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!


Sunday, November 10, 2013



Siempre (Always) it's hot like the desert here but its pretty good.   I´m in Barranca-bermeja which is about 10 hours by bus from Bogota.  The people are super friendly and here apparently someone that has skin like mine is considered "bonito"  which is rather flattering but I´m on a mission and its usually only the old ladies that say it so......   But as for the church I´m in a branch.   As for the mail it still gets sent to the office so that the president can send it out to us when we have conferences.  The church is about the same distance but there really isn´t transportation out here so we get to hoof it all week.  As for our area its about the 4 times bigger than my last area, hotter, and hillier, but I'm starting to love it here.  (Not the heat, never going to love the heat, but everything else, sí).  We didn´t get hardly any rain this week, it only rains at night and for about 15 minutes so no help there.
Lets see this week we did a lot of walking....A lot.   Out area is super, super big, it takes almost 40 minutes to walk from an investigators house to ours so every night we get home pretty late.  Also here the roads are like Memaws and Papas so all dirt and rocks which means my shoes are dirty everyday.  But the people here are super open and we can talk with just about everyone.  Not everyone wants to take discussions but it's a step up that I can talk with the people about the gospel and not have them just walk away without saying anything.

We finally got to perform service this week as well.  We helped move a member to another house and then we helped a less active member start to take down a house.  Yes, we are dismantling a house to make room for another one.  Hopefully the new one will be better because the other was ewww.   But its nice to do service.




We found a few new people to teach 2-3 families which it's always better to teach families since they can support one another and it's just better to have a family in the church.  We have one family Orduña that is super ready to be baptized they just  need to get married so we´re working on that.  We are teaching a lady named Rosa.  She is super sweet and she really wants to be baptized as well, we just need another week or 2 to teach her all the lessons and she´ll be ready to go on in the gospel.

We didn´t find any other monkeys or anything this week so no new photos of the wildlife but I´m going to try and get a picture of one of the lizards here, they are huge.  We had a couple family home evenings this week and its always nice to have one of those with the members especially on a Monday night to finish the day strong.  Here the members have the family home evening in the home of the investigator so maybe that's something that you can suggest to the missionaries that perhaps some members can go the home of an investigator to have a family home evening.  It's always more interesting than a lesson from the missionaries and it helps to build friendships in the church.  Otherwise that's about it this week.

Sunday, November 3, 2013


Me and some random Monkey

I got transferred  on Thursday so I am not in Bogota anymore, I am in Barranca which is the hottest part of the country,  I'm going to be dying for the next 3-4 months while I¨m here. Pray that the Lord will put a cloud over me the whole time.    

Colleges here apparently are cheap.  It's like $6,000 for a good one.  I know random thought.
The city behind me.
 So I am now the Senior Companion so I have to learn how to do that.  I also need to figure out this area.  It's crazy hot here and I need to learn  how to get around. The accent here is different and the people have different customs but I should get the hang of it pretty quickly.  I feel that the English is going away but it could just be this keyboard.  Elder Coronel and I found a family the other night that are super awesome and while they weren't  super excited when we started talking to them they opened up and said they would love to have us visit them.  We found another couple an hour later that told us the same thing and I could understand them so I knew they weren´t making up stories but were truly interested in talking to us.  We found a  lady mas tarde que nos queria to teach  a class to her and some friends that have a Bible study class.  We had a really great beginning of the week.  And then I got transferred and we have to start from practically scratch. but if we have success it will be  because we are working hard and if the Lord wants to give us the success that we deserve we will be thankful. 

I´m with Elder Guajardo now and he is a recent convert to the church as well.  He´s from Chile and has 4 months in the mission but he understands the lessons very well so I don´t have to teach him much. Just how to be obedient and how to be a missionary of success.  We have a few families that were given us by the last group of missionaries that are progressing. We just need to help them with the matrimony problem.  But that's a problem with a lot here as well as at home, so I'm not too perturbed by that anymore.  Its practically standard at this point when we find a couple.

I taught a lesson in Gospel Principles on Sunday.  I need to keep improving on my Spanish. I received mail from a lot of people and I have pictures of some of it.  Thanks everyone for the pictures and letters.  I'm so far from home and that brings you closer to me!  Below is a picture of my study area and wonderful letters from kids at home.