Monday, April 30, 2018

Week 70!

Hey Mom!

Semi-interesting week.  We did quite a bit of working.  Gimme a sec. I'm trying to remember what even happened this week.

Oh yeah! Haha, so this week we were just walking to an appointment and we heard a song we liked from a nearby bar, so I made elder Layza walk slow so we could listen to it (#rebellious) so he bent down to tie his shoe (to take up more time) and when we stood up to walk away, a guy went "Hey, don't leave yet, I want to invite you for a soda," and he invited us in to a little empanada restaurant and gave us empanadas and Colombiana [soda].  He told us that he wasn't  a member, but he had an old friend from a while back who was a member, who served a mission in Argentina.  And that he wrote his friend on the mission and his friend told him "Hey, the mission is real hard, so if you ever see the missionaries walkin' around, you need to buy them a drink." Haha, super cool blessing.  We got talkin' with the guy and he was telling us about his life and he said "But apart from this I want you guys to come visit me at home and teach me about your church."  So we went and visited him after 2 days and he's a super cool investigator!  His name is Fabio.  The best part is that hes been writing to his returned missionary friend and he's got a real good support on that side.  He said he's gonna come to church on Sundee so I guess we´ll see how that goes!!! 

Today we had a sweet fishin' trip out in a place called Restrepo.   Suuuper fun.  You'll all be proud to know that it was my idea.  It was pretty funny because everyone's Latin comps were like " What if we just played socceeerrr" and all the gringos were like "nah, we always freaking play soccer, we're goin' fishing." And we did.  It was wayyyy fun.  It was a little fishing plantation out in the middle of this sweet farm.  It's a "pay for what you catch" deal, and its a little less than 2 bucks a pound.  Then afterwards we went to the Silva Families house and fried 'em all up.  It was a dang dream.  Dad and the boys would have loved it.  I was thinkin' we all come down here for a few days and stay in a "Hotel Campestre" (look up Hotel Campestre, Restrepo, Meta and you'll see) and just fish and eat and fish and eat.  Not gonna lie, I know I left you guys thinkin' I hate fishin', but I've been missing goin' fishin' like crazy so it felt good to just get out and catch, hahaha.  I'm pumped to come down with you guys.

So yeah! It's been a great week.  Love you guys like crazy! Hope you have a good week.  Much love.

From Tanner:  listen to the song my comp is reading in this edition of "Music and the Spoken Word" (courtesy of Elder Layza)

Monday, April 23, 2018

Week 69!

Hey, Mom! Sorry if this letter is a little short, we went hiking today and got back a little late!!! Sorry, I'm a little short on time.  It sounds like you guys are all having a lot of fun living the dream at home.  I'll give a short run down of what life is like in the 100 degree weather dream.

This week was pretty cool. We had a miracle baptism, haha.  When Elder Nielsen and I were making goals for this month, I told him that we had zero investigators that were gonna get baptized, and if we set a goal above zero we are lying to ourselves (haha, I guess I'm not much of an optimist) and when Elder Layza got here, I explained that that was the sitch.  But I also let him know of some people who had come to church before, and could possibly maybe get baptized maybe.  So he said, "do you wanna get a baptism this month?" and I said "yeah boi you know it." So that's what we heckin' did.  Her name is Maria and she is a less active member's daughter.  She was super pumped (and also pretty nervous ) to get baptized, but she arrived at her baptismal date ready to do it!  We have the "Noche Blanca" sign, which means we had 4 or more baptisms in a single baptismal service (we had 5 WOO!!) and it was super cool.  Haha, a little girl named Sara (who is the sisters' convert) wanted me to do the baptismal ordinance for her because one time at a ward activity I played frisbee with her, so that's why I'm in the white clothes.  Haha, crazy night.

Today was real cool, we spent most of the day in the dang sun and I'm BURNT.  But it's cool, I think I'm getting more and more tan every day #sexy.  I hope you like the pics.

Thanks for everything, Mom! You're the best!  I hope you have a grat week. PEACE.  Good luck with your car.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Week 68!

Wow, sounds like a pretty interesting week  for you guys.  This week for me was pretty normal.  Not in a bad way though.  I don't know, you gotta see my side.  I do the same dang thing every dang day, haha.  

Something cool was that we had the multi zone conference on Tuesday.  I know it sounds SUPER interesting, but it was about studying.  Yes, studying the scriptures every morning, haha.  It was pretty good though, when you're in the mission and literally your whole life is study the scriptures and teach what you learn.  So I can't really complain at all.  Elder Layza and I gave a training on how to have an effective personal and companionship study according to your investigator and their needs.  The training was 40 dang minutes long so that was pretty intense.  But we did pretty well.  We did an example of how to manage your personal study to be able to have an effective comp study to make good lesson plans for your investigators.  I know, super interesting.

One thing that was kind of cool from the training was that we talked a lot about the talk by Larry Y. Wilson in the conference.  The talk was about personal revelation, and how it can help us not only in our daily lives as missionaries...but just in life in general.   The President talked about how we need to learn to receive personal revelation BEFORE the "storm" comes.  Just like in the talk.  If we train ourselves to be open to the spirit before the emergencies, we´ll be more calm when the moment comes, and we will be able to handle it better.  Definitely worth working on.  I liked the idea of training myself and learning to receive personal revelation BEFORE the bad moments come, so that I will always be ready.

After the training we had to run to the offices to grab some materials...and they SUCKED us into going to dinner with them...okay they didn't suck us in, we wanted to go with them.  We went to TGI DANG FRIDAYS.  There is one close to the offices so we definitely hit that up.  It was real good, but real expensive.(sorry I've pulled out so much money lately, I had to pay for a bunch of stupid mission things and they didn't give me the money I needed in time, so now I'm just waiting for them to pay me back.)  It was a lot of fun, they played a bunch of good music and it was real good american food.  Can't go wrong.  

So yeah, that's pretty much the week.  Just chillin' and living the colombo dreem  #livthedreem #livthemeem
Love, Peace.

P.S. my comp is from Peru, but he was raised in Barcelona, Spain, so he has a funky Spanish accent.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Week 67!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM! I'm sure its still going on and will continue for the rest of the month just like you want.

Well my new comp Elder Layza got here.  I had met him before in a multi zone conference, but we just talked a little.  But everything has gone really smooth!! Haha, we are like twins.   We were just chatting it up, and I go..."So what kind of music do you like?" and he goes "Metal."  Haha, so we have gotten along just fine.  We are always finding cool bands in common and having good ol' times.  For example, Today we were talking about movies.  And he goes "If you ever see the movie Spirit, it'll make you cry," and I said, "Dang man, I almost cried in Toy Story 3," and he goes, "yeah man, me too."  Then later we saw some movie commercials playing outside of the movie theater (haha, which is about as close as we can get to seeing actual movies) and that one British guy from About Time was in it.  My comp goes "Hey, he's British right?"  I went "yeah. He was in the only other movie that nearly made me cry, About Time." (in Spanish it's called "Cuestión de tiempo") and he looks at me, the gets all serious and goes, "Yeah too" and then fist bumps me, hahaha.  So we have had a lot of good times.

This week was kind of interesting.  We went to a place called La Cuncia to see a guy get baptized in a river, because that's how he wanted it. It was a pretty interesting experience.  I guess it would be a super rad experience, so I don't blame him at all.  BUT, La Cuncia is also known for its chorizo...which is like this nasty sausage thing. So we definitely went all over the place and tried a bunch of them.  So worth it.  They are these big ol' sausages on a stick, and you eat it with arepa and lime.  It's not bad...but as you can see, they don't look very appetizing.

This week we were kind of struggling on time because of some things we had to do, but we tried our best to keep our goals in mind, and then plan according to our goals.  So we were kind of struggling to find new investigators, but we didn't give up.  We decided Saturday night, right before we went home to drop by an old investigators house and invite her to church.  She was there with her brother and her friend.  So we invited all of them to church tomorrow, and we dropped by the house in the morning, and it seemed like they weren't coming.  So we just went to church.  When all the sudden, miraculously all three showed up in the middle of sacrament meeting!  It was cool to help them meet some members. There were a lot of members who were real pumped to see the old investigator there again too.  It was a rad thing.  We set a baptismal date with them so they should hopefully get progressing towards it real soon!

Also, Happy Pday, we made tacos with the bros.  #grattims

Also, Happy Pday, we made tacos with the bros.  #grattims

Monday, April 2, 2018

Week 66!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!  I hope it's awesome and lasts all month long just like you like it.  FREAKING HAMILTON?? So cool!!!  Super Jealous mom, I hope it is everything you want it to be :) haha.

This week was pretty average as usual.  Apart from conference, which is always a good time, especially in the mission.  I don't know, outside of the mission I just kind of slept through it, and didn't really pay attention that well, but now its a lot cooler since it's finally something different from the Mormon movies we can watch in the mission.  So it was a lot of fun.  I didn't go in with a specific question to be answered, but I think what I needed to learn from this conference is that the whole "ministry" thing is for me.  I really wasn't very good with the whole "Home teaching" thing so all the stories and stuff really motivated me to work harder to help the people around me.  I liked the story of the less active European lady who never wanted anything, but then at the perfect moment, she knew exactly who to go to.  And the story of the guy whose wife died, and he needed someone in the very moment, and called his home teacher.  It made me look back on my work as a home teacher and go, "would the people that I teach have even thought to call me?" Haha, or even worse, "do the people I'm assigned to teach even know that I am their home teacher?" Hahaha.  So I left with  a new motivation to take my priesthood responsibility seriously.  

Well it was week six (the last week) of the transfer, which is always real tough.  We did our best to work, but there are just a lot of weird things you have to do so the work becomes a little different for a week.  Elder Nielsen left today, which was kinda weird.  He has been my comp in total for a quarter of my mission.  I mean like what will be a quarter when I'm done, haha.  We were together in total 6 months (3 in Leticia, 3 in Villavicencio).  He is headed to a place called Tunjuelito to train.  He seemed pretty excited to train. This is his second time training so he should be fine. When he finishes his training he will be done with the mish.  Haha, that's so wierd to think about!  I was with him in Leticia when he hit his year mark.  WHOA.   My new comp is named elder Layza, from Peru.  He hasn't gotten here yet, so I don't know too much about him.  I'll take some pics and let you know more next week.  

Love you guys a ton!  Hope you have a good week!  Happy birthday, Mom!  Hope it's awesome.  Besitos.

Got my arm around the man-he wasn't amused.

We got some sweet zone ponchos...super rad.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Week 65!

Hey, Mom! What a weird week. 

First off, we had exchanges with the assistants.  It was really cool.  I got to spend the day with and Elder named Elder Sorbonne.  He is quite the saint.  I learned a lot from him.  He showed me a lot of tips on diligence and how to help members participate in the mission work.  He had this really good idea to go buy some bread to go give out to all the members and verify how they are going with there referrals.  Bread is a really good way to win someones heart here.  So we just dropped buy a bakery and did what he called a "member run"  where you go drop by every members house and see how they're doing with sharing the gospel with their friends.  So we ran by, gave them all bread, and verified with their referrals.  Super good idea, haha.

So we had planned to do a Visitors Center thing this week, which is where the mission sends some materials to the zone, and we do an open house at church with the stuff.  The goal is to make the chapel seem like the visitors center in SLC (real reverent, real cool).  But like the day before, they called us and told us they forgot to send the stuff down, so they wanted to see if we could just change the date.  Unfortunately we had already been planning with the branch for over a month so it was too late to cancel.  So I definitely had a mini breakdown and nearly lost my mind, but amidst my "Out-freaking" I found the solution.  We needed to go BACK to Bogota to get the stuff so we could have the guarantee that the materials would get here on time.  So we got on ANOTHER 4 hour bus ride to Bogota, haha.  Just to grab the stuff and come back, haha. Worth it though.  

So we came back and did the event.  It was super cool.  We had a lot of fun with the event, probably not as many referrals as we would have liked, but still a ton of fun.  Lots of member support.  Plus the members all loved it, and since its not too hard to do, we are going to try and do it more often.

Today for P-day, we wanted a real "Llanero experience".  Llanero (ya-nero) is what they call the people here because they live in the Llanos (the plains).  So we went and got Carne a la Llanera.  It's the smoked meat they do here in Colombia, and its comes specifically from Villavicencio.  Suuuper good.  Plus we found A1 here so you KNOW we were loving it.  Good times :) Can't wait to show you guys Carne a la Llanera when we come down.  Good ol' times.

Sadly...we are going BACK to freaking Bogota today.  Like the 3rd time in 7 days.  Oh well though, I gotta.  It's for the leadership counsel.  So we go and present the zone plan and the goals and stuff.  Should be good.

Thanks for everything!  Much love, talk to you next week.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Week 64!

Hey, Mom!  It's been pretty uneventful down here too.  Truth is, it's just been HOT. I have never experienced such heat in my life.  We honestly thought we were dying the whole week.  Every day it was like "Dang, there's no way it'll get hotter than this, it's gonna cool down tomorrow," and it just got hotter, hahaha.  AAAAAAND as if the heat wasn't strong enough, they cut the electricity in our house for a few we are COOKIN'.  All good though, we are about to head into Bogotà...again.  So it'll be colder there.

This week we went to Restrepo (the far away part of our area) again.  It was cool.  We got to hang out with the Silva family again, which is always a great experience because they are just killer members.  There isn't a church out there, so nobody really has heard much about the church before, so they're totally awesome about sharing the gospel with their friends.  Hermana Silva, since they live so far away, teaches her son a "home-schooled seminary class" and some of the neighbor girls saw and said "You teach a religion class?" and she said "Well yeah, kind of" and they asked if they could join her class.  So they had been going to seminary for a few days, and then the Silva's took us over there to teach them about the church.  At first they were just kind of like "Ah yeah, cool whatevs." but then later they were super interested in all of it. They are planning to come to church next week, so I guess we`ll see how it goes.

Much love for everyone down here from the Llanos.  I hope everyone has a good week.  I included a video a member sent me of some "Joropo" the traditional dance of the llanos.  Enjoy, talk to you all soon.