Saturday, August 31, 2013


Maracuya Fruit
A couple of pointers regarding mail and packages.  In Colombia there is no national mail system.  Most of our correspondence is through email. Keep in mind if you are mailing packages from the USA the flat rate package boxes are the most economical way. Please keep it under 4 lbs. Packages weighing less than 4 lbs are delivered directly to our office. If the package weighs more than 4 lbs it is held up in customs at the airport and there is an extra fee that must be paid to get the package out of customs.  One of the questions I get in letters is about sending me a gift card or money.  So, here is what the mission president advised:  If your missionary needs money from home there are several options.  1.  A debit card from home. The family may place money into that account when needed for the missionary for his personal use. People can give funds directly to the parents to put in his account.   2. Send a cashier's check or traveler's check via Federal Express to the mission office in the missionary's name.  3.  Western Union
City of Suba behind me.

Isabel is getting baptized on Saturday hopefully but we need to work on her reading her scriptures more and praying so she can really gain a testimony of the church.   As for the family we haven´t had great success in having lessons with them.  They are always home but are super busy so we can never have a full lesson with them.  We´ll see what we can do with them.  As for the mail it can take anywhere from 1 month to never for me to receive packages or mail here.  If the package is more than 5 pounds it can take forever to get through customs.  They have McDonald's and Subway but only in Bogota, outside of Bogota...nothing.  We had a super great lesson with a new investigator called William the other day.  He has a problem with drugs we think.  We gave him a lesson on the  Word of Wisdom (click on that word if you want to know what that means) which went over great.  We are hoping that if we can help him to overcome his problem that we can get him to recognize the blessings of the gospel and have him increase his faith enough to be baptized.  
New foods that I get to try.  

Also I get to teach an English class, not sure if I told you that or not, but its a great way to have people come to the church and learn about our beliefs.  We´ve met at least 4-5 people to have lessons with from the classes and most of the time they are more solid than the people that we meet when contacting in the street.  I had an intercambio (missionary exchange) with Elder Zamorano and he´s really cool.  He's a Chilean who is about as tall as Michael Jordan, not that tall, but tall ( a little taller than Elder Pututau from my district in the MTC).   We got to go through his area and meet his investigators and I got to learn how to teach in a different way than from my companion and what I noticed the most was the animation.  Both him and my companion are super animated when teaching which is the best thing for the investigators.  That was pretty much my week here.  

Oh, by the way, I got robbed my first week here but didn't want my mom to freak out.  She still freaked!   As for food I got to have a real hamburger for lunch today which was great.  I haven´t had a hamburger in probably 3-4 months.  My shoes are holding up okay and if I need to fix them there is a guy right next to our apartment complex that fixes them.  As for weight, I lost about 15 pounds or so so far, but I gained some back the past few days.  As for this week we need to start having the chapel open for people to come have tours, in the past 2 weeks we´ve had at least 10 people walk in to see what the chapel and the building is like and to learn more about us.  Otherwise the weeks are going by it´s almost been 6 months since I left.

Saturday, August 24, 2013


This past week was pretty good.  Isabel still has a baptismal date for the end of the month.  Miguel had some complication with his heart so we haven´t seen him for a while.  We found a family, Jacquelyn and Reuben who are really awesome and have so many questions for us.   We had interviews with the President this week but since I've only been here for like 3 weeks it was a really short interview.  My companion and I afterwards were tested on our English, I´m happy to say that I passed.  We had about 5 investigators at the church this Sunday which is great because it means they have interest in progressing.  As for the English classes every week we have a very charming lady come in and we get to teach her  a lesson every week.  She is super interested in the church and I´m hoping that the missionaries in her area can help her to be baptized.  As for Jacquelyn and Reuben after teaching them about the mandate of the apostles she keeps calling us that.  In her prayers that we have had with her, she keeps saying "thank you for sending these apostles to guide us" its something we need to work on, but for now its pretty funny.  We had the opportunity today to go play soccer with our zone and had a couple of our investigators come with us. I got to meet Cesar who is an investigator of the other elders,  he is super cool and he brought a friend in the hopes that we can start teaching him as well.  The best part for us this week was that we got to meet this really cool taxi driver who showed us how to fix the suspension on the taxis down here.  The engines down here look really weird compared to the ones at home.  But he was super chill. Well the plus side is that there is a golf course right next to the apartment so next P-day we get to go and play golf, so super excited for that.

As for Colombia,  its pretty good, I've only been robbed once which means I got that out of the way for the rest of my mission.  Its fine he only took 2 mil, which is like a dollar in the states.  As for food, one of our investigators made us a meal of soup, salad, tres leches cake and.....Fish.  And not fish from home, this fish still had the head.  I didn't want to offend her so I had to eat it.  It was probably the best fish I've ever had in my life.  I didn't eat the head (sorry but there is a line for what I will eat after only being here for 3 weeks) and I would definitely eat the fish again.  I don´t know what was different about this one and the ones at home but it was delicious. I 

don't have a picture unfortunately but it was great (it was Tilapia).  My companion is good.  We are working on finding more people to teach.  Seems to be a never ending cycle of the mission work.  Find someone teach them a lesson or two and go find someone else.  I can understand most of what my companions say, but they have to talk in very slow and spaced words for me to understand everything. The same for my investigators, I can usually piece together what they are saying but it takes me a little while.  Right now we have maybe 5-6 solid investigators 2 of which are families which is great, but of course we can always use more.  As for the Spanish I don´t really have a choice in whether I improve it or not.  It´s going to be a thing of habit.  But its good because it gets me out of my shell.  By the time I come back you won´t be able to shut me up.



Sunday, August 18, 2013


Brother and Sister Andelin

Katy, Alberto and Kimberly

Minon and me!

The city has been a beautiful 65-72 degrees all week, with only sporadic sprinkling.  I did get 2nd degree burns the first day because of the sun.  I didn't even feel the heat all day, but got home at night and bam,  burns on my face.  But its fine now,  everything is peeling already.  My feet were killing me the first few days since we walk everywhere or take a bus.  We don´t have cars or bikes which is fine, since I´m sure we would all die if we had either, drivers down here are crazy.  As President Andelin said (somewhat quoting Pirates of the Caribbean , "Traffic Rules down here are more guidelines than an actual rule."  Which I have seen to be very true.  Also here I get to be called Gringo,  which is fine, for now I find it to be super funny, but I´m sure in the next 2-3 months I'm going to get annoyed with it.  But for now its hilarious when people ride by on their bikes and yell to their friends "OY, Mira, mira, Gringo"  (hey, look, look, a white boy).

My new companion is great.  He is a native from Calle, Colombia and is about 27 years old.  He is a recent convert to the church of about 3 years and is very knowledgeable of the scriptures and doesn't have any problems asking people to be baptized in our first lessons.  The language is a little frustrating because it feels as though members and others give up talking to me because they have to repeat everything twice or more for me to get the full sentence and then another minute or so to translate it and answer.   I know that within the next 2 transfers I´ll be able to speak the language well enough to not have to worry about that as much.

Also Elder Zamorano, my companion, and I got to open a new area.  So we started pretty much from scratch.  We get lost in our area probably every night.  but its good, we get to work it all out and we live with some elders in the other part of our area.  We got to open the Jordan 2 area, which is in Suba, just outside of Bogota.  The area we cover is probably about 10 square miles or so.  But the buses here are free for the most part so if we need to get to the other side we just jump on a bus.  My companion and I  did a lot of walking this week and we had our first English class on Saturday, I didn't know it at the time but apparently I will be teaching the English class on my own without anyone to help me translate, so when I come home I´ll be a pro at teaching English.  We had about 10 people come so it was pretty good, we met a new investigator from it named Christian, we actually have a family home evening with him tonight with a members family.

This week we set 2 more baptisms for the end of the month with Isabel and Miguel.  Both are super solid investigators and we are super excited to have found them.  Isabel is a contact from a member that we got about a week ago.  And Miguel is an investigator that the other Elders met on the bus.  He´s already referring to himself as Elder Miguel.  It's pretty funny.  The members out here are great.  We have a member with us almost every night of the week to help us in our lessons and to go teach less-active members.  With the members the lessons go a lot smoother because people listen to them a little more closely than they do to us.    Also on Thursday while we were waiting for our Ward mission leader a random guy that owns a tienda (store) across the street from the church came over and sat on the little wall in front of the church and was staring at it.  Me and Elder Zamorano (my first Colombia companion/roommate) went over and started talking to him and took him into the church and had a long discussion with him  about the church,  I don't  know if it's going to go anywhere but many people here would be more than willing to come into our chapel but they think it's always locked.    The language is coming along slowly, but i know that within the next 3-5 months I´ll be able to speak fluently enough  to not need my companion to "dumb it down" for me.  The food so far hasn't been weird thank goodness, and we get fed everyday. But even with that I've lost about 15 pounds since I've been here. We walk somewhere between 15-25 miles a day depending on where all our appointments are so I guess that isn't a surprise, but once I get to an area where its hot all day every day I´ll probably lose more, but we´ll see.  I only have one hour to write letters.  So hopefully many of your answers are in here.  


Other note is that the Members and Leaders here are awesome.  Our Bishop and Ward mission leader are both super excited to have 4 missionaries in the ward.  Our mission leader was a Stake president for a while before and so he is super super faithful and he tells us that it is a great great blessing to have 4 missionaries in their ward and he is super excited to be able to help us.  The bishop as well made it clear that he is willing to have himself and the members help us in any way they can.  In testimony meeting I almost didn't get to bear my testimony because it felt as though the entire ward wanted to go up on the stand.  It was a great experience to see.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

MY OWN MTC! Don't miss it!

So I have my own MTC...okay Mallycat Tabernacle Choir hence MTC.  These cute kids put this video together and emailed it to me.  It made my week that they would take the time to do this and really uplift me.  I wonder how many times they had to sing this to get it so great.  I love to watch each of their faces.  You can see the testimony they have of this!  This is an example of why I love what I am doing.  



So as you know, I am heading to Colombia tomorrow (Monday).  I don't have much to say this week as I am trying to repack my suitcases and send a bunch of stuff home because I will be leaving Tallahassee.  I am excited for Tallahassee.  We have a lot of new investigators and wished that I could have finished in that area at least through transfers.  However, I am heading to where I am suppose to be.  Notice the change in my address to the right side.  As always, you can email me at  Adios!