Monday, June 23, 2014

June 23

Well I'm glad to hear that you are all doing well over there in Hebgen, I love how beautiful it is over there. This week has been an exciting one for us here in the mission, we had an awesome zone conference. We talked a lot about how to help the temple construction. About 4 years ago they announced the temple, and they already have baught the grounds, but other than that nothing has really happened here. I'm about ready to grab a shovel next P-Day and head over to temple grounds to get started on the work. 

But they helped us to see that there is another way. We need to use the booklet My Family. They have just barely given us the booklet and we now get to fill it out with the information and also get all the recent converts and less actives to do the same. When we do that, we help the bishops augment their new indicator of members who send their family names to the temple, and this helps pressure the work for the temple. 

I am excited to fill out my book, but I need a little help. I have the information from my 4 generation chart, but I need more stuff. I don't really remember at all my great grandparents, so if you can send me a couple short stories about them it would help me with the book. I suppose you all have the book there to see what I need to fill it out. I need pictures of each person there with a space for a picture, like parents, grandparents, and great grandparents. I would love those photos, I can print them out here. And stories, and information about my grandparents' siblings and great grandparents' siblings. Sorry if that's a lot, but it will help me to fill out my book and be a good example for these people here.

The Lord is really doing a ton to hasten this work. They talked a lot about the importance of teaching tithing really well to less active members and converts, so that they can all recieve the blessings of tithing. They told us that new missionaries now recieve a 7 hour course on their last day of the mission about self sufficience and how to adapt to life after the mission. The church has plans to stop expanding until it can strengthen what we already have, like the district in our mission that isnt a stake yet. Really I am so grateful for the huge blessing of being a missionary in this super exciting time in the history of God's kingdom.

Well pray hard so that Andrés can get baptized this week or the next, I feel bad since so much time has gone by without a baptism here. I love you all and hope you are having a great summer.

Elder WIlson

Monday, June 16, 2014

June 16

Pictures of the Varela family. They gave us lunch today, a delicious cow tail soup. No seriously, delicious.

Hello all, I hope you are enjoying your time in Hebgen and are having lots of fun.

This week was another week for a lot of learning. We did everthing possible to di visits with members but almost all of our plans fell through at the last minute, so we got stuck doing the visits without them. But at least we recieved some refferals this week, so there is progress in the branch.

For a long time now we have been teaching Isabel Varela, who has been to church a lot, reads a lot the Book of Mormon, has a testimony, but has a hard time putting aside her catholic traditions. We have a lot of faith that she can be baptized the 28th of this month, and we are doing everything possible to help. She already lives the commandments, she knows its right, but needs a little more confidence in taking that decision. It is kind of tricky though since she got married in the Catholic church, and here in this mission that counts but we have to see proof. But she want to the catholic church and I guess there was a fire and the records were burned. So it looks like she will have to get married again, which here is like a class a struggle. So we´ll start that process again.
The streets have been surprizingly calm for the world cup, so until now it hasn´t really affected the proselyting. No one wants to talk with us during the game, so we go out and work in the morning and have our studies during game time. But that´s only on game days anyways. 

Yormitt hasn´t had any progress in helping her partner decide to marry her, and I think she´s getting really discouraged since she hasn´t gone to church in a few weeks. I feel super worried about her since she was so excited and always read the book of mormon but now for the past 3 weeks she hasn´t gone to church. We also have faith that she will get baptized the 28th of this month, but it will take a miracle to help her partner gabriel decide to get married.

Andrés is still planning on also getting baptized the 28th of this month. I think he is the most sure baptism for this month. He´s 20 years old and says that he wants to be a missionary.  He also has a testimony and hasn´t missed a week of church since even before we started teaching him. He went to a lot of different churches when he was young, looking for the truth, but never found it until he came here, with us. (amos 8:11-12). The only difficulty with him is that he doenst like to take big decisions beforehand. FOr example a couple weeks ago he decided to go from Baranoa to Barranquilla and back in bike, and he did it like 2 days after. So that´s the challenge, but we also have faith that he´ll be ready for the 28th.

Well I love you all. As far as something that I need from Hebgen, no I´m fine thanks. Also how´s Brooke´s pregnancy coming along? I think about that sometimes, I guess the baby´s practically crowning by now.

Elder Wilson

Monday, June 9, 2014

the plague

I accidentally sneezed on my orange
No, just kidding. This is one of my favorite Colombian fruits, called granadilla. You slurp it up, mucus and all. Super delicious

This week has been crazy because everyone in the zone is sick. We have 5 companionships, so it´s a small zone, but 3 of them haven´t been working this week because of sickness. Of the other two (my companion and I and the zone leaders) the missionaries are sick but are working anyways. My companion has had a terrible cold for over a week but keeps trooping on. He´s great. But luckily I´m still healthy and happy.

The work with the members should be progressing a ton this week, and that means that there will be a lot more baptisms. They finally called and sustained a branch mission leader this week, who was once the branch president. He will be a great resourse for us. Also, a missionary from the branch returned home after his mission this week, and he has a ton of experience and will help a lot. His name is Ley Gonzales. Plus yesterday my companion and I did like a training in the house-chapel for the members about missionary work. We wrote down everyones schedule for when they can do visits with us, and we taught them how. Then we gave every single person a pamphlet about the Plan of Salvation and the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the commitment to give it to a friend and invite them to listen to us. We even did practices with everyone of how to talk with them to naturally share the gospel. So now we have to pray that the members can follow through. We are going to talk with them on Sunday to see how it went.

Other that that, this week should be fun since I have like one dollar to get by for the whole week. I´ll probably loose another few kilos.

Yormitt is vascilating between marriage and separation, but is leaning towards marriage. We really haven´t talked to her much this week, since she hass to make the decision herself. But I am a little worried because she didn´t go to church this week or last week. That´s  how they start to forget their testimonies. There is a member here who was baptized in January but now says that he never even had a testimony of the Book of Mormon. But I know he had one and is just doubting it now. We are doing all we can to help him regain it but it´s hard because the members haven´t visited or anything. But like I said, that should change this week.

Other than that, we are teaching a great young man named Andrés Nuñez. He is 20 years old, so he´s a future missionary. He heard about the church through his girlfriend. He actually went to church like 3 times before we first visitied him, because we always thought that he was one of the sster missionaries´ inverstigators. But he always reads the Book of Mormon, adn he knows  it´s true. He loves the church and wants to be a missionary. The only problerm is that he has an issue with commitment and doesn´t want to definitively accept a baptismal date. He has one for the 28th of this month, but always sayd something like "I can´t tell you for sure because who knows what can happen before then" or "no I´m just an impulsive person, so if I want to before that day I´ll do it." I really think he can reach this goal, but it´s going to require a lot of work and help from the branch.

Well I hope you all have a great week in Hebgen, and find a great moose for me.

Elder Wilson

Monday, June 2, 2014

June 2

Well this week has been an interesting week for me since they did an emergency transfer. I stayed here and my companion as well, but what they did was pull out our district leader and his companion, and I´m the new district leader. Luckily it´s a pretty easy district, with 3 companionships. Us, the zone leaders, and the sister missionaries here in the branch. I have felt very humbled by this, but more surprized than anything.

The work is really struggling here in Baranoa. There are a lot of members who are without a job, fighting with their spouse, and all those things. The bad part is that they are not being obedient in the small things, like tithing and the reading of the Book of Mormon. So they expect blessings without doing their part and they don´t get them. And I think that the conduct of the members is affecting a little bit the missionary work, because it´s like my companion and I are fighting a battle alone. 

Yormitt is having some huge difficulties. She was scheduled to get married this Friday and baptized this Saturday, but she is fighting a lot with her partner and they might separate. I guess a large part of the fight is that she wants to get baptized no matter what, and so since her partner doens´t want to get married, that are going to separate. All my companion and I were able to say is that if she reads the scriptures and prays and fasts, then the Spirit will guide her to the right choice and she will know what to do. So we hope it all works out.

I do have to concede that the branch did an awesome activity this week for a late mother´s day. We were all waiting for it to start and the branch president says Elders, can you please be in charge of the spiritual portion? and they the program started. We had a hymn and a prayer´s worth of time to plan out our message, but it went well. I almost cried talking about mothers but I pulled it together pretty well. The Varela family went, and I think it helped them. There were dances, songs, skits, and I think they liked to see that the church isn´t as boring as they thought.

Well I love you all and hope you have a great week.
Elder Wilson