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, January 28, 2013

Malagasies, Investigators, and a baptism...Mada style!

When work starts going slow (which has a way of happening pretty often right now), I find joy in socializing with the punk kids. The other day, we were out with a member and we got dogged multiple times, aka nothing to do. It didn't take long for me to find 5 or 6 kids to chill with. Kids here laugh at everything. Especially when the white guy makes fun of himself. Everyone here likes to point out how vazaha's (white people) are tall, way white, have big noses, and how their ears get sunburned really easy. People die when the vazaha makes fun of himself for fitting the bill.

Figo, Happiest kid ever.

Another little tradition I've got going: little kids love dona's (fist bumps). So as a joke, like three months ago, I walked up to this WAY old lady who is always sitting on the same corner and asked for a dona. Now every single time we see her she gets us and like chases us down until we give her a dona. Freaking hilarious, people are always so confused.

Anyway, I guess I can get down to the week..

Early this week it was Dimby's birthday. Malagasies have a tradition here, when it's someone's birthday, you smash eggs on the back of their head. We got him good. I don't know how Malagasies think it's funny. I think it's hilarious when it's not me getting the egg, but when I was new in country I got splashed by some egg on someone's birthday and I was so mad, haha. But Malagasies think it's awesome.

Oh, last Monday, we spent the day at Croc Farm, in Ivato. Hundreds of crocodiles, it was so sick! That does not exist in America. I've never seen so many. I got pictures, but I could not get pictures of all of them.

A bit of exciting news. So we've been going out to this little area, Manjaka, for about 5 months, and the whole time we've been going out there, I've been buddies with this little 10 year old girl, who I already thought was a member, but I found out that she wasn't. So we're starting to teach her now, and she already said that she wants me to baptize her. I'm way stoked, I really hope we can get her baptized by the end of February, because I might leave around then to my next area. It's not a way crazy conversion story or anything,  she already comes to church every week, but I'm stoked to finally get a baptism. She's a way funny little girl.

Oh, also, I got a way cool souvenier this week from an investigator. Actually two. The first one was a long sleeve black shirt with a giant beer logo on it. It's so sick, super Malagasy. And the second, the same guy gave me a Malagasy straw hat thing. I was so stoked to get them. 

Sporting my new souvenir hat.

Not a ton of updates as far as teaching goes, people are still progressing well. We had one young couple family get way diligent out of nowhere the past week or so. Faly and Sandra, they have a two year old son. Yesterday we went to visit them, and they kept apologizing for not coming to church or reading that week, because Faly's sister and her son died. I was so shocked. He just lost his close family and was so sorry for not doing his homework because they were gone all week. People here are amazing like that. I was so sad, but Malagasies have a different way of thinking about things. They asked a lot of questions about infant baptisms, and we had a way good lesson about how babies don't need to be baptized. We introduced the Plan of Salvation and I told him that his nephew is already saved, definitely one of the coolest lessons ever. I'm getting the chills just writing it down. I'm excited to keep seeing them.

Anyway, that's about all for now, later!


Monday, January 21, 2013

Random life of a Mada missionary!

In response to the constant downpour of rain lately, I actually decided to start using my umbrella instead of just getting drenched. Something funny I've noticed, if it's raining, and you have an umbrella, people become your best friend. I've made a lot of new friends the past week or two from people jumping under my umbrella when I walk around. I had five people huddled under it on Sunday..

Last Monday night, we had a dinner at a member's house with all the guys from our house. We love the quality, free food. And we played UNO. Malagasies love that game, they think it's the funniest thing ever when someone plays like.. a "skip" card.

Mofo akondro (Banana Bread)

American sauce!

Also, our yard is completely overgrown with weeds. You've never seen weeds so bad, I promise. So the landlord hired some guy to come chop it all down, and now we have a ginormous pile of dead plants in the backyard. We tried burning it the other night, but it was still too wet. We keep getting close to burning it, then it rains for like 6 hours. So still no luck. But we had fun tearing down the dead trees to get a blaze.

Another observation, it's very nice to be friends with seamstresses. My pants seams keep breaking, so I decided to send the load off with a member and she's gonna fix them for me. Not exciting at all for anyone reading this, but it's big for me, when you are held to a ridiculously strict dress code.

I can already tell ths letter is very scattered.. I seem to have a problem with that. It's always a race against the clock in these cybers, they close whenever they want.

Anyway, the members we helped hit rice with last week had us over for dinner the other night. We ate rice, go figures haha. They have like 10 100lb  bags in the back of the house. Apparently, rice grows all year round, and gets harvested every 3-4 months, and whenever its time for harvest, everyone is out of rice. I'm beating a dead horse... but people love rice.

I saw my first baptism this week! It wasn't an investigator, but a little girl in the ward ha. But it was still way cool. It was kind of like an American style baptism in our church, except it wasn't just the kids pressed up against the glass to see. EVERYONE was. There were a ton of chairs set up, and everyone chose to get as close as they could to the water without falling in, it was so funny. I just stood off to the side, so technically I didn't really SEE it. But I heard it.

I was introduced to a new sport this week. I always saw kids doing it, but I never joined in until one morning after the person we were supposed to teach wasn't home. Kids here like to make skateboards out of random scrap wood and wheels. Very simple little things. Then they push each other down bumpy dirt hills. I did it a bunch, I got like 12 kids to push me around. I was a bit too big for the thing, but they didn't let that stop them. I was stoked.

Skateboarding in the dirt

One last cool, more serious thing that I've noticed even more than usual the past week or so. I know people always talk about how some members will walk miles to go to church, and back in America, when people hear stuff like that, it's like the biggest show of faith.. But it's real. The other day, during one of my "under the umbrella in a rainstorm" conversations, I was talking to this 14 year old girl, a member, who walked 2 hours to go to the little girls baptism in our ward. Her parents aren't members and don't really support her. And her parents tell her to be home at 4, but she wanted to go to the baptism. It was around 7 o'clock in the pouring rain when she told me that. And she didnt have the 300 Ariary (15 cents) to get home, so we walked to her a bus stop and got her on a bus. There are tons of people like that in our ward. It's just my personal opinion, but if anyone back home ever uses the distance of a church or the inconvenience of going out of the way to get to a church.. that doesn't mean anything. People here set aside full days to go to church. We have it easy in America, it takes no effort to do what we need, go to church, to the temple, etc.

I love these people so much. If America wasn't the most amazing country on Earth then I'd chose to live here. Talk to you next week!


More random pics to enjoy:

Stinkin' long bus ride


A million crocs eating rotten eggs.

Monday, January 14, 2013

New guy in the house!

Well.. Elder Taylor is in America now, pretty sad day, and the punk still hasn't emailed me to tell me how amazing it all is. But we had a good last few days this week. 

Elder Moulton & Elder Taylor
Elders Hamm, Moulton, Taylor, and Landon

On Monday, it was his last P-Day, along with a few other guys from his group, so a ton of missionaries went out to Ampefiloha and had a big lunch at this pizza/burger joint called Kim Star's. Then that night, us four had rice and laoka for dinner with some members at a hotely by the house.

Elder Taylor's last Malagasy meal

On Tuesday, we dropped him off at the office, and Hamm was on a split with us til the next day when his new comp got to the office. The new guy in the house is a Malagasy! I'm stoked, I ask him a ton of questions, but he hasn't told me he's sick of it yet. His name is DIMBY Henri (Malagasies put their family names first, and capitalize the whole thing). So that's my exciting news for the week. To say the least, I've been learning a lot of new vocab, lots of slang, it's dope.

Elders Hamm, Landon, & Dimby

In other news, even with the extreme heat.. I still managed to get a cold this week. It was bad. I went through two massive hankerchiefs in a day, I was dying, but you'd better believe we got in the times we could muster up. People just think it's funny that I'm sick, not sure why, they always laugh..

Oh, cool story, well experience.. I don't know. I did something cool. So last week I mentioned that everyone is harvesting rice, well on Friday, I got to help some people do it. We were waiting for an investigator to finish working in her rice paddy, and we saw some other people smashing rice against a little metal drum, to hit all of the rice off of the plant, and I immediately took off my shoes and socks, rolled up my pants and got in on that action. I got some pictures too, of me mively'ing some vary.

Mively vary

Another cool thing, so I've mentioned like a million times that the area is slow as heck right now, so instead of trying to find people to learn, we've been working with members to find Less Active's. We did that a bunch, and yesterday we had 4 less actives that we visited come back to church. I was way happy, and all the memebers were thanking us a ton, so I hope thay the returning memebrs stick with it.

The ward is really starting to pick up on helping us with missionary work, we had a big meeting talking about where investigators and LA's live, and now we have a lot of people going and fellowshipping on their own. It's still new, so there's more to come, but things are going good now.

I'm way glad to hear about Rep, that'd be so awesome if he got all his students to write me, I wonder how many of those kids know me anymore? All them sophomore kids are growin' up to be seniors now. P.S. I know it might be early, but I'm curious who is making the Grad Vid this year. Any idea? Tell Sheide he'd better not fall of the map so I can visit him again when I get home, too.

I have only seen Elder Steele a few times, but we don't really work with the AP's very much, unless you have interviews or rides, or whatever. But I don't see him any more than anyone else really. We've talked a bunch though, when I first got in country he called, then just whenever we see each other.

Check out the pictures. Love ya. I'll talk to you all soon.


Monday, January 7, 2013

200 days in...

Alrighty, sadly, the holidays are over, which means the holiday Milkshake Menu at Coffee Times will be disappearing. But I guess there's always next year. New Years was extremely low key compared to back home, we stayed out late enough to see a few small fireworks, but we had to head home. 

Stoked for the New Year, haha

Happy New Years

Holidays here are good, but Malagasies don't really get into holidays here that much. I guess Easter and their independence day are huge, but those won't be for a few months.

Fun little story to kick off the letter: So right now, a ton of people are harvesting rice. And when they are done smacking all of the rice out of the little chutes, they just throw the chutes on the ground. So there is a TON of straw all over the place, huge piles. So the other day, me and a bunch of kids in Manjaka took turns running to the top of this little cliff, and tumbling off into the pile of dry straw. It was way fun, we even got some of their pet dogs in on the fun, ha. Needless to say, with the mix of dry plants, and animal fur, my allergies were ablaze.

Elder Landon with a bunch of members/investigators

Like I said last week, our area is a little shot, but we've been working hard this week to get more times. Working with members a lot, and getting a lot of RCLA's (Recent Converts, Less Actives) on the program. Our ward has a lot of those, so that's kind of our focus, teach some diligent investigators, but focus on bringing people back that were already baptized. In the past week, we've noticed that almost every less active has the same thing in common. They all stopped coming because they got offended by someone else. We've been teaching a TON of repenting and forgiveness lately, and hopefully soon we'll see something come of all of it. 

Another thing we've been doing lately is watching The Restoration with investigators. It's such an awesome video, helps explain the first lesson so much better than we can. We're hoping to keep that going.

Our area is still a work in progress, and hopefully we have some cool things to share here soon, but until then, I'll try to keep a good load of pictures up.

Talk to you soon!