Sunday, January 26, 2014

I DON'T HAVE AN ACCENT!

This is a picture of me and Yurleisy (jur- lay- si) who was baptized on Saturday. She is so happy. Her Grandma is a great person.

The Spanish is at a good 65-66%. The majority of the people ask me what time it is because they are afraid to ask me to say something, so they ask what time it is to hear me speak Spanish and to see if I understand them and how well I talk and to listen to my accent. The problem is that I still can't differentiate words at times so I don't understand what they are saying. I know the words but I don't understand them. But it's all good, it will come with time as I'm obedient.

My great Uncle Carl passed away while I was here and I will look forward to being able to visit the grave when I get back to say goodbye. The message of the gospel is the strength and support that we need and with which we are blessed in order to feel the love of our Heavenly Father and his desires for us in this life and for us after this life. My condolences to all of my family!

A bucket of ice cream down here is like 20 bucks so I'm trying to decide if I'm going to go on an ice cream fast for the rest of the mission. A chunk of cheese is about the same. Oh, what we take for granted at home.

An investigator asked me to do some electrical work in their house, nothing big just installing a lamp which is a piece of cake since everything is already there.

I haven't gotten any Christmas cards yet but I'm waiting for them, I'll get them the first or second week of February. So send Easter Cards now so that I get them around that time. (Smiles!)

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Elder Macias and the 2 of us.


This is Yurleisy and her mom, Lady.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

I HAVE A NEW JOB!


I got a new calling. I am now the District Leader of my half of the zone, so we'll see how that goes. I have no idea what I'm going to do for that but it's just another way to serve my fellow missionaries and learn how to be more efficient with my time and the gifts that the Lord has given me.

Loving my time in the mission. At times I really miss you all but it's a short time more that I´ll be here able to help the people and then it's off to the world of doing the same work day in and day out. The reason I remember I wanted to leave for the mission was so that I could do something in my life that I knew would make a real difference. I was happy with my work in the pharmacy and my studies at school and they make a difference. But I'm here making an eternal difference for the people. Helping them to learn the true meaning of our lives here and how to be happy even when the world is starting to fall apart.

So this week we finished the second transfer here in Barranca and it was a hot week but you just stay in the shady spots and hope for the best. I was wishing for the snow that you all got but the people would have been in a panic if the weather was colder than 50 degrees so... its probably a bad wish, but I want it anyways. We have been visiting some good investigators, one is Luz Estella. She is the soon to be bride of a less active and is excited to be a member, we just need to get her husband a little more excited and active so that he can baptize her, because I have no problem with doing it, but I think it would be better for him to do it. Elder Guajardo is in another part of Bogota now, I´ll be getting my new companion tonight, Elder Macias from Ecuador. Don't know what he's like but I'm sure we will get along.

I'm going to have the 2 pairs of shoes I have repaired because its cheaper.

Love you all and the support and prayers that you give me,

Elder Bandy





Sunday, January 12, 2014

SWEET CHRISTMAS SONG WITH GRACIE AND HER FRIEND BATTY!

video
I received a beautiful email from Grace with a sweet song.  I love these nice reminders of home and appreciate everyone's emails (although more is better hint, hint).  Anyway, I hope you love Grace's song as much as I did.  

 The field is ready to be harvested because now in this time more than any other in the history of the world we have the means of speaking and influencing more people in so many different ways.  It is also true that the missionaries of today have far more preparation than missionaries of past generations, especially with seminary, institute, and other classes of preparation that we receive.  So help the missionaries by praying for opportunities and being aware of opportunities. The 1st presidency has said that if the members work hard at asking for the guidance to talk with others, that we will each find the way suited to us in order to find and offer the knowledge that we have.  The main thing is that we try to offer the joy and knowledge that we have with others, not everyone who we feel is ready or who we are told to speak with will accept our invitation, they have been given their agency the same as us, but we will be able to feel more strongly the spirit and be able to more quickly recognize when we are being prompted to say something or share an experience to help others "come unto Christ." There are people out there that are seeking for something better in their lives and I can tell you that they will find it in our church.  If you are one of those that are looking for something different, please email me!  I would love to tell you what I am doing and how it will make you happier and fill that empty void.  


The week was good, happy that finally all the festivities are over so that everyone goes back to being normal so we don´t have to deal with all the noise and such. The Orduña family is doing great,  Jorgé received the priesthood yesterday so we´re hoping that he´ll be able to pass the sacrament next Sunday.  We have found a few new families this week to visit and one that is progressing rather well, hopefully they can feel the strength of our message and can be baptized in the coming weeks.  


Con amo,


Elder Bandy


P.S.  For Mason, have patience and don't stop learning and when the time comes you will breeze through the steps in the gospel.  Be faithful to what you know is true and then you have to choose for yourself.






A cool Pesebre (manger) in one of the villages.



A new area we are helping in.


Sunday, January 5, 2014

RATS AND LIZARDS AND COCKROACHES, OH MY!



Gifts from a sweet family


Another yummy Christmas gift!


Flan from the Orduna Family



Lunch on Christmas.  Yummm.



                                                                              I made spaghetti and meatballs
 
So the good part of the week is that I got to Skype my family.  The bad part is that the house we usually go to was closed because it was Christmas. It is right next to us.   Some of the houses that you go to out here, their job or source of income is to rent internet to people.  So, while I was talking to my family I kept looking at the ceiling and the walls because there were rats going across the beams in the ceiling, lizards on the walls, cockroaches and crickets crawling everywhere else.  That is normal in some parts because of the way the houses are constructed and because of the weather insects, reptiles, and rodents never die but just multiply.  But my apartment is a place of cleanliness and order and because we have cans of raid and whatever else is needed to keep them out. 

We had to do a lot of searching this week because we are going to have to leave a couple families that aren't going to progress anymore and that don't have the desire to change.  You get close to the majority of the families you teach and it's sad when they don't want to progress, but you pray for them that in the future that they will become stronger and be ready for the next missionaries that try to teach them. 
His sister thought it would be funny to put these props on him while he was sleeping.

Another good part of the week is the gifts that we received from the members.  These people have very little and give so much and you feel guilty taking anything from them but they are so giving and would be offended.  I really appreciate their gifts because I know it comes from the heart.  The people here are great and humble.