Monday, August 29, 2016

Luis Alfonzo Left! But the Work Continues

Hello! How is everybody? Good? 

This week was a good amount of walking and also teaching, we are finding some good people to teach. 

Monday we taught the Nupia family, they are awesome, the kids really want to learn more about the gospel. They promised that they would go to church Sunday, and they had all told us how they felt good when we came to teach them. 

A bunch of the appointments that we had set for Tuesday and Wednesday fell, and so my companion got to go and see a bunch of the area. Elder Ross is from Spokane, Washington, and he is a good Elder as well.  It has been pretty fun to have two guys who speak English together, we get quite a bunch a looks walking down the street. 

We also learned that my best friend here in the mission, Brother Luis Alfonzo Acosta Acosta, was moving this week. Him and his family moved to a part called Soacha this week, and I was pretty sad to see him go. I have never met such a wonderful person ever in my whole mission. He always sacrificed to accompany us everyday, and was always such a help keeping us happy doing the work. It is going to be really tough to replace him. He is just pure awesomeness. 

Sunday the Nupia Family came to church!!!! Which was awesome!! They are preparing for the 17th of September to be baptized, and I can't wait to see them progress!

That's about all the time I got, this week was pretty good and I'm excited for the ones to come! I know this gospel is true! I know that if we read the Book of Mormon, pray, and attend chruch we will feel in our hearts the testimony that it is true.

Elder Kendall
We had a really sweet multi-zone meeting on Thursday in Kennedy.  Lots of fun!

Our lunch, an awesome hamburger with BACON!!!!

Luis Alfonzo Acosta Acosta

Monday, August 22, 2016

Another 6 weeks here in CasaBlanca....

This week was pretty cool with Elder Salazar. We tried to teach a lot and found some cool people! Also Transfers happened!!! 

So, I guess I´ll start off with the big news.. and I'm going to be staying in Casablanca!! My companion Elder Salazar, after only one transfer, left for another area! Also, my district changed a lot. They took the sisters out of Roma and put Elders there, so now it's just a bunch of us guys again. 

My new companion is Elder Ross, and he is from Washington!! The first time I've had a companion from the states, so that should be pretty cool. He´s got a little more than a year in the mission.

This week was pretty cool! Monday we found an awesome family, they are called the Nupia family. The mom is a less active member, and has three kids who haven't been baptized yet. Kelly is 14, Paola is 11, and Santiago is 9. When we visited with them the mom, whose name is Maria, wanted to come back to church. When we invited the three kids to be baptized, they all said yes and that they were excited to learn more about the church and Jesus Christ. They are awesome!!!! We have another appointment with them today. 

Sunday we had the Family Mendieta attend, they are really good too, and close to baptism, the only problem is the father. He is kinda super atheist. But, he goes to church, reads the Book of Mormon, and prayes sometimes with us, so I think that they should be baptized in the next few weeks. 

Lots of craziness with the transfers, I thought I would be leaving, but im super grateful for another opportunity to stay in CasaBlanca! This place is awesome, I love it. We have some good people who just need a few more steps. 

One of the scriptures I was studying this week was Alma chapter 22:15. The willingness of the Father of Lamoni to give everything he had, which was a lot, really inspires me. Its that kind of willingness we need to have to follow Christ, because really, none of the stuff here is going to matter. 

I love the gospel!! I'm excited to be here doing the work of the Lord.


Elder Kendall
Me and my new companion Elder Ross (and yes... the coke bottle is still locking our door...)

My district before transfers

My good friend Elder Parraga finished his mission this week

Brother Luis Alfonzo Acosta Acosta!!!  The coolest guy ever!!!

My companion Elder Salazar before he left

Monday, August 15, 2016

Book of Mormon=Miracles Brought

I brought a Griffindor tie for p-day today
Alright so this week went so fast! I don´t know why the time likes to go so fast but it goes fast! Anyways! This week was cool.

So, I guess I´ll start things out with the coolest thing that happened this week, and it has to do with the Book of Mormon. 

When I was with Elder Karra we were teaching a family where there is only one member, the grand-daughter Sandra, and we were working with her grandma Ninfa. We have been teaching her with Elder Salazar as well, and she always told us she believed what we said but her problem was that we just use the Book of Mormon and don't respect the bible. We always invited her to read the BOM because she has never read it herself, and she always said that she would and would never keep her commitment. So, on Wednesday, we decided to read it with her!! We read 2nd Nephi 29, which talks about how the gentiles will say"A bible! A bible! We already have enough bible!" I love that chapter! 

So, we read verse by verse pausing to explain the principles of how God loves all his children and so he has commanded all of them to write his word and receive his Gospel. As we read, the spirit testified to the heart of Ninfa and she could feel that it was true. When we finished reading, we asked if she would read the book, and she told us that she really would. And then she just started to pray right there without us even saying anything. She started to pray in some sort of language that wasn't English or Spanish, so it was a little bit of a weird surprise, but the spirit was there and filled the whole room. 

Then, on Saturday, we had planned another lesson with her at 8:00 but we left our last appointment late and we couldn't make it, but I called Sandra to let her know that we weren't going to make it and she said"Elders! I have some news, some good news!" And I got really excited and asked her if Ninfa had read and she said" Yes she read, and she got an answer, and she wants to be baptized!!" So, me and my companion went kinda crazy rejoicing at the news! It truly was a miracle!

I testify that the Book of Mormon changes lives, that if we really pray humbly and with all our heart, God WILL testify to us of its truthfulness. Ninfa who before was a little hardened in the heart let the sweet peace and joy of the spirit soften it and learn the truth!

The work is true, and the blessing are real and will come. Being a missionary rules! 

So, that's pretty much the coolest thing that happened, our investigators came to church but didn't stay the 3 hours! So, we are getting some progress going.
This next week is transfers, I really hope I'm going to be staying in CasaBlanca!!


Elder Kendall

Monday, August 8, 2016

One big old area, a whole lot of blessings

So, we are officially the walking all over the place duo, and I love it! This has been one of those weeks where you are dead tired but you feel super happy anyways! I like it when we have weeks like that!! We have already gotten to know most of the new half of the area this week, and there are a whole lot of prepared people! I've never been so busy in my mission, the days pass by like seconds!!! We have received a lot of blessings.

So, Tuesday we started the day off really good with a lesson in the morning with a new investigator Aurora Garcia. She is amazing and lives literally right behind the church, she contacted the other elders and told them how for the longest time she wanted to enter and attend the church but she was nervous about going in herself. We were able to teach her the restoration and she loved it! She accepted the invitation to be baptized the 10th of September. Awesomesauce!! 

We were able to have four lessons in all that day, thanks to a member whose named Luis Alfonzo Acosta Acosta, who is pretty much one of the best people I've met in my whole life. He is 64 years old and he accompanies us EVERY day! He is just cool like that.

Wednesday we took a good look at the new part in our area of CasaBlanca, with the help of our friend Luis, we found a nice looking family of former investigators who are somewhat interested in listening to our message again. The transition of maintaining the new area has gone better than I thought it would've gone, we have a lot of our appointments set for this week. 

Sunday was another amazing day!!! We had five people attending church again, an amazing family, the Mendieta family. The mom of the family has a family member who is a bishop in another ward near here, so before they came here to CasaBlanca they attended for about a month over there!! They are all really receptive to the message of the Gospel. However, there's a little bit more work to do with the Father. He is atheist, and doesn't believe at all in God, however he like to go to church with his family, and also to participate in our discussions, so we are  working that he can get a testimony.

There's not so much time, but also, during the week we got a text of a reference from Missionary contact that told us this, "Juan Carlos Llerena, is Catholic, apostolic, roman, and his wife is a pastor, good luck." So, we are going to go visit them this week and see how that goes XD 

I love this work and testify with all my heart that its true. I know that God lives and that he loves each and every one of us. How wonderful and great is the mercy and the Love of Our Father in Heaven!!! I testify that everything in the Gospel is here to bless our lives and to make us happy. I love being a missionary!


Elder Kendall

Monday, August 1, 2016

Emergency Transfers = Crazy Sauce


Okay, so this was probably one of the craziest weeks I've had in the mission so far, and so I will try to capture it for you guys the best I can in this email. 

Monday and Tuesday were both pretty normal, we have been working hard to get the members to work with us and we were able to see a bunch of the fruits of those efforts! We talked with our investigator Cenaida, who has four children and a really bad sickness in her leg that she has had for nine years and doesn't let her really walk. She was always really distracted by her kids, because they don't want to join in on the lesson when we taught her, making it nearly impossible to teach her principles of the gospel. On Tuesday we finally taught her and one of her daughters, Angie. Cenaida really paid attention and her daughter as well was pretty interested. We made plans with a brother in the ward to pass by Sunday to bring Cenaida and her daughter to church, it was awesome!!!

Thursday we were presented by the Young Men's President to a less-active member and her friend who is named Angela. We were able to teach Tatiana (the less-active) and her friend in the morning, and the lesson was fantastic. Angela has known about the church for three years and really likes the spirit she feels when the missionaries come to teach, but she has pretty much given up on attending any church. We have a Family Home evening tonight with the whole family of Tatiana (husband and kids are non-members) and Angela is going to be there as well, it was awesome! Thursday night I started an exchange with Elder Siguenza in Tintal which ended Friday.

Friday, I was in Tintal!!! I love that place, a lot of good memories there. We started the exchange on a good note with Elder Siguenza leaving the keys in the apartment and us having to bring a super cool ladder and he had to climb up to the third floor and go through the window to get the keys! I love Tintal. ALSO! Do you guys remember Alexandra?? Well, we had a lesson with her!!! When I was in Tintal this was one of my favorite families and people of all time here in Colombia, and we were able to have an appointment with her!! The only problem she has that is keeping her from being baptized is that she needs to be married, and that night she told us that she already has all her papers and preparation and just get married and she is ready for baptism!!! I was so very happy to hear that, and so hopefully once they get the marriage all planned I will be able to see her baptized!! 

Then, Friday night we got calls from the zone leaders. There were emergency transfers because about 12 missionaries have finished and are going home this week. Aaaaaand, they closed Casablanca 1, and so now before there were four elders here and now its just my companion and I!! They also changed my district, and now the Sister missionaries of Roma and the Slders of Bosa are in my district! No more Tintal and Patio Bonito!!! 

Saturday Elder Valeriano left to his new area and Elder Bailon, who was my zone leader in Girardot, came to stay with us in our house until today. Also, Saturday we had a baptism!!!  So, like I said this week was crazy. We have been teaching a less-active family called the Gomez's, and they have a son that turned eight years old but was never baptized because they were waiting for the Dad, Jorge Gomez, to be able to baptize his son, Mateo. So we have been working with them and last week he finally had his interview with the bishop and set the baptism for this last Saturday the 30th. So we helped out with the service and filled up the Baptimal font, and other cool stuff. The baptism was great, it was cool to see the Father baptize his son. Everything went well and we left to go home. When we got to the house, I got a call from the Ward Mission Leader who told me that there was a small problem. It turns out that when they tried to fill out the form for his baptism, they found out that he turned nine years old that same day of his baptism!! And so, having nine years old it was now a baptism of us the missionaries and not of the ward like we had thought. So we filled out the baptismal forms and had a baptism! 

Sunday........ five investigators came to church!!!! We picked up Cenaida and found out that not only one but two of her daughters was going to come with her to church!! It was a really good feeling, we worked really hard this week and we had a great Sunday!! 

I know that God knows me personally and that he has listened to my prayers and to the prayers of my family and friends. What an amazing week!!! We have a whole lot of work to do now and I just love being a missionary!!!

I wish time would go slower! I'm heading up towards a year already and I really don't know where time goes. I love you guys and hope you have an amazing week as well!!


Elder Kendall

Elder Bailon before he left.....

Elder Amaya packing for the United States

Our door broke... Coke really works wonders!!!!