Monthly Archives: July 2011

Companions!

Elder Pastran and Elder Belyeu

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P Day

Defrosting The Fridge

Mucho gozo con mi hermano

Well, another week has passed. My brother is dying and my whole family is trunky.

Chris, I hate you for mentioning Chinese food. Mexican, even steak, I can handle, but not Chinese.  I`ve eaten cow stomach soup (sopa de mondungo), cow tongues (lengua de vaca), and a whole lot of other new things. Some are pretty good, some are just weird. There`s nothing like kung pao shrimp.

We are relaxing this p-day. Cleaning the house, washing clothes, defrosting the fridge (as you can see in one of my photos). I packed a small watermelon in a bucket of ice from the freezer and it`s waiting for me (depending on how honest the other two elders in our house are).

Things are going well. We have walked a huge amount, contacted a lot, taught a lot, and scheduled eleven baptismal dates (almost all of them fell through already, but that`s the refining process in the Colombian coast. You have to find a lot of people to find people who are ready to accept Jesus Christ in their lives).

Elder Pastràn is a powerful missionary and I`d be happy to stay in this area for another transfer with him. We`ll see what happens.

I thought it`d be really hard to understand an Argentino (their Spanish can be very different), but he only has enough accent to be cool. He also speaks English almost perfectly. He knew a lot when he entered the mission field, and has had of gringo companions, and practices a lot. He speaks English better than I speak Spanish, and I`m fairly comfortable in the language, now. Far from perfect, but I can communicate.

We learned yesterday that the health problem that one of the investigators has is lupus (I don`t remember how to spell it in English. The one that`s like cancer and attacks the marrow). We gave her a blessing and she says she`s recovering. It`s not a very serious case, right now, and as long as she does what the doctors say, she`ll live a full life without problems. One of my converts, Hilda, scolds her every time we talk for eating candy.

Anyway, that`s what`s happening. A week has passed, a lot of people are closer to salvation. We`re doing good.

Os quiero mucho y espero que tengais mucho gozo con mi freaking hermano, y que podais satisfacer vuestro trunkura.

Nos veremos màs ashà,

Elder Belù

Transfers

Hi, people,

My mini-missionary is gone. The zone leaders received word of more mid-month transfers last night and he left this morning. I`m now with one of the missionaries who was in the office in Barranquilla. He`s Argentino, so he`s a little hard to understand, but he was in the office seven months and really wants to work.

I`ve had three companions now this transfer, and have had more companions in the mission than transfers. They`ve all been good comps, though, so no complaints.

This week one of our investigators disappeared for a few days. He didn`t show up for an appointment and didn`t answer his phone. I almost let him go, since he lives kind of far away, but last night I felt like we needed to find him. We walked out to where he lives (not too far, about 25 minutes walking fast) and found him in the house. His phone quit and he had to change numbers, but he`s okay and excited again.

It seems like things keep going like they`re going. Mid-month transfers are normal for me now. It`s a little hard to say that I`m twenty, when I introduce myself in lessons, but that`ll get old.

I`m junior companion again. I never really changed, on paper, but I was basically senior comp for a while. I didn`t like the pressure, but I think my self-confidence improved. I know now that I can be a missionary without adult supervision, although maybe not a terribly effective one (I just haven`t been able to find a lot of new investigators, a common problem, but I don`t like it). I just keep thinking about what Elder Jenson did and how successful he was. I think he`s still the best missionary I`ve met, and I learned a ton from him.

I think I`ll be leaving the area in two weeks (the transfer when Chris finishes, que trunki), and getting another new comp. That means 6 companions in just over 4 transfers (right now I`m with 5 comps in almost 4 transfers, not much different). On the other hand, I`m never with a companion for so long that his habits annoy me. Pluses.

Anyway, that`s what`s happening with me.

Much love, and stuff like that,

Elder Belù

Here are pictures of Ruben Garcìa and a quick picture of Elder Pastràn, taken here in the internet site. I want to send the pictures of Ruben to Ruben, but I forgot his email address in the house, so it`ll have to wait until next week.

Elder Pastràn

Ruben Garcìa

Pictures from The City Wall and Touristy Places.

 

 

                        

    

On His Own in Colombia

Dear Family,

This week has been crazy. If you all remember, I was working with Elder Jenson until the end of the transfer and then with a chileno named Elder Ochoa. Then, on Tuesday, at twelve thirty in the morning, we received a call from the Zone Leaders. Elder Ochoa left at eleven the next day, and now is a zone leader in another city.

The problem is that another missionary didn´t show up. Right now my comp is a kid from another town who is working on his mission paperwork, but hasn´t finished turning it in. He has volunteered with the missionaries a lot, but I have a lot more experience than him. And I´m still green.

We´re working hard, though, especially when my planning fails us. I almost know what I´m doing, and it looks like I´ll be with Ruben García for a while. The rest of the month, and a little bit more.

Anyway, that´s my week.

I´ll try to send pictures, but the computer is fighting me. We´ll see what happens.

Bye, and love you all,

Elder Belú

Meetings

Okay, it´s been a little rocky this week. We´ve got a lot of people prepping for baptism, but not many new investigators, and without new investigators next month will be rough. We also haven´t been able to teach or contact much because we´ve been in meetings all week. We had a zone conference this week with the president. The next day we had interviews and every interview went over time (fifteen minutes planned for every interview). We had to leave (at eleven-thirty at night) and return at eight-thirty the next morning to finish.

My interview was forty minutes, because I had a list of questions to clarify my understanding of the rules. I learned a lot, though. We´re never allowed, for example, to use the familiar form of Spanish. With our companions, little kids, nobody. We´re also not allowed to eat hardly any prepared food that´s sold in the little stores, even though all of the Latinos eat it (They aren´t allowed to, either). Some of that stuff is really good, too.

We had a stake conference again this week, a special session because they released the old stake president. I was really sleepy, because we´ve lost so much sleep in meetings, but it was still good.

We visited La Muralla (the Cartagena city wall) today, and I have a lot of pictures, but I forgot my camera cable, so I´ll have to send them the next time.

I feel a lot more comfortable than last week. The pressure of directing my area has slacked off a little. We have to find a part of the city I´ve never even heard of before today, though, so the pressure may return shortly. Anyway, that´s what´s going on.

There are magnolias in the woods at home, close to the artesian well, but I don´t remember exactly how big the leaves are. Some of them are pretty respectable. Joseph can help Mom find them.

Hey, me and Chris received native companions the same transfer. Only, he´s leaving and I´m starting. Huh.