Sunday, January 30, 2011

Estoy haciendolo!!

Yep, that’s right! I’m doing do it! I am definitely in Colombia doing missionary work!! This week we set one baptismal date. It’s going to be the 8th of Feb, Katherine Farfan will be going to the waters of Baptism then! Wooo for the aqua! This week we were busting our tails. we had 13 investigators come to church this week! That ridiculous!! This week we are going to try to set dates with 6 of them. Hopefully that is successful!! Gospel Principles class was filled this week! It was super!! It’s a good feeling to have a full class! Right now we are working a lot with people that have issues with drugs, it’s very hard to help people progress and break these habits. They want to be baptized but the cant stop their addictions. The other major problem here that we see a lot is there are a lot of people that aren’t married but are living together. Missionaries here help a lot of people get married. We are working with two families right now that we need them to get married to set baptismal dates.

I love my Ward. They are very great and they love giving me opportunities to preach the Gospel too. This week I had the opportunity to give a talk haha! In my lovely Spanish language. I willingly accepted this offer. It sure was a doozy but they all said they could understand me and all was well. Obviously I don’t understand all, and talk fluently, but I don’t worry too much about the language barrier, I understand probably a good 80 percent of the words they are saying and the words I don’t know I can figure out from context. I can understand better than I talk so I like to ask the people questions or try to make them tell me a story about their life.

I am definitely living in Colombia though. This week I had the privilege to have a personal tour of how the medical system here works. haha. This week I had a stomach infection and got to visit the clinic. We complain about health care in America, this is a bit different. I sat in the waiting room for a good 4 hours waiting and then when I finally got into the dr. They hooked me up with some liquid of some sort. and injected 2 liters of this stuff. it took 2 hours!! It was pretty funny. I had a fever, aches pains, the works, it was not fun, but I am doing much better now, they hooked me up with some meds and all is well. This really made me miss mom a lot though. Oh my gosh I was really missing Mom! I just wanted some one to rub my back. I missed that. I like when Mom gives me back rubs and gives me gatorade when I'm sick. But I didn’t have that luxury this time. But no fear, all is well now.

I AM STILL WAITING FOR THIS BABY KEN!!! oh my gosh, how much longer am I going to have to wait for this EVY!! It’s killing me over here. I need to see this child!! I’m in agony over here waiting for her to come! when will she be done!

POPS! Sounds like you had a successful Bday! You went for a hike!!!!! You’re killing me!! I am dying to get out into nature. I’m like 20 min or so from the mountains but we aren’t allowed to go into them because they’re dangerous. Ahh!!! I’ve been in the MTC for 2 months and almost 2 months in the city. mountains sound delightful!! I'm glad to hear that you are flying the plane! Hopefully when I return u will b a pro! Did you get any cool presents. Hopefully the work so going all good. I talk about you a lot POPS! Oh My Gosh you were the coolest best missionary ever! I met one of your Companions yesterday. I met William piriquaeve! He’s a cool guy. You baptized 26 people in 4 months!!!!! That’s ridiculous!! you really are an inspirations to me POPS! I really look up to! I love having lunch with the Piriquaves they always tell me stories about their trip to visit America and how nice you and Grandpa are. They love talking about Nancy too haha.

I had a 3rd Christmas this week!! Thank you to the Huyetts for the card, Diana for the Candy, Grandpa Hammer for the card, and Grandma Brennan for the money and the cooking knife!! Hurray for Family. It was also a delight to get a wonderful Christmas Card from the Reynders! Thank you very much Sister Reynders for the lovely note. I really appreciate it!
I hear Matt is gonna be heading to Africa soon!! haha! That’s beast!! Matt with all the africans! WHOOO!! That sounds like a blast!! Its crazy to see all my friends going on missions. We are just kids!! That is great!!

Well all is well. Friends please send picks and family too. I love hearing from ya'll! I expect a niece the next time I get on.

Love Elder Hammer

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

She's going down!

Yes, it is true, Yolanda Ines Martin Pinerros went down into the waters of baptism, I must say a bit reluctantly though haha! Yolanda is a 64 year old sweet hearted women, she’s like a grandma to us. She is very sweet, but her mind at times is not there and we have to remind alot of what’s going on and reteach a lot of the lessons. On Saturday at the baptism she thought that she had to go head first into the water haha, even before I said the prayer she was trying to get into the water. It was a bit difficult to try to explain to her again how to do the ordinance. We explained it to her like 5 times but I think she was just a little bit nervous or something. Eventually she got into the correct stance and all and I said the prayer, it is obviously in Spanish, and thank goodness that the lord blessed me with getting it right the 1st time. When it can time for dunking her in the water, she didn’t want to plug her nose, her hand was sticking out of the water, I call this move the titanic, it was as if it was her last breath and was clinging her hand out of the water. She is older and a bit more fragile, but I got her hand under the water! Instead of a nice quick immersion, Yolanda had a nice opportunity to be under for a good 3 seconds or so, just to make sure she was completely washed of her sins. But she went completely under the 1st time and all was sell. I must admit that it may not have been the most smooth baptism, but the ordinance was performed and I sure that God is pleased nonetheless. I must say though that at times it was a bit difficult to hold my composure, but ya got to love Yolanda she is one of a kind for sure.

Yesterday we received our assignments for transfers, Elder Valdivia and I will be in Villa Sonia still for another transfer which is good, we have been working hard with new investigators here. We now about 17 people that we are teaching on a regular basis, so the work has grown tremendously since I've been here. We have another baptism planned for Feb. 15 for Duvann Ospina. I am looking forward to this! Duvann is a 14 year old boy who is just the coolest kid ever. We are good buds. There is another family of 4 that we are teaching and we are going to try to set a date with them this or next week. I am excited for that also.

I am super anxious for baby EVY to come, what is taking her so long, I want some pics of this little angle as soon as she comes! I’ve been waiting for ever. Every time I see a little baby around 1-2 I get a bit homesick, babies are huge when they are 1-2! Like they are no longer babies, they’re people! I’m like Evy is going to be huge when I get to meet her! But I am stoked POPS! Happy birthday!!! WHOOOO!!! Hurray for the Father!! Mom says you want to hit up the snow for your birthday! yo esper que podria ir a la nieva con ustedes! Yo extranjo la nieva y la familia mucho!! Cada vec cuando yo veo alguien que estan embrazando, estoy enfermada da la casa(Homesick) yo no se! I hope that you have the party of the century and enjoy the day of your birth! Ya I’ve had the arepa the chalchichons and all that good stuff, its pretty good. The Pan is my favorite for sure too! It’s so cheap and big! I buy at least 3 loafs a week! The food here isn’t that bad, its just that its the same everyday, everyday is rice, platanos, jugo and some type of meat. The meat is different, it usually really fatty, has hair on it or there’s alot of bones. Every Wednesday we eat at this family's home that like to break the bone and hen we eat the meat from the inside of the bone, its like a liquid meat and is very different. The Lord really does bless His missionaries with the gift of tongues, while speaking and also while eating, I'm glad that at times I don’t really taste the food, you just say a prayer and down it goes. If anyone has any good easy recipes for me that would be excellent! we cook for breakfast and dinner, but the food options here are limited to basically rice, sandwiches, salchichas. I mixture of food would be delightful!

Sounds like the ward is growing alot since I’ve been gone, that’s great! more families are moving in, sad to her about Mr. Austin, that’s terrible! hopefully all goes well with his surgery! Tookies, glad to hear that you are having missionary opportunities that’s excellent! And Frank sounds like he is a stud at school! Way to go my Bro.

Right now we are working with these people that are having a hard time to quit drugs. Here, drugs are in abundance, the richer people do marijuana and things but we actually have alot of circumstances where the people and addict to glue. Glue is cheaper and it is way more powerful here. Aww, drugs are an awful thing! It is difficult to deal with these situations and you try to help them but the keep relapsing and it is very difficult to deal with these situations.

On the mission things come into new perspectives and you see things a bit differently. I’ve always loved my scriptures but now I love them even more, I've always loved the family but oh my gosh I miss them tons!!! It is difficult at times to teach people about families. Its like oh my gosh the family is so awesome and I miss mine so much! The family really is ordained of God and we learn and grow so much within the family! The gospel is true! At times we think, I’m living the gospel and keeping the commandments, shouldn’t life be easy. The gospel isn’t meant to make life easier. It makes us stronger, so that things that used to be hard are now made lighter because we are stronger. Everyday I am reminded of this. I am doing all that I can everyday, but I still struggle every single day with the language, with investigators, with companion. But everyday we have the opportunity to grow and we need to take advantage of the opportunities to grow. When we trust in the Lord and truly forgot about ourselves, that’s when the Lord can truly use us. It is difficult to forget about us, especially here. Where nothing is the same, I miss the luxurious of being at home, my friends, my work, my truck, my old life, but that is not what the Lord needs me for, and when I can forget about that stuff and focus on the step ahead of me is when the Lord works miracles in my life! The Gospel is true, and that’s all that matters!
Love and miss you all!!
Elder Hammer

Monday, January 10, 2011

Que es eso, Pienso que es un BAPTISMO!!!

Yes you are reading a little bit of Spanish for the Subject!! This week I will be baptizing YOLANDA MARTIN!!! I am super stoked!! Saturday at 6 she will be baptized!! She is the funniest person in the world. She’s a 67 year old stalwart lady that we have been teaching ever since I got here! She’s great! When we asked who she would like to baptize her she actually picked me. I told I was honored but we would actually like a member to baptize her but she refused, so I have to honor of baptizing her! I am super excited! I love it when people accept the gospel!!

This week also my companion had District Leader training for a day, so I had Elder Medinia, who is another Elder in my our Zone come to my place and worked together for the day!! He is a new missionary also!!! We came in on the same day! Anyways I had to plan the whole day and for both us and I was the Senor Companion for the Day! I loved it!! With in 4 hours we had 3 lesson 11 contacts and we even ate some lunch!! I don’t know why but this is what we usually do in a whole day with Elder Valdivia and I!! Elder Medinia and I just worked I tails off. I like it that way!! It was fun because I chose the lessons and topics and the appointments and lead the discussion! I can talk a lot better when I know what are the points we are going to hit in the lesson and I actually know the scriptures we are sharing. It was a good day!

I was very pleased to receive the package this week!! My companion loves packages, he ate all of his stuff with in 10 min. Thank you very much for the exercise stuff, I was getting creative with my work outs before by lifting our chairs, now I got a stretchy band so I'm good to go! I must say that my favorite part though is the Justin Beiber trading cards!! What a blessing to have those cards now in my life!! haha!! I’m actually giving the cards to this girl in my ward is obsessed with Disney Channel!

Thank you very much to my friends this week too, I received some lovely hand written letters!!! Hurrah for good friends!! Sarah Barlocker, I need you Email address dear friend!! If you write an Email to my Dad then I can email you! Its nearly impossible for my to send mail from here, about every 3 months or so I can send a handwritten letter! But I love receiving hand written letters! I am stoked to hear the Meghan is going to Ecuador, and Jenneka F. is going to Arizona!! This is going to be great!! Kara, Meghan, and Jenneka and I will be returning home at about the same time!! We can be friends when we return home and speak in our beloved Spanish languages!!! hurray!!

For my friends going to speak Spanish here are some little tips, for Spanish! Its stinkin hard, but super cool to have a conversation with someone! Watch the news, read the Book Of Mormon, watch the Wiggles all in Spanish!! The more you hear it, talk it, and read it the better! The first 2-3 weeks in the field are very difficult to know what’s going on. but now, with the help of the Lord I’m working miracles. I can understand most of everything that’s going on, talking is still a bit of a struggle, but I can talk to someone face to face but in a group of people and cant say a word! Rely on the Lord, know your inadequacies and trust in the Lord always!! ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS! When you don’t have the spirit you cant talk. At times my mind will wander and if I'm not thinking missionary work, then I cant speak. The Lord demands all of you in the mission field! Siempre think missionary!
I got these legit scripture covers for my scriptures, sorry I forgot my camera today but will email pics next week! P.S to friends, you may email pics too! I didn’t bring pics of anyone and I’m forgetting your faces! hook me up with what your doing an life and all! And who is getting married, Someone has got to be getting married soon, its almost that time of year! Who will be the first of my crew to get married.

SO ya this was my week. All is well in Colombia! We have alot of rain, always! It seems like everyday when we are contacting to rains! up North its flooded and we have alot of people from the North down here now looking for homes and all cuz theirs are all under water!!

Hen, like 2 weeks or so until the BABY!! I’m stoked I tell everyone about you and all!! hurray that I will be a TIO!! Jay I get you emails have no fear! Seems like you are super swamped with you calling and all but seems like your doing an excellent job with it! sounds like a fun outing to the temple the other day! Hen and Jay if you could hook me up with Luke and Jerry’s email I can email them too!

Love ya all and miss ya all too!
Love Elder Hammer

Monday, January 3, 2011


This week was the most spectacular week in the world! I am really starting to feel like a missionary! Even though I can’t completely talk to the people fluently I can communicate decently with the people, they understand what I’m saying most of the time.

This week I taught Gospel Principles class! HAHA! It was fabulous!! I loved it! Obviously the lesson was a bit choppy with my limited vocabulary but the class participated and we had a lovely time! I loved it, the lesson was on agency, and it was so much fun. Elder Valvidivia didn’t have to jump in and teach in the lesson, but the spirit was my guide and I just talked, it was so great. Every time I open my mouth, I need the spirit to be me my guide because it is impossible for me to say anything on my own. It was so much fun, I love it when people can understand what I say and the get the message I’m trying to share, it’s superb!

Yesterday was the best day of the mission by far!! This week has been a very difficult week because of the holidays and all it’s very difficult to get appointments and all, but we were working it. Yesterday the Lord blessed us tremendously! The stakes here have an event every month where the missionaries and the members go out and contact together!! It’s called the Golden Package! What it is, is a Liahona magazine, a pass along card and a Proclamation to the family folletto wrapped up in a gold package. On New years Hermano Home came to our house and we made these packages for 2 hours or so. We weren’t allowed to leave the house until 2 on new years so we were using our time wisely. Anyways, on Sunday we had about 30 members and our whole zone of missionaries meet at the chapel and we went contacting with the members, one missionary for 2 members, it was the best, I went with Hermano Home and his son Felipe. At first there was nobody home, and we were having a difficult time trying to give these packages to people. Then these 2 senoras walked by us so we contacted them, we testified about the family to these senoras. In the contact the lady cried, she was soaking up everything we said, it was perfect!! Then we even set up an appointment with her for that night!!

Last night we had 2 appointments at the same time so Elder Validivia went with Hermano Rico to one appointment and Hermano Home and I went the visit Alejanda, the lady we contacted in the street. We went to her house and we talked about the family and that we are all children of God, Every time we said the word family she would cry, at the end of the lesson we asked her how she feels about this message and al and she said that she feels Gods love and that the things we said were true and her and her family of 4 kids are now going to take the discussions and all!! It was magnificent! During this time Elder Valdivia was at the other appointment who is a reference from a member and this is a new investigator too, one of our old investigators showed up at the lesson and she wants to take the discussions at again!!! Oh my gosh it was wonderful!! These are the days that missionaries live for!! This is why I’m here!! It was a perfect day of missionary work! The Lord really showed his hands yesterday!! The Lord really has blessed my so much here! I’m starting to get a bit more comfortable here which is good. The key to missionary work is to never have your mouth closed, you are always talking or smiling, your mouth is never closed, only when you’re eating! I live on Faith everyday here, Every time I open my mouth and have to have confidence in my savior that I’m speaking Spanish and that the words will come to me and I just talk with a smile.

This week for new years we went to the Family Lopez house. It was a alot of fun! Thank you parents for the package! It was spectacular!! I was nervous at first because you said that you sent 2 packages but only one arrived, I got a notice today though that the other one has arrived!! And the Vanwags hooked me up too!! That was super cool. Thank you very much Vanwags and Family! I was very cool to get packages! I’ve been missing some good American food, they have stuff that is similar but it’s still way different than the stuff back home, even the Oreos and Doritos are different, so it was good to get some good Macadamions and MMs. The van wags hooked me up with so good American food and a lovely letter and Holiday card! Hurray for friends and Family. I really do appreciate it! I think that my companion though was more excited though. I didn’t even finish opening my box and Elder V was already digging around in the box talking stuff out and eating my food and all. At first I was kind of mad, like Elder, this is my package what’s up, I was going to share with him but he just went for it, its all good though, all of this stuff is new to him so I’m cool with it. He loved the Nerf gun though. Oh my gosh and don’t know how many times he’s shot me with that thing, We decided to give the toys to some of the kids in the ward, we gave one to Felipe and Michael, Michael is and investigator and Felipe is his cousin that’s a member, that loved the guns, they brought them to Church yesterday, so I told them that they needed to put the guns away then after church they could shoot me. So they did! Thank you for the packages for new years, I gave all the pop its and all that stuff to members on New Years Eve. They loved them they were so surprised with the confetti popper things they loved them. Anything American people love here. I am glad that I gave away the horn thing. Elder V loves sounds. He was blowing that thing in my ear all night, so that’s why I had to give them away. Anything that makes noise I can't give to him. He found a squeaky toy in the street the other day that was torn, he brought it home and repaired it and now everyday he squeaks the thing. He loves sounds that are very interesting and every now and then he just squeaks the thing. I said he can squeak it as long as its not during study time. I'm glad that he respects that rule haha! Thank you very much for the Harmonica. I really wanted that, I love it I’m trying to learn to play hymns with it! Hopefully soon I can. But I have to hide the harmonica under my bed so Elder V wont play it all day. Haha.

The New years traditions are different here. They pass around a bunch of grapes and you have to hold them above your head and dance and all, and then eat them it symbolizes a year of prosper, then at 12 the people get there suitcases and run around the block rolling the suitcases symbolizing the new years is leaving, and they do have the scarecrow man thing that they burn. Its illegal, but the people do it anyways haha. And they have like little bottle rockets that they launch off. It wasn’t that bad. I hear that Calli has it worst. Calli is more of the party town, here is a but more tranquilo. e Piraquiv family tried to call dad on New Years they wanted to talk to him because William was in town for New years but they said they will try to call back later! They are a great family.

Hen you’ve got like 3 weeks until baby time!! I’m stoked! Oh and Happy anniversary, sorry it’s like 2 weeks late but better late then never! I really need to see pics!! Every time I look at Alejandra, she’s a girl in my ward that’s like 2, I think, oh my gosh she’s so big, that as how big Evy will be when I get home!! ahh!! and Jerry thank you very much for your letter! I feel the same way!! you get discouraged with Spanish yet again you don’t because you know the lord is there. HAHA! Thank you very much for your email! I’m stoked for you to be a dad! Haha. frank I need pics of your powder puff and all. I’m stoked to see it and I need pics of the new car!!! I want to see what the fam is cruzing these days! So ya life is good, It’s a different life here but I love being a missionary!

Love Elder Hammer