Monday, March 31, 2014

Almost My Birthday & It's Getting Warmer!

March 31, 2014

Mas calor!!! This week has been pretty toasty! Some days are pretty rough because our area is very hilly and it´s really tiring walking long distances, but it´s all worth it. 

We´ve been working quite a bit with the members this week. They´ve taken us to their friends or family members that want to listen to us, which had been super great getting the members more involved. Usually the new converts are the best for sharing their testimonies and experiences about the church. I will definitely to do more of that when I get home. 

Before (with bedhead)
We´re working a lot with a guy named Felix. He´s really good buddies with the young mens president. He has come to church a few times and comes almost every Saturday for the activities and to play the guitar. Felix works a lot

 so we´re having trouble getting together, but he really likes the church. 

 Also, we´re teaching another guy named German. He listened to the missionaries about 12 years ago and they helped him and his wife get married. Then they moved and didn´t have anymore contact with the church. BUT German works with the first consejero (I don´t know how to spell it in English), Orlando, so he took us to visit his buddy. So now  we are teaching German and his 3 boys and we´re getting them prepped to be baptized in May. 

Yesterday was fast and testimony meeting. I was sitting there all calm listening to everyone, then I realized that I´m probably going to be transferred on the 9th. It made me feel kind of sad that I´m going to be leaving Turbaco. It´s been one of my favorite areas in the mission. So I went up and shared my testimony and thanked the members for helping me feel at home and really loved here. 

Don´t worry, I stayed strong and held back the tears. 
We think Javier got stabbed or something, but
don´t worry, this picture is a little old, he´s healing

That´s kind of it for this week. Getting pumped for some General Conference and my birthday!! 

I really can´t believe that it´s my birthday again! Especially that I´m turning 21, it doesn't seem like I should be this old, but time really passes fast. I´ve been thinking about the fact that I´m not a little kid anymore. I´m an adult and I´m going to have to be doing adult things. When I get home I want to do things differently than before.

I´m old :( I love you all! Abrazos y besos!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Getting Warmer in Colombia

March 24, 2014

What´s up? This week has been a little tough, it´s starting to get hotter :( . We haven´t had any rain here either so there aren´t even clouds to provide a little bit of shade. 

This week we´ve been working really hard with a family that was a reference from a member and another reference in addition, but none of them showed up to church yesterday. However, we did have a less active family come! We have been passing by to visit them for literally 2 months and they finally came to church yesterday! We are also working quite a bit with the ward members, which helps a ton because they can pass by the less actives and investigators a lot more often than we can. 

This last week I've also been a little sick, so I went to my med stash and realized that I had a ton of pills and medicine that have expired. Thank you mom for all your work to put together my missionary pharmacy, but about 3/4´s of it is now in the trash. But don´t worry I´m fine and alive. Also for the toe update, I´m fine, no problems for now. 

The bishop has also been talking about calling Carmen and Osvaldo to be ward missionaries, so we have copied some parts of Preach My Gospel for them so that they can study the mission lessons. They are great! Carmen knows soo much about the Bible, she busts out stories that I don´t even remember or know exist. 

#thatspecialmoment w/ Javier
On Saturday there was another baptism of an investigator of the sisters. I also  interviewed another one of their investigators, so the ward has another baptism this coming Saturday. 

Super tube rig so that the water goes straight to the drain
Yesterday was kind of rough as far as working. There is a big festival going on in another town and a ton of people went there making it very difficult to find people at home. We´re pumped to get going for this week and for conference for this coming week!

To answer some questions:  There are around 210 missionaries in our mission, with about 30 of those being North Americans.

I love you all! 

Abrazos y besos!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Happy Days! Dunk Me In the Water!

March 17, 2014

Well this week has been pretty great! We had a zone meeting on Tuesday then a zone conference (with president) on Thursday. 

Carmen & Osvaldo - Baptism!

On Tuesday we got mail! I received a card and a book from Grandma and Grandpa Allred! Thanks so much, the book is really great! It has a lot of ideas about how to be a member missionary. I´m going to try to use some of the ideas in that book with the members here. 

Also on Saturday there were two baptisms and I had to do a baptismal interview so this week has been a little busy. Luckily some clouds are starting to roll in and it isn´t as crazy hot as before, but still waiting for the rain to come. I´m fine with it not raining because it totally kills the day, making everything muddy and flooded. Also my umbrella died back in my first area (don´t know if I told you that) so I just get wet. 

Everything is going well with my comp, I can´t believe that this transfer is halfway over. During the zone conference the missionaries that are leaving in the next two transfers shared their testimonies. It freaked me out because I knew a lot of them and that means the next zone conference I´m going to be doing the same thing! 

Carmen & Osvaldo's kittens

This Saturday preparing for the baptism was a lot less stressful than the wedding. Everything went smoothly, Oswaldo was able to baptize Carmen which was an amazing experience for the two of them. Carmen also shared her testimony and it made me so happy to see how the gospel and the church have made a huge difference in her life. Before she ´knew´ the doctrine, but didn´t know how to apply it in her life, but now has felt a peace in her life and happiness that she didn´t have before. Awesome. 

Cartagena Zone World Cup Team
Right after the baptism I interviewed one of the sister missionary's investigators, she passed the interview fine, and right before we were about to finish, she asked me who would baptize her. I told her that she could choose whoever she wanted...she chose me. So I'm going to be baptizing Heidy this Saturday for the Sisters. 

Apparently this is a Problem
Today for pday we went to Cartagena to play soccer with the zone. It was really fun, although there was one elder there (from Honduras) that thought it was a professional game and was drilling the ball with all of his soul. I didn´t like playing goalie...No one thinks that Americans can play soccer - so I try to show off my skills.  Often I use my body to keep them off me and to counter all their fancy-pants footwork.

Well that´s it for this week! I love you all! 

Abrazos y Besos!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Carmen & Osvaldo's Wedding FINALLY Happened!!

February 10, 2014

What is up? How`s it going stateside? It`s been kind of rough down here as far as the weather goes, it`s starting to rain. The only problem is that it`s only sprinkling, which means everything more hot and humid, which means it feels like I`m suffocating, but it`s all good! 

This week was super great because Carmen and Osvaldo got married! Yes!

Carmen, Oswaldo and Juan David
 I`m serious! It was such a hectic day. The dude that was going to marry them called at 1 and said that he was going to get there at 6 (which before he told us 7) so we were scrambling to call everyone to let them know about the time change. We got to the church at 5:30 and started setting up the chairs, food, and other stuff. Then 6 rolled around and the man still hadn`t arrived, so that was when we started getting nervous. 

We tried calling the man, but he had his cell phone turned off. 6:30. Members start asking us why the dude wasn`t there and
we had no idea. 7. Freaking out. 7:30. Contact! His flight had just landed and was heading over. 8. Waiting. 8:30. Arrived! Started the service, watched them get married and left at 8:56 to get home. (I`m soo happy we live in front of the church). 

That was pretty much the best part of this week and now Carmen will be getting baptized this Saturday (15)! so now we`re working toward the baptism. This week will be a zone meeting (just missionaries) and also a zone conference (with president) so we should be pretty busy this week. 

Today for pday we went to a mall to print off pictures and buy some picture frames to give to Carmen and Osvaldo, but that`s it for the today's pday adventures. 

I love you all! Abrazos y besos!

Transfers & Still in Turbaco

March 3, 2014

Metal Shop
What´s up everyone?! So first things first.....transfers.....just as I thought, I´m still here in Turbaco with Elder Ariza, but the other missionaries in the district were changed. Elder Otteson has a greenie from Brasil, Elder Ribeiro, and now there is a three sister trio... Hermana Thomas, Quiroz (Peru), and Quiroz (Honduras). So that´s how my district is looking like now. 

I am Iron Bar Man
This week unfortunately was Not the wedding of Carmen and Osvaldo because there were some problems with Osvaldo´s son. The son came here to study, but the school that he is supposed to study at is under construction, so no one is studying until the end of march. The mom didn´t want him to lose so much time not learning so Osvaldo had to pay to send him back to where the mom lives. 

 BUT this week Carmen made dessert things to sell to the members to raise the money for the wedding. The official official date for the wedding is this Friday. I know you are all probably tired of hearing that has been put off, but this is official now. 

Church was good this week. We have more people coming to church and the ward attendance has risen these last few Sundays. Also, every week the ward chooses an organization, young men, young women, elders quorum, relief society etc. and visits the less active members from that group. This week they didn´t have anyone to visit so a lot of the members went out to visit our investigators. We left to work with the first counsler Orlando, he´s super funny and he knows a ton of people so he introduced us to some of his friends and we´re going to pass by them another day to teach. 

So that´s kind of it for what has been happening this week, one of my highlight experiences was with Carmen. When we went to visit her the other day, Orlando wanted to know more about her and how she liked the church. It was so great to hear her share how in her life she has been looking to be filled, but hasn´t felt that in other churches. She told us that attending our church and learning more, she feels like she belongs in a family and wants to keep progressing together with Osvaldo. 

 I´m so happy that I have been able to be part of this process for her and we´re going to do everything possible so that she can get married this week. 

I love you all! Abrazos y besos!