Monday, June 30, 2014

Fetim-pirenenan' Madigasikara

Howdy! What's up everyone?? Hope everyone had a great week, maybe watched some World Cup while you were at it. This week has been kinda crazy to tell you the truth. Lots of things going on.

So on Thursday there was the 26th of June, which is Madagascar's independence day. Which is weird because the night of the 25th was crazier it seemed like. Anyways, it was pretty much a week long thing. People staying up and getting drunk. And everyone and their dog was out in ambanivohitra, out of town, so it made for an interesting week of lessons. We still did have quite a few, close to 20, but not your usual week here. We did pick of some  new investigators, so our program is slowly but surely getting filled to the brim again. The work is still going along well considering all the festivities that were going on. There was fireworks. America's 4th of July kinda puts it to shame, but I'll take afomanga when I can get it. And random fire crackers would go off on the streets which kept us on our toes, but fun stuff.

Cool experience of the week! So we were in the meeting with the bishop and he brought up that there was a part member family with kids that are already 9 and up, so they need to learn from the missionaries. And that Saturday we didn't have a whole lot going on, so we decided to go on a little trek to go out and find them. Turned out it was waaaaay out there, but still in the area. We got instructions to take a bus until we get to this bridge and then follow the river down for about a kilometer. The place was so cool! I felt like I was going on a little hike in Moab or something, just a little less red. We get going along this river and we go for a little while and we were beginning to think about turning and going back when we come across this beautiful garden full of cabbage and orange trees. There were kids that greeted us and then we saw the members and they warmly greeted us too. I explained to the mom how to pronounce my name but she just settled for 'Mum'. They thought we were crazy for going out there, but they appreciated the visit and we had a good lesson with them. And since they usually come to church anyways we'll probably just teach em after church in that building so we don't have to go all the way out there in the middle of nowhere every week. So there you go. Oh and we taught Ricardo again this week. I was struggling with the English, it was so weird. I couldn't say Laman and Lemuel to save my life. But we got through it alright. Me and him would occasionally say stuff in Malagasy and it was so weird because at that moment I felt like it was my first language. But Ricardo's a good guy and he says he's gonna come to church! So we'll see where that goes.

So from the letters it sounds like most of you already know this, but there was an Elder here that passed away this week. Elder Palmer is his name and I happened to be in the same MTC group as him. He was in the other District, but we still got to see each other from time to time. I didn't get a chance to know him all that well, but when I got the news it hurt a little. He was having some bleeding in his brain and they took him to South Africa for treatment where he passed away. His mission isn't over though. I know he's doing some amazing things that none of us can even imagine on the other side of the veil. He's a great guy and I'm glad I got to know him with the little time I had with him.

On a little brighter note, we got to go to a lemur park today! A different one from the croc farm, wayyyy out in the middle of nowhere. There were, of course, lemurs. And crocodiles too. The lemurs were being all menatra and wouldn't come down from the trees half the time. But we were able to get at least a few good shots. And yes, a lemur kissed me. I had a piece of banana in my mouth to lure it in and there ya go. It was a little hairy and scruffy, but not too bad. Haha! We also had a couple of chickens that we brought to go see the crocodiles. I'll save details and pictures, but it was kinda cool seeing that croc having some lunch. And now I'm back here at the cybskies wrapping up the to do list. 

I think that's about all I have for now. But you all have a great week! Tiako ianareo!! Oh and next time I'll have news about my new area, so stay tuned. Mazotoa!!

-Elder Mumf

Elder Hull and I wandering around the wilderness

Brick makin season

Monday, June 23, 2014

Ho Aiza i Elder Mumford??

Hay hay! How's it going everyone?? Hope all is well over there on the other side of the globe. Things here have been a little slower than usual this week. Elder Hull once again was sick. He's been having a rough go with Madagascar so far. And we're starting to get into winter, so it gets pretty cold. The mornings are super cold, then the afternoon can still be pretty warm, but then it gets back to being pretty cold at about 6 at night when the sun is down. So all of the change in temperatures hasn't been helping either I bet. We think he might have a worm or something not very fun like that. But we've been in touch with the mission nurse and he's kinda taking it day by day. We were in the house on Thursday and Friday when it was bad. But now he seems to be doing alright, so hopefully we'll be able to get a full week of work this time. I hope he gets better mostly for his sake, but also I'm way tired of being in the house... We'll see!

So I have 2 weeks. 2 weeks until I find out my fate for the next part of my mission. And so the predictions have been coming out. Elder Hein, our District Leader, is predicting that I'll be Office Elder. I don't know if other missions have those or what, but they work at the office for a good portion of what they do and handle paperwork and stuff. Yeah. I'm not too thrilled about that prospect. I personally think I could be reopening an area up in the North Zone of Tana. And then I'll be training in August. We have 7 coming in this transfer, and then 14 coming up in August, so there's a good chance I could be training again. I feel like I'm putting together my bracket for March Madness right now. Haha. But I'm trying not to get too into it. I'll just go wherever I need to be. But I hope that little someplace is in Antsirabe...*fingers crossed*.

The work is still going alright. Now that we're visiting less frequently those we just baptized, we're still looking for some solid investigators. And we've also been reaching out and trying to find some less-actives. We went to one place and the lady said she hasn't been coming to church because she's "kamo", lazy. Well at least she was honest! Maybe we'll whip out the good old James 4:17 with her and her husband, in a loving way of course. In our efforts with that we've also got some referals and part-member families that want to learn from us. So our program has basically been filling itself up because of that, which is way nice. We have some investigators that are way solid and ready in every way to be baptized -except they're still trying to get off smoking. That's been a problem that's been kinda common here in the Tafika. But we're helping them in any way that we can. One of them has already been off of the sigara for 2 full weeks! So we're excited for him. We have 2 others that aren't quite there, but getting there. The next baptism goal is for the 12th of July, so hopefully we can get em on the road to be all ready for that. Exciting stuff.

I can't really think of a whole lot else that's happened. I did get to go on a split with the District Leader's companion, Elder Ralaivao in Tanjombato. That was an interesting day, just walking up and down hills all day and teaching spiritual thoughts from time to time. I like having more solid lessons than that, but it wasn't my area so I just went and helped in any way I could. At the end of that day, me and Elder Hull took a taxi to get back to the house. Except I accidently left my sweater in the taxi along with my nametag that pins on. So something like that finally happened to me. Luckily sweaters aren't that expensive and that tag was just a piece of plastic. If it had been the one I wear on my shirt pocket I would've been a little devastated, but I can always get a new one. It could've been worse, let's just put it that way.

Other than that I can't really think of anything else. Sorry I didn't get much into detail this week to dig up a funky experiences. I need to be better at looking through my journal and jotting them down on paper before I go to the cyber. But hopefully this'll do for now. I better get going, but have a great week everyone!! Tiako ianareo!!!

-Elder Mumford

Split with Elder Ralaivao

Me vandalizing Elder Hein's whiteboard

Monday, June 16, 2014


Hawdy y'alls, how's everything going back there? This week has been sick. And yes, that's literally. Elder Hull ended up getting sick again starting on Saturday after the baptisms. Then Sunday we got all dressed up and as soon as we walked in the gate to the church, Elder Hull told me, "I'm not gonna make it." So we bolted back to the house, (luckily we live way close by) and he went straight to the bathroom and...yeah. That was pretty much the story of Saturday and Sunday. Even the new nurse Sister Rossiter came out and got him some meds. Luckily it was a 24 hour ordeal and now we're out and at it again. But because of that I might not have quite as much to share this week. Lots of sitting in the house... The worst. But it's all good. I went through my suitcase and got it all organized. Cause, ya know, I won't be in Ampitatafika forever! I find out on July 6th where my adventures here will take me next. I'm calling that I'll be reopening an area in Tana with another trainee! Haha. I hope I'll get to go out to another province, but I'm pretty much fine with anything. 6 months in any one place is a loooong time, so it'll just be nice to kinda start fresh again with new faces. We'll see what happens, I'm trying not to get too antsy.

Baptisms! Oh how I love having baptisms. And it all worked out as planned too. The only struggles we were having was with the baptismal program cause the printer at the church was being dumb. Stupid technology. Haha. Anyways it all went well. Even Elder Hull got to do a couple! My lil boy is all grown up ;) That water was stinkin cold though. As soon as I got in I was making all kinds of weird noises and everyone was laughing at me. Haha. But me and the people I baptized got out alive thank goodness ;) Everything went smoothly. We had 6 baptized in total. And I made sure to get pictures as always! Now, I don't know if this is a malagasy thing or what, but for some reason nobody smiles for the camera. They're such a happy people, so I don't really get it. But anyways, if some of them don't look very happy just know that it's not the case! After the baptisms our church was putting on an open house. There were some cool stuff there. The Relief Society was taking orders for some cool clothing, so I ended up buying some... Like 150,000($70) worth. But I figured I could splurge a little and get some cool stuff to remember Ampitatafika by. So I'm excited for all the stuff I'm getting. Pictures to come when I get it all!

We also had a zone conference on Tuesday. I love those. The only thing I'm not crazy about is that we have to wear suits, but other than that it's tsara amiko. Had some good cooking by Sister Adams so can't complain there! We learned about how the Abrahamic Covenant tied in with the Book of Mormon. So... I didn't even really know what the Abrahamic Covenant was before. Is that bad? Haha. Well at least now I know about it. Then we learned about how to mark up scriptures and make cross references and chains and all that fun stuff. It totally inspired me, and now my Tropical Guide is becoming pretty colorful as well as the rest of my scriptures. So that's been fun kinda digging deeper into my scriptures. Oh and they showed a bunch of charts and they showed the stats for Ampitatafika and pointed it out as a good example of what should be happening. So I guess we're doing something right! Gotta love zone conference.

The work is still going good. We've been looking for new people now that we've had some baptisms. We dusted off our streetboard and put that to work. It's a little overwhelming at times when you get a crowd of people all gathered around to hear you, but it's pretty dang effective for getting some contact information and appointments. So we'll probably be doing that more often.

Other than that it's kinda hard to think of other things to talk about. My head is getting stuffed up again so I don't really feel like thinking a whole lot... Haha. So I'm sorry. Oh and right in the middle of this email the connection stopped working so as a result I had to retype a lot of stuff. So that means less time.. Sorry if I don't get to a few of you, but just know that I think about you all the time and love you! Have a great week for me. Tiako be ianareo!!! Mazotoa!!!

-Elder Mumf

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