Elder Welch only has two weeks left in the CCM! He is being assigned a new Spanish speaking companion for his last two weeks. I love that he gets to sing and play the piano so much. He sounds so happy! Here are a couple of responses to some email question I sent:
Q. Are you ready to leave the CCM or will you be sad to go?!? It's coming up quick! Next time I hear from you (in 10 days) you'll have been out 5 1/2 weeks!!
A. Get me out of here! I can't believe I'm almost out of here haha but I'm so excited to teach real investigators
Q. How's the ping pong coming?
A. Pretty good. Slowly but surely. I haven't had the time to practice much lately though!
These past 4 days have actually been pretty eventful! Our awesome teacher Hermano Polo announced he's going to be a dad! He's the most kind hearted man ever and I know he'll be a fantastic dad. Sunday was a huge day! I played piano for a musical number, God Be With You Til We Meet Again. One of the Elders Grandpa died and he was crying all meeting so I feel like it was perfect for him. Also, me, McCain, Paskett, Quesada and Ryan sang I Need Thee Every hour acapella in spanish and it was so beautiful we were asked to sing it 4 more times that day haha. There wasn't a dry eye in the chapel. On the lower end of Sunday, we're getting so desperate for fun here we started something called air freshener roullette where we stand with our faces in front of the timed airfreshers and take turns counting to 10 until someone takes it in the eyes. It's INCREDIBLY stupid but it's also pretty hilarious (when you're not the one getting sprayed). Yesterday we had our tour day! For the 4 weekers, we get to go the top of the
Andes to a tiny village called Monserre.
(photos to come) There's a beautiful
Catholic chapel at the top that we got to see.
It was amazing but I also feel like the Catholic church are missing the
point of Christ by a long shot. There
were so many disturbing depictions of Christ suffering and bleeding and nothing
about his smiling face and love for us.
Also there were very very ornate chairs for the priest and everything
was so focused on the wealth and power.
I love that about our church.
Even the prophet wears the same thing as everyone else and sits in the
same seat as everyone on the stand. We're
all equal and humble in the eyes of God.
After we saw the village we went down to Bogota to the jersey stores to load up! Jerseys here
are incredibly cheap! Some elders bought 5!
I got a Blue Colombian National with James on it for 35 dollars. It was interesting because the store was the
size of a shed so 21 missionaries was gonna take a while to sort through. Since I was one of the first done, I headed
back to the bus with some other Elders.
While I waited I shamelessly bought 17 Jet bars (for the record it was
only about 4 USD) an Empanada, a delicious colombian food, and a Coca
Cola. And Ill tell ya what, a Coca Cola has never
brought me close to tears but wow. While
I waited for 2 hours by the bus, Elder Stratton and I talked to the shop owner
and Security guard. They were super
awesome guys and fun to talk to! One man
was outside smoking so Elder S. and I talked to him, and it turns out he
spoke English because he went to college in Boston!
We eventually brought up the gospel and had the opportunity to talk to
him about The Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith's first vison. I quoted the first vison in spanish because i
have it memorized and I felt the spirit!
I don't know if he even cares but we gave him a pass a long card and I
felt so happy! After that we headed back
to the CCM, watched 17 Miracles and waited for the new Elders! There's about 20 gringos, 20 latinos and 20
hermanas in the group so it should be pretty cool! I got a new room last night and I like it
better than my old one. Elder K.
from my district is in there with me, 2 new North Americans and our 2 LATINO
COMPANIONS! I haven't met my Latino yet
but his name is Elder F--- and he's from Colombia thank goodness! I'm so grateful to have a companion that will
speak the same dialect as me. I'm
looking forward to it, and hopefully these next 2 weeks won't kill me haha.
Oh, so Jake :)
He loves graffiti
I think this is the city of Bogota
The Catholic Church they went to
In the market
New CCM photo