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, September 24, 2012

Aahhh...Gotta love Mission life in a 3rd World Country!!

This week was really fast. But it felt like an American mission, we got dogged so much. We only got like 17 times this week. It was ridiculous. So I don't have a lot of stories this week, sorry, it was just pretty slow.

But, last Monday, I got my first experience with local toilets. First off, I don't think I've mentioned, but there are almost no local restrooms anywhere here, we only get to use the restroom at home, or on the side of the road. I always carry 6 sheets of paper with me. Not even our church has toilet paper. So anyway, we were in Analakely last week, and Elder Mitchell and I decided to get our first use of one of the local toilets. You have to pay a dimapolo to use it, and it smells like the worst sewage covered outhouse you could imagine. It was awesome.

Chillin' with Elder's Mitchell and Eppich on P-day at an expensive snack shop in Analakely. 

Kumar and Safidy. 

I love our house, coolest guys ever. We do everything together, aside from going out and teaching. But morning, night and P-Days, we're together all day. And we cook a ton, way good, almost American food. That's one thing I've learned, food has flavor in America, you all better enjoy it! But yeah, we cook a lot, shepherds pie, pizza, pasta, it's all good stuff.

Elder Taylor

Morgan used too much soap. 

Sportin' Marsh's cowboy hat and a dope Tide jacket I found on the side of the road. 2 dollars. 

Cake, with real American cocoa. 

Last Tuesday, Marsh and I went on splits to Sab-Nam again, I love teaching with him, we're both close in skill, because we're so close in getting out here. So teaching is way fun, we both get to speak a lot more than usual, I love it.

Oh, we've been having a good time with Malagasy films lately. I have a close comparison I'd like you all to see. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jE5dJDgZ644 (You have to get about a minute and a half in for the real gold.) The films here aren't that action packed, but the camera work and acting is worse. I love it, funniest thing ever. I definitely need to get on a Malagasy film set after my mission, I need to see how a movie is made here.

Kids here go nuts, we ask them who's the strongest and tell them to prove it, then a million little kids start fighting on the trail, funniest thing ever. Don't worry, kids here are impervius to pain pretty much. But it's weird, they don't cry when they get in tumbles, but if they hurt their fingers, all hell breaks loose..

The fleas... I'm used to it to be honest. I hate to admit it, but it's no secret, I think I'm gonna be too lazy to do much flea defense haha. It's too easy just to lie down and let them bite me. Don't worry, it really isn't that bad. The people who have problems out here are the people who eat crap and don't shower. I'm doing fine!

Yeah, I'm glad Peter got to the Pinas. He wrote me, we'll probably talk every once in a while throughout the mission. And Ben's getting his papers done! So proud of him. 

There's really not much else I need. Maybe just toss in candy as packing peanuts. Oh, Marsh got some MRE's in his package. Genius idea, Get really light food like that, that I could heat up myself. Anything with a lot of flavor.

I tossed up a few more pictures. Check em out. 

A fanasana, it's an invite to church. 

Got my Bokin'i Mormona bound up all nice and cute. 

Gator skin wallets, and a fly.

The river in Ampifiloha

Thanks for writing! Talk to you soon! Love you.


Monday, September 17, 2012

Almost a month in Mada already!

I'm stoked for Peter, leaving for the Philippines sometime today, I saw the video of him and Jesse at the MTC, that was awesome, and that Ben was an investigator there! Ah, I missed like everyone haha, oh well.

Anyway, it was another great week. Last P-Day, a bunch of us met up at the office and went to Ampifiloha (Mitchell & Safidy's apartment) and made pizza and stuff, nice chill P-Day. Then it was back to work again.

A few pics of random items we can get here:

Every week we teach a lady named Lanto. She lives in the attic of an apartment complex. Anyway, during the lesson, she was showing us her new bed. It's probably half the size of two school desks pushed together, she was so happy. Then half way through sitting down, it snapped and she fell right through it. Saddest thing ever.. but she was laughing so hard, I was just like.. what the heck.. I didn't know if I should laugh or cry.

Another strange story, so drunk people are more than a common occurence, like multiple times a day. But earlier this week we had a group of guys who wanted to learn, but they didn't want to learn unless we would drink with them first. So after some thought, we decided to have a sip of beer each, then we taught them.

Just kidding, we said no. Anyway, the guitar guy is out of town for two weeks, so I'm gonna see Mitchell's today and order one in a few weeks. I've been teaching Morgan guitar too, he already wants to buy one too ha. We decided it's a good trade for him to teach me Gasy, and I'll teach him guitar, it's really nice being the one who knows something for once.

Anyway, right now, our struggle with investigators is getting them to church. For one, everyone lives far away from the church, and secondly, the more difficult one, is that everyone seems to think that going to any church is good enough. People will do well all the way through lessons then not want to have to walk all the way to church, it's a bummer, but we're working on it.

Every once in a while, I'll get a big burst of being able to speak, those are the really good days. The other day, we were teaching this lady, Mariette, and her daughters, and we were trying to get them to read the BOM on their own time, because they've kind of been slacking, and saying that God isn't answering their prayers about the lessons. Out of nowhere I told them there was a phrase I liked that said "When you want to talk to God, pray. When you want God to talk to you, read the scriptures." Mariette loved it, and her and her daughters agreed to read, and to be baptized in November. We have 7 investigators so far with a Nov 17 bap date. The reason it's so far off is because EVERYONE is still in the first lesson. All of our investigators are really new, so we're giving them time.

And yeah, we have a ton of investigators, but because everyone is so new, we still don't know who's serious or not. There are some that are WAY diligent, and I hope they make it all the way through, but it's too early to tell.

Church isn't too different, except it's a puny building. I know the picture makes it look big, but it's not. And I assume they have the youth programs at church, I don't know though, we go to the investigator class. I kind of doubt they have mutual during the week. Every other week the whole ward has a devotional type thing down the street from our house.

A few more pics to enjoy:

Morgan, Julianna, and myself, tearing up some rice paddies on Sunday evening. 

Out in Manajary, our furthest area.  

My favorite pen fell in the gutter... 

Take a close look...I'm pretty sure this cow is smiling, ha!
This plant is called Madagasikara. Wonder why... 

Crossing the rice paddies in Ambatobe

Oh, if you guys are planning on sending me a package any time soon, I could use some of that hair stuff from Fantastic Sam's and some size 11 insoles, cuz my shoe insoles take a beating here. Anyway, yep, I was told by the AP's to tell you that if you want to send a Christmas package, send it now. It'll take about that long. So yep, right from the AP's, ha.

Anyway, that's about all for now, talk to you all soon. Love you!


Monday, September 10, 2012

Fleas?! Diarrhea?! It's ok...I love it here!!

I'm going to start off by mentioning a few things I've noticed may be unique to my mission, or at least unique to a mission in a 3rd world country.

First off, fleas.. good Ghandi, the fleas! I thought I was invincible the first few weeks because I didn't get bit once, and everyone else was, then sometime last week I woke up with a ton on my stomach and arms. I counted in the shower, I stopped counting at like 54 bites or something, and I didn't even get down to my legs.

Second, I realized that seeing breastfeeding during a lesson, or life in general, has become second nature. It caught me off guard the first couple of times, but now.. I've become very good at keeping eye contact with people. 

Third, and this may be a little gross, but people need to know. Me and Morgan were talking the other day and we realized that only in this mission, you can't say you're sick when you have diarrhea, because everyone gets it regularly. 

This is a conversation we had, "Hey man, you sick?"
"Nah, I just had some diarrhea."
"Oh, okay cool, let's go out and work."

Anyway, Bergera left the other day, and Elder Taylor moved in. Way cool guy, he goes home in the end of January. We all chill in our room and talk every night, plus he lets me play his guitar. Speaking of, next Monday, I'm going to the guitar guy to order my guitar. I'm meeting up with Elder Mitchell today to see how his turned out. I sketched out a pretty cool Madagascar thing that I'm gonna have the guy put on the back when he makes mine, so stoked!!

Also, we had zone conference on Saturday, all day, it was good. Elder Cook, one of the Seventy living in Africa came.

To be honest, this was kind of a slow week, so I don't have a lot of stories, but it was a good week. Our member help is going strong, and we have some AWESOME investigators. Right now we teach these two girls, Voary and Hiaingo, and they're already super diligent, I love teaching them. But they're only 2 of the 50 something investigators, on top of all the RCLA's (Recent converts, less actives) we teach as well.

Oh, story for the pictures I'm uploading. On Bergera's last night, we had a huge dinner, and celebrated by buying like 300 pieces of Mr Boom, some really cheap gum here. Each Mr Boom has a pretty bogus tattoo inside, so we saved like 250 of them, and put them ALL on Morgans back. Took forever. Don't worry, he washed them off the next morning.

Mr. Broom Tat's

250 something tattoos. Took us forever.

Oh, English class, another good one. I wish I had a video. We tried teaching one of the guys how to pronounce "beach". Ah, it's the simple things in life.. But to answer you're question, we get a few members at English class, but people from all over come, we don't do mission work when we teach because it's a service. We probably get like 10 people every time.

About the branch. We usually get like 100-115 people there, and like 6 or 7 investigators each week. We go to the investigator class after sacrament, then we sit in on Elders Quorum. So yep, all 3 hours.

And yeah, my nickname, haha, people here laugh at anything. We were getting to know some new investigators, and I was telling them what some of my favorite food is, and instead of saying I love tsaramaso, I told them I was tsaramaso. They were laughing soooo hard. Brunette, the member who helps us a few days a week, calls me tsaramaso every time I see her without fail. So yeah, that's my new name, how fun. The other members have other names for me depending on what thing I mess up on during lessons. Like sometimes I'll say a word that turns out not to be a real word, and they laugh, to which I tell them that it is a real word, and that I know Malagasy better than they do, haha. Always a good time with the members.

In the video "Tsiky tsiky tsara" is what I was saying, it just means "smile". That's another thing people think is hilarious, they laugh every time I say it ha.

It is pretty cold at night here, but not horrible, it's warmer when it's cloudy at night, and we're getting a lot of clouds now, and a little rain. Oh, and how we get around. We walk mainly. A lot! Miles and miles. Sometimes we catch a bus or a taxi, if it's really far, or if we have extra money for traveling, but 90 percent of the time, we walk. 

Pics of typical things we see as we are walking...

The photo doesn't show the end of the line, we had like 20 of them following us. 

It's called a dukich. Mix between a duck and a chicken. So weird. 

Brick World...All of it is handmade.

I went on splits with Marsh one night, we partied with the kids. 

Anyway, that's all, I'll talk to you all later!


Monday, September 3, 2012

Busy in Madagascar!

I'm going to start off by saying that time goes by so much faster out here than at the MTC. Ah, it's so dope here. We got like 30 new investigators this week, I love it.

So, last Wednesday we taught English at our church. Funniest thing ever. Malagasies have the weirdest questions about English, like "What does mean rugged women?" "What does mean to come out of the blue?" "What does mean, she is hot?" I love English class. It's the one time I feel like the smart one haha.

Our church
This is the Lounge, before we decked it out

Our branch is starting a cool program with ward missionaries. The goal is for us to have two members, a guy and a girl with us every day, all day. So far it's going great, I love it. Plus it's fun to have other people our age out working with us.

More about my companion, he's from San Diego, he's been out for like 8 months, and yes, we have the same first name.  Elder Morgan did acting and stuff in high school. He's a way good teacher, I've been learning a bunch, and he's good at getting to be friends with investigators, it's way nice. This week, an Elder Taylor is moving in, because Bergera is getting transferred to Mahajanga, up north.


Morgan's birthday party at a members.

Marsh, learning how to shave

I've been taking all the pills you sent with me, everyone loves how many I take, but whatever, I've yet to get sick! This week I tried some weird stuff. First, I tried this stuff called koba. It's like a peanut butter and jelly thing wrapped in this huge green leaf.  


Also, I tried rano apongo, if that's how you spell it. It's basically the leftover water from cooking rice. Another thing, I tried this stuff called manazava, it's a root kind of like a potato. Our investigator brought us huge bowls of it. Gotta love Mada food. For the most part it rocks, and I love the weird food, gotta try it all once.

The language is still coming, so slowly I hardly notice, but it is, and people are patient. Every time we get a new investigator, I get to challenge them to be baptized at the end of the first visit. It's fun, cuz I don't really know the vocab to make it sound nice and comfortable if that makes sense. Normally I'd be like, "After we go through all of the lessons, and answer any questions you might have, if you pray and feel comfortable, will you prepare to be baptized?" But instead, I say "We believe that after these lessons, you will receive a testimony. Will you be baptized after that?" Very blunt, I love it.

Gloria, she's the first counselor's kid, she's rad.
    Gloria took a picture of me after a lesson.

We hardly ever have to cook for ourselves, they tell us not to eat street food... yeah.. anyway... that plus members and investigators, we are always full. Some people feed us too much, ha. I've had to force down a lot. But when we do cook, we just make Presto, it's like ramen noodles.

Anyway, check out the pictures from the lemur park today!! It was awesome.

On the way to the lemur park. More than 30 people in the van. So tight, literally. 

A bigger Chameleon than last time!

Gettin it on with Zabumbafu. 

Talk to you all soon, love you!

PS- Not surprisingly, Taylor found this billboard, haha...

I still get to see my girlfriend every now and then (in Sabotsy-Namena)!!