Monday, August 27, 2012

August 27, 2012


yes i am now a trainer! and i love it. it is awesome. my new companion is Elder Ludwig from Saltlake City. he is way cool. a world calss organist. super smart. way nice guy. i love it. and he is way good at malagasy already wich is sweet. and the trip is 7 to 9 hours one way depending on the driver and the type of bus you take. though the distance is equivalent to edmonton to okatoks the rodes are so windy that it takes forever. but htats alright. cause imma wanna take some road trips when i get home and i have a feeling that no matter where i go it will be a cake walk. haha. so i guss i will start this email off with tellin you how i am and stuff. switch it up a bit. i am really good. the trip was fun and on the way back there were these 2 adorable twin girls i was playing with and making faces at the whole trip and then at the end of the trip they got really friendly and the one came over and sat right on my lap and started talking to me hahahah. it was pretty cute. they ended up finding out hat we had cameras and so we let them take a bunch of pictures and stuff wich they loved. they wer eabsolutely adorable. and then we got back to tamatave and started working. got some food from people wich i thought was pretty good. my companion however suffered a little hahaha. it was something called ravitoto. wich is just crushed up leaves un some liquid hahaha. i liked it. and he was polite and ate two plates of it so i was very impressed. ever since then we have been hard at work trying to help people the best we can. i move it. oh and in moms email she wrote me this week se talked about sacrifices and how i am making some to be on a mission. then she mentioned the incredible sacrifice that her parents made coming to canada and becoming members of the church. and ever since i started my mission i have not felt that i sacrifice alot but am constantly pondering on my ansestors and how much they have done for me. it is something that has weighed on my mind quite heavely since last year. i love reading church history books and constantly think and speak of moms parents and all they did and went through. and i wish to show my graditude for them and all others who sacrificed there whole lices for us and a better future. it is truly inspiring to me. and has really helped me to strengthen my testimony. currently i am reading a book called the history of joseph smith by his mother. it is incredible. 

sounds like you are all having a great time back at home at three gun shoots and going to the lake and just getting to relax. and it is true dad we really didnt help much at all with preparing the boat and things and the work was usuall on you. sorry. hahaa. but i am glad you can all find time to visit with family and rejoice together. i think what colter did with the coins was hilarious by the way. really made me laugh hard. colter really is a funny guy. especially when he says things like he is your favorite or he is the best liiking. thats areally fuuny thing. haha but i am excited to hear all about the new baby i love you all and thank you for you emails! oh! congradulations to emily for killing it in rugby and getting second! that is freakin awesome! and good luck in school.... deosnt that start soon? haha love ya! 

be fitiavana mandrakizay
elder bates

Monday, August 20, 2012

August 20, 2012


haha yup. i am pretty old now if i am the longest missionary out in the ward! haha it does jsut seem like yesderday that i was walkin through the mtc for the first time. its weird to think that was over a year ago. and now i have lived here in madagascar for over 10 months. crazy! haha life just keeps a movin on! 

sounds and looks like you guys have been having a good time up in canada the past few days! going to the lake fishing and just relaxin! haha. thanks for sending all those pictures! that was great! and dallin has gottin freakin skinny holy cow! he is skinnier than my! good for him haha. but in the prosess his hair has also gone missing. and i can bug him about it cause mine is starting to go as well..... yup. its getting pretty nifinify up there ... oh well. if he can look so good with out any hair just think about how good i will look. hahahah im just kidding. but seriously emily had never caught a fish before!? thats crazy! good for her for catching such a big one her first time out! hahaha. and it is a good thing you all went and got your fishing liesences before. that would have been a headache and a half if they had roled up and you didnt have one. 

hahah i am sure you are pretty happy that mom and emily got home monday and you get to eat stuff like roast beef and mashed potatos and everything.... i miss walking into the house sundays after church and just smell that roast cooking! dang that was a good smell haha. but now all i can imagine is having that on top of a big plate of rice! lol cause that would be incredible!!! lol and now you arent lonely anymore! so thats another bonus. and its good to here you got someone to work right now. i wasnt to worried. it all works out in the end. we are save by grace....... after all we can do haha. and i know that you do all that you can and more. 

so now for my week. not going to ly everything blurs together. haha this week was good however. my companion elder gunnel has been sick lately so we havent got as much work done as liked but in this country if your sick its best to get better instead of keep going. caue you just get sicker if you keep going. but there was a mormon helping hands project here in tamatave on saturday morning wich was cool. there was a way good turn out and we cleaned up a basketball court and made it all nice and clean.. that was all fun. god to bond with members and stuff. wich is mmuch needed. and we had a baptism of a twenty year old man named oscar. he is way solid. he showed up at church himself and just asked to learn and shared really strong testimony after his baptism. wich is awesome to see. also the rain has started a little. still not very bad but it has rained almost every day this week i think. so we have been getting a little wet. we were walking down a path one day when it was raining really hard so i was using my umbrella when we passed a frail old man about 80 huddled over his bike under a tree trying to keep his bag of rice dry. knowing that the rain wouldnt stop any time soon i stopped and asked the man if he needed help. he first said no but i insisted and said "lets go!!" and he gladly inclined. so i walked holding my umbrella over him will he pushed his bike and held the bag of rice on the frame. he was very greatfull because he lived quite far from where we met him and just as we got to his door the trecherous rain stopped. like someone it the rain switch and turned it off. haha he was extremely greatful and invited us in for some milk. all he could afford to give us. but i politely declined and told him to have a nice day. he was old and lived very far from the church. and we have been counciled not to teach people far from the church especially if they are old haha. but he gave me a big teethless smile and said thankyou and we went on our separate ways. and i am so greatfull for the opportunities i have been givin to serve my fellow men in this life and do as my savior jesus christ has done and still does today. we had another transfer this week and i get to train a brand new elder. i am very excited to train and know that i will learn so much. but it means i have to go to tanna on wednesday and then return to tomatave again on thrusday. its a 7 hour drive of a very windy road....... hahaha oh well i love the work and the lord!! 

be fitiavana mandrakizay
elder bates
**Also Riley would like to Wish Deanna a Happy Birthday this week!

Monday, August 13, 2012

August 13, 2012


how are yall doin!? yup thats right. i will never have another august 13th in this country.... thats really weird to think about..... i am scared for this time next year hahaha. its funny. i was scared and sceptical of a mission a year before i left and now a year before i come home i have the same feelsings. just about home. its interesting how that works. and i am glad you enjoy reading my letters! makes it worth writing them! hahah. and my companion is great. we get along way good. but the other 4 elders in the house have a hard time doing them. sometimes. and its really not a huge deal. i just do them. not a huge deal. 

hahaha i am sure you probably ate steaks and baked potatos every night! but thats fine you dont have to tell me. i will jsut continue my thoughts about you eating burnt grilled cheese and raw chicken.... hahahaha though i could go for a good steak right now.... its weird that theo is getting home already. good for him!  thats way cool! and i am sure his family is way excited! and the family is doing good! thats always great to here. i am sure it was nice to have leslie and brady up for a little bit. i got nannies letter! sounds like the storms up there have been pretty crazy! was it a big tree that fell on grampis truck or just a little one? that sucks that it broke a window. hahahahahahahaah that is way funny what you did to scare emily..... i bet she just about died! i mean, its a little weird that you are hangin out in girls bathrooms and stuff.. but we wont talk about that to much. so i though emily and mom were supposed to go though bc with natellie and stuff to get home. did they get re routed or something?? oh well. at least they are getting home! and i hoe they had a good time down in the usofa! and im sure you will find a new employee just in the nick of time! we just gotta have faith! 

i am doing really good. had a good week. my companion has beein a little under the weather so we havent got to work as much but we still got alot done. and i climped a tree.... thought i should follow in my dads footsteps haha. but i didnt go all the way to the top. dont worry. and i say that cool little tractor trailor think!!!! first something kike tthat i have ever seen here in madagascar!!! its way cool. and we had fun with the kids playing on it and stuff. we have a baptism this week of a 20 year old guy who just showed up to church 4 weeks ago and we started teaching him and he sings in choir and everything and it is all on his own doing. is is so interesting and joyfull to see that. the miricles of god and his blessings in our lifes. i hope and pray that we can all strive and work for those blessing. and that we will find our great reward once again in heaven. thanks for all your love and letters 

be fitiavana mandrakizay
elder bates

Monday, August 6, 2012

August 6, 2012

*This week I am adding some of the letter that was sent to Lyndi (Riley's sister) as well as the one sent to his Dad 

(the title of my email to him was "Barnacles, another funny word for you" ...)

a vc is there little out house like squating thing that they use to poop in. barnacles eat away at the poop and so you can use the vc for longer.... bet you didnt know that!!! hahahahahaha and yes they are very stinky and unsanatary and unenjoyable to use. but i havent missed the hole once..... hahaha

hey lyndi! i hope you liked my little educationary comment there at the beginning!! lol and i actually kinda liked my last area!! haha i was getting some really solid investigators who genuinly loved god and wanted to come closer to him. but this area is good as well! just a little harder to find solid not lazy people who will get married and get baptised..... hahaha but i do love it where ever i am.... can you believe i have been out here for a year now. seriously crazy. there are so many different feeling running through my mind about my year mark its insane!!! haha. i dont know if i like it or not. obviously i do because its all downhill... but at the same time i dont like it... at all hahaha. 

its good that you had the missionaries over for dinner!!!! because i have had a very dry spout since right around may actually and i just got one dinner appointment for tonight! hahaha but its with a really cool family!! the father actually reminds me a ton of colter... they are the same personality type. any he is my favorite investigator right now.... he promised me that he would get baptised before i left!! so i am holding him to it!! lol. and its a dang good thing that the elder did your dishes!!! i would be over there in a second if he didnt! hahah but he seems like a really good guy so that is good. 

yay for friends!!!! haha that is way cool!! it helps to give you something to do! makes the time fly by faster! its crazy how close you are to poping. and its weird as well. you figure out a name yet? hahaha thats funny that kasper steals food from people. he really is nothing like you.... i dont even understand how you 2 are related what soever..... lol. and that putting things on his head and running into thintgs stage might stop pretty soon... hopefully anyways haha. all though i am sure it is funny. 

i hope my next week is fantastic as well! its hard getting to know a whole new group of people! and there are so many here. lots of people who are only half dilligent.... its really frustrating haha. yesterday was a very tiring day.... not only was it fast sunday but we walked to the furthest to parts of our area...... talk about dehydration... my head was pounding!! ha all i wanted to do was go home and sleep... but i kept going! wich was good. i know we will start seeing blessings out of this area we just have to work exctremely hard! which is fine with me. other than that my week was very normal. we had a baptism of 4 women. they are all very simple people..... lol. not much to them. there were two old women of about 70 years of age who are sisters that live together and they are seriously the cutest together. so funny. the one is a little deaf and so the other always just yells at her and they tease each other and stuff. its really funny. then the other two were 2 18 year old girls that the missionary prior to me taught. my companoin baptised them. i really dont know to much about them... lol but they are good people. oh! i saw fireflies for the first time in my life!! they are all over my area at night! i have a blast catching them and playing with them while walking home lol. its fun. when you hyave them in your hand they actually shock you! lol. but other than that a pretty average week. nothing much to talk about unfortunatly. oh we did have a drunk guy come to church. we had invited him earlier in the week and he ended up comeing. still kinda drunk.... hahha and he was kinda comical. but we will teach him and hopefully he will stop drinking! haha. thanks for your letter! i always look forward to it! haha hopefully throughout the next year youwill find the same amounts of time to continue to write!! 

be fitiavana mandrakizay
eldre bates

(below is the letter to Dad/the Family)

haha hey!

so i held a flashlight while they changed the tire! but there is no really helping malagasies when they do things.... they are going to do it there way no matter what... lol so i just sat back and laughed. but no everybody did not have to get off the bus. they all stayed on the bus actually. except the people who had to relive themselfs... lol hey people arent chickens...... thats what you say here if you are on a bus and have to go to the bathroom. because chickens can just go on the roof without making the bus stop. but people arent chickens so when you say that the buss will stope and let you out to go. lol so there are 5 branches here in tomatave and 2 meeting houses. there are 10 missionaries and 2 house that they live in. i am in the house with 3 companionships in it. its pretty good. we get along good. although there is a problem with everybody doing there dishes... hahaha but i just do them and dont complain. its not a huge deal. sipping a coconut on the beach was pretty dang nice hahaha. relaxing. the ocean is a crazing thing to think about. it blows my mind!

so you have a week all by yourself in the house huh!? that must be weird... i bet your gunna be eating a whole lot of grilled cheese sadwiches. hahaha and of couse some delicious food from nani. woo hoo for emty houses! right? haha. thats way cool that brady and leslie are up there for a couple days visiting though! its probably nice for you for a couple of days and for nani and grampi. then he probably starts school pretty soon huh? thatll be fun for him. i cant wait to go out to grampis house and shoot some guns again. its getting close to septemper and my finger is really starting to twitch hard!!!!! hahaha. its just in my blood! you can take the boy outta the country but you cant take the country outta the boy.

haha lyndi is about to po (pretty sure he meant pop...) huh!? thats pretty crazy!! thatll be way awesome to have yet another member of this family. seriously. we gunna be huge!!!

so my week was pretty good! nothing to special to write about. i am still trying to get to know the area and the investigators and such but it is going pretty good. we jsut had a baptism of four women. they are all very simple people. nothing much. but they love the gospel. and that is all you need. the small and simple things are great things come to pass. we also have about 4 or 5 more people to be baptised in the 1st of september. then a few more after that. so the work is moving along! haha. i am loving it. it is very incredible to think that i have already been out a year. and done so many things. it has gone by so unbeliveably quickly. filled with emotion and learning. i swear that is all i do lately. is just learn new things all the time. i learn the language i learn from my companions i learn from the people i learn from the culture. i learn from my god. who has blessed my and has opened up my mind to how life is and what it should be and how we need to be in order to succeed. and i have learned what true success is. it has nothing to do with money or work or apperennce. it has everything to do with service and love and kindness. it is about following in christs footprints no matter what the cost. and giving up everything for your lord. wich is so unbelievably hard to do. but if it was easy there would be no satisfaction in the celestial kingdom. no sense of acomplishment. but i will be able to look back and say i was once on earth, and i overcame it all. there will always be another trial. another hardship. what will we do with it. we can not give up or turn away. and we must bring others with us. it is not enough to bring only ourselfs to the kingdom of god. that is why it is a priesthood duty to serve a mission. not a priesthood option. not something to do if you got a free schedual. but it is the least we can do in the service of our god. and after this we will be called to do more. it is never ending. and neither are the blessings. i look forward to my next year of serive and hope that i can be the instruments in the hands of the lord to bring some soul unto repentance. and that is my joy as it was the prophet almas. i love you all with all of my heart and have missed you this past year. but sooner than later we will see eachother again and glory in our accomplishments. please dont get lost on the way.

be fitiavana mandrakizay
elder bates