Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Elder Wadley's Testimony in Spanish

The week before Christmas Elder Wadley and I discussed when he would call for Christmas. We decided it would be easier for everyone if he just shot me a quick e-mail before he planned on hopping onto Skype to call us. So Christmas Day came- and I carried my phone around like a prescription oxygen tank.
Finally, when things were winding down at home (4:18 pm here- 6:18 pm in Colombia) an e-mail chimed in! Sam set up his laptop, and this cute avatar popped up:
We were able to Skype with Elder Wadley for just over an hour.
I asked him to bear his testimony in Spanish. He still doesn't think that his Spanish is very good, "I still have so much to learn" but I think it is pretty awesome. He hit his ten month mark on Christmas Day. (This is the first time I have uploaded a video, not sure it is going to work on all devices.)

He talked about his apartment getting robbed (!!), ripping the butt out of his pants (and getting them stitched back up) THROW THEM AWAY ALREADY! "Mom, I still have clothes I haven't even used- I brought way too much..." Boys are so weird.
When we hung up, it wasn't as gut wrenching as his call on Mother's Day. I think because he is so happy now, and doesn't "need" us as much. I still cried. He felt so close, and when he hit "end" and the screen went blank, all 3,500 miles were between us again.

We got an e-mail the following Monday- it was short since we had just spoken.
Well i dont have a ton to say this week.
It was really good to see you guys and talk for a little bit! I loved it! 
Um this email is going to be pretty short and lame ha! 
I have pictures to send but had to charge the batteries to my camera so i dont 
have my camera either ha! 
For Christmas we spent the day as a zone. Everyone was talking with their
families and we played soccer,watched movies, and ate food. 
We did a secret Santa thing that was pretty funny. The day went pretty normal.
There was an apartment that caught on fire near the church but that was about the only 
thing interesting that happened.
Anyways sorry this email is lame but i love you! Have a great new year!!!
Elder Wadley
Feliz Navidad de Colombia!
My heart is full.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

"I didn't know you could replace Baby Jesus with a cat." -Elder Wadley #SantoGato

I didn't get an e-mail on Missionary Monday yesterday. I figured that they had something going on, or that maybe the whole country was shut down due to the Miss Universe debacle- Miss Colombia got HOSED, by the way.
Bright and early this morning I got Elder Wadley's e-mail, and eleven pictures and we chatted back and forth online via e-mail for a bit to nail down plans for his Christmas Skype call home. I get butterflies just thinking about it! I can't wait to see his face, hear his voice and his laugh.

Here is his e-mail this week:
Hey fam!! Sorry i am writing on Tuesday, we had a conference with our mission president yesterday so we are having our p-day today.
This week we haven't been able to work really at all it has been kinda whack. So we had cambios and my comp left and i got a new comp! Elder Apaza and so far he is a really cool dude, really chill, its awesome! So i had to wait for him to get here because Elder Pacaya left Tuesday morning and my new comp didn't get here until Wednesday afternoon. While i was waiting i was with the zone leaders haha oh boy was that fun! All day running errands! They have a crap ton of stuff to do! 
Other than that we had practices and other stuff to do, so we didn't get a whole lot of time to work. We had to prepare a dance and and a couple other things for yesterday and well we had 3 days... But our zone won! Haha with three days of practice we won haha! 
Oh and yesterday in the conference we went through a bunch of people trying to guess who they were by their baby pictures ha and somehow there was a picture of my with a Ninja Turtle outfit haha! 
(Back story here. I was contacted a month or so ago by the Zone Leaders to send them some things:  letters from the family for Jayden, a picture from when he was younger, and a funny story about him. This is the photo he is talking about above. I am so grateful for all that his mission leaders do for him. They really did a lot to make Christmas special for the missionaries. It makes my mom heart full. Knowing that this is his first Christmas away from home. All these efforts made by others make me worry less about him being lonely.)

Anyways this week hasn't been a whole lot interesting. Last week we went up to the cathedral and it was so cool we were up so high! I have a lot of pictures for you so hopefully you will be happy:) 
Also i will be able to tell you a little bit more when we talk!!:)
Not a whole lot i will TALK to you guys later! 
Love you!!!Elder Wadley
We get to talk to him sometime on Christmas Day. Who would have guessed that a simple phone call would be making my whole Christmas? Here are the photos that he sent this week, along with his words.
"I didn't know you could replace Baby Jesus with a cat?" (Santo Gato) (Saint Cat)

Inside the Cathedral of Manizales
Inside the Cathedral, looking down from the spiral staircase.
The view of the city from the top of the cathedral.
"Me with President Calderòn and his wife."
"Me and Elder Opheikens"
His Christmas tree, and his packages! They made it!

Monday, December 14, 2015

Colombian Christmas Lights

I guess I am a visual person.
This week Elder Wadley sent a bunch of photos- and it made me so happy! I like seeing where my boy lives, and I like scrutinizing every picture for everything that I can get out of it. When he sends me pictures of him- I notice that his neck is thicker, and his watch is holding up. I notice his haircut, and if his smile goes all the way up into his eyes. When he sends a photo of his apartment, I look in the background and notice things from home. I notice his schedule for the week written in his handwriting on a white board. Photos make me feel connected to him from 3500 miles away.
This week he sent some pictures of a beautiful cathedral in his area, and Christmas lights amid palm trees.
Elder Wadley and Elder Pacaya

The lights spell out "Manizales", his area.
Here is his e-mail this week:
Whats up fam!?
Well first off i got a package i think it is the Thanksgiving one, so you don't freak out about that:) Well we got our cambios today and i am staying here but getting a new comp. I am kinda excited it will be nice to have a change! This week has been a pretty normal week again it went by super fast! We found a couple new people this week and i want to be able to put baptismal dates with them but we haven't had much time to work with them. Everything is going good though! I am excited to get my new comp and go to work. 
Usually what i do every week is read through my journal again before i come and write everything down because like i said the week goes by super fast and i forget a lot of stuff. Just goes to show how important keeping a journal really is. I did take a lot of photos this week though so that should make you happy. 
I found a scripture this week in my personal study that is pretty cool Alma 34:28
            28 And now behold, my beloved brethren, I say unto you, do not suppose that this is all; for after ye have done all these things, if ye turn away the needy, and the naked, and visit not the sick and afflicted, and impart of your substance, if ye have, to those who stand in need—I say unto you, if ye do not any of these things, behold, your prayer is vain, and availeth you nothing, and ye are as hypocrites who do deny the faith.

I don't know why but i really liked it. I this chapter-it talks about prayer. A lot of times we pray for something or ask for something and then we don't act. Or God gives us opportunities to do stuff but we forget to act. This scripture has changed my outlook a little bit on prayer. 
Sorry my emails have kinda sucked lately. I guess i need to be a little bit more aware these next coming weeks.
Las preguntas.
1- (What has been your hardest experience so far? What did you learn from it?) Hardest thing in the mission is making changes. Sometimes you know what you need to do but your old habits are easier and you fall into old habits. 
2- (Do you have any advice for Brendan as he is preparing for his mission?) Study. Prepare yourself and do everything you can.
3- (Do the Colombians have any unique customs for Christmas?) No pretty normal they eat Buñuelos and Natilla and light Pólvora.
4- (Do they have Christmas trees there?) Yeah and the are expensive.
5- (What local foods have you eaten?) A lot of stuff haha everyday is local food:)
6- (How are the bugs in this area? Less, more?) Less haha a lot less, but there are a lot of dogs.
7- (Are there more gringos in your area? Anyone you know?) As of right now there are 3 haha one of them is Elder Welling, the stud that i flew from Salt Lake with.
Anyway i will hit you with some pictures:) I love you lots!! Have a great week!!
Elder Wadley

Everyone in short sleeves! Christmas in Colombia.
Elder Pacaya, Elder Wadley
Sent to Sam this week. Missing Moab.

Elder Herrera, heading back home this week to Provo, Utah and Elder Wadley

Catedral de Manizales.
I did a close up of the sculpture outside the Cathedral.
He seems to be healthy and happy and ready to work. That is everything that a mom likes to hear. :)

Monday, December 7, 2015

Normal Week in Colombia :)

This week both Elder Wadley and I exchanged pretty short e-mails. It has been a busy week, but I really didn't do anything? Do you ever feel that way? Like you spend a lot of time spinning your wheels without accomplishing much? These weeks make me feel grateful. For a boring week, with no challenges or trials.
Here are Elder Wadley's words for the week:
I am doing good i dont really need anything- i am doing just fine. Life is going pretty good here we are trying to find more people to teach but that's about it. We have found a couple of people but nothing really too crazy. 
It is super weird to hear that Shianne and Shayne are going on dates. Creeps me out a little bit honestly. 
Anyways holy crap haha we are in December! I have no idea where the time has gone! And this week went by so freaking fast i can't even believe it! 
Nothing really interesting happened this week. Like i said we are trying to find new people to teach. Everyone we had were kinda struggling so we have to move on and we don't really have anybody else, yet. We have found a couple people that seem awesome!! I am super pumped about that! 
Basically our week was: we got our money on Monday and i took out my reserve fund and we bought a bunch of food to eat during these next two weeks which is awesome! We also ate at McDonalds which was cool. Other than that we had a couple other things happen this week:) 
We went up to the farm again! We went and visited good ol Gustavo! It is amazing up there you can see all the clouds settling in over the city and everything it is sweet!
Other than that we saw the Christmas Devotional yesterday and it was good. I have never seen one before this and i really enjoyed it! 
Oh i ate a big fat hamburger this week and it tasted awesome!! I dont know what is really happening to me haha changing! (Prior to his mission, Jayden refused to even touch hamburgers? Who does that?)
Nah but our week went by super fast haha! Everyone is putting up Christmas lights here and from above you can see all of them blinking it is really cool! 
Well i dont really have a whole lot this week, pictures or anything sorry. Next week i will have better stuff:)
Las Preguntas.
1- (When are the next transfers?)The 14th of December
2- (Who is in your teaching pool? Any new prospects?) Finding new people:)
3- (Are you getting along with your companion?)Yeah we get along really well:)
4- (How is your health?) Health is fine:)
5- (Did those McDonald coupons work out? Jajaja (I laugh in Spanish now))Poop yeah they worked!!
6- (Do you guys cook? What do you have to eat? Breakfast? Lunch? What is a typical dinner?)I have been cooking pancakes and french toast. The other day i found Kraft MAc and Cheese and we ate that:)
7- (How do you wash your clothes in this area? Bucket? Lavadora?) We have a member wash our clothes:) Sometimes we wash in bucket though;)
8- (Do you have a meeting houses in your area? How big is the ward/branch?) We have a normal church building:)
9- (What are you looking forward to this week?) To put some baptsmal dates! And have progressing investigators!
Anyway this is all i have for this week sorry its not much! I love you and will talk to you later!:)
Elder Wadley

Monday, November 30, 2015

"We didn't eat anything on Thanksgiving and to be completely honest I forgot about it haha!" -Elder Wadley

Elder Wadley has a younger brother, Brendan, that is a senior this year. Brendan has long hair. Jayden did too. This was one of the last photos that I took of Jayden with his long hair, and one of the last photos I took of Jayden with his skateboard, before he decided to make some changes in his life, and serve a mission.
Elder Wadley, a couple months pre-mission.
Yesterday, before church, Brendan asked me if I would cut his hair after church. So it happened. It is happening. Brendan has decided to begin the process of serving a mission too. Jayden deserves a large part of the credit for his brother's decision.
When a boy serves a mission, change and blessings come. Always with the people they serve and teach. Often with themselves. And sometimes with the friends and family they leave behind. I am grateful for Jayden's good example, and the positive influence he is having on his siblings from 3,300 miles away.
Future Elder Brendan Wadley
Here is the e-mail from Elder Wadley this week:
What the heck haha! Dang Brendan's hair was long!!! His haircut does look good though i will give him that!! Haha holy cow i cant even believe it!! Bishop always joked around that he would know that I was finally serious about going on a mission and everything when i cut my hair.
Oh and glad to hear about all your food in the fridge. We didn't eat anything on Thanksgiving and to be completely honest i forgot about it haha! As for our fridge we have a little bit of juice and some dried up crusty mayo packets hahaha! We haven't been eating that much lately. 
Oh and Christmas decorations haha i am going to buy a tree maybe today. Other than that we don't have anything- and without snow it doesn't really feel the same. But we are almost in December i cant believe it!!
"Me and my very crappy umbrella."
Anyways my week hasn't been that interesting. We don't have a ton of people to work with right now so we are basically looking for a bunch of new people to teach. We haven't had a ton of luck so far but we are getting there.
Not quite sure how to approach these people?
This week we had the Assistants and the president come down and they checked our house and stuff like that. We had interviews with the President and it went awesome-the man is amazing! 
We had a couple good lessons this week. One with these less actives, two teenagers. The lesson went awesome we prepared really well and everything flowed really well and the spirit was strong it was awesome! Other than these few lessons the week was pretty normal. Like i said we are looking for new people mostly. 
1- How is the work going? Are you still frustrated? Who are you teaching? The work is rough right now because we don't have a lot of people to teach.
2- What did you do for thanksgiving? Nothing haha it was just another normal day.
3- What are your Christmas plans? Christmas. Well we get to call you guys one of those days. Also i am pretty sure we will have a big conference with the President. Other than that i am not really sure.
4- Have you done anything interesting lately on pday? Touristy things or service? Last week we went up the mountain. Today we are going to go and explore centro a little bit.
5- How are your clothes/shoes holding up? Holding up like champs!! I still have a bunch of new crap that i don't know if i will really use, we will see.
6- Did you get your freaking thanksgiving package yet? No nothing yet haha one day! The assistants were going to bring them but something happened and they didn't get here.
7- What was the best thing that happened this week? Best thing is while we were walking today we found a bunch of McDonalds promotions so we are going to eat a lot today! Score! 2X1 McFlurrys baby!
8- What was the worst thing that happened this week? Um We ran out of money a couple days early and had to walk a lot and didn't eat as much as we would like! 
No but everything is really good! A lot better this week! Oh i took a little bit of money for a reserve fund we are supposed to have. Just so you know. Don't have a ton to say this week.
Only thing i would say is that i want to encourage everybody to read the Book of Mormon. It is awesome i love reading it and there is a lot of stuff that you can apply in your life it is awesome! 
Anyways i love you guys and i will talk to you next week!!!
Elder Wadley
Closing side note. I have mailed him several packages that he hasn't received yet. One package was an entire Thanksgiving dinner. Another was full of Christmas decorations. Then his whole Christmas! The area he is serving in now is almost the furthest area away from the mission home where everything gets mailed.  I sure hope he gets those packages soon! I am about ready to hop a plane, pick them up, and deliver them all to him! I guess whenever he gets them will still be a good day, but as a mom, it is killing me that he didn't eat anything on Thanksgiving, and his fridge is empty when ours is so stuffed with leftovers.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Member Missionaries and the Mountains of Manizales

I've been thinking all week about how Elder Wadley has been frustrated and discouraged trying to find ways to motivate people in his area who are already members of the church to help facilitate missionary work. It is a much easier task for the missionaries to teach someone the gospel if they already feel comfortable- knowing someone who is a member, and being at least familiar with the teachings.

I thought about what kind of a member I am. Am I an example of what I believe? Do I embrace opportunities to share what I believe with my friends and neighbors? I fall short in many ways. I think one of the best ways I can help my missionary in Colombia, is by doing my part here.
I ran across this quote while I was scrolling Pinterest, and I was inspired to pray to be aware of those around me that may be in need.
(I also shared it on social media, so I am sorry if I am hitting you with it everywhere, but it really works!) I feel like I am a pretty approachable person, and I am willing to help people out whenever. But when I prayed for opportunities to serve- people came out of the woodwork. I wonder then, if these opportunities have always been there, and I have been too wrapped up in my own problems that I have not noticed?

I think this is the first step to missionary work. Being aware. It doesn't take a religious scholar with an extensive knowledge of doctrine to be a disciple of Christ. It takes someone who is willing to serve and love as He did. I am trying to be better at this. And the crazy thing- is that when you serve, you are blessed, and it feels really great- so it is always a win/win.

Here is Elder Wadley's email this week:
Hey mom! Sorry we are writing late today we went and did something in the morning. We went with some local kids to a mountain a little ways away it was pretty sick! I haven't been able to send pictures because i forgot my cord to send them. I have a few  this week though!
Our week has been alright, I was a little discouraged this last week and nervous for this week but i absolutely love the quote you sent me from Richard G Scott it fits in perfectly! Thank you for that! 
(The quote: "Just when all seems to be going right, challenges often come in multiple doses applied simultaneously. When those trials are not consequences of your disobedience, they are evidence that the Lord feels you are prepared to grow more. He therefore gives you experiences that stimulate growth, understanding, and compassion which polish you for your everlasting benefit." [Richard G. Scott, "Trust in the Lord" October 1995 General Conference])
Our week was pretty normal nothing really gnarly happened. We had a couple pretty cool things happen. We had a talent show here in the branch and it was pretty sweet. When we got there they didn't have any power haha they finally got this sketchy generator running and thats what we ran the power off of. So sometimes it cut out and the talent show was a mix of light and phone flashlights haa! We got to participate in the talent show of course, we didn't prepare anything as missionaries but were in a couple acts.
Also we had two pretty cool lessons this week. One is because it was raining really hard and they have a loud roof so we basically yelled at them. If not they could hear us ha! 
The other cool lesson is we were teaching a lady and she was giving us food. She gave us hot chocolate kinda, and she said that she was going to drink coffee and right there on the spot we taught Word of Wisdom and she ended up not drinking it and we took the rest of her coffee with us! It was super that she just gave it all up right there.
Today like i said we went up in the mountains. It was awesome we just walked up and took pictures! It was beautiful! We had lunch in a little house up there, this really nice lady made a delicious lunch and we just chilled there for awhile! I will send pictures!
Lunch break in the mountains of Manizales
Manizales, Colombia
Other than that the week was pretty normal. Like i said last week i was a little down in the dumps ha and i was reading about faith when i found this scripture in Ether 12:6 
 And now, I, Moroni, would speak somewhat concerning these things; I would show unto the world that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith.

It made me think a lot (and now especially with your quote) that we have trials in our lives for a reason. Not only so we can grow as people but to test our faith. Like it says here we have to have these trials in order to increase our faith. 
Other than that i don't have a whole lot to say! 
I love you guys!! Have a great week! The church is true!
Elder Wadley

Thursday, November 19, 2015

First Door Slam to the Face, Dreaming in Spanish, and a Transvestite Haircut

Elder Wadley's last two e-mails were sent to me while I ran away to Hawaii (alone!) to spend some time with my sister Hollie. When I try to blog from my iPad, it formats weird, so I waited until I was home. I fly stand-by, and getting home took a bit longer. Okay, maybe I just decided to was 85 there, and 30 at home. I watch the weather in Manizales where Elder Wadley is serving. The weather is a little cooler there, averaging around 70, and a good amount of rain lately.
Here is last week's e-mail:
Hey haha hows Hawaii? Two times in Hawaii without me huh? Ha i hope you are having fun!
My week wasn't a whole lot of interesting! I have been sick basically all week which has been fun! Nothing too serious headaches and a cold really, but i am better now! 
My week went pretty normal nothing really interesting happened um we went to the farm again this week to visit Gustavo and i love going up there it is really pretty and i don't know i just really like it! It is away from everything. We also went to a couple of members houses to give them letters of some sort and one lady got really mad, and for the first time in my mission i got a door slammed in my face! So i am pretty pumped about that! Um there wasn't much else it was a pretty normal week. We had some pretty good lessons this week and put some baptismal dates which is awesome! I am super excited for these people! 
Oh we also got a new gringo here in the zone, Elder King. Super nice dude! He is from Bountiful, but we got to talk for a little bit which was cool. Um i don't really have a whole lot to say. Let me know if there is anything you want to know and i will be glad to tell you:) 
1- (Hollie wants to know if you have had the pleasure of a good old South American pants sharting?)Personally i have not had the experience of South American sharting sorry hah! 
2- (Have you had to hide bad food from members yet?) No i have never had to hide food:)
3-(Do you guys do anything when you hit your one year mark? Like burn ties?) One time we ordered pizza.
4-(Any miracles or tender mercies this week?) Oh this week i have noticed the blessings in my life that the gospel has given me. A ton that i have taken for granted my whole life. I was super lucky to grow up in a home that is part of our church and for growing up in the gospel with my whole family. I have seen a lot of broken families here and i just want to express how grateful i am for that.
5-(Who cuts your hair? I know that is random- but do you go to a place or a member?) Its random haha whoever is open, last week i got my haircut by a tranny....... interesting experience...
Anyways i don't have a ton this week! I love you guys!! Have a great week!
Elder Wadley
And this is this week's email:
Well first off sorry you are "stuck" in Hawaii haha! Tell Grandpa that i said hi and Hollie as well!
My week was pretty normal nothing really happened. 
Last Monday we played soccer with some investigators and not going to brag but i scored a goal haha only one!
Other than that the leaders had a meeting in Medellin so Elder King was with us for like three days really nothing interesting happened this week sorry. 
I found a cool scripture this week though in D&C 38:40.
 D&C 38:40 And again, I say unto you, I give unto you a commandment, that every man, both elder, priest, teacher, and also member, go to with his might, with the labor of his hands, to prepare and accomplish the things which I have commanded.
 41 And let your preaching be the warning voice, every man to his neighbor, in mildness and in meekness.
It says that basically everybody needs to help with what the Lord has commanded. It is not just the work of the missionaries but of everybody.
I had been looking for a scripture this week to help motivate the members to help us out. Most of the time the members think that it is just work for the missionaries but really it is better when everybody works together. 
I have been reading a lot lately and learning a lot-which sounds weird especially if you knew me before the mission haha. It has been really good though i am really enjoying it! 
There are a lot of things i still need to work on and stuff that i am doing pretty good. Sorry these last couple of weeks haven't been very good writing wise. 
1-(I assume your companion now does not speak English. Is he interested in learning? Have you taught him any English phrases?)He is a little bit interested and i am teaching him a little bit.
2-(I haven't asked how your Spanish is lately. Do you feel fluent now? Have you had any dreams in Spanish yet?) I don't think i speak very good and i don't think i am fluent but i am trying. I have had a couple dreams in Spanish.
3- (You are getting closer to one year down. Do you feel like it is going faster than you thought?)Time is freaking flying by- it scares me. I heard once you hit one year it gets worse also!
4-(Any miracles? Tender mercies?)This week i haven't noticed anything really big.
5-(I would still love some photos of your apartment now- and your street. Just regular stuff. It is fun for us to see how you live there.)Oh yeah  ha i want to send some photos but this computer kinda sucks i will try anyways:)
Again sorry i haven't had to much to say. I love you!! Have a great week!
Elder Wadley
No photos for two weeks! I will give him a pass, because I was in Hawaii. Next week I am going to shamelessly beg to see his face. :)

Monday, November 2, 2015

Who Needs a Ladder?

Another week down. Elder Jayden is doing great, and always amazes me with how upbeat he always is. I have yet to receive an email with something negative. Maybe living at home, with us, has been holding him back all these years! All I know, is that sending a boy on a mission (once you get past the rough first couple of months) is the best kept secret of the church. He is learning the value of selfless service and genuine gratitude. At 19. Here is Elder Wadley's email this week:
Hey sorry that last week i didn't have very much time, this week i am not as crunched for time. Happy (late) Halloween! My Halloween wasn't very interesting either haha i barely got to see any costumes. I did get three pieces of candy though!;)
My week was pretty good though!
Elder Wadley and his companion,  Elder Pacaya from Peru
Monday: We had our zone meeting in the morning which went really good! We had the rest of the day to do whatever as well which was nice! After the meeting we had a Brazilian lunch because we have two people from Brazil in our zone and one of them made us all lunch and it was super good! Towards the end of the night we went and played soccer with a couple of our investigators and it was really fun!
Tuesday:normal day ha
Wednesday: We had an intercambio with Olivera and it went pretty good! We had a normal day of teaching and all that good stuff and at the end of the night we helped a less active family move houses! We got to do a little move service thus week than normal which was pretty nice! 
Thursday: Ha Thursday i got to share all the candy you mailed me with a couple people and they absolutely loved it! Everyone thought the cracked pepper sunflower seeds were a little weird but ended up liking them as well ha! 
Friday:Was a pretty normal day
Saturday: We had another opportunity to serve. We went to a members house to help them build a second floor on their house. It was pretty fun! Ha the cool part is i could put in all these metal poles by myself because i am tall haha they were all on chairs and everything. Oh i also broke a ladder haha!
It looks pretty professional and stable to me. :/
Sunday:Was a pretty normal day it rained really hard .
My week wasn't anything to special but i really enjoyed it! 
Now to answer your questions
1-(Do you have seasons there? Or is it just hot and hotter?)There are not really seasons here it is the same weather all year round
2-(What do you do for p-days in your new area? Are there any cool things to see? I loved the pictures of the farm! That is exactly how I picture Colombia to look in my head- except that it is a marijuana farm. Lol.)We haven't really done anything lately today we might go do something today haha but i am not really sure:)
3-(Do you guys get callings in your branch? Do they have branch activities?)We are called as missionaries haha. There are activities but we are never invited:(
4-(What kinds of things have you been eating? Do you cook much?)Been eating rice haha and bread ha. I havent cooked a whole lot
5-(Do girls in Colombia shave their armpits or legs? Not that you should notice the ladies...)In the coast they dont really but everywhere else they do
6- (Any miracles or tender mercies this week?)I have been noticing a lot of things lately that i am super grateful for! A lot of things hah:)
Well family i love you guys! Good luck with your languages (Mikayla and I are learning Spanish, Brendan is studying German, Sam started Italian, and Shayne is trying out French. Duolingo, friends! It is the best!) and have a great week!
Elder Wadley

Monday, October 26, 2015

Dedicated and Motivated!

Our e-mail this week made me happy. It was short and had no pictures, which is normally the opposite of what makes a missionary mom happy. He didn't even answer any of my questions I had for him this week!
But you guys- you can literally feel his excitement about the work coming out in his words. This is the reason I wanted him to serve a mission. Not for the bragging rights, or the opportunity to learn a language, or experience a new culture- but to bring people to Christ. 
Here is the report this week from my Colombian boy:
Hey fam! Sorry your week was boring haha!
My week was pretty good! I don't have a ton of time today so i will try to make this quick but at the same time pretty good! 
We found a new investigator this week and the dude is a stud! His name is Cesar, and he is doing so good! We brought him to the conference with our president this last Sunday and since then he has quit smoking cold turkey. He is reading basically everything we give him and is inviting his friends and cousins to come and listen to us! He is such a rad dude and is progressing awesomely! 
Mainly we have been focusing on him this week. Other than that nothing really interesting happened. We had a meeting with the asistants this week and it went really well. I got to see my buddy (Elder) Opheikins. 
It rained a poop ton this week which was really nice makes it a little bit colder here. Sorry this was so short i promise i will be better prepared next week. 
I don't even have my cord to send pictures either. :(
Sorry again but i dont have a ton of time! Next week will be better!! 
Love you lots! Have a great week!!
Elder Wadley
I love this boy. Eight months down yesterday!
I am adding an old photo with this post- because I like to see his cute face.

Monday, October 19, 2015

High on the Mountain Top

This next week Elder Wadley will hit eight months. I can't believe it. Honestly it is going so fast. In the first couple of months after he left, I thought two years was f-o-r-e-v-e-r, but it is crazy how Sunday evening rolls around, and it is time to re-cap yet another week to my missionary.

A month ago, Sam and I challenged our kids (and ourselves) to be electronics-free on Sundays. We are trying to make more of an effort to keep our Sabbath day holy. It was really hard at first. Like really hard. Especially for me. I was surprised that I default so often to the TV, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram. I still use my iPad to write Jayden, to do my Spanish lessons, and to read the scriptures. Since we have so much down time on Sundays now, we have been playing board games and cards as a family. The girls and I break out "the card factory" and make handmade cards, and I am almost finished reading the Doctrine and Covenants.

This is just one of the blessings that I have recognized from having a son out serving a mission. We are more motivated to make better choices. Sure there are still a lot of things (tons) that we should be doing better, but his dedication to obedience is rubbing off on his family 3,000 miles away. We are all trying a little harder to be a little better. Thanks, Jayden.

Here is Elder Wadley's email this week:
Well congratulations twins on passing road!! Oh and good luck mom haha!
Sorry Kika, math sucks! 
Oh and tell Shayne no worries when i did road i started driving on the wrong side of the road on a freeway exit and Coach Rice had to yank the wheel pretty good haha! 

Well my week wasn't a whole lot of interesting.
Monday we didn't have money to do anything so we just kinda slugged around doing nothing haha it was kinda relaxing honestly. We had a really good zone meeting they talked about a lot of good stuff that the president is doing in the mission. 
Tuesday was really normal as well we just taught and walked up and down a bunch of hills:)
Wednesday was pretty cool we had a recent convert show us her brother and he has a farm above the city in the top of this mountain! He reminds me a lot of uncle Paul. He is 84 years old and runs this farm. It reminded me of working on the farm. It was cool! He is a really nice dude and the view from his house is amazing! I will attach some pictures. They are really short over here so it makes me seem like a giant!
Notice how the people are in coats, and Jayden is still trying to cool off after serving on the surface of the sun in his last area.

Manizales, Colombia

The sign says: Private Property, Be Careful, "Perros Bravos" which means VICIOUS DOGS, not brave dogs like I thought. Needless to say, my Spanish is still a work in progress.

Thursday was normal. We have a lot of normal not interesting days:)
Friday i had an intercambio with Elder Ampuño. He is a really cool dude and i had a really good time with him! We had a good day as well probably one of the best i have had here in Manizales. At the end of the night we had choir practice haha! We were going to sing for our president when he came down for the district conference but we didn't end up singing.
Saturday we had conference with our president and it went really well he is really good! He talked about a lot of really good topics and did an all around amazing job! His wife during the priesthood session went and checked all the houses and our house was the cleanest out of all of them ha! (I find this hard to believe)
Sunday as well we had conferences with out president and again he did an amazing job! He is really powerful and spiritual as well and cuts peoples heads of with so much love haha it is really good! (I had Jayden clarify this. "Yeah he tells people they are doing stuff wrong and tells them to be better really well haha direct and loving! Really good!")
Yeah anyways that was my week nothing too interesting.
1- (Any miracles/ tender mercies this week?)I have been noticing the real power of prayer in this last week! When you really pray with faith, God works miracles!
2- (Have you learned any funny Spanish slang or phrases?) Yeah a little bit of them haha (Yet no examples. So much for trying to spark conversation. Bless him.)
3- (What do Colombians think of Americans?)We are rich. 
4- (How is your health? Have you needed to use anything in your medical bag I sent with you?) All is good! I have used some stuff from there:)
5- (What do you wish you would have brought with you that you didn't bring?) Haven't really thought about that. Not much ha
6- (What would have prepared you better for your mission?) Studied more, scriptures, preach my gospel, and participated more in seminary and church stuff
8- (Do you need/want anything?) No i am all good:)

Oh and while i was reading the Book of Mormon this week i found some pretty cool stuff!
One is you know how in General Conference when there is a topic that is really important they usually talk about it three times??
Well i found this scripture 2 Nephi 11:3
"And my brother, Jacob, also has seen him as I have seen him; wherefore, I will send their words forth unto my children to prove unto them that my words are true. Wherefore, by the words of three, God hath said, I will establish my word. Nevertheless, God sendeth more witnesses, and he proveth all his words."
Also i was reading and Nephi said that the words of Isaiah are really important and that in "the last days" we will be able to and should understand them or in other words you should study Isaiah;) 2 Nephi 25:8
"Wherefore, they are of worth unto the children of men, and he that supposeth that they are not, unto them will I speak particularly, and confine the words unto mine own people; for I know that they shall be of great worth unto them in the last days; for in that day shall they understand them; wherefore, for their good have I written them."
Anyways thats all i have this week! Love you!!
Elder Wadley

Monday, October 12, 2015

A Funeral Was Attended, and Shots Were Fired. (Thankfully in that order.)

Today I had to pinch hit for the family business. So as I was cooking breakfast for an early morning bowling league, my phone buzzed with Jayden's email! I was able to send him back a selfie of me working the grill. Maybe that will help him appreciate the life that he has temporarily left behind. HA! Here is the email from Elder Wadley this week. My own commentary is in blue. This week warranted some commentary.
Well, i don't even know what to say about you working at the alley haha never in a million years did i think that this would happen haha! How was your first and maybe last day at the alley?
Hahah no i think it is cool that you want to help out!! Oh and thats cool that Shays kids got baptized! Holy cow i had no idea they were that old honestly haha! Cool though! 
My week has been really interesting- pretty good this week, not going to lie:)
Monday we went to the mall here,  just like Monterìa but this mall was way cooler and a ton bigger! It was a pretty normal Pday honestly. In the zone meeting an older couple came in and talked about family history work and they want us to fill out a couple pamphlets that we have here so if you could send me some stories and pictures of our family and grandparent and great grandparents and stuff like that would be awesome thanks!
So Tuesday was a really weird day haha we had a pretty normal day until about 2 in the afternoon where we got a phone call that said one of the people in our branch had died and the funeral service was going on in like half an hour. We wanted to go and show support for the family, the only problem is that it was at a Catholic church ( it was a less active family ). We stood outside waiting for a member to show up to go in with us. At this moment my comp and i felt really weird and out of place... When the member showed up we went in and i can't even really describe the experience we had there. It was terrible! We felt really uncomfortable and out of place. I talked to my comp and we could both feel a darkness inside of us that was pushing the spirit out of our bodies. Oh it was terrible! We left as quick as we could. We called the Assistant and asked him if we should go to the cemetery and all that as well and he said we shouldn't. So we left and we felt weird for the whole rest of the day, it was so bad. I can testify that our church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is the true church here on the earth and that nothing else even comes close to it!! Never in my life am i going to forget that!
Tuesday was pretty normal- nothing interesting really happened..
Wednesday, the other eventful day of the week haha! Well we were walking to a cita and when we turned the corner of the street we were going to take we heard a big old pop! We looked over and there was a guy yelling and limping around and not too soon after a guy came down yelling as well- but this guy was holding a big old pistol in his hand! Turns out the loud pop was a gunshot, he shot the other dude in the leg! Needless to say we took a different route haha. We were about 25ft from all this crap as well hah! Pretty nuts ha! (ARE YOU KIDDING ME RIGHT NOW?!!)
The rest of the week went pretty normal ha just lessons and missionary stuff. It has been raining a little bit here and there which has been really nice! I get to use my rain dress oh uh i mean rain coat haha! Remember how i didn't try on the raincoat before i left?? Yeah it is pretty big haha! (It looks fine to me.)
Anyways that was my week haha! A pretty good one if you ask me! (NO! Not a good week, you idiot!)
Now to answer your questions;)
1-What is the best thing that you have eaten on your mission so far?I have eaten some really good Areapas! (From Wikipedia: Arepa is a flatbread made of ground maize dough or cooked flour prominent in the cuisine of Colombia and Venezuela. It is eaten daily in those countries and can be served with various accompaniments such as cheese (cuajada), avocado, or (especially in Venezuela) split and used to make sandwiches. Various sizes, maize types, and added ingredients are used to vary its preparation. It is similar in shape to the Mexican gordita.)
2-Have you embarrassed yourself with the language or customs?Heck yeah! Basically everyday haha! 
3- Christmas is coming. Do you need new shirts, garments, pants, etc? I am good on everything! Some snow would be nice!
4-Have you gained weight or outgrown anything?I have lost what little muscle i had and gained a little bit of fat haha! My Pday pants and suit pants are a little tight:)
5-What is your favorite thing to teach people about? My favorite thing to teach is probably about Joseph Smith or the Word of Wisdom!
Anyway Mom this is all i have this week! I love you! I hope you have a fantastic week (at the alley;)) (No.)
Elder Wadley
"Me in my Rain Dress."

Monday, October 5, 2015

General Conference in Colombia; When Hymns Don't Translate

I just love General Conference weekend. Largely because we all get to hang out as a family on the couch in our comfy clothes. This conference session I thought several times about how 3500 miles away, my boy (as a missionary for the church) was listening to the same talks (in a different language), at the same time (in a different time zone). It made me feel for a few short hours that he was close to us. I am so grateful for the gospel! For the reality that families, although separated temporarily by choice, or a little less temporarily by death, can be forever- and that we will be together again.
Here is Elder Wadley's email this week:
Wow holy poop that is a lot of rain haha! I didn't think it was that gnarly! It rained pretty hard here too but all the rain runs down the hills, it looks pretty cool! Oh and Dad makes a pretty good looking Moroni! Sounds like you guys had a pretty decent week!
First off i want to say that i think it is crazy that we are in October already! I remember sitting in the CCM thinking that the next general conference was so far away! 
Anyway my week wasn't anything amazing but it went really well!
Last Pday we went to the church and played some sports and just kinda chilled there for awhile, nothing really awesome!
Tuesday- was just a normal day we went and taught some people and really just normal haha!
Wednesday- We had an intercambio. I went with Elder Suàrez in his area and we had a good day! We had time to teach a lot of lessons and he is a really cool dude! The intercambio was really short though which was kinda nice and kinda sucked. I learned a decent amount of stuff from him which was nice! In the night we got a call from someone that works for the mission saying that we had to move houses...
Thursday we spent all day moving and organizing the new house ha! We moved from a two story house to the fifth floor of an apartment building. Oh carrying all the stuff up those five floors was a pain in the butt! But the new house is pretty nice!
Friday- Friday we had to make up for a bunch of lost time from Thursday, but the day didn't go very good haha a lot of our citas fell and we didn't get much time to do anything:( This is the day that it rained really hard here as well and like i said it was really cool to watch all the rain run down the hills! 
Saturday and Sunday was General Conference!! It is a little bit different in Spanish ahah! All the hymns are still in English which is pretty cool! haha one of the hymns that they put on the screen doesn't exist in Spanish so the room was basically dead quiet haha! There were a couple people mumbling the hymn in English from the words on the screen haha! It was pretty funny! 
Conference was really good though and i actually understood practically all of it ha! I am super grateful for that! 
Anyways that is my week, it was kinda hectic but really good at the same time!

and now to answer your questions
1- (What was your favorite conference talk and why?)Well i did like the one that you mentioned that we need to ask God what we lack, i also liked when President Monson came flat out and said "Keep the commandments" I thought that was really good!
2-(Where did you watch conference? Was it in English?)I watched it in Spanish and we watched it in the church.
3-(What kinds of things have you been eating? Does your companion cook you and Peruvian food?)I have been eating nothing lately haha and if i do eat something it is usually not the best haha! My comp does cook breakfast every once and awhile.
4-(What is your apartment like? Do you have a stove, oven, microwave? What is different from your old place?)Its nice hah we have a stove basically and a microwave hah!
5-(Have you seen any miracles this week?)Miracles, nothing crazy big this week, just little things that the Lord has helped us with:)
6-(How is your health, do you need anything?)My health is fat haha! i am fine no worries!
Wellñ (<--I had to leave in this little Spanish typo. He types on a Spanish keyboard.) this is all i have for this week! I will talk to you next week! I love you all!!!!
Elder Wadley
This is almost our whole zone!:) (And I notice that Elder Wadley is the only Gringo)

Monday, September 28, 2015

Transferred to the Mountains of Manizales

Elder Wadley was sad to leave his last area but it sounds like this week he is super excited about his new area. I swear, I have never seen so many "!'s" in one email. And I got seven pictures! So it was a good week for me too.

Here is this week's email:
Well i think it is cool you finally had an interesting week! I had a pretty interesting week as well! Kinda funny how we both have good and bad weeks at the same time!
Well anyway like i said we got the transfers last Sunday and i am in Manizales now and it is way different than my last area! Montería was flat and really hot, and here is colder and has a lot of hills. Some of these hills are big and really steep!
So hopefully i will have really big legs and a nice toned butt when i get back hahaha!
So this last Monday was my last Pday in Montería and it was pretty sick! We got up in the morning and sent Elder Gabbitas off to Medellin because he is finishing the mission. When we got back we did all the regular Pday suff like wash the clothes and clean the house, all the good boring stuff. Our good buddy Elder Aust wanted to buy a machete so we went to centro because i know a place that sells them. While we were walking along the primera there were a bunch of monkeys and we bought a banana and fed some monkeys haha! There was this little baby one that was super chill and we could pet it and everything. 
On Tuesday we had to get up early and we took a bus to Medellin. When we have transfers everybody takes a bus to Medellin and stays in the "Casa Hotel" and then takes another bus the next day to your area. So thats what we did, it was like a 10 hour bus ride haha! We got to the Casa Hotel and just chilled there for awhile. They have a bunch of free food there that we can just chow down on. In the night i went with Elder Gabbitas to a families house just to visit. They are awesome people and everybody outside of the coast speaks so clearly haha! 
The next day we took another little bus to Manizales and when i got here i actually felt a little cold it was absolutely amazing haha! I slept really cold that night and the weather has been awesome! I use blankets, pajama pants, my slippers, basically everything i couldn't use on the coast haha! 
Oh my comp is really cool also! His name is Elder Pacaya! He is from Perú. When we got the cambios i was super excited for them! New area with a Latino comp oh man i could hardly wait! The second day in my comp said the same thing, that he was super excited as well. So far it has been really good! 
The area is pretty cool! We are up in the mountains and like i said it gets decently cold sometimes! The people are a little harder to teach and everything here but it is still really cool! My area is straight hills and some of them are monsters! Its cool though i really enjoy it! Oh and we are in a district here not a ward so its a little different. Everybody is pretty nice though which is great! Our area is a little bigger than my last area though but i love it! 
I think thats about it for my weekly update though. Everything has been good, my comp is a great guy and everything is rolling just fine!
1-(what has been your biggest challenge this week?)My biggest challenge this week has been getting used to/learning a new area
2-(have you seen any miracles or tender mercies this week?)Definitely getting along with my comp, usually it takes a little bit to get used to someone new
3-(what are you looking forward to?)Improving my Spanish for sure!
4-(what are the biggest changes with this transfer? In what ways will it be better and in what ways is it worse?)Challenges..... hauling around all my luggage for awhile was a pain haha! Better- cooler temp Worse-hills haha!

Overall i am super excited! I hope you guys have a fantastic week! I love you all! XOXOX
Elder Wadley
Elder Wadley feeding a monkey some banana.
A baby monkey.
I love seeing his round cheeks, because he is smiling so hard.
A city view of his new area: Manizales
More of Manizales, Colombia

Some streets in Manizales. I love the colored houses!
Elder Wadley's last day in Mogambo, before his transfer. With Elder Aust and Elder Guerra.

Monday, September 21, 2015

A Wedding, A Subsequent Baptism, and a BIG FAT RAT.

When Jayden first left for Colombia, part of my "missing" him was worry. I worried that he would be lonely- off on his own, in a foreign country, not fully able to speak the language, and no one to talk to. I pictured him crying himself to sleep into his pillow. Why? Because MOMS ARE FREAKS! Most of our worry comes largely from made-up scenarios in our head that (thankfully) never even happen. But, I was/am so relieved to see him adjust, and even thrive. I am also grateful that his first two companions were gringos. While he was struggling to learn the language, he had two good-natured American boys to help him along. I will always be grateful to Elder Bigelow and Elder Anderson for their patience with my boy.
Elder Wadley's first transfer happens this week.
"I am going to Manizales!
Apparently it is at the other end of the mission:) And colder:):)"
He is also getting a Latin companion, and he is excited about it. He is excited about it because it will help him improve his Spanish. I am constantly amazed by his attitude.
Here is his e-mail this week:
Its good to hear that life is still boring as poo back home!

Hey i have good news! We had a decently eventful week and i got a lot of pictures!! 
So first off we had a zone meeting this last week so everybody was at our house and thats always a good time! And to make you happy one of the Elders in the zone saw the picture that you gave me ( the black and white one that was in your letter) and he thought you were my sister! Just in case you thought you were old;) 
Oh so on Wednesday we had our regular Noche de Cine and the bishop put on Avengers 2, but it was too long and we are not really supposed to watch movies like that here so we had our own missionary movie night. We set up a little DVD player and watched a church movie it was pretty fun!
Thursday my comp got pretty sick and was basically dying, he is fine now. We had Sixto's wedding on Thursday! It was pretty weird but really cool at the same time! We went to a government building and talked to a lady for awhile and they got married. The members then made a little reception thing at the church after they got done and it was really cool! 
Friday we went and got Sixto's baptism paper filled out and he was in his backyard plucking dead chickens it was pretty cool! Oh and just for you ha there has been a big ol rat that has been chilling in our shower lately. We put up mosquito netting in these holes in the bathroom and he just chills in the netting.
Saturday we had our baptism! Sixto got baptized! The whole meeting and everything was terrible but all is good now and he is a member! And on Sunday Elder Gabbitas left for Medellin for his last week with the president and everything! He finished the mission. So all the members were taking pictures and saying their goodbyes, kinda sad but it was cool at the same time.
So we got all our cambios yesterday and on Tuesday i am going to a different area with my first Latino comp! I am pretty excited! I hope that my Spanish can improve a lot this next transfer! 
Anyways thats about my week!:)
1- (Did you find out any contact information for Elder Welling's mom? Welling? (The airport kid) I have talked to welling a couple times, if you want i can get his moms info.
2- (Any miracles this week?) The marriage, we had to do a lot of crap for this marriage haha! Also there was other crap that went down before it.
3- (I am assuming you got transferred. Boy. That's a lot of change. I would like to hear all about that. About the area and your comp and your new apartment. All of that!) yes
4- (Do you feel confident with your Spanish yet?) Decently confident, this transfer will be good and hard.
5- (Chile had a huge earthquake this past week. Did you guys get affected? Hollie had to prepare for evacuation from the tsunami following it. :/ It never hit Hawaii. I think cause Nate is there. Lol.) No we all good!
6- (Have you had any issues with bugs there? Bed bugs or anything?)No not really:)
7- (Are the kids there cute? Do they wear uniforms to school?) They are just normal looking kids just really tan. They all wear uniforms to school.
8- (Have you seen any cool cemeteries?) Just the one we went to awhile ago.
Anyways i hope you have a fantastic week! I love you guys and i will talk to you later! XOXO
Elder Wadley
Sixto's Baptism!

Sixto and his wife and son, Wedding Day
The ward Wedding reception for Sixto and his family.
The day before his baptism, Sixto out plucking chickens.
Dead chicken. Oh Jayden. :/
His most disgusting photo yet. The RAT that hangs out in their shower. I would be out the door and on a flight home w/o even stopping to write a note.