Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

Howdy and Happy Thanksgiving to all!! 

Another week down and in the books here in Ambohimanarina with Elder Stringfellow!! String and I are just having the best time and loving the part of The Lord's vineyard that he has given us to mikarakara(take care of). We've had a couple disappointing things the past couple of weeks happen, but I cant complain. The work is still flying!! 

We had Stake Conference this past week and it was awesome!! Didn't go exactly to plan, but still heard some great messages. The new church was scheduled to be used for the Sunday session. Everyone was pumped and we mustve told everyone in the city the new building was opening. Friday, get a call from the Assistants...."No Conference at the nex church...Still not ready.Tell all investigators and members." Really really REALLY disappointing news. Many members were frustrated but Im just happy that the conference still happened. Church is church, no matter where it is!

Elder Stringfellow is a baller. We went on a split this past Wednesday and he went with someone younger in the field than him in our area. Led the day beautifully, had no problems, didnt have any Malagasy struggles, and found new investigators. He is a legend. 

Something about missionary work that goes by untalked about is PLANNING. String and I really focused on that this week. Especially with an investigator we have named Gina. She is awesome. Progressing like crazy and then one day it kinda just stopped. No idea why. Just happens sometimes. Then the hard part is finding out why. Well we had to do a little digging and asking her question after question, but she just simply hasnt got an answer of the truthfulness of the Gospel. So String and I went to work and with the help of the Spirit planned a beautiful lesson on revelation and how we can receive it. There was a great Spirit in the lesson and it literally all came from the planning. Dont get me wrong, we plan for everyone. But we struggle a little bit planning for PEOPLE and their needs. Us missionaries sometimes get too caught up in teaching the lessons in the exact order, that we miss the part that is actually important...the INDIVIDUAL!

Ill continue a little about personal revelation. EVERYONE HAS THE RIGHT TO REVELATION FROM THEIR HEAVENLY FATHER. Everyone. I feel this way and have heard many people say, "I havent gotten revelation in a while." "I never get answers to prayers.", etc...Well first off God answers prayers and he talks to us, but we just dont recognize it. If we are truly seeking out revelation or help from our Heavenly Father, we will find it. Guarranteed. But we arent smart enoughto know how those answers, help, and revelation come from heaven. The Spirit works in MANY different ways and interracts with each one of us differently. In Galatians chapter 5 it talks about the fruits of the Spirit. There are many. We all arent gunna see a vision or have a dream, we might just feel "joy" or "goodness." I have learned how to recognize the Spirit a whole lot more on my mission and I have seen far more revemation and answers to prayers from it!!


God bless

Elder Hein

Rice Fields

Enjoying things from the roof tops.

Stylish Photo

Turkey Bowl

Friday, November 21, 2014

The Week

Nothing too big this week!! It is just crazy how much I feel at home in this crazy place.
Had to say goodbye to Elder Razakmandimby on Tuesday night as he headed down to Antsirabe the next morning. Pretty tough for Koplin because that was his Dad and trainer!! But it is always good to get a new comp and see how another missionary works. Elder Koplin came on a split with String and I on Wednesday and it was just a solid day. We went to the airport to pic up Razazahoavana. He was coming in from one of the outlying provinces, Mahajanga. They got Baobabs there so I bet it was hard coming back to the city for him haha. Man, being at the airport was not fun. Thought about Fort D and how the mission is flying by too fast!
Lastly, I wanna talk about how The Spirit directs our work here on the mission. It is honestly pretty crazy, but it is very obvious and has become more obvious on my mission. For example, when we go out to tract, we can just kinda feel like if an area is going to be successful or not. We had one of those experiences the past week where we felt we needed to go tract in an area we had never been before. We just kind of wandered around and it just felt right. EVERYONE there was insanely nice and we taught a bunch and contacted a lot. The Lord truly does prepare certain areas inside a specific area for His servants to work. It is just hard as 18 and 19 year old kids, to be humble enough to accept and follow the promptings.
So what I am trying to say is: if you get a prompting...FOLLOW IT.
Love yall. God bless.
Elder Hein 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014


TRANSFERS. Nothing happening to String and I. No worries there. I gotta finish his training this next transfer. But in all reality, he's training me haha. BUT we are getting  a new member in the house. Elder Razakamandimby is leaving and another Malagasy is taking his place!! Elder Razazahoavana!! Obviously The Lord wants Elder Koplin to get good at Malagasy hahaha.
Nothing too big this week. A few things though: we killed a chicken. Haha we wanted to celebrate transfers so we bought a chicken a couple weeks ago and killed it and grilled it yesterday. The two Malagasy Elders did all the killing business. We just sat there like screaming little girls.
Secondly: I had my greatest souveneir bartering experience of all time. After we taught English on Saturday morn, we all went and ate at a fried chicken place. We are sitting enjoying our food when we see a guy across the street with a 5 foot cultural Malagasy instrument. I had no interest, but we made eye contact, so I knew he was coming over to sell. He set the price at 100,000 ariary(40 bucks. A LOT OF MONEY) I said 10,000. I didnt show much interest, but kept saying 10,000 and he kept lowering. He started walking away when he got to 30,000. Then, I said, "10,000." He went down to 20,000, then finally to my original 10,000 price hahaha. So I had to buy it and now we have a massive instrument just sitting in our house. No way Im getting it home, but it's one of those stories I will always remember hahaha.

Lastly: We have two couples who are ready for baptism, but are just getting legally married before. One couple, Yanta and Flavien, have been learning for two years. Perfect couple with the cutest kid. The husband is from way out in the countryside and there was a problem with his birth certificate. So, they saved enough money for his wife to get on a bus and go 12 hours in the middle of nowhere to fix and get his copy. They have done this before and it didnt work the first time, so it was definitely a step of faith. She left last week and through many fasts and prayers, we got word that she was able to receive the copy and will soon be back here in Ambohimanarina!! Couldnt be happier and just a testimony builder to me that sometimes we gotta show The Lord we really want it, and then He provides.
Thats about it!! Have a great week. Love yall!!
Elder Hein

Walking through the rice fields.

The Malagasy Instrument I bought!!

Elder Rigby and I

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Tricked but not Treated

Have yall ever been typing up and translating area reports into Malagasy for 3.5 hours and then you finally finish and the guy comes over to print it and accidentally closes and doesnt save any of your just finished work?? Well, String and I have.
Just another SOLID week here in Amboohimanarina. I am loving this area. Our lesson total rose again this week and we are just finding more and more people to teach. It is honestly incredible seeing the hand of God working in this area way up North in Antananarivo, on an island halfway around the world. I hope God isnt forgeting yall wherever you are, because he sure is taking a lot of time to help us here.
Elder Stringfellow and I just went to WORK this week. Any possible moment, we tried to help the Branch here. Every single second. And when we dont have investigators to teach, we go build relationships with the members. I dont know why it took me so long in my mission to realize that relationships with members and Ward leaders is the KEY to missionary work. When the whole Branch or Ward is excited, nothing is stopping the progression. Its incredible. I think it just took me to go through a very tough Ward (Tanjombato...I still love you) who didnt help us at all, for me to see the fruits of working with the Ward. We are starting to have some success with reactivation, Branch Council, people being on time, etc. Its beautiful.
Elder Stringfellow is lighting it up just about as much as Jimmer Fredette did back in the day at the Y. Of course we are talking in terms of Malagasy skills and missionary skills, but I think I am pretty spot on with the simile.
Soooooo, to Halloween. I hope yall got some treats, because we didnt. So we typed up area reports for every area and Branch/Ward in Tana. The English copy only took an hour or so, but the hard part is the Malagasy. String dictated to me as I typed and translated and this took literally forever. About 2 and a half hours. We finished and asked the guy if we could print, he of course said yes, and came over to print it. Well he CLOSED THE PAGE AND NOTHING SAVED! He didnt even apologize....He just said, "Where is it?" I kindly replied that it was the one he just deleted...haha. I just sat there with my head in my hands. We then proceeded to search up every possible way to recover a file that didnt AutoSave. None of it worked so we just gave up. It was late and I was tired of sitting in that chair for 5 hours with nothing to show for it. Disappointing, but the Halloween got us this year!!
Kinda funny, because it reminded me of last year's Halloween experience of Elder Gaul and I getting down to Ambositra! HAHA
Well, I felt a little old this week as I went on a split with a younger missionary and he asked me for some advice. I told him to never look forward to his next area. Never look forward to his next comp. Never look forward to the next transfer. It is all to precious and goes by way too fast. I hit one year in country this past week and it really had me thinking a lot. This mission means so much to me. God called me HERE. To this crazy island in the middle of the Indian Ocean for some reason. I have no idea why, and I never may know why, but God has subbed me in for 2 years in the Eternal game of life and I want to be the super sub. I want to make a difference because I love my God. I love His Son, Jesus Christ. And I love the Malagasy people. I just hope that when the time comes to get on that plane to go home to sweet Texas, that through the tears I will get a peaceful pat on the back from my Father in Heaven saying, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant. Well done." And I am working as hard as I can to GET that pat on the back.
I love yall! God bless and have a great week!!
Elder Hein 
Playing Uno with some members

A member's cute little girl.

A Dallas Cowboy fan in Madagascar!!