Shortly after we read Taylor’s last letter, Taylor’s Mission President called to inform us that Taylor had been sick with extreme diarrhea over the past week and a half or so. Constant diarrhea is pretty typical there in Mada, but this happened to be worse than typical. Apparently during the following week, Taylor’s joint pain and swelling began again and got to the point where Taylor was unable to really stand for a period of time or to be able to get around. As a result, Taylor was pretty bummed about the situation. He had been so excited to serve in his new area!! (In case you were wondering…we had no idea about any of these things…silly boy!)
Taylor suffered from this pain earlier in his mission. At that time it took several months to clear up. His Mission President told us that with the lack of medical care in Mada, he and Taylor felt it would be best to have him come home to get proper medical care here. They felt that if Taylor stayed to recover (possibly several months), he wouldn’t be able to perform his normal missionary duties. President Adam's would like to have kept Taylor there, but wanted him to end his mission on a good note.
Since Taylor’s time left was short, they are sending him home with an honorable medical release and he will have completed his mission.
Here is an excerpt from the letter we received from Taylor's mission President:
"It is with both joy and sadness that we see Elder Taylor Moulton leave us. We have come to love and respect him. We express our profound appreciation and admiration for the great man he has become. Through his experiences here he has himself become converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ and has acquired many Christ-like attributes.
Madagascar is an amazing place in which to serve a mission. Though at times the conditions can be challenging, Elder Moulton has adapted very well and has loved the Malagasy people. He has been instrumental in bringing many of these wonderful people into the church. He has also been a great help in training the members and leaders in their responsibilities in the Church. Among them he has made lifelong friends. He has learned the language very well. Serving a mission here has given him cultural experiences which have deepened his empathy for and love of people of all types of backgrounds. He has learned to serve the poor and needy.
Elder Moulton has learned to be an obedient, faithful, and hardworking missionary. He has been an example to other missionaries and has served as a Junior Companion, Senior Companion, a Trainer, and as a District Leader. This example has been very valuable in helping guide the development of younger missionaries. We can say to him with great satisfaction, "Well done thou good and faithful servant".
With love and appreciation,
David R. Adams
As much as Taylor would like to visit with each of you...he struggles with those initial meetings at times. His emotions are extremely raw. He hesitates to share much, even with us.
Taylor was very involved in their lives. He loved everyone he worked with, especially the children. A few days before returning home, Taylor found out that one of his sweet little buddies died. We asked him what happened. Taylor couldn’t bring himself to tell us. Earlier in his mission, as he was working with this same family, the father was killed instantly in a hit and run accident. He was super close with the family. It tore Taylor apart to hear the news about the family that he loved so much.
Taylor told us of another handicapped boy that would follow them around. After about 3 months, he led them to a family to teach. When they had taught them, he wanted to take them to teach another family. On the way, the boy started to seizure. He would run and lunge into walls, and bite Taylor as they struggled to hold him down so he wouldn't hurt himself. They were able to give him a blessing and he calmed down. There were so many people standing around laughing at the boy, just claiming that the boy had a "devil". No one would help. It made Taylor so sad. I think that is how they cope with death and sickness. The Malagasy people tend to turn to alcohol & black magic to solve their problems...it's pretty hard to change their ways sometimes. I'm sure they are just trying to find ways to mask the pain that they so often endure. Taylor left the next day on a transfer, so he's not sure what happened to the boy afterward.
Taylor knew closely many others that suffered or died also. Their lives really are so difficult. These kind of things occur frequently in Mada, but it hurts Taylor deeply to see the pain of people he loves so much. There really is just so much suffering there. The gospel is the one thing that really does give those that accept it and are diligent in living it real hope. He was so happy to share that with those that were ready to hear and live it.
It would've been so hard to experience the things that Taylor did, but we are so grateful that he had the opportunity to learn from the Malagasy people how to love more deeply, to see how much the gospel means in each of our lives, and how it can change us if we allow it to.
Thank you everyone...for your love and support to us, and especially for Taylor!! Taylor appreciates so much all of the support he has received from all of you!! It really has meant a lot to him! We are so grateful for your love and friendship to him too!! Thank you everyone for your kind words and prayers for Taylor! We love you and are grateful for such great family and friends!! We are so happy to have Taylor home!!