Monday, August 9, 2010

Here we go, and boy is there a lot to cover

Hey all,

Taking it from where I left off last time I wrote....

2 semanas pasadas (2 weeks ago)
So the coconut was good, and was much enjoyed by all.

For the rest of the week we were pretty busy and all. We had some great lessons with Alfonzo and Marina, touching on some doubts that they had due to having been involved with so many different religions. Alfonzo was seriously like Joseph Smith, as in "what is to be done? Who of all these parties are right; or, are they all wrong together? If any one of them be right, which is it, and how shall I know it?" He investigated about every church imaginable before meeting us. This made for a lot of fun when we taught them, because they always had questions, and good ones too. Got to explain that there is no such thing as reincarnation (for which the scripture Heb 9:27 is very useful). Continued to have trials, but hey, this is a mission, it´s not supposed to be easy, but it´s worth it.

y ahora....
la semana anterior (the last week)
So last Monday we were in the wonderful city of Bucaramanga. Was a great P-day with all the zone. We arrived by bus (a three hour ride) Sunday night, and spent the night there in Bucaramanga. The next day we had an epic game of soccer (in which proof was seen that gringos can´t play soccer) that lasted for a couple hours followed by a game of basketball (in which it was seen that while the gingos can´t play soccer, they dominate in basketball). After that fun, ran a few errands in Bucaramanga and then got to work. We did a little something called a show of force. A show of force is when a group of missionaries get together in one area for a few hours and contact/teach like crazy. I worked with Elder Gammara (my district leader) and contacted for a neighborhood that was rich with people who wanted to listen to us. The neighborhood was crazy awesome too, little alleyways that wind down a hill side with houses or jungle on each side. Was a lot of fun. Then, went home that night (yeah, more time on the bus).
All in all a lot of fun.

We continued to teach Alfonzo and Marina and worked to prepare them for their baptism this last Saturday. He had a really difficult time with ...dejar a fumar ( umm...stopping smoking?) but we challenged him to fast for it so that he could enjoy the blessings of the gospel. He did (and we did too), and now he isn´t smoking anymore. Just...stopped. We also taught him about family history and temples. He was like "you mean I can be baptized for my dad? My cousin?" He was really excited for that.

This past Friday we had a Super P-day in Bucaramanga (where the rest of my zone is) with the assistants. Was awesome, more soccer (but on a realish field with artificial turf) with 3 teams that rotated every five minutes. That way, everyone got time to play. My team dominated.

After we were all good and tired of soccer, we headed to one of the chapels and had lunch. One of the hermanas from that barrio cooked us lasagna and french toast. There was a lot of food. Like a kilo of lasagna for each one of us as well as a large hunk of french bread. We watched a movie called "Facing the Giants"(I think that´s the name in English). It´s a Cristian-movie version of "remember the titans." Had a great message.... "With God, nothing is impossible." I can personally testify of that. Why? Because on Saturday we had two baptisms.

Yeah, Alfonzo and Marina were baptized this past Saturday. It was an amazing experience. I baptized Marina and my companion, Elder Machacuay, baptized Alfonzo. To make it even better we had Pres and Hna Hacking in attendance. They were in town for a couple meetings with the leaders of the district. It was amazing. I so almost cried that night, I was so freaking happy for them. They are going to be such strong members. In one year, I hope and pray that I am able to see them in the temple to be sealed as an eternal family. I live for those moments when these people I have grown to love are dressed in white.

Directly after the baptisms, we had another district activity. We had a great game in which the people would spin a wheel to receive a task. They had to fulfill the task to gain points for their team. One of my favorites was strength. It was one of them arm wrestling with one of the missionaries. The best was when we had Alfonzo vs Pres Hacking. Pres Hacking won by wiping out his other hand and bringing the clenched fists to the table. I am reminded of a quote from Bro Farris "Young age and skill are no match for old age and treachery." (or something like that). Loved this past week, and am fired up for the week to come.

Love you all,
Elder (Gabe) Rallison

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