Jacob 6:2 And the day that he shall set his hand again the second time to recover his people, is the day, yea, even the last time, that the servants of the Lord shall go forth in his power, to nourish and prune his vineyard; and after that the end soon cometh.

Cutest video ever!

Cutest video ever...At the very beginning you hear Elder Morgan tell the kids to go find a chameleon (the Malagasy are afraid of chameleons because they think they’re poisonous so it’s always a big deal when the missionaries touch them). Taylor then tells the kids to smile “ Tsiky tsiky tsara”. That cute little boy in the front left is asking, “Is it a picture? Who? Who? Who?” And you hear Taylor tell him it’s a video.

More cute kids!

Ha, when I was talking to all the kids, we were just naming a ton of different "laoka" that they like. Laoka is toppings for rice, they have a ton of kinds, so we were just naming a bunch.

Stories, Comments?

If any of you have received any letters or great stories from Taylor and would like to share it, we'd love to have it and post it here. When Taylor is done we are going to make this blog into a book for him. So we would love to have any additional stories that he may send to you. Just email them to moultonfamily1@msn.com. THANKS!!

Feel free to make comments to the posts below, and they will be emailed to Taylor. He would love to hear from you. Even if it is a small comment.

Letters from Elder Moulton:

Monday, December 31, 2012

Family video chat, Holidays, and Transfers...oh my!

Oh my gosh, you have no idea how good it as to get to talk to everyone on Wednesday!
Christmas Skype!!

New Years is coming up in... 6 hours for us. Which means there'll be a whole lot more drunk people wanting to talk to us, yes!

This past week was definitely one of the longest weeks I've ever had on the mission. Christmas already seems like an eternity ago. So I'll just go over that real quick.

Christmas Eve, everyone from our zone met at the Stake Center in Tsaralalana for a white elephant, and a movie, and a ton of food. I saw Elder Steele there, for the first time in country, he's the AP now, go figures ha. I won a sick little photo holder, I stole it from Elder Taylor, and he won a Santa Claus outfit, he was pretty distraught haha.

Christmas Day, our district rode all the way out to Ambohimangarova again (Lemur Park area) and we walked around for a few hours, hiking around, singing Malagasy Christmas songs for anyone who would listen. Most people just stared at us awkwardly, they were so confused. But anyone who would listen the whole time was awarded with a moofball (a ball of fried dough) everyone loves those things, they're tasty.

Transfer news came on Christmas Eve. Morgan is working in Fort Dauphin now, and my new comp, Adam Landon, came up from Antsirabe. He's in the same MTC group as Morgan. He's from Vegas, cool guy, nice guy. He's a stinking hard worker.. I'm kind of getting my butt kicked out here, ha.

Just with all the hussle of everything and the holidays this week, it felt like a way long week. It was definitely a very relaxing ride home in the taxi last night, knowing that the next day was P-Day.

It was time for a new pillow!

Broke down, got a mosquito net.

Today, for Taylor's 2nd to last P-Day, me, Landon, Taylor, Hamm, Hansen, and Horne, rode way the freak out to a mountain in Tanjombato. I'd never been out there before, but it was way far. We hiked to the top of this mountain, and there was this weird like.. science village. Lot's of science art and little statues and houses. I took lots of pictures. And I hied the whole thing barefoot, mainly because I miss hiking barefoot, but also because I was running across a way sketchy valamparia (the little paths through rice paddies) and slipped and got bright orange mud all over my crappy Vans.

Eating at Ginger Chicks, with Elder Taylor stressing out in the background.

That's about the update for now. Our area is going really slow, so the next little while will be a lot of rebuilding and working out all the problems in the area, fun stuff huh?

Talk to you soon! Thanks for all the support! It means a lot, keep praying for me please, I love you!


PS. My toe is gettin' better!

Marary ratsantongotra.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Lovin' me some Christmas festivities!!

Enjoy a little Christmas- Madagascar style!!

Elder Taylor's white elephant gift

Ambohimangarova, we went caroling out here for Christmas

We gave away free snacks while we caroled.

Christmas meal

Monday, December 24, 2012

Torrential rains, Turtlenog, and Splits

Alright, Christmas is coming up finally. Everyone here celebrates Christmas, but its definitely not like home. It definitely doesn't feel like Christmas...It's way hot, no snow, plastic Christmas trees, ha, but it's pretty much the same as back home. We're headed to the office today, then to a big Christmas party in the city. For Christmas, we're going to an orphanage I think, to sing songs with the kids.

Bracelet made by a local Malagasy

Ready for Christmas (Elder Taylor)

I hit my 6 month mark this last week. Ah.. felt so good. I heard it's the longest part, so whether or not that's true, that's what I'm telling myself. It's all uphill from here. And since I get to call home tomorrow, I might be kind of lazy to write a big detailed letter today.

Planner #4

We had a massive rain storm this last week. It rained us into the house for the night, so I had fun running around barefoot in the rain.

Got some rain

I went on splits to Ankorondrano on Friday. It's in the main city of Tana. So crowded! So freaking dirty. Oh my gosh.. I don't want to work there again ha. It was a cool place, but I realized how much more I like Analamahitsy. 

On Splits with Evans

Out with the locals

Baobab fruit

We also visited a girl who had a baby on Monday morning, and gave her a donut. It's a Malagasy fomba called Rompantsa, you visit a new mother and give her a small treat and see their baby. I got a picture with them and with their new baby.

On Splits in Ankorondrano

Turtlenog was very small this year, but it still happened. All of us in the house had 3 litres of eggnogg and listened to Christmas music. Very good night, but nothing compared to the old days.

Turtlenog celebration, notice my sick green ascot.

Turtlenog Prep

My foot is all good now, still growing back though. 

I'm very lazy to write a ton right now, so that's the update. I'll write for stories from this week next time I write.

Love you guys! Talk to you tomorrow!


Monday, December 17, 2012

Gotta love me some in-grown toenail!

Buckle up people. Probably the shortest letter yet coming up.

So last Tuesday was Zone Meeting. 8 hours of meetings! Yes!! So sick!! The President's wife made us lunch, that was incredible.

After the meetings, I talked to the Health couple about my toe hurting, it had been bothering me for about a week. So they had me talk to the Office Elders about getting a time at a Adventist Clinic on Wednesday morning.

I stay healthy!

In-grown toenail

We went to the clinic, and I found out that my toe was way worse than I thought. The doctor stabbed away with his needle until he figured it was numb. It was numb for the most part, until he started clipping the nail in half. Oh man.. it was tender. He told me that I wasn't allowed to go out and work until Monday (today). So I was stuck at home all day, every day, this whole week. Except for every other morning, we'd go back to the clinic to get bandages changed.

So that's about all that happened this week. Oh, except for Tuesday, before I got my nail cut out, they were having a big celebration here in Tana. Ny Fankalazan'ny Republika Fahefatra. The Celebration of the 4th Republic. Huge fireworks display. We watched it from a members house, three stories up, on a sketchy ledge with no hand rail. It was so dope! I'll try to get some pictures and videos up.

Watchin fireworks on a sketchy ledge 3 stories up.

Oh, and I did get your last package last week. They only go in for pickups once every two weeks, so if one is even a day late, it'll get held up for 2 weeks. But everything is here! Thanks for all of it. I save the freeze dried meals for my Sunday dinners, it's the best way to end the week.

The investigators that up and moved on us were brand new, I hadn't said anything about them yet, but we found them, turns out they moved about 20 feet away, just moved across a little courtyard and upstairs. We had another investigator do that last week. Ha, it was actually two investigators, both families swapped houses. Kind of tripped us out. Anyway, I'll try to get some good stories from the goings-on this week to make up for my lack of excitement this week.

Talk to you all next week!


Monday, December 10, 2012

Madagascar- In a nutshell

The language is still coming along. Usually the times I see the most improvement are on splits, when I can lead. French is a very dirty language. That's what I tell Malagasy people when they ask why I haven't learned French. And now I have good reason to be upset with the language.

This past week, I was talking about shampoo with Elder Taylor (I don't know why we were talking about shampoo), and the conversation led to the kind that I had up in the shower. Taylor knows a little French just from being here for so long. So he informed me that my shampoo bottle, which says shampoo on the bottle, is actually conditioner. The bottle says, "Appres Shampoo" or something like that, which is French for, "after shampoo" I guess. So apparently I have only been using conditioner for 4 months, not a drop of shampoo once. You can imagine my upset.

Anyway, the Jas (I found out that I've been spelling Jas wrong, I always wrote Jazz) treated us to another picnic out in Manazary this week. Pasta, juice, and some other snacks. So I brought some of my American candy to give them. I filmed them eating warheads, cuz I never get tired of that. And I also brought some Smarties and tried teaching them how to smoke smarties. Funniest thing ever, they were all coughing so much. Check out the video on facebook.

Merry Christmas!

Fifi, Papozy, Hiavatra, Gracia

I got back to my roots this week on P-day, and got to run around barefoot for a little bit. The ground here is a lot more unforgiving than back home. So many gashes on my feet, ha. Me and Avotra, one of the Jas, were competing to see who could do the highest wall run. I had a good lead, but he beat me. I would blame it on the fact that he's black, but Malagasies are a whole different category of black. Short little people. He beat me straight up, sadly. There's a video for that too.

Oh, yesterday at church, we had an old missionary visit, he served in Analamahitsy for 11 months back in 2007. He knew Neil Locke too, thought that was cool. He bore his testimony for the members and translated for his wife, then they took off. But it was cool, we sat with them during the beginning of the meeting and had a nice conversation in pure English. I know I geek out about meeting Americans, but it never gets old.

Okay, so that's the update for the week. Not a huge amount of news from lessons. So to keep things interesting I decided to make a list of some observations I've made about Madagascar recently. To inform people at home, and to prepare missionaries coming here, so here we go.

1. Malagasies will listen to anything with a good beat. No matter how horrible the lyrics are in English, no one understands. So they like doing things like.. playing Lil Jon at a church activity, in the church. Hilarious.

2. I've made the observation before, but breast feeding is a very popular hobby around here. Constantly.

3. There are two ways to get around Tana, taxi's and taxibe's. Taxibe's are way cheap, but it takes a stinking long time to get anywhere. It takes about an hour and a half to go 9 kilometers.

4. To top off traveling, a ton of the roads are cobblestone, very bumpy rides.

5. Trash is everywhere, burning, piling up, being dug through, some people even live in it.

6. The word "vazaha" is a word you hear a million times a day. It literally means "foreigner", and sometimes people use it as a joke, or they just hate us ha.

7. Selling things as priced doesn't exist except in stores, but good luck on the road. Especially for us white people, they always try to rip us off.

8. Menu's at restaurants are pretty much always wrong. It'll say they have pizza, pasta, steak, rice, etc. But when you ask, unstead of telling you right then, they'll wait about 10 minutes to tell you they don't have anything but rice.

9. Drunks roam the streets, enough said.

10. Kids have found a free way to make soccer balls. They bunch up old plastic bags, a ton of them, into a big plastic ball, then tie it with a few strings.

11. Kids love testing our Malagasy by asking us what time it is. I had a kid ask me what time it was, every minute, for 6 minutes straight, I don't think he believed me though.

12. You feel strangely like a zoo animal sometimes. Get used to everyone staring at you, everywhere you go, all day, every day.

13. My view of cheap is very skewed now. Usually, eggs are 300 Ar (15 cents a piece), and now everyone jacked it up to between 350 and 380 (between 17 1/2 cents and 18 cents). I refused to buy eggs for like 2 weeks.

14. People think we're French, always. Whenever I ask how much something is, they tell me in French, and according to Francs. Then I ask how much that is in Ariary, so they tell me in French, again, but with Ariary. Then I have to ask how much that is in Malagasy. THEN I get the real price. That happens every time I buy something.

15. Rice paddies are not convenient at all, especially when they flood and the paths become useless. And get good at standing long jumps. You have to do it a lot to get from path to path, and if you fall.. you're screwed.

16. People love moving and not telling anyone. On Friday, I was talking to an investigator at their house. Then on Saturday, I knocked on the door, and a new person told me that they moved. Happens a lot.

All that said, this place is very different. But it's so sick. It's Africa! Who else in the world gets to know Malagasies like missionaries do? Coolest mission on Earth, that's for sure.

Love you!


Jean Claude, Hermin and ? 
Dadabe & Bebe- out in Manjaka 

Monday, December 3, 2012

What a week! The Mada adventure continues...

So, umbrellas are very nice. I realized that this past Tuesday as we were crossing the rice paddies in Ambohitrarahaba and I remembered that my umbrella was still at home. It seriously only took 2 minutes to be as drenched as I would be if I jumped into a pool. Completely soaked. I was gonna take a video, but I didn't want to bust the camera.

The road flooded immediately, but luckily we had a time, so we took refuge in an investigators house. Throughout the lesson, they had a tarp right under a hole in the roof, collecting water. Towards the end, the wife, Niriana, got up to empty it, and it caved in. The whole house got showered in water, on the inside. The mattress on the ground that the kids sleep on got drenched. The whole family started laughing so hard, ha. It reminded me of the time Lanto's bed snapped in half and she started laughing. Why do people find those experiences funny? Ha, it's pretty cool though, people here don't even worry about stuff like that.

Fanta came out with a new flavor this week (in Mada)

Leche season

My Christmas nativity (ft Taylor Swift & the Pilgrims)

Anyway, so you know, I got the packages! The freeze dried food.. oh my gosh, best way to end fast Sunday last night, you struck gold with all the candy and food. Keep it coming for sure. Speaking of candy, I brought a few warheads to English class on Wednesday, because Malagasies have never had such things. We played Simon Says in English, and the last two people each got one. So freaking funny, the first guy ate it and was freaking out, then the other girl who got one looked so terrified watching him eat it, but we refused to continue the lesson until she ate it. Oh, and I also got one of my friends in the ward to make me a way sick green and white bracelet with my name stitched into it, in exchange for a few candies. But other than that, I've eaten like all of it myself.

So, we went to Shoprite again this week, the place that is just like the Provo Mall. We met Americans there. I was literally speechless like an idiot. I was standing in an aisle looking at cartons of milk and I hear a lady behind me say, "Sorry" because she was trying to get past me with her cart. I turned around and just stared, it was so weird. There are seriously no people who speak real English here except missionaries, so I was kind of freaking out. Also, for that same reason, that no one speaks English, we are in kind of a habit of being able to make vocal observations to each other, just because no one understands. I walked like three feet away from the cart and shouted to some of the other guys that there were "people speaking English over here." The family probably felt pretty awkward.

Cool story to end the email. So we teach a guy, Herman, out in Manazary every other week, because he is a security guard and is gone every other week. He kind of randomly started  being WAY diligent lately. Learns way well, seriously talks like he's already baptized, it came out of nowhere, he wasn't like that when we first started visiting. He showed up at church yesterday and said, "Sorry, I know I said I could come to church, but I have to leave after the first hour, because I have visitors at home and I have their lunch in my bacpack." Such a stud, it's an hour walk one way to the church from his house, and he walked all the way just to come to testimony meeting then walk back.

Things are going good for us overall right now. Talk to you all soon!


(Some more pics to enjoy!)

Some recent converts wanted to be in a picture with everyone back home.

My  homies in Ambohitrarahaba