Monday, December 13, 2010

First Letter from Colombia!

Well, I’m a Colombian boy now. It sure is different here. Sorry I don’t know how to work this new keyboard and can’t find out how to punctuate and stuff. The keyboards are even different in Colombia. Just know that I’m excited and I want to put exclamation marks on all these sentences. Well this has definitely been the hardest week of my life. Everything here is different. I'm definitely not in America at all. But it’s all good. The culture is way different than I expected. It's not Mexican culture at all. I don’t really know how to explain it, but its just a really carefree whatever lifestyle I think kind of describes it. The people love to party. I got my new companion on Tuesday and that night in our apartment the music wouldn’t stop playing till like 2 in the morning but its all good, I slept so hard. I was beat so it didn’t bother me too much.

The drivers here are way different. I’m not sure if there are any traffic laws. You’ll see big buses just squeezing by cars swerving in lanes. It’s almost hilarious to watch. When we first landed Monday night we got into a taxi and off we went. It felt like I was at 6 flags and we were just zooming around everything. I think that everyone thinks that they have the right of away. There are people in the street walking dodging cars, cars dodging the people. It’s seriously like a life size game of Frogger. No lies. So it’s always fun to get into a taxi or bus. I’m in a place called Villa Sonia right now. It’s in Bogota. Bogota is like LA in a sense; it’s made up of a lot of other cities. Bogotá has about 12 million people in it so its big city! And I’m a couple of miles from the mountain and on a clear day I can see them but usually there are buildings in my view. It’s a very crammed city. There are no yards just buildings. Every apartment in about 3-4 stories high and every floor is someone’s house. I’m on the 3rd floor of a building living. It’s seriously so crammed!

The people here are awesome! I’ve got no clue what there saying half the time but its all good. It is very stressful. This truly has been a hard adjustment but I'm doing better. At church yesterday I could understand what was going on and stuff and understood the topics, but if someone wants to talk about something besides religion I’m lost quick. The members are great though and like my English accent and they’re good at speaking slow enough so I can get a jist of what there saying. But all is well. The food is definitely hard to get used to. They feed me so much of stuff I don’t really know what it is. Elder Bundy, he’s the P.A. told me don’t ask just eat. So I do. Its usually a form of rice, meat, a pastry, and sometimes a soup. Remember how I’m a picky eater, well not anymore, you put it in front of me I say a prayer and go for it. The Lord has blessed me with eating and with Spanish a lot! It’s definitely is an adjustment though. Even though I’m in a completely new environment and doing things I’m not used to or anything, this whole time I've not really had any fears of anything. The thought of fear is replaced with faith. I just go and do and do my best and I know that the lord is on my side so all is well.

I contact and try to communicate and Elder Valdivia is good at helping me when needed but lets me talk and teach too. The people are very nice; no body’s really mean here. I thought that they wouldn’t like a gringo in their country but it’s just the opposite. We get like a contact every now and then cuz someone wants to come and talk to a gringo and all. It’s pretty funny. I listen but I cant really respond back to them yet. I usually just smile, nod my head and say bueno or si and let them keep talking. It works about 75 percent of the time. I didn’t meet the Cano familia though, Dad. They must have called the North President cuz my president had no idea what I was talking about. But I did meet the Paranquiva familia. I probably didn’t spell that right but they came and visited you after your mission! They brought out picture book and everything of there trip to America! It was fun to look at and talk to someone that knew a little about my family! So it was a fun reunion with them.

The main meal of the day is Lunch, so everyday we have lunch with members, and we hardly eat otherwise. So today I’m going shopping and buying me some goods. My favorite food here is actually these dried bananas. They’re pretty good. I eat them alot. So that’s what I’m up to. We don’t have a pday in this mission field. We get like a half day pday and have to be back to work at 2 . So it gives us just enough time to do our laundry write and shop. But all is good. I’m truly in the Lord’s hands now. I’ve got no idea what’s going on really so I have to trust the Lord in everything I’m doing! Love ya all and miss ya, my address is now

Elder Emerson Kent hammer
Mision Colombia Bogota Sur
Calle72# 10-07
Edificio Liberty Seguros
oficina 303
Sante Fe de Bogota District Colombia, Colombia.

Love ya all,
Elder Hammer

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