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.

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