Tuesday, November 25, 2014

First week in the field!

This time, I actually WAS waiting by the computer, haha!  It's been a long week for me not knowing where my boy is. Anyway, all week I kept thinking about him and the only place that kept popping into my mind was "Ipiales". This is what I wrote to him today and this was his response.

Mom: I have been a little stressed this week wondering where you are (I know you're fine, just a mom thing) but the only thing that kept popping in my head was "Ipiales". He's still letting me know you're fine :) God is good :)

Jake: Thats so cool :) its crazy how I have learned to love these people i teach and see.   I wish everyone could experience it!  6 days and my mission is already worth everything! 

Answering questions from Mom's emails (Mom is in italics)

Q: Tell me about your living conditions
A: Covered it in the big email :) we have no oven but we have a camp stove, a microwave and a waffle iron!  Which doesnt matter because members cook for our every meal but breakfast! 

Q: Do you share an apartment with another companionship?
A: Yes!  Elder Mejia from Honduras and Herrera from Bolivia!  I love them so much!

Q: Tell me about your companion.
A: Covered it!  He likes a lot of the same music and movies as me!  he's the best teacher I've seen too haha

Q: How are you adjusting to the food and water? 
A: food is just fine haha lots of potatoes in Ipiales and the water is fine because the CCM gave us filtered water bottles with 4 filters to last us 4 years! 

Q: Weather?
A: Cold, rainy and just how i like it :)

Q: Were your Christmas packages (3 of them) at the mission office when you got there? 
A: Yes i got them ! I already know whats in them because of the listing you wrote on the front. 

Q: Did you ever get Grandma Sue's letter she sent to the CCM? 
A: no :(

Q: Are you teaching anyone?!?! 
A: SO MANY PEOPLE!  we actually hopefully have a baptism this weekend!  It's an investigator named Antonio that literally lives in a shed that Lopez has been teaching.  but he has a smoking problem.  we're fasting for him to quit so he can be baptized!

Q: Details from every day :) 
A: You got it :)

So Im in the field!  The day we left was crazy, we had to catch a plane to Cali at 3:15 in the morning and I woke up 15 before we left because my alarm didnt go off!  It was a panic but I got everything just fine!  We landed in Cali around 7am and met with Elders Lyle and Jones who work in the Mission office.  They took us straight to the notary so we could fill out the paperwork for our proselyting licenses.  Appartently without that here, they send you to prison or the military.  But it's all good I got that figured out haha.  After I was through in line, Elder Lyle gave me a reference card and said "go find a reference"!  It was nuts but I actually got one first shot haha!  down here is already a billion times prettier than Bogota.  I hate bogota to be honest hahaha!  So back at the office building we sat around watching mormon messages all day and I GOT MY ASSIGNMENT!  I'm in Ipiales!   I'll tell you more about it here in a bit, but first the rest of our first day we went to the huge Cristus statue in Cali and lunch at the presidents home!  It was so amazing!  That night we got to attend a baptism and I played the piano for it!  Pretty good first day right?  The next day was a huge day with not much to say.  We spent the night in a cool little hostel in Cali and woke up the next morning thinking we had until 8.  Turns out I had until 7:15 so no shaving, teeth brushing or anything good for me.  We hurry and packed up our things and left.  At the presidents building, they briefed us on mission info and we MET OUR NEW COMPS!  my companion is Elder Lopez from Cancun Mexico, and no lies, at first he came off as a little TOO excited!  He's actually really awesome dont worry.  We headed to the bus station at around 6 and we went and gathered some references in our extra time.  EVERY person we talked to gave us a reference.  I could see right away Lopez is guided 100 percent by the Spirit.  He's awesome!  He's been out 23 months so I only get him until Dec 18.  Which sucks because he's already become my favorite companion and easily one of my favorite people!  But the bus sucked.  probably because 13-14 hours on a bus isnt the funnest hahaha.  Our first day we arrived at our appartment and it's actually pretty nice!  It's large and (kind of) has hot water!  I say kind of because it has this ghetto heater on the nosel that heats it as it comes out so if the waters up too high its cold.  But hey I'm not complaining.  Ipiales is so cool!  Old men in their fedoras and ponchos everywhere, and rolling green hills in the country side.  Yes, it's cold.  But it's not as cold as some elders have complained!  IT's just sweater weather!  SInce Elder Lopez has already been in ipiales for a month, we got right to the visting and I started meeting amazing new people!  We visit every day with less actives and we have a few investigators.  My personal favorites are Tatiana and her family. (her sister Karen, brother in law Diego, and their son Josue Matias.) and the other is Giovanni and his family.  First Tantiana and her family are so so friendly.  I feel at home at their house AND they have a GUITAR!  They have me play for them every time and I obviously gladly ablidge!  Tatiana is the investigator and Karen and Diego are members.  We had a super super spiritual lesson the other night on the doctorine of Christ and I made them all cry with my testimony of the atonement.  At the end of the lesson I invited Tatiana to be baptized.  though nervous she agreed to make the goal of the 13th of December!  We're so so excited!  With Giovanni and his fam, we had an awesome lesson on the same thing, the gospel of Christ!  It was really spiritual as well.  Every time I bare my testimony during a lesson, I definately feel the spirit talking through me.  The gift of tongues is so real.  It's not instantly having the language click but rather the spirit helping me remember the things I've learned.  Every day has been the same but awesome.  Checking up, teaching, and laughing at the weird things we see.  There's a billion dogs here as you can imagine, and I actually feel pretty bad sometimes when I see them scrounging for food.  The pigs in the country side are HUGE and the sizes of horses!  THe moths here are literally the size of birds sometimes.  We call them sparrow moths.  Sunday I got asked to give a talk and play the piano!  I was slightly nervous but the spirit helped me feel calm.  At the end of my talk, my mind blanked.  So I just spoke.  and the words came.  THank you heavenly father haha!  We were informed saturday night that Sunday at 7pm we needed to go to Cali AGAIN for a conference.  sooo we made the 13 hour trip down and yesterday had a conference with the whole cali mission!  The conference was to announce the churches new christmas initiative!  IT's called He is the Gift.  This christmas the church has loaded tons of money to spreading the word about christ and our church.  IT's so so cool!  our job as missionaries is to talk to 10 people a day about it and get them to share it.  SO please share it!  Look it up at christmas.mormon.org and share with the hashtag #sharethegift.  I'm pretty dang excited about it.  so another 13 hours and we got home this morning to start my first P day!  we just went down to the chapel and played volleyball as a zone in the rain.  it was super fun!  We changed in the bathroom at the chapel and left our clothes in the bathroom then changed back into our clothes at our apartment.  I was pleased to find 2 huge beetles bigger than a quarter chillin out in my sock and in my pants pocket.  last time I leave clothes on the ground level.  THank goodness we're in a 4 story apartment haha.  Anyway thats the field and i already LOVE it!  The feeling i have all the time is amazing. 

Chao, Elder Welch

I'm guessing what some of these pictures are, haha. I don't get any details, just the pictures.

City of Cali?

Christus-König-Statue in Cali

Oh, so Jake :)

I think this is his companion, Elder Lopez

View of the city

 I'm guessing this is in his Ipiales apartment

 His desk in his apartment 

The shower with the "hot" water nozzle

 I think this is the kitchen in the apartment (pretty tile!)

 The beautiful countryside of Ipiales (I think...)

 I think this is my favorite picture of him so far :)


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