Friday, December 30, 2016

Feliz Navidad, 2016

Internet connection from Colombia has never been really great- but it is always so good to see even a glimpse of Elder Jayden's face, and hear his voice- that is is hard to complain.
Technology is awesome, isn't it?
I also wonder sometimes if Satan is running the internet.
It seems like the times when the internet was the worst, were times that Elder Wadley was bearing his testimony (in Spanish) or where we were trying to have a Skype family prayer.
When we were joking around and being silly, connection= clear as a bell.
Something slightly sacred= choppy and crappy. (Looked like Max Headroom, throwback from the 80's.)
My favorite part of the week of Christmas was that Valeria went home for the holidays- and my Snapchat was a constant stream of sneaky Elder Wadley pictures!
Snapchat screen shots from Valeria.
These were from a party- where Elder Jayden was dressed as a carrot for some reason.
Quite an exciting week on social media for me!
Elder Wadley and Elder Brendan timed their Christmas call to be on Skype with the family together. We had a split screen with both of our Elders.
We talked with them, they talked with each other.
We invited a couple of Elder Jayden's friends over who have recently returned home from their own two years of mission service.
It's a thing for these return missionaries to grow beards. Just because they can.
It was so nice to see my boys! And to know that next time I see Elder Jayden I will be able to give him a big fat hug felt pretty good.
I got a surprise e-mail from him the following day. Christmas was Sunday, and normally p-day is on Monday, so I wasn't sure if I would hear from him again the very next day.
It was a surprise to hear his e-mail chime in!
Here is what he wrote:
Well hey i will just hit you with a quick one!
I had the longest travel day ever haha almost 12 hours on a bus! I am super tired! 
I was the only one that was going to Sincelejo so i traveled alone haha but since i am sending you this email it means i got here in one piece and that i am alright! I am with my new comp and he is a really good guy, Elder Robles. He is a convert as of three years ago and is really cool! So far everything is going good! I am hot but the good thing is that the area seems cool and the house is decent. Sahagún has a weird natural smell to it.
It was really good to see you guys yesterday!! Love you!!
Elder Wadley is going to "die" in this area on the coast.
Missionaries have their own little weird language.
To "die" in a place, means that it is your last area, where you finish your mission and go home.
The coast is hot and humid, and pretty much the exact opposite of what he will be coming home to.
We are currently at a bone-aching 20 degrees here at home.
Speaking of dying- I bought an extra blanket for his bed.
It's electric.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Dealing With Stress

I have had a more stressful than normal week. In my local church (ward) they called me to the the president of the young women organization. This puts me in charge of 30 girls 12-18, and in charge of staffing positions to run the organization. I have jumped in with both feet, learning the program, and getting things organized. This on top of the regular holiday season. When things are new, it takes some time to get a routine down, and I am not the most patient of people.
I wrote a little to my missionary boys this week, about the stress of the changes I was going through. Here are Elder Jayden's words:
Well mom i will let you know that my week has not been very interesting. We have seen some progress in the area which is good but nothing phenomenal. But still i am pretty happy for what we have! 
Well i don't really have any stories or any pictures either, i have honestly been kinda out of it in that aspect. I will try and get some for next week though! 
I am glad to hear that the calling is going good! Sorry about the stress it is a killer! I remember when i got to the office there was so much i had to do and i got super stressed as well and i developed an eye twitch. and it wouldn't go away for the longest time! No worries though once you get the hang of it all will be good and you will be almost stress free!
Trust in the Lord! 
That's about all i have for this week! 
We started English classes again this week! So far nobody really comes but it will get there! 
Love you! Merry Christmas! 
Elder Wadley
I wonder, when did he get so wise?
A little reminder to focus on being grateful, to be patient, and things will work out if I lean on the Lord.
And I am happy to report that I haven't developed an eye twitch.
This boy is Skyping home for his last time on Christmas day.
It is all that a missionary mom wants for Christmas, all other gifts pale in comparison to seeing the far-away face that they have missed so bad and hearing their (Spanish-accented) voice.
Valeria went home for Christmas, and took some gifts in her bag for Elder Wadley. I was able to send him homemade fudge, and he requested an American football.
He is home for good in 49 days. :)

Friday, December 16, 2016

Unexpected Convert

This week has been a crazy one for me, and it is almost missionary Monday, again.
Slow posting on my part, apologies.
Here is the update from Colombia:
Well this week we are still trying to find new people to teach and not really having a whole lot of luck! We have had some weird and good people answer their doors and whatnot but when we go back they aren't home.
For example we knocked on one house and started to talk to this girl that answered the door, she was maybe 17ish. She had talked to the missionaries before at a friends house but then lost contact with that friend and the missionaries. We started talking to her a little more and she was apparently only at that place for a group photo and they were taking pictures. She ended up telling us that she wasn't interested and that her friends there weren't either because they were all trannys and homosexuals. It was kinda awkward but i mean thats just the kinda stuff you get knocking on doors in Colombia.
Other than that we haven't been doing much else. It has been contacting and walking basically. Nothing really interesting. 
I did finally get my hands on a conference magazine and have been reading it! It is really good! 
That's basically been our week hah! 
Here are some pictures of the dead pig trucks:)
Elder Wadley
I am not sure what is going on with the pigs. It looks like this guy is selling pig parts right out of the truck. Those are some huge pigs.

The work sounds a little frustrating for him right now. I have been praying for him to find some success in this area, so he can finish his mission feeling like he has made a difference, and leaving no regrets.
His time is getting limited, which is both exciting and heartbreaking. These are the same feelings I had when he left, but in reverse, if that makes sense.
When I think about his success- I think about all of the people he has taught the gospel to, and the people he has baptized. Usually this is what people ask about when a missionary returns.
I think anyone who has been involved in the work, as a missionary, or as someone who supports a missionary knows that this isn't all that the work is about.
First and foremost, real conversion comes to the missionary himself.
This is the true success.
I've watched my boy gain an unwavering testimony of Christ. I've watched him study the gospel, share it and teach it, and live it every day.
I have watched him develop a close relationship with his Father in Heaven, strengthen his faith, to deepen his prayers, and serve the people of Colombia with his whole heart.
Somewhere during the course of this, Elder Wadley converted himself, and another person.
His mother.
No one told me this would happen, but it did.

The past two years have changed me, more than I ever thought was possible.
So when I think of his success- I put myself on his list.
I get to thank him in person in 54 days.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

The E-mail That Was 36 Words

The only reason I am even posting this is for the cute picture that was sent with it. Other than that, this missionary Monday was a total bust for me! Both of my boys phoned it in this week.
Here is Elder Jayden's WHOLE E-MAIL.

Well congrats on your calling! I am proud of you! 

This week wasnt a whole lot of anything. 
I will shoot you a picture of me in front of a fat dog statue! 
Love you!
Elder Wadley
Yep. Really. I waited a whole week for that.
He must have had plans or something because he sent that and was offline.
The picture is cute of him though.
Sam and I wondered if he was wearing sweat pants? His pant legs look kind of bunched up like they are too short.
We are wondering how freaking tall this kid is now?
I also got a kick out of the Colombian men in the background.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. I don't know about a thousand, but it is more than the 36 he actually wrote this week.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

A Colombian Thanksgiving

Knock on wood, packages that I have mailed to Colombia always get there! I read somewhere that would-be thieves are superstitious about tampering with any package that has images of the Virgin Mary on them. Every package I have mailed Elder Wadley has been plastered with Virgin Mary stickers. I am not sure if it has helped or not, but I feel pretty good about the success of the packages reaching him!
I do have to think ahead. It takes an average of six weeks for him to get what I send. Less time when he was assigned to the mission office- but some of his areas were a several hour bus ride from the mission office, so packages to an outlying area have to wait until a zone conference, interview or a transfer.
I mailed him a Thanksgiving package the end of September. I sent a super ghetto Thanksgiving dinner: a couple packages of Stove-top stuffing, instant potatoes, gravy packet, craisins, turkey jerky and pumpkin pie flavored pop-tarts.
His e-mail this week made me happy!
Well i will have you know that i got us to celebrate thanksgiving here! Everything worked out perfectly! The zone leaders had a meeting on Wednesday so they were able to pick up my thanksgiving package so we could eat stuffing! Everyone loved it!
We ate mashed potatoes, stuffing, chicken, and mac n cheese. Its about the best we could to do in south america and with such little time:) It was good though i will shoot you some pics!
Other than that our week went better! We are slowly finding a little more work! 
We got a refereancia this week from a member haha! We went to her house and we talked with her for a little bit and taught her a little bit about prayer. Well we finished up and asked her to pray haha oh man! She stood up and like grabbed my hand and was like thanking us for everything. Then she was all like lets pray! Went and stood behind us and grabbed our shoulders and shook them and started intensely going off "praying". It was a pretty funny experience, i mean she was really nice and everything but it was kinda weird. 
It seems that we have been having a lot of kinda weird and funny experiences lately which has been really great!
Other than that the week was pretty normal! 
I will hit you with some Thanksgiving pictures!
Love you!
Elder Wadley
I asked him about Camilo- the less active member they found last week from the weird window shouting- he said they are having dinner there this week, and things are progressing.
I am still amazed about how all of that happened.
It reminded me of the conference talk this past October from President Uchdorf: "Fourth Floor, Last Door."
""God rewards those who earnestly seek him,” but that reward is not usually behind the first door. So we need to keep knocking. Don’t give up. Seek God with all your heart. Exercise faith. Walk in righteousness. I promise that if you will do this—even until the fourth floor, last door—you will receive the answers you seek."
Keep knocking, Elder Wadley.

Monday, November 21, 2016

A Couple of Miracles

This week Elder Wadley was witness to a couple of miracles.
I am always amazed that if we are willing, the Lord can and will use us to do His work. Not just if we have a badge, and are set apart to be His missionaries, but just in our day-to-day life. The days I pray to be an instrument in His hands, are interesting days. Opportunities for service come. Sometimes small, and some that require a little more effort- but I know that when we act on these potential experiences, the Lord puts more trust in us, and provides more opportunity for us to receive the blessings that come from serving others for Him.

From Elder Home-In-79-Days Wadley:
Well our week was pretty fun! I have been able to get to know my comp a little bit more and he is a really good guy! We have been working pretty good and have seen a lot of miracles in our area.
Also had probably the best Sunday ever yesterday! 
It started out with us meeting a less active member. We talked with her for a good while about why she was less active and the stuff that made her go less active. When at the end she said that she had seen us go down by her house a couple of times, especially my comp. She recognized his face and everything. The thing is that my comp has only been here for a week and that was our first time going up that way the whole time he has been here. This is also his first time serving in Medellín. She was like blown away and started crying saying that maybe it was God trying to tell her something. Really cool experience.
The other is that we were rushing to an appointment the other day and some guy yelled at us saying "Elders do you want a glass of water?" I remembered what the house was so we went over. I had no idea what the guys name was or who he is. So we went and knocked on the door. Some old lady opened it and i asked her if there was a guy home and she replied "Camilo?" I went along with it and said sure. She let us in and we followed her up to the third floor. At this time i still had no idea who or what his name was or if this was even the guy that yelled at us haha! I was like freaking haha! They called him and were like "the missionaries are here." There was an awkward silence and then he was all like "send them up!" Haha it was sooo cool! Turns out he was a member as a little kid but is really, really less active. Really nice though and we have lunch with him on Wednesday:)
Really cool experiences and stuff that has happened this week! 
That was about it though! But honestly a really cool week! We are happy and having fun! 
Love you guys!
Elder Wadley
 And I got photos!
This is Elder Wadley and Elder Munoz making arepas. (like a thick tortilla)
This is the arepa that they both signed. I am not sure why- maybe it is hanging in their apartment now, like some sort of burrito/taco decor? I am not sure what is going on here.
And Medellin, Colombia at night.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Working it and tWerking it.

Another week down!
Elder Wadley speculates that the place he is currently in, will be the one that he finishes his mission in. It has been a hard area for him- no referrals, and nothing to go on, kind of a blank slate. He and his companion have been working hard to gather contacts, and find people to teach. Week by week he is building a teaching pool by knocking on doors, and working with members of the church on less active or inactive people that they know.
He is training again, he just got a new companion this week.
Well Elder Guerber left me this week! He went to the coast and i stayed here. I got a new comp his name is Elder Muñoz. His is from LA but has parents that are Mexican and Brazilian. He is a cool guy and we should have a pretty good time together! 
This week we have a fair amount of stuff lined up so i am really excited! 
This last week went alright we have found one or two other people to teach and we have been seeing some more less actives that have been able to come to church which has been awesome! 
Nothing really interesting has happened this week. I guess it has been raining a lot but thats really it. 
I will shoot you some pictures though!
Love you!
Elder Wadley
The photos he sent were really interesting, but he wasn't in ANY OF THEM. :(
I guess my only consolation to that is the fact that I will see him in person, in less than 90 days.
Here is Medellin Colombia at night:

My favorite photo he sent was one that he took in English class. He and his companion, and the other area missionaries teach English to people.
This is Elder Dean in the middle of a lesson. Jayden wanted me to notice the word that he was teaching them.
HAHA! I asked if they had to demonstrate the word when they taught it.
He said no.
Probably a good decision if my boy inherited his rhythm and coordination genes from me.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

"God is Nice." -Elder Wadley

Elder Jayden had a good week. This weeks e-mail made my heart happy for him; in his work, and also that he has learned to recognize God's hand in his life, even when things look temporarily grim.
Well wow a lot of projects and stuff going on at home!
Well this week has gone better than the last week thats for sure! I have been able to see God working in our area even when we are like down on ourselves or when we feel discouraged. I have seen some miracles this week! 
When i first got here, in this area, we went to a less active that was being rescued and taught, and it turns out that she has a sister that is also less active from being taught the gospel a couple of years ago! She smokes now, and really didn't really want to talk to us. I finally got her to talk to us, i took advantage of the fact that i was new in the area. I left her a chapter in the Book of Mormon and she actually read it but after that she said that she didn't really want to listen to us and that she doesn't need anybody to help her come back to the church.
Recently she needed to go to the hospital and was getting like a cat scan and she got really scared and prayed, saying that she didn't want to go back into that cat scanning machine or whatever it was. For whatever reason, she did not have to do it again. She knew that Heavenly Father answered her prayer. She called us and said that she is coming back to church. She came to church this last week.
She started reading D&C from the very beginning and hasn't smoked once. She even had problems with a couple people in the ward and said that she wants to forgive them and everything! 
We also had another less active that we are talking to that told me on Sunday that she wants us to come over and teach her more! 
A lot of miracles that have been happening here which is absolutely amazing and i honestly feel like i don't deserve these kind of blessings but God is nice!
Other than that we got rained on a lot this week! It rained really hard one day for like four hours and it was just a downpour! 
Well that was about my week! 
Thanks mom for everything! 
Love you!
Elder Wadley
A little back and forth, since I was able to catch him online a bit.
Oh Jayden! This has to be one of your best emails. <3 I am so happy you are finding success and more importantly that you are seeing Gods hand in your life. A grateful heart is a catalyst for miracles. What a cool week! 
What are your plans today?
nothing. we don't have anything specific planned.
what does catalyst mean?
Catalyst is something that creates the optimal conditions for change or growth. So swamp water is a catalyst for slime. lol
oh cool! i didn't know that!
Well you haven't used English much lately. Haha!!
No pictures this week.
I made him promise that he will take some this week. His time is winding down, and I want him to have enough photos of Colombia that when he is old like me, he will be grateful to have them to help jog his memory. And also to show his kids. (My grandkids! (Looking forward to future babies!))

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Rainbows After Rain

This past week our thoughts and prayers were focused on Elder Brendan, Elder Jayden's brother. He has been struggling a bit, and he has only been out on his mission for a few months.
While we were focused on him- Elder Jayden was quietly having struggles of his own.
I guess it has been hard times all around!
The tender mercy of this week though, was that Elder Jayden's p-day brought rain. I got to e-mail chat with him online for a while, since there wasn't much else for him to do. Usually he quickly writes his e-mails, and then bails to do other things.
I was happy to have him online a little longer this week and grateful for that rain!
Here is his e-mail:
Well hey there!
Let me just tell you that this was one of the worst teaching weeks that i have probably ever had in the mission. We barely got to teach this week! It has been hard and i have been really down on myself! 
Really nothing crazy happened this week. We played soccer today and now it is raining like crazy! 
I don't even have any pictures this week. I am like a double failure. 
The coolest thing that happened this week is that we had the multizone conference with our president. It went really good and i absolutely love seeing President and his wife and talking to them. They did an amazing job as well! 
That's really all i have for this week! 
I got conference bingo candy haha! Thanks!
Sorry that my email sucks i will make up for it next week!
Also bought evaporated milk today so bring on the no bake cookies! 
Love you! 
Elder Wadley
And a little of our back and forth:
If I still catch you online- I'm sorry you had a rough week. :( I hope this one is better! And don't let Satan get you down on yourself. Focus on positive things! I love you! Did you know we are 99 days now until you are home? Not even triple digits! Are you getting trunky yet?
mom stahp!!! 
I dont like it!!
I know!!! I try not to say anything, but I just can't wait to smell the Medellin on you and hug your face off!! 
well basically all Medellín smells like weed soo get ready i guess!
what if i dont hug you?
You will be hugged whether you participate or not. It's doesn't matter what you want.
do we still have a  home phone??
And are yours and dads phones still the same?
We don't have a home phone any longer. Our cells are the same.
What the? No house phone?
Everything has changed!!Also i am going to need contact info of our stake president, name number and email
also bishops name and number.
and our ward and stake name
You guys. This is most likely for us to receive his official release date and travel plans for home. I can hardly stand it!
Can I send you all that next week? I thought we got rid of our home phone before you left? 
Hey! It's been nice having you online!! Tender mercy for that rain! :)
for reals haha well i am out! Love you lots! 
Thanks for everything!
I got some surprise photos from my sweet friend Sister Calderon (Jayden's mission president's wife).
Elder Wadley with a package I mailed, and Elder Guerber
Elder Wadley at the multizone conference
I am so happy that she takes these pictures for me! It means a lot to a mom missing her boys face. If you guys ever see missionaries around, please snap a photo and text or e-mail it to their mothers. Be prepared for embarrassing amounts of gratitude.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Planting Seeds

I shared with my missionary boys this week a spiritual experience I had that was just short of a full fledged miracle. Along with this experience came a little bit of guilt for me. I am not sure why I received this blessing- or why I receive all of the blessings that I do, especially the blessings that come from knowing and living the gospel of Jesus Christ. I have been reflecting on how I demonstrate my gratitude. Am I truly an example of what I believe? Do I take advantage of (or even recognize) the opportunities I have to share the gospel with others? Am I aware of the needs of others?
It is always a little depressing to give yourself this checks and balances assessment, I always fall short of my service versus the blessings I receive.
Here is Elder Jayden's e-mail this week:

I have thought a lot about stuff like that while on my mission. Am i really not doing everything that i can or do people just hate me or what haha but a lot of times we are just planting seeds for stuff in the future! 

Well this week has been decent we finally have some people that are progressing towards baptism and we are seeing a little more success in our area! It has been good to finally see the progress we are having. We still have a lot of work to do and a lot to get better at but we are getting there little by little. Really there is nothing new this week.
Congrats on the family history there is a big push for that here as well! 
Wow this email is really boring!
I will share with you something cool that i saw the other day! 
We went to a recently reactivated members house and turns out her whole family was baptized when they were younger! She has a family member that has been a member of the church since he was a little kid! But later on in his life he got into drugs... he has been a drug addict for a long time. But to this day he remembers that he is a member and gets excited that his family goes to church and everything. He still carries around a couple books from the church with him in a little bag and is proud of them, and never denies that he is a member! It just goes to show how much of an impact the church can have on someone in their life!
Well thats about it for this week! I will talk to you later!
Love you!
Elder Wadley
No photos from him this week.
It was this week, two years ago that he opened the white envelope that would forever alter his life.
We were naive to the changes we would all make.
It's been a good two years.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Villa Hermosa, Colombia

It was a rough week for me here at home.
I felt bad that my e-mail to my missionary Elders was kind of a downer, but I guess sometimes life is like that. I think it is important to be honest about what is going on with our lives back at home, without dumping a load of problems on them. I also try and balance it out with good things that happen. So when I sit down on Sunday night to write my boys, and I reflect on the week- it is a good opportunity for me to count my blessings, and look for tender mercies, even when sometimes I feel like am in darkness.
There are always, always blessings.
Here is Elder Jayden's e-mail this week:
Well my week wasn't all that good either. We were in a trio or in other words we were three missionaries here in Villa Hermosa. Well this week we got a call and long story short our other companion from Ecuador went home this week. It was really sad to see him go, i mean i think i was just starting to like him ;) Other than that the week has been alright. We have been able to find a good group of new people to teach and they seem like they will be able to progress pretty well which will be awesome!
I am with Elder Guerber now, he is from my group-we were comps in the MTC and now we are comps again and it has been really fun! He is a really good guy! I have really enjoyed my time here with him.
I am sorry to hear about all that has happened that really kinda sucks! 
I will shoot you some pictures from this week with our other comp, Elder Morillo that left.
Love you!
Elder Wadley
I was able to catch him online for a little back and forth. It was a good day.
Any ideas on things you would like for your Christmas package? I am going to be mailing it soon. Do you want or need anything?
No just seeds and food kinda stuff.
Don't send me any like clothes or anything i am not really going to need anything like that. Um is there anything specific that you guys want as like souvenirs??
DID YOU SEE THIS? He is making plans for coming home.
I will ask the kids. Whatever you think is cool. Don't go crazy. We don't need you to worry about getting stuff. I will just be excited to see your face.
Haha mom 
What are you up to?¡
This is what I read about in D&C today. Hiram Page, an early saint found himself a stone and told people he was getting revelations like Joseph Smith. The Lord reiterates that He will only reveal things for the whole church to His prophet. It's in section 28. Then he says a kind of sweet thing- instead of rebuking this Page guy- he tells Oliver Cowdery to: (vs 11)  And again, thou shalt take thy brother, Hiram Page, between him and thee alone, and tell him that those things which he hath written from that stone are not of me and that Satan deceiveth him;
I liked how he wants Oliver to pull his "brother" aside privately, and lovingly, to let him know that he was deceived by Satan.

It also says in this chapter that we are all entitled to personal revelation for ourselves but that the Lord will give us revelation for others ONLY if we are called and set apart to do so.
This means you, as a missionary, can receive revelation for the people you serve. Also parents receive revelation for their kids. But never will the Lord give someone revelation for someone who presides over them.
Pretty cool.
It's crazy how Satan can make spiritual imitations that deceive so many.
Oh hey i totally read that section like yesterday!! Ahaha really cool! DyC is super sweet!
I think its pretty cool that he and I are on the same page with our scripture study.

Elder Guerber, Elder Wadley, Elder Morillo
Villa Hermosa (beautiful village), Colombia

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

A Lesson on Contention

In his e-mail to Sam this week Jayden speculated that this may be his last area on his mission. My heart is heavy for him. I would have never guessed that this two years would have gone by so quickly. Especially during those first couple of months when I missed him every. single. day. I still miss him, but it is not that all-encompassing black hole of ache. So I guess my advice for moms that are sending their first kid off- it does get better. When they are 120 days from being home again, it feels okay. :)

He also mentioned in his e-mail to Sam that this area is a knee killer. I can see why. There are no roads, just some meandering dirt paths connecting houses. I am quite sure I would need to carry around granola bars- I would be lost a LOT here.
Here is his e-mail this week:
Well our week was pretty good.Like i said i am in a new area so i am still learning how to get around a little bit but it has been good! I have been get to know a lot of people and we have some pretty good investigators. We found a couple new people that live in the mountains basically but they are really cool and we should be starting to officially teach them this week! They even came to church this week! The ward here is awesome and i am honestly really loving it here! It is kinda like Manizales. Lots of hills and the weather is nice! I will shoot you some pictures of when we were up in the mountains looking for those investigators. 
A cool thing i noticed this week is that at the beginning of the week we weren't getting along a whole lot as comps. (Basically getting used to each other and everything) and we were averaging like one lesson a day. Well we kinda got everything worked out these last couple of days and started getting 3 to 4 lessons in in one day. It is crazy to see how important the Spirit is in this work. At the beginning it was more like contention but once we got over that we have got along really well and have had more work and success. The Spirit is really importante in missionary work and in our lives. After we got over everything we taught some great lessons and you could feel the spirit really strong there.
That's about the only cool thing from this week i will shoot you some fotos really quick!
Love you! 
Elder Wadley
Learning to make arepas with a member.
"a dog thats in a shopping cart that is like on the side of the house"
I don't think Elder Wadley has told me the official name of his area?
I love his wisdom this week. I too have learned that whatever I am doing, whether it is in my home, job, or general relationships, nothing gets accomplished if there is contention.Often it takes some apologizing, swallowing my stubborn tendencies and pride, and prayer. (I have learned that a nap and a snack always help too.) Once we separate out our desire to be right- contention dissipates, and love creeps in. It is a good lesson for him to learn at 20- it took me a whole lot longer.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

A Really Good E-mail This Week (and also I'm nesting.)

Pre-mission pic, he didn't send any this week.
We have a pretty large bedroom in our basement. We call it the frat room, or bachelor pad. When Jayden moved down to that room, we cast off our old king sized bed, and would often find his friends sleeping in there with him after a late night. On a couple of occasions there were 6-7 kids in the bed at a time. There were some afternoon "bro naps" as well. The room is always cold and dark and apparently the conditions are so perfect that is the most prestigious room in the house.

It was no surprise when Elder Jayden left, Brendan staked claim on the bachelor pad the same night. He didn't so much move in, as take occupancy. We never really cleaned Jayden out of it. Brendan just piled his crap on top of the previous crap. It saved me from work, and tears so I let it roll.
When Elder Brendan left on his mission, I decided the place needed to be gutted. We moved the bed and found a lot of treasures. The previous tenants had boxed up their important things, and the residual junk was finally hauled out and trashed.

Shayne, our remaining son moved in.
Shayne is patient and a peacemaker and never wants to ruffle feathers.
He is also the tallest and biggest son.
He had been sleeping on a twin bed for a long time, that unbeknownst to us- had been entirely too small for his frame.
His first night on the king sized bed was heaven. He could finally stretch out fully, and not wake himself up when he tried to turn over.
Needless to say, he is not willing to give up the frat room when Jayden gets home in Februray. I don't think it is fair to him, since he will be going on a mission this September.
I ordered a new bed for Jayden, and we are fixing up Shayne's old room for him to return to. Musical beds here at the Wadley casa.
It is kind of exciting though, fixing up a place for JAYDEN! :) I feel like a nesting pregnant lady but without all of the water retention and bladder issues.
That being said, here is Elder Jayden's e-mail this week:
Well first off i want my old room back!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!;)
Well this week has been interesting! We were able to find a good group of new investigators and that are really good and can progress! I started thinking how much i was liking that area and how much i was looking forward to keep working with those people! And i got transferred.... I am in Medellín again. I am in a trio with Elder Guerber, the really tall kid from my group, and another Elder from Ecuador. It should be fun and a little interesting.
Well we had a sad thing happen to us the other day. We having been trying to help this family in Cartago. The mom is a recent convert, the dad is a member basically his whole life (less active for awhile) , and they have 3 kids. The oldest is 17 and the other two are like 10 and 11. So we have been struggling to get them to be better in the church. They have a lot of problems and fight a lot and they don't have a lot of love between them. We have shared with them about families and stuff like that but they haven't done anything yet and it is really frustrating. We passed by the other day and ended up talking to the kids a little bit, the 17 and 11 year old. It was a normal conversation and then we started talking about their family prayers and stuff like that and they told us that they weren't doing them at all. So we talked about how much the church could help the family and all that. Well the little kid started tearing up and eventually cried. We all thought that it was because his older brother bugged him a little. He finally spoke and said "i wish our family could be like you guys always talk about." His older brother teared up a little bit and they started to tell us that it was yelling and fighting in the house and all sorts of stuff like that. It was really sad. It just goes to show how much we are blessed as a family when we live the gospel. Really there are four main things that we should do as a family. They even talked about them in conference, they are read, pray, go to church, and family home evening. I have seen many blessed families that have lived and done that and they have and are living very happy lives. I wanted to share that with you so you guys keep doing them or if not that you can start doing them because they are important!
Well thats all i have for now! 
Love you!
Elder Wadley
I caught him online for a little bit:
Medellin?? Oh that's kinda awesome. When did transfers happen? Are you close to the office again?
kinda close i guess. I got here this morning at about 2 or 3
You must be so tired from that bus ride from cartago. Any plans today besides bedtime at 7?
No nothing haha i dont know we are going to have to invent something! 
Have you ridden the cable cars yet?
yeah i rode the ones in Manizales but in Medellín not yet! 
I feel like when you get home there are going to be a lot of long talks about all the things you haven't written me about. :)
haha could be haha! 
Hey but i was serious about my old room! :)

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Colombian Non-Off-Road Jeeping

This week I got ripped off in the missionary mom department.
Both of my boys were busy, and all I got was crumbs. At least Elder Jayden came through with some pretty awesome photos. If you know Jayden, you will realize the miracle of him finding a Jeep in Colombia! It isn't a "Jeep" by our standards, but not a bad substitution for his almost two year withdrawals.
Here is his e-mail:
Hey mom sorry i am on a little later today we went to a little pueblito outside of Pereira as a zone activity!
It was cool! 
The weather was awesome and we had a good time! I don't have a whole lot of time this week so i will send you some pics and i hope that makes up for it! 
Love you!
Elder Wadley
Here are some pictures of his adventure. The area looks green and pretty. The "jeep" is a little awesome too.
Pereira, Colombia
 Just a reminder, this is the Jeep Elder Wadley left back home. It's still running strong!
(Although it might be a little lonely for its original driver.)
Elder Wadley I and II, circa 2014

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Fruits of Labor, and just regular Fruits.

This past week Sam and I took a trip to Ecuador. It was Sam's mission reunion (23 years), and a good excuse for us to escape for a while. We happened to be about 15 hours away from where Elder Jayden is serving, and it was a little tempting to just hop a bus to where he was. It was really cool to be in South America- in the same type of areas my boy is living in. The same sounds, smells, and sweet people.
I discovered that I have a super power! My body is super heat efficient. While everyone else was sweating puddles, I found the heat to be very comfortable, and rarely broke into a sweat. I think I was born in the wrong America.
I got to practice my Spanish a bit too, which was both exciting and terrifying. We attended church in South America. That is where I felt the closest to my Colombian boy. The church was the same there as it is back home- the same feelings, the same organization and ordinances, the same hymns with foreign words. The spirit can testify to your heart even if you don't speak the language.
Probably the coolest part about the trip is that practically every city we explored, we would run into missionaries! I was able to take photos, and send them to other missionary mama's. This church program is so inspired. These young people who serve really do stand out in a crowd. They exemplify His light, and draw people to them.
Monday came while we were driving to a city in Ecuador called Libertad. Before we left, Sam added an international plan to his phone so I would be able to catch Elder Jayden and his brother, Elder Brendan online. The other couple we traveled with have a sister missionary in Brazil, so both of us mamas were anxiously waiting for e-mails.
The wifi was sketchy, but it worked.
This post will contain both e-mails- from last week, and the one I got yesterday.
Here is Elder Wadley's e-mail from last week:
Well i am glad you are having a good time and that you have been able to practice a little bit of your 13 percent fluency in Spanish! I am totally with you South America is awesome! I absolutely love it! I am actually really jealous of the gift that you have of not sweating! I sweat like a pig here! It is honestly really gross! I only knew of one other person that never sweated while we were in the coast and i thought he had something wrong with him!
It is kinda different being in a church in south america and doing everything in spanish! I remeber my first time haha it was super different and i didn't understand anything! Really fun though! I am glad you got a little taste of what its like! 
Our week wasnt a whole ton of interesting. We have an amazing investigator that totally received her testimony and told us that everything is true! The only problem is that had to move back for a little while to her home town in a pueblito outside of Cartago but she comes down for the weekends to study and is trying to get a job and everything here so she can stay! She is really awesome! We have been able to find a little bit more people to teach this week and it has been getting a little bit better! Me and my comp have been trying to be really really obediente with everything and i am seeing the blessings! 
It has been a pretty decent week and i am loving it right now with my comp and everything! 
I will shoot you some pictures as well. We had interviews with President this week and played pool! 
Love you guys! Have a great week! 
Les quiero mucho!
Saludos a todos! 
Elder Wadley

This week I greeted him in my e-mail with a slang term I learned in Ecuador from a local. "Cubo parce."  I also asked him about a couple of South American fruits that we found and tried while in Ecuador.


Here is his e-mail from this week:
Well glad to hear that you had a good time in south america! Just to let you know it is Q´hubo parce. That is like the typical colombian greeting i guess you could say!
Also i have tried both of those fruits and they are really good! Kinda slimey but really awesome! 
My week has been alright here! Nothing really interesting! We have been getting some more people on the baptismal date and have been having a little more success in our area. We are slowly seeing the fruits of our labor i guess you could say! 
We have been able to have some really good spiritual lessons this week and my comp has been learning a lot, he just needs to be able to refine it a little bit and he will be really good! 
Here in Colombia there are skateparks and skaters it is not as big as it is in the states but it is here! In Medellín there are two skateparks that i know of and here close in Pereira there is another.
Oh i wanted to give you a quick heads up that i started Doctrine and Covenants this week and it has been awesome! It is pure revelation and it has been a good little bit of reading! DyC 3:10
But remember, God is merciful; therefore, repent of that which thou hast done which is contrary to the commandment which I gave you, and thou art still chosen, and art again called to the work;
It hit me this week, not because i have broken a commandment or anything big but i haven't been the best with the area book and a couple other things like that and this scripture hit me saying that i can get better, repent, and that i am still called to be a missionary and that these little things are important but are not going to hold me back like crazy!
Well i don't have much to say. I am good! Having fun and working at the same time! I am glad you got to see a little bit of how south america is! Its awesome!
Love you!
Elder Wadley
PS Here is a taxi that caught on fire and blew up a little.
After spending a week with the Ecuadorean people, I fell in love with them.
They are humble and pure, with an innocent kindness. Those who have the least, smile the most. My heart is heavy that in four months Elder Wadley's service in South America will come to a close, and it will be time for him to leave these people.
I am quite sure this farewell will be harder on him than the one that separated him from us.
My excitement at seeing him again will be tinged with the painful tenderness I know he will feel from leaving the country and people he grew to love.
140 days.

Monday, September 5, 2016

I had a hard time editing the photos this week. ((shudder))

A busy boring week here, and a busy, boring week in Colombia. (Just how this mama likes it!) I got a few interesting photos though. Elder Wadley's email explains them a bit.
This boy has officially five months left in Colombia. Or 150 days. :)
It has been simultaneously the longest and shortest two years of my life, and probably his too.
Here is his short update (in response to my short e-mail to him) for the week:
Its kinda funny to see that both of our emails kinda suck. They are just short and give a brief recap of what happened ha! Well at least we are on the same page! 
Well this week wasn't a whole lot of interesting we found a really good new investigator and she is understanding everything and progressing really well. The only problem is that she doesn't really like it here in Cartago and might be going back to her house and it is about 3 hours away in a small town where there aren't missionaries or a church:(
I had an intercambio (or exchange, where they trade companions for the day to switch it up) with the zone leaders this last couple days and it went pretty good. The picture i sent to you is while we were in the intercambio we walked by this place that had a ton of nasty spiders! Then these people took us in the back of their like moving truck and that is why the picture is blurry. Also found this lady in the street and this is what her bag said!! Haha!
Other than that nothing really interesting has happened! My comp is doing good and learning quite a bit! I am also learning and growing everyday! 
I will let you know if there is anything else that happened!
Love you!
Elder Wadley

Sometimes translation gets lost.
My boy just hops into the back of a random van. Isn't this how people get kidnapped?

Elder Wadley, Elder Flores

Monday, August 29, 2016

Avoiding an Earthquake

Earlier this week I started to get texts from people telling me that "I am praying for your missionary" I had to pretend like I knew what was going on, and frantically started scanning news sites. Elder Jayden's brother is serving in Indiana, and they had several tornadoes rip through the state. Missionary moms get pretty good at sleuthing things out, so I found a local news site and then google mapped the distance between the tornado zone and Brendan's area. It was pretty far away. We got an e-mail later that day from his mission president saying all the missionaries were safe and accounted for.

A couple of days later Colombia was hit with an earthquake.

I repeated the same process, and Elder Jayden was in a safe area as well.
I can honestly say that I have never been worried about either one of my boys as they serve their missions. I know without a doubt that they are being watched over and protected.
This does not exempt them from every tragedy or exclude them from consequences of their bad decisions, but they do have extra angels assigned to keep them safe.
I was happy to hear from Elder Wadley this week:
Well this week was kinda sucky. We are trying to find a lot of people to teach and we haven't had a whole lot of luck this week. Not to mention that it has been dumping rain on us every time we have been outside! It has been raining hard lately but it has been a kinda nice break from the heat that we have had!
I got my new comp this week and he is starting to come out of his shell a little bit. He is a really good guy and super nice and enjoys every little bit of the mission. His name is Elder Castillo (from Peru) and he has only been a member of the church for about a year and a half. We are getting along good and having fun! 
This week has been good even though we have been walking a lot and getting soaked! We have been able to teach and find some potential new investigators! Other than that the week hasn't been that interesting. But no worries because i will send you a good amount of pictures to kinda make up for the lack of email material:) 
Oh and by the way the earthquake, i didn't feel anything i don't think that it even got close to here. 
Love you! Stay safe!
Elder Wadley
True to his word, he did send some really cute pictures this week.
President Calderon, Elder Wadley and Sister Calderon

Elder Wadley, Elder Flores
"Elder Menjivar, Elder Herrera, Me, Elder Diaz"
"Elder Diaz, me, Elder Ralphs with Krispy Kreme- Elder Anderson was there also but not in the picture"
"The 4 misioneros en Cartago"
As a side note- Sam and I are heading to Ecuador soon for his mission reunion. The area Jayden is serving in right now, Cartago, is the closest he could be in his whole mission- to where we will be. I am not sure if this is a sign or not? Hahaha! I do not want to distract him from his work, but I sure would like to be a fly on the wall and just watch him teach from across the street or something.

Internets, let Sam know that if I go missing in Ecuador for a couple of days, not to worry.