So how is everyone? So transfers were last Monday... and yes, I got transfered! Landon is staying in Ivato or Talatamaty, whatever you want to call it with El-Bakri. And I am moving to Toliara with Elder Roney! Toliara was opened in September with Roney and Slater. Then it split into two and Fryer (who is in the same group as me) went with Slater and Galeai went with Roney. This last transfer Fryer got a mini missionary and I went with Roney because Galeai is going home today.
So on Monday through Wednesday we just did normal working days telling everyone that I'm leaving. On Thursday I was SUPPOSED to leave for Toliara but the assistants were too busy with other people so I stayed in my area for one more day. So we went to one of the counselor's houses of the stake presidency to have a meal appointment. He was taught in 2001 which is the oldest I've ever heard of someone being baptized here in this country. (There was someone in Ivato that has been a member for 19 years but was baptized in La Reunion.) It was super fun and just had some delicious rice and bean thingys, I don't know what they are called in English.
On Friday, I started my two day BUS ride to Toliara. Left Tana at 10 o'clock and rode for 9 or so hours to Fianarantsoa. Stayed the night there with the other missionaries (Wilson is down there). On Saturday I left at 8:30 on a 10 hour ride to Toliara. Gladly, the ride to Toliara is A LOT straighter than the one to Fianarantsoa. Got there at 6:30 and was just swarmed by pouse pullers. All the pouses here are mostly pulled, they are not the bike kind like in Tamatave. But the thing about Toliara is that they speak the most different dialect in Madagascar. I could not understand a word! I felt like I was starting my mission all over again. But at least I could talk to them and they could understand me. But they don't really like people from Tana so I'm kinda scared to speak Merina (Tana dialect) So right now I am in a hard core learning phase. There are two different dialects here, Vezo and Atendroy. They use both but mostly Vezo. Only the pouse pullers use Atendroy all the time. It is kinda tough to understand but I am catching on quick. Some simple changes are, they really emphasize the "h" in the word, they normally take out the "z", they change all the "d's" to "L's", if the word has "na" in it they just take it out, and they change the endings to "e" instead of "a". Other than that, they just have a whole new vocabulary.
My first night here I went to this less-active guy named Anthony. He is Matees, which means he is part Malagasy part French. His Dad is Malagasy and his Mom is French. He and his family have been members all their lives but the son lost his way for a little bit. His dad is the district president in La Reunion. Anyway, went to his house had some delicious chicken and noodles. The house I am in is pretty nice. Right now we are still fixing stuff from it not having people in it for so long. Today we spent a good chunk of our time standing around watching the plumber fix our washer drain, sink drain, and our A/C drain. The first one was clogged and the last two were leaking. But now it is all fixed. The beds are new, the desks are new - everything works really well, oh and did I mention, we have A/C!? It feels so good. We have all the beds in this one big room that is closed off so it keeps in the cold air. It is so nice. I only use my little sheet when I sleep, it is so hot here. I don't think I've sweat this much in my life!
On Sunday, we went to this little building with one big room and two smaller rooms. It is just one branch so all four missionaries here go to the same one. Me and Elder Roney went and picked up someone to take them to church. It was this father and his 3 or 4 year old daughter. Roney carried him on his handlebars and I put the little girl on the bar in between the seat and handle bars. Everytime I pedaled I almost kicked off her sandal, luckily it didn't fall off. Sacrament meeting was nice, it was all in Merina(Tana dialect) so I could actually understand. After Sacrament we took a ten minute break from the heat inside the building and just talked outside. Then the kids had Primary outside and everyone else had Sunday School inside. And that is how church goes here. Only two hours not three. This was actually the very first Sunday that the missionaries weren't involved in church. They didn't have to help with blessing or passing the sacrament, give a talk, teach Sunday School, or Primary. So the branch is starting to take over their responsibility. Oh and Anthony came back to church for the first time too! I guess I'm just a good luck charm here. For P-day we fixed the house, went and ate , and then went to a member's house to help dig a well thingy. It is really big so it is kinda like a pool. Haha! And now we are emailing you guys so that is the update for the week.
So please pray for my learning and understanding of Vezo (which is pronounced "Vay-zoo" by the way). Also pray that I will be able to take over this area in a month after Roney goes home.
I can't wait for the Melissa's and Nat's baby. I am totally going to be the Funcle of the family!
PS: Sorry but I can't get the computer to load pictures so next week will be a plethura of pictures!
So, my questions for the week:
1. I'll keep asking until I hear that you got one of our packages. Well? Nope, it might be a while now that I live on the otherside of the island.
2. Do you need a gospel art book with spiral binding? I heard a mom talk about that. I got Evans' old one which was falling apart and now I just got Roney's old one, which is actually really new.
3. Have you worn your crocs? With all the rain, I would've thought you would. Was that a waste of money? I don't think they let us wear them when it rains.
4. Do you use the picture intro book I made with your investigators or new members or was that just a silly thing? I always use that thing! That's why I want more pictures like that. Except if you guys could print the "brothers and sisters", stuff like that in Malagasy next time, that would be nice :)
5. Do you see Payton Hansen these days? Jill seemed to think that he wasn't too far away from the mission home - about like you but probably in a different direction. I can't find where you are on a map. No he is on the way to the office, but I usually just see him at the office on P-days. We are good friends now.
6. What's the other name besides Ivato? You know like Toamasina and Tamatave. Some names that they call it are Ivato, Talatamaty, Ambohibao. Just look for the airport right above Tana and that is where it is.