Monday, October 28, 2013

Getting To Know My New Area

Hey Everyone,

So I found out this week we cannot see some of the super cool historical sites in my new area. Most of the sights are Catholic and since we are missionaries we cannot go in. Super lame, but I understand why.

Also, sadly, no Dr Pepper is not going to be found in this city or in the neighboring one. I have heard legions of it existing in one store in Medellin but other then that I have no hope. I have also heard that if you are willing to p'ay a premium there are elders in Medellin that will send it to you but i don't want to pay what they want.

So in my new area we are actually tracting. We just did an area that had not had missionaries in years. We found a less active member of 20 years. She was baptized when she was little when her parents were baptized. She doesn't really know much about the church but she did agree to let us visit her this week so that was awesome. We also tracked another area and found two people that were super excited to her what we had to say.

We don’t have a ward here in ChinChina, its only a branch but we do have our own building so thats pretty sweet. (It also has a fooseball and a ping pong table, so that is awesome for activities.) We normally have about 80-100 people come each week to church so it fairly big for a branch.

Something fun this week was that we ate massive hotdogs for p-day. It was awesome. They were like a yard long and had guacamole and spices and a bunch of different sauce with cheese sprinkled on top.Oh and I finally have a microwave so i made carmel popcorn.

Thats all,

I bought the leg bag that I wanted in Cerete

Theses are the giant hot dogs we ate.

This is our group here in Chinchina, us and the sister missionaries. 
The Brother is always helping us out, he is super awesome.

Monday, October 21, 2013

I've Been Robbed


So my new comp, Elder Mansilla, is from Chile. He is 20 almost 21 and has a little over a year in the mission. He is super cool guy. Him and I have the same sense of humor so we get along swimmingly. He is wanting to learn english so I am teaching him lessons in the morning. I think it is going well. He had lessons from another comp but he says that he wasn’t really good at teaching, so no pressure. I know the time I have with him is going to be awesome.

There are no plans for our kitchen to be fixed in the near future. It is the responsibility of the land lord to get it fixed but he hasn’t done any thing about it. We do have a portable electric stove that is set up around the corner in the washing area so we are not completely wanting and the fridge does work.

Super sad thing this week is that I had my back pack stolen with everything inside taken as well. We were in the church for an activity and I left it in the interview room since that is where we also have been leaving our stuff when we are in the church. The doors were left open so members could come in from the street. So sometime during the activity when everyone was in the cultural hall, some guy entered and stole my bag and left. Braden had his stuff stolen from his car, but this guy had the audacity to enter the church and take things. It was only my back back that was stolen but it had lots of stuff in it. I lost my bag, umbrella, my folder (with photos of the temple, family photos, genealogy, and family stories, the letters from trek, Braden's letter, my big plan of salvation drawing and my church videos), my mini hymn book, my super awesome mini mag-lite, but one of the saddest things is that they stole the pins that my dad gave me before my mission. I loved those pins. 

Later a ´´different´´ guy came the next night that ´´found/bought´´ a few of my things and sold them back to me at a premium. So i was able to recover my family photos, the church videos, mini hymn book, and the photos of the temple. I don't think I have any hope at recover my backpack, umbrella, flash light or any of the other things with value. As for the other papers i think they are in some trash some where : ( sad face.
Why do people have to be so mean.

I’m totally fine now. It was just a bit unsettling to have stuff stolen. I'm glad that it was stolen from the church and not while I was in the street at knife point. But its cool now I have a fun story to tell

oh, I forgot my camera so no pictures this week, sorry.

Love you guys lots,


Monday, October 14, 2013

Loving My New Area

Hey everyone,

So I made it to my new area with only a few problems. The bus rides were fine for the most part. It took two days to get here and I had to stay over night in Medellin in a house they have just for missionaries passing through to other areas. Yeah, our mission is that big. We had a pretty big group going out on the bus from Medellin to the Cafetera but just me and my comp from Cerete to Medellin. Nothing much happened on the 1st leg of my trip but the second half from Medellin to Chinchina was not good. Its super windy in the mountain passes and as you know I get motion sick some times. This time was no exception. I thought I was doing fine until a super windy part of the road came. I could feel my stomach getting worse and knew I was going to throw up. I ran to the back of the bus to get to the bathroom and pulled on the door but nothing happened. Another Elder was sitting in the back and he had his chair reclined and it was leaning on the door. He realized by the look on my face what was happening but by the time that he moved the chair it was to late. I spewed all over the back of the bus. They had to pull over and wash it out at a rest stop so that was fun for everyone.

The ride here may not have been good but my new area is super awesome. Its a lot cooler then my last area. I am now in the Cafetera and no longer in the coast. The Cafetera is where all the coffee in Colombia is grown. Its super pretty and green everywhere. We are living just one street away from the center of the city where there is a big park and a huge Catholic church. We are about 2 mins away from our church which is awesome too. My new comp is Elder Mansillia. He is super chill and has been out a little over a year and seems to know what works as far as contacting people here.

My new apartment is pretty small, it just Elder Mansillia and I in the apartment. Its a lot less chaotic in the house and really peaceful in the mornings and nights without 4 of us squished in. I really love it. We have 1 1/2 bathrooms here so I have moved all my stuff in the second one so after I shower in the other with hot water I can shave and what not easier. The members I have met have been great and friendly. Also the accent here is totally different, I can understand every one so much better.

Sorry my letter is not long but we have a meeting with a missionary couple and I’m excited to meet them. It is with Elder and Sister Peterson. He worked at NASA on all the Apollo programs to send people to the moon so I had to take a picture with an American hero. How cool is that!

Love you guys lots,

P.S. I don't think they exist but could you look for a pocket sized triple in Spanish for me, I’m trying to make all the stuff I have to haul around lighter.

This is the view from our 3rd story apartment.

Elder Mansilla took a picture of me preparing for the gospel principles class.
 (The hat was from his old comp, so i was wearing it)

My Companion, Elder Mansilla, bought this pizza as a house warming gift it was awesome.

I have a real closet this time.

This is our kitchen, the only problem is that a power surge blew through the 
apartment awhile back and none of it works.

This is Elder Peterson and my new comp. It was so cool to talk to him about NASA.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

General Conference & My New Transfer

Hey Everyone,

So Conference this week was awesome! Normally we would just watch it in the church with the members, but since it is in spanish, Elder Cutler and I were going to watch it in the church office, but they stole the computer from the office to use for the main room. We had a member bring a laptop so that we could watch it in english in the office but the internet was so bad in the church having two streams open sucking the bandwidth neither of us could watch it so we had to stop even before we really got started on Saturday. Right after that I called an English Prof in the ward and asked if Elder Cutler and I could watch it in his house. (He is the one that brought the laptop of us). He was totally chill with us using the computer in his house. So we solved the problem of having to watch in spanish and not understand fully. As for lunch, when we in the house of the Brother, he gave us snacks on Saturday, then lunch of fried tilapia, steamed yuca, and a glass of aguapanelal. It was so awesome. We thanked him so much for giving us food. He told us that it was no problem and it was a blessing to have the elders in his house.

My favorites talks from conference were Elder Terence M. Vinson of the Sunday afternoon session and President Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the priesthood session. I took the most notes from Uchtdorf´s talk, but Vinson´s was really awesome. His message about how God could take care of all of our problems as soon as they came into our lives, but we wouldn't learn anything that way. He gives us opportunities and trials to go through to make us strong, and if we need his help, he is there for us no matter what. Its like the poem about foot steps in the sand. Jesus is walking with us all our lives but sometimes when times get so impossible and we have done all that we can, he carries us because he loves us. (His accent was also awesome)

Exciting stuff!!! We meet with a new man this week. It was after the Sunday afternoon session. We were looking for a house and were super lost. We asked him if he knew them, He did not : (  Then he asked who were and what I (being a gringo) was doing so far was home. We explained that we were missionaries and that we had a message about the restored gospel of god. Amazingly he said ´´That sounds really nice, would you like to come in and teach me and my wife?``. We were blown away. No one does that here. It was so cool. 

We also had a different member family come to the church on Saturday for the afternoon session of conference which was awesome. We had been working on them for quite a bit of time, then to have them come to the church was the bee´s knees. 
We don't really cold knock here in Cerete. Everyone is usually outside of their houses just chill-laxin in chairs so we can talk to who ever we want. They normally don’t go any where. The people here in the coast are lazy not just physically but mentally as well. The see change as something hard. Salvation is not a luxury. If they would just soften their hearts, they could have the blessings of heaven poured out on them.

Other exciting news. I’M GETTING TRANSFERRED!!! I’m finally leaving Cerete after more than 6 months and leaving for Manizales. It is at the complete other end of the my mission and I will be trading the heat of the coast for the cool breezes and mountains of coffee country. I am super stoked. I am going to miss the people here in Cerete, but I am finally going to leave. I leave tomorrow at 8 am in the morning to start my adventure of the bus ride of eternity, I am going to have two bus rides that are more then 8 hours long each to get to my new area. Elder Gomez is going to be a trainer again. So that should be fun for him. Elder Cisneros is going to become an office Elder. Elder Cutler is getting Elder Roberts as a companion (yep the same one from the MTC). Which is going to be awesome for him, and also for Cerete. He is an amazing Elder.

Love you guys so much,


Watching Conference

Going To A New Area