Monday, February 27, 2017

Week Twenty Four

week report

Pretty crazy that grandpa died a year ago already. Doesn't seem that long. It's kind of sad when somebody dies and you weren't really old enough to understand who they were.

Elder Manrique was in a sort of daze this whole week. He was super out of it and also really smiley. He would whisper to me "I'm here but I'm not here". A lot of this week was buying last minute souvenirs for his family and saying goodbyes. He left yesterday to Bogota.

Richard is the member who we spend almost everyday with. He leaves Barbosa to return to his home in Lima. It will be strange without him.

One of the main families for him to say goodbye to was Mariluz and Miguel. They have been key investigators this cambio, and also good friends. They came to church the first 3 weeks we knew them and always give us cold juice. So we went to their house (kind of out of the way on the other side of Rio Suarez) and there were chains wrapped around the door. We peeked inside a crack and all the furniture was gone. They had fled. We were both hit hard. Manrique was super emotional and thoughtful all day. He told me,

"I'm not just looking in front of me now. Now I'm looking at the man walking up the hill over there, I'm looking at the mountain, not just the stuff right in front of me."

He also said, "Main thing I learned on my mission is: who cares what anybody says."

One cool thing we did was visit Velez with Richard — or this village in the jungle right outside of Velez. Richard knew a friend there whose family owns a bocadillo factory. Really her family owns like all the jungle there so we walked through the jungle up to this lookout point where you could see like 12 different villages and all these fields and expanses of jungle for miles and miles. Really beautiful view. There was also a little school up in the jungle and all these kids were huddled together eating oranges.

We met a really nice family of a woman named Ana. All the kids always flip out whenever we come by. They ask us to sing hymns for them. They came to church.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Week Twenty Two

[ No letter this week, but Ralph messaged us instead. ]

We got a new branch pres

branch not closing

so a fourth of my mission is in barbosa

barbosa is the best

its crazy

we had a crazy service project

picking corn we used machetes and sharp sticks

and the first 15 minutes were awesome

and then all the gringos got destroyed by pollen

everyone was sneezing we all had to go

yeah so then me and elder lott would just load up a donkey with corn, lead it to a barn, unload, repeat

i felt connected to grapes of wrath

guys ive been thinking

get olive or oscar to find norwegians in oakland

learn norwegian

make norwegian friends

no bad could come from that

dude look up knausgaard

look at how cool norwegians are

scandinavia has literally found the way to live the most enriching life and nobody cares

yeah i think it would be cool if the family could get around in norwegian

lots of english classes this week

some get english and progress and others theres no hope

im bad with patience

but if they get it then im the best

i ask what the expressions are they say in spanish everyday

i teach them in english

and i tell them to say them everyday

but yeah in general i suck

we usually do personal lessons
or one family

we used to do classes w 5-10 people

but now no

elder crandell has been out
5 weeks
from Arizona

im with him for intercambios

we get more work done because hes not trunky

spanish is awesome

literally you guys could learn and be at same level of french in 3 months

Spanish is way easier than french

i need to practice french though

i bought a french dictionary but have already found like 10 errors so i dont trust it

I have a barbosa accent

For exercise, I do pushups or jumprope

did you want to marry an exmissionary mom?

was byu a fun school?

everyone here is going to byu

everyone has the same plan

if your not going to byu and studying business whats the matter with you

mormonism is crazy

i realized in a branch council meeting

no one is thinking about the book of mormon in here

no one is thinking about js

its their whole life

mormonism never was the book of mormon

its an organism

nobody thinks about js on sunday

nobody thinks about jesus

they talk with their friends

everyone has to get married

because jesus was in america

but not really im sure everyone will have a happy family

its pretty cool getting latinos a way into the states

today ive been out 5 months

Monday, February 6, 2017

Week Twenty One

Week Report

We did a ton of stuff this week.

We had intercambios. I got to be Elder Crandells comp for the day. He is from Arizona, came to the mission 3 weeks ago.

We contacted a ton of people. Two drunk dudes chopping wood called us over. We talked with them and asked if we could chop and they gave us sledgehammers.

We helped a girl move houses in Tunja. We had 15min to pack up all her stuff (she didn't have 1 thing packed) but we got it done. She didn't have too much stuff.

We visited the Mayorga family with Richard (this crazy Peruvian member). I really like them. I visited them my second day in the mission and it was their first visit with missionaries so I've been with them since the beginning. The daughter Juliet was cutting an orange and cut her finger. Richard was telling everyone that every time he bled, he sucked up all the blood.

Later in the visit, we asked the Mom (Maria) if she had any questions. She asked us with dead eyes "do you guys believe in witches? Black magic? I believe my husband is under the influence of a witch. There are many witches in these parts." Richard immediately responded, "Yes witches are a real problem. Dark spirits can ruin your life."

They also told us about "Guausa Santander Cueva San Loirenzo." Look it up.

We had an Open House. 6 missionaries from Tunja came to help. We had members and sister missionaries inside with displays of different books and stuff. I was out on the street with Elder Crandell. We got 45 people in.

We also found an address for some member in Chiquinquira in our house. No missionaries have been to Chiquinquira for like 20 years. There used to be a branch but bad stuff was going on so they shut it down. We went to assess the sitch. We found the address and visited the dude Martin Cortez. He gave us feijoa fruit. Chiquinquira is cold and really spread out. Lots more to unpack.

Elder Blair