"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, August 28, 2012

Pictures courtesy of Brad's new companion - Elder Austin!

Brad in a canoe they take sometimes to get to an area. (He never told us! Thankful  for companions!)

Elder Tanner Austin and Brad - Twinners!

Monday, August 27, 2012

New Missionary Miracles - August 27, 2012

I promise I'm trying to get pictures up but I think my 8G SD card is the problem. It doesn't say it has any pictures on it but when I put it in my camera it has all of them. SO they are not lost, you guys just probably can't see them for another seven months. And now the connection is slow so we'll see if the pictures will load in time. We are just not having some good luck lately. No worries, that just means there is a lot of good luck to come, hopefully. :) It sounds like life in America is as foreign and unknown as a Malagasy would hear it. So much stuff goes on. It is just so different than the missionary life of doing the same thing everyday. That is not me complaining because it is different with the people but we teach everyday, so it sounds like I wouldn't be able to handle it haha! 

So I guess your all dying to hear who my new missionary is! His name is Elder Tanner Alan Austin. He is from San José, California. He is the fourth of five children. He is really fun, he's already awesome at the language and we all get along in the four man house now. Elder McLaughlin got Elder Galbreath. On Thursday he came up to me and said his mom told him to tell me thank you. I think it was because of the blog haha! 

The first couple days of the week me and Elder McLaughlin went to the last times in each of the areas. I got pictures he got pictures and we both said good byes. We picked them up on Thursday and went out to work. With having a new missionary you are supposed to do an hour of personal study, two hours of companionship study and then another hour of language study. So ya, a lot of studying. Which is more like me teaching a lot of little things here and there. But it is all worth it when you are actually done! Just kidding, its cool teaching someone how to teach and adapt to the people. Just seeing their reaction to some stuff is rewarding enough. We had a nice baptism on Saturday. Two men got baptized. We already have five people planned for baptism on the 22th of September. 

So on Saturday morning we were coming home to eat and prepare for the baptism and we get a call from an investigator who we just taught the day before. And he said that he didn't have anything to do and was wondering if we could come over and teach him. So being hard workers we are, we went straight over. We planned on talking about the priesthood but we never got around to it. We ended up talking about how God didn't create evil. Because he had some pretty sad stuff happen in his life that made it hard for him to have faith. But at the end, me and Elder Austin bore our testimony and after that he said that he was finally ready to follow us, and wanted to be baptized. He said that he felt something in his chest saying that what we taught was true and that he should follow it. It was pretty cliché but really cool to hear it from someone in front of your face. So now he is preparing to be baptized on the 20th of October He said that he stopped smoking also, and then he added that he just started today haha! I can't wait!!! New missionaries always bring miracles with them. That is one of the great perks of training. 

So that is what went on in the week. I hope that you all realize that Heavenly Father answers prays daily. The big and small ones. I know that Heavenly Father blesses us every single day! 

Elder Walker

Monday, August 20, 2012

I'm a dad! Again! - August 20, 2012

Well as I said last week transfers were last night. And it is exactly what we thought. We split the two areas and we are both training, McLaughlin and I. So now instead of working Itoasy and Ampitatafika, I just work Ampitatafika. We were working three days in each area and just Monday night in Itaosy so both of our schedules just opened up a little bit. But I guess its just a new thing to learn for me. So they get here on Wednesday and they go on splits with the elders close to the office and then on Thursday all the trainers go to the office and have meetings with the kids and then they tell everyone who is with who. It is really exciting and I can't wait. The first time I got my new missionary I thought we wouldn't get along at all or it was going
to be weird or something but he is actually the missionary I got along with the best. It was really cool because we were really different but similar in a lot of things too. Its hard to explain but I'll let you guys know about my new missionary next week.

So about the baptism. Four men were supposed to get baptized but now only two are. Let me explain. It is pretty simple on one of them. Last week he left right after sacrament meeting but he said it was because
his daughter was sick. So we said if he came this week he could get baptized. He came but left after the second hour and we didn't get the chance to interview him. So even if he had a legitimate excuse, he can't get baptized because the the District Leader can't drive all the way out to interview him because he is training too and doesn't have time. Personally I think if they go to church you should plan on staying the full three hours. Especially right before your baptism. The other man is actually in the part member family. He had a smoking
problem so we said that if he did not smoke starting Saturday (a week before) than he could be baptized. We agreed on this because one, his wife and kids are baptized, part of his siblings are baptized, his
younger brother actually just got called as a bishop and he has been learning on and off with the missionaries for two years. So we thought he would be really solid. But when he got out of the interview the elder interviewing him said that he smoked a little that morning before church but only a little. So, as hard it is to do, we are going to have to push back his baptism until the 22 of September until he is definitely ready. We still don't know if we should put him with his son or just baptize the son now and then the father later. I think the answer is Preach My Gospel. Lately we have been working really solidifying the people before baptism so it is easier to switch them off to the ward after. Because as any missionary knows, it is such a pain to try to get less actives back to church, compared to just teaching fresh new people. At least in my opinion it is. Before, missionaries in a lot of areas were just going for the number, the stat, the baptism and not trying to help the person. So in Ampitatafika the members should be about doubled than what it is now coming to church every week. Little by little we'll get them back. So from now on we will not have any less-actives!

This morning we have been cleaning and rearranging the house to get it ready to fit two more people. While we were moving the beds around I tried to move the mop bucket, which was full of dirty water, out of the way (which might have been sitting there for a couple days) and I dropped it! Phil drops forks, I drop mop buckets! I think Phil got the better of the two. But then again maybe mom wont make me mop anything.
Anyway, it got all over the floor, splashed on the wall, got on the bed frame and of course all over my self. It stunk up the house and put me shame. But don't worry, I'm over it now and hopefully we cleaned well enough that the smell doesn't stick around.

Well that was some of the stuff that happened this week. Of the stuff that I don't tell you, I guess you'll have to wait for a couple months to hear. Ooo! A little update/hint. Elder McLaughlin is leaving two weeks earlier than when he got here, so maybe I might be coming home a little earlier than planned. And I could watch conference with you guys on the comfy new couches! But that is just a maybe, so we'll see.

I'm super sorry again for not having pictures. We have been trying different cybers to see if there are better ones and the connection and place of the cyber is decent but my SD card is being weird. It shows up in the computer but it says that it is blank. But then I put it back in my camera and it still has all the pictures. Maybe I'll try using the new one this week and see if there is a difference.

Elder Wamler (I typed that in Dad's email and fixed it but decided to leave it for you guys.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Family here in Mada - August 13, 2012

Do I still have to answer the million questions if I'm already better? Well I'll answer them in order. I WAS sick from Wednesday night to Monday morning. They thought that it was malaria but that was never confirmed. A lot of people thought that it was because of the climate and temperature change. On Friday we went to the office and I just slept on the couch at the office while Sister Adams and Sister Gray, the nurse, took care of me. They gave me some pills and I took all of those and then I just slept the days away. And now, I'm as strong as an ox!! Your guys' prayers really did help a lot. Thank you so much.
President and Sister Adams are older than President and Sister Donnelly. But I'm not sure if he is retired or not. I hope I can keep in touch with both of them. 

There is a baptism planned for the 25th of August. There are five getting baptized. Three adults and two kids. There is a dad and his son getting baptized together. The mom and the oldest daughter are already baptized. So that just makes it ten times more awesome that we are making them one. Their family is actually my new favorite people in the whole world! They have five kids and I think it goes the same as ours. Except the oldest daughter is only ten and I think ten times cuter than Melissa. Her name is Valerie. The son who takes my spot is so talkative and just a crazy little kid that is just plain crazy. So I think he holds up the fourth child slot really well. I'll get some good pictures of them for you guys. 

This Sunday I went to the Itaosy Ward, while Elder McLaughlin went to Ampitatafika. A member comes and picks us up at the Ampitatafika church and then we go over to the Itaosy ward. For being a ward they are not that big. They actually have a smaller attendance than Itaosy but Itaosy has more priesthood holders so they get to be called a branch. On Saturday they practiced new songs in the French hymn book so for all the songs we sang out of the French hymn book. I sat next to one of our investigators and I clearly stated to her to not laugh and then she said don't give her a reason to laugh. So I thought that was fair and confidently, as best as I could, sang in French. Relying on my skill of the tune and trying as much as possible to stay away from consonants, I think she still smiled a couple times and played it off as itching her nose. But it was fun nonetheless trying to make the weird Malagasy version of French sounds. ha ha! 

During the Sacrament a mom with her baby walked out of the chapel because she was crying. The baby, not the mom. And as the Sacrament was being passed I saw another one of our investigators take an extra piece of bread and an extra cup of water and set it on the mom's seat. Of course the investigators didn't know that the mom still took it outside when the deacons went out there but it was just a huge testimony builder to me. Just a huge act of love, helping others receive a remission of sins. It was a huge missionary moment for me. It just keeps reminding me that each of us need to not only have love for others but SHOW it too. It just makes your day so much better. I love serving a mission because it is a time to show so much love for other people. There won't be another time to give this much effort for a cause so important than right now. Serving a mission is such a normal thing if you grew up in the church but it is just so much more than a simple decision. It is simple to say yes to serve and everyone should but it takes a lot more than a yes to serve the full two years. For some it takes time to realize that, for some they knew it before. But everyone knows by the end and whether you've worked hard or not, it's over forever. There won't be another time to serve a mission as a 19 year old. Well that is my shpeal about a mission. I'm pretty sure that I've said the same thing already about four times. 

Today as you can see, you got the email a little later today. And that is because we went to the ZOO!!!!!!!!!!!!! Woohooooo!!!! It was beautiful by the way. Of course it did not have the variety of animals of a normal zoo but normal zoos don't let you in the cages so the lemurs can crawl on you either, do they?!?!?! I think not!!!! And that is totally what happened! We just sweet talked to the workers and they let us in. They gave us a jar of honey and we put it on our fingers and shoulders and face and the lemurs just crawled all over us like they were our best friends. As soon as the honey was gone they just turned their backs on us like nothing ever happened. I was very hurt for the next few minutes. Lemurs would not make a good pet, they only want the food not the love. But there were tons of types of lemurs and snakes and hawks. I am going to try to go to the croc farm next and have snakes crawl over me. I don't think they like honey though. Maybe I'll even jump over a croc!! Just kidding, don't worry Mom. Or maybe I should do it now, while I have the Lord's protection? We'll see. And yes I took tons of pictures but I can't get them loaded up onto Photobucket for some reason. It's being dumb!

That was my week, hope ya like it. Transfer news comes in this Sunday night. And nine new kids are coming. That means nine missionaries are training. Me and Elder McLaughlin are working two areas, soooo..... Who knows? I sure don't! I'll talk to you guys next week.

Cheers mate! (it's a British thing)

Elder Walker

Monday, August 6, 2012

August 6, 2012

I got all the packages with the stuff inside of it. And I am excited to do some major baking! I'm glad you guys sent me some new clothes, some have some stains that are impossible to get out. So I'll just switch those out with the ones I just got.
There are no bikes here because it is really hilly and the paths to houses are really skinny and it would just be a hassle. Every Sunday we split up with a member and just spend church with them. And then after we just meet up or if the members have time we go teach with them too.

Pres. Adams is really nice. He has a super low voice. He is an oral surgeon. Pres. Adams and Sis. Adams met while on their mission in the French Belgium mission. He remembers, she doesn't, that sort of story. She is actually from Switzerland. She knows Swiss, German, French, English and one other language I can't remember. After the mission she went to BYU and that's where they met and the magic happened. They have lived in the US ever since. On Friday, me and McLaughlin were taking care of some stuff in the office and just listening to her talk and seeing her act reminded me of you Mom. I guess Swiss people and Swedish people are very similar... They are very nice and I'm excited to get to know them better. 

It takes about an hour to get from our house to the office. My last house in Tana was the furthest, this house is the second furthest. I guess they are just working me in slow. I don't mind. At least it's less than before, so I'm happy. 

Not much to report this week. Everything is going good. Tana is kind of boring, it is just normal. But I'll try to think of something clever and still take a lot of pictures. This week was just a little slow. So no pics this week sorry. 

I love both the areas here. They are just set with awesome priesthood leaders. I love serving a mission. 

Elder Walker