Monday, June 24, 2013

No Dr. Pepper :(


So I have had a lot of people ask me what type of exercise I am doing here since my brother bulked up doing P90X most of his mission. For us we don’t really exercise since I walk all day long. I never stop walking. I’ve lost like 10-15 pounds. The members say that you can see it in my face. So right now my suit doesn’t fit any more, the jacket is big on me now not through the shoulders but just through the midsection. It’s awesome and I feel great. It’s not like I’m starving my self either. The members give us mountains of food for lunch here, its cray. Some times I have to have Elder Gomez help me eat all of it so the members don’t feel bad.

Right now we are teaching two new people right now. Their names are Sandra and Jesus. This week they committed to be baptized on the 13th of July. The only problem is when we asked if they were married they said no but said that for the Lord they would be before their baptism date. We were blown away. Marriage here in Colombia is a big deal, a lot of people just live together because its too expensive to get married. Also the bishop cant just do it for us, it has to be done by a judge and get papers and all that with huge fees and taxes. That is why most people never do it. So when they said that they would get married just like that, we were like 创WHAT, no way创 people just don’t do that here. I know the Lord prepared them to hear the gospel. Its just nice to see that the Lord cares for all of his children not just the members of the church. Now we will be adding 2 more people to our ward! Our ward is fairly small right now, I’d say maybe 50 people tops. Its kind of nice since I can get to know everyone in the ward. It helps when we need references from them since we can bother them about it until they help us out.

I also had to walk through basically the Ghetto of Cerete this week. Its about 5-10 min car ride out of the city. We had two progressing investigators that lived there. The first time we went we had a member who owned a taxi/Jeep who drove us there and stay for the lesson and then drive us back. For our second lesson however, the member was busy so we took a taxi and got dropped off basically in the middle of nowhere and had to walk the whole way. It was during the day so it wasn’t super scary, but still. Being a white boy in Colombia has its perks but it also has its downsides.

Well something fun that was supposed to happen this week but didn’t was that we almost got some Dr. pepper. One of the members of the ward in Cerete said that in a super market in Montaria had Dr. pepper so when I heard that and we were going to Montaria for a missionary conference for two or three days I was stoked. But when my comp and I went to the store today, it wasn’t there. I asked one of the workers there and he had not even heard of it. The Member was miss informed. I was really bummed for like 10-20 min.

Love you guys so much I enjoy every week reading your letters!

Love Alec
Hanging After the Mission Conference

I took a long exposure photo of the moon and the power lines from the balcony
 of the house in Montaria we stayed at. Turned out awesome!

Monday, June 17, 2013

My First Baptism

Hola Amigos,

Sorry for not writing last week. Things we crazy in the morning when we normally go to the internet place. The guy that was supposed to show up with our new washing machine didn’t show up and we had to finally call and complain so then we had to quickly wash out clothes so we could hang them to dry. So since we were running late we had to go straight to Lorica for a ``meeting´´. The meeting turned out to be basically to play football and eat food which would have been awesome except we had not emailed yet and then it was too late and they were closed. I was very upset that they did not give me chance to write. I told them that if I could not write this week they would have do deal with the wrath of the gringo. They laughed and made sure that we had time this week so here I am. I’m really sorry.

My greatest moment this week really wasn’t a teaching thing. It was when I remembered all the lessons that we had with the Sister we baptized on Saturday. This was our first baptism. When I look back I could see how much the gospel had changed her life for good. When we first visited her she tried bible bashing with us and was talking about the Rapture (typical crazy talk) but now she knows about the restored gospel and is living the commandments. She told us today that she wants to be a missionary when she turns 19 (she is 17 now) because of our example, and the joy the gospel has brought to her life even if it only has been for a short time. It was really awesome.

It’s been really hot here this week and raining. It’s been like in the 100s or 90s all week, its been horrible and humid. When we got a breeze from a passing car or motorcycle it felt like a breath of fresh air.

I haven;t received my first package yet or the one Braden mailed me from Africa but I’m hoping they are just sitting at the mission home and I will get them soon.

The food here continues to be good but all the same. The desserts here are all milk based so its some sort of cream with a “cookie” mixed in. All though Hermano Rafa has given us ice cream on more then one occasion.

Got Dad’s letter about all the pictures he took for the new Playstation 4 launch. It makes me sad to know that I was replaced as the official hand model for Sony. The world will miss me. I have told a few people here about it when they ask whats a strange thing about you. I say I’m an ex hand model.  Apparently the guy at Game Stop misses me too Lydia said, pretty cool.

I’m also missing my snuggle puppy at night. Fargo is so cute when he sleeps on your bed. Its like a little fur ball of love.

Thats all for this week. Sorry its short but I have to make up for last week to every one too. I promise to do better.

My Comp Before He Entered The Font

Our First Baptism - Hemana Jessica

Celebrating my 3 month mark by making all of us a meal of chicken nuggets
 and fries in my manly apron.

Typical night at our house for dinner. Elder Luna made tacos.

My rigged egg poacher made of tape.

My plan of salvation poster I made.

Monday, June 3, 2013

The Teaching Is Working


I’ll start off with the highlight of my week. We now have another Sister committed to be baptized. Its funny Elder Gomez said that here in Colombia a lot of elders follow the “Plan Titanic”. Which is women and children first for the ``life boats of salvation``. The reason is most of the time the men work and live in other cities because they can get more money working in the big cities, then they send the money back home for the family. If we can get their family interested in the church usually their husbands will follow. Its awesome to have my first baptisms set up.

We have done a lot of teaching lately too. I really like teaching the plan of salvation to people because I can draw it out on paper. One time while we were teaching a sister, after we were done she asked if she could have the drawing. It almost seemed like the way she asked she thought I was going to say no when my plan all along was to give it to her. She was super excited that she had a “a guide for her life drawn by an American”. A lot of the time I think people listen to us just because I am an American and they think I am full of wisdom and knowledge bestowed upon me from the United States.

My only funny tracting story so far is that a lot of the time the people don’t have toilet paper because its ``expensive``  so I have to keep a notebook of lined paper in my back pack so when they don’t have any I can at least use some thing. Cool story huh.

So last week I got super sick and had a fever and couldn’t keep food down in the morning. I had to stay in bed all day. It sucked. I really wanted to go out and teach. Staying in bed was boring, I couldn’t listen to the church talks on my iPod since I kept drifting in and out of sleep, no fun. But it was only for one day, the next day I felt great. I think it was something I ate the day before at a members home. 

My Spanish is coming along great. I can now hold a conversation, but a lot of the time they talk about things I know nothing about because the culture is different so I understand them but I have nothing to say.

So my brother came home last Wednesday from his mission to Johannesburg South Africa. It didn't affect me very much. I’m kind of sad he wont be serving a mission at the same time as me but I know that he is done and thats awesome. (I actually thought he was coming home one week earlier so every one here in Cerete that I talked to thought he was already home before he finished.) It was rough not seeing him before I left but at least I got Lydia to wait on her availability date so I can see her. I could not stand not seeing her for 3.5 years. Braden had been hard enough but Lydia I couldn’t handle. 

Love you all lots,

My First Mission Haircut

What Our Chapel Looks Like

Some of the Members I talked to recommended I buy locks for my luggage, because some 
of my companions in the future might want to ``borrow`` some of my things.