Monday, December 31, 2012

December 31, 2012

* Last week we all got to talk to Riley on the phone and hear his sweet voice. For those who don't know we are only able to call Riley twice a year, Christmas and Mother's Day, the rest of the year we are able to email and snail mail him as much as we like! So it was a treat to talk to him!

if it was as good for you to talk to me as it was for me to talk to you then i am sure it was pretty dang great hahaha. something i was definatly looking forward to for a long time. and now mothers day is only 5 months away and then 2 months after that i will be home! thats pretty crazy. time is definatly moving so fast. and that is so amazing that elder ganley found his way on a mission and is blessing the people with the gospel of jesus christ. and some elders skyped here as well but it wasnt working very well most of the time and a little difficult to set up so i figure it wont kill you all to wait till the airport to see my pretty face again hahaha. and i am sure it was pretty different to have a quite christmas for once. i hope the peace invited the spirit a little.
thanks for all those pictures!!! all the snow looks so delightful!! hahaha you think i am joking but there is a flow of running water down my back as i write hahaha. its HAUT! bevan does look as happy shoveling though as he did cutting up those delicious potatos.. i think i understand why. mmmmmm christmas dinner. haha and the pictures of dallin in those snow shoes are priceless. i think i will try and sell them here to the highest bidder on the black market.

i knew the engine in your truck would go sooner or later!! that thing has been going forever workin hard! how many kilos did it have on it when it seized?? and how much is the wrecker going to charge you for a new engine and instalation? and thats no good that the 97 is going as well... dont you love how things work out..... hahahah everything so conveniently seems to happen at once. but as long as your lookin on the market you light wann look a little for a nice somethin for me huh?? haha. my prefferences would be chevy, 350 engine with a 4 inch lift on the suspention. a 1994 or 93 would do just fine as long as its in good condition. dark shiny red. big bad tires. you know. the basics..... hahahahahahahaha just kidding! it doesnt have to be red.......

it is unfortunate to here about the way dallins leaving and things went about. its always better when things happen in a peaceful manner and not with anger and regret. but i do ernestly hope that he does find what he is looking for in this life. life i guess is kinda like a treasure hunt in that way. you can do it yourself and take a lot of time racking your brain on the hints and thigs.... or you can just follow the guy in front of you who does it better and faster hahahha. christ is the one in front of all of us and he willingly allows us to follow him. but doesnt force us. and i know that to be true. im glad lyndi got up there safe and got some time to spend with you and her friends from back home. has she left already or when does she leave? and you justhad to mention red robins huh??? hahahaha my mouth waters yet again. thats alright. i will make yall some mean rice and laoka when i get back home. then you will all see what its all about hahahaha.

i am doing great! in spite of the heats intent to melt me away i am standing hahah. we are trying really hard as always to find families who are ready and willing to come into the fold and we have been blessed recently with that. we found a man named edmond who is married and has a 5 year old son named simon. they are not rich by any means but not incredibly poor. he is a very nice man always with a smile on his face and so open to our teachings. very earnest in his speach. he talked to us one night on a path for about 2 minutes very breifly and i couldnt even see his face. but i asked if we could maybe stop by at his house and we could talk more and he then explained where his house was....... malagasy directions.. hahahah its a good thing i am used to getting directions from mom because miraculously we found the house and taught him about joseph smith and all about god and his ways. we then left him with the assignment to pray and find out for himself if it was true. our next time with him he was so incredibly happy. he said that the book we left with him. (a little panphelete) made more sense to him than anything he has read and that everything in it was true. we then invited him to prepare to be baptised in febuary through the authority of god and he didnt even have to thing about it. he said yes. god does know who is ready to find the fullness of the gospel and does make it possible for them. we just need to be an instrument in the hands of god. just as the prophet alma so humbly wished. and just as i wish. "that i might be an instument in the hands of god to bring some soul unto repentance. and this is my joy." i love that scripture. and i love you with all my heart. i am out here that i might bring blessings unto the children of god. and that i might bless my family now and to come.
be fitiavana mandrakizay
elder bates

1. we went to an orphanage christmas eve to play with the children. this little girls name is kevila. she was super cute

2.just me and all the ladies! ;)

3. they taught me how to dance

4. the baptism!

5. christmas party. i was in the choir. elder ludwig played the piano.

Monday, December 17, 2012

December 17, 2012

hey dad.

i cant think of a better way either. and i guess neither could the lord because he blessed us with 2 more baptisms for the 22nd of december! now it will be mario, lundri, zania, and marovola. they are all ready and excited to recieve the saving ordanances of the lord! i will tell you a little bit about them all later on in the email. i have lots to tell you today. and lots of pictures to send!! haha so be excited! 

how the world changes and grows. how much different is it now from when you were a child? i feel there is as you said so much evil and so many lost. we are truely in the last dispensation. where the worst and the best willl meet in babylon. people get lost in this world and slowly it destoys them. but it happens so gradualy that they dont know what did it or how it happened. we are privaledged to know that it is the influence of satan and his powers. its funny how here in madagascar always just blame everything on the devil. if someone is angry they say he has a devil in him, or if someone is sick or if someone is drunk anything along those lines means that he MUST have a devil in him. but that is not true. they have the devil beside them. and they can walk away from him any time they want. the devil enters our lives as soon as we let him. christ our ultimate example never let him in, and the devil threw everything he had at him. we can do the same if we work at it. but for us it must come over time. that we may learn wisdom in our youth. hahaha and dad your feet are just as beautiful as mine. dont forget you dont have to jump on the roof top and shout. it is as easy as a friendly word and testimony and a pass along card. you can help some of those lost and downhearted. 

it must be a nice break from all the shoveling and things!! haha youu seemed to be getting pretty tired of all the stinkin snow. i on the other hand got totally sun baked on saturday at an activity here in tamatave. i think it was the hotest day yet here and we just so happened to spend all of it street contacting people and inviting them into an open house to see what this wonderful church is all about.  my nose is flaking as a write this it was so hot hahaha. but we got so many people into the church and so interested in the church. i had a man tell me that he was convinced that this was the place where he would find salvation. and i am sure he wasnt the only one who felt that way. 

i bet you spraying mom down with the hose was pretty dang funny! getting eachother all soaking wet. like a couple of kids! haha and i am sure the guy at the counter was having a hay day watching you two on the cameras hahahhaah. you will probably be up on youtube if your not already. and being santa clause must have been so much fun up until about 30 kids........ hahahah no but that is a great think for you to have done. and it sounds like the ward is so freakin big now!! i remember when i was still there we thought it might split. any news on that? haha. 

so grampi sounds like he is doing a little better if he can manage to pull out that big old van! all though i am sure he was pretty tired after he did it for sure! 

i am glad to hear that things are going pretty normal over there for now. and that christmas season is bringing blessings and ponderings.i am sure dallin will get used to the shift work. especially if he does end up getting a job on a rig... and emily will find a job soon enough. she just cant be to picky! ha. 

my week went really well! we seemed to be very busy and things doing last minute preparations for baptism and things. we have four baptisms. lundri who is turning 20 on the 18th of this month, so tomorrow haha and he is way cool. he really wants to serve a mission and us already taking seminary class and things and afte that he will start missionary prep class. and there is mario. mario is a funny guy. him and fabio are twins who started to to learn a while back. fabio intsantly loved the church and the book of mormon and was baptised in june before i came and he has been helping us alot ever since. but mario had a harder time with it because he was previously of the adventist religion and there were things he didnt agree with. but he always loved working with us and lundri is actually a refferal from him. he even started going to times with us and then we descussed some thing in one time about how all things were meet to the children of men if they were taken in thanksgiving. (1 timothy 4 1-5) and then after that he started coming to church with fabio and he came to me within the week and asked if he could be baptised. so we talked with him and he said that he contemplated and prayed about it and wants to serve a mission with fabio and lundri and knows that it is true. so he to is getting baptised on the 22nd. and then there is zania who is 14 years old. i baptised zanias aunt in september and ever since then started teaching zania who is way bright. she loves the lessons and church. and her prayers get stronger every week. and marovola who was a refferal who has been learning for a long time now. she is 16 years old and had a hard time grasping everything at first but is now ready and excited to enter into the waters of baptism. so i give great tidings of joy in this christmas season to see all these people enter into the covantent. wednesday was pretty fun as we got our first real hard rain while we were working. haha it cooled us off quite a bit so it was pretty nice. and we were up to our shins in water in most places. elder ludwig was liking it alot as was i. haha. we did a little puddle jumping :D haha. but that is my week. i will talk to you all next week wich is pretty exciting. oh and yes i was reffering to the test call for the last statement there in your email. love you all!!

be fitiavana mandrakizay

elder bates
the christmas tree

 cool flower
 me and fabio. he also is the man. 
 me and mario. he is the man

 why do they call it pineapple. it is neither a pine nor an apple. either way it is DELICIOUS!
 me, elder ludwig, and fabio just cruisin the streets
and the rain comes

 elder ludwig really enjoys the rain. 
 we all enjoy it
 well maybe not our shoes
 there was an open house this saturday. this was right before it started
 hey. its a bat, man
  i dont know if you can tell how tired i am after that open house. but just look at our eyes haha
elder marsh and elder ludwig with the boys!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

December 10, 2012

hey dad. 

haha ya we do now get some pretty nice houseing these days. all though i have seen my fair share of dirt and mold. my first 2 or three houses i lived in were pretty dang dirty. thats why i didnt send pictures. haha and all the other places here in mada are kinda gross. not even toilettes. but now a days they feel it is best for us to have good housing. especially in places poor like mada they really look after us. its nice. but we still end up getting sick every now and then lol. and your email came to me right as i was about to sign off of my account hahahah. it was pretty lucky and a blessing that it came. i was waiting for a while. i am glad you are at least coping with the snow even though there is alot of it. though its not just mom that is telling me you are having a hard time hahaha. thats alright. i know you can handle it. ill be back working next winter!!! haha i have 8 months now. i am 2/3rds done a mission. it feels so long and so short at the same time. there are only 3 more groups of elders to go home then its me. so mind blowing. its almost to soon!! hahaha

so if its alright with you all you will be calling me again on christmas even and not christmas day. my companion would preffer christmas day cause all his family will be there and i abluiged him. so call me at like 8 oclock pm over there then it will be 6 oclock here. i guess i can wake up a half hour earlier just for you all ;) and elder ludwigs mom might be emailing you asking about calling cards and stuff. i dont know if you guys use one but i figured you wouldnt mind talking to her anyways hahahaha. your the best. and the number you can call is xxxxxxxxxxxx. feel free to call to make sure it works. just call me after 8 oclock here. so like 10 there . thanks! and that should be all you need to know for christmas. 

i hope everything going on with grampi turns out to be just a normal side affect and he is fine. its good to see him out working already on the tractor. i am sure that makes things sooo much easier on them. especially living so far out with nobody to help them. 

i am sure mom is just dying from coughing. thats no fun. you guys should find your way to a beach somewhere!! hahaha maybe in a few years huh? and thats no good that dallins body clock is so messed up! workin shift work is about as fun as it sounds i would guess hahaha. and isnt it crazy that emily and i will be going to ysa ward together when i get home!! haha. little emily. she can set me up on dates :D lol 

so this week was a pretty good one. worked hard to find to ready people to learn and love the gospel. saturday was a youth talent show that worked out pretty good. mostly just a bunch of kids doing these group dances. we stopped in for a couple minutes to see a bunch of our investigators and saw a litle of it. and then this morning we got up nice and early and went and watched a sunrise on the meridian sea. it was pretty dang beautiful. i would send them to you but the computer wont let me. so itll have to wait till next week. but i we are working so hard here and its hard through the christmas season as everybody is drunk here. haha but we find those who truely have the christmas spirit and then we teach them of our savior. we have 2 baptisms planed for the 22nd of 2 teenagers who are so ready and great. the one boy is named lundri and he wants to be a missionary and the girl is called zania and she is all into young womens. they are great. i look forward to christmas and hearing all your vioces. i love you so much and cant wait to work with you again. but know that i am working hard here and doing my best for the lord and for you. 

be fitiavana mandrakizay
elder bates

Monday, December 3, 2012

December 3, 2012

hey dad

so i just barely got your letter this week and it is like 1 oclock there so i assume you are somewhat busy with snow and work so i completely understand and in my heart i do wish i was there with you helping you and lightening your load. i look forward to working with you again and hope that you can hang in there till i get back haha. i sent you some pictures and things of my appartment. i hope you like them. haha

the afon-dasy was a ton of fun. people really enjoyed it. haha and yes they do grow bambo here. its pretty cool. bamboo is a sectioned wood so its got little air pockets i it and when you burn it some of them pop so loud it sounds like gun shots! we didnt know this before we started burning it so many people started to jump lol. it was way funny. and that tble saw was rediculous. people had just finished using it and left it running as they walked away... the missionaries do the cooking. we all cook for ourselves really and those who cant cook eat noodles. its pretty simple ahha.

christmas sounds like it is in full affect there wich is wonderful and i am glad you got a chance to go and listen to the singing at the nativity. i am glad that it brought you the spirit and joy we all search for in our lives.

i am glad work is going good and you have a reliable man such as doug to work for you. and i am glad your not to to stressed out about it all. and i hope dallin gets his but kicked a little bit by these night shifts hahah. those would be no fun whatsoever. its good work though and i am glad he has it. i pray for him everyday that he can find the direction he needs. and remembers to respect thoe who serve him and to serve those who respect him. and to serve the one who may not show as much respect. then he will gain it. i trust fully in my heavenly father as president henderson and believe that he does have a perfect plan for all of us and that us being unperfect must find that plan in perfection. and we all need the mercy and saving grace of our savior in heaven. we must remember that the lord loves us and is happy with alll we do right. and waits and encorages us to do even better.

thank you so much for looking into schools for me. i want to atten nait. qo there is no rush. and if it would be possible to get a buisness degree as well i would love that. if i had to go to grant mac or something for that i do not know but i do know that i should persue such a degree. i really appreciate everything you do for me dad and love you so much.

there isnt to much actually new with me here. i am still working hard and trying to help the elders in my district cope with the hard work and stess but it is all going quite good. i am going through splitts and things with all the elders wich is fun. my companion doesnt really enjoy the splits so much bt i like to get to know people hahaha. and it helps elder ludwig see different stiles and personalities. this morning we helped a family move because the governement took there house to build a big old soccer stadium... wich i think is stupid. spend the money on creating jobs and bettering education so that you can become a first world country not on a soccer field that will not even get used. oh well. that is all that is really new with us. love you so much and look forward to christmas.

be fitiavana mandrakizay
your son
elder bates

my shower

me shaving

my bed. before it has been made

the dube or replacement to toilette paper