Saturday, May 28, 2016

Carrots and Flour and Bamboo

Last week, Elder Wadley sent a really short letter. I got the impression that he is somewhat discouraged being in the office day in and day out. He adores being so close to President Calderon and his family- but he has never been a big indoors kind of kid. His attitude about it is so awesome. He is really learning the whole "bloom where you are planted" thing. I told him he is finally adult-ing! Let's be honest- most of adult life is a series of completing tasks you didn't really want to do in the first place, and then repeating them over and over again. I am constantly amazed at the things he is learning on his mission. Things that will serve him throughout his life.
Here is his e-mail from last week, and this week's e-mail will follow.
I don't have a whole lot to say this week. I have been mainly in the office doing an Excel sheet for President. I have done this sheet about 600 times haha! Every time i would finish they would change something! Needless to say it has been pretty fun. Other than that i gave a talk on Sunday! I pulled out the whole "put flour in the scriptures and blow it off like it is dust" and i told everyone that the "dusty" scriptures were my comps haha! It went super good and everybody laughed! It was kinda fun! 
Also this week, i don't know if you remember Elder Mackinlay? He is the kid i replaced here in the office because he had to go home for surgery? Well he got his surgery and came back to the mission and was here for about 2 months and just went home yesterday for the same problem. Honestly really sad because he is a great dude and a good missionary. I will send you a pic of him. If you see him in the street give him a high five or something! 
Elder Flores, Elder McKinley (green shirt) and Jayden
Well this week hasn't been a whole lot of interesting because i was mainly cooped up in the office doing that thing in Excel. Its done and looks good though! Well i love you guys!! Have a great week!
Elder Wadley
This week was a very busy one for us back at home. It was a huge Brendan week! He had seminary graduation, and then High School graduation. He has about 30 short days until he reports to the MTC to begin his mission. What a blessing for our family- to have two missionaries serving at the same time. Since Jayden knows what is in store for his brother, he is so excited and happy for him.
Some back story- Brendan skipped out on the mandatory meeting the day before graduation because we kept Jayden's cap and gown for Brendan to wear so he didn't need to go pick one up at the meeting. Apparently in that meeting they strictly instructed all of the graduating kids to wear best dress underneath their gowns. Brendan showed up in a Hawaiian shirt, shorts and flip-flops. :/
Here is Elder Wadley's e-mail this week:
Well hey congrats to Brendan! I am proud of you man! And i think that it is cool that you went in shorts and a shirt haha who gives a crap! I went in bright blue Nikes and a t shirt ahah! Its whateves! And wow we are down to 30 days that is absolutely crazy man! I am excited for you it and you will be super awesome!

Our week was pretty normal! We had some work to do in the office and we got out to teach as well. We have some people that are getting ready for baptism now which is awesome! We also had a cool ward activity that and i will send you some pictures a little bit later on. 
Basically it was like a Ward Family home evening. We had a short little message from a ward member and we also had a couple games and refreshments:) I will send you a dope photo of all the missionaries playing a game where we had to look for chocolate in a bowl of flour. Good times. Other than that i have been eating a lot of carrots and celery this week. Presidente called me a rabbit and gave me a couple hugs!

I'm going to tell something kinda weird and cool that has happened to me this week. This whole week i have been studying in the chapters in the 2 Nephi that you have to compare to Isaiah. I have really been liking them and understanding a lot about them and i really want to study more from them which is super cool and weird! Really the promise that it has in 2 Nephi 25 is true that we will be able to understand what they are saying in these chapters.
2 Nephi 25
4 Wherefore, hearken, O my people, which are of the house of Israel, and give ear unto my words; for because the words of Isaiah are not plain unto you, nevertheless they are plain unto all those that are filled with the spirit of prophecy. But I give unto you a prophecy, according to the spirit which is in me; wherefore I shall prophesy according to the plainness which hath been with me from the time that I came out from Jerusalem with my father; for behold, my soul delighteth in plainness unto my people, that they may learn.
 5 Yea, and my soul delighteth in the words of Isaiah...
Also my comp and i have set the goal to do cooler things on Pday and take more pictures. :)
This email is all over the place but no worries. 
I dont have a whole lot more to say, The church is true and i love you guys! 
Elder Wadley
Bless him. I still find the Isaiah chapters in the scriptures incredibly hard and almost as good as a sleeping pill. I usually skip them altogether or quickly skim them. I guess this is an obvious indication of where my spiritual level is at. Something to work on.
Ya'll. I got pictures too.
I got his e-mail when I was driving home and I almost ran off the road!
After they dug their faces around in bowls of flour to find candy. Looks like only one Elder was successful. The rest just have paste-y boogers.

If you get a minute, click on the photo, it cracks me up how hard the audience is laughing.

Again here too- the kids are cracking UP.
This next photo Elder Jayden sent is of  "this public bathroom i found. I had to pee really bad one day and they don't really have public bathrooms here but i found this really cool one and i don't know if you can really see but i don't fit haha i had to duck to get in and scrunch my shoulders haha!"
I love his companion in the mirror taking the picture, and really? What is this place!  Why the bamboo curtain?

Lunch in the office. <3
I am so proud of Elder Wadley. As his testimony and faith increases, the Lord is making him more capable of learning and teaching His gospel.
As a mom I don't think you can ask for anything more. He has surpassed my level for sure, and has become an example for me.
Isaiah? Really?

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Charity and Urine Samples

This week Elder Wadley went on an adventure to the zoo, so we didn't hear from him until a little later in the day. His preparation day is still on Saturday, as he is still assigned to the mission office. It is always fun for me to be going about my Saturday chores and hear his e-mail chime in. I am glad he is doing some fun things while he is in Medellin. I hope he gets to explore even more. He actually sent some pictures too! I love photos, but as he has grown in the gospel, I am really loving his words. Especially this week. Some really mature advice about what he has learned about charity; the pure love of Christ. Makes my eyes leak.

Well this week has been kinda crazy at first but overall pretty normal. We started out the week with a conference here in Medellín with President. We were in charge of putting a lot of it together. It sometimes is a pain to do it all because it takes time away from our teaching time, but i also do like it because it is a different way to help out here in the mission. There are pros and cons to everything.
This week i have been studying a lot about charity. Because lately i have lost a lot of the love that i had for everybody. For my comps, members, and other missionaries. I haven't been the funnest most of the time and honestly that bugs me so bad. It is hard to love everybody for many reasons but  i also see it as a huge opportunity to develop my charity a little bit more. I was studying in Preach My Gospel and there is a part that i really liked, it is in the second paragraph in spanish it says "Nosotros debemos tratar de desarrollar esa clase de amor." (It is a little different than the english version) I really like how it uses the verb "tratar" this verb translated is like saying to try. Right then it struck me that we are not going to be able to develop this type of love here on earth but we can always try. We are not perfect and all loving but we can try and thats what is really important. And if we keep trying we will eventually develop that sort of love that Christ has.
Other than that this week went pretty good. Me and me comp just got back from the zoo and we had a good time haha! It was better than the Dubai zoo ill tell you thats for sure. 
Well Love you! Have a great week!
Elder Wadley
I loved his words this week. Isn't he wonderful? I am so proud of him. And a little in awe. When did he get so wise?
Then his photos from the zoo balanced it all out.
He is still a little bit of the cute idiot that we know and love!
Parque Zoológico Santa Fe
This last photo is of Elder Wadley and his companion while they were out doing some service.
I asked him what service they did. Here was our conversation:
Oh that is with Elder Flores we went to do a little service for a less active lady, She had those huge bags of bottles and basically we were making sure the lids fit on all of them haha it was super fun! They are the urine sample bottles hahah! 
Oh my heck!! That is hilarious! I hope you washed your hands! What kind of service is that?
They weren't used haha! I don't know it was her job make sure they have good lids haha!
What struck me about this conversation is that it didn't matter to him how important the job was, only that this sweet lady needed it done, so he just dove in and did it. He always has a smile on his face- and I have the sneaking suspicion that his charity level is higher than he thinks. But- his mama probably needs to follow his example more.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

The Much Anticipated Mother's Day Skype

This past Sunday was Mother's Day. Traditionally missionaries get to call home on this day, and on Christmas. Those are the only two dates we get to "see" him via Skype. Thank goodness for technology! The connection was super crappy. At times his face looked like an impressionist oil painting with his mouth on his chin. And we strained to hear him during those minutes- and dang it, because he was saying some good stuff, and we just sat there with tight-lipped smiles on our faces BECAUSE WE COULDN'T HEAR HIM. :(  I am sure he thinks that his family has lost some brain cells since he left. But given our distance, and the technology in Colombia- we were grateful for what we got.
His Skype avatar, man, I get excited when that thing pops up!
We were able to talk with him for a a little over an hour. He told us about the office, and the things he does there. He spoke to Sam in Spanish, and bore his testimony to the family in Spanish. He looks so confident and happy! We get to talk to him one more time while he is still a missionary in the field. I contrast this phone call to the one we had a year ago on Mother's Day- when we both needed each other so much, and how hard it was to see him- and how devastating it was to say "goodbye." This call was much less painful on my heart. The weird thing for me though, is my desperate need to hug him! That hasn't gone away. When I see his face, he seems so close and yet my arms feel so empty.
I got my annual Mother's Day photo of me and all the kids!
We talked about normal family things for about an hour. Then I gave him some alone time with his brothers. I especially wanted him to be able to talk to Brendan before he leaves on his mission next month. This is when the good stuff happened!

Elder Wadley told his brothers about a cab ride he and his companion took. The driver was talking about cocaine, and Jayden played dumb and asked the driver what "cocaine" was. "This" he said, pulling up a full bag, along with a bag of marijuana. Then as an added bonus, he hit a button on the tape deck in the car, and out popped some pink ecstasy tablets in the shape of "Hello Kitty." The driver handed the pills back to the boys. Jayden asked if the driver was always so open with his passengers with his "wares." "No, but you guys seem cool." HAHA! Oh, Colombia.

I could hear them all laughing in the next room as Elder Wadley shared stories. It will be another 3 1/2 years before my boys are all back together again.

Our time was almost up. We wrapped up the Skype call with a family prayer, and said "goodbye." Man, goodbyes just blow.
But I feel like the "welcome home" is going to be worth every one of them.
Nine short months.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

From Crappy Spanish to Crappy English

A short e-mail this week. It seems like the weeks are flying by. We are counting down the days to send Elder Brendan on his mission, and counting down the months until we get to see Jayden again. All good things. Change is so hard- but so good too. Elder Jayden has just over 9 months left until he is back on American soil. It has gone so fast, and it makes me anxious for him, since I am sure he feels the time draining out of the hourglass even more profoundly than I do. We even have an official release date! February 9th. :)

I have noticed so many changes in him lately. One of the things that will not be noticeable to the rest of you reading the blog is that his English is getting crappy! HAHA! I correct his e-mails before I post, but I can tell that he struggles to find the words he wants to use in English now. I am so proud of that. I know how hard he worked to be able to communicate in Spanish.

Here is his e-mail this week:
Well sounds like you had a pretty decent week and everything seems to be rolling good! Crazy to see that people are staring to come back from the mission already! That is super weird! The time is going by so fast! Soon Marcus, Nate, Derek and everybody will be home and then i will bring up the rear end haha! Wow haha weird to think about to be honest!
This week has been decent. Sunday was one of the best days i have had in a long time! Here in the office you don't really feel like a missionary as much. You are still a missionary and doing important stuff but in doesn't compare to actually being out in the field and walking all day. Sitting in front of a computer for half the day isn't the funnest thing, but the office is awesome at the same time. On Sunday is really our only day to be full time missionaries. This last Sunday Elder Larroza and I had a really good day. We were able to visit some members and investigators and we felt the spirit really strong in every lesson that we taught! At the end of the night we were both just like WOW haha. It was a really good day! This week has honestly been filled with good lessons where we felt the spirit really strongly and that is something that i have missed a lot lately. My comp is a stud and we are enjoying life. 
Other than that this week has been good! I have been able to get more work done which is always nice to get some stuff off my back. Also the Lord has helped us this week find a couple new people to teach- and to know what things to teach to some people that really needed to hear it. 
Well today we played soccer like usual and we were going to go buy some stuff but it just started raining like crazy haha! So i am not sure if we are going anymore or not.
Well don't have much else. Sorry kinda a lame email. I don't have a whole lot to say. 
Love you 
Elder Wadley
The second change in him I noticed in this e-mail is where he said "the Lord has helped us this week find a couple new people to teach.." Previous e-mails have always said "WE are struggling to find people to teach" or "WE found some new investigators..." This is the first time I have seen him recognize that it is the Lord who prepares people to hear His gospel. I know that Jayden knows this, and has always known it- as all missionaries do. It is through the spirit that people are converted, not by the hesitant words spoken by inexperienced young men in broken Spanish.
But this is the first time he has acknowledged this in an e-mail home.
This is the good stuff. His testimony is growing so much.
Doctrine and Covenants 84: 88 "And whoso receiveth you, there I will be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up."