Monthly Archives: December 2011

Christmas Call

Hey, Everybody,

Jon skyped us yesterday from Colombia. Just like his Mother’s Day call, the call was more challenging than we expected. The first internet shop he tried didn’t have skype, so he had to search for another one. It took about two hours and several missed tries for us to finally get a connection–just as the second (or third?) internet cafe was shutting down for lunch!!

We ate a rushed meal with Dwight’s brother’s family (who invited us to their home for the day and the call), then gathered back around the computer. That’s when we found out that the computer Jon was at only had video, not sound!! He used Colombian sign language to communicate that he was changing computers and within a couple of minutes, we were (finally) able to talk.

The call was completely worth the wait. Jon was very happy, laughing and joking the whole time we talked.

He’s in good health and looks wonderful. He thinks he’s gained a little weight from all the great Colombian food. As a teenager, Jon had some problems with his knee, but he says the arch supports he’s using work beautifully. Though he’s on his feet all day long, his feet, knees, and hips are all strong and completely pain-free. Miraculously for a red-head, he hasn’t even had a sunburn in eight months! (He has some amazing freckles, though! He said he’s been expecting them to grow together to give him a tan, but the freckles just get darker and darker, not bigger across 🙂

Jon’s Spanish is so good, he had real trouble trying to remember English while we talked. He says he works hard to think in Spanish all the time. He’s also learning Portuguese from a Brazilian missionary and some Colombian sign language. He’s worked with people from every country in Latin America and absolutely loves the people and the culture. When he comes home, he wants to study more Portuguese, Italian, and Russian (to talk to his brother, Chris, just home from a Russian-language mission in Ukraine).

We asked about the Colombian washing machines that he rents to do his laundry. He says the delivery man brings them over on his bicycle and picks them back up at the end of the day. Jon promised to send pictures–can’t wait to see what this looks like!

He received his Christmas package the week before Christmas, and everything we sent was still inside. (Some other missionaries in Colombia still haven’t seen packages that were mailed in October or found that some things their families had packed weren’t in the boxes when they arrived–we were very fortunate that we didn’t have any trouble with his presents and candy!)

Jon was especially glad to see all the photos from friends and had it with him when he called. Many of you contributed pictures for his album–thanks so much for helping us send him a bit of home he can carry with him everywhere he goes!!

Love,

The Belyeus

 

Christmas Package!

Well, another week has gone by. It´s not much different. We´re mainly working on finding investigators right now, contacting a lot, setting up activities in church, inviting people to invite other people to listen. We´re progressing.

I received the Christmas package from home this week. One of the secretaries is now pestering me for skittles. I think I´ll tell him that it´s a box of arch supports and marbles.

The photos, by the way, are great. I don´t know how long you were putting that together, but I´ll fairly sure some of them were from August. Que poder. ¿Me amas más que esto? Ya sé que si.

I guess I don´t have much to say today. We´ll talk soon. I think Monday is perfect, at about eleven, Colombia time. You people with internet have to decide what time that means in Alabama. I think there´s an hour difference.

Anyway, enjoy Christmas and don´t worry about me. All of the members want to wine (o sea, jugo de Maracuyá), and dine us the whole week. I think we´re gonna buy pizza and a huge box of ice cream for Christmas dinner, since there are four of us in the apartment.

I´ll talk with you all soon, then,

Elder Belú

Still in Barranquilla

Well, I stayed in my area. My comp is training in Cartagena and I´m with Elder Cregor, the beloved son of the elder who trained me as a zone leader. He´s one transfer behind me in the mission and is from just outside Fresno. He´s my fourth companion from the states.

This transfer, my last two companions who had never been zone leaders received their assignments and now I´m at 100%. Every companion I´ve ever had has been a zone leader at one time or another.

I´ve been in this zone for longer than anybody else and I´ll be here another transfer.

Wow. I´m running out of time, but this month is December. We´ll be able to use Skye to talk to you again, so we need to plan. He said it doesn´t have to be on Christmas Day, just the most convenient day in the time frame.

Okay, the time ran out,

Bye,

Elder Belú

I have even less time to write than normal. My companion believed the rumors that say that he´s going to train this transfer and wanted to buy Yerba Mate, which is Argentinian and tough to find outside of Barranquilla in Colombia. I may stay in my area six months, which is rare in this mission.

We had another baptism this weekend. The investigator, Jesus, asked me to perform the ordinance. It´s only the second time I´ve done that in the mission, and I almost fell over in the font, but I felt better when he shared his testimony in Sacrament meeting yesterday. I think he´s going to be firm.

Two members of a family I was teaching a month or so ago walked into the Sacrament meeting without warning. I had been thinking how much I missed having them there when they walked in, and thought, ¨They´re the kind of people who will just walk in someday and surprise some poor missionary.¨ It wasn´t a bad surprise, though. We have an appointment with that family tonight.

Elder Maughan, who was my district leader in the MTC and was in the district here in Barranquilla training for two transfers, is now one of the assistants. He has never been a DL in the field, or a ZL, but I guess he can manage it.

I´ll try to send pictures of the baptism next week. Right now I have to go save some souls.

Bye,

Elder Belú