Monday, April 25, 2016

Robledo, Medellin, Life in a Beautiful Place Week 24

Welcome to the beautiful city of Medellin! Full of beautiful trees, beautiful people, beautiful parks, beautiful weather, beautiful people, a beautiful accent, and more beautiful people, its the best! I really need a thesaurus tho, jeez :/
But for reals, this city is perfect! The weather here actually allows us to leave the house and not die of a heat stroke immediately. 
The city of Medellin, of which my mission is named after, is broken up into different communities. I am currently in the community of Robledo. The topography of Robledo can be described simply as a 45 degree angle. My area just goes straight up the mountains. Medellin is built directly inbetween two mountains so as it expands, it has no where to go but up the sides of these mountains. It's good though! My butt has gone from like a 6 to like an 8 in the past week! Im excited to see if I can get up to a 10 before I leave!
My new companion, Elder Welling, is a great guy! Out of my 4 companions in the mission so far, I have had two from Florida, one from Alaska, and finally one from Utah! Excited to have another gringo companion!
The work in this area is very slow. There hasn't been a baptism here in over a year, but I'm excited to see what we can do together! 
This week we met a man on the street who spoke English perfectly. He walked up to me, shook my hand, and goes, "Wassup, what's your name." Without thinking I immediately say,"Jayden, what's yours?" All in English. It was a little weird. At this point I realized that Ive never actually introduced myself as Elder Dawson in English. 
Today is my companions birthday so we went to Krispy Kreme in downtown Medellin which was a well deserved trip! We also went to a nerd restaurant where they sold all sorts of Game of Thrones things! So much nerd hype! 
We saw a guy on a bike run a red light this week and he got SMASHED by a taxi! He flew like 20 feet, but then got up and said sorry to the taxi. Friggin Colombians. 
My first night here I wore SWEAT PANTS AND A JACKET TO BED! I was SO COLD! 
Pic 1: Welling and I at Krispy Kreme (They sell a bunch of weird Colombian stuff too)
Pic 2: The view from Robledo

Welling and I at Krispy Kreme (They sell a bunch of weird Colombian stuff too)

The view from Robledo

Monday, April 18, 2016

Lorica, Life with Another Gringo Week 23

Ayo homies! Yesterday we got the transfer calls about where we will be going and I will be heading to the city of Medellin, in an community called Robledo. I'm very excited. Lorica was cool, and I met some awesome people, but I feel like it's time for something new, ya know? My new companion will be ANOTHER gringo with the same amount of time as my current companion. 

I'm glad for the opportunity that I had to be comps with Elder Pinate for this one transfer. I learned a lot from him.

This was a good week! On Tuesday we had the opportunity to meet as a zone to watch the day of conference that we all missed. While there the zone leaders gave my companion the keys to the chapel on a BIG keychain. I said it was a mistake when I saw him holding the 200 keys on this keychain as he jokingly said, "This is more keys than were restored to Joseph Smith." But the zone leaders trusted him. About two minutes later the keychain was broken and we were all struggling to fix it. Classic.

I have so many Jet Stickers and now I just need to find a sticker book! AH! 

We had a baptism this week too! We baptized a 9 year old kid named Luis Jose. I love this kid. He's the little bro I never had. His family are all members, but they went inactive for a year and so he never got baptized. We are working with the family a lot to help them go to church so that one day they can be sealed in the temple :) When Luis had his interview with Elder Escribano he came out crying and I was like, SHOOT maybe he didn't pass! But he did and was just super emotional that he can finally get baptized. His family is awesome. I love them all. 

Not much else to share, hope you all are being homies, love you all lots!

Pic 1: The Baptism!
Pic 2: The restoration of the Keys!

The Baptism! Luis Jose

The Restoration of the Keys

Monday, April 11, 2016

Lorica, Life with Another Gringo Week 22

Don't really have a lot of time to write so I'll try to keep this email short. The week was good as always homies.
No rebels this week! That's always a good sign. 

The word for to marry (casarse) and to hunt (cazar) are basically the same, and I don't think it's a coincidence. 

The past 2 months we've been working a lot with a young lady named Edubijes, and she has never wanted to get baptized. She told us she had a testimony and loved the church and everything, but didn't want to commit to a baptismal date. This week in a visit, she sat us down and said "Chicos, I gotta tell you guys something..." And immediately I was so scared, like I thought she was gonna tell us that she didn't want us to come by anymore! She continued,"I've been praying a lot recently with a lot of faith about baptism, and I decided that I want to be baptized as soon as possible, I know I need to." It was an awesome feeling. She has a baptismal date for the 23rd of this month and I'm so excited for her. 

We have 3 other investigators who have baptismal dates for the upcoming 2 weeks, so hopefully everything goes well with them!

Something that Idk if I have mentioned before about this branch in Lorica, is that there are no families. There isn't a single family who is sealed in the temple, have children, and live in their own home. There are families who have some of these characteristics, but none that have all 3. These kinds of families are very common in the US and my home ward in particular. Before coming here I didn't understand the importance of having real families in wards to help them out, but now it's clear how essential they are. It's not Thanksgiving season, but it's always time to remember how blessed we are. 

Love you all, have a good week. 

Picture is of me and a picture of me that an investigator, Laura, drew!

Monday, April 4, 2016

Lorica, Life with Another Gringo Week 21

HI GUYS! I'm alive! This was a pretty sketchy week here in Colombia. 

There was a situation here this week in the coast of Colombia which forced all of the coastal missionaries, in our mission at least, to stay home on ThursdayFriday, and Saturday. We were unable to leave the house for any reason. Baaaaaaasically, in Colombia, there is a lot of military groups that want power. One of these military groups is based in the coast of Colombia. This group works against the Colombian Government and kills police and stuff like that. So an important leader of this military group was killed by police this week! In retaliation, this group basically took over our whole department (state) and made sure that all the stores in all of Lorica, except one, were closed, and they apparently partrolled around and idk murdered people! This is basically just word on the street, but it's all we know! So ya, the rebel group was being all rebel group-y. So we had to stay inside to not be murded nbd.

Soooo because of that we unfortunately could not watch conference on Saturday, not that anyone even left there house on that day or  even opened up the chapel. Imma get caught up this week though, which I'm excited about!

We had some good lessons in the days where we were't playing connect 4 in our house! With Yorleidis and Laura, they came to conference and their excitement for their baptism in 3 weeks is continuing because of their reading of the book of Mormon! Love it. 

Conference here is in Spanish, obvi, so I couldnt understand everything. Something I liked from Linda K Burton, I think she was, is the message that I got that: The Church is not only a good thing, it is also true. I love the simplicity of this statement. We need to focus on these two things about the church, that it can bless our lives, but also that it is literally the church of Jesus Christ restored on the Earth. Love it. 

Not much more happened this week since I mostly just ate chocolate bars and collected stickers in my house while losing tan. Hope you all enjoyed more sessions of conference than me, love you all lots! 

Picture 1: Pinate, Laura, Yorleidis, and me at conference on Sunday!

Picture 2: The chapel where we watched conference! 

Pinate, Laura, Yorleidis, and me at conference on Sunday!

The chapel where we watched conference!