Monthly Archives: October 2011

Same Zone, New Companion

Hi, famibly,

Please pass on congratulations to Cliff. I didn´t see anything that refers to the language, but I´m assuming that he´ll speak Ukrainian. After the mission, he´ll be able to do anything he wants to with languages. After learning that one, I’m sure others are easy. Chris knows, I guess.

I´m with a new companion, Elder Zurita from Argentina. It´s the first time I´ve repeated a Latin country, my other Latin companions have all been from different countries. He`s a zone leader from the most successful zone in the mission, maybe here to improve our work a little. A lot of the missionaries in this zone are a little depressed because the zone is rich and famous for not baptizing, although in my experience it´s just another kind of work that we need to do here with members instead of just knocking doors. A few companionships are showing that there is success to be had here, we just need to convince the rest of them.

Elder Zurita is from a branch like ours, and like ours it´s becoming very successful during his mission. His is a little more advanced, with baptisms every week now, but we´re just starting. Help the missionaries. They need it.

With the question from the blog, firstly, I think I know the son who just got here. It might very well be Elder Davidson, who is here my zone. His companion is an incredible missionary and they´re in a great ward. They don´t have air-conditioning and never will in the mission. The assistants don´t have it, except when they´re actually in the office. We adjust fast, though. I´m really cold when the temperature drops into what I think are the seventies.

There aren´t many gringos in the mission, but there are a few. In the zone, there are twenty-one missionaries and six are from the states. That´s pretty weird, here, with so many. I´ve been one of two in almost every zone where I´ve worked.

Anyway, I´m okay and things are going smooth. Y ya.

Elder Belú

October Pics

Not Much Basketball in Colombia

Dear Family,

I don´t have time to write much  today. We had an zone activity and used all the time taking pictures in the temple lot and playing basketball (more or less. Latins don´t play much basketball). I´ll send those pictures when I have time, but no idea when.

Things to know: this week is the transfer and I´m pretty sure my comp´s leaving. I´m staying here and training a new Zone Leader, I think.
I´m excited for the growth in the branch and look forward to the news that Dad´s the new bishop in the Alexander City Ward.
It´s possible that Jordan Walser is still in Arcadia apartments. He was finishing up his master´s and I completely lost track of time. Or Mark McKnight´s brother might be there, but I really have no idea. It´s a pretty weak connection, too.
I can´t say it´s a surprise that Chris was accepted by BYU, alhough congratulations. Hope he ends up in the MTC, so he can get me a job.
Anyway, more photos when I can,
Elder Belú

Getting Around in Colombia

Hi, peebles,

To avoid future complaints, let´s deal with questions first. The wood chisels William wants to try are in the plastic crate in my room; feel free to use whichever. The best wood to make a bowl out of would be hickory, but it´s as hard as steel and thus a little difficult to work. Oak is okay, too. Pine would make a bowl with an interesting taste. That´s just a thought, though.

In this mission, there are no bikes, by official order. They´re specifically and repeatedly forbidden, because bikes here are dangerous and would all be stolen. We use those things on the ends of our legs to get around. Oh, and buses and taxis. But more than anything, feet. I can walk fast all day long now and not be especially tired getting home. I don´t sunburn now, either.

You said that Dad´s at the top of all his classes. Does that mean that he´s on top of things, or that he´s student number one in all his classes?

This time I have very little time to write again (we went shopping and bought more granola, though, so I´m happy).

This week has been basically normal. We had exchanges with the secretaries in the offices (one of them is a DL in the zone) to verify the situation with a family of investigators and the cleanliness in the house where all the secretaries live. The problem is that the house where the secretaries live is also the house where the assistants live, and the house wasn´t clean. I had to lovingly invite them to improve, a dangerous thing to do, although the assistants are such exemplary missionaries that they haven´t been any kind of problem. But still stressful for a child such as I.

Anyway, thus goeth the mission, and les escibo en una semana. Buena suerte entendiendo.

Elder Belù

Hi, peoples,

Well, this week was strange. We had leadership counsel and training this week without warning (without much, anyway). We have had to do a lot of reports this week, too, so we only worked in the area a little bit (less than twenty hours, the goal is forty). We´re exited, though, with the announcement of a new temple here in Barranquilla. We´re expecting a lot of support from the members.

Elder Jenson, my companion in Cartagena, worked with us this weekend. He was in exchanges with the assistants (he´s a zone leader right now) and some kind of emergency happened, so the assistants called us and left him with us.

I always thought I would know what´s going on, as a ZL, but it´s not true. I just know that he was here and now he´s somewhere else.

As a zone leader, I´m finding less and less to write. We´re always doing things in meetings and training, and then more meetings. We met with the stake leaders for the first time yesterday and did some planning for the zone, to work more with the stake, but maybe your interest level in whether the yearly baptismal goal for the stake is 22 or 33 isn´t very high. It´s a learning experience.

We do keep working, though. One of the best investigator families we have is breaking up (the daughter is on a cruise, the older son moved to study), but we found a new family last night, with Elder Jenson, and have commitments with members to pass references along. The area is progressing pretty well.

Maybe I won´t email in Spanish. Nobody wants me to. Then again, maybe I will.

Anyway, that´s what´s going on. I was going to respond more specifically, but I didn´t bring my notes from the copy of your letters that I printed, so I guess not.

Well, that´s my weekly report.

Read the scripture.

Elder Belú

For those of you who don’t recognize it, the scripture he’s referring to starts out: “My beloved son, I write unto you again that ye may know that I am yet alive …”

Sheralyn Belyeu

Temple Announced for Barranquilla, Colombia

Well.

This week a few things have happened. The new district leader in my district is a gringo, with a lot of time in the mission, the oldest group of gringos that we have in the coast. It´s weird having a gringo in the house, especially one who is Colombian, now.
There´s one area in the coast where gringos haven´t been able to go for a while, because it was dangerous. Now it´s completely open again, with whichever missionary.
And the temple. I haven´t been in the mission for very long, but like all the others I’ve worked, taught, and prayed to have a temple here.
It´ll be in the area where I´m working now, although I doubt it´ll be finished for years (3 to 5, is the hope). I´ll just have to come back. My comp cried, I cried, I think everybody cried. Several people cheered in conference.
Regarding the retention of converts, it´s not perfect, but it´s improving. I´ve met several people who were baptised fifteen or twenty years ago and haven´t been to church in fourteen or nineteen years, but there are more requirements for baptism now (minimum number of attendances at church, for example).
I don´t have much time to write. We spent a huge amount of time today working on a report for the stake. We have to improve in work with the members.
It´s getting harder and harder to write in English. I think I´ll start writing you all in Spanish, solo porque ajuh (como dicen los costeños).
Well, that´s all I can think of. I love you all and hope all is well.
Elder Belú