Monday, July 29, 2013

week 2 in the field

I don't have any pictures this week. It's because we can only use our camaras on p-day or during service. We did some service on Saturday but I didn't bring my camara, and today I haven't taken pics since we come first thing in the morning after study and whatnot. But I'll take some pics today and get them to you next week. Oh and we can use our camaras at baptisms but I haven't had any of those yet.

FYI I didn't withdraw any money yet, I'm just trying to get it all figured out.

The struggles that I have and my investigators are the same.  I get really sad because we teach great lessons, the spirit's there, they make committments, and then they don't do anything. Well some do, but no one attended Sacrament meeting yesterday except a guy we met on the street and invited, but he has mental problems and I was definitely not expecting him. But it was great, I just need to figure out if we can really teach him or not. But we're teaching a few great families. One is the familia Nuñez. They are old investigators who weren't married and when transfers happened a while ago they got lost. But we found them again, and they told us that they got married so that they could get baptized, and really they're great. We're also teaching a lady named Joyce. She has a great family, but we haven't really met her boyfriend yet to teach him. So those are only a couple. We have lots of investigators with a baptismal date, but we keep having to push it back for whatever reason.

Something that we're working on as a companionship is being more on time. The people here love to talk, so lessons take a while, and then we get to walk across the area to talk to the next person, and we show up late. So we're really trying to think of ways to fix this, since to for us to show up on time the lessons would have to be like 20 minutes or less, which is really hard here. My companion is great. He works hard and we get along really well. He's really super good at establishing relationships with investigators in the first lesson.

As for the language, it's hard. The people here on the coast speak unbelievably fast, and they have a thing where they sometimes only say like half of the word. So I really struggle to understand what people are saying, but sometimes I can at least get the gist. But I miss Bogota Spanish. And they can for the most part understand me.  i had this hilarious experience 2 sundays ago when I asked some little kid when his mission was (in spanish) and he said "No entiendo ingles". So I was laughing pretty hard about that.

I don't really know how far I walk each day. It's pretty far but I don't know. So I guess a pedometer would be good in that package, so I can keep track of how far I walk. But it could also be depressing, like when I look at that thermometer I have during companionship study and it's like 90 degrees in my room at 10 in the morning. I had to put that away because it made me cranky.

Congrats to Jen and Jared, you two rock and I'm happy for you.

Also I get these great looks when I walk around here. Everyone literally stares at me with this funny look on their face. So it's great for greeting people all the time, since in the mission the rule is hablar con todos. I'll send pics of my apartment next time. but I live there with my companion, and elder Quiñones and Elder Calderon. Elder Calderon was the guy in the back of the pic I sent last week.

Yeah so that's all, love you guys!
Elder Wilson

Thursday, July 25, 2013

first week in the field!

1 - my comp and I
2 - typical Barranquilla park, this is right by my house

You know that feeling when you step out of a hot shower and the air feels great for a minute but then you realize that it's hot when you step out of the bathroom? Well here, it's like that, only you never step out of the bathroom.  Seriously it feels the exact same, so if you want to feel what I feel, turn off the bathroom fan and take a long, hot shower. But i love it.  My first few days here I was super blessed because President was out of town, so my transfer didn't happen for a few days. In those days I got to be companions with the AP, Elder Andrus.  He is an awesome missionary, so I was super glad to work with him for a few days.

Now I've been in dos Robles for a few days, and I love it here too.  My companion is Elder Caballero. His parents are from El Salvador, so he speaks perfect Spanish, but he lived in the US his whole life, in Vegas, so he speaks perfect English too.  he's an awesome guy, I'll send a photo. Which reminds me, can you send me a family photo, like in that package you're talking about? I want one to show people here. Or more than one photo, like pull some off my facebook of friends too. 

Well the members here are awesome.  We eat with them every day, and on my second visit I got the entire fish experience. Seriously though the head tastes really good. Sorry I'm jumping all over the place, I don't have tons of time and I'm going to try to send some photos. The biggest problem we have here is that the people talk too much. We spend all day walking to visits, only to have people say thaey don't want us anymore. We don't have a phone so we don't call ahead. Then we walk to our next visit, to hear the same.  Then we finally get in somewhere, and they talk and talk, and don't really listen. Or when we eat it takes like an hour and a half because the members take a while to eat too. My spanish isn't really good enough to rush a conversation, since I can't understand what people say. But it's good, we work hard. We just are working on a way to teach more lessons in the day, since we're out all day and teach like 3 lessons and make like 8 contacts, and we never teach everyone.

I sweat constantly but it's no big deal since everyone is willing to give us water or juice. and the juice is delicious.  Well I don't have much more to say, chao!

Elder Wilson

Sunday, July 14, 2013

fast tracked

Well, I got fast-tracked and Presidente Dyer worked something out with my mission president, so I'm off to the field this Tuesday!!!! I can't believe that came so fast.  I've had a great time in the CCM, but I'm definitely excited to get out in the field, get warm (Bogota is never above 75), and get some hard work done.  I really don't feel very ready but I know that with the Lord all things are possible.  He has called me to the work, and I know that since it's really just His work, I can be successful.

This week has been where the Spiritual and Language Bootcamp side of the CCM has kicked in.  I got a Latin companion, got stuck in a room with 7 other Latinos, and a district with 5 other latinos.  So I haven't really been able to understand most of what people say lately.  But I have a very strong testimony of the gift of tongues.  There have been a lot of nights when I had no clue what anyone was saying.  Then I'd go into a lesson with the same people that I couldn't understand, and get what they said and be able to respond.  We watched a fantastic Provo MTC devotional with Elder Scott about prayer, and it really changed the way I think about it.  But he also spent a few moments talking to missionaries who are learning a new language.  He said that in our prayers we should remind the Lord that he called us to learn a new language, and that since we want to be good servants we need to learn it now.  I don't think I would have prayed that way if I hadn't heard the apostle of God tell us to do so, and promise us that language skills will come when we need them.

This week has also been one of my most spiritual here.  Probably because I was doing way more listening than talking, what with everyone speaking Spanish.  There have been many times where my companion and I have had our testimonies confirmed in lessons, and when the Spirit has told me what to say in answering hard questions during our fake lessons here.  I'm so grateful for these experiences, and they have definitely strengthened my testimony in the Lord helping us when we need, because I needed a lot of help this week :)

About my companion.  His name is Elder Lozano, and he is awesome.  He's from Lima and speaks more quietly and faster than almost anyone else, so we definitely had some communication issues the first few days.  But he's good.  We had some trouble with him doing some things to annoy me all the time, but we had a little companionship inventory, so to speak, and now we're all good again.  And I was frustrated at the beginning of this week with some reverence problems in my district, but after we got called out for being the least reverent district by a teacher, is all worked out.  I just wished that my Spanish was a little better to be able to ask for more reverence haha.  But about my companion.  I think his family sacrificed a lot for him to get out here, because I had to show him how to use a lot of hygeine items that he had brought with him.  I love seeing people that love the Lord so much to sacrifice a lot for a mission.

I'm doing really well here.  Elder Camargo of the 70 gave a great devotional yesterday.  I'm the only missionary flying out to Barranquilla Tuesday since transfers aren't for 2 weeks, when I was supposed to leave, so I hope the airport goes well and such.  I´d send more photos but they confiscated everyone's cameras the moment we arrived so I can't. I love you guys, and I feel your prayers helping me.  Honestly there have been times when the Spirit tells me I'm being prayed for, and I'm so grateful for it.  I don't know when I'll write again because of traveliung out to the field, so sorry. Until later!

Élder Wilson

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

in the CCM

This week was AWESOME.  To start off, I made a legitimate street contact who wanted to hear more from the missionaries.  We had to go to migration to get our green cards, and so while we were waiting outside and getting yelled at since we Americans stuck out badly, I started talking to some lady next to me.  I testified about temples and God´s love, and then she said that she had some daughters who didn't go to church so she was worried about them, so I tesified about how the gospel can help them too.  Then I got all her info and forwarded it to the President of the Cali mission, where she lives. So that was probably the highlight. I also talked to some other guy, but he was from the US and didn't really want to hear the message.

Or the other highlight is that I got fast-tracked here at the CCM, so I already have a Latin companion and start the 2 week program tomorrow. So there's a tiny chance I'll be able to hit the field early, but probably I'll just have to do the 2 week program twice haha. And it's because of my language, so I hope that answers your question about how the language is.

My companion Elder Bowers left like the next day after I wrote.  It was sad but I really think it was better for him.  I hope he can adjust to being at home again, and grow to feel God's love and approval.

The church made a kind of dress code change-up, so it looks like I'll be allowed to wear sandals out in the field!! I'm super pumped about that, so when my shoes wear out I'll search for some comfortable sandals.  Also, they want us to wear our name badges on the right side of our suits, which was a hilarious story. Basically I woke up one morning, walked outside of my room to exercise, and there was a picture of Lexi Garrett on the wall across from my bedroom here. She was modeling the new placement of the badge, but I was definitely not expecting a picture of Lexi here in the Colombian CCM.

Mckay I somehow brought your PMG with me instead of mine, so you can feel flattered that your PMG is helping a missionary across the world.

I want to talk about how scary sacrament meetings are here, because it feels like a giant game of battleship. Everyone is supposed to write talks, and then they just announce who's speaking as they announce the program. So it's pretty intense but it's probably just training for the mission field.

My CCM President, Pte. Dyer, is the grandson of LeGrand Richards. Could someone fill me in on exactly how I'm related to LeGrand? Also I need my 4-gen pedigree chart still if I could get it.

It was good to hear that you're all doing so well, and I hope you have a great 4th of July. I love you guys!

Elder Wilson