Monday, December 26, 2016

Week Fifteen

Merry Christmas

There was a Christmas celebration in Bogota on the 23rd. Half of the zones of the mission were there. Maybe 100 missionaries.

Each zone prepared a skit to preform for everyone + Mission President Laney.

Our skit was pretty dumb. It was about different types of missionaries contacting a Grinch family.

I was in the Grinch family. Everything was going fine. Then one pair of missionaries contacted us. We told them to get lost. One of them tried to give us a Book of Mormon. We were telling him no. He handed it to me, let go, I didnt catch it, the Book of Mormon fell on the floor so loudly. It got quiet.  Everyone went like "oooooh". So yeah never gonna be assistant now.

Also secret santas. I had Elder Picuasi of Otavalo Ecuador. He has a ponytail. I got him a hair straightener. It was funny. Elder Elmer got my a puppy piggy bank.

Also in the celebration, there was one part where missionary representatives from each country told their Christmas traditons. When they were taking too long to tell traditions everyone just started clapping to kick them off. It was really funny.

It was cool meeting new missionaries though. Met some guys who listen to the same music as me. We all got pretty trunky.

Went back to Barbosa for Christmas Eve.

We baptized a girl named Doris. We had spent a good 4 hours cleaning and filling the baptismal font (which is like a giant trash bag here in Barbosa). So I wasn't feeling the day- but after the baptism happened it was all good.

Me and Elder Manrique bought burgers and a ton of soda for Christmas Dinner. We made a Christmas tree out of our fan. We drink so much soda here. I have a nice beer belly.

Christmas Eve was pretty out of control in Barbosa. Music and fireworks. Super loud. But Christmas day was really quiet. Everyone sleeping in their houses with hangovers. They open presents Christmas Eve here.

There was sacrament meeting. Doris got confirmed. She was late to the meeting so everyone was eyeing me like "where is she?".

Had skype call with you guys made me super trunky.

We went to the Ramirez Family's house. They have a missionary in Argentina. They were talking with him. We said hi. He is training a gringo too. So I'm in Colombia getting trained by an Argentinian and he is the reverse. It was funny.

Today was P-day. We bought presents- soccer jerseys, I got a machete with a sweet sheath. We also checked out a horse gear store. It was just one guy there. He was making leather belts. I asked him if I could buy the leather. He said it was leather for horses so no. I don't know why that's a reason.

Postobon Manzana is the best soda here.

and thus it is written


Monday, December 19, 2016

Week Fourteen

[ No emails this week, but we could message instead. Ralph shared this story. ]

oh there's a funny story

passed from elder hunsaker to elder porras to me to manrique

its called hammerflaggen:

a horse lives on a beautiful farm

just a perfect place to raise a horse

and his farmer loves him so very much

and he gives his horse these big beautiful juicy red apples

so good

the horse loves these apples

so so good

but the farmer is running low on cash

he has to sell the horse

he sells his horse to another farmer

and this farmer doesn’t feed him apples

he feeds him hammerflaggen


barely food

so nasty

it’s hard for this horse to swallow

but after awhile

it’s alright

after awhile

it’s not so bad

after awhile

it’s actually pretty good

after awhile

this hammerflaggen hits the spot!

after awhile

give me some more of this hammerflaggen!

then the first farmer is in a good economic situation again

so he buys back his horse

and gives him red apples once again

and the apples were so far superior to hammerflaggen and the horse remembered what real food was


how does this story relate to missions?

just how home life is way better than mission field but you get used to the mission field

me and manrique love the preach my gospel study videos and we call them tv hammerflaggen

Monday, December 12, 2016

Week Thirteen

Dear Family

This week was sweet.

Elder Manrique is cool.

He got to the apartment and installed a hammock. Also took out RISK. He said its the first thing he'd grab in a house fire. I asked why because he could buy another. Its because he keeps track of every time he wins on the box.

This cambio is already good. I pretty much get to choose what we do and who we visit every day since Manrique doesn't know the area.

Saw one lady with a shirt that said, "Eyeliner blacker than my heart."

Talked with an old dude in town center. He was eating an ice cream cone. He said he was over a hundred years old. At one point he took his shirt off to show us this gut lump he had.

One of our investigators, Kevin, has a crazy grandma. She was eating birthday cake and tried to stuff it in me and Manrique's mouth.

There was a really nice holiday. Noche de Belitas. At night everyone puts candles or candles in bags on the street. Lots of fireworks too. And everyone sits outside and talks through the night. It's for the virgin. Its a shame we don't worship the Virgin — seems natural. Is it apostasy to say that? No me importa.

Can always see the north star and only the north star.

Manrique also brought a recorder. We have been dueting "Silent Night" — him on recorder, me on harmonica — to open or close visits. It's the only thing I can play. But inspired by Adam Christensen.

Week was good. Life is good in Barbosa. Now I've lived with a Frenchman, Englishman, Mexican, and Argentinian. Miss you guys hope all is good.

Desposita la plata o le manda la moto

and thus it is written


Monday, December 5, 2016

Week Twelve

Week Report

Dear Family

I heard about the Oakland Fire. The story was playing on a member's TV during lunch. So crazy. Didn't know 36 people died.

Everyone here has been talking about the futbol team who was killed in a plane crash in Colombia. 70 something people died.

Parted ways with Elder Porras this morning. This week we made a pact to see a Real Madrid game live after our mission.

We were getting our hair cut and a pirated fantastic beasts was playing on the TV.         

I really like making words little in Spanish. Everyone here does it all the time — just changing the ending to ito or ita or ico or ica. bachata--> bachatita.

My new comp is Elder Manrique of Argentina. I meet him tomorrow. He was a Zone leader the last cambio.

Feeling anxious about managing Barbosa. It'll be good though.

We had interviews with Presidente Laney in Tunja. After interviews, the Elders from Tunja (Elder Loaiza of Peru, and Elder Arteaga of Bolivia) came back to Barbosa with me and Porras — to interview Osman (one of our key investigators) for his baptism. On the bus ride to Barbosa "She Will Be Loved" came on and we all said "ooooh" at the same time. Everything went well and Osman was baptized the next day. It was really good.

It was also Stake Conf in Sogamoso. It was good for Porras because he could say goodbye to a big chunk of the members he's known.

Yeah a lot of craziness this week. Lots of traveling. Porras gave me a tie. I gave him a $10 bill I signed.

Also talked with Elder Arteaga about Sucre Bolivia. He showed me pictures it looks so sweet. He says there are pink dolphins in Bolivia.

Paz en sus huesos

Miss Christmas at our house. I need to buy decorations for our apartment.

Havent met my new comp yet. He is from Argentina. I have heard he is kind of reserved and quiet.

Sounds like scrooge was amazing. Got an email form the Gorbutts saying it was awesome and that Oscar had an angelic voice lol.

Hope Roman is doing okay.

I think the song from The Snowman is the way to go for the Christmas Party. 

If you look up Willee Porras on facebook, you should be able to see his video. [ VIDEO of Ralph and Elder Porras, in Spanish. ]

We watched the Christmas talks from SLC live in Tunja yesterday. Tunja is cold so it is much better for Christmas. Barbosa is like Florida.

I use the duct tape every day.

and thus it is written


Elder Blair