Monday, April 28, 2014

Vaoteraka ny Zanako! And Conference!

Hey hey!! Guess who. Yeah, it's just that one vazaha out here in Madagascar again. What a week! It's been a little bit of an unusual one, but still good. Where do I start...

So in the beginning of the week I was trying to get out on splits with ward missionaries as much as I could so that I could kindof start solidifying a new schedule. But only on Wednesday was I able to do that, so I still worked in Itaosy a little longer with our trio. I think I'm actually going to miss Itaosy a little, even though I didn't work there that long. There's some great people there. Plus I'm gonna miss working with Elder Connoober, we've had some great times packed in those 6 weeks. But I'm also looking forward to focusing on Ampitatafika from now on.

That brings be to the next point, I'm a trainer now!! That's weird. Haha. Feels like just yesterday I was still with Elder Moulton. Crazy stuff man. Anyways, on Friday I was told to go to the office by the APs and I was told I could come alone. Yeah, that made for such a weird hour long bus ride to the office. Nothing like that bus from Tamatave, but still. I'm gonna have some serious companion separation anxiety when I get home! Haha :) But I finally got there, popped a squat on a couch and waited for about another hour. Then the APs and President Adams walked in with my little baby!! Haha okay, he's not a baby, but I'm sure he feels like it right now ;) His name is Elder Hull and he's from Virginia, about 10 minutes outside of D.C., so that's cool! He's a way good volleyball player who's going to play for some university in California when he gets back. I just forgot the name of it. Anyways, the reason he came at a random time is because he tore ligaments in his ankle playing basketball at the MTC. So he went ahead and finished up the MTC with doctor's appointments and stuff and then went back to his home for another 7 weeks to do rehab. Crazy right? I'm just glad he's doing alright now, we do lots of walking! But I'll try to take it a little easier on him for that. He's a great guy, super nice. Kinda like me, a little on the quieter side, but that's not a problem for me. We haven't had many chances to teach together yet with all kinds of stuff going on this week with lots of meetings, and then Conference, but he's already making progress on the Malagasy. Every time he speaks Malagasy it makes me smile a little bit, not because it's funny to watch him struggle, but because it takes me back to when I first got in country and how I probably sounded the same way with my thick american accent and how there were things I was really stuggling with. But if I got better at it, I know he can! I'm trying to get him as involved in lessons and stuff as much I can and just doing my best to be a good example. But so far it's been fun being the mentor, if you will. Wow this paragraph got long... Haha.

We also got to watch Conference!! That was good. By the end of it I kinda felt like sleeping, but I enjoyed it. On Saturday we all got to go to the office to watch 3 sessions in English with other missionaries which basically took all day. Then Sunday we all watched the first Sunday Session with our wards in Malagasy. I was surprised, when I payed attention I could get most of it. The thing that's so hard about listening to it in conference is that the speakers use such a broad vocabulary, things that not even a lot of Malagasies know. But it still went well. Haha poor Elder Hull, didn't get a thing out of it so he just caught up on some sleep. Then we got to go watch the last Session at the office again. I just loved it! I think my favorite talk was by President Uchtdorf talking about how the Restoration isn't just something that happened and is done, but is still going. Don't sleep through the Restoration! Honestly right now I'm having a hard time remembering the talks... But I did take good notes! So be proud. ;)

Other than all that, not much happened during the week. Conference pretty much took up the whole weekend on our schedule and getting my trainee and going through orientation again took another solid day. Zone meeting took up another good chunk. It's been quite the week. But nonetheless, a good one. I'll get on to some pics and other emails for ya. Have a great week everyone! Tiako ianareo!!!

-Elder Mumf

My little trainee Elder Hull!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014


Hey everyone! Well. I'm at the office right now just to let you guys know that I probably won't be able to email today. Everyone celebrates Easter like crazy here and because of that, no cybers are open. But I should be able to get back on tomorrow. But just letting y'all know that I'm still alive and well. I have a lot to tell about the week and I wish I could tell all about it right now, but I gotta go now. Rahampitso indray!!! Tiako ianareo! And yes. I do mean that! 'Til tomorrow!

-Elder Mumf

P.S. I was able to get pictures up today, so enjoy!

Ny Batisa sy ny Curveball Fahatelo

Hey everyone! I'm baaaaack! Haha. It feels weird writing my emails on a tuesday instead of mondays, but it is what it is  I suppose. Yesterday was a little crazy. Easter is probably the most celebrated holiday here. We were having a hard time getting a bus just to go to the office. The streets  were  filled and so were the busses. But we finally made it and when we got there we got word from the missionaries to not even try to go out and do anything. Absolutely nothing was open yesterday. Except for the bottles! Yep. Lots and lots of drunk people. So we got a lot of relaxation time at the house yesterday. Haha not my favorite Pday ever, but just glad it's over and I have a chance to email now :)

It's been another good week. The time is still a flying. Oh and this keyboard is being weird, so sorry if something makes no sense. Haha. But yeah, we had 5 baptisms this week, so no complaints there! There was a great turnout for it too. As you've probably seen already, I got some good pics too. I  got to baptise a guy named Michel who'spretty tall. Well. For a malagasy at least. I also got to baptise a kid named Faniry. There were 2 different families that got baptised. Michel and his wife Ninah and Soeur Mireille and her 3 kids. Baptisms are always so cool to be a part of, but I'd say especially this one because me and Elder Randrianantenaina started teaching them, so I got to see them progress all the way to baptism. I'm just so glad it all worked out! Funny little  story. When I was  on my way to get changed into dry clothes I made a comment that the floor inside was dirty,  because nobody else was wearing sandals or anything on their feet. But one guy in our ward said, "The floor may be dirty, but the people in that chapel are clean!" I liked that :)

We also got our new companion this week. Elder Andriamanganoro is his name. He's... an interesting character. He's a genius first of all. He knows English, French, Spanish, and some Chinese. Super smart. But he's the kind of guy who knows it and there's the feeling that he thinks he's better than everyone because of it. I dunno. Hopefully I'm wrong and things will get better. It's still pretty early to tell. We'll see! I'm just kinda glad I won't be his companion for long. More on that in a  sec.

Not much else happened during the week. Just still teaching and still  working hard out here. The    malagasy is still a struggle from time to time but for the most part I'm getting around just fine. Let's see... It's funny how I figured  I'd have lots to say this week, but  other than those 2 big things, it's pretty much the same as any other. But there is one more thing! So I got a call from the AP's earlier this week  and they told me that there would be another transfer this Friday and that we'd be receiving a new missionary. So that means I'm training! TRAINING!!! Haha I'm excited about it actually :) If I was asked to train 3 months ago I'd probably be scared, but with where I'm at now I feel like I'm prepared and up for the challenge. Plus I get to focus my efforts on just Ampitatafika now. So I'm looking forward to that. AND we get to watch conference this week. I'm excited to finally get to watch that! Should be a fun week :)

Anyways, I don't have much more time because we gotta get back out to work  soon. So I'm sorry if I don't have time for a few emails, but I'm gonna try my best! I love you guys! Have an outstanding  week! Tiako ianareo!!!

-Elder Mum

The new dress and grooming guidelines for missionaries. Coming soon!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Mangastiaka Tsara

Hey all! Oh how I love P-day when I get to talk to family and friends :) I hope everything is going well back on the other side of the world! Things are still going here and going well. It's been kindof a weird one this week. One phrase I heard so many times this week was, "Tsy ao izy!" or 'He's not here!'. Lots of times weren't able to happen due to the lack of husbands and fathers at their homes. Which it normally wouldn't be a problem since we usually have Frere Joseph with us so that we can still teach. But the rule is that we can't teach women and children without another dude with us. On the plus side it opened up our program for some more contacting! Haha I'm not the biggest fan of it, but sometimes there's no choice. We've actually gotten pretty good at it, and we've gotten quite a few return times. Now how many of those return times will turn into solid investigators? Ho hitantsika. We shall see. But hopefully a few of them at least. Our investigators are still doing well. The baptisms for this saturday are a go! So unless something goes terribly wrong, it's actually going to happen now. Haha. We have 5 set so far. It's possible a couple of them will trickle in there, but the rest will probably be in May. We just have more teaching to get them ready and also we're waiting on a few vita soratras. But I feel like our future is bright for more baptisms in May. Overall, the work is going well in this wonderland we know as Ampitatafika.

I also got to go on a split with my homi Elder Jensen, who was Zone Leader in Tamatave back when I was there and who is now an AP. So I went with him in his area and got to be AP for a day! Haha I think if anything it made me want to be an AP less. We were at the office for a good part of the day and I finally just ended up splitting with Elder Cartmill, an Office Elder. And you guys might remember Elder Cartmill from that picture that man took of us at the London Airport. He's a cool guy, and it was nice to get to go to work with him and kindof catch up on life and the mission.

This is where things get a little interesting. So we had interviews with President back on Wednesday. It went great, so no worries there, haha :) But he told Elder Connault that he's thinking about sending him to Reunion because he needs someone who speaks Malagasy there. So he told me basically that I need to get to know Itaosy well. And this was at the beginning of the week, so the 5 days before transfer news I was just hoping and praying that Elder Connault would still be here so I could still learn Itaosy from him before I left. And the transfer news last night was a little interesting. We're both staying, but also we'll have a Malagasy missionary. So we'll be in a trio! Haha so that should be fun. I'm looking forward to it. It'll be interesting to see what the next transfer holds, but it's looking like some interesting stuff will go down. Oh and it's been made pretty clear to us that Ampitatafika and Itaosy won't be splitting up any time soon. More missionaries are leaving than coming in, and it'll be that way until about September if I heard right. Tena tsy ampy ny misionera! There's not enough missionaries! But we'll deal.

Other than all of that Utah Jazz, I can't really think of much else to write for this week. Still learning that teny malagasy and working hard at that. Me and Canoober are still getting along well. But. Yeah, that's kindof where I'm at right now. Just chugging along! Oh and by the way, it's cold here now! I never thought I would say that. But especially at night, I've been shivering! Maybe I'll have to go buy an akanjo ba today, but we'll see. And we've been using a heater at night. It's sure different from those days in Tamatave!

Okay I think that's really it. I'll get some pics up on the interwebs and email y'all! Have a great week everyone! Tiako ianareo daholo! 

-Elder Mums

P.S. Tsy misy mamy noho ny zanaka, fa raha manaikitra ny nono dia akifika! :)

Petco in the Bathroom

Monday, April 7, 2014

I'm 20... Whaaaaaa?

Hey there everyone!! It's always so good to log into my account and see 23 emails waiting for me. Haha I feel so loved! You all are the best :) So yeah, I really don't feel 20. When I woke up on Saturday it took me until I had showered and had breakfast before I even realized it was my birthday. Haha I guess that's what happens when you don't keep track of the date! Things like that just kinda sneak up on ya. But I had a really good birthday :) It was basically the same as any other, lots of work, but to me that's a good thing. And I got to open my package!!! Okay, so I have to admit. I just couldn't wait 5 days til I could open it... So somehow the gerber got into my hand and cut open the packages by itself. How that happened, I don't know. But the packages were so great!!! So much food. New socks and white clothing! Haha. And the Christmas letter from the ward made me smile. Just everything did! It all made me feel so happy and spoiled! So thanks to everyone that had a part it it. They were the greatest birthday presents ever :) I didn't really do a whole lot to celebrate. By the end of the day I was wiped as usual. But I did buy myself a 1.5 L bottle of Coke :) Haha not much, but I figured I would splurge a little ;) And today I think I'll go buy myself a new tie. Yay for birthdays!

I don't really have a whole lot to share this week. So this one might be pretty short. I'll probably use the time I have today to respond more personally to emails. But overall, things are still going well here. The work is mandroso-ing. Still progressing. It's looking like we'll have 5 very solid for the baptism on the 19th and hopefully more. So I'm really hoping everything works out for it and we don't have to push it back any further. The lessons are still going very well. I've been getting more compliments on my malagasy. I guess it's usually other people that see your progress before you do, but that's been a boost of confidence for me. And on Sunday it's always a little stressful after the fotoam-bavaka when everyone is coming to talk to me about different things and setting up schedules and whatnot. But when I got back to the house for lunch I realized that I wasn't even thinking about what I was saying, that the malagasy was just flowing out. So I guess that's something! Me and Elder Conoober are still getting along well. We've become pretty good friends this transfer. I don't want to jinx myself again, but I'm gonna kindof miss working with him assuming the transfer news this sunday means our new companions are coming. But I'll have another fun week working with him in both Ampitatafika and Itaosy.

This week was also a little bit hard for me. Tuesday night I got the call from President Adams that Grandma had passed away. I was pretty sad and I still am a little, but I'm doing better now. When I gave Grandma a hug the night before I left for the MTC I had a pretty strong feeling that that would be the last time I'd see her in this life, but still the news came as a surprise. That night I got a little less sleep than normal, but the next day it was time to put on my work boots and go back out to work. And I think that's been the best thing for me. And there's something so soothing about teaching people about the gospel and the plan God has for us. That's been the biggest help for me. I'm still sad about Grandma passing. But I'm also happy with the knowledge that I have that she has only passed from this life on to the next. And it gives me a lot of comfort knowing she's where she can be away from her physical pain that she's been having the past several years. I miss her. But I know she's watching over us now. I love my Grandma :)

Anyways, I'm gonna get going on some other emails and get pics up. I sure do love you all! Thank you for being behind me a hundred percent through all of this. I feel the support and prayers every day! Tiako ianareo!!!

That 20 year old kid out in Madagascar,

-Elder Mumford

Just thought I'd share this picture with y'all! Thanks again for the package and everything! I felt so spoiled!

Olombelona tsy Akoho