Monday, December 30, 2013

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas Everyone!

So my Christmas this past week was awesome! Here in Colombia they really only celebrate on Christmas Eve. The whole day is full of church and family stuff and then as it gets to be night Christmas kind of ends and partying begins. Also they do not really believe in Santa here. They say that the Baby Jesus brings gifts to people or that he blesses us so we can have money for gifts. I think that sounds pretty awesome. Since Christmas turns into party stuff, we had to be inside by 6 pm. Because of that we ended up spending the night at our Zone Leaders flat. It was nice to spend Christmas with them and eat together. The next morning was Christmas Day and we headed back to our own area by bus. Since it is not really celebrated everything was open like business as usual. When we got back to the house I got to open my Christmas gift, my package finally got here!. Elder Price couldn’t wait to open his and did it earlier in the week and then felt bad he had nothing on Christmas. He was pretty bummed. All my gifts were so cool and so was the wrapping paper. I loved them all. Elder Price asked why you guys sent me so many little toys. I told him “Its because my parents love me more then yours”, although it was a bit sad that I did not receive any Dr Pepper : ( but other then that it was great. After presents I went and skyped home which was pretty awesome. I had been really looking forward to it. Just so you know, I didn’t cry afterwards. I don’t know what it is but I am like never home sick. There are times that I want things from back home but I never want to go home, we will see how that goes next year when I am almost done with my mission. 

After skyping we went back to the flat to take our nap we and been planning on for weeks. Elder Price and I had agreed that a good 30 minute nap was a gift we both deserved for Christmas. We set the alarm to go off in 30 min but not 5 min later the sisters called us and asked if we could give a blessing to Sister Pérez, because she was not feeling well. So much for our nap, we then gave her a blessing and headed to the church. We both fell asleep waiting for people but they never showed so we got a nap after all and it was glorious. Afterwards we went to the members house to have lunch with the fish that we caught. Sadly he just fried the fish so it wasn’t very good. He could have done so many things but didn’t. What a waste of fish. After that we all went caroling to the all the church leaders and a few of our investigators. It was really nice to share the Christmas spirit with the people of Chinchina and that sums up my Christmas.

We also had a Christmas activity on Friday with the Branch. We read the christmas story in Luke 2 it was amazing. Then we talked about his life and what he did for us. We ended with an amazing video called ´´The Bridge´´. I was glad I was on the stage holding the curtain back because I just started crying in the end. We then fed everyone a Christmas dinner of Arroz con pollo. A member also made cup cakes for every single person that came to the activity. It was pretty great.

Here is the link to the video we watched:

Sadly, I did not get any emails or cards from anyone for Christmas other than my family. The cards could still be in the mail so I get to wait for those which should be fun. I will most likely be getting cards for the next 4 months because the office never sends stuff on time.

As for the gifts my parents sent, they were all pretty awesome. I got a toy shark with a freakin laser beam on its head, a rubik´s cube, t shirt from the big bang theory, totally awesome mustache socks, small toys, and candy. My parents rock!!!

Love you guys lots and hope you are all doing well,


P.S. Sorry to my family who all got the flu for Christmas.

All my gifts in the box were wrapped and in Toy Story paper to boot.

Stuff in my stocking.

My new shirt!

Socks: great
Mustaches: awesome
Socks with Mustaches: Fan-freakin-tastic

The doctor can now travel through time and space to keep my drinks cold.

Its a shark with frickin´ laser beam on its head, so much better then ill-tempered sea bass.

I got to color my own stocking which was awesome.

I am now the proud owner of a lovely button collection that are icons for my mission.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Fishing with Members

Hola Everyone and Merry Christmas This Week,

I really don’t have much to say since I will be talking to you guys on Christmas, so ya.

Fun thing this week, we went fishing for pday with a member family. That was pretty fun and now we have a bunch of tilapia to eat so that is going to be awesome. We are going to bring it to the member that is a chef so it will be amazingly good.

Love you guys lots and thanks for the christmas money. I am going to get a leather messenger bag made like the one I have at home, but a different style. They do really cool leather stuff here.

Oh and Dad, thanks for keeping your blog going and emailing me what it says and the pictures. I enjoy every week when I can see the progress on your bike. It makes me happy to see what you are doing. The mock up looks awesome of the rev gage for the Cafe Racer.

No luck on my Christmas package. I think it is stuck in the office.

Anyway, I’m super excited to Skype on Christmas. Talk to ya soon.


We went ´´fishing´´ with a member family. We caught 10 fish.This is one of the two fish I caught.

and it was awesome.

This is the case for Preach My Gospel I received from the President last week for Christmas.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Christmas Party & Service

Hey Everyone,

So I have some bad news, I am not going to be able to get my christmas package in time to open on Christmas. I will get at least before the end of December but not before christmas. That is sad!

On a better note, We got to go to our mission christmas party for the Cafeterra zone. We had a talent show then performed our hakas. We then all got leather cases for preach my gospel from the president and his wife for a christmas gift. Then they took us to a really nice restaurant and bought us all stake dinners it was so good, it was better the the stake that you guys brought back from Tiburon back home( which means shark in spanish, who knew). I thanked them so much for their gifts they are so nice. The steak platter was called ´´Punto de Anca´´. I ate my steak and then one of the sisters offered like 3/4 of hers steak to me. After that every one just started passing another Elder and me steak on forks and knifes. In all I ate about 2 1/2 steaks if not more. One of the best parts was they had paper to cover the tables so all the Elders started drawing on the table before we got our food. Also, that night we all got put up in a hotel since it was to far to get back to our own flat that night. It was a pretty cool party.

This week we got to do several service projects, its about time. Saturday we started the morning painting the garage of a investigator of the sisters, she has plans to make it a restaurant for the hotel that she runs. After that we helped a family move. They live in the basement part of a house so they had a big flight of stairs that the had to climb. Elder Price took all the big stuff since it was a grandma her daughter and granddaughter all living in the small house so they needed some muscles. We also went back to the house that had a grenade go off inside to help her clean up a little more. We washed dishes, and mopped her whole house. She was so thankful that we were so willing to help her. It felt so good to finally have service to do.

For p-day this week we all went to a park to play soccer but we ended up playing American foot ball since Elder Price brought his ball. Official football is a lot better the soccer in every way, hands down.

Oh and I’m sad Lydia got to go to the Mormon Tabs Christmas concert and got to see the guy that played Gimli. Thats pretty awesome that Gimli came to the conference center. That must of been a long flight from middle earth.

Oh and my spanglish is fan-freaking-tastic lately. People are starting to think I am from latin countries, or a half latin gringo. People don't think I am from the U.S. since I am so tan and my spanish is good enough to use the Colombian accent so its pretty rad.

Last off big birthday wishes to my sister. She is 18 this week. Happy Birthday Beans!!!

Love you guys, 

This is our zone after doing the Hakka.

Going to the “popular” park for p-day. We played real football with the other Elders, not soccer.

My prize from the mission gift exchange, pretty sweet.

Meeting Elder Gomez’s trainer at the Christmas party.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Learning the Haka

Hola Everyone,

So first of Elder Price is my new companion and he is from Boise, Idaho. He says that he has two cows so I don’t know if he really lives in Boise itself. However he is super cool now that I have gotten to know him. He has been out for a little over a year. Fun fact his trainer was Elder Mansilla, how funny. I miss him. Four things I like about Elder Price are:

1. Because we are both white boys we get a lot of opportunities I haven’t had with other comps, i.e., people will want to talk with us just because we are white, which is good and bad.

2. He is really laid back on the stuff that isn’t very important. He doesn't have a bathroom schedule, or any thing like that. He understands that things about investigators and members are important, but other then that he is pretty chill.

3. He will eat what I don't like. For example I hate the fried plantains here, they are nasty, but he loves them (crazy) so the members never feel bad that all the food wasn't eaten.

4. He has a bunch of scriptures marked and knows where they are. Its really cool. The person can be talking about some thing and he will be all like ´´I think I have a scripture for that, hold on.´´ Its really nice to be able to explain things when you have the scriptures to back it up.

The rebabtizing went well with Jesus. He actually was really excited about the whole thing and getting back in the font. He wanted to take all the blame for the whole thing since he said his name wrong, we told him it was no ones fault it was just a mistake. I know he is going to be a really strong member even though he is 78 years old.

We finally got the opportunity to do service this week. The sad part is that it was to help the friend of a sister clean out her house after someone threw a grenade into the house this morning. Yes, a grenade, or some sort of similar explosive. She had no idea why it happened. She is a teacher for infants, she doesn't have ´´enemies´´. It was just so sad to see here face as we carried out all the broken furniture. I was just glad we could help the lady out. She lives alone with her two sons. The sons are 7 and 10 so they couldn't help out much. It was just so so sad sot hats why my email is a little bit late today.

On a brighter note we have a mission Christmas party on Wednesday and we have been practicing a Haka in our zone (if you don't know what a Haka is please google it, Mom maybe you can put up a link when you post my letter to the soccer Haka). Its big here because of all the soccer people that do it. Since we have 4 Americans in our zone the Haka we are doing has a lot of parts that we took from Thriller so that should be fun.

Everyone has been telling me who its been snowing a lot back home and complaining. You all may hate snow blowing, but I really miss the snow. I have no chance to be in the snow here and its sad. People always ask if there is snow in Utah. Sadly I reply yes, there is snow.

Also in the next package can you send me another consecrated oil key chain vial so I can give blessings. I lost it or one of my comps ´´borrowed´´ it.

Love you guys lots,


Here is our zone Christmas card.

My Christmas tree in our flat. Notice the mustache topper.

The Notche de Hogar in the house of Jorge Gomez.

The had us play a game at the Gomez home.

You have to remove the coin from the flour using only your nose.

Monday, December 2, 2013

My 4th Comp is Here - #3 Only Lasted a Week

Hola Everyone,

So I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. Mine was not quite what I had planned. Elder Muñoz and I had decided to use the money my Mom gave me for Thanksgiving to have a member cook dinner for us and them but my comp got a last minute transfer so everything changed at the last minute.

I’m super bummed, I only got to have him for a little more than a week. We were just starting to figure out how to use each others strengths to help the people we are teaching. We got a call in the middle of a lesson that he needed to pack for three days because he is leaving for Medellin. We were shocked. We quickly explained the situation to the woman we were teaching and then made a dash for the house (the next bus was leaving for Medellin in an hour. He made the bus barely and I went to the other part of our zone, Villamaria, to work in a trio while he was gone. This was on Tuesday, so Thursday comes along and I get a call that Elder Muñoz is coming back to our zone to be our zone leader, yeah! That was a big change and the mini transfer last minute. It was a bit crazy. He is now working within Villamaria, and I have a new companion in the same place I have been for the past little bit. His name is Elder Price and he is a farm boy from Idaho. He seems pretty cool. We should be able to work well together. I just miss Elder Muñoz he was super cool.

So with Thanksgiving all messed up and actually getting a new companion and going back to my regular area all on that day, I was never able to get back with the member who volunteered to cook for us. Instead I just bought two big pizzas for Elder Price and me. He was shocked that I bought food for Thanksgiving. He didn’t get to have thanksgiving dinner last year so that was cool we got to do something together on our first day as comps.

One good thing came out of the craziness. I got to listen to Elder North (one of the missionaries of the trio) and all of his experiences in the mission. He finishes his mission tomorrow so he has had a lot of things he could share with me. His conversion story was one of the most amazing I have ever heard. He is like a real life Alma the younger. He is awesome!

Saturday we had one of our baptisms. All went well except while I was in the font with him and asked for his full name he didn’t give it to me (people here have 4 names, two first and two last). He only gave me three of his names. We didn’t figure this out until Sunday morning in a meeting so we get to baptize him again this Saturday. Maybe its just he needed to be baptized twice to make sure he was really clean. He is 78 years old so that is a lifetime to clean so I will clean the second 39 years this Saturday. He is not upset at all to go back into the font.

Saturday was also zone conference. We also took the Zone Christmas card photo today. We combined with the zone of Manizales for the photo and spelled ``Feliz Navidad`` with our bodies in front of the third tallest cathedral in South America so that was pretty cool. In fact I am still at our conference so I am typing super fast today.

Love you guys lots, 


I don’t know who it is but someone here loves my Mom.

On saturday we baptized Jesus. He is 78 years old and is super awesome. 
It was great to watch his testimony grow. Oh and this is Elder Price, my new comp.

Thanks giving dinner in the mission. My companion Elder Price only wanted
 hawaiian so I bought my self a second pizza.

The new case for my Bible & Book of Mormon came. 
The member custom makes them in leather, sweet!

This week I got a huge haul of packages and letters from Home:
October Halloween Candy & Toy Package
November Peanut Butter and Crazy Sock Package
A Dear Elder Package from My Grandparents with Treats

& Finally the package Braden mailed from Africa on his mission in April. 
It went to the MTC in Bogota, sat there awhile and finally got sent on. Not sure what the metal thing is.