Tag Archives: Assistant

¡Cambios!

Hi, family,
This week we had transfers. The mission transfer is next week, but for assistants it comes early. Elder Candia is zone leader until the transfer, covering for my new companion. My new companion is an elder who started the mission in my zone when I was ZL. He´s the first Brazilian I really got to know in the mission, and I had always wanted to be his companion, so I´m happy. He´s pretty new in the mission to be assistant, but he´s really smart and ready to do it all.
In preparation for the transfers, we´ve been working pretty late in the office. As part of the effort to improve our area, we´re heading out to visit and then coming back to the office at night to keep working, but it´s going good.
My companion is teaching the district leader how to dance Samba.
Every week we receive a list of the people with a baptismal date scheduled for the next three weeks. Every time, a few people fall through and especially for the first day on the list (this week, for example, that day is today) a lot of people always fall through. This week, 25 people were passed for today and a few fell though, so as a district in the office, we held a group fast for the ones who were still there. Then, after starting the fast, the zone leaders started calling to tell us that more people, who hadn´t been progressing towards baptism, made up their minds, were interviewed, and are going to be baptized today. Normally, about ten to twenty percent of the people fall through in the week, but right now it looks like more people will be baptized than we´d planned (26).
I´m glad to know that the branch is doing well in the missionary effort. Are the missionaries still baptizing like they were last year?
I´m also glad for Chris and his new job. I always thought he´d do well in something like that. He´s always been interested in computer science.
Speaking of school, if you can make the preparations for me, so that I can start BYU in January, it looks like the best option. On the other hand, if that would require a lot of my time here, it would be better if I wait. I´d like it if you can look into it, at least. It´ll be a little more complicated if I enter right away, but if not, I´ll have to wait a long time.
 Anyway, that´s my weekly report. Os amo a todos vosotros,
Chao,
Elder Belú
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Valledupar

Elder Belyeu’s birthday card included a monkey cartoon. Also, I suggested that he consider buying a new SD card for his camera so he could send his current card and pictures home.
Hi, fambly,
I´m sorry I didn´t write last week. I was sent to Valledupar, a city (and zone) that I hadn´t visited before. I had to fly there with the president. We had a fireside there with the stake (a great stake), one of the strongest I´ve seen in the mission. Then, Monday, one of the missionaries in the house where I was staying got sick and I had to help out a little in the morning with him. in the afternoon, we got together with Presidente Gaviria and played soccer wit the zone (we ate a cake, too, there were two birthdays, mine and another gringo).
I returned to the office with the president the next day and worked with a mini missionary. Yesterday I worked with the missionaries in my old area, Porvenir (the zone leaders) and talked with a brother we found contacting thee last time I worked with them, more than a month ago. He´ll be baptized today. We found a new family yesterday, too, so maybe in another month we´ll have the same experience again.
I haven´t really looked for a new card for my camera. It seems like an awfully complicated and expensive way of solving the problem. I just don´t plan on losing my camera.

Thanks for the card. The secretaries gave it to me today, although I don´t know how long they had it. I don´t know if I´ve told you, but they call people with any hair color except black ¨mono¨ (monkey). The card is very fitting.

Elder Pino´s visit was interesting. We were in the conferences in Cartagena and Barranquilla (I directed the meeting in Barranquilla), although we couldn´t make it to the one in Valledupar. I´ll probably send photos some day, although right now I don´t have any. There is an official picture that I can probably ask for, one of these days.
Anyway, just so´s you know that I´m alive and well, and I´ll be writing soon.
Elder Belú

Recovering from transfers

Hi fambly people,
This week was the week of transfers, so we have been pretty busy. The transfer itself, the travel plans for all of the missionaries, finding space for the new missionaries, training the trainers, sending out all the ancient and dead (o sea, the missionaries who finished the mission) from the airport early in the morning, and all the other little things we had to do. It´s fun sometimes, although we get a little worn out. The other weeks are a little better.
This coming week will be fun, too, though. Elder Pino, the area president, is coming to visit the mission. We have to coordinate a lot of stuff for the conferences (he will visit three of the cities in the mission and all of the missionaries will be present in at least one of the conferences).
I will be buying shirts today. I pulled out about a hundred thousand pesos last week, so I´ll look into it today. They´re not too cheap, here, about twenty bucks a shirt. I might buy a tie as well, although they cost about fifteen. I don´t really know about the shoe sizes here because they aren´t the same. Size thirteen is for a tiny child and I´m sure you can buy it here, but size forty-seven, which they tell me is about the equivalent, is tough to find. I have no idea about larger sized shirts. On the one hand, it would make sense that it would be hard to find, but there are some really fat Colombians, so I don´t know.
Thanks for the birthday money. I doubt I´ll use it all. Now that I have socks,  with a couple of shirts,  I´ll be good to go. Maybe more shoes in a couple of weeks. I´m getting by as is right now.
Next week maybe I´ll have more to write. We´ll be having couple of meeting with Elder Pino, including one with just my companion (possibly even a direct interview).
I don´t really have more to say. You know I´m alive and well and I´ll be communicating soon.
Elder Belú

PS. Dengue fever’s not a big deal here. I´ve never had it or seen someone with it. I asked around and it´s fairly common, but not very serious. I don´t even know what a mosquito patch is. The bug spray works about as well here as in the States, not too well. I never use it. Mosquito netting does´t allow air to move, so it´s hot. It´s better to just remove the sources (rotten water) from the house. We don´t have any problems right now in our house because there isn´t any standing water.

Photos!!!

I just arrived in the office again today. I was in Cartagena again working with some more zone leaders. It´s good to see them go.
To answer your questions, the missionaries here almost always live in cities, although there are a few in little towns. we never ride bikes. We walk a lot, we don´t live with members, and the mission sends us the Liahona in Spanish.
Last week we worked really well in the area. We found new people to teach and were able to work with the mission a little, too. This week we didn´t focus well enough and it didn´t go as well. The mission is improving, though. Next week is the transfer and we´ve got a lot to do.
I´m looking at my clothes situation and thinking that I need to buy a few more things. I bought an expensive toy last week, for twenty bucks (a reduced size copy of Preach my Gospel, which is great when I have to travel light), but Í need a couple of shirts and possibly another pair of shoes. I might look today at the prices.
Anyway, that´s my week. Escribiré lueguito.
Elder Belú
PS.

My companion left his photos in the computer when he finished. This is the office staff and the despedida de los que se fueron a la otra mission.
I don´t remember English and I don´t care.

Feeling Lazy

I feel way too lazy to write home today. I was in Cartagena almost all week, working with three companionships there (the LZs, and two companionships).  It felt weird. I was in the other zone, the one where I´ve never worked, but it´s a lot like where I have always been in Los Alpes, Cartagena.
I´m in Barranquilla again today, though and things are more normal. I saw the pictures you sent and showed everybody the blueberries mom picked. I hadn´t seen blueberries in a long time. They look good, but the flavor isn´t the same electronically. I guess I´ll wait a while.

There´s a new rule that only members of the immediate family can write to this email. Even grandparents and cousins have to write with dearelder. That would be annoying if I was anywhere else in the mission, but here it´ll arrive without problems  (dearelder is slow for everybody else). I can´t answer directly anymore, though. Tell Misty thanks, BTW.

All of these rules come from the problems that the mission has had with disobedience. I used to think they were excessive, but now I know about some of the problems and it makes more sense. It really doesn´t matter.
Anyway, I´m alive and will be writing again next week. If I feel like it.
Os amo a todos,

Elder Belyeu

Socks, Shoes, and Shirts

Hi, people,
This week we started the real work of an assistant. We started arriving, by surprise, in missionaries´ houses and working with them. I worked with two companionships and my companion with two others. It´s a good way to motivate the missionaries and train them, although in a Zone Leader companionship I felt a little out of my league, or at least not sufficiently prepared to be able to train them. I did anyway, but it felt strange training zone leaders.
Next week we´re going to travel to other cities to do the same. The whole mission was going well until the week I arrived in the office, and then suddenly backslid. There were less baptisms in the mission last week than any week this year, but with a lot of follow up and work, things look better already.
This morning my package arrived from home, with nine pairs of beautiful socks and some Skittles. I never thought that new socks would make me so happy. I´m returning to decency again, with new shoes and new socks. I´m thinking about buying a couple of shirts, too, because the ones I have are all a little yellow. I know where to buy quality shirts, but they´re a little pricey (about twenty bucks). I´m thinking still. I also want a miniature copy of Preach My Gospel, which I can buy here but it´s about twenty five bucks. It would help a lot now, because when I have to travel to have splits with missionaries outside of Barranquilla, the copy I have is pretty inconveniente.
I´ll keep thinking about it. I still a about $90,000 in money from home, so there isn´t any great need right now. I´m pretty sure I´m going to buy the PME next week, which will also make me very happy.
I have pictures of the last two baptisms to send, but they´re in the other computer (I´m writing from the office), so I´m send them later.  I´m doing good, though, and will be writing in a week.
Elder Belú

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