Monday, July 7, 2014

My Final Testimony

July 7, 2014

Well I can`t believe that I`m already at the end of my mission. I really don`t feel like 2 years have passed, time has gone by so fast. Being out here has really made me grateful for what I have in my life as far as temporal and spiritual things. 

I am so grateful to know what I know. Before the mission I believed that the church was true and that the Book of Mormon was another scripture from God, but out here I have come to know that this really is the true church of God here in the earth and that the Book of Mormon truly is another scripture that God has given to us so that we may know where to find the truth. Being able to dedicate time to read and study the scriptures has helped me understand more about God and what he wants for me. I have never felt His love so strong in my life.

I love being a missionary and being here in Colombia. It has not been easy, but it has been worth it. I feel like I have had an emotional rollercoaster ride, but whenever I feel down or discouraged I have prayed and asked for help and He has given me help. I know that I could not have done this on my own, much less learn spanish and actually interact and express myself fluently. I know that God has helped my and has molded me into a better person.

I have learned and grown here. I am amazed that God would trust such a work in someone as young, immature, and weak as me, but I am so grateful that he did, to give me that chance to change and become stronger.

I am grateful for all of you and what you have done for me in my life, the example you have all been, and the love you have all shown for me. I can`t wait to see you all again, but at the same time part of me doesn`t want to leave here. The Colombian people are amazing. Here in the coast the people are so open and loving even if they don`t care at all about our message, they are always willing to help one another. Even though I have been in very poor areas it is amazing to see that the people are still happy even if they don`t have much.

I know that this is the work of God, that this is His church, and that it is directed by His prophets. I have seen this gospel change the lives of many people and have seen the joy when a person embraces the fullness of the gospel. There is no comparison. The Atonement of Christ has power to change the life of everyone and has changed mine. I am grateful for this opportunity that I have had to be here and thank you again to all that have helped me get this far.

There is not much more I can say. This is Christ´s church. God loves us. I know that this is true. 

I testify of this in the name of Jesus Christ, our Savior. Amen.

Monday, June 30, 2014

This is It! ¡La misión, se acabó!

June 30, 2014

Last letter from Colombia!!!

This letter is going to be extremely short because I literally have no time to write. We went to Minca for pday. It's basically just a cool little town up in the mountains, really sweet there, but we just barely returned from Minca so we are rushing to write. (

Whole Zone hanging out at Minca

Minca Money Shot.

Here is a little bit of what Minca looks like. It`s up in the Sierra Nevada mountain range so it`s a lot cooler than in Santa Marta. It`s basically just cool jungle mountain land. We walked a while and took a lot of pictures. I`m only sending you three pix because they take a while to load and I don`t have much time. It was very fun though, the whole zone was able to go so it was a great last pday!!!!!!

Lucila with Daniel, Edinson getting Baptized!
This last week was fantastic, especially since we had two baptisms on Saturday!! Edinson and Daniel got baptized!! The baptism of Daniel (8) and Edinson (11), they are the sons of Lucila who is also another investigator. The reason why Lucila didn`t get baptized is because she needs to get married first, but it was amazing to watch her help her kids out so much to help them be baptized. The reason why a lot of people have Colombia jerseys on in the picture is because the baptism was on Saturday after the game.

Also on Saturday, we had zone conference with President and he used that time to have my last interview. I really like him and he has told me that I am his accordion man, as in he can put me wherever he needs and he knows I`ll do well. It was a really great compliment from him.

Daniel & Edison with me and Elder Quispe.
Baptism after Colombia's World Cup Game
In the Zone Conference, they talked about a lot of changes that they want to implement with the less active members and the new converts: focusing on the families and temples. The problem for me is that I`m leaving so I don`t get to do much there. Sunday was good, a little sad saying good bye to everyone, but some members put together a dinner for me.

My last Sunday night we went to the Familia Montero`s house to eat dinner, they live really high up on a hill. It is a little tough getting up there, but the view is super awesome! We took some pics up there and also with the members that were there too. I really liked this branch, even though there weren`t a lot of members, they were always very caring and loving.
The other missionaries killing me.

That is basically the quick recap of this week. I can`t wait to see you all on Wednesday!!! I`ve got to go now because I get to baptize another investigator, Yulissa, before I leave!!! I know!! I can`t believe it either!  Tonight I have one last baptism, our investigator Yulissa wanted me to baptize her so I`ll be doing that in about 30 minutes. Tomorrow I`ll travel to Barranquilla for my last dinner with President and then on Wednesday I'll be heading home!!

Here was my 4th of July Tribute from 2013:

District El Pando with I, Elder Abad, Elder Figueroa, Elder Quispe, Elder Guanilo, Elder Contraras, Hermana Vera and Hermana Ulloa.
I love you all! Abrazos y besos!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

Monday, June 23, 2014

La Última Semana & Feliz Cumpleaños to Megan!!

June 23, 2014 - Megan's Birthday!!!
World Cup!

What is up family!! How`s everything going? I can not believe that this is my last week in the mission!! Crazy!! 

During my personal study time, I came up with the following "Scripture Letter" that I wanted to share with all of you:

El tiempo nos ha pasado, y nuestras [misiones] han pasado como si fuera un sueño (Jacob 7:26).  He peleado la buena batalla, he acabado la carrera, he guardado la fe (2 Timoteo 4:7). Sí, yo se que nada soy; en cuanto a mi fuerza, soy débil; por tanto no me jactaré de mí mismo, sino que me gloriaré en mi Dios, porque con se fuerza puedo hacer todas las cosas; sí (Alma 26:12) todo lo puedo en Cristo que me fortalece (Flilpenses 4:13).  De tal manera que [digo] confiadamente: El Señor es mi ayudador; no temeré lo que me pueda hacer el hombre (Hebreos 13:6).  Pues él dijo: No te desampararé ni te dejaré (Hebreos 13:5), pues he aquí, te tengo grabado en las palmas de mis manos (1 Nefi 21:16). Porque aunque caì, he de levantarme; aunque more en tinieblas, Jehova será mi luz (Miqueas 7:8). Os digo que no puedo expresar ni la más mínima parte de lo que siento (Alma 26:16).  Aunque tengo muchas cosas que escribiros, no he querido comunicarlas por medio de papel y tinta, pues espero ir a vosotros y hablar cara a cara, para que nuestro gozo sea completo (2 Juan 1:2).

Zone Fútbol Game.
The time passed away with us, and also our [missions] passed away like as it were a dream unto us (Jacob 7:26).  I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith (2 Timothy 4:7).  I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things, yea (Alma 26:12) I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me (Philippians 4:13).  So that [I] may bodly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do until me (Hebrews 13:6).  For he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee (Hebrews 13:5), behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands (1 Nephi 21:16).  When I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be a light unto me (Micah 7:8).  Behold, I say unto you, I cannot say the smallest part which I feel (Alma 26:16).  Having many things to write unto you, I would not write with paper and ink: but I trust to come unto you and speak face to face, that our joy may be full (2 John 1:12).

Pick Master.
Dáme la mano!
This week has gone by super fast! On Thursday we had a service project with the district. We went to a family´s house in the hills and used picks and shovels to flatten out the hill. Then we put down tires and filled them to make a wall. It was very tiring, but worth it in the end. 

Work Crew
The Finished Project.
And even better that same day Colombia won their game so now they pass to the next round!!! People get pretty emotional here about the games so we have to stay inside while Colombia plays. Tomorrow there will be a game at 3 so that will kill our day. 

Elder Herrick and I

Service Project Group.
This week we had the baptismal interviews for Edinson, Daniel, and Yulissa. Edinson and Daniel are going to get baptized this Saturday and Yulissa probably is going to get baptized next Monday. My comp is going to baptize Daniel and I`m going to baptize Edinson. 
Elder Briceño and I

Lunch with the Familia Maria Perez
This week has honestly just flown by but really not much has happened because everyone is so focused with the World Cup. We`re just working hard with the investigators that are close to baptism so that everything can end well with them.

Elder Palmer and I

I`m sorry that this letter is short, but really not much has been happening. I can`t believe that it is all coming to an end. 

I can`t wait to see you all! I love you! Abrazos y besos!

Elder Nathan Michael Norberg

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

World Cup Madness Has Hit Colombia!

Jun 16, 2014

After the movie night with some members
What is up everyone?! Well, my toes have been much better this week. I am almost positive that I am completely healed. I haven`t had any problems with them so I should be all good for these last TWO WEEKS!! Crazy!! Can`t believe it!

With the whole world cup thing going on right now it`s been harder to find people to teach. President Searle gave us a rule that we can`t go out to work during the Brasil's first game and also whenever Colombia is playing because it`s a little hectic and the people really don`t want to leave their tv screens.  Almost everyone watches the other games too so it`s hard to find people that want to listen to us. It's been super, super crazy......and some people died that day too; Fights, one shot himself, one died from over emotion, beer!

This last Friday we had a movie night at the church and we had a pretty good turn out. We watched an old church movie called Aunque nos toca morir (Even When It's Our Turn to Die). It was about some of the church members in Mexico. Pretty good, but was in black and white.

Saturday there was baptisms for the other missionaries in the district and we were invited and were able to attend and give support. After the baptism we were also invited to a family night with all of them and scored some free food!

 Everything is going well with Edison and Daniel. They came to church yesterday with their mom, Lucila, and they want to be baptized. We are also teaching another girl ,Yulissa.  She has a baptismal date for the 5th of July (after I leave). She is also doing really well, likes the church and has a lot of friends there that give her support with going to church on Sunday and also to the activities. This week we`ll be scheduling their baptismal interviews too.

After baptisms
The mission has set some new goals for us. We`re going to be putting a lot more focus on the lessons we teach to less active members, recent converts, and having ward members present at our lessons.  This week our goal is to increase our lessons that we have especially focusing with the less actives members. So that`s kind of it for this week... a little bit slow with all this world cup madness, but it`s fun.

I love you all! Can`t wait to see you soon!

Abrazos y besos!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Down the Home Stretch - Only Michael Jordan Days Left

June 9, 2014

Hey! What`s up!! Unfortunately this letter isn`t going to be much better than last week`s because on Wednesday I had more toe problems. 

Our Zone Manzanares.
I was fine on Monday and Tuesday. I left out to work and everything, but on Wednesday morning I was checking out my right toe and noticed that it was pussy and inflamed, so I made a call to my doctor friend and he told me to pass by his house. 

Our mini missionaries Me, Cristian, Luis Angel
Basically what he told me was that there was dead skin or something in the wound, so it couldn`t close and it got infected. He stuck me with anesthesia again and went to town. Then I spent the rest of my week resting...again....I`m going to go crazy if I have to do this again. 

Luckily we've been able to find some ward members, mostly young men, to help us out and be mini missionaries to leave with my comp. So that has basically been my week. 

We`re still working with Lucila and her kids. Edison, Daniel, and also her daughter Darling (yes that is her name) surprised us and came to church too. Edison and Daniel are doing well and want to get baptized, they have a date for the 28th of June. 

Birthday of Elder Contreras
The branch attendance is rising. I think moving church buildings is really helping out there. We also had a zone meeting on Saturday and they told us about some little changes in the mission and we also got mail. I got a letter from the ward, thanks!! And also Luisel from Turbaco sent me a birthday present, two little action figures:  Gokus from Dragon Ball. 

 So basically that has been my week. Today we just rested and cleaned the house. I can`t believe that I only have 3 weeks left!! Oh, Brianda got baptized?? What?? That`s awesome!

I can`t wait to see you all! 

Abrazos y Besos!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Toe'ing The Line

June 2, 2014

Well, this week has been pretty uneventful. Monday and Tuesday were normal days, however on Wednesday after lunch I went to a members house (who is a doctor) and he cut my toenails, because I had another 2 ingrown toenails.....bummer... 

Basically my week has been spent sitting inside of my house and the house of our ward mission leader while reading, listening to music, and watching church movies. Woot woot. 

We had some splits with the other missionaries and the members in the ward so they helped us out to continue to work. I am really just tired of ingrown toenails! I don´t know why we even have nails? :) On the bright side, I won´t have to worry about them for much longer because I only have a month left in the mission! 

McDonalds with the Zone after Futbol.
Yesterday we had Lucila and her kids come to church so that was great. Lucila needs to get married, but we put a baptismal date for her kids Edison and Daniel for the 28th of June. Sunday we were also back in the old church building and the attendance has gone up, but we were crammed in the small class rooms. It´s fine though, as long as it gets more people to come to church. 

It's crazy for me to think that the time has passed by so quickly. Just got to keep working and healing. I love you all very much and am grateful for all the support you have given me. 
Zone Futbolers.

I´m sorry that this weekly letter is short, but it´s just that nothing much has happened. Abrazos y besos!!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Rain & Baptisms!

May 26, 2014

Hey, what`s going on! This week has been alright, but super hot. We did have the blessing of receiving a little bit of rain after months of none. Hopefully this means that more is on the way. 

A familia that we`re teaching left to right Amauri, Maria, Daniel, Lucila, Edison. They came to see the baptism and for the noche de hermanamiento
This week has been kind of tough finding new investigators. A lot of the areas where we have contacted are predominately catholic so we pretty much get rejected there but we`re still keeping at it! 

This past Sunday the ward announced that we are going to be moving back into the old church building where they met before. It will be better because it is actually located closer to a lot of families, many of which can`t go to the new building because it is too far; but the down side is that it is way smaller than the new one. This should help us have a better attendance with the investigators and the less active members. 

 This past Friday there was a baptism for the other set of elders in our area. We went to the church to support them and what not, but the problem we discovered when we arrived there was that the water pump was broken and the baptismal font only had a few inches of water in it. So we went all old-school 'Turbaco ' and busted out some buckets to fill it up! It took a while, but we filled up about 3/4s of the font and then some guy got there to fix the pump to fill the rest up.  

Noche de Hermanamiento
We`re working with some families here, teaching them the word of God and everything, but a lot of them still need to get married. That has been our biggest obstacle this past week. We`re setting up our game plan for this week to find more new investigators. 

That`s about it for this week. I`ve been thinking a lot this last week about my mission. It`s weird that I`m in my last transfer and only have 5 weeks left. I feel like the time has passed by so fast. But I feel like I have changed a lot and have learned a lot. I`m so happy that I've been here and can`t wait to see you all when I get back. Love you all! 

(Oh, I`m supposing that if we still had the plans to pick me up we would be canceling them right now for dad`s hip operation? Good thing we didn`t make the plans right?)

Abrazos y besos!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Last Transfer in La Misión

Left to right Elder Contreras, Elder Quispe, Hermana Huatuco, Elder Figueroa, Hermana , Elder White, Elder Abad, and I
May 19, 2014

This week is the Last of the Transfers for me!!!

Hey! How`s it going? This week has been pretty good but it`s getting hotter here! :( . We`ve  still been working hard to visit our investigators and people that are less active.

We`ve been able to leave more and visit with the members this week. Also, we have received some references from members to visit their friends. We've had a lot of help from the branch, especially the relief society, they visited a few of our investigators and they were really happy to be visited.

People like to bug me because I am one of the oldest in the mission
A lot of the people that we are teaching right now need to get married so that they can get baptized, so in a lot of the lessons we talk about chastity and marriage. Also this week we had some good visits with less active members, we had some charla francas with them to tell them that they needed to come to church and it worked!

We just need to help the other less actives to get to the church on Sunday`s. The only problem that some of the members have is that the church is kind of far from where they live, so they have to walk pretty far to attend.

My missionary tan matches the white wall
We`re trying to work more with the branch to see if some of the active members can help us to visit and bring them to church.  This last Sunday was pretty rough because when we got to the chapel, there wasn`t any power. We don`t know what happened or why it got cut, but we had to make it through the whole time without AC or fans :(

Today for pday we had a zone activity. We all went to a restaurant called El Corral and then we went to an aquarium. There were some pretty sweet fish there, but at the end of the tour they went all environmentalist on us and told us that us humans are killing all the sea life. Besides that it was pretty great, also we passed by some street stands and got some little souvenirs.

Good week. Doing great. I am now starting my last transfer in the mission. Crazy how time passes so fast. I am happy, but sad...the mission is coming to an end.

I love you all! Abrazos y besos!
Lunch at a restaurant called El Corral - Burgers!

The Zone Manzanares at the aquarium