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. SahagĂșn 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.