Monday, June 24, 2013

June 24, 2013

So the transfers were pretty neat haha. Monday night we got back from proselyting and the zone leaders said that EVERYONE in the house (all 6 of us there in that ward) had to pack their bags and they´d tell us more the next day. So we all packed and then Tuesday they told us that we the transfers were different because the sister missionaries were changing areas. So the sister missionaries went to our ward and us we got sent to their ward. Then Tuesday night they told us all our real transfers.. Nothing really changed haha. My zone leader (ex trainer) left and the other companionship left as well, but my companion and I stayed the same and just a new zone leader came to our new ward with us. So I´m still here in Valledupar with my same companion (He´s not very happy haha, but it´s okay. And it´s almost unheard of for a companionship in this mission to be together for 3 transfers).
My new ward is called Simon Bolivar. It´s actually really great. There are a lot more members than my last area and they haven´t seen Elders in a long time so they´re all excited. So the ward is also really excited that there´s an American here. When I presented myself in sacrament meeting I said that I was from Choc√≥, Colombia and everybody laughed really hard. (Look up what people from Choc√≥ look like and you´ll understand.
How about that super awesome training meeting yesterday!!! That was so cool!! They said a lot about how things in the mission field are going to change and I hope that it´s true. Right after the meeting, 2 members came and gave us references of people to visit haha. So I´m pretty excited.
It was cool when we got to this area because the sisters had baptisms just ready for us haha. We have a baptism planned this Saturday for a lady named Lenis! She´s great and has a strong testimony.

Fun story. So we swapped houses witht the sister missionaries. They hadn´t payed their power bill and so we were without power for 2 days, but apparently we didn´t clean our house very well... One of them yells at me every night over the phone about how the dust in the house is making her sick haha, but they´ll be fine. BUT!!! The other gringo I was living with, Elder Cook, did something a little... stupid haha. There was a whole bunch of soup in the fridge that a member made for us. He wanted to help clean, so he dumped the ALL of the soup in the toilet and flushed it... Now that would be fine, but soup here always has like potatoes, yuca (worst food ever), and bones. So the next day when a sister went to the bathroom...... The soup came back.... So apparently there´s soup and other stuff all over the floor of their house... Poor sisters.... oh well! haha.

Yesterday we taught a new investigator at a members house and we asked the dad to testify and he compared the Book of Mormon to pizza. Saying that we only need a slice to know that the whole thing is good. It was a little weird but worked. Then we finished and he ran inside and brought out a pizza he had just cooked for us! hahahahaha. People here are so nice and funny haha.

I love you all and I TOTALLY saw Hayden yesterday and half-yelled "Mi primo!!!" and the whole stake looked at me. Did I mention that I´m the only gringo in Valledupar haha. Bye!

June 17, 2013

So this week was a little disheartening haha. My companion and I had a hard time finding new people to teach. We knocked on a lot of doors, talked to a lot of people in the street, but we just couldn`t find anyone. We did get one old investigator back that`s pretty good. Her husband is a member, but she never joined, but she takes really well to us and I think something good is going to happen there. Another investigator, Diana, is really great and nice, but NEVER has time to listen to us. There was a baptism of a another companionship and we invited her. She came and said that she braught fabric to go to the Relief Society activity too! Then the next day showed up to church. She asked us who one guy was and we said an "Investigator" and she said "Oh, like the people who are just getting to know the church?" So she already thinks that she`s a member haha. People like that we call "Dry members" We just have to baptize her.
After the whole week of not really finding anyone or teaching we were a little discouraged. I felt bad and was praying really hard. Then at nighttime yesterday I just said "okay, one more house." My companion said no we should go but then he agreed. We knocked on a house and a guy let us in immediately. He listened and said he`s always been a little sad because his mom died recently (he`s only 22). So we shared some scriptures about the spirit world and he actually got HAPPY!!! I don`t know if he`ll really progress, but in that moment I just felt God was answering my prayers that there still are people to find here.
Today we went to the mall (♫Let`s go toooo the mall... Today♫) and I ate a hamburger! then I bought an icecream cone. Then afterwards everybody else wanted one and wanted to take pictures with them, so I bought another one, but I forgot my camera.
Transfers are Wednesday and it`s more than likely that either my companion or I will leave. We fight every now and then, and he doesn`t like working a whole lot, but we actually worked pretty well together when it came down to it.
Let`s just all hope that Cole doesn`t go to Cartagena because it`s the hottest time of the year and Cartagena is the hottest place of them all haha.
HEY!! Yesterday in gospel principles we talked about spiritual gifts and they talked about the gift of tongues. And our investigator (Diana, who goes to all the activities but doesn`t like talking to us that much) said that she could see the spirit is true because she can actually understand me hahaha. She`s awesome.
Well to all you folks back there in the ol` USA I miss you and I`m praying for you. The gospel`s true, and God loves us all.

June 10, 2013

Hello! How are you all? I´m great! haha. It´s really hot, but we´re working just the same. It always gets hottest right before it rains. Yesterday it was super hot and it was cloudy so everybody was sitting outside waiting for the rain to fall, but it never did haha. The clouds just passed by and everybody got upset and said they don´t understand how we walk around in shirts and ties in the heat.
On Thursday we had a little conference thingy with our mission president since he´s leaving next month. He just came and gave some parting words of wisdom and took pictures with everyone. He´s really great and I think he´ll be a 70 one day haha. His advice that he gave us was a nice about becoming like Christ and really coming to know him. He said that if we really study the scriptures like we should and study the life of the savior, we shouldn´t have any problem with obedience to his commandments. He also talked about this silly thing called marriage... psh... He said that really we should have the goal of getting married in 2 years after the mission......  hogwash! And we´ll worry about that later haha.
Anyways our investigators are... well some are progressing nicely. We had one come to church yesterday. We never see her walk in. We wait outside and are sad because nobody came and then we enter and see her sitting there haha. What an answer to a prayer! She´s great and she´s the one who owns a spa. The only problem is that she´s super busy and she hardly has time to let us come and teach her.
This whole speaking English thing is really paying off. On Wednesday in English class, we got there a little late and there was a guy that we contacted in the street waiting for us. We contacted him like a week before and he lived in London for a few years. So he wanted to practice his English. He came to the class and said that he also wanted to find a good church to assist. So, being the nice missionary that I am, we helped him haha. It was cool and it was the first lesson I´ve ever taught in English! He really liked it all but.... didn´t come to church. So we´re gonna have to go and visit him and have a chat.
Yesterday our appointments fell through so we started to contact. We talked to a guy that really wasn´t showing any interest then he stopped and said "You´re not from here!" (in english) and I said no and he invited us to sit down and gave us some water. Then he turned out to be really interested! He wanted to learn more and cares a lot about his family.
We´re also teaching an investigator who´s super difficult. He believeD that God was just one person (3 in 1) but now we´ve convinced him down to that there are 3, but he doesn´t believe they have bodies. We showed him a scripture in Doctrine and Covenants, but he hasn´t quite accepted that yet. He´s tough, but he fun to talk to. I have to really work and pray to know what to teach him.
And about an hour ago a guy stopped me and said "my boss wants to speak english with someone." So he invited us to his house tonight to speak with him and his boss. That should be fun! YAY ENGLISH!!!
Anyways, these are some experiences from the week. How´s summer going?! I want to go swimming really bad haha. I bought some otter pops (flavor ice) at the store last week and everybody said that was a dumb purchase... until the next day when they all asked me for one!
Anyways, that´s Colombia for the week! I love you!

Monday, June 3, 2013

June 3, 2013

HOLA!!!! This week was a little rougher than most. Nobody came to church this week. We called a guy who said he was on his way and then never showed up (later on said that he had a commitment) and another investigator told us they didn´t want to continue anymore when we showed up at their house. We struggled really hard to have lessons and to find new people to teach, but we´re working ward to be positive! I´m actually kind of excited because I know that these are the times that we get to really grow and learn!

I got to go and do my first exchange this week which was fun! It was just with some of the missionaries that live in the house and are in the same ward, so it really wasn´t that weird, I just got to work in their area and I really learned a ton which was cool. I went with Elder Cruz and his new American companion went to my area to work. It was cool because everyone complimented me and said my Spanish was better than Elder Cook´s haha, so that was nice of them. 
I also got to give two baptismal interviews this last weekend! One was a lady named Elena and the other was a guy named Luis. They were really great and are both going to get baptized this week.

We taught an investigator this last Wednesday name Diana and she came to church the week before. She´s really great and loves our church and looks at all the time and listens to the hymns haha. But we had to teach her the law of chastity because she´s living with a guy who´s younger than her and they´re not married. She basically said they´re only together be "companions." But we said that if she wants to get baptized she needs to either marry him or get separated. She said she doesn´t want to marry him, but that it will be rough to separate. So we´re going to go see her this week and see how things are going.
Another investigator named Virgilio is being really difficult. He´s from the church "pentacostal" (don´t know what it is in English) but they only believe in christ and that god and the holy ghost are just christ´s other forms. He wants us to come by and then just gives us a lot of scriptures about why we´re wrong and we baptize wrong, but we just testify and we´re going to stop by tomorrow and see if we can explain better, but he likes to talk a lot.

We went and played basketball this morning!!! That was fun haha. We played with a returned missionary and another older guy who schooled us all but it was really fun and now I think I want to go buy a basketball and play more.
So we get an allowance every 15 days and this time was more and I asked why and they said that it was because the dollar raised in value! That´s neat that the money is worth more now! Too bad I already traded all my American money a little while ago....

Sounds like everybody at home is getting really pumped for summer and that´s awesome. Dad finished his festivals, mom doesn´t have any more snot-nosed kids, Brock wants to get married and Callie.... is planting flowers haha.
Tell Parker to keep on waiting and maybe he´ll get sent here to good ol´ Colombia and we can bake in the sun together.
Hayden sounds great. HI HAYDEN (if he reads this) HOW ARE YOU?! The MTC is great! Enjoy the strong spirit that there is there and just learn how to keep it going!

I love you all and I´m praying for you. Bye!

May 27, 2013

HOLA!!! Well this week went well!!! We had 3 people come to church which was AWESOME!! One (Diana) got there 30 minutes early, but we feel bad because the congregation was irreverent and she stood up and changed seats. The other (Virgilio) came late but it´s because he had a car accident and showed up on his bike even though he´s 65 haha. He walked in like a cowboy would walk which was sweet. And the last (Aba) showed up with like 15 minutes left and said she loved it. So now we just have to pray and help them all progress!
This last week on Tuesday we had zone conference which was awesome and we learned a lot. Our president said that in Mexico they don´t knock on doors anymore and he thinks that one day that´ll be the rule world wide. So we need to start working a lot more with members and references (if you have friends at home, show them to the missionaries!). So we´ve started doing that which is good. 
Our mission president also said that all the latins need to focus more on learning english so now everyone wants to practice which is really fun and funny.
We finally had ward counsel for the first time here in this ward and it went really well. We got to talk about our investigators and the members are going to call them and invite them (hopefully). 
Being district leader is... well sometimes rough. Last night when I was verifying the sisters one got mad at me and said that I talked with the other companionship for 3 minutes longer than her and that I don´t care about their investigators... I felt bad a little, but.... come on haha.
How´s home everyone! Stoked for summer?! I was glad to read Hayden´s email and he sounds like he had a good first week. 

I love and pray for you all and hope that all is well at home! Bye!

May 20, 2013

Hello! This week was cool because we got to take a fieldtrip to Barranquilla for a mission conference with a member of the 70 (Elder Uceda). It was awesome! He shared a lot of really cool and neat things that I know will help the mission along a ton! We all went in a bus and the ride was like 5 hours which wasn`t too great. I got super car sick and on the way back they stopped us and frisked us all, I don`t know why, but I`m glad they just didn`t find my gun that I carry inside my scriptures.
This week was a little sad because nobody came to church and a ton of people said that they wanted to, but they all had REALLY good reasons why they couldn`t......... yeah yeah yeah...
Anyways, we got this reference from a member in another ward that was cool. We had seen this house before and it`s funny because they have signs out front with like half-naked people because it`s a spa that sells super tight underwear (I think, I don`t really stare) and we went up and contacted the house and talked with the lady. She was great and ended up telling us that she`s been looking for a church. It was funny though because she said she lost her husband and we said that she`d see him again, then she said "No, I really never want to see him again. We just got seperated." hahaha So that was funny, but it turns out that he did end up dying... but she still never wants to see him again.
In this mission conference the member of the seventy said that we need to do more to make sure that our investigators are acting and said that we should be making sure they kneel down and pray in every lesson. So yesterday in a lesson in the street we kneeled down until the investigator finally joined us and said the prayer. It was a really cool, spiritual experience!
I love you all! Good luck to Hayden! You`re gonna kill it over there and I`m prayin´ for ya´!

And congratulations to Parker on the mission call!!!

May 13, 2013

Well that was fun yesterday talking to you guys! I just wish it was longer and that it all started on time haha. It was a little difficult because the bishop wanted to take care of all the tithing and stuff, but hey at least we got it all worked out.I hope that the rest of the week is going well, dad´s still in festival mode which is cool and makes me jealous, mom has one foot out the door into summer which has to be nice, Callie lived through tax season, and Brock wants to get..... married (still can´t believe you announced it right in front of her) Worst proposal ever haha just kidding. And it´s nice to see that TJ is still kicking haha.This week other thatn skype was alright. We found a lot of new people, but I just hope that they start progressing. My companion and I are working well together, but we just need to find a better way to help the people come to church. We had 3 guys that said they really wanted to come, but they have a problem with the word of wisdom. So when we passed by on Sunday morning it was rough to hear that they had JUST gone to bed after a long night of drinking, but I have a little faith that maybe they didn´t drink... that much.This morning we woke up to a nice surprise.... larva...... I think that´s what they´re called. You know those little white wormy things that crawl around. One elder looked in the garbage and saw that there were a ton and then we started looking around the proximeter and realized that were spreading, but we got rid of them all I think/hope. Well... I really wish that I had more to say.. but we talked a lot yesterday and I just had pday like 5 days ago haha. But I love you all and hope that all is well at home. I hope your all getting pumped for summer and buying a pool....  pretty please? Okay bye love you!!!!!!!