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.