Monday, April 27, 2015

Pinching, Poo Canals and Prayer

Last Sunday I was asked to speak in church.

Here is how they suckered me into it. They asked me to speak for five minutes about my missionary, and if I was able to tie it in with the Holy Ghost, then great. There were a couple of other missionary moms that spoke along with me. It sounded do-able, so I said yes. This was a miracle. I do not like to speak. Not even a little bit.

I shot Jayden a desperate e-mail last Sunday night and asked him to throw me a bone. Any experiences he has had with the Holy Ghost.

Here is what he shared with me.

One time in the CCM (MTC) i was struggling and having a bad day because i could not speak Spanish. We were sitting on a couch near the front of the CCM. My companion could see that i was not having a very good day and was asking me questions like, whats the matter, how can i help you, and then he asked do you know that heavenly father hears and answers your prayers? I thought about it for a minute and was like it sure doesn't feel like it- i am struggling so much- and pray a lot- and still haven't seen any change with the language at all. Then all of a sudden a scripture of all things popped into my head. It was not one i had memorized or even remember reading. It was Mosiah 10:13. I thought that was super weird! It just kept going over and over in my head. After my companion and i got done studying i looked it up and it reads--

13 And again, that they were wronged while in the land of their first inheritance, after they had crossed the sea, and all this because that Nephi was more faithful in keeping the commandments of the Lord—therefore he was favored of the Lord, for the Lord heard his prayers and answered them, and he took the lead of their journey in the wilderness.

Not bad huh? The Holy Ghost delivered me a scripture!

So i know that our heavenly father answers our prayers, and that if we listen to the spirit, and if we are obedient and patient, he will always lead us in the right direction.

I am so grateful for the missionary program- to watch my boy strengthen his testimony like this is really priceless. And I am pretty sure that he would not have shared this experience with me if I hadn't asked. Boys! Don't they know that this is what we want to hear?

This week's email was mostly about P-day activities. I am anxious to hear about the missionary work he and his companion are doing, but I think that Jayden is not as involved right now as he will be in a couple of months. Don't get me wrong- I know he is anxious and willing to dive right in. I just think the language is preventing him from having a connection with the Colombian people.
There have been many times I have been standing by Sam's side, as he carries on a conversation in Spanish, and I have only been able to pick up a word or two. Sam and that person will laugh, and slap each other on the back, and I can just smile and nod. I think Jayden is still in the smile and nod stage. Bless him. It is very frustrating- but I know he will get there. Until then, I get to share his P-day adventures!

Here is this week's email:
Well this week was nothing really crazy as well. So last P-day the zone was going to go to the zoo that is relatively close to here, my comp didnt really have money for it
so we told them that we didnt want to go and we went to the mall here instead. Well we were getting Subway at the mall and then i got pinched on the butt! At first i was like 
"this is somebody i know!" then i thought that i am in a different country and nobody i really knew is here, so i got kinda creeped out. Turns out it was Elder Velasquez haha
so the zone took a bus to the zoo and turns out it is closed on mondays hahaha they wasted like 30 mil on bus rides!! Anyway the mall was decent they kinda had just gay and beaner clothes. I found one store with like three skateboards but they were not that good.:( We went to this toy store though and it had all sorts of american toys and i went ahead and bought myself some Tech Decks. They were really expensive though... but when i was checking out and paying the guy gave me a 70% discount on each of them! Score! 
Most of this week though was just a regular week. We had a bunch of appointments and it was hot as poop this week. I was sweating like crazy! We were visiting with a newer investigator last night and her little kid came out and he was naked and just starts pooping and peeing everywhere. Like just puddles of poo eveywhere! It was so gross and really super funny!
Also this week i had an intercambio with Elder Larroza, he is from Argentina and was Bigelows last comp, and it was really fun he is a pretty funny dude! 
We might be moving to a new house! It is way nicer than the dump we are living in right now! 
As far as your questions everything is going good! I am learning more and more each day and it is a lot of fun! Knocking doors was kinda crazy but super fun i gave like the introduction but not much after that haha. Yeah we do only a little bit in the ward nothing to crazy, we have a movie night every wednesday and we are kinda in charge of it, Yes the feed us mostly every day and the foor is super good! Yeah everything is rolling fine, i think it is crazy i have been out for two months already! It sure does not seem that way! I love the pictures by the way!
I think that is all i have for now! If you need any more experiences or anything or if you just want to know anything please let me know! I love you a lot! I miss tons also! 
Love Elder Wadley
He sounds happy. If he is happy, mama is happy.
But this: "If you need any more experiences or anything or if you just want to know anything please let me know!"
Really? Do I have to ask? HAHA! I guess that will be my standard question each week. "Tell me some experiences?" He kills me.
Here is a picture of him on P-day and apparently his two new Colombian zits. (His words. Moms look right past that stuff.)
Here is the street that he currently lives on. I love the brightly colored houses. Why aren't we on board with this in the US?
A lovely view of the poo canal. I am glad I can't smell it. It looks janky. Glad we are NOT on board with this in the US.
My prayers for Jayden always include his ability to pick up the language. The first six months are the hardest, from what I hear. I hope he keeps an open mind, and a positive attitude to get him through it. The following is a quote that I used in my talk Sunday. I shared it with him this week. I think it is good advice for all of us. Whether it is a language barrier, being a parent, challenging church callings or personal trials that we struggle with, we always have something to learn in this life- and we are NEVER, ever, alone.
Henry B Eyring said this in his October 2002 conference talk "Rise To Your Call."
"There will be times when you will feel overwhelmed. One of the ways you will be attacked is with the feeling that you are inadequate. Well, you are inadequate to answer a call to represent God with only your own powers. But you have access to more than your natural capacities, and you do not work alone.

The Lord will magnify what you say and what you do in the eyes of the people you serve. He will send the Holy Ghost to manifest to them that what you spoke was true. What you say and do will carry hope and give direction to people far beyond your natural abilities and your own understanding. That miracle has been a mark of the Lord’s Church in every dispensation."

Monday, April 20, 2015

"Oh, and I Cut My Hand on a Coconut, I Hope it Scars."

This was the caption to one of the photos Elder Wadley sent this week, I am assuming one of the photos was a gross cut-hand picture, but I couldn't download them. I am not sure if the format was screwy or what. And maybe the fact that I can't see his sick, gory hand is a tender mercy?

I didn't notice that some of the photos he sends- he adds captions to. This explains a lot. Take for instance this photo from last week:
I thought it was just some pertinent graffiti? Jayden's caption:"So LDS is a gang down here " LOBOS DE LA SUR" or wolves of the south haha." Grrrreat.

His companion, Elder Bigelow, is a total stud- and is teaching Jayden how to play the guitar. He is so happy right now! His e-mails make my whole week. If I ever figure out the pictures he sent, I will add them later.
  Here is Jayden's e-mail this week:
Sounds to me like they are building up Brendans jeep! Which will totally rad! Hey try not to rub it in dads face to much but the hankerchief thing you sent with me is so nice here because i sweat so much it is crazy! The thing is straight brown now it is so gross. Anyway so last P-day after i got done writing, we hopped in a taxi and headed for the primera to feed monkeys. Our taxi got in a crash with a motorcycle and they got out and were yelling at each other! So we hopped in a different taxi when he wasnt looking and took off haha! It ended up raining and we didnt feed monkeys so i got a giant thing of ice cream instead!:) SO i broke the fridge in our house. Other than that my comp and i were walking to an appointment and found a little kitten feeding from a dog. So we took it. The dog followed us around for awhile it was kinda funny. Well we put the cat in our back yard and kept it for a little bit while the zone leaders were gone. I dont know why but we did. It was a stupid cat!!! Eventually the zone leaders found it and made the mistake of feeding it a lot and then leaving it in the house all day. Idiots. When we came back the house smelled so rank! So when we usually have zone meetings or another meeting in the night some of the missionaries sleep over and we chill and play some uno! I get to see some of the other missionaries including Elder Velasquez. Mom guess what! I bought some stuff and we made some no bake cookies! The first two batches were alright. The third batch we made was near perfect! Oh they tasted so good! Not as good as yours obviously but still super good! We are going to start going to the gym this next week! We might have some baptisms this next month as well hopefully it will all work out! I think that is all for now!
I love you! I miss you more and more everyday!
Love Elder Wadley
Perfecting cookies first (#priorities), and then an added "we might go to the gym next week."
This is how I know he is still my boy.

Update! Thanks to my tech-savvy brother-in-law, Rob- here are the pictures! Thanks, Rob!
Elder Wadley, Iron Chef. First No-Bake Cookies!

The "I hope it scars!"wound.

The adopted Colombian cat? Oh, Jayden. This does not look right.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Elder Wadley's First Week in the Mission Field: Mogambo, Monteria, Colombia

In Sunday school this past week, we talked about the bible story in Matthew (and John) when Jesus fed 5,000 people with only 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish. Once the Savior blessed the limited bread and fish, and broke it up to pass out to the crowd that had gathered to be in His presence, they ate until they were filled, with 12 baskets left over.

For some reason the "until they were filled" part stood out to me. The Lord didn't just give them a bite or two to tide them over until they got home. They ate until they were filled. Maybe this hit me weird because I am dieting (stupid Cadbury Mini-Egg CRACK!)- but the Savior filled them. He was thoughtful enough to think about them being hungry, and made sure they were all taken care of, according to their needs.

The Savior is always aware of us. I think when we are hungry for whatever it is we need- He fills us.

This was Jayden's first week out in the mission field. I was excited to see how things went for him, away from the schedule of the CCM, and out on his own. His first area, as luck would have it, is the worst one in the mission! But his attitude is awesome, his companion is wonderful, and he is perfectly happy. He is filled.
He sent me 15 pictures! 15!
I am filled.
It is a good missionary week at the Wadley house.

Well first off hi how are ya? So i have a lot to tell you, i want to start with my comp in the MTC. Practically everything he had was old and beat up. The worst were his scriptures, they were falling apart and had like DI stickers on them i swear. So i devised a plan and me and Elder Velasquez bought him a brand new pair of scriptures from the distribution center. We gave him the scriptures on like our second to last day at the CCM, he teared up a little and gave us big hugs and mumbled a couple things in spanish that i didnt understand, but i hope were good:) We each wrote a little bit of stuff in the scriptures in spanish as well.
So the group to Medellin left at 2:30 in the morning and my room didnt go to bed until 12:00pm. We got to the airport and i was the only one without a ticket haha go figure. They got it all sorted out though and i made the flight just fine, but the checked my "carry on" and it had my camera in it so i dont have any pictures of the Airport. We got to our gate and it was on ground level and i thought it was kind of weird. We got on a bus and it took us to the plane, which was a small prop plane, it was pretty cool. I slept the whole flight. We got to Medellin and the President, his wife, and the assistants to the president were there waiting and helping us. Our President is way shorter than i had expected. They picked us up and we went to the mission office and had meetings with the President and his wife. They are some of the nicest people ever! After all the meetings we went to a spot and looked out over the whole city and Medellin is so much prettier than Bogota! We then drove by bus out to a church like an hour away.
When we got there they gave us a little orientation and set us up with our new comps! Yes, mine is Elder Bigelow. He is sooo awesome! I love him to death. He has been in the field for a little over nine months and his spanish is awesome! He is from Alaska, but he lived in Lehi for a year haha we went to Willowcreek together! We dont remember each other from then though, Crazy though right! 
We got set up with our new comps and they fed us, then we walked to this "hotel" a little ways away, and all the missionaries slept there and it was so hot but super cool! We all just kinda chilled and talked. In the morning we went to the bus station and got on a bus for ten hours until we got to my area. The countryside was so pretty! It honestly didnt feel like that long of a bus ride.
MY AREA! So they sent me to the coast for my first area, Mogambo, Monteria. It is the hottest place in the whole mission. From what i have heard it is the worst also. It is super fun though! I love it here! The people are so freaking nice and the food is amazing! MY area is like shack and concrete houses with dirt roads and poo canals. Basically all the liquids from the houses flow into poo canals in front of the houses and then into bigger ones later on. They smell so gross and the water is like straight black! On the bright side most everything is pretty cheap here. Milk, peanut butter, ice cream,pizza, and stuff imported from the states is expensive. So practically none of the houses here have AC it is all fans. I sleep with fans ( and a mosquito net). On average it is 35 degrees C and 70+% humidity, just to give you a general idea.Oh and there are girls down here where if the want to "do things" with you they will like hiss at you kind of like a snake haha we are going to try and teach one the law of chastity haha! A lot of the girls here dont shave their legs or armpits and it is super nasty.Other than that though i pretty much love everything about this place!
We bought some native hats here ha and they are so rad! Our mission you are allowed to where hats and glasses. Which reminds me in my jeep there were two pairs of sunglasses in it, a black pair with mirrored lenses, and another blue Neff pair. Will you send them to me?The ones here suck! 
Anyway i think that is all for now, I will send some pictures as well! Love you and miss you tons!
Your missionary
 Elder Wadley

Last day at the CCM
His District at the CCM
Last view of Bogota
Traveling to his area
Overlooking his area: Mogambo, Monteria, Colombia
His apartment
His bathroom, which is a toilet/shower combo?

His kitchen- who washed those dishes? Not Jayden.

His bed with a mosquito net.
I am assuming this is the clothes washing area.
Elder Wadley and Elder Bigelow.
Pertinent graffiti.

Some of the infamous "poo canals." And Elder Bigelow photobomb.

Elder Wadley on a bridge over a poo canal.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Elder Wadley's Arrival in Medellin!

Thank goodness that someone over in Colombia is assigned to take photos of the arrivals and departures. I have been averaging one photo a week from Elder Wadley. (This isn't working our for me.) I stole SIX photos of the boy from the mission site! SIX! It was like I won the lottery! This is the first time I have seen Jayden all suited up with his name badge and everything.
Thank you, nameless person behind the camera.
This was a tender mercy. I have been missing him a lot lately. I needed to see his face.
Can we talk about the second photo?  Look how happy he is. My heart is full.

Elder Wadley with Hna y Pte Pitarch (Mission Pres. and his wife)

Elder Wadley and his first companion (I am assuming.)

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

His Last Week in the CCM

We got an email last week while the family was in Moab, missing him.
Some places/songs/random things are worse than others with the missing. Often I am blindsided by a wave of missing him.
Moab is definitely his playground- he has been going there since he was a baby. He loves Moab, and it made us all wish he could have somehow transported there for just one day to climb some hills in his Jeep.
Empty spot in the family photo.
Time and season. Moab isn't going anywhere, but Jayden is!
He arrived in his mission (Medellin) this morning- and they let him write a quick five minute email to let us know he arrived safely.

Today it truly begins.

The email last week was the first one that sounded a teeny bit homesick.
Hey how are you guys!! Oh my gosh i can not stop thinking about you guys! The latin comp has been kinda rough, but my spanish has increased so much! But everything is spanish now and it is really frustrating not being able to say what i want! I really wish i could go to moab!! Ugh i miss my jeep and moab soooo bad! I have missed you so bad this week i cant even contain it! My comp os cool though and super nice! I think if he had a hair curl he would look like the latin version of superman haha! His name is Elder Nieves haha which is snow in english so i call him Elder snow sometimes. I will attach a picture. I am so glad to here that Mikayla is doing alright. I am always thinking about her and hope she okay. How is Utah? How is everyone in school. It is so crazy i go into the field this next week and my spanish is so terrible! You guys would be so surprised at how much rice i have eating here! I am trying to think of anything cool that has happened here but the CCM is sooo boring. I am super pumped for general conference though! mostly beacause it will be in english and i dont have to speak spanish but i am so excited for it! I have to tell you that my testimony and knowledge of the gospel has grown so much since i got here! I sound like a nerdy mormon kid but it really has and it is the coolest thing! So when i go to my mission they are driving our luggage out a day before and we take a flight out, because it is like a 10 hour car ride away! Oh with the new transfer when i got my comp we got 8 new white kids, one of them knew JoJo from college he is super cool! I think that is it for now. sorry my emails absolutely blow i will have something cool for you next time. I love you much! Send me awesome Moab pics! I miss you mom!
P.S. Thank you for everything you did for me and my mission, i dont think this email can express how much i am truly thankful!
Here is the photo of his companion, Elder Nieves/Snow/ Latino Superman:
The email this week, although short, makes me wonder if last week he was just really done with the CCM, anxious for change, and ready to get out into the field.
Hey they are giving us 5 minutes to write you here in Medellin! I made here safely and I want you to know that it is so beautiful here! Way better than Bogota! Everyone i have met so far is really cool and so nice. They were even impressed with the Spanish i have learned from the CCM! My mission pres and his wife are the sweetest and nicest people ever! I hope you had fun in Moab and on Easter! Hey General Conference was amazing this time around yeah! I am sorry i havent read any of your emails. Oh and you can change my instagram to the address of the mission office now. Anyway i love you and miss you lots!!
Love Elder Wadley
General Conference as Jayden mentioned, was awesome. I am always grateful for "couch church" where we gather as a family (in our sweatpants) and listen to the prophet and the General Authorities. The messages they have are always so full of hope. It is easy to get discouraged, and even depressed when the world is so messed up, and there is not much we can do about it. (I don't even watch the news anymore.) The messages of Conference remind us to get back to the basics: prayer, scripture study, strengthening our families with quality time (unplugged from devices!) this will help us stay strong when we are met with even more opposition.
"Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!" [Isaiah 5:20]
There are still good people in the world who are searching for peace, encouragement and the light of Christ. These are the people who will be drawn to my boy. These are the people we pray will find him- and the other missionaries around the world like him. This is the reason he is doing what he is doing. To bring them this message of hope. The world needs more hope.