Monday, December 29, 2014

Christmas in Colombia

Hello Family & Friends of Mine,

So here is the low down on my Christmas this year, the truth is that it was kinda lame. With no snow and it being above 90 degrees it didn’t feel like Christmas at all. Anyways, here is a walk though of my holiday. Christmas Eve we helped the sisters make lasagna and then I made a chocolate cheese cake. It was the first time I have ever made cheese cake and it turned out really well. After we finished that up we went to a recent convert of the sisters and had a “party”. It really was just hanging out. We ate the lasagna then the cheese cake and then headed back to our house and walked the sisters home since it was dark but on the way home the sisters found an abandoned kitten and had compassion on it and found it a new home at a members house. 

The next morning I opened my presents in the zone leaders house. It was super fun. I was also want to remind you that I DID NOT open my presents early last year. That was Braden. All the presents were super cool, but the Darth Vader candy dispenser with the Vader and son book along with the Batman shirt was by far the best. I also loved all the candy. I still have a stash in the house. I also took some of the money I got and bought gifts for other missionaries. We had a gift exchange so I got them small things. They all told what they wanted so it was super easy. 
Sister Victorino: a tub scented lotion
Sister Quirog: giant stuffed teddy bear
Sister Mamani: smaller but softer teddy bear
Sister Apaza: Uno card game.
The Elders in my district did not want to participate so I did not bother asking them. It was nice to be able to have the gift of giving. The sisters have given me stuff but they have been really little, which is totally fine. I was just happy to make Christmas merry for a few here in Colombia.

After opening the presents we had a Christmas testimony meeting. It was super awesome. It was nice to have that small part of the day focused on the savior. The spirit was super strong the whole time. Since the meeting was at the church my next event was to sky home. None of us are allowed headphones so everyone could hear what everyone else was sating. The Sisters thought Dad and Lydia were super funny trying to say funny stuff in Spanish. They realized that my family is just as weird as I am. They said that they wished their families were that cool. Yep, we are awesome and I love talking to everyone back home. 

After chatting with home, the sisters invited us to a members house to eat lunch. They had basic lunch like we always had so nothing to report there but it was still fun. After we chatted with the family a bit. Afterwards since the sister were nice enough to invite us to lunch, we invited them to dessert. We went to a shopping mall and found place to buy ice cream. The bad part was that the sister didn’t pay attention to the fact the it was going to be priced by weight, so they put everything on top of it. Chocolate, candy fruit, you name it so it ended up being super expensive. 25,000 pesos ,its like $12. I know that isn’t that much for 4 people for ice cream back home but here it's a lot to me. The sisters felt really bad that they made me spend so much when we paid, but they enjoyed it any way. Next we all had to head back to our house pretty quick. We had to be in early since every one gets drunk and likes to blow things up in the street for Christmas.

As for my area I’m in, I have also been really enjoying being district leader recently. Although my area is in the dumps for the lack of care of the members, I have been able to help the others in my district resolve their problems and strengthen them to be able to work a harder. So that has been really nice. Before I said I wanted to be transferred one more time before I went home but I have now changed my mind. I now want to stay. 1st, because I don’t want to pack everything up to and have it stay in my suit case cause no way am I going to pack again. 2nd is, I love my district and want to be able to keep helping the people here for as long as I can. Hopefully it all works out.

Well, I hope everyone has a great new year and a fantastic week .


My Awesome Chocolate Cheesecake 
with Sister Victorino who ate the extras.

My Christmas Package.

I am now the proud owner of a Darth Vader Statue and it gives out money too.

This shock pen really is quite painful.

Super awesome book!!!

My craft Rudolph with flowing scarf action.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Almost Christmas

Hola Everyone,

To start of I am so excited to Skype on Christmas. Plan on 10:30 Christmas morning so I can do it super easy. I won’t be really doing all that much that day so this will be big. 
Also, no news on where the package is. Last year it did come till like two days before Christmas, so we will see how everything plays out with that. At least we have members that are going to take care of us that day. I will be going to Monteria and spending it with the members of the district there. The sister already made plans for us to be there so thats nice. No one from our branch invited us to do anything so I’m happy the members in the ward in Monteria are nice enough to let us spend it with them.

We have not had a big exit on all of our members and investigators like last year but I am still worried about them. In December it seems like investigators and members “forget” about the word of wisdom and go to party and drink. We haven’t seen much of it yet but with Noche Buena (Christmas Eve) and New Years coming up I don’t know how the cards will fall. Iy can be a big problem here if the members don't stay strong. I love my area but we for sure have work to do. Its crazy to be spending my last Christmas in Colombia on the coast. It’s weird to not have cold weather for the holidays like I have always been used to.

As for today, we are going to have a Zone Christmas Party. We are going to have a BBQ for lunch then order pizza for dinner and watch some sort of church christmas movie afterwards. We are also going to do a Gift exchange after lunch for all of the Zone. I am excited for us to feel more of the Christmas spirit. I’ll take photos so you all can join in on the fun times.

Chat with ya Thursday. Have a great week!


P.S. I’m thinking Dad needs to help me build a cafe racer when I get home. His is pretty sweet. I know that the bike won’t have all the toys like his, but I know that it will look awesome with his sweet skills in design and motor work.

Our Christmas tree with a tape Angel Moroni on top.

The reign of SeƱor Mustachio the Christmas ornament continues.

My shoes are dying again, its been a hard to years for them but
I have fixed them with tape, super glue and silicone.
Hopefully they last just a bit more.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Mission Christmas Party

Hi Everyone,

 So first of, I talked with Sister Pitarch in the office about my Christmas package. It should be in the office. I had to send a page with my signature and my finger print on it so they could reclaim it. She said that if it is there she will have it sent to the zone leaders so I can have it before christmas, don’t worry. Also I think that the best plan would be to not send me any more packages. I don’t think a January birthday package would make it in time. Just send money so I can buy fun stuff that I want to bring home and that would be good. I can’t believe I’m already talking about coming home. Everything is getting so weird thinking back that my last memories of Christmas are from the mission and that next year I will be home for the holidays. I’m just glad that I have one last Christmas in the mission to be able to bring the spirit of Christ to the lives of the people of Colombia.

So this week we had our mission Christmas party. It was with the president and his wife for all of the coast. It was super fun. He started off with the spiritual and then we had the hakas and a talent show. Our district made a mission version of the story of Mr Scrooge. I was Elder Scrooge being a mean nasty zone leader, then I changed for the better. I would send you the video but its all in Spanish and you guys would not be able to understand. We also did a gift exchange at dinner. I got a sweet hat, that looks like Indiana Jones´s but its made from palm leaves. The haka we did was also super sweet. We yelled Moses 1:39 in Tongan. It was super cool. The president´s face afterwards was shocked since normally everyone just yells in Spanish. It also could be that he was shocked that I yelled at the very end “who are we” super loud.

Hearing about Dad getting stuck in the snow trying to take a picture for the base of our Christmas card made me miss the cold. I cant believe he got stuck in the snow. That happened to me once in the forester. I took out the jack and lifted the front of the car and put compacted snow under the tires to get a little bit of traction. I also put the rubber mats behind the rear wheels. It was a fun time.

As to the Christmas card. It looks great. I love how you just pasted a photo of me inside. Speaking of which,I still have the photo from last year saved in my camera. Its great when every one asks what the heck I’m doing lying on the ground.

Oh and I asked Mom what she wanted for Christmas and only asked me to bring home a Colombian nativity set. There is lots of stuff I still want to get to bring back. Don’t worry about me not having enough space. I’m planing on getting rid of a lot of what I have in my bags right now, by giving it away or trashing it if its super worn out. All this mission clothes does not need to come home when people here can use it.

Well, hope you all have a great week.


Pictures from our snow adventure last week.
Sadly the trees were fake.
Also a link to video the snow people took of me:

I volunteered to design our zones Christmas shirt this year.

My gift from our mission president. It's a notebook.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Christmas Season

Hola Amigos,

Well, the big snow party last week was awesome. Sadly my camera did not make it into my bag so I have no photos right now. However, I can explain it. They had basically a big storage container cooled down to 5°-15° F so they could have snow on the inside. They gave us all coats and gloves because it was super cold. I didn’t mind the cold at all. Other Elders and Sisters were dying because of cold. It was super funny. Sadly the snow was super compacted so I couldn’t make snow balls or even a snow angel. It was super awesome to show Elder Conti Snow. He had never seen it in his life so that was cool. It was one of the coolest activities so far.

This week we are also having another activity. It’s going to be our christmas party and dinner with the president this week. We are going to do another Haka this year. This time I took control and planed it out. We are going to be yelling/screaming Moses 1:39 In togan so it is going to be a real Haka and not a stupid Spanish version. It's going to be the best. I was also chosen to be the leader of the Haka since the said that I was the one yelling the loudest so that will be fun. I’ll be sure to take a video to show everyone. I’ll also be sure to take a photo of the big cut of meat I'm going to eat.

So as far as my release date goes I still don’t have it. Hopefully by next transfer. Everyone here seems to get it the last 2-3 months of their mission even though other missions seem to find out sooner. I guess it's so the Elders don't get all trunky. As soon as I know you will know.

Well, the best part of the week was being able to start giving out the He is the gift cards to people. We were with Elder Rucker this week helping out since his comp ended his mission and had no one to companion him. We went to a super posh neighborhood and we found a family that was willing to listen. I asked if they had a tablet and the daughter brought her tablet out. We were able to watch the video on the doorstep. It was so cool. They accepted a second visit for this week. Sadly, I will not be there since it’s not my area.

It’s been awesome getting the Christmas season going this month. I hope you all enjoy it as much as I do. Love you all.



Monday, December 1, 2014

A Pizza Thanksgiving

Hey Everyone,

So this week was Thanksgiving and even though it's not a Colombian holiday I still had to celebrate. My parents were awesome and sent me some funds for my comp and me to celebrate. We ate dominos pizza with cheesy bread. It was super great and with the extra money I bought an awesome hat. We had lunch, dinner and breakfast then dinner again with all our pizza. It was awesome and a great use of my money I think.

Transfers were also this week and I’m staying here. No one in my district is leaving either. I think I might just die here. If so that will mean that half the mission was spent in the coast. I am excited to see my family that we taught get baptized but I was ready to see new places too. Oh, well.

Saturday this week might have been the best day. The zone leaders got back from Medellin (no Dr. pepper slackers) and shared with us the new “plan” of the mission. It’s a bunch of different things we have to do this month so we can stay busy. The main thing is He is the Gift which is a cool thing that the church is doing this year for christmas. They are even going to have an announcement in Times Square in New York for all of December. Its super sweet. All of you should check it out.

As far as my plans go for when I get back I still am not sure. I have been prompted that science is just not the thing for me so I’m unsure now. I for sure need to talk to my Aunt Teresa to help me with her test to see what I should do. She is a placement pro. I’m also not sure where I will be going to school, BYUI or the U. The U, got messed up and thinks I’m coming back in the summer. The lady that helped me with that when I left was really cranky so I’m not sure if that will be a problem or not cause I don’t want to start until fall. I will have plenty of time to get things settled once I’m home though so it's not on my mind much now. The only thing I do know is that I’m all in for a trip with my family in the summer. Thats a no brainer.

Well, today we are going to do something extra cool. We are going to play in the snow... I’m going to tell you how next week so you will just have to wait and tune in next time.

Love your faces, hope you have a great week.


My November Package Arrived!

Our Pizza Dinner of Champions for Thanksgiving.

We don’t have a microwave so we reheat in the frying pan.