Monday, April 25, 2011


Dear Family,
Ok...  I have a lot of things to say, i think...  So we´ll see how it goes.  Its really hard to say everything I want.
First of all, my area in Medellin is really cool.  It is super beautiful with trees and plants and beautiful buildings and stuff.  It is fairly wealthy too.  But there are some parts that are super poor.  It rains literally every single day...  and it rains hard!  But the climate is very nice.  A little on the cold side, comparitively to ChinchinĂ¡.  Now... I know you have heard about the Drug Cartels.  It is true.  Medellin is full of it.  And don´t freak out... But it is said to be the most dangerous city in Colombia right now.  Things have been escalating and now there are only 2 Americans in all of Medellin.  Me and Elder Farr (Kristin and Kenny know of him...)  And there are like 44 missionaries in the city (because its freaking huge!!!)  We are speculating a little bit that President Bolivar is going to remove us pretty soon... But we don´t know.  But please don´t worry. I am safe and we know the dangerous parts of our area. 
So this is the cause of a small diffuculty in our work here.  We have a new investigator who is ready to be baptized.  But, she lives in the most dangerous part of the city.  Its in a ward called Mano de Dios, which means Hand of God.  And as it seems right now, I cannot enter this area because they don´t like Gringos...  So its looking like we will have to do splits with some members and I won´t have the chance to teach her...  Kinda sad...
If you want to learn more about Medellin and the situations here, you could probably find some news on the Internet. 
Oh and my area is super hard.  We cant really find anyone to baptize and we knock on doors pretty much all day everyday and get rejected all day every day.  It is way different.
Oh and another thing about Medellin is that it is quite literally 70% women...  So we have a shortage of priesthood holders because there aren´t men!!!
So my companion speaks english.  And a lot of people here speak english.  And I think they all think I´m a moron because I can´t speak english with them..  Its so weird.  But I speak dang good Spanglish.
Oh yeah, this week was Semana Santa...  (Holy Week???)  That means that it is a whole week of Holidays and parties and drunk people and high people and Idol worshipping!!!  Cool huh?!?!  Yeah so maybe this week was a bit tougher than usual, but we´ll see.  Oh and I didn´t really realize that it was Easter...  I feel kind of bad about that but its okay because I just happened to study the life of Christ in depth this week. 
Medellin is super Catholic.  Which adds to the difficulty in this area. 
We have this friend.  He´s not really an investigator yet... But he is blind and lives alone.  So we go to help him and talk to him a lot.  His life is super interesting.  He tells us incredible stories.  He knew personally  Pablo Escobar, the most powerful drug lord to ever live.  He tells us stories about him and other way cool things.  (if you don´t know who Pablo is, study it and learn about his hatred towards Gringos and Mormons)
Well thanks for all your letters!  I hope you all have a good week and I love you all!!!
P.S.  I really am safe... Don´t worry! hahaha

Monday, April 18, 2011


Dear Family,

This week I got transfered... That was probably the hardest experience of my mission so far.  I had really grown to love ChinchinĂ¡ and the people.  It was especially hard when some of the members cried...  Its kind of heart breaking and also heart warming to know that the poeple love you too.   I got transfered to Medellin.  well it´s actually Belen... but it is in Medellin.

Medellin is freaking huge!!!  I don´t know if you remember when I said that Manizales was really big... but medellin is like 10 times bigger! (at least, and i´m not exaggerating.)  My area in Belen, is about the size of 2 Manizales´s.  and its just me and my companion.  So yeah my mission just got way more physically demanding.  But it is a really beautiful city.  It´s one of the richest parts of Colombia and my area is one of the richest parts in the city.  So the people are really hard hearted.  We don´t have very many investigators and we are praying for a miracle so we can baptize this transfer.   My companion is Elder Miranda.  He is from Barranquilla, Colombia.  Its a city on the coast in the north.  He is really cool.  He is 27 years old, finishes in July, speaks english and works hard and is easy going.  

So i know i´m really bad at writing and that when you ask questions, i forget to answer them...  But I´m trying to change.   

We are getting a new President in July.  I don´t want Presidente Bolivar to leave though.  He is super cool.  But Presidente Prince from St. George is coming.  He served here in this mission when Elder Jay Jensen of the Presidency of the Seventy was president of the mssion.  It will be weird to change...

What else...

I am learning a lot and I really love my mission.  Spanish is coming along really well.  I gave a talk yesterday in the ward and it went really well.  I think I impressed the members... Thanks to the Gift of Tounges.  

I don´t really have more to say.  I hope you are all doing well and hope you all have a good week!  Love you all!


P.S.      some of the pics are from the River last week and the others are from the Baptism of Sandra.

Monday, April 11, 2011


Dear Family,
This week was so awesome!!!  I absolutely love my mission!!!
We had the baptism of Sandra this week!  It was by far the best day of my mission.  She was definatley ready when we found her, but it has been really cool to see her life change and watch her faith grow.  She bore her testimony in her baptism and she said a lot of really cool things and she told everyone about something she wrote in her Book of Mormon.  She wrote,  March 5th... the day God sent His angels to my house...   It feels really awesome to have really been an instrument in the hands of God.  
We have been working really really hard and finding lots of people.  It is super awesome when our work pays off... 
Today for P day, we got permission from Pres. Bolivar to go to the river Chinchina.   It was super cool.  We went because here in Chinchina, a bunch of members work in the river to collect materials for building.  So we went to go help!  It is tough work, but it is a cool atmosphere to be with all those guys.  I will try to send photos...
I know my letters arent too detailed... but its really hard to write everything I want.  So I am going to try to include some random facts...  The members that give us food, get offended if you dont finish...    Colombia is beautiful and I love it but, there are many problems with sex, drugs, and violence...  dont worry mom, I am safe.     I spoke a bit of english the other day and made a fool of myself...  I am seriously forgetting...    I hate living with 3 other missionaries.   luckily my comp is really cool.  The other 2 are difficult at times. 
Thats all I can think of for now...  I love you all!!!  Have an awesome week!!!
P.S.  i have a favorite quote this week...
Salvation is not a cheap experience...  It cost the best blood this world has ever known.
    Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

Monday, April 4, 2011


Dear Family,
This week was awesome!  I am starting to really enjoy every single second.  A lot of cool things are happening so I´ll try to share it... But my memory never works too well when I am sitting at the computer trying to think of things to write. 

First of all, I can not believe that i have been gone for 6 months!  It is super weird.  I still feel like i´m brand new.  Although i am getting better at speaking spanish (more later).  But the weird thing is that Chloe has 1 year!  I can´t believe it!  And she will have 2 and a half when I return!  Also a nice gift for my 6 month anniversary was the chance to watch conference...
Conference was super super awesome!  I learned so much and really felt the spirit during all of the talks.  It is very different in spanish, but still really cool.  We had to go to Manizales to watch it.  It was different not to be able to watch it in the comfort of my home... but still good.  I enjoyed every single talk and especially when President Monson spoke.  It was so cool because the whole time he spoke, I had a feeling of the spirit that confirmed to me that he really is the Prophet of our Lord.  It was definatley something really special to me this conference.  One talk that I really enjoyed (of the many...), was the very last one of Pte. Monson.  If you don´t know why... you should watch it again.  He says some things that are super awesome.  I really liked all of them but something that is cool is that the talks of Elder Scott, Elder Robbins, and some other ones, are in their own voices in spanish. 
Something funny that happened at the conference is that I talked to Elder Shelley and another American.  Now remember that I haven´t spoken english in almost a month and a half... So I started talking and soon found that I was really struggling.  I mix things up and can´t seem to express myself very well.  I know that I have made some errors in this email... but I don´t know how to fix them.  But that was funny/weird.
Also,  I think I told you about Sandra.  She is the investigator that we found that is really prepared.  Anyways, her baptism is this Saturday and she is ready.  She even came to general conference! (she even took notes!)  She has changed her life for the gospel and it has been a true blessing to see all of that happen.  But, she told us today that she is being tempted a lot right now.  (lots of times, the week of their baptism is especially hard.  I believe this for 2 reasons: Satan is trying to keep them from baptizing... and God needs to test them.)  But she has asked us to pray for her.  So... will you all help her out and pray hard for her?
Also, the mission has a goal for baptisms this month.  397 Baptisms!!! That may sound outrageous and maybe it is.  But with our faith and prayers and diligence, we will achieve it.  But again, we need your prayers too!  So please include these things in your prayers!  Thanks!
So I am reading the Old Testament... That is not an easy task.  But it is way awesome.  I am about half way through now.  I really struggled at first to understand it... but everytime I read, i pray to be able to understand it.  And now I understand it pretty well.  But I learned something really cool.  I was reading in Chronicles when King David is talking to his son Solomon.  He is telling him that he needs to build a temple and that it needs to be dang good.  He talks about the importance of temples and also about the things that he needs to do.  It starts seeming impossible and so David said something that has really helped me a lot and I thought it was cool.  He says, ¨Be strong, and do it!¨  Maybe its really plain but also its very simple.  I see it as very profound and it reminded me of something Elder Holland said when he came to the MTC.  He was talking about the mission and that it is going to be hard but that we need to, ¨pull up our socks and get to work!¨   These things are really important and we all need to remember them when we have trials or hard times in our lives.
Anyways, this has been a long email...  I love you all and hope you are all doing well!  Have a good week!
P.S.  I expect emails from Kristin and Katie next week!  I like hearing from you!  So make it good!