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.