Monday, January 30, 2012

the dog didn't like me

Well I had my first dog attack last night!! We were walking and it's common that dogs will bark the heck at you and they annoy you but they usually only bark so i dont pay them much attention. so this dog was barkin and i kept walkin as usual. But this dog was mad at it bit me!!! What in the world!! It didnt draw blood or anything but it did rip my pants!! What the hey!!!! I just looked at the dog and then we escaped in a swiftful way! haha!! but got to get some pants repaired now!! My time is showin now!! I got the stained shirts, i got the ripped pants, starting to get some holes in my shoes!! haha!! I am a pro now!!

We got a baptism planned for this weekend! Felipe has his baptismal interview today and will be gettin dunked this Sunday!! YEA!! Finally!! A baptism in Roma!!! Our area is not the best, and it really makes me sad!! I want to leave my area and be able to give to the Elder that comes behind me to be excited with the growth of the area and be ready to work!! I dont know how, but my comp also finds ways to do some weird errands!!! And when i tell him i dont want to go, he somehow makes me feel guilty and all, so this week i was like well you go and you take a member and we will do divisions! I will stay and work, you go do the nonsensive errands!! so We did!! And we worked miracles!! So we were contacting on Monday and i love goin to the poorest parts of town because they need the most help, and who better than the missionaries to give them a boost, right! but my comp gets scared, but when we went on divisions i took the member with me and we went and contacted that area!! IT was super hardcore!!! It was the third door we knocked on and this guy came out from the window. I always carry a book of Mormon in hand, and i just showed him the book and was like we are here giving this other testament of jesus christ to everyone here!! Its a Gift from God to you. We would like to give you this book free!! I have never done that before, i always testify or somethin like that about the book of mormon or I testify of Eternal Families!! But the guy was like ok come on in!! I was like huh!! ya sure!! But we went in and we taught this guy everything!!! His name is Hernan Ossarno!! He is super cool!! We talked and we gave him the Book of Mormon we explained to him everything all of the 1st lesson!! It was such an awesome lesson!!! Him and his wife listened to us and were stoked!!! the spirit was so strong when we testified of the Book of Mormon and of Joseph Smith!!! I am so grateful for a Prophet in these days and for the Truthfullnes of His gospel!! In Roma, we havent really baptized alot but we have defended the truth everyday!! We teach alot of preachers and pastors and athesists here and that gives me a lot of opportunities to testify of God and that he is a loving God. God does not contradict himself he doesnt misguide us but gives us direction!!! There are not 2 paths that lead to the gates of heaven only 1!! How can it be that there can be two churches that teach different doctrines be right, it cant, that would make God a God of Confusion a God of disorden a contradictory God. But i testify of a loving God, a God of direction!! I love testifying of God!!! I believe that I have one more week here in Roma and we will finish my time here with a baptism!!

I am stoked to get out of Bogota!! It will be a blast to sweat!! I am workin hard to build up the area!! We got 4 new families this week from contacting in that poorer neighborhood of our area and we are putting baptismal dates with them too!! It's great!! So slowly but surely we are gettin the area better!! Love ya all a ton! I am proud of my family!! I am super super stoked to hear that Franky is gettin his patriarchal blessin!!! I am so glad to have Grandpa as a patriarach!! I read my blessin a lot in the Mission and has given me so much guidance in times of needs and a times when i have been on my knees!!! I am so grateful for my family!!!! I love ya all!!!! 8 months!! Wow!!! Tims sure flies!! Love ya all tons Elder Hammer

letter 1/23/2012

Ok so this Saturday was super bomb diggidy dog!! I love being a missionary. It's some hard core stuff up in here in Colombia!! So for the past 2 weeks my zone and I have been planning to do a Book of Mormon stand!! It was super hardcore!! I assigned every area some type of example from the Book of Mormon!! So we had one area make a 4 foot Bible and Book of Mormon, another area made a time line of the Book of Mormon, another area made a comparision chart of the Book of Mormon and the Bible another area made a chart of the restoration and we made a replica of the Gold plates haha!!! So we went to some mall here and set up a table with all of the pamphlets that we have with a box full of Book of Mormons and we went and preached the word!!! We had 2 missionaries workin the table and then the rest of the Zone went out to contact the people!! We all had a Book of Mormon in hand and a pamphlet if the Restoration and went and talked to the people and brought them back to the booth and we taught them basically the first lesson right then and there with examples with pictures and the Book of Mormon right then and there!! I have never felt the spirit so strong in contact before!! IT helped us alot with this activity!!!! I got super touched to see my zone doing some hard work Saturday!! To see 14 missionaries there. I stopped for a second to check on the zone and i looked around and saw all 13 members of my zone talking to someone there all testifying of the truthfullness of the Book of Mormon!!1 It was so cool!! We talked to alot of people that day!! I loved it!! We were there for about 3 hours and in three hourse we gave out almost 30 book of Mormons!! We contacted hundereds of people and we got a lot of references this day!!! It was so spectacular workin in the Lords work!! I loved it!! We have a goal now to do this activity every week, we are going to rotate areas every week and we are gonna go to the main parks and shopping centers in every area in the zone!! It was a huge success!!!!We all had a great time!!!I love the Book of Mormon! IT truely is the Word of God!! The prophets that are in the Book of Mormon really are prophets of God!! My testimony has been strengethed so much by these opportunitiesto testify of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon to the people here in Colombia!! I love the Work of God!! I love my Savior Jesus Christ!! And I cannot be still! I want the world to know! I want the people to come unto Christ to put an end to all of this turmoil and wickedness!!!!

Last night we had an awesome experience in a lesson!!! I dont remember feelin the spirit so strong before in a lesson!! We are teaching a lady who is a bit different but she listens and has alot of needs!! but I had the opportunity to testify to her about MY Lord and My God!! I testified to her of a Loving God, a God of truth not of Lies!! I testified that God does not mislead us!! God doesnt contradict himself, he doesnt say something then take it back!! We testified that the Book of Mormon is the Word of God, that Jesus is the Christ and that God has restored His gospel in these days! I told her that there are only 2 options to what we have testified of, that we are liars, or that God contradicts himself then!! She believed that all churches were correct, all come from God, we told her that yes, other churches do contain truth they teach from the Bible, they teach of teachings of Christ but they all teach of different principles, they understand the same passage of Sciptures in so many ways and intepret thme differently. Some teach of God being 3 seperate beings, others that God is an energy, that God is christ and the spirit in one personage!! How can that be, that God teaches different doctorines to different men. Is it that God teaches many doctrines of Himself that contradicts His divinty and Power!! I testified that this is not the case, but that God is a God of truth and light!! My God is a God of strength and hope. The options of this message that we share is that this message is a lie, that we are liars and are we are wasting our time preaching of a lying God, if all of the Churches come from the divinty of God, then God sends us confusion! Or this message is True. That this really is the Restored Church of Jesus Christ, that God really doesnt not desire our confusion, God is a Loving God that God is a God of orden and that the Book of Mormon is the Word of God!!! I love bearing testimony to the truth of this book! Of the truthfullnes of God and His divinty!! I love my Savior!! I testify to a God who answer prayer and God who knows us and reveals His word in these days!! And i can not be still!!

I have been listenin a lot to the song When all is said and done!! What will happen to Colombia after i am gone! How will the area be when i am gone when all is said and done, will they remember my Savior and His Gospel!! I want to be like my Father!! After 30 years, when Dad said all that had to be said, yet all is not Done!! The Work that Dad did here goes forth, for the words dad has said here, the work is not done, it goes forth and i am a part of this Work!! THe Work of my Dad has done and the Work of My Heavenly Dad does still goes Forth!! Elder Hammer!!

letter 1/16/2012

Well this week was a fun one!! I dont know why but i decided to mess with my comp a bit! so i have been telling that i have like a fainting disorder (which could be true) so at random times i just fall to the floor and wait to see his reactions haha!! Like last night he was in the bathroom brushing his teeth and i made it sound like i fell off the top bunk and i laid on the floor with ketchup coming out of my mouth and on the floor and all haha!! He freaked out like a good comp. haha!! Then another time I fell down the stairs, made it look like i fainted out of the window, tripped on the mop ets. etc.. haha its good to mess with my comp.

This area is just getting crazy now. We meet some interesting people here!! You get the people that just ask for help but they want it and then they wont really let us help them. There are a lot of people that just want to tell us their problems but wont really let us do anything!! The other day we were talking to this guy and we were like we are missionaries and all and then and he just told us every problem he had ever had and we were like well we can help. God is the one to help you, but then he was like oh dont come talking to me about God. I was like well good luck in life. We are here to help you but if you dont let us, we cant do nothing. Really at times its just like well, what is going on here, i dont know what to do to get these people to understand what the gospel really is! Like at times I will bare my testimony to them and then in the middle they will cut me off and tell me how one time there was some guy who tricked them and ripped them off in some deal. I was like where did that even come from. They just change the topic so quickly and randomly, but we continue onward we shall see how we can change the hearts of the people here in Roma!!

 We will be having a baptism next week!! Yes!! I am stoked!! It's a guy that we have been teaching ever since i got here but had to live the law of chastity and now is living it so he can now get baptized WOOO!! I am stoked!! Slowly but surely the work goes on here in Roma!!

We had an awesome zone conference this week!! The assistances came to our Zone this week! They talked about all of the points that we need to better as as a mission and so many things we should be doing better!! It. was awesome. I love mission training and conferences and all! Its the time that we get to get the instructions that we need, the spiritual uplift that we need as missionaries!! At times i get super discouraged about the work that we try so hard but the people just dont get it!! I am learning now a lot about the power of humility to really submit yourself to give up you own will to a greater cause than mine!! I have seen what has happened in the course of my life doing my own will and the difference of putting aside my own wants and desires!! But i have really noticed the difference of the puttin aside my fears!! Really being a missionary is to put away all fears and continue onward!! There's a scripture in 1 John 4:18 that says how there is no love there is no fear, but in love fear is kicked out, something like that. I dont know the translation very well. But when we are really humble enough to understand that it doesnt matter what are my weaknesses are or what i what, my purpose is to put off the natural man! Mosiah 3;19 the natural man is an enemy to God!! I cannot afford to be an enemy to my God, I need Him by my side!! I want to be a tool in His hands, that is my purpose here as a missionary. To be what he wants me to be, not to have God change His plans to be modified to mine!! As i live the mission rules, follow the spiritual promptings we recieve is how i come closer to God!! I can really tell the difference when we follow the promptings of the spirit!

I told ya all about the lady who told us about the guy that started to dance like a cow that was the devil and all!! Well we were thinking about leaving her because she just talks about some interesting things but we decided we would give her one more week to see how she goes and we went last night to visit here and she had like legit questions and had a huge change in her being. She actually followed the lesson, didnt go off topic or anything and even had a reference for us at the lesson. So here we go, small but great miracles here in Roma!! Love ya all a ton!! keep up the good work my lovely family Elder Hammer

Monday, January 9, 2012

a special treat! Meeting dad's old companion

Emerson got the opportunity to meet up with one of Dad's missionary companions when Dad was serving in Colombia. Elder Pico is now a Stake President in the area.
circa 1980
circa 2012

Sunday, January 8, 2012

I'll be home for christmas 1/6/2012

This was my last Christmas and years in the mission field!! A bit sad actually!! But life goes on i guess!! but have no fear I ll be home for Christmas!! I have a special request that the WHOLE FAMILY be there!! It was a fun holiday season in Colombia i liked it alot living Colombian traditions but it aint the same without the family!! For New Years my comp and i went to bed like normal but woke up at 12 to see the fireworks and all!! Like Dad says they burned the old year to welcome in the new year!! The get a huge scarecrow man and the put fireworks in him and then at 12 they burn him and he explodes and all sorts of stuff it was pretty cool!! Theres a tradition here that the people run around the block with their suitcases. This is supposed to give you goodluck to travel somewhere within the year so my comp andi saw some guy doing that and we looked at each other and where like ok a quick run around the corner so we did a quick run around the block in our PJs with our suitcases. haha then we went to bed afterwards haha!! IT was a good time!!!

 Well this was an interesting week!! We met this Israelite family! they still live the law of Moses with burnt offerings and everything it was interestin! They guy had a Book of Mormon and he invited us over to talk about it!! When we went back to the appointment they were all dressed up in Jesus Clothes with tunics and all!! It was awesome!!! Apparently one of the guys is an Israelite pastor or something but he used the Book of Mormon to prove his doctirne, but only 2 nefi because it has part of Isaih in 2nd Nefi!! But that kind of threw us off gaurd when he did that. He was quotin scriptures from the Book of Mormon!! He doesnt belive that Christ came to establish His higher Law!!! but it was a killer Lesson!! We let him go off for a little bit then we came down to business!!! It was super cool!!!! So we showed him how when Christ came he came to fullfill the Mosaic law then he got super mad at us because we totally showed him with solid scriptures of Christ comin to fullfill the law and he whipped out our comdenation and told us we would go to hell if we didnt believe him!! My comp is good at bible bashin he wants to be a lawyer and will be good at it but that aint really my style!! So i calmed my comp for a sec and he let me speak!! I love hwo God really just asks for a testimony and the sweet simple testimony can change a lesson so quick!! So i testify of my Savior how He is my Redemeer and how He came to fullfill the law. I showed them how when Christ came to this Earth He came and showed and lived the higher law! Christ healed a man on the sabbath he let the adulterer go free with out stoning her and other scriptures showed how Christ was livinf the Higher Law and testified that this is my savior and my redeemer!!

I love the power that comes from testifying!!! Its so great!!!!I amtrying to be a better testifier as that is one of the most powerful tool God has given us as His servants. Then my comp whipped out some scirptures that were amazing!! At first the family was like mad at us for not living the Law of moses!! We were teaching a family but they also had their Israelite leader guy to come meet us or something!! This isrealite guy knows His scriptures through holy shcnicks mostly the Old testament but had us goin in circles but it was awesome i thought at first it was just gonna be bible smash party but at the end the family really liked our message and we left them thinking with a little taste of the spirit too! and they invited us back this week!! WE will see how it goes haha!!!

 We also met another guy who was part of the gorilla!! They enemies of Colombia that hide in the mountains and are usually drug trafficers!! I didnt understand what this guy was talking about til the end of the lesson!! He said that he was desmovilized!! I thought that meant that he couldnt move. like he was handicap or something!! but no, he has some contract with the goverment that he wont go back to the war and all other sorts of stuff!! But he is awesome!! We met him Friday and hew went to Church on Sunday!!NEW YEARS DAY!!!!! It was so cool!! We passed by his house, really with little faith that he was really goin to go to church but was already to go when we got there!! He had his book of mormon in hand and the bible in his back pack! ready to go!! We taught him once and then 2 days later he went to Church and he loved it he said!! How great!! He told us some of his stories about his life its a bit scary but more than anything sad to hear what he has gone through and has done in his life but is looking for a change and that change only come from God! He told us some crazy stories of while he was in the Gorilla and how he got wrapped up in some hardcore things!! I love being a missionary cause people just up to and first sight and tell you everythin and we meet some super interesting people!! So we got anoth 10 investigators this week!! YES!!!! Our area is growin a bit more!! I am startin to do things abit differently now. I want to change and be better as a missionary, as a companeon as a Zone leader as a Child of God!! Loving it!! Elder Hammer

I want to live in the jungle Elder Tarzan Hammer 12/19/2011

Well I basically was at home this week in the Jungle!! I loved it so much!! I really was the best week maybe of the mission! It really wasnt too hot but it has over a 40 percent humitity and about 85 degress so thats what killed us!! Here in Bogota its only gets to like 70 and thats a hot day! So i loved feelin the heat!! The airport there is like the size of our cultasack in the front super tiny!! But it was awesome!! I loved the whole trip! In the mornings we had the choir practices and all and then after 12 we could do whatever we wanted basically!! President kept giving me assignments to do and i was happy to do it! Leticia has a front with Brazil!! So the mission actually goes into Brazil too!! and there they speak portuguese!! So one day after church president just came up to me and was like Elder Hammer go to Brazil and teach some brazilians today!! I was like ok!! I thought he was joking but he was for real so i went and tried to speak some portuguese to some people haha!! Its similar to spanish! I can understand it, i just cant speak it!! Its an comparsion i like to think of as english and then goin down to louisiana talking to some old aligator hunter man with no teach! you understand but still like what!! So if i spoke slow spanish to them they understood me and same for them in portuguese!! IT was pretty darn cool!!

Then another day pres. told us to go and contact fro about 6 hours! We were like ok yes sir!! AS you say!!! well becasue we were there for a christmas choir program we thought why not give the people a little tast of our voices and what we got goin on here! So Elder Fifield!!(He is so number 1 in my book he is the most humble beautiful man in the world!!) He plays the vilin in the program so he brought his violin with him and we went into the jungle to find some people and we were like hey there sire how are you. We would like to play a song for Christmas. So we would sing him a song or two that contact him invite him to the program that week and we would try to teach them!! IT was so cool and fun i loved it!!! So then we went to parks in the jungle where there are people that just sit there all day doin nothin so we put on a little tiny part of the progam and all it was awesome!!!

 while we were there pres gave us a pday to do whatever we wanted so he eve ngave us permission to go Zip lining!! I was like well thats where im going!! So we went zip lining in the jungle and we saw an alligator and monkeys while we were in the jungle and all it was so cool! The past part of the trip was that ELDER FUQUA (My comp from the MTC) is serving there right now and he was with us the whole time so we hung out the whole time!! It was fantastic!!I bought me a hammock while i was there too it is awesome love that thing!! haha!! But this month has been super fast!!!! Time goes by super fast!! Hey well i think that i will be callin home at like 5 or six then Colombian time!! hopefully that will be better for everyone!!! Pres lets us call home the day before to confirm that time with everyone so i will call home for a sec friday or saturday to confirm with ya all. This week i have been studyin the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ this week!1 I love the Scriptures there are so amazing!! I love everythin about them!! But this year i wanted to do a good study about really this Christmas Holiday not only studyin the beloved Luke 2 chapter but really Christmas from all of the Gosples adn even the Book of Mormon!

President Casablanca is super awesome and he really emphasis and really wants us to know our SAvior, really thats the purpose of being a missionary!! As i studied to get to know my Savior I realized how the times have gone back to the times of Christ!! The King of Kings and the Lord of Lords!! For more than 4000 years the prophets of the Old Testament have been testifying and anxiously been waiting for the coming of a Mesiah a redeemer. They patiently awaited the signs of His coming!! As the time came closer to the coming of the Lord who really was ready for these signs!!! Our Father in Heaven had sent Prophets to testify of Christ There had been signs of His coming there had been all of these signs to prepare the people to recieve their King!!!! God gave us enough time and enough signs to be prepared for the Birth of Jesus Christ!! The Signs of the Coming Christ were all signs to be prepared!!!! But look at the preparation of the World!!! The king of Kings My Redeemer couldnt even find room in an inn!! Sign after sign, prophet after prophet were sent the signs to be prepared to recieve our king! But couldnt even make room for Him in a Inn!! And was born in a Manger, alongside the sheep and animals!! But as we see the coming of the followin events of the Birth of Jesus Christ, we see who we need to be in this coming Christmas season. LEts think of who was at the side of our tiny newborn Savior. THere was Jospeh and Mary who where there to rejoice in the birth of our savior , then the shephers in the nearby pastores who came to see the divine baby Jesus after the declaration from the angles!! Then Later the 3 wise men (3 wizards in spanish haha!) came to celebrate with our savior. The 3 wisemen are my heroes in this story!! No angel came to preach to them, they came on their own free will and came because they had been looking for the sign of the Birth of Christ! They really wanted to follow they came to really worship him really were waitin for the coming of the Mesiahs and were preapred to go leave and meet Him!! THe Birth of our Saviour was no surprise For even King Herod knew of His coming and sent his soldiers to come and find Him and kill him!! IT was not a surprising event!! But we see whe were there to be with our little saviour on that first Christmas day!! Jesus was accompanied with His loving parents (Family) His was accompanied by those who really cared for him and loved him (Friends) And they were all brought together to Worship God and give praises and Gifts unto Him!!

As we get prepared in this Christmas we must do the same!! Gettin together to celebrate our Savior Jesus Christ! The Christmas season doesnt creap up on us, it may come by quick but we know it is going!! As we buy gifts and put up Christmas lights and all of those goodies, we do to remember adn to share our Joy for the Birth of the Divine Child our Saviour Jesus Christ to commerate his Birth His life His Death and rejoice that the Salvation comes through Him!! I wish you all a merry Christmas and cant wait to hear from ya all Sunday!!! Love Elder Tarzan Hammer P.S Thanks a boat load for the Package!!!! I love my sweaters!! And the candy was eaten way to fast!! I miss good food!!!! P.S I ate Mohoji in Leticia look it up in internet!!! ITs a huge worm the size of my thumb!! I ate it a LIVE!!!! IT was still a live and i tried to eat it but couldnt so i ended up barfing haha!!! Good ol Tribal food haha!!! I didnt get the book or papers mom said she put in the package some how that thing she was making during conference didnt make it here!! I am bummed!! I got one package!! But sounds like you sent more!! We will see what happens!!

The week before the jungle 12/12/2011

Well i am now basically famous now just to let you all know!! I sang a solo!! AHHH!! NEver have done that before, but i actually really love singing!! I think that i must have gone through puberty again or something cuz i rock at singing!! I could totally be part of some boy band or something!! I think i will start a mormon boy band after the mission!! We will see! haha!! But it was so great!! I loved it!! I believe that President will post the concert on Youtube soon! So when he does i will tell you all so you can see my awesome singing skills!! haha!! I like singin praises to God, its even better singing in Spanish!haha!!! But because of my new found talent I am goin to the jungle on Wednesday!! WOOO!!1 I am goin to LEticia!! It s gonna be so awesome! It really is basically gonna be a vacation for a week to be honest! We get to have another pday down there and we are going to an island called the island of the monkeys!! WOOO!!! We are gonna be preaching to the monkeys baby!1 I am super stooked!! ITs gonna be super great!!! I love our christmas songs that we sing are all about the savior from his birth to His grand purpose of His life hear on Earth and up to His crucifiction!! Singing all of these songs of my Savior have really helped understand my purpose as a missionary!!!

My mission president is excellent about always rememebering our savior he always tells us to study the life of the savior really understand and get to know him!! For that is our real purpose of being missionaries!!! Is to invite others to come unto Christ!! Our savior!! I am right now doing an awesome study about the birth of our saviour!! In this time of Christmas we are sharing alot about the Christmas reason and of our Saviour and what really is Christmas and why really celebrate and what was the first Christmas was like!!! I love studyin the Scriptures!! I sometimes wish we could just study the scriputres all day and just obtain a boat load of knowledge but that would be selfish of us!! We need to go and teach the word of God in the day!!

This week was a good week but also a sad one at the same time!! We lost one of our investigators you could say. We were in the lesson (he is a athisist) and we got to talking, he had a baptismal date! but anyways we talked to him about how he has even recieved spiritual answers he has had many spiritual experiences, he even recognized that they came from God!! So we bore him testimony of the true existence of Our savoir JEsus Christ and of our Father in Heaven!! And he told us that, oh no God doesnt exist!! So then i testified of the my Saviour JEsus Christ!! I wanted him to really know who is the man that has saved us who really is our Savior!! I testified of the importance of the mesage that we share and affirmed the truthfullnes of the answers that he has recieved and the told him that this is no game no jokin matter, that really his salvation depended on his faithfullness to God and to really act upon the answers he has had!! He says he will not progress until he sees an angel!! We told him, that angels exist and we shared with him Moroni 7 that confirms the existence of angels and that if we have faith Angels will mininster to us, we estified to him to act on his faith!! He then got mad at us and said he needs no faith in God, just faith in himself! And that pretty much was the lesson!! I was super sad!! WE have been trying so hard with this investigator we have fasted and prayed to help him but he is a tough one!! I am still super sad about his decision and his lack of faith and even that has denied his spiritual confirmationes!! But something super awesome happend in this lesson!! I will save it though for chattin with you all at Christmas!! Its awesome!! But we are sad to have lost him, but we will still try to keep in contact with him!! I am havin a great time being ZL! Its fun i like my zone!! I love my missionaries in my zone!! All is well here in Colombia!! How does it sound if i call home like at 3 in the afternoon colombia time! I got no idea what time it would be at home! Love and miss ya all!! Elder Hammer