Monday, August 26, 2013

A Triple Baptism!

Hola Everyone,

So sorry about not writing last week. It really was not my fault. We were on our way to write when we got a phone call from a family that we needed to come back to the house. It turns out their calling is to clean all of the mission houses in our mission. It was a gift sent from heaven. They had heavy duty chemicals to clean everything. The house has never been so clean. We started cleaning with them at 11:30 am and finish at 7:00 pm, the house needed a lot of work. No word yet on us possibly moving and now that our place is deep cleaned its awesome which is actually good since transfers came and went again and I’m still here. I’m still not going any here, and I’m still not changing companions. This will be the 4th transfer with him. I don’t know who God wants us to find in this area, but we had better find them this transfer. It would be nice to see some other areas. That or the president has a weird sense of humor.

Last Saturday was pretty cool. We had 3 baptisms and it was awesome. It was a mother and her 8 year old son and the last one was a sister of a recent convert. She wanted to follow the example of her sister and be baptized. I baptized the boy and the sister of the member. It was the very first time I was in the font baptizing since I did it in the temple before I left. It felt amazing. I used one of the special tie knots that I can’t usually wear here on the mission to be fancy and celebrate for them. We bought a big cake for everyone that showed up too.

Oh and as far as food goes, the member are still feeding us. It is normally the same people each month/week. The people are finally understanding that I don't eat mountains of food so the amount they try to give me is a lot better now. I felt bad wasting their limited food. It’s still the same rice meat and soup not very exciting but its nice they want to help us. Although the other day the other elders and I bought pizza for 28million pesos. I know its only like 14 dollars but thats a lot for us here in Colombia.

I am learning a new skill now too. I have started learning card tricks from the free time we have in the morning and the night. Its been pretty fun. I use it to keep the attention of children in the lessons when it does not distract from the lesson so that has been pretty fun.

Also this week I repaired the motorcycle for a investigator. The front and rear brakes were not working, like at all. I had told him that I helped my dad back home restore vintage scooters, so he thought he would see if he could have the american elder fix it for him for FREE instead of paying some one to do it. It wasn’t that hard. After all I had watched dad do the brakes on then Heinkle and the Rally. I had to disassemble the rear hub to get to the braking mechanism. It had both of its two springs lose so it was just banging around in side the hub. I reset the springs. and tightened everything down. After that it was really easy to adjust the screw and the brake lever.

I also liked hearing about the families trip this week too and it did not really make me sad or homesick. It looked like a lot of fun like all the stuff we did last year. Nice Braden got to do it this time. That sucks that Braden dropped his phone off the ship though. He was using the 4S I using before my mission right? Its pretty cool that you guys celebrated your 24th Wedding Anniversary on the ship. 

Love you guys,

Jesus and I in the font.

The three people being baptized: Yoana (Joana) the mom, 
Jesus her son and Marta the sister of our convert.

Gomez and I before the baptism.

Monday, August 12, 2013

I Got A Package!!!

Hi Everyone.

Awesome news, I finally got my first package you sent in May. Packages can make it from the US it turns out, it just takes 3 months.  Every one at the zone conference wanted me to open it right then and there. I knew that there was candy inside so wasn’t about to open it up and share with every one in my zone. After we returned to the house I opened it up and was nice and shared the goodies inside with my housemates. I also received the letter Lydia sent to me in the MTC. It had been in the office for like 2 months, and never gave it to me. Super lame. Just happy that I finally got some love from home.

We also had some more service this week. We cleaned the ``patio`` of an investigators house. We picked up and organized all the wood they had lying around and cleaned up all the trash, and the leaves strewn about. However, the biggest part was removing a huge tree stump and all the roots. We had to work all morning Tuesday and Wednesday  to remove it. The other elders were thinking that they needed to dig perfectly around the tree to get it removed. It took almost all of Tuesday morning for them to just dig. On Wednesday when they thought that they were going to continue to dig slowly and make us come back a third day I told them to step aside, grabbed on to the limbs that had been cut off from the pile we made the day before and used it as a lever and pried loose the stump from the ground. I then had Elder Trujillo (who weighs like 250lbs) help me lift the stump out of the hole. It took like 5-10 minutes, so much better then the entire morning again.

On thursday we had exchanges with our zone leader in Lorica. So I went and worked with Elder Perez in Lorica for a day. It was really nice to see how other elders taught their investigators. One thing I learned is how to have short but sweet lessons with everyone. If you are leaving and they are thinking ``NO, why do you have to leave now`` you know that you are doing a good job teaching them. We really need to use this in Cerete.

I am loving the new bunk beds. It is super sturdy and doesn’t creak at all. Elder Gomez is on the top because he had one with his brother when he was younger and he was always on the top. Which is fine since I like the bottom. If you have to get up in the middle of the night to get a drink or what ever its super easy and you don’t have to fall like 5 feet just to get out of bed.

We haven’t really been cooking much lately. We really don’t have time to do any thing like that. I offer like every P-day to cook dinner for everyone but they didn’t like that idea, because it wasn’t free. If they don’t really want me took cook that is fine. Its their loss since I am an awesome chef. Although I did cook brownies for a part member family to convince the dad that ``Mormons`` are cool people. What was funny is their daughter who is super thin ate like half the pan. I guess she thought it was like the best thing ever. The rest of the family also enjoyed the brownies as well.

Oh and don’t worry about making me feel homesick when you write me about the trip the family is taking right now, I really don’t feel home sick here in Colombia. I feel more grateful for what I do have in the US. I also laugh a lot at the way people do things here. A lot of them don’t understand the ``Work smarter, not harder`` they fix things with Machetes and bailing wire when if they would think about it they could fix it correctly and it would last. They make fun of Americans because when something breaks we buy a new one. I can see that for a few things but like when they have a fan that has live wires sticking out and no longer has its case near small children, I don’t think that ``Fixing`` it really helps them. We were in a house this week and one of the members little ones walked in to a fan. Smacked him pretty good on the head. I thought that that would be a clue that its dangerous to continually fix things. Its like the website you showed me of all the ghetto things people do to fix their stuff in the US. Well here that is normal, you get made fun if you have nice things. I don’t understand that thought process. It may be because they are living in a 3rd world country and don’t ever dream of more. It makes me sad.

I also don’t know why i am remembering this right now but will you punch dad for teaching me about kerning. Almost every thing isn’t spaced right and is never in straight lines. It is driving me crazy. I’m dying for someone to use Helvetica Neue. Its horrible, why did dad have to teach me about design.

Love you guys lots,

My First Package From Home
So excited!!!!!!

Googly Eyes In My Sisters Letter

Monday, August 5, 2013

I'm Allergic To Fish, Maybe.

Sup Everyone,

So, I’m allergic to fish, or thats what I’m telling people from now on. I cooked French toast for a part member family and after they asked if I wanted some food. I told them no and that I was full from the french toast that I had just cooked for them. They decided that no meant that I wanted to eat more so they gave me a big plate of rice and fried fish. The problem was that they didn’t cook it all the way. It was like sushi . . . from a GAS STATION, awful. I ate most of it until I had to go to the bathroom and I spent 3-4 minutes puking my guts out. So, I am no longer going to be eating fish here in Colombia. This is the second time from two different families that have not cooked their fish all they way and have gotten sick. 

In other news, Elder Gomez is no longer allowed to make decisions on how we go to the different parts of our area. We were in Cepello and he decided that we should walk back to Cerete (we took a car to get there to begin with). He was sure that it was going to be better because the different route took us directly to Prado, which was were our next appointment was. Being a little out of it because of the heat I agreed. After more then an hour and a half of constant walking, we knew that his idea was stupid and he was not allowed to make choices about walking again. 

Right now we have one investigator with a date for baptism. He is 13, and lives with his grandparents. His dad lives in Monteria, the next city over, and is a member. We taught him the first two lessons solo, but for the third lesson, when we arrived his dad was there. He said that he had a feeling that he needed to stop by in the morning, but didn’t know why. When we came to the door he said he knew exactly why, he needed to bare testimony of what we had taught was true. His son accepted baptism that day and it is scheduled for not this saturday but the next. It was super amazing to hear the dad share his testimony of his conversion with his son. I look forward to the saturday he gets to be baptized.

It was nice to see the pictures from home about Braden’s new scooter and the new paint job on the Elite. I miss vintage scooters. Every one and there dog here has a motorcycle, and they are all the same one, sure it says honda hero or susuki or bajaj, but they are all the same with a slight change in the body panels. Im dying to see something that someone actually took the time to think about to make it look nice, or some thing that is at least different.

So we are thinking about moving houses, the last guy fell through and was a weenie with the church. He wanted it to be in the name of the missionaries, not the church. Not a good idea. But this new house is owned by a cousin of a member. Its not done yet. It still needs paint, but its so much better. You can feel the spirit in the house its awesome. Its also really modern looking and has sharp lines and is almost all black and white with little accents of color. I will let you know what goes on and send pictures if we move.

Also our zone leader is coming back for Medellin and we are having a zone conference tonight. I will be able to know if he has a package for me or not today. If he does it should be the first package you sent, since I heard it takes 3 months to get here. If its not here tonight I will let you guys know next week. No package means I think you guys will need to stop sending me packages which would be sad but no point to send if I can’t get them.  I also should get the scripture cases I bought tonight so that should be exciting.

Love you lots,

My mini hymn book I bought - We Are Called To Serve

Gift from a member, love this pen.