Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Yummy feasts!

So these are some of the pictures from some big feasts that we have had lately. The first two are from a funeral on Rabi recently. We got invited to a funeral which on Rabi is a celebration, never anything really sad.  They killed a few pigs and we just had this giant feast! Man it was sooooo good and so much fun!

It's not every day you see your Branch president holding a pig's head... hahahaha

Elder Alonzo's farewell dinner with some members because he thought he was going to leave but it was kind of awkward when he didn't....... hahaha

When a few Elders came out to see Rabi and the big meal we had there! All fun stuff!!!

As you guys know we travel to and from Rabi on a small fishing boat.  So this is my usual spot to sit, on the very front of the boat because it's the most fun and bumpy!

Thiswas a day of service we had just crossing rivers and walking around this forest collecting coconuts for this lady who needed to collect 200 to get enough money for her daughters school uniform.... man the people here are such unreal hard workers!

These are two pictures of me and Elder Alonzo on a cool shipping dock we found in Rabi! Its pretty cool because Rabi is an alright sized island and we have officially walked every single part of the road at one point or another! We love exploring it!

And this is another picture of blue water hahaha

So one last thing! Yesterday I got one of the best compliments I've ever gotten from a member on my mission before. So as you know on Rabi we had to learn a new language and all that good stuff so the last 4 and a half months has been tough to stay the least. Me and Elder Alonzo have put everything we have into the language and in just a little over 4 months we are feeling really comfortable in the language, not fluent but comfortable. But anyways we were having dinner with one of our member families last night. This family runs the store in the middle of the town we live in, so since everyone buys food from them they also talk to and know everyone in the village. But anyways the lady who runs the shop told us that everyone in our village has been coming up and asking her how the Elders from her church know Gilbertese so well. People have been saying that they can obviously tell we aren't Gilbertese, but yet we know Gilbertese really well. Man it was the coolest compliment in the world. We just have so much fun with the language and speak to everyone all the time even if we know we say things wrong. We don't care! I can testify to you all that the gift of tongues is REAL. LIKE SO REAL. It has taken an Elder like me that four months ago knew nothing about this language to now being able to speak and do the lords work speaking Gilbertese. This church is true and God lives and helps us everyday. I know I am doing the right thing. Yes sometimes it is hard not having email and being out on this island all the time but God blesses us and helps us everyday, and I absolutely love it. Thanks for all your love and support! I love you all


Elder Mumford

Monday, March 21, 2016

My companion, Elder Alonzo's email on Rabi life

So this is my companion, Elder Alonzo's email who takes really good pictures. So this is Rabi life!
---------- Forwarded message ----------

Hey yeah so we finally get to email again. Got off Rabi today! Man, we get so excited to come off every few weeks and see civilization AND EAT ICE CREAM. Yeah we love being on Rabi. The people are fun and all but the mission isnt the same without email bc usually you work hard all week till pday but on Rabi, since there's no internet, it's like there's no point so we just chill at the beach or something till family home evening. Kinda boring. Working out on the beach is cool though until you step on some coral. Island life is hard. So when we come off and get to email, it's equal to your first time eating chipotle. I'd say that's about how good it is. 

I survived another transfer here on Rabi though! Meaning I get to stay here a total of 7.5months. Pretty cool. Kinda embarassing though bc all the other missionaries thought I was gonna be getting off at my 6 months so I thought so too and on fast/testimony meeting I told everyone I was gonna leave so you know they celebrated island style by making nice dinners for me that week....then when I saw them later that week I just told them I'm a good liar and I just wanted them to cook even bigger meals for me haha. They didn't mind.

Cool story: after we had dinner with some members last night, one of the 3 white guys on the island popped his head in the door and asked to hear about our church. I was full of food and ready to report our week and go to bed but I decided, nah, i guuuueeeesssss we'll talk to this guy haha. After some small talk (its really nice to be able to speak English to someone new btw) he just got to the point and said, "How do I say this nicely......I don't wanna be [insert bad word here]-ed around with religion." Wow, okay. What a way to invite the spirit. Lets see where this goes. "I've been with Catholics all my life and they treat God like it's a corrupt business. Like a way to make money. Church should be about learning about God and that's what I want." Well my blunt, new, white friend, you came to the right guys! So we had a nice little discussion about all that and our purpose as missionaries and stuff when out of nowhere, our neighbor whom we just ate with butts in with how we must respect our family. Okay, that's good. Talks about families for a few minutes then says we gotta remember our ancestors. Now at that point, I'm praying he doesn't say what I think he's gonna say. Then he says "we remember them so we be baptized for them in the temple" UGH. He actually said it. Wow. Then he follows up with "And we know all this thru our leader, Joseph Smith". Yes. Thank you. Everything NOT to say in an introductory lesson haha #MeatBeforeMilk. Luckily, I don't think the guy paid attention to him and so E. Mumford and I had to do some cleaning up of the lesson and set up a return appointment. We think this guy has got tons of potential actually, even after that haha. Just another day.

The branch president's son drew all over himself at church haha

Babakau and hot coco (they got their temperatures messed up in Fiji. when it's 90degrees outside, they serve you boiling hot drinks). Imagine a poofy donut for the babakau. Its amazing. Currently learning how to cook it.

Shoes are overrated here.

Banana leaves <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<< umbrellas

Just heading out in the storm.....

It's cool when the kids like you until they just sit on your feet as you walk around at church. I gotta start being mean to them....haha

Pita's kewl drawing

One of the big dinners for me. You know I asked for some pie!!!!!!
The lady in the pink makes the best pie so I probs had half of that smaller tray. I'm glad that whole eating moderately thing in the word of wisdom isn't a serious thing! #StoryOfMyLife

Pita husking a coconut for dinner

Raw tuna in coconut milk with salt and lime. Probs my favorite thing on the island. This and pie.

Family home evening

Waiting for transfer calls. Chill on a hammock for 3 hours. 10/10 2 thumbs up. I highly recommend it. Why were we chilling instead of proselytizing you ask? Well, after the hurricane, phone signal was really bad and that was luckily the only spot that had signal haha #Blessed

Branch president cutting up a pig for my farewell :)

 JK. it was for his mother in law's funeral that we got invited to.

Over a fire > stoves

Dinuguan anyone?

Moana fanning the flies from the food

Me being loved and famous with kids. JK, I only know the kid in blue and green shirt. Other kids just know me bc I'm twice as big as everyone else and got a fancy camera

BACKGROUND INFO: Traditional parties and stuff usually have tons of food outside like in the pic below so everyone just eats outside but respected guests sit inside. I guess bc we were missionaries they let us inside and we knew none of them and they're all strong catholics #Blessed #ThereWerePlentyOfMosquitosOutisde #IWouldveDiedOutThere #MosquitosAreOfSatan #IHateMosquitos #PrayForAlonzo2016

Random ladies asked for a picture

Some kids outside at recess. Beats my recess of just running around on a parking lot

A food stand/bus stop/nice chill spot

The temptation was so real to dive in #ItWasHotDad

Nah, not really, my mascara isn't waterproof. 
I been with this guy for 6 months almost. Any second now I'm gonna kill him. Just kidding!

Abandoned busses > jungle gyms

For some reason, the only car that goes to the end of the island that day decided to arrive an hour earlier without telling anyone soooooo, nanona ngkanne, meaning we missed it and I then ate my sorrows away with katiobuki.

Just a little girl creeping on our study time

Made a study chair ditch thing. 2/10 do not recommend. Way too hot under the sun. 0 thumbs up.

Same girl creeping on us tried out my glasses

Elda CJ Alonzo

Fiji Suva Mission
Fiji Island
GPO Box 215
Suva, Fiji