Monday, April 18, 2011

we welcomed another one

This weekend we welcomed Ricardo Fernandez into the beloved fold of our Heavenly Father’s Church!!!!! Hip Hip Hurray!! It was a very interesting service! The thing about Colombia is that it is Colombia haha! At times you have people flake on us. We have our Ward Missionary Leader here that is in charge of filling up the baptismal font for us here. It takes awhile to fill this puppy up - almost 2 hours to have enough water in the font for a baptism. Anyways he got there about 1/2 before we did. So about 1 hour before the service starts. The font was far from being filled, so we used the bucket method to help the font fill a bit faster. There’s a water spicket outside the building so we got some buckets and filled them and ran them to the font to speed up the process! haha! It is the most frustrating thing in the world when someone flakes out on you, but we had the service in all matters.

My companion is rapping up his time here in Colombia so today we went to Centro! It’s like the worlds biggest swap meet in the world. It was kind of funny to see the things people sell there. They just find random stuff I think and try to sell it in the streets. Everyone came storming after me saying Hey Gringo buy these shoes, buy this tv remote! I felt like Brad Pitt at the Grammys haha! Everyone wanted me. I took the opportunity to talk to a few of them and instead of them selling me something I turned the tables around and gave them a pass along card and contacted them haha! We also went to the Capital of Colombia and saw the Palace and the Goverment buildings and went to a museum of the money of Colombia. It was pretty cool! In the plaza there’s a boat load of pigeons and people sell corn that you feed to the pigeons. There were a boat of these pigeons everywhere. We went to the goverment offices there too. The goverment building was taken over a while back in the 60s or 70s something like that by some revolutionary group called m-19. They blew up the building and took it over with a bunch tanks and what not. Its a pretty ridiculous story, look it up in the internet. But they had a little memorial there about this revolutionary act. In Colombia there are3 major anti-colombia groups the M-19, the Farc and some other group, I dont remember their name, but they are like a mafia of some sort. Its ridiculous to hear all the stories about these groups. Their actions are very prevalent to this part of the country. iIn Patio Bonito there are a lot of victims and refugees that we see here and we teach alot of ex soldiers that we are teaching too. They got some intense stories.

We had a baptism planned for this week but we are going to hold off for another week on this one. We have 2 kids that will be baptized Sebastian and Santiago. We are trying to baptize the whole family but the dad is being stingy on getting married, but these kids are stellar. I have a blast with them. My best times here are with the kids. They love it when I beatbox and do my weird things. My comp thinks I’m a retard when I do things like that but its a all cool. We also put another baptismal date with another investigator for May 7th!

We have basically a whole new zone here. Transfers were Wednesday and we now have 4 GRINGOS in the Zone!! Thats kind of crazy!! There’s only 18 Gringos in the Mission and 4 in one Zone!! Almost all of us a newbies. 4 of the 12 finish the mission within August and the rest of us have 8 months or less so we have good fresh blood and energy! They are all super cool!

This week I felt very popular! I received a lovely 3 Letters!! WOOOOW!! The letters are coming but packages who knows! I didn’t know about this address but the letters that say Colombia Bogota South Mission P.O. Box 30150 Salt Lake City, Utah 84130-0150. They all make it here!! I got a wonderful letter from my dear friend JOEY PAZZI!! What up my Homie! It was a spectacular uplifting letter for a good dear friend!! Joey you need to facebook my Bro and send him your Email address to send to me!! Brenden also! I also received a lovely letter from Dear Grandma Brennan. I love getting letters from her and telling me grand stories of her everyday life activities and I also got a ward letter from Heritage ward with an awesome pic of the Whole Ward!!! Thanks Godfrey Fam and Beloved Heritage Ward!! So it feels good to feel the love and know that I am gone but not forgotten! haha!

And what great news to here about dear Sarah preparing to be wedded to her love in these upcoming Months!! WOW! My friends are getting married and my man friends in the mission are getting dear Johnned haha! I got a letter from one of my good friends from the MTC that’s now serving in Argentina. He sent me a lovely copy of his Dear John letter! haha! Gotta love the love life! haha!

But I will be calling home for Mothers Day. What is the schedule ya’ll got for church? I can probably call at about 2 o clock your time I believe. That’s usually when we finish with our lunch and church and its the easiest time of day to manage our schedule! Tell me what you think and we will work something out!!

Crazy that this week is EFY! Seems just like yesterday Heather, Cristal and I were preparing for EFY. Now I’m on a mission and Heather and Cristal are preparing for their marriages wow! haha! I wish all of my friends the best of luck at EFY!! Have a killer time and enjoy the strong spirit of EFY!!

Love Ya all.
Elder Hammer

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

We brought another one into the Fold with many more to come!!

Well this week we welcomed Diego Aponte into the waters of Baptism!! What a joyful sight that was to see! He is now preparing to become a missionary!! He already is enrolled in the institute program here and is taking Missionary prep!! This kid is amazing! He’s a 24 year old chap and his goal is to serve a mission when he is 25!! Bless his soul!! This upcoming week we have another Baptism. In fact we have baptisms scheduled for EVERY WEEKEND THIS MONTH!! And we also have a lovely Mothers Day gift that we are preparing!! We have a baptismal date for a couple for Mothers Day!! Elder Vigo and I were like, we don’t have any money for Mothers Day, what can we give our Mothers for Mothers Day!! And then we thought, what is more better than a Baptism!! So Mom for Mothers Day your gift is a Baptism of Diana Franco y Fernando Urruttia!! This is a very special Baptism because for them to be baptized they have to be married and they will be married the weekend before there Baptism!! So we are getting the people married here and baptized!! wowo!!

The Work here is going very strong this week we picked up 6 more investigators and all look very promising to put baptismal dates in the upcoming weeks or so! There’s this family that we have lunch with almost every week here and whenever one of there neighbors knock on the door when we are there they introduce us and we get an appointment and we visit them and WOW!! We teach them and they progress! They have given us 4 referencia for families that we are now actively teaching!! We have a goal of 9 baptisms for this transfer!! Elder Vigo finishes the mission this transfer. He leaves May 24. He has 41 baptisms in the mission his goal is 50! Right now we have 7 investigators with baptismal dates. I believe that we can do it! We also have another goal to have 75 investigators that we will be teaching! If you get 75 investigators and 8 of them with baptismal dates, your area gets another Cell Phone!!! It would be nice to have another phone!! The phone services here are different! They only have prepaid phones, so we only get a certain amount of money to call people every month and when you run out, you use the pay phone things here. It’s very interesting but hard to explain. I will explain it all in 1 MONTH when I CALL YOU ALL!! We get to call home for MOTHERS DAY!! Oh those Beloved mothers that I love so much!! 8 of May I will be calling home!! So get the skype all ready!!

This week was a good week. I ate a lot of feet this week!! I had cow feet and pig feet! I do not prefer these foods but whatever! Yes I have he stomach of my Father. It is already making an orchestra in my stomach! We had another lovely Frijole day yesterday for lunch!! Last night Elder Vigo and I had a lovely percussion playing all night with our stomachs in chaos. Elder Vigo calls it the La Guerra de los Frijoles!! HAHA! The War of the Beans!!! Ahh the things that happen in the mission!!

This week though I have grown tremendously. Elder Vigo is finishing the mission so he gives me alot of the responsibility of the weird things that come our way! This week one night we were in our apartment and one of our investigators knocked on our door and Elder V. let him in. He’s a 17 year old teen. He said that his parents were fighting and he didn’t’ want to spend the night in his house! Of course I was sad to hear this and we wanted to help him and his Family. Elder Vigo then left and started getting ready for bed and left me with him! I was like uhh!!! I don’t know how to solve family problems like this. PMG says nothing about this situation!! But I know the rules of the mission. First, we are not supposed to have investigators in our house. 2nd, nobody but missionaries can sleep in our house!! Then I read a scripture to our little friend about afflictions and families in Alma. Then I got a prompting that I needed to tell him that he had to go back to his house and he would know how to solve the problem. He did not like this counsel. He told me that usually fights like this in his house he would not return for a couple of days until things cooled down enough. I was sad to hear that this happened often but he had to go home and worked things out!! This whole time my comp was lying in his bed!! AHH!!! But my friend did as I had told him and he called me the next day saying all is well and thanks for the help! This just goes to show that the Lord uses his Missionaries in very interesting ways!! I am just a 19 year old kid, and I have no idea how to work out family problems and things of the extremities that we deal with here in Colombia! We deal with some weird stuff here, but it keeps the life very interesting haha!

THis week I received a card from Sis V!!!! Thanks a tons Sis V and also another one from good ol pal Brenden Seagle!! ESO!! Brenden hooked me up with a lovely teenage card!! It was nice to get a nice breath of fresh air and to see a picture of the man in the red beanie!! oh the red beanie!! But I am still waiting on the package from home! You sent it before Valentines no! Look for the tracking number to see where it’s at!! Oh ya and Mothers day is coming up! I believe that I deserve a mothers day present! I may not be a Mother but I do miss my mother!! I have been craving chocolate alot lately! Anything from the states is freaking expensive but at times I have to give in to my stomachs desire and take a break from the Frijoles and eat a milkway or something!! Haha

Well all is well here! 6 months in the Mission!! It goes fast!! 6 months and the Lord has found use of me to help to bring 7 of his children into the Fold so far!! What an honor it is to be a missionary!! Love ya all and miss ya all tons!! But we shall chat in less then a month!!

Hey was this Week EFY!! I think this week is Easter Week but don’t remember! Here Easter is the week of the 21! But I thought EFY was this week if so! Give me the update!!
Heres some pics of our Baptism this week of Diego Aponte!!
Love Elder Hammer