Tuesday, January 6, 2015

12-30-14 to 01-06-15

WOO!  Crazy yet kinda slow work-wise.  So this week was new years AND Las Carnavales. 
Tuesday We ran around trying to figure out with the power company how we could repair our light, and after a ton of searching they said to buy a new power box and they'd fix it the 6th of January.  So this whole week we've had free light haha.  The only other highlight of Tuesday was a heart warmer.  So I don't know if I've mentioned it in another letter or not, but Yankee the dog broke his leg about 3 weeks ago and we haven't seen him since.  But Tuesday Mejia promised that through his faith we'd find Yankee and when we did we'd buy him bread.  And LO AND BEHOLD that night we found him by a convenient store!  So we bought him bread, and he joyfully followed us around that night leg healing and all!  What a good time haha.  Wednesday was REALLY interesting.  So in Colombia for new years there's a few interesting cultural traditions.  One being they make giant paper mache figures of things and burn them at midnight.  I actually think it's way fun and want to start it in the US haha.  The other I think should stay here.  There's these men called beautas on new years eve.  AKA men that cross dress and kiss random men in the street unless you give them coins.  I was lucky enough to not be targeted but my new comp Elder Solorio who arrived the night before got one on him!  Luckily Mejia had coins to give him.  Ewww.  My zone leader actually got kissed that day!  TWICE!  haha!!  So Elder Solorio is way cool.  He's super motivated and really nice and calm and patient.  Definitely a breath of fresh air after my other comps haha.  (I love my other comps don't worry).  That night, Me and Solorio, Bello and Mejia, and our zone leaders Inman and Rodriguez all went to the house of Juan, a progressing less active until Midnight and we burned a paper mache figure and watched the fireworks haha.  It was crazy to see HUGE bon fires in the middle of the road at night.  It's like a war zone on new years!  SO YEAH HAPPY NEW YEARS FAMILY:  my goal this year is to become the type of missionary God needs me to be.  Pretty good goal for a missionary haha.  First of January was surprisingly easy to find appointments because everyone was resting the day before Las Carnavales!  It was honestly kind of eerie.  Everything was closed, and there wasn't a soul in the streets.  We had a cool lesson with a less active who is preparing to serve a mission.  We taught obedience and all her questions pointed to the repentance process.  So I followed the Spirit into that and she said she felt excited and confidence to change!  It was a cool moment.  Oh how different was Friday the 2nd.  First day of carnivals meant NO ONE was home.  So us 4 in the apartment and the zone leaders decided "if you cant beat them join them!"  So I bought myself a cheap poncho, typical to what people use during the carnivals and we bought our cariocas, a foamy silly string people war with in the street, and we went nuts!  Something else interesting was I caught a pick pocket with his fingers in my pocket.  All I had in there was my planning agenda, but it was kinda hilarious because he didn't even run I just yelled at him in Spanish.  I saw him again later with a black eye so someone did what I couldn't as a missionary hahaha!  Saturday was actually the same except with members.  I'd love to return to Ipiales with friends and family for the carnivals.  The parades and concerts in the park and everything are super fun!  Sunday the attendance was AWFUL.  People were either not at church because they were at the carnivals, or because its literally impossible for some people to get to church because the parade.  But a cool experience was during Gospel Doctrine, a member asked me to go out with him and give him a blessing because his stomach was hurting really really bad.  He didn't mind it was in English so I gave him a blessing of health.  After he said "chevere (which means cool)" and "thank you" in English.  It was a cool moment.  Besides that, we only found 2 appointments that day because of all the carnivals.  bleh.  Yesterday the zone leaders told us P DAY was changed to Tuesday (today) because today is the coolest day of the festivals aka the hardest to work as well.  So we got to work and it was actually an AMAZING day.  Our first lesson was with Viviana's family.  She wasn't home but her family actually listened to us which is rare because they're all catholic and don't listen to missionaries.  So we taught them the Plan of Salvation, and the Spirit was so strong.  Their questions were good and we helped their knowledge a lot.  Afterwards the mom and the brother said they'd attend church with Viviana this Sunday!!!! Luis the dad can't because he works but one day we'll get him haha.  But now we're meeting with them so I'm hoping to baptize the whole fam!  The second awesome lesson was with Gyovani and his fam.  They haven't been progressing and we've been really worried, but Mejia said if they aren't progressing, they don't understand the restoration.  So we taught that again and BOOM,  Mejia was right.  They didn't remember a thing or have a testimony of the BoM.  Kinda missing a key point there right?  So we taught a really awesome spiritual lesson on that, and at the end, I asked each member of the family to pray right there out loud on their knees to know if the BoM and our lesson was true, starting youngest and working to Gyovani.  Wow was the spirit strong.  I hope that moment helped them I really do.  But I really think it did.  The other one that night was with Juan, and his mom who is an investigator.  After an awesome lesson on the Restoration we invited her to be baptized.  She said she'd pray about it, and if she feels God wants it she will.  And she's SUPER in tune with the Spirit so I know she'll be baptized.  Today was half cool and half crappy.  So this morning all the Elders wanted to play soccer but Bello and I wanted to go to the parade instead so the leaders of the zone said that's alright.  The parade was awesome!  I love the culture here.  The plan after that was to go eat lunch then meet our comps at the park of 20 de Julio at 3pm, and play all day.  But guess what!  They didn't show up!  So we literally searched until 5:30 and we found them at the internet cafe.  They didn't even try to find us.  What can we do.  So yeah, last day of carnivals!  I'm honestly glad its over.  It'll be nice to wear clean clothes again without fear of getting my face painted and chalk thrown all over me.  CRAZY IPIALES.  I'm super excited to actually work with Solorio too!  The Mission is great!  Love you all!

Elder Welch
One other good note is that he received his 3rd and final Christmas package! My faith in the Colombian Mail System has been restored!...Somewhat :) -Wendy

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