Monday, May 27, 2013

May 27, 2013

dear dad. 

yes we did get the flight plasns. crazy huh?? ill be in germany for like 5 hours!! haha i wish i could go look around. jump over to holland for a quick visit. i have really found an interest in my heritage since being here on the mission. 

well should work out alright with the family reunion i guess. hopefully president mendenhall can just release me that day and we head straight up there. itlle be pretty cool to see the whole family. well moms side. right that first week. i remember you telling me the story of you reading the time wrong and running franticly through the airport trying to get everyone out on the tar mac. i was also flight leader when we came here and we didn really have any problems other tha nthat one elder was going to travel separate from us for some of the trip wich i didnt feel comfortable with. but we talked to so me people and they got it is so we were all together on the same flight. but that was the only problem. i remember paying some african dude a a bunch of rands to take us to the terminal we were supposed to go to in south africa cause we were pretty lost there hahahahaha. but i think i will be find going home. though i am somewhat a country boy i think ill be able to find my way throug hthe airports. itll just be weird to be alone for such a long time.... haha a whole day with no companion. might be a nice break... lol. 

kensey has a baby!!?? wow. thats freakin crazy. i would not have thought she would be the first. hahaha but i love beeing proven wrong. tell her i say congradulations!!!! that is so exciting, and i am sure brother lambert is pretty excited about it. just remember back when hesston was born. you were pretty darn proud to. and its pretty crazy that emily is graduating. that is way sucky that she doesnt have a date! why doesnt she just ask matt to go to the whole thing with her!!? grad is lame anyways. haha. the parties and everything... just kinda pointless. oh well. i know its important to her. so i hope she has a good time.

well as long as you didnt actually spend the money on the thing on a sunday i think its fine that you went and took it for a test drive. no big deal. and its not liek there was anything better to do. but if you had the money sitting in your pocket or something thinking of buying it that day then you woulda got an ear full. hahahaha. 

i am so sorry to hear about mom hitting that poor old woman. it is something that sounds pretty unavoidable by the sercomstances mom told me. i am glad that the woman will be ok and hope that her family can understand what happened and not be angry or try to sue or something silly like that. mom soundsed pretty shook up in her letter she sent me.... but i am sure she will be able to find peace in the matter soon. and i am so happy that the police were nice to mom... because we havent had the best experiences with the rcmp in the past. but i am glad this time was different. its one thing when the police make dallin ball but if they were to make my mom ball i think i would feel a little stronger about it. haha. 

its crazy that brady got married last week. so quick after getting home. lucky guy. lol but i am srue the girl he found is fantastic. and i am happy for him. nobody even told me he was engaged hahaha. i found out he was getting married from sister leslie in her letter to me 2 weeks ago. 

sorry about the pictures. this week i dont actually have any to send you... oops. but this week we have a ton of service planed and will be taking many pictures. donty worry. but this week was long and tiring and taking pictures arent the first thing on my mind anymore. think about ti. are they the first thing to come to your mind throughout the day. oh i should take pictures... haha i dont think so because your just so used to everything around you. kinda what its like wtih me. i am so sorry. i will take a bundle this weeka nd send them to you. i promise. but i am doing good. working hard. we were tricked into giving blood on wednesday wich is a funny storey. so tuesday night we stopped by a members house to say hello and naturaly i asked if he need any help.. and to my suprise he looked at me and said yes i do. he said his mother in law was sick at the hospital and they needed help the next day. natuarally i thought they wanted us to give her a blessing. wich is what usually happens. nothing new. so we go the next morning to the hospital and meet them and then all of the sudden i am in this little room with a man and he is asking me if i have diabetes...... now i have been to madagascar hospitals many times and that is not what happens when you walk into the door. so i asked why he was questioning me and he gave me a confused look and said "oh your giving blood" hahahah so i imediatly called my mission president to see if it was even aloud. where he answered. "hmmmm good question..... let me look at my book." lol then continiued to tell me to be srue they wore cloves and wiped down with alcohol and used a clean needle. so i made sure....... hahahaha and i was the first missionary in mada to ever voluntaraly give blood followed by my companion. pretty funny story. and i am still alive with no deseases. i know that by now you are probably phone in hand dailing the mission president but i assure he knows what he is taklking about when it comes to medical talk and if we would have been in any danger he would have put the red flag up imediatly. hahaha. just another day in mada. i love you so much and am excited to se you. try not to remind me to much on how little time i have less here..... hahahahah 

be fitiavana mandrakizay
elder bates

Monday, May 20, 2013

May 20, 2013

dear dad!

i am so greatful that you can be greatful for the challenges in your life. for i am also truely greatful for those trials and mountains god asks us to climb in order to learn wisdom. that great hulility and submissive spirit that we must have . " for except you become as this litttle child ye shall not enter into the kindom of my father" i am so greatful for all that the lord does choose to give me in this life. how he does test me. for through that i can learn more and more. every day. and i know you feel the same way.
haha i  am not going to lie i had a feeling that me telling you the transfer possibilities would make you toss and turn a little. and its funny when i walked into the office and talked to sister cornilleous and she told me that she had just talked to you then told me my realese date. and i know you were wondering when she asked if you were from salt lake that if they were going to accidently send me to salt lake buti highly doubt that was the case... haha she is just an oldlder lady that forgot i was from canada. but the church knows. hahaha. kinda wierd now that there is a day. not really real in a sense still. lol but at the same time makes my days here in madagascar truely numbered. but i just think about the work. hahaha you talked to fred at frist. he is a secretary in the office.... he is sister cornilleouses right hand man. he served in south africa for his mission and is pretty good at english but the accent is hard to get used to. so i am sure it would have been fairly difficult for you to comunicate with him. i can only imagine you trying to talk to him. it makes me laugh.  but it looks like i will be coming home right in the middle of the family reunion right? sorry if that s somewhat inconvinient for any of our family. but i have a feeling it might make it more convenient in some ways. i am truely blessed because i will be able to see many family members that week that might not have come the long distances they need if the family reunion was not that week. where us the family reunion anyways? is it at that lake again? i cant remember how far away it is from the house...oh welll. it will all work out.
it must be nice that you finished spring cleanups!! i am sure it is a weight off your shoulders! and that you could find help. its good that you are so service minded and will do anything for the customers. that is a great quality of yours. the neilsons are very nice people as well and have been great customers for a long time. and dont worry about climbing up on that steep roof anymore. next spring i will be ther eand i still have the bravery and hard head of a young man. you can just move the tarp at the bottom. hahaha. taylor has always like doing lawn maintanence. he always looked for opportunities to work for you or do it himself. but i guess he sees something in being a machinist... wouldnt be my first pick though. has we can clearly see haha. 

hahaha mom wrote me and told me not to listen to a word you said about the glasses thing. but it is funny. it made me laugh. im sure she was a little embarassed by it though.
where did you guys eat with nani and grampi? it made me laugh in nanis letter where she said they had changed there diets and werent eating fast foods anymore but i guess he just cant give up that royal buffet..... sooner or later it will go too... hahaah.
emily always is nice and busy this time of the year. i hope her math went well and that she will be able to graduate. i havent heard about that and am afraid it is a touchy subject.
i am glad that you can have dinner with the missionaries so much. they really do appreciate it. but not only that. they appriciate it when you bring friends...... hahahahaha just sayin. it makes a missionaries day when you invite them over and have one of your wide eyed unexspecting friends sitting there in the living room.... definatly a good thing. and elder brown sounds very simular to elder bates here. i am sure that they are alot alike wich means that elder brown has a great desire and even greater heart.
i am doing great and working hard. we had a great blessing this week where a man named mamy came to church this week. he is a great man with a great love for his family but has been out of work for a long time. we have been teaching him for 2 weeks. his family is already members. his wife baptised in 1997. but he never joined the church. but he started spending time with him and getting to know him through teaching him and he has committed to changing his life. it has taken him over 10 years to accept the gospel. he almost went through with it in 2009 but at the death of his daughter at birth he stopped accepting missionaries. but we went back right at the right time. he was humbled. and ready to recieve the gospel. we will bring great blessings to his family through the holy priesthood of god in these next coming years. he as a broken heart and contrite spirit. and i am truely greatful to heavenly father for blessing him with this gospel. i am still going over here trying not to think about home haha. my comp doesnt help me sometimes as home is all he thinks about but we get along great and are very honest with eachother. that is a great quality to have. honesty. i thank my heavenly father daily for this great gospe l and the opportunity i have to serve him. i will continue in this truthfullness my whole life. i am also so very greatful for you and mom. the great powerful example you have for me and you love you show me. i cant wait to work with you the rest of my life. to learn from you even more.

be fitiavana mandrakizay
elder bates

Monday, May 13, 2013

May 13, 2013

*Mothers Day is one of Two Times a year Missionaries can call their families (the other is Christmas) and so yesterday we all got to talk to Riley! And it was so great to hear his voice, although he definitely has a different accent then when he left and talks really fast, at one point I had to ask him to slow down so that I could better understand him. I think I speak for all members of Riley's family when I say that we feel very blessed to have him in our lives. He is doing great and plans to finish his mission with as much zest and zeal as when he entered it, if not more! I know that the Malagasy people will always have a bit of his heart.

Not too much longer until he will return from his mission, the next three months are going to fly by!

And even though we just spoke to him he still sent us a letter!

dear dad. 

how wonderful it was to hear and speak with you and mom and the whole family. it brought so much joy. i am so glad that everybody is doing good right now. that they all feel like they are doing what they need to. we have all been raised by the same amazing mother and father. 

life sounds busy for all. and i am glad work is going good... 

i as you know am doing great. just striving to do as the lord wants me to do. getting everything i can out of my mission before that dreadful day on a plain. then the day after that it is of course a wonderful day. tell everybody back home i miss and love them. i am so excited to see people. though i can wait a little longer. 

be fitiavana mandrakizay 
elder bates 

and a little from Lyndi's letter too.

... am really doing great. working hard. trying to serve the lord. bearring strong testimony. an incredible blessing i had. it inovolves to men and the book of mormon. we tracted into both of them. there is no relation between them and they dont know eachother. but we found them both on the same day. so we have been teaching them slowly and the lesson came to the book of mormon. i went through explaining the sacred book as i had many times before. but in both these times there was a great feeling of the spirit. the to sceptical men both ended up telling me in seprate times that they have been searching a long time for the trueth much like joseph smith. they both promised me to read the book and pray if its true. they both haev troubles excepting baptism. but i nkow that these men are important to god. and that there is a conversion power in that great book. that holy ancient scripture. i pray to god that they will find what they have been searching so dilligently for in the book of mormon. i know that it can bring countless blessings unto there families. i love god and this work. i love the spirit wich i can feel so abundantly every time i bare testimony of this great gospel. 

be fitiavana mandrakizay
elder bates

 service!!!! we were just walking to a time and saw two women shoveling out this canal. so we took over. they loved it.
 these were the women shoveling. they loved us. we invited them and ther family to church and went on our way. 
 elder Smithson verse the gremlins
 tuesday we went to a school way out in nowhere land and helped teach. it was a blast. we are going to do int every tuesday morning.
 me and elder smithson really love doing service! we shovel dirt
ya. thats how much i love rice....especially when its slightly burnt and swimming in water like that. delicious!!!!!!!!!  (*sorry I couldn't get the picture to rotate... just turn your head a little.)

Monday, May 6, 2013

May 6, 2013

dear dad

if i didnt take the work whole heartetly and put my back into it then as president bringham young says i would go and return in vain. i have an incredible opportunity for 2 years to be completely submissive to the lord. and i need to take advantage. haha hopefully i can find a woman who will keep me on track with my desire to continue in the work of the lord once i get home from my mission just as you did. and it is very true what you say, that wealth brings people to lean less and less on god. its a sad thing. but it will make the work of a missionary that much more rewarding. 

that is a really late start to spring clean ups! ythat is crazy. who is doing the other churches if you are taking care of 6 of them? i bet its nice to have mich bag working for you for the summer. shave a young back hauling all the grass hahaha. is doug still working for you as well?? i always loved coming home after spring clean ups and seeing the black wash down the drain. now i am not even doing manual labour here. well not as much and its still the same. you just watch the crime from the air wash down the drain... pretty sad hahaha. but i know itll get cleaned up soon. 

hahaha i cant even imagine what quality the food is at royal buffet... but i am sure it would be anything but barf compared to the stuff i love here! but it makes me laugh that grampie loves eating there so much. its just his place. just like yours is swish chalet. lol. and him going out with there minican in the wetest part of spring is pretty comical as well hahaha. he probably just forgot to turn on the 4 wheel drive haahaha. its a good thing your such a good son to go and pull him out though. even though you got muddy. 

emily sounds liek she is killing it in rugby as usual! i wish i was there to watch! and play haha. hopefully i can find time next year to go and play again. but we will see. it would definatly keep me healthy. 

oh and i had a question for you. does nait have any language classes? i want to take a french class when i get home. can i go to nait and grant mac at the same time? just a question hahaha. dont know how possible any of my thoughts are but just trying to get a gage of things to plan for in three months.  you guys should be getting my flight plans here in about 2 weeks. then you send them to me. thats how it works. but i am pretty sure we go home the 14th of august. that s the most logical time. so i wont make the family reunion by a hair haha. oh well. its what the lord asks. 

i am doing really good here working hard as usual. people tell me every day how malagasy i am hahaha. im sure going to miss this place when i leave. but for now i am just soaking it all in. looking forward to speaking to you all in 6 days!!! taht will be pretty awesome. tis my last phone call. then time really flys by. thats what people say anyways. lol. 

one incredible and humbling experience i had this week was being the tool in the hands of god to spare a life of a lost soul. sos me and elder smithson were walking from a time when we saw a tiny little woman carrying a big back of charcole on her head. not unusuall but elder smithson picked the bag off of her head and carried it for her. then we returned and got the other one where i continued to carry it about a  1 km to the final destination. but in the middle of it all. as we got to the second bag. i saw there a woman sitting on a stool writing on a small piece of paper. her name is razanany delphine.  these people were very very very poor. living out of cardboard boxs litterally and getting 2 dollars each bag of charcole. not enough to lvie on. but as i talked to the woman writing i learn that she used to work for an american man before the riots of 2003. then he went home and in subsaquence to that she had no job. he kids were homeless and she was living with family in a small town called moramanga. she had found a little work for her kids in order to get them food and such. and then the money that they made from that (about 45 dollars) was all stollen from her by one of her sons. the she had no money to take back to those that gave her the work. she couldnt give her children what they and there own families needed. so she was writing a small will. a suicide note. i pleaded with her to reconcider. to pray to god and trust that he loved her and would bless her. she gave me the small note in her hand and we parted in tears. to my knowlage she did not go through with taking ehr own life. i have kept that note as a reminder of her. that we might find joy together in heaven knowing that we endured to the end. i thank god that he trusted me to help delphine. he truly does love her. she is a lazarus of this earth and i know that she will recieve celestial glory along side us in heaven. if that is the only thing i did on my mission it would be worth it. but i have done so much more. and i thank god for such an opportunity. one i will never forget and always long for again. 

be fitiavana mandrakizay
elder bates
 me carrying the charcole bag they are heavey.....
me and delphines daughter and 2 kids after finishing the hike with the charcole haha

 elder smithson with delphines daughter and 2 kids. she was the one origionaly carrying the bag. wic his about 100 pounds if i would gess.
 me and sister simonette. she is a member in our ward that just god her last leg cut of... she is a wonderful woman.
 a greatful man after seeing us carry the charcole for the women
we were invited to a birthday party in elder smithsons old area. they were a way cool family and me and the father really got along good. he was amazeed and how good i was at malagasy.... he was just flattering me haha

April 29, 2013

hey dad. 

i am glad you think i look good. i hope i look pretty studdly. and i dont write certain things in my letter to you because it gos up on my blog. so i know that lyndi lets you know the good of the things i write her and that you hear about it. and i know if its not straight from the studs mouth then it isnt the same but there are just some things not needed to go onto the blog. sorrY. so my apartment is me elder smithson elder neaf from organ and elder ramafadrahona. from here. ahahha. and its a good house. i lived with elder neaf already aback in tamatave. haha he is a funny guy. we are pretty good friends. when i taught solofo it was only going to be me but i sweet talked the gaurds into letting my comp come with me. god has blessed me with a way with people here in mada. so we god a little bit of a special cercomstance. 

no snow huh!? and i thought we might see snow here it is so cold. to me. i dont actually know the tempt but i am sure its like in the teeens as well and i am freezing. i slept with a big old hoody on last night. and its not even the coldest yet. thats in june or so. i am dreading it. though i was born in january i have gotten scary used to the heat. spring cleanups so so dusty. i remember getting so dirty. i miss that! haha its amazing how much you miss stuff. is mitch still dating that one girl he new back from school? if so you should see if she has friends. he can talk me up hahaah. even get one or two of them to write me. ill work my magic hahahahahaha. just kidding. kinda. but seriously he could put in a word for me ;)

me not writing lyndi was not a cruel broth trick or a joke... haha it was pure tiredness and lose of mind. thats what happens on pday. just get lost in the crap. its my least favorite day other than the letters i get. 

i think i got one card from leslie a while back. when did she send it? i can look in my stack of letters. but i havent gotten a letter since january so if she sent it after that then nope. havent gotten it. hahaha. thanks for the picture of mom. truely is a gem. and i like how you used the word courting.... hahaahah old man. i jsut found out though that there is a plant here that if you mush it up and put it in your hair it will grow back!!!!!!!! i will bring much back for the both of us!!! hahaha tthen we can look young again. lol. 

me and my copmp elder smithson are doing great! having a ton of fun and we get along good. we are focusing on the blessings of god. we set goals and make plans just like the council in conference. we haev investigators working towards bap dates and are constantly finding new people. working hard to get the harvest of the field. i lvoe this work with all my heart and desire to do it the rest of my life. i hope i just dont get lost in teh craziness of life to do it. thank you for all you have taught me and do for me constantly . i love you with all my heart. 

be fitiavana mandrakizay
elder bates
  me and elder smithson in a taxi.
 me and my mada mamma. she makes good rice haha. her name is nivo. shes a member but many of her kids are not. 
 solofo and fara and me. he was the one in prison
 me and a member family. although the one is not yet a member/ but getting baptised in january. oh and the sisters are also in that picture. 
 the lady putting on my comps socks... hahaha
 cool flower.
 i think dad may have used a flip chart similar to this in his mission. is old.  and out of date. not saying anythign about you though dad. your still hip
the baptism of nana and manga. i baptised manga. nanas father baptised her.