Monthly Archives: May 2011

I Like to Eat Eat Eat Apples and Bananas. . .

Hi, people,
This week has actually been different. We went to Barranquilla on Wednesday and had a multi-zone conference with the Area President, Elder Nash (a gringo from Ohio). He talked about a lot of things, for example the need to commit investigators. It was powerful.

We had plans to have a baptism this week, but he wasn´t ready. I feel kind of bad, because we didn´t prepare him very well, but we couldn’t have known about some of his problems (and he´s tough to find). Those are great excuses, I think.

Following the advice we received from Elder Nash, we committed a sister who´s been attending church for a couple of months to be baptized. It´s tough to change people when they haven´t accepted a date for a long time, but she listened.

It´s been a good week in setting dates for baptisms, but pretty bad in all the numbers we report.

Sounds like Mom’s school is going well.  I read some stuff about bugs you wrote, but it doesn´t make sense. How fun. I´ll share the data about people-eating parasites with my comp, he´ll love it.

Grandpa sent me a letter about a trip to Argentina. I look forward to traveling a little after the mission, too. The world opens up when you leave the States and learn a language. I´d feel comfortable in a lot of countries, now.

We had a successful English class this week for the first time, with about forty people, including several investigators and a few new people. We taught the bishop to sing ¨I like to eat eat eat apples and bananas¨ to practice the sounds and now he´s doing it so much that his wife´s going nuts. That´s success.

In church yesterday we had twelve investigators and a few nonmembers who don´t count because they´re not progressing or haven´t talked to us. We usually have six or eight.

One of the people who was supposed to give a talk didn´t show, so during one talk the bishop had a gopher fetch me from my seat, assigned me a topic, we sang a rest hymn, and I talked. That´s never happened to me before, but it was really easy. I went over time, about ten minutes. We study the gospel with the goal of teaching so much that when the chance comes to teach, we can teach. It works.

A counselor in the bishopric referred to my talk afterward, as the talk of Elder Behú, my companion being Elder Jen.

Anyhow, that´s my week. It´s always good to read about what´s going on at home, so keep writing.

Elder Behú

Colombian Fruit

Hi, fambly,

Sounds like the tornadoes did a lot of damage at home. I saw something on TV in a little store today, but it´s not a big deal for the people here. Gringos dying in gringolandia doesn´t make the headlines unless it´s a whole lot of gringos. Let me know if the world ends while I´m here.

Does Jason have time to teach a class at CACC? That would be really cool, and he´s always wanted to teach. Somehow Jason as a college professor doesn´t seem all that strange. Dr. Durante-ish (and only Jason understands why I said that, maybe not even him). Jeffrey O. is looney, too.

The Eagle project is always harder than it looks. Joseph lost his binder with all his information; my work date fell through over and over. But, even this shall pass away.

A few people I´ve talked to have asked about the end of the world, and my name tag says ¨Ultimos Días¨. All-in-all, though, the Colombian way of thinking is fairly ¨eat, drink, and be merry¨. It´s pretty relaxed, until a bill comes due, or something. I guess that´s not all Colombians, just the ones we usually teach. The rich ones who understand these things don´t listen to the missionaries as well. In this, Colombia is like everywhere else in the world.

An investigator whose baptismal date fell through a few weeks ago (It wasn´t his fault, but these things happen.) told us last week that the family he was living with was throwing him out (I don´t understand why, something about them being lunatics.), and then he disappeared for days, without leaving a number to call or an address, just a comment that he wanted to go to Panama.

We finally ran into him in the street the other day. He found place where the owners pay him to live in a house at night, and leave during the day (it´s a pre-school, but tiny, built in a house). He has a pretty nice place, with internet, lights, water, everything. He can stick around now for his baptism, which should be this week, if we can pull off getting him to another interview. (He´s not real excited about that part, but has a strong testimony.)

We´re going to Barranquilla this Wednesday to attend a conference with the area president, Elder Nash. We´re encouraged to bring questions of the soul to ask him, and required to bring talks prepared on a couple of topics, just in case. I´m glad I´m not a zone leader; I´m sure they´re on the top of the hit list for talks. We have to meet in the stake center, about twenty minutes from here, Wednesday at five in the morning to take the bus to Barranquilla, so we´ll be hauling it out early.

I think I misspelled a fruit for you in the phone call the other day. It´s sapote, they tell me, not zapote. Other good one are mamones, maracuyá, manzano (not to be confused with manzana), granandilla, torombolo (I´m guessing on the spelling of that one), and mango. There´s at least one more, but I can´t remember what it´s called. It shouldn´t be used to make smoothies, is all I know. I can´t remember other things to say, but now I´m hungry again. I need to prove to my comp that there are kiwis here (they don´t grow here, apparently, but they are sold here).

A couple of people have said that I´m fat now. I´m not sure about that. I weighed myself the other day, and came out at 75 kilos, but I can´t remember how to convert that to pounds. About 165, I think, which is the same as before. I don´t guess you could find a simple conversion for kilos and send it to me, along with one for Celcius degrees. I know that 32 gravos is a pretty warm, but not more than that.

Chao, now. I don´t have anything more to say.

Elder Belú

Stake Conference

Hello, people,
Well, it´s been another week. I´m still here and still going. A sister we´re teaching said yesterday that I´m getting fat, but I´m not sure I believe her. (My clothes fit the same and she doesn´t see very well.) We´ll see what happens.
 
We had a stake conference this weekend. It was a great experience for us missionaries, but pretty awful for the investigators. Normally we have several in sacrament meeting, but yesterday in the stake center there was one investigator. As of yesterday we don´t have a single progressing investigator. (They don´t count if they don´t attend) There was a seventy in the conference (Elder Torres) and he taught really well. Also, he´s from Cali, so he speaks really clearly. I could understand almost everything. He passed by us as he was leaving, so we shook his hand and thanked him. I´ve spoken with two actively serving seventies in my life, now.
 
Another elder from my district in the MTC, Elder Kimball, is in my zone now, as I may have mentioned. We didn´t have time to talk, really, but I said hi. I don´t know about other districts in the MTC, but mine was pretty close. We all had the same call, the same challenge, basically, and we were stuck together for two months.
 
I finally tried out my card, pulled out $100,000 (in pesos. That´s fifty bucks, American). It says there´s no charge, but I´d like it if someone could verify that part and let me know (go online and see if there was a charge in Colombia, then send me the amount).
 
What you said about BYU looks great. They actually want to help students out, which is a strange thing to think about when you´re in Colombia. The people here are nice, but business is business, and doesn´t want to help. Anyone. The Pell grant is quite large, by the way. It´s not enough for everything, but it goes a long way if you´re careful. Work should be easier to find for Chris, too, because he´s not a nineteen-year old freshman.
 
So Lee is married. Huh.
 
Anyway, that´s what I can remember about the week. Talkamos más later.
 
Elder Belú
 
An old companion of my companion is now an assistant. I wonder if that means we´ll get information sooner.

Baptism

Loose Ends

There´s not a whole lot to say today, since we just talked, and I don´t have many new pictures. Just a few thoughts, I guess. I´d like to hear more about Jason and Catherine, the new job, and stuff.

And I want a tornado, too. The pictures you sent look really cool. Alabama is hermoso.

John Casey got his name from Catherine´s dad and Jason´s grandpa, obviously. Or did he? The truth lies a bit deeper, and I can´t disclose everything, but there is a secret agent named John Casey somewhere in the world of Chuck. I can say no more.

I don´t know if it was obvious, but Sunday night is a little frustrating for missionary work here. My comp and I don´t like Sunday, which is a little bit bad, I guess, but the truth. It´s really hard to teach because everybody´s drunk and listening to music really loud.

During the week, though, we teach a lot. We have a goal of one lesson taught for every hour worked and twenty contacts a day. We normally get the contacting done, but we´re a little weaker on lessons. We´re short two or three every week.

I´m glad you couldn´t call the number I called from on Saturday, but it wouldn´t have helped you much. Colombia has something called Sais (say it like like psi corp), where they have phones with access to different providers. I called from a sai, so you would have gotten a Colombia who speaks no English and likely doesn´t the difference between a missionary and a prophet (they´re bad about that).

The same thing basically goes for the mission home. They can´t reach me when I´m working any better than you can, since I don´t have a cell phone, and most of them don´t speak English. Anyway, that´s that.

We´ll talk again soon, in December.

Probably.

If I want to.

Elder Belú

Two Transfers

Hi, Family and People,

I´m sorry I forgot to tell ya’ll about the change in p-day. We have p-day in Tuesday when there are transfers and this week was a transfer week. Prayers were answered, by the way; me and my companion are going to stay here. I don´t have much time to write. We`re later starting and I have to set up my skype account. The things that need to be said can be said later.

I did try my card and was able to do a balance check. If you look in the internet account you should be able to see that someone checked the account in Colombia. I think there was a small charge, as well. I want to know how much the charge was, if you can find out.

In related news, there´s been a change in the assignment of money in this mission. We have about fifty bucks a week now, which is a huge amount of money. I don`t foresee problems in living day to day, although if I want to buy big things I`ll need money from home. I don`t want to pull out just a little, though, because they charge the same to pull out five dollars as a hundred. I`d like to pull about a hundred when I remember to, to have on hand.

I`ll be calling home at night, Saturday, I think. We still don`t know exactly. I think I`ll have to call home briefly to organize things and then call with skype the next day.

Reading the letter from Mom made me think of Mark Twain`s ¨Guying the Guides¨. Do a few mean things to them for me, please.

And I rides in taxis frequently. So there.

Other thing, for Dad. I was in the double digit fidgets until just lately. Now I´m old. I`ve got two transfers, now.

Elder Belù