Monday, October 21, 2013

Another week, more adventures!

       Bonjour everyone!! Another P-day is here! I can't get enough of them. But things here are still going well. It's weird thinking I've officially been in country for a month. I can remember walking off that plane and thinking what a cool place this is. Man, it feels like that was forever ago! Haha but at the same time it feels like it was yesterday.
       Nothing incredibly new or exciting happened this week. But I'll just start with some random things. We had our first encounter with a drunk guy since we've been here, that was interesting! Haha. I couldn't understand at least half the things he said, but he shook our hands like 10 times each. Then he started running his hand through Elder Moulton's hair commenting on how beautiful and brown it was. Haha! I was just trying not to lose it. So funny. But then, the real reason why he came up to talk to us came out. To try to get money from us. It's kinda sad seeing people here begging for money, but there's not much we can do except tell them to come to church on Sunday. We had lunch at a member's house yesterday, and it was probably the grossest thing I've ever had. We had rice with what's called Henom'by, which is beef. It looked really good, but turned out to be pure animal fat. Yuck, I cringe thinking about it still. But I was mazotoa and got through that stuff. I thought I was going to lose it, but somehow I was able to keep it down. Oh and one thing I've learned is that when eating at someone's house and you don't really like it, eat it slower. When I first got here I would just try to get it down as fast as I could and get it over with, but then they will just pile more on your plate. So that's helped. Still getting used to the food a little, but I've done alright so far! 
       This past week we had an investigator couple get their vita soratra's!(America's equivalent of a marriage certificate). It was the first wedding ceremony I'd ever been to and it was interesting. There were some words said, the couple signed some papers, and voila! Legally married. One of the biggest things standing in the way of people getting baptized in the church is that they live with someone of the opposite sex and aren't legally married. They have families and everything, but they just don't see the point in going to a government building for a legal document. I've heard also that it's a little pricy to get legally married, so they just use the money for other things. But it was so cool watching this couple take that step so that they could be baptized this coming Saturday! And they plan on going to the temple in about a year to get sealed too. Way cool. Apparently they've been learning from missionaries for 4 years. Even though I haven't played a huge role in their decision, I'm looking forward to their baptism. I get to baptize one of their kids too! Booyah. We don't get to have the baptisms in the ocean, just in a big plastic pool type thing. But regardless, it's all the same really. Same ordinance, same blessings :) I can't wait. Plus there's two other kids of a member getting baptized too. So sweet!!
       We finally got to watch conference this week! I absolutely loved it. Plus we got to watch in English! How it worked was all the Malagasy speaking people watched downstairs in the chapel and all the English speaking missionaries got to watch it in the stake president's office upstairs. We had a nice little setup too, and watched it from a projector. I loved all the talks, but a few stood out to me. Elder Bednar's talk about tithing was very powerful. I guess Madagascar actually has enough members for a temple, just not enough full-tithe payers. So I hope they all heard that talk! I loved how he talked about how when we ask for success, like finding a job for example, how the Lord doesn't always just provide someone or something that'll change our circumstances for us, but rather helps us be more able to change our own circumstances ourselves. Uchtorf is always one of my favorites! I read this quote before in an email, but I loved how he said, "Doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith." I liked how he invited all to come and join us. The most entertaining talk award goes to Elder S. Gifford Nelson. He must've said "exclamation point" 10 times! Haha. I also loved Elder Holland's talk when he spoke about those with disabilities. He said, "I don't know if we'll be more happy ourselves by seeing their perfection, or if we will be more happy for them." It made me think about Claudia and how amazing and perfect she'll be in the next life. She already is both though!
       Well, not much else to share this week. Very hot. Haha I don't think I could emphasize that enough. Anyways, I'll get on to pictures and other things. I love you all!
      Tiako ianareo!!

-Elder Mumford

Us after the wedding ceremony! Awful picture of me.. Haha but oh well!

In all my notetaking I was still able to squeeze in some drawing. Guess who this is!


 I kind of failed at documenting conference... I forgot to take a pic while it was going. But this is our setup! Nice office and a projector. And Elder Austin's incredibly sweaty armpits! Haha ;)

Conference notes! I was a good little boy ;)

 Nothing like a nice warm bowl of soup and some delicious juice to finish a long day!

This is what a typical malagasy house looks like out here. It's like what you see in movies!

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