Elder Scott Weber's mission to Madagascar. Check back for weekly emails and pictures of Madagascar!

Alma 26:12 - Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

One transfer left

March 16 letter

Well. The big day just came. We are officially on day one of the last transfer. It is a weird feeling, and there are a lot of "lasts" coming up. 

This past week we were in Antsirabe and Fianarantsoa for splits and then for zone conferences. The zone conferences were exceptionally good and the week as a whole went better than last week. It was a little less frustrating. 

The zone conferences were my last zone conferences. No more for me. In the last 6 months I have had 12 zone conferences, but no more, I am finished. This last transfer is going to fly by.

My new companion is Elder Morley. He has been serving as a zone leader here in Tana. I am really excited to work with him. We will have an exciting 6 weeks.

This upcoming week is transfers, so until like Friday we are quite busy. And  then on Friday we are going to have a planning meeting with President, and then next week has some meetings lined up, and on the 31st we have a big MLC where we bring in all the zone leaders and Sister training leaders from all of provinces and islands and we will have a full day meeting with them. 

So the splits this last week were really good. Everyone was happy to participate and everyone learned a lot. I had the opportunity to work with several of the missionaries in Fianarantsoa and the missionaries in Ambositra. And then after the zone conferences we drove back. So we had a lot of time in the car this week and it was good. We also took the Ambositra elders to Anjoma, so I got to visit a new place where I haven't been before. So I have been everywhere in the mission except for Toliara and Mahajanga. And I don't think that is going to change before the end. 

So on Sunday we met with President and made a few transfer changes and then we had a soiree with Sister Manda, and then we got home and took stats and then called out the transfer news. So that is what my week was like.

So in Zone conference we talked a lot about integrity, planning, we watched Meet the Mormons (yes that means I have now seen it 6 times) and talked about hastening the work of salvation. We also had a module about teaching with questions to check for the understanding of our investigators. 

So this week I have lots of bus stops and airport trips and food from Sister Adams in my schedule. 

Well until next week.
Elder Weber 


ANTSIRABE!

Letter from March 9, 2015


Here I am writing you all from the land of Antsirabe!! We have been down here on splits for a few days and life is going great! We have had three great days of splits!

It brings back so many memories of serving here. I was able to visit some people for the last time and it will be crazy to see what the future holds in regards to me coming back to Madagascar.

I really cannot think of much to write this week, because I kinda feel not into things this morning. I feel like I am in another world.

But so this week we did a lot to prepare for our trip and then on Thursday we came down here and then we just did a bunch of splits. But I really don't see anything to write about.

I love my mission, I love the people, even when things come up that are a bit frustrating, you just keep going knowing that the Lord is in control and that He will provide. I have had an experience with that this week, but this is the Lord's work and He is in control. There is a good quote somewhere about how Satan can do nothing to stop the progression of the work of the Lord, and only people who can stop the progression, is ourselves. So as we focus on always progressing, we will help Him do His work.

Elder Bednar recently stated in an all africa conference that this is His work and He does the hastening. Our responsibility is to see if we will keep up with His hastening. The church here in Madagascar is new and it has a few growing pains, but He will provide the way, He always has and He always will.

I love you all!! Keep up the good work that you are doing back home! Try to always progress and be the person that the Lord would have you be. He lives and loves us. That is the greatest knowldege in the world. Love triumphs everything else.

Until next week!
Elder Weber



Saturday, March 7, 2015

March is here!

Mon 3/2/2015


Hello March! It has come fast for sure. 

 So this week we were still in Tamatave on Monday and Tuesday. We had some wonderful splits there and everything was great! And then on Wednesday we drove back to Tana. That took most of the day. Thurday was a great day! 

Thursday we got to attend the fisoratana of one of our investigators! That is her legal marriage. She has been investigating the church for over 9 years, and the only thing stopping her from baptism was the marriage. And so we have been working with her for a long time and we finally got the marriage done Thursday morning. I will send some pictures. And then after that we had to go to the airport which always takes a while. Then Thursday evening we started catching up a little on office work and preparing for the next three upcoming Zone conferences this week and next week. We also visited Nadia and talked to her about the marriage and the upcoming baptism. 

Friday we had office meeting in the morning and then we met with President regarding transfers. And then we did yet more office work. We did also teach some which was good.

Saturday - We had a nice baptismal service for Nadia and her daughter Mirana. It was a great baptism and everyone had a great experience. It was a day long awaited. And then later in the afternoon we attended the Adult Session of Stake Conference. Sunday we also attended the general session, both sessions were presided by Elder VanReenen who is an Area Seventy for the Africa Southeast Area. It was a good conference. I spent time reflecting on my mission and I realized that I have spent 15 months of my mission serving in this stake. I have served in 4 different areas inside of this stake. It was cool to look out over the audience and see all these people that I know from the areas in which I served and also to see all the investigators that I have taught from many of those areas now active members in the church. It was a very humbling experience and I realized just how much I am going to miss Madagascar. 

Mom asked for pictures and then asked about transfers. So I will explain a little bit about the whole transfer system for the mission. Mom Note: No pictures yet. :)

Missionaries report to the MTC on a Wednesday. We currently have missionaries attending Provo or Ghana and will be adding Johannsburg soon. And then that lines up exactly with our transfer dates here. We have a transfer every 6 weeks. And so for missionaries coming to the mission, they leave the MTC on Monday morning and arrive here Wednesday afternoon. For the missionaries that are already in the mission, they find out Sunday night about transfer news, that is, who is going where. And then the transfer moves are conducted normally Monday through Thursday, and we make a program telling everyone when they are going to be moving. And since we have long bus rides in this mission we have to plan it out well. Going to some places takes as much as 10 hours and so we have to figure out how to get everyone everywhere without leaving any missionaries stranded without a companion. Talk about fun logistics. So the assistants plan transfers with President over several weeks throughout the transfer and then missionaries wont find out until that Sunday. For example there is a transfer on the 18th of March. And so the missionaries in the MTC went there on February 4th. On the 16th they will leave the MTC. On the 15th, all the missionaries will know about the transfer. And so thats a little about how the transfers work. So the new missionaries show up on the Wednesday and then they get a nice dinner and some paperwork and stuff and then on Thursday they get trained and head to their new areas. 

So thats kinda how it works. And I will talk to you guys later!

Elder Weber 

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Zone Conferences, Flight Plans, and Tamatave

Feb 23, 2015 letter
It has been a very very full week. So starting off we got everything ready for the first zone conference which was Tuesday morning. So Tuesday we had the first zone conference which went wellish. So here are some of things we did in Zone conference.
We talked about integrity and proper use of Missionary Support Funds, we talked about teaching using questions and how commit-keeping is a preparation for covenant keeping. And Sister Adams brought a scripture chase for everyone. And then we also discussed Planning and effective planning for use of time and for teaching. Then we also had lunch, which is always good, and then we also talked about Hastening the work and how to work with Ward leaders, and then there was a small suprise which I cant say because half of the zones still havent had zone conference yet. But it was good, all three times we did it this week.
So Tuesday was zone conference until 4, then english class until 6, then ASL with Sister Turley and Jules, and then office work. Wednesday was studies in the morning, office meeting at 1, transfer meeting until about 4, and then office work, one lesson, and getting things ready for the zone conference on Thursday morning that lasted until 4 and then we had a bap interview and then prepared for Tamatave. Friday we drove all the way to Tamatave, made a few stops on the way. Saturday, you guessed it, Another Zone conference until about 4. And then I stayed around the church and went on a split with one of the zone leaders, Elder Bowler (yes the same elder bowler I trained so very long ago) and there were some meetings at the church. Yesterday I was on a split with the Mangarivotra elders and we had a fun day of work. We are continuing to go on splits here and then we will be returning to Tana a little later this week.

Also I got flight plans, which is cool, flying through Atlanta instead of having to go through London. And I get home in the morning instead of in the evening.
Tamatave is great. However it is rather hot and humid. But it hasnt been as bad as it could be, so I should be grateful for what I have.
So time is ticking down rather fast and its scary to think about what is left to do in this next little bit of time.

Elder Weber 

And the business and the travels begin

Letter from Feb 16, 2015

So this past week was rather busy doing a lot of different things for different reasons. And we also spent a lot of time getting ready for zone conferences. The first one is tomorrow already and it doesn't feel like it has been long enough since the last one. Well we are going to have one here tomorrow and on Thursday, and then on Friday we are headed off to Tamatave for a zone conference there and splits. So next week I will be writing from the land of Toamasina. We will be out there for P-day. 

So this past week we had Office meetings, and zone conference planning, and we had a surprise MLC on Saturday. We also did a lot of planning for the conferences. We also went shopping with some of the visa waiters to outfit them with the things that they need for a mission. Also we taught some really great lessons! We had a good number of investigators show up to church yesterday. It was really good to see.

So last night we had a fivoriana mpiara-monina randomly. So we pull into our gate, and the lady tenant from the top floor is there to lock the gate because there is a new lock. So she asked us to go to a meeting with all the tenants to talk about some stuff. So we meet in the 1er etage. So for us westerners the second floor. There are 5 floors in the building, and the missionaries take up both the 3rd and 4th floors. So we represented the two floors at the meeting. We then discussed a lot of different security issues, mostly revolving around the front big gate and the small door gate. So we got home at like 9 and then we get pulled into this meeting to talk about security for like 45 minutes. And so our phones kept going off with people trying to turn in stats. So some of the problems involved the car gate being left unlocked, and the gadana (padlock) was stolen yesterday. They are also concerned about people letting other people use keys and the security risks with that. Our house is not in the nicest neighborhood and so they are particular scared about security issues that may come up. So they are going to put on new locks and tighten up security, being much more diligent about all the locks being locked at all times. So it was an interesting meeting because we don't really communicate much with any of the other tenants, and we are the only white-people there, all the other tenants are malagasy. So occasionally they would look at the two of us and ask, do you understand? And we would confirm that we were understanding all of it very clearly. So that was our adventure last night. 

I also played piano for a ward conference yesterday. Not my ward, but a different one. They asked me to accompany the choir and then play all the songs for the conference. 

Time is ticking down. From now until the 15th of march, we are going to be so tired and so busy, that it is going to be interesting how fast this time is going to fly. 4 weeks of rather busy, organized, craziness. 

Well I think that is about all. There are some things about zone conference that I will tell you next week after it happens. It will be really good!

Next week again. But from Tamatave. 

Elder Weber 

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Ambohimanga / Transfers

Letter from Feb 9, 2015

So another week has flown by. And this one was transfer week. So it was crazy busy like normal. Airport trips and trips to bus stops, and new missionaries, and all of that. I'll share one crazy expereince for you all.

So Wednesday came and two new missionaries came. The one is a missionary here and the other one is a missionary for Reunion. They flew in on the flight to Mada and then they didnt want to let the one in because she didnt have a visa. However you can get a visa at the airport, but she didnt have a copy of her ticket out of the country, and so then we had to wait for a copy of the flight plan to come on the email in order for her to get a visa to get in the country. So they wanted to send her back to South Africa. Now obviously we didnt let that happen.

It was a good week, but I really don't know what to say. But we did go to Ambohimanga today, which is a lemur park I went to a long time ago. Ill send some pictures in a minute.

But we have been having a lot of fun with our two visa waiters that have been working with us. They are a blast! 

But other than that, not much news. We should have two baptisms within the next week and a half, we will see on that. It is depending on a marriage. 

Life is going really well, and I keep running out of things to write,

I saw another Dublin Ohio shirt this week, at the airport! This brings the total to four Dublin shirts I have seen here. I think the donation bins from Ohio all get sent here, because I see a lot of Ohio shirts here. Ohio State, Dublin, all sorts of things. But that is great!

I have also been very distracted while writing today. So I am sorry if nothing makes sense at all.

But there are pictures so you better be happy!


Elder Weber 

Monday, February 9, 2015

More Feb 9 Photos

And to make everyone jealous of the coolest mission in the world. A lot of pictures of ...... Lemurs.




More lemurs. Some really cute ones




And yet more lemurs. It was a fun day.