Monday, September 29, 2014

The Good Life in Mahajanga

Manahoana daholo! Kabary? Well this is weird. I'm back in front of a computer again. It literally feels like I was just typing the email from last week. Y'all probably get sick of me saying this, but man. Time is soaring! But while the time is going by, I'm loving every minute of it here in the raddest place in the mish.

This'll be kinda random like it always is, but here we go! This week was another good one. We're still looking for new people that'll be solid, and we've tracted into some that seem like they could be winners, but we shall see. Working with the members as always to go teach their friends and family. The thing is, we have a lot of way diligent investigators. Most of them just have their obstacles that are keeping them from getting baptized. Like Tamatave, lots of people here are not vita soratra, so we're trying to help and always encourage them to get their marriages done. Some have word of wisdom issues. For the most part people we teach here are pretty good about not doing those things like alcohol and tobacco, but lots of people still drink coffee. And even that can be a really hard thing to overcome for people. And there's some people that simply haven't been to church yet. Nobody said the asan'ny famonjena was easy, but we're working our hardest out here so that people can make that first step and eventually make it to the temple. So yeah, always looking for mazoto people and we might be doing a little program cleaning of people who simply aren't getting anywhere. We do, however, have some potential baptisms coming up hopefully later this month, so we're working our hardest to make sure that happens. We may have 3 or 4, which would be awesome!

Let's see here... Me and Elder Razazarohavana are doing good still! We've been having more communication lately and that's made things go a lot smoother. I'm still not tonga lafatra when it comes to malagasy, so I've been talking to him as much as I can and getting to know areas I can improve. I'm pretty good at the language I'd say, but I'm just working on not being okay with where I'm at, but always improving. So that's helped and I'm still getting better at it. I love this language!! This week I've also started to lead the area. And for the most part I actually know where everything is, there was just a few times I was kinda lost. But there's still time for me to learn it, so I don't think there'll be any problems with that.

I've said before how this place is pretty warm, and people have been telling me that it's been cold compared to how hot it gets in October. And that's just a couple of days away! Haha I try to tell myself that it's cold here to make it seem less hot, but it is pretty freaking hot here. You sit down for 10 minutes and you get up and your back is all wet. The people's houses are mostly made out of pieces of tin, so you sit in lessons with a little towel constantly putting it to your face. Haha sounds fun right? It actually hasn't been too bad. I've found when I'm focused on the work it doesn't bother me. Still drinking lots and lots of water though!

One thing I got to do this week was start a Temple Prep class! Sunday afternoons we teach a Preach My Gospel class, but there's a couple that's about to go to the Temple, so now we have that too. One of us teach PMG while the other teaches about the Temple. There was only 1 that showed up for it, but it was kinda nice just talking with the guy. His name is Frere Paul and he's the 1st counselor in the Branch Presidency. He's already read the Temple pamphlet written by Boyd K. Packer cover to cover and everything we talked about was just review for him. But we talked a little about the Plan of Salvation and the role that the temple plays it that. It always kinda makes me trunky for the temple to talk about it, but I'm so happy to be out here to help people get ready to partake of those blessings for themselves. I can't wait to go back to the Temple, but I love teaching people here about it to help them so that they can go there too someday.

Well I can't think of a whole lot else to be honest... Sorry if these letters are kinda lame. Sometimes I get in front of the computer and draw a blank. But I hope you all like them and find them good and interesting! I didn't quite do as well on pictures this week... Mba avelao ny heloko! Haha. I'm trying okay! Anyways, it's pday and lots to do. Love you all so much and hope you have an awesome week! Tiako ianareo jiaby!!

-Elder Mumf

Back of the tag nowadays

Monday, September 22, 2014

A Swim in the Ocean! (Well. Kinda)

Hey hey everyone!! How's everything hanging out there? It's pretty good here. You know. We had baptisms!! Haha that'll probably be the main theme of this email. I don't have much more time left before we need to get on to some other stuff, but I'll get some stuff in here still.

So like I said before, we had baptisms. And yes, they were in the ocean! We had 2 investigators get baptised. Their names are Yvon and Sylvia. No they're not married, but we think it's a possibility. Haha. But it all went pretty smoothly. We had a little program at the church with hymns and talks and then we all headed out to the ocean! I got some pictures of it, so hopefully you'll take a peek at the bucket and enjoy! There really was nothing like it. It was unusual being in that much water in so long. And by that I mean being in enough water to swim in. I don't really remember if the water was cold, I was just so excited about being out there I couldn't really think of much else. I was a little worried that the waves would cause a problem, but it all went smoothly. I was able to do it all without having to start over! Haha so I guess that's an accomplishment. After it was over I didn't want to leave. There's just a calm and hard to describe feeling when you're out in that water. But I guess I kinda had to return to shore at some point. It was amazing getting to do that in the ocean and not many people get to do it, but one thing I realized was that no matter if it's in the ocean or in a font, the baptism is still the same sacred ordinance. Being a part of a baptism, no matter where, is one of the best experiences ever, and I'm always so thankful for when I get to be a part of them. So yeah, there you have my little stop in the ocean!

The rest of the week... Not a whole lot out of the usual. Still teaching lots, but also trying to find more people that will learn. One thing kinda interesting about here is that it's a lot more muslim influenced with the Commorian people. I think that's kinda what adds that touch to Mahajanga that makes it unlike any other. There's some cool looking Islamic churches here too. The people are also very welcoming. We have a few investigators that we teach now that come from an islamic background, so it's kinda cool. One interesting thing that happened this week was when I was stopped to take a drink of water and a guy was walking past and told me it wasn't okay to drink water while standing up and he told me it was from the prophet Muhammed. Whether that's really the case or not, that was just something unique that happened.

We're still also teaching less-actives and trying to help them come back. And we've had some success with that! I think a lot of people would come back if they were just visited. That's another struggle we have here, is that the home teaching is virtually non existant here. So we're working with the elder's quorum presidency to get that fixed. The branch still needs lots of guidance from time to time. Yesterday's sacrament meeting was kinda... Interesting. Haha. We had to go up and talk to the branch presidency about some things that were missing from announcements and whatnot and we still need a keyboard player. So any that has some fahaizana with keyboard feel free to stop by!! Haha :)

Can't really think of anything else. Hopefully the pictures this week make up for the lack of the past few weeks. I'm trying to be better with that! And also this week I hit my year mark in country. Oh how the time flies! I feel like I say that every week, but it's true. I remember that first day stepping off the plane into this crazy cool place not being able to talk to anyone. I think I've come I couple steps from that time. I'm so grateful to be here!!

Anyways, we better get going. Love you all and hope everything is going well back there! Tiako ianareo!!!

-Elder Mumf
Razaza getting his hair chopped off

 Cheesburger au zebu

All this for a buck. That's a happy meal

Chocolate Milkshake. Not quite America, but still SO good.

 Fr. Toky being Fr. Toky

Heading out to the beach

That's the branch president in the middle, Filoha Tahina

Enjoying the ocean while I can!

Trying to be creative with the camera... Did it work?

Porte a Porte on the beach. Or porte a potty?