Tag Archives: Book of Mormon

La semana mia

It`s another holiday in Colombia and the internet site where we`re at closes even earlier than the last time, but I`ve got a few things to say.

First, we found an inactive member last Monday who has been lost for about twenty years. We found her in a slightly miraculous way, which I`ll explain someday, and taught her with her nephew, who went with her to church yesterday. After a week of reading the Book of Mormon, she has already regained her testimony, which she shared with the whole ward in sacrament meeting.
This mission doesn`t send letters to the family because it`s terribly expensive. You`ve receive an email and maybe a call in about a month to let you know about my travel plans to come home. I don`t know much more than you do right now, but I expect to be released around the twentieth of December.
I´d like to know how many people are attending in the branch at home these days. Here, we`re getting better. We had eighty people in the sacrament meeting.
Okay, gotta go,
Elder Belú

Ahora si

Now I´m writing late again. But at least I let you know that I´m alive.
We´ve had a busy week again, with more midmonth transfers, two trips to Cartagena, and the plans for the transfer next week.
This morning a man jogging by saw us leaving the apartment and started yelling ¨¡misioneros!¨. He is extremely blond and talked with a funny accent, but not like a gringo. I think he is German or Swedish. He asked for the church´s address and the Book of Mormon, and then headed off running. These little experiences make life more interesting.
You asked about discouragement in the letter last week. It´s pretty normal for a missionary to feel pretty down sometimes. I think more tears are shed in the mission than in any other time. Part of the answer comes from a talk by Elder Bednar about doctrine that you can search for. I don´t know what it´s called, but it might be ¨the answer´s in the doctrine¨.
Congrats to Joseph. I think I got the genealogy merit badge. I know I did part of it. It´s easy. I never got an eagle palm, though.
Bye, then. I might send pictures of Valledupar soon. Or maybe not (BTW, I backed up all of my pictures in a USB memory today).
Elder Belú

Great Contact!!

We contacted in a part of the area where we haven´t worked much and were able to fix some good appointments to return. I have been traveling and don´t know how all of those appointments turned out, but at least the one I went to was great. I went contacting with a new missionary who is here in Barranquilla for a minor surgery and we talked with an off-duty soldier who told us that he doesn´t trust any church in the world, but he does believe in God. We talked for about half an hour in the contact, which is extremely rare, and then fixed an appointment to return.

In the second appointment, we talked with him and his wife and were able to answer a lot of their questions. They accepted the commitment to read the Book of Mormon and pray and said they´ll think about going to church, although it´s tough for them because of all the bad experiences they´ve had. At the end of the lesson, we asked if they´ll be baptized if they receive an answer from God, and the soldier said that of course he will.

Those are the experiences that really make the mission worthwhile, when I can talk to someone who is hunting answers, and give them to him. Although we taught them outside in front of the house (it´s pretty hot, so everybody drags the chairs outside to talk at night) and there were cars passing and noise, the Spirit was present in the lesson and they could both feel it.
I´m glad to read your letters, too, and to see that everything´s going well. I hope everything continues thus and will be writing again in about a week.
¡Chao, pues!

-Elder Belú

Thinking in Spanish

Hi, fambly,
First things first. I am so happy to hear that my taxes are okay. I hadn´t exactly been worrying about it, but it was in the back of my mind (anything less than death in the family is a little … distant, here). It´s also a relief to have better plan for the Mother’s Day phone call, although I have no idea what time I´m going to call.
There´s another problem with my call home, as well. I don´t speak English anymore. I was in a companion exchange on Friday and we contacted a man and woman sitting in their yard. My comp-for-the-day, Elder Ellis, from Ecuador, tried to contact them, and the woman said she didn´t understand Spanish, but in Spanish with a perfect accent. I doubted her sincerity and asked, in English, where she was from. Turns out she really doesn´t speak perfect Spanish, and she´s from New York, visiting with her husband, a native Colombian who moved to the States years ago to study and work. I tried to talk with them in English and invite them to talk with missionaries in New York when they go home, but I couldn´t. I can´t speak English fluently enough to communicate about the Church. I read, write (including notes for emails home), think, speak, and dream (only about half the time, for dreaming, still) in Spanish.
Regarding the Facebook thing,  Parts of Colombia are breathtaking. From El Castillo De San Felipe, looking out over the Ocean (Í´d like to visit that with Grandpa), or traveling by land from Barranquilla to Cartagena, or looking out over the ocean and richer parts of the city from the second story apartment of the Suarez family (investigators).
There are also parts that aren´t so pretty, where the people are, of course, but they´re mostly friendly. It´s interesting that I´ve seen so little violence. People say that Colombia is really violent, and I´m not teaching in the richer parts very much, but I´ve only seen one fight (two drunks yelling and throwing things. Nobody got hurt) and saw people running to watch another (everybody wants to see a fight, here. It´s even better than gringos). The police presence has power and authority, too.

We were reading the missionary handbook a few days ago in English and didn´t understand perfectly. We had to switch to Spanish to understand. And when I tried to write missionary handbook, I had to ask Elder Jenson how to say it in English.

I was reading in the Book of Mormon while Elder Jenson wrote to his family and thinking about your letter (I printed it off to read while he wrote) and noticed something interesting. Alma the Elder converted to the gospel in the year 148, B.C. and was called immediately as a prophet. His son was a prophet, grandson, etc. All-in-all, his descendants were prophets for 469 years, until Ammaron hid the plates and entrusted them to Momon. Families can be very powerful to change to lives of the people in them. The influence of a change in the family can lead to righteousness to the umpteenth generation.
Anyway, Mom´ll like that.
I support what she said about the people we meet on the mission. The members will follow our example because we´re the Americans and they think we know everything. They´ll figure us out eventually, though.
Anyway, this is a huge letter and I´m out of time.
Elder Belú