Monthly Archives: June 2011

Planning

I know exactly which plant is Queen Ann´s lace. I´ve tried it before, a few times. Sassafras grows on the bank of dirt behind the fig trees and a little closer to the road, beside the mailbox at the trailer, and in the trail in the woods about midway between the house the the pipeline.

I feel so clever.

Well, my comp´s a Latin. I´ve heard that the difference can be really shocking, to go from a gringo companion to a Latin, but that really hasn´t been a problem, maybe because Elder Ward was basically a Latin when he left. Elder Ochoa is great. He teaches so well that he´s improving the English class a lot, even though he only speaks Spanish.

He´s also got a lot of time here. He has been in the Colombian coast for 19 months and is in his most effective time, with plenty of experience, but thoughts of home still in the distance.

It´s been tough planning the area. I´m still drowning in all the things we need to do. Elder Jenson was doing almost all of the planning and I don´t really know how, but Elder Ochoa doesn´t know the area, so it´s up to me. A baptism fell through this weekend because I hadn´t gotten permission from the dad and he was working, We can´t do it this week either because there´s another stake conference, so hopefully we´ll have a lot of baptisms in two weeks. We´ll see.

Anyway, I´m still here. Mission life changes, but it´s still the same thing. We learn. Aprendemos.

Elder Belú

June Baptisms

 

 

 

Progressing

Hi, family and people,

We received the word on transfers this morning. I´m staying here, my comp`s leaving for Barranquilla and is now a Zone Leader. The new changes in the rules mean the zone leaders have it tough, but it`s not me. My new comp is a native Latin, but I don`t know anything about him (his name`s Elder Ochoa, I don`t know where he`s from or anything). I think he`s from Ecuador or Peru, because they`re almost all from Ecuador or Peru.

Elder Morales, who has been here in my district and living in my apartment all this time in this area, is going with Elder Jenson to Barranquilla and will be in his zone. Elder Morales will be the companion of my companion in the MTC, Elder Bean.

I`m a little worried about directing the area here. I`m still very green and planning is pretty tough, because so many plans fall through. I`ll be with someone experienced, though, so we`ll make it. I think.

As you can see from the pictures, Hilda Tàmara was baptized this past Saturday. We`re ecstatic about that. It mean the whole Yepez family is in the church, and now they`re fellowshipping another family of their friends that we`re teaching, who`re progressing really well.

Anyway, that`s basically my week. My world is about to change again, and we`ll see what happens with it. Could be worse.

Elder Belù

PS. These are for the family. Pictures from the baptism last Saturday and the week before last.

Area President

Multi-Zone Conference with Elder Nash

Elder Belyeu is the red-haired missionary close to the center of the group.

New Money Rules

Okay, otra vez,

This week has been a little different. We received a huge new list of rules (this mission has a whole book of rules that continually grows), mainly about how to use our money assignments. It´s annoying. We just don´t want to think about money. We always have enough, but a lot of the missionaries have trouble using the money well.

Oh, well.

We did have a baptism this week. A kid from a part-member family. His name is Jhoneduar Gutiérrez San Juan, he is thirteen years old, and is a goofball. He´s tiny and floated the first time, and then ¨fell over¨ in the water. He had a ball.

His grandma, the only adult in the family who attends church, arrived for the baptism an hour early, confused over the scheduled time, and we arrived thirty minutes late, from a lesson that took way more time than it should have. (Punctuality doesn´t have much value here. Everybody arrives whenever they want to. A baptism scheduled for five o´clock once started at about seven.) Everything went well enough this week, though. Jhon was confirmed yesterday and seems content.

The sister who told us when she wants to get baptized was interviewed this weekend and wasn´t really sure if she wanted to got through with it or not, but told us “yes” yesterday.

The zone leaders walked from their area to ours because the new rules about money have them up the creek without a paddle. They´re basically broke all the time now. I´m glad leadership is so far away for me. (I´ll have to break some minor rules to make sure it never happens.)

It seems likely my companion, Elder Jenson, will be a zone leader pretty soon, in two weeks or the next transfer. He´s a power, as the slang goes in the mission (él es un poder). It´s been good working with him, and now it doesn´t matter to me if I´m working with a gringo or a Latino in the future. I just hope I can plan my area well when I have a new comp.

It´s possible that we´ll both be here another two months, but we´ve been here a while.

Regarding you letter, I know what it´s like to have a ridiculous score in biology. Feels good, huh? I´m just not sure how similar my bio class was to the real thing. Freshman bio and bio major are different. (It´s also fairly important to have an argument that supports the thesis statement, in English papers. Frequently, anyway.)

I´m pretty impressed with Will’s reading. I´ve read some of those books and he´s into the real stuff, now. Nice to know that he´s just as nuts as the rest of us were. I was following you around to read you the funny parts too (about six and a half months ago).

I was too lazy to bring the camera with pictures from the baptism. It´s just a bunch of Colombians with two Americans and a bunch of water, anyway. Maybe next week.

Me encanta la flojera.

Anyway, keep it going and stuff like that. Cassie should keep eating, every day (twice if she´s really hungry).

Bye,

Elder Belú

Families

Hi, peoples,

First, my comp´s name was Derek Ward. I´m not sure how to find him, though, since that´s not an uncommon name. He´s from Idaho and has studied at BYU. I think ýou´ve got pictures of him that I sent, as well.

I don´t remember what I wrote about the two sisters who hadn´t accepted baptismal dates who we talked with last Sunday.

Yesterday, one of them attended church (she always does), and asked us to visit during the day. We arrived and she told us that she´ll be baptized in two weeks, and invited us to handle the details. I don´t know what happened, but it made my day. All the rest of the family has already been baptized and are attending regularly; her sons are visiting with us frequently.

I’ve been thinking about a family I met here. Two or three years in the church, and partially active. Specifically, the mom and the older son who´s still at home are active. The son’s leaving the 16th on his mission to Argentina.

The dad, on the other hand, is falling behind a little. Yesterday at church I asked the son how his dad was and he told us about the night before, when his dad came home from work late, staggering drunk. This happens every fifteen days, because he´s paid every fifteen days.

The family is falling apart in the States. Here, it already fell. We can hardly contact in the weekends and holidays (today is a holiday) because the streets are full of drunken men. Their wives are waiting in the house, but not expecting them until the morning. We see families, with a man, a woman, and kids, walking together about once every day. The parents who are with their kids aren´t married, and don´t teach or discipline their kids.

I can´t explain what it means to me, to have a family, to have the support of knowing that nobody in my family is going to die drunk in a ditch, and to have parents who actually care. It´s another world here.

Anyway, I´m running out of time. I really hope Chris doesn´t push his ideas of professional modeling, or anything like that. Translating Harry Potter, books, now. That would be cool. I´m translating my Patriarchal blessing. Maybe books later.

Pues, bye now. Talkamos later.

Elder Belú