Friday, June 28, 2013

first week

First things first, I hope you're all having a great time in Hebgen!  It's always great to be up there.  I'm doing great here! 

Rememer I had that companion Elder Lichtenberg? Well I still have him, and he's still a good companion.  But I got assigned to a second companion a few days ago, so now I'm in a trio.  The other guy's name is Elder Bowers, and he's a fun companion to have.  President put him with us.

The most obvious detail about the CCM is that it's actually just a prison.  We have huge, spikey fences and security cameras and a 24 hour guard.  I've got to step outside twice.  Once was during service day, when I swept up the sidewalk adjacent to the fence.  That was cool because another elder in my district and I made a street contact with a passer by. And the other time was today, when I went to the Bogota temple.  It was awesome to go through a session in Spanish, and also awesome to get to see the city.  It is seriously crazy. The busses are PACKED with people, and the driving is insane. Like a road with 2 lanes painted on it is actually a 3 or 4 lane road, and the motos just drive wherever they please.

But the CCM here is awesome, and super relaxed.  I mean, it's a really busy day with lots of things to do, but we also get snack time whenever we have been in class for a long time, and we have a maid to do our laundry and clean the place for us.  And Pte. and Her. Dyer, the CCM president and wife, are awesome.  They know so much about the gospel and are both super loving.

The food here is awesome.  We eat soup with every meal, but the meal itself is usually rice and some kind of meat. And the fruit here it CRAZY!! I mean, I bet Covey or Taylor would know about these, but look up Granadilla and Guanavana. Granadillas are especially crazy. It looks like a pear on the outside, but you peel open half of it, like an orange, and slurp out the insides, which are basically like pomegranite seeds.  It's awesome, but I don't actually like it that much.

As for the Spanish, it's coming along nicely.  I can carry a conversation with anyone, and my gospel Spanish is improving a lot too.  During lessons we have Elder Lichtenberg speak first after a question, and then when he runs out of Spanish I take it from there.  We figured out that that was the best way to do it.  All my CCM teachers speak English, so it's not really an immersion program.  WE're in Spanish for about 50% of classes and that's it.

Well I love you and miss you, so I wish I'd have received a letter to read this week... haha oh well.
Yo sé que Jesucristo vive  que nos ama muchísimo.  Sé que Dios restauró su evangelio por medio de José Smith.  Sé que Presidente Monson es un profeta, y que podemos saber por orar y pedir a Dios.  Estoy agradecido por la oportunidad de servir un misión y aprender Español en Colombia.  ¡Hasta el Miércoles que viene!

Elder Wilson

PS Seroiusly everyone here has seen Castaway so they yell WILSON at me down the halls haha 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

first day here

Querida familia,

Well, I got here alright and now I'm enjoying the beautiful city of Bogota! It really is cool to walk around the MTC grounds and see the people and the city.  Last night we got in at 1 AM because our flight got delayed and then it took a while to get baggage and go through customs. There were ads for beer all over the airport, and stands selling cigarettes everywhere.  But I'm running on like 5 hours of sleep today, and I´m fairly certain that I'll be sleeping in class today.

I got assigned to my companion, his name is Elder Lichtenberg. I don't know him very well yet but I´m certain he´ll be a superstar missionary, because so far he seems to be very consciensious about following all the rules, which is great. It feels strange to be a missionary, and it doesn´t seem real yet. We don´t have nametags yet or anything, but I´ve already done some missionary work! When I was in the Atlanta airport, Elder Morris and I got talking to some guy, and since I was trying to get my pass along card out, we asked him about his family. He told me about them, and I asked what it would mean to him if he knew that he could live with them forever, and he told us that he often wondered about that since he´d lost someone special. I gave him the pass along card along with my testimony in the Atonement, the Ressurection, and life after death. I hope he calls or visits

I am very grateful to have been able to take all the Spanish I have. I can communicate fairly easily with the teachers here, even though they don't speak any English. Our CCM driver who picked us up from the airport last night is an awesome guy. I guess he isn't a member because of some problems with his wife, but he's funny. The driving here is crazy. People just drive wherever since the roads have no lanes. Our driver didn't speak English, but after no one stopped for a red light he said ¨the police are crazy¨and it was super funny.  Also, there are only like 16 missionaries in this MTC right now because like 80 left yesterday, but all the latinos should get in today to replace them.

Sorry, I don't have much to talk about since I've only been here for less than a day. I´ll try to remember to take some pictures this week so that you can see the place, but I'm not allowed to leave the MTC compound so they'll be from the inside. I already love the city, and Heavenly Father has blessed me to already feel a deep love for the ´people. I want to bring them the happiness that comes from repentance because of the Atonement. I know that Heavenly Father loves us, and that he will strengthen all those who turn to Him and to His son Jesus Christ.  I love you guys.

Elder Wilson