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.)

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.