"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)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Same old family - May 14, 2012

Well it seems like we are just the same old family. As for Phil, I will remain mad at you for approximately four and a half days. I guess once you get a promotion and such, the power just goes to your head. I guess I still have to love you because you're my older brother.

This week was good. Me and Elder Smith taught a lot. I read other peoples blogs saying that they tract all day, and I am not bragging but grateful that I only have to do that every once in a while. Its just not what I like to do. What I hate the most is deciding who to go to when an appointment falls through and you pick one, you go to their house and they are gone and then you go to the other and they are gone too! As for baptisms, we have three planned for this coming Saturday, and then three more the next Saturday and then two more the next. Elder Smith and I are going to get some good practice with giving the gift of the holy ghost to people. Like I told you guys over Skype, it is a real privilege to work with the future leaders of the church. Because that is exactly who they are going to end up being. the Lord and guided us to the right people at this time to become leaders later one. I see it every once in a while in their faces when teaching. I see Branch presidents, Young Men's presidents, Relief Society presidents. It is such a blessing to be here at this time. I sometimes think that it is not fair that I can't give back to Heavenly Father as much as he gives me. I am grateful to my heavenly father every single day for the family I have, the opportunity to serve and the many many blessings I have already received.

I'll send a good email next week. My bottom really hurt because I have been sitting on this chair for a long time already. I love you guys. Thank Heavenly Father for everything. Ask him for everything that you need, and you would be surprised of what you get. A miracle can happen everyday, I promise.

Elder Walker
Mendrika and me

My best friend and his mother

Tour de Toliara

We're off!

Rest period

First place!
Sunset over "salt lakes"

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day call - May 13, 2012

Skype call with Brad
What a great way to end Mother's Day by being able to Skype with Brad at 10:30 at night! It was his 7:30 on Monday morning so Melissa said we were talking to Brad in the FUTURE!

It was great to see his smiling face, hear his laugh and watch all of his fun expressions! We made him perform and speak some Malagasy for us. We were even able to Skype in Natalie in Minnesota so we could all see each other. It was wonderful! Brad got to share with us his feelings for the great up and coming leaders of Madagascar. He did say that he misses a few things: carpet, real ice cream, etc. I hope it didn't make him too homesick to talk to us. It really boosted my mood and it was hard to fall asleep after the call.

We love our missionary!!!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Marriage, baptism, conference - May 7, 2012

This week was pretty good. No it was actually way great!
So on Tuesday I interviewed this couple to be baptized this past Saturday and the Father has been ready for the longest time but we held off until the wife was ready too. SO the interview went well with the Le Grand (the father) but when I interviewed Monique (the mother) at the end she said that she wasn't going to be baptized, just her husband. ?!?!?!? ???? UH?! The weeks before this, she said that she was completely ready to be baptized. I heard her say that this church is true and the Book of Mormon was the word of God and that Joseph Smith was a true prophet. So you can imagine my surprisement when she said that she wasn't going to be baptized. I was pretty bummed.

On Thursday I interviewed this young woman to be baptized this last Saturday too. She passed with flying colors. She was taught with Roney and Slater (his first companion here in Toliara) and she always shut down when we brought up baptism, and wasn't really progressing. So when the area got combined with me and Fryer, she got cut out of the schedule. But then she started to come to church again and so we went back to teach her. The first time back in a month or so, I just decided to give her a baptismal date and she accepted it. It was amazing. Then later that day we went to visit a recent convert but she was out of town so we decided to teach her son. He has also been taught for a really long time. He has come a long way from where he was when he first was taught. But he has come to the point where the next step is baptism. So I simply asked him what was keeping him from baptism and he was still wondering if he was allowed to be baptized more than once. I knew that we have already taught this before but I guess it wasn't clear. So I showed the scripture in Ephesians 4:5 "One Lord, one faith, one baptism. I told him that there is one lord who is Jesus Christ, but there are many "anti-christs". There is one true church but there are many false churches on the earth. And there is one baptism that is true and valid, but there exist many different modes of baptism. At that point we decided to give him another baptismal date for the 19th of May. To our surprise he said that that was too far away and said he wanted to be baptized this Saturday. Well me or Smith couldn't find anything wrong with that so right then I interviewed him and got him ready for baptism. Also, Smith and I are asking every member and investigator for vezo words (the dialect here) so that we can make a dictionary for the future missionaries. MAN, there are a lot of weird different words! We have almost 200 words. It's fun to learn a different language, and then learn another.

Le Grand and Monique's wedding
On Friday the people I talked about earlier (the husband getting baptized but not the wife) got married!!! Getting people married here is so frustrating! They require all this paperwork but their filing and record system is not really up to date or organized. Anyway, they got married, it was awesome and it went well. The marriage in-charge person talks for about one minute and then signing papers takes about two minutes and that is the wedding. They didn't even kiss! Malagasys don't show affection that often. A random photographer walked in and started to take pictures. After he tried to get them to buy some but then I told them not to because I took some with my camera and they can have those for free. :)

Elder Smith, their three baptisms, Brad
Saturday was the baptism. I baptized all three and it all went well. I was a little worried after because I forgot to bring a towel to dry off after so I just had to use the part of my clothes that weren't already wet. haha!

Sunday we had conference and because I prayed really hard the power stayed on the whole time we were at church. It went really really really well! I love the choir too. I love the song "Come thou fount of every blessing". It reminds me of when I sang it in high school. My brain was pretty tired after trying to understand the conference talks. But I understood a lot more than last time. It is kinda cool to see how much I've progressed since then. Then after we went over to a member's house to teach a referral but they weren't there. So we just talked about the gospel and just had a good time. After she gave us a little rice because she is practically the nicest person alive. She runs an epicerie (little store) and always gives us free juice and bread when we stop by to teach other people. But of course we sneak in the money for it when shes not looking.
Well the mission here is going great! I love it! I hope all of you are studying the scriptures and goin to church every week. Remember, the church helps us live the gospel of Jesus Christ. We must be converted to the gospel and not just to the church.
Elder Walker

What do you usually eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner? Breakfast: at least two oranges if not three, and cereal if I have milk. Lunch: Riz cantonnais with pineapple juice. Dinner: Riz cantonnais again, or Sedaap with cheese. Which is kinda like Top Ramen but a lot better. Or rice at a members house.
How often do you get invited to someone's house to eat? Not often because people are extra poor here. But sometimes we get a nice surprise from someone and get served right after we are done teaching.
Tell me something funny that happened this week? So as some of you know, missionaries always pray before they go out to work. I was praying in English and I kept messing up, especially at the end. I must have repeated myself three times before I could say it right. Elder Smith was laughing pretty hard. No more English for me.
What was the best thing that happened this week? Gino wanting to be baptized this last Saturday.
So far, what do you like best about your companion? He is way organized and clean. And he can cook really delicious bread/cake.
Will you send a picture of you and your companion? Maybe... if you love me lots.
Do you meet for the full three hours of church or only 2? Just two. Sacrament and then split into Sunday school and Primary.

Do you get an English edition of the Ensign, especially the conference issue? Yes, but it sometimes takes long. Last conference, none of the missionaries got a conference issue. No one knows why...

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Event Filled - April 30, 2012

This week was pretty dang full of experiences. Let's start off with "Pancake Mittens." So Elder Smith was telling me all about his delicious recipes he has made while being here. So I wanted to make his banana pancakes. The recipe goes something like this: some flour, some eggs, quite a bit of sugar, vanilla, baking powder, milk, salt, 8 bananas and MY addition 3 white chocolate bars and 3 milk chocolate bars crushed up to make little chocolate chips. And if that wasn't sweet enough, there was some left over syrup we found and threw some of that on. They were delicious beyond belief! I'll get the real recipe so we can make some when I get home. Now the mitten part. Lately Toliara has cooled down. Actually to freezing sometimes! It maybe got into the 70's one time, I'm not sure. And I was cold while making pancakes so I put my hands in-between two of them and it got me through the cooking.

Next event; "King-size Bed!" So in our house there used to be four missionaries but got put down to two because there is just not enough to go around. The whole time with Fryer I didn't think of this but Me and Smith decided to take the four beds and make two big beds. We grabbed some tape and some extra sheets and bada bing bada boom! Mega beds! Even though I have gotten used to not rolling around (or even rolled around in the first place) it is nice to sprawl my legs out. Plus it just looks cool.

Next event: "General Conference" We had a successful conference on Saturday. We set up two big speakers so everyone could hear and then unexpectedly our group leader Pres. Edaly brought a projector so everyone could see. It was perfect. But this being the first General Conf. not a lot of people showed up. Plus kids go to school, parents work so it's hard to take time to go to church. But it was really good because some investigators showed up that have never come to church. So that made me really excited for Sunday. But Madagascar being Madagascar, the power went out in the morning. And decided to not come on until later that day. So we had to hurry and run home to grab bread for sacrament and then buy some water because no water works without the power. Elder Smith did a talk and was awesome as usual. And then Brother Jules who is a long time member was asked to lead the meeting and give a talk also. He is a life saver sometimes. So half of conference was this week and the second half will be next week.

Last event: "Birthday party!" One of the families here is way awesome. The mom was in the first baptism here and now all 21 of them except three are baptized. And Sunday was the birthday of one of the two sets of twins in their family. Saulnah and Sauldah. They turned seven and just got even cuter! They are so fun to be around, it is a blast whenever they are together. Me and Smith made a cake for them. It was chocolate and had two different types of frosting on it because there wasn't enough. Maybe it was because we put extra amounts just to see the Malagasy's face when they had that much sugar. Anyway, it ended up being a hit!
The master bakers - Elders Smith and Walker

Well since I've spent way too long on the computer trying to send pictures it is time to go. PS. I couldn't get photobucket or picasa to work, so no pictures. Next week will have a lot. I love you all and hope you grow your understanding of God.

Elder Bradford Walker