Monday, July 28, 2014

Still Pushing On

Hey Everyone,

So the results on in on transfers and unfortunately its what I hoped would not happen. I am stuck with my companion for another 6 weeks. That means it will continue to be super hard for awhile longer. He is just a tourist with a name badge at this point. Its going to be a rough 6 weeks. He hardly ever pays for things anymore either. I’m having to pay for a lot of the expenses. I had to pay his part of the laundry this week since he ``forgot where he put his money´´ then in the next moment he is buying food at the store. He is saving up for his laptop that he wants. I’m not going to let him buy it, when he is with me, although the last week of his mission he will be out of the house with a different comp so he still will have time to steal from the church and buy his laptop. I’m just going to have to drag him around until he perks up or ends the mission. Just not fun times for me. All the missionaries say that you pass though a ``gethsemane´´ in the mission (time of suffering). I guess this is mine. I’m just embracing the suck. As I’m writing you he is once again watching soap operas online and not writing his family and YES, my president still knows whats happening. Its hard to pull all the weight alone. I don’t see any reason to not tell you guys whats really going on. I still like my mission but its just very difficult right now.

Good stuff is that I helped out an investigator take one of the final steps toward baptism. Brother Correa came with us to one of the lessons and has helped a lot too. I think with a little more help from him the decision to be baptized this month will be set. I am excited to see this new person progress. I have also been working with members to get referrals from friends and family. It has been a slow process but its starting to show fruit. We are hoping to get these members more motivated to help people they know.

The English classes are still going on and I am still helping with them. Its funny, I have learned quite a bit about Spanish from the classes from the questions the students ask. I have also noticed that I have forgot a lot of the basics of English, well I mean I can’t remember them right away. I have to really think about it to give them an answer of why the grammar works like it does. I’m going to come back and not be able to speak English maybe. 

The ward continues to be good even if sometimes slow to help. We don’t have any loud kids during church so thats nice. There are babies that are loud but thats not their fault if they are loud. Although there are two kids that always yell ``Amigo´´ when they see the missionaries. They also hang on my arms and sit on my shoes. They are fun kids. Whats nice is that they are very reverent during church.

Well some thing interesting that happened this week. I learned that the bishop denied an older sister in the ward (70s) a temple recommend because she listens to ``devil music´´. She listens to bands like ACDC, Aerosmith, Nirvana, etc. The bishop here thinks that all of that music is of the devil so he wont let her go to the temple. Lame right? The biggest problem he has is that she still goes to the concerts when the bands come to Bogota. I’m not sure if I should share with him the “I’m A Mormon” videos of Brandon Flowers, Jeff Decker and Jeremy Jones or not. I think it might help him but maybe not.

So this week I also made up copies of this reference guide to the scriptures. It was 88 pages each and I made five copies. It cost about 50,000-60,000 pesos or like $25-30 super cheep for the states but here its more expensive especially for a poor missionary. Although I'm super happy with how it turned out. This booklet was originally given out by the church but it was discontinued a while back. It super awesome so I wanted a copy.

Oh and funny, my Mom sent me some pictures of my cousin Helene on her mission in Texas standing at the side of the road with a big group of missionaries. They all have signs that say “Honk if you love Jesus” and “Free Lemonade” so they interact with people. This looks pretty awesome to me. I will have to try it although I might have to change it to free aguapanela. Its a drink made from sugar cane that every body just inhales here. In fact it tastes pretty good especially with milk. I’m going to bring some home so you guys can try it.

Have an action packed week.


P.S. My leg has been twitching this whole time.

The July Package Is Here!!!

Monday, July 21, 2014

The Push To Work

Hi Everybody,

So first off apparently my family went on a cruise last week. I’m glad they had fun but I didn’t even know they were leaving until I got a letter that said ``hello from Texas´´ from Lydia. I thought that she had gone with my Dad to Texas to pick up a new scooter. Not even close. They were sailing without me, crazy!

Well the past few weeks I have continued to have problems with my comp being trunky, especially the last week. I have been following my Dad’s advice to do what he wants for a little each day and then get to work with what the lords wants us to do but it just sucks sometimes. He doesn’t follow the rules very often, he has bought a cell phone from money he saved up from the money of the mission, and plans to buy a laptop, and for the last month and a half he has stopped writing his family. He just watches soap operas on youtube while I’m writing everyone. I have told the president all this in my letters each week and he says that he will take care of it so I’m not worried. The President even told me in the interviews that we had recently that he put me with him since he knew I would be able to stand him and not get super high strung from dealing with his trunkyness so that made me feel good. I feel bad saying I cant wait until this is over. I’m just going to have to trust what it says in Ether 12:6. The other missionaries say I live in the house of the Walking Dead. That’s what they call it in the mission when you end the mission dying. Well, Elder Pulido and Elder Roa are in their last week, and my companion Elder Marichi is super trunky since he has only one transfer left. It’s hard to even get him out of the house some days and when I finally do get him out of the house, he walks super slow and lags behind so I have to stop every few yards to let him catch up. I have tried walking at his pace, but he just walks slower. Just so frustrating sometimes.

However, other then that we had a good week. This Sunday two less active members were rescued. We also gave the the suggestion that she receive a calling with the young single adults  because she was working with them before she went inactive and really enjoyed working with the members of that age. Her husband was the other rescue. He has lots of energy to be put into the work of the church. They both became less active because money was tight, so they took jobs staying up late. With these jobs they were unable to come to church because they would get back to their house at 4 or 5 in the morning. They were able to find replacements recently, so they can come to church every week now. It’s so good to see.

We are also expecting a baptism this week. We talked to the sister and said she wanted to talk with one of the the brothers in the ward, Brother Correa. I know she wants to be baptized but she is just scared to commit. I know that Brother Correa is going to help her make those last steps she needs to be firm in her decision. Brother Correa is just a an amazingly smart man. I have a whole list of books he recommended I read from the church. Right now the tally is 26 books that I’m going to buy when I get back. My plan is to be one of those old people that argue about deep doctrine when I’m in my 70s-80s-90s so I need to start now to be ahead of the game.

This wednesday coming back from the orthopedic clinic was pretty exciting. Our taxi got hit by a bus. Now hold your horses, it just side swiped the back quarter panel. We were not hurt in any way. We even got to pay less to get home since the taxi driver didn’t charge us and we were about half way home so we just had to pay the fare of the second taxi. So now I have a cool story to add to my list of cool stories.

Sadly, once again I have nothing fun to do on p-day and no money to pay extra for the time to upload photos. I was planing to send a letter and a package to two people in the states, but my zone leader forgot to bring my reimbursement to the soccer field this morning so I will have to get that done next week. But it gets worse, my zone leader also told me that he has my package in his house and forgot to bring that too so I have to wait until tonight to get it. Life is just so hard and I’m getting really tired of people not paying me back from the office and having to beg my parents for food money. People Do your jobs!!!!

Well thats all folks, have a good week now and I hope it is super snazzy.


Monday, July 14, 2014

Searching For People to Teach

Hola Amigos,

So this week we are trying to work with the less active members in the ward to get them re-activated. Lots of the time they have a friend with them so we then get to teach them too. Sunday we had a family night with some members and they gave us 16 names to work with but half of them are for another zone. It’s still 8 people that they plan on helping us with. It was awesome, I love this family. Their daughter is one of the ward missionaries here, its really cool. We need all the help we can get from members because tracking does not always go so well. Everyone here just tells us ``I’m Catholic´´ and shuts the door. We have better success talking with people on the street than knocking on doors. Its a more open conversation when we talk on the street and we can weave the gospel into what were are saying where as at the door you can’t be subtle. You have to be direct.

Something interesting that happened this week on Sunday was we showed up at the church for a meeting with the ward mission leader. Once we got there he called to say he needed to cancel. There was a member there already giving a class so we decided to listen to what he was teaching. He said something that blew my mind. He told them FIFA (federation of international football association) was a type of antiChrist. Now I know what your thinking, calm down. He explained that more people in the world care about Soccer than god, and that these players become a type of idol or false good in which takes up all of our time. He said any thing that takes priority over good is an idol, and that FIFA isn’t evil, it just does a really good job at directing the thoughts of the people away from God. Pretty cool way to relate that idea to something people here really get into.

Well the World Cup was this past week and it wasn’t so bad. Since Colombia ended up not playing no one was watching it in bars or on the street. It was just people in their houses. We ate lunch though most of it then. We still stayed in the house a little since no one was going to open their door and the president did not want us out during it but I was happy when we finally got to go out and start working again.

P-day today is going to be pretty lame. I’m just going to go chill in our apartment since I’m broke until the office gets it together to send the money to our accounts. We are going to play soccer with the other zone for a bit. It isn’t a competition, just playing for fun. My companion woke we up at 5:30 in the morning so we could get ready. I guess he is excited.

Ok, now I’m going to vent a bit. Here in the ward we have activities we planed to visit less active members. We had to basically beg for the members to come to help us out. Just so lame. I don’t get why sometimes they just don’t want to help. Topping things off is my companion is super trunky. He has lost almost all desire to leave the house unless its to eat or play soccer. Being senior companion just isn’t fun sometimes. Also since I have no money what so ever because the money from the mission hasn’t come, I am screwed out of a pday. The financial secretary in the office didn’t sign the papers the day he needed to so the money for the month is going to arrive late. I don’t know when it will get here. I’m just hooping its soon so i don’t have to suffer for days with no money waiting for the office to get things organized. Ok, I’m done now. Most of the time its all good but right now I’m a bit frustrated. It will be fine. 

Love you all,

P.S. I have barely enough money to email so there will be no pictures this week. Sorry everyone.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Medellin Mission World Cup

Hey Everyone,

So this week was pretty great. Since we had to drop every one of our investigators since none of them were willing to commit, we had to find new people. Slowly we are finding new people. Right now we have two people that are solid. Also good news, the sister with the baptism date that was on vacation got home early. We are going to plan with her what day is the best to have her baptism. Its scary sometimes to have to find new people but I also like it cause we are gathering more.

We even had to drop those girls at the salon which I’m not to sad about. They didn’t want to listen to us any more. After they learned that I was there to teach the gospel and not to find a lady friend they bailed. I thought it was super funny. I have been having problems with girls hitting on me because of my pastey white skin and almost always its girls that are a little lacking on the morals side. More of the time its just an annoyance. They just don’t get it. I think they appreciate my awesomeness to much.

Sadly this week, I did get to do any thing on the 4th. Colombia was playing in the World Cup so we had to stay inside. My plan was to grill up some steaks, but I ran out of money from unexpected things I needed to pay so no steaks. I even had my DIY grill ready to go, its a baking sheet with a cooling rack placed of the top. Its so ghetto but  I love it. Maybe for the 24th.

So today for p-day we had our Medellin Mission World Cup. Our zone won the first round but lost the second because my companion and another elder in our zone were not playing like they should. They just slacked off the whole game. I understand if we lost because the other team is better, but when we don’t play our best because others are just being stupid it just sucks. I did have lots of fun though. The zone learned that I really do play soccer. I just never played before with them so that others could have the chance. They saw I had skills.

I actually got to do service this week. A sister asked if i could look at her sewing machine because it didn’t work. I told her I would be happy to help her out. Turns out that the connection point of the power outlet was bad so I told her what was going on and I went and bought the parts myself since she didn’t have the money to do so. I fixed it all up for her and now it works like new. I also sewed a few things since I had the machine in the house. I fixed some things for my companion as a birthday present to him (it was on the 5th).

I’m glad that Dad keeps buying new shop and showing them to this suffering boy in Colombia. Every time he buys stuff its like, hey I need that for my missionary house. I have really come to love and miss the tools we have back home. Countless times I have been fixing something and boom, I don’t have the tool to do that and I think well if I was at home I know exactly were to find that bad boy in the shop. It’s so cruel.

Well hope I hope everything goes well in gringoland this week. I’m sorry that I haven’t sent pictures a lot lately. I put up lots this week.


P.S. I sent photos to you or the cardboard cutouts for the wedding. There are two different poses. You can choose which is better.

Our Official Medellin Mission World Cup

Fixing The Sewing Machine