Monthly Archives: February 2011

Three Months’ Worth of Pictures!

Hi, Family,

I went on splits with the district leader in my area this past Tuesday, which meant that I had to basically be the senior comp for a day. We spent a fair bit of time wandering around looking for the houses where we were supposed to teach.
I had the opportunity to invite a girl we´re teaching to be baptized during the day, however. It was only the second lesson, but the timing felt right. She accepted the invitation and a date, but is waffling a little, now. I think she´ll be okay, but we have to encourage.
We also had a zone conference, on Thursday, and I got to see how a couple of the others from my group are doing. They´re still alive, anyway. We´ve all had problems with power and water (today, yesterday, day before yesterday…). Annoying, but we live on. It´s not fun to sleep in sweat, though.
Still, I would hate to be in another mission. We have more success here even than other Colombia missions. We have seven people scheduled to be baptized before Elder Ward leaves on the 24th of March, with others who might make it. We had sixteen investigators at church yesterday, between us and the zone leaders.
There´s a lot I´d like to say, but I used a lot of time sending pictures. I´m not actually sure exactly what I sent, but there should be one or two of me and Elder Ward, among other things.

Elder Ward and Elder Belyeu

Elder Belyeu and Elder Ward

I´m sorry I´m can´t respond to each letter I got. I´m excited for Misty and will think about her on the fifth. I got to read Joseph´s email about basketball, and so on.
I pray for you all and will be back pretty soon (well, more or less). First I have to convince someone that I´m from Argentina (Elder Ward does that all the time).
Pues, chow y nos vemos,

Elder Belyeu

PS This is a picture of the elder I went on splits with in the MTC.

Splits companion at the MTC

The pictures with lots of elders and a civilian are of my district and a teacher, Hermano Burnham.

MTC District with Hermano Burnham.

MTC District II

Elder Smith

There´s one of Elder Smith with a picture he drew,

Elder Bean

one of Elder Bean with tie problems,

Winter 2011 View from the Provo MTC

the view from our MTC classroom, and me with Christmas decorations outside the MTC.

December 2010 Nativity at the Provo MTC

Still Alive and Working

Family,

At the same time, nothing has changed and a lot has happened. We have been working in the same area and finding new people/working with old investigators. Attendance at church was poor this week and we don’t know why. Something with the bus we sent to pick people up in Villa Cielo, we’ve heard. We’ll find out tomorrow for sure. On the other hand, bad attendance for us meant that we had six investigators at church from our area, plus those from the other area in the ward. We had nineteen investigators last week, including thirteen from our area, so this is a definite drop. We’ll beat ém up this week.

Two of the people who should have come are kids almost ready for baptism, but who haven’t attended church enough times to meet the basic requirement. Their baptism has to be rescheduled, which means that Elder Ward won’t have a baptism every Saturday for the last three weeks of his mission.

We’ve had many interesting experiences this week. One I’d like to share was a contact with a woman learning English and her brother. They asked us to talk for a little while, we taught a brief lesson about the restoration, and then had a prayer before we left. They asked for the prayer to be in English and Elder Ward asked me to give it. I almost couldn’t do it. I haven’t prayed in English since about the first week in the MTC and I couldn’t remember things like ¨We thank thee.¨

By the time I get home, I won’t remember anything.

Anyway, I’m still alive and working. Two little things of some annoyance have occurred.  I dropped my watch the other day in the calle and had to replace it ($9000, convert to dollars at a rate of about 1,800 pesos to the dollar), and my shoes are already showing wear because of the rough roads we walk. I’ll have to replace the shoes eventually, not sure when and it won’t be a surprise (I have another pair, but I will need more than thirty bucks on the card for that. Shoe prices for quality aren’t that much different.

I guess that’s about it. Don’t move or anything without mentioning it.

Amor, Belder Elyeu

The Journey to Monteria, Colombia

Hello, people,
I did get the brownies from Grandma and Grandpa Schofield and if I’d had time I would have said so. I´m sorry. They came the same day as my travel plans, so we had a travel plans and brownies party.
I’m in Monteria, Colombia, working mainly in a village on the edge of town called Villa Cielo. It’s pretty humble, but there’s plenty of interest. Between my companionship and the other Elders in the ward, we had nineteen people at church yesterday.
We flew into Bogotá and had to wait for a while, since the people who picked us up (the mission president for that mission and his wife) didn’t know we were coming. They were there to pick up a district of elders for their mission and we showed up, too. They eventually carted us off to a pretty nice hotel for two and a quarter hours of sleep and then had us picked up at four for our next flight to Barranquilla. We had an orientation in the mission home with President Gaviria and then stayed the night with missionaries assigned to Barranquilla before being shipped off again. I took a plane to my area and had to leave again really early, so I went for several nights in a row without enough sleep. I set a new record for myself on sleep deprivation, but I´m almost recovered now.
We started working right away and that’s about all we’ve done, until today. I was sick for a couple of days from the food, but not too bad and that’s pretty much over, now.
I still have my ATM card, so if you want to add money, you can. I don’t know if it matters, since I don’t see needing that much here. Prices are pretty low, generally.
Today I got to do paperwork for a Colombian ID, including answering questions in Spanish to an official who looked like a college girl whose mother needed to train her better (the modesty issue is fairly serious here), and having a blood sample taken in a remarkably clean and professional manner. All is well, generally speaking.
The address to send me packages is:
Jonathan R Belyeu
Calle 82 # 55-20 apto 201
edificio mattisse
Barranquilla, Atlantico
Colombia
I happen to have an AP with me right now telling me these things. He´s here for a zone conference and was sent to watch the greenie write home.
That´s pretty much what I have to say. I will probably forget English here like everyone else did (They talk slow and with accents in English). The packages take about a month.
Love you all,
Elder Belyeu
PS I forgot two points. One is that Elder Bean is in Barranquilla safely, and the other is my trainer. His name is Elder Ward, also from Idaho, and was a zone leader until I came. There are four other elders in our apartment: two zone leaders, one district leader, and another greenie (but a native speaker). I don´t hear much English.
Anyway, bye.

Hasta Ver

Jon saw several people at the MTC who he already knew. Here he’s with Elder NeSmith and Elder Schuerman from the Montgomery, AL Stake, who have also been called on Spanish-speaking missions.

Elder NeSmith, Elder Schuerman, and Elder Belyeu at the Provo, UT MTC. January 2011.

This is an extract from Elder NeSmith’s journal:

We just finished “Hasta Ver” as a zone. It’s where we sing “God Be with You Til We Meet again” in Spanish to the district that is leaving (today, it was Elder Belyeu’s district). It really was awesome. After singing, someone tells the story of Brigham young and Heber C. Kimball leaving on their mission to Great Britian. Then, accordingly, we shout “Hurrah FOR ISRAEL!” 3 times (loud, louder and make-the-windows-bust loud). It was really cool. A great bonding experience. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Who’d have thought you could cram 28 guys in a bedroom meant for 4, shout Hasta Ver and Hurrah for Israel and STILL be able to feel the spirit. Only in the TRUE church.

He’s in Colombia

Hey, Everybody,

Jon called us twice yesterday, once from the Salt Lake Airport and again from Atlanta. He’d been up since 4 am to prepare for his flight and was excited about being on his way. He said he’d learned more Spanish in the MTC than he’d expected to, but not enough to really function with–he’ll learn the rest in Colombia.

He was going to fly into Bogota yesterday evening, spend much of the night there at the airport, then finish the trip to Barranquilla early this morning.

When his brother Chris went to Ukraine, we received a brief email from him the day his plane landed. I hoped we’d get one from Jon, but nothing’s come so far today. We may have to wait a week or two for a letter.

Jon warned us that in Latin America many public holidays fall on Monday, so some weeks he won’t be able to use the internet. If we don’t hear from him, he doesn’t want us to worry–we should assume he couldn’t get to an internet outlet that week.

He’ll send his physical mailing address soon, but warned me that he probably won’t be able to receive packages. He took an ATM card for personal use. After we know he got his card safely through Customs, we’ll deposit money in that account and he can purchase what he needs–this will be more secure than mailing packages. (And we may be able to send packages after all–we just don’t know yet.)

Thanks for all the love and care!
Sheralyn Belyeu