Monday, December 30, 2013

The Week After La Navidad & Skyping

December 30, 2013

Hey! How´s it going? This week,to be honest, has been kinda slow. A lot of people have been out of town for vacations and there have been a lot of parties going on here. 

The festival of horses was on the 24th, then on the 25th and 26th. Then from the 27th to the 1st there is a festival of Toros. So there is a lot going on here in Turbaco which has made it a little tricky to visit people. 

Christmas was pretty good. I waited until the 25th to open up the package... so mom you can be proud of me for that! 

This week we´ve been working a lot with Carmen. She´s super awesome! Carmen reads everything that we give her and she´s already finishing Alma in the Book of Mormon. She also has a son that is 8 years old so we talked with Carmen and him about everything and now they are both getting ready to be baptized on the 18th this month! 

This week I also had to do a baptismal interview for an investigator that the sister missionaries are working with. The investigator wanted me to baptize her and on Saturday I had the privilege to baptize her. 

Today for p-day, we didn´t do much. Luisel made us lunch and after we ate we came back home.  I watched Ephraim´s Rescue, sweet movie. That´s kinda it for this week, pretty slow with a the stuff going on in the city, but I´m excited for the new year! 

I love you all! Abrazos y besos!

Almost La Navidad

December 23, 2013

Multi Zone Christmas activity

Hey! What´s up? This week has been pretty good. 
Crepes and Waffles with President Searle

Tuesday we had our Christmas activity with the mission president. We went into Cartagena to a church called La Pie de la Popa. We started out by watching the Incredibles!!! And yes, it was incredible! I miss watching movies....  it was great, I really like that movie. 

After the movie we walked over to Caribe Plaza, a mall close by, and ate at Crepes and Waffles. It´s funny because whenever I think of a restaurant that sells waffles, I think of the Waffle House back home (so not very good quality), but here it´s super fancy. I ate a mexican chicken crepe... Super awesome! 

After eating we went back to the chapel, listened to some messages, sung some songs, and came back to Turbaco at 7:30. Super Fun Day. The rest of the week we spent contacting and teaching and trying to find those chosen ones of God. 

The only problem is that now the parties are starting. The other day we couldn´t even cross a street to get to our area because there was a huge parade going through town. Yesterday no one came to church so that was a bummer. We tried passing by people´s houses to see why they weren't at church, but many weren´t home. 

Christmas for the district
Today for pday we watched ICE AGE 4!!! It was great! I kept thinking of dad saying ´Sid the sloth´.   Also I got the package today! Elder Bastos hooked me up and sent it here so now I have your presents and don´t worry mom, I didn´t open anything yet. I´m going to wait until the 25th. 

This week is going to be a little slow as far as missionary work because alot of people go out of town and what not. Also,  there is a big wooden stadium that they put up to have bull fights so it´ll be interesting to see what happens there.  I´m really looking forward to the Skype call! Thursday! 

I love you all so much! Feliz Navidad! Abrazos y Besos!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Baptismal Interviews & Getting Ready to Skype

December 16, 2013

How´s it going?? 

This week has been pretty good. Nothing much really happened, just a lot of walking looking for some less active members that live super far away. Sometimes I hate the area because of the hills and distance. We´ve been working hard to find new people to teach so we´ve been contacting a lot. 

This week I also had 2 baptismal interviews. It was kinda weird because I was alone and didn´t have my comp there next to me, but the interviews went well. One of them, German, is going to be baptized this Saturday. 

Mission Wallet
Yesterday we had to go to Cartagena for a Rescue... basically it´s  a visit to less active members in the ward. We totally lucked out and scored a ride there with a member in our ward so we went in an air-conditioned car :) . Later, we left with a member from the ward that knew the area, and he also had a car so we lucked out there too! 

Today we´re not going to be doing much because tomorrow we have a Christmas activity with the president so we´ll have to spend some $$ to travel there. It should be super fun. Also, we found out that now we can Skype! You guys need to tell me the day and the hour and I´ll be here for it!! (Well basically any day but the 25th, no internet is open that day.) 

I can´t wait to talk to you guys! Sorry this letter is short... we didn´t have much going on. I promise that next week will be better. 

I love you all! Abrazos y besos!

Transfers & I'm Still HERE! Distrito Norberg!

December 9, 2013

What`s up everyone?? This week has been pretty good. 
Elder Manuico and I

To start with last pday we went to Cartagena where there was an artificial field and we played soccer with the zone. It was super fun to play, especially with all the missionaries. The only problem was there were about 10 sisters so we couldn`t play too hard with them, but once they left we went to town. As a result my legs have been shot almost this whole week. 
The Zone Nogal

 Also, we had transfers AND........nothing changed. I`m still here in Turbaco and my comp is still Elder Centon. The only change was that Elder Anderson left to Barranquilla so now I`m the district leader. Party in Distrito Norberg! We are 6 in total, Elder Gallardo, Otteson, Centon, Me, Hermana Thomas, and Huatuco.

This week we also had a conference with Elder Uceda, the Area P

resident, and the Mission President. They spoke a lot about the way that we need to work with the members and investigators. With the members, we really need to be on the same page with everything so that they can help us with the work, especially with less active families. 

Also with the investigators, we need to really have the people be converted to the gospel and be disciples of Christ not just a number for baptisms. The conference was really good. A few things were repeated from the last conference, but it was a nice refresher. 

We also had another meeting with the stakes in Cartagena. The meeting went late and we had to stay the night at the zone leader's house. The problem was that there weren`t any extra mattresses so we basically just slept on the hard ground....well, tried to sleep, just tossing and turning the whole night. These last few days we`ve just been super tired. 

A highlight lesson this week was with Carmen. We were talking to her asking how everything was going and if she had any questions, she pulled out one of the pamphlets and opened to the page where it has the person praying. She told us that she did it and said that after she prayed she felt the Spirit and believes that is was God telling her to keep going and learning. Super Awesome! She understands soo good and it makes me happy when she tells us that the things she learns really  help her. 

So that`s basically what has been happening this week. I love you all! Thanks for everything. Abrazos y besos!

Carmen is Awesome!

December 2, 2013

What´s up everyone? How is it going? This week has been pretty good and we´ve been working hard to find new people to teach. 
Dinner with the members

The highlight for teaching moments this week was with a lady named Carmen. She is about 54 years old and we found her through a member. Carmen is the one that I told you about two weeks ago, who found the Book of Mormon in the library. Well she has loved what she has read and learned so far. 
Simon and I

We left Carmen with the Book of Mormon, some pamphlets, and a Liahona because she told us that she loves reading and really wanted to learn more. So when we went to visit her again, we found out that she had read

through 2 Nephi 19 and also started reading the Index at the end and was at page 100. She had also read the pamphlets and remembers everything from them. 

It was so awesome! Carmen kept telling us how much she loves what she reads and feels full when she reads. Talking to her she strongly shows her desires to follow God and do what is right so she is now on track to be baptized on January 4th. Carmen even came to Stake Conference yesterday. It was about a 40 minute travel, but she went all the way to the stake center. During Stake conference people kept getting up and talking so it was hard to hear, but she was very happy to be able to go. 

My comp and I are in the process of setting up Christmas lights in the house and have been looking for a good tree.  We haven´t found one yet, but hopefully we´ll get one this week. On Thursday (Thanksgiving) we had interviews with the president so we went to Cartagena for that. The interview was pretty short, he just told me thanks for everything that I was doing and that this transfer I´m probably not going to train because only 5 missionaries are coming in, but the next transfers there will be 20 and 16 so I´ll probably train then! 

 Recently the whole stake and 70 have just been hammering on Ward Council so the bishop told us that we need to change things so that the ward can work better together with missionary work and not just talk about unimportant things and lose time. 

Oh also I found out that Reyla´s parents were baptized! (From my old area in Cevillar!) Today we are going to play soccer in Cartagena so I won´t be on to write again in the afternoon! I love you all! 

Abrazos y besos!

Monday, November 25, 2013

A Well of a Good Time!

November 25, 2013

What´s up! This week has been both great and super stressful. Great because Luisel was baptized!!! Also, I found out that her name is actually spelled with an ´s´ so I´ve been spelling it wrong this whole time.

Filling up the font with buckets
The stressful part was getting the baptism all figured out because we needed a priesthood holder to be there basically as supervisor. We couldn´t find anyone to come because the baptism was Friday in the morning and everyone was busy working. We looked for soo many people, but finally found someone to help us.

We had some peace of mind until Friday morning when we started to fill up the baptismal font. It started fine, water pressure and what not, but then it just shut off. We had no idea why the water stopped. We tried everything to get it to come back on, but nothing we had to fill it up using buckets of water. On the side of the church is the water tank/well, so I changed clothes and went into the tank to fill up the buckets and then the other elders took those buckets inside to fill up the font. The process only took about 30 minutes, but I was dead the rest of the day!

After rushing to fill up the font, we had the baptism!! It was great and everything went well. Luisel was so happy and shared her testimony. She was grateful to have been able to know the gospel and has seen the difference that it has made in her life and wants to keep moving forward. It was a wonderful moment and then on Sunday she was confirmed! So that was a huge highlight of this week.
Us with Luisel
We also did a small service project with Luisel´s family. We helped them set up their Christmas tree, which reminded me of home a little bit.... :(

On Sunday one of the less active families that we are teaching came to church! They also brought their daughter in law, who just had a baby. They really want to start going to church again and want their daughter in law, Sandy, to come too. So we´re going to be working more with them.

Yesterday we had a conference broadcast from the Area 70 about how to have an effective ward council, especially with helping the people that are less active. They spoke about the importance of working together as missionaries and wards so that we can help the work progress faster and better.

Today we are just going to Cartagena to print some pictures and to eat lunch. I´ll be getting on later in the afternoon to chat! I love you all!

 Abrazos y besos!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Walkin' & Workin'

November 18, 2013

What is up? This week has been really good. Kinda weird to be out walking again, but it´s great! 

Quick update on Luicel... she did not get baptized last week because we were talking with the zone leaders and we decided that she needed to come to church this week before the baptism. Luicel came to church yesterday and now she´s officially all set to go for this Friday. 

 Because we couldn´t work for an entire week(Carnival lock down), we had to contact a lot, a lot,  a lot. My feet were pretty tired at the end of each day because these sandals don´t have great arch support.

Javier begging for comida.

This week we did get mail!! I got a package with some BYU tshirts, US/Colombia flag keychain and pin, candy, a new watch, and......The Christmas Taylor Swift album! With that and Amy Grant I am set for the holidays! Also, I got some letters from Granny and Gabby. Nuts to think that she is already serving her mission too! 

Since we were contacting for the most part, there weren´t a lot of great lessons. We did have a super awesome experience yesterday however. We went to stop by a less active ward member's home to find out what´s been going on with him and why he hasn't been to church, but when we got there he started saying how his wife, Carmen, really wanted to listen to us. 

So we waited a little while for her to get back home and started to talk with her about her interest in the church. She told us that a long time ago she was in the library and found a  Book of Mormon and read part of it, but when she went back to read it, she couldn´t find it agian. It was really great because she wants to learn more soo badly and she understands what we tell her. We're excited to keep teaching her. 

Today we just chilled in the house and watched church videos and slept. Not too thrilling, but we´re trying to plan a big pday for the first week of December because a few elders in the zone are going home. 

That´s it for this week! Love you all! Abrazos y besos!

I obey the Master´s words
 And commanded them that they should take nothing for theirjourney, save a staff only; no ascrip, no bread, no money in theirpurse:
 But be shod with sandals; and not put on two coats.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Freedom!!! Post Lockdown - Scripture Genie at Your Service!

November 11, 2013

Hey!  This week has been very, very long. I had my toenails taken off again about 2 weeks ago so I have not been able to leave the house to work for a while. I`ve just been stuck in the house and have studied a lot, a lot, a lot. 

I studied every chapter in Preach My Gospel, finished reading the Book of Mormon, studied from Acts through Revelations, and read a book from Elder Anderson `To Bring the World His Truth`. Basically there was a whole lot of time to just study and read. It has been a little bit boring, but I feel like I learned a lot!

This week we're preparing Luicel to for baptism. We will be working hard with her so that she will be able to be baptized on Friday. I  don`t have too much to write in this letter because we really didn`t do anything this week. The reason why we couldn`t leave the house was because there was a festival where basically people throw colored water, corn powder, water balloons  or grease on you if you don`t pay money. That was the reason why we couldn`t leave. 

But now we are free!! I can work! I'll have a lot more to tell you all next week! Love you all! This week we should be getting mail. 

Abrazos y besos!

Cartagena Carnival - Lockdown!

November 4, 2013

What`s up! Overall this week has been kinda slow. The week started off well, we had some good lessons, especially with Luicel. We`ve been having the hardest time with her getting her to commit to baptism, but we talked with her about her doubts. Basically, her hesitation is that she just that she doesn`t feel completely ready (Even though she is). 

We talked with her a lot trying to help her with her questions, but then we just started talking about the baptismal interview. We told her that she was going to have an interview with another missionary and he was going to let her know if she is ready to be baptized. Once she heard that, she was very willing to have the interview because she wanted to find out if she was ready.  Thursday Luicel had her interview and passed!!! So now she is going to get baptized on the 9th of November!That has been the super highlight for the week. 

This downside of this week was that I had to go to the clinica again. While we were there they took of my big toenails…..again…..  So I haven`t left the house since Wednesday. I feel like I`m in prison. To make things worse, it`s now carnival….which means that starting on Sunday, we will not be able to leave the house at all…I`m going to have almost 2 weeks without leaving that house. At least I`ll be a scripture genie when I leave again. 

That`s why I am writing this email today because we won`t be able to leave at all this coming week. I really hope that this message gets through to you guys because if not I know you are all going to be very worried. I love you all! I`ll talk to you in 9 days!! 

I love you ! Abrazos y besos!!

Monday, November 4, 2013


October 28, 2013

Hey! What´s going on?? 15 months in the mission! Crazy! I can´t believe it´s passing so fast! I´m kinda freaking out too. 

This week has been kinda slowish, but we had transfers... and we didn´t get transferred. Elder Anderson, Gallardo, Centon, and I are still here. The other two Elders, Raposo and Morales, left and now there are 2 Hermanas in the district with us. Hermana Thomas and Huatuco. 

On Wednesday I had the lovely priviledge to return to the WW1 hospital in Cartagena to get my toe checked out. After waiting a while a doctor called me, looked at my toenail and told me that we needed to cut it (exactly what I expected). Then while I was in the other room waiting for them to get the things ready, a lady doctor walked it, looked at my toe, asked me what I was doing cutting it and told me that I just had to rest for 5-7 days and then come back again. 

Self surgery with Elder Escobar
So after being at the clinic for about 4 hours we left with nothing but a paper from the doctor saying I needed ´rest´. So we spent the remainder of the day Wednesday in the house and Thursday also. I was dying of boredom. I hate staying in the house. I feel so fat and ineffective. Friday we said whatevs to the doctor and left to work and we`ve worked the other days too. Basically my toenail is going to get cut anyway so I might as well just work now while I can. 

 We had a really good week with an investigator, Luicel. She has been having some hard times with her family and work, but she came to church yesterday! Before she couldn`t come to church because of work. We went and visited her in the afternoon and talked with her more about how she felt at church and what she was thinking about doing. She told us that she always feels really good in the church and wants to feel that way more. 

So we talked about the Holy Ghost and how she can always have those feelings with her after her baptism. She really liked that and we put a baptismal date for the 9th of November. We`re working hard for that now. 

Today(p-day)  we didn`t do anything because no one has money. We just chilled in the house, but it gave me time to thoroughly wash some of my clothes... Well that`s it for this week. 

Group Prayer
I love you all! Thanks for everything! 

 Abrazos y besos!!!