Monday, December 17, 2012

Beware of Ironing and Showering!

Okay another week has come and gone! First things first, THANKS FOR THE CHRISTMAS PACKAGES FAMILY! haha. I just want to eat the nuts and bolts ALL THE TIME!!! I have my stocking hung up on our board of investigators and I eat my chocolate candy every day in the calendar, and thanks for the scripture in each day too haha. So this last week has actually been a little hectic because one of the zone leaders in my apartment got called as Assistant so we´re currently in a trio until transfers this Wednesday haha. That´s right I´m a zone leader who´s still being trained haha. But yeah it´s cool that Elder Andrus was made assistant because I totally ironed his shirt one day so he owes me one now. The work here is going strong! We´ve been finding some good new investigators and that´s awesome! But they don´t like to leave their houses for church on Sunday haha. This is the problem with a lot of the costeños (the coastal people of Colombia who like to party and whom I serve) they don´t really like to do things haha. But some investigators we have are really good. One who has been receiving lessons for like 3 months but never came to church, came to an activity!!! but not church haha. Slowly but surely.. Choir.... is bad haha. Not many people like to come and the ones who do can´t sing haha, but it´s okay! We´re singing silent night in church next week, but we´ll see how that works out. Do you want to hear the funniest thing I´ve heard in my life? The bishop´s wife told us that it´s bad to iron and then shower here. Wanna know why? Because the iron is hot and then the showers are cold, so it will give us arthritis hahahahahahaha. When she said this the other zone leader and I were basically rolling on the floor laughing, but she believes it 100%!!! She then told us that one day the bishop ironed, then went to the church to perform a baptism, then that night his leg was stiff. I told her this was false doctrine and she then explained that it´s because the iron is hot and then the climate is hot too. This is why we haven´t heard of this in Utah because here it´s hotter. Anyways yeah that´s awesome. Spanish is still tough but getting better! One investigator told me that he knows I´m speaking with the spirit so he knows exactly what I want to say. That made me feel really good. And some other people in the ward said I´m way better than when I got here so that´s nice of them. I´ve heard about a lot of the people leaving on missions now and that´s awesome! I want to be there to see where everyone´s going and go to your farewells haha. For skype I can skype any day between the 20th and the 31st so I´ll talk more about that next week for specifics. I love you all and I´ll talk to the family soon! ps. Friends... I want to email you, but it´s against the rules, so I´m working on a way to write letters you can get so just know I´ve not forgotten you haha. bros. I love you all. Ed, I miss you too! and you´re gonna be great in the field.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Just Pray!

So I have very little time this week so I`ll type this out like something that moves really fast. I don`t have much time because we had zone pday with the president so we got to play soccer with him and the rest of our zone which was fun... ish because I can`t play soccer haha. This week has been good and I feel like I`m improving in a lot of areas. We actually had a legitimate investigator come to church so that was really cool haha. We have found some really good new investigators too, but the problem here is that everybody works all the time so they can`t come to church, but we`ll see how this will work out after we teach them the sabbath day haha. I`ve been studying a lot in preach my gospel about recognizing the spirit lately and then read the story of the liahona in first nephi. This is great when you analyze it because you really can see the pattern that the lord has established. We need to work and act before he will just give us all the direction that we want. So I`ve been applying that lately which is awesome as a missionary, but I just want our investigators to do the same haha. I don`t understand why they won`t just pray!!!!! Every visit we ask, "did you pray for an answer?" and they just won`t do it! It really is like 5 minutes (or like 3 days if it goes well), but yeah. Also we`ve found a lot of inactive people here, but one is a little crazy haha. She works in this little corner store and called me and my companion over to tell us the story of why she doesn`t come to church. She basically just told us that every woman in this ward is evil and they all gossip (as she gossiped us this info I saw the validity of her story). But gally! We`re going over there in a little bit to talk with her. Suggestions? So I got the Christmas package and wowzers! it`s freakin awesome (i don`t really know because I don`t want to unwrap the presents until Christmas). And did you send two because another package just came for me today and if it was the one you sent last week I think you sent it by floo powder because nobody here gets packages that quick haha. Sorry I can`t write more this week, I will next week but I love you all! Especially mom dad callie brock tj and jeff`s adopted in so him too and all the bros and everyone else who`s reading this (you know who you are because you`re reading this.) BYE!

3 Month Mark!

Okay so there goes a whole `nother week! haha And boy oh boy can I just say that I had an experience that none of you will get to have, count your blessings, A WHOLE 36 HOURS WITHOUT WATER!!!! haha That started Tuesday morning and went on through Wednesday night so that was super fun haha. It would have been okay but we had a service project on Wednesday so we just had to come back and change and that sucked because we all smelt pretty bad, but hey, What`s a mission without a little fun like that right? But really it`s been a good week haha. Tuesday my companion and I went on splits with the district leaders, since he is the zone leader, which was cool. I got to work with Elder Davidson (from Riverton and has exactly one year more than me) in their area all day. It was fun and he`s really nice so that was good. Wednesday was good because we had that service project and these really good sandwiches after. Friday I got to lead the "choir" again, we`re practicing for Christmas. They`re starting to get on pitch! So that`s a plus! Also on Friday one of our investigators from the missionaries who were here before us had her baptismal interview! Saturday we had a baptism! His name is Jean Carlos and there`s a picture included. He was difficult because he was a little flakey on a lot of things, but I saw such a change literally the minute he came up out of the water. He`s excited to be a member now. He also asked me to confirm him which scared me to death. So I studied how to say that so I could do it the next day, but then the bishop had his son do it, so that was nice haha. Sundays are nice, but rough. We invite a lot of people to church and they say they will, but.... no... We had one investigator who was stoked for church and said he wanted to bring his whole family, but had to work. That`s another problem in Colombia, the jobs are more when they need you, so if they call on Sunday you have to go in. We went and visited everyone who didn`t come and they all had "reasons" if that`s what you want to call them haha. One experience that I feel pretty good about. So we have an investigator named Nilsa. She was a reference and we`ve taught her like 3 times, but she doesn`t really commit and told us she`s not too interested, but then told the other elders that she`s just bored. She said my companion is not very exciting and I just don`t talk too much. So yesterday we visited her and I just started talking to her about life and how things are going, and she would be happy, but then my companion would say "You weren`t at church and we were expecting you. Are you reading? Why don`t you do more?" so then I would ease the blows again with my small talk that is hardly anything haha. She`d glare at him and then smile at me when I talked. I know our purpose is for her to be reading, praying, and coming to church, but she just doesn`t trust us enough. So we`re working on that. We went to the Christmas devotional last night, which made me a little home sick haha. I really miss snow and real Christmas haha. Everyone here decorated before Thanksgiving (freaks) and I am yet to hear one Christmas song haha. Now I know that I wasn`t the biggest fan of Christmas music, but "gally gee how happy I`d be if only I could whistle" (a christmas song haha). I miss the music and cold weather haha. But the devotional, I`m sure it was good, but I couldn`t understand too much. Spanish is coming, but it`s still super slow and hard. It`s frustrating not being able to say what you want, but people are nice and just smile, which is awkward when I just asked the a deep thought provoking question haha. I also have been studying a lot to understand how to be a more effective teacher, but that`s coming slowly but surely too haha. We did a lot of contacting the other day and wow.... so many inactives. And there`s a lot of people who listened to the missionaries and then the missionaries stopped coming. Who are these two elders?! I hope everyone is in the holiday spirit! Because the most I get here is at the bishops house where they have a little dancing santa that sings jingle bells haha. I hit 3 months this week, so hopefully the next 21 are as good or better as this one! I love you all and pray for you (bros, family, others? haha)

Go Jordan!

Okie dokie! One more week! My first experience with Zone Conference was this week, and that was neat! haha It was actually pretty good and we learned a lot. President was there and talked a lot about faith and I know one thing was aimed at me. He said that we need to have the faith to open our mouths. So that´s what I did a few times in lessons. I just thought "this is God´s investigator not mine" and then I would talk. I know that my Spanish wasn´t very good but the investigators really respond well when I would talk so I know that the Lord has blessed me there. In our zone there´s like 10 gringos and there´s one from Cottonwood heights (AP), Draper, Riverton, and another one from Grantsville. So that was nice to talk to some other people from home! Especially since zone conference was on Thanks FREAKING giving haha. The zone leaders (since their gringos) ordered us deli sandwiches which is probably the first meal I´ve had in forever without rice so that was nice haha. But it definitely was no turkey dinner (save me some green bean casserole please). One day this last week my companion went on divisions with another companion (since he´s the district leader), so I got to lead the area here! haha. It went pretty well and the other companion was super nice and helped me out a lot too. We´ve been finding a lot of new investigators which is nice, but some of our investigators just need to start prayin´ haha. We have an investigator who´s getting baptized next week and I asked him who Christ is for him specifically and all he said was "the son of God." So we´re gonna be reading some scriptures there that´s for sure haha. Oh my gosh, some things Colombia just needs some help with like when it´s bed time, and what is an appropriate volume for music haha. Two nights ago there was literally music blaring ALL night long. Not an exaggeration, from 9 pm until who knows how long because we had to leave for church. And just during the day, people will rent giant speakers and play music in the street for hours. Gally! haha But there´s nice people here too and they love gringos. We were at one street vender with the other companionship of two Americans and this guy just bought us a 2 liter thing of Coke and said here it´s free haha. All in all things are going pretty well. It´s tough a lot of the time, but I´m learning. OH! So we have activities a lot in this ward that we run. Wednesday is English Class, Thursday is like mutual but for everyone and then... FRIDAYS we have ward choir, which I´m now in charge of hahahaha. They´re awful, I´m not good, and I can´t tell them what to do fix it in Spanish haha. But it´s pretty fun. We´ve started to throw together a little Christmas program so that´s neat. haha. Ward´s here are just so different. There´s only like 50 people there, only have the guys wear a shirt and tie, first counselor walks in eventually during the sacrament, and nobody can sing haha. But they´re all really nice. We went to this place called Centro today which is kind of like China town with hundreds of little shacks set up in the street for stores with the most random junk you never want to find haha, but I also got some cool pictures of this Catholic church around there. I also found Jordan Highs initials on the church (in one of the pictures). I think they put it there because Jordan won state. A few weeks ago the bishop was showing us a map of the ward on Google maps and then wanted to see all of our houses so we showed him. When he looked at our house and saw 3 cars he asked if we were having a party that day. You should have seen his face and the face of my native companion when I explained that we have five (one per driver) and at one point six so that TJ could have a car too haha. So he thinks that we´re loaded now. Then my companion told one of the priests in the ward here and we just dropped his jaw and asked if one was a ferrari haha. Oh Latinos.... Anyways, I love you all and I hope all is well at home. I hear there´s this thing there called "cold?" that´s weird. When you´re walking all day here in who knows how hot of whether haha. I swear if one my investigator or member says "Oh, are you sweating?" I´m gonna lose it haha. OF COURSE I AM!!! haha. But it´s nice because there´s a breeze this month. Everyone says this is the best time of the year, so I´m enjoying the mild inferno while it lasts.

No names or descriptions, but enjoy some pretty pictures

Monday, November 26, 2012

Buena Esperanza

Okay week number 2 here in Buena Esperanza! It´s been good! We have a lot of appointments and that´s really nice! So it rained a few days ago..... Rain here is something entirely different! We were in a lunch appointment when it started but had to leave for our appointment. It´s THICK rain and a ton of it! We also had to walk through the streets which were basically rivers haha. Sorry Mr Mac shoes... They´re still not dry haha. So the same handkerchief I was using for sweat (like father like son) was then to dry my face as a I walked in to teach this lady haha.
Last pday we went to this mall which was cool. Here´s the thing about Colombia, stuff is cheap, unless it´s American haha. McDonalds was super expensive haha. It was weird because there´s one store that is basically all American and I felt like I was in WalMart, but not able to buy any of the fun stuff haha.
So there´s 3 Americans and 1 latine (My companion) here. So on Wednesday nights we teach English class. But this last Wednesday it was just me which was fun since they couldn´t understand me and the other way around, but it´s just young kids so it was fine. The people in this ward are super nice. Especially to me since I can´t say much haha. There´s one kid who´s 17 that always comes with us to teach named Diego who´s learning English so he likes to talk to me haha.
Thursday was my first baptism haha. We can´t take much credit because other missionaries found them and taught most of the lessons, but we got to baptize them so that was nice! Their names are Julio and Esaida. Pictures are attached in the email.
Yesterday was church and that was fun since about an hour before one of the missionaries in our apartment told me "hey you have a talk today" so I got to give a talk yesterday haha. I spoke on charity because I want the ward to know how important it is that they welcome the new investigators. Also it was unfortunate that none of our investigators came to church. We visited them and they all said that they were busy because of the rain the day before (hogwash).
Our lessons are slowly and slowly getting better. I can talk a little bit before and then after the prayer my companion just looks at me to begin. A lot of the time after I say something they look at him to re-explain, but usually not, so that´s good! And I´ve extended the baptismal invitation twice now which is scary, but exciting. Both times they said that if they can feel it then they´ll be baptized. So now it´s time to actually get to work haha.
The ward here is all super nice. We eat either at a members house or the bishops for lunch every day. The bishop´s wife told me the other day I´ve gotten a lot better since the first time she met me because all I did was smile. She also told me not to worry about Spanish because people here in the coast speak so fast that they can´t even understand each other sometimes hahah.
So laundry here is cool! We rent machines and you just throw soap in with buckets of water while it spins. Then there´s a centrifuge thing to make them damp haha.
I included a lot of pictures this week. There´s pictures of me and all my companions so far, my district back in Provo, pictures from our one day of exploring back in Bogota. We went to the mountain where you can see the whole city and there is a Jesus trophy picture too. That day we went to the gold museum and I found a hidden mickey! haha
I miss home a ton and think about everyone all the time. I wish Edward the best of luck! The MTC really is great. Congratulations to Trenton! Chile is a sweet call (1 in 20 people are members there).
I LOVE YOU!!!!!!

Monday, November 12, 2012


ESTOY AQUÍ! Bienvenidos a Barranquilla!  Well I don´t really know what to say to start out haha. So we left last Tuesday morning and got here around 8 in the morning.I don´t know why, but some how I ended up in first class on the flight haha, so I just slept (trait from dad) the whole ride, there were like 6 missionaries up there. I´m not kidding that I could feel the heat the moment they opened the door to the plane haha. I´d describe more about the heat, but I would need some INSANE descriptive writing skills haha. My best description is this. Imagine you´re in an oven... The oven has been set to the ¨clean¨ stage and then you´re walking around in it, and then there´s a pot of boiling water in there too for humidity purposes haha. The mission president was waiting for us as we got off the plane and greeted us all. SO HOT!!! haha. We drove to the mission office which is the church that the president calls the celestial kingdom since it has air conditioning haha. We ate there and had interviews. Mine was really short since he doesn´t speak a word of English and I speak like 4 words of Spanish haha, but he really is great and I´m excited. But he´s almost done with his time as a mission president, so I´ll have a new one next summer.
After my interview they took us to go out with some missionaries (not my real companion yet) just until the next day. I was with an Elder Santiago and we did some appointments. I couldn´t say much to him, but he was nice. He would just ask me to bear my testimony periodically throughout the lesson. That night we slept at that apartment and wow... gross haha. A few cockroaches here and there, but they had three showers! haha. They were 10 missionaries there that night because the next day was transfers.
The next day we went to the mission office and had some training. It was nice and they fed us (saw Obama won on the way there.... haha). Then they assigned us all our trainers. My trainer´s name is Elder Silva from Peru! He´s really nice and the patience on this guy is unbelievable haha. We drove to our area which is here in Barranquilla and within 30 minutes we were out the door finding members to direct us places. We work a lot with a priest aged kid named Diego. The area (which is one ward) is called Buena Esperanza. The people here are super nice. They look at me like a baby since I can´t talk to them haha, but that´s okay!
Every day we have lunch with a member, but this last week has been with the bishop every day.
It´s good but I´m almost out of time. So don´t worry and my apartment here in my area is actually super nice haha. There are also two other Americans living with us. I really struggle with the language a ridiculous amount, but I pray every day to be able to talk to them. I just need more practice.
Good news! They print the dearelders here and I´ll get them once a month. I got the package with my iPod! Apparently Christmas packages should have been sent... but your other package got here pretty quick, so maybe a Christmas miracle haha. I don´t know what I really want or need for christmas. So whatever you´d like to send haha.I love you all! I promise to send pictures next week.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Super Juicy!

Hello family and friends! Another week here in the Colombian MTC! It's been good and in 6 days guess what? I leave here for Barranquilla! It's super wild, and yeah.... I know like zero Spanish, so everyone pray I get a trainer that really wants to teach Spanish and is super patient! haha. I love hearing from everyone at home and I'm sorry if anyone has sent a letter or something and I didn't get it, I love you all!
So we're been teaching our fake investigators and it's going really well. Nelson is getting baptized next week haha and Laura is starting to like us. Yes I know they're not real and you don't know them, but it's about as much exitement as we get in here! We've been learning a ton and it's super awesome! I don't have the ability to say too much, but I feel like in lessons I can kind of carry myself which is nice!
So the most exciting part of the week was when our teacher, Hermana Mendivelsa, told us that she's taking us all out tracting for one hour this week. My companion and I went yesterday and she just walked with us all the way to this plaza, but was about 100 feet behind us the whole time so we we're on our own! 2 gringos talking to Colombians trying to mumble through conversations! We were able to get TWO whole contacts to give to the real missionaries and that was all within like 30 minutes. We were talking to one getlemen when I said "We don't really know too much Spanish, but we can send you some other missionaries who do!" He laughed and said he could understand a lot of what we said, but he knew we didn't know Spanish, so that was nice of him! I know this is the cheesy stuff from the Ensign, but I know the Lord was filling my mouth for me because I had been praying for help during that all day. And there were times where I realized I had no idea what I'd been saying for the last 5 minutes, and they were still listening!
Everyone in my district is pretty bad at Spanish too, so that makes me feel a little better, but pretty much all of them have checked out mentally and just talk all the time which is making it hard to focus and cram everything I still need to learn (mucho) into one week, but it's okay. I know I have a lot of faults, but I realized one thing, I do pretty well at obeying all the rules and I know that the Lord has blessed me for that.
I got my impression taken for my retainer yesterday! So I'll be getting that soon which will be nice. (It'll be like 50 or 60 bucks for those watching my bank account haha)
Do you guys want to hear my favorite past time here? Watching the romance among all the teachers here, and might I add that I am the best detective thi side of Bogota! So, here are the characters in play: Hermano Rivera, my teacher in the morning. Hermana Mendivelsa, my teacher in the afternoon. Hermano Diaz, teacher at night. And then Hermana Ortega who is another teacher here.
So one day I saw Hna. Ortega and Hno. Diaz kiss (80 percent sure on the mouth), but Hno Diaz denies having a girlfriend tooth and nail. So then I was asking Hna Mendivelsa if she and Hno. Rivera had ever dated and she said no, but to ask Hno Rivera about Hna Ortega. I asked him and after lots of praying here's the long story short. Hno Rivera and Hno Diaz are in a battle to win the heart of Hna Ortega. Unfortuately I had to be the messenger to tell Hno Rivera that he is losing, but he has a shot still because they used to date. Then! We also have a suspicion that Hna Mendi has a crush on Rivera. It's SUPER juicy here! One week to get it all squared away.
So everyone here is all worried about what's happening in the baseball playoffs while I'm twiddling my thumbs thinking aobut the election next week. So let's all hope for the best and that Cole can come home to a nice country haha just kidding. I'm focused here I promise.
I love you all! Next time I email you will be in Barranquilla, where it's hotter than anything apparently!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Bogota MTC - Part 2

So another week! It's been a lot less hectic and we're more in a routine now. A new group of latins came in along with some more Americans so we're not as big of celebrities anymore since there's like ten white people here now. But all the latins still try to talk to us and some try to tell us stuff that we should say when we get to our missions and then giggle, LIKE THIS IS MY FIRST TIME AROUND THE BLOCK pshhh, but they really are all super nice and try to help us with Spanish. The other day we were able to go and get fingerprinted for Visas and such! That was fun to leave for a little bit again, and today we got to go to the temple which I love since I now have an in with the President and his wife.
We practice teaching a lot with our investigators who are really our teachers. They say that our Spanish is getting better and better every day which is nice to hear. And the two elders in our district who were in advanced Spanish in Provo got moved in with a native district, so that makes us all look a lot smarter too. We also got a new elder in our district named Elder Perfect which isn't even a joke. He's really cool and has been a convert for about a year and knows more than most people here haha.
The president here pretty much has us do all the super spiritual stuff like movies, devotionals, and sunday lessons in English. It's nice to not be translating the whole time, but that just means we have to practice that much harder. We got to watch the Joseph Smith movie that they show at the JSMB in temple square which was SUPER AWESOME. Only on a mission do you get that excited for that... But it's really good
So I told everyone to use Dearelder, but I don't think that works that well down here, so i don't know. haha If you want I'll just talk to you all in two years haha. And i don't know how, but I'll try and get some pictures home eventually?
Oh and I've talked to some elders here from Barranquilla, and they all just say it's beautiful and the people are really nice, but of course, really hot. I also get to eat fish, and they have lots of lobster apparently!
So, I love everyone! bye!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Bogota MTC

Okay so obviously I was wrong about getting to email on Friday and we still only have 30 minutes so I'm gonna try and fit as much in as a I can. So last Tuesday they said we were leaving so we had like 12 hours to get ready. I got on the plane Friday morning and was off! We got to New York and were there for about an hour and then boarded the plane for Colombia. It was a 6 hour flight and it was super long especially in a suit, but my seat was by other missionaries the whole way so that was nice. The flight attendant on the plane said that lots of people who go on missions get hired as flight attendants because they speak two languages, so there's my fall back! The airport was super scary since I spoke no Spanish and I just told customs I don't know like 12 times, but they let me in the country. Then there was a guy waiting to drive us to the MTC, so that was nice. I got to my room and couldn't sleep and then got up at 6:30 for gym time. The first day we had interviews with the President here. He's so nice. He's like 80 somethin and hasn't even tried to speak Spanish to me. So we get along. I got a new companion. His name is Elder Sawyer. He's cool and from Washington. After interviews with the president we met with his wife about health stuff. So I told her about my retainer, but we'll see what happens. That day we had class which wasn't that bad. My whole district all flew here from Provo, so we're all learning Spanish still. I'm still the worst at it, but it's okay! So then the next day we had classes again which was fun! Basically a regular day is wake up, gym, shower, breakfast, class, lunch, class, dinner, study time, bed. With lots of language study haha. but pretty much not a single day here has been normal.
Now I'm going to get to the best part. So we basically saw this on the schedule from day one, but on Saturday..... WE WENT PROSELYTING!!!! Yep that's right. In the country for 3 days and I was out teaching the gospel. They drove everyone in the mtc over to different areas and put us with missionaries in the Bogota, North mission. I was with one kid from this mtc and a missionary in the field. The elder from here is from Mexico and speaks pretty good english and wanted to practice that all day rather than speak spanish which was frustrating, but I tried to pick up as much as I could. We did contacting all the day long. We went and knocked on a lot of doors. At every single "house" they would look at the other two and talk to them, then just smile when they saw me because I couldn't talk and just smiled. We taught these three ladies who didn't care much for religion. They'd be in an intense discussion with the missionary and then look at me and just smile and laugh because I just smiled at them and said hi to their kids. Really like a ton happened Saturday, but I don't have much time left. So then we came back and hit the hay. Sunday was awesome. The president set up a lot of movies for us to watch in English and taught us this lesson on the atonement that was just spectacular. We read Bruce R Mcconkies last talk in conference, and wow... anyways. Sunday was great. Then Monday we were kind of alone all day because the Latinos were in meetings because they all left the next day. Tuesday was SUPER SWEET! We basically had a fun day since we were the only ones here. We went to the temple, Bogota temple..... So sweet! It was all Spanish but that's okay. I understood like 4 words haha. I also got to meet the temple president and his wife! They are the grandparents of my friend Zack Moreno from school who was in choir with me and much much more. But they were really nice and said they'd been expecting me for a long time. Then! We basically got to go out and explore Bogota for a day! We went to the gold museum, and then to the top of this mountain from which we could see all of Bogota! There was a church up there and it was so cool and can't even explain it. I took some pictures though and then late last night more North Americans got here and some are in our room which is cool that we're veterans already. And a whole new swarm of Latinos come in today. The old ones all left Tuesday.
So here's the deal. Don't send anything to this MTC is what they keep saying because by the time it gets here I'll probably be in Barranquilla. I don't know if I can ever send anything out of the country because they don't have a mail service in this country... but I'll see what I can do. I'm like out of time, but this week was so exciting so, I'll let you know more stuff next week.
I love you all!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

He's gone!

Last Tuesday Mom called down to the MTC Health Center to give Cole permission to get a new retainer. He lost his and the lunch lady wouldn't let him look through the garbage. Anyway, when Mom called down there the lady said, "Oh he just came in and told us he's leaving tomorrow." Tomorrow! Cole emailed us that afternoon. He got a note in his mailbox that morning saying to report to the office Wednesday morning at 5am.
He called Mom and Dad around 7am from the airport that day and they were able to talk for a while. He was still anxious about the language, but excited to go. His plane left at 8:30am and he was traveling with 8 other missionaries to Colombia. They had a 2 hour layover at the JFK airport where he called me and Brock. The connection was a little fuzzy, but he sounded good.
His flight to Colombia was another 6 hours. He got there safely and sent an email Thursday telling us that his Mission President at the MTC there speaks English which he is very grateful for. We haven't heard anything since then, but I'm sure he's doing great! We'll keep you posted!

Monday, October 8, 2012

MTC Half Way Point!

So we're almost to the half way point here at the MTC! And hopefully our visas come soon, or we'll be reassigned I guess. Which actually would be cool too! So... Spanish is still really hard, but I've learned a lot. I just need to learn how to conjugate all of these verbs that they're giving me haha. Our devotionals have been really good! On Tuesday night we had a member of the 70 who talked all about obedience and shared a ton of scriptures that have great examples of obedience. Sunday was fast Sunday and it was really nice. I got up and bore my testimony during sacrament meeting which was scary to do in Spanish, but the spirit was still so strong and I loved it! We also had mission conference and it was really cool. The president of the MTC and one of his counselors spoke. They both gave great talks. The 2nd counselor talked about following crooked paths and how the world finds things that are crooked to be normal. He shared a cool poem about a calf making the first crooked path and it was cool. The MTC president talked about the apostasy and how that all went down. It was really interesting to hear, but I'm not teaching all of it because that would be way too much Spanish to learn haha. 
One elder in my district had to go in for surgery today. He hurt his knee, then they did and MRI and found that his ACL was not even there. So hopefully everything goes well with him today. 
Thank you so much for the care package! That will make conference really nice, even though we have to sit in these uncomfortable chairs for 6 hours on Saturday and 4 hours on Sunday, and I don't even get to go to Crown Burger after... But that's okay. I'll probably learn more, not in my bedroom during conference as usual.
I don't have a whole lot to say today, but thanks for the letters, packages, and support.
Love you!
-Elder Morgan

Thursday, September 27, 2012

We're All Just Fellows

So week 3 down. From how it's looking I don't think we'll be going to the Colombian MTC. Everyone that was supposed to go there has just been here for their nine weeks. I met an elder going to my mission and he just got reassigned to Colombia, South Carolina until the Visa stuff gets worked out. On one of my companions letters today it said that our departure date has been change to the 22nd of October, so it will at least be that long until we leave. Thanks to everyone so much for the dearelders and that package you sent me mom and family....... wow..... it's been almost a week since I got it and the "nuts and bolts" is gone haha. IT WAS DELICIOUS!!!!! And I stingily share a candy bar with a district member every now and again. 
So Spanish is coming along more and more every day. I went a whole day almost without speaking any English because I wanted to see how well I could do and try and pick it up faster..... I didn't talk much. We got some new elders in our district this week and I wanted to look really impressive, so whenever they're around I recite the First Vision in Spanish and act like I'm conversing with them, but they don't know. They all just think that I'm some super-genius who can speak fluently after only 3 weeks, but once they figure out what I've been doing they probably won't be as impressed. 
The devotionals this week were really good. The member of the 70 who spoke this week was really funny, and he had a super cool accent. He said "Just remember that we're all just fellows, so just try your best. The Lord has called you, not what you think you should be." That might not be the exact quote, but close. 
I had one of the meetings with the branch president that we have about every 3 weeks on Sunday. He's intimidating, but really nice. He said I have a nice smile and seem like a nice kid which are really important in missionary work. Then I told him that I'm nervous about Spanish, so he said that I need to quit worrying and that I'll be fine haha. 
So there are 3 kids in our zone who always come in talk and distract us, but they're super funny. And they were just called to be zone leaders... Everyone laughed, then said "seriously," but it'll be really fun. 
How are all of your lives? K great! That sounds wonderful! If I haven't answered any questions just resend them and I'll write back or something.

Thursday, September 20, 2012


HOLA! (That's Spanish for hello) So another week here in the MTC. Some pretty big news is that my companion went home last week on Thursday night. So I am now in a trio with the two other Elders in my district going to Barranquilla. I get along with one of them which is really nice, but the other one..... eh. The one I like is Elder House. He is from Modesto California and played football at Fresno State, but hopes to play football or even just go to BYU in the fall. The other one is Elder Otteson. He is from Fort Worth Texas (and reminds you of it every day at least four times), likes to sing any song that you're singing but about ten times louder (as soon as he starts singing a song I'm singing I start singing something else and then he stops and sings that too, it's a fun game), and changes his mood more that a cat in a washing machine, so I'm grateful for Elder House haha. 
Spanish is coming "pocco un pocco" which means little by little. I have learned a ton and for that I am grateful, so I'm doing okay! A new district came into our zone this last week so we are already veterans. They're all really cool. We had our first TRC (Training Resource Center) experience yesterday and that was AWESOME! The people just volunteer to come and listen to a message, so it's basically just Home Teaching and people are so nice. We taught this guy yesterday and all I could say was my testimony and he just thanked me for it even though it was like maybe a minute long. 
We had our two firesides this week and I really loved the Sunday one. He just talked about how important the Book of Mormon really is and it got me so pumped that I wish I could just read it all the time, but we have a lot of things to study. He showed us the opening song to the Tony awards, from the Book of Mormon Musical, then talked about what the church has done to capitalize on this opportunity. Did you know that the church has ad space in the playbill? It was probably the funniest thing I had ever seen since it said "The book is always better." The other fireside was good too. I sang in the choir and the song was just awesome, but I can't remember what it was right now. 
A recurring theme that I've noticed this week here is how much more we all need to focus on Christ and coming unto him. I can't tell you how many times this week I heard people talk about how we need to focus more on that, rather than learning the language, but that's still important too haha. 
P-day's been really nice. We went to the temple today and that was SUPER nice. We also ate in the cafeteria there and it was...... divine. haha. 
So... as far as leaving for the Colombian MTC next week... It's looking like a thumbs down. Everyone here who's supposed to be in that MTC  is just stuck here for a little longer. I actually met another kid going to my mission and he finished his 9 weeks here, even though he was only supposed to be here for 3, so he's going somewhere in-state for awhile, but I think my visa should be here within the next 9 weeks at least. 
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE if you send me a dearelder include your address (not family, but Edward I need you to send me one with your address)
Thank you all for the love, support, cookies, candy, and letters! 

Love, Elder Morgan

Thursday, September 13, 2012


1% That's what the end of this week signifies! It's only been 1% of my mission and if this is what happens every week then WOWZERS! I have learned a ton just in one week.
I was the only person who hadn't taken any Spanish in my district but it's okay because you learn so much so fast here! My district is just awesome and we all get along so well, but we maybe get along too welll because it feels like we talk more than study, but I just take my companion and we go study outside which is SO nice with the birds a chirpin' and the bees a buzzin' and such. I have seen so many people I know here so.... ROLL CALL! Dylan, Brodie, Daniel,Brandon Call, Elder Zack Morgan (second cousin who I've never met but I saw a picture of him and he's going to Colombia too), Spencer, Conner freakin Nelson! (He was in the room RIGHT next to me), TANNER! and honestly a whole bunch of other people that I can't even remember who they are.
We had to start teaching our first "investigator", Antonio, on Friday speaking only Spanish, so luckily Preach My Gospel has a direct translation and I could just copy word for word out of the and reggurgiate it back onto him. My companion and I got him to commit to baptism which was cool, but it helps that my companion already understands all Spanish so he basically talked to him while I just smiled, but they told us that a bright countenance and the spirit are more important than actually speaking Spanish, so... I think I helped haha.
Everyone here who's learning Spanish is so nice! They come up and start speaking Spanish to me and then try and help me understand what they're saying, and they give me lots of tips on things here at the MTC. I talked to some elders that just left our zone to go to the Guatemalan MTC and it sounds cool so hopefully the Colombian MTC is the same way, but I've already talked to quite a few people who were supposed to leave for the Colombian MTC, and apparently there is some trouble with visas there. So hopefully they clear that up before I'm supposed to leave.
My branch presidency here is super nice and willing to help with anything! But at church on Sunday they call two missionaries out of the congregation to give a talk in Spanish, and that scares the begeezes out of me, but it wasn't me last week so that's good! My zone leaders here are super nice and cool and another elder in my room got called to district leader and I really like him to! His companion..... eh. But hey it's all part of the experience, and both of them as well as my companion are also going to Barranquilla! So I'm not going to be the only "gringo" in that mission. I talked to a teacher here who went to Colombia and he saidhe never had an American companion, so hopefully I learn Spanish REAL fast!
My companion and I get along pretty well. He said before here he hated all the kids at Jordan because they seemed rude, but I think I kind of changed that haha. At least that's what he tells me to my face.
The food here is good but I see why everyone gains weight. I've actually lost weight in the grand total, but I think it might sneak up on me real fast. BUT I've been running a mile every day in gym! Between games of four square which is probably my favorite thing about the MTC.
The spirit here is so strong which kind of counteracts all the negative things sort of... like homesickness kind of.. haha. The devotionals are so cool and the choir is fun!
If you send me a dearelder or a letter, make sure to attach your address! I don't want to seem rude and not write back! I really appreciate the packages and letters! I hope all is going well at home!
Love, Elder Morgan

Monday, September 10, 2012

Pre - MTC

Here are a few pictures of Cole before we left for the MTC on Wednesday.