Monday, October 27, 2014

Fianarantsoa week 4

I got sick in Madagascar for the first time this week. I think I ate something not good. On monday and tuesday my stomach just hurt super bad like all day and I thought I was going to throw up. I never did, but it made for a long couple of days riding my bike and walking around all day with a stomach ache. But it's all better now. I think it was just something I ate. So that was really fun. I'm sure there is worse to come so I'm trying to be tough about it! haha 
Another thing that happened this week that was exciting is we found out our area is getting split! It's kind of sad because we will lose half of our investigators, but it's a really good thing! Our area is super huge and really needs to be split! We have an appointment pretty much every hour everyday! There are so many people here that are ready to hear the gospel and we just don't have time to get to them all! So two more missionaries in the area is going to be awesome! But we are going to have to move houses which I'm pretty sad about because I love the elders that we live with right now! They are so cool! Elder Lehr our district leader is super cool and his companion Elder Mack was in the MTC with me and is super legit! so I'm super bummed that we won't be living with them anymore, but this split is really going to help our branch! Elder Garcia and I really want to get a branch misson plan set up and start getting tons of help from the members! Our goal is to have every member get one friend to learn with them or to bring one friend to church! If every member did that it would double the size of our branch! Plus when people already have a friend in the church it's an automatic support system that every investigator and new convert needs!
The conference CD's got here this week so we'll get to watch 2 sessions of conference in Malagasy on sunday and after that we get the CD's from the branch president and get to watch them in English! I'm so excited to get to here the words of the prophets! I love conference! It's been really hard to wait so long to get to watch it! It's given me a whole new appreciation for how easy it is for us to watch conference in America and that we need to be grateful for that! It's way too easy to take advantage of all of the simple convienences we have in America! I hope I never take for granted all of the things we have when I get back to America. 
Other than that nothing too exciting has happened this week. The work is going well and we are teaching lots of people! I'm still loving Madagascar and my love for this place grows everyday! It is incredible!
The word of the week is fanakempiavana (fon-uh-kem-pee-a-von-uh). It means covenant. Covenants are so important. My whole purpose here is to help people come closer to Christ and to make covenants with Him. We've taught a couple of people about the temple this week and it made me think a lot about the covenants I made there and how much I miss being able to go every week and to help other people who have already died to make those same covenants. I love the temple so much! There is no substitute in this life for the joy and peace that you can feel in the temple. It is the house of the Lord and the covenants that you make in the temple (including eternal marriage) will bless you and your family forever! That's one of the greatest blessings we could ever get to be able to be with our families after we die. I can't even imagine being separated from my family forever after death! But because of the temple I know that we don't have to be separated. Knowing that gives me so much joy. This church is so amazing and brings so much happiness and peace! That is why I am here. I want to share the knowledge that I have with everyone and help them feel that same happiness and peace!
 When I was sick I was forced to use a Malagasy vesse (vay-say) which is just a big whole in the ground. They are super nasty but I had no choice. I thought I was going to throw up and this was the only bathroom close.

 This was the sunset the other night. It was so gorgeous! So much cooler in Madagascar! 

This is a pretty common meal here. It's a big plate of rice with some meat.  They do it with all different kinds of meat. This one is beef. They call it rice and loche (loke). sounds like the word "joke" but with an "L"

Sunday, October 26, 2014

A visit to the national park

                                     A big lemur at the national park
In the jungle at the park
                                                                       A giant snail
A family that we are working with .  This is the inside of their house.

Our area is huge.  We ride our bikes almost everywhere. 

Cows walking down a road cut in the mountain.

More Lemurs

Another Lemur Picture

Me in the jungle at the national park.  It is beautiful.

Monday, October 20, 2014

This week was so AMAZING!!!! We taught quite a few people and had got a couple of new investigators. We have this one guy that just came to church the last two weeks and we didn't know who he was so we talked to him and taught him during sunday school. He seems super ready and just wants to follow Jesus! At the end of the lesson we challenged him to prepare for baptism and he said, "Can I get baptized tomorrow?!" haha it was so funny! so we're going to start teaching him and hopefully he progresses quickly and follows through on our commitments! 

Oh something I've forgotten to mention is that the power goes out all of the time here. They get power from the rain and it hasn't rained for quite a while (since before I got here) so the power is going out more and more because they don't have water to provide the power. It can be really frustrating when you want to wash your clothes (we have a washer and dryer at our house) but you can't because the power is out or its even worse when it goes out halfway through the washer cycle! But we make due! 

We still bike everywhere which is good! I finally got used to it and now I hate it when we have to walk anywhere! Biking is a million times faster! Yesterday the our district leader called the zone leaders and told them our stats and Elder Garcia and I had the best stats in the zone! It was awesome! I know it's nothing we're doing though. Our area is huge, and there are so many people that are ready and willing to hear the gospel! Almost everyone we talk to tells us we can come in and share a spiritual thought with them so we give them a first lesson which teaches about the restoration! I love missionary work! It's so cool!

And to cap the week off we went to Ranomafana today! Now that probably doesn't mean anything to any of you... But it's a big national jungle with lemurs and cool animals! We saw quite a few lemurs and got super close to them! It was beyond cool! It was a really strict park though and they told us we couldn't feed the animals because it changes their environment and stuff. But we got to get super close to them! We were basically just walking through the jungle! It was one of the coolest places I have ever been in my life! It was an hour and a half bus ride there and I got super sick and almost through up so I was a little bit miserable the whole time, but it was totally worth it! I'll attach some cool pictures of it! 

The word of the week this week is fanomezam-pahasoavana ny fiteny (fon-oo-maze-a-m-pah-soo-a-vuh-nuh nee fee-ten). It means gift of tongues. I know without a doubt that I have been blessed with the gift of tongues! There is no way I could understand as much as I do or be able to say what I can in Malagasy without it! On saturday all of the missionaries taught a fireside for the recent converts on the plan of salvation and just like broke it up into different sections and afterwards the couple sister came up to me and told me that it was so good and a couple of the other trainers (both of the other companionships in my house are training as well) came and told me I am doing so good! That was a huge compliment! But I know that I could not be doing as well as I am without the gift of tongues! I rely so much on the spirit! It just puts words into my mouth that I barely even know and helps me speak to these people! It's incredible! 

I love Madagascar and I know this is where I'm supposed to be! These people are amazing and so many of them are ready to hear the news of the restored gospel! I never could have guessed how amazing a mission would be! I learn so much everyday and the spirit is always so strong!

Monday, October 13, 2014

So I got to see my first lemur this week! It was awesome! They don't run around wild like everyone thinks. This one is somebody's pet. They are pretty much only in the lemur parks. but I saw this one and wanted to pet it. We're teaching the owner now! :)

This is a very common way to get water. just a big hole in the ground.

Pictures in my first area Fianarantsoa

Elder Garcia and I walking through the rice paddies! They are so pretty!

This is a little path we walked down to one of our appointments. There are these little ditches everywhere and they're all just full of garbage. The trash system doesn't really work so people just throw garbage on the ground.

 My lemur buddy eating a banana

I eat this quite a bit. It's from a nice restaurant we go to. It's not really malagasy but it's way good! its basically orange chicken with rice!

This is me and a bunch of Malagasy kids!!!! They are sooo cute!!

Hey everyone!

 Everything is going great here in madagascar! We had our first baptism on Saturday which was so cool! It really helped me to see our purpose as missionaries. The people that got baptized are all super strong members and are going to be a great addition to the branch! My companion elder Garcia baptized all three of them. But it was awesome because it really helped me to see why I'm here. I could picture the people that I've met the last couple of weeks and see them getting baptized and starting on the path to the Celestial kingdom! 

The work is going well here! Our schedule is full everyday so we don't do much tracting which is good! It's kind of hard to find people home though because nobody has phones and they forget your appointment a lot. But we usually have a back up that lives pretty close that we can go visit, so that is nice. We taught a few new investigators this week and they seemed pretty interested, but then none of them came to churchon sunday. I was super disappointed. I thought for sure at least one of them would come! So now we're going to have to go back and see why they didn't come to church and see if they read The Book of Mormon that we gave them.  It's hard sometimes because we'll get people who we'll ask them if they're willing to read The Book of Mormon and pray about it to see if it's true and they're just like, "it's true". Which is great that they believe, but they can't really know for themselves if The Book of Mormon or the Church is true if they don't read and pray themselves. It's not enough to just rely on our words and testimonies. They need to know for themselves.

So we have bikes in our area which is super nice! we can get around a lot faster on our bikes! The only problem is the seats are super hard so the first 4 days we rode them my butt hurt SO bad! But after the 4th day it started to get used to it and now it's fine!

 Everywhere we go everyone yells Bonjour Vaza at us! It just means like a white guy.  I'm pretty sure that is the first thing they teach their kids to say because we'll have kids who can barely walk come over to us and calls us vazas. I think it's super cute when the little kids say it, but it's kind of annoying when adults say it. We know we're vazas... thanks for pointing it out! haha but I guess they don't see too many white people. especially the people that live a little farther away from the main city area. I've only seen about 10 other white people the whole time I've been here. They all speak french so everytime a malagasy talks to us and we don't understand they try to talk in french which doesn't help too much! haha sometimes I can figure out what they're saying but it's malagasy-french so it's different. Or sometimes people will just like throw french words into a sentence to try to relate with us and help us understand but that just makes it even harder! haha

That's about it for this week. I don't think anything else too crazy has happened. I have some pretty cool pictures that I'll attach so you can see them! 

The word of the week is Maztoa (moz-too).  It means "Be diligent". Everytime you leave someone you say maztoa.  Just like telling them to have a good day and to be diligent. But the real reason I chose this word is because this week I have really had to focus on being diligent! When it's starting to get late I'm always so tired and I just want to go home, but I have to remember why I'm here and that I'm doing the Lords work and need to be diligent. Missionary work is NOT an easy thing and if you aren't really diligent it would be easy to slack off and not get very much done. I have been focusing a lot on keeping my mind focused on the work until the very end of the day instead of on how tired I am. It has helped me not be so tired and to be a more effective missionary. I want to be the best missionary that I can be and that means pushing through the las few hours of the day. If I teach just one more person every night, by the end of my mission that is 730 people that heard the message of the restored gospel that otherwise might not have heard it.

Fantatro fa marina ny Fiangonanay. Fantatro fa marina ny Bokin'i Mormon. Ny ten'Adriamanitra izy. Fantatro fa efa nandikinteny ny Bokin'i Mormon amin'ny fanampian'Adriamanitra i Joseph Smith. Fantatro fa misy ny mpaminany velona amin'izao andro izao. Ny anarany Thomas S. Monson. Miresaka amin'Adriamanitra sy matarika ny fiangonana izy. Raha manarika ny ten'ny mpaminany sy miana ny filazantsara isika, dia afaka hiverina an danitra isika sy hiana miaraka ny fianakaviantsika. Amin'ny anaran'i Jesoa Kristy, amena.
I know that the church is true. I know that The Book of Mormon is true. It is the word of God. I know that Joseph Smith translated The Book of Mormon with the help of God. I know that there is a living prophet in this day. His name is Thomas S. Monson. He speaks with God and leads the church. If we follow his words and live the gospel we can return to heaven and live with our families. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Monday, October 6, 2014

I made it!!!! 

I'm officially in Madagascar!!!! 

The plane ride was crazy long, but I slept most of the way so it wasn't too bad!

 I am serving in an area called fianaransoa (fee-a-nar-on-soo). It was about a 9 or 10 hour ride on a really windy road through the mountains to get here. We stopped 4 hours into the ride in Antsirabe and slept there. That's where Elder Rasmussen is, but he lives in the other house so I didn't get to see him. 

 But Madagascar is INSANE!!! I love it here! It is a completely new world from America! The poverty is beyond description! most people live in a small wooden shack that is less than 10ft x10ft and it only has one room. They have their bed and table and clothes in a shelf and that's about all that fits. They cook outside over a fire. They usually have one small light bulb hanging from their ceiling and that's about it.
 Our apartments are super nice in comparison. It is a 3 story building and the people that own it live on the bottom floor. We have 6 elders living there. It's like a really run down apartment in America, but it's home! :)

 The food isn't bad. There are little shacks all over the place where people sell all different kinds of food. Most of it isn't safe to eat, but we eat the bread and the bananas (they're both safe). So that's usually breakfast. It's just like a small loaf of french fried and 2 little bananas. For lunch we go to this restaurant by our house that is safe to eat at. They have steak and rice and omletes and all kinds of stuff so we get whatever there. And then for dinner everyone goes to bed at like 7:30 or 8:00 so we just wait to eat dinner until then and then we'll either go to a small restaurant or go back to the apartment and make food. You can get most ingredients it seems like so that's good. I haven't really tried too much food yet, but I will.

 My companion is pretty cool. His name is Elder Garcia. He's from Texas and has been out for 12 weeks! It's crazy! He just barely finished the training program. (you train for two transfers which are every 6 weeks). But he seems to be able to get his way around pretty well and to understand most of what people say.  I usually can understand what he says, but when other people talk it's pretty rough! haha 

The weather has been perfect here! it's not too cold and not too hot! And I haven't really noticed the humidity so that's good. We have bikes so we either ride our bikes or walk everywhere we go. There are cars and "roads" here but our area isn't crazy huge. We can get anywhere in our area by walking for about an hour. But if it's that far we ride our bikes.  The streets here are crazy because there aren't really any traffic laws so I'm terrified every time I get in a car! but I guess it's pretty safe because I've never seen an accident. But I prefer not to be in a car! haha 

The word of the week this week is Tonga soa (too-nga  soo). It means welcome.  I have heard this about a million times in the last couple days.  The people here are all so nice! They are very welcoming and are all so ready to hear the gospel! We'll just be walking down the street on our way to investigators houses and people will ask us if we can come and teach them! It's already happened twice in the last 3 days! I'm so excited to be here and to teach these people about Christ! They are all super religious! on sundaythere were so many people out all going to church! It was awesome! I got to bear my testimony in church on sunday because it was fast sunday! That was fun. Afterwards tons of people came and told me I'm mahay be which just means like really good or really fluent! That was pretty cool! I love you all and I love these people! 
Fantatro fa marina ny filazantsaran'i Jesoa Kristy. Fantatro fa izahay afaka mibebaka amin'ny alalin'ny sorompanavotana.  Tian'Adriamanitra isika. Afaka miana amin'ny fianakaviantsika indray isika.  Tiako anao. Amin'ny anaran'i Jesoa Kristy, Amen.

               This is some of my brittish money I got in london! It was pretty sweet!

Our apartment is a super nice one here.  This is my bedroom.  My bed is on the left.  That shelf is my dresser.  I dont have to use my mosquito net.  We dont have any mosquitos in our place .

The view off of our deck .  That small wood hut is a house.  Look closely there are people outside of the place.  A woman and a boy.

 This is the view the other way from my house. It's gorgeous in the mornings! that building at the bottom is a church. It's right by our house and they play music every morning.

Friday, October 3, 2014

I Have Arrived!!!!!

Dear Glazier Family,
We want you to know that Elder Glazier and all of the missionaries from the Provo MTC arrived in Madagascar safely yesterday afternoon.  All of their luggage arrived with them!  They are all doing well.  They had a good night sleep and are ready for training, to meet their new companions today, and go to the areas where they will be serving. 
Elder Glazier will be serving in Fianarantsoa South in the Antsirabe District and his trainer will be Elder Garcia.
Elder Glazier is going to be a great missionary!  We are excited that he is here to serve the wonderful people of Madagascar.
Sister Cloward