Monday, April 30, 2012


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!!


Monday, April 23, 2012


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!!!


Monday, April 16, 2012


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!!!


Monday, April 9, 2012


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!!!  


Monday, April 2, 2012


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!!!