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, November 26, 2012

Awesome splits and Thanksgiving-Madagascar style!

Alrighty, transfer news came. No changes. Not gonna lie, everyone was pretty shocked. We had 9 elders finish the training program, and for some reason, no changes.

But anyway, the weekly news. I had a sick experience earlier this week.

On Tuesday, I went on splits with Hamm. It was my first time every being the senior comp, even though it was just a split. I was pretty nervous, because I wasn't gonna have anyone to help me out if I got confused or couldn't understand. Me and Hamm are buds though, I told him that if he didn't understand, I probably wouldn't either ha.

We went out to our first time, it was a new investigator. So we did a get to know her and told her about what we do, and just my luck, she had a ton of questions. I know for a fact that God was helping me out, because my understanding was way better that day than I feel like it usually is. I was able to answer random questions she had right off the bat about life after death, spirit world, etc. The same thing happened in our next lessons. On the way home, a guy asked about the church and I was able to have a conversation with him for like 20 minutes about a bunch of stuff he was curious about. I was so freaking stoked, I never get a chance to talk to people like that.

I've been praying like crazy ever since I got here for understanding and confidence. I definitely got it that day. And on the way home, some people tried selling us some stuff, and we ended up talking about what we do here, ha, the conversation always ends up there, that's what happens when you're the only white guys for miles. And the lady was like, "You've only been here for three months? You know Malagasy so well, and you guys aren't like other white people, you aren't stuck up and don't get mad at us when we ask questions." Ah man, it was such a good day, I definitely got my valim-bavaka on Tuesday.

Some recent converts in Manjaka

In other news, the turkey slaughter for Thanksgiving was a raging success. I won't upload the video.. ha, it's extremely graphic. But the edited version. We had a turkey, and somehow he lost his head in a field. Weird. The group went from the missionaries watching, to like 20 more Malagasies all standing around laughing haha. One of them asked for the head, and we gave it to him. He started tearing all the feathers out and walking away, stoked out of his mind to eat it.

We celebrated the slaughter by getting Nutella shakes again. I'll upload a picture. I am addicted to those things. The next day, Thanksgiving, we all gathered at the Ankorondrano house for the feast, and we went around saying what we're most grateful for. I had 3 things. First, the fact that I get to email home every week, it seriously keeps me going through the week. Second, the fact that pretty much all of my bois from back home are out on missions right now, I've got the coolest group of friends ever. Third, I obviously had to give my shout out to Taylor Swift.

Mitchell's Thanksgiving breakdown

On another note, one of our most diligent investigators, Ernestine, had to move for work. Really big bummer, she was just weeks from getting baptized. All we could do was tell her to try to find a church close by and talk to missionaries there, because we couldn't find any missionaries that we knew of that worked in the town she's moving to. It's a bummer, but she's way diligent, God isn't gonna let her just drop of the map that close to baptism. Someone will find her.

I have lots of other stories about our sick investigators, but it would take forever to write, and forever for you to read ha. But as a whole, our investigators are all doing really well, progressing well. And I hope to see a baptism in the next month!

I'll talk to you all soon!


Here are a few random pics to enjoy:

Got locked out of the house..

Some kids gave us a few baby chameleons, we got some pictures then let them go.

I continually walk into my room and find my bed like this. Me and Taylor have a rivalry.

My Revenge!

Happy Turtlenog 2012 from Madagascar. Looking forward to the Turtlenog Revival 2014!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Time Flies When You're Having Fun!

I had a mini panic attack this week..So apparently there are some places in Madagascar kind of like America. There's this little place in Alarobia (Like 15 minutes from our house) called Shoprite. It's like a replica of the Provo Mall. Except it's like 1/20 of the size, and smells like.. Madagascar. But I was seriously tripping out, bad. I felt like I was back at home, but it was not in a good way, I was like, gonna cry. They have this little place kind of like a Starbucks (don't worry, I didn't get coffee, ha), and they had NUTELLA MILKSHAKES. I was dying, it was so good, best dessert I've had in country. I am for sure going back. The store is like a real shopping store back home, and they have a bakery! I got two donuts and the Nutella shake. The donuts weren't as good as back home, but I was feeling on top of the world. Best thing ever. I'm probably gonna break down and cry the first time I walk into a store when I get home..

Picnic with the Jazz (YSA) in Manazary
Another funny story, last Wednesday after teaching English, we all went to a hotely to grab dinner. A little background, Malagasies have this WAY hot sauce called sakay here. It's like salsa, with ghost peppers that tear you apart, depending on how strong it is. I usually put just a drop or two in my rice. Anyway, one of the YSA in our ward, Papoose, was there. We told her if she ate 2 spoonfuls of sakay, we would give her 13 packages of Bolo. Bolo is a little cookie they sell here, 200 Ar per pack. AKA, hardly any cost to us, but Malagasies love snacks. So she ate the whole thing. Funniest thing ever. I wish I had a video. She was dying. We all had a good laugh.

Let's see.. Thanksgiving is this week. I am so stoked. Our district and half of another (the one Mitchell is in) are all gathering to slay some turkeys and have a feast. We have a plan for so much good food. We made the list of food a few weeks ago, we're gonna be eating good on Thursday.

Oh, I hit 5 months out tomorrow! It went by so fast. I still feel like the MTC was the longest. I don't even feel like it was a part of my mission, it's all just some memory back in the past. This next month is gonna be so fast, Thanksgiving, Christmas, calling home, transfers, etc. By Christmas, I'm 1/4 of the way done. It definitely goes by quick out here, not always, but overall. Especially with a fun house.

Stake conference was yesterday. We had about as many people as would show up to a farewell back home haha, but that's a lot here ok!? It was in a huge gym in Ankorondrano. The echo was ridiculously bad in there. So needless to say, I didn't get a lot out of it.. But I read Jesus The Christ the whole time, and drew pictures with some of the kids sitting in front of me.

Stake Conference in Ankorondrano

Also, things here are very different than back home. Back home, if you saw a missionary running around a gym with like 12 kids, shooting each other with pretend guns and bows and arrows and grenades, you might think he's not serious and kind of a slacker. But here, people don't look twice. After the meeting, people started leaving, and our battle commenced in the back corner of the gym. I think I would've won, but the kids kept coming back to life somehow and overpowering me. Oh well.

Alrighty, that's all the news for now pretty much. Next weeks letter should have a lot of info about changes. So look forward to that!


PS- Just a pic of one of Taylor's friends in Mada!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Mada's great, but America is still the best!

The fleas are under control, for now. People made sure to ask me at church if they were all dead. I sprayed everything with permethrin, sheets, pillow, screen door, wood floor, I even went a little overboard by spraying the cement outside.

I got my package too! Finally. It took like 2 months, just about. Feel free to keep American candy coming. Food is honestly the only thing I feel like I need, junk food.

Anyway, it was another good week. Last P-Day, we played tennis. Well, Morgan did. I stink, and it was burning hot. So I played some games with some of the kids who work at the court. I got home that afternoon, and I was dying of heat, so I got my nice, cold Fanta out of the fridge, and right when I was about to take a drink, a fly dive bombed right down into the soda, and died. Stupidest thing ever. Perfectly good soda, wasted. That was my low point of the week, ha.

I'm stinking jealous of all the snow! Best part of Utah is winter. And Summer, and everything else haha.

So, last Wednesday morning, we knew elections would be finishing. So we blasted American music all morning, we were all singing and feeling all patriotic. We were feeling on top of the world. Then we got to the cyber and.. the high spirits kind of faded.. But, honestly, being here makes it kind of hard for me to ever lose hope in America. No matter what. Unless people go to a third world, corrupt as heck, dirty, and in-shambles country like this, they won't understand how great America is. No matter how bad things get back home, it's nothing compared to an African country. I'm not worried at all about home.

Anyway, that was my speech, hope you liked it ha. Anyway, another story. So on Friday, we were out in Manjaka. The kids there pretty much expect us to throw them around and wrestle. Things got pretty nuts this week. I was stumbling home with a rip in my shirt, mud all over my back, etc. Those kids are insane. But, they like us, so they follow us around to every lesson and just sit and listen. Someday, all 25 of them will be baptized ha. But for now, they just sit and listen.

On Saturday, I went on splits to Sab-Nam with Taylor again. We taught English, and the people wanted top hear some stories. So I told them about when I crashed longboarding (sophomore year) and destroyed my whole body, they were laughing so hard. Then they wanted another, so I told them about my horrible experiences working at Smith's my senior year.

As far as investigators go, we had an awesome turnout at church. We had Herman (different person than Hermin), Lisa, Niriana, Ernestine and Aiena show up. Niriana is Ernestine and Aiena's sister who told them about the church, but was never able to come. So it was cool to finally have all three of them learning in church together with a few of their kids.

We visited Nary and Mahefa last night, too. They're the ones who just started learning and came to church last week. We finished a first with them last night, and I asked them to come to church again, and Nary goes, "Not yet." But then he went on to say that he didn't want to go yet because they still haven't read the Book Of Mormon or been consistent in prayer. He said he wants to be positive that this is what God wants him to do. So cool, usually it takes people forever to realize that they need to pray. I'm positive he'll get his answer and they'll all start coming every week, and be baptized. He always takes a ton of notes during lessons and asks tons of questions, and does a lot of research on his own time. We mentioned to him that LDS.org can answer a lot of questions, and he told us he had already been using it a lot, and we hadn't even told him about it before. Pretty sick.

I really am going to miss this place so much, but I still have a ton of time. I'm making sure to get lots of picturs and videos. Every week at church, the same kid comes up and wants to borrow my camera. So I always get a good amount of pictures and video from him running around filming everything. Cameras like blow kids minds here, ha, it's pretty funny. If I take a video, like 12 kids will crowd around pushing each other trying to see the screen.

Transfers come up in two weeks. I think I'll stay here, cuz by the time transfers are here, I'll have been here three months, and Morgan will have been here for 5. So I think either he'll take off, or the area will split. Our area is so big, if we split it, we could visit diligent people more than once a week. We only visit one family twice a week now, but most of the time that's not an option. We don't have the luxury of cars here exactly.

But I love the people I teach, almost every single one of them are people that we found. So I really want to be here to see them baptized, or at least be there to see them through a lot of the lessons. We have some amazing investigators.

Anyway, that's the update for now. Talk to you soon! Love you.


Monday, November 5, 2012

The Randomness of Mada!

Alrighty, so right now my bed is infested with fleas. I'm gonna go ape on my room tonight with spray. I woke up on Sunday morning covered in bites. And I'm not disciplined enough to not itch them like crazy. People at church thought it was hilarious. I told them that the fleas here think I have really sweet blood because I'm a vazaha. Other than that though, church was sick yesterday. 

The Primary classes were learning about missionaries, so we got to go in and talk to them, and the Jazz promised the kids we were going to sing for them, without asking us, ha, so we got to sing "I Hope They Call Me on a Mission" for them, in English. I think I need to practice that song again, I didn't know like any words ha, luckily none of them knew English though. I kind of rambled random stuff most the time. But the kids loved it!

So Halloween, I definitely didn't know it was Halloween on Wednesday until that afternoon. I celebrated by drawing candy corn on my planner page Horray! Then we went and taught English. For some reason, like 30 people showed up, so we split the classes. I taught with Elder Quigley. All everyone wanted to talk about was the elections in America haha. Everyone wants to know who we're voting for, and likes to point out that Mitt Romney is Mormon. We were like "Yes, yes he is." I have no idea why everyone knows so much about America haha.

We had a new investigator family come to church this Sunday. We've only met with them twice, and they stayed for all 3 hours, and participated. So sick. I hate to sound cliche, but they are golden investigators. All of our lessons with them are way good. And yeah, to answer your question. We aren't supposed to focus on kids or just women alone, but we're supposed to teach the father, because in the end, he's pretty much the one who keeps the family active or not. So it's risky to just baptize kids or mothers. So even if the men are a little hard headed (is that a real term? hard headed? It works in Malagasy, but I can't really remember using it in English? Haha, weird), we still have to focus on them and try to get through to them.

Oh funny story. I love our ward missionaries, but they're still learning. Learning doctrine. Sometimes things are said in lessons that aren't really right. But they do good work. A few weeks ago, we were teaching Christophe's family (The dad of Hermin, 19, and Jean Claude, 14), and he asked a question, I don't remember what, but then our ward missionary decided to answer. Apparently, in Abraham's day, Abraham knew that Madagascar was a holy land, and he came here to carve messages for the people on the top of a mountain. He wrote his messages in Greek. Amazing story huh? I have no idea what question was asked that triggered that response, but we had to do some doctrine correction there. Ha, I love that, It's kind of hard not to laugh sometimes, I'm still trying to get into that whole "serious" mindset. It's hard.

Our Ward missionaries. The picture says it all.

Yeah, it's not hot as far as weather goes, but we sweat like crazy and it feels like a million degrees because of how humid it is.

I still haven't heard much about how the Mada elections should go down, but we can expect a nice little riot or two. That'll be in May, so we still have some time before things get a little wild. Well, more wild than they already are anyway haha.

I'm so stoked that I still have a few OHS teachers who talk to you about me. I love those guys. Good to know when it all came down to it, Mr Brown kept that picture of me up haha. I wondered. I'll have to go back and visit them again soon when I get back. 

With all the weird stuff that we see every day, it's still nothing like I expected out here. Definitely better. When I thought Mada, I can't even remember what I was thinking, but it wasn't like this. I don't think anyone can know how things are out here unless you see it first hand, I can't explain this place.

A rock quarry out in Ambohimangakely

The language is still coming along. Speech definitely comes faster than understanding. But people are used to it by now. A lot of times I have to have them repeat themselves, but every once in a while I can just sit down with someone and talk to them pretty well. The gift of tongues is definitely a slow process, it's way faster than if I was on my own, but it's not what people usually think of, that's for sure. Takes a lot of work. I read out loud in Malagasy every morning from the BOM and Preach my Gospel. Apparently John Taylor said that if you read the entire BOM in a language that you teach in, by the end, you'll be.. I wouldn't say fluent, but very good. I'm about 160 pages in now. But the BOM in 200 pages longer in Gasy.

Elder Hamm is really cool. He's a little shy, but he's starting to get more comfortable. We always sit around at night when we get home and talk for a while, and now he's starting to work his way in. I would love to go on splits with him. For the first time ever, I'd be the more experienced one, and get a chance to kind of lead things, that's one downside about being so young, people often times don't let you talk as much as you'd like.

Hey Dad, I'm glad the guys at work enjoy all the crap that goes down out here in Mada, haha!

But yeah, we're headed out now to play some tennis! Talk to you all soon!

Love you, Taylor