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:

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

More adventures in the MTC!

This week went by ridiculously fast. All week I couldn't remember what week we were on either. But week 7 officially begins tomorrow! And we should be getting our flight plans for Madagascar pretty soon, I am so stoked, you have no idea. I know we still have stuff to learn, but if I could leave right now I would!

Anyway, we got new roommates last Wednesday. Elder Davidson and Fuller. They're both from Utah, and they're cool guys. Not as crazy as our last roommates, but still fun guys. I think we might have scared the heck out of them when they got here. Just so you know, a few minutes after you enter the MTC, one of the first places you go is your residence, and when they got up to our room and opened the door, we all ran up the stairs screaming, all nine of us, and started shaking their hands and yelling and getting all pumped for new people, it was hilarious. This is the THIRD set of English speakers that we'll see leave before we get to.

Oh, and Kyle got here! I see him a bunch, we've got some photos. He's companions with the guy who plays the teenage Joseph Smith in the movie, it's so random, that would happen to Kyle. I think his name is Elder Whitaker. I asked him if he remembered Laurie and Tiff and he got way stoked, he said he stinking loves them, so you'll have to tell them that I ran into him. He's a cool guy.

A few more fun stuff before I get into some stories, a few days ago, Bro Sender taught us a bunch of different Gasy games. It's hilarious what kind of stuff the people in Madagascar think is funny. There's a game called Valo Mahafanaritra (Great Eight), and literally all you do is sit in a circle, and count to eight and whoever has to say eight has to do this little dance thing when they say it, Malagasy's think it's hilarious haha. I love the days when all we do is talk about people in Madagascar, I am so excited to go out and meet all of them.

Oh, one more thing. So Elder Austin, in my district, has been craving Taco Bell ever since we got here, I've never heard anyone talk about it more. One of the Malay's in our Zone had to go to the doctor, and he came back with two massive bags of burritos. It was the best surprise ever! Elder Austin ate 4, and the rest of us got to split the other like 14, ha. Best thing to end class with.

Taylor and Elder Austin
Onto lesson stuff.

We taught Miandry last week, and we're finally making progress. I tried teaching him how to pray once, and he prayed to Jesus instead of Heavenly Father. So the other day, I taught him again, and I didn't notice, but when I was explaining what prayer is, I was trying to say "Rainao" (Your Father), but I said "Rano", which means water. So instead of praying to Heavenly Father, Miandry prayed to the Waters of Heaven. Third times the charm, I'll be teaching him again this week, haha. But other than that, the lesson was SO awesome, for one of the first times, I was able to say everything quickly and clearly. TRC was like that this past week too, I usually stink at getting to know people and doing small talk, but in TRC we spent like half the lesson talking about school and stuff we like to do with our investigator.

Another cool investigator story. The past few days, I've been pretty bummed, not even sure why, but I decided to volunteer to be a missionary in a role play. The investigator was named Laura, and the challenge was to rely only on the Spirit for a while and say whatever we were thinking. I asked her if she would be baptized, and she said she didn't want to. After some digging, I figured out that it was because she didn't want to commit or get tied down. I felt like I should ask her about her marriage, because that was one thing she seemed to really love. I compared baptism to marriage, saying it's maybe a little nervewracking before, and it takes some getting used to, but with time, you grow to love it. She got a lot more open after that, and set a date. I was so stoked! It totally got me out of my rut seeing how the Spirit can lead a lesson.

Anyway, there you go, there's my spiritual story for the week. Oh, and to answer your question, I won't be here when Conner gets here. We leave the early afternoon of the 20th, if everything goes according to plan. And he gets here a few days after, but Peter will be here still.

OHS buddies- Elders Mitchell, Sargent, Moulton & Shumway

Elders Peter Molnar, Taylor Moulton & Lane Mitchell 

That's about all for this week, love you guys!


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

1 month in...Hump day is here!!

Happy 4:30 AM! We have to get up super early to get washing machines quick. This seems to be the golden hour, hardly anyone is down here right now.

Anyway, one more week down. And we're finally on the downhill towards Madagascar! Last Friday was the halfway point, and we threw a big party in my room. Lots of chips, salsa, oreos, gummy bears, etc. Horrible mix. No one could sleep that night. Oh! And also, the box of cupcakes you sent me got mangled and thrashed haha, but we still lit the candles and ate them, they were just as good destroyed. I'm not sure why, but we did that like 3 times this week. One time for no reason, the second time for our half way party, then again the next night to say goodbye to our Rochie friends (Rochesters). They took off Monday morning at 4 AM and made sure to wake us up to say goodbye. Love those kids.

So starting off last week.. The Mongols finally left (They were stuck here for almost 16 weeks because of Visa problems), and one of them gave us a pair of his lumberjack pajamas, so we had a nice little arts and crafts sesh and made nasty ties out of them. They all turned out pretty awful, awfully awesome though.

Perfect ties for "Ugly Tie Monday"

Peter got here the other day! I didn't see him at all his first day, not a surprise though. But the next day I saw him at lunch or dinner and we talked for a while and got pictures. Then the next day we all ate together, and we met up with him during the temple walk. So I see him a bunch. Kyle comes tomorrow, too! So lots of buddies will be here again, super stoked. Also, kind of random, on my temple walk, I ran into my friends Tia and Jessica. Don't worry, no hugs were exchanged, still getting used to this handshake deal.. But we did get to talk for while, which was way nice.

The language is coming along more and more. I still struggle with putting things together quickly, I always have to think about it for a few seconds. Whenever I try to talk fast in Gasy I find myself throwing in Spanish and messed up English. It's a tri-lingual disaster, haha!

But on the plus side, both of our investigators, Miandry & Tojo, said that we had our best lessons yet. We can actually understand now and answer questions, instead of lecturing. Last Thursday or Friday, we were teaching Tojo and we were going to start the POS lessons, but when we went in, he told us he didn't understand why we need a prophet today, so we went from there and talked about the priesthood and the Apostasty. It was so tight, Tojo finally got really into the lesson. Same thing happened with Miandry. Good week for lessons.

Anyway, that's about it for this week, I'll send my memory card and a few random things home in the next week. Love you guys!


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Approaching Hump day in the MTC

Another week down. This week we hit a month here at the MTC. Only one more to go and we're out! It's been an awesome week. The first few days are crazy slow, the next two weeks you get used to things, then the past week and a half have flown.

Where to start, it's been so much fun. Last week Jensen and I officially dropped written notes for our lessons. It's super hard, but I love being put on the spot now, it forces me to think fast and it helps me to realize how much I know. We picked up a new investigator named Miandry on Friday, and another one on Saturday, named Riri. So we teach every single day now. We can teach a solid half hour to 45 minutes now. It's really simple concepts, but it's way fun, I can finally understand and have little conversations with investigators. I'll work on filming a little conversation so you can hear it. Bro Sender told us that he wasn't off notes by the time he left the MTC, so we're doing really good. Lots of studying and massive amounts of prayer.

A few pics from our less serious study time:

So funny story, Elder Naef, a guy in my district from Portland, was telling us a story last week about when he worked for septic services in Portland. So many horrible poop-related accidents. I've never laughed so hard, but needless to say, my district now knows about my extremely weak stomach.

Another nice adventure, last weekend we celebrated the weekend (which is no different than any other day) by building a blanket fort in my room and having district scripture study. It was like a bunch of little five year old bois running around, all hyped up on candy. So much fun.

Speaking of candy, thank you for the packages! Both you (Mom) and Sister Molnar have sent lots of candy. My entire district has been well fed all week. We almost finished an entire 41 ounce bag of Skittles just last night. EVERYONE was way too energetic.

Another fun thing we did, on Saturday before TRC (teaching investigators) we did a Malagasy activity. We blindfolded half the district, and had to lead them around the MTC in Malagasy, it was super fun, and super dangerous. I may or may not have ended up in the bushes and falling over chairs that the Frenchies set up as roadblocks. But our Malagasy directions have never been better. Speaking of French, guess what we get to learn? French numbers. Apparently for money and time, they use French a lot in Mada. So that'll be one of my next goals, trying to nail down French numbers.

Ah, I almost forgot about Sunday. Sunday was so awesome. Jenny Oaks Baker spoke for the devotional. She's Dallin H Oaks' daughter. She got a music Masters or whatever from Juliard. I guess there's a Mormon Message about her if you wanna check it out. She played a bunch of instrumental violin music, holy crap, it was so good. Probably my favorite fireside yet. Plus her kids played a song, and her son was plucking away on a classical guitar. I was so jealous. After the fireside we watched "Legacy". I know it's a serious movie, but holy cow, a few of us could not stop laughing.

Also, Jay left on Sunday, and Spencer left this morning. I got lots of pics with them before they left. Spencer got a temp reassign to go to Alabama for a month. So funny. Good ol' 'bama. And Pete comes in tomorrow! I'll keep my eye out for him.

Last bit of news, we get over 30 newbie's in our zone tomorrow! It's going to more than double our zone size. So pumped.

Sorry if I forgot anything, I'm always rushed when I write. Love you guys!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

4th of July in the MTC, and more!

Another week down! It's been a really good one. First off, we did meet our new mission president. He and his wife are really awesome, but we only got to talk for like half an hour. So we'll see more of them once we get to Mada.

So, where to start. Last Wednesday, it was the Fourth, so no missionaries came in til Thursday. The Fourth was awesome here! I expected it to be lame because I'm used to being out partying and doing pyrotechnics with everyone, but it was awesome. They let us stay out an entire extra HOUR to watch the fireworks ha. It was out of control. I got your 4th of July package and we decorated the room. We also had a really cool 4th of July devotional thing. Instead of just focusing on America, they talked about freedom in general. I realize that sounds boring ha, but it was way cool. They had a flag ceremony with like 40 flags and the Mada flag was in there. Basically rocked.

A sister from Mada got to carry the flag, and we talked to her before the devotional. Malagasy people are SO nice. We see her all the time and always talk to her in Malagasy and she loves it. She always says "Mahay!" when we say things right (or close to right, or not right at all). Mahay means "skills or talent". Bro Sender says that EVERYONE does that when you first get to Mada. They're just super nice, even though everyone stinks at the language at first. Bro Sender and Bro Sell tell us stories every single day, it's so easy to get them off-topic and start them talking about Mada. I'm so stoked to get there! They had the weirdest and coolest experiences.

We got our first Malagasy investigator last Saturday. She's the Malagasy professor at BYU (Who knew there was a Malagasy class there? Weird.) Her name is Claodia. It was definitely nerve-racking teaching a real Malagasy person. But she went nice and slow along with us. It's super hard talking to people sometimes, because even when I understand them, it's really hard to say what I want to say back. And the grammar rules are so weird! Like I was asking Claodia what she liked to do and she started talking about "gitara" or guitar. I got super excited but my mind just blanked. All I could do was smile and point at myself and say "Aho". Which means "I/me" But it's definitely coming along. Most of the time we teach Tojo, we can go for like 20 minutes with only a few queue words written down, but I think I was just nervous teaching someone new.

Elder Galbreath and Mitchell had a funny experience teaching Claodia. Galbreath was trying to ask if she was married (Manambady ve ianao?) And instead, he said "Manambody ve ianao?" Which to put it appropriately, means "Do you have a butt?" Funniest thing ever. Claodia was hysterical.

When any District leaves, they sing in Sacrament meeting, so we're gonna learn "If You Could Hie To Kolob" in Malagasy and I'll have someone film it so you can see it. I love singing in Malgasy. A lot of the time, we have no idea what we're saying, but the songs all sound awesome.

Oh, I forgot to mention, we got roommates! It was just Jensen and I for the first two weeks, which was cool, because then we could always have parties in our room with everyone on our floor. (And by party, I mean as party-ish as missionaries get.) But the new guys are Elders Danielson and Allen. They're going to Rochester, NY. They're both really cool, it was kind of funny seeing how uncomfortable people are the first few days. I know I was like that, but it goes away quick once you realize that you're gonna be with the same people for a long time.

The Pokies and the Ogden's left this morning. I love those guys. But we got a shipment of Reno's, and a bunch of Sisters finally joined the zone! About time, it was purely dudes forever. People here try to beat it into you that Sister's are the black plague, and if you talk to them you're a sinner, but it's so nice not talking to guys all the time ha.

Anyway, let me know when you guys get the package I sent out. I sent it yesterday and there's a bunch of exciting treasures inside. Be stoked!

In Taylor's package he sent the following...
"Here is a 100 ariary bill. It's worth about 5 cents. Don't spend it all in one place!"

and a copy of a Malagasy "The Living Christ".

Love you guys!

P.S. I wouldn't say no to a package of Oreo's!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

More MTC Adventures

Ah, my dear family (and friends who happen to read this),

So tomorrow morning will be two weeks here. It's flown by. The days are long, but the time goes by quick. Only a month and a half til we fly to Mada. (Should be on or around Aug. 20th).

So.. since my last email. Last Tuesday night, our P-Day got cut a tad short for a special devotional. Turns out that 10 of the General Authorities were here. They were here to help train the 100 and something new mission presidents. L. Tom Perry spoke. It was so awesome, I was so tired though. Speaking of being tired. So, I thought I was getting on the new schedule pretty well, but it caught up with me. It's not horrible, but I am ALWAYS dead tired in the morning. So now I shower at night so I can sleep for like 15 extra minutes. We're SO packed all the time. Except today. P-Days are so relaxed. it's so nice. I got up today at 5:30 to do laundry, and no one else got up.. So I just wrote letters all morning.

Also, they're not nearly as strict on hair as people say. An Elder in my district, Elder Ludwig, has way long hair for a missionary, and he was eventually told to get it cut. So one of our very exciting adventures today will be to accompany him to the barber shop. He's gonna save his hair and mail it to someone. Once again, this is the kind of thing that we find fun. You have to make your own fun here.

Oh, probably the most exciting news this week. We were talking to Bro Sender on Saturday during class, and he told me that in Mada, you can get a NICE custom made guitar for around $200 US. That may or may not be the one thing I want more than anything else. Plus, the traditional guitars in Mada are called kabosy. It's pronounced "caboose". Who wouldn't want that? Wanna look into those a bit?

Oh, another cool thing. So Tojo, our investigator, turned out to be a fake. (Didn't see that coming, a white 20 something living in Provo? Ha.) His name is Bro Sell, he's an RM from Mada. He got back the same time as Mike Riding. Him and Mike went through the MTC together and were comps in the field. And at one point, they lived with Bro Sender. He's way tight. Bro Sender is like the calm all-knowing spiritual genius, and Bro Sell is the chill funny one. We still teach Bro Sell every other day though, as Tojo.

Speaking of mail. MAIL IS LIKE CHRISTMAS HERE. It's a stinking competition. I love getting letters. When I was getting ready to leave, I fully expected people not to write or only to write for a little bit, and I thought I wouldn't care. No. Mail is amazing. I've gotten letters from Natalie, Ben and the bois, and all the family. Speaking of family, Brittany wrote and asked about what to send me in a package. I have plenty of cookies haha, so maybe drinks? Oh, even better. Sour Patch Kids or Peanut Butter M&M's. Those are perfect for our Air Mail game. Every night, we get tons of people and try to come up with creative ways of landing it in our mouths. We are seriously so good now. Elder Vigil caught a fruit snack from like 5 floors down. It's amazing.

Cool story, so on Sunday, we had a guest speaker at our devotional. His name is Ted Gibbons I think. He had the coolest approach ever. He dressed up like someone from Joseph Smith's time and gave like an HOUR long monologue. Except not boring, and I hate plays, so take my word for it. He spoke as if he was Willard Richards, and gave the most detailed description of his experiences with Joseph Smith that I have ever heard. It was so sick. So there you go, you can be comfortable knowing that we actually do a lot of spiritual things here, and I like them.

One more thing I find funny. If you guys back at home (people Tanner's age) think that setting up chairs is a hassle in the ward. Wait til you get here. They have it down to a science. It's insane. The guy here that organizes setting up the 2000 chairs is like military. YOU DO NOT MESS UP. I find it hilarious. But every Saturday, we do that for our service project. Like 2 hours setting up all the chairs and stands and random rooms for sacrament.

I'm not sure what else to cover, I forgot to bring my notebook with me that had all the questions people had. I'll try to remember all the cool stuff that goes on this next week.

Happy 4th and I love you guys!