and shes been a member for like a month. love her. then we went home and played settlers of ketan! robyn and bevan! just s you know we play that quite a bit here and i rock. i win alot so you better watch out when i get back! hahaha then thursday was another ambohiboa day. we got doged all day. so we decided to go check out new areas in our area and he found this like forest think and played whith spiders and chamilians and had fun with some frogs and stuff. it was a good day. and we found a new investigator there as well! they were way cool. they just let us straight into the door and wanted to learn. i had never expirienced that on my mission. we didnt tell them who we were, they didnt know who we were. they just knew we were religious and said come in. it was crazy haha. then friday we were in ambohimanarina again. good day of teaching there. some of our investigators are loosing interest wich is no fun but thats the way life gos in ambohimarina. then saturday me and elder landon went to ankazobe!!!!! hahaha i love going to ankazobe. the group presidents family is awesome. and they have a new baby i will send you pictures of. her name is isreal and she is way cute. tiny little thing but cute. the whole family is awesome. all of our investigators there couldnt learn saturday cause its harvest time for the rice so we god dogged again on saturday. ended up hiking up to this waterfall and taking some pictures and running into a young man from tana visiting his girlfriend there and now some of the other missionaries. had a good conversation with him and told him where the church was and stuff. he said he would check it out! :) then sunday we went to church and headed back home. on the bus ride home a malagasy man fell asleep on my shoulder..... hahahahah and he was out! i didnt wake him up till we stopped cause i didnt want to be mean but i had to slap him just to get him awake! like i mean this guy was koncked right out droolin everywhere! hahaha ive got pictures i will send you. and that brings us to today. our plan is to go into the office and then go get my guitar fixed cause a sting already broke..... i wasnt impressed. lol. so yesterday was a special day! it was my moms birthday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i wont tell you yall how old she is but i will say that in about a year she is gunna be 50.......... or somethin like that. hahahahahaha how exciting is that!! so mom i love you! i hope eyour birthday was mafinaritra! (wonderful) and that you got to sit back and relax and enjoy your sunday. you may be 49 but your still young and energetic at heart! haha. i love the lord my god and all that he does for me . i love how he blesses me even though i am so quick to sin and trangress. he loves us all and has mercy on us if we stive to love him and keep his comandments. you look at all the rules the isrealites had way back when and in the end the way god sumorizes it is "love me and keep my comandments. that is all i ask" sounds easy. and it can be if we put our priorities in the right place. till next week. be fitiavana mandrakizay. Elder Riley Bates - Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

January 2, 2012

hello family and friends of mine! how yall doin!? feel free to let me know any time hahaha. just write me a letter. there always fun to get. things here in Madagascar havent changed much. its still really really hot and crowded. work has been a little slow lately but holidays tend to do that. everybody is to busy partying to learn about the gospel i guess... hahaha its unfortunate in some ways but i think work is going to start picking up again. its so hard for me to think of new things to tell you all but imma try my best so lets see. these past two weeks were christmas and new years. pretty big holidays all around the world. it is now 2012. it was 2012 here before it was 2012 there. BEAT YA! haha if its were a race that is. oh ya i got myself a haircut. its nice in this heat. i just buzzed my head haha. very refreshing. 

i havent been out to Ankazobe for a couple weeks cause of holidays but i have been calling there to check up on things and the group leaders wife sister fanza had a little baby girl Christmas day! which is way exciting cause she was pregnant for like 10 months hahaha. she was definatly ready to have the baby and they named her Israel. so i will go out there next weekend and meet this cute new baby! im pretty excited about that. i still havent gotten any Christmas parssels yet but im crossin my fingers praying they will be at the office today when we go there. if not its very likely that some malagasy was very blessed with some american Christmas things hahaha. im not to hurt if they dont come but it would be nice to get them. just know Mom that even if i dont get the packages i know you love me and im sorry you had to spend so much money on them if they dont get to me. hopefully they are just in snail mail. ill keep prayin. lets see. thats about it. i weighed myself recently and ive lost about 45 pounds. so thats new! probably keep goin down too. just they way life is here in good old madagascar! haha. oh and there is a very good chance that some of our members are going to feed us intestines and chicken feet on friday night............. wish me luck hahaha. imma need it. but ive got a steal stomach. thats for sure. its all food! kinda.... lol sorry this email isnt very long but thats all i really got for now i guess i could end with a spiritual thought. ive recently started reading in the old testemant and it has proven to be very interesting so far. i never realized many things that i am now understanding. and that is not because of Sister Jaffray not explaining it well enough in seminary. its my fault haha. but im in Leviticus right now and Leviticus and Exodus is pretty much all about sacrifices and the incredible detail in everything about the jews life. and at first i fould the sacrifices kinda boring and painful to read. very repaticious. and i still kinda feel that way haha but it has come to my attention that they had sacrifices for many many things in there life. there life was also very structured and they were told everything they needed to do. like everything. and God was very present physically in their life. now i look at our day and because of Christ our sacrifices in this day are very different. we are not told everything we have to do. its very much up to us to choose. but there has always been sacrifice in all things all throughout life. we must choose how we handle those sacrifices and need to decide to handle them the way God has provided for us or a diffrent way. the same as was of old. you look at the 2 sons of Aaron who died because they choose not to sacrifice the way God told them. a little extreme but i hope you get the picture hahha. so that is what i learned in these past couple weeks. i love you all and hope you can endure with all confidence in heart that God is with every single one of us. 

be fitiavana mandrakizay

Elder Riley Bates 

those grey buildings are tombs. they are called fasana and they are all over the country.