Monday, April 27, 2015

Dreams do come true.

Yes. The transfer news is here. And is is exactly what I had hoped for? I guess you'll just have to wait until the end of this letter to find out ;) Yep, I'm being that Elder who keeps you all on your feet, but the weird thing is... This will be my last time surprising you all. That's so weird!! But yes, you have to wait til the end of the email. If not there will be consequences.

So this week was actually quite eventful. We did a little streetboarding as a zone on Thursday. In case you don't know what that is, it's when you and a group of people make a big board and put lots of pictures of topic in the church and then people come up to you out of their own interest and you can just talk and explain to them about the church. It's basically to let people know more about the church and to pick of contacts who could become investigators. Our topic that we did as a district was about the Plan of Salvation, and we along with a bunch of other districts and their boards went to a marketplace in Mahamasina and tore it up talking to peeps. We didn't get a whole lot of contacts for us in 67ha, just a bunch for a lot of other areas. It was still way fun though! We did it pretty much the whole day. I'll get some pictures up on the bucket!

We also got to watch conference, FINALLY! We got to go to the office on Saturday and Sunday with all the other missionaries to watch it. Let's see... I don't have my awesome notes in front of me and I forgot to take pictures of the drawings. I'll get that out soon! But for now I don't really remember a whole lot of stuff, I'd have to go back and watch them again. I just remember loving it so much. It had it's kinda weird/ funny moments to it. Like when those people made an opposing vote during the sustainings. Very interesting. I think my favorite part of the conference was after a seventy gave his talk in spanish and then Uchtdorf came up and started going off in German. All the missionaries were roaring with laughter. My favorite quote from conference was Shakespear's "twas I but tis not I", and how God cares a whole lot more about who we are now and who we will become rather that who we were. It's just so awesome to me that no matter what things we've done in the past, no matter what regrets we have, we can always press on with a new purpose in life because of the Atonement of Christ. And that's why I'm out here, to help people start over. And I saw that in a way this week when we got to attend the marriage of two of our investigators, Rija and Elienne. They were already living together and have a kid with one on the way, just not lawfully married. But they finally took that step and got it done. They're going to be baptized pretty soon here as well. We won't get to see it, but the marriage was very special to me. Seeing how far they've come. I told yall about this before, but Rija was a drunk when I first started teaching him. But we got them back on track towards baptism. It took some time, but they're all but there. I know that they'll make it to the temple as well. This mission is just so AWESOME! More awesome than a snotnosed 21 year old kid could put into a weekly email.

Aside from all that, nothing to much happened. I said a lot of goodbyes and took pictures with people before I leave here on Wednesday morning to go to my next area. Me and Elder Walker are still doing well together. I'm gonna miss working with him. But I know he's going to do great things. Oh and I'll spill part of transfer news. So Elder Walker is leaving 67ha too and getting transfered to another area in Tana called Tanjombato. He's pretty stoked about it. And 67ha will be whitewashed by two Malagasies, so that should be fun! Haha.

Alrighty, well I think I'm about out of news for the week, at least for the stuff that's in my head. So It's time to really spill the beans. Elder Mumford will be going to a little place called Andranomanelatra. And for all of you who know nothing about it, it's a place in Antsirabe. Yep. My boyhood dream is coming true. I'm doin it. I'm going down to ANTSIRABE!!! I am so excited. That's seriously one of the places and areas I have long dreamed about going. It's out in the beautiful countryside of Antsirabe. It's going to be COLD!! There'll be mountains. I still haven't got a close up look at it, but that's what everyone tells me it's like. Oh and just a side note: I get a car. Yep! So I'll get to learn the valuable life skill of driving a standard transmission. My companion's name is Elder Mack and I literally know nothing about him, but I'm looking forward to working with him. Ah!!!! Everything is just so great :) I couldn't ask for a better area to finish off. I've even said before that I would take this over Fort Dauphin. Dreams do come true. And I'm gonna work my hardest and enjoy every minute of while I'm there. I'll tell you all about it once I get there! As for now, pday is running short and I got a lot of stuff to do. So if you find that your emails didn't get replied to this week don't be offended! At very least I have read all of them and I'll get back next week. I love you all so much!! This journey has been such a rollercoaster for me and you all have been there with me to this point. And now I'm starting the last chapter of my mission. It's gonna be fun :) Tiako ianareo!!! Til next week when I'm in Antsirabe!!!

Elder Mumf
Cartmill strikes again

More investigators

I'm not high

Jeanna, Silvie, and Fenitra

Eric being Eric


Vita soratra at last!!!

Bebe Lillian

One of my favorite families ever.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Things not measured

Hey hey everyone! Another week down. One more to go. Then we'll see the last place I'll be going to on this wild Mada adventure. Obviously I hope I go somewhere cool, but they could just keep me here to end the mish in Tana. We'll see though! Got one last week, I just gotta make the most of it. It should go by pretty fast, we're doing a zone activity this week with streetboarding and then Saturday and Sunday will pretty much be taken up by conference. So excited for all of that :) I'll be sure to get pictures with all the ballers I work with.

This week was kinda interesting. Elder Walker woke up in early in the morning Wednesday and was having all those fun side effects of having a stomach problem. So that day was all spent in the house. It was then that I remembered why I hate not working. I ran out of things to do so fast. But life happens. The next day we had a split and I got to be with my old comp Elder Cartmill! That's right, he's back in Tana for all who don't know. We got to work in his area in Mahamasina. It was kinda fun because there were times where he didn't know where we were going so we got to explore a little. We went through all kinds of mazes and climbed the highest mountains. Way fun stuff. It was a ball working with him again like old times. We even found some JW pamphlets and started making captions to them. Let's see... I also got to go on a split in Ampefiloha with Elder Munanira, one of the Rwandan Elders. It was pretty weird, not gonna lie, and I'm glad it was for one day. The guy is just so quiet. He's good at english and everything, he just doesn't talk when he doesn't need to. Cool guy, it was just kindof a long split. But yeah, got to see my district areas a little more and it was fun :) 

Aside from that, the work here is going alright. We've been able to find a lot of cool people to teach. Oh and we just found out that one of our investigator couples is going to be getting married this weekend!! I've already talked a little about them, it's Rija and his wife. He was the one who when I first got here was a drunk. But we were able to help clean him up and trying to help them get legally married so they can be baptized and all that other fun stuff. And it's happening finally!! We get to go witness it this saturday. He's one guy that I've always thought about dropping, but then I kept getting this feeling that we should keep going with him and not give up. And now we're seeing the results of our perserverence with them! They're coming to church every week now, and I think they're going to be such great members. I've also told y'all about Joel, a less active who had a smoking problem. He's completely off smoking now and he's coming to church every sunday again! So in my view that's just as good as a baptism, getting people activated again. We've had more of these kind of experiences which I might save for another letter, but looking back I feel good about what I've been able to do here in 67ha. We may not have been having the highest baptism rates in Mada or results that show up on paper, but I feel like we've been the key in changing people lives here. I heard a talk this week, I think it was from President Uchtdorf, but he said that some of the most good you can do can't be measured. I'm looking forward to keep working hard to help people, whatever stage they're at, to get to that exaltation in the celestial kingdom. That's pretty much what it all comes down to. I love this work!

Well I can't think of much else to say right now. We played football today and I only caught one pass, but it was a critical one for a touchdown we needed in the last minutes, so I came through I guess! Anyways, I better get going. 'Til next week! Love you all. Keep being good!!

Elder Mumf

Monday, April 13, 2015

One down, Two to go

Well another week is down, this one much faster than past ones. Things have been pretty good here as usual. Still holding down the fort here in the old Soix. And it's been super hot here actually. Which is weird for being the middle of April, but I guess things start getting cold in May, at least that's what they all say. And if I'm in Antsirabe that could be especially cold. But we'll see where I end up. I've got 2 more weeks here. It's so close and yet so far. I'm still just trying to make the most of it and work as hard as I can. It'll be interesting to see where my last 3 months will take me.

So this week, not a whole lot of exciting things especially happened. Except for we had interviews with President Adams. I always love those, he is such a great guy to chat with, and that's pretty much all we did. I got done with the prayer and he told me that it was our last formal interview and then asked me what I wanted to talk about. And with the end coming near I naturally had questions about adjusting to life after the mission. We talked about what I was thinking about going into. He told me to have an open mind in everything and go exploring and interviewing all kinds of people about their careers. I was thinking about going into graphic design, partly because I wanted to avoid the math part of it. But thinking about it now, there really is no way to dance around that. I'm thinking more about going into Architectural Design, or maybe even sticking with my original plan of Mechanical Engineer. He also told me that the best way to prepare was just to work as hard as I can until the moment I get on the plane. Which didn't really surprise me. But I intend to do just that. I know everything will work out the way it needs to and that I still have time to figure it all out. For now, I'm not done with the mission yet and that's what I need to focus on. After the interview I just felt great and rejuvenated. It was just what I needed.

The work has been going a little better this week. We've gotten a lot of new peeps on the program. We've been trying something a little different and telling new investigators straight up that our goal for them is baptism and how that's the only way to get eternal life. You're already baptised in the catholic church? Well you're gonna have to be baptized again. But before that you need to know that all this is true. So listen to us and pray about it. Haha all that kinda seems blunt, but that's kinda how it's been. And so far it's worked. And at the very least it weeds out investigators that aren't going to progress. But people in general have been pretty accepting even after that and are willing to try it out. So hopefully that works better for us. I've learned throughout the mish that it's always the best to be very clear with people about the goal and the why of all this. And this past week we've cranked it up a notch and it's been great.

Anyways, I'm having a hard time thinking about all that went down this week. Plus we're in a little rush to get on to other pday stuff. If I think of stuff I'll get it down next week. For now though, yalls have a great week and know that I love you. Peace out!

-Elder Mumford

Monday, April 6, 2015

I'm 21...

Hey everyone!!

How's it goin', peeps?? Hope all your Easter festivities were fantastic. This email will probably be pretty short because we're still going to go mikaly and stuff. So yeah!

The week as far as the work goes was pretty rough, not gonna lie there. About half of all our scheduled appointments fell through due to people going out of town to visit relatives. The times we did have were still alright though. I don't really have any huge crazy experiences from this week, it was kinda one of those. We did a lot of tracting, and picked up some people who seem pretty solid, so we'll see how that goes. The highlight of the week was our one baptism though!! It happened this past saturday for our investigator named Eric. He's 22 years old and is good friends with a member here. It was kinda hectic because we got to the baptism about 30 minutes before the baptism was to start and there was still no water in the font. We had someone tell us they were taking care of it, but I guess they slacked. So we got it going AND we took the firehose that was nearby and just started filling it up as fast as we can. It was quite the sight! Pictures are up, so jereo. They even had me roll up my pant sleeves and go in the water to check the depth. But when it was filled up, all went so smoothly. Eric had his friend do the baptism and it was so right. He bore such a simple but powerful testimony. And when we asked him how he felt afterwards, he was just so happy and smiling so wide. When we were teaching him, he still hadn't felt like he got a solid answer that all this was true, but still wanted to be baptised. I think he got his answer that day.

To be honest, there's not a whole lot else to share about the week. On Sunday we went out to work and almost everyone was drunk. Guess they were celebrating my birthday right! The birthday was good. It feels really weird to be 21... All grown up on paper, still kid at heart! When we got back to the house that night, I started celebrating with a big 1.5 liter bottle of passion fruit juice and some cookies I had bought the day before. I then went to my room to get something and when I came out again, there were all the other Elders with egg in hand and they had me trapped. They then came up one by one and slammed eggs on my head. Oh in case you don't know that's a tradition here. Whenever there's a birthday, the person gets egged! Haha it was actually more enjoyable than it sounds ;) All in all, an alright birthday. At least it's a story to tell my grandkids right? Haha. All I know is I'm so glad it's pday. I've really needed today. And hopefully things will settle down this week and we'll get more work done.

Anyways, I think that'll do for now! Love you all so much. Have the best week ever!!

Elder Mumf

Wootan, Walker, and Ahlstrom

67ha in a picture

Riz Contonnais

On the roof of the church

Using the firehose to fill the font

Full moon. Had to manararoatra that!

Happy birthday to me

Hiking trip to Itaosy

Lookin' mcfly