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