Monday, December 20, 2010

Thank you everyone for your letters! They were very uplifting I appreciate receiving mail! It is very nice to get! We only get emails now, sorry but Dear Elder is only for the MTC. And I believe you just send the mail to the mission office, sorry I should have told you sooner but I didn’t expect packages so soon. A little hint I got from the Elders here is that when you send a package tape a picture of Christ and a picture of Mary on the package and label it religioso materia. This keeps thieves out of the packages, but I'm sure these packages will be just fine! I’m excited to get them!

The life of a missionary in Colombia is seriously like a roller coaster. Bigger and more windy and floppy then Goliath roller coaster at 6 flags! I have my ups and I sure have my downs! I feel prepared with my testimony and right now everything that I do I live off of faith and a testimony of my Savior Jesus Christ! There have been many deep heart felt and tear filled cries to my Savior this week. I feel like I was prepared as much as could be for this mission but there is always a curve ball! I am doing a whole lot better with my Spanish, I am growing tremendously! For the most part I can get the topic of a conversation and every now and then add a word or two into the conversation! But at other times I am so lost! I don’t know what is going on and I can tell like it’s a critical part in a conversation or contact and I can’t jump in and I want but I can’t! At other times I won’t know what is going on in a conversation but I get a prompting to say something. At times I say what’s in my mind and it seems like I actually contributed. But twice this week I hade two impression to say something to these people on the street but for some reason I didn’t open my mouth during the contact! I hate it when I don’t talk to people!!!! It’s very difficult to not get frustrated or mad at yourself. Those feelings drive the spirit away and without the spirit I am doomed!! When ever I open my mouth the spirit has to be there to direct me on what to say and with the person I’m talking to for them to understand. I see the spirit working a whole lot different in me now then in previous times!

I get enough sleep every night. The Lord is blessing me with a wonderful 8 hours of sleep every night and it’s the best sleep I’ve had in my life!! And yes the picture of the bed that is made is mine! I am actually pretty organized I found out! I always do the dishes, make my bed, keep my desk clean and all. Anyways I sleep well, but I am consistently tired by 2 in the afternoon. After lunch I’m done! The food here is always some type of rice, maybe some beans, always platanoes, fried or sliced, sometimes like two leafs of lettuce they call salad Haha! and some fruit drink. The drinks are very strong at times and they have all these cool names like t├žia and stuff. or the drinks are like freaking hot milk, I don’t know why but they just put milk on the stove and drink it! it’s alright. But after I eat I’m full for like ten minutes! and it’s like impossible to finish the food it’s just so huge but it’s just satisfies you for a few minutes and the rice makes me tired. Since I’m tired the rest of the day I really rely on the Lord to carry me through the day! Right now I really have to fight off the natural man! Everything is different. Nothing is the same!

I have a good companion! Elder Valdivia is from Argentina. He has been out for 9 months now! I think that he is more American than I am! He can speak good English! He says that he didn’t have many friends so he watched a lot of TV! He can quote any American hip hop song, TV Show Movie! Anything media from America he knows it! It’s hilarious at times but when ever I say something he can sing a song about it and he sings the entire song, not just the line, so when ever I say a sentence it takes like 10 minutes before I can finish! We speak Spanish in the Street and English in the Apartment! He has been a good help for me! this week I went on my first intercambio! I changed with the zone leaders I went to Ciudad Jardin! Ciudad Jardin is like in centro Bogota with a lot of buildings and things and very city like! It was fun I was with Elder Cruz for a day and I learned a whole bunch from that intercambio! Elder Cruz is from Peru and speaks no English so I felt good that he understood what I was saying and there wasn’t really a big language barrier!! The new had a Zone meeting on Saturday! Elder Neville is the other Zone leader and after the meeting he came and talked to me and he is just the best Zone Leader Ever!! He just bore his testimony to me and really helped me out a bunch. He’s a gringo too! So he just told me about how the transition is going and told me about how it was hard for him and all! But he helped me a lot!!!

Yesterday the Lord answered my prayers! For the past 2 weeks we’ve only had one investigator named Yolanda. The rest of the people we’ve been teaching have been recent converts! It’s been very difficult because we haven’t been able to teach things that I learned in the MTC. We were sharing scriptures and stuff not the lesson, which is fine but I just didn’t know the vocab for the Sower Parabol. And its frustrating coming to a new area with only one investigator! But This whole week during my prayers I was praying for people to teach and help us find ways to teach people! Sunday the Bishop came up to us and gave us a ward list! Which is a huge thing! People here don’t have ward lists! so it was like a Christmas present for us! And it had all the names of the part member families active and not active people and everything! Score!! Then 2 of the people that we were trying to contact the past two weeks contacted us! One of the came to church and the other one finally returned our Call!! So now we have 2 progressing investigators!1 Hurray!! And then a Member gave us 2 referrals that we are going to visit today! I am stoked!!

I really don’t have any fears here! The Lord really blesses his Missionaries! Sure it has been a difficult transition but it makes me rely on the Lord a whole lot more! The Lord is my best friend! He is the only constant in my life! I am doing a whole lot better now, I’m learning, I’m transitioning, all is going better!

Here are some more pictures I’ll try to keep sending the pics each week! I’ve been getting a lot of headaches lately because I don’t fit into any of the doors hardly most of the doors are like 5 10 or 6 foot! There’s really no consistency to the way the build things the just slap it together! Our house is very cold! It’s a cement apartment and we have tin roof! 

This week the Elders had a Missionary choir performance for Christmas Monday through Thursday we were at the Stake center for about 5 hours everyday! The new missionaries were allowed to be in the choir because we missed the practices! So Elder Fuqua and I and 4 other new missionaries and 2 Latinos went and contacted on the streets and invited people to the program! It was so fun! there were 7 of us on 3 street corners! Elder Fuqua and I were companions once again! Yes! I really miss him! He’s a great kid! We got along fine in the MTC but now he is like my best friend! I missed him a lot so it was good to hangout with him this week! We had fun talking to people in our broken Spanish! I don’t think I could ever be married! I just don’t live well with other people! I don’t know why! Like Elder Valdivia is cool and all, but I just don’t like living with someone! Elder Fuqua was ok to be with in the MTC but now I’m like dude you’re the coolest man ever! Some how he got hooked up with some peanut butter from a member! and he was kind enough to bring me a sandwich one day at practice!! It’s impossible to find peanut butter! That’s I what’ve been craving! peanut butter and Cream of wheat actually!! next package please hook me up! I don’t fit in the shower too! Showers are miserable you never know if it’s going to be freezing or bearable and is just free falling water, no water pressure! This really makes me miss America! So these are the Pictures of the week! This is where I live. There's a pic of Elder V. in the kitchen and you got the other ones! I Love ya all and miss ya! Oh ya! for my friends! I don’t really have a mailman in Villa Sonia everything goes through the Mission office and it takes almost a month for me to get it! The Zone leaders drop stuff off the 2nd week of the month so I can Email people through my parents! So they have to be the middle man! So I send mail to Dad! dad sends to friends and then friends respond to dad and dad sends to me!

I GET TO SKYPE HOME!!! THIS WEEK!! December 23 at 4 Colombian time! We are on Central time I believe!! So be by the Computer!! I get like 45 minutes!! so please be there cuz I want to see ya'll. Hopefully hen is in town then or hen and Jay can hook onto Skype too! Love Ya all! Ill try to call home before I Skype to tell you to get on, but its very difficult find a phone for international calls here!! Love ya all and talk to you the 23!!

Love you All
Elder Hammer


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