Monday, December 19, 2016


My old house, which is still technically mine even though I don't live there.
My big suitcase with some stuff is still there, even though the majority
is here in the other area.
Sorry that it's not great, but this is us in our outfits for the sketch. It's funny,
Elder Martinez looks like he's in his late 20s or early 30s, but he's really only 19,
only about 2 months older than me, and Elder Menacho is 20.

Also on Saturday we did a service project. This is me and Elder Menacho.

This is the view from the balcony of my house; it's really pretty.

Wow, what an interesting week. I had to laugh, because later Monday night, just a few hours after emailing you all about how much I love my new area and all that, we got a call from our zone leaders, district leader, and one of the assistants at the exact same time. We are in a ward here in Garupal, Valledupar. There are two sets of missionaries--my companion and I, and our district leader and his companion. This call on Monday night changed that. We had an emergency transfer late that night. All of Valledupar is a zone, and one of the missionaries in another district had to go home for an injury. Our district leader's companion got transfered to that area, and now we are in a trio with the district leader, and we live in his house. It's been a bit difficult, because we still have to cover both of the areas. But we are working it out. So now I'm in a trio with Elder Martinez and Elder Menacho, from Peru. So now I've had a Bolivian, 2 Peruvians, and an Ecuadorian.
Other than that stress, this week has been pretty normal. Our ward mission leader is really funny. He's a returned missionary who really knows his stuff. He's a great help to us. With some of the new ward missionaries, we did a skit at the ward Christmas party on Thursday. It was a comical reenactment of the story of Nephi and his brothers going for the plates. We did a modern version, it was really funny. Everyone was dying of laughter. And of course they had me be Nephi, I don't know why. It's better than before, in the skit we planned before I was going to be Santa. It was interesting. We did a service project with the ward this Saturday, cleaning up a park around here. It was a lot of fun and we got a lot done. But there's definitely a stereotype of Americans here in Colombia. They think that I'm pretty average when it comes to height, and they think that we don't know how to work. Or that we don't like working with our hands. For example (it was a joke), but it was pretty obvious in something the bishop said. I squatted down to pick up some leaves to throw away, and he said, "look at the American using his hands!" It was a joke, and it was pretty funny the way he said it, but there's definitely a stereotype.
We ate pizza today!!! It was even Dominos!! It was really good, though it wasn't quite the same.
This week should be really fun. On Thursday we get to go to Santa Marta (about 2 or 3 hours in a bus), for our Christmas Conference, where we get to spend the day with President Gallego and do Christmasy things I guess. I don't konw what to expect. But it should be really fun, even if we don't get the chance to work at all that day.
I can't believe that Sunday is Christmas! I love Christmas, I get so excited! I have no clue if any of the packages have arrived to the mission office yet. If I don't get them on Thursday, I probably won't get them before Christmas, but that's ok, I'll still be excited for them.
Other than that, the work here is still going a bit slowly, but it's starting to pick up. I'm excited to keep seeing the area grow, that's really one of the greatest blessings. There's not really much like it.

But yeah, I think that's about all the news for this week. I'll be suprised if we get to work a lot next week, what with all the parties that'll be happening here. The Colombians really love to party, it's nuts. It's very loud, because it seems like every other house has these huge speakers that probably cost a fortune. (Though I've noticed that technology is super cheap here, I've heard that a bunch of missionaries buy iphones and stuff right before going home because it's super cheap). But still, the music is super loud, I can shout at full voice and my companion by my side can't hear me, it's ridiculous. I don't know how they still have their hearing, because they'll literally sit 2 feet from this speaker all day. But I digress....
I love you all, I think of you often, and I can't wait to talk to you on Sunday! We'll be doing it at about 3 my time, about 1 up there, I hope it works out. You're all in my prayers, and I hope you all have a great week leading up to Christmas!

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