Well, transfers came late last night andddddd.....yeah Im getting transferred. Babb and I had expected it and I have already had chances to say goodbye to people. BUT, I am getting transferred to FIANARANTSOA. It is three hours south of Ambositra. (my first area) SOOOOO I got a 10 hour bus ride ahead of me on Wednesday. Yippee haha. Im pumped though. When I served in Ambositra, there were only 4 missionaries in Fianarantsoa. Now, there are 8! The work is flying and it was just recently made a Zone here a couple transfers ago. Ambositra is also a part of the Zone. I will be Zone Leader with Elder Fisher. So, I GET TO GO ON SPLITS IN AMBOSITRA!! Going back to the birthplace. Way pumped.
So Fianarantsoa is a pretty big city. One of the biggest in Mada. It is a very spread out city. Not like Tana, which is so condensed. It is very countryside ish and pretty much a bigger version of Ambositra. Lots of mountains, lots of valleys, and lots of farmland. There are two branches in Fianarantsoa right now, and I heard they are struggling a tad. The work is flying, but the Branches are having some problems. I am excited for the opportunity!!
Elder Fisher is a baller. He actually worked with Elder Gaul (my father) here in Ambohimanarina!! He and Gaul were the first to teach Norbert and fam. He has been to Fort Dauphin as well, so we have seen a lot of the same things!! BUT, he goes home in 6 weeks. So we will only have a short time together. I hope I can learn a lot from him.
I am actually replacing my best friend on the mission, Elder Rigby. And, he is replacing me!! HAHA so he is coming here and working with Babb. Im real sad to leave Babb. Weve had a lot fun together and been through a lot together. Christmas, New Years, Bithdays, New house, Baptism, etc. Tons of stuff has happened and Im grateful we worked together.
So a couple heartbreaking things this past week.
Firstly, we got a text from the Branch President on Thursday saying it is official. They are moving to the new church on the 22nd of March.....Literally the week after Im gone. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! I have been here 24 weeks and nothing!! One more week. One more week. God has a sense of humor I guess. haha
Secondly, all the invitations for Norbert's baptism are all sent. His whole family will be baptized on the 4th of April. We are working with the Public Affairs couple to get this thing ready. It will be a great day. BUT, he pulled me aside personally and asked me to do his baptism...He knew I was leaving, but insists. He has in the past mentioned Elder Hamilton of The Seventy or President Adams to perform the ordinance. And thats what surprised me so much. He says he will personally talk with Pres Adams and see if me and Elder Fisher can come up. Hahah. We will see what happens!! Even if it doesnt work, Im just thankful I had the opportunity to teach him and his family. Incredible people. They have already done so much for the church here in this country and they arent even members yet. Plus, on the invitations, it has two pages. One describing the baptism. And then one page with the date of their temple trip in a years time. They will be sealed as a family in the Salt Lake City Temple in April of 2016. I will definitely be there for that!!
Transfers are aways rough. I was ready for a new area and a new change, but it is hard saying goodbye to investigators and members. You really dont understand how much you mean to them until you say goodbye. But most importantly, you come to find out how much they mean to YOU. One bad thing about serving a mission here is this: contact with these people after the mission is very limited, if none at all. It is different if you serve in the States or Europe. This is third world, 12000 miles away where they dont have phones. Where they dont have addresses. About 99 percent of the time, you are saying goodbye till the next life! It is pretty tough, but life moves on. We all take a stab at this thing called life and learn and grow from each other. That is what Ive taken from these people. I have learned so much. So much that I couldnt have learned in Plano, Texas. So much that I cant learn in Provo, Utah. God has a plan and I am supposed to be here.
Well, it is a little weird. Im headed to my last area. Never saw this day coming. I have two transfers left. TWO TRANSFERS. Thats nothing. Thats 12 more blog letters. June 10th Ill be headed home. I honestly can say, I am not missing home at all. (Sorry family) I love it here. Never want it to end. But, the finish line is closing in. I just hope I can go 110 percent all the way to the line. But not just to the line, but through all of life experiences that await me on the other side. This mission has changed me, and I still got 12 more weeks of change. I cant wait to see the rest of it. I ask for your prayers for the people of Mada, the Church and it's growth, and also all the missionaries around the world. This is Christ's church. No one can tell me other wise.
Have a great week and God bless.
|In the streets|
|Elder Babb with the kids that thought our arm hair was gross! Ha Ha|
|Madagascar can be ugly and…..|
|Madagascar can be beautiful!!|
|Norbert and I|
|Norbert and family|