Monday, September 1, 2014

A warm week in the coolest area

Hey hey everyone!! What's up? Well. The power isn't out. So I don't know if it's just a lame joke that the office elders played on us or what. But I'm glad I get to email all of you regardless! Hope it's been a great week for all of you. It certainly has been a good one here.

I don't even really know where to start! Lots happened this week. But more on the area I guess. So I finally got to see the beach, and they're up on Photobucket so mazotoa. I guess Mahajanga is also really known for it's fishing. There's always sailboats out there and fish is a popular dish to eat. I still need to try it, but I'll get there. It's already pretty warm here, but everyone keeps telling me to just wait til October. So I'll keep the water going through me for sure! There's lots of baobabs here. They're probably not the kind you see when you google, "madagascar" as in the super tall and skinnier ones. But these are African Baobabs, which are really big and fat and crazy looking. I love them :) The power actually did go out for us a few days ago, but that's because the power company was being lame and cut our power even though we paid. So we had to get all the paperwork back and get it all sorted out, but we have power now which is a good thing if you're in Mahajanga. The nights are still warm too.

The language is still going well. Coming here to Mahajanga, when people would speak I was always kinda just like, "huh?". They do have a little different accent and they use some words that are different. It's influenced from a malagasy tribe called the Sakalava. It literally means Long Cat. They mostly just use merina, the official dialect, but every once and a while there'll be someone that talks to me and I literally can't understand a word. But for the very most part it's not much of a challenge. Just kinda fun to learn a little different form of Malagasy :)

I got to go to church this week! (obviously). We have a nice little chapel. It's not much of a looker, but it gets the job done for now. They've begun looking for other buildings they might buy, so there's a chance we could be moving soon. But I still like the one we have now, it's nice and cozy. The branch is full of really nice people. There's about 200-250 members here and about 100 that are still active. So a little work to be done there. We also just got a new branch president who seems like a baller and knows what he's up to. I'll be working as hard as I can to help the branch move in the right direction. The work this week has been a little interesting. A lot of times fell through and a lot of going back and forth trying people. We'll probably be doing more contacting, but that's no big deal. The program we have needs some tweaking, but overall it's been fun working in the new area and getting to know it better.

Today we went to the beach and kinda just took pictures and had some fun. We might go eat some rice after this and relax a little in the air conditioning at the house. But today there was one cool/unusual experience. Elder Razaza was getting some photos printed and while we were waiting I was sitting next to this guy. He was pointing to his wrist wanting to know the time and I asked him if he couldn't speak and it turns out he couldn't. That's actually a kindof common thing here to meet people who just can't talk. So he started using hand motions and we had a little chat. It was weird at first, but as we got going I found it so easy to talk to him with just my hands. He was asking what I was doing here and I pointed to my tag and he understood. He pointed to my ring finger, asking if I was married and I told him no. It just kinda went along like that and I ended up giving him a pamphlet with the address to the church and the time it starts. He was very excited about it and thankful for the little chat we had. So a little unusual experience, but somehow I was able to get my points across without even speaking. Who knows, maybe that young man will come to church! Anyways, that was kinda my cool experience of the week.

Not a whole lot else I can think of at the moment. Things still going well here and still getting to know this place. The more I do, the more I love it here. Even if it's a little bit hot. I love you all and hope you have another awesome week! Tiako be ianareo! Soava dia!

-Elder Mumford

Okay, so I don't know EXACTLY where our house is on the map, but if this isn't it, it's within a few houses. But this is the area I live in!

-15.708503, 46.316415

Goin' to church

Big fat baobab

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