Thursday, May 26, 2011

We baptized Jessica Dornhopher

This weekend we had the baptisms of Angie and Diana Moralez! Angie looks just like Jessica Dornhopher if only she was 12 haha!! I tell her all the time you look just like one of my good friends that I call Crip. Angie thinks i'm weird but it's all good. But they are fun little kids, they are very nice and fun! haha!

This week has been a week of emotional up and downs! Elder Vigo leaves exactly in one week!! I am super stoked for my new comp. My new Comp is Elder Lopez. I've gone out with him and a couple of Conferences and all and he is a fun kid. I believe that we will have great fun time together. He will be the answer to my prayers I hope. My other 2 comps have been very interesting and off. Elder Vigo only wants to visit his converts here, so we have been doing alot of splits. We have 10 with baptismal dates for April!! We are going to try to put 5 more!! So it should be a successful 6 weeks if we work, its been super rough being a missionary babysitter!! This week, the truth is that we did do a lot of little errands for Elder Vigo so we lost alot of time. Elder Lopez comes this Wednesday so we will be in a Trio for about 5 days! But I am stoked for the change!!

I am now District Leader!!! So I am excited to work in this new position! It will be fun to be in a leadership position. I don't like being the younger comp. This transfer will be interesting. Elder Lopez goes home soon. He's wrapping up his ministry in the mission, so I think I will be sending him home too, but i am going to make him work, and we will put some people in the water with a smile!!

This week, I went to Subway, Baskin Robbin, Dunkin Donuts and bought a box of Nerds!!!!!! Elder Vigo had to do some paper work in the offices this week so when I went I saw my good friend Elder Fuqua my comp from the MTC!! We were in the north mission this day and the north part has the money and they have real food, stuff beside rice beans and feet haha! So while our companions where in the offices we went on a Gringo adventure and bought everything from America and ate and feasted!! It was a happy day! haha!

I am learning a ton, doing a lot of searching and finding, searching for investigators and for myself. I try to find myself and lose myself at the same time - find what I am really made of and lose myself in the Work. It is a weird thing to do haha! But I am stoked for my new comp. Elder Lopez and I will have a great time together and we will put the people in the water for sure!!

This weeks letter is short and simple but we have to go now to the conference. Elder Scott was going to come but not anymore. Elder Gonzalez, hes a Seventy, is going to come. President said to write home before the Conference. We are going to have a huge Pday with the whole mission on Wednesday and tomorrow we have another Conference and we will be going to the temple!! YEAH!! I love the temple it is amazing!!

If you have any cool ideas for hands on lesson please send me them!!!
Love Elder Hammer

Saturday, May 21, 2011

thou shalt not kill - 5/16/11 email

Right now i am known as an assasin missionary. My job is to kill Elder Vigo (Not Literally). The last area that a missionary serves in is where he dies, so elder Vigo is going to die in Patio Bonito and there last companion kills them. so I am the murderer and I am killing Elder Vigo right.I do not like being the murderer, it is a very tough task.I understand that at the end of the mission you get tired and you start thinking about home and all, but it really affects the work! Elder Vigo has less then 2 weeks left here in the Field, so he is really excited to go home and see his family and all that good stuff, But this week went by super slow, time goes by some much faster when we work and dont have time to think of home and all, but this week, after we called home, his mind went home too. There is a reason why we have the commandment thous shalt not kill, it is super difficult!! We have some excellent new investigators but he only wants to visit his converts here. Together we have put 11 people into the waters of baptism here and we have 2 more to go this weekend, so he have a nice route of converts that we visit, but we have some spectatular new investigators that we need to visit too, so we do divisiones alot here so i go with a brother and he with another he visits the converts and i visit the investigators to keep the working going here when he leaves.
Yesterday was a pretty intense day, we help people whenever we can here, Friday night the father of a part member family was killed by a gang here. THe gang mistook him to be some else and the shot and killed him. he left behind a wife and 5 children from the ages 10-21. It definately was a tragedy. So last night we did divisiones again and i went to the funeral home to know this part member family only 2 of the kids are family members. i have never met this family or anything before but i went with some members of the ward here and we sang some hymns and the service and all and i met the family. It is weird to see a body with out s spirit. it defintaely is not the same. But i am going to go over to the house to visit the family this week with the bishop and see how we can help hem and all. One of the sons is 20 and he was balling and all that stuff, i would not want to go through that. of course it made me think of my family and how torn up i would be if Dad of someone in the family died, especially in a way like this. He was just walking down the wrong street at the wrong time and the gang mistook him as someone else and now hes in a different place. Life is so fragile.
yesterday I contacted a gothic kid, but he isnt actually gothic, haha. he told me that he likes to dress in all black as a sign of his rebelion against satan and against people that judge off of appearances, it wasnt an intersting approach, but he was a cool kid, he has an excellent knowledge of the scriptures and had aton of question, we ended up talking for a good 45 minutes at his doorstep, conversating gosple principles he really likes our message, he had alot of questions about the plan of salvation so i did a summary of it with him and i am going back tuesday with a more in depth description of the plan God has for us.
But the work is going forward. This week i feel like i have grown tremendously. The mission definately is the hardest thing that i have ever done in my life, there are many times when i do not want to go on, it is a tough lifestyle and a tough message that we share in a tough neighborhood haha. But i grow everyday, everday is filled with trials, we have the opportunity to face them or fun from them, i have choosen to face these trials, and i keep batteling, and i will keep going. THe field is white all ready to harvest. This week the ward started pounding me with references, this week will be an even more interesting week. Elder Vigo told me that he has finished his ministery here in colombia, i talk to everday about keep going until the end, but we do a lot of splits to keep the work going. Splits are always an interesting thing with members, you never know what there are going to say, last week we were talking about prophets in a lesson and the brother decided to tell a story about when he got arrested in the states becasue he didnt have his Visa with him. I still have know idea where this fell into the topic of prophets but maybe thats hat this family needed to hear i dont know. Then this week we were in a tight spot. We have been teaching this family for about 3 visits, they are a very heavily profond chirstian family and they are a reference from a member of the bishopbric, anyways, this man told us that he did not believe in profets and did not want to listen to us anymore, i pleaded that we would let us atleast finish this last lesson that w could finish the story of Joseph smith. He agreed. So i went on splits with a brother and when i was in the middle of story of joseph smith and the first vision i was reciting it when the brother stopped me in the middle of the vision and told a story about his first experience in the temple and the Perpetual education fund. AHHH and haha! Somethings just happen in lessons that you cannot prepare for!! So the mission continues to be interesting and things like this sure the frusturate me like no other, but i am learning patience and humility and slowly i am understanding what is love.not just love but the love of Christ, I am learning how to love the people that reject us, that dont complete the reading assignments or commandments. It definately is super hard, to develop this attribute of Christ. Christ love all, even those who rejected him who spit and smote him and eventually crucified him, It is an attribute very hard to define and develop but the lord is teaching me this while i am in my youth.
I am totally excited for tommorw, we are going to go into the north mission!!! Elder Vigo has to do some paper work in the offices so we get to go to the rich part of Colombia, and for lunch i will feasting on a wonderful Spicy Italian footlong Subway sandwhich baby!!!! I am stoked!! Real food! Something beside rice and beans!!! This week a brother told me that the hamburgers here are made out of worm meet. I dont know if i believe him or not. THe hamburgers sure are different and disgusting but who knows!! haha!!
Next week i will not be writing until Wednesday. Elder Richard G. Scott will be coming next Monday so we will be having conferences and meetings all until Wendesday when we will have SUPER PDAY!! We are going to a huge park with all of the missionaries in the Mission to play and enjoy eachothers company!! I am super stoked to play some good GRingo BBall!! I have played a bit here in Colombia, they says they are playing basketball, but they travel they will hit and push you, they can shoot so its just game of chaos, but there are 18 gringos in the mission and we will a wonderful organized game of BBall!!
SO all is well here in Pation Bonito I continue to work hard and am growing daily!1 Love ya all!!

I finally found a Can of JIFF!! PEANUT BUTTER BABY!!!! the big circle thing is a roscone! its a big donut kind of. I took a quick pic out side so you can see what me area looks like. A beat up car in a dirt road! and my wall of inspiracion, its a letter frank wrote me after EFY and a pic of him of Powderpuff and the pic weens sent me with her stellar cheeks!haha! Love ya all tons! Next week will be more pics of another Baptism!!!
Elder Hammer the 2nd

Friday, May 20, 2011

que bueno a verles!! 5/9/11 email

It was super good to see you all yesterday!! I love the Family!!!! It was a fun day yesterday!! Last night we were getting ready to go to bed at around 10 or so and as soon as we said Amen to our nightly prayers, the Meriachi started to play!!! What in the world!! Our nieghbors order the band to come play in the middle of the night!! AHH!! The beauty of Colombia! haha! SO we went to bed with the meriachi playing long into the night.
But it sure was good to see you all yesterday! I was thrilled. Sister Marleny really likes our family!! I brag alot about our family and how awesome you all are. Hermano MArleny told me that now she understands why i always brag about all of you! She says that she would like a family like ours, she understands a bit of english but she said that it was the talking that made her know how special our family is, but she could feel it n the way we talked! I told her that these are the blessings that we recieve through the gosple. We kept talking for a bit and then a bit later her son came in and talked to us for a bit and he is now interested in listening to the discussions. SO thank you family, we got another person to teach for the spirit you brought into the house and hopefully soon we will have a baptism out of this!!

But we had a baptism Saturday of Yiseth and Estrella Avila, i baptized Estrella and Vigo Yiseth. It was a wonderful day! These girls are so awesome!! We wil have another bpatism of 4 next saturday too!! We are working hard here!!
Richard G scott wil be coming 23 of this month!! I am stoked, WE basically get a 3 day rest proselyting to go to conferences and all that that week. 23 conference with Elder Scott, 24 Mission conference and 25 Super Pday. A big pday with all of the missionaries of the mission!! So it will be super!!

Monday, May 2, 2011

the big plan!

Ok, my good old comp is putting an end to his ministry here in Colombia in less than 28 days. He flies the 30th of this month and I believe he gets a week to travel Colombia with a member to say good bye to all of his converts and all, so even less time in the field working. We have been having some tremendous success here. We had 2 baptisms yesterday we have 2 more this week and 4 more in the week after that and 4 more the 28th of Mayo!! So we have some work moving along here. We had a lovely weekly planning session this week, talking about how Elder Vigo will close his time here in Colombia with as much success as possible, he said he only wanted to teach the people that have baptismal dates. I didn’t like that idea too much. We have alot of investigators that don’t have baptismal dates, so after a while of talking and seeing what to do, we came up the idea to invite the investigators that haven’t been progressing very fast but little by little if they are willing to be baptized and prepare to be baptized. So this week, this is what we did. This is why we have the 4 baptisms in the end of this month we will have another 4 in the beginning of June and we have another 6 investigators that are willing to be baptized but we just have to wait a bit longer for them to be fully prepared to make this sacred covenant with the Lord. So we have kept our investigators and we will be working with some more of them. This week we picked up 12 new investigators!!!! A huge Family of 12!!!!!! Here it’s not unusual to have the entire family living in one house. You got 2 or 3 or at time 4 generations living in one little shack. It’s kind of funny to see it all roll out. We will start the lesson and we ask for all that are in the home to join us in the message, then Mom yells her lungs out!! Mary, Paola, Juan, Gillermo..... and the family comes from every angle and all the places and soon you have 12 people in a room. At times I feel like a little school teacher teaching kindergarten. Most families don’t have enough chairs for everyone to sit. They let us sit in the chairs and the rest of the family sits one the floor. Here the floors are cement, pebbles or dirt. Anyhow, I sit in the chair and all the kids gather around. I love to start the 1st lessons with the kids, well children today we are going to share a story about Jesus and all the blessing he has for us, he wants to bless us but we have to do certain things to receive these blessings. I don’t know why I like this line, but I do. Haha

The kids here are my favorite!! They are the light and joy of the Mission. This weekend we put down in the water Sebastien Diez and Santiago Diez!! We are still working with their parents. We have a goal to get them wedded by July! These kids are splendid! The kids like that I am grande! They like it when I pick them up and they touch the tin roofs. They thinks its the best game in the world. So we always have fun making up games with the kids!!

This weekend we have a baptism for Yessith and Estrella Vegas!! These girls are awesome. We contacted them about 3 weeks ago and the 2nd lesson they had a baptismal date!! These girls are amazing. We are also working with her mom but she’s a but more stubborn but I believe she will go down soon to the water. So we are working it here. The Lord is using us and we are teaching and baptizing here.

We began teaching a family of 3 last week and they are professional recyclers. They have a huge grocery cart. It actually looks like a pioneer handcart that they tow around and look for bottle to recycle. We meet some very humble people here. The people here do what they have to survive!!

THE PACKAGE HAS ARRIVED POR FIN!!!!!! I got a call from the offices this Wednesday that I got a package waiting for me in the offices!!!! YES!!!! Elder Vigo and I are going to the offices 18 de Mayo so we can pick it up then!!! The thing is your gonna make me broke!!. It cost my 75000 Pesos!!! We receive 160000 pesos every 2 weeks here. Why did it cost me I dont know, its 35 buck to receive this bad boy, but I am super stoked!!!!!! It will be a wonderful belated mothers present for me here in Colombia haha!! But thank you very much, it is a package will needed!!

I am stoked to call home this week!!! YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!111 WOWOWOWOWW I am stoked!!!!!!!!! It will be wonderfaul to talk to the Frankster the Tookies the POPS, The Sweet MOTHER that store me in her stomach for 9 months, The Ken, The Sister Jay, and Their love Spouses and I look forward to meeting the new addition to the Family Evy!! WOWOWOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Please make sure that we can do a three way calling tree through Skype. Please work on that before I call. I will be calling Sunday 12:00 my time. Mom says that’s 10:00 your time. If you cant do that then everyone must drive home for the weekend to call me and thats an order haha!! I feel bad I didnt really get to talk to the wedded family members the last time. But I look forward to talking and seeing you all this time!! Sunday we are going to a recent converts house. She’s got a laptop there. So for Mothers day we are doing an exchange. We are going to her Mothers Day lunch and we get to use her Laptop to Skype it up!!! YYYYYYYYYYYYYAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1 So Hasta Vernos otra vez mi Famila!!! Les Amo todos. Y nos vemos el dia Domingo a las 1200 en la tarde, tiempo de Colombia!!
ELder Hammer

i have been cured! [email from last week]

I HAVE BEEN CURED!!! Unlike in Nacho Libre i was Cured from my illness on Easters!! I have neglected to share with you my lovely changes that have been going on, not only the changes of my heart but the changes of the body! For 3 weeks now I have been suffering from a deathly disease of Dhiarea! It is a serious thing, I have been taking some Suero which some drink medicine here for these 3 weeks and my lovely Easter present was that i have been healed!! Oh the blessings of Easter!!  My other Easter presesnt was amazing! please put some attention into this part!! Jay, remember when i cut my hair by myself one time and had a lot of holes in the back part of my hair and you thought i got attacked by a bird! Well yesterday i got attacked by a FREAKIN PARROTT!!! yes a parrott attacked me in broad dat light!! When went to a members house yesterday for lunch and he was taking care of his uncle Parrott while they were traveling this week. we are actually teaching this guy right now and i have seen this parrott before and its pretty fun. He told me to teach the bird some english. I was obliged to! so he passed me the bird and it was chillin in my had and when i started talking english he started nibbling on my hand, not hard. and then it went crazy and started flapping all of the place and then almost bit my thumb off!! haha! not really but it bit hard enough to draw some blood. Then the hermono came and punched the bird and then the bird attacked him and then some how he put it in the cage haha!! It was the weirdest thing ever, now i got a nice little scar where my thumb used to be. haha! ya i still have my thumb but i got 2 marks from the beak of this killer bird. apparently it doesnt want to learn english haha!! 

This week was a lot better! we have contacted into some awesome people! One family that we contacted is uper prepared to here the gosple!! It was Saturday when we were contacting. This week i contacted alot about how this week is the week that we celebrate the death and resurreccion of christ. I then would testify of the Book of Mormon and how this is another testament of Christ and that this book testifys that Christ came to the Americas after is resurrecion. This was a very successful week with contacts we picked up 16 new investigators from contacting this week!! There was one family that we contacted that is super special. When i contacted then i testified that our message is based on the same principals and organizations of the Chursch of Jesus Christ when he was on the Earth!! I testified of the truthfulness that we have a living profeta and 12 apostoles in the Earth in these days! THe guy was like please enter, meet my family, please tell us who are these 12 apostoles and this profeta! I want to know who they are please tell us! We basically gave the whole first lesson in this 45 minute time zone that we had and picked up a family of 6! These people are awesome! Another family that i contacted the other day already had a BOM but they didnt know what it was. This area is very poor and one day a bookstore was closing and giving out free books. This lady didnt know how to read and picked up a BOM from the book store and she reads a little bit now from this book but she doesnt really understand it, she lost this book about 4 years ago, she didnt know what it was or anything really. But we contacted here, and we are now teaching here her 2 kids her 3 nephews and her cousin now, they all live in the same house!  So it is interesting how the lord places people in our paths to teach! We now have 78 investigators that we have!! We have 8 with baptismal dates! we will have a baptism this Saturday of Sebastien Diaz and Santiago Diaz they are little kiddos and we are working with ther parents but they dont want to get married! AHHHH!!!!

Well seems like the fam and all had an excellent time this week and a very spiritually uplifting weekend! Here in Colo,bia its called the Holy Week! the catholic church does a re enactment of the last week of the life of Chirst, they do a live re enactment of the crucificion and all, it is very intereesting to see this they act them out in the churches or in the parks. it was interesting this week, all of the pastores were are preaching on their stools and all out side in streets corners and everythin, it was pretty interesting, it was nothing like i am used to but it sure was interesting. 

Last night i had apretty humbling experience. We are teaching a family of 10 right now, we have baptized 3 of the 8 kids and the rest of the kids have baptismal dates for the end of May. Last night we went to there house for a lesson and instead of teaching we helpded them get water into their house. THey dont have running electicity or water or gas, for lights they hook up car batteries and jimmy rig some thing up and for water they go down to a canal a pump water into 10 gallon drums and carry them back home. So last night we helped them get their water! These things are heavy and the water is about1/4 mile from their house , its a pretty difficult task, but the fill up a 100 gallon tank every week, so this week we helped and it was ridiculous!! There was a little 11 year old girl carryin here little 5 gallon bucket of water to the house! The life style here is way different for sure!! So ya this was my week here in Colombia!! We are all stoked here to call home for Mothers Day!! I will see if we can call home a bit later then i dont know the time difference now since the hours have changed back home. Check it out in the interent or something. but i think i can call at 4 or 5 our time too, so look it up to see what you got going on at these times, i dont know what time it is there.

Today was pretty fun we hooked up 3 zones to play soccer, i am the worst in the world and soccer oh my gosh! I fell every 2 seconds and can kick to save my life. There are 7 Gringos within these 3 Zones and one of the Elders brought a ball ot shoot hoops so we all played together and had a much better time with the hoop then the goal haha! Its fun to get all the Gringos together its a bitter of Fresh air we all talk about the weird  things that we are doing. there are 4 gringo from my same group there today so we all talked about the good times in the MTC and the big change in the Mission field and all the weird things we eat and do. We all agreed that we all love and hate the joseph smith video because it reminds of of trees and the good ol states haha and we love it cuz its a power full movie but it brings back memories of home and all haha!! Im glad that the other Gringos are in the same boat as me! 

So this was my productive week working hard and the Lord is blessing us with success!
Love Elder Hammer