Monday, December 27, 2010

Merry Christmas from Colombia!

Well this week was definitely a different week then the other weeks, since its Christmas and all. I am really not understanding the cultural very well. Basically the people do what they want to do and that’s the culture I think. If you think of something different, it happens in Colombia! Its pretty funny and keeps the days interesting as you don’t know what’s going to happen. You see people going to the bathroom in the streets, a man in a horse and buggy in the middle of the street feeding his horse, people climbing in and out of there windows. It’s very fun! This week for Christmas the actually celebrate it on the 24th. So that was a bit different. Our day went as usual though, but it was just very difficult to have appointments that day but we had dinner with the Lopez family. Hermano Lopez is a beast!! He was in the military for 8 years and fought against the guerillas in the jungle here! He had some crazy stories! The then he brought out his pictures and all from the military. He did some crazy stuff! He actually was called to be Bishop yesterday! He's going to be excellent! They gave us the best Christmas present ever!! No lies, I like almost cried when I opened the package and there was a pair of socks!!! IT was the coolest thing ever!! Then he came over and was like look, the socks stretch!!!  I was so excited!! When he saw how excited I was he got even more excited and then he brought out this beautiful tie!!! It was the sweetest present ever! This family that lives in a 1 bed 1 bath apartment in very humble circumstances and gave us both socks and a tie!! It was so cool and we were all so excited!!

For the 25 we had a zone meeting and Lunch! The lunch was perfect, one of the ladies in our Zone likes to cook American food and made Chicken Cordon Blue! It was fabulous!!! I loved it! It was very difficult to get appoints this day too but we spent the evening with the Familia Piraquivia family! Haha! They are all so sweet!  We just talked and shared a message with them! They are great people!! Thank you Ken for the CDs. They are perfect; I am putting them on my MP3 right now! I can’t wait to listen to them!! I have the packages in the office, they called me and said that I could pick them up at the office today or they can give them to me on the 6th at Zone meeting! If we have time today we are going to go pick them up! But we have to get back to work at 2 so its difficult!

Yesterday we had 4 investigators at Church! It was spectacular! 2 of them have a baptismal date and the other 2 we only met with them once and they came!! I was so excited! It has been different working with a Latino companion. For the most part we don’t have a language barrier. I can understand lots of stuff obviously not everything but I usually can get a jist of the sentences and respond decently, but it’s just a clash of cultures. Latinos are very blunt and straightforward. Like they hardly say Please or thank you and if they want something they just ask for it. I don’t get offended or anything its just how it is and its different. I try to talk in the conditional for, which is more polite and all and he are like why do you like to talk in the conditional form, if you want something just say it. It’s different. The other day I was kind of taken back that he wasn’t eating his food at lunch, and then he told the sister that he wasn’t in the mood for eating right now so he didn’t eat it. I was like oh no homeboy, we are going to eat or food, I am eating stuff that I don’t even know what it is then you can eat a soup and some beans rice and this meat. I eat slow but I eat everything single piece of rice on my plate, so when the sister went into the kitchen I had to eat his plate too. Its just the mannerisms of us are very different. I was so stoked that for Christmas his Christmas present to me was that he made his bed!! Haha!!

I’ve been adding a lot of suggestions into how we can contact lately and get our teaching pool bigger. The 1st week was very difficult because we only had 1 investigator. That is rough coming to a new area with one investigator. I started inviting people to come to Church with us in Sundays, I don’t know why we weren’t doping that before, then we actually scheduled appointments with the people, before everything was just a passing by visit, but I asked why don’t we actually schedule a time with the people and then the will be a home so we can visit more people and now we call the people before we visit to confirm the appointment, and we also call the investigators the day before and of Church to make sure they can come and we have a member bring them to church! This week we had 4 out of 6 investigators come to church that promised they could come!! He was like, how did you come up with these ideas; I was like we learned this stuff in the MTC. I thought it was weird that all this stuff was new to him. The Lord has really blessed us with us working more diligently. We now had 8 progressing Investigators! And we have the month’s record of 26 lessons taught in one week! So the Lord is really blessing us when we really just go for it! It’s been a great week! I was very grateful!

I’ve figured out that I am like mom and like the house very clean! I clean alot. The house was grouty when I 1st got here I mean there was fungus in the tile, stains on the wall, plates of food under the bed, the works. Today we finished doing a good heavy cleaning this morning! He mopped and I scrubbed the house and now it looks legit! Oh ya for Christmas we got new tables and furniture!! It is alot better! Now we have actual desks instead of little tables and a dinner table and Elder Valdivia has a Closet Armoire thingy!! I think since we have like legit stuff now, Elder Valdivia doesn’t mind cleaning as much.

I was very happy to see the pictures! Thank you very much! Hen, you sure are pregnant!! Yesterday when we went to a house there was a little girl that was about 18 months and I was like oh my, that’s gonna be the Size of Evy when I get home, but Evy wont be a little Colombian Girl!! I am stoked; I tell everyone that my sister is pregnant!

Even though I am super far away from home and everything is new and out of place for me, I feel really close to Dad right now! I feel like I know Dad the best I’ve ever know him in my life. Being here with these people and experiencing these things in the same country as POP I can really see why Dad is the way he is! I can really tell that Dad was a superb missionary. Just talking with e Familia Piriaquivia and seeing the lives of these people and experiencing this culture, I can see how this has affected Dad in his Life to be the person he is. I’ve always known dad was The Man! But it is so much more evident here. I mean, I know why dad eats all the meat of his chicken and why he is so ready to serve and has such a big heart! Even though we are not as close in distance but I fell like I understand Dad a whole lot better being here!

Most of the members here that have served missions serve in Calli. The Stake mission leader went to Calli and we went out with him yesterday to visit menos Activo miembros. He is so cool. The way he talks and describes things is awesome. Every thing is Super, Buenisiimo, Fabulouso, Bulleza, Spectacular!! He has such a happy mood, I like going teaching with him he is great!

So ya everything is going good right now! I can understand most things in Spanish, I get topics and the direction of a conversation, the most difficult thing now is the cultural and how things are done.
It was great talking to the Family, I wish I could have talked with J and Hen more, I really miss the Family but all is well.

Love ya all,
Love Elder Hammer

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