Tuesday, February 17, 2015

First Baptism!

Katharine's Baptism! El Mirador Monumento Todo Valledupar! I can see my house from here ;) La Sierra Nevada MontaƱas Katharine was baptized, by me! I baptized a little bit fast the people said afterwards. But I did it in 1 try...which is impressive because the people here have at least 4 names. I have included an awesome picture before she got baptized! I am able to Email because we do not celebrate Carnaval here in Valledupar. A little bit. But what they celebrate here is a gigantic music festival called the legend of Vallenato more. So we are safe :) We went to Mirador as a district this morning. I am glad that my brothers look up to me. They should know that they already have their mission calls, because God knows where they will go, and that they should live worthy and grow a testimony now to live up to the special place and people that God will place in their paths later on. Colombiana soda is very Cachaco (Bogota) or Paisa (Medellin, Cali). Its delicious but what we drink here in the coast is Pony Malta or Kola Roman (freaking gross, literally it is red throw up). But its cool that you guys met a guy that served here. Valledupar really is the City of the Mangos! I'm so happy that Grandma and Grandpa could visit, but sad that they are getting very old. Happy that they are proud of me! Nick is very brave to dance with those lucky girls. My mission has taught me that God blesses those that are willing to do things that others wont, that he blesses those who take risks even if they end up looking dumb, and that those who do his work see his hand more in their lives. Nick will be and is a good missionary, and I hope he enjoys his 8th grade year! Tell Nate that he looks Vacano Chevere in his dancing gear! I had a lesson yesterday where I felt the spirit tell me that this couple that I had just met 2 minutes earlier couldn't have children, but I told them that they could fast to have a child. It was so powerful, and the husband started crying, and the Girl told me "how did you know we could not have kids?" I love you all a ton too. P.S. We found a Rat in the house.

February 9

Me and an artifact and a picture of my house. I am glad I have a new companion too. But the area is a little rough. We have lost almost all of our investigators and less actives, and I am worried that the Mission President is going to shut down the Area for a little while. Please pray that it will stay open, and that we will have more people to teach. My area is infamous for being the hardest area in the mission, but I am still working hard to change that. Katharine (It is pronounced Katarina)passed her interviews for baptism and will be baptized this Saturday! We asked her who she want to do the baptism and she picked me! I was so happy that after the lesson I almost cried. She was taught all of the lessons just in time for the interviews, and she is soaking in the teachings like a sponge! She has changed so much since the first time I met her and committed her to baptism! When a less active member comes back to church at least three times and has all of the lessons re-taught they can be what we call "rescued". So we had the opportunity to "rescue" a sister and she's doing great. Her son wanted to be baptized but has recently moved away. The place where I live is bigger than our house in SLC! It has 2 levels, and 4 bathrooms, but 2 don't work. It is pretty sweet. But we don't have an oven, so I can't make the brownies you guys sent. When you referred to Elder Nelson's talk when he says, "ask the missionaries, they can help you"... you can also help the missionaries by giving them references and then offer to have lessons with investigators and missionaries. To help the missionaries, place a book of Mormon with your testimony to a friend in the stake that is not a member or is less active, be their friend, and give a reference to the missionaries. The work is tiring but awesome. I'm living my dream! I am loving it here in the Valle, and I hope that this week is Chevere o Vacano para Ustedes!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Transfers and Such :)‏

I didn't get transferred, but Elder Giron did. He is now in Cartegena. My new companion's name is Elder Cavero. He is from Lima, Peru...and He is awesome! We have already had some good times together. We are working in Loperena, and it is very rich. The people we commit to baptism almost never do get baptized, they like to say "yes" to everything but not follow through, but we have some super awesome news :) We visited Katherine Padilla this week and I asked if she was able to pray to know if Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. She waited one moment, and with a big smile on her face she said "I actually did." so I asked how she felt. She said "It was overwhelming, I cried once I finished the prayer...I have never in my life felt such a profound peace." I almost cried! My first Golden Investigator! She came to church and the Young Single Adults were awesome in inviting her to do everything with them! She can't wait to be baptized the 14th of February. She told me she wants to be a missionary too, but cant because she has a daughter. But she will be a strong convert to the church. She also was answering questions in the Gospel Doctrine class like a pro! The only thing is that she has lots of teachings that are missing that we still need to teach. But she is progressing like crazy! Also Valledupar had a riot (literally, I'm not joking) about the mototaxistas (Taxi Drivers) and we couldn't leave the house for a day and a half! So we just studied, cleaned, slept and ate. Interesting huh? I am beyond happy that you guys have felt blessed by my efforts. Sometimes I go home at night feeling like I have not accomplished anything, because my area is like a desert right now. There is literally no one in the streets, and not very many people are accepting us in their homes. But Jaime is progressing for baptism. He needs to get married, and so we are setting a goal for this month for him to get married. He told us that he thought he was already a member of the church! :) I hope that everything is going super well! Pray for us that we can teach all of the lessons to Katherine! Love you all sooooooooooooo much! Work with the Elders whenever you can!