Saturday, August 30, 2014

Tapaka ny jiro...

Hey everyone! Just sending a quick note. We just got word that starting sunday there will be no power in Madagascar... Don't ask me why. And it'll probably will last for a week. So just letting y'all know that in case you don't hear from me on Monday. If I really can't email on Monday I'll do it as soon as I can. But I'm still alive and well and loving it here in Mahajanga. Love you all!! Talk to you soon.


-Elder Mumford

Monday, August 25, 2014

Mumford in Mahajanga

Ino Kabary!? Hey everyone! Well. It took a week, but I finally made it to Mahajanga! I'll tell a little more about it later, it's been kindof a crazy week leading up to it.

So Ankorondrano just got two more Elders. Elder Thompson is now working with Elder Leroux, a french guy and Elder Davis, a scottish guy. And yes, he's exactly what you'd imagine a scottish person to be, with red hair and a very thick sco-ish accent. He's so funny, I freakin loved being with him for a little bit. Anyways, along with that another Elder came to Ivandry to replace Elder Lambert who's going to Fort Dauphin. Elder Baker is his name. And everyone had to stay for Saturday because we had a zone conference with a Seventy. So there were 8 of us in our little house. It made for an interesting week. I had a hard time packing cause everyone else had all of there stuff scattered around. But it was still fun. We worked out lots of splits, I was kindof all over the place. It was kinda hectic getting all ready and stuff, but it all worked out in the end.

Like I said before, we had a zone conference with a Seventy, Elder Hamilton. It was fun cause I got to see everyone that works in Tana as well as those that work out in far provinces, like Fort D and Tolear and of course, Mahajanga :) The training we received in the conference was excellent. He answered a lot of our questions and concerns regarding our mission in particular. And just his model of teaching was also something I got a lot from. He taught by asking a lot of questions and then going into the doctrine of it all and tying things together.  We also got one big picture of everyone which I'll probably have by next week. So be watching for that!

There's just so much to talk about and such little time that this will probably seem a little rushed, but hopefully that's okay. So on Sunday morning I had no idea what arrangements were being made for me to get to the airport and it turns out that neither did anyone else! Haha so I'm glad I called someone. An office couple came and picked me and my new companion up and took us out to the airport. Man. That was such a weird experience being at that place again after a year. There was security to go through... That itself was weird to me. So many white people too. But we got through all of that fun stuff and got on the plane. Now, you might be thinking it was some tiny sketchy plane we got on, but it wasn't. I wish I got a picture of it, but it was pretty much like any other one you see in America, just smaller. It's funny cause while I was in there I was half expecting a receiver guy to come down the isles to ask for the fare like they do on the little busses, but instead they brought me a coke and some cashews. That was a nice little change! In less than an hour we got there and we saw Elder Evans, a former AP, along with his dad who's a Seventy! I didn't have much time with them cause they were boarding a flight back to Tana, but it was so good to bump into them before they left. Then we got our bags and headed to the house.

Our house is so cool too! It has 7 or 8 rooms in it and they're all seperated, as in you have to walk outside to go from room to room. I love it! And there's air conditioning in about every room, so I'll survive. One thing about Mahajanga. It's one of the coolest and unique places in Madagascar, the only kinda down side is that it's hot. It's the hottest place in the mission. And we're coming around to September, October, November, the hottest time of the year. So! It'll be fun :) I think though that my time in Tamatave last year will help me adjust to it better since I already have an idea of what the heat is like here. I've already drank almost 3 liters of water today, probably will have another 3 more. But other than the heat, I absolutely love it here. It reminds me a lot of Tamatave with a little more of an African twist on things. I still haven't seen much of it, including the beach, but that'll come soon and I'll have more pictures up next week. But this place is pretty freakin cool and I'm excited to be working here with my new companion Elder Razazarohavana. He's a way nice guy and it'll be nice getting some more malagasy practice in.

Anyways, we're leaving now so I guess I better go! I tried to get some pictures up on photobucket of Mahajanga, but it's going pretty slow. But next week for sure I'll have more up. Love you guys. 
Soava dia!!!

-Elder Mumf

Monday, August 18, 2014

The Mission Gets Wilder

Hello daholo!!! Ohhhhh man. Yes. I do know all about transfers. And yes, something somewhat big is happening to me. But... I guess it's not all that important, so it can wait ;) No peeking!!!

So you probably noticed my subject line is Beans. We had a soiree at a member's house on monday and they served me up a big juicy bowl of rice and loaka with beans in it. And yes I ate it. If you all remember the last time I had it I was destroyed for a couple days afterwards so you might wonder why the heck I ate them again. Well. I figured it might've just been something else in the food the last time. But it turns out that I got sick again because of it. For two days. It was not pretty... Haha. I guess it was kindof a stupid risk to take, but at least now I know that it is in fact the beans. I guess my body just doesn't handle too much of it. I was in the house for 2 days. And like all sick days, they are the longest ever. Just sitting in bed. Fun stuff.

Well by Thursday I was up and back on my feet again, and I had a split with the zone leaders, which one of them happens to be Elder Fisher! So I got to spend the day with him in my area. It was fun to catch up a little and to work alongside him again. He said he's impressed with my malagasy and that I've really improved since when I was with him, so that made me feel good :) The day was kinda interesting because times were falling through left and right. Same with backup plans. But we got to do a little tracting which isn't so bad, not the ideal. But overall it was fun being with him. Now he's off to Fort Dauphin. Lucky guy ;) But I think what I have in store is just about as cool. But I'm not giving it away just yet ;) The week overall went kinda slow. It's amazing how two days away from the malagasy and everything puts you in a funk. So the past few days I've just been getting back in the rhythm of it all. Nothing really new or much exciting happened this week to be honest. Transfer news weeks are always interesting because you have to wait all week just to know what's gonna happen to you. But now I finally know :)

Oh we did have a Mormon Helping Hands project this week. We went to a school and we cleared a plot of land that was covered with weeds and stuff. I guess they're getting it ready for botanical stuff. It was pretty fun, we got to wear these nice yellow jerseys. No, I didn't get to keep it, but I got pictures. And the computer I have today doesn't let me upload pics, but next week! And apparently we were on TV too! Well, Madagascar TV. But still! The Bishop said if you type in 'MATV Mormon Helping Hands' or maybe even 'MATV Mormona manome tanana' you might be able to see it on YouTube. I would check, but ya know... I kinda can't. So feel free to try it!

Okay, well I haven't really been able to think about anything else other than the news and I have a lot to get on to with Pday anyways, so I guess I'll just spill the beans (pun intended). So Elder Mumford is going to! Drumroll.................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................Mahajanga!!! Yup. I'm going to Mahajanga :) I'll explain just a little for all who are wondering what that is. So it's another beach province on the northwest coast. I don't know a whole lot about it at the moment, but I've seen pictures and it looks way cool! Plus it's one of the two places in the mission where there's baobab trees. So pictures to come of those for sure!! It's a two-man province, so it'll just be me and my new companion out there. His name is Elder Razaza...somethingsomethingsomething, and he's a malagasy. I don't know if he's good at English, so if not I could lose my English. Haha but we'll see! I've heard he's a great guy and it'll be good to work with him. I fly out on Sunday. Yes you heard me, I'm FLYING there. It'll be a nice change from a taxibe :) So yeah. I didn't get much sleep last night. I'm pretty dang excited :) Here's to a whole new wild adventure!!

Well I'm gonna get going, we probably won't have much time at the cyber today. But I sure do love you all! I'll talk to you again when I'm on the coast!!

Tiako ianareo!

Monday, August 11, 2014

On the Downhill

Hey hey hey everyone!! What's going down? Well I'm officially over the hump. At first I had pretty mixed feelings about the whole thing. It kinda made me sad at first to be honest. One more year closer to leaving this place. That was my attitude. But when it got here, my attitude changed. I decided not to look at what's gone, but look at what I have in store. I've got the experience and the language down well enough that I'll enjoy and get more out of this coming year. And it does feel good to be on the downhill slope. Got one year down, another AWESOME one to come!

How did I celebrate my year mark you ask? Well. You might want to distract mom or something before she sees this (kidding). But yes, I burned a shirt! And a cravate! If you're wondering why I say cravate is because the english word for it is vulgar here in Madagascar. I know, I'm weird. But now it's just habbit for me to call it by the french name. But yes, I got pictures of it, so enjoy. Other than that it was kinda mellow. By the time we were done with that it I was tired and went to bed, so that was basically it. We might stop by a fancier restaurant or something this week to celebrate more, but it was awesome!

The week itself went pretty good! The work is still going. We've done a little more to work with less-actives and strengthening what we have already. Cause if all we do is look for new people to bring in while others are becoming mangatsiaka, it doesn't really do much for the growth of the church here. But we're doing pretty well I'd say with all aspects of the work. We talked to the Elders Quorum President this week about getting the home teaching up and going better and he said, "I'm already ahead of you guys" and he said it in Elnglish too because he's fluent. He pulled out lists of names with their assignments and he's been getting people excited to do it. So we'll be doing our best to help it out and make sure it gets done! Hopefully we'll see some growth from it. I haven't talked about this, but recently all of Mada has been having huge drops in church attendance for unknown reasons, but hopefully this will help get it up.

Funny experience of the week. So we were doing some porte a porte and had been kindof a long day and we decided to stop for 5 minutes and grab a coke. While we were sitting, this old lady comes up and with the oldest granny voice you can imagine she asked me what I was doing here in Madagascar. So I straight up told her that I was born in Tamatave and that I'm a malagasy person. And she kept saying over and over again that I was white and I couldn't be. So I told her I was an albino malagasy and she was having trouble thinking of anything else cause I was speaking malagasy to her. So we joked around a couple more minutes and of course I told her the real reason and invited her to church. And by the time she had to leave she called me a vazaha-gasy, a malagasy white person. Haha so that made me smile! It's the little things like that that keep me going!

Well I can't really think of anything else right now. Next time I write I'll have transfer news, oooooooooooooh man it's gonna be crazy. Literally anything could happen. I can't even really take a guess, but I'm guessing there could be a curveball or even a spitball coming my way. But we'll see! Whatever happens I'll be ready. Wouldn't mind Antsirabe... But if not it can wait a little I suppose :)

Love you all! Have an awesome week! Enjoy the pics I put up too. Amin'ny manaraka indray!


-Elder Mumford

Monday, August 4, 2014

One year gone, another good one to come!

Hey hey everyone!! Well it's p-day again and I'm excited as always to be writing all of you. How's it all going over there? Hope everyone is happy and healthy!

As far as this week goes, it was a little slower than usual. It was Elder Thompson's birthday this week and we celebrated with some cake, so that was fun. He also got sick on Saturday and yesterday with stomach issues. Yeah... It wasn't pretty, but he seems to be up and going well now. Those 2 days at the house were slow... I never like sitting in the house all day. I studied a little bit, or at least tried to. Listened to some good music all day. Read some scriptures in malagasy. Napped a little. Getting out and working definitely beats all of that though. I'm just glad to be up and at it again. The work here is still going good. It's the most challenging of the areas I've already worked. I think I've already mentioned this before, but because I'm in probably the richest area in Mada, people tend to be less receptive. We still don't have a very solid program, but when we're not teaching we're out finding and working hard. Just have to trust that things will get better! But so far I don't really have anything to complain about. Whitewashing has still been an adventure for us! But it's going good and I've liked the area.

So I guess there's gonna be a new house! That means there will only be 4 of us in the house we're in now and the Analamahitsy Elders will be moving to the new one. I'm excited for that. It's been fun with the 6 of us, but it'll be pretty nice to have my own bed. I've adjusted well to the living room, but I'm looking forward to the move! Let's see... Transfers are coming up in less than 2 weeks! I've already drawn out my predictions, but let's face it, there's just some things that are impossible to guess. But we did get one thing settled. We decided that I'll be staying here and training while Thompson moves somewhere else. Whether or not that happens, we'll see! I think it would be fun to train again. Then bounce to Antsirabe :) Haha only time will tell I guess.

Nothing really much happened this week, so I don't have any interesting stories. We do lots of porte a porte. And I've already mentioned that it's harder here, but it's gotta be done if you've got nothing else. It hasn't been bad though. Normally missionaries hate it, but I think it's kinda fun. Yeah, I'd like it if I was teaching all day every day, but it's nice getting out and meeting new people. We've had some success with people who want to learn, so we'll see in a little bit how many of them turn out to be solid. But that's kinda been our story lately. We've got 6 pretty solid investigators though, so we should be having baptisms in the near future. People still think we're French. And it's fun to shock people when we talk back to them in malagasy :) One thing that's way nice about Madagascar is that you can argue prices with almost anything. Souvenirs, taxi rides, stuff like that. And since we're white, they always jack up the prices ridiculously high. But that's one thing I've gotten pretty good at, is getting those prices down to where they should be. Like today we were looking for a taxi to take us to the office. The driver gave us a high cost to begin with and I got it split in half to where it should be. When he was hesitant, we just started walking away and then he finally agreed to it. I've been a while now, so I know little tricks.

I can't believe it's already my year mark... Where has the time gone? It honestly feels like I was getting out at the curb at the MTC saying my last goodbyes. Whether or not I've changed since then, I don't really know. I don't feel different. I'm still feeling like the teenage kid I was when I left. I guess it's hard to see it when you're with yourself all day every day. I have learned a lot though and have had a lot of life experience that you can only find on a mission. The biggest thing, and I think I've said this before sometime, is that I've learned patience. The language was a big part of that. I had to learn to be patient with myself and just have faith that if I did my best that it would come. And it has! I'm still learning, but I've come a long ways in that aspect. I've learned to be patient with others and not forcing my will on them. Sometimes people's agency gets in the way, but that's what makes the successes so worth it, when they use it to come closer to Christ. The mish is hard, but I love it. New challenges at every corner. But from this past year I've seen that I've become stronger through it all. I'm not perfect, but I'm working hard, and that's all I can do. I know that if we just put our trust in God, he can make us things we never could've become on our own. I know that he reaches out to all of his children and wants them to be happy. I've seen people change through the gospel. I know it's true and that we have it in it's fulness today! I'm so grateful to be out here and grateful I have another year to give it my all. Here's to another awesome year!!

Anyways, I should probably get going. Still have things to get done to get ready for the week. But thank you everyone that's shown their support for me! Tena tiako ianareo!!! Have a great week!!

-Elder Mumford