Hola Familia! Elder Lewis aqui en Jordan… I almost said Bucaramanga haha
Yeah, It’s been 2 weeks in La Jordan, and ya, I am starting to get used to it a little bit more. Still working on it. This area is a little bit more, supposedly, the poorest in the mission, and I can see it. I don’t know, the outside of the houses look a lot worse than the inside. It’s kinda funny because they are breaking down some of the houses right now along the road to widen the roads and it looks like a war zone. It looks like the place has been bombed. It’s like they knock down the house and they just give up with the debris. I would take a picture, but it’s kind of dangerous to have your camera in the street. Something that I have really appreciated about the United States is that you can pull out a device in the streets and not worry about getting robbed. It’s really different here. The thing is that this isn’t the worst area of Bogota. The South, I have heard from everybody, is infinitely worse. So I am counting my blessings. There is a lot of graffiti everywhere, on the doors of everybody’s houses, it’s really kinda crazy. People like to write dumb stuff on other people’s doors. It’s really stupid. It looks really trashy. BUT, the people here are very good. We are finding lots of people to teach and it’s actually different because in Bucaramanga, the weather is warmer, the people are warmer. They don’t commit as much. Here, they are a little bit more, they are a little bit better with that. They are just a little bit colder. It is a little bit harder to find people that will listen to us, but not a whole lot. Now, we, as a zone, are inviting everybody that we come in contact with to be baptized. So we talk to a person, we tell them “Hey, The Church of Jesus Christ has been restored on the earth.” Then we tell them a little bit about it and then we say:” What would you think if the Church of Jesus Christ was upon the earth? If he actually directed the Church?” and they say “Well that would be really cool, that’d be marvelous!” and then we say: “Well, if this is true, if you got to know that that is true, would you follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized by someone having priesthood authority?” I have really been surprised at how many people say Yes. Yesterday we invited 17 people to be baptized and a lot of them said yes. It’s really just a better way, instead of saying: “would you like to hear a message?” then they are just committing to a message. But if you ask them to commit to baptism right there, it gets them thinking a little bit more. So that’s a little bit of an update on the Work.
We are teaching a family, familia Guerrero, that we are working with that are really cool. They lost a son who was 14 about 6 months ago. The mom, Jennifer, was looking on all sides for something that would give her a little bit of hope. She was looking at all the churches, Catholic, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Evangelicals, everybody. Eventually she was in Argentina and found a temple. She went and visited it, and the Hermana’s started teaching her. Well, right now they have committed to being baptized on the 21st of May, we are going to visit them tonight and gather information so that they can be married before that date. They’ve got a son, Miguelejero, who is 13, and Alison, who is 5. Reminds me a lot of Cici, actually. She actually speaks pretty good English, she learned from Rosetta Stone, so I can talk to her in English a little bit. Her partner, or her husband, basically, lived in Brazil, so he is talking with my companion in Portuguese. This past Saturday we baptized Victor Briceño who is 11, and has the strongest testimony. We baptized him quick. 2 weeks. He had been to the church many times, but we started the lessons 2 weeks ago and he and his parents felt like “yeah. Why not? He has been attending the church a lot.” So we baptized the Saba….Sorry English… the Saturday. It was really special. I am gonna send pictures, the pictures aren’t that great, but ya. It was a little crazy trying to get it all organized, there was a couple of hiccups in there, but it was special. We are working with his parents so that his parents will be baptized within the next month or so. So the first baptism in this area went well. He bore his testimony after and he has a maturity that is really beyond his age. Victor does. He got up there and he just said how grateful he was that he felt clean. That feels totally lifted. It really made me feel. The next day he was confirmed. He was baptized and confirmed by his Uncle who is in the bishopric in another ward. When we put our hands on our head to confirm him, I couldn’t hold back the tears. Victor, in these last two weeks, has really become another little brother to me. He is pretty special. One day, him and another kid that was baptized a couple of weeks ago will go on missions I am sure of it.
Lets see, what else has been happening this week, there’s always something happening here in Colombia. Everybody in Colombia thinks that the United States is at war. There was a member here that was trying to tell me that there’s a war in Salt Lake City right now. She was worried for her family that lives in Salt Lake and wants them to come back to Colombia. I just kind of laughed. She’s funny. They really don’t know what they are talking about. They really hate Trump. A lot. So that’s a report of what’s been going down here.
We had intercambios with the Zone Leaders, that’s always good. Worked with Elder Hamblin, spoke a little bit of English. Today for P-Day, we went to the church and played Ping-Pong and went and ate lunch, we almost went rock-climbing and it’s really cheap, I really really really wanted to, but we are going to go another p-day. We played mini-golf, we played a few games, I got my hair cut, and that was about it for this p-day.
So in my district, there are only 4 and we are all different nationalities. Elder Mareja speaks 5 different languages, English, Spanish, Tagalog, Japanese, and at the least one other. I am not sure which. Might be Korean. He sings really well and has a really really high voice. If you have ever heard Mitch Grasse from Pentatonix, his voice is like that. It’s kind of funny.
Right now I am working through the Book of Mormon for the second time in Spanish, and Jesus the Christ about halfway through, also studying preach my gospel and trying to get ahold of what I am doing as a district leader and stuff like that. I am still learning a lot about that. I am told by my zone leaders that I will probably train within the next couple of changes. Woo Hoo.. Yay… No I am actually really excited about that opportunity I just need to get to know the area really fast. This area is HUGE. It’s meant for 4 missionaries, we are 2. Its about an hour and a half walking really fast to get from one end to the other. There is a bus called Alimentador, that goes from one end to the other, and it’s actually free. It’s pretty wonderful, but it just doesn’t run very many places. If we have to get from here, in Jordan, to Vija Maria, we can take alimentador.
Well guys, I read about your Easter, and it sounded pretty good. In Bucaramanga, we celebrate more than here in Bogota. They aren’t as in to it. They aren’t into celebrating openly. They are more serious here. Hard to get used to. But we did get caught in the middle of a procession on Sunday and that was interesting. People carrying floats and KKK like outfits, someone singing in a megaphone in about 3 different keys, lots of people following in the streets. It’s a lot more interesting in Bucaramanga. In Bucaramanga, the start of Semana Santa, or Holy Week, they were already going through the streets. Actually, I bore my testimony for the last time, accompanied by loud music from out in the street, which was really annoying.
I hope all is going well for all of you, I hope you have enjoyed these few minutes. I am really excited to talk with you all on Mothers Day, and we will have about an hour. Wish we had more, it would be great. If I think about it I get trunky haha. It really is the trunkiest time in the mission when you are changing areas and changing companions. But I am happy. I am very happy to be doing this. I am trying to dig in to the work and work harder, and I find a lot of faults in myself, but, we’re going. I love you all very much, I hope you have a great week. Chao Chao!