Monday, December 26, 2016

Chinchina, Valar Morghulis, Week 59

So here comes the week 6 of the transfer spam of pictures from the week.

My area in Manizales.

A missionary who just finished brought his parents to Colombia to show them around REAL WHITE PEOPLE HOW CRAZY IS THAT

I got my hair cut and then took a picture with the Pentecostal lady who was super nice, but didn't like the idea of the Book of Mormon

Christmas Party in the Eje Cafetero

Elder Piñate has reached his final form

Letting balloons go because it's a NEW YEAR AND A NEW ME

Elder Pinate (old comp) never changes

Idk if anyone understands the impossibility of taking a picture with the mission President's wife, but it's NEVER good enough, we switched positions around for about 30 minutes just for 1 picture. It's like family pictures all over again...

NEW WHITE PEOPLE IN THE MISSION! Yes, this is a big deal, it means that people will no longer think that white people who started with me speak the worst Spanish in the world.

White Will Smith and Black Will Smith

ITS MY FIRST COMP FROM THE MTC, first time that I've seen him since the mtc.

My Favorite song

"Ripped My Pants" - Spongebob Squarepants ft. Staples

A small dog for Hannah

Another dog, before it became my best friend

The same dog, but my best friend because it ate that cow liver that a member thought was meant for human consumption...

When the sister missionaries come in clutch and bake you your 6 months in the mission cake (8 months late)

Zone Leader reading the transfers. I'll be staying in Chinchina and my new comp will be Elder Yamashiro!

When the zone leaders know your transfers and AREN'T TELLING YOU WHAT A BUMMER

This guy is basically Bob Ross reincarnated...He says that he'll paint Lehi's dream, the first vision, and Christ in the Americas. His name is Milton. Good ol Milton.

$4 Monopoly Idk what I expected..

Christmas Dinner Hype

Gifts from members

Showing up to church 15 minutes early

"I'm Falkner, the Violet Pokémon Gym leader! People say you can clip flying-type Pokémon's wings with a jolt of electricity... I won't allow such insults to bird Pokémon! I'll show you the real power of the magnificent bird Pokémon!"

Those are the pictures from this week! Love you all lots!

Monday, December 19, 2016

Chinchina, Valar Morghulis, Week 58

This was an interesting week because we had to work in Chinchina and Manizales. Photo attached so you can (hopefully) see the 2 places I'm working in. Obvi not all of Manizales is my area, with all 400,000 people! Chinchina has 50,000 for a comparison. The bus from Chinchina to Manizales costs $1! Pretty expensive. I wouldn't buy that for a dollar. 
We´re having a lot of progress in our areas though! Some less actives are getting active again here in Chinchina which is always nice to see. With investigators its always hard in little cities that have 40 people coming to church, but its improving! We had district conference yesterday (I'm in a district not a stake) and the members seemed to really get pumped up to help us with missionary work 😁
Valar Morghulis, if you didn't know, is a word in High Valyrian meaning All Men Must Die (how could anyone not know that lel?) I´m happy to have the knowledge that death is a part of God´s plan. Just like dying in the mission is inevitable (not literally) dying irl is bound to happen. But the Atonement of Jesus Christ grants all men and women the opportunity to resurrect and have the same body again, just without physical imperfections. Another important point of the atonement is touched on by Brad Wilcox in a BYU Devotional entitled His Grace is Sufficient. 

The miracle of the Atonement is not just that we can go home but that—miraculously—we can feel at home there. If Christ did not require faith and repentance, then there would be no desire to change. Think of your friends and family members who have chosen to live without faith and without repentance. They don’t want to change. They are not trying to abandon sin and become comfortable with God. Rather, they are trying to abandon God and become comfortable with sin. If Jesus did not require covenants and bestow the gift of the Holy Ghost, then there would be no way to change. We would be left forever with only willpower, with no access to His power. If Jesus did not require endurance to the end, then there would be no internalization of those changes over time. They would forever be surface and cosmetic rather than sinking inside us and becoming part of us—part of who we are.

All men must die, but we have a chance, according to our obedience, to live and be happy eternally. Love you guys lots! Hope you all have a great Christmas! Talk to you on Sunday Fam ⛄

Me with a little door.

Who put my League rank on this fridge...

Monday, December 12, 2016

Chinchina, Valar Morghulis, Week 57

Hello friends and family welcome to another letter explaining things about Colombia! The work here is hard but we´ve found a couple new cool people to teach! Yesterday we only had 30 people in sacramente meeting 😐
My companion Elder Guerra is leaving today! I will be working in Manizales and Chinchina with Elder Fajardo from Ecuador, another son of my trainer Elder Bigelow, and it looks like we will have to be missionaries for 2 branches which will be weird... In Colombia there are normally 4 missionaries per ward/branch. 
In the Colombian nativity scenes all over Colombia, there is no baby Jesus in the manger... I remember being in the coast a year ago and seeing that in none of them there was a baby Jesus! I remember being like oooohhhh my Colombians being so ratchet and stealing the baby Jesus! From what Ive heard now they dont put Jesus in the manger until the 25th becasue according to them ¨Why would Jesus be in the manger before he was born on the 25th...?¨ It makes sense when you think about it, but its still weird. 
Things here are good, love you guys lots! 🚼
1. Xmas lights in Chinchina
2. FHE with a cool family, ft. bebé pingüino

Monday, December 5, 2016

Chinchina, Valar Morghulis, Week 56

This Tuesday we were in a District Meeting in a practice. My comp and I were practicing teaching a lady who was being played by a new sister missionary! In the middle of the practice she closes her eyes and starts crying and we were like DANG THE SPIRIT DOING WORK! Then she faints and had to get rushed to the hospital... She´s all good now tho. 
We had a family home evening this week with a cool fam here and we made natilla and buñuelos. Its the classic Colombian Christmas food. Natilla is like fudge flavored pudding and buñuelos are fried bread things. 
We had a homeless guy knock on our door yesterday morning asking us to fill up a bottle of his with aguapanela. We told him that we didn't have any, and he was SO SURPRISED! He asked us why we hadn't made any yet, and we informed him that we are Gringos and don't drink that. BASICALLY, Colombia runs off of this drink called aguapanela. Its just sugarcane water that in hot places they drink cold and with lemon, and in cold places they drink hot and with milk. Colombians swear by this drink. You´re sick, aguapanela. You´re sad, aguapanela. You´re hungry, aguapanela. All day every day for every meal aguapanela. 
Things are good here in Chinchina, obviously the biggest story this week was the plane crash where an entire Brazilian soccer team died. Idk if that was big news in the US, but in Colombia it was huge. But then again, Valar Morghulis. 
Love you guys lots hope you have a good week! 🎃

Monday, November 28, 2016

Chinchina, Valar Morghulis, Week 55

I guess this week was Thanksgiving?!? I honestly don´t now dates of Holidays. I think we ate chicken, rice, and potatoes for our Thanksgiving lunch and then at night I think we went to a bakery and bought bread...
We didn´t buy anything on Black Friday because none of the stores had deals, and then the power went out so all the stores closed at like 5 in the afternoon. 
This Sunday was the Sacrament Meeting of the Kids! I think we call it the Primary Program... a three year old kid bore his testimony literally like this, ¨I want to bear my testimony that I know that Joseph Smith was taken, put in prison, and killed. In the name of Jesus Christ amen.¨ Everyone was dying. 
We helped a family put up Christmas lights this week which reminded me of old times! Like every year putting up lights all by myself. Except this time it was easier cus we just hot glued the lights and I didn't have to get on the roof... 
I´d like to share a story from D and C 105:1-5
Verily say unto you who have assembled yourselves together that you may learn my will concerning the redemption of mine afflicted people. Behold, say unto you, were it not for the transgressions of my peoplespeaking concerning the church and not individuals, they might have been redeemed even now. But behold, they have not learned to be obedient to the things which required at theihands, but are full of all manner of evil, and do not impart of their substance, as becometh saints, to the poor and afflicted among them; And are not united according to the union required by the law of the celestial kingdom; And Zion cannot be built up unless it iby the principles of the law of the celestial kingdom; otherwise cannot receive her unto myself.
A little context, basically the original saints of the Church were receiving much persecution. They found that it was hard to be a Mormon! They knew it was true, but they were going through really hard times. They had heard promises of blessings and building up Zion when they decided to be baptized, but they quickly found out that being Mormon didn't give you a free pass to an ez life.  The Lord basically cuts their heads here saying that Zion is not being built because they are not obedient, they are evil, they do not share what they have, and they are not united. 
As members of the Church, our responsibility is to build up Zion where ever we are. We have to learn how to follow the Celestial Laws so that we can be received by the Lord in the last day. Obviously there are places that are more Zion-like than others, in these places we need to change ourselves first in order to be in harmony with the Zion that already exists. Being a Mormon does not give us a free pass to Zion. Building up Zion requires sacrifice personally and as a community
Love you guys lots! Have a good week! 🏙🏘
1. The classic way in Colombia to mark a huge hole in the ground is to put a piece of bamboo in it.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Chinchina, Valar Morghulis, Week 54

Hiiiiiiiii, welcome to another transfer in Chinchina, and yes, all men must die. 
Elder Guerra is actually my 3rd comp from Florida, fun fact. 
It was a good week! We met a lot of members who I had never talked to and found some new investigators too! Knocking doors in Colombia is spooky sometimes because girls are snakey... lots of that this week! 
We don't have any investigators progressing, but some less actives are coming back to church. Our main focus rn in the branch is getting the members to care about their branch enough to start visiting people and retaining the members that attend right now. Surprisingly there is a lot of opposition to simple things such as visiting and home teaching...
My companion and I wanted to plan a cookout grill party for the branch where we cook meat, but EVERYONE started freaking out because they said that we had to make arepas too, and we said no
Not much else to say I guess... Love you homies lots have a gr8 week 🎹

1. A door leading to the metal roof of a house...
2. My comp Elber Guerra

Monday, November 14, 2016

Chinchina, Basically Sodom and Gomorrah, Week 53

This week I took tons of pictures so that you can see what it looks like to live a week in Colombia.

1. Pday selfie and my comp is weird
2. On a bus going up the mountain to Manizales
3. Comp, ZL, and DL. They all finished the mission so we roasted them in a zone meeting (BOOM ROASTED)

1. A random table in a random restaurant in Colombia. A shame that such classic comedy has to be wasted on people that will never understand...
2. The random restaurant called 101 dogs. Its like 101 Dalmations, but it sells food. 
3. We tried to make :/ faces

1. Colombia
2. With the bald guy that likes to talk to us about random nonsense

1. Basically the Colombian version of my sister Madi, ft cat shirt
2. A prayer circle in the middle of the city, "Bird Mary, Mother of God....."
3. Gettin those arms ready to go running at 6:30

1. I took a picture of all my breakfasts this week, but they all look like this so ya. Eggs, hotdogs, and grapefruit soda
2. My comp eats the same thing, just with more Mexico (tortillas)
3. He bought a Colombian jersey for his doge. Inline image 1

1. It wouldnt be a Mormon Chapel without the FOOSBALL TABLE! This building in Chinchina doesnt have a piano btw. 
2. More food pls. Inline image 2
3. Cutest baby SAInline image 3

1. Your classic empanada stand, aka Elder Cruz's future career
2. Dinner with members. Arepa with chorizo
3. Dinner part 2. Arepa with cheese, hot chocolate, and crackers

1. Looks like the cars dressed up to celebrate Donald Trump #trumpsupremeoverlord
2. A normal road. I also take prom pictures if youre interested
3. When he's had 2 years of white rice and cant eat another grain. I'm starting to contemplate my sanity as well...

1. Oink
2. "I'm packing"- Elder Cruz
3. It's dangerous to go alone! Take this! 

1. Is this what a mickey mouse pancake looks like?
2. me: RUN him: I AM RUN
3. Riperoni Pepperoni 

End of spam! 
So ya this was my week! My new companion is Elder Guerra from Florida, he finishes the mission in 4 weeks, and I can understand him better in Spanish than in English. 
Love you guys lots! Have a good week and Praise Helix Inline image 1