Monday, November 28, 2016

Christmas is in the air, even though snow isn't

Hey everybody! What's happening?

Thanksgiving has passed and so now everything is about Christmas! It is going to be a little different I think spending Christmas in the Amazons, but it is going to be pretty fun. 

Things have been really good here in Leticia.  The other Elders had a baptism of a young 17 year old whose name is Elik. He is a super cool guy, I got to interview him for baptism and he has a huge testimony! He is already preparing to go on a mission as soon as he can when he turns 18, and he accompanying the other missionaries and us too. It was super cool. 

We were able to find some good people this week, and something super cool that happened was that a big family in our area, the Ahuanari family, almost everyone in the family is baptized. Only the parents and their oldest son Yarold aren’t baptized. The parents haven’t been baptized only because they aren't married and they have to go through a big progress in order to get married, which we are working on. Yarold was never baptized because he left for the military a while ago and didn’t listen to the missionaries before. But, Yarold just got back from his military service this week! 

We taught Yarold on Wednesday night, and he told us that his time in the military was really hard, and that now he is looking for peace from God and wants to repent and be baptized! It was super cool, we put a baptismal date with him for the 17th of December. 

Unfortunately, we only had one person attend church this week! It was a little frustrating, but we are focusing a whole lot in this aspect. We had a lesson with the Casado family, and they are super excited to get married and also be baptized. The mom, Amanda, is the only investigator who attended this week. She is amazing! We are planning lots of things with the branch here to get this "Noche Blanca" together, we just need people to attend!!

Leticia is really amazing, as I get to know the people here, I am loving them as well. They are just so nice and loving here, the members love the missionaries, and give us LOTS of food. Everyone says they want to fatten me up, and give me the most food. I’m feeling the love of these people, it is a fun time. 

I’m loving this time here, and I hope everything goes well for the month of December. 


Elder Kendall

Christmas is here!

Murder Dog!!!

Monday, November 21, 2016


Hey everyone! How’s it going? 

First off, my companion Elder Palma has 13 months in the mission, he left the CCM at the same time as me. Well, a whole lot of crazy things happened this week, so I will try to think where to start, because lots of stuff goes on in Leticia. So let’s get to it!

Monday I got to see and meet some of the members in our area. We even got to teach a less active member and give him a priesthood blessing, it was a powerful experience. 

Tuesday we woke up to a pretty sweet surprise. When we went outside our little closed in apartment complex, we found that someone had stolen two of our bikes!! From inside the gate of our little apartment complex! So now we only have two bikes, and one day we are walking and one day we are going to be using bikes. But it was a cool day, we met a part member family called the Ahuanari family, they are all baptized except for their oldest son and the parents because they aren`t married. The Dad has to get divorced first so he can get married, and that process is a long one here. But they are super cool, the oldest son has been in the military but should get back home today or tomorrow, and he already wants to be baptized, he just needs to attend and for us to teach him all the lessons. Awesome!

President Baquerizo wrote us all saying that for Christmas he wants every ward in the mission to be able to have a "Noche Blanca," which is a night with a whole lot of baptisms. He told us to pick a date and to set all our baptisms for that day. So here we are preparing everyone we can for the 17th of December to be baptized. Right now we are working with one family that is called the Casado family, they just have to get married, which we will be able to do by the 10th of December.  (It’s ironic because their name Casado in Spanish means "Married," but they’re not married haha). There are four people in the family that will be able to be baptized. Super cool, they are great!
There are some other people that should also be able to make it, if everything goes as planned we should have about six people getting baptized on the 17th! Which would be wonderful! 

We have had a lot of cool experiences here so far, I’ve met some great people and am learning about the area. On Saturday we were able to teach a bunch of people, we were super tired at the end since we were all over the place. Someone named Nora who we found on Saturday attended Church on Sunday, so that was pretty sweet! 

Hopefully I can write more about the experiences, but we have lots of stuff to do here in Leticia!

That’s all I got time for this week

Love you guys!

Elder Kendall

We went to a zoo today!  It was pretty legit! And it was in Brazil!  That's right, today we went to Brazil for p-day, although it wasn't very far :)

A dead Chulo that we found a bunch of kids came and posed in the photo with me and Elder Palma

My District in Leticia

A MONKEY STOLE OUR KEYS!! Right from out of Elder Palma's backpack!  He was being a real stinker about it :)

Monday, November 14, 2016

An end in CasaBlanca, and a New beggining in Leticia!

Okay I got big news to share for transfers, it has been kinda crazy. We worked hard in CasaBlanca this week and we found lots of cool people who seem to want to progress in the Gospel. Unfortunately we had only 3 of the 9 investigators that we were expecting that showed up to church. Right in the last 20 minutes of church at about 12:40pm, my Dad Elder Espinola (an assistant to the President) called me. 

I thought uh oh the transfers since we weren’t supposed to get them until that night, and sure enough Elder Espinola told me he had a surprise for me...

I was going to Leticia!!! Leticia is the part of the mission where there are 4 missionaries and it’s in the middle of the Amazon Jungle! I couldn’t believe it, it was super mind blowing. The only way to get to Leticia is by plane. So, at 10:00 I left in a taxi for the airport and got in by my gate to get on the plane at about 11:00. I met a guy in the same part of the airport who is from the states and is living here in Colombia in Barranquilla, and he is the ward mission leader. Super cool! He served his mission in Buenos Aires about 20 years ago. Then I got on the plane and got here to the heat of Leticia at about 2:00pm. It’s about as hot as Girardot, so I should get used to it quick right?

Elder Ross is staying in CasaBlanca, I’m now with an Elder from my group! His name is Elder Palma, he is from Ecuador and is a super cool guy, we`ve talked a few times since the CCM. And so, I’m back in the heat, now in the middle of the Amazon slicing things with a machete (well, not yet at least). We also have bikes here, so it`ll be cool. 

I’m super sad to have left CasaBlanca, there are so many people there that I will miss, but I know Elder Ross is going to take good care of them. And now I have a new adventure to live. I am still district leader, with only 4 Elders in the district, it`ll be interesting. 

So yeah, that’s pretty much what happened, I’m excited to start meeting the people here of Leticia, and eat some Piranha too!!!


Elder Kendall

I asked Elder Kendall if he is living in a hut, he says:

Ha-ha, no, but lots of the people do here. We actually have a normal apartment in this super super small apartment complex, but it is SO HOT!! I’m back in Girardot!! XD But yes, we really are in the middle of the Amazon, my companion told me there’s a part of our area where you can find wild monkeys and everything! I will try to send pictures next week, the internet is terrible here and so I actually have 1 and a half hours to write Mondays and sending pictures takes a while!

If you look on the mission map, Leticia is right in the limits of Brazil and Colombia, in fact if you go a block behind the chapel you are already in Brazil!

I circled in blue both Bogota and Leticia... Elder Kendall couldn't have gone further away and still be in the same mission :)  The plane ride from Bogota to Leticia took two hours

Monday, November 7, 2016

Stress ice cream, it always works.

Okay! This was full of fun stuff, things are just busy, busy here in Colombia. Also, super weird thought, this is already the last week of the transfer, next week we´ll see what happens!

Okay so first off, Halloween was pretty cool, the streets were completely full of people once again, but we actually taught a lesson to some members! So that was cool.

On Tuesday we had a sweet Zone Conference, and also in the night we got to teach Fabian Gil. We went through the baptismal interview questions and had some great members accompany us to the visit. We were able to get through them all and he was ready for the actual interview on Thursday! It was a powerful lesson.

On Tuesday as well we passed by one of our investigators whose name is Lisseth, and she said that she couldn’t meet with us because her husband wasn’t home, but that she wanted to present us to her neighbor next door! So she gave us a reference and apparently one of the Family members had seen us passing by and had been curious and wanted to meet us. So we went over with Lisseth and she presented us to them. We set up an appointment for Wednesday, it always feels good when an INVESTIGATOR gives you references to visit their friends. 

Wednesday we got to meet the family Lisseth presented us to, they were super receptive, and asked us if they could come to church and also read the Book of Mormon! We were all like, "Uh yeah! of course you can!" It was pretty sweet.

Next on Thursday, things were going pretty good, we found a less-active family called the Blanco Family. We called the son Brayan who is 20 years old and he invited to come and talk with just him, but it turned out that while we were there the mom and the two sisters also showed up! It had been about a year since the missionaries had passed by so the mom Vivian was super happy to see us. It was a big blessing, when we talked it seemed that they all were super into sharing the gospel with everyone, which will be great.

Then, things got interesting real fast. We passed by Lisseth because we had set up an appointment with her and her husband, when she came out and told us that her husband Richard left her! He went to work and then told her that he was never coming back, because the situation was just too hard. We weren’t sure what to do, so we just testified how God loved her and how she could find strength in the church. So, we were kinda blown away by that, and then we got a call from Fabian Gil, telling us that he wasn’t going to be able to have the interview that night. He told us he felt really pressured into going to the interview and also the baptism, and that he wanted to wait some time when he felt more sure about it. So, we kinda took that all in, which was kinda hard. But I know that he is going to get baptized in the next coming weeks, he is a really good guy. 

So, after learning about all that in about 10 min. We had to go and buy some stress ice-cream to help us out. And it worked

So to finish on Saturday we had a visit from the Elder Richard J. Maynes from the 70´s Presidency, which was super powerful. He talked about a whole lot of good stuff, and he was super funny. It was a good time. 

Oh! Also, real fast, we also got a HUGE Change in the ward this week, we got a new Bishop! And he called our ward mission leader as one of his counselors! The old bishop finished his time as a bishop, after being bishop for 10 years. A long time. It’s going to be really interesting. 

I love mission life, because when things get stressful, just eat some stress ice-cream! It always works. That’s all I got time for this week.


Elder Kendall