Monday, July 28, 2014


The new assignment is okay I do enjoy it, but it´s a little time-consuming and I usually don´t finish all my work until about 7 at night, so it doesn't really leave time to go out and talk to people since our area is about 30 minutes from the office.   I´ll probably be here until November, but I think until midway through December. So my last 3-4 months will be in the field. That´s what I think based upon how long past secretaries have been here and what president has told me. 

I've been hearing that you've been having a scorching summer out there, but maybe it´s just in other parts of the states, down here unless it's a gringo, they think that the states are just right next to each other and what happens in one is what´s happening in all of them.

I made a couple cakes this week for Birthdays, one of which was sugar-free for a sister that can´t have sugar, it turned out okay, she told me it was good, but I thought it tasted funny, but it´s probably the difference of regular sugar and a substitute. But my comps made another pizza today, we did a chicken fettuccine pizza, using fettuccine sauce instead of tomato sauce and it came out pretty good, even though it was probably 5 time worse for you than regular pizza. 

I´m not really sure how to go about giving a testimony on-line.  It reminds me of what Moroni says in Ether 12:23, 25 and what Nephi says in 2 Nephi 33:4, both of which speak of how as messengers or servants of the Lord we are given the gift and the right to speak by his holy spirit, but when we write, even though it be a pure testimony, many times it is esteemed as merely words on a page or words written to justify what one thinks.  But as the Lord has said in 2 Nephi 29: 11-13, that he commands us to write his word as we are moved upon the spirit and this word will be given to others as a testimony of the goodness and glory of God.  

So here´s the testimony and not the preacher´s sermon:

     The glory of going on a mission is that you have to find your own testimony immediately, even better is do  what Elder Holland says "If you have a small testimony, a large testimony, or only a somewhat testimony, hold to it will all the energy of your soul until it has blossomed and grown to be as unshakable as your diligence allows, and if necessary use my testimony to strengthen your own until yours is strong enough to weather what may come."  I find that in the mission many missionaries have their own testimonies and have used these testimonies as a barrier to avoid temptation or to clarify the beliefs that we as members have.  But the majority have what Elder Holland called a medium testimony.  Which is the knowledge that the church is indeed true, that Joseph Smith did indeed see God, the Father, and the Son, Jesus Christ.  Many even have the assurance of knowing that we are guided and directed by a living prophet today, but what they lack and what we all lack at one point is the diligent action of putting into practice this testimony is truly the difference between the power that any apostle, prophet or true member has and the power that a member who occasionally reads the scriptures, prays at times when they feel the desire, and attends church maybe every week but only for obligation and not out of true desire to show our Heavenly Father that we are willing to be obedient out of devotion and love.  I have learned that when someone gives a testimony it is in order to proclaim what they believe to be the truth, but a testimony of conversion is when the actions of one allow us to see the testimony in their eyes, their bearing and in how they proclaim this testimony.  I know that the Gospel is a powerful force in the world, that invites all to be better, not because we are living wrong or because we are horrible people, but because by living the Gospel of Jesus Christ, that has been restored to the earth once more, we are invited to work and hope for a better life, to receive a better life that is based  on the fullness of what was taught us by Jesus Christ.  This is a gospel of change and invites us to do so in order to obtain eternal life and the promise that all doubts, fears, pains and sufferings that we must pass through for being in this life, are not to degrade us or to tell us that this is the most for which we can accomplish or hope, but that by passing through these trials and tribulations and living the gospel of Christ will enable us to move forward with the steadfast hope and faith that has marked the true followers of Christ since the days of our first father Adam.  This I know and I share in the name of our savior, my redeemer, Jesus Christ.  Amen.

Happy Anniversary to my Mom and Dad!!!

Sunday, July 20, 2014


Today in the temple I was able to talk to people from Suba, Barranca and Duitama. That was nice, I didn't remember everyone´s names but it was nice to see them all and talk about how everything was.    While I was at the temple the ward from Duitama was there and as we were leaving Brother Gallegos told me that of those I was teaching, 4 have gotten baptized and another 3 are getting ready for it.  Also that Nelson is super strong and has helped another friend to get baptized and is having 3 other being taught by the elders.  So pretty much everyone I was hoping for in Duitama has gotten baptized and a few others are getting close.  The ones who got baptized were Oscar, Lina, Miguel Roballo (9) and Tatiana (40) the mom of Miguel.   I was just super excited.  

We went to TGI Fridays yesterday and to Hard Rock Cafe on Tuesday, they were both delicious and it´s probably the only gringo food I´m going to be having for a while.

Probably the most exciting thing this week was that we did a service project for a family constructing a fence to hold up dirt so he could level off his back yard.  That was fun.  I have weights in the house so I´m using those more in the mornings, so I´m hoping that I can come home with something other than a stronger testimony.

For my new financial position, I think I´m going to need about 1 month to get the books fully balanced just because I have to compensate for the elders that were here before, they did great jobs, but I like to be more precise than they were.  But the job is relatively easy now.  The only down side this week is that it´s that time of the year when the church Auditor comes in and does his thing, so I´m not looking forward to that, I don´t like having other people go through my books, especially if he asks for something from when I wasn't here, that would be bad.   I had to call a few house owners that for some reason didn't get their rent payments and that was fun, but otherwise I haven't had any checks bounce on me yet.  I actually do have a checkbook that I use to balance the funds that we use as a mission and that at times it gives me a headache since there are so many simultaneous places that funds get taken out and put in, but I think it will be good to learn how to manage funds of a group as big as a mission.   Some love my organization and others no, they have their "organization" which means putting it all in one spot and are just digging for it, but to each their own.   But my week was good.  I got more of the finances budgeted and organized so that´s always nice, and I have to do the president´s budget next, that´s always fun as well.

I will translate the following for you next week!  My testimony.  La gloria de irme a la misión es que uno tiene que encontrar su testimonio propio, casi de inmediato. El Elder Holland ha dicho, "Si tiene un testimonio pequeño, grande, o sólo tiene un testimonio mediano, Manténgase a ella con toda la energía de su alma hasta que ha florecido y crecido para ser tan inquebrantable como su diligencia le permite, y si es necesario, puede utilizar mi testimonio para fortalecerlo el suyo hasta que se ha fortalecido bastante para capear lo que ha de venir."  Yo encuentro que en la misión muchos misioneros tienen sus testimonios y los han utilizado como una barrera para evitar la tentación o para clarificar las creencias que nosotros como miembros tenemos.  Desafortunadamente la mayoría posean lo que el Elder Holland llamaba un testimonio mediano.  Lo cual es el conocimiento que la iglesia es muy cierto, que el profeta José Smith efectivamente, vio a Dios, el Padre y al Hijo, Jesucristo.  Muchos incluso tienen el aseguramiento de saber que somos guiados y dirigidos por un profeta viviente hoy en día, pero lo que les falta y lo que todos nosotros nos falta cada vez en cuando es la acción diligente de poner en practica este testimonio que de verdad es la diferencia de tener el poder de cualquier apóstol, profeta o miembro verdadero  ha poseído y el  poder que un miembro que de vez en cuando lee las escrituras, ora a Dios cuando siente el deseo y asiste a la iglesia tal vez cada semana, pero sólo por obligación y no por un deseo verdadero de mostrar al Padre Celestial que somos dispuestos a ser obedientes por devoción y amor.  He aprendido que cuando uno da testimonio, usualmente es para proclamar lo que cree es la verdad, pero el testimonio de la conversión es cuando las acciones de uno nos permiten ver el testimonio que nos está contando.  Lo podemos ver en sus ojos, su rostro, su porte y tal vez más importante, en la manera en la que proclama aquella testimonio.  Sé que el Evangelio es una fuerza poderosa en el mundo, que nos invita a todos que sean mejores personas, padres, amigos, etc... no porque estamos viviendo mal o porque somos personas horribles, sino porque al vivir el Evangelio de Jesucristo, que se ha restaurado en la tierra de nuevo, estamos invitados a trabajar, obrar y esperar por una vida mejor, a recibir una vida mejor que se base en la plenitud de lo que nos estaba enseñado por Jesucristo.  Este es un evangelio de cambio y nos invita a hacerlo para obtener la vida eterna y la promesa que todas las dudas, los temores, sufrimientos y dolores que los hemos de pasar por en esta vida, no son para degradarnos o para decirnos que esto es lo mejor que podemos lograr o esperar de nosotros, sino que por pasar por estas pruebas y tribulaciones y especialmente por vivir fielmente al evangelio vivo de Cristo nos permitirá a seguir adelante con firme esperanza y fe que ha marcado los seguidores verdaderos de Cristo desde los días de nuestro primer padre Adán.  Esto lo sé y lo comparto en el nombre de nuestro Salvador, mi redentor, Jesucristo. Amén.  





Friday, July 11, 2014


Me, Sawyer, Carballo, Alzamora, and Warren enjoying our Chicago style pizza
This week was pretty good.  I had to work on sending over 100 missionaries to other parts of the country for transfers so that was interesting trying to help the assistants to coordinate that. I work in the offices of the mission all day helping all the missionaries get the funds that they need, be it medical, housing, food, or other miscellaneous items.   I still go on exchanges but with my District Leader.  I´m not a zone leader or district leader now so I just go on normal exchanges.  But the Spanish is OK, it´s getting a little worse I think in the offices since all the assistants are almost required to be able to speak English and Spanish since at times we have to call people in the states to do something.  But I use it everyday with the other missionaries and the people here in Bogota.  But I´m happy with how the mission is going for now, I don´t get out of the offices a whole lot, but once I get the hang of it, I´ll be able to find the time to get out and teach more.  I also got to speak in the zone leader council about what announcements I wanted them to tell their districts.   The days are going by pretty fast.  When you do the same thing over and over the time just goes by differently.


Goose Egg from playing soccer.

We played soccer today and that was fun,  

I´m just happy to be out exercising.

As for the pizza, I did make my pizza and it was actually rather good, even though it wasn't real Chicago pizza it came out rather well. Everyone was trying to rob each other to have more. At least I now know how to make it. 

Elder Warren making his Apple Crisp

Apple Crisp
Chicago pizza
Elder Sawyer taking pics of us making the dough.

Making the dough for the Pizza

 I love the new apartment, it´s a little harder to keep clean but it has an oven and a microwave and so that makes up for everything, oh and it has 2 couches, so that´s great.  In the apartment for now there are 5 of us, but usually it´s only 4.

 A less active that I reactivated in Duitama gave me his suit as a going away present and it fits pretty good, so I have that now so I don't have to buy another suit.  

Read about 1/2 way down in our DVD manual.  Very interesting.