So I asked my favorite Returned Madagascar Missionary two more questions:
QUESTION: Would you go back to Madagascar and live or at least go back for the summers?
QUESTION: And do you think this statement is true of the missionaries that are sent to Madagascar.
I could see that the elders called to serve there seem to be physically strong and mentally tough. I know they're not perfect, they are just young guys with all the same issues all young guys everywhere have, but they seem to be resiliant and have a core of...I don't know if it's strength or if it's just stubborness or acceptance or low anxiety or a need for an adventurous and physically hard mission, but they seem to be able to endure...stuff. The young men called there are just, I guess, hardy, would be a good word - maybe foolhardy, maybe fun loving, maybe mule headed. At any rate, they don't seem to go home very much, they seem to be able to put up with a lot of stuff that would send others running.
ANSWER: hahaha yes i would say that that statement fits pretty well. not all the missionaries that go there are the perfect football player in strength and all(myself being one of those small guys) but i do agree that mada missionaries have a certain character about them that is different than everyone else. It definately takes a lot to make us run for the hills. Sure the language is hard to learn for some people, but that never stopped anyone. and if you dont get it the first time around you try again and again and again. Although we may not be a "we were tracting and we decided to knock on one more door before we went home" mission we have our rewards. Mine come in the simple journal entry that reads "dear journal, a week ago we talked to this drunk guy while we were walking home on the railroad tracks. It was dark and i didnt want to talk to him, but i gave him a card. he insisted on having us come to his house, even though he was drunk, and we went. reluctantly. we set a time for the next day and left a 1st pamphlet with him, then left. We showed up the next day and he was sober and wanted to talk to us. his wife however didnt, but she sat down anyway. we had a normal lesson with them and asked him if he would come to church with us. like everyone else, he said he was coming, so i asked if we could pick him up. he said yes and i said 'see you sunday' as we were leaving. Well sunday comes around and [my comapnion] and i split up so he could go to the DMP (ward mission leader) meeting. Well i went out to pick up this guy. When we got there i knocked their door and then proceeded up their trapdoor like stairs and into the house. i reminded him that he said he was going to church with us, so he began getting dressed in his church clothes. it wasnt till we got outside that i noticed he was drunk again, but he still wanted to come! ' Everything went well at church and we set up a time for later on in the week. Well we taught that time yesterday about the plan of slavation. We went back to check up on him today because we got dogged way bad and had a time with him. He told us that last night he had a few dreams about what we taught him and he said that he went to the terrestrial kingdom because of his drinking, but his family went to the celestial and he was seperated from them. He said that scared him so bad that he wasnt ever going to drink again. Well its not like i havent heard that before, but we'll see what happens......"
That man later went on to get married to his wife and never drank again(to my knowledge). If i understand correctly, he is preparing to recieve the melchizedek preisthood. Things like that are what this mission is all about. I hope you're ready to get stories like that, because they'll come.
I can't wait to get these kind of stories. They are very much ego booster, inspriring stories. -Dawn