I hope everyone had a great week and enjoyed their Valentine's day, haha! We had an awesome week here in Tamatave and I can't wait to talk about what we did! To start off, it rained for almost the entire week! On Tuesday we woke up at 6:30 and it was pouring.....went out to work at noon and it was pouring.....got home at 9:00 and it was still pouring! I had never seen anything like it but it honestly poured all day with no break in the weather! Let's just say we got soaked, haha! Throughout the rest of the week it rained even more! The weather is crazy out here! It's either really hot or it's just dumping rain!
The work this week was amazing! Elder Turner and I tracted into this family of like 25 people and we started teaching them! They are very Catholic but they have liked the two times we have come to visit them! They ask very, very good questions and we love answering them! They ask a lot of questions where I think they're trying to stump us but we always have an answer! That's the amazing thing about this church is we have all the answers that just make sense, haha! Anyways, they are starting to understand our reasoning and they want us to keep coming back! They even said that they want to feed us at some point! Keep your fingers crossed, haha!
Last night Elder Turner and I taught a lesson with Olive who should hopefully be getting baptized on March 14! She was introduced to us by Norbert and we've already taught her and her mom, who isn't progressing, like 7 or 8 times! She comes to church every week and she is progressing very well!
Last night we were going to teach her about the life after our life here on earth! Elder Turner was going over the lesson that we had before about our life here on Earth and he was explaining to her that there are five things that we must do here on earth which include: Faith, Repentance, Baptism, The Gift of the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the End! We are supposed to talk more about those five things after we talk about the life after this life! For some reason Elder Turner turned it over to me and said "Elder Stringfellow will now talk about why we need to do these five things here on Earth!" All I was going to say is that they are part of God's Plan for us and we use them to prepare for the life after this one! After that we were going to lead into the lesson that we had planned! However, that did not happen!
I asked them the question "What is Faith?" They told me that it was something that you believe in like God! I told them, "Yeah that is very true, but there's a lot more to it!" I then went on to explain that we must work here on Earth to increase our faith! God didn't just send us here to send us here, he had a plan for us! We came here to Earth to learn and have experiences! I then asked them what "Faith in Jesus Christ" was! I received no answer! I told them that "Faith in Christ is accepting him in our lives and wanting to change and become
a new person through him!" Through Christ we receive the desire to repent of our sins! Then I talked about repentance and started an intro. into Baptism and then turned it over to Elder Turner!
Elder Turner started talking about Baptism and why it was different from baptisms in other churches! Olive and her mom went off! They kept on saying that she was already baptized in another church and it didn't matter if she was baptized again! This whole time they were pretty much yelling at Elder Turner and he just sat there and took it! When they were done with their rant he asked this question "Do you remember the Priesthood that we talked about?" They went off again and said that there are a lot of different priesthoods here and Earth and that it didn't matter! He let them finish and then went on and talked
about Christ's baptism! He used a lot of symbolism around the number "one" (Eph. 4: 4-5)! He went on to say that there is One God, One Christ, One Spirit, One Faith, One Baptism, One Priesthood! At this point it was dead silent! He just kept talking and his words were so powerful! His statement was very clear that we follow the example of Christ and that we use his doctrine to teach! It was so cool! He reminded her of her Bap. Date on March 14 and said, "We are not going to force you to be baptized into our church, but we want to help you
increase you faith and Christ and we know that through this fomba fomba masina (ordinance) you can receive eternal life. Will you be baptized?" She very quietly said "yes!"
It's crazy how the spirit works! In fact, we had a member helping us in the lesson and he didn't say one thing! At the end of the lesson when we walked out he turned to Elder Turner and said, "I don't know how you guys answered all those questions! I don't know how I would've answered them!" It just goes to show that the Holy Ghost really is the best teacher! It was probably one of the coolest experiences I've had so far on my mission!
That's about it for the week! Everything is still going great here in lil ole' Tamatave! I hope everyone has a great week and I love you all so much! Tiako ianareo!
PHOTOS OF THE WEEK
|Elder Stringfellow at the French Resort|
|French Ice Cream|
|The French Resort|
|More of the Resort|
|Some lady tried to sell Ryan and his Comp some Octopus|
|Ryan and his Companion|
|More on the Beach|