Monday, February 21, 2011

Did someone say pday?

No, nobody said anything about pday!! I’ve gone almost 3 months without a pday!! Don’t get me wrong, I love the mission but a good nap wouldn’t hurt! haha! There’s rumors of pday coming back pronto, but these have been rumors for about a month now. We´ll see what happens!

Well this week we have another BAPTISM!! this Saturday Duvan Ospina will be baptized! Duvan is a 14 year old joven that is spectatular! Here's a good little story about Duvan. One day we were at his house and he had a notebook with a girl in a bikini on the cover of it. I was like Duvan, what is this me amigo, remember the Law of Chastity lesson, you don’t need this, he was like, she’s at the beach, it normal. I was like Duvan why do you like this photo, its because her face, right. He was like, oh ya sure. So I cut out clothes for this young lady on his notebook so she wouldn’t be cold at the beach and super glued it to his notebook! HAHA! So now he has a wonderful notebook with a modestly clothed lady haha! We all had a good laugh at this and he said he wouldn’t use another notebook like that again haha! I love the youth here, they’re fun!

Not this week, but next Saturday we have 2 more baptisms planned and we have 3 more planned for March 19! I believe that I will be here for these baptisms. Transfers are next Wednesday. Elder Valdivia has 6 months in this area so I’m sure I’m staying here and he’s gonna leave. The norm is to be in an area for 2-3 transfers but since Elder Valdivia was training me he stayed longer, we’ll see what happens. In March we are going to try to put another 3 more baptismal dates for the beginning of April!

This week had a good week of lessons of 33 lessons and we didn’t do too good with contacts. We had 151! So we are going to do better in our contacting! I love to contact though, it probably my favorite part of the day. It’s when I get to measure the progress of my Spanish! I can have a legit conversation with people, i'm feeling pretty confident in my Spanish these days. I’m doing good with my conjugations and verbs. It’s just the objects that I have trouble with, or when people talk about the culture here! There’s a million types of fruits and Birds and things that the people talk about! I’m like what is this, and it turns out they are talking about a parrot! I’m like, who in the world would ask me a question about parrot!! haha! The members love to ask me weird questions because I still carry my dictionary around with me and I have to scrummage through the pages and it turns out that they are asking about some type wheat! I’m probably going to be carrying my dictionary my whole mission! I have3 sets of scriptures, El Libro de Mormon. La Biblia, y la dictionario!! haha!

Yesterday we had a very heavy day! I was sitting with Duvan yesterday in sacrament meeting and another investigator Claudia. In the middle of sacrament meeting Claudia turned to me and was like Elder Hammer, When can I be baptized, what do I need to do. I was like!! Oh my gosh, let me tell you! She has some things that she needs to work out in her life, but she is going through an immense change right now. We visited her after church and she is making some huge progress. We've been teaching her ever since I’ve been here and yesterday she made a huge leap. Its amazing to see the work of the Lord and the Gospel in the peoples lives here! Its fantastic to be a missionary! Everyday I love the mission more! Especially now that I can communicate and express myself with the people here! It’s a huge difference being able to communicate with the people!

At times though, we deal with some pretty heavy stuff in the mission. There are people with some pretty interesting lives and go through some difficult times. I am so grateful for the word of Wisdom and the Law of Chastity. We deal a whole lot with these kind of problems. We have 7 investigators right now that are almost ready for baptism, but they aren’t married, or have addiction problems. They want to be baptized but need to overcome these obstacles. We have 2 people going through a rehab program and 2 couples waiting for their papers to sign to be wedded, but these are difficult things to deal with! But the Lord manifest His hands in all of these situations! So all is going well in Villa Sonia, working hard, and cant wait till we can take a nap! haha!

Love Elder Hammer

Monday, February 14, 2011

Este bautismo fue mas faci

Yesterday we welcomed Katherine Farfan into the waters of baptism! It was a wonderful ceremony and all went well. Her Brother from Florida came down to baptize her, and confirm. The Mission President also attended this Baptism yesterday. The President knows her brother from Florida. Apparently he was his bishop before the mission. So it was a treat to have the president at our baptism! Katherine gave a wonderful testimony about her conversion. She listened to the discussion 2 years ago and the missionaries baptized her brother only. About a month ago she had some pretty big things happen in her life and she realized the importance of gospel in her life, so her brother called the president, the president called us and we went teaching and then we went baptizing! She remembered everything from the lessons previously! She had a gospel principles book that she was studying and she really was prepared for us to teach her! She has a strong testimony of this gospel! It truly is a blessing to see my brothers and sisters here in Colombia progress! It is the joy of the Mission!

This week we set another baptismal date too! Paola Cortez has a baptismal date for 13 de Marzo! We have been working with her ever since I've been here. She is really interested but hears a lot of negative rumors and weird things about Mormons so she always has these weird questions and hasn’t been progressing very well. This week we were like, we are going to be direct with her and see were here testimony is and put a baptismal date for her. So we taught the lesson on the Atonement and the importance so baptism and ordinance and we have this wonderful gift from the Lord of all the things that are possible through the atonement and the importance of baptism! When we asked her the question to be baptized she was super excited! It was as if she new we were going to ask her, the hole lesson went smooth too! It was perfect! She accepted to prepare herself for this date! So as of now we have 3 more baptisms for this month and 2 scheduled for next month!! Hurray!!! We are really working here! But it is difficult to find new investigators! I’m in the city, its busy and chaotic and always moving, people are always busy, it’s like a L.A area but with Latinos, oh wait... That is L.A. haha!

At night here it is a bit chilly! So I went and bought some slippers here. Here you don’t but slippers that are premade you order them from a little shop and the custom make them. So I went to the store, and order some slippers that have the colors of the Colombian flag. I have huge feet for here. I’m a size 47 here! Haha. Anyways the lady didn’t tell me that she didn’t have pattern for my size of feet so she guessed what size I was. Haha. She made me like a size 80 or something! These bad boys are huge! I can put both me feet in one slipper!! I can put them on my head and wear my slippers as a hat! I can put Elder Valdivias slippers inside my slippers! These bad boys are huge! They are hilarious! So I have fun time with these bad boys! Haha! I’m loving it! Everything here is really chill, everything here the people kind of just wing it. I still don’t really understand the cultural. Who knows what’s going to happen everyday, haha! So enjoy the pics of the Slipper photo shoot and the baptism!

I must say that I am jealous that they family are getting together so much this month! I miss you all and pray for you all everyday! The polar Bear plunge seemed like fun and a wonderful valentines day also! I’m stoked to hear that Blake's going to Peru! Gosh, I've got friends in all parts of the world! This is awesome and a lot of them will be speaking Spanish also!! Hurray! We have Spanish club after the missions! Send some more pics of baby Evy and the family! I love seeing what’s going on and all! Baby Evy is a big hit here! I show everyone here picture of her, the family, and mace in Powder Puff! Mace is really famous here! Haha!!
All is well in Villa Sonia!!

Love Elder Hammer

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Estamos invitando el todo Mundo a ser Bautizado! Es La Verdad!

We have 2 more commitments this week for baptism!!!!!! Hurray!! I am stoked! We should have 5 baptisms this month!! We have been working our tails off here!! Its great to see the work moving forward!! And this week we have a marriage date for a family! We have huge problems here with people not being married! Its ridiculous! It’s apparently really expensive to get married and nearly impossible for a divorce here, so we work a lot with these situations. They are going to be married in Abril 7! It takes forever to get all the paper work here! I wish that there was a Las Vegas near so we could marry them. Haha, Jk! There aren’t many wedding ceremonies here. Its usually the people go to a notaria, sign some papers, and boom, married. Most of the marriages are civil.

This week I was a trainer for a day!! We had missionaries from the MTC in Colombia come to our area. I had 2 Elders with me and Elder Valdivia had 2 others, so we had splits for a day and all. It was a blast!! Elder Valdivia at times is really protective of me and doesn’t let me fail or struggle. Since I was the trainer I had to have all the answers and do most of the talking! I loved it! I can speak pretty decent. Sure at times I’m like MAS despacio por favor! But for the most part I know what’s up. So with these new missionaries we had 5 lessons and 42 contacts in one day, which was very delightful! We had 1 baptismal intrevista too! It was splendid, so this week we will be welcoming Katherine Farfan into the waters of Baptism this Sunday!! She has a brother who is a member that lives in Florida that is flying down here to do the baptism. It will be a splendid day!

Oh my Gosh EVY is adorable!! Gosh I wish I could hold her for just a minute! She seems like an angel! I love the pic of her in the car seat haha! I love being an uncle even though i'm a continent away! You’re killing me over here!! When I return I expect another niece or nephew to be born, one more from Hen and another from Jay ok! Thank you very much for the pics! I needed some. I can put them on my camera and print them off, so thank you very much! I love the pics of the Fam and of Evelyn and total!

This week I received a call from the President, he is super awesome! We are like buds. I like President Casablanca and his wife, they are fun people. Anyways he speaks English and all. He’s from Florida. Anywho, he called me and was speaking English! I couldn’t speak worth beans. Its not that I cant speak English, its just that my mind is used to translating everything into Spanish and my mind was super confused. For the past 2 months I’ve been training my mind to speak in Spanish, I can write in English and think, but I don’t want to speak English, I’m used to Spanish. Clearly I don’t speak good Spanish, but I was super confused, so the President and I had a good laugh at the idiomas!

President Casablanca called me and told me that this Domingo I would be eating lunch with the Cano family!!! Yep, Dad knows them!!! They came to my ward yesterday, and afterwards I got to visit them in the apartment in Norte! It was a great privilege to meet them! It really is a blessing to see the frutos de la mision! I’m glad that I can see that the work that I am doing know, the people will remember me in 30 years! Dad really was a stellar missionary! Hermana Cano told me that Dad could sell the Gospel and a Mercedes Benz at the same time. He was just a really likeable friendly guy! I was like yep, that’s my Dad!! I was great to meet them and talk to them about my stellar father! El Es Cheverre!!

Life is good. I’m working hard, learning tons everyday! Everyday we do the same things, but everyday is different. There are no two people alike! Everyone is different! I love contacting, especially in the buses! Because the person ain't going nowhere and they’re gonna hear the message and we have a pleasant conversation. I try to make sure every time i'm in the bus taxi to contact them! I love it! All is well in Israel! Thanks for the pics!! Keep them coming!!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Hurray!! I am super stoked to have this little speck of sunshine of EVY in my life!! Hurray! This week my whole ward was asking me if I was an uncle yet, and I had to tell them I don’t know I will find out on Wednesday!! Now I can tell them that I am an Uncle! Hurray for families!! I am super stoked!! This is awesome!! She sounds so cute, my gosh I want to hold her!! There’s like 5 babies in my ward that are 1 1/2 or 2 and every time I see them I almost cry. They’re walking and grumbling, they’re people, not babies!! Ahh, when I get home EVY will be a person, no more a baby. Please send some pictures of this beloved child please!! Frank sent me a pic of her, and I got one from dad but come, hook your brother up with a photo shoot! I want to see what Hen looked like, how Jerry looked, Of course Evy!! Come on!! But I do love the update! I am glad to hear that she is healthy and alive and doing well!! Hurray!! Sounds like she sleeps in the day and parties in the night. I believe that Heaven has a different time zone so she’s going to need some time to get used to the time change. But that’s all good. Here’s a fun thing I learned in the MTC from my Branch President President Watkins. We were talking about how we are all sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father. He said we are 100s of 1000s of generations away from Adam and Eve, who were sent directly from Heaven. We have characteristics of Adam and Eve in us, just like we have attributes of our parents and Grandparents, but our spirits are sent directly from Heaven to our bodies. Even though our bodies are 1000s of generations away from Heaven, our Spirits our directly from Heaven. That’s is such a great experience to see and new born baby, sent directly from Heaven!! I can’t wait to see her! You’re killing me family!!

Well this week we were working in!! This week we had 8 investigators at Church, which is still good, we set 3 baptismal dates and were are going to set 2 more tonight! So the goal of this month is 5 Baptisms! We are really in working it! We are having a Baptism 8 de Febrero for Katherine Farfan!! I am stoked, she is a nice lady. We are trying to baptize her mother also but she doesn’t want to get married to her spouse! We run into this problem a lot. I don’t get why people don’t want to get married. We are working with another couple right now also that we are trying to get married. The work has really changed since I got here. When I arrived we had 1 investigator, this week we taught 30 lessons total, 20 to investigators 6 to converts recent and 4 to members. So we are working hard. We had 151, set 3 baptismal dates, and going to set 2 more this week and we have 2 new investigators! So we definitely have been working!

This week we went to the office for our Interviews with the President. Preseidente Casablanca is so cool. He’s like a friend. He is a nice guy; our interview was really fun I like him a lot. The offices are more in the commercial side of town, and they have some legit American food, so afterwards for lunch we got to go to SUBWAY!!! Hurray! Oh my gosh my soul delighted for joy, something besides rice, beans and platanos!! But I still have my Colombian Juice, the juice here is the bomb! So that was a beautiful thing for me!

I am now a teacher! We are starting English classes now to try to get more investigators. It’s going to be great! We are teaching Gosple Principles at the Chapel now 1 night a week where we are bringing investigators to the class. Everyone here wants to learn English its ridiculous!!! So we are starting a class this week. Elder Valdivia is going to teach the class in Spanish and then I am going to translate it into English. I feel pretty comfortable speaking now in Spanish i'm definitely not fluent but I am having conversations and doing it all. Its just that I need to work on knowing objects better, I can talk and express myself but its had to make analogies and compare things because I don’t know what things are called, but I always carry a dictionary with me.

This week my health has been much better, I have been taking my medicine and all is well. I am enjoying myself a lot more. Its so much better when I can talk with people and not just be following my companion everywhere. He doesn’t let me do a lot of talking but that’s alright, before and after the lesson I talk to the people and we have a good ol time but I try to squeeze a couple of words in the lesson.

So this was my week! I am super stoked to have a niece oh my gosh this is great! please send more pics of her!! And I also need pics of the Family!! If someone could send me the family pic that we took in Sanger in July that would be fantastic!! Thank you very much family! Love and miss ya all.
Elder Hammer