On Saturday, there was a party with half the missionaries in Tana [Antananarivo] (it is split up into two separate zones). And we had a delicious dinner and a white elephant gift exchange; we were also allowed to watch a Disney or Pixar movie, so we picked to watch Cars 2. It was pretty funny, I suggest watching it. For the dinner each house had assignments on what to bring or make for the dinner. We were assigned rolls and a dessert. I wouldn't say they were the worst rolls I've ever had but... who am I kidding, they were pretty bad. But it wasn't because of the chefs. It was our crappy oven, I swear! We also think we had bad yeast, can yeast go bad? We just found it on a shelf and decided to use it, so we don't know how old it was. It still tasted somewhat good, but they weren't risen and the bottom was burnt. Now for the dessert. We decided to cook brownies. We had everything right, we baked them just right, we had all the right measurements, the baking powder was not expired, everything! Except one thing... We couldn't find any cocoa powder for it, so we had to use just the chocolate powder you put in milk. In the end they didn't turn out too bad, they just could have used some more chocolate. Even those were a little burnt on the bottom too, I think it has to do with that there is no PAM in this country. So everything sticks to the bottom of what you're using. So that is what we brought to the dinner. What everyone ended up having was: chicken, mashed potatoes, stuffing, cooked vegetables, an asortment of soda, and all kinds of dessert. Pumpkin pie, brownies and sponge cake. I have no idea what sponge cake is but everyone said it tasted good. After that we watched Cars 2, Mater is super funny in it. Then after that we had the white elephant exchange. I ended up with six "Presto". It is this way cheap crappy brand of top ramen. I might keep the Christmas cheer going and give it to some homeless kids tomorrow. So that was all of Saturday.
Sunday I woke up at 5 because Elder Bates had to wake up at 5:00 because that was when his family was going to call him. And I ran to open up my presents that were under our 1 foot tall Christmas tree. I got tons of candy, brownie and cookies mixes, a very nice tie and a USB with pictures and videos with people saying Merry Christmas. Oh, and thank you to everyone who sent me a short message. I loved every present and can't wait 'till next Christmas. After that, we went to church and had a wonderful Sacrament meeting. Me and Elder Landon helped pass the sacrament because they were a little short. And they asked him to bear his testimony without warning. And I forgot to teach him the proper way of bearing a testimony in Sacrament meeting but everything else was perfect. He is awesome at the language. After church we stayed there to charge our phones because our power was out at our house. We wanted to have our phones plugged in when we talked to our families just in case the phones had a short battery life. But luckily at two o'clock the power came back on. I loved talking with all of you guys.
|Brad at 5:00 a.m.|
|He looks so happy!|
A little side story, during the early morning while we were still in bed Elder Wilson and I heard this "thing" in our ceiling. It sounded like a cat or maybe even a dog walking around up there! It really freaked us out, so in our spare time we decided to go up into the attic and check it out. So me, being the smallest and the lightest, I was chosen to go explore the unknown! I borrowed a headlight from Elder Landon and went on up. Now the least exciting part of the story is that I wasn't able to find anything up there. But it was still pretty scary at first. We came up with the conclusion that it was just birds getting through the cracks. It was still an adventure none the less.
|Elder Wilson (Brad's MTC group) and Brad - heading up to the attic.|
|Notice he's holding his shorts!|
After that us four missionaries in the house played a board game "Settlers of Catan: Extended edition" It is a really fun game and I might have to get it after the mission. And while Wilson and Landon were talking on the phone with their families, Elder Bates and I went outside on our balcony that looked over the neighborhood to ponder about Christmas. We ended up singing Christmas songs out of the hymn book. When we got tired from that we found a rolling pin with no handles and figured out a way to make it sound like a conch shell! All the practice over at Olex's house blowing the conch shells helped me out a lot.
All in all it was a really good Christmas for being in Madagascar.