"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, March 26, 2012

Baby and the rain! - March 26, 2012

Woohoo! Man he is a big boy! Was Melissa just amazed that she lived through that?! Haha! It probably came from Brian's side of the family.

Well enough of this baby talk, let's move back to me. I had a pretty good week. Fryer and I have become the one-two punch of Toliara. We have become one. I love working with him. It's going to be hard with the next person that comes here. Its just so fun with Fryer and we get along so well. 

Not much to say other than we teach a lot. We always ride up next to people on our bikes and say "Hi! Where are you going? We would like to teach you about the truth. Would you like to learn from us? When are you free?" And we have a new investigator just like that! Finding is really easy here but getting the strong people in the church is the hard part. We don't want to baptize someone and then have them go inactive after a month. We usually have our investigators teach us back the lessons if they truly want to be baptized. You would be surprised to see the true desire in people's hearts, especially when they teach the lesson almost perfectly. We are already getting member missionaries before they are even baptized! Its awesome! We have some really close investigators that are about to be baptized soon. I hope they stay strong. 

This week we had a huge rainstorm! It looked like waterfalls coming off the roofs of the houses.

People were actually taking showers under them. In the more center part of the city the water came up to our knees. We were riding through the deep water and we tried to go up onto the curb where it wasn't as deep. But the tricky thing was that the water was above the curb also, so we couldn't see it. Fryer got lucky on where to lift up his front tire, but as for me... "missed it by that much!" I lifted too soon and I landed halfway on/off the curb and fell off. I got my feet under me and didn't fall all the way into the water. But as for the rest of the day I had soaked shoes and pants. But to look on the bright side, I didn't have worry about getting my shoes or pants wet after that. 

So we have this recent convert. Her name is Lux, she is seventeen and has just a ton of energy. We asked her to give a spiritual thought the next time we came over. When we went over she started to read the first chapter in the Book of Mormon. Me and Fryer thought about stopping her after verse 10 but didn't really want to throw her off her groove. So she finally finished and then started to pick out certain verses and taught about them. She was teaching, testifying, and committing. She basically taught a whole lesson by accident. We were just amazed how well she did. We commended her for her amazing lesson and then clarified more what a spiritual thought was. She is definitely going to be some kind of a teacher later. She's awesome!

There's more good stuff but not enough time. Me and Fryer need to eat, so that means goodbye. Just remember that the Lord is with you and always watches over you. So don't forget to pray. Ask in faith and ye shall receive. Test it out. I DARE YOU! 

Elder Walker
Tug of war

Monday, March 19, 2012

Exciting - March 19, 2012

I almost getting too excited as you guys sometimes see and this is one of those moments. Natalie having a girl, Melissa having her boy sometime this week! Going to Disneyland when I get back with the whole family! My lil' heart can barely take it! I would definitely love to go to Disneyland when I get back (when would it be, because I might want to see Olex's homecoming. If we can work that out, that would be great. But if it's not possible then its fine.)

Dani playing rugby?! That is really intimidating! I'm just used to wrestling Fryer's mini on Pdays. But Dani... I don't know about that, I'll have to watch what I say to her from now on. Don't tell her to be safe before the game you might jynx it and she might break her collar bone or something and have to get surgery...

Zone conf. was for the whole zone. Toliara was technically supposed to go to the Antsirabe zone conf. But we went by plane up to Tana so we just stayed there. I don't know how many missionaries were at zone conf. but there are about 70 missionaries in the whole mission. Hopefully we will start to get more missionaries each group because we definitely need them here. The work just doesn't stop growing. Our zone leader is in Antsirabe, they actually haven't told Fryer and I who is district leader though. I guess it doesn't matter if you're just a district of two...

9 months later
Well we are not contacting a ton because as we found out by this last week we are about 10 or so times short than we should be. We just can't fit it into the day. But we need to focus on more fathers than anyone else at this early stage of the church here. We really need leaders and we need them fast! Right now me and Fryer are looking for a new church building because the one we have now is
five times too small. Someone is coming from South Africa to look at couple areas church buildings to see which one to get. Right now me and Fryer have a couple houses but we are going to keep looking. It really doesn't matter where or what it is as long as it is bigger in any way and doesn't have a huge long muddy path going to it. I'm sure our attendance will go up when it is easier to see and easier to get to.
Brad's three areas
So as you guys know, the two areas in Toliara got put together, so now there is just me and Fryer here. We had a ton of people to teach and didn't even get to all of them. It is really hard to take a pause on some people because they are just so fun to teach but we are really looking for leadership right now to lead the church. It seems that me and Fryer are already good at teaching with each other. With me and Roney we didn't click as fast as me and Fryer. I don't know who to talk about because I just gained more than double my original investigators, so I'll just say that there were a lot of really wonderful times where I felt the spirit. And that is not a generic statement. It is amazing how much you can feel the spirit in one day while teaching the gospel. It feels really good when you bear your testimony, you feel the spirit and you can also tell that they feel it too. Sometimes you can get a look of surprise on their face or a big old smile when they feel the Holy Ghost. It is really rewarding when you see stuff like that. Its what keeps us going with energy. It's sometimes really tough to go out at 10 in the morning for the fourth day in a row to teach but when we get there and start teaching it makes it all worth it. I don't know about other people but I wish I wasn't so quick to forget. Just like the people in the Book of Mormon, they were quick to forget the blessings from God. When reading it seems silly how fast it could happen but it is defifnitely possible. So remember, don't be so quick to forget the blessings from God. The wonderful feelings you get when you follow them. It can be hard sometimes but always remember that you will be blessed when you follow the commandments of the Lord.

I love all of you and hope that everyone keeps the commandments when it's the hardest to.

Elder Walker

Monday, March 12, 2012

Traveling - March 12, 2012

So we had Zone conference this week and it was so good! On Thursday, we took a plane to Fort Dauphin and then up to Tana. That was really nice and Fort Dauphin is really really pretty. Lots of mountains and really clean city, clean beaches. It is a place for tourists so I guess it would have to be clean. On Friday we had zone conference, Elder Soares of the Seventy spoke. He taught about if you have faith, repent, do good works, and pray continually you will know the mysteries of God and receive a ton of blessings. He is a really good teacher. He was so fun to talk to and learn from. On Saturday, me and Fryer left for Toliara in a taxi. Remember, this is not like a New York taxi where it is a comfy five-seater, this is a van where they fit four people to a row and your knees are crammed up against the seat in front of you. Me and Fryer took the nine hour, windy road, up and down mountains to Fianirantsoa. Stayed the night there and then took the eleven hour ride to Toliara. Not the best trip I've ever been on but it was definitely an adventure!

While in Tana, I got to pick up my packages!!! I loved everything that was in them!! The letters were awesome and the pictures... I love the pictures!!! Thank you so much! Thank you to all the moms, that was a nice surprise! Also, I think I'll be good on deodorant. I still haven't used up the ones I originally packed at home and then G&G Walker sent a couple in their Christmas package so I'll be good for the rest for the mission. Another nice surprise is that I got a package from Goff. He sent a big package full of candy and food mixes to me Fryer and Wilson. He also sent a couple packages to a couple other missionaries too. He is super nice and an awesome friend. 

So we had transfer news last night. Roney stayed in Tana when we went up for zone conference and Fryer had a mini. But transfer news was  that our two areas are being combined and now Fryer and me are companions once again. Taking on Toliara all by ourselves! It is going to be tough but we will learn a lot so I'm excited, and a little nervous. So it is going to be just the two of us here. I hope that no one forgets about us haha!

I know I always forget to say thank you to all the people that send DearElders to me but I just want to let all you know that I love them.  And Miranda, you sent Stephen's DearElder to my mission, the people in the office have been asking everyone if they knew a Stephen Harper and then I randomly saw it on the desk and was so confused for about ten seconds. Every time I picture seeing myself for those ten seconds I make myself laugh, haha! So thank you to all who have sent me DearElders and letters I will try to be better at responding.
Brad is in the middle row, second from right.

That’s the quick news for the week, be good everyone!

Elder Walker

No I didn't get to see the Hartmans, but they are coming soon, President didn't tell me when though.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Long month - March 5, 2012

It seemed like February was forever long. Is it ironic or coincidental if it is actually the shortest month? I don't know when to use ironic, I feel like I'm getting dumber here haha!
It just sounds like an adventure back home. Lots of stuff happening. I don't know if I could handle it. I've been trying to get better at taking pictures of investigators. I think I am going to start taking a lot more this next year. This first year I only have 700+ pictures with a couple videos, and I can still take 1400 pictures on this one card.

This week was pretty dang good as usual. We sometimes don't get a lot of teaching in because we have to deal with the new church building, setting up the baptismal font, fixing stuff in the house, all sorts of stuff. On Friday, when me and Roney went to set up the baptismal font for Saturday, a huge rain storm just popped out of nowhere while riding our bikes and we both got soaked before we could find shelter. I hate having my planner all warped! I don't think I have a planner that's not. There have been cyclones just roaming around these past couple of weeks but they never come in to the island, at least not to Toliara. Fryer's Mini missionary always gets excited because he thinks he won’t have to work because of the cyclone. But then it never comes, just the normal big rain storms.

This past week Roney and I have been definitely teaching with boldness. Sometimes Malagasys don't quite connect things in their head or they don't understand it sometimes so you just have to tell them straight to their face, that they are not going to the Celestial
Kingdom if they don't get baptized again with the proper authority. The more I teach this gospel the more I realize how important it is. There is no messing around in missionary work!

So we got some new news for zone conference. We are actually going by plane to Tana and having Zone conference up there. And then after it is done then Me and Fryer are going back down in a bus like last time. BUT Roney is staying up in Tana before he leaves with Elder Hansen. So I am going to be companionless for about five days or so. I will be going in a trio with fryer and his Mini for those days. So me and Roney only have Five more days together before we split. He was an awesome comp and taught me a lot. Up there I will pick up my package that is now here it actually got here a couple weeks ago but they didn't want to send it down when we were just coming up.

So that is the scoop on this past week, I love you guys and hope that you have fun in the snow.

Elder Walker

1. How long before you think you can move into your new church building? The shortest would be four months because of the other contract. But it is still not for sure that we will get this building that we are looking at.
2. How long has Elder Roney been there and when does he go home? He has been here for five almost six months and he is leaving here on Thursday with us and then leaving Mada on March 14th.
3. How often do you do service? I mean as an assignment? There are no assignments here, it’s just when people ask or when we ask to do it for them. People don't want white people doing free work for them. Not because they don't like us it’s because they like us too much, that they don't want us to work for them.
4. What does it take to become a branch? You just need at least three Melchizedek priesthood holders and just enough members. I don't know the exact amount but we might become a branch when we get close to 80 members, I don't know. Right now we got to 45 members in five months. So maybe another five months or less depending on member help.