Monthly Archives: May 2012

New Responsibilities

Hi, peoples,
I´m sorry I didn´t write on Monday. My p-day was changed without warning to Friday, and then yesterday it was changed again to today. I finally caught up to it, though, so here I am, communicating again.
Last week we had the zone conference in Cartagena, with the two Cartagena zones. President Gaviria and the assistant, Elder Candia, were there. Elder Maughan, from my group in the MTC, was assistant up til last week, but the transfer was close and he left the office after six months assisting. He´s in the area where I started the mission now, zone leader in the zone where I started, and when the other mission (Medellin) opens in a month, he´ll be transferred to the other mission. President Gaviria has recommended him as AP in the new mission.
After the conference in Cartagena, my companion asked the president a question (about a pink tie he wasn´t sure if he could wear) and then we started to leave. The president told me to wait and finished what he was doing, then pulled me off alone to a part of the chapel where there wasn´t anybody and called Elder Candia, too. In moments like this in the mission, one will always think first in the condition of your conscience and then of your family. When he said that Elder Candia had something to tell me, I thought you were all dead.
Turns out that you´re not dead and I´m Elder Candia´s new companion. He went to the house where I was living in Cartagena for the night and we headed out Saturday morning for Barranquilla. We arrived and immediately had to make a lot of last-minute changes in the organization of the mission for the transfer and then the actual transfer. I didn´t sleep much or teach much for the first couple of days, but the rush is over and was pretty fun for a couple of days. I dídn´t think I´d be able to help much for the first few day, but I know the majority of the missionaries and the mission, so I could help a little.
Anyway, that´s my weird week. If I stop writing for a week here or there, don´t worry. The assistants have to travel fairly often on p-day, so that doesn´t mean that something has gone wrong. Elder Candia is a great teacher and will help me to learn a lot, so I´m pretty excited. I have learned the difference between humility and fear of leadership, so this assignment will be a great learning experience.
Love you all and that you may be well.
Elder Belú
One last thing. I´m pretty sure I´m gonna be here for a while, so you can send things if you want. I also have to buy a few things because the norms for APs are a little higher. My old shoes don´t work for conferences.
OK, chao,

Elder Belú

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Shoes, Socks, and a New Mission

Hi, peoples,

I think you damaged my self-confidence speaking English on Saturday. English isn’t easy today either. I will not write much, entonces.

First, send me a picture of the bathroom after Dad finishes remodeling. It looks pretty bad still in the ones you sent. Second, I haven`t tried my bank card yet, but I can wait a while to buy shoes. I didn`t think to mention it to Dad,but I already changed the sole on one pair of shoes (the leather pair that got wet) and it still serves now and then when I need something dry. I wore them yesterday. It rained again yesterday and we got wet again, but we`re still good. Third, as far as I know, acrylic is for painting and nylon for clothing, but I like good padding for my feet, so whatever you think’s best, Ned. (that part`s for Dad). Maybe half and half socks, if you want. I have used a few thin socks and I like them. ¿How much is it going to cost to send me socks?
Another thought is that the transfer is close and another mission is opening this transfer. Maybe you ought to wait until next month to send, just in case. I don`t think I`m gonna change missions, but you never know.
One spiritual thought: we have had a huge challenge getting the investigators to attend church, because we have church at eight in the morning and Sunday is a business day for a lot of people, but we fasted so four people would attend. We had lost contact with three of them and the fourth had to travel for work, but the fast worked. Two of the three who we had lost arrived without us doing anything, and the one who had to work changed her schedule to attend. In the end, three of the four arrived.
We won, in other words. Now we are going to climb a hill in the sun and take pictures.
Elder Belù

 

Mother’s Day Call Home

Hey, Everybody,
Jon called home this afternoon. We used Skype again, and, just like his calls for Christmas and last Mother’s Day, it was hard. This time the first internet cafe he and his companion visited had a power outage as they tried to start their calls. It took them over an hour to find a shopping mall with functioning internet. By then, his companion’s family had given up on their call. (The companion plans to try again tomorrow.)
Jon struggled to speak to us in English, reverting to Spanish often during the call. Recently a Colombian asked Jon for help with English grammar homework, and it took Jon several readings to understand the question. He doesn’t even have an English-language Bible anymore–he got rid of his English scriptures months ago after they got wet and grew mold. He studies in Spanish and in Portuguese. (He can’t pronounce the Portuguese, but finds that looking at it helps him understand Spanish better.)
The Colombian climate is hot and wet. He says the weather is simple–some days are rainy, some days are sunny, and some days it rains while the sun shines. He walks all day long in water, then comes home and soaks his feet in a bleach solution to prevent fungus infections. He also bathes daily, usually in a proper shower, though he has washed with five liter bags of drinking water at times when the city water was turned off. He says with proper hygiene it’s easy to prevent infections–he hasn’t had any kind of problem with fungus, and his overall health is good. His shoes, on the other hand, are full of holes, and his socks wore out. He asked us to send him American socks for his birthday, and he’s going to buy new shoes there in Colombia.
Jon’s camera still takes pictures, but he can’t send the pictures to us. Hopefully when he gets home we’ll find a way to get them off the camera.
He doesn’t have a cell phone, in fact, very few of the missionaries do. This is a security measure to keep the missionaries from being targeted by robbers. (One set of elders in Barranquilla had their cell phone stolen at gunpoint three weeks in a row.) It’s inconvenient that we didn’t have a way to call him to set up the Skype, but the policy seems to be working–Jon hasn’t been robbed.

He looks fine. We’ve very glad that he kept trying to call us until he got through!