Monday, June 26, 2017

Week 26!

Hey Mom!  I'm sorry, but the internet here won't let me send pictures today.  So I don't have anything cool to show you this week.  But I uploaded some this week, so I hope that was enough.  Sounds like things are pretty interesting at home, but at the same time, super uninteresting, haha.  Sorry the house is so quiet all the time.  I wish I was there to go through the times with you.  You know that I would be there to have a nice chat with you.  But hey, at least you've got dad, who's pretty great.  

This week we got to fly up to Bogotá for a training with the president. It was cool because it was with my zone (Kennedy) and my last zone (La Libertad) so I got to see some good friends like Elder Christensen and Elder Gambini.  It was really cool, plus we got to hear talks from the zone leaders from both zones, the assistants, the president, and his wife.  They were all really great so I loved listening to that.  Then they gave us pizza, and not the nasty Colombian kind, they gave us Papa Johns.  Good ol' times.  

Then, my hero Elder Pond shows up and goes "Hey there's a package here for ya" so I got the huge bag of food you sent me!!  Thanks so much.  I've been loving it, haha.  The first night I had it, we went back to the zone leaders of La Libertad (Elder (Wyatt) Thompson and Elder Montalvo) and all of us had a scotcharoo.  We all got real trunky, haha, except for elder Montalvo.  He is from Peru so he just ate it a little at a time because it was way too sweet for him, haha, but he liked it. I've also been rocking those ties so it's been great.  Sadly, I was so close, but I didn't get to go into Bosa and say hi to all of my friends there, but that's alright.
Then we flew back into Leticia, and here we are.  Today we didn't do much, just went shopping, had lunch with Hermana Mercedes, and played some soccer. I wanted to go check out the zoo in Brazil, but we didn't have time.  Probs next week though. 

I feel weird, I've gotten used to all the Colombian food, so just like you said before, Mom, I've been craving it, haha.  I LOVE plantains.  I used to think they were the grossest thing when I first got here, but now if there isn't a plantain in my lunch I'm like, what the freak, where's my plantain. And I even make arepas all the time so it's been good.  I'm even used to eating rice EVERY DAY. I still think its unnecessary, but I'm used to it, hahaha.   

The more time I spend here, the cooler it becomes.  I wish you guys could be here with me to experience it.  It's been so cool.  And even better now that I have all of my good home food.  Thanks so much for everything mom.  I love you like crazy.  I'm gonna try and buy you guys stuff while I'm down here, so if you think of anything you would like, just email me. And that goes for the whole fam (if it's like a t shirt, make sure to send the size too).  

But yeah, things are great. It's still super hot, but I'm sure I'm losing weight for it, haha.  Thanks for everything mom.  You're amazing.  

Love - Elder Leishman

P.S.  Shout out to Hermana Jerrica Thomas who just got engaged!!! Congrats! Hope you guys are the best couple ever! Much love.  Peace.

A special thank you to Hermana Mercedes Pacaya for taking great care of Tanner and sending these photos!  What a blessing to have good people looking out for the missionaries!  

Friday, June 23, 2017

Week 25!

Hey mom! This week was interesting.  I'm still getting used to the area, and it's at least a million degrees here all the time, but that's okay because this place is amazing.  I haven't seen any monkeys yet, and sadly I'm not even sure if will get to.  That's alright though.  I can literally see the Amazon River from where we are at.  Our area has houses that are on the Amazon River.  They have little bridges that we have to take when the water is too high. It's nuts.  And there are trees everywhere.  It's so beautiful.  I can't wait to bring you guys back here :) 

It's also pretty crazy how nice the people are here.  We will knock on someones door and be like hey we're missionaries, and they'll be like, "oh cool!" and they'll pull out some chairs for us and we talk.  The people love listening to the missionaries, the only hard part is getting them to progress.  But hey, I can't complain.  Finding people in Bogotà was like the hardest part of the battle.  But here, if we go an hour of contacting and we don't get a new investigator, it's like weird.  

Also, something cool is that Leticia has it's own sodas.  They still have almost all the normal sodas like Coke and stuff, but they have their own brand called "Gaseosas Leticia" and some of them are pretty good.  Like the Guaranà flavor and stuff.  I'm a big fan.  They also have other cool Nestle products that we don't have in the states.  The one I like is called Nescua.  It's just another chocolate milk powder thing but its pretty good.  I'll have to bring some home to you guys, especially Kade.  I think he would love it.  There is also one called Ecco that I haven't tried yet, but everyone says it's way good.  They say it kind of tastes like coffee, but isn't coffee, so we`ll see how it tastes.  Haha, it's kind of funny because everything is a little more pricey here, so we try to budget pretty well.  We only buy powdered milk because it's cheaper, haha.  But I can't complain, it's not too bad. 

Everything is going great with Elder Nielsen.  He doesn't talk too much, but I think I talk enough for the both of us, haha.   I'm still getting used to having a comp who speaks English.  I hope I don't drive him nuts, haha!

I hear that we are headed up to Bogotà this week for a meeting so I might  be able to grab the package when I get there.  Thanks for sending it! ;) If you guys are sending one for my birthday I would recommend sending it pretty soon because there are VERY few times I get to go to Bogotà, and there are very few times that anyone comes down here.  Thanks so much you guys are the best.  I feel pretty hashtag blessed to have you guys.  Thanks for all you guys do.  Love you a ton.  Talk to you next week.

"If you love your town do not dump more trash, keep the place clean.  Leticia thanks you."

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Week 24!

Hey mom! This week was crazy!  Not just for you...but for me too, haha.  So we started off the week with going to the dentist, which was fine.  It's pretty cheap here so they fixed my tooth right up which was fine.  So afterwards we headed to the offices to give them the receipt.  I was talking to Elder Pond, the Secretary of travel and he goes, "Dude, do you wanna know the transfers?" and I was like, "No, I already know I'm staying in Bosa because everyone stays in Bosa." Then he gives me a look like "ah, hm," and I was like, what the freak man.  Then he is like, fine, I'll be right back.  So when he got back he goes, "I have permission to tell you tomorrow, so I'll call you," which was super weird because no one is allowed to know the cambios early except for the secretaries and assistants.  So I was super weirded out.  Elder Gambini was pretty chapped that I was leaving him but whatevs, that's just how the mission goes.

So the next day I call Elder Pond and I'm like, "alright man, where am I goin'," and he goes, "Elder Leishman. . .you're going to. . .LETICIA!" And I thought it was a joke at first.  Leticia is the bottom part of Colombia, where it's basically just Amazon and it is every missionaries dream, but almost nobody gets to go because there are only ever 4 missionaries at a time in Leticia.  So he tells me I gotta get my bags packed and bring them to the offices within two days.  But the catch is that you can only bring one bag, and a carry on.  Luckily, I don't have to bring any sweaters, or long sleeved shirts.  But packing light was hard, haha.

So Monday comes around, and we head  to the offices so I can get on the plane and go (yeah, you have to fly down there).  So we left the offices and went to the airport, but they didn't have enough room for us on the flight, so they moved us to the next day.  So they got us a freaking hotel for free, haha.  It was super fancy, and it came with free food.  We called the secretaries and they said, "sweet, good luck!" So we got to the hotel, set all of our stuff down, ate free lunch, and then had to head BACK to the offices again to get the phone for Leticia.  But FREAK.  When we got there they informed us that we couldn't stay in the hotel, so we had to go back to the hotel, get our stuff, and then go to live with the elders in Fontibon.  So we stayed the night in Fontibon.  But then we got up real early this morning, and hit the airport. We landed in Leticia and met our new comps!!  My new comp's name is Elder Nielson.  He is from Idaho, and he is a total stud.  I'm so pumped to be chillin' in paradise with my man Elder Nielson.  We are gonna kill it here.  I'm literally living in a remote town in the middle of the Amazon, haha.  Its suuuper hot, and the air is incredible.  We also have a pensionist that gives us lunch every day.  But not only that, the pensionist is a restaurant that we just go in and order, hahaha.  It's pretty cool.  Also, its a city that is touching Brazil, so I'm gonna start learning Portuguese!  We even share a chapel with Brazil. It's pretty nuts.  

Unfortunately, I don't have any really cool pictures yet, but I'll get them to you as soon as I can.  The internet is also super slow here, so I can't send too many pictures, and I might not be able to write too much sometimes, but I'll do my best.

Also, about the package.  Sadly, I won't be able to go to the offices now because I'm not in Bogota, and we would have to take a flight to even get back to normal Colombia, haha.  But when the secretaries, or zone leaders come down here, they will bring it with them.  So we will see how it goes.  So that is about all I have for this week! I'll keep you guys posted!  Love you! Talk to you soon.

Love - Elder Leishman

Monday, June 5, 2017

Week 23!

Hey mom! This week was kind of rough.  We had very little success, and we have just been exhausted.  Oh well, we just keep going. 

This week we sadly had to drop Wilfredo.  We had a lesson with him and he just has a hard time believing that there can be another book of scriptures.  He really just doesn't want to leave his current church so I'm sure that is a problem for him too.  We will keep passing by his house, but we won't be planning lessons with him anymore.  This last lesson broke my heart a little bit.  It was also really weird because we did the lesson in a car.  Just handin' out weirds I guess, haha.

Speaking of weirds...and broken things.  Today we made some meat to eat with our ramen which was pretty prime.  Except that the meat here is literally tougher than anything I have ever eaten.  They all tell me how much they want me to bring them beef jerky but I'm like, "why, literally all of your meat is tougher than beef jerky," but whatevs.  So after eating it I had basically half the slab of meat stuck in my teeth.  So I went and flossed my teeth, and a little chunk of my tooth came out.  FREAK.  Haha!  So I called the health secretary and the Mission President, and it looks like we might be headed to the dentist tomorrow morning. . . we'll see.  Now, Mom, I don't want you thinking that its because I don't brush my teeth because I've been REAL good about brushing and flossing my teeth.  I brush EVERY day, and what I do is brush my teeth until I can tell the toothpaste isn't doing anything, and then I spit it out, and get new toothpaste, and it's always for two minutes or more.  

Also, today I bought the most rad Adidas fanny pack.  Now I know Adidas doesn't make fanny packs, but it only cost me 4 bucks, so I don't even care if it's fake.  Elder Christensen took a real nice photo shoot of it for me too.  

Yesterday we got to help that couple move houses.  Unfortunately, they moved into Piamonte, so we don't get to teach them anymore.  It was real sad, I have been friends with Ceser since the beginning, so it was kind of heartbreaking to have to say bye after we FINALLY got to start teaching him.  But I'm just happy for him to get married, get baptized, and eventually get sealed.  I wish them the best in everything.  

This week Jorge (the kid who I told you about who used to sleep in the street) emailed me from the CCM [MTC in Colombia]!  He seems to be loving it so much, which is great because I HATED  the MTC, hahaha.  I'm sure he is going to love the MTC, and going to love the field even more.  
Other than that, I've just been living in good ol' Bosa.  Everything has been chill and we've just been working.  Love you mom! You're the best, thanks for everything.  Talk to you soon.

Elder T Leish