Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Food Week + Moth Mania

April 28, 2014

Hey! How`s it going?? I hope super great! I was really pumped to hear that Megan put in her papers!!!! I can`t wait to find out where she is called to serve! 

This week has been a pretty good one. We`ve been going on visits with the members so that they can show us around the area and introduce us to some less active members and other members that we don`t know yet. Our area doesn`t have as many hills as Turbaco had, but the hills that we do have here are very steep so we`re usually exhasusted by end of the day. My comp is acclimating to the mission a bit better.  The heat really hit him hard, but he`s feeling better now. 

Oh, a couple of things about the food here - I love it!  One of my favorites is called a salchipapa.  Basically on the bottom there are french fries, then they use a bunch of condiments, then add on meat - chicken or hot dogs (cut) and lastly a little layer fries on`s fantastic... I don`t know why we don`t have it in the states!  Another thing that I like is something called 'pizza vomito.'  It`s a super pizza with meat, veggies and I don`t know what else. It`s huge and amazing!

This week we also had interviews with the president. The interview went well, we mostly talked about what I`m going to do after the mission and how things are going. I really like interviews with President Searle, he`s a really good guy.  He called me his "accordion man" (his guy  that he just puts where he needs help) so that made me feel really good. 
Pizza Vomito

Our branch is improving with the attendance rising and having better Branch councils. We just need to keep going and working hard with them. This week I didn`t get sick, I just was coughing a lot, a lot, a lot!  My voice became super raspy like an old smoker, which in the end made it difficult for people to understand me. They kept saying that I talked with a funny accent. But don`t worry mom, I`m better now! 

Today we got up early in the morning to go play soccer with some other missionaries. It was really fun, but I started coughing a lot while I was running so I decided to chill with another missionary, Elder White. We just talked about movies which made me excited to see all the new movies that are going to be coming out. 
Sami's Favorite Thing - Huge Moth Attack!

This last week was a little difficult with the water situation because our water pump broke. We had to bucket out water from the tank to shower, wash dishes, and flush the toilet. Luckily today a less active member came by and saved us! We now have zero problems with the water and everyone is happy again. I can finally use a real shower now :). I haven't had a hot shower since leaving the MTC in Bogota almost 20 months ago!

Well that`s it for this week! I love you all! Abrazos y Besos!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Working Away Again in Santa Marta Ville

April 21, 2014

Hey! How`s it going! Well this week has been better and worse at the same time than last week. Better because we are getting to know the area more and getting to know more members, but worse because this week was Semana Santa (Holy Week), which means that everyone goes out of town for vacations. That has made it a lot more difficult to teach people and to contact. 

Even though that took us down a notch, we were able to have success with the church attendance. We are teaching a lady named Lucila and her kids Darlin (female) and Edison (male). They live pretty far from the church, (about an hour walking distance) but they left early Sunday morning and all attended. We`ll be working more with them this week to help them progress. 

Elder Quispe & Nathan
This week we had an awesome conference with an Area 70,  Elder Wadell. It was a really great conference. He talked a lot about our purpose here on the earth and in the mission. He explained that our purpose really isn`t to just baptize people, but they need to go to the temple to make more covenants with God and to be sealed as a family. Made me grateful to be together in the church with our whole family. 

Also I got my birthday package!! Thank you! I`m totally going to go back home with a blazing white smile!(crest whitening strips) Also people go crazy here for the chocolates, so those are all gone. Dad, thanks for the little business cards, they are super awesome! I love handing them out to people. Oh, and I love the little Stinger Waffles - they're great!

After the missionary conference with Elder Wadell, all the branches came for another meeting where Elder Wadell explained more about how we need to work in the branch to have the most success and help more people. So now our branch is working a lot harder to bring people back and help the converts to progress. Elder Quispe(my comp) had the amazing opportunity to have a special interview (randomly chosen) with Elder Waddell. Eler Quispe is getting better with all the mission stuff and adapting quickly.

So that`s kind of it for this week. For pday we went to a mall called Buena Vista to buy food for the week and walk around. Most days we eat Rice and meat. We just buy our own food for breakfast and dinner. 

For exercise & working out, it`s going good. Here in this house there is a pull up bar so that made me happy.  We do not do a lot of jogging because my comp is always super tired in the morning,
Santa Marta en La Noche

It`s still a drought here in Santa Marta so hopefully we`ll be getting some rain soon. 

I love you all! Abrazos y besos!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Opening New Area & New Greenie - Elder Quispe from Peru!

April 14, 2014

SOO This week has been pretty crazy! Last monday I was bugging some of the zone leaders for information about my transfer, but they didn`t budge! However, one told me that it would be something that I wasn`t expecting. 

Monday night I got a call that I wasn`t expecting. The zone leaders told me that I was going to train again and I will be opening an area in Santa Marta!  I had to wash all of my clothes and pack everything that night. I ended up going to bed at about 12 30 and had to wake up at 6 to get to the bus terminal on time! 
Rebel Roadblock

When we left Cartagena, literally not even 5 minutes on the road, we ran into a little rebel roadblock. People put  branches, boards and a bunch of stuff in the street and no one could get through, so we took a very long side way cutting through Cartagena. And in that process another car hit us so we had to wait even longer. In the end we finally made it to Barranquilla in one piece, but very late. 

Me & My New Companion Elder Quispe

We had a capacitation from the president and the assistants and then received our new missionaries. My new comp is Elder Quispe from Peru. He`s 20 years old and new in the mission. He`s a really good guy, but a little shy. 
Elder Figueroa and Elder Contreras, elder contreras is the short one

After we finished that meeting we had to wait another 2 hours for our van to arrive at the church to take us to Santa Marta. We got to our house at about 9 30 to find out that the water pump didn`t work so we had to fish out the water from an underground tank with buckets (a little like how we filled up the baptismal font of Luisel.) 

My new area is called Pando 1 and it`s a branch of about 70 to 80 people. The temperature is a lot cooler here than in Cartagena. We`ve been working really hard to get to know the area. I`m stressing a little bit because my comp really doesn`t know what to do because it`s a different culture, money system than Peru.  Also, where he lives, in Lima, it`s not hot, so that`s been rough on him. But everything is going good, I just need to get to know the area and not lose myself. 
Familia Montero, we had a family night with them.

We live with another 2 elders; Elder Figueroa from Chile and Elder Contreras from Ecuador. This Wednesday we`re going to have a conference with Elder Wadell, an area 70, so for sure for sure I`ll be getting my birthday package this week!!! 
Call me Jared.

That`s it for this week. Happy where I`m am. Ready to DO WORK. I love this new area & I'm excited.  Oh, the new missionaries have a book "The First 12 Weeks" and I don`t like it because it`s counting down my last 12 weeks. 

Love you all! Abrazos y besos!!

Monday, April 7, 2014

La Popa & Possibly Last Week in Turbaco

April 7, 2013

This week has been pretty great! We have been working a lot with the members and were able to leave with quite a few to go on visits. 

The Turbaco District:  Elder Otteson, Ribeiro, Ariza, Me
Hermana Quiroz, Quiroz (yes the same last name)
It´s still pretty hot here... we are hearing that parts of the town don't have water because there is a drought, but our house has water for now so we´re all good. 

Saturday, my birthday morning, was very stressful because we arrived at the church about 20 minutes before conference was going to start and there wasn´t anything set up. We spent forever running around taking out the computer, cables, sound systems, the projector, everything that we needed for the conference. In the end we didn´t get to watch the morning session, but we got everything fixed up for the rest of the Saturday and Sunday's sessions. 

I'm Batman!
I really liked conference! (especially because we enjoyed the AC :). The talks were really great. I especially liked the priesthood talks about how we need to be better and how we all have heroes or people that we look up to, but also that we should push ourselves so that we can be the heroes of others. 

Crammed into a Cab.
Blue Lips - Stained
Also, in between the afternoon sesh and the priesthood sesh,  the missionaries in the district bought me a batman cake! It was really good, but the blue frosting stained our lips and teeth. After the festivities I had a baptismal interview with an investigator of the sisters. 

Sunday everything went smoothly with the conference and afterwards Luisel had another cake ready for us and dinner! 

Today for pday we went to La Popa. I¨ve been there a couple of times before, but it´s super cool. It´s a church on a hill in the center of the city. You can see all around the city from the top, it´s really sweet. 

Fashion Master
Turbaco Ward Members
While we were up there another 2 missionaries came, but they didn´t know that they  needed to make a little contract with their taxi driver to wait for them. So they didn´t have a way down (walking takes a long time and it´s a little sketchy) They crammed in the little taxi with us. 

Me & My Comp Elder Ariza
Me & The Pope @ La Popa
This Wednesday will be transfers and I'm pretty sure that I´m going to be leaving Turbacco since I have served about 7 months in this area. I could go back to Cartagena, Barranquilla or I could go to Santa Marta or Valledupar also, but I have no idea.  I´m trying to bug some of my buddies that know, but they aren´t budging!  Excited to find out what will happen. Well that's it for this week. 
Happy birthday to me!

I love you all! Abrazos y besos!