"Magicianary" - A missionary who does magic to bring joy and happiness as well as share the gospel with the people of Madagascar (According to Brad)

Monday, September 26, 2011

Sept. 26, 2011

Well another week passes by in Mada. This week has been a little slow. All of our appointments have either fallen through or we didn't have an opportunity to go and teach them. On Thursday, our washer broke, and then after that our pipe for our main source of water to the house broke! So we couldn't shower, wash dishes, or wash our clothes even if we wanted to. So on Friday me and Elder Smith waited for the guy to come and fix our washer who said he would come just sometime during the day. And the guy to come fix our pipe wasn't gonna come until five. So we waited and skipped all of our times and guess what... both of them never came. :| I was not very happy after that but we went out that night and had a great dinner appointment with our branch president. And about the washer and pipe, somehow the washer fixed itself... weird I know and we figured out a way to somewhat fix the pipe but it still leaks a little, so someone is coming tomorrow to fix it. (hopefully, he'll be there on time)

So like I said we didn't have much success this week but good news is, we still got 10 investigators to church. Which is amazing even if we got all our times in. So the 10 that Elder Smith and I had planned to be baptized went down to 6. Turns out that they have "special friends", but we will still work hard to get them married.

That is crazy that Sarah and Lynette [cousins of Brad] are getting married! I guess they really understood the importance of the September Ensign. Also Dad winning a 32" TV! I am so proud of you Dad, don't play too many video games on it. I wanna play a lot of golf with you when I get back, I'm craving it so much right now! You'll probably have to teach me all over again, just like if I was eight. Or five.

Let me try to clarify this for you, it could get very confusing. Especially with my clarifying skills. There are 2 churches, 5 branches and 2 missionary houses. In my house there are 4 missionaries, other house 6. 3 branches go to one church, which is my house and 2 missionaries from the other house. And the other four missionaries go to the other church. Elder El-bakri in my house is my District Leader, but Elder Riding in the other house is my Zone Leader. I hope that is clear...

I love that everyone is going on a mission!!! It gets me so excited because I just think of all the things that they are going to go through. A mission is awesome! All you little lads and lassies who are not sure about going on a mission, just go! It will be tough but as you go through it, you will realize that it is needed and also a blessing to go. Also, you might get to go to the coolest place on earth like Madagascar. This place is amazing, and I've only seen a little slice of the coast!

I love all of you with every fiber that's left over after loving the people here. (don't worry I have a lot of love to give)

Elder Bradford Walker, son of Michael Walker, son of Gary Walker, son of... Great Grandpa Walker
Just having a little fun with some recent converts.

I don't think I can pull it off, but personally I think Elder Smith looks like Jason Mraz!
Ravitoto, which means smashed leaves

Monday, September 19, 2011

Smart Drunk Guy - Sept. 19, 2011

By the way, I DO like Justin Bieber. This week was normal, teaching, preaching, doing what missionaries do... Well let's just jump right into the good stuff and explain the title. Elder Smith and I teach this guy named Jean-Claude, he lives way far out in the boonies, takes about 45 min to get there. He is an awesome investigator, it's just a little hard to get him to church. Every time we teach him, he is... I wouldn't say completely drunk, but you can definitely see and smell he has had a few. So me and Elder Smith come back after giving him the Book of Mormon the last appointment and tell him to read the introduction. He read the whole introduction, and the first couple chapters of the Book of Mormon! I don't know if you are amazed by that or not, but we were! Investigators don't usually read the first time, none the less, more than we give them! But that is not where he stopped to amaze us, he then started to act out what went on in the first couple chapters that he read. And after he was done with his one man show, he continued to tell us what the scriptures meant and what the moral of the story was. And yes it was all correct. I have no idea how he could remember what he read, or how he can do all of that when he is drunk. Oh, and we also taught him the six things in the Word of Wisdom that we should avoid, after we were done teaching it, about three or five minutes after he takes out a piece of paper and writes all of them down except one. I think alcohol helps his memory, I am just baffled how he can remember so much! Hopefully he stops drinking soon :)

We had had an afo-dasy (bonfire) on Saturday with Elder Smith and my investigators and El-bakri and Southwick's investigators. It was really fun I gave the spiritual thought with Mosiah 24:14-15.

 14 And I will also ease the aburdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage; and this will I do that ye may stand asbwitnesses for me hereafter, and that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their cafflictions.
 15 And now it came to pass that the burdens which were laid upon Alma and his brethren were made light; yea, the Lord didastrengthen them that they could bear up their bburdens with ease, and they did submit cheerfully and with cpatience to all the will of the Lord.
 I really like that chapter. And then after Southwick gave a lesson on repentance, he is really good at Malagasy by the way! It was a good activity, we played games after, it was fun. I love how you can take one scripture and teach it so many different ways. The scriptures are awesome! 

So we are planning on getting 10 baptisms on the eighth of October. Hopefully some of them will get married on time so they can get baptized. That is the only major problem in this country, is getting married. You have already heard me go off on that so I'll just leave that alone. Hopefully all the branches will get enough baptisms on that day so that we can do it in the ocean again! It was way cool the first time.

Speaking of October, yes there is an Island conference. And yes, Elder Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve apostles is coming to talk to us. And yes I am playing an arrangement on the piano and Elder Nelson could possibly come to that portion of it too. I'm kind of nervous to play in front of the whole mission and possibly Elder Nelson, but if I practice everything will be OK. Every one will be going to Tana for that.

So transfers were last night, and Elder Muau'i from my group is coming up to Tamatave! I'm so excited, it'll be way fun to have him up here. Me and Smith are still comps so thats good, I like him a lot.

Mom, don't worry about teaching on how to teach. You were a teacher before, you know how to teach. A fifth grade teacher none the less! You taught simply to fifth graders, so tell them that they need to teach simlpy too. Like I said to Dad you need to tell them what they should and need to do, and if its true, the holy ghost will testify and help you with your teaching. You should read the excerpt from the Teachings of Brigham Young book so you can understand better but thats the best I can explain it.

I love you all, this might sound selfish but keep praying for me!

Elder Walker

Monday, September 12, 2011

Sept. 12, 2011

Well that has to be way fun with Melissa and Brian back. I also love being around family, so I just count everyone in Madagascar my family for now.

This week has been pretty good! We had three more baptisms this last Saturday. One of them is Theodore who I talked about before, another is Nicole, the daughter of my first baptism and Zertride. It was kinda funny but when baptizing Zertride, she was kinda scared of the water, so she would not trust me and go down into the water. It took about eight times until she was good to go. Other than that, everything went smoothly. Then the next day at church, they all were there and received the Gift of the Holy Ghost. It was awesome! It was kind of hectic at church though because everyone was asking me for stuff like, where are the people who just got baptized, can you play the piano for sacrament meeting, who is confirming the people, do you like Justin Beiber. (yes I got asked that)

My Malagasy is getting better little by little. The main key thing is confidence and not being afraid of messing up. It's tough but I'm used to laughing at myself by now. We have some amazing investigators right now, except it's hard for some of them to get to church because they live so far away. Me and Smith have to take a 20-25 min pouse ride out there and then walk some after that. (We don't use bikes anymore, because they always broke and cost too much to fix them). But people love the Lord here and are way diligent in trying to keep the commandments. It's kind of funny, because once one person gets baptized, all their friends do too. Malagasys don't like to be the first ones to do something and they also don't like change. Something like going right instead of left to go to church can stop someone from going. It's weird but true.

So the best story I can think of for the week is when the DMB (the wife) was helping with a time. We were teaching this family and the wife and kids are really accepting but the husband is a little hesitant, so he basically just Bible bashes the whole time. So he is asking Elder Smith and the DMB questions, they are answering, I am just sitting there because he is talking too fast for me. I ask Elder Smith what his current question was and it was if faith was believing before you see the miracle or believing after you see it. To me I thought it was logical that it was before but he wanted an answer, so I shared Alma 32: 17-18.
 17 Yea, there are many who do say: If thou wilt show unto us a asign from heaven, then we shall know of a surety; then we shall believe.
 18 Now I ask, is this faith? Behold, I say unto you, Nay; for if a man knoweth a thing he hath no cause to abelieve, for he knoweth it.
I really like those verses and when he read it, he had the most priceless face on, and our DMB just busted out laughing! I know they tell us not to Bible bash but it fit perfectly with what he was saying, so I had to. Anyways, I just thought that it was funny that the DMB just started laughing, a little innapropriate but they live by each other so its OK.

I'll save a story for next week just in case nothing exciting happens next week. Sorry forgot about the apartment pictures but any pictures are better than none, right?

Little girl, is DMB's daughter, she is so hyper all the time, but super cute.

Me and Elder Smith
The baptism
Big, scary, mean chameleon. They hiss by the way.
If my emails are too short you can tell me and I'll try to make them longer, I just don't know what else to say besides being here in Madagascar is amazing! I love you all and hope that you are all healthy! Continue to be missionaries any moment you get! I'll also try to get some handwritten letters out this week, so be looking in your mailbox in three weeks or so! I'll talk to ya next week!
Elder Walker

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Sept. 5, 2011

Brad when he first sees the Hartmans

Brad being Brad!

The Hartmans were kind enough to take Brad and his district out to eat.
 Nothing really exciting happened this week. But we have been getting tons of help from our branch missionary, which is called a DMB. It's more like the DMB's wife because he is always working, but she has given us 9 referrals in the past week and a half! And we teach all of them at the DMB's house (separate times though). She helps us out so much and I hope she doesn't get sick of us. I'll have to give her a present for giving so much of her time. Any ideas?

Elder Southwick, El-bakri's new comp., has been really sick these past 4 days and couldn't go out and work so anytime everyone was home he would want to play games. We played a lot of Monoply deal(card game) and just other card games. Turns out he knows the game Nerts, and is really good! Don't ask me why but he plays with a lot of Koreans and they have some crazy rules and restrictions! You can only use one hand for everything, you can't even hold the deck in one hand you have to set it on the ground. And the Nerts pile is minus two for every card left. It's mostly not being able to hold the deck in your hand thing that bugged me the most but it was still way fun!

Jean assures me that the missionaries are told NOT to eat meat from the open air markets. Whew!

Isn't he cute?

I hope the Hartmans' pictures were sufficient for you because I forgot to take my camera... woops :) But I'll be sure to get some really good, proffesional pictures of my apartment and of everyone for you next week. Dani, you better be the best 2nd counselor you can be [in Young Women's], and continue to do your homework before you hangout or go to sleep! Nat and Adam, continue to be an awsome couple and an example to everyone else. Melissa and Brian, I can't wait for your baby to get here! I'm praying for him/her everyday. Don't be discouraged with getting a job. The right job will come along. Phil, after reading inspirational stuff and talking with Elder Hartman, I've learned that you can get anything you want sooner or later if you have enough desire. So whatever you desire right now, great job or pay, nicer stuff in your house, a hot wife, you can get it. That goes for everyone reading this, if you have enough desire and ambition you can get it. Step by step, move by move... anyways, I know you can get what you want if you put enough effort and sacrifice into it, along with prayer and keeping the commandments it will happen. I 100% believe and know that to be true.
  • Where did Elder Evans get transferred to? He got transfered to Antsirabe. It is three hours south of Tana and has eight missionaries there.
  •  Who is the other new elder in your apartment? Elder Southwick, who has been sick for four days.
  • Where did you go for your conference with the Hartmans? We went to one of the churches in Tamatave. Did you have to travel? We traveled about a mile or so in a pouse, which took approximately ten minutes.
  • When you play the hymns do you use the simple hymnbook or the regular one? I just use the regular one.
  • Do you ever use that bug solution stuff that is supposed to last for 6 washings or something? Yes
  • Have you lost weight - can you tell in your clothes? I can't tell if I've lost any weight, my clothes seem to fit the same. I haven't found a scale in this country yet, no one really cares about their weight here because they are either skinny and fit or they are fat, which just means your rich and people here think it is more attractive to have a little extra meat on your bones. :)
  • Can you buy stuff like: sour cream, potatoes, canned mushroom soup, green onions? Yes, I can buy all that stuff here. If you're thinking about potato casserole I would love the recipe! Could you also send yourself in the email so you can make it?
 Well I guess I'll close this because I can't think of anything else to say. I love you all and I'll try to start writing letters to people. Oh, and thank you everyone who writes me letters and DearElders, it really means a lot to me and I get the biggest smile when I read your letters! Sorry Dad, I'll answer your questions more. I think you should also do Madagascar style food too. Rice and steak with chunks of fat in it as well. Make sure to add tons of oil and seasonings of any sort you can find. And have Coke or orange Fanta for the drinks. I'm tellin ya, it grows on you. Gyoza is pretty good too if you want to do that instead. I'll talk to you next week!

Elder Walker