Saturday, May 15, 2010

Finally in Colombia!

So, I´m actually in Colombia! It is really cool here. I love it. The language is difficult, but what do you expect, it´s a new language. Such things shall not just happen overnight.

Where to start. I arrived here late Monday night and spent the night at the temple hotel. Yeah, there´s a hotel right across the street from the temple. The next day we went to the President´s house for orientation. We ate a breakfast of German pancakes and Colombian hot chocolate. It´s a little different from the hot chocolate back home. It is made by taking this semi-sweetish chocolate and melting it in milk. Me gusta. We had the run down from the Assistants while President Hacking interviewed the four of us. After that we had lunch of a traditional Colombian fashion, a soup, I can´t remember the name of , but it was made with potatoes and had a half an ear of corn in it. It was really good and is eaten with rice and avocado. We also had some juice and some fruit- both of which were amazing. There are so many fruits down here, most of which don´t even have names in English. All are very tasty in my opinion. Other than the fruits and the soups, Colombia also has some really good breads. There are panderias everywhere and most places you can buy a piece of bread to munch on for about 300 pesos. Not quite sure what that is in American currency, but the exchange is roughly 2000 pesos to a dollar. Most of the time though, when we have lunch with the members, we eat beans and rice with some form of meat.

My first area I´ve been assigned is Zipaquirá Colombia. It´s on the outskirts of Bogota and is apparently really old. It is really nice as far a weather goes. It´s kind of scary crossing the street though. There are laws, but no one cares and they´re not enforced. The general idea is to drive as fast as you can without hitting anything. Lanes are never really used and horns are used as a from of constant communication. The verdict is still out on whether it is better to cross on a red or a green. Ah well, that´s life.

My companion is muy chevre. His name is Elder Mullisaca and he is from Arequipa Peru. He doesn´t know much English at all, so it´s kind of forcing my Spanish learning into overdrive. He has 16 months in the mission and will die (finish his mission) in December. I´m his first trainee and as far as I can tell, he is doing really well. I can´t understand half of what he´s saying, but I guess that´s to be expected when I´ve only been here for a week. He was transferred here the same time I was, so both of us are still getting to know the area.

We haven´t had any investigators yet, so lately we´ve been doing a lot of contacting. Everyone is out and about here, so that´s really not that hard. I´m not doing that much yet, mostly just bearing my testimony and handing them a pamphlet. Ah well, everyone has to start somewhere. And, when you´re at bottom, the only way to go is up. We´ve also been doing a lot of getting to know the members in the area. The church isn´t really big here, just a small branch. But Elder Mullisaca and I plan to change that.

Had my first zone conference this past Wednesday, fun experience. I got to learn how to play the organ. It´s not to different from a piano, just more buttons, pedals, and two keyboards. And so I played the prelude and hymns for the meeting. The meeting was great, the assistants talked about effectively using PMG, Hna Hacking about obedience, and Pres Hacking about the importance unity in the mission, especially in the companionship. I didn´t understand much as it was all in Spanish. There are only about 30 other gringos in the mission with the other 100 consisting of latinos. I will never have a gringo companion. But ah well.

That´s about it for now, will write more next week.

Love you all,
-Elder Rallison

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