Monday, May 27, 2013

Lots of Tracting

Hola Everyone,

Okay, so this week I think I have finally found all of the little notes my family hid in my mission stuff before I left. They have been super awesome. I have glued them in the back pages of my journal to keep. Even Braden sent some for my Mom to pack all the way from his mission in South Africa. They make me smile. 

 We have done a ton of tracting this week as usual. Most of the time we look for people with their doors or windows open since its so hot. If everything is shut then most likely no one is home. I try to start talking the minute they open the door so we don’t get that  ”Why are you at my door” moment. My opening line is always different depending on what I feel needs to be said. Tracting doesn’t get many people here because a lot are strong catholics. The best is references from people. The best thing this week though was that we got a lady to commit to being baptized, then she came to church this week it was awesome. 

The second best thing is that I decided that I needed to have a case for my Spanish scriptures while I waited until I had the other case made. I’d trading my Spanish into my old case but they have been getting really beat up just thrown in my backpack so being a poor Elder I made one out of our Frosted flakes box. It is pretty awesome. Now they cant get beat up in my backpack. I just don’t pull the box out when we’re teaching.

Oh yeah, and the scriptures are awesome! Since I have been reading every morning now its awesome. I read something and go wow that is a good scripture *mark* 2-3 verses latter, that one is good too *mark* 2-3 latter, this ones good too, I should really just color this whole page red it would save so much time *mark scribble, scribble mark*.

Also I got the pictures to work this week and they got uploaded and and I had a few videos of the activity last week too so they are all on Flickr.

Love you all lots,

P.S. You can see all my pictures on Flickr:

Lunch with Hermana Kristin.

Me and Elder Truillo with a member during an actvity at the church.

Typical street and car in Cerete.

My fancy scripture case.

Long walk to our investigators house.

The bat we found one night in our house when we came home.

P-day trip to the beach (it was allowed) with my comp, Elder Gomez.

Monday, May 20, 2013

The Only White Boy In Town


 First of let me say that this computer is lame and it is not letting me put up pictures so I’m really sorry but nothing this week.

So thing are going really good. The ward is really nice and friendly, they understand that I don't know spanish perfectly and are patient with me. We meet in a real Chapel, its really nice since they have air conditioning in the building ( I  think I should tell the investigators that, maybe they will come more if they knew that). When people give talks in church I don’t understand perfectly but I can understand a lot of what they are saying. Everyday is a little better. When some of the members try to talk to me afterwards I can’t understand them much at all because they speak so fast and drop letters when they speak. For example, go out side can be translated to para afearda but here they say pafeda. Its like the southern accent in the America. You don’t know what they are are saying half the time. so I just smile and wave.

The town is great, like I have said we do a lot of walking but the people are friendly. The town is really dirty, not dirty because of trash, but because most of the roads outside the main streets in central are all dirt. Dust gets every where. Also the city basically floods when it rains so the water rises to like a foot a foot and half in some places. It forces us to backtrack a lot after it rains because we cant get through the water in our leather shoes.

The city is way to small for any ´´fast-food´´ although there are a lot of people on the streets cooking up ´´meat´´ on a coal grill. I wouldn’t eat it even if it was safe. There is a place near central where a lot of people set up their food carts. We have bought hot dogs and hamburgers from one of the members that owns one of the carts. Its okay food but not super good.

The area is pretty safe, well as safe for a white boy from the states can be in town where he is the only non-latino here. There are not any areas we cant go. The only time I have been scared about walking any were was when were were in Prado ( basically the poorest part of town, with metal roofs and dirt floors). All the lights in Cerete went out. Luckily I had my flash light with me so me and Gomez had to walk all the way home with only the light of my flashlight. It was super sketchy.

We do have a curfew here but its just because we need to go to bed. The mission rules say we need to be at the house by 9:30 and in bed by 10:30 so its not for safety, its just so we have time to get ready for bed.

I did get my debit card to work finally. I went to another ATM this time and it worked. I was kind of uneasy walking around with 700 mil pesos for a few hours. After I got back to the house I put the money in a safe place that no one could find by accident. I got it out to make my first big purchase soon. There is a guy that makes custom cases for scriptures in my mission. He burns images by hand of any church photo you want into leather cases he makes. I don’t know how much it is going to be because its always different. I will make sure to upload pictures when I get them done.

We have not had a lot of service lately due to rain everyday. We were going to help build a part of this house a week or so ago but it rained really bad and the whole site flooded so we couldn't do it. The ward hasn't picked a time to do another service project so I do know if I will in this area.

Been noticing lots of the motorcycles and scooters here because of how much my Dad is into them back home and how much he takes care of them. Even though some are 50 years old I know they will last another 50 cause of what he does. The people here don’t seem to take care of their stuff. They are all trashed and have missing parts and strange paint schemes.

So thats it, love you guy lots and hope you all are doing well. Sorry again for the pictures not working this week.


Monday, May 13, 2013

Skyping For Mother's Day


So its now 100%, I will never need my license here. They are not going to let us drive in Colombia. All the inexperienced latino’s (some of which have never even driven a car) cant be trusted to drive. Also drivers here are crazy. Right now we also can not even have bikes. When we would go into a house even if we locked them up they would not be there when we came out. I guess I’m going to become a walking master. The other day we actually went 7 miles in one day criss crossing town.

Last Friday I got to Skype with my family for Mother’s Day. It was awesome. We did it Friday cause the computer places are not open on the weekends and none of the members have computers. It took me awhile to get it figured out but I finally got to see my family which was good. Since it took me so long to get it figured out and emailing back and forth to my Mom for help, I was only able to Skype for 40 minutes cause the place was closing but that was ok. 

The teaching is going awesome. We haven’t had any baptisms yet since both of us were new to the area. We do have two families progressing. I think we are going to try and get them to commit to baptism this week so I will let you know. My favorite thing to teach is the plan of salvation. It always has been my favorite topic in the gospel. I drew out the plan that Dad showed me he drew in his scriptures when he was on his mission. I have found a bunch of scriptures about the different parts. I love being able to draw the plan out on a piece of paper while we teach, it makes it so much easier for them to understand what all the steps are. 

We are still trying to get to know all the members. So far the only member that we have really gotten to know is the Sister that schedules all of our lunches with the members. She is a super awesome lady. If i remember I will get a picture of all of us with her this week.

Some people have asked me about food. For breakfast I usually have just a glass of water because we don’t really have time in the morning to make any thing. Sometimes I will buy some bread or a pastry from a bakery along the way. For some food things we pool our money or its some one buys some thing and says that every one can use it then the next time some one else buys it. We don’t cook like ever. The lunches here are huge since that is what the culture is like. Lunch is the biggest meal of the day so we usually don’t cook any thing, maybe make a grilled cheese or some toast and an egg, since we are still so full from lunch.

Also I’m jealous of every one back home that gets to drink Dr Pepper. It doesn’t exist down here so when I wear my ´´I´m a pepper´´ shirt down here on p-day no one understands what it means even after I explain it to them. It’s like trying to explain Vintage vespas to them they don’t understand. They understand Classico and motto but when I say Vespa it all goes out the window. I even show them the foto of me on the vespa and they have no clue. (Thanks for including that foto by the way. All the people I show it to think its really cool.)

So far we have done nothing on p-days because there is nothing to do here in Cerete. I just wash my clothes and listen to church talks and draw or look up scriptures while I’m listening.

Love you lots,
Elder Gomez´s bed is now offically broken.

Study session after doing laundry.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Life in Cerete


So let me tell you about Cerete. I live in a house with 3 other Elders. The house is okay. It is not great but it could be a lot worse. Our house is insanely nicer then most of the people we are teaching. I would like to have a normal washing machine, the one we rent each week just kinda swishes the clothes around. They get clean but it leaves all my socks rough and I don’t like that. The cold water only in the shower isn’t that bad either. It’s not ice cold it’s just slightly less then comfortable at first however after a long day in the hot sun you are glad to have any shower to feel clean before you go to bed. After getting my sheets stolen through the bars of my window right off my bed last week I thought I would have to move my bed but we found a way to lock it with a heavy pad lock we found in the house so there is now way to open it again. 

The other elders in the house are pretty great. They are Elder Luna and Elder Almu....... I can never remember his name it very hard to say let alone remember. Elder Luna is super awesome and relaxed at night but in the morning he is up and ready to go. Elder A tries to talk to me in English but doesn’t understand what the full meaning of what he is saying. My Spanish is coming along great, the more I talk with the members and people on the street and investigators I know more and more. Its awesome.

A typical day here is wake up at 6:30, be ready for personal study by 7 and then Companionship study at 8 then at 9 we leave to go tracting or to teach a lesson, what ever we have for that day. Then 12 is lunch with a member. Then from 1:30-9:00 is more trackting (which in spanish is tocar puertas, which translates into to touch doors) or teaching. Then we return home to eat and sleep. 

The people here in Cerete are so nice and warm people. They understand that because I am white (I mean new), I am going to have troubles with the language. They kind of judge me at first be cause here is this gringo in a shirt and tie with a Libro de Moron (Book of Mormon), but after they see I do speak spanish and am trying to learn more, they are humbled and will listen to what we have to say. Whether they want to hear more afterwards is another thing. A lot of people here are very strong Catholics but all in all they are great.

The people of the ward are really nice. They totally understand that I don’t know a lot of spanish. Some of them even try speaking English, it doesn’t work out so well. There are a lot of sound in english that don’t exist in spanish. Also everyday for lunch a different member makes food for us. Its really kind of them to do that.

Speaking of food, you should see if you can find a place in Utah to buy Postobon. It a really big soda down here in South America. They sponsors one of the biggest football teams in Colombia. You could try world market or some where similar or buy it off amazon possible. I recommend the Manzana because its awesome.

We don’t cook much because the members think we need mountains of food so we just make a sandwich or for me grilled cheese (the other elders make fun of my grilled cheese because they don’t understands its awesomeness). I did make pineapple chicken tacos recently, and am planing to make chicken nuggets for my 2 month mark.

They heat isn’t so bad any more. I have gotten used to it not that it’s any cooler. I carry one of the handkerchiefs to wipe my face with but other then that its not that bad. Also the members and progressing investigators give us cold glasses of soda to help cool us off so thats awesome.

On a sad note, the people of Colombia do not recognize the Siesta so we don’t get to take a nap after lunch. :(

Also, just so you know I think my p-day is always going to be Mondays so just to let you know.

I heard that my Dad got another scooter this week, that brings his total to 12 I think. At the rate he is going I think he will have 24 new ones for me to ride. All the people down here ride at least 2-3 people per scooter. Every time I see them I just keep hearing that stupid video from youtube in my head “Nuts to butts, who does that?” It’s bad.

For Mother’s day I’m super excited to get to Skype but I need to do it this Friday instead of Sunday so I will get you the details. 

My Poor Feet

Our Awesome Sodas

Think We Have A Pet Now

What My House Looks Like