Monday, May 23, 2016

April 18, 2016

First off, I hope you have a wonderful birthday, mom.

Also, a quick note, my email last week was pretty short because I was really sick. I'm feeling fine now, but that's why I was not really there in my email. Things are going really well here. I'm enjoying the work that we're able to do. Ambohimanarina is great. The branch is just very fun to work in. Everyone is good at being nice to new people. The English class we teach here is huge. It's boring to teach small English classes. I think I've gotten pretty good at teaching English in Malagasy.

So this week we actually had a few exciting things happen. First off we had an epic power dilemma. The power company here is terrible as I've recorded in other emails. This is the same power company that exists all over the island, so yes it is also that same company that caused the riots when I was in Toamasina so long ago. Well they sometimes like to randomly cut peoples power. I don't know why, but to make a long story short we were at the jirama office for two days trying to get our power restored. Essentially it comes down to someone looking for a bribe. Way frustrating, but whatever. Anyways, it was a big hassle. They just keep sending you to new people around in a giant circle. I've gotten pretty good at breaking through all their silliness though. Elder Yeagley and I are pretty good at doing "Madagascar" by now. So we got our power on, but it was a big hassle. They cut it for no reason. Then they told us a bunch of bills hadn't been payed which they had, then they told us that we had to pay a bunch of fees because our power was cut blah blah blah. But it's all over now. I also got my shoes re soled this week. They feel so much better. Now they have tires on the bottom of them. I had walked through the soles of both my shoes but these should probably last me now to the end. The guy did a really good job. I love that Malagasies are so good at fixing things. They never throw anything away. At some point the original product becomes indistinguishable from all the repairs, and it becomes something new. (In this way a pair of pants in Madagscar will steadily become a car over the course of it's 200 year life! ha ha. I think that's how most of the taxi be's we ride on started as.:) Also the person in the Liahona last month, Solofo, is in my branch. He's a high counselor and a really nice guy. He teaches at a school that is in exclusively English. It closely mirrors the american educational system with the goal of getting it's students into american universities. He went on his mission in Africa, Uganda or somewhere around there, where they speak English. So that's kind of a fun connection.

On a more spiritual note,conference was great. I only saw it a week ago, but we haven't been able to talk about it. I really loved conference. I thought it was very applicable for all the things I'm preparing for in my life right now - being on a mission, and also preparing to come off of a mission. So that's life here. Please have a wonderful week, and I will talk to you all very soon.

Elder Ahlstrom

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