Monday, November 30, 2015

Crazy cool week!

Well everyone it was a great week this week! We weren't in our area for too long because of zone conference and all that but wow some crazy cool things still happened. Man so awesome!
So Tuesday we got back on the boat to Rabi with our district leader and his companion for exchanges. The only problem was there was a huge storm and the waves were MASSIVE. Like literally the height of our small fishing boat. But nevertheless we still made the crossing. It was literally like the scene on the other side of heaven (ok, maybe not that bad) but when we got there we were so wet we might as well have been swimming and we were also just surprised to be alive.... hahaha so funny.

On Wensday we were invited to a prize giving ceremony for the little k-8 school in our village. Basically a prize giving ceremony is an end of the school year celebration for the kids, because right now is their summer. We didn't really know what it was but when we got there we were seated as the guests of honor on these tables right in front. They started the ceremony by crowning us with these crowns of flowers and then one by one each grade of kids performed their dances that they had worked so hard on. They were all classic Gilbertese dances and they were all so good. All the kids are just so good at dancing because that's such a big part of their culture. Man it was so much fun to watch!

Finally Sunday we had my first baptisms on Rabi! We baptized two of the cutest 8 and 9 year old girls in the world. Their mom is a member but their dad isn't so that's why we had to teach them the lessons. The teaching experience with them has been so much fun! We just laugh and play and joke the whole time, and they literally feel more like my little sisters then my investigators. We got to baptize them in the Crystal Clear Blue ocean across from the church. Man it was so awesome. I guess maybe that should be my motivation for more baptisms is to keep getting in the ocean! hahaha just kidding! But it really was such a cool spiritual experience that I was so grateful to be apart of.

I love this work so much. I'm having some challenges out here learning a third language and all that but one thing I know is the Lord provides a way for his work to be done! I love this work and I know it's true. I love you all so much and am so grateful for all your support. I hope you all have a good week! Oh and happy Thanksgiving!

Elder Mumford

P.S Sorry for no pictures. This computer is being so stupid.....

Monday, November 23, 2015

Mauri, week 3 rabi!

Mauri everyone!
Hey guys sorry I couldn't email last week. There isn't any real place to email on this island because of the super spotty power and the doctor we sometimes email at is out of town a lot, so we will see how frequent I get to email over the next few months. But this week we got to go to a mission conference over in Taveuni so we get to email this week.  Woooo!!!
Me and Elder Davis, my district leader, on the boat to Taveuni
These past two or three weeks have been super busy and filled with studying to try to learn this new language as much as possible. The Gilbertese language is a language that only uses 14 letters so all the words sound very similar and it still just sounds like Chinese to me so that's been fun. haha The island of Rabi is pretty small and you can walk the whole thing in like 4 hours or so. It doesn't really feel civilized at all. There isn't any hotels or resorts on the island. We only have power for 3 or so hours a day because of the generator that runs in the village we live in. The water is more brown then clear so we have to filter and boil it before we drink. We fill up buckets of water and use a bowl to pour water on us for our showers. As for food there is like 4 mini stores that sell the basic foods here in Fiji. There isn't a refrigerator or freezer on this whole island because of the lack of power and there is one restaurant that sells fish and rice for 2 hours a day. The whole island is like right on the ocean, and I still haven't been to a house that I couldn't see the ocean from so that's pretty neat! As for the food we eat fish that has just been caught that day for every single meal. Sometimes its fried and sometimes its raw but they are both so nice! Got to love that raw fish!. The people here are literally the nicest people on the planet! They are way nicer than Fijians and that says something! haha They are super short, have pretty dark skin, and are way loud like all the time! haha Its pretty funny though because I'm one of two white guys on the entire island and I'm way taller then them so everyone stares at me all the time, like literally everyone. And it's more awkward because I don't know how to speak with them hahhaha oh well! Our other main source of food out here is mangoes. We have two huge trees next to our house and me and my companion Elder Alonzo average eating between 5-8 a day. haha They are so nice....
Crazy kids!
As for the work here, its pretty slow but we have two baptisms on this Sunday for an 8 and 9 year old girls that are probably the cutest girls in the world. We should be able to baptize them in the ocean so that's going to be pretty cool too:) I will send pictures!
Me and our baptismal dates who are the cutest girls!

As for this week we got the chance as the zone on the Northern island to go up to the beautiful island of Taveuni for a mission conference/ stake conference with Elder Pierson, a member of the seventy. We had such a good weekend with heaps of meetings and just lots of elders being all together. We had 20 elders staying in two tiny apartments so you know it was a bit stuffy and cramped, but we definitley had some fun and caused some trouble... haha
Me and my best friend, Elder Mclean, from my intake

Me and my boy, Elder Afatasi

Part of our zone at the dock
One last story, probably the coolest thing I've done since I've been her in Fiji. When me and Elder Alonzo took the boat ride off of Rabi to come to Taveuni we rode on a tiny fishing boat that belonged to a member. About half way through the boat ride he asked us if we wanted to fish and we were like absolutely! So he gave us both a spool of fishing line and we let it go probably 50 or so yards behind the boat. So how we do it is you wrap the line around your hand a few times then while the boat is going full speed you move your arm non stop so the fish are attracted to the little hook on the end of the line. Then the driver of the boat just chases birds because that's usally where the fish are. Then while the boat is going full speed you just get a massive tug on your arm that sends you off balance on the boat and then you pull the line in with your arms. SO MANLY RIGHT? haha so sick. But we were going and he told us that not alot of elders have ever caught much and then BAM a massive pull on our arms and we both pulled in fish that were probably the size of my fingertips to mid bicep.. MASSIVE  I ended up catching 2 and Elder Alonzo caught 3. The member wanted us to keep fishing because we were " being blessed as missionaries" hahah it was so fun. We then killed them on the boat and I got alot of fish blood on my shirt so that looked pretty cool, haha But ya it was seriously the craziest thing I've done so far!

Anyways ya you could say life is crazy out here but hey I'm loving it. I love you all. Thanks for all the support you give me.  Have a great week!
Elder Mumford

Beautiful sunset

Monday, November 16, 2015

Bula Vinaka

Hello brother and sister Mumford , this is elder Davis. I am Elder Mumford's District Leader and he wanted me to write you guys and let you know that he will not be able to email this week do to lack of internet on Rabi. But he had some things that he wanted me to tell you guys.

 He said he loves the raw fish here and that he eats it quiet a lot.  Him and his companion Elder Alonzo have eaten 23 mangos this week and they have been working out alot . He said they work out every morning and night and that he loves it . He also told me to tell you that he will be on next week so make sure you guys are on. He said he loves you guys and don't worry he is doing great!

If you ever need to get ahold of him or he is not responding go ahead and give me a email and I will let him know as soon as possible. I am grateful to have your son here in the north. He is totally rad and is a really hard working missionary. You guys should be proud!!

Love Elder Davis

Monday, November 9, 2015


Ok guys so I'm emailing way early today because this is the only time we will be able to email the whole day out where I am. And I won't be on for very long so I'll make sure to write letters today! I love you all so much.

So I'll pretty much just get down to business right away. Tuesday is the day that president calls out transfer calls. So he individually calls everyone in the mission and tells them whether or not they will be staying. When it was our time for the call, I was freaking out. I got on the phone and president told me that because I have been doing well out on the mission he thought I could really handle a challenge.... That's definitely a scary thing to hear.... He then continued that I was being transfered up to the island of Rabi..... Speaking the Gilbertese (Kiribati) language. Wow I was shocked. I was not only being transfered but I was being switched languages.... Holy cow. My head felt like I was spinning. Learning a language everyday for 4 and a half months then simply just throwing it out for a new one, was just crazy..... But man I was excited and so scared for the challenge! President told me that I would be on this remote island for at least 3 months learning the language, and 3 more teaching it to another elder.

 Friday we flew up to Lobassa which is up on the northern Island called Vanua Levu. We drove down and stayed the night in the zone leaders flat. From there we got driven to the spot where the boat would pick us up to take us to Rabi because it is a small island that can only be accessed by small boat. So we waited for like an hour and all of a sudden a small boat pulled up to the shore. My companion was like " alright there it is" and I thought he was kidding... This boat was smaller then a fishing boat. But sure enough that was it... We crossed part of the ocean in this tiny boat across the most crystal blue water in the world like holy cow...... And then we arrived at what will be my home for the next 6 months at least.... So just a little bit about Rabi. From what I know Rabi was given as a gift from the Fijian people to the Kiribati people, so a bunch of people moved from the Kiribati islands over to this island right off of Fiji. There are about 4000 people total on this island and probably ninety nine percent speak Gilbertese, with a few Fijian speakers sprinkled here and there. There are about 20 people who speak broken English, and most don't speak any at all, so wow its been an adventure. Their staple food is fish. (usually raw) which I'm so excited to try today!

We live in a little box house about 100 yards from the ocean probably the size of my living room at home that's split into three small rooms We shower for the most part out of buckets of water and the power is very unreliable. The water quality is so bad that even though it goes through a filter we have to boil it first. So ya you could say I'm living in the bush. These first few days have been hard but at the same time have been so much fun. It kind of just feels like a long camping trip... haha so crazy! My companion's name is Elder Alonzo, who is this tall Phillipino guy from Chicago. He is the man! The one interesting thing however is that he has only been here for 6 weeks before me, so neither one of us know much at all of the language. We are working 3-4 hours a day to learn it as fast as humanly possible.

The people here are seriously nicer and more fun loving than the Fijians. They are so amazing, and so loving and I just cannot wait to be able to communicate freely with them, because they are so awesome.

Well that's pretty much it for right now because I don't have much time to email, but I tried to squeeze as much information as possible into this short time. I love you all so much, and have no doubt that what I'm doing here is right. This church is true, no matter where you are, and I know that although this is hard, God will support me and help me do what he needs me to do! I love you all!
Love Elder Mumford

Monday, November 2, 2015


Bula Vinaka everyone!

I hope everyone's week was great, and that everything at home is going well. I would like to take a moment to give a special shoutout to my Green Bay Packers and their undefeated season so far, and know my boys out in Green Bay will keep going strong. hahaha Anyways this week was just an awesome week. For those of you who don't know week 11 of the 12 week training program, the person who is being trained leads everything in the area including lessons. So wow ya it was a fun experience to say the least. haha But nonetheless we still saw amazing blessings in our area, which we have been so grateful and know that if we work hard that we will keep receiving those blessings.

The goal for this week was getting people to commit to baptismal dates, and we did it! 5 people accepted a date to be baptized in these next coming months which was so awesome! And we should have 3 more this week! It's been so awesome this week, we have went into lessons ready to follow the spirit and have been so blessed for it.

Tuesday we went up to Lautoka for a district leader meeting for elder childers. So me and the 4 missionaries who aren't district leaders, went over to this grassy park literally like 5 feet from the ocean, and did studies, So that was way awesome.


Thursday was a crazy day. Our first lesson of the day we just had a goat walk right through the lesson, and no one seemed to even flinch... haha only in Fiji... haha But we then went to pick up a 16 year old kid to go to some lessons with us. When we were almost there we noticed we couldn't see their house , and when we rolled up, what was left of their small house was just a smoking pile of tin.... Wow it was so sad. Somehow during cooking their house had caught fire and burned down. It was the saddest thing ever. Now a family of 8 kids, who were living in a very small two room wood and tin hut, were now living in a tent made out of a tarp. Just absolutely gut wrenching. We came back later that week and taught them a great lesson The spirit was just so strong in that small tent. Now the ward has rallied together, and they have built a more sturdy temporary shelter which has been good!

Sunday was a great day. Early in the week we had found a way golden investigator who just asked us to give him the lessons which never happens. hahah He is 20 years old just like us and he is the best. But anyways we were sitting in sacrament meeting and we looked out the window and saw him walking up!!! He had walked from so far by himself to be at church! We are so excited for him and all of our other wonderful investigators.

Well those are the highlights for this week. We have transfers coming up this week and I'm nervous because I really don't want to leave, but I know wherever the Lord puts me will be great! I love this work so much and I know more and more every day that this church is true. I love you all! Have a great week!

Elder Mumford