"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, November 26, 2012

Thanksgiving - Nov. 26, 2012

This week was really good! Well the week went pretty normal up until Thursday. We had some good times with people. I just love going out and teaching people. Even if they sometimes don't listen haha!

Well last Sunday Me and Brother O'Day cooked up an ingenious plan! We agreed on doing a dinner with him and Pres. Georges (branch president) family. We would just chip in a little to pay for the bunch of American style food. O'Day said that they were super excited to celebrate an American holiday. Last year when we bought a turkey, killed it, gutted it and badly cooked it, with mash potatoes and corn. So yes I was excited for this year. Brother O'Day did most of the cooking because 1. he had time and 2. he is apparently way good at cooking! I list off what we had.
  1. A chicken( because the turkeys are all small and there is more meat on a chicken)
  2. LOTS of mash potatoes (one of the daughters  blended them up so they were kind of creamy haha) 
  3. green bean casserole
  4. plenty of delicious rolls
  5. very splendid gravy that I mostly made :)
  6. pretty dang good stuffing
  7. We had three pumpkin pies 
  8. And a delicious delicious cheesecake!
The  meal was almost too much to bear, but the three Americans put down a lot.  I was surprised how much I couldn't eat. I guess my stomach is just used to eating rice haha! It was very good to say the least. I'm not that persnickety so it ended up being a great Thanksgiving! (Elder Hansen has an English dictionary, I've flipped through it a couple times to make sure I can sound somewhat smart when I get back) And all  that we ate was stuff bought here and made from scratch. So I will safely say that this Thanksgiving was a lot better than last year. 
Wow! What a spread!
Brad with his mouth full of good food!
Saturday  was the next big day.  At eight o clock in the morning we headed to the church to meet with the young men of the branch. Then we walked to a place  in our area called ambodiafontsy. As we walked we invited all the guys that wanted to come with us to play a big game of soccer! The missionaries in Itaosy came with us so we split up the four missionaries and had a seven on seven game. We actually had two sets of soccer going. The young men with other little kids and then the missionaries with the leaders and other older boys. We had a good clean game, no one fighting or getting hurt. All in all my team won 5-2! And I had assists on two of those goals. You can just go ahead and call me the John Stockton of soccer. It was a fun morning. 

We got back to the house showered got ready and went straight to the church to help set up the baptism! woohoo! We were supposed to have three but one of them didn't show up. The two people that got baptized were one child of record and then his older sister that is nine years old. Both of them are way super smart and way funny too. It is just a hoot every time we go over there. I baptized the none year old girl Manitra (which means sweet smelling) and then Elder Austin baptized the eight year old boy Sarobidy (which means precious or valuable). I know they are going to be in the Celestial kingdom someday. 
Manitra on the right of me, Sarobidy on the front left of me
 After the baptism we straight up started a branch activity. We taught about the plan of salvation and family and temples. I really likes how it all panned out. It is fun to teach members sometimes. All times actually. I just love the members here haha! After the refreshments were dried somethings, I don't even  know what they are called, little cookies and soda. While everyone was eating I snagged a pictures with everyone. It is really starting to hit me that I might not get the chance to return here so I need as many memories as I can get while serving here. It was a very fun time. 
The branch activity
Later that night we taught a recent convert, Hery. He was baptized a  couple weeks after I got here. He had a rough spot with having no work and some other stuff but  now he has a job, is diligent in coming to church every week and is just has happy as ever!!! They have five kids and they all are going to become the best people in the whole world. I love them so much! 

On Sunday we had the most turn out than I have ever been here. Not a lot of investigators per say but just a lot of members coming back. 134 was the total count. It felt really good. Hopefully we can keep it up. One of the  times that we taught was the chef and his wife. It was super weird because this was the first time that we met him. He walks in and immediately says "Hi elders". I was a little put off but thought that he must just be an old investigator. Anyway, he goes on and he actually is a member!!! And he was baptized in 1992!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That is a year after the church had missionaries here!!!!!!! I was so amazed you cannot even imagine. He is only forty or so, not even that old. He must have been baptized when he was like twenty. So that was the biggest surprise of the last five months. Pretty good. 

That is basically all the news for the week. No I did not get transferred so I am staying here until at least January 9. That is when the next transfers are. They are starting the six week transfers now. So we should start to try to figure out the whole Skype thing now for Christmas. And yes I did get the padded envelope thing. Thanks for the decorations, they are really nice.  Elder Galbreath is just a fanatic about Christmas so he will make sure all of us have Christmas spirit. Christmas will be a fun one. Can't wait. Janet, you  better fill i my spot well ok?! Just try to be so goofy and weird that it is almost over the top.  But just almost.

I love you all so much you have no idea!!!!!!! I would say more thanks but I have to go out and work bye bye é!!!

Elder Walker

Monday, November 19, 2012

Nov. 19, 2012

Brayden Miller - first day home from the Rome, Italy mission (with Mike and Les)
Well that picture of Brayden is probably the best thing I've seen! That got me really trunky but I still loved it! I hope that I have matured or at least will show some difference.

To answer your questions from last week.  
Did you feel like you were prepared emotionally to live away from home? I don't think I had too much homesickness, just the normal amount. I guess it would be a little bad if you didn't have a little homesickness, right?  
Were you prepared to talk to people? I feel like I could have been more prepared with social skills. Like just with talking to random people but hey, I guess that what a mission is for, because I have no problem with that now. I think I'll be a little too straight forward now haha! I guess it's just the culture here. You can just walk up to someone and after saying "hello" you can ask them where they go to church. I guess it helps that we are white and any Malagasy just loves a white guy that can speak their own language. To get a conversation started with someone here is not the hard part, you just need to be careful with your words to make it sound that letting us teach them is the best idea in the whole word. I love being on a mission. 
Were you homesick at first at all? There was this one card that you sent me in a package in the MTC, and it said "Bradman" and that got me super homesick. But now it helps me to work hard and to finish until the end. I've been here for a while now that I can't remember much about home. Just the family is precious to my heart. And will be forever!

I feel like I was well prepared for a mission. If you were to pick one thing to bring on a mission it would be a testimony. If you had nothing else to start a mission it would be your testimony that would keep you strong. And that was one of the things that you guys helped me to grow. Through your hard work and just by pure example! I am so grateful for the amazing things that you have done in my life. So if a boy wants to go on a mission, it can be a lot easier if the boy and the parents work together to prepare him. Show him how to grow a testimony and follow the commandments as you do. And amazingly, while you follow the commandments, your love for each other will grow into an inseparable bond that can drive you to finish your mission. God is one smart cookie, you should really just follow the simple things he says and everything will work out. And I mean EVERYTHING! I'm continually amazed with what he has done and does for us daily.

Not much to report this week, the work is just going on its own. We tracted into this house and we just met the wife and she is really cool. She really wants to learn. We haven't met the husband yet but apparently he works for the turkey embassy as a chef. What, dinner appointment?!?! We'll see where that goes. Right now we are just contacting and tracting to find a lot of new people. I think that it is  fun to just talk with a lot people. Like I said the people are really friendly and just want to talk to us.

I'll talk to you guys next week, I love you all and hope that you just have the most fun every single day!

Elder Walker

Monday, November 12, 2012

Nov. 12, 2012

I don't know what to talk about today. I'm getting pretty trunky with having Payton in the house. It's just too fun, Payton is an awesome missionary. The missionary work is a little difficult right now. A lot of our investigators have all decided to go on a progressing strike. I don't know how they communicated without knowing each other's phone numbers or where they live. But they pulled it off. So, as of this following week, we are going to find all father led families that just have the coolest kids ever! They are kind of hard to find because they hide a lot but we'll find them!

This last week me and Elder Austin finished the 12 week training program. And as of right now he is already better at the language and missionary work than me. So I guess that means that I need to step my game up. It has been awesome to be with Elder Austin. He is such a good teacher already, and everyone in the branch loves him. It has been three months with him, and I've been in the area for four months. If I'm not mistaken, transfers are this coming Sunday. I have a feeling that I'm going to another area because They don't really keep trainers with their trainees too long, just so they can learn more. But if its anything that I've learned on the mission its that you can't always predict the transfer news haha! So we'll see. Check on the map of Madagascar and guess where I'll go. If I'll stay here in Tana or if I'll go somewhere like Antsirabe or Mahajanga or something like that.

On Wednesday, I went on exchanges with Elder Hansen (Payton) and we went into his area. It was really fun and that was when I realized that he is really really amazing at the language. All the lessons went well and I felt that it changed some people. It has been fun to be in the same house with these five other missionaries. Especially the two newest additions, Elder Horne and Hansen. Elder Horne is a fun character. He was a little upset when we found out that Obama stayed president. But it was funny to watch haha! This house is where the party is at during the night time. We always have a good fun talk when we have already come home planned and we are just eating dinner together. The mission has a lot of highlights and you just have to notice them.

I love all of you and hope that you guys have a delicious Thanksgiving. We have already gotten into the Christmas Spirit in our house because we got the December Liahona and have been listening to Christmas music all the time. Its probably not a good thing but I gotta get as much Christmas as I can get.

I'll talk to ya next week! Don't get in too much trouble!   Ka mahery loha bibky! Fa kely avao!


Monday, November 5, 2012

Nov. 5, 2012

So a lot has happened back in America. Almost like you guys are having too much fun! Over here in Mada is about the same. It has been just a little frustrating because a lot of people are not progressing or they are never at their house of where we decided to meet or they don't come to church when they say they will after 3 times. But with all of that kind of stuff there are the awesome families that you come in contact with, way cool members that help so much with the mission work, and way good missionary friends.

On Wednesday, we were with this family that are mostly members except the kids that passed age eight before they could get baptized so now we take care of them. So it is a grandpa and grandma that are both members with their one daughter who is a member also. And then the daughter has 4 more kids; an 11 year old boy who is baptized, then a 9 year old girl, and a 7 year old boy who are going to be baptized on the 24th of November (a week after the boy turns eight) and then last but definitely not least a 3 year old girl. I'll have to take a picture with them because they are just the funniest bunch of people here in Madagascar. But the 3 year old daughter just kills me every time we go over. She is so smart! She can already write and everything. I don't know if that's normal in America but it's not normal here. She says the darndest things! It is so hilarious. Another thing that was funny was when we were teaching the Word of Wisdom is when we were going through the things we couldn't have the 9 year old daughter chimed in and said that we couldn't eat people. So I waited and thought a little bit and then accepted her answer. So now there is one more thing added to the list. Thou shalt not eat thy neighbor. It was so hilarious.

Just a little note, on Thursday we went into Tana for district meeting and then after we went out to eat. And there were not any restaurants open at all. I guess it was The Day of the Dead for the people not of the Catholic church and then It was the party of the saints if you were. And everything was closed. It was just a really weird holiday but whatever :)

We really have some cool people here in Ampitatafika.  We went over to this woman's house and she just received the Book of Mormon from the last time we were there. We asked her if she read and prayed about the Book of Mormon. She said that she did and that she has received an answer and that she knows its true! She also said that she got a lot of money the day she prayed so that just reaffirmed her answer to prayer. I thought that it was a little funny but hey, God works in mysterious ways.

Right now I don't have too much to report, we just need to do a little tracting to get some wealthy men. That is our goal right now. Pres. Adams is really focusing on centers of strength. I think he is really determined to make at least one more stake here in Madagascar if not two. I think he could do it. He is such a good President. He knows how to get things done. So I'll give you an update about the men. I really want to find someone that is just jaw dropping amazing. I guess it'll just come in time. :)

I really love being out here and serving the people here also. It is such a cool experience to be a missionary in a place like this. I love all of you and pray for you guys every night. I hope that you are happy as well.

Elder Walker

1. Just curious, do you ever get letters from anyone else anymore or just family? Sometimes that happens the longer you've been out. Especially since it takes so long for letters to get there. I sometimes get dear elders from Shai Haws or Miranda Jessee. I've also gotten a couple from James Blake. But it is usually just Maddie Rawle that still writes me. Woohoo! true friends :) just kidding I love you all!

2. Do you think you'll be transferred before Christmas? I'm just worried about your packages. We still have one to send you next week. I think I will be transferred but I don't know if it will be out of Tana or not. Hopefully they take them to all the missionaries before Christmas.
3. Now that you've been out for a year and a half, are there any life skills that you wish you'd had before you left on your mission? Or, do you think being an Eagle Scout prepared you pretty well, besides your amazing Mom and Dad? Do you mean like just surviving or like more social skills? I think that you guys helped me out a lot for like ironing, sewing, cooking a little, stuff like that. I've seen a lot of missionaries that are not prepared with stuff like that. And I'm glad that I was. 
4. So am I right you now have 6 in your apt? Where are the other two from and how long have they been out? Is it Payton Hansen? Wow! The two new elders are Elder Horne and Elder Hansen. And yes me and Elder Hansen get along great! Way fun to be with someone you knew before. Elder Horne is from Murray and Elder Hansen is in Olex's stake now. His family moved right after he left.