Monday, August 25, 2014

August 25

we went to the huge local soccer stadium with the zone leader and two members

Well the first thing that I should probably say is a huge piece of news that I have been forgetting to tell you all. Elder Christofferson is coming to the mission this week for a mission conference. I am super excited to hear from an apostle of the Lord. I´ll make sure to send a lot of great detail about what he said in my letter next week. I pray to be spiritually prepared and to be able to put in practice everything that he says.

To answer your question Dad yes I am still a district leader and my district is almost identical to the old one. There are 8 missionaries, 2 of which are sisters and 2 of which are the zone leaders. It´s been a lot easier here because really the work doesn´t have as many problems to work out in the wards as it did in the branches where I was district leader before. It´s kind of funny because the sisters in the district are super great and super hard workers. They always have by far the best numbers in the district so I always say I can´t tell them things to get better on since they do better than I in almost everything haha. But really it´s awesome to see their example. One of them is 29 years old and she´s great.

Today was kind of cool because I went back to Ciudadela for a couple hours to buy a new bag, and it was super strange for me to walk around my old area a bit. Since the stadium is right there, we went in for free for a couple minutes and took a couple pictures. I don´t know why I never went while it was in my area for 5 months.
As far as the two youth that I mentioned in the last letter, Jesus and Stefani, they really really want to get baptized but can´t get their parents to agree. We read with them 1 Nephi 3 and 4 to help them see how persistent they have to be, and how they can´t get discouraged while they fight to do what the Lord commands. But we told them that they can´t solution the problem in the same way that Nephi did :). On Saturday we are going to do a fast with them. Please pray for the a lot this week.

Other than that we are working with a few other people. I think we should be having a few baptisms soon, I´ll keep you all posted as the dates get closer. I love you all and am super happy to be here representing the Lord in Colombia.

Elder Wilson

Monday, August 18, 2014

August 18

Well this week was transfers and they made me leave Baranoa. Even though it was really hard there, I loved the work there more than any other area in my mission and I was super sad to go. I made really good friends with the branch president while I was there, and the morning of transfers he came to our house, gave me a picture mirage (I think that`s how you say it) of me and him and his family, and then went with us to Barranquilla. It was a super sad moment for me. 

The good news is that I have already seen 2 people from Baranoa in my new area, because I`m now in the area where Sundays we meet in the stake center of the stake El Carmen. The ward is called Alfonso Lopez and we are the only missionaries in the ward, my companion and I. My companion is named Elder Richardson and he`s great. He`s from Washington. He just got out of training, but his trainer was also from the USA and they always spoke English, so he really doesn`t know Spanish yet, poor guy. So we are working on his Spanish. I always speak to him in Spanish.

It`s super weird and cool for me to be here, since it`s my third area in this stake. Ciudadela was also here. In fact, on Sunday there was a stake choir meeting and I saw 9 people from Ciudadela and 2 from Baranoa. In October I will have passed 1 year in this stake. It`s funny because if you look at my mission it`s big and there are lots of areas, but I have just been in a super tiny part of it all this time.

There are a lot of great people here in Alfonso Lopez. There is a 19 year old person named Yalissa who has been listening to the missionaries for about 3 months now. She always goes to Institute and goes to church every week. But she hasn`t accepted a baptismal date yet because she just isn`t sure yet that it`s the right thing to do. But when I met her a really felt that with just a tiny bit of patience she can develop the faith to get baptized.
There are also a couple youth (siblings) named Jesus and Stefani. They are also great, they have been going to church for a long time, but their parents won`t let them get baptized yet. Plus they sometimes tell them things that make them doubt their testimony. The other day Jesus said "once I prayed and I knew without doubt it was the right thing to do but then they talked to me about it and now I`m confused." So we are going to help them develop their testimony again. We talked to their mom yesterday and she`s a great person, just that in her church she has to go through a huge process of more than a year to get baptized, so she doesn`t see how they can do it after just a couple months. But we are going to work hard with the ward youth leaders to help their parents.

Wow I feel weird in a ward with a chapel, in Barranquilla again where all the streets are paved, and there`s a bishop and the missionaries don`t have to do everything anymore. My last sunday in Baranoa the president asked me like 2 minutes before the meeting to give a talk about tithing, and it went great. That will never happen here.

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

Monday, August 11, 2014

August 11

This week has been a lot better than the last few weeks. First off, we found a lot of new investigators who really seem excited about getting ready for a baptism. I remember one person we met is named José Redondo. He is 22 years old and he went to church once because his friend brought him. We finally talked to him this week, and we taught a little about the Doctrine of Christ. While we were talking about baptism, the spirit came super strong so we left off what we were teaching and invited him to get baptized the 13th of September. He accepted and including asked God in his prayer to help him be ready for baptism by that day. Few times in my mission have I seen such sincerity and desire when they accept a baptismal date. 

Another time when we were walking we heard a ton of kids calling us,. I usually just ignore it because they just yell "monkey" at me (here they call white people monkeys, I have no idea why) but my companion paid attention. THey said that a lady wanted to talk to us. Her name is María Esperanza, and she told us that she has been looking for the true church for a long time. she has been going often to a couple different churches, but she doesn´t know how to decide between the two so she prays all the time to know the truth. Then when she saw us she felt really curious and called us over. So this week has really been full of feeling the spirit. 

The best part happened yesterday in church. I was feeling a little sad because transfers are this week, and I think I´ll probably leave Baranoa. I was a little sad because sometimes I get down because I haven´t had much success with baptisms here. But then, during the actual sacrament, I was able to look around and see a lot of people there who didn´t go to church when i got here. The Spirit filled my heart and I knew that God was really happy with my efforts, because I have never worked so hard in my mission. I have seen a lot of success with less active families, and it is awesome to see them feel the joy of the gospel again in their lives. Especially in the families where just a couple were less active and the rest of the family was firm in the gospel. They get so happy when everyone´s back again.

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

Monday, August 4, 2014

August 4

Well first off family I want to apologize because today I don´t have much time to write since we are going to do an activity as a district. I´ll give more details next week and pictures but we are going to like a wildlife park with a tour guide and all, it will be awesome.

This week we have been starting to find some more investigators to work with, so that has bveen awesome. We really need help to find people with a strong interest. Wek found a young man named José Palacio who is 19 years old. He is super excited and went to church after we taught him just one time (plus he went alone). He even presented us to his friends. But the problem is that he always travels between here and another part of Colombia, and sometimes passes months at a time over there. He leaves again tomorrow so we will see what we can do there. 

The branch is in a pretty serious condition. There are some families who were super active when I got here but are distancing themselves a little. The branch mission leader doesn´t like to meet with us right now, so we are trying to work that out. Covey siad once that his specialty was working with church leaders, do you have any ideas? The challenge is that he doesn´t have a job so is always super busy looking for something to give to his family to eat.

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