Hola Familia! Muy Buenos Tardes!
I hope that you all are having a good Memorial Day weekend. It sounds like things are going pretty smooth now that school is out! I’m looking at your pictures right now, and I wouldn’t be honest if I said I wasn’t a little bit trunky. BUT… This week in Bogota has been good, it’s been crazy with transfers and now I am with Elder Villarroel, he is from Bolivia Santa Cruz, and he is a real good missionary. He has a lot of fire in his bones for the work and he’s, in a lot of ways, better than I am. It’s a really interesting experience training… well I’ll back up….
So Monday, away went Elder Silva, and I stayed with Elder Lopez for a little while and then we went and picked up our new companions. We went actually to the mission home in the center of Bogota (no it’s not the center it’s closer to the north, but still close to the center…) and we went up there and it made me super trunky because the mission home is super super nice. It has this aura of your grandparents house. It’s warm, and Hermana Laney is cooking and you are sitting in a training and ya.. We went there at 9 in the morning, woke up at 5:30 to get on the bus in intense traffic to Calle 71, it was good. So we went in and we were the first ones there, we sat down and just soaked in the aura of the mission home. They have really nice carpet, something that I have not seen in a very long time, actual carpet. We just kinda sat there for a little bit, and then we had a training at 10:30, and then at 1 we had lunch and it was American food! There’s a store called Pricemart where you can get actual cheese and stuff from the United States and it was all made from that. She made Lasagna and salad, actual salad. In Colombia, salad is rotting and raw tomatoes with like a vinegar. Then we went down on a patio below the mission home and played a bit of ping-pong down there and that was fun. Then we went back up and were assigned our new companions. Then we went back and we got to work. We hit the road, and this week has not been that good as far as the work goes. We have had a lot of appointments cancel on us, and actually our entire evening for tonight just fell through so we have to figure out what we’re gonna do. Sometimes we have a lot of things in the night and we cant do them all, and sometimes we cant find anything to do. But we are gonna go and find somebody to teach, because that’s what missionaries do.
So, this week we had a really cool miracle happen. So there’s a returned missionary in our ward called Danny and Danny returned about a month ago from his mission. I asked him how the transition was, and he said “oh, no, it’s fine. I’m still contacting.” Literally, he had pass-along cards made and is still contacting and gives us a lot of references from the contacts he makes like on the bus, he still walks around in a shirt and tie. It’s actually kinda weird, but at the same time he is a super star of a member. So he was walking down the street one day giving out cards for his business (he makes shirts and aprons and things like that) he was giving out cards and we walked past this barber shop and he went in to give her his card and then he went out and had the impression from the spirit to go in and get his hair cut. He didn’t need a haircut, but he did it anyway. And he talked to the lady while she was cutting his hair about the gospel, and she said she was interested in listening ot the missionaries. He came to us the next day and said “Hey, Elders, I was…how do you say it… I was carried away by the spirit yesterday. I have somebody that we need to go visit.” So on Thursday, he accompanied us to our lunch and we had a super spiritual lesson with a less active. But that’s another story. Then we went out and we had another one of our appointments cancel on us, so we said “well, what do we do?” and he said: “Ok. We’re gonna go to this lady. Her name is Luz.” So we went and we taught the first lesson to her, and she accepted a baptismal invitation and a baptismal date for the 24th of June. That was crazy in and of itself! Come to find out, she has a daughter that is Mormon and has been for awhile. Come to find out, it’s the specialist of self reliance in our ward! She is the wife of the Elder’s Quorum president, so with that double, we work with their family a lot and their actually one of my best friends here in Bogota. That was crazy. So I called her and asked her if she wanted to accompany us to a lesson with her mom. And she said: “well, Elder, I would love to but I cant. My mom and I don’t have a good relationship. We don’t talk very much.” I guess that when she joined the church, her mom didn’t understand Tithing and the Word of Wisdom, and I guess that she has had some really hard things happen in her life and this investigator that we now have used to hit Hermana Andrea (Andrea is the name of the self reliance coordinator) Andrea told us one night, we went over Friday night to talk to her about it, and she told us about how hard it had been and basically, it’s a very long story, she took an hour and a half telling us about it. Basically their relationship has been shattered. Her mom just wasn’t a good mom. Come to find out that her (Hermana Andrea) patriarchal blessing says: “you will bring your parents to the knowledge of the restored gospel”. Then I told her: “Hermana, your mom has accepted a baptismal date for the 24th of June.” And she looked stunned. Absolutely stunned. So much so that Eduard, her husband, laughed out loud at her face and went for his phone to take a picture. She started to cry. She said “Elders. You don’t know how much this means to me. Are you kidding me?! My mom. My mom accepted a baptismal date. You’re kidding. “ we said “yes, yes she did, she was very attentive through the lesson and she understood.” And it was really interesting. Hermana Luz, I asked her if she would be baptized on that day and she said yes. And I asked her why she accepted the invitation. She said “I don’t have anywhere else to go.” Anyway, so then I told Juan Diego, the son of Hermana Andrea and he had the same reaction and again Brother Eduard took a picture of his face because it was hilarious. He said: “no way. That cant be right. My grandma is anti-mormon. “ That was the point where she told us about her patriarchal blessing and that she had given up hope on that. I don’t know, the whoel situation was all so cool. All because Danny felt like he needed to get a haircut, even when he didn’t need one. She thanked us up and down and it really made me feel humble the way that the Lord is working here. Also as an example to me, to follow the promptings of the spirit, because you never know how big of a deal it can be. It means everything to Andrea.
Well, that’s the story for this week. It was really in those moments that I really love my mission. It’s what makes it all worth it. So I will keep you guys updated on that. Other families have been having problems. Financial problems, family problems, both…. So we are working hard and they are being very juicioso.. or how do you say it… wise, like studious? Something like that. They are being very good and the Lord will bless them. I have full confidence in that. We are teaching some other people, and with this new companion, and with the Lord’s help, we are really gonna get going here. Well guys, that’s the recording for this week, I will keep you posted on what’s happening. I love you all so much. I will talk to you next week. Chao Chao!
food at the mission home