Monday, July 28, 2014

Not feeling creative with the subject line. Good week!

Manahoana daholo eo! How's everyone doing? Hope it's been a good week for everyone. It's been another good one here on the other side of the map. I'm so tired right now, we just got back from playing soccer against our ward and they beat us something like 5-2. Oh well, we'll get em next time!

I'm not quite sure where to start, so we'll go back to yesterday. I got to give my first talk here in Madagascar! I gave it about vavaka. Prayer. At first I was a little nervous about it. I always get a little shaky when I get up in front of people like that. But I was surprised, it went by pretty smoothly. It was a far cry from the first time I bore my testimony! I just got up there with my scriptures and went at it. It wasn't perfect, but I feel alright about it. I used a quote from David A. Bednar when he talked about the windows of heaven back in October. He said something along the lines of, "Sometimes we may desire more income for our families, but what we receive is more skill to change our own situations. Sometimes we may pray for success, but strength is what we receive" wow I butchered that. I can't remember it in English, but something like it. So yeah, it went well!

The work has been going pretty good. Me and Elder Thompson got 30 lessons this week, so not too shabby. A lot of that came from porte a porte. We've been having a lot of success with that lately with meeting new people that can learn from us. A lot of times people with just say, "mandroso!" come in! And we sit down and get talking about what we do and we end up teaching a lesson. So that's been pretty convenient. We have about 6 investigators right now that are pretty solid and looking good that they'll get baptised in the near future, but hopefully in this new pool of people we've found there'll be a few more. We'll just have to see! We have this new stat that we keep track of. We keep track of how many hours we spend proselyting and that's really helped us to know where our time is going and where we can use it more effectively. Loving the work and having some fun with it.

I'm not sure if I mentioned this, but in our ward there's so many people that speak English. The bishopric does and we have a few returned missionaries that have gone English speaking. So that's been kinda cool to speak to them a little differently from time to time. I'm still learning malagasy and working hard to get it as mastered as I can, but I can communicate with anyone no problem. And I don't know if I already talked about this, but the other Elders in the District are teaching us a little bit of French! Well. I mean I ask them questions from time to time and I pick up a little bit every once and a while, so that's been kinda fun too. So many languages to learn! Too little time.

I can't really think of anything else interesting that happened this week... It's so weird to think this transfer is already halfway over. This next one could be crazy, there's 14 new missionaries coming in. I made a little bracket thing with the areas and I don't know where they're gonna put all of them! We're thinking one of us could be bouncing to reopen another area while the other stays and trains. Could be crazy! Other than not a whole lot else. Just lots and lots of work. Haha. I know I'm kindof a bad missionary and don't have a whole lot of details in this one, but if there's anything you all would like me to talk about more, alefaso! But for now I'm gonna get on to some other emails. And I got a couple pics up, so enjoy!!

Ny kibo tsy mba lamosina!

Have a great week everyone! Tiako ianareo!!

-Elder Mumf

Me and Thomper

Yup, that's exactly what you think it is

And now he's eating it...

Finally broke down and bought a watch

Me and Elder Thia!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Building from ground up

Hawdy!! How's everyone doing? Well, it's monday again. They're always kinda hectic here in Tana. There's just so much to do. Today we went to this place called 67, except it's pronounced in French. Anyways, we went and we wandered in there for a while and looked at all the stuff there. I ended up getting about 15 ties. Yeah, I got a little carried away. But it was all under $3.00. That's even better than the DI! So... I just kinda figured why not. I'll probably give most of them away before my time here is up. We wandered around for a while and we just got here to the cyber and it's already 4:30! So sorry if this update is a little short, I'll try to get a little something in!

The work in Ankorondrano is going well. Due to whitewashing, we don't have a very solid program, but we're getting there. We picked up 19 new investigators this week. Not bad eh? We have 2 investigators that should be getting baptized soon. The problem is that it's been a while since missionaries have worked here, about 3 months, so we basically have to review everything with them. But it's all good. We work with the Antananarivo 1st ward, the very first one here in Madagascar. There are so many less-actives. So we're working on that too. And of course, when all else fails, gotta do some porte a porte. But it's worked out pretty well for us. We got 16 return times over 10 hours this past week. So I guess we're doing something right. Me and Elder Thompson are still doing alright. We've had a few differences here and there in opinion, but we've been able to set it aside and we've worked well together.

I forgot to mention this in the last letter, but last week I went to a didim-poitra!!(circumcision). And Malagasies have an interesting tradition with it. So we went to a hospital with the members with the 2 year old kid who was the star of the show. We get there and into the room and they were totally welcoming for pictures, so I got a few. I'll probably spare a few of them, but you'll get the idea in the ones I put up on Photobucket. They got in and had it all done in a matter of a minute. It was pretty impressive and interesting the way all that works. Sorry if this is weird for you guys with me talking about it, but I thought it was awesome! Haha. The weird part is when the grandpa ate the foreskin with a banana. Yup. Don't ask me why, they just do it. That's the fomba gasy! It was cool to just say that I've been to one. Our bishop says he can take us to when they do the dance of the dead, where they take bones of ancestors and dance around with them. It's weird, I know, but I'm super excited!!

Let's see... I can't really think of a whole lot that's happened. Lot of first lessons, lots of getting to know people and the area. There was one time we were at where a lady walked in, sat down, and just gave me the weirdest look. After 5 minutes I finally asked what was up and she just said with a voice of disbelief, "Ianao mahay amin'ny teny gasy!!!" It's kinda fun surprising people like that. Or when I talk to someone on the phone in malagasy and people just look at me like I'm not even a real person. My French still isn't up to par, but I'm not trying to hard. But maybe if I get good enough with malagasy I'll start learning a little bit. We have 2 tahitian Elders in the house and another French and they taught me how to pray in French! So I've had a little fun with that. I love this crazy place.

Anyways, I guess I should get going. I have a talk this sunday so wish me luck! Love all of you. Keep it real! Amin'ny manaraka indray!! Tiako ianareo!!!

-Elder Mumford

P.S. There should be some pics up this week finally, so enjoy! Most of them are pictures of me with the people in Ampitatafika, but I'll try to get some up from here too.

so I don't know what the deal is, but I haven't been able to get photos up the last few weeks... I'm so sorry about that! I think a few ended up on my photobucket, hopefully! Don't know for sure though. Gotta love technology here. Love you guys! I'm trying, but hopefully next week for sure!

-Elder Mumford

Monday, July 14, 2014

City Boy

Hey everyone!!! Sorry if this one is a little short as well. The connection hasn't been going well so it's taken up a lot of time. I'll do my best!

Well I'm here. Here in Ankorondrano. It's been quite the change, but overall it's been alright. The whitewashing is pretty new to me. I've never had to go into an area with no set program. But it's kinda fun in a way to go in and start fresh and build up from scratch. The area is pretty cool. Still don't know a ton about it, but it's good. I'm in the big city in downtown Antananarivo. Sometimes I don't even feel like I'm in Madagascar to be honest. Some places are way nice and there's giant buildings like ones you'd see in Salt Lake. A little more ghetto obviously, but still. It's a city life for me now. Most places we go it's still more undeveloped and the people are poor. And there's still rice paddies. I feel more at home in those kindof places. The area needs some work, but that's what we're here to do! I'm excited to be working here. I miss Ampitatafika, but I feel like I've settled in alright. Our ward is awesome, the bishop is an ex-missionary who served in South Africa so he speaks perfect English. The ward mission leader has been awesome and showing us where all the members and former investigators live. It'll be an interesting couple of weeks getting everything lamina, but it'll be fun.

We live in a house in a city called Ivandry. The house is pretty small, and there's 6 of us in it, so it's pretty cozy. Plus there's only 2 bedrooms, and by the time we got there, they were already taken. So we have our mattresses out in the living room and have kindof just adapted to our surroundings. I don't really mind it much, but I kinda hope they get another house for some of the Elders here soon, that's what they say. The other missionaries I live with are ballers though. I'm in the same house as Elder Lambert now! He was one in our MTC group, as well as Elder Thia! It's been fun being in the same house with them. We also have Elder Peters and Elder Maditeragi (I butchered that), they're Tahitian, but they speak pretty good english, so it's been fun being with them. Elder Thompson, my companion, is a good guy. He came 6 weeks after I did. He's not even 19 yet though, haha! Still a young little squirt, but it's been fun working with him so far.

Oh and I'm a District Leader now! Not a huge responsibility, but one that I'm kinda excited to have. I get to take stats and go on splits and be in charge of District Meeting. I'm just kinda typing any random thing that comes into my mind right now, so sorry if my thoughts are a little unorganized. We have a place in our area called Analakely, which is the business capitol of Madagascar. I'm surrounded by souvenirs and cool stuff to buy, so that could be a temptation but I'll keep it under control. There's a mall close to our house. It's literally like one you'd find in America, only everything is French. I was pretty gaga when we went there to eat once. That was one time where it especially didn't feel like Madagascar. The food is alright, but I probably won't be eating there much. Let's see... I'm still just trying to get to know my way around this place. There's a lot more streets, so it's a lot different than what I've been used to. But yeah, I'll probably have more details in my email next week, my mind is just drawing a blank right now.

Well we're kinda in a hurry today as well, but I'll do my best to get to all y'alls emails. If you don't get a reply I'm so sorry! But I love you all!!! I'll also try my best to get some pictures up so you can see this wild place. Anyhoo, Have a great week everyone! Tiako ianareo!!!

-Elder Mumf

Photobucket is being dumb again... Sorry about not getting pictures up again. I'm doing the best with what I have, but I'll try again next week. Love you all!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Saying goodbye to be vovoka be, dia lasa aiza?

Hey everyone!! Well. The news is definitely here. But I think I'll make you all read til the end to find out. Mwahaha! No cheating now.

This week was ballin'. Me and Elder Hull both kept healthy and there were no major holidays, so I think that helped a little. It was definitely a jam packed week. Taught 27 times, so it we didn't have much time to go contacting. We're still working hard with the less-actives. Especially the Melchizedek Priesthood holders. It's so sad because we go and visit them and as we're talking they understand completely why they need to be coming to church and they always say that they're coming for sure... But they don't. Sometimes I wish I could just come over and drag them to church, haha. But people have agency, so it would be kinda tsy mety to do that. We're still trying though. And we've seen results, slowly but surely people are coming back. And with that the program has filled itself up with referrals. So yeah, the work is hard, but it's still going.

Lots of madra-pihaona and velomas said this week. I hate saying goodbye. I've been in this area for 6 months. And in that time I've come to love the people that are here. When I'd first tell people that I'll be leaving they took it kinda hard too. I was kinda surprised. But that's the mission right there. There's always change and you just gotta roll with it. With it though I got lots of pictures, it'll always be good to look back on all the memories I've made here. When I come back to Madagascar one day I'll definitely have to come visit good ol Ampitatafika.

Sorry that this email is extremely short... I just have lots to do today to prepare to move out. Trying to keep it somewhat short today so I can get a good head start, so sorry if I don't get to a few of your emails. I'll try my best though! Have a great week everyone!! Tiako ianareo!!! Til next week indray.

-Elder Mumford

P.S. I guess I better put up the news first! I'm still gonna be in Tana, but in the north zone in a place called Akorondrano. I'm gonna whitewash it with a guy named Elder Thompson. I don't really know much about it at the moment... But I've heard it's cool. Even though I didn't get transferred somewhere in Antsirabe, I'm still excited. I've always thought it would be cool to walk into an area and in a sense start from scratch. So we'll see how it goes! Excited for the new adventures I'll have here.

Okay, now for reals I'm gone. Haha love you all!!

Photobucket is being really lame and slow today, so I won't be able to get all my pics up. But here's one of me in my malabary that I had a member make for me!