Monday, August 14, 2017

Week 33!

This week was pretty crazy! The assistants came down from Bogota to do some training so that was a lot of fun!  We got to have exchanges which helped out area out a lot, since its hard to find a lot of new investigators in a baptismal week.  But we luckily pulled through and had a good week!  We also ate mojojoy, the nasty worm that people eat in Leticia for some reason, haha! I sent a pic, but I don't think I can send a video.

Jei´s baptism was great!  He asked me to do the ordinance, which was super cool.  After doing the ordinance, I asked him how he felt, and he looks at me and goes "Oosh, vacano" which is just like "whoa, cool." Haha, he is awesome.  After that he gave his testimony and it was awesome. He talked about how he knew this was the true church.  He said he was so happy about the blessings he has seen in his family since their conversion.  He said that his family has never had so much unity so I'm super happy for him! He also is already talking about how he wants to go on a mission!  I'm super excited for him I know he is going to do great in life! 

This week we are in Bogota for a training with the president.  It's weird, Bogota just kind of seems like home.  Leticia is great, but its so hot and just kind of feels like vacation.  But coming home to Bogota just feels like normal life, haha.  So today we are hanging out with Elder Vega (Otavalo, Ecuador) and Elder Moreira (Brazil) so its gonna be a good ol' time.  

Other than that this week had just been passing like normal.  And yeah, I write in my journal everyday (except for yesterday and the next few days, we are travelling so we haven't been able to write) but I write as much as I can, so don't worry, Mom.
I haven't thought of anything I really need in a package, but just some things that I would like to have some day are more of those drink packets.  Haha, those things are heavenly.  Also, I know this sounds weird but I need a caribiner, and would like a smallish one from black diamond because I'm trunky for climbing, haha. I know you can find them at Scheels.  Thanks so much guys! Love you like crazy!  Talk to you soon!

Jei's baptism!  
 A HUGE thank you to Mercedes (in the middle, and Jei's mom), who sends me pictures! She is a true blessing. 

Monday, August 7, 2017

Week 32!

Hey mom! This week wasn't too interesting for me, but it sounds like it was pretty crazy for you guys! I honestly can't think of that much that we did this week.  My comp has been pretty sick this week, so we had to stay in for one day.  I got some really good scripture study in.  I really just sat and read the Book of Mormon almost the whole day.  Something interesting I noticed as I have been reading in Alma . . . Somewhat recently they made a lot of changes in the missionary work.  They changed it so that we had to focus more on finding new investigators, and working a lot with less active members, and the members to give us references.  Also, they came out with preach my gospel within the last few years to help missionaries learn to teach by the spirit, instead of teaching a memorized lesson.  SO they have put a really big stress on scripture study and teaching by the spirit.  And what I noticed in Alma, is that all the changes they made in the work, are exactly the way Alma (the best missionary ever) teaches.  There is a saying that we use as missionaries and it's "teach repentance and baptize converts" and that is exactly what Alma does.  He tells everyone that they need to repent of what they have done, and everyone who does so can be baptized and continue living a better life.  Also something interesting, they always tell us to teach the doctrine of Christ in all that we teach which is faith, repentance, baptism, receiving the holy ghost, endure to the end.  I noticed that Alma and the other missionaries that you find in the book of Alma all teach that way.  I thought it was incredible that all these years they did missionary work so differently, and when they finally did it, it changed to be exactly the way Alma did it in the scriptures.  And apparently it's bringing a lot more success.

We have been teaching our investigator Jei (Mercedes son) and he is learning really well! He always asks really good questions, and seems to understand everything really well! He was asking us about the apostasy, and what it means, and he wanted to know  more and more.  He is looking for answers, and he seems to be finding them! We are all super excited for him, he is a great kid.

Today for P Day we went way out into the jungle to see some really cool sights.  We got to do  a little hike in the Pura Selva (pure jungle) as they call it.  We saw some cool poisonous frogs and monkeys and spiders and stuff.  It was a lot of fun.  Its pretty crazy to think we LIVE out here.  We got to see a sweet zip line, and I want to do it sooo bad so we all have to come back and do it sometime.

Anyways, that's about it!  I'm sorry I don't really have time to write much more, or send photos, but I'm doing what I can!  Love you!


(A huge thank you to Mercedes for sending pics!  Tanner has been having a tough time sending them lately.)

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Week 31!

Hey mom! This week sounds like a crazy one for you guys, and from a million miles away, it was crazy for me too! Hahaha. It sounds like you had a good time in NY.  And even going to the NY Shave Co. (you put me trunky with that one, haha) but I'm glad you guys have been doing good! I've been good here too!

So this week started off real strange.  We were teaching an investigator, and right as we started talking about baptism, the craziest storm hit.  She had a metal rooftop, so even the slightest rain made it impossible to hear.  But I guess the adversary really didn't want us getting this lady to baptism, because I have NEVER seen a storm like this in my life.  We just kind of sat in silence for about 20 minutes waiting for the storm to pass.  It was NUTS.  I have never seen so much water coming down from the sky.  It was like a giant bucket of water just got dumped on Leticia.  So after the storm passed, we closed up the lesson and had to leave.  So we didn't get the
chance to get her a baptismal date, but we are headed back to her house this week to help her out. BUT. The crazy part of the storm was that a family of investigators of the other elders had their house get wrecked by the storm.  The storm hit hard, and it ripped their roof off, and then blew a wall off.  So we all ran over there to help them, but it was too dark to do anything at the time, so we just had to come back the next day.  Sadly, they had to sleep in the house without a roof, and missing a wall.  And EVERYTHING was wet.  So all we could do to help was bring them one of the extra mattresses we had in the house to sleep on for the night. Then we got to help them out for the next few days to fix their house.  It looks a lot better now so that's a real good thing.

So with Dioncio, we had a baptismal date set for him.  He was so excited, and so were we.  Really all he needed to do was keep going to church and everything was going to be fine.  We talked real straight with him in the last lesson with him the he HAD to go to church, or we would have to extend his baptismal date.  He seemed to understand, and he promised us he would go.  But HE DIDN'T FREAKING GO.  So we have to talk about setting a new baptismal date, which sucks, but hey everything goes in the Lords time, so I can't be mad.

We also have some investigators names Roger and Laura, who work for a Juvenile Correction facility here in Leticia, with some young guys who have had some trouble in their passed, but want to get better. They invited us to come and teach the kids, because they are all kids who really need to find God in their lives right now.  So we went, and hung out with then we got to present ourselves.  We only had about 5 minutes, but we gave them all a pamphlet about the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Then we asked them if they had any questions for us, and one of them raises his hand and goes "Could you please pray for my family, and pray for me that I will be able to leave the bad things I've done in the passed behind, and be a better person?" then right after, all the other guys (About 4 others) asked us if we could pray for their families as well.  It was a really powerful moment.  It was cool to see some kids who have a pretty rough background humble themselves and ask God for help.  So we all said a group prayer together it was awesome.  After the prayer, one of them came up and asked us when we could come back and teach them some more.  I'm excited to work with these kids.  They really need our help right now and I think we are just the people to do it.  We are the same age as them, and just like us, they aren't allowed to see their families during this time when they are in the facility.

So yeah! Its been a crazy week.  Lots of service which is always great!  And yeah, I did buy a new bag a little bit back.  The other one is really big and heavy, so I wear it in Bogota or when its raining, but its just so hot here, I'm just trying to keep it small and light, haha.  Thanks for everything mom! Love you a ton! Thanks for
writing me you're the best.  Juiciosa.


Saturday, July 29, 2017

Week 30!

Hey mom! Yeah, it's definitely a blessing to be here! I can't believe how lucky I am to get to freaking LIVE HERE.  But yeah, I don't live this super touristy life, but it's okay, I'm still living in the Amazon.  I guess I get to REALLY experience it because I'm meeting the people and actually living down here.

This week was awesome! We started out celebrating my birthday which was a ton of fun! So many nice people who were awesome enough to celebrate my birthday with me because they know how hard it must be to celebrate a birthday so far from home.  But it was a ton of fun.  ALSO, I got my birthday package today which was sooooo freaking awesome. :)  I'm so pumped to force Elder Nielsen to play board games with me, haha.  I don't know, Elder Cantons, the Ecuadorian who lives next to us was pumped to play with me 'cuz they love that shiz down here so I'm sure we'll have fun.  I dang near cried when I got that sweet Brooks Brothers stuff! You guys hooked it UP! I seriously have the best parents ever.  I can't believe how thoughtful you guys are! And the ties are awesome! I am wearing one right now, haha.  Everyone here loves these ties so much, hahaha. I have to be careful or the people here are gonna try and mooch me one of them, hahaha.  Also, Elder Nielsen and I bought ourselves some hammocks that we put up in the house so it's just been sweet chilling out.  We just put them up today, so we'll see how they work, hahaha.

This week we finally had some investigators at church!  We had 3.  We had Jey Rojas, Keila's brother, and Mercedes' son, who is really making an effort to get baptized.  They all want to head up to Bogotá as a family and go to the temple, so they are super excited for him to get ready for it!  The other two were a mother and son who we have been teaching for a while, but we could never get them to come to church.  So in the morning we passed by and invited them, and the said, "Yeah well head over, see you there," and we were like, dang....that means they're not coming.  But sure enough they came over right after sacrament meeting started! It was awesome.  So I feel a little better about myself as a missionary, haha.

We have an investigator named, Dionicio.  We have been teaching him for a while, but because of some complications, we couldn't get him a baptismal date.  He is amazing though.  He goes to church every week, he lives by all the commandments and is just awesome.  So we decided to call the president and ask what we could do with him, and the president told us we should do what we feel Dionicio is ready for.  So Elder Nielsen and I talked it over, and then we went to talk to Dionicio.  We were able to help him get a goal.  So now we are just working towards the baptismal goal we set.  Dionicio is another really great example of how lives can change.  He used to have some tough times, but he found God, and searched out the truth, and he is just beyond excited to be fixing his life up the way his father in heaving wants him to! 

So as you can see, this has been a great week! I still live out here in paradise, I eat rice every day, and the internet is slower than anything I have ever seen in my live.  But I wouldn't trade it for anything.  Love you mom, talk to you next week.

P.S.  I can't send photos this week because this computer is from the dang 1950's

Pictures from his birthday, thanks to Oscar and Mercedes!  :) 

Week 29!

Hey mom! Yeah, the debit card is working, so I pulled out a bunch of money to use in case it stops working.  Also, there is a huge multi cultural thing going on between Colombia, Brazil and Peru so they have been selling a bunch of stuff from all 3 countries.  So I went shopping for cool stuff there, didn't really find anything though. haha.  

Things have been good this week! We just kinda worked like we always do! Just doing our best to help people out! It was pretty rough, we were so pumped because we had like 6 people that promised they would come to church with us yesterday, and HECK every one of them cancelled on us.  It felt pretty bad.  I don't know, we are gonna work harder on that this week.   We still found a lot of great people to teach, so we just gotta keep working on it.

One of the people that cancelled on us is named the Chavez family.  They are really great, so that's why we aren't giving up on them.  The dad is named Wiler.  He is a devout Christian, but loves what we have to say.  He really seems to understand everything we talk about.  Our message really seems to make sense to him.  I remember in one of our first lessons with them he goes "I love that you guys don't make anything up." He goes, "the Catholics for some reason worship the virgin, and no where in the bible does it say we need to worship the virgin, and a bunch of other people worship baby Jesus...why would we worship a baby? You guys aren't just making anything up. What you teach is the truth." Haha, he is a good man.  It's just hard to get lessons in with them because he works all the time.  But they are a great family, so we aren't gonna give up on them any time soon.  

So tomorrow is my birthday!  I'm pretty pumped about that! We haven't done too much to celebrate, but that's all good.  Tonight we are going to FHE with Mercedes, and she said she is making me a cake. :) She is the biggest sweetheart.  So I'm PUMPED for that.  Plus, tomorrow the Munoz family invited us to go to lunch with them for my birthday.  So I'm kind of getting spoiled out here, hahaha.  I love how nice the people are to the missionaries here...I feel like I was never that great to the Elders in our ward and now I wish I was, hahaha.  Maybe you guys should invite them over for dinner or something. ;) 

Also, about Chunga's food.  I think you missed your chance to meet Jonny. :( I'm pretty sure he already moved back to Bosa.  But oh well! I hope the food was good.

Thanks for writing me, Mom!  You're the best.  Also, thanks for sending me a package! You're number 1!  I haven't gotten it yet, but they should be sending a new missionary down next week for cambios, so he might bring it down for me.  I'll take pics.  Love you and thanks for everything.

Elder Leishman

Monday, July 10, 2017

Week 28!

HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY!!  July is my trunky month.  July is so full of great things that make me miss my family and my country. I freaking love you guys and the states.  I just got a call that the birthday package is in the office! I imagine it will be a few weeks before the package actually gets to me, but I'm glad to know it got there. :) Thanks for sending it.  

So sadly, Alber and Anaxiomara headed up to Bogotá for a bit because she needed to see a doctor for something.  But the GOOD news is, they went to BOSA!  My old area! So we are sending their information to the elders there, and the missionaries in Bosa will go visit them.  But when we visited them right before they left, they seemed to be doing really well.  They are reading the Book of Mormon, and they have a lot of questions.  But good they just want to keep learning.  
We also had a pretty weird experience this week, we met a guy last week named Gido.  He is just kind of a curious guy, who is willing to hear our message because he likes hearing about God.  So when we went and visited him this week, he told us about a dream he had a few years back.  Now, keep in mind, he had never talked to the missionaries before.  He didn't really even know anything about out church.  But he told us that a few years back he had a dream about two young men, between the age of 18 and 20 coming to his door, and teaching him about the truth.  It was weird because he even went further than that, like white shirts and name badges and everything.  We were both sitting there like, "wow...well here we freaking are!" But he didn't quite seem to understand how amazing that was, haha.  But we are still talking with him.  He still kind of lacks real intention, but we'll see. 

Also, we had Keila Rojas' baptism! She is Hermana Mercedes daughter.  She had investigated the church forever ago, but stopped because she moved to Cartagena to study.  So she came back and started listening to the missionaries again, and here she is!  She is really great.  Sadly she is already about to head back to Cartagena, but we already sent her info to the church and the missionaries there, so they will help her out.  Also, the other Elders in our district had a baptism, and the Elders from Brazil did too! So we had an "International Baptismal Day" according to the Brazilian branch president, haha.  It was really cool, I'm really happy for Keila and all the good decisions she is making in her life.  

Other than that all is pretty chill in Leticia. But like also a million degrees!! We went to the zoo today which was fun.  We got to see some monkeys, and that's kind of it, haha.  It's been fun to just hang out.  Thanks for everything mom! I love you like crazy.  Thanks for writing me!  I love you and miss you a ton! See ya, talk to you soon

Love - Elder Leishman

Monday, July 3, 2017

Week 27!

Hey mom! This week wasn't all too interesting, but I know you would kill me if I didn't write anything so here I go!  Haha!

This week we really made an effort to contact more, and we got a BUNCH of new investigators.  It's kind of hard because, yeah we can get a ton of news here, but they don't really progress that much.  People are really open to the message, but that's kind of where it ends.  We did encounter a really cool couple names Alber and Anaxiomara (ana-si-omata) and they are really great.  They really liked the message, and are really excited to learn more.  They are from an indian tribe in the middle of the jungle, and they even showed us how to say some things in their native language.  It was way cool.  We have been following up with them quite a bit to see how they are doing, and they really like reading the Book of Mormon!  We gave them a paper called Questions of the Soul (I think it sounds less weird in Spanish, haha) but it just has some good BoM scriptures that answer some of peoples life long questions.  They told us they had been reading them and really like what the BoM has to say!  So I am really excited to teach them again!

Today we did something called an "Asado." It's basically a barbecue, but Colombian style.  It was really fun.  They made 3 different types of meat (Chicken, some kind of sausage called Calabreza, and some kind of steak thing) and of course....RICE!  Haha, it was a ton of fun.  We actually went into Brazil to get all the stuff for it, because everything is cheaper in Brazil!  So we bought all kinds of stuff, went back to our friend Oscar`s house, and his mom and aunt helped us cook it all Colombian style.  It was a ton of fun.  They also made us Agua Panela with Lime, which is a pretty typical Letician drink.  I used to really not like Agua Panela, but the way they do it in Leticia (cold, and with lime) is wayyy good.  So it was fun.  They also cover everything here in something called farofa.  Its just little crunchy crumbs that I think are just crushed up dry plantains, hahaha, but they LOVE it here.  I gotta be careful though, because people freaking chip there teeth on it.

Other than that, there isn't much to say! I'm glad you guys went out and celebrated for me![six month mark on the mission]  Haha, I kind of didn't do anything.  The time has gone by so fast, it really didn't even feel like I hit a mark.  But that's alright, I'll definitely do something for my year mark.  That's so cool you guys ran into Koleman and Ethan! And got to meet Hermana Thomas!  You guys had a pretty cool week it sounds like, haha.  I'm super trunky for Porcupine Grill so I'm glad you guys enjoyed it. :) 

Here is a picture of us eating scotcharoos and getting trunky together, haha!

Thanks to Hannah for the awesome cut outs!!