Monday, February 25, 2013

February 25, 2013

hey dad!
great email this week! they are all good but i seemed to really enjoy this one. i loved your comments and opinion on the small gate on the wall of the cities. and i have heard that before but weather it is real or not it is a great example for all of us. and as dallin h oaks says in preach my gospel. "we invite all to come unto christ" not just a select few. and that is something we are trying to focus hard on here in madagascar. because the lazaruses in this life willingly and readily accept because they see the many blessings but the rich men are a little more hessitant because of all the blessings they already have. so missionaries tend to focus on the lazaruses and dont even try for the others. and that is the problem. we NEED better leadership here in madagascar. and there is only one way to find that. tracting! dun dun dun! hahaha a lost consept here for most. but now its a push. we are being told to tract. weird right. usually that is the last resort in preach my gospel. but it has been neglected and now it must be reserrected. and i to believe that with god all things are possible. that is what i live for. for if it were not for that god i would have no future in eternity. we to are learning from the teachings of lorenzo snow in priesthood. unfortunatly all the books are in french and not malagasy so i dont get that much out of it sometimes but i try. my french is picking up as well. i think i will study it when i get home. but i promise you that i in no way turn away those less fortunate in this life. but that i also make an effort to find the one man who can lead those who need him.  this gospel message truely is for EVERYBODY. and WE must share it with them so that they might have the opportunity to recieve it. there is no one else coming to there door. its us. now. we cant be affraid to bear testimony and invite others to find that testimony.
thankyou so much for the pictures! they were great! and i find it funny that both you and colter fell of the ski doo and in karmyns picture she is the highest in the air and doesnt fall once! hahaha but i wont lie i cant wait to drive a ski doo again. lol especially if it will float through the snow now and not stop dead! and colter getting stuck sounds pretty humorous although unfortunate he got his knee hurt i would like to see him try and crawl out and then try and hold onto the winch hahahaha. and i like the way mom discribes the happenings. she is a funny women. i hope your shoulder feels better ;) ha. but i cant wait to be back with you all and enjoy the presence of family. i dont plan on going far away from the fam after this is all done. haha i love y'all to much.

so my but cheek is all heeled up! haha and no infection thanks for asking lol. and you will actually find out my actually release date first and then you tell me. that is how the mission does it. as soon as they have set flight plans they send you and email of those flight plans. but doing the math (as lyndi so kindly asked) my excit date here in madagascar should be the 3rd of august. one week before the day. so yall can plan on that. and my and elder rakotonjanahary are still together having a blast but our area just got split this week because it is so big! haha so now we will have sisters working with us here in manakambahiny. that will be interesting seeing as there are only 4 sisters in mada and i haveonly talked to them like twice.... hahhaa sister missionaries. a rarity here. but i am excited to be able to focus more on an area of regular size. big areas are hard to work and most all of mine have been big so far so it will be a nice change. and about the pictures..... you might be a little upset about this next news. but as you say things are things and they all have an end. hahaha last monday we were in the market place because my companion needed a scribbler. so as we were looking i took some pictures and then put my camera into my backpack. then what most likely happened was some hard off boys followed my and opened my backpack in a crowed place and stole my camera. it is sad but i did get to send many many home before this and i will buy a cheep camera here that will last the rest of the 5 months but for now nothin. but my comp took some so i will send you those. i am sorry but its done and nothing can be done about it. the really sad part is they cant take advantage of there choices because i have the charger. so nobody wins hahaha. well i kinda win because i am not that upset about it. haha. its just a thing. but on p days we clean the house study a little and then go email. after that we usually find a nice place to eat and go to the jumbo where we buy clean food and then by that time its about 4 oclock so we head home and then go eat dinner at a members house at about 7. we always squeeze a time in before that dinner appointment.  and that is my mondays. cool right.
so other than that i am doing incredibly well. tired but well haha. its funny because as tired as i am at night i wake up and feel exactly the same as when i fell asleep. but always seems to go out and work my hardest serving god. promises fullfilled. though that king sized bed will be a nice brake from the 6x6 i have been sleeping on for so long haha. the baptisms havent happened yet. sorry if i wasnt clear but they are on the 9th of march. and we are working hard. there is one guy who is really cool who i will tell you about. his name is feno. one day we were walking along those railroad tracts in the pictures i sent you and we walked passed a young man about 19 years old. my companion motored by but i felt like i should talk to him. and so i did. not for long because as soon as i talked to him he acted like he was high on something. but i invited him to change his life through the fullness of the gospel and come to church. not really excpecting much we went to church on sunday and to our suprise there was feno. in a nice white shirt. so we started to teach him. now he works with us everyday so that he can get away from the friends that dont influence him to do good and is almost quite sigaretts. he wants to serve a mission and change his life. he is amazing. god does know us and what we need. even a 19 year old boy who was lost in life. god blessed him and the difference is extraordinary. i know god lives and that he restored the keys of heaven here on earth through the prophet joseph smith. wich keys are they greatest blessing anyone could ever possibly have. i will strive my whole life to give that to all.

be fitiavana mandrakizay
elder bates

Monday, February 18, 2013

February 18, 2013

hey dad
how are you doing. no letter this week but i have a feeling it snowed really hard or something and you being short on employees you are workin pretty stinckin hard wich i really do understand. but i definatly will write you a little letter. i already sent pictures but this week has been really good. we are working hard with investigators to get them ready for t here baptism on the 9th of march. there are about 9 people with a goal for the ninth and we will see how many are ready by then. hopefully all of them! haha they are mostly all refferals from other members and so they are all very impoverished. those seem to be the only kind of referals we get. but but there has been a real push for missionaries here to do more tracting of wealthier houses lately. because we are being taught that those are the poeple we need right now in madagascar and also we must remember that it is harder for a rich man to enter into the kindom of heaven than it is for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle. so they need missionaries more than anybody. so we are really focusing on that. there is a transfer coming up this week wich will be exciting. it should be a pretty big one as many many missionaries have been in there areas for an extended amount of time. so i should get a new companion but we will see. there are also 10 new missionaries comeing in this week. one with the name of bates from cardston alberta!! do we have relatives in cardtson from the bates side that i dont know about. because one is on his way here. i know that orville bates is from there if i am not mistaken. who knows maybe ill get to serve with him. funny story for ya. yesterday night we got a taxi home and while getting into it i sat down and got a nice nail right into my bum! haha right through my new underwear! luckely i got the blood out of them and i can sew up the hole if needed but i have a pierced right cheek at the moment. haha always fun and keepin busy here. i hope your hanging in there in the cold! love ya!
be fitiavana mandrakizay
elder bates

1. this is charline. she is washing my pants and shirt. why? because i fell in the mud and got really dirty. thank you charline.

2. miraculously they had a shirt from a past missionary anda fairly big pair of pants that they let me where home

3. a "slightly" drunk women bought me flowers! and just 2 days late of valentines day. im still counting it

4.madagascar transportation. theres a seat for everybody and even if theres not. we'll take ya. this man walked up with this beautiful french book of mormon from 1965! he tried to sell it to me. i told him it was priceless and to keep it and read it. he didnt really like my answer.

Friday, February 15, 2013

February 11, 2013

so you wanna know somethin. your letter was longer than lyndis this week... yup. thats like the second time since she gave birth. how great is that! now you can bug her about it hahaha.
most people would be throughn aback about the poverty in the world. not just in madagascar. and i remember you saying many times when we would wish for things 'or covet that of others. and you would say that there are many people who have it worse than we did. and i do remember that having quite a big affect on me even before my mission. and now being here i fully understand what you were saying. i look back at my childhood and look at all the things i had. they are countless. i tell people some of the activities we do ther eand they are mindblown.i was exctremely blessed as a child. and am still so incredibly blessed. i will go home in six months and get a vehicle. a home and schooling. and there is a way for me to get all of that. where as most people here cant even imagine driving. or going to school after there primaries are done. i was truely born in the land of promise to good my parents who gave me more than i needed. and i wish all could realize that. i got to go to the  mountains for a week every year. HOLY COW haha these are all things that run through my head daily. and i will never take one thing for granted ever again in my life.
haha good old police force. cant work with them but cant have a controled society without em.... can we really call gary steinke our friend?? haha  lol. hopefully he will handle it well.  hahaha it is very unfortunate the stubbornness and rudeness that the officer handling the situation especially when an emotional 17 year old girl is involed. i am sure he didnt make emily feel any better about the situation. and accidents happen. (to most people) ;) not me yet... hahah but to most everybody you get in a car accident. luckely albertans all gotta have a truck so the other guys vehicle wasnt damaged. but your not gunna pull this one out huh? i remember us hooking lyndis toyota to the telaphone post out front and showing that puppy whos boss hahah? but that s kinda hard to do in the winter time. and i still have no idea what kinda vehicle this new yorker is your talkin about. was it sitting in our yard when i left?? hahaha. but i am glad that emily is ok and agree that being out on the road again the same day is a little spoiled. she is lucky for being spoiled. so am i.
well to bad that that matt guy didnt take the offer you gave him though i am sure living with his grampa might help his grandpa feel the spirit that matt has with him. and it just might soften his heart. and hopefully you and doug can handle the work. how much were you paying adam??????? if you had to take on more jobs must have been a little. oh well. not to long and ill be back in the sadle! haha i love the work of the lord but my hands have gotten weak. i cant wait for the day when i can both strengthen my mind and hands at the same time. cause here i have learned how.
all these people going on missions is awsome!!!! and i will definatly write sydney a letter if you give me there adress. all though i could probably just send it to devon and the town is so small the post guy would still take it straight to their door hahaha. but seriously an adress would be nice. thats way exciting that she is going on a mission.
dr fairbanks!? he asked about me!? tell him i brush and floss 2 times a day everyday! and that my mouth is nice and pink! :) hahaha the only problm is that the toothpaste here lacks whiteness and i chipped a tooth a few months back on a rock in some of my rice hahahahha but other than that i am fine!!! and i have taken the irene challage so i will be back to par if not above par in no time. at least by the time i get home hahaha. so dont worry about my health lol. and tell dr fairbanks that if he ever decides to go on one of them dental missions or something there are plenty of teeth over this way to yank!  people start getting teeth pulled at 5 years old her  or even younger. its pretty sad. no dental hygeine at all. blech. but i did get sick this past thursday where my throat got sore and i got a fever and kinda weak but that went away friday. nd i am back on the road again. so blessings from the lord! haaha i love you and thank you for all you have given me. i did get the package of underwear along with lyndis package so thank you for that. and i really dont need anything else from here on in. so dont worry about sending me anything! i will gett it all in 6 months anyways.but thank you. new underwears  are soooo nice. i think i sewed every one of my last ones at least twice to keep them wearable hahha.

be fitiavana mandrakizay
elder bates
1. so i got lyndis package!! elder rasoanivo really liked the mac and cheese. as did i!
2. the once spoken of package!

3. the walk way to my house. below is our landlords garage. we are up above

4.welcome to the tour folks. please keeps your hands and heads inside the vehicle at all times

5. as we walk into the house we find the kitchen directly to the left

6. and then as we return into the main room we see a beautifully made bed.

7. and as we look around what is this. oh to more beuatifuly made beds.

8.and now we make our way to the ever luggurious bathroom.

9.and then the panarama shot. yes it is just one room. 

Monday, February 4, 2013

February 4, 2013

hey dad

well. febuary it is. you know what that means. i hit my what they call your chick mission this week.. on sunday actually. i will be done the amount of time a sister missionary serves. that means all those sisters i new back in the mtc are done. this week. flyin home. from all over the world. good work sisters. you made the lord proud. haha. and then its 6 more months to the finish line for me. how crazy is that. i am done 3/4 of the mission. so you know how a caramilk bar has 8 pieces on a bar. ya i have eaten six of them and only have two left. buy a caramilk bar for me and eat six of the pieces and tell me if those 2 left feel like a lot. cause thats how im feelin right now. haha

honore and lydia came to church again this sunday. i am not sure right now what happened with there rent but they seem unshaken by it all. they are just trying to servive and they know that we servive through the lord.

matthew sounds like a great guy. i guess i met him one or something cause lyndi told me we are friends on facebook but i wont lie i dont remember.... haha so sorry matt if you remember me. i hope he does start working for you and things. that would be great for him. its crazy how he contacted lesie and stuff. thats way cool.and now he has found his way to you wich might verywell be his best way to get on a mission. how old is he? when did he get baptised?

hahah woo hooo for being a tote owner!!!!!! do i get to keep the totes when i come to clame my baggage?? and what are my mounts doin all tucked away in a safe place!? put em up! i mean even if you tell them they are yours...... they aint doin no good tucked away in the storage room or in the garage or in the attic..... hahahhaha speaking of mustard. ( by the way that is the way mom said it in her email to me last week. i was just repeating her...) they dont have any mustard here. they have french dejoun mustard but that isnt the same. its got a wierd paint taste to it at the end. mmmmm mustard on a hot dog. 

so i told my comp how cold it gets at our house and his eyes kinda went. POP! he cant even imagine minus 42 in his head. the coldest it got in antsirabe while i was there last june in the coldest part of year here and antsirabe is the coldest place in mada was plus 14 degrees. and that was at 12 at night. soooooo. hahhahah i am sorrry its soo bitter cold there. that sucks. thats way cold. im glad to be here!!!! hahaha

so my week was full of work and goodness. nothing special really. trying to help people realize there relationship with god is more than just imaginary. it is so easy to think of fait has an imaginary thing that just helps us get throug hlife. it is easy to talk about god and say you believe but to actually show it and know it is an amazing thing that taks so much time and practice. i work towards knowing god in a deeper sense every day. it involes not only reading and praying. so much is contexted into it that we must do every day. pondering. one ward that seems sooo easy. "oh just think about god for a little" then you try and you realize how fast your mind wanders. i had a great experience yesterday where we were walking home later at night 830 ish and a boy walked up to us. 20 years old. and he was slightly intoxicated. not overly drunk but you could smell the alcahol on him. he was lost. he had been with his friends walking around and they ended up on the other side of town and he was not fermiluar with that side of town then his friends ditched him and took his cell phone. he came up to us in somewhat of a panic. he had nooooo idea where is was. the other 2 men we were walking with paid no attention to him and kept walking. me and my companion however stopped to listen. then we started to walk him home. we walked him about half way trying to find a taxi to take him but not getting one. then we finally got one to stop for us and we sent him off. he was extremely greatful and said he would go to church. then waking back it was abot 910 and we needed to find a ride home or we would be late. so we started walking in the direction of the house. and it started to rain. hard. hahah and my companion looks over at me and says. i guess this is what we get for doing service. we both laughed and kept walking. then about 30 seconds later a car stopped and offered to take us home. this is the lord in our lives this day. helping and loving eachother. such a little thing cause me and my companion to find great joy in the lord that night. it truely is the little things in life that make a difference. i love you and the family so much!

be fitiavana mandrakizay
elder bates

1. this is me in ambohimanambola. amazing view

2.a little boy playing with a toy truck his dad made for him. and joel. he is like 5 years old and hust a recking ball of energy. he jumped into my backpack and said he was coming with me

4.and then he put on my tag and backpack and desided he was me

5. imma workin on  the railroad