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 AQUƍ! 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!