Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Having fun!

Hello! So this last week was good. Sorry about the confusion. Transfers are this week (tomorrow night) so I still don´t know if I´m staying or leaving. I want to stay because I´m gotten used to life here, but we´ll see how it goes. I know that the Lord will put me where he thinks I should be. The ward here is also a little nervous for transfers. There´s 4 missionaries here and they´ve all told us who they want to stay and who they want to leave haha. Of all the youth and some of the adults they say that want me and one of the zone leaders to stay, but don´t like our companions, but we´ll see what happens! This last Monday we went downtown and I bought this super awesome bright shirt for Carnaval haha. Carnaval is next week and this is the holiday that lasts for days and is bigger that Christmas. Barranquilla has the second largest carnaval in the world and as missionaries we get to sit in the house locked up because it´s really bad outside haha, but if I get transferred out of Barranquilla then I won´t be. This last week my companion and I have been going in to the more dangerous part (don´t worry I´m fine) to work with these two inactive families. It´s sad to see two formerly strong families that have just completely fallen away. We got a lot of the kids of one family to come to church on Sunday and everyone was shocked to see them because they´ve been inactive for 4 years. But that´s what happens when your in a ward that doesn´t like to do home teaching or visit inactives. A member of the stake high counsel had a meeting with us as the missionaries in this ward to see what we think needs to be done because the stake is nervous about this ward. We just said that the leaders need to be trained. So I hope that some changes are made. As for investigators things are okay. Our one strong investigator just needs to get married and then he can get baptized. But he found some anti mormon stuff on the internet so i hope that he stays away from that. We had to explain the whole polygamy thing to him. We taught some kids yesterday which was fun because I drew them a picture of the plan of salvation and they laughed really hard. I just have to do stuff to lighten it up sometimes because my companion is super serious and has a mean look when he teaches, even these 12 year olds, so I have to be the one to make sure they smile, laugh, and understand haha. I´m really starting to just love teaching, it´s actually fun when you get in good with a lesson, but I just wish I knew more scriptures and spanish, but when we teach kids I can get along pretty well. A few days ago we were teaching one of these inactive families and there were literally 8 kids staring at me. I was sitting on a rock, because one of them didn´t have a chair so I gave it to her, and then their crazy grandma came out (this lady is psycho). She looked at me on the rock and all the kids around me and just started laughing and said "It´s like Jesus in that one picture!!!" We all just busted up laughing and it was funny. Then one of the kids told me it was her birthday, so luckily I had brought one of my 90 Airheads that a bought at the Costco type place here to give to her. Then they all wanted one haha. We went to the costco place and I got Nature valley granola bars, 90 airheads, and..... POTATO PEARLS!!! (or flakes whatever)! I was so stoked haha. I finish training this week! super scared because I don´t feel fully trained, but here we go! haha And that´s the week. I love you all and I hope it´s all going well at home!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Dangerous Roads, Nice People

Okay I´m emailing a little earlier this week, but he what a week it has been! So there´s 6 elders in my house and one of them (Elder Hill) had to leave because he needed surgery, so who did they send? Another gringo haha, which didn´t make my companion very happy. This new elder has 1 transfer more than me, and he´s pretty cool, and lives in cottonwood heights. This week we contacted the heck out of this ward, and found some new people, but the problem is that our area is HUGE! but where we´ve been working is pretty small, but we can´t go to a lot of places because it´s dangerous. So in this small area where we´ve been working everyone knows who we are pretty much and is sick of us. One street we literally saw people run into their houses because they saw the two kids in white shirts coming haha. So a few days ago we received a reference. My companion doesn´t like to go anywhere if it´s too far and just says "No it´s too dangerous," but I convinced him that we should cross this little dirt road that does look a little sketchy, BUT once you cross the scary road, there´s like a NICE neighborhood! So we´re going to contact over there this week which is pretty exciting. We also talked to a returned missionary who´s less active and he said he´d go with us in the area that actually is dangerous (but it´s okay if you go with a member) and we went there and found two inactive families of like more than 6 that said they´d come back to church! So that was sweet! Wednesday night we had our interviews with the president that he does every 3 months. It was nice to talk to him, and I could certainly say more to him this time than the last time I spoke with him haha. In English class this week they asked me to sing Lady gaga because they said music helped them remember, so I sang them Angels we have heard on high instead haha. I spoke in church yesterday which is always fun haha, but it went pretty well. So really this week was pretty eventful and that made it go by super fast. I am really starting to enjoy all of it, even contacting is starting to get fun haha. I still have a lot to learn, but this is also my last week of training! Next Tuesday is transfers and so that´s going to be exciting. They basically never keep a trainer and trainee together after training, so one of us is going to leave probably, and I think that it will be me since my companion is district leader. I kind of want to stay here in Barranquilla though because Carnaval is in like 2 weeks. It´ll be cool to see, but this also means drinking like crazy haha. Congratulations to my cousin Hayden on the mission call!!! The Phillipines, that´s freaking sweet! haha I love you all and I hope that all is going well at home! I miss you! Bye!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Two Baptisms and some Pictures!

Hi! So this week was really good! We had two baptisms which was super cool! Alba Ardila and Indira Paez. Indira (14 years old) asked if the kid who always goes on visits with us would baptize her and Alba asked if I would baptize her so I got to baptize someone which was cool, but she said that water got in her nose so I think I need to work on my technique a little bit haha. We had zone meeting (which is once a month) and that was cool. They asked for someone to volunteer to do a demonstration in front of everyone, and nobody was raising their hand, then I thought, well, I have to learn somehow! So I raised my hand and did the demonstration in front of the whole zone. After we did it the zone leaders said "That`s Elder Morgan who has a little more than one transfer in the mission field," and everyone was super impressed and I think for the first time ever my trainer smiled haha and later told me that he was proud haha (first time! nailed it!) We did a lot of contacting this week which is always.... a blast haha, but we found a lot of new people to teach. We found one guy that told us he wanted us to come back because his son served an LDS mission. So we went back and talked to him. He was really nice and said whenever we want we can come by for refreshments (after trying to give us coffee and tea) and then politely said that there is nothing that we know that he doesn`t already know (liar) and that he`s more educated, and experienced than us (he`s a lawyer). Just as we were about to dive in he said that he didn`t have time and said we had to leave, but wants us to come back, so we`ll see what`s going to happen there. Our investigator who`s excommunicated has been reading the Book of Mormon that we gave him and said that it`s way better than the first few times, so we`ll see what happens there too! Also, a kid in the ward here named Diego found my Facebook... He said he was going to go add everyone I know and I told him no, but if anyone gets a friendship request just turn him down haha. I`ve been carrying around my Ironman pez dispenser and all the kids are in love with me, until they eat them all haha. And by kids that also includes 20 year olds haha. It was a little bad when during church a kid came in and said "Where`s the ironman candy?" haha Well that`s the majority of the news from the mission field this week, I love you all and hope it`s really cold! P.S. I wanted mac n` cheese but there was no butter or milk, so Elder Davidson is a genius and said "Hey! What do you get when you combine butter and milk? Whip cream! So we are currently making whip cream mac n` cheese every not, and it aint too shabby!

"Don't worry, we have Elder Morgan"

Hello! So happy pday! I hope the new year was really good for everyone! We didn´t really do anything special on New Year´s eve. We did a family home evening at someone´s house and then not much else. New Year´s day was... tough haha. Any holiday here means time to drink a lot and play music and loud as possible. We had exchanges so another elder was here and we couldn´t find anyone to talk to at the start of the day, but in the end we found some people and actually hard a pretty productive day considering that most everyone was drunk haha. This last week we´ve been working really hard with this girl who´s fourteen and was a reference. Her family is members, but they´re all inactive. She came to one of our little activities and then somebody told us she wants to hear the missionaries again. We went there for the first time and she showed me the list of missionaries she´s talked to in the back of her Book of Mormon and wow.... it´s a lot, but we´ve been working with her and she just passed her baptismal interview yesterday! So we´re shooting for another baptism this Saturday! Then another investigator that we were working with forever finally said she´d get baptized this Saturday too! So maybe two! haha. We´re working hard here and it´s good. I really don´t have a whole lot to say this week. I hit 4 months yesterday which was a weird and nice feeling haha. I hope that everything is going good at home. I thought about snow the other day and I just can´t even imagine it haha. I miss it though. OH as far as Spanish goes! Don´t worry I´m still bad, but a member told me that she saw a new elder at the airport coming into Barranquilla and he couldn´t speak anything. And she said she told him, "Don´t worry, we have Elder Morgan who couldn´t say a word when he got here, and now he´s pretty good." haha I´m one of THOSE stories now! That made me feel really good. I´m showed my companion a picture today in the Ensign of the Salt Lake Valley and pointed out all the temples. He asked why we need so many haha. Made me miss home, but the people here all really want their temple super bad so we´re here working for that. I love you all! Hope all is well at home! I got a dearelder from Lauren this last week which was super nice of her. I´m trying to figure out a way to respond to her and Emmie too (Thank you both for the letters). Oh and one more thing I should recognize.... THE BIRTH OF THE WOMAN WHO GAVE BIRTH TO ME!!!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!!!!!!!!!!! I love you and I can´t thank you enough for everything you´ve done for me. I hope you know that I appreciate all your love and support and I miss you a bunch. I hope that tomorrow is wonderful and just know that someone here in Barranquilla wishes you a happier birthday than everyone in America haha. p.s. My mom´s better than yours (but my grandma did good too because she raised her) I LOVE YOU MOM!!! Okay bye

Christmas, Costco and a Birthday Shout Out!

Hello!!! So here I am just after Christmas which was pretty nice. We didn`t do much different but the day wasn`t much for teaching. The missionary handbook says that holidays are great for proselyting because families are together in their homes. While that may be true, "family together" here means lots of beer hahaha. So we taught one investigator who`s really good and visited some members who just kept wanting to give us food. Then of course the best part of Christmas was when I got to talk to my family the next day!!!! That was super awesome, and yeah I wasn`t crying, I just was sweating out of my eyeballs because it`s so hot haha. When I walked out of the internet cafè we saw one of the other companionships in our house and the American (who`s been to our ward at home) said "Don`t worry I was crying too." haha. But yeah he was mistaken, I`m a man and men don`t cry. We also had a ward Christmas party that night which was cool. Christmas at home sounds like it was freaking awesome! haha and I can not thank you enough for my presents (Especially the lego Ironman). I never was a HUGE fan of tootsie rolls before my mission, but they`re SOOOOOO good hahaha. So Friday through Sunday were different days too. My companion went to the doctor because he was having pain... in his leg.....ish... and the doctor told him that he shouldn`t walk for three days and put ice on his.... leg... so we tried to find a mini missionary (a priest who can just walk around with me), but we needed two. One two sit with him and one to go with me. On Friday we couldn`t find one so I put a bunk bed together for the other elders and read a lot in the Book of Mormon and New Testament (Try reading the sermon on the mount and when Christ appears to the Nephites at the temple, it`s like it`s the same guy!). Then on Saturday we were able to find two mini missionaries, which honestly scared me half to Mt. St. Helens and back because that meant it was my turn to be the boss haha. Usually in the lessons I talk about 35% of the time, but now it was my turn to lead lessons and everything.... I was scared but we did it haha. We also got a girl to say she`d be baptized! Then on Sunday I had a different mini missionary and we did it all again, so yeah haha. It showed me a lot of where I still need to improve and what I`m doing right so that was good. So today`s pday and we did something super awesome. WE WENT TO COSTCO (basically). It`s called Price Smart and they sell like all American products and it`s in bulk. I had to buy a membership but it`s good for a year so that`s cool. I`m like an adult. They had food like costco does, samples too! They had lots of good treats like chocolate covered raisins that I wanted to buy, but I didn`t because I`m practical. So I just stuck to pop tarts. Another pday surprise! No water again.... haha. The water was off at like 11, so we`ll see how soon it comes back this time. Last time it was 2 days and I thought it sucked with 4 elders. Now we have 6 elders hahaha. So I`m praying the water comes back soon. So I`m all the way here in Colombia, but I have to give credit to the one man that has made my life so great always and has always supported me in everything including the mission beyond belief. HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I hope that it`s super awesome on Wednesday and that I love you and can`t thank you enough for all of your support in my life. I want you to know that I wouldn`t be where I am today without your firm example in my life. I love you!

Merry Christmas!!

Merry Christmas Eve!!! I hope you´re at Nicklecade right now and are having a good day haha. It doesn´t really feel like Christmas eve here so I´m not too home sick about it haha, but still a little. We heard some christmas music today in the store which was nice. But when you´re living in an inferno, it´s weird to think about a nice white peaceful Christmas haha. We had a nice Christmas activity this last week with the president which was nice. We had lunch, secret santa (I got a tshirt), and then a little training by the president. Then of course finished it off with a proselyting activity haha. It was a nice day and fun because I got to proselyte in a santa hat, and during the activity we were in a park trying to talk to people exercising so they´d say "sorry I´m walking right now" and we´d say "that´s okay we´ll walk with you" haha. Around the whole park until they´d accept a Liahona and give us their address. We got a new Zone Leader this week who´s also from Utah but he´s a little weird haha. But really nice so that´s good. He´s from Heber. We also have two other Elders living in a house meant for 4 until they can find a new house. So we´re a little cramped. But we currently have 4 Amercians and two latinos which is the rarest thing in the world, but I like it haha. A lot of the people here (members, investigators, crazy people in the corner stores) have been telling me that my Spanish is getting way better way fast, I still have a LONG ways to go, but it´s nice to hear that I´m progressing haha. I also got to see my old MTC companion Elder House during the Christmas activity! It was nice to compare notes and see how we´re both moving along. Also! So we were in this activity and one elder who I only saw my first day here saw me and ran over to say hi. He hugged me and then said (speaks English) "ARE YOU EATING!!! YOU´RE SO SKINNY!" hahaha. Don´t worry I´m still chubby but yeah I´ve been losing a lot of weight I think. I can´t tell except that I had two belts when I entered the MTC. One was already a little big so I was on the second to last hole and now can´t use it, and the other belt (I was on the first hole) I´m on the last hole out of 4! haha. So I bought a belt today too hahaha. The bishop and his family also told me I´m looking a lot skinnier which is better for me (Thanks doctor who thinks that ironing before you shower is bad for you haha.) Our investigators are few, but I felt good about our progress with them. We´re working with a 14 year old who only lacks permission from his dad. He´s really smart and remembers everything. Yesterday we sat down with him with a lesson plan and then I just had a thought come to my mind to talk about something completely different. I asked him how he feels in church and he said good. Then I asked "Why do you think that when you´re in church you want to be baptized, and when you´re with your friends you don´t" The answer is simple I thought, but stumped him speechless haha. We then talked aobut the spirit and how it´s working in him right now. Then I told him that he needs to start reading and praying for a strong testimony to talk to his dad. He was so excited and said "I´m going to read right after you leave" then hugged me when we left. I know that the Lord was there just ready to work through me. I´m just glad I got to be there haha. We´re also working with an excommunicated member who used to be a member of the high counsel. It´s so weird to see how far a person can go without the gospel in their lives, but I still think he can come back. He is serious with my companion but is just so excited when he sees me to see how much better my spanish is every visit haha. He´ll shake my comapanions hand and say "Good day Elder" Then smile and laugh and say "Elder Morgan how are you my little friend haha". Hey remember how I really wanted a tie clip when I left? An investigator just gave me one the other day because he said I don´t want you to worry about your tie blowing around while you´re working hahaha. MY CHOIR SANG IN CHURCH YESTERDAY!!! I didn´t know until a week ago that it would be ward conference with the stake president and yeah we did pretty good! I told the other American´s that they had to join haha. We didn´t sing in parts or anything fancy, but just the fact that we practiced was better than the regular congregation haha. So this is the report from here in Barranquilla! I´m trying my hardest to hold down this part of the world and give it the gospel haha. I´m so excited to open all my presents tomorrow and I´ve been using my little Christmas countdown calendar every day haha. And I´m stoked for Skype on Wednesday haha. Let´s all pray that it works just fine. Wednesday 7:30 my time 5:30 your time. BE THERE! I love you all and Merry Christmas! And a happy Festivus yesterday!