Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Week 22!

Hey mom!! This week was pretty interesting, haha.  The first part of the week, we worked our butts off, but with no success.  We had almost an entire day of knocking doors, and contacting, with no success.  The next day was full of lessons, and EVERY one fell through.  Nothing sucks worse than getting home and writing all zeroes in the planner for the day.  This happened every day until Friday.  But we didn't get discouraged, and we kept working.  Friday was a great day.  We were able to get 5 lessons, and find some new investigators too.  We felt really good about it.  Then Saturday, we were able to teach more lessons, and we even reaches our goal of lessons for the week!  Everything has been going smoothly since then.  I guess you just gotta bare with patience thine afflictions.  

Today we had the awesome opportunity to go to the temple.  We can only go on Mondays, when Monday is a holiday.  But for some reason, they change all the holidays to the nearest Monday because they like it that way here for some reason, haha.  So sometimes we get to go, and meet other missionaries, and get to do a session.  Lots of fun, even though we have to get up at 4:30 to get there in time, hahaha.  So when we were there I ran into the other Elders from my CCM group (I was the only gringo) which was a ton of fun.  They are all great guys.  But what was really interesting, was that Hermana Lugo was there, and she told us she needed our help.  Her daughter (Winnie) was bringing her boyfriend to the temple to show him around.  He is a non member, and she is less active.  We have been trying to help them for a long time, and recently we were able to teach her boyfriend, and they have started coming to church.  They have been living with each other for a while, and even had a kid together.  So they didn't want anything to do with the church.  But somehow she convinced him to listen to the missionaries, and they are going to try and do all they can to try and help him get baptized, so they can get sealed in the temple! But first, they need to get married.  I guess he was afraid to ask, or was afraid because marriage is a big commitment, but I guess Winnie was ready.  So they had this whole thing planned out for him to be blind folded, and he had to go around the temple grounds with a blindfold on and they had various people from the ward waiting in certain places to ask him random questions about Winnie, their son Alan, and other weird things.  In the end, we came out in front of the temple, and he took his blindfold off and Winnie was standing there with flowers and a sign that said "¿Quieres eres casarte conmigo?" It was real cool.  My job was to film the whole thing.  I'm so excited for them, and I hope the best for them.  Ceser (the boyfriend) is a real stud. I've known him since I got here. and he has been a real great friend of mine.  So has the whole Lugo family...which is a big family, basically takes up half the ward, hahaha.  So that was a pretty cool experience.

Other than that we have just been working our butts off!

That sounds like a ton of fun what you and dad got to do.  Happy anniversary!  You guys are the best parents ever!  Thanks for all you have done for me and the bros.  I hope everything has been great at home!  I love you and miss you like crazy.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Week 21!

Hey mom! This week was pretty good.  We put in our best efforts to find new people to teach, and we found 7 new investigators!  We are still helping them to get to church, and read the Book of Mormon, but its all good! We got 7 new people!! 

I'm a little nervous about W---.  He didn't come to church with us this Sunday, and he told his neighbor who is in our ward that he didn't want to come because he just has too many doubts, and doesn't believe in the Book of Mormon yet.  So we went to his house twice this week, and he either wasn't there, or he said I'll be right down, and then never came down.  I just really hope he hasn't given up on it yet.  We will keep calling him and make sure everything is okay.

This week the bishop got up and talked about the kid in our ward who is heading out on his mission this week.  His name is J---, and he was visiting his family in another city so he wasn't in out ward this week.  The bishop told us about how J--- was talking to him about before he started going back to church and cleaning up his life, and how rough it was before.  J--- (18 or 19 yrs old) was living by himself, and for the most part, lived in the street.  He said that he mostly slept by the hospital in Bosa because its open all night and the police were always there, so nothing bad would happen to him there.  He said he was making poor decisions in his life, but then he saw God´s hand in his life, trying to help him get out of his situation and get his life back on track.  So he decided to start going back to church.  The bishop invited him to live in his house, with his family, and he started working to save for his mission.  He got all of his papers in and got called to Medellin.  He has been helping us out  a ton with our lessons too.  It's pretty crazy because he has been such a great friend to us this whole time, and it was cool to see him when he first started coming back to church, to now, where he is leaving on his mission in two days.  He said his dad was a member, so he got baptized when he was younger.  So he was able to get right back in the church and get his life figured out.  Its just a really good testimony to how the gospel can change lives.  Here he was, homeless, and making poor decisions in his life, to cleaning up his life, and choosing to serve the Lord within a few months.  He is a really good friend of mine, and I wish him the best of luck in MedellĂ­n!!!

Today we got to go to Centro again, which is always fun.   I pulled out some money because I thought I was gonna buy a bunch of stuff, but I really just bought three ties...for like 3 bucks each.  But we also ate some burgers that were really good, so I took a real nice selfie in the restaurant.  
Aaaalso, check out these sweet pictures Elder Christensen and I got!! Hahaha, Colombia is covered in these little photo stores that you can just go in, get your picture took, and they throw on some sweet photoshop backgrounds, haha.  Its pretty great.  It was definitely Elder Christensen´s idea, so props to him for the killer idea.  Also...she messed up the photo of both of us on the beach, so she had to photoshop the Book of Mormon and my hands, hahaha, so take a close look at it.

Love you mom! You are amazing.  Thanks for writing me every week :) Love you a ton.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Week 20!

Hey mom! Thanks for writing me even though you're a real busy lady.  This week was pretty average other than the SKYPE CALL.  So that was amazing.  I literally just thought about it the whole day yesterday and today.  It's kind of weird how after a Skype call, we just go back to normal missionary work.  Like I feel like we should go home and be sad or something, but we just go to our next appointment, haha.  It was pretty weird.  We couldn't really do anything after because nobody wants to listen to the freaking missionaries on Mother's Day.  We kinda just visited some members, and went home a little early and played board games the rest of the night.  I was just on Cloud 9 the whole time because I got to talk to you guys.  It felt really good that it was just a normal conversation like we were just hanging out.  It just felt like we were just chilling and telling stories.  Other missionaries told me that their families invited like 15 people over and they couldn't even enjoy the call because everyone was trying to talk, haha.  So thank you for that.
So this week we had our investigator Wilfredo came to church with us.  I think he really liked it.  He told us he really loved it and he was there for all three hours! He even told us he wants to come next week.  The ward was also really good to him so I think he loved it.  He goes to one of those wacky churches where everything is like a really loud ritual and they chant and do weird things like yell AMEN during the talks and during the prayers, so it was a little different for him but I think he really liked it.  He told us about how he owes his life to God because God got him to where he is today.  He used to be an alcoholic, and wasn't really living the life he wanted, and when he found God in his life, he got it all together.  He really is the coolest guy, so I'm excited to see how we can continue to help him.

I'm kind of surprised how many people hear deny the missionaries.  The all pull the "I'm a catholic, and I don't want to change," which I guess I understand because it costs them like 200,000 pesos to get baptized into the catholic church.  THEY HAVE TO FREAKING PAY TO BE BAPTIZED.  Literally the catholic church is saying that if you can't afford to be baptized, then you cant go to heaven.  What the heck is that.  There are also churches here that require 50% for tithing.  People almost lose their house for it.  I just don't understand, haha, the people here love these churches, and are unwilling to change.  

The other day while contacting, we contacted a lady, and we were explaining the Restoration.  She goes, "Yeah, I know, I've already heard all of this" and we were like, "We also believe we have a prophet today," and she goes "Really? Who is your prophet?" and we told her Thomas S. Monson, and she goes, "Nope! Its William Santiago" and we go...well how was he called?  And she goes "By the guy before him," we said, "well who called him?" she goes "I don't know...I wasn't there" hahaha.  So we get all kinds of fun with these street contacts.  She also was pretty bugged that it doesn't say Joseph Smiths name in the bible....but it doesn't say William Santiago either, and she goes "Well yeah cuz he's new," and we are was Joseph Smith.  Hahaha, good stuff.

Love you guys a ton!  I'm glad we got to talk two days in a row.  Thanks for being the best mom in the world!  See ya!

Love Elder Leishman

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Week 19!

Hey mom! This week did worked really hard to find new investigators!  We found 6 total, which isn't a ton, but that's better than we were doing before! We also were able to get 3 people with a baptismal date!  So I'm really excited and hopefully we can get them to progress, and get to their baptism! 

Last week I asked dad for a good salsa recipe, and I gave it a try.  It wasn't nearly as good as dad's, but it did the trick! My comp loved it too, so we have made it a couple times and its been pretty awesome.  I'm tweaking my method to try and make it more like dad's, but it has still been awesome so I'm loving it.  

We also got a basically new zone this week! I'm super excited to start fresh with a new zone, and get our numbers up.  We got a new zone leader too named Elder Thompson, and he is the biggest stud.  He shared some good testimony with me the other day, and literally nearly made me cry while we were walking in the street, lol.  He is freaking awesome.

Also, I've been eating popcorn like CRAZY.  Literally I will make two batches a day and just eat it throughout the day, haha.  It has been awesome.  It's also dirt cheap, haha, so it's been pretty good. 

I am also making my own cherry coke, which everyone I share it with seems to love it.  It's no Cheerwine, but it's pretty good.  These people always turn their noses up at it until they try it' haha.  I'm not sure why cherry coke doesn't exist here.

Today we went to an old convert of Elder Gambini, and Elder Alonzo, from Piamonte (Elder Christensen's comp) and they made us lunch, which was really cool, except I'm pretty sure it was just a ball of pig was hard to down it, haha.  The rest of the food was great, but that was a difficult thing to eat.  Elder Christensen even had to sneak some of it into a napkin and hide it in his bag, hahaha.  Oh well, what can ya do.

Yesterday we got to help a family paint their house for a little bit.  It was cool.  Service is always fun, I think we are heading back later this week to help finish up the job.  

So I was thinking about it, and I figured that the next package I get will be for my birthday, so I thought I might ask for some REAL specific stuff.  If you guys could go to and order a Waterfall, and a Buster CYL that would be prime.  If you can't figure it out, ask Koleman for help - he knows how it works.  Also, I can't get enough ties, so keep sending those.  It's kind of hard because I end up giving my ties to people, and I don't wanna run out, hahaha.  We will be going to Centro soon so I'll be able to buy some there too.  But I'll think about what other stuff I might need for my birthday ;) 

[this is in reference to Marci asking Tanner for some Tanner-ish songs] I also thought of some good songs to share with mom for her playlist.  The song Vivir La Vida, by Mark Anthony, and Ya No Me Duele Mas.  Sorry they're always in Spanish, but that's kind of all we hear down here.  I'll try and think of some good English ones as they come to me, but most of the time they are shizzy folk songs, haha.  

Thanks for everything, Mom! I love you a ton.  You are amazing! Thanks for writing me all the time. For skype, we will be skyping this Sunday, at 4:00 Colombian time, so just be ready at whatever time that is for you guys.  I'm not sure how it will go down, so you might be waiting awhile.  We´ll see, haha.  SO excited to talk to you guys.  Who knows if ill even be able to talk, I might just cry the whole time, hahaha.  Love you! Thanks for everything.

Love - Elder Leishman

Elder Christensen and Elder Leishman

Elder Gambini and Tanner

Monday, May 1, 2017

Week 18!

Hey mom! Things have been great!  I stayed in Bosa, but Elder Sotoski headed out.  I got a new companion named Elder Gambini.  He's from Argentina, Sante Fe.  He is pretty quiet and a little serious but I'm sure I can crack him.  He says he likes to play chess so I'm sure we´ll get along just fine.  He's also really good at rubix cube so he's gonna have to teach me that too.  

This week we talked with a family that we contacted in the street a few weeks ago.  They were super curious about everything.  They said that they recognized a lot of the things that were changed from the church that Jesus Christ established on the earth so they were curious to find out more.  The lesson went really well, but we had to leave them with a ton of questions because we didn't have a ton of time.  We set up another lesson with them for Thursday, so we'll see how it goes.  

For Elder Sotoski´s last day in Bogotá we did a little bit of celebrating.  We went and got burgers at a burger place we had been wanting to try for a while.  It was pretty good actually.  And they owner is a member.  We also ate a bunch of empanadas and visited some families in the ward.  It was pretty fun.  He has been here for a while and has wanted to leave for a while, but it seemed pretty rough for him to leave. Oh well.  They say you get used to the cambios.  

The other day when we were visiting a member family we got on the subject of food.  They asked me what food I really miss from my country, and I told her my mom´s cheesy potatoes.  After I described them to her she goes "OH! I know what that is! Next time you have lunch here I'll make it for you!"   So we got there and it was the nicest thing!  They LOADED my plate up with this stuff :) It wasn't quite the same, but it was still really good and super nice.  

This week I finished my training!!! Super cool.  Now I can have a little more authority in what we do, haha.  Before it was hard because when my comp wanted to just hang out, I couldn't really say anything or he would just be like "Tranquilo, normal" so now I can just be like "No! Let's freaking work!" So I'm pumped.  It's gonna be good.  

This week we said by to a fellow gringo in our zone, Elder Bowcutt.  He headed out to Soacha, so he will be missed.  But we did get another gringo, and I think another one will be coming too.  It's pretty cool because sometimes we can just speak English together.  Only when there are just a few of us though, because if we are all speaking English it's not really fair, haha.  So that's basically all that went down this week! 

Love you a ton, Mom.  Can't wait to talk to you on Skype!  If you guys could please set me up a Skype account that would be perf.  I only get 40-45 minutes to talk so that kinda sucks but oh well what can ya do.  Love you and miss you! Talk to you soon!

It was hard to say goodbye to Elder Sotoski!  These two got along great!

Cheesy potatoes!  

New companion!  Elder Gambini