First Week in Cartagena, Colombia

Well, I´m in Cartagena. Lots of people say that Montería is hotter than any other place in the country, but it feels just the same to me, except that we walk a little more.

This area is golden. We taught a lot of people in Montería who…struggled with understanding. Here, almost everybody gets it the first time and most are thinking on their own. We´re in an area a little more educated, with a little more money. Bags of water (drinking water comes in plastic baggies, don´t remember if I´ve said that yet) are $200 in Montería and $400 here. Most things haven´t increased that much, though.

Elder Jenson is a great missionary. He works really hard. Really. I have trouble keeping up with him (I mean literally, walking), but then we do have to walk fast. The people we´re teaching don´t live as close together as they did in my old area.

Traveling was interesting. I had to wait in the airport in Montería almost all day Wednesday with a zone leader from another zone, expecting other missionaries, who never showed up. I finally flew out at about four thirty and talked with the elders we had been expecting in the airport in Barranquilla. (One of them is from my district in the MTC, Elder Beck. He said I´m whiter than ever, which isn´t true. I´ve been way whiter.) I had to wait in Barranquilla over night and got to talk to Elder Ward one last time. (He was still there waiting for his flight, at five in the morning Thursday.) On Thursday, I rode in an air-conditioned van from Barranquilla to Cartagena.

The countryside is full of farms and jungle, but without many tall trees. We´ve already had one baptism here since I arrived and things look good for another every week, if we can manage scheduling around General Conference this week. A whole family is preparing and progressing really well, which doesn´t happen much with families broken up as bad as they are here. I had some minor repairs done on my shoes in Montería, so I think they´ll last a good while longer.

Elder Jenson has been in Colombia 7 months, plus his 2 months in the MTC. His Spanish isn’t perfect yet, although pretty good. He has a little more accent than me when we´re talking about simple things (at least, that´s what the natives say), but I still can’t understand native Spanish very well. I think I´m progressing pretty well, all in all. I want to talk to Elder Smith, whose Spanish was way better than ours in the MTC. Elder Jenson, by the way, is the district leader, so I have to learn our area before the other elders in the district (just one other companionship) need him to go on exchanges with them. It´s a tricky area, too. He´s lost part of the time still, after 6 weeks here. The streets are kind of wild.

Anyway, that what´s happening here. I´d like to send some photos, but I can´t from this computer. We´ll see we can do something more later.

For now, bye,

Elder Belú

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