Monday, October 15, 2012

10-15-12

Dear Family,
 
 Well... This is it. I can´t believe it´s here. I have tons of
 mixed emotions but I am really excited to be back. I have had a good
 week. We baptized a lady named Rubiela! It was amazing to be able to
 see her be baptized. It is an amazing story and I will share it in my
 homecoming talk. So be there!
 
 You may be pleased to know that this week was considerably less
 intense haha. Don´t worry... I am still fine. Just a great story to
 tell.
 
 We started the goodbyes yesterday. It´s not easy. They all cried and
 made it pretty tough. I love Colombia, I love Colombians and I
 wouldn´t trade the experience for anything in the world.
 
 This week will be interesting. Tomorrow is my last day in my area.
 It will be crazy running around trying to say goodbye to everyone. I
 don´t know how I am going to do it. Wednesday I will be with Elder
 Shelley and Elder Kutterer (from the MTC) making the last few errands.
 Friday, I am with the Pres. all day long in interviews and dinner
 and stuff like that. Friday.... I come home. It´s gonna be a crazy
 week.
 
 Just a few notes from this week. We made no-bake cookies... We
 didn´t get jumped by a gang... I said a few goodbyes... We didn´t
 have water or light for 3 days... The mission gave me some parasite
 evacuation pills (tons of fun)... It was a great week!
 
 I want to take a minute and thank you all for everything. I couldn´t
 have ever done this without your prayers and support. I love you all
 and can´t wait to see you... ON FRIDAY!!!!!
 
 I know that this church is true. If there is anything that I have
 learned on the mission, it´s that. I know without a single doubt that
 this is true. I love the Lord and I know He loves me. I want to
 continue to help people know this for themselves. I have changed a
 lot on the mission and I think it has been for good. I have grown a
 lot. Still got a long way to go but the mission helped me get
 started. I know I haven´t shared my testimony/spiritual experiences
 very much... But I have had them. Every single one of them has
 shaped my life substantially.
 
 Thanks again for everything!!! I love you all!!! I will see you on
 FRIDAY!!!!!!!!!!
 
 Love,
 Corey

Monday, October 8, 2012

10-8-12

Dear Family,
 
 This week has been great/very interesting...
 
 First of all... sorry for the boring letter last week. I think this
 one will be considerably more interesting...
 
 So, last Monday, after writing to you. After eating lunch we went to
 the center of Medellin to buy some stuff to bring home. We hopped on
 the metro train and headed in there. As the train arrived to a
 station near the center, it stopped and they told us to get out. So
 we did... Then, over the intercom they told us that there was a
 public disturbance going on in the center. We didn`t think too much
 of it (because we are in Medellin...) and decided we would walk to the
 place we wanted to go. We soon realized that everything was closed
 and no one was around. We looked down the street and BOOM! Startled
 but intrigued, we went to take a better look when BOOOOOM! Then people
 start running and screaming. Followed by gunshots. A cop comes over
 to us and asked what we were doing there. Then told us to leave or we
 would get in big trouble (actually he said some pretty strong spanish
 words...). Then BOOOOOOOM and more screaming. So we left.
 Turns out, public disturbance was a huge understatement haha. It was
 a full scale riot. Some protesters were pretty mad about a new
 regulation or something.
 
 Pretty interesting, huh? But wait! There is more!
 
 Later, after returning to our area to work, we ate dinner and headed
 on to another appointment we had. So, we hopped on the bus. Now,
 this story might make you worry. So to start out... I just want to
 say that we are fine. We were the only ones on the bus and so we
 decided to take a quick picture out the window. After a few minutes,
 about 3 motorcycles frantically stopped the bus and before we knew
 what was going on, we had been jumped. About 5 or 6 guys had gotten
 on the bus and were yelling at us and demanded all our stuff. They
 started hitting us and beating us and taking our stuff. Then, they
 got off the bus. But they were still blocking us off. After a few
 moments, they got back on and started giving our stuff back.
 Apparently they didn`t want to rob us... they just thought we were
 police or something taking pictures of them. Talk about paranoia...
 We are fine. We were definately protected seeing as how, after
 talking about it together, we hardly felt the hits to our heads. We
 both commented on how they hit like little girls. But, it was super
 interesting to have that kind of experience. So that`s what it is
 like to be ambushed and assaulted by a Medellin gang...
 
 
 On the brighter side of things... Conference was amazing. I really
 really liked it a lot. I really tried to see what they were trying to
 tell me, and it worked. I loved every single second of it. I can`t
 wait to read over the talks again. I particularly loved the talks by
 Elder Oaks, Elder Holland, Pres. Uchtdorf, Pres. Eyring, and as
 always, Pres. Monson. It was a great conference.
 
 I am excited to see you all! I can`t believe the time has almost
 arrived. I love you all and can`t wait to see and hug you all! Have
 a great week!
 
 Love,
 Corey

Monday, October 1, 2012

10-1-12

Dear Family, 

This week was really good. I can`t believe how close I am to being done though. I guess I am excited to be home... also sad to leave and kind of worried about what to do after, but excited to see all of you. 


I seriously cannot believe I am so close. It still seems unreal and unreachable. I see it as life after death. I know it exists but I can`t imagine it. I want pancakes or waffles or something when I get there! I am happy and content with everything that is going on. 


Honestly, I don`t have much time to write. I am planning on writing a good letter next week. I know that this is a lame letter, but I don`t have much to say. So... sorry. Love you all and hope you have a great week! 


Love, Corey 


P.S. My companion`s family is asking about my homecoming... What is the direction to the church and what time is it at? stuff like that. Thanks!

Monday, September 24, 2012

9-24-12

Dear Family,

This week was another great week.  I love my area, my companion, and everything is going really great.  We have really gained a lot of trust with the members here.  Elder Smith and I made a goal to be really good friends with ALL the members.  So we are doing it and they love us.   It is so fun to go to church and activites because we are like superstars.  All the kids want to play with us and the parents love us.  We started making no-bake cookies with them too, which they love.

We are trying to find some new investigators.  Which isn`t a super easy task.  The people here are really catholic, which means they are afraid of us.  But we are plugging along, little by little.   

But, like I said, things are going great.  I am freaking out a little bit about going home... but I am really excited to see you all!  I love you lots and hope you have a great week!

Love,
   Corey

Monday, September 17, 2012

9-17-12

Dear Family,

This week has been really good.  I am having a lot of fun.  We kind of struggled through the work week, but we are happy.  It is a lot of fun to have an american companion.  

So, to answer the popular question of the week......   Taco Bell no longer exists in Medellin...  We searched and searched, but it was all in vain.   So we decided to go to Panda Express!!!  Which, as it turns out, is NOT Panda Express....  So yeah, we kind of failed last week.  So as a result, we decided to make up for it all this week!  So, today we got out of the house at 10 and headed out to a place called Santa Fe.  It is a big mall that reminds me of America.  The have a lot of cool stores and a lot of restaurants.  So today, we ate at Cinnabon, Subway, and Crepes and Waffles!  We are officially satisfied!  

Also, this week, we decided to make some no bake cookies with some members!  They turned out really good.  It was nice to have a real dessert.  The desserts aren`t very good in Colombia.  

It looks like I will be getting home at about 10 30 pm on the 19th.  So get ready to party!

Well, sorry, but I am about out of stuff to write...  I know I am really bad at writing, but get your questions ready so that when I get home I can answer them all!

Love you lots and hope you have a great week!!!

Love,
    Corey

Monday, September 10, 2012

9-10-12

Dear Family,

This have been going really well.  I love my area and I am really enjoying my companion.  He is a really good guy and we are having a lot of fun.  Today, we are gonna set out on a search of Medellin looking for Taco Bell.  We heard a rumor that it exists so we gonna go look for it.   

We had a baptism!!!  We baptized Sara Henao.  She was super prepared and ready.  She will be a really great convert.  We see her as the future relief society pres.   Funny story from the baptism.  So with both of us being american, we usually get requests to sing in english, so we did. Kind of.  We sung a verse of I need thee every hour in spanish, then we were gonna do one in english then another in spanish.  So we started well.  We got to the first line in english and blanked...  We could not remember the words.  Everyone made fun and laughed and thinks we are dumb cause we don`t remember our own language haha..  but other than that, the baptism went really well.  Sara`s family is now interested in getting baptized.

It is really funny to have an american companion.  You should see how people look at us in the street.  Everyone stares and many have their mouths open.  But, i think one of the funniest things (and also a bit frustrating) is that no one beleives we speak spanish.  They speak really slow and use lots of hand motions.  And then we can rattle off a few lines in spanish and they catch on.  

So I am sorry my letters are lame.  The truth is, I am kind of tired of writing.  I feel like I can just share all my experiences in person here pretty soon.  So, sorry.  I will keep writing, but don`t expect too much.  

I love you all and hope you all have a great week!!!

Love,
    Corey


P.S.  I don`t have flight plans yet...  but they say I leave the 19th at like 7 or 8 in the morning.  We go to Miami and Chicago, and then to Salt Lake.  So expect me to be home really really late that night...  

Monday, September 3, 2012

9-3-12

Dear Family,

I had a really great week.  Tons happened and I don`t have a ton of time to share it all... but I will do my best.

I had a pretty good birthday.  It was nice to know that Elder Christofferson came to see me for my birthday haha.  The conference was really good.  It was super spiritual and nice to see an Apostle so close.  It was cool because he speaks spanish really well.  So no translator and we got to hear his actual voice.   He talked about a lot of stuff.  Remind me when I get home to share with you what he said.  It was amazing.  

We had a giant zone conference and it was really cool to see everyone there.  Lots of friends and people I haven`t seen for a long time.  We played soccer and I got sun burned pretty badly.  Actually, all us white guys got burned pretty bad.

I think I told you that I have a new companion right?  Well turns out he is super super cool.  I am glad to have such a good companion to finish with.  I am really excited to work with him for my last transfer.  So my new comp. is Elder Smith.  He is from Layton and was called to Barranquilla and got sent here to Medellin with the mission split.  He goes home a transfer after me.  We are really enjoying ourselves and speaking a lot of english.  We actually talk so much that we have a hard time getting to bed on time and focusing during our studies.  But things are going really well.  

I hope that next week I will be able to tell you more...  But I love you all and hope you have a great week!!!

Love,
    Corey

Saturday, August 25, 2012

8-25-12

Dear Family,

This week has been really fun.  I told you about Elder Hansen, right?  Well, he is the one from Arizona and we have gotten to be really good friends.  His companion left last week and has been companion-less ever since.  So I took him in for the week.  We have been together all week long now and it has been way fun.  Transfers are next week... and as it turns out he is leaving to go to another zone in Medellin.  

Speaking of transfers... I get a new companion this week.  He is Elder Smith.  I don´t know him yet, I just hope he is cool. But it will be cool to have an american companion, finally!  My current companion is going to the mission office to work.  It is his first transfer and is pretty sad.

What else....

Well this week we have the conference with Elder Christofferson, which will be really cool.  We just found out that we have to prepare a 10 minute talk and they are going to choose 2 people to give them in front of Elder Christofferson...  I hope it aint me.

The whole mission is coming to Medellin for the conference too.  So we get to see everyone.  I am pretty excited for that.  We usually get into our little gringo group and speak in english.  Then on Tuesday, we are all going to play soccer and have a giant tournament.  It should be pretty fun.

Well, I don´t know of anything else to say.  

Love you lots and hope you have a great week!!!

Love,
    Corey

Monday, August 20, 2012

8-20-12

Dear Family,

This week has been good.  The truth is that nowadays, there is not a whole lot to share.  I am having a good time and all, but not too many crazy stories to share.  But things are going really well.  Just teaching a bunch of people and trying to get them to be baptized.  Its not an easy task, but I like doing it.  

On monday, last week, after I wrote to you we went to go play soccer.  We played in my old area in Belen.  It was weird to be back but cool to see it.  I didn´t really get to see anyone, but just where I used to live...  Also, the coolest part is that as it turns out, my first mission president, President Bolívar, works in Belen.  He moved from Bogota to work for the church in Medellin.  So we got to go see him.  I went with Elder Hansen and Elder Wilde.  I guess we are some of the last living missionaries from the era of Pres. Bolívar.  I was really good to see him.  Wierd but cool.  

Elder Hansen and Elder Wilde are the gringos I have been hanging out with lately.  Elder Hansen is from Arizona and Elder Wilde is from Kansas.  They both plan on studying at BYU so we will get to hang out after the mission, which will be cool.  Elder Wilde goes home tomorrow... and it is kind of weird since I met him when I started the mission.  

I guess it is official now... I will be home on the 19th of October!  It seems really weird to be so close.  I feel like I have been here forever just working and at the same time like I just started... It is a weird feeling to be the old one now.  I remember looking up to the ones that were so close to finishing and seeing them as really old and grown up.  I guess thats me now.  I don´t feel like it, but thats me I guess.  

Well I hope you have a great week!!!  I love you all!!!
Love,
    Corey

Monday, August 13, 2012

8-13-12

Dear Family,

This week was really good.  I really like my area and I think it will be a good place to finish...

As it turns out, I will be home in about 2 months.  That is quite soon, by the way.  I cant beleive how fast time is and has gone by.  It seems like yesterday that I started the mission.  This week, for some reason, has haunted me with dreams about going home though.  The other night, I had one that it was my last day in the mission.  I was really sad to be leaving and excited to be home.  It was kind of that feeling where your stomache is all tied up and you feel sick almost.  I guess it will be something like that... we will see.  

Things with the companion are fine.  I am about fed up with the weird things latinos do... but all is well.  I am hoping I will get one more companion and that he will be american.  It is just so much easier to live with someone you can relate to.  I am told the president that it is my last request.  

In my zone there are 4 other americans.  We seem to get along really well and we hang out a lot.  We are doing lots of activities and it is cool to finally have a good sized group of cool americans close by.  Finally I am not the only one around!  

Our zone is practicing a song for when Elder Christofferson comes.  I think we are trying to earn brownie points... but it should be good.  He comes on the 26th for the stakes in Medellin and on the 27th will be with us.   I am pretty sure he is coming especially for my birthday haha.

Well I hope all is going well up there.  I love you lots and hope you have a great week!!!

Love,
 Corey


P.S.  mom, I need the full names and phone numbers of bishop mendenhall and president strong.  I got my release papers and need the info asap.  Thanks!

Oh and by the way...   I WILL BE HOME ON THE 19TH OF OCTOBER!!! 

Monday, August 6, 2012

8-6-12

Dear Family,

This week was good.  This letter might be kinda short... but it was a good week.  

First of all, we had a baptism!!!!   A guy named Omar got baptized.  He is a good guy.  He is kinda shy and quiet and stuff,  but he overcame a lot so he could be baptized.  I shouldn´t share too much, but one of the things was that he was a smoker.  We helped him get over it and he was struggling a lot this week, but he did it and got baptized.  Now he is really happy and made a ton of friends in church yesterday.  
Also, I did divisions with a fellow american buddy this week.  Elder Hansen.  He is super funny and its always nice to get away and speak english all day long.  I also like how the people look at us in the streets and busses and stuff.  They just think we are stupid gringos and they start to talk about us.  Also, the little kids look at their moms and say stuff like, mom look 2 gringos...   

I really like my new area.  We have some really good members and investigators and things are going really well.  I figure it´ll be a good area to finish the mission in.  

Well sorry for the short letter but I am out of time and information.

Love you lots and hope you have a great week!!!
Love,
      Corey

Monday, July 30, 2012

7-30-12

Dear Family,

This week was really good.  Although I am super tired and I am about to die of heat stroke...  But things are going good.  I think I am at a point in my mission where my body is just tired.  Its kind of a tired that I cant shake off.  

We have a family that we are teaching.  It is a huge family of cousins, brothers and sisters.  They live in like 3 or 4 houses and we are preparing them for baptism.  They are all really great people.  I am excited to see them progress and be baptized this month.  They are probably going to be my last true converts so I am trying not to screw it up haha.  But there are really good and will be great leaders in the church someday.

My companion is a good guy.  He is from Peru so he is kind of weird... but he is a good guy.  He is kinda like a little kid though.  Oblivious of everything going on and forgetful, but I am trying to teach him without getting impatient.

That cool, mom and dad, that you could go to Strahms homecoming.  I really was with him like 5 minutes ago haha.  

Just so you all know... and to answer a very popular question...  I am still not sure of my flight plans.  It is still a long ways away... (not really, I guess...)  but I do have a pretty good idea of what will happen.  I have a contact in the office who told me that I will likely be home at about 9:00 friday night on the 19th of October.  It isnt for sure yet.  But maybe that will give you an idea.

Thanks for your letters!!! I love every monday when I get to hear from you.  I love you lots and I hope you have a great week!!!

Love,
     Corey

Monday, July 23, 2012

7-23-12

Dear Family,

This week was good.  I think I am all back to normal.  I am really really tired though.   Here in Medellin it is super hot and my area has huge mountains to climb everyday.  So I am pretty tired.  I think my body is wearing out...

Things in my new area are going really good.  We have some really good investigators that will most likely be baptized in August.  They seem to be progressing very well and I am excited to help them along in the coming weeks.  The members are cool and everything so all is well.

I dont remember if I told you already, but my buddy Elder Strahm is my zone leader.  It is super fun.  He has a way awesome companion too.  He is from Arizona and is way funny.    On friday,  Elder Strahm goes home though... he told me he was gonna go visit you guys though.  So I think I will give him our address.  

I just found out that on my birthday, we are going to have a huge mission conference...  because Elder Christofferson is coming!!!!  I am pretty sure it is a birthday present for me...  

I dont really know why, but this week my hip has been bothering me a lot.  I think it is always something that has bothered me a bit, but this week it has hurt a lot.   I think I am just getting old or something...  I think the only way to explain why it hurts is to say that I have been walking for 2 years...

Well I am sorry my letters have been really boring lately.  I am doing good though.  I love you all and hope you have a great week!!!

Love,
    Corey

Monday, July 16, 2012

7-16-12

Dear Family,

Thanks again for the really great letters you sent me this week.  This week went a little bit better.  It was really long because of all that is happening, but things are slowly getting better.  I was in the office almost the whole week.  On Thursday, I finally got an area.  I was sent to Alta Mira.  It is here in Medellin.  It`s not quite as good as Alta Suiza, but thats ok.  I am District Leader and Trainer.  I am training Elder Castillo from Peru and all is going fine.  He is stubborn and all, but he is brand new and he is moldable.  
I am also in Elder Strahm`s zone again.  It has been a long time since we have seen each other so it is nice.  He goes home on the 27th though.  I think I will try to do splits with him this week.  
I read a really great talk this week that really helped me with all that is going on.  It is Elder Wirthlin`s talk titled, Sunday will come.  He talks about the ressurection and a lot of other things.  He talks about how Mary Magdalene and Mary the Mother of Jesus as well as the disciples must have felt that Friday when He was crucified.  He talks about how that Friday was the darkest of all the days in the history of the world.  He talks about the despair and sadness of these people and how they felt like all was lost and done with.  But then came Sunday, He rose up and mended the broken hearts and all was well.  He made everything right.  We each have our dark fridays, but Sunday will always come.

I love you lots and I am so greatful for your prayers and thoughts.  I have never needed them more than I do now.  Thanks.

I hope you all have a great week.  I love each and every one of you!!!

Love,
    Corey

Monday, July 9, 2012

7-9-12

Dear Family,

I´m not gonna lie... this week was pretty rough.  I knew things would get harder but never this hard.  I´ll explain why in just a minute...

I will start chronologically....    Last Monday, I forgot to tell you that we went on a hike.  It was cool and we got to see the whole city of Manizales from the top of the mountain.  It was nice to get out and breathe the fresh air.  I really enjoyed it.  I couldn´t take my camara because it was dangerous, so I don´t have pictures to send you.

Then, on Thursday, we went to Pereira to meet President Pitarch.  He is a really good guy.  He is from Buenos Aires, Argentina.  He seems like a really good guy.  We didn´t have a lot of time with him, but he will be really good. 

The whole thing with the new mission is going alright I guess.  I don´t really like it.  It is cool and everything to be in the new mission, but everything is changing and I don´t like it.  
On Friday we had interviews with President Pitarch.  It went well.  It was short but good.  

Then on Saturday, at 11 00 in the morning,  President Pitarch called and told me they were gonna stop by in 30 minutes and that I was being transfered to Medellin....  I think it was probably the worst thing that could have happened to me in this time.  I was happier than ever, we had a baptism the same day, and everything was going really great.  I still have no idea why I was transfered, but now I am here in the office of the mission.  I don´t have a companion, I don´t have an area, and I am in some kind of limbo.  I don´t have a clue what I am doing here.  But hopefully things will change soon and I will have something to do.

It was really hard to leave Manizales.  I have never had a transfer that was so hard.  I didn´t want to leave, but I had to. 

Well, I gotta go, I love you all and I hope you have a great week!!!

Love,
     Corey

Monday, July 2, 2012

7-2-12

Dear Family,

This week was a lot better.  It has (as always...) been very interesting.  

First of all, I wanted to thank you all for your letters this week.  I really needed them.  I didn´t really realize it, but the past 2 weeks have been extremely difficult.  I have had a lot of things going on and I felt (for the first time in my whole mission) that I couldn´t move on.  I felt like I couldn´t find the light at the end of the tunnel.  I don´t know why I have felt like this and I don´t know why I have felt like this in this time.  Why now?        But I finally was able to find the light at the end of the tunnel.  I finally feel like I am able to take steps in the right direction.  I owe all this to a few things:  I was able to spend a lot of time studying and finding the answers that I really needed,  I was able to improve my prayers and make them more powerful,  I was able to think and ponder a lot,  I was able to enhance my relationship with members and friends here in Manizales, and finally, your letters were what really showed me the way out of the dark tunnel.    And as always, through these things, my trust in the Lord has grown and I have learned a lot.  He picked me up when I was down and He urged me to keep going.  He didn´t carry me out.  He didn´t take away my challenges.  He taught me that I could do it.   I know I am not done yet....  But I know I can do it.  I´m guessing (based on recent experiences...) that the hardest parts of my mission are still on their way.   But now I know I can do it.

As far as news and recent events go...  This week we said goodbye to President Prince.  He did a training meeting type of thing where he gave an awesome talk.  I think next week I will write about it, but it was really amazing what he taught us.  The meeting was really good and everything.  But it was hard to say goodbye.  He´s been a great President.  Now we belong to a new mission.  We have the privelige (sp?) to open a new mission.  I am excited to have the chance to do it.  

We haven´t met the new President yet...  I imagine this week we will.  He´s only been here for like 24 hours, so we´ll give him a minute to rest before we make him travel a lot.  I don´t really know how things will go in the new mission.  I am guessing that it will be something like a merger...  Lots of rebellion and stuff.  But I only have to put up with that for 3 more months...

Not a whole lot more to share this week...  I love you lots!!!! Have a great week!!!

Love,
    Corey

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

6-25-12

Dear Family,

This week was kind of rough...  I was sicker than I have ever been in my life.  There is a sickness here called ¨gripa¨ and it must be something like the cold.  But it is way way worse than the cold.  I was down all week long and I thought I would never get back up.  So this week was fairly long.  

But now I am almost as good as new.  I am still recovering from coughing and stuff.  My lungs hurt and my body is sore, but I am almost as good as new.  

This week (Tuesday) we will say goodbye to President Prince.  It is kind of wierd to belong to another mission now but cool to have the chance to open a mission.  On Sunday, the new pres and his wife will get here and we will start the new mission.  

My companion still doesn´t talk.  He doesn´t talk to anyone...  I can´t figure it out.  I do all the talking always.  I teach the lessons, I talk to the people, and I talk on the phone.  I try to give him chances to talk and he doesn´t talk them.  I don´t know why but I am getting really tired.  I don´t have the support of a companion.  I am basically alone.  Not sure what to do about this little situation.

I have felt bad lately that my letters are so boring.  I feel like I can´t fill the letters with interesting things.  So sorry....   And this week is no exception.  I am out of things to say.  I will really give it an effort next week to make a good letter.  

I love you lots and hope you have a great week!!!

Love,
    Corey

P.S.  the volcano didn´t explode.... not yet, hahaha.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

6-18-12

Dear Family,

This week was (as usual) a very interesting week........

First of all,  I didn´t get transfered!!!  I have no idea why, but I am very very grateful that I wasn´t.   So, on the 1st of July, I belong the Mission Medellin.   I am happy with that although I will miss President Prince.  I figure its only 3 months of another president, so it shouldn´t affect me too much.  Plus, I am always very far away from the President so it doesn´t make a huge difference.  

Second of all, my companion didn´t get transfered either...  He still doesn´t talk and stuff.  I think he ignores me, haha.  But we will see how things go this transfer.  

Third of all, there is a volcano here close to Manizales, and the other day we woke up to the whole city being covered with ashes.  It was kind of wierd and they say the sucker is gonna blow... but we´ll see.  No need to worry...  

Fourth of all, on wednesday, we were hungry.  So we stopped by a street vendor and bought something to eat.  Next thing we know, we got robbed blind.  2 kids came up and shoved a knife in my ribs and told me (swearing the whole time) to give them everything.  So we did.  And they left running.  We watched them run away and after a minute, we headed out to see if we could find them.  We looked and looked and couldn´t find them.  A member saw us without our bags and picked us up in his taxi and we kept looking.  We ended up turning down a street and we saw our bags there in the street.  We got out to check things out, and ALL the stuff they took from us was there.  Now, what I didn´t tell you is that my companion had 50000 pesos (a lot) in his book of mormon and I (the only time in my whole mission that I had it with me) had my camara.  And, miraculously, there it all was.  We didn´t lose anything at all.  Crazy, huh?

Well thats about it.  Love you lots and hope you have a great week!!!

Love,
   Corey

Monday, June 11, 2012

6-11-12

Dear Family,

This week was good.  We still don´t know anything about the mission split... but, we should hear something about it tonight.  This week is transfers and so we are all a little bit nervous.  I am really hoping to make it entthrough this transfer without being transfered.  

I am still talking to myself...  My companion is an ok guy and all.... but I am going crazy.  I have to take advantage when other people are around.  I have been able to be very patient with all my companions, but I don´t know how much longer I can do it.  

This week we had a baptism!!!   The kid that got baptized is David Clavijo.  He is 23 years old and was supposed to be baptized 2 months ago.  He progressed really fast and everything but would hide the week before his baptism.  This happened like 3 or 4 times.  And this week we finally baptized him.  He is really good and everything and we still don´t know why he kept hiding but he will be a really good member. 

Not a whole lot more happened this week...  I am sorry I don´t have anything too exciting to share.  I am sure that next week will be a bit more exciting.  

Love you lots!!!

Love,
       Corey

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

6-4-12

Dear Family,

This week was another interesting week...

Things are going fine with my companion.  Still talking to myself a bit, but other than that things are fine.  Sometimes I feel bored when I am with him, but luckily we have really good members that like me and keep me from going insane.  

Next week, we will know what is happening with the new mission.  It looks like if we have transfers next wednesday, we will be in the mission that corresponds with the city we are in.  So everything depends on this transfer.  I have no idea where I will be...  I think I want to be in the Medellin mission (so I can stay in Manizales...).  But we will see.  I am really happy where I am at and after this transfer, I only have 2 transfers left.  I can`t believe how fast time is going by.  Oh and last week, President Prince asked me where I wanted to finish my mission... 

Here in Colombia, there is a TV show that is called Colombia tiene Talento.  It is like America`s got Talent.  But it is extremely popular here.  Well this week a member in my branch won.  I don`t know him very well, but he is blind and he sings and plays the piano.  He won 500,000,000 pesos.  I don`t really know how many dollars it is...  But it is a ton of money here.  But I thought that was cool. 

So I am pretty sure I already told you about the chiva that the family you met on mother`s day has, right?  Well it is basically like a modified jeep that has room for like 15 people.  Yesterday, we went for a quick ride in it and it was super cool.  We went up a big old hill up on the mountain close to Manizales, and we could see the whole city.  I didn`t have my camara but it was really really cool.   

Other than that, not a whole lot more is going on...  So....  have a great week!!!  Love you lots!!!

Love,
    Corey

Monday, May 28, 2012

5-28-12

Dear Family,

This week has been quite interesting...

Last Monday, my companion was in one of his moody phases. I was really really tired of it happening so often so I wrote to President Prince. I explained what was going on with him and that I was trying to be really patient. I took a chance by saying that because I knew that if we had a problem, one of us would be transfered next. And since I have been here for about 4 months, I thought it would be me. Well........ on friday, my companion was transfered......... It came as a surprise, seeing as how transfers aren`t until the 13th of June. But now I am here with Elder Mindiola.

Elder Mindiola is from Barranquilla, Colombia. He has been in the mission for 16 months, but in another mission. He was originally assigned to be in Urugauy. He went and spent 16 months there and had problems with his visa and was reassigned to Colombia. He is really really quiet but I thing he will be a good companion. He is so quiet, in fact, that sometimes I ask a question and I don`t hear an answer... so I answer my own questions.

Today, we had interviews with Pres Prince. It was really short, but went well. He asked me where I would like to finish my mission. I told him that I am fine where I am at. He said that it is possible but that it depends on what happens with the mission division. Which, by the way, is driving us nuts down here. They won`t tell us anything!

Also, we had a baptism on Saturday!!! Manuel Posada is 9 years old and is a members son. It went well and he asked me to baptize him. His dad couldn`t do it for some reason, so I accepted. But man alive the water was cold!!!

Well that is about it... I love you lots and hope you have a great week!!!

Love,
Corey


Monday, May 21, 2012

5-21-12

Dear Family,

This week was pretty good.  Not a whole lot to share this week... but its fine because I don´t have a lot of time to write today.  

Today is a holiday so we are getting together with some of the members to eat lunch.  We are going to make Sancocho.  It is basically just a soup that is very traditional here in Colombia.  But it should be cool.  
Yesterday, I gave a talk in Sacrament Meeting.  I chose the topic of Sacrifice and reviewed my notes from a zone conference we had with President Prince.  I think my talk went pretty well but more than anything, I learned a lot. I read in Genesis 22 about Abraham and Isaac.  I learned that the sacrifice that God asked of Abraham was a similitude of God´s sacrifice of his Only Son.  It was very interesting and I was able to compare this chapter with John 3:16.  One thing I thought was really interesting was the attitude of Isaac with his father.  When they headed up the mountain, Isaac says to his dad that they had the knife and everything but they didn´t have anything to sacrifice u.  Abraham responds by saying that God will provide it.  Then Isaac understands and permits it.  He even helps his father.  He, being young and all, could have overtaken his dad.  He could have run away...  But he didn´t.  He knew it was God´s will and like Christ, wanted to do God´s will before anything else.    Then, one of the most interesting parts is when God makes the well known Abrahamic Covenant.  The promise was much greater than the sacrifice.

Anyway, that´s about it for this week.  Next week I will write more...  I hope you all have a great week!!!  I love you lots!!!

Love,
    Corey

Monday, May 14, 2012

5-14-12

Dear Family,

This week`s letter will be short...  

I was very happy to be able to talk to you yesterday.  It is really weird to me that the next time we hear each other`s voices, I will be home...   It was really cool to be able to see how everyone is doing.  

One thing I didn`t mention yesterday, is that we had a zone conference with President Prince this week.  I was really surprised by the amount of information that I took in.  I learned a ton and it was probably the best conference I have been to.  We talked a lot about the Holy Ghost.  President Prince has a way of teaching us things and analyzing (sp?) scriptures that I really like.  I have learned a ton from him.

Well that is about it...  I love you all and hope you have a great week!!!

Love,
     Corey

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

5-7-12

Dear Family,

This week.......................... I didn`t get transfered!!!!!!  Monday night, we waited and waited for the phone call to see if we had been transfered or not.  And we were the only ones in all of Manizales that were not transfered!!!  They say it is because we are baptizing a lot and having a lot of success together.   So I have at least another 6 weeks here in Manizales. 

As I mentioned last week (I think), I was pretty sick.  I was sick for a total of 10 days...  I am just now starting to feel better.  So things are all good now.  I don`t know what I had, but it was not too nice.  The only way I was able to get along was by working.  I remembered what Dad used to tell me when I was ¨sick.¨  Just get up and do something and you will feel better.  So I did it and it works.  I don`t know why I never believed it, but it really works.  

Things with my companion are fine.  I am definately learning how to be a parent...  He may be 2 years older than me, but he is just a child.  He is in a stage right now where he thinks he can do everything all alone (which he can`t...).  So I try to let him learn by experience.  He is learning a lot, although he can`t seem to grasp the humility thing.  He gets pretty proud sometimes.  I am trying to figure out how to fix this problem, so we will see how things go this week.

I still love my area and things just seem to get better and better.  We are still leading the mission and the President has been very happy with the work we are doing.  And the other missionaries are all jealous and can`t figure out how we are doing it haha.

I got my packages this week!  Thank you very much for all the sweets!!!

So to answer the most popular question this week.........  I will be able to call this week.  I can call any day between the 13th and the 19th.  Preferibly (sp?) in the daytime hours..    So I need you to figure out what day and what time and email me before wednesday.  On wednesday I will check my email and make the plans.  So don`t forget to respond quickly.  And it might only be an hour this time that I can talk....

Well I think this is everything...  I hope you all have a great week!!! 

Love,
    Corey

Monday, April 30, 2012

4-30-12

Dear Family,
  
This week has gone really well.  We had 3 baptisms!!!  One on Thursday and two on Saturday.  Everything went really well and each one of them will be really great converts.  President Prince has taught us to set commitments and not goals.  What is the difference?  A commitment is what we WILL achieve whereas a goal is what we WANT to acheive.  So he had us set a commitment of what we knew we could achieve.  It wasn`t a commitment between us and him... it was between us and God.  He had us promise God that we would achieve it.  So we promised that we would baptize 5 people in April.  And...  we baptized 5!!!  It wasn`t easy and for a minute I thought we weren`t going to be able to make it, but we put our trust in Him and we did it.  So we are happy...

Today, we find our if we have transfers or not...  I don`t think we will know until the night, but I am praying that I won`t have transfers.  This week I figured out why I am so happy here...  At first, I thought it was because of my other companion... but he left.  Then I thought it was because of the climate (which, to answer Dad`s question, is practically perfect...  Not hot but not cold.  It rains from time to time, but we never get wet)  or because the city is really pretty...  The reason I love it so much here is because for the first time in my whole mission, I feel something different.  In all my areas before this one,  I have felt like my investigators were waiting for the missionaries.  Which is really great... But here,  they are waiting for me.  Not just any missionary, but they are waiting for me.  Lots of times, we here about how we made promises in the pre-existence to find people and teach them these things.  I know that the people I promised that I would teach are here in Manizales.  I think that my whole mission up until now has been preparation for me to teach these people.  

What else???  I got pretty sick this week...  I don`t know what I have, but it ain`t pretty haha.  Don`t worry about me though... I will probably be just fine.  

I got a message from the mission that told me that 2 packages arrived!!!  They will be in my hand this week!

Everyone, hurry and pray that I won`t have transfers... But hurry because they come tonight...

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

Love,
   Corey

Monday, April 23, 2012

4-23-12

Dear Family,

This week was really good.  I seem to get happier and happier every day...  But things are going very very well.  We have been able to have really high datos (lots of lessons and stuff...) and we are actually in the top of the mission.  I don`t know how we are doing it, but it`s working.  This week we will have 4 more baptisms!!!  

I know I haven`t sent pictures yet but they will come next week.  And I will try to send a lot...  

This week we have worked a lot with the investigators who are getting baptized this coming week.  I don`t think I have ever had any investigators that are so well prepared.  We have been diligent with them and it is paying off.  They will be great leaders one of these days.  

Things with my companion, Elder Chicoma, are going fine.  He is an odd guy though.  He is very tempermental even to the point of being bipolar.  I feel like with every companion I have, there is something like this hidden under the surface.  He also complains more than anyone I have ever met in my life.  I think I understand a little tiny bit of how it must feel to be a parent... I`m sorry for everything.  But I think I am starting to get a hang of his quirks.  It`s not easy but I think I`ve got it handled.  He is also pretty immature... Lots of jokes and comments that a 10-12 year old boy would say.  He is a niño grande...  But I know he is just learning.  He will be a great missionary, I just need to learn more patience...

This week, Pres. Prince came to town.  We had District Conference here in Manizales.  It was one of the best meetings I have ever been to.  But it was nice to see him and hear from him.  I learned a lot.  I also got to see the members from Chinchina in the conference.  It was nice to see them all but I felt bad because there wasn`t time to talk to all of them.  It isn`t so easy having 2 branches full of friends in one conference... But it`s cool because I think they like me...  So I feel really lucky to have so many friends in one place.  There is something very very special about Manizales.  I think I was meant to be here.  I just hope I am meant to be here for much longer.

I think that is about it... The letter is boring again, but next week I will try very hard to make it better.  I love you all and hope you have a great week!!!

Love,
    Corey

Monday, April 16, 2012

4-16-12

Dear Family,

I had a pretty good week...  We baptized Omaira and her daughter Daniela!!!  It was a really good baptism and I am glad everything went well.   I don`t have my camera right now, but I will send photos as soon as possible. (maybe later today... maybe)

We worked very hard this week.  We were able to meet all the goals we set and we are very proud of the work we are doing.  We found a bunch of new people and the majority will be baptized very soon.  Things are going very well and I am happy where I am.  I have made some really good friends and I don`t want to be transfered until they tell me to go home...

We started teaching a 14 year old kid this week.  He is from a part of Colombia called Chocò.  Chocò is basically Africa.  It is very poor, and they are actually desendants of Africans.  So they are all black. (is it offensive to say that??? I don`t remember...  here it is very normal to call someone with dark skin negro...)  But this kid was taken by the guerilla when he was 6 or 7.  He has had a very hard life but is a really good kid.  When he was 12, he ran away from the guerrilla.  He is now in a program where he was adopted by a family here in Manizales.  He can`t ever return to his family in Chocò because the guerrilla will kill him.   So he is basically a refugee.  He is really funny and it is a lot of fun to teach him.  We have to take things really slow and we have to teach the very basics about religion.  He is a really good kid but is still learning right and wrong.  He is obviously a bit scarred from his time with the guerrilla but he wants to be baptized so I am sure you will hear more about him.  

Due to mom`s request for more information....  This week I have been pretty sick.  I have had some pretty good headaches and stomach pains...  But no worries!  Its probably nothing.

I am glad to hear every week that things are going well with everyone.  I always feel bad that I don`t have time to write personally to everyone... But know that I love you all!!!

This week, Obama and the President of Colombia, signed something that is called the TLC. I don`t know what it`s called in english... but its a trade deal.  It sounds like we will have colombian food in america!!!  And hopefully in the next six months American food in Colombia!!!   It should be cool because there are some food items that I definately will need to survive on a daily basis.  Such as, Pony Malta, Arepas, Panela, etc...  

Sorry I don`t have much to share this week... Love you lots!!!

Love,
    Corey

Monday, April 9, 2012

4-9-12

Dear Family,

This week was good.  I am really enjoying my time here in Alta Suiza.  I have really made some great friends and I don`t want to be transfered for the rest of my mission... it would make it a lot of time in one area... but yeah I like it here.  

This week we have been working very hard with our investigators who have a batismal date.  Right now we have 5 investigatos to batize this month.  This saturday, we will baptize Omaira and Daniela.  Omaira is the sister of the lady I baptized a few weeks ago, and Daniela is her daughter.  Omaira has always been pretty hard to teach.  She has always been sure about baptism and everything, but she has so many questions.  We usually try to take a few minutes every time to answer her questions.  She also has had a hard time believing in the book of Mormon.  So yesterday, I told her that I would answer ALL her questions.   I felt like she really needed the chance to figure everything out.  As she asked her questions I felt like someone was whispering in my ear the scriptures and all the answers to her questions.  We were able to answer every single question and doubt she had.  And so this saturday, she will be baptized.  

I think I am really loosing all grasp of the english language.  I had a very hard time writing that last paragraph.  So sorry if it doesn`t make any sense...

Well, this week was a special week because I was able to return to Chinchina!!!  We did a desembarco (no idea what that is in english...) where 8 missionaries got together and worked in Chinchina for 2 days.  It was really great to go see everybody.  I was able to see and visit all of my converts.  11 of the 14 are still active and going strong.  The other 3 moved away and is now coming back.  I was very happy to know that most are still going strong.  I don`t know if you remember my convert Sandra but we ate lunch there one day and I was able to chat and catch up.  Her whole family is baptized now and she is one of the best most faithful members.  I felt really lucky to have been the one to find her... even if it was by accident...

This week was also La Semana Santa.  So not only is it Easter, but it is a week long catholic holiday.  Which, like all other holidays in colombia, is not too reverent.  Just lots of drunk people.  

I guess after reading Jack`s email, you probably feel cheated.  He is a very good writer and is able to paint a dang good picture.  I can`t beleive he is already done.   Time is flying by way too fast.   I guess that means I`ll be finishing up here pretty quick... Just so you know... I haven`t been nearly as sick as he has... I may have some pretty good stories, but those will just have to wait.

I love you all and hope you have a great week!!!  

Love,
  Corey

Monday, April 2, 2012

4-2-12

Dear Family,

This week was good.  I really enjoyed conference a lot.  It was really cool to see the themes that were chosen.  I don`t know about you guys but I saw about 3 or 4 themes...  Eternal Life, Families, Spirituality and Trials.  It was really interesting to hear about these topics.  I feel like sometimes we don`t focus enough on these things.  I really can`t wait to watch conference in English though.  I still learn a lot and feel the spirit in spanish... but it is sooooo much better in English.  We are really lucky to speak english and live right there close to all the Prophets and Apostles.

I have learned a lot this week.  Not only in the conference but in my personal studies.  I have obviously been reading the Book of Mormon a lot (like 7 or 8 times in my mission...) but have started focusing a little bit more in the bible.  I study all my books together and everything is so much clearer.  I can tell that I have progressed a lot in gaining knowledge.  But it is dang hard to talk about the gospel in English...  I can talk all day long in spanish though...

My companion is doing all right.  He is struggling with a few things though.  But I wont gossip too much..  But he is really stubborn and he doesn`t trust me.  After 18 months in the mission, I definately know a little bit more than him but he wont accept that.  He thinks he can get by without the guidance of the spirit.  He has even lied to me a few times about when the spirit has told him to do something.  I am learning a lot of patience and I know he will get better and he will be a great missionary but it is a little bit tough to wait for that to happen.

I cant believe I am turning 18 months this week.   It feels really wierd.  My buddy Jack gets home on the 4th...  Time is going by way too fast.  I know that these 6 months will go by way fast and that worries me a bit... but I guess I just have to remember what I often teach my investigators...  Life is full of steps.  We just have to keep climbing the stairway to heaven.  Some steps are bigger than others, but we have to take every single one.  Going home from my mission will be just one of these very large steps... but i have to take it.

I hope you have a great week!!! Love you lots!!!

Love, 
   Corey

Monday, March 26, 2012

3-26-12

Dear Family,

This week has been really good/very interesting...  On monday night, after I wrote to you and everything, we got a call from the zone leaders to tell us that we had transfers...  We were kind of sad about that because things have just been going so well that we didn`t want things to change.  My companion got sent to Medellin and my new companion is Elder Chicoma.  He is from Peru and he has been in the mission for 6 weeks... 

So as a result of the transfers, I am finishing the training of my companion.  We are now training with a new program that the church has sent out called the first 12 weeks.  It is basically a more comprehensive training program.  The main difference is that we are in the house until 12 00 studying every single day...  I am not the biggest fan of that.  I am used to leaving at 10 30 and getting right to work.  But I do have the chance to teach a lot of stuff to my new son (we call them our sons... which means that I am his mom...).  But we get along pretty well.  Transfers are always hard but things are going well and I am learning a lot.

My companion is a tongan sized fella... So he weighs about 260 lbs... And he walks SOOOOO slow.  And lets remember that my area his some pretty gigantic hills... I feel bad for the guy because we get to the top of the hills and he is sweating and breathing hard.   But he will get used to them.  Besides, who said the mission was easy?  

One thing that I didn`t really expect was to be teaching everything all by myself.  He doesn`t talk a lot yet, but we are working on that.  I guess thats my job to teach him...

I wanted to tell you that I really enjoyed reading your letters today (I always enjoy your letters...).  But I wanted to say that I feel bad that I am not able to write back very much.  Just know that I love you all and I love your letters.

I still love my area a lot and I hope I can stay here for a long time.  There is a family here that is very very nice and have basically adopted me.  They are really great and I call them my Colombian Family.  They aren`t nearly as great as my real family, but they are really cool.  The mom called me this morning and said, ¨¡Buenos dìas hijo mio norte americano!¨ Which means, ¨Good morning my north american son!¨  They are my favorite family that I have known in Colombia.  But don`t worry... they aren`t nearly as cool as you guys!

Well that`s about it...  This week should be good because of General Conference.  So enjoy it!  I love you all!!!

Love,
    Corey

P.S. Katie, pass the following message to Chloe please...  

HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHLOE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, March 19, 2012

3-19-12


Dear Family,
 
This week was really really good.   I think I mentioned that we were going to have a few baptisms, right?  Well we did!!!  I have to say that it was pretty much the coolest most spiritual baptism I have ever had.  We baptized Sandra and her daughter Karen.  They are really awesome.   Sandra is about 33 years old and Karen is 9.  We are teaching their whole family so they are only the beginning of many baptisms to come.  I included pics of the baptism.  The first pic is the family (part of them at least...)and the second is of my favorite little colombian boy, Alejo. 
 
So Saturday, we were at the church all day long trying to get everything ready for the baptism.  We found that no one was there to clean the church so we got to work.  I'm pretty sure that it hadn´t been cleaned in a month or more.  So we decided to help out the branch and we cleaned the whole thing... all by ourselves.  Its not easy.  You can´t just vacuum the carpet.  You have to sweep the tile in the whole church, and then you have to mop it too.  It took us from about 10 00 in the morning until the baptism at 5 00 to get it all ready (with the lunch break of course).  But by 5 00, the church was skeaky clean and it made for an awesome baptismal service.  I was the speaker and it went really well (they like my accent here haha).  But I was really pleased by how it all went. 
 
Well now I will jump back in time to Monday night...  After I wrote to you, we headed over to our interviews with President Prince.  We didn´t have much time... but it went really well.  I was glad to be able to talk to him.  I told him that I wanted to finish the mission in my current area...  he said he would ask the Lord (I sure hope he says yes...).  Then we had a big fireside with President Prince.  The whole district was invited... which means that I got to see ALL my friends and converts from Chinchiná!!!  I can´t even describe how happy I was.  I was one of the happiest days of my mission.  I saw that almost all of my converts are still active and that some of the investigators that I had got baptized soon after my departure.  It was a pretty good day.  The only bad thing was that I forgot my camera...  I didn´t realize we had a big activity with all the members.  At least I get another chance during General Conference.
 
Then on Tuesday, we had Zone Conference.  We had to go all the way to Pereira to meet with 2 other zones for the conference but all went really well.   It was nice to see all the buddies and companions.  All of my companions that are still in the mission were there...
 
This week was one of the busiest weeks of my life... but it was really good.  I remembered a lot this week a picture I saw in the MTC.  It was of Superman pulling open his suit and showing a white shirt and tie with a missionary tag.  I have pretty much felt like that all week.  We did an impossible amount of things this week and it felt pretty good.  I am still not sure how we did it, but we did. 
 
Well I hope you all have a great week!!! I love you all!!!
 
Love,
Corey







Monday, March 12, 2012

3-12-12

Dear Family,

This week was very good.  I really love my area.  We have been working really hard lately to meet the mission goal of  ¨La Nevada¨.  Where we are absolutely bound by our compromiso (look that word up...) to baptize at least 2 people before the 20th of March.  Even while planning for this for a month it has been very difficult.  We have definately been tested pretty hard.  But it looks like our 2 baptisms turned into 4 yesterday.  So, this Saturday should be a pretty good day.  
So you know that guy I told you about that knows 12 languages and stuff?  Well he also has all the scriptures and every book by the church memorized... Don`t ask me how, but it`s true.  So we were stuggling a bit with an investigator that has a million questions and doubts.  So we took this guy and sat down with her and her family and cleared up every single little question that she had.  It was absolutely incredible to see this guy work.  He would quote scriptures right and left and say, ¨on page 524 of the book of mormon in the second column in verse 4...¨ It was unbelievable.  Now, she is ready to be baptized... We just have to get her married this week... 

Today, we have our interviews with President Prince.  Then, tomorrow, we have zone conference.  I am always pretty excited but this time I am a little worried because it means that we have about 2 days less to work this week.  And we have a ton that we need to do this week.  So on Wednesday, we have to throw it in gear and go non stop til next P-day.  I am not quite sure how we will do it...  But it will be allright...  

I know I said I would send pictures...  But you`ll have to wait til next week.  A lot is happening this week anyway so it`ll be way more interesting.

Something cool that is happening is that the branch pres of my area is giving us tons of opportunities to help in the branch.  Lots of times, the leaders don`t want any help and then they just fail... so we are excited to help out a bit.  He asked us yesterday to teach a leaders training meeting.  I think that if I am able to stay here for a while I will be able to help a lot in turning the branch into a ward.  

Well thats pretty much it.  I wish I could show you the experiences I am having here but I guess for now you have to deal with just words to describe the awesome things that happen to me...   Love you all!!!  Have a great week!!!

Love,
    Corey 

Monday, March 5, 2012

3-5-12

Dear Family,

It has been another great week.  I really love my area.  I just wrote to President Prince and said that I have never been this happy.  We haven´t baptized quite yet but we are getting close.  I forgot to tell you last week about something cool/funny we did...

On sunday, we got up even earlier than normal and got ready.  Then we left and went to pick up a family to take them to church.  We got there at like 7 30 (they live really far away) and woke them up.  Then we waited while they got ready and we dragged them off to church.  From that family, there were about 3 or 4.  As we started walking, people would look out their windows and ask where they were going.  They would say, ¨we are going to church...¨  Then I would yell, ¨come with us!¨  to the neighbors.  So after everyone got ready, we headed off to church.  We got to the church and everyone was there waiting for us... (we are very popular here...)  So they watched as our 15 new friends filed into the chapel.   I wish I would have taken a picture of the members faces...

Anyway, things are going really well here.  We are starting to organize some training meetings for the members here.  They are really cool and all, but they don´t know anything.  So we are gonna see if we can help.  The meetings tend to get a little boring sometimes.  Luckily, we have a really good branch president who is cooperative and everything.  

This week we had divisions 2 times.  It was rough.  I do not like divisions.  I had one with a Bolivian and another with a Brazilian.  And I had to do both of them in my own area which was a little tough because I don´t know it too well (it is really big...)  But I survived and all is well.  

Well sorry this isn´t too interesting.  I will do better next week.  Possibly with pictures...  Love you all and hope you have a great week!

Love, 
     Corey 

Monday, February 27, 2012

2-27-12

Dear Family,

This week was really good.  I really love my area.  I definately feel like I fit in a lot better here than in any other area.  I guess it has just been really easy to make friends.  It usually takes me about a transfer to get normalized.  Here it took about a week.  Maybe its because I already knew a lot of people here but the members have really been good to me.

A lot happened this week... so I will try to tell it all.  But before I forget... Mom, I got my package!!! Well I got it like 2 weeks ago but I forgot to mention it.  We ate all the goodies in like 3 days.  Thanks!!!

So there is a member here whose name is Luis.  Well he actually goes by the name Talent... because he is really talented.  He knows a lot of stuff.  He is fluent in 12 languages and is learning more and he has memorized the Book of Mormon and The Bible.  He is a genius.  But in the past, he hasn´t gotten along too well with some of the missionaries who have been here. Mostly because they were lazy.  But he has really taken us in.  In fact, everyone is surprised that he gets along with us.  But he offered to call to you by Skype (he knows english...).   So I  think I will give him your skype address and he will give you an update on how I am doing.   He speaks english really well but try to just say words that are in the dictionary.  They can´t quite get a hang of the slang. (don´t tell him i said that)

On tuesday, we had a zone meeting.  So everyone from the zone including the elders from Chinchina had to come.  We got there early and talked to the missionaries from Chinchina and apparently the word has spread that I am back.  So they told me all the people who told them to tell me hi.  They said that I am famous in Chinchina haha.  I was kind of surprised to hear that they remembered me.   But I asked about my converts to see if they are still going to church and they are!  So I am pretty happy about that.  But not as happy as I was to hear that one of my converts, Sandra, is dating my favorite member John Jairo.  He is the one that took us to the river to work.  John Jairo had just gotten out of a messy marriage that his wife ruined and Sandra´s husband died like 7 or 8 years ago.  I always thought they would be perfect for each other...  And she has almost been a member for a year so if they decide to get married, they can go straight to the temple.  
It has been nice to hear about everyone from Chinchina.  I am happy that everyone is doing good.  Hopefully I can go visit pretty soon.  

This week I got a hair cut.  I said that I wanted to do a 2 on the sides and a 3 on top.  Which is what I normally did at home.  Anyway, it turned out to look kind of weird for a couple of days because I am going bald!!!  It actually wasn´t that bad... but it was just a little bit thin right out in the front.  It is looking ok now, but it gave me a little scare.

The other day, there was an earthquake!  It was just a baby one but it was kind of weird.  It happened really early in the morning while we were still sleeping.  The house just started to shake and it lasted for like 30 seconds.  It wasn´t scary or anything but we were kind of confused for a minute.  

What else...?  I am not sure why, but the girls here are kind of obsessed with me...  in fact, i got proposed to again... well it was actually more of a command... but it is kind of weird.  Oh and a girl in the branch asked me to give her my eyes...  (because they are green/not dark dark brown). 

Anyway, I hope you have a great week!!! Love you lots!!!
Love,
     Corey