Monday, July 19, 2010

Barrancabermeja - say that five times fast

Well I´m here in Barrancabermeja. Yeah it´s a long name, I know. The license plates actually read B/bermeja here. It is hot. And humid. As in you step out of the shower and start sweating within a minute. On a hot day you can walk outside and there will be several iguanas sunning themselves on the front porch. We were walking to an appointment the other day and there were city workers trimming a tree. With machetes. It´s pretty sweet. Oh and our house is nicer this time too. We have fans in each room and a built in gas stove. The bedroom even has a small ac unit. Will send pictures next week. Right now I´m having problems with my camera and have not yet figured out how fix it. But never fear, there will be pictures.

My companion is awesome, he´s actually from my group. He´s from Peru (Lima this time) and is great to work with. We don´t have many investigators, so we´ve been doing a bit of contacting. We´re also working on activating the branch. There are about 400 members on the rolls, but on Sunday, there were only 30 in church. We´ve got a bit of work to do. My Spanish is coming along and I feel fairly confident communicating with people. Which as a missionary is something just a little important.

Love you all and hope you´re all doing fine. If anyone has a question about Colombia, Spanish, etc, let me know.

-Elder Rallison

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Bautsimos, discorsos, cambios...Oh my!

This past week has been crazy. We had ten investigators who we were trying to get baptized before transfers, but we didn´t get them all. We got seven. Which is amazing by the way. Was a crazy week running around and making sure that they were all ready. For example, to do the interviews, the district leader came here with my companion and I was in Tocancipa for a couple days on an interchange with his companion, Elder Uarca. Since Elder Uarca has only 3 months, I was the senior companion for the day. Was fun, and I learned a lot. It was pouring rain all day so by the end we were saoked to the bone. After that, I returned to Zipa and continued working with my comp to prepare our investigators for baptism. In the end, Mirella and her children, Daniela, Alejandro, and Esteban (who I got to baptize, awesome experience) as well as two kids from another family Jhon and Daniela, were baptized on Saturday. Cake and ice cream were enjoyed afterwards by all present. This was followed by the bapism of Diana on Sunday morning (she is one of the kids of Mirella, but had to work on Saturday).

All of the above persons were confirmed in church yesterday. In this same meeting I had the oppertunity to give a talk. My topic? A man without eloquence. Yeah, when I heard that I was like, ´Wow a perfect topic for me.´ The topic is based on the conversion of Brigham Young and how if all worldly wisdom and cunning were presented standing that the Book of Mormon is true, for him, it would be nothing more than as the smoke on the wind. But the simple testimony of a man without eloquence or strength in pubic speaking, brought a Spirit which penetrated every fiber of his being and he could not doubt the truth of the words of that man.

To close, I got a call last night. I´m being transferred. To Barrancabermeja, area Pinos. Don´t know much about it, except that it is in Tierra Caliente, the hottest part of the mission. It sits below sea level. On the equator. Day and night at about 100 degrees with about the same humidity. It´s going to be fun. Will write more about that once I get there. I look forward to it. It will be hard to leave Zipa, it´s my first area and all, but I will go where I am needed. And that is Barrancabermeja. Well, hasta luego.

-Elder Rallison

PS-For some reason I´ve also been a little under the weather the past couple of days, but am feeling much better now.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The dispatch of the week

Yeah, I have my notes. It says...flores, templo en spanish, intercambios, conferencias.

To start, if you have a bouquet of flowers in your house right now, chances are it's from here in Colombia. Most of the world's flowers are grown here in Colombia. It is hard not to laugh when you contact a big old guy and he says he works in flower growing. But it's true. A lot of people here do it. This is one thing I learned a lot more about than I ever thought I would. You have no idea what goes into making that bouquet. All the growing, pruning, cutting, processing, inspections, packing, etc. It's a lot.

Next, we had intercambios with the zone leaders in Granada this past week. My companion for the day, Elder Cepeda, is going home to Chile in a week. He was awesome. We had the chance to go to the temple for the sealing of the first family that he baptized here in Colombia. I have discovered that is as much a special experience in any language, just a little harder in Spanish. But the Spirit can speak all languages, so it was all good.

Not much more time to write, love you all, and you're in my prayers.
Con mucho cariño,
Elder Rallison