Tuesday, July 23, 2013

COLOMBIA BOUND ---VISA IS IN!

Hola Familia and Amigos,

video
I'm hoping this video works.  I have a special video to share with you next week but I'm not sure with my limited internet access if I can download a video. 

So this week first a bit of exciting news, I have my Visa.  My buddy Elder Peterson is going to Colombia as well and he found out that he had received his so I called to see about mine and voila it was in the office as well, so I will be leaving with him on Monday to go to Colombia.  We are both super excited to be able to get out and go to the country.  On Sunday we met a friend of Hma. Tu and her friend's husband is from Colombia and after talking to him we both were super excited for when we would be able to go down and start partaking in the culture and furthering the work.  I was hoping that I would be able to finish the transfer here before going down there but I guess that it just isn't going to be that way. 

This week in Tallahassee we have been a little high on miles on the car this month so we've been riding bikes a lot which I am not very enthused about, since I despise riding bikes, but it's a good thing for me.  Gets me in shape for when I get to Colombia. We did about 20-25 miles on Friday, which I did not thoroughly enjoy at all.  Mostly because the streets we took felt as though it was one giant hill after another.  We met a few new people this week thanks to being on our bikes and hopefully we'll be able to find some hidden gems this week as well. Our one family that is super solid (Katy, Alberto, and Kimberly) are all super excited about the church and Alberto is already talking about going and serving on a mission.  We haven't even finished teaching all the lessons yet!  But we have a lesson with them on Tuesday and we're going to be setting a baptism date with them at that time.  We also found out that Katy's husband, Alex, has been eavesdropping on our lessons without us knowing, so he's getting really interested in the church as well.  Minon had surgery on her foot and leg on Wednesday so we went over to her house on Tuesday and gave her a blessing.  She was really appreciative and we even let her know that we would be setting a baptism date with her this week, which she said would be great.  So that's another investigator that we're really having high hopes for. 
WE ALL GOT CALLED TO SERVE TALLAHASSEE T-SHIRTS!




I LIVE OUT THERE TO THE RIGHT OF THE BIG ROAD.

So does our ward have 2 sets of missionaries now?

We're seeing some great strides being made in the area now and I'm hoping that once I leave that the work will keep getting better and better. So to all my Amigos, miembros de mi distrito en el CCM y sudamerica.  aqui vengo.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

WAFFLE HOUSE



Suber Family
We had the baptism on Saturday which was great, the Suber's are going to be great addition to the Quincy branch and their 3 children are just awesome to be around.  It's Alan, Theresa, Sylvia, Winton, and Angelica.  We will have dinner with them on Wednesday so I'll have a better chance to get to know them.  Our mission president also came to the baptism which made the Suber's and the branch members in Quincy feel really good, and was a great bolster to our confidence.  We had a great lesson on Thursday with one of our old time investigators, Minon who is a lovely 75 year old lady from Cuba. We had a member come with us, Hma. Macia, who is also from Cuba. So we found out that when you get 2 Cuban ladies in a room together for the first time, they will talk about everything under the sun until the end of time unless you somehow get them to focus. :)    But having her there gave us a reason to invite Minon's son Alvarro to join us. He said he had the best time with us in that lesson and invited us to come back and teach them again this coming week.  Minon also came to church yesterday and really enjoyed it.  We set a baptism with another of our old time investigators, Walter, who is from Honduras.   He is a super great guy, and is very prepared to follow through on the commitment.  This week we had to do a lot of finding, but it was fun.  We have a lot of return appointments for this week so it's going to be pretty good.  We still need to find more people to teach, but the work is going a whole lot better for us than last transfer so I probably have to thank all the prayers coming from home, the temples, and the many missionaries that pray for us as we pray for them. 

They have a really nice car museum here that we do service at once a week.  Other than that there isn't too much site seeing.  On a silly note, my cousin-in-law, (not naming names but married to Shawna) was in Nashville this week and ate at his first Waffle House.  Really?  If you have never eaten at a Waffle House or had grits, then you have to write to me a letter this week.  My address is in the upper right hand corner.  :) 


Not the Sears tower but still a great view.


Tallahassee Capital

Saturday, July 13, 2013

WILL WORK FOR ....VESPA.



VESPA...SOMETHING EVERY MISSIONARY NEEDS

Well not much to report on this week.  We did a lot of finding this week, which means a lot of tracting.  The main areas that we usually would search for Hispanics have all been searched already so we have to go and try to find the "pocket" Hispanics. Which are the Hispanics that live in the middle of neighborhoods, or apartments complexes where you normally wouldn't find them.  We found a few Hispanics this week but none that were really interested in the Gospel.  The rest of the week has been mostly getting the area in order for when the new president and his wife come in. We did service on Saturday which was nice,  helped a member family get some of their possessions from their house to a storage container.  The container area was really nice, had indoor temperature control and everything, really fancy.  Then they fed us pizza, which is great because they know how we as missionaries like food. On Thursday was my first day riding my bike all day.  And the streets here have so many hills I felt that I was going to die after the first hour.  I think I'm going to see if the Mission President will authorize the missionaries to get some Vespas, I think that would be great  for us in this area. 

The first transfer my companions were OK with letting me say a prayer and bearing my testimony, but they want me to start having a more "pro-active" position in the lessons.  So this transfer is going to be me working on  interjecting my thoughts and impressions as they come instead of trying to wait for a moment to give them.  Other wise the highlight of the week would have to be Sunday.  Since coming out Sundays would have to be the best part of the week for me.  Fasting (going without foodd for 24 hours and then using the money that you would have used for food and donating it to the poor and needy) is also a lot easier since I came out on the mission too,  probably because I'm not sitting in the house half the day glaring at the refrigerator for taunting me. We have a lot coming up this week though.  I have my meet and greet with the new president and his wife on Tuesday and then we have a baptism to go too on Saturday with a family from Quincy, FL.  They are a great family.  They have been fellow-shipping in the church for years and now finally they are ready for the gospel and they are just such joys to be around.  So we get to make an excursion to Quincy on Saturday to see them get baptized.  We've also set up some appointments this week so I'm hoping that they will all go through otherwise its going to be a lot of tracting again this week, which if it keeps up I'll be a pro by the time I go to Colombia.  But there I won't have to look for someone who speaks Spanish.  Which is the hardest part right now. 

The highlight of the week is hopefully going to be when we set a BCD with Alberto and his family.  They would be such a great addition to the branch.  We had a family that we have been trying to teach all last transfer without any success, but we met them on Saturday and invited them to church (even though we haven't had a lesson with them yet and only barely know them), and they said that they would come.  So first hour of Sunday rolls around and they aren't there and so Elders Correa, Olmstead and I are all bummed out that they didn't come, until we get a call from Alberto (the 15 year old son), that they are in the church.  So me and Elder Correa go running down the hall to find them and we find Alberto and his sister, Kimberly, outside calling us and find his Mom sitting in the Chapel listening to the English Sacrament meeting.  I walk in and try to tell her to follow me but I haven't learned commands yet in Spanish so I had to pantomime following me and saying por favor a couple times.  So we take her to our Second hour meeting where the missionary lesson was.  In the lesson Elder Correa used Alberto as an example to the members that there are people that are ready for the gospel. We had given Alberto a Book or Mormon about 2-3 weeks after I got here, and he had the whole book read within a week, and then at the end of the lesson his mom, Kathy, raised her hand and told the members that they just need to smile and invite people because they have everything that they need. All the Elders and myself were very impressed with her and with our Ward mission Leader for their input and willingness to help us with the work, especially Kathy for giving a testimony the very first time she had ever been inside our church. 


MY DESK

Thanks for the emails and letters!!!!  Keep them coming!  If anyone back home wants to know more about what I'm doing, email me at justin.bandy@myldsmail.net.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Army of Tallahassee

Matching ties! 

This week we worked with the Tally 1(short for Tallahassee) Elders since Elder Tenney is still unable to go out during the day. He doesn't need surgery but his cuts and bruises will burn easily so he can't go outside until after dinner when the sun is going down.  It's also a lot sunnier here than at home.  The sun is still up and shining around 8:30-9:00 every day.  Elder Swarts is going home on Thursday which means I get to have my first "funeral" (when a missionary is done with his 2 years of service) tomorrow when we send him off at District meeting.  We didn't have too many lessons this week but I believe between the two areas we probably had about 10.  We did have a few really good lessons though.  In the other missionaries area I finally got to meet Nelson, nicknamed "Samuel, the Lamanite."  Which I found to be a very apt name for him.  He is very, very enthusiastic about the gospel and learning what we have for him.  He did his reading assignment from the last lesson and had questions, honest questions, for us.  I'm continually surprised how smoothly and wonderfully a lesson goes when a person is willing to have us teach them and accept the commitments we give them to find out for themselves if what we teach them is true.  He even said both prayers in the lesson because he wanted to practice saying it as we do.  We also saw Reina Gonzalez, who is in their area. She is trying to find out if what is being taught is true as well.  She says she feels peace and love when we are in her home, and that when she takes the time to read the Book of Mormon her days go better for her.  She just hasn't realized that she's feeling the spirit.  So I'm really wishing the other Elders luck with these two really great potential members.
    In my area we had a lesson with one of our favorite families, namely Jose y Maria Gonzalez.  They are great listeners and are wonderful people.  We taught Jose and Estaban (conpadre) the plan of salvation on Tuesday which was great since they both really understood it and had plenty of questions for us.  We told them that Elder Swarts was leaving this week and Jose said he wanted to have us over for dinner on Saturday to say goodbye.  So we did that and had another lesson with them Saturday and sang a hymn in Spanish for them as well.  If we can just get them to church I know that they will be committed to living the Gospel and becoming full members in the branch.

Picture of the lovely drawings that the Otto Family drew for me, and Sis. Otto gave me a gift card for Subway.  My companions and I love her for it.  Thanks for the drawings!  They really decorate our house nicely.  And hey...little Otto's I will get you for the Elder Chicken comments! Thank you ward members for your letters.  They mean a lot to me and I will try to write back. 

My Spanish is getting better little by little, I can understand at least half the conversations now, as long as the speakers aren't rushing through what they are saying.  I miss golf but we have a pool table at the stake center so I get to play it once every week or two during Preparation Day. 
The missionaries that you saw in the background represent maybe half if not a quarter of the missionaries in the Provo MTC alone. Pretty soon the Sister missionaries may outnumber the Elders.  Which is fine with me since they'll all get home before I will.  Some of the missionaries going home this week and next transfer are worried that there won't be any worthy/old enough sisters to marry.  lol.  I appreciated Elder Anderson's Talk the most,  for this area it was the most applicable.  We need the members to help us in the work far more than they realize and without their constant support for the work it becomes simply door-to-door tracking.  Boyd K. Packer gave a great talk, and he is right no teacher no matter how learned and intelligent can ever compete with the learning done within the home. (Thanks mom, Love you).  We're not sure if he will make it to the next Conference, most likely he won't make it to the one in the coming Spring.  In his testimony he said, "I know HIM."  Those words themselves spoke volumes of his faith and knowledge as a servant of the Lord.)  President Monson's talk was also great.  He's our beloved prophet!




All the missionaries in our area!  Do you like the ties?  Best of luck to President and Sister Jensen!