Monday, September 18, 2017

Week 38!

Hey Mom! Thanks for the update.  I appreciate it!

This week was another tough week, but it's all good.  Like you already know, we spent a few days in Bogota for a training.  They make us go up to Bogota quite a bit for how big of a pain it is.  We all have to take a flight up there and spend like 3 days out of our area.  But i'ts all good, Bogota is cool and the trainings are always great.  

During this training the presidente talked a lot about our studies and how to make them better, and more focused on our investigators.  It was pretty cool.  President Baquerizo and his wife ALWAYS give really good trainings.  We learned a lot about how to organize our study time better and more efficiently to get the most out of it.  He used the example of Moses when he received the law from the Lord.  He had to "climb the mountain" to speak with the Lord.  The law wasn't just a "hey this could work...ah maybe this is better."  He had to climb the mountain, and spend a ton of time up there to make sure they got the perfect thing.  Then he used the example of Alma and Amulek.  It says that before they went out to teach the people, they spent a lot of time in the house preparing.  So the President explained that every morning during our studies, we need to be climbing the mountain in our studies to make sure we are planning exactly what our investigators need.  He used the phrase "receive the revelation first, and then go out to share it with the people."  I liked it a lot.  Real nice training.

Then we got back from Bogota, and we were missing half of our stuff, and we still didn't have a phone.  HECK.  So we just tried to endure this week.  It was tough because a lot of appointments fell through that we would have known about if we had a phone, so we spent a LOT of time walking around, haha.  We even spent 2 days STRAIGHT knocking doors, and with not a lot of success, hahaha.  We are entering the rainy season so maybe the rain is freezing peoples hearts, because dang, we don't have much.  But the truth is, I don't feel all that bad about this week.  Although our success was low, we worked hard and diligently so I can't be mad.  We just gotta keep going and not mess around to make sure we do the best with the little time we have.

The real good news is that the Zone Leaders flew down to Leticia today, and they managed to get a hold of our bags.  So we have all of our stuff back.  YYEESSS.  We were stressing out a ton over them and we got everything back and all is well so we are pumped.  

Today for P Day we went back into Brazil to buy some cheap groceries.  It was good as usual.  I got to practice my Portuguese, although it's not very good.  Haha, one lady goes "Do you speak Spanish?" and I said yeah and she went, "I'll understand your Spanish," so I must not have sounded very good, hahaha.  I can't complain, it's coming and I'm not really studying so it's all good.  

Happy birthday shout out to my bro Collin. Love you dude, you are number one.  Just so you know, being 18 doesn't mean you are an adult.  You can still do stupid crap, but you just can't get caught.

Thanks, Ma! I don't know if you received a call from anyone yet,  but there is a guy from Texas who is headed down here on a fishing trip and wants to bring us some stuff down.  I gave him your number so you could talk to him.  All the elders down here were thinking some homemade American stuff like cookies and scotcheroos would be super rad.  But you really don't have to send anything if you don't want.  I know you guys have already sent a ton of stuff.  Thanks for the write, love you!

Love - Elder Leishman

Tanner and his new companion, Elder Pond

Happy birthday celebration, courtesy of Mercedes, for Elder Argye!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Week 37!

Tanner let me know that he did actually send a letter last week . . . but I never got it!  It seems to be lost forever. 

Hey mom! Truth be told, not a very exciting week.  We really couldn't get much work done because we were in a trio, and my comp came down to Leticia about 3 days late because he had to do some training.  We did have a training in Bogota today so that's been good (ya know, pizza, McDonald's, Starbucks. . .dope American stuff).  We learned a lot about how to study better, and how to make sure we are making good lesson plans for our investigators.  

Sooo....things have been a little complicated.  Elder Pond and I had to come up to the offices from the airport so he could leave some stuff there, and when we got out of the taxi, we totally forgot our luggage.  So Elder Pond and I have been without our crap for this trip.  Were not sure what to do but we are hoping that the taxi driver drops our stuff off at the airport and we can just grab it all tomorrow.  But who freaking knows.  I lost all my dang shaving stuff, freaking chaco sandals, and a tie, and some garments.  Oh well.  Shiz happens.

BUT.  My package did get here and its super awesome so thank you so much!  Super rad.  It was exactly what I needed to leave behind the shizzy luck we've had lately.

So I know I didn't have much to say, and it was late, but hey, we're in Bogota so I can send pictures ;)

Love - Elder Leishman

  (thanks again to Mercedes for sending pics!  Soooooo appreciated!)

Monday, September 4, 2017

Week 36!

No letter from Elder Leishman this week!  His companion was transferred, so he must have been busy with changes happening.  But he did send a few pics.  And Mercedes sent some too!  Love to see that he is smiling and happy.

Famous reggaetone singer (Manuel Turizo) we met at the airport (listen to "Una Lady como Tú") he actually turned out to be super cool 

Peace out Elder Nielsen

Monday, August 28, 2017

Week 35!

Hey mom! This week was pretty deece, haha.  We didn't get a lot of new investigators, but that's fine, we are teaching the ones we have.   This week we had exchanges with the other elders in Leticia.  So I went to the other elders' area for a day, and I got to work with Elder Cantos, who's from Ecuador.  Hes super cool, so it was a lot of fun.  His mom even lives in St George right now, so that is also pretty rad.

We have been doing our best to keep teaching William and Andrea, it's hard though, they live super far away.  We have to take a bus clear out there, and it takes forever.  But hey, ya gotta do what ya gotta do.  They have been reading the Book of Mormon, so now we are just kind of teaching them and helping them to find an answer that it's true.

This week we had a pretty cool experience.  A while back, we found some missionaries from the 7th day Adventist church, who were also from the US, and we talked to them for a while.  Super nice people, they are a family (2 parents and 3 kids). It was nice to run into people from another church who didn't just want to fight about doctrine.  So we talked for a while.  We always talk when we see them in the street.  We were talking about how the transfers were coming up soon, and one of us could be going, so they asked if we wanted to grab lunch with them some day.  So we set a day to go over, and they made us pizza! It was super cool.  It was a vegetarian pizza, which was really good.  It was great to just hang out with some other gringos for a bit, and eat pizza that isn't super gross (like Colombian pizza, hahaha).  So we got a photo with them, I'll try and send it to you.

Yesterday we called a good friend of ours from the branch, Rogelio Campuzano.  He's just this really dope old rich guy who lives in Leticia who got converted about 7 years back.  He is ALWAYS coming with us on lessons, and he's awesome.  He's basically famous, haha.  Almost every time we bring him on lessons, the people know him.  So yesterday, when we felt like we had just hit a brick wall, we decided to call him and ask if we could teach one of his friends. So we went to a guy named Alberto´s house...who is ANOTHER super famous guy down in the amazons. For some reason, there are pictures of him all over the place here, holding giant snakes and stuff.  Ill try and send a picture of him too, but it was quite the experience.  We taught him and his wife.   When we got there, Brother Campuzano asked him "These are the missionaries of my church, are you pretty interested in religion?" and he goes "no, I'm really not.  Not really interested at all." But they still listened to our message and accepted to come to church with us this next week haha.  I guess we'll see how it goes.

Sooo...the transfers are this week.  There is a chance that my comp is leaving, so we´ll see.  He is a ton of fun so I hope he doesn't leave yet.  But we'll see.  If he leaves, then my new comp will bring my package down with him so I guess we will see what happens.

Love you mom! Thanks for all you do!  I hope Garret gets better.  That sounds horrible.  Love you a ton, talk to you next week.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Week 34!

Hey mom!!  This week was...somewhat less interesting.  Haha, we actually just stayed in Bogotá longer than we wanted...we missed the dang flight (all 4 of us ) and we had to stay an extra day.   The hardest part was that the Elders we were staying with were both sick, so we couldn't go out and work, haha.  BUT the good news was that they showed us a store called Jumbo which was just like a giant Walmart...but the BEST part was that we found some sweet American stuff, haha.  We found A1 steak sauce, Tabasco sauce (which even says Made in the US) and some Reece's (which are IMPOSSIBLE to find in Colombia) and some other great stuff we have been missing a lot, haha.  
Some other good news is that on Thursday Jei had his interview with the branch president and yesterday he received the Aaronic priesthood!! He had been super juicioso (haha, I'm not sure there is a word for that in English, but it kind of means righteous) and he is already doing so great! He is super pumped to keep progressing in the church! He really is amazing. Mercedes told us that he is reading the scriptures every day, and studying and really trying to get ready for the mission.
We are all super excited for him.

This week we found some people that are what the Spanish missionaries call "Los Escogidos" or "The Chosen" The man stopped us in the street the other day and told us "I want you to teach me," and so we set up an appointment, and we taught them and they are awesome.  But the best news is that they are already married!! I know that sounds weird, but almost nobody is married in Colombia. They all just live together and slap the "we live in a free union" sticker on it.  But they told us they new they had to get married because the know that living together outside of marriage is a huge sin.  So they are totally prepared by the Lord to hear our message.  I'm super excited to keep teaching them.  Their names are William and Andrea.  So lets hope they keep progressing, the wife even came to church yesterday.  William couldn't come because he had to watch the farm, but he says he is coming next week.  

OOOsh.  This morning we woke up nice and early to another craaazy rainstorm.  It hit pretty hard, and a little bit of the house flooded, but its all good.  I've kind of given up on keeping the water out because its pretty much impossible.  But hey, it's all good.  Small price to pay to live in the rainforest.

But yeah, this has been a pretty uneventful...but still really good week! We have been just running around like crazy so its been fun at least.  Also, I heard another package just came for me!! Thanks! Haha, I'll have to see what we can do to get it down here sooner that later, because I don't think I'll be getting it for a while if I don't, haha.  Thanks a ton ma! You guys rock.

Also, could you send me a recipe for caramel popcorn? We make popcorn almost every day, haha, and I wanna try it. Thanks! Love you a ton! Talk to you soon. 

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.)