Monday, 2 May 2016

April 18, 2016 ~ General Conference

Hey guys!

Another beautiful week in Madagascar (though it has actually been a little chilly). I'm going to talk about my week before addressing stuff from your email.

Poor Pierrot. 10 out of his 11 newest born bunnies died. He can't figure out why. It's kind of funny, I pray for his rabbits before I go to bed haha. He has another litter on the way and I'm hopeful. I want him to succeed because if he starts to make enough money he'll be able to provide a good enough life for his daughter to come live with him. Ugh, and we broke his bed. Again. We all sit on his bed during the lessons and it keeps collapsing. The struggles of being a giant in Madagascar. I wish I could tell you about all of the investigators we teach, but I just don't have enough time.

I'm trying to enjoy my last little bit of time with Elder Obioma. We just get along so well. We crack up everyday and just have a great time. We also work like the world is ending tomorrow and try to be exactly obedient. The combination makes for a very solid companionship. Time is flying.

Yesterday and the day before we got to watch conference! In poorly translated Malagasy! Haha sometimes the translators can't keep up with the talk and the people here get an awful translation. It was a little crazy actually. This is by far the most responsibility I've ever had. On top of trying to teach a branch presidency how to run a branch, we had to coordinate the delivery of the burned copies of general conference, bring all of the chairs and the box tv down from the top two floors of the church to the basement, bring the pews up to the middle floor, set up the amp, tell everyone what times the conference would be watched at, etc. Missionaries still pretty much run the church in some parts of Madagascar and we don't have any fallback. We're 10-12 hours from the church office by taxi-be so it's kind of up to us. Oh and here's the kicker. The APs who burned the disks accidentally cut off the last portions of the sessions, so we were scrambling around trying to get new copies burned at tiny computer shops. We couldn't do it so our branches had a fairly abrupt end to each session of conference and about one and a half less talks per session. Oh well. Good thing Malagasies are laid back. I'm not complaining about having responsibility either. It's an aspect of my mission that is very unique and obviously something God want's me to develop.

I love that you're building an ant farm Joey! Remember to find a queen!

I love the talk that you attached. The purpose of this life is to become greater than the natural state of man. In essence, to progress to the point of Godship in order to prepare to live in that state. If we take that purpose and apply it to daily life, we realize that if we aren't moving forward, we are acting contrary to God's will. Progress is a divine process. We have to be pretty bold when we extend commitments. For example, we invited a family (a very poor family, with 3 children and another on the way) to look for new work (their boss won't let them have sundays off). At first I felt guilty about extending that commitment. I thought "what kind of church would ask a family to risk their welfare for a church meeting?". As I thought more I realized that those sorts of invitations are not an indication of a false church, but are an testament of true religion. Any progress toward God is righteous action and will be rewarded.
Our church meetings are the typical 3 hour block. We teach one hour of it in gospel principles.
We drink mostly water but soda and juice are definitely available. Real juice is pretty expensive for missionary budget so we get powdered stuff that we add to water. It's actually pretty good! There's almost no canned pop here, everything is either in plastic or glass bottles (I love the glass bottles). They also use real cane sugar in the pop here so it's way better. Every once in a while we'll grab a coca cola or something on the way to a lesson. They also have this soda called bonbon anglais here which is great.

I love all of you so much! You're in my prayers! 
Elder Schnoor

This is the difference between an unused and a used filter. That's why you don't drink the tapwater kids.

Our little general conference.

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