Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Colombian nights, like Colombian days

So, this week it will be short. Why? Well, there was a lot of news, but I lost my notes of the past week´s events.

One highlight was an epic zone conference where President Hacking gave a great presentation about making goals. He showed us some hilarious slides about goals. One of my favorites was of Scrat, the little sabertoothed squirrel from "Ice Age". In the slide he is frozen solid reackign for an acorn that is always just out of his grasp. It is easy to feel like this at times with our goals. So, he chalenged us to make our goals SMART. Well, is spanish it isn't exactly SMART, but the same idea. Simple, Measureable, Attainable, R.....(que vaina, I don't remember R..), and Timed. Also, one awesome quote from the CCM that kept coming to mind. "If you can concive and belive, you can achive". In his presentation Pres Hacking used another eqaully profound. "If a man knows not which port, then any wind will do." <--That was as good of an English translation I can make.

Other cool stuff this week.... I got to help dedicate the grave of the brother of one of the members here in Zipa. That was a different experience. The things you learn in the mission. For example, how to cook bannana. Or how to walk really really fast (a skill that is utilized when you are running late getting home, which just so happens to be on the other side of town).

Had a few ups and downs. We had two baptisms scheduled for this Saturday, but then had them fall through. But then, at the time that we were going to have the baptism we instead had a lesson were we obatined baptismal dates for all of Mirella's family (a family of five). This is the noramal ups and downs of missionary work. It is the most difficult thing at times, but others, it is something that I wouldn't trade for the world.

That's pretty much it for now. The next time I'm going to take better notes, so I can actually write a better account of my doings. But for now, I leave you with the fondest of farewells, Bye.

Les quiero.

Elder Rallison

Monday, June 21, 2010

And it all just keeps rushing by

Well, as I was notified by my companion, this past week I hit my 4 month mark. I can hardly believe it. It doesn't feel like four months. But it's true. And in another week and a half, I'll have been here in Colombia for 2 months. To me, that's crazy. I've learned a lot in the past weeks, for example, I can now actually communicate with my companion and the investigators. Yeah, there are still times when I need someone to help explain something to me, but those times are getting rarer and rarer.

I'm loving Colombia so much right now. Yesterday it was 60 degrees out (in Fahrenheit) and raining all day. In June. Yeah, that's one of the side effects of living in a rain forest at almost 9000 ft. There's a mountain on the eastern side of town, and yesterday, it looked exactly like something out of the opening scene of the movie Avatar. Tall, green trees with thick clouds woven into the scene. It was really cool looking. The next time I'll have to get a picture.

We have been busy this past week. We taught Daisy, a thirty-something lady who has two kids, one of which has 9 years. They both are getting baptized this Saturday. We are also working on getting Adriana married to her less-active member novio. Other than that necessity, she is golden. She'll listen to the lesson and then self-apply it to herself and then self-commit. That is cool. Now the only wrestle is getting her papers from Barranquilla, the coastal city where she was born. Which also happens to be in another mission. But the said papers are a necessity to make the marriage official. Such is life. We also have had a lot of fun with Mirella. She has five kids living at home, three girls and two boys. Yesterday we got to play relationship counselor again, this time with her and one of her daughters. The standard teenager and parent, but to a greater degree than I've seen before. At times it's a lot harder than you'd think, because both sides are trying their hardest to get you to side with them. Such a pain, but the end result is worth it. All of the above listed people came to church on Sunday. That is the real fight, so happy day with that one.

We had a hard time this past week trying to contact people, because along with the Mundial there was also the Election Debates. So, almost no one had time to meet with us. But now, the elections are over and hopefully people will be more open to listening to us.

I love the chance I've been given to serve here and help to make a difference in the lives of these people here in Colombia. It's been hard, but those happy moments make it all worthwhile.

Love you all,
Elder Rallison

Monday, June 14, 2010


Hola mi famila!!!!
Pues, este semmana fue muy chevre. We had some great lessons and a lot of opportunities to talk with people. Some better than others. For example, we had one lesson where we were teaching about keeping the sabbath day holy and the investigator offered us coffee. We, of course, turned it down, but that started us talking about the word of wisdom and ended with her telling us that she has a major coffee addiction. Like a cup or two every two hours. Yeah.... But on the bright side, she came to church on Sunday and said afterwards that she felt better than she´s felt in a long time. So we´ll see how that goes. On the other hand, we had a wedding scheduled, but now we are going to have to change the date. Why? Because that´s the day that Brazil and Portugal are playing in the World Cup. Yeah, for a soccer game. The World Cup is making it a little difficult to work here at times. It´s like Superbowl Sunday in the states but one that continues for a whole month. Yeah, that´s great. but on the upside, the underdog, USA, managed to pull of a tie with England, one of the top ranked teams. So currently, my allegiance lies between England, Germany, USA, or Brazil. I´m still not sure which I want to go with.

In other news, the weirdest thing ever happened this past Sunday. So, my companion and I were late to sacrament meeting this Sunday because we were out rounding up our investigators. We went straight from that to gospel principles and had a great lesson on the offices of the priesthood. Then we had to take one of the investigators home and were late to priesthood. Well, there was something a little different about elders quorum this Sunday. There was a gringo in the class!!! For me, this was a shocker. He spoke perfect Colombian Spanish and actively participated in the lesson, but had an American accent. After priesthood I started talking to the guy. Turns out he´s from Arizona!!! Yep, Arizona. Avondale in fact. How crazy is that. He was a missionary here in Zipa about 20 years ago, back when it was the Colombia Bogota mission. He is her in town visiting with his family, all of which speak fairly fluent Spanish's. I think his name was brother Tobler, but I´m not sure. But yeah, that was crazy weird. You don´t expect to meet another gringo from Arizona here in Zipaquira. Oh and even better, my companion and I have lunch with the family tomorrow. Really cool. Oh and guess what, he gave me kool-aid and a bag of gummy worms. Yeah, I´m in heaven. =D

I´d like close with two short messages. First, I have discovered that there a lot of different types of people in the world, and all of them have different needs. But, despite all the differences, the gospel message still applies to each of them in a highly individual way. Second, feed the missionaries in your area. Please. They work hard and deserve some love, and what is a better way to demonstrate that love for them than by feeding them a nice home cooked meal. That is all for now. Saludes de mi compañero.

Hasta luego,

Elder Rallison

Monday, June 7, 2010

This Day

Hola a todos!!!

Well, this week has been awesome!!!

To begin,I want to share a sampling of Colombian cuisine. All-the-chicken chicken noodle soup. Breast, wings, feet, neck, etc., you get the idea. That was lunch today. There's not really that much meet on the feet, mostly just skin. Also, another delicacy, ear of cow. This dish is good served with beans and rice. A little chewy around the cartilage, but overall an interesting choice for any meal.

So, to continue with the rest of the letter. I have discovered this week that there's a lot more to being a missionary than just teaching. You also get to be a relationship/marriage counselor, mover, cook, maid, and many more. The marriage counselor was probably my favorite one. We have a couple who we have slated for marriage in two weeks. Lately, they've been having nit picky type problems and were getting the idea that marriage isn't a good idea. Come on people, you've been living together for years and have three kids. So, my companion and I came in and helped them to work out some of their problems. Yeah, it's fun being the mediator for that sort of thing.

Also, I have lately noticed that as a missionary, you see things in the Scriptures that you have never seen before. Scripture study proceeds very slowly because every verse takes on a whole new meaning and significance. The power of the scriptures is becoming more and more evident to me every day.

I have also really developed a love of service, especially that of a spontaneous sort. There are always opportunities to serve those around you, you just need to look. Helping someone carry their groceries, clean their store, sweep the porch, wash the dishes, even just a smile and a 'buenos tardes' can make someone's day. We've found a family of great investigators simply because we helped them carry their groceries.

To close, I want to share a little of my favorite conference talks, it's called "This Day" by Pres Eyring in I think spring of '07. I love this talk because it talks about the importance of not being complacent and doing what you need to today. He gives two promises. One, that if we do our best today to serve the Lord, hard as today might be, tomorrow will be better. Also, that as we serve we will grow to love Him more.
I know that this is true. I have seen it.

Love you all,

Elder Rallison