Monday, November 13, 2017

Week Sixty One

Dear family

Hope all is good in the Bay! Did you celebrate 1 year of Trump?

Things are doing good in Santander.

This week was sweet. Super tired. I'm bummed because this internet cafe doesn't have an sd card reader so no pics this week but next week ill come through!

Elder Jimenez and Elder Parra finished their missions. Good friends. We dropped them off at the terminal.

This transfer was easy. Only a couple new missionaries came to the zone.

We did an intense service in La Cumbre - pretty much favelas. We made cement and then laid it for a good 3 hours. They gave us lemonade and empanadas after. There was a construction worker with us and while we were eating he said, "Indio con hambre no puede trabajar..y lleno tampoco." Which means, "The hungry Indian can't work. Neither can a full one."

Everyday we walk down this huge Z shaped path down a mountain to get to our area. Always filled with potheads who think we are cops.

Rolled over to visited 1st Counselor in the Bishopric yesterday. Gerson Sandoval. Told us how he went on a mission because his best friend was going and he didn't want to be bored at home. Ended up getting called to the same mission, and later they were comps. But they ended up hating each other as comps and asked for emergency transfers. Friends are one thing, comps are another.

Love my zone. Tons of hard workers. Missionaries with rough home lives who are making tons of sacrifices to be here.

Love our invesitgators. We have 10 main investigators and all of them rolled up to church. That felt sweet. We were all sitting on a bench together.

One line in the Colombian national anthem is "el bien germina ya" which means "the good is already germinating."

The good is already germinating.

amen love you guys!

E Blair

P.S. Some pics pday today. We went to a Jesus statue.






Monday, November 6, 2017

Week Sixty

Dear Fam,

Happy halloween.

This week was pretty empty - a lot of travel.

This past transfer, our district has been super tight knit. We have done everything together, all really good friends.

Our district leader Elder Tracy made a pot of chocolate milk and we all took turns drinking from it for the last district meeting of the transfer.

I like being zone leader because you get to know everybody, every area, all the investigators. It's way less boring because there is always something to do.

I'm remembering Elder Menesses. He's an elder from Bolivia who is the zone leader of a neighboring zone. We always travel with him to Bogota. Super funny dude. He's always speaking English. He says, "Dude. dude. Please dude. Take it easy. Dude please, listen to me." He also is always pretending to wave at someone and then laughing when everyone turns to look.

Our investigators are our best friends.

Julian and Angelica use the white pages at the back of the BOM to write all their questions. Both really smart.

Arelis and Thomas. A mother and son. Thomas was Michael Jackson for halloween. He's 10. His friend came  over and didn't have a costume. Thomas was like, "Dude wheres your costume?" His friend said, "I don't do that, my mom says that's from the devil."

Our investigator Alex really hit me hard. When I arrived in this area, he was alcoholic and never talked with us. Super isolated. We've just tried to be his friend and for the 1st month he just walked into his room every time we came by to visit his family. But this past month he's become our best friend. We helped him give up alcohol. He's a trooper working really hard to fix his family. Super big change of heart.

Love being comps with Elder Jaque. Really hard worker. We both just want to go as hard as we can.

Not that great a letter. So many people I wish you guys could meet. I don't know, I can't write good descriptions of people.

Love you guys!

Elder Blair

Monday, October 30, 2017

Week Fifty Nine

We met this man, Ramiro. He never smiles but he gave us hot chocolate. He's a trooper.


This photo taken this morning of Elder Heredia. He's from Ecuador and his mom visited him in the mission a couple weeks ago while I was his temporary comp. So funny.


A pug eating my crotch.


This statue is called Santissimo (holy of holies). You can see it from anywhere in the zone. Pretty recently built.


These huge poisonous snails always come out after rain. Will always remember when Elder Gough was explaining what they were to us and then smashed one with his foot.


This is a pic with Sebastian, William, and Elder Jaque. William is our investigator. He had a dream he was just strolling down the block and he looked in his hand and he was holding a Book of Mormon. He's also had 3 dreams where his spirit has left his body...lol. In Spanish thats called desdoblarse. One time he left his body and he moved his leg and when he woke up his leg had moved.


Lesson w Julian and Angelica. Some of the nicest people I've ever met and some of my best friends in this area. They bought us calzones. They always write down tons of questions and lessons are just trying our best to answer. Julian is a vet and Angelica is a rappeler.


Splits with Elder Parra. This is his last transfer. He's the only member in his family. We had a super cool day. His area is half hour away over the mountain. We spent the day over there. It's called villa San Carlos. This man is named Carlos. He's a trooper too. Walks like 10 km to get to church every Sunday.


the gold plates


best of friends


view



splits with Elder Arroyo



We got the ex Stake Patriarch to roll with us.


Sure miss you guys.


Monday, October 23, 2017

Week Fifty Eight

Hey Fam. Hope all is good.

This week was packed. So much fun. A pretty big area called San Gil (uncle Josh was there) just got reopened in our zone after being closed for a year. Some pretty insane transfers there. We had 10 elders sleeping at our house at one point.

I just have a ton of pics.



Last pday with my comp Elder Jaque haha.


This week we had a multi-zone conf. They are always cool because you get to see tons of other missionaries. Jaque and I were in charge of lunch for everyone. We had a sister named Martha make a ton of fried chicken.

Lately the mission has been focusing on inspired questions. In lessons the idea is that you have to "go to heaven" to find the question God wants you to ask. Its pretty fun.

Went HAM with Elder Tracy

Had some dope splits with Tracy. He's from my MTC group. We saw this dude smoking. He looked pissed so we went over and talked to him. His name was Carlos. He wasn't doing anything so we got to know him. We walked all the way to the chapel with him. It was closed (oops) so we just talked with him. I told Elder Tracy to ask an inspired question. He took like 2 minutes to think of it and then asked, "Carlos, why is your name important to you?" The question blew his mind. Definitely a mic drop moment. Carlos is a cool dude though. Had to grab a pic.

Saul got baptised. Saul is awesome. He used to hate us and now hes our best friend. The dude who baptised him is name Gustavo. They are work companions. 

Cleaning the font w Luis Caceres.


Rolling with 50 keys.


Jaque and I at leadership council.


Dope bird.

Ramon. A legend. He served his mission in Brazil and comes with us everywhere. That is a pic of him and Jaque in this lesson we had with this super rich investigator girl who goes to Alliance Francaise.


This dude is juan. He rejected us but still had to grab a pic.


Drilling.


Elder Tracy and I. I'm sitting in a mesadora. They're these chairs everybody has here. The best. A really great chair.


After Saul's baptism interview.


My area.

Elder Skinner getting run over.


Me with Elder Madeja. He speaks like 10 languages.


Sebastian my convert. So funny. Probably my best friend in this area.


Selfie w that blue bird. Zoom in to see bird face.




Monday, October 9, 2017

Week Fifty Six



Hey fam hope all is going well!

This week was packed. Prob walked 15 miles at least everyday. Mostly just doing damage in our area. We found some crazy people this week.

Stuff that went down:

We went to visit some elders in the zone who live out in the boonies far away from everyone. Elder Jimenez (Guatemala) and Elder Hulet (Utah). We made them some arepas for breakfast. 


Lunch with our mission leader and his wife. The LEMUS family. He was in the military most of his life. Power couple. They come to every activity, give rides to everyone. This photo is from last transfer. He always roasts us. If he doesn't like the prayers we say, he says it to our face. Sister Lemus knows every single hymn. She always directs the music and chooses these obscure hymns no one knows and just belts a solo. Dope.

 
This is what it's like when the Colombia national soccer team plays. Huge screens set up in neighborhoods to watch. Whole country shutdown.

So we spent the whole week trying to find people. Prob worked harder than any other week. And usually new investigators come pretty easily. This week was rough though. So much rejection. I remember Pres. Rains warned me that would be hard and I remember thinking it wouldn't bother me. But definitley gets to you. 

Accidentally sat in puke in this park. I was brushing my butt on this tree to get it off and everyone was looking at me OOPS.

Met a lady with an Oakland As hat who was holding a green and yellow parrot who matched her hat.

We taught an intense Catholic missionary named Edel Silva. We were talking with him in his door for awhile. Then he asked if we taught english. BOOM let us in. He's super cool.

Really love the people we teach though. Everybody in Colombia calls each other neighbor. 



Missing you guys a ton! I love the mission. I feel like im in an agency video game sometimes. 

Love you!
Elder Blair

Monday, October 2, 2017

Week Fifty five

Hey Fam. Hope everyone's doing good.

RIP Robert D Hales, Tom Petty, Las Vegas.


On Monday night Elder Tracy arrived. I slept over with him and Elder Heredia in La Cumbre. That night at 11, I had to go back to the terminal to pick up new elders. I had 2 all-nighters this week in the bus terminal waiting for new elders to arrive. It's never sure when the buses will arrive. And you can't sleep because you can't miss the bus. Elder Tracy and I went 50 hours without sleep while waiting. It was also good though. I had time to talk with a struggling elder. He really likes to draw though so I gave him a challenge this week to draw a white dragon.

Tuesday, Elder Tracy and I fell asleep in every lesson. Tracy and I were on splits and we knocked a door. A man let us inside. We shared a short message. Then we invited him to say a prayer. He said he wasn't able. We told him we knew he could and then we both bowed our heads and closed our eyes and fell asleep haha. I woke up like 2 minutes later and he was just staring at us. I made Tracy say a prayer.

Wednesday, 2 elders arrived that will be opening the recently closed Bucarica area. Elder Skinner (from Missouri, who started his mission in Barbosa), and Elder QuiƱonez (a rapper from Guatemala). The first district meeting we just read Matthew 14. We also have to study language in every district meeting so we had a rap battle. Then we all stayed in Bucarica to help get things going in the area again. We all just spent the day contacting. This week alone they found 11 new investigators.

My comp arrived this Thursday at 6:00am. My new companion is Elder Jaque. He's from Chile and speaks perfect English. Pretty much another gringo comp. He learned English from movies and music. He's seen every movie. It's awesome, he's super cool.

It felt so good to be back in my area. We spent Thursday and Friday visiting everyone. Our area is huge so I'm trying to show Elder Jaque everything I know, but I still haven't touched a ton because I've only been there like 4 weeks total haha. It's been a fun week though.

One dude we visit is named Saul. He lives in Bucaramanga but all his family is in Bogota. Super cool guy. He came to conference with us. He wants to join the church but doesn't really understand anything so we are trying to amp up our teaching skills with him. But he came to general conference with us and seemed really into it.

We also visit the Amaya family. All are super nice and super Catholic. One of the sisters is named Sharol. She was like: "My one doubt is Maria. Why don't you guys believe in her? I got fired up and shared 1 Nephi 11 where Nephi sees the virgin exceeding of all beauty. Sharol felt way better about the church after that.

We also found this dude who's name is Cristian Ronaldo haha.

Conference was really cool. All the gringos in the zone watched it in the bishop's office. We fist pumped every time the missionaries got a shout out.

Favorite talks were probably Christofferson, and Stanley G. Ellis. I think holiness can be easily tied to transhumanism. Loved a line in Ellis talk: "The members of the trinity are no strangers to hard things."Overall heard a theme of migration which was cool. hashtagwecandohardthings

Sure missing you guys. Sounds like America is crazy this week.

With love,

Elder Blair