Monday, May 25, 2015

Ballin', Super Powers y Un Otro Gato Muerto

It was a good week this week. Elder Wadley has been busy teaching- and he has learned to re-cap his week for his mom!
Well it is kinda weird growing up isn't it! It felt like a mission was always so far away and now i am on one it is crazy to think about! Its weird but super cool! 
So this last week we did go paintballing and it was pretty fun! We went to this ghetto little place in the middle of nowhere it took us forever to get a taxi out of there! We also got transfers this week and got a couple new kids! We got Elder Gabbitas as our new zone leader! He is the only guy here in the mission from England! He is a rad dude and the whole atmosphere has changed now that he is here, for the good! Also Bigelow is the new District leader which is pretty cool!
So this week was actually a really good week! This Monday we went paintballing and everything and just had a regular Pday.
Army of Elders
Tuesday is when all the new people got to the District and everybody else left early that morning. Other than that we had a really normal day. We taught our investigators and we even had a lesson with members, which here is kinda hard to do because the members don't like to do a whole lot. After our first meeting with them they told us they were going to visit Aide which was totally awesome we didn't even have to ask them!! 
The next day was pretty rough none and i mean none of our meetings with our investigators happened. They all were gone and it really sucked. So me and my comp took a little bit of a break and got some good treats from the bakery and just chilled for a minute. We eventually got to talk to somebody though ha! We went back home and I noticed that Elder Gabbitas has super powers! He doesn't sweat here! How freaking lucky is that! Like he doesn't sweat at all! I sweat like a pig! 
Thursday was almost the same a lot of our meetings fell again, but we did talk to some of our investigators. We also got a couple of news! One is a security guard of the Glorias her name is Eddy. We talked with her the next day and had a lot of questions which i think is awesome! We also started talking with another family, the Puerta family they are a family from Medellin and are cool. Their kids are always in Aides house.
Saturday was a really great day! I started out the day kinda out of it. Me and my comp pulled out the Adjusting to Missionary Life book and went through it together and talked it out a little bit. Honestly it really helps to talk out stuff with your companion even if you don't want to it really does help! After my comp had to meet with the zone leaders for a little conference thing and they talked about what he should do as a district leader and all that. Once they got done we all went to lunch at the centro because we didn't have lunch with a member that day. We ate at this little restaurant and was good they had a really good juice, Nispera juice. Super good! After Elder Gabbitas bought us all Oreo shakes. While we were sitting and eating our shakes there was this Iguana hanging from a little tree branch and we were all wondering what it was doing. All of the sudden it just drops like a solid 4-5 feet to the ground makes a big ol thud and runs away! We pretty much all spat Oreo shakes everywhere! It was pretty funny! After this we went to a baptism that the Hermanas had and we invited Aide. She came and we put another date with her for the 13th of June! I think seeing what goes on at a baptism made her less scared to be baptized.
A pretty flowering tree that smells amazing.
So on Sunday we had 10 investigators at church!! 10! It was awesome also a little bit crazy but super awesome! We had family Lopez there and this family is so cool! They seem so eager to learn and they love when we come over! They even asked for a Gospel Principles book after one day of coming to church! They made us food on Sunday and make us juice whenever we come over! So we had them come to church and Aide and one other guy! It was awesome to see all of them there! Aide got there a little bit after we started the sacrament and she seemed upset about it. So either she understands the importance of the sacrament or she was mad she had to sit in the sun for a little bit longer. So if everything goes well we should have a good amount of baptisms pretty soon!
Yeah this was my week it was a pretty good one we had lots of fun and had a good amount of lessons and everything! All around a great week! I am glad to hear that your week has been going good! Anyways i love you guys and hope this next week is amazing! Love you and miss you tons! 
Elder Wadley

Oh mom for future packages if you send any can you slip like a small pack of AA batteries in there for me, batteries are super expensive down here. Also a carpet sample? Not saying i need a package just next time you do send one just maybe slip these in Thanks! I love you Mom!
A carpet sample? He misses carpet. HAHA!
He also sent this photo of a funeral procession on foot.
"Death parade, they have a big walking thing when people die."  
 And another photo of a dead cat. What is with boys? If it's not poop, it is dead things.
He has informed me that the next transfer will be a big one, and if I am sending packages, that if it doesn't get sent soon- it will be another 8 weeks before he will be able to pick it up from the mission office. It is so weird to be working this far ahead. I am getting his birthday package sent tomorrow to try and make the transfer deadline. His birthday isn't until the end of July. The thing about the packages though- he doesn't seem to care. It is just me. It is hard to be a mom this far away.

We made our regular meal for Memorial Day- a pasta salad, marinated chicken and a jello/cool whip salad. It was always Jayden's favorite. Especially the pasta salad. After I made it- every one of the kids had to remind me that "Oh mom, that is Jayden's favorite." I heard it five times. I already knew. It feels weird to be eating his favorite things. Truth be told- we will probably have a lot of leftovers. Between Jayden not having his share- and none of his friends dropping in for a plate. Change is the sucks sometimes.

But- I am proud of my boy. I wouldn't want him anywhere else. I love to hear his stories and see his smile. And I notice things in his e-mails "We had family Lopez there and this family is so cool!" It was not the Lopez family, it was family Lopez. It looks like his Spanish is coming along. In Spanish, the adjective follows the noun. I hope he continues to pick up the language. Everything will change for him when he is confident in communicating.

Then maybe he will look for people, instead of dead cats. :/

Monday, May 18, 2015

Protests, Teaching, and Weeds

Elder Wadley is alive and well, and seems to be falling into the routine of an actual missionary! This week we got updates on the work he and his companion are doing.
Dang i cant believe school is out already that is crazy!! I am so glad i don't have to deal with that though haha! It is terrible having to deal with last minute crap! Well this was the last week in this transfer and it was pretty good! We had a lot of lessons and picked up some new investigators which hopefully we can get them to progress and get to baptism.
So this is kinda how this week went, last Pday we went back to the primera and ate ice cream and a hamburger! We saw some monkeys but i didn't get any pictures of them:( We found a 1,2 and 5 mil stores, they are kind of like dollar stores and i bought a couple things haha i bought a little game that has like Tetris on it.  The rest of the week wasn't really anything special just kind of a normal week. We had another intercambio with our zone leaders basically we walked a lot and accomplished nothing. So that made us tired the next day as well plus a lot of our appointments fell through that next day.We did have a couple lessons that were pretty cool! One is our investigator Miacol he is 18 and pretty much knows all the stuff we are teaching him it is cool he knows a lot! We asked him to be baptized and he said that he was going to pray about it. Another one is we contacted a reference from our Ward Mission Leader and we slowly started to teach his whole family. We were teaching his sister and cousin and invited them to be baptized, and the sister ,Beatris, said she had been praying about what church she should go to and be baptized and all that stuff, my comp said that we believed that us coming to their house was an answer to her prayer. She said that she knew it was an answer to her prayer! Even cooler is that this happened while we were teaching about Joseph Smith and the Restoration! Their family all really like hearing the word of God hopefully they can progress and we can keep working with them! They are a super nice and humble family! After we got done teaching them we were walking back and they had fires in the street! A bunch of people were protesting and had fires in the middle of the street. They would take stuff from random people on the street and throw their stuff in the street in the fire! Oh Colombia! Other than that we had a couple other lessons. Aide still doesn't really want to be baptized which kinda sucks.So yesterday was a pretty rad day! So the last couple of days have been overcast and rainy, so it has been a little bit colder. So on Sunday I guess it was raining hard core ( I slept through it ) but it cooled down and the power didn't go out so we had the fans going all night so i actually slept cold!! Like at one point it was colder outside than it was in the church, and the church has AC!! But it is kinda sad because this "cold" i am talking about is maybe like 70 degrees haha! But i am used to 100+ degrees so it kinda makes sense i guess. Anyways this Sunday after lunch we went to Abe´s and took a nap haha and when i woke up there was a pizza sitting on my lap! I thought i was dreaming but he went and got us pizza! They also made us hot chocolate! Then later that night we taught the same family i was talking about earlier , the Lopez family, and then came home and that is pretty much my week! 
I hope everyone is having a good time back home! Love you guys! I miss you!
Elder Wadley
My heart is so full of love for Abe and family for taking care of and loving my boy. I am sure that the pizza and hot chocolate are a huge sacrifice for this family. It makes me feel helpless to not be able to hug them, and pay them back somehow. I can only pray that the Lord will bless them in some way for their kindness, and that He will make me aware of opportunities to be able to pay it forward. It is very humbling to be the mom of a missionary- and feel so grateful to strangers.
 Sam's letter:
It was like 70 degrees here for a couple of days! It felt so good! Hey man i always look for white fluffy clouds and they make me happy! I also saw like 10 stars the other night haha! I love the pics man! So i have two things for you specifically. One is we went shopping the other day and i bought Cookies and Cream Oreos!! Do they have them in the states! I sure hope so because they are amazing!! Like so good!
The other is you know your story about teaching the guy with the sucker and the money and he did not get it at all? Well i had a similar experience on an intercambio this week haha! We were teaching this lady about the priesthood and how to baptize you need to have the right authority and she didn't get it. So Elder Larroza did an example, where if you were driving and got pulled over by basically an ice cream man and he started to write you a ticket you would think he is stupid and you wouldn't take it right? She said that yeah she would take the ticket haha! We were like uhhhh, and said if a police officer pulled you over he can write you a ticket because he has that authority haha and she didn't get it oh man it was so funny!! 
As far as the Spanish and all of that i don't know man i feel like almost i am digressing a little bit i mean some things are staring to click a little bit but not much.  I try to practice my Spanish, but i still cant talk worth a poop. Other than that it is pretty good though and i teach a little bit in the lessons but normally I just sit there and smile a lot haha. 
We still try to work with Aide but she hasn't been home lately and i don't really know what to do about her. It kinda sucks but hopefully we can get her to baptism.Anyways i like thats about it for now, I love you Pops! I miss you!
Protest fires.

(I feel like maybe Colombia is on to something here with the protest fires. I think I will adapt this. When our ward changes church time to the 9:00 block, I will just toss my church stuff into a street fire in protest!)
The area Elder Wadley is in right now has these government housing buildings. He calls them "the glorias." This is a view of them. He said the wealthier people paint their homes, and upgrade the flooring to tile, etc. The next photo is a ground level view of some of the glorias.
Some very welcome rain clouds!
Eating a hamburger. Side note: for the 18 years I have known this kid- he refused to eat hamburgers. He thought they were "Gucky." (<--five year old Jayden) Now he embraces the burger! And rice every day. That is another food that he wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole.
I noticed his sweaty face right away. Hahaha!
Also on the weekly food menu. "Alphabet Soup." I hope he ate Spanish words.
And a "selfie."
I am not sure if this is going to work. He sent me a little video clip of these plants that grow in more tropical climates. We discovered them years ago on a family vacation to Puerto Rico, and saw them again on another trip to Ecuador. The kids were fascinated with them. When you touch them, the leaves close up- like a Venus Fly Trap. Not sure what they are called, or why they close up, but Jayden was excited to find them in Colombia.

Pretty cool how something like a common weed, some fluffy clouds, or a scattering of stars can make you feel connected somehow.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Computer Call, Cockroaches and a Carcass.

Isn't technology awesome?
I know it has only been three months, but it was wonderful to see Jayden's face- and see him live on our computer via Skype. To hear him laugh, and remember how his voice sounds, and his facial expressions. The computer he was on in Colombia had a super crappy camera. Most of the Skype he looked like he was one of those people who are interviewed in silhouette to protect their identity. I was just grateful to see him at all!  On the flip side- it was really hard to say good-bye. Again.
All those emotions that I have shelved for three months came rushing back.
But- I am already seeing change in Elder Wadley.
He has a slight accent- his voice inflection sounds different when he speaks.
He thinks his Spanish is terrible, but he is picking up more than he thinks he is. There were a couple of times in our conversation that he just used Spanish words instead of English. And Sam (being fluent in Spanish from his mission to Ecuador) rattled off a couple of things in Spanish, and Jayden totally got them.
I think this is an exercise in patience for Jayden.
A language is not something that you can just buy and install.
It will come. I know it will.
The Lord has promised that he will help us with the tools we need to further His work.
I still pray for him though- for the language to click.

He talked about his area (Mogambo), the food (rice and rice), the weather there ("hot as balls", and 78% humidity). His companion and leaders (4 to the house he is in), the neighborhood (lots of poor people in government housing), his investigators (one potential baptism upcoming!). 
He was so excited about everything he shared with us. Lots of smiles. He Skyped from a member's house, and halfway through the conversation they brought him a plate of food. Some sweet Colombian mom was spending her Mother's Day hosting my boy and feeding him.
My heart is so full.
I am so honored to be a mother. To know that the inherent desire that we mothers have to nurture others transcends borders and languages. I know my boy is in good hands- and that he is loved in Colombia. I hope to be able to pay it forward to another mama's boy.
When our time on Skype was wrapping up, Sam said a family prayer. Us kneeling in Utah, and Jayden in Colombia. Part of the prayer Sam expressed gratitude that even though we are thousands of miles apart, we can still feel close as a family. This is when we all started to come unglued.
I wouldn't want my boy anywhere else right now, but watching him softly cry into a hankie- and not being able to hug him- was a little rough.
I was reminded that our Heavenly Father probably aches to hug us too. Misses us 'til it hurts. And very much looks forward to our return.
Jayden gets to help Him right now with the hugging and the gathering.
What a cool thing.

This morning, I got a short e-mail from him. And some pictures. It is still his P-Day, and he is in the middle of washing his clothes (with a hose and a bucket), cleaning (there are worms in the shower!) and probably grocery shopping (currently the only thing he fixes are eggs).
Man it was so good to see you guys yesterday! It is super hard to say goodbye and even worse when you are forever and a half away! I am super grateful that we got to see each other though! I love you guys so much! I am glad you finally found your wallet haha! Did it have any treasures in it or anything? I dont really have a whole lot to report today because we talked all day yesterday! I love the pictures! You are totally right, the camera and lighting was terrible hahaha!  Elder Bigs says he doesnt even know how to respond to your "love" haha.  I love you!
 Here are the photos.
This is one that was taken in Bogota by another missionary, Elder Velasquez. This next picture is Jayden and Elder Velasquez. They both arrived at the CCM the same day, and got their calls the same day. I hope once they are both trained, they will end up as companions at some point.
The house that Jayden currently lives in doesn't drain into the infamous "Poo Canals." Instead, it empties into this hole in the front of the house that Jayden said was sort-of like a septic tank. He said that there are tons of mosquitos and cockroaches that come out of this "Poo Pit." Lovely.
Quote from Elder Wadley "Welcome to Colombia haha its pretty nasty here:) I love it!"
Avocados the size of his hand (he has big hands!) Yummy.
A dead cat. He made sure to let me know that this is not the mangy cat they adopted- although it is gone now. (YAY!) This was just a random road-side tragedy.
He is so weird.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Mother's Day Plans

Mother's Day is kind-of a crappy holiday.

For those women who don't have children- it is a horribly insensitive day, and for those of us who do have children it is equally horrible, in a different way.

It is a day where people talk about perfect mothers. "I never heard my angel mother raise her voice, not even once!" "My mother insisted on baking her own homemade bread. Every day. Before sunrise. After her scripture study and personal exercise regiment." I am sure there is not a mom out there that hasn't at some point felt like a loser on Mother's Day. This is compounded by the fact that my kids usually forget, despite the barrage of store displays and TV commercials, unless some sweet fellow mom spends part of her "special day" guilting them into cranking out a hand-crafted creation of some sort.
I have learned to lower my expectations DROP my expectations of this day and then I am completely surprised and delighted by any act of kindness.

So Mother's Day is next week.
This is the first time since 1996 that I am actually excited about this day!
I get to SEE MY BOY, via Skype.
Mormon missionaries are allowed to call home for Mother's Day and Christmas.
I have expectations again!
I expect I will cry.

Elder Wadley's letter to me was very short this week. He is "saving" up for the call next week.
Well i am glad to hear that everyone is doing pretty good and that everything is rolling pretty good! Glad to see that most everything is normal back home. I am super excited to see you guys this sunday! I might cry which will be really weird! It will probably happen though! We didnt really have to much of an eventfull week, kinda just a regular week here. It has been super hot here lately which really kinda sucks! Lets see i ate turtle and piranha this week. I dont know really what else i think we are having a baptism this saturday so that will be really cool! I kind of want to keep this email short so we can talk a lot on sunday! So sorry tis email is short but I love you and i will SEE you on sunday:)
i forgot to tell you we are skyping at about 530 my time it got changed sorry.
Sam's letter:
Hey man i love the pictures! What obstacles are those?! Everything here is going pretty good. I am struggling hard core with spanish. I can understand a lot of it but i cant speak worth a darn! It is super frustrating! It is hard. Me and my comp get along. We should have a baptism this saturday:) It depends on the week we dont have a ton of investigators right now but we knocked doors this last week and hopefully can get some new ones. We had one family that we contacted that seemed pretty interested. Yeah our area is super ghetto. There is one other place that is worse but they dont really allow white kids there because they got death threats... Glad everything with the alley is good! Have you hired new people? So far i have not missed a day in my journal:) Other than the stupid spanish everything is going really good and i am excited to see you on sunday! I have a butt ton of questions and some stories! I love you! :)

Elder Wadley, Elder Bigelow and a Colombian Cumpleanos.

Piranha. Yum?

His words: "A dope selfie I took at a less active member's house."

I pray for his Spanish multiple times a day. I hope understanding will come soon for him. But until then, he can speak English. To me! Next Sunday!