Monday, December 30, 2013


The lizards here are like Cardinals at home.  You can't touch them because they are the areas pride and joy.  This lizard is about 2 times as big as the picture looks. 
This week we got to have our Christmas devotional with the president and it was great.  He taught us some new games that we can play with the investigators in order to get them more active in the discussion which is great.  But we also got to perform our Christmas musical that our zone put together.  We have a small zone of 12 people but we were the best, why, because we had Christmas hats, and Christmas hats with lights automatically make you the best zone in the area.  I was especially happy that we got to have an area picture, I haven't received it yet, but when I do I'll send it home.  But I have photos of my zone which I can send home.   I got a new tie and we got to watch a musical which was great.  First real TV in 9 months.

This week we were working a lot to help the members change the way to do the work,  we have been preparing for a capacitacion (training) here in order to help them change the way we have the branch council so that we can focus more on the members that need help and less on the activities that we have to plan or other things that are important but not as important as the members or the work of salvation. It was a great success.  We could talk in greater unity and the members were able to see how they could improve themselves in order to get everything more organized and find the members that at times can "fall through the cracks."  The best part of the week was that we were able to find a few more people to teach. Not all are ready for the gospel but we are here to plant seeds the same as to harvest the seeds planted from before us.  I'm really looking forward to this week to share it with the members to learn there customs and the way that they celebrate the birth of the savior.  They celebrate Christmas but then every day leading up to New Years is a different festival.  Spiritually would have to be that we were in the taxi today and we started talking to the taxista, we were with the sisters because we aren't all going to go to the same place in separate taxis, and they started to sing a hymn to him and he broke down told us that he has a lot of pain because his mother passed away and he would like us to visit him.  Never had that happen before but that's the power that the sisters have, they sing a song for someone and they want to listen to the gospel.  We tried it and we almost broke the windows, so no more singing for us. We help the Orduñas every week with something.  It will be great for them when their house is done.  Love you all

Sunday, December 22, 2013


I received this chick as a Christmas present.  It was a nice surprise and very generous from this family. 

We had the weddings of the Ordunña and Diaz families before their baptism.  I wanted to send pictures so that you can see how happy they are.  Then the following week they got baptized.  They are such special families and I'm so happy that I know them.  I hope that I can see them get married and sealed in the temple.   We are working on having a couple other families ready for baptism this week and the next.

 Kimberly and Alberto. (Kimberly is 17 and Alberto is 16.  Alberto read the whole Book of Mormon the first week we found them and its through his influence that his family wants to get baptized.  His mom is Kathryn Arce.   She's been writing me every 2 or 3 weeks since I arrived here in Colombia.

Mission President with a balloon sombrero.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013


The week was great.  The sad part was that we had to leave a few families because they weren't progressing and weren't ready at this time.  Which is always hard for us. But we have to have faith at times to leave families so that you can find the ones that are prepared.  We wanted to make the baptisms a little more special so we printed out programs which we have every week at home but they do without here since ink is a lot more expensive.  We also talked with the youth in the ward and organized them into a choir in order to have something a little extra during the program.  We were going to have a baby shower for a sister on Friday but she had to travel so the funds for the baby shower were given to the baptism, so we also got to have cake and soda. We explained to them that this is not normal nor should it be considered as such.  But it was a special night for the branch since we don't have 8 baptisms every night or month.  But yes we had the baptisms and it was great. I was able to baptize Jose Diaz and his son Deivi (Davy).  Jose has had some problems in his life and so he doesn't  smile a lot but he was a lit up after and it was great to see how he was just happy to have the opportunity of being baptized.  We had testimonies after with the families and it was a great experience as always to let the families give their testimonios to show how they appreciate the gospel that they have earned and learned about.  We are working this month to find more people to teach and we are hoping for 2 baptisms this week and 3 the following week, but we are going to be working diligently with them to make sure everyone is ready.


Funny story of the day.  Elder Guajardo and I were visiting a family yesterday and he tried to sit in a little kids chair so that an investigator could have the big one, but it was a little to small so he tried to stand up and it was stuck to him.  I thought it was hilarious but he didn't think so until after.

We are still helping out with the house for the Orduña family and that's going good.  We got the roof on so we just have to get the floor finished.

 I got the snow pics but they people down here have television so they see the snow when the movies have snow, so they aren't very surprised but it was nice to have them.

 I was going to surprise you that I was learning to play the violin but the president says that it's a distraction to have an instrument in the house so they're taking it from me until I come home, so no more violin.  Was going to practice it and play it when I got home but oh well. 

Have a very Merry Christmas.  Please email me and send me some news from home.  You can email  me at   Tell me why you love Christmas.  I'm so happy that I can be a missionary like Jesus and teach those that are looking to change their lives.  I'm blessed to be with these wonderful people and to be able to help them build houses and see that in their humble environment that they are happy and are seeking to be more Christlike.  They are so kind and generous to me.


Elder Bandy

P.S.  Mallory can visit the Jom of Elder Bandy whenever she wants, so long as she brings Elder Bandy dulces.


Sunday, December 8, 2013


We finished moving in on Monday and that was a chore. I will post pictures of the new place.  It is a lot better and has less critters.   We still have a lot of things that we need for the house but it's coming together nicely.  
Outside of our building
Bathroom and suitcases/dresser

We have a balcony!

Study area/kitchen

Our sink and stove and ironing board.

The week was uneventful. We did a lot of teaching this week.  We are going to be working more this week on finding new people to teach so that we can start having the area progress more rapidly.  We are doing service for the Familia Orduña.  They are investigators who are getting married on Friday.  They are building a new addition on to their house so we're helping them with that.  It's a little different than a house where we need to put on a foundation and everything.  Here they just start building and fix it as they go.  But we'll be doing that this week on and off to help them out.  The sister of Esmeralda (Hma. Orduña) is going to be living in the addition with her daughters so we are helping so they can move in sooner.

We are having the weddings of the Ordunña and Diaz families this Friday but the baptisms are set for the 14th.  We are working on having a couple other families ready for baptism this week and the next.  This month is going to be super great for us if we remain strong and obedient.  The families Diaz and Orduña are getting baptized the 14,  the sister of Esmeralda and her daughter the 21st and Lizette the 21st as well.  We are working on the family of Lizette so that they can be baptized with her. They need to get married as well, but they are coming around little by little and really appreciate the lessons and the teachings that we bring.  We are also working with a couple Jury and Jadirson.  They are super nice people and they need to get married as well but Jury told us that she wants to get married so she can get baptized so we just need to animar (encourage) Jadirson to do it so they can get baptized together.  We're going to work on the 28th for them so they can join before the New Year.  I'm looking forward to a year from now when I can go to the temple with all of them to help them get sealed that would be great.

 2 investigators that I was teaching in Florida emailed me and said they got baptized.  Yay, so happy for them!

                         Nuestras metas y actuales para este cambio.
                   (Our schedule and goals)
Iguana in a tree
The zone,  Elder gonzalez in the center went home on Thursday.  Finished his 2 years strong.

Monday, December 2, 2013



I completely forgot that Thanksgiving was Thursday.  Of course, they don't celebrate it here so I didn't even think to do anything for it.  They don't have any holiday similar to it except for Christmas.  I'm not sure if they have anything different that we don't celebrate.  I could use a Pumpkin Pie!

This week we are focusing on making it to all our appointments on time.  Which I'm about 95% sure my OCD for being places on time has gone up quite a lot since I started the mission.   I had my interview with the Mission President on Saturday.  He's super excited with the progress we are having in this area and is putting great expectations on us to fulfill our metas (goals) in the coming transfer.  We are hoping for 14 to 16 baptisms in December if we can get the people we are teaching to really feel the spirit and the truth of the message.  But we have 7 baptisms scheduled for the 7th  of December.


We had a lot of packing to do to get ready for the move to the new house and that took up a lot of time for us.  But the highlights of the week were the baptism of la hma. Rosa and the broadcast that we received from the area authorities in South America to animate the members and missionaries to act more in the work with faith in order to find and help more people.  Here they are putting special emphasis on finding the members that are less active to bring them again to the knowledge and joy of the gospel and we are trying our best to be a part of it.

Love you all!

Sunday, November 24, 2013


Metal sculpture of Jesus by refineries

Metal sculpture of birds

Metal sculpture by refinery

View from the backyard of a member
Metal lizard

FIRST  I NEED TO THANK YOU FOR READING MY BLOG.  I'VE HAD OVER 4,000 HITS!  I feel so loved.  In Colombia you have to pay for the internet but it's only like a dollar for an hour or two.  It's not very expensive.  This week we visited a lot of people.  Had a lot of lessons and now we have this week to work.  The End!  Just kidding!

More missionaries
Recent baptism
We worked a lot with a new family the Pastranos who have 3 kids at the age to be baptized and who are super open to the talks we´re giving them.  The husband can´t attend church because he works Sundays, but he´s going to be changing jobs soon and will be able to attend,  hooray.  But his oldest daughter Lizette is attending regularly so she's the pioneer of the family.  The family Orduña is still going strong and is really excited to be members.  We are still working with Olga and her son Audi to help them grow closer and to help Audi overcome his addictions but it's slow going, he has a lot of problems and the addictions are strong.  As for the members,  we had a great week with them. The hermana Magola brought us 4 references yesterday that we are going to visit this week with her.  She is always helping us out with everything.   The best part of the week was when we passed by a house and a joven (young adult) came out to greet us and said that we always passed by and he wants to learn about the church.  Also when we were with the family Martinez,  we learned that the 2 jovenes (young adults) in the family also want to attend church and learn more of what we believe.    

Our new home isn't going to have air conditioning  :(  because the president doesn't want to pay for it.  But it is super expensive to have air conditioning. We are moving because the contract with the house we have is expiring.  The new house is a lot nicer and no it doesn't have any bugs in it thank goodness, but I can just buy a can of raid at Jumbo if I need it.  I spend my money on food,  food is expensive here especially cheese.  It's like 20 bucks for a small block of cheese, so I don´t buy cheese anymore,  but milk is relatively inexpensive,  I get like 3-4 gallons for like 8 bucks so that's not bad.
Dog of member

I´m starting to really love this area and the people that it offers me to know and find. 
Baby alligator
My friend Pablo

Sunday, November 17, 2013


The weather is the same, we had a breeze a couple days this week so that was a great blessing for us and even though I would like to have some type of tan when I leave here, I think I´ll stick to avoiding the sun for the next 2 years.  I really don´t care much for sunburn.  I find that the heat is pretty unbearable but I'm getting more used to it, so that's a blessing for me.  The streets here don´t have names so I can't tell you where I am exactly.
Me and my new friend Lulu.  The Loro spanish for parrot.

Letters from the kids of some of the investigators.
A letter from one of the investigators telling me she wants to be my friend and if I´m nice to her she´ll let me be her friend.  A letter from another daughter of an investigator that says I´m super special and that she knows I´m sent from God and she want´s to be a missionary

A really cool motorcycle in the area. A lot of people ride motorcycles here.

The area is great we have been working hard in 2 parts of the area this week since these parts tend to have more people that are willing to listen to us and are more open for us.  Our ladies are all doing great.  We have a baptism for this Saturday for Rosa Sanchez, who has been investigating for about a month now but is ready to be baptized.  We also talked with a couple other families that we have and 3 of them which still need to be married are all getting married on the 6th of December so the 7th we´re going to be having a great big baptismal service for the 3 of them, which is going to be about 8 or 9 people and that is going to be great. This week we had about 40 lessons which usually in a week we have about 30 so it was an improvement.  I still felt that we had time that could have been used doing something, so we´re working this week and planning the time better so we´re not walking as much from one side to the other but are trying to teach one house and go from one to the next closest.  We are improving the area and if we can get the members we have more active in the work they´ll be able to have a chapel in the next few months but we just need to have them help us recoger (activate)some more members.  We found a family that has a son who is having problems with drugs, but the positive is that he wants to change, so we have hope there for him.  He didn´t come on Sunday but we´re going to work on getting him to the church.  But his family is super great.  His mom, Olga is super supportive of us coming to teach him and her as well and her questions are always to help her or Audi, her son, understand better what we´re teaching.  They both have the desire to change and we´re going to be there to help them do it.  

One day Olga told Audi that "el es bien gordo."  or "Elder Bandy" is fat, but in this context it means that I have some meat on my bones and I´m not deathly skinny like some of the people here.  They´re not dying but they just don´t have any fat on them.  I was a little offended until my companion started agreeing with her, so I was a little peeved with him until he explained it and it meant that I looked healthy and then he explained to them how it's an insult in America and we all had a good laugh! I had to laugh at myself.  Different culture, different view of life.  The weird thing is that I've lost 20 lbs since being here.  If they would have seen me then... 

We had a surprise this week at church when a family that we´ve only visited once this week showed up at church.  Their daughter has been assisting for 2-3 weeks now but we´ve only been teaching her since her parents are always working so it was  a pleasant surprise for us that they came.

This is how you buy milk in Colombia!
The food here is practically the same as in Suba but its only different in that we are closer to the coast and so they have more fruits here from the coast than in Suba so that's different.  As for the fact that I am getting skinnier is the main fact that we´re walking in 90 plus degree weather all day for a good 8 hours or so, so I´m bound to lose something.  But I get plenty to eat when we have lunch it's just that we don´t really have time to eat anything after lunch so that's pretty much my meal for the day, but after the past 4 months here I´m used to only lunch.    But as for the food,  I haven´t really found anything that I haven´t liked yet.  The food is different but overall I like the food here as much as at home.  But mom will be happy since I´m going to come home and eat whatever she makes since the food here is so different and since the members make it I can´t be picky.   But I really like fish down here, don´t know why but it tastes better here than at home.  

The fish here is great!

Fruit called Totoma or something like that.  You can't eat it.  It's used to make bowls and stuff like that.

The church buildings here are different.  Still elegant as ever, but they don´t need heating or cooling in many places so there´s only fans in most of the buildings.  But my branch right now is in a house. There aren´t enough members or I should say active members to support a church building so we´re working on getting more members so they can have an actual building to meet in.  

Dog of the Orduña Family, Lupé

Dog of our Ward Mission leader, Lucy
We´ve been looking for a new house so I´ll send pictures when we figure out where we´re going to be living which will be this week or the next.  I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving.  Please email me and tell me what you are thankful for.  Please share my blog on your Facebook!