Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Año Nuevo en La Valle‏

Hola mi Querida Familia! Christmas here was a little bit different. But I didn't mind...I worked harder than ever, and Our numbers are some of the best in Valledupar for almost everything! WooHoo! We have had very little food in the house besides the package you guys sent :), but I have been making the best of it. I miss the pajama unwrapping (and you guys) but I am so focused on the work, I forgot it was Christmas until night time. We did caroling also, and most of our lessons fell through. Not many people were sober or wanting to talk to us that day. But I love you guys TTTTTTTTTTTTTTTHHHHHHHHHHHIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIISSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS Much. I had two intercambios, which means you spend the day with another missionary. I spent my first with Elder Wilson, my Zone Leader. We had a deaf Colombian member accompany us to lessons named Alfredo. I relearned everything in Colombian Sign Language. And then after 10 minutes of learning how to sign basic things...I taught the Restoration to a deaf Colombian couple...in sign language! I did the first vision, and the spirit filled the room, and signs just came to my mind, signs that I later asked Alfredo if they were correct, and he said that the majority was! Then I invited them to baptism...they both accepted! Elder Wilson was extremely impressed with my work ethic and abilities in lessons. He said that He knows that I will be a leader in the mission in the near future! Then I had intercambios with Elder Cortez (his area is the area where a dog bit me...very poor). I challenged two longtime investigatores to baptism after a powerful lesson that I led! They both accepted! Elder Cortez is pretty much my best friend in the mission, and it was a great day! The gifts sound so fun! Especially this Spikeball...it sounds like it was invented for Elder Manwaring :). I hope everyone is enjoying Christmas a whole bunch! Nate and Ava sound like they are super cute in da snow! The gifts we received from you guys are awesome! Elder Giron wasn't very happy or grateful, and it was super weird. But I am sooooo grateful for everything you guys sent-It was a great Christmas full of lots of work! My feet are tougher than nails now, and my shoes are getting beat up but everything is going super great there. Tell Ava that I hope she has a great Bone Marrow Birthday, she does deserve it! I don't need anything here, thanks :). The other missionaries are kind of making fun of me for receiving so many packages. :) But you guys are so awesome for thinking of me! I am grateful for your love, and I talk about you guys every day to investigadores. Very few people (member or non-member alike) know about eternal marriage, and I can show them a foto of my family and say that every single face that they see in the foto is bound together for the eternidad! Much love! I also hope the Year is Buenisimo for everyone of you guys also! I hope you guys help the missionary effort there as well. I realize now how much the success of a ward depends on the members just being friends with people that are investigating the church. Much Love in the New Year, Élder Manwaring

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Much Love and Much Mangos

It rained so hard this Friday, that the streets became rivers that even carried a cat away to its possible doom. It was such a crazy storm, the water came up to my waist at some points, but we still did proseliting, what an adventure! This week was much better! We had better numbers this week in every aspect than any other week, and I directed most of the lessons and area. My companion is a little sick so I have been the one talking the most to people. We are hoping it is not Chikungunya (It features sudden onset fever usually lasting two to seven days, and joint pains typically lasting weeks or months but sometimes years. The virus is passed to humans by two species of mosquito)...but he is sick with a sore throat and runny nose and fever, and like most people here in South America, he refuses to take medicine. I met this guy in the street the other day who claimed he used to be God. But isn't anymore. And he also wants to have 98 wives, because he said it is his Godly privilege. He also says that God right now lives in the United States and that he hates every other nation. He also says he is King of the World, but has been exiled to live in Valledupar until he dies. He also said he is the brother of a well known terrorist who died a little while back. How lucky I am! It went very well with President Searle. He was extremely impressed with my attitude and dedication. I discovered during the interview that I have a accent when I speak English and have a very hard time thinking of words sometimes.It sounds like a Colombian speaking English that has been speaking for quite a few years. About 9 out of every ten people think I am Colombian or Argentinian. But the interview went very well. I hope Lauren gets better. I fasted this Saturday for the health of the family in general. I am glad she had a good time at winter's! She looks so pretty and is more slim than the last time I saw her, I hope she is really enjoying her senior year! Speaking of enjoying the year, I am not missing home at all, and I am really loving my time here in the City of Valledupar. I am not tired anymore, and in fact have a little bit of a hard time sleeping. I have been having weird dreams. Tell Nick I am super proud of him for getting a part in the play(Annie). He seems to have grown in so many ways since I left. I hope he does fantastic and continues doing plays if he loves it! I hope you guys enjoy the snow. It has been about 100 with humidity here, with occasional crazy rain storms. Have fun sledding! Ava is supah cute! I hope you all have a fantastic Christmas! I know I Will because I am working for the man who made Christmas a possibility. And no...not Santa Claus! I miss having our nights and hearing your guys voices too, but you will hear my weird accent voice in about a week! Love you all mucho! Tell Nick I am super proud of him, and tell him that he has the right to receive revelation for the people he serves if he is thinking of their needs first. He will do awesome! I hope you have an insanely awesome week, full of joy and blessings for you guys as well!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Mucho Amor from the City of Mangos!‏

I have had a better, but very similar week. I was waiting for the news of Ava's scans, because I had counted about when the scan would be. I am beyond happy for this news! Give my amor to that small baby! I want to share some experiences with you guys. First, I was asked by an member de our Barrio who is fairly old to give a blessing. Élder Giron wasnt feeling up to it, and told me that he couldnt, and that I needed to do it. Her name is very long like most here in LatinAmerica. But I gave a very humble, not very exquisitely worded blessing. She had been in bed for days and could hardly make it to a seat to get the blessing. She was in a lot of pain. She had been in and out of passing out. But I gave the blessing, and afterwards, I felt like my energy was completely drained and I almost fell over, so I sat down for a bit. We left, and the next day this old woman walked almost 2 miles to church with no symptoms whatsoever. She had previously been doing awful. The priesthood is a very real power directly from God. We have been having extremely low numbers throughout this last week. But I am trying to work super hard for them. We met a man on the street the other day who said he was always curious what it is like inside of the chapel. We told him he could go and see for himself this Sunday. He told us very sadly that he didn't have very much money to pay for church. When we told him it was free, and that is the way Christ's church should be, I thought he was going to cry. He told us he is Jehovah Witness, and feels like he lost Gods favor, he is a poor carpenter who lives in his woodshop with his family. He was very sad because he said he was in another city this weekend but that he will try to find a chapel there. He told us that Mormons are always so happy, and he is passing for many difficulties, and believes we can help him. Also I did exchanges with my district leader where we proselited in his area. His area is very very poor in comparison with ours which is super rich,(as in Olympus Cove rich in some areas). The houses are concrete with dirt floors and random pieces of metal for roofs. The children run naked in the streets with dogs. But I have never met so many people ripe for the word of God in my life. They were all so interested in what we had to say! I got bit by a large dog but as it came up to bite me, I had the impulse to kick. So I did, and I kicked that dumb dog so hard in the face, that it was probably animal abuse, and PETA would unfriend me on Facebook. But it went through my pants but my skin had no bites, just a little red...crazy huh! I made mango pancakes today and made two goals in soccer. People here when I tell them to guess where I am from many now say: Cachaco which is a people of Medellin who are literally identical to me in looks. Or Argentina alot, and Colombiana. Very few think I am from the States. Pretty sweet. This week will be the best ever, because I am going to work hard as a present to my Savior. You guys are beyond love for me! Te Amo fuertisimo, Tu Hijo Élder Manwaring (The Lone Gringo of Loperena)

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Birthday and the Day of Gracias

I too had a good thanksgiving! I got your guys packages and 1 from Grandma and Grandpa! Thank you so much for the gifts! How did you know I was wanting a Hammock¿ Maybe I told you in a old Email but I cant remember. Either way it is super awesome! And the candy (my favorites) and hymn book were just the energy I needed to refresh myself for the work! Thanksgiving we did have Chinese, and the Dyers drove out here to speak to us! They are awesome! I'm glad you liked the Salchipapas! I also had Salchipapas on my birthday! I do eat plantains every single day...but yours look especially good! Tell Nate he is super awesome for learning to do new things! One of the greatest joys we can have in this life is in trying new things and mastering our talents! The tree!!! I wish I could be there, to help put it up while listening to forgotten Carols...but this Christmas I will be working for the man who made Christmas possible and I have a lot of joy in this. Tell Nick I am proud of him and hope he does well in his new calling! On my birthday I had decided to dedicate my Birthday to my investigatores. I worked so hard that day, and was exhausted when it came time to go home. We had finished planning and filling out registros for the people we taught, and it became time to finish and go eat...at 10:20 PM, when we needed to go to bed at 10:30. I ate fast and while Elder Giron got ready for bed, I finally opened up the gifts! I was so happy! And I sat on the floor and started reading the letters! It felt as though you guys were in the room with me! I'm glad Pte. Searle thinks I'm a good missionary. I really work very hard to earn that. But sometimes I don't feel that way because our investigatores are not progressing despite our efforts. And the people in the ward are wondering why there haven't been any baptisms. I love the work, and it is where I belong, but sometimes the circumstances are tough. But I pray for attributes of Christ because I know he had it harder during his ministry. The mission has strengthened me beyond what I thought my capacity was earlier. I made the decision to enjoy every moment of my mission, which is not dependent on anyone but myself! I love you all so much, and I hope that all is well at home! I think of you guys in my prayers every time! Which by the way is a crazy amount! I pray about 15 to 20 times per day out here! The church is true. The work is wonderful. The Lord strengthens us! Love and Ciao for now,

Friday, November 28, 2014

From Valledupar with Love

It will be rough not being with you guys for my Birthday and Thanksgiving, but I am going to make the best of it with my family of investigatores here in Valledupar! I have not received anything yet, but I am grateful that you guys are thinking of me :). I too will try to eat some salchipapas for the Bday. I am so grateful that what I am doing here is having an impact on my siblings! Ava is so cute, and I miss Her a lot. My Companion is eating less and less per day it seems like. And he seems to think that I am eating more and more per day, which isn't necessarily a lie either :). The food here is pretty good. Although an investigator gave us a juice that is corn juice, onion, and old lactose milk blended together. The culture expects you to eat or drink everything in front of you, so I drank the tall glass of it and thought I was going to throw up. She was so happy that I (Élder American) drank it and told her I liked it. So she refilled the tall glass, and I choked the crap down a second time. By the way, The photo is of a street near my house in Valledupar, you can see the mangos on the trees. The stories of the siblings are very emotional for me, and refresh my mind for the work every time I read it because it gives me purpose to be someone's hero like that! The blessings of missionary service are already starting to appear. Dad, I loved sitting with you every Sunday in Priesthood, because I was proud that YOU were MY dad! I miss you a ton too, but the work here is progressing better by the day. The situation with my compañero is still rough, but I am making the best of it and learning how to teach effectively with him! You are my greatest example of what I want to be as a missionary! I have never thanked you guys for the packages, I realized. Thank you so much for thinking of me! And I love you all so much! Thanks for the birthday wishes! Its just like being at home! By the way when is Thanksgiving¿ Have I already missed it¿ I will keep myself healthy, and the Lord is helping me do all things including that! Te Amo Muchisimo. Ciao for now. Your Élder Manwaring

Sunday, November 23, 2014

A Better Week

We are about 8 hours by bus from Barranquilla, and so it is slightly cooler here. In Valledupar the majority are very poor. As in a concrete one room house with a bed and a sink and a tin roof and a dirt floor. There are many dogs with flea bitten diseased bodies. And bats that come out at night. Lots and lots of bats! Through the Lord we can do all things! I try to serve with all my heart, and ignore the less than fun stuff. I am feeling the spirit a lot, and working hard for my investigadores!I miss my ukulele a lot! I will pray for Ava, she is so little and cute! I hope she had a ton of fun in her star raising! This week I want to speak to every one of the family members and relate experiences by person: Dad: You can buy peanut butter here. But for about $10. The craziest thing I have eaten here is pig heart soup! Delicious! Oh, and look up Salchipapas! They are so good, I wish I could eat it every day! Élder Giron and I were teaching a lesson to a super poor lady who is leaving the church, when a dainty young lady came up behind us and started speaking as though she were a gruff old man, which was not her voice, but it wasn´t an imitation of an old man´s voice. Super creepy! She said "open your windows" and then walked away. But I am doing much better at speaking and listening in spanish. I love you tons! Mom: Sign language came in "handy" because we met a deaf guy in the street and my companion just abandoned him without trying. But I stopped and shared the gospel. Colombian sign language is way different, but he understood, and said "God bless me for trying". I miss your cooking, but I have now tried about 12 or so different ways to eat plantains. I miss hugging you and Dad, and love you guys a bunch! You mean the world to me, and I attribute all that I am to Dad and you! Lauren: I had a dream last night that we got to spend a day together and we spent it in a costco eating good food samples together! It was the funnest day! I hope things are going well with your suitors. And if it isnt going...I think you are superb and hope senior year is going great! Make the best of it! I hope swimming is going "swimmingly", and you are dominating the pool, the tests, and the Laurels quorum. I miss you a ton! Nicholas!: I hear you got your Patriarchal blessing! I dont need to see it to know you are destined for great things! I hear you have been working out (watch out ladies)! I want to hear from you, because out of the siblings I might think of you the most. I want to speak spanish and stay up late with you! If school is stressful and you feel like you have no friends, turn to Mom and Dad. I did in school and I don´t regret it! They are lifelong friends! You will make an excellent missionary, and I hear you are progressing in so many ways! Love! Jack: Your jokes are what I miss the most! You are a little buddy full of energy to go play with me and the boys on the trampoline. You are in 4th grade right¿ You are way smarter than I was at your age, and I hope you use that talent to your good! I saw a picture of you the other day, and thought to myself: Now that is one who will grow up to be a strong man! Don´t let anyone tell you different! I love you muchisimo! Nate: You were one of best friends back home and so I miss you in every way! You are growing a lot of muscle in your brain and biceps! I hear you are starting to learn to play the piano! I hope you love every moment of it. Like a mission, it will be hard at first, but you will love it when you can say that you completely dominated it! I hope your year is going great! You are like a majestic polar bear with a spiky mane who looks threatening at first, but then you can tickle it and it will start laughing and playing with you! Stay awesome! I want to hang out the same way we used to! Ava: There is no doubt that I think about you every day! You are the cutest thing I have ever seen, and that is a known fact! I wish I could graze on your little furry blonde head! You are an insipiration to me and my investigadores, whom I tell with pride of your battle with cancer with the Lord on your side! You continue to grow in intelligence muchisimo, and I laugh/cry when I hear of your cute progress! Enjoy preschool! It only gets harder ;). You are so cute and I love you so much! Mom, you make MY heart go round! You ARE phenomonous! (borrowed quotes from Ava)

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Out of the CCM and into...

Valledupar! I am serving right now in the ever beautiful city of Valledupar! I am serving with Èlder Giron in the Loperena Ward. Valledupar can be described as the following: Empenada stands line the streets, as do Mango Trees which the town is famous for. There is Vallenato musica every way you turn, which is the most popular stuff to listen to here. The men here never wear shirts or much of any clothing really. And the women are not too far off from the same. Everyone is scantily dressed. We are in an area that is known for being exceptionally rich as well as exceptionally poor. The rich won't listen to us and the poor are pretty much all sick with a type of flu similar to MONO. Almost everyone will let you into their house, but won't listen or try to understand a word you say afterwards. They are all super happy, and love to dance and sing and eat fried foods and platanos and Mangos. People from Bogotà loved Americans and speak fluidly and easily. In Valledupar no one has the teeth necesary to talk anyway, and their language is very rough. You can buy 3 litres of Coca Cola here as well as Vanilla wafers that are 3 times their normal size. The work is true and good. We walk about 12 miles on foot per day, and it is usually very hot and humid. It has rained twice, and my companion says we are entering the hot season. In stores here, there are complete aisles dedicated to cooking oil because the people here like fried food so much. We have lots of investigatores, but almost all of them refuse to come to church or abandon bad habits, so we cannot baptize anyone here right now. I am starting to love them though, and will make baptisms happen here. Many people thought I was from Paraguay upon first meeting them, but soon realized that I am a Gringo, which they dont like a whole lot. I am trying to enjoy myself out here, and so far it is half and half. But that is to be expected the first week or two. I was feeling pretty desperate from not Emailing in so long, and so that was a big contributor as to why I was feeling a little frustrated at times. My companion skips breakfast and I did once because we had no food in the house the whole first week we were here. We usually pick up some bread and juice at night, but we got off our leccion late, and he didn´t want to break curfew by stopping for food. So we didn't eat that night or the next morning until 1 in the afternoon. And we walked about 8 miles since lunch the day before. Today was better though, we played futbol as a district and I scored a gol. The water to shower here is rain water and is freezing cold and we wash our laundry by hand. But I am starting to love to teach and work as a missionary and love the people I am serving. Every day gets better! Ava sounds like she is just getting cuter by the day! Their Primary Program parts are awesome! I got pretty emocional just reading Nates part. I miss them muchisimo, and give them my love! Something interesting they might like is that juice is super big here. Look up C Frut juice. It is super good! I had Dulde de mango the other day, which is not ripe mango that is made into paste to suck. Delicious! I miss having Friday night movie night a lot right now. But the work is worth it! I love you guys so much sometimes it drives me crazy, but I am reminded that you all are in the hands of the lord!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Leaving to Barranquilla in less than a week/New Companion

I have a new companion from Cartagena named Elder Arroyo. We did proselyting yesterday, and only got 5 references in 3 hours. We went into the slums of Bogotá Norte after a little walk and soon saw kids running around with little clothing, animal parts being sold, a tin roofed Casino (which I taught in front of) and a bunch of little vendors selling food and novelties out of their Ford Pintos :). I think God is trying to test my Spanish, so he gave me a companion where I need to roll my R´s to speak with him :). I went on tour last week and also to the Jersey shop where I bought a Yellow National Jersey and a Barranquilla Juniors Tiburones Jersey. On tour we also went to the Cathedral on Mt. Monserrate which has so many pictures and sculptures of Jesus Dying it was crazy. An interesting thing to note is that not one of them have anything to do with the Savior suffering in Gethsemane. And the cathedral´s central piece is the most scary looking bleeding Jesus I have ever seen surrounded by gold (Picture attached). The view to Bogotá below is pretty sweet from there too, so I will attach that as well. I have gotten fairly sick, which is ironic because I was boasting about not being sick for so long. The lesson for this is: Don´t drink the water no matter where you get it. We are free to drink the water purification water (Like a blue barrel on a tap, we used to have one) but it will still give you the closest thing to strep throat. My throat has been on fire for like three days. On another note, I have been here for a month already but it feels like 2 weeks. Not by train or by bus...by plane! I will take a small plane to Barranquilla! I am so excited! I love you guys and your prayers for me, I can feel them so abundantly in my life here in the field. And there isn´t a better work out there. Te Amo Mucho, Élder Clark Manwaring

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

I Love The Mission Field!

I miss everyone, but this work never ceases to astound me! I was called as district leader to another district with the same companion, and there have been some rough patches, which are not for writing to madres en Emails :). I gave the opening prayer when a member of the 70 came, and afterwards there was a kid that told me that he couldn't beleive how well I could speak English! He thought I was Colombian! I also had people ask after that where my parents were from because they assumed that at least one of you guys was Latino. So, the language is going amazing! I am near fluent in speaking and listening and can teach the gospel without many problems. I did my first proseliting round today, and it was awesome! I placed 3 Book of Mormons, taught 15 lessons, and committed on 16 year old to baptism named Dylan(Dee-lawn). One of the Book of Mormons I had written my testimony in Spanish and I ended placing it to someone very special. His name was Sebastien and he may have been homeless. He was Nicks age (14). He was sitting on some concrete bench and he looked very sad and hungry and lonely. My companion was not very excited to go up to him and expressed concern, but I knew he was the one to give it to. I taught him about the restauración using futból players to teach, saying that the gospel in the time of Jesus would be like a team with all of Sebastiens favorite players, but one by one they get picked off. I asked him he thought they would win any matches without their star players, and he answered no, to which I explained that the churches situation was similar during apostacy, but that we have those same fundamentals or players restored to that figurative team again and the church is just as good as it was in the time of Christ. He was astonished! He asked me ¨why me?¨ why did you choose me to teach out of everyone else you could have taught today? I answered that it is what Christ did in his day, he didnt exclude anyone. He was a possible commiter to baptism. The members here think of us like superheroes! There were kids that were younger than Nate eating near us that couldnt get words out fast enough on how cool we were as missionaries and said they wanted to be missionaries too! Every single person at the CCM got fairly violently sick and were constrained to their beds for a few days. I did not get sick, and neither did my companion, which was a blessing because every single other person has. Presidente Dyer got an infection and spent about 4 days in the hospital. I also teach the security guard english here. We read the scriptures in English and in spanish but often get sidetracked and talk about our lives instead. He told me that in order from most beautiful spanish to least beutiful spanish there is: Spain, Colombia, Argentina, Uruguay, Venezuela, Paraguay, a whole bunch of others until the worst. Mexico. I asked him where he thought Canarian Spanish would be and he said that it is almost identical to Colombian spanish but possibly a little more beautiful. So me and Dad speak some of the most beautiful sounding spanish on Earth! How cool is that! The feeling of the Spirit when I teach in Spanish is indescribable. The words flow quickly and I feel the hand of God carefuly guiding my words for the investigator. I love the mission field! Also in a broadcast talk by Elder Holland he talked about how you can ask for angeles by attribute, characteristic, or even people to administer to you. He also talked about a missionary named Dan Jones who converted over 5300 people in wales. I asked for his Spirit before teaching today, and I can suffice it to say that the only way to know how I felt is to try it for yourself! It was great! I already want to stay in Colombia for forever, the people on the streets seem to have a love for me, and I realised today I love them back. But I will always love you guys more :) Les Amo Much, Ciao, Élder Manwaring

Saturday, October 11, 2014

First Contact October 7, 2014

The food is great! The largest meal of the day is lunch, and its about 3-4 lbs. of food. It is mostly soup, chicken, granadilla, and rolls. I am doing awesome though! The schedule is never set in stone for P-day and so I never know when we get it. We have a hard time even doing daily planning though because the schedule is right about 10% of the time. So we had a hard time staying on task for planning. Ava deserves to have such a great time! I miss her mucho. I have put her name in the exotic Bogota temple twice now. Frosted flakes are called Zucarotes here. Just thought you should know that. I had my first contact from the other side of the gate. Her name was Maria Martinez and I taught her the whole first lesson in Spanish, and it went great! The spirit was so strong and testified to me that this was the work that was cut out specifically for me! ¡Que Bendicion! I also got your note in my jacket...way to make me cry! :) thank you for that. Conference was great. Every hymn ended with amen, which was different. I received inspiration for myself and for a companionship that was failing. Dallin H Oaks talk was literally written just for them. They came out of our meeting crying. The best hymn in Spanish is Oíd el toque del Clarin,(https://www.lds.org/music/text/other/zions-camp-arrangement?lang=eng) you guys should sing it at FHE for me! The spirit is different in Spanish for me, but it feels extremely comfortable as if I am back home with all of you during some of the most triumphant times. I love everybody at home so much, Gracias por tu gran Amor, mis padres, Élder Manwaring

New Companion & Bogota Temple October 1, 2014

Te amo mucho! The CCM has been alright but my experiences have been phenomenal, I have a compañero named Elder Gardner, he went to Williams Field High School(Gilbert, AZ) as well but I think I only talked to him once, which is a shame because we are awesome friends now! I am district leader and was made so three days into the mission! Its a real blessing, and I feel very comfortable in the Spanish language and people! I did go to the temple, and there is a guard. The police on the other hand have machine guns in hand that could possibly shoot through like 50 people, and they are super scary looking, and will question anyone they want on the streets. And there are a lot of them. The endowments session was awesome, and I felt so much peace and emotion as they spoke Spanish and talked about our origin. It felt as though God was saying to me: This is where you belong. I almost cried because I feel like I am at home here.I feel like they are already family to me :). I am way further ahead in the language than most of the new missionaries, and the Latinos love me for it! Their testimonios are unmatched in all the world. Some could not entirely afford to come out, some are the only miembro in their families, some have even ran away from home to be here. I gave a hand out card and taught two of our flight attendants some gospel stuff. I also taught a bus driver part of the first lesson with Elder Guedes from Natal Brazil...he was so interested that he asked if we could refer missionaries to him. The reason we took a bus ride was to go into Bogota to a crazy old health clinic to get blood drawn to verify blood type. The drivers in the city are horrible and it is not uncommon for two busses a truck and a car and a motorcycle to squish into three lanes and then drive at 45 miles an hour together. Everyone here drives a Renault. The MTC is fairly modern but you cant drink the water. Almost everyone has gotten sick. Except me. I gave a missionary in mi distrito a blessing after he practically was throwing up his lungs and the next day he was 100 %! What a blessing! A side note: Colombians use castellano but not Argentinan Castellano, they use ja instead of lla, so Ella becomes asia. I am super rushed to write, and so this may not make perfect sense. I conducted interviews of mi distrito ayer and every single one was crying by the end! I love my nuevo calling! But we learn on a program online called tall developed by language teachers at BYU. I found a few huge mistakes in their grammar or usage of certain words, and reported them to my teachers who agreed on every one, and I helped rewrite certain parts of the program for future use. I caught it 8 years too late though, because the mistake hasn't been caught since it was made in 2006. Pretty cool! We don't have much time to write, and our cameras are literally confiscated for every minute EXCEPT for when we write. Love you guys so much El evangelio restaurado es verdadero. Elder Manwáring BTW: I cried in front of my computer when I heard and saw Ava´s hair.

First Letter September 24, 2014

Hola Madre! I did make it here safe and it has been pretty awesome! Bogota is definitely not American-looking...but It is beautiful here, the MTC President said last night that Bogota is the land of the eternal spring :). That is fantastic news that Avas scans came back clear! Such a blessing! So far We have had our first meeting and breakfast. You should look up Granadilla fruit, because that is what I slurped down this mañana. Also Colombia has Colombiana, which is super delicious cream soda! There are tons of great missionaries here, but I haven´t been assigned a companion yet. Those notes From Brother Clark Huber make me feel way more qualified for the work, and so happy that I have been blessed so much by Heavenly Father. Love you guys so much. I already know a lot more spanish than a lot of other guys, which has been super nice so I understand what is going on here at the CCM (say say em A). Muchos Besos, Elder Manwaring

Friday, October 10, 2014


Good Afternoon brothers and sisters, I am privileged to speak to you today on the topic of obedience before I leave for my mission in Barranquilla, Colombia. To start things off I will share a little information on Colombia and hopefully get you guys as excited as I am for the opportunity to serve there. There are just short of 190,000 members in Colombia, there is currently one temple in Bogota and construction is beginning on the new Barranquilla temple; my mission specifically is home to the singer Shakira and the actress Sofia Vergara from the TV show modern family. Some believe South America to be the setting of different parts of the Book of Mormon. Regardless of whether Colombia is or not, I thought I would start my talk with a story of obedience from the Book of Mormon. Ammon is sent with the Sons of Mosiah to the Land of Nephi by the Lord to preach to the Lamanites who occupied the land. In Alma chapter 17 Ammon is captured upon entry into the Land of Ishmael and brought before King Lamoni. He says to Lamoni that his intention is to dwell among them and to be the servant of Lamoni. This action would seem contrary to bringing the gospel to this people, but it was done in obedience to the commandment of the Lord when he said in Alma chapter 17: 11 And the Lord said unto them also: Go forth among the Lamanites, thy brethren, and establish my word; yet ye shall be patient in long-suffering and afflictions, that ye may show forth good examples unto them in me, and I will make an instrument of thee in my hands unto the salvation of many souls. He covenanted with the Lord in that same verse that he would make him an instrument in his hands to bring many to Salvation. Ammon obeyed the counsel of the Lord and did bring a great number to a knowledge of the Gospel. He exemplified the Savior as he commended himself to the service of all those he met, even King Lamoni. Brothers and sisters, I have been given the privilege to become a modern Ammon or son of Mosiah; I have the chance to bring salvation to my brothers and my sisters in Colombia, and it is my prayer that I can become an instrument in God’s hands similarly to my scriptural hero Ammon. Many of you are probably familiar with the Bible account found in Genesis of the commandment given to Abraham to sacrifice his only begotten son on mount Moriah. Abraham had 2 sons, but only one was related by blood to him, and that was Isaac. Abraham was instructed by God to take his son’s life and offer him as a burnt sacrifice. As he is about to finish what the Lord had instructed, an angel stops him saying in Chapter 22 verse 12 “Lay not thy hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.” Abraham exemplified great faith as he willingly prepared his own child for an offering to God. This account is also a type or symbol of the Atonement and Crucifixion of the Savior. God has many children, but his only begotten in the flesh was Jesus Christ much like how Abraham had two children but Isaac was his direct lineage. Both are recorded many times saying how much they love their children, but yet they must sacrifice their most beloved for the good of others. Isaac was spared, and it says in later verses that an Angel instructed Abraham to find a ram that was caught in a thicket and sacrifice it instead. Jesus Christ performed the greatest sacrifice for us as he atoned for the sins of the world, and the type of the ram is a symbol that there is no replacement for Jesus’ sacrifice, the Atonement. By obedience to God, Abraham was blessed by an angelic representative of the Lord in verses 17 and 18 that his posterity would be as numerous as the stars in the heavens or as the sands of the seashores and that that posterity would possess the gate of their enemies and that his seed would be blessed on all the nations of Earth. And all of this because of his obedience to the will of God. Many on earth today believe that obedience to law, and especially God’s Law, is restrictive. There are some who ridicule church members for obeying the teachings of a modern day Prophet, saying that following the law of Chastity, or Word of Wisdom, Tithes and Offerings, or even missionary service for able young men only tightens the reins on your life. They say that they are more free by following their own will. Contrastly, we know that God’s will is the law of the earth we live on and that his priesthood is endless. Our lives and ability to even choose that will in the first place is a great gift that God shares with us out of love for his children. By taking that gift and saying that you can govern yourself without any divine help is foolish and selfish. By obedience to His precepts we share more and more things with our Father in Heaven, and he extends our abilities opening up many more windows of opportunity for us to do good in this world. Though His way may be undeviating and more laborious in the beginning, we are heirs to all our Father has and we are infinitely more rewarded in comparison to our actions. Satan on the other hand, advertises ease or false comforts and if we are successfully lured we are led down a path that becomes less and less exciting and quickly morphs into a burden that we are forced to let prod us like cattle until we are at the end of the path. By pride fully ignoring the blessing of obedience we are encircled by the devices of Satan. Christ reaffirms this doctrine when he says in D&C 56: 3 “Behold, I, the Lord, command; and he that will not obey shall be cut off in mine own due time, after I have commanded and the commandment is broken”. However, we are never abandoned by God. He wishes for all of his sheep to come back to his fold, and his plan is sufficient that all can return. (D&C 98:22) John 7:17 states “If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself” This tells us that our faith may be tried and we may choose to believe what we will. But when we fully adhere to that which we are commanded we are given a sure witness that the commandment was for our good. This has been a pattern in my own life that has helped me to know myself and to know God. I have been blessed by him to preach to the people in Colombia In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.