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.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Super Short Email Week

I don't mind so much that Elder Wadley's e-mails lately have been truncated obligatory afterthoughts. I know he is in panic mode. His mission is winding down and he is trying to squeeze everything he can out of his limited time.
I would still like to hear about what is going on with him, but I know that in 170ish days I will have him sitting on our couch again, and he can tell me in person.
Isn't that crazy?
I can't wait to smell Medellín. :)
Here is his e-mail this week:
This week was a lot of bus rides. We had to travel to Medellín for zone conference and right now i am in Medellín again because we have transfers here! I don't have a whole lot of time to write today but i promise that next week will be better and that i will send pictures!
My comp is getting transferred and i am going to stay in Cartago for a little bit longer! I am here in Medellín to pick up my new comp and take him back to our area. I was able to meet up with Elder Anderson again and he is currently sitting next to me. I will shoot you some pictures next week on everything! Sorry i don't have much time!
Love you!Elder Wadley
Mom note: distance from Cartago to Medellín is 152 miles, or a little over 5 hours on a bus, one way. Sounds terrible! If you have never been on a South American bus, there is rarely air conditioning, most people don't believe in deodorant, and I have never been on a bus with a bathroom.

I will have to ask him more about the 20+ hours he just endured. :/

Friday, August 19, 2016

Puking on a Colombian Bus

This week gave me a little panic moment.
Missionary Monday came around. I usually start doing my housework, and see how much crap I can get done before my phone chimes to let me know that Elder Wadley's e-mail came through.
I am usually loading laundry, and it gives me the perfect excuse to sit down and read his e-mail with a treat or something.
(I get that my life is totally lame.)
Anyway- Monday came, and I kept doing chores and pretty soon I ran out of chores, and still no e-mail.
I did the math, and it was like 9:00 pm in Colombia, and I figured at that point that I wasn't getting an e-mail, BUT WHY?
You recall last time the e-mail didn't come it was because his whole area was on lock-down because the city was overtaken by guerrilla rebels.
So I did what any concerned mother would do- I searched the internet for news from Colombia, and I posted in the Facebook group page.
Nothing in the news. That was good.
Another mom came through for me on the Facebook page, and said that the missionaries had a zone conference. None of the other moms got e-mails either.
So I slept that night.
In a very clean house, might I add.
The next day Elder Wadley was able to e-mail!
Happy day!
Here is his e-mail:
I miss going camping. Well i mean sometimes it feels like we are camping because sometimes we don't have water or anything like that for a while but its not the same kind of environment.
This last week has been pretty interesting. I have been having a couple really cool experiences in my personal study and have been getting a lot of answers to prayers and questions that i have had for the last little bit. I can testify that God knows exactly what we need and in the moment that we need it! Also yesterday we traveled to Medellín for a conference with Elder Clayton. He is the president of the quorum of the seventies. He was really nice and his wife was really loving! 
We left Sunday night at about 12:45 at night and got to Medellín at about 5ish! We had the conference and came back the same Monday, thats why i am writing today. We left Medellín at 5 and got back to our house at about 11:45 at night. We were really exhausted! Everybody was dying on that bus as well. It was the worst bus ride i have been on in my whole mission! Everybody was basically puking. It reminded me of the road to Hana drive we took in Hawaii haha! 
We all got back in one piece though! 
Other that nothing really interesting has happened this week! I got to see all of my friends from the office which was nice! I miss them a lot! 
Glad to hear that you had a fun time camping! I don't really have a whole lot to say i will see if i have any pictures i can shoot you! 
Love you lots!
Elder Wadley
I did not get photos. And I wrote and asked him a couple of questions while I thought he was still online. He did not answer. I suspect his e-mail time is limited in this area. That's okay. I know he is working hard, doing what he is supposed to be doing.

And- I did a little math- I get to see him in 190 days!
That sure is better than the 730 days we started out with.
Elder Anderson, Elder Wadley

Friday, August 12, 2016

"God gives us each a bunch of gifts and it is up to us to act upon them." -Elder Wadley

This week I finished reading the Book of Mormon. In the closing book the prophet Moroni speaks about spiritual gifts. This is what I wrote Elder Wadley about this week. It is nice that I can share the things that I am learning with him. In my study, I found this really great quote about spiritual gifts from Marvin J. Ashton (it is kind of long):
"One of the great tragedies of life, it seems to me, is when a person classifies himself as someone who has no talents or gifts. When, in disgust or discouragement, we allow ourselves to reach depressive levels of despair because of our demeaning self-appraisal, it is a sad day for us and a sad day in the eyes of God. For us to conclude that we have no gifts when we judge ourselves by stature, intelligence, grade-point average, wealth, power, position, or external appearance is not only unfair but unreasonable.
From D&C 46:11–12, we have this truth: “For all have not every gift given unto them; for there are many gifts, and to every man is given a gift by the Spirit of God.To some is given one, and to some is given another, that all may be profited thereby.”
God has given each of us one or more special talents. It is up to each of us to search for and build upon the gifts which God has given. We must remember that each of us is made in the image of God, that there are no unimportant persons. Everyone matters to God and to his fellowmen.
Taken at random, let me mention a few gifts that are not always evident or noteworthy but that are very important. Among these may be your gifts—gifts not so evident but nevertheless real and valuable.
Let us review some of these less-conspicuous gifts: the gift of asking; the gift of listening; the gift of hearing and using a still, small voice; the gift of being able to weep ; the gift of avoiding contention; the gift of being agreeable; the gift of avoiding vain repetition; the gift of seeking that which is righteous; the gift of not passing judgment; the gift of looking to God for guidance; the gift of being a disciple; the gift of caring for others; the gift of being able to ponder; the gift of offering prayer; the gift of bearing a mighty testimony; and the gift of receiving the Holy Ghost.
We must remember that to every man is given a gift by the Spirit of God. It is our right and responsibility to accept our gifts and to share them. God’s gifts and powers are available to all of us."
I thought about what spiritual gifts that Jayden possesses and I shared with him what I thought they were.
It is sometimes hard to pick out what your own gifts are. Each of us are responsible to discover what our spiritual strengths are, and to share these talents and gifts with others to bring them the light of Christ.
Here is his e-mail this week:
Hey there mom! This week has been a little weird and hard. In regard to the work this has been the hardest area of my whole mission. The ward here doesn't really have the desire to work with us or help us. We are trying to get them to come and help us and be part of missionary work but its as if they just don't want to. I have had a couple of other little problems and whatnot so it has been hard. We are still working and trying to find people and we are slowly getting there but still on the hunt i guess you could say. It has also been a really good learning experience for me though. I have actually been reflecting on some stuff this past week. And i have been reading my patriarchal blessing and trying to pick out the promises and spiritual gifts and learn more and try to develop them more while i am here. So kinda funny that you mention that because that is exactly something that i have been trying to do lately. Because it is true that God gives us each a bunch of gifts and it is up to us to act upon them.
Other than that this week has been good. Hermana Calderón sent me two boxes of Krispy Kreme donuts for a birthday package and they got here right as we started our fast on Saturday haha! They were really good though! 
Also what i have seen this week is that even though we have had kinda a hard time God is always blessing us! We haven't had a whole lot of luck with new people this last little bit and God put a guy and his family in our path. He is from Cali (Colombia) and all of his family are members! He knows the missionaries and everything and is a really awesome guy! We are going to try and visit him a little more often so he can progress towards being baptized! 
The week has been pretty normal and hot haha but good! I am liking it more and more here in Cartago. 
I love you guys!
Elder Wadley
No photos this week.
This is an old one, and if I don't post some type of photo then blogger defaults my own face (profile picture) for social media.
To contrast Elder Wadley to Elder Wadley (his younger brother) this week, it is just nice to have a coherent missionary e-mail update.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Feliz Cumpleanos, Elder Wadley

Two weeks, one post.
I missed posting last week. Jayden has transferred out of the mission office and is in Cartago. The closest large city is called Pereira. When I looked it up on the internet, it looked sort of close to the coast and high (humid) 90's for weather.

Elder Wadley celebrated his 20th birthday in Colombia this past week. These kinds of things are still hard on me. I thought about him all day long, and I hoped that he was having a good day. I think holidays are always going to be hard for me when my kids are gone.

Back home we have been attending a whole lot of homecomings for Jayden's friends. Everyone is starting to come home from their missions, and it is so nice to see these kids again after 18 months (the girls) and 2 years (the boys). It makes me anxious to see my cute boy again. Six months left. So crazy! All of his friends who have recently returned have been jealous that Jayden still has time left in his mission. They grow to love their people so much, and it becomes more painful to leave a mission than it was to leave home to serve one. These kids are amazing.
Here is Elder Wadley's email from last week, and then this week's will follow.
Well to be completely honest it is really weird to see everybody back at home.
Time goes by really fast.
Hey but everybody looks really good! What a good group of handsome men haha! It is going to be cool to see all of them again! Tell them that they can't get married until i get back though! Tell them to keep writing me every once in awhile!
Well my new area. 
It is hot haha! I sweat a lot and hopefully i am getting a little skinnier. It has been hard here because we don't have anything. We had a baptism on Saturday but i didn't really know the guy. It was still pretty cool but other than that guy we have no teaching pool so this week has been rough because i don't know the area and i got here a week late and we have just been trying to find new people to teach and get to know the area and everything. 
The area is cool. The nearest big city is Pereira. We have to take a bus from Pereira to here and it is like 45min to an hour. The ward here is really small and there is a lot of work to do here which is good we just need to get everything sorted out and find people! It feels so good to just get out and be able to work again! Even though it has been hard not having people i love the challenge and i am enjoying every little bit of it! 
Also cant believe i am going to be 20 this week haha i am old now i am not a teenager! Even though i still feel like i am 12. 
Glad to hear everybody is healthy and happy! 
I don't have a whole lot more to say so if you have any questions just let me know! 
I will shoot you some pictures from this morning, we went and played soccer! 
Love you!
Elder Wadley
Feliz Cumpleanos, Elder Wadley. 20 years old, no longer a teenager!

"My comp, Elder Diaz is good he is kinda a niño haha he is just a young kid but he is awesome!"
Here is Elder Wadley's email this week:
Well it still feels kinda weird seeing all my buddies back at home haha but it is cool! Tell everybody that i said hi!
This week has gone a little bit better we have been able to work pretty well and find some new people and we are slowly getting the area to where it should be. There are a lot of problems here and a lot of work which is good because it will keep is busy, and it will teach us a lot as well! 
This week we had a water problem. The missionary that were here before us didn't pay the bill for the water and the bill for July never got here. We went to the place to try and get our water hooked back up and they said they would do it and it never happened. We didn't have water for two days! Finally the owner of our house came over and ripped the thing where the valve is open and turned on the water. We were all sorts of gross. Good times.
Other than that we have found a couple of new people this week and have been working with a little bit of less actives as well because there are a lot of them here. It was also my birthday this week and my companions or roomies bought me a cake and another member bought me one as well. We didn't really do anything special. The week has been pretty normal kinda hot but good! 
Well i don't have much else to say. I love you!
Elder Wadley
Elder Wadley and the sweet member family who brought him a birthday cake. <3

Elder Wadley "And a super awesome husky, puppy."
This next photo could use some explanation. He sent it with the caption "Our first ever English class!" I sent an e-mail back to him to ask if he was teaching English now or something? He didn't respond back.
I got spoiled when he was assigned to work in the mission office. I got to communicate back and forth a little via e-mail on his p-day. His p-day's now do not include a lot of e-mail time, and so far very little back and forth. I will just have to wait until next week to get a clarification.

One thing I have noticed with his friends who have gotten home is how chatty they are about mission stories. None of this is what they write home about. The general consensus is that these boys don't care much for e-mail, it is "boring" and "tedious."
Jayden's crew.

I guess in six months Elder Wadley will have a lot of stories for us all.