Monday, July 31, 2017

WEEK 100 Aleo very tsikalakalam-bola toy izay very tsikalakalam-pihavanana

Another great lesson packed week. Elder Allen and I are killing it lately! So not a whole lot of news this week. We got some new investigators this week due to referrals which makes a full program, a jam packed program. It's been great! We are flying from time to time to try and keep up with everything going on. The most eventful days were probably Saturday and Sunday.

On Saturday we started out the day by going and teaching English in the morning. Let me tell you teaching English makes me realize that I'm horrible at it. If someone asks me a word, I'll understand it and then the more I say it, the more it starts to sound like another language I don't speak. When that was over we went and ate lunch and then got out to work. We started out teaching the normal scheduled people but sometimes took a little longer than they should have, which was alright as they were great lessons. So we were going to attend a baptism for the other area but since we were late we decided to just stay in our area and keep the program going. We went to this one guy that we haven't been able to catch lately and he was there. We taught him and his sister who was there and she was super interested. So that was great! Then Elder Allen and I went on a quest to find these old investigators. The wife came to church and told us to go back to them. We went looking for them last week and didn't find them and the number she gave us didn't work. Then some time this week we were walking to an appointment and a member rolls up in his car (car for work) and offers to take us to the path that leads to their house so we can stop by them to visit sometime. So we saw it the location and this last Sunday we went looking for them. We went up the path and literally it just lead to a thousand other paths. So we were about to turn back and this little girl came up and asked what we were looking for. We told her the name of the investigator and she said ok follow me. She took us right to the house where we had a great time with them. Then after that we were going to make our way to our usual Saturday night time, and instead of taking the normal path our investigator told us there was another faster way and he offered to take us. Well, he was wrong. It actually was longer and we had to perform some American ninja warrior stuff to get there. But it was a good time.There was a spot where we had to climb through a fence, stand on a little stick and jump a solid 6 foot gap over a river. I made it, it wasn't the cleanest landing but hey I made it. Elder Allen got close... he jumped but didn't have the kangaroo legs of Elder Bowen so he got his leg dipped in water hahaha. We eventually made it to the time to where we played some fun games with the kids asking them gospel questions. Let's just say it took them a while to answer right to get the candy...

Then onto Sunday! It started out as having a great day at church. Lots of investigators came, I taught Sunday School to the youth, then we had priesthood. Following that, we had some baptismal interviews for the upcoming baptism on Saturday. They both passed so there will be a baptism this Saturday! Then we had a meeting with DMB and with the branch missionaries. Now we have a great schedule for getting help from the branch missionaries. So after that we went and ate lunch. On our way out we saw this one lady we talked to at this restaurant. We talked with her on Saturday and I told her I would find her, then boom the next day she is hanging out right around our house!!! And, turns out she lives right by us and she had taken lessons before. That was awesome! We went out teaching some of the normal people and then we ran into a rut. So we basically had to choose out of our four times left, the two that we could make it to. Then I realized we were right next to some super awesome members that are also branch missionaries. We stopped by and they were more that willing to help. We went on member splits and ended up catching all of the times and they were defintally times that we needed to stop by.  

In a lot of those lessons I saw a lot of the time we were talking about prayer and the answer to prayer. We had a lady talking to us about trials. Why God sends them, why we need them and so forth. We had some good answers for her thanks to the Book of Mormon. Then she asked how long her trials will last. It got kind of personal for her right there but then it turned to a really good discussion about personal prayer. She said that she gave up on God a while ago because he wasn't answering. I told her he was answering but maybe she wasnt listening. She then committed to learning with us again this next week and she might even come to church this next week. The power of the Spirit was very present in the lesson and you can tell that she felt it. 

Well that's about it for this week. Today for P day, we are going to a waterfall so I'll send some pics of that next week! but for now...

                                                            Beautiful Sunset

                                                      The rope swing we built!

Monday, July 24, 2017

WEEK 99 Surprise baptism!!!

Well we had a great week this week... and by the title I'm guessing you all want to know what the surprise baptism was...

So two weeks ago we found out that one of our investigator couples split up. They were never legally married so they were just a boyfriend and girlfriend living together. The plan was to wait a year for the girl to turn 18 and then they would get married and could get baptized. Now the guy is named Solo and he was a very diligent investigator and he had been learning for a while. When they split up we were walking to his new house and he told us right there that he wanted to get baptized. He said that he knew that since he wasn't living with his girlfriend anymore that he could get baptized. We talked with him about it for a bit and decided to set the date in August. Then we went over to his house on Thursday and he said that he wanted to get baptized as soon as possible. He wanted to get baptized that Saturday. So it was a little close but I told him I would call President and ask if we could have a baptism on Saturday. Luckily the other branch was having a baptism and President Danielson gave us the green light to baptize him. Well he passed the interview on Friday, got baptized on Saturday, and received the Holy Ghost on Sunday. So Solo is now one of the newest members in Fort Dauphin! 

So that is the story of the week. I have pictures too so you'll see those. 

So down here in Fort Dauphin there is a big exam going on right now. It's basically the equivalent of graduating high school but there are a lot of people who don't pass and retake it so this year there are a lot of people taking it. Some of which are investigators and members. So we have this one investigator that has been coming to church on and off for a while and he has been pretty good about coming these past couple of weeks.  Well after church he received a priesthood blessing to prepare for the big exam. We didn't get to see him after as we were pulled aside for something else but we stopped by his house later that day. We talked to him about the blessing and about preparing for the big exam. He said the blessing was awesome and he feels calm and ready to take this big exam. It was so great to hear that he felt the power of the priesthood. We hope that he will continue to remember that and we hope that it will continue to help him recognize this is the true church. 

Well that's about it for this week. There is currently a screaming baby in here right now and every time the dad turns her to look at us she stops crying. Then she turns away and starts crying again. Either she is so afraid of us or we look very friendly. Either way we are the cure to a crying baby. 

Enjoy the pics! 


Monday, July 17, 2017

WEEK 98 kely is insane, 29 investigators at church!

So another great week comes and goes! We had some great times this week. It seems like we are starting to get our program figured out now which makes for a lot of teaching times in a little amount of time which is great! This last week we had some awesome stuff happen.

We had these investigators that we hadn't seen in a while. Every time we went to stop by they weren't home until this last week when I stopped by and talked to the wife. She said that the husband has been really busy with his work. We made an appointment time with them and visited them. We talked to the husband and he said he has been wanting to go to church and take the lessons from the missionaries but he couldn't due to his work. He said the task that they were doing is completed and they can learn by coming to church now. Well we were at church and we didnt see them... so we didn't think they were there until I went to their house to talk to them and they said church was awesome! I was way surprised! They said they came in with the huge amount of people that come in after the sacrament and then they left after sacrament meeting and that's why we didn't see them. But they were so happy they could make it to church yesterday! Then we visited them and we have a set program to visit and teach them. Awesome people!

This week in finding investigators we found an awesome new family. Talking to them last night we figured out the guy is good friends with our branch president! Perfect! They were way nice and we plan on teaching them this upcoming week. 

Also we have this one guy who we have been teaching for a while and we talked to him about baptisms this last week. He said that he and his buddy, that we have been teaching, both want to get baptized. We found out that he isn't legally married to his wife so he needs to take care of that but we found out that he has his birth certificate here and so does his wife, so it should be pretty easy to get that done but we will see... 

Things are going great here. The work is insane! ...and it just keeps getting better and better! Our program is packed and yesterday we had a whole 29 investigators at church... quite a lot to keep track of but we manage it haha. This church is so great for these people and their faith in Christ is changing them as it is changing me. I love it here!

The picture this week was from this morning. I didn't have any pictures to send home until I looked out the window this morning... enjoy... !!!
Elder Bowen

Monday, July 10, 2017

WEEK 97 Tsisy Vaovao-baptiam-transfers

Well another great week has come and gone. For those that didn't see the pictures, President Foote came down to Fort D this week. We had an awesome conference with him and I gave my dying testimony (while still on my mission). I still have the rest of the transfer to get to work so I guess it isn't really the end yet.  But, we had some great times this week

This last Saturday we had a baptism. Two from our branch and three from the other branch. The ones from our branch were two kids that weren't baptized when their parents were baptized. One is 17 years old and the other is 11 years old and we had the dad baptize them. It was way nice. Then I got to hop in the water and baptize someone from the other branch haha. Water wasn't too cold but it was a windy day and yes it was freezing when we got out. Oh and the guy that was supposed to give a talk at the baptism didn't show up so I had to whip one together really quick and give it. But besides that it all went smoothly.

The news with one of our couples waiting for the marriage papers, they are really close and might have it done this month! We have another couple that has to go all the way to Diego (north tip of Madagascar) but there is a member that is going up there from Antananarivo so we might see if he can grab her birth certificate for us. I think if that all works out we will be having some more baptisms coming up here. 

Well that's about it for this week. So my card actually just got wiped clean thanks to these beautiful viruses on these computers so these will be the only pics this week!



Monday, July 3, 2017

WEEK 96 vita ny fety

Another great week! So this week was pretty busy since it was our first week together. It took a lot of planning to be able to merge together our two programs but we seemed to get it done. It made for a quick and busy week walking to and from times, we were like olympic speed walkers. But we did see some awesome miracles this week.

There is this one guy named Fridais who lives in Elder Allens old part of the area. I guess that he had connected them and wanted them to come teach him. He caught on right away and was talked to about coming to church. He wanted to but the only problem was that he had to work on Sundays. But he said that if it's the true church, then God will help him find new work. When Elder Allen and I went back to him yesterday he said he received an answer to his prayer. He found a new job! It's not all set in stone but he says he thinks it will work out. We taught him about the Book of Mormon and he is very exited to get one as soon as we get more down here in Fort D. 

In other news we have a baptism coming up! We had the baptismal interviews done yesterday and the baptismal service will be held this Saturday. We have a brother and sister getting baptized and their father will be baptizing them. Awesome stuff!

Well this week we found a couple more new investigators. We keep finding some awesome people but a lot of them aren't married according to the law. Some of them aren't even married according to the culture, so for some families we have to wait for the cultural thing to be done and then they will get it legally. Sadly, the cultural way requires so much money to get it done so that's why no one does it! We are still waiting for a lot of our investigators to get married and then as soon as that is done they are ready to get baptized. That's about it for this week. another great one to look forward to! 

pics from the chicken fight we saw...