Monday, November 28, 2011


Dear Family,
This week has been pretty good.  We had a baptism!  Also, me and my companion are getting along really well and enjoying our time.   I really can`t believe that its already December (almost...)!  
It was nice to hear about all of your Thanksgivings.   The truth is that I forgot it was Thanksgiving.  I feel bad for forgetting but there aren`t a whole lot of gringo buddies here to remind me.  Here, it was just a regular day.  But just so you all know... these are the things that I am most grateful for:    1.  The Atonement of Jesus Christ and the Gospel   2.  My Family   3.   My Mission     4.  Our Country and the Freedoms we enjoy.     There are many many more and I could always be more specific.  But to me, these are some of the most important things in my life and I really am very grateful for them all.
As I said, we had a baptism on Saturday!   It was a 9 year old girl named Luisa Fernanda (or as we call her... Ferchy).  Her mom was already a member and so we are trying to complete the family.  Very soon, we will baptize Ferchy`s brother.  It was a good baptism.  Next week, we have another so I will try and send pics of both of them next week.
So I was talking to a member this week who was telling me about the guerilla here in Colombia.  He shared an experience he had when he was visiting family in a dangerous part of Colombia.  He said that he was in a taxi going to his aunts house when a truck swerved in front on them, put a sack on his head and pulled him out of the car.   They carried him way far away to the rain forest and started interrogating him.  Anyway,  it all worked out and they let him go to his aunts house.   But, I was kind of blown away by that story. 
Well, the news you have all been waiting for...  I will be able to call any day between the 20th and 31st of December.  So, you tell me when I should call.   Oh, and it`ll be a video call from skype!  So prepare yourselves!  (as in get skype and stuff)
Love you all and hope you have a good week!

Monday, November 21, 2011


Dear Family,

This week was pretty good.  

Well my new companion is Elder Ureta from Chile.  He is pretty cool and we get along pretty well.  People from Chile have kinda crappy spanish with a weird accent so he is kinda tough to understand sometimes.  And its not just me... sometimes I have to decifer (sp?) his language for members and investigators.  But all is going really well and I think we will get along pretty well this transfer.  

Right now, we are spending a lot of time searching for new investigators.  Its always kinda rough when we have to do that.  But it is going well and we are getting to know a lot of new and cool people.  

Speaking of people...  The people here in Pasto are way cool.  I have made lots of friendships.  I definately feel more loved here in Pasto than in any other area I have been in.   Not to mention that fact that I (being a gringo...) am quite popular here.  Here in Colombia, Americans are treated very nicely...  by most people...

In this transfer, almost the whole mission was changed.  From the 16 missionaries in my zone, 9 had transfers and went to other parts.  So now the whole mission is trying to adjust to the new situation.  Its always hard and awkward but its also a good chance to start over and to learn other things.  I have learned that it doesn´t matter who I´m with, whether he be good or bad, cool or weird,  I always learn something.  And, even though it is sometimes hard to remember, I get though it.  

To answer Dustin´s question...  I have no clue who the girl is in one of the pictures I sent....  She wasn´t with us.  I promise.

And to answer the most common question...  The truth is that I have no clue when I will be able to call you all.  I wrote to President Prince today to ask him so I might have the answer next week.  Maybe.

But the good news is that I will be here in Pasto for Christmas.  I am really excited.  Members have already invited us over and mentioned that we might be getting presents.  They all say that Christmas is really cool here too.

Well that is all!  Love you lots!!! Have a good week!


Monday, November 14, 2011


Dear Family,

This week was really good.  We had some good experiences that are a bit different than normal weeks.

I went on a division with Elder Strahm.  He is the one from kaysville.  It was nice to be able to practice english a little bit and remember cool american stuff.  It was fun.  We worked like normal and everything, but it`s cool to hang out and just enjoy the time.  Sometimes it is really hard to enjoy every second with your companion if he isn`t your best buddy.  Hopefully, I get one who can be a really good friend.  It makes things so much better.

Speaking of which...  My companion, (we have been fairly good friends...) is leaving tomorrow morning.  We have transfers.  I will still be here in Pasto but I don`t know who my comp will be yet.  they will call us tonight to tell us everything.  I sure hope he is a good one (or an american...).  I have always wanted an american companion.  It is way easier to get along with someone who grew up just like you did.  And I don`t mean to bag on the latinos... but americans work way harder...

So we could fully enjoy our last p day together, we called up Elder Strahm and his comp. and headed up the mountain (which is also a volcano...).  I included some pictures of where we went.  It was way cool and pretty much pure jungle.  Hopefully you get the pics.

Earlier this week, we did a service project at the elders quorum presidents house.  It was pretty tough (my comp pooped out haha...).  We dug and carried big old volcanic rocks.  We were pretty tired after, but it was cool cause we saw snakes, tarantulas and all kinds of cool stuff.  Then, to thank us, they gave us cuy!  I included a picture... (the picture is actually of the first one I ate... the second one was better...)

Anyway, this coming week should be interesting.  I`ll keep you posted...

Love you all and hope you have a good week!!!


P.S.   the first 2 pics are of the recent baptism we had.  Alex.
         the third is the cuy.
         the rest (i think) are of our little hike we did today.

Monday, November 7, 2011


Dear Family,
This week was good.  It was super fast...  I feel like I was just writing to you like 2 days ago.  All the weeks have been mushed together so I don´t even know what happened this week.  So sorry if there are repeats...  (and I don´t have much time today... we are kinda busy. so sorry if this is short. again...)
So the other day, a family invited us over for dinner.  We were all excited to go because they were planning to give us the most famous dish in Pasto.  Cuy!  Now, before I tell you what it is, just know that its a different world down here.  It will seem weird to you and maybe even cruel... but, this is Colombia.      Cuy is the spanish word for Guienea Pig...    Yep, that cute little pet...  Its pretty tasty though... 
Also that same day, for lunch, we went to a members house in a nearby town called Obonuco.  They gave me what was quite possibly one of the weirdest things I have ever eaten.  They gave me pata de vaca!   or in english,  Cow´s foot.  Just imagine that.  Its pretty much as gross as it sounds.   Don´t try it at home.
On wednesday, i had to go on divisions with an elder from my zone.  he is from the coast of colombia and is really really weird and annoying and hard to get along with.  He is the type that strives to be the president´s assistant.  He is super self absorbed and arrogant.  He doesn´t get along with his companion (who is a good buddy of mine).  His companion/our district leader knows that I have had some difficult companions so he sent me to go have a talk with him.  It all went really well but I felt bad for him.  Turns out that his brothers were both assistants in their missions and he feels like his family expects the same from him.  So as a result, he spends all his efforts in trying to impress the president or other leaders and forgets to focus on the important things like his companion or the investigators.  Anyway I hope I was able to help...  and I can´t quite figure out why I am the one that is always sent on special missions..  But I am getting pretty good at them.     But this whole experience got me thinking of what can happen in our lives if we forget to focus on the important things or when we put our focus on the wrong things.  Everything gets out of hand.  Things start falling apart, etc.   I guess we just have to prioritize at least..
Well this transfer is coming to a close.  I think there is about a week left.  We are pretty sure my companion is leaving (seeing as how President Prince told me that...).  So I am pretty excited to get a new companion.  I am pretty sure the president will give me a good one.  I had a good talk with him in my interview and he told me that he can see the potential of our area and wants to send an excited missionary here.  I guess we will see.  We never know what can happen with transfers. 
Love you all! Have a good week!