Monday, December 30, 2013

Just Another Good Week :)

       Hellooooo everyone!! First of all, it was so great seeing all of you on the Skype! Up until then it really didn't have the feel of Christmas... Just not the same. But seeing and talking to all of you totally turned that around for me. It definitely made my day, so thanks again!!

       On Christmas Eve, the branch put on a little Christmas program. It was a lot like what you'd see back home actually. The kids all had their little scripts they'd read off of, and there was a choir which I got to be in! It was fun and interesting singing in French and Malagasy. A little changeup from English, but it was fun. All the little kids sang too. All around fun party complete with a sudden power outage! It wouldn't be a Tamatave Christmas without one I suppose :) But we were able to work around that and still have a good time. We were even able to get some of our investigators to go, so there was some successful missionary work done too.

       Christmas Day we had our get together with the missionaries in the other house. We had burgers for lunch (not quite as good as yours, Pa!), a gift exchange, and we also watched a few church videos, like Only a Stonecutter, Mountain of the Lord, and my personal favorite Mr. Kruger's Christmas. In the gift exchange I got 3 of Elder Austin's old ties. Haha well at least they're new to me! It was way nice to be able to hang out with the other missionaries a little and get the spirit of Christmas going. After that, we went around to the times we had scheduled for the day. Only a couple of them were available to learn. But for Christmas Day, I'd still call that pretty decent. Christmas in Madagascar I've heard is a killer for teaching appointments because everyone is out celebrating and busy. So at least we got 2 in! Then came my favorite part of the day, the Skype! I know I've already talked about this, but I can't tell you all how much that meant to me seeing and talking to you all. I love emailing, but it's just not quite the same as face to face. It did not feel like we were on for just over an hour, time FLEW by. But I still felt like we filled it up pretty good. I'm already looking forward to Mother's Day! But I know if I concentrate and keep working hard it'll come soon enough.

       After Christmas it was right back to it. Which it really wasn't hard to adjust at all since Christmas was pretty much a normal day anyways. The rest of the week was the same story as any other, lots and lots of teaching, which is what I like doing most out here. I do have a cold now, which officially makes it my first illness in country! Wohoo! Haha. It's mostly just a runny nose, nothing that'll keep me in, so I'm just glad for that.

       Welp, I think that's about it for my week. Hope everyone is doing as good as you looked on Christmas! When I write next it'll be 2014... So weird to think about! Anyhoo, til then! Love you all!

Tiako ianareo!!

-Elder Mumford

Hey everyone, this is a picture from our zone conference. Thought you'd enjoy. Have a great week everyone!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013


Me and Fish crammed inside a posiposy! Fun stuff.

 Ampalibe! The name of this ginormous fruit.

Mine and Elder Morley's impressive Jenga match. Nearly 30 stories tall!

Rainy season has returned to Tamatave...

This is what the Christmas Candle ended up looking like. Y'll should be proud!

Christmas!! Loving the presents I got in the package!

Especially excited for this!

Thank you all for an awesome Skype!!! I love all of you to death! Til Monday!!

Monday, December 23, 2013

A Merry Madagascar Christmas!

        Hey hey hey everyone! How's everything back in the States? Things here are still going good. Feels nothing like Christmas to be honest... Haha. But the way I see it that might be a blessing in disquise. If it were snowing and everyone had lights up and everything I think I'd be trunked out of my mind! But seriously. It is hot and muggy and feels nothing like those Christmases in Utah where it's cold and dry. But. It's all good! I'm still trying to get in the spirit of it, those packages are definitely helping with that! Malagasies still do recognize that it's Christmas, but it's nothing like back home. Every once and a while we'll go to a house that has a Christmas tree or something, but other than that, nothing. We do have a little program that the church is putting on Tuesday night where we sing Christmas songs, so that'll be fun! It's all in French, so it'll be a bit different. But I'm still excited for that. Also for Christmas day us missionaries are planning to watch the Christmas Devotional and have a gift exchange. Plus I get to Skype!! I'm most excited for that :) It'll be a great Christmas, even if it's a little different.

        This week, winter decided to finally show up. And by winter I mean summer here. It's been pretty rainy the past couple of days, which I actually like! It's a lot cooler and I'd much rather be drenched from rain water rather than sweat. Haha. It's still been pretty warm for the most part, but I'm still enjoying it here.

        The work is still going and going well. We've picked up quite a few new peeps we're teaching and we've been cranking out bap dates. 7 just this week! Now if we could just get them to church... That'll be a challenge! But we'll just have to be creative about that. Me and Fisher are still doing good. We work pretty hard out there and I'm learning lots from him. It's good seeing a different approach to teaching and I'm starting to develop my own kind of style. Overall, all is still going well with the teaching and the language.

        I really don't have much else to say... Haha. It's pretty much all the same, even on Christmas here. Just another day here. But I'll try to make the most of it, seeing as I only get two of them here :) Anyways, I'll get on to some other things and put some pics up of course. But I love all of you! Don't have too much fun on Christmas without me ;) Haha kidding of course! Tiako ianareo!!!

-Elder Mum

Hello again everyone! Got another lamo computer today which won't read pictures off my card, but I'll get them in on Christmas day before the Skype! Speaking of, it's looking like that'll take place at 9 o'clock AM Utah time on Christmas day. Hopefully that works for all of you. And if something crazy happens and it doesn't happen then, there's probably a good reason. The backup plan will be Christmas night at 11 for you guys. I'm hoping it'll all work out. There's a tiny chance with the elections and everything we could be on lockdown, but it's looking like it should work to skype on christmas. Sorry we haven't really talked about it and planned it out very well. But Christmas Day, 9AM Utah time. See y'all then!

P.S. It might be a good idea to have notifications up and going around then if I need to email someone. Anyways, love you all!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Change is not Bad

        Hey hey everyone!!! How's life? Nothing much going on here... Except a lot! Haha. It's been quite the week. Lot's of changes going on. Elder Moulton left for Toliara bright and early Tuesday morning. And Elder Fisher didn't get here until Thursday afternoon, so it was an interesting couple of days. I don't know if I mentioned this yet, but Elder Jensen also got transferred. He's AP now! Crazy stuff. But anyways, so me and Elder Austin were left companionless for a bit, so we ended up being on splits and kindof working both our areas. Which that went well. It was nice seeing some of the people in another area. Then Thursday finally came and I met Elder Fisher at the bus stop. He's a way cool guy from Riverton. Turns out he went to Itenerus with J.R. Landeen! So that's been fun to talk about with him. Our personalities are a lot alike too. A little more softspoken, but not in a bad way. Oh and he went to BYU for a year. Let's just overlook that fact... But I am looking forward to working with him.

      A lot of things were different about this week. I'm now leading the area, which kindof felt like an overwhelming responsibility for someone who's been here 3 months. But it hasn't been too bad. It has forced me to talk to people more. I feel like I've made the most improvement with the language this week. I've said before how my understanding has gotten pretty good, and now the actual speaking is coming along alright too! Still pretty rough most of the time, but I think the rest of my stay here in Tamatave will sharpen that out pretty well. I'm the one that makes all the phone calls now. Which every time I would call someone to confirm an appointment I'd use to always hand it off to someone else. But now I've been able to get through them just fine! So I'm pretty happy about that.

      No funky foods this week. When I got the call to Madagascar I was thinking I'd be eating crazy things every day, like bugs and stuff. But surprisingly the food has still been pretty normal. We're starting to enter into pineapple and peach season, which should be quite delicious! I love how we get all kinds of different fruit here all year long! I may not get Big Macs all the time anymore, but I've got plenty of fruit! Haha :) And lots of rice. Lots and lots of rice.

      So I guess the second round of the elections is coming up here on the 20th. This is where they pick the winner. So there is the possibility that things could get a little crazy sometime soon. I guess last time this happened back in 2009 there was a big dispute about it and there was some violence. But. Worse comes to worse, we'll probably just be on lockdown for a few days. I hope not, but we'll see! I'm just ready for all of that jazz to be over.

      Other than the change, I guess not a whole lot is new here. Like I've said, it's pretty much the same thing every day! Just lots and lots of teaching. Good stuff. No news specifically about the big Skype yet.. I'm guessing it'll probably be around Christmas night for you guys. But I'll let y'all know as soon as I find out more.

       I'm gonna get going on to some other stuff here. But thanks to all of you for your emails and all of your support! I can feel it even being 10,000 miles away! 

Tiako ianareo!

-Elder Mumford

P.S. Failure at taking pics this week... It's been kindof crazy with the changes, so I didn't think to take any.. So I'm sorry!! Next week I'll try to make up for that! Love you all!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Christmas around the corner

       Hello everyone!! Another week down. And I'm officially 4 months into the mish. Crazy stuff! Anyways, quite the week here. It went a little slower this week just cause everyone was so anxious to hear the transfer news. And it's finally here! More on that later...

       So we also had a zone conference this past week which was really good. We had yet another 70 come by and speak to us, Elder Renlund. He's the head honcho over the Southeast Africa Area. It was great hearing from him, we mostly talked about the most classic topic ever: faith. But I learned a lot from his as well as from President and Sister Adams. Good stuff. And with the zone conference came the two packages from home!! Oh man, I can't tell you guys how excited I was!!! All the creative wrapping and everything! And the presents! Haha not that I know what they are or anything... Anyways, big thanks to all who were in on that! I'll definitely have my pjs on Christmas Eve!

        That awkward moment when you run out of things to talk about... Haha. Not much new other than the conference and the transfer news. Still lovin' the food here, teaching a lot of good times, and sweating like crazy! Haha. My malagasy still isn't quite up to it's potential, but I know it'll come soon enough. Still loving the people here. We have a pretty solid schedule where we teach the same people pretty consistently every week. The days never go exactly according to planned because at least one time falls through for one reason or another, but we're still able to fill up time pretty well, even if we have to tract every once and a while. But yeah, that's pretty much my life right now summed up in a paragraph!

         Anyways, the big news: Elder Moulton is going off to Toliary. That's one of those places that Mada missionaries dream of going, so I'm way jealous of him! As for me I'm staying right here in Tamatave :) Training... Haha kidding! I'll be getting Elder Fisher coming from Tana. I don't know much about him, but from what I've heard he's a cool guy. I'm pretty nervous about leading the area.. But hopefully I can get us to all the people we teach! Haha. It'll be a change that's for sure. But I know it'll be good!

         Sorry this email is kinda short, but we're kinda in a rush today. Elder Moulton is leaving tomorrow bright and early so we've got to continue our 'Veloma tour' as I like to call it, where we go out and say goodbye to a bunch of people. Oh and as for the Christmas Skype, we haven't really heard anything about the plan yet.. I've asked but I guess we have a schedule that we haven't heard about. But as soon as I find out I'll let everyone know. It should be within a day of Christmas. But anyways, I'll get up some pictures! Thanks everyone for your support for me! I love you guys!

-Elder Mumford

Keepin' the Mumford Christmas Tradition going!

This is me with a family of recent converts that we teach! These people are way legit.

We were at a time waiting for someone to join us, so in the mean time me and some of the investigator's kids drew a little bit! It's always fun to whip out a little drawing here and there.

Strawberry Vanilla ice cream. Not much that can compete with that! (Elder Morley in the background acting like he's gonna get some of it)

Monday, December 2, 2013


       Manahoana! Inona no vaovao any aminareo? Tsy dia misy aminay. Mbola mianatra ny teny gasy ary mampianatra ny olona ny filazantsara! Haha all I said was, what's new with y'all? Nothing new with us. Still learning malagasy and teaching people the gospel. Pretty much my life story right now, and I'm loving it!

       Is it December already?? Dang. It sure doesn't feel like it here! It's hotter than it's ever been since I've been here. It's hot! But I think one of the things I'm most thankful for here is air conditioning. It gets cold enough in our room now that I'm actually using a blanket! How crazy is that? Haha :) Speaking of thanks, our Thanksgiving feast was so good last Monday! The turkey was seriously one of the best I've ever had. And we even had stuffing and mashed potatoes. I was stuffed! There was a glimpse where it actually felt like Thanksgiving back home, it was that good. No pumpkin pie or grapefruit cocktail though. Maybe next year! Anyways, after the feast everyone just crashed and took a nap for an hour. One of the best Pdays ever! But when the actual thanksgiving day came it didn't feel like it at all. During the day I had to keep reminding myself, "Oh yeah! Today's Thanksgiving..." Haha. At least we celebrated it, even if it was a little early.

       Another good week as far as missionary work goes. Everyone is getting a little antsy cause we have transfer news coming up this Sunday. And it's extremely likely Elder Moulton is bouncing, cause he's been here 6 months and usually missionaries here don't stay longer. I'm a little nervous to see what's in store for me... There's a small chance I could be training. President Adams has been doing that a lot lately, having trainers that have only been in country for 12 weeks. But we'll see what happens!

        The language is still a work in progress. This week I was starting to notice that I'm understanding a lot better. Like people would just be talking and I was pretty surprised like, "What the... I know exactly what they're talking about!" Haha it's a pretty good feeling. Now it's just being able to speak that's still kindof rough, but at least I've pretty much got half the equation!

       Let's see... Not much else new. Just still teaching and sweating like crazy. I've kindof slacked on the 40 day Book of Mormon challenge. My goal was to get through Alma this week, but I only got to chapter 43. Oh well! Hopefully I'm on track to finishing in time. But I've really enjoyed reading it!

       Can't think of anything else.. I'll get some pictures up! Thanks for all your support! I love you guys :) Tiako ianareo! Mandra-pihaona!

-Elder Mumford

Our delicious turkey!

This is what my plate looked like: mashed potatoes and gravy, some alfredo, stuffing, petit pans, and the turkey of course. Way good meal!

So I was playing around with my camera and found all these crazy settings I had no idea were there! This is a panorama I took of the balcony of the church. Pretty nice view of Mangarivotra.

This is what a pineapple plant looks like! I had no idea how they grew before.

We got up super early today to go watch the sunrise at 5. It was kinda cloudy, so not the greatest, but still a nice sunrise!

Today we went to this one place with these way funky trees. They're huge!