Monday, March 31, 2014

The Big Roapolo

Hellooooo!!! How's everyone doing this week? Aoka... Tomorrow is April isn't it? That is so strange to me. Oh yeah, and I'm turning 20. No biggie. Haha I don't know if I'm ready to give up my teenage years yet. Mostly because I still feel like a little kid sometimes. Haha but I guess some of us have to grow up sometime! (But not all of us ;)

This week has been another good one. We're still seeing lots of progress in the area of Ampitatafika. A few of our investigators weren't able to come to church because of family that was sick, but I'd still say overall, all of our investigators are still making steps to baptism. We're still waiting on some of them to get vita soratra, so hopefully that all works out in time!

The language is still mandroso-ing. Loving the ohabolanas. I almost crave them! It gives me and investigators a good conversation when I ask them if there's any ohabolanas I should know and they're always more than happy to load me up on them. One of my favorites is, "Trano bongo misy ronono, ka sarotra atao malahelo." Aribakiteny: The humble house has milk, so it's hard to be sad! It's a good one for when you walk into someone's house and they're apologizing for how messy or small it is or what not. It just kinda means that as long as you have a roof over your head, it'll do. So that's your ohabolana for the week :)

This week I got to go on a split with a Malagasy Elder in a place called Tanjombato. He's Elder Bowler's kid, so he's still pretty new to everything. It was cool seeing how well I could talk to him and it was kinda fun showing him the ropes a little bit with how the work goes and stuff. I love splits because of how much I learn and because of the progress that I see in my Malagasy and everything. This week I get to go on a split with my boi Elder Bowler, so I'm excited for that.

Not a whole lot new to share this week as far as crazy adventures or whatnot. So... Investigator spotlight! There's a couple that we just recently started teaching that was a referral from a member. Paul and Lova are their names. They're a younger couple and just so fun and cool. Everytime we go to their house they always have a bowl of voamanga or sonjy for us. I'll have to get pictures, but they're like a type of root that have the consistency of a potato but sweeter! So good. Anyways, like I said, they haven't been learning long yet. Maybe two weeks now. They've been coming to church every week though. Yesterday we had a cool experience with them. They had just gotten Ny Bokin'i Mormona and we gave them a little homework in it the lesson before, so I asked them how the reading was coming along. Then the first thing Lova said to me was, "Tena tsapako fa marina izany" I feel that it's true. And Paul was saying the same thing. So later on in that lesson I asked them if they were ready for baptism and both of them just perked up and said "Vonona ka!" Ready! And they said it like they've been waiting for us to ask them that for a long time now. It was just so cool to see people that were so ready to commit for that. So May 10th it is! Haha. I'm way excited for them and I really hope everything works out for them. They're already vita soratra, so there's half the battle!

I'm trying to think of anything else, but my mind is kinda drawing a blank. Not a really exciting week, just still preachin and teachin like missionaries do. All is well! I'm gonna get some pics up and whatnot, so 'til next week! Tiako ianareo daholo!!! Mazotoa!!


P.S. Got the packages today!!! It's gonna be so hard to wait until Saturday to open them, but thank you so much!!! You guys are the best :)

Video!! Hey everyone, so I'm finally trying this out hoping that it'll work. This was when we were waiting for our investigators to get back from the market. And since they live right next to the river, we just decided to take 5 and skip some rocks. Enjoy!

Monday, March 24, 2014

The Rise of Rapeto

Salama o!!! Inona vaovao o!!! Hello everyone :) Hope all is well in your neck of the woods, where ever that may be. Had another great week here. Time just keeps a flying so I'm just soaking it in and getting the most of everything. Loving the work. I don't really know how to explain it, life is just good.

The week started off by doing a split with the zone leader, Elder Christiansen. And for once I got to see another area! Wohoo! Haha :) He works in a place called Mahamasina. We had a really good time. He's from Vegas and he went to school at BYU. That part didn't thrill me, but he said he almost went to USU, so close enough. Haha. We had an interesting experience with this guy that stopped us on the way to an appointment and he said he had a devoly in him and he was really worried. So we went to his house, talked a little. His brother was there and said that the guy had smoked some rongony (drugs), so that may have had something to do with it. Haha. He had lots of questions like, "what do I do if it comes back" and so on and our answer to almost everyone of them was, "manam-pinoana ihany" just have faith, that's what it all comes down to. So we gave him a blessing and he said he would come to church on Sunday, which I'll have to ask if he actually did because now I'm curious. Haha. But yeah, kindof a weird experience there. Oh and we also taught a lesson all in English to a guy because he was good enough and he was trying to speak as much english as he could so he could maybe get a job at the U.S. Embassy. It was the weirdest thing teaching in English. I kept wanting to go off in Malagasy, but I kept having to hold back and translate everything in my mind. Haha. But it went well. That was pretty much the split, interesting and fun!

Ampitatafika is still going well. Still having lots of progress with the investigators with bap dates and now we're up to 16 total that have committed to a date. We still have 12 for April 19th, so hopefully everything will go smoothly and we'll have a solid turnout for that. I don't really know what else to talk about as far as the work, just still going. Haha. Itaosy is still fun too. Oh and I received my "malagasy name" this week. It's Rapeto! Apparently he's this malagasy legend that was so tall that he could touch the moon and walk across fields and fields of rice paddies in just a few strides. People get a pretty big kick when I introduce myself as Elder Rapeto. Of course I clear it up with Mumford and that's what they call me, but it's still kindof fun to have another name tucked behind.

The teny gasy is still a work in progress, but things are still clicking and I'm thinking less about it and it's becoming more natural. I kindof have a new obsession, and they're called ohabolana gasy, or Malagasy proverbs. They're so fun to learn! And I've found that a well placed ohabolana scores big points with people. Here's your ohabolana for the week: "Tantely tapa-bata ka ny fo no mameno azy." Though it's a half-pot of honey, the heart fills the rest. Yeah... You don't really get the meaning when it's translated arabakiteny, but it basically means it's the thought that counts. I'm weird, but I love things like that! And the people do too. So I'm planning to learn lots of them and try to put some in lessons so that people have familiar things they know to go along with new things to learn. 

One more cool experience of the week! So me and Elder Connault had some times dog us so we had some time to do some more porte a porte. Things were going pretty good, we got a few return appointments and some church invitations out and we just went to the next house which looked like an ordinary house. A guy with a neatly ironed green shirt came out, we introduced ourselves as missionaries and he immediately invited us in. So we walk in and it turns out it was way more than just a house. There was a big chappel. So when the guy told us to have a seat we were kinda like, "Uhhhh, what do we do?" So we just went ahead and sat down. Turns out the guy is a pastor for the pentacostal church he runs there. Mazava ho azy, we didn't teach him, but we just had a nice little chat with him for 5 minutes about life. He was also preparing a sermon about fasting, so we through out a couple Bible verses to him. So we helped a pentacostal pastor prepare a sermon, how do you like that? Haha. So after that tiny little visit we just became friends and next week he'll be baptized in our church. Haha vazivazy ihany, just joking. So that was a fun little thing.

Overall things are still going well. Me and Conoober have become pretty good friends and we have a good time here with the work. Uhm. Trying to think. But I think that'll do it for the week. Everything is still going well, adventures er' day out here. I'll get some pics up and call it an email. Love you all a ton! Don't forget your tall vazaha that's out here in Madagascar ah'ight? Haha okay, tiako ianareo!!! Mba hendry daholo!

-eLdEr MuMf

Monday, March 17, 2014

Right Back at It

Ry Fianakaviako sy ny Namako,

Hey hey everyone!! How's it hangin out there? Hope everything is still going and going well. Unlike the past couple weeks which have either had a big surprise or sickness, this one was much better for me. I've been up and at it all week and I feel great. Still have a small cough and a little sore throat, but that should clear up soon. Still taking my drugs and getting a little more sleep at night to be safe, but I'm pretty much back to normal. IT's been way nice getting out and having a full week of work. The best feeling is coming back to the house at night even when you're way tired, knowing that it was a day full of solid work and effort. I missed that when I was sick. So yeah, just glad to be up and going again!

Even though I don't get to work Ampitatafika as much as I would like, the work is still going well. Two of our investigator couples got their fisoratanas (marriage certificates) done! So that's pretty exciting news. It's looking like we'll be putting off the baptisms we had scheduled for the 29th to the 19 of April, the next available day. I was really hoping that we'd have some baptisms later this month, but with everything that's happened with us being sick and with our new schedule it's just not possible. There's still a lot more things we need to go over with them to help get them ready and we figured it would be best to have them wait a little longer and have them all ready than to rush them. So that's kinda where we're at right now with that. Still very solid investigators. It should be a very good turnout for the 19th of April.

This week we had Stake Conference! IT was held at a university building and there were soooo many people there. Maybe 2,000 I'd say. We got a lot of new stake leaders put in. Plus Elder Renlund spoke, which I really enjoyed. But other than that I didn't really get a whole lot out of it... Hahah got a little bit of doodling in though!

We had one way cool experience this week. It was a day we were working in Itaosy and we had a couple of hours free so we had no choice but to do some porte de porte. We got quite a few return appointments from it actually. But the last door we knocked on turned out to be the most promising. The guy came out, saw us, looked at our nametags, and asked, "Mormona ve ianareo?" and when we told him we were missionaries he got a little smile on his face and said, "Ah! Mandroso!(come in!)" Dera is his name. We went in and talked with him for a little bit and it turns out that he learned from a couple missionary back in 2006, but then he and his family moved and never heard from the church since. So I'm thinking there was a pretty good reason we went down that path to knock on his door ;) We got a return appointment and he seemed excited and open from learning from the missionaries again. So I'm looking forward to seeing where that goes with him.

Other than that, not much new. Still working at the language and everything, but overall I'm starting to feel pretty zatra. Pretty comfortable and feeling more at home in Madagascar. I mentioned this in my email last week, but I've gotten to where I just love every chance I get to talk to people, even if it's just a little conversation with people on the bus or whatnot. It's been one of my favorite parts of missionary work, just talking to people and about their lives. It's fun! Haha. Missionary work really is fun. And out here you never know the adventures you'll have.

Well I'm gonna get to other emails and try to get more pictures up. I love you all so much! Have a great week!! Tiako ianareo!!!

-Elder Mumford
I figure this is what I'd look like if I were a Malagasy. Good look for me huh!
The product of my illness last week
I'm now a crepe master! That's what happens when you get a French comp I suppose.

Monday, March 10, 2014

A Sick Week. Literally...

Manahoana daholo eo! Manahoana ny fahasalamana? Well, I can tell you that my fahasalamana hasn't been all that great this week. Oh and fahasalamana means health. SO there's your Malagasy word for the week. Yay! Haha. Anyways, it's been another interesting week. It started off well though. Like I was saying last time, me and Elder Bowler got to be on a 3 day split, since his comp was done with his mission. It was fun the time I got to be with him. It was fun to relive some MTC memories too, haha good times. Monday night, we went and visited a recent convert family, taught a small lesson, and had dinner with them. Elder Bowler is suuuuuper mahay. By the end, everyone just loved him because of how good he speaks. It made me a little jealous... Haha. But everyone has their talents I suppose. I learned quite a bit from him while he was here, so that was good!

The next day is kinda where it all started going downhill. Elder Connault was sick, and by that time his comp was gone too so Elder Bowler stayed and babysat while I went to work with a ward missionary. Except by the time I got back to the house I started feeling a little something. Then when I woke up the next day I had a small fever with a pretty bad sore throat and all stuffed up. I called the nurse, got some meds in me, and got some rest. So that's what I did that day, and it was the longest day of my life. I know this is what every missionary is supposed to say, but I really do like being out and able to work, especially now because in the past few weeks I've gotten to the point in my Malagasy where I really enjoy talking to people and teaching. So was pretty bummed to stay in.

Then the day after that I was feeling a little better, so we decided to get out and test the waters and kinda take it easy. We got to work in Itaosy that day. Now that we have to work in both areas, we split the time so that every other day we're in Ampitatafika and the rest of the time we're in Itausy. SO far I've really enjoyed the other area. It's always fun to see new faces and get to know new people. We spent Thursday and Saturday there while I led Ampitatafika on Friday. I was still moving kinda slow, but I still felt okay to work, so I went on ahead. Then yesterday morning hit me again, and I was pretty much back where I was on Wednesday. The small fever came back and I didn't have much choice but to get some more rest. I hate being sick! Well, I suppose nobody really likes it... Haha but still. Sorry if this email seems like I'm   putting on a pitty party for myself. I really don't mean to do that. That's just kinda been the story of the week. Not a whole lot else to share, just trying to recuperate and hopefully get back to 100% for the coming week.

Oh and I was just thinking and this week was my 1 year mark from when I opened my mission call! It's just so hard for me to believe it's already been that long. I remember it so vividly. I had just gotten back from Logan, I was in my favorite purple Utah Jazz shirt and basketball shorts with my hair so spiked up it almost touched the ceiling. Haha things have changed just a little since then. Okay, maybe just the hair ;) Looking back at the way I reacted, it must've been pretty entertaining to watch with me just bouncing off the walls! Haha oh man. I still get a little rush when I think about it. And it just reminds me how blessed I am to be out here. I mean anywhere I could've gone would've been awesome, but I think Madagascar is a pretty good fit for me. I'm still loving it out here! Life is good!

Well, I'm gonna get on to some other emails and put some pictures up on Photobucket for y'all. I might not be here too long, we're gonna try to get back to the house for some more rest. But I love you all! Thanks for all the emails and love you all send me every week! It means more to me than you'll ever know! 'Til next week! Tiako ianareo!!!

-Elder Mumf

Monday, March 3, 2014

Ny Curveball Faharoa

Hey everyone!! How is my fianakaviako sy ny namako doing? Hope things are still going good. Things here have been very interesting this week to say the least... And yes, I say week because this one felt more like one. Haha. But more on that in a sec.

So... Remember last email when I was joking around about transfer news and how it wouldn't have any effect on me? Yeah. Should not have done that. I even knew it at the time, but I just figured I was safe. That same night we got a call from our zone leaders and - you guessed it! - emergency transfer. I don't know all the details about it, but I guess there was some kind of problem in another area. Anyways, Elder Randrianantenaina was gone pretty much before I could catch my breath. And the other thing, I didn't get a new companion out of it. So I had to wait until yesterday for transfer news to know what was going on. So I've been kindof a loner this week. Haha not really, but it kindof felt like it. I got to go with the missionaries that work in Itaosy, the others that live in our house. It was interesting getting to see another area and new faces. But I was also able to go on a few ward missionary splits. One of them, Frere Joseph, is a rockstar and has pretty much been my companion when I wasn't with the other missionaries. So that was a big help and I was still able to get some work done despite the sudden news. It was a pretty overwhelming feeling at first when I pretty much got handed everything that has to do with Ampitatafika. But it hasn't been so bad. I'll just really have to work with the ward to sort out the things I don't know. Doing my best out here, that's about all I can do.

The news! So here's how it's all going down. Elder Ratsimbarson, the other Elder working Itaosy, is leaving to another area, and now me and Elder Connault are going to be working both Ampitatafika and Itaosy. Crazy huh? I'm with a French guy now! Haha. He's pretty good at English, but has a way thick accent so it's hard to understand sometimes. Maybe I'll learn French too! Who knows. He's a cool guy. It'll be a little weird being in a big house with just the two of us. It'll be interesting at first, but we'll see how it goes. Looking forward to working with him. And it'll be a challenge working two huge areas, but we'll just have to clean up our schedules and find a way to make it work. So here it goes!

Other than that... Kindof a lamina damina week, meaning kinda uneventful. Just buckling up for what lies ahead. It should be fun though. Today I'm on a split with Elder Bowler, from my MTC group because his comp is going home. So it's been a fun P-Day with him so far. Got to play some soccer with the other missionaries and have lunch. And we'll probably do a little shopping after this and then chill at the house. That pretty much sums up everything I think. Still working at the language. This past week was good for that, leading all the times and everything. Still struggle sometimes but in the ankapobeny, still gettin there. I love you all! I'm gonna get to some other things and hopefully get some pics up. So I'll catch y'all in a week! Tiako ianareo!!!

-Elder Mum
Lemur Time!!

(more pictures from photobucket)