Thursday, February 24, 2011

Conference and more....

This past week I have started out in a new calling! I am now the pianist for the stake choir. Oh joy. Better, I have to be ready by the thirteenth of March. Yep. And these are hard pieces too. An arrangement of "If you could hie to Kolob" and another five page arrangement of "Army of Helaman/As Sisters in Zion". And as a missionary, there isn't much time for practice. Pray for me, I have to play in stake conference in front of the stake and General Authorities.

On a lighter note, we had zone conference the past two days (Monday and Tuesday). We were practicing everything from Preach my Gospel Simplified. It was really cool, we had everything from Subway sandwiches to practices of Spirit-inspired questions to a human pyramid. And best of all, it was very spiritually edifying. Learned a lot and had a lot of great opportunities to put what I know in practice. Sister Hacking didn't make it, as she was home recovering from a broken arm. Ouch.

Aside from that....nada. We've been working our hardest to bring souls to Christ in the last few days, and finally, we are beginning to see results. That makes me very happy. One thing I've notice lately is that those who really progress are those who really read and try to gain a testimony of the Book of Mormon. If that isn't important to them, they'll never do it and they'll never really become converted. I would like to invite each of you to pull out your book of Mormon, dust it off (hopefully this step isn't necessary), read it (I would recommend the Introduction, 3 Nephi 11, Moroni 10, or 2 Nephi 31 just to name a few ideas. Better, start at the beginning and read to the end), next think about what you just read (really think about it and apply it to you), then with faith, a sincere heart, and real intent, ask your Father in Heaven if this book is really true. I know it is. That's the reason I'm here. I don't care if you already know it is true, ask God again, and in so doing reinforce your testimony. I now have a habit of doing it almost every time I read.

Love you all,

-Elder (Gabe) Rallison

Thursday, February 17, 2011

One year older and wiser too....I think

So, this week has been markedly different from any other time in my mission. I love being a Dad. =D. Sure it has it's challenges. For example, my son is about as quiet as I used to be. But he's getting better. I know it will come with practice. He could really be one of the greatest missionaries here in the mission. Just needs a bit of time and work. He's a great kid.

This past week we've been working a lot. We lost a few investigators due to their lack of progress, but we are finding loads of new ones. We've got a lot of good going for us and have heard that President is very happy with how things are going. Not really much to report as of now, just the same old, same old. Umm.....

Ah! I know! I was talking with my companion and found out that he knows someone that I know. He was the ward mission leader of the ward where one of the missionaries from my room in the MTC started his mission. In that exact ward. My companion was working with this missionary the day after he was sleeping in the same room as me in the MTC. Me, the missionary who is now his father! Small world right?

That's it for now, love you all and am wishing you all the best of luck!
Happy Valentines Day!
(yep congrats to all of you who are getting married)
(PS- Elder Williams, my first zone leader and later assistant is getting married in July. He got engaged only one month after getting home. Guess he couldn't stand being without a companion.)

-Elder Rallison

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Why does it seem that everything happens all at once? So my stuff has happened in the last week, it is almost impossible to cram it all into one email. Apart from what happened on Monday, a week of stuff happened yesterday and today.

Yesterday, we got up at five in the morning to get my companion to the bus terminal (which happens to be on the other side of Bogota) by eight. We were out of the house by six thirty, but lo and behold, the worst traffic jam that I have ever seen here. This is in part thanks to the fact that the main street of Engativá is the same size as a two lane residential street in the States and that on this same street passes about twenty buses every minute. Tell me that isn't a traffic jam waiting to happen. We finally got to the terminal with just minutes to spare. Just enough time to eat some good ol' Dunkin Donuts and get him on his bus to Cucuta. Eighteen hours in a bus, poor guy.
Whew. But wait, it's not over yet.

I got together with Elder Porflit and we went to the clinic for a doctor's appointment that I had to follow up on my arm. Thing is, that too is about an hour in a taxi. We got to the clinic and picked up my X-ray. But when we went to the desk to check in, we found out that the authorization that the office elders sent wasn't up to date. So, we ran across the street to an internet cafe and in fifteen minutes had the proper form. And back to the doctor. The doc saw me and said that I am now ready to go. Still can't do weights, but I am now set to do whatever thing I need or want to do. Thank goodness.

After the doctor, we went to get together with the other elders from the zone. They were in a very fancy and very cool mall called the Atlantis Plaza. We decided to go there to eat lunch. To my awe and surprise, I found myself in the front door of the first and only TACO BELL in COLOMBIA!!!!! Happy day and hallelujah! According to my sources, it just opened about a month ago. I was so happy I wanted to cry. I ate a hard taco, a bean burrito, and a crunchwrap for the first time in a year. With a lot of fire sauce of course. =D It was glorious. The Latins really like it too, but the gringos most of all.
I was then sent to the other side of Bogota, to the apartment in Dorado, to wait with the other elders who were going to be trainers. We waited and waited until about 7:30 when our greenies, our sons, finally got there. My companion is awesome. He's called Elder Quiñonez. He's from Guyaquil Ecuador and is often mistaken for a gringo (don´t know why). He's going to be the best missionary ever. I just know it.
We finally got back to Engativá at eight and I helped him unpack all his stuff and get acquainted. We slept, got up and started straight into mission life. Exercise, shower, shave, dress, breakfast, personal study, companionship study, all of it. Right now we are following the mission training plan so that he gets the basics down and then, well, we´ll see where we go from there. So cool to be with a newbie, makes me feel like a newbie again. Thing is, he think I know everything, while the truth is I don't know anything. Funny isn't it, to be on this side of the trainer-greenie relationship.

Well, I think that about sums it up. In all I spent about five hours in taxis yesterday. Very much enjoyed all that passed, especially eating the American food. See (well not literally) you all next week!

Love ya!

-Elder (Gabe) Rallison


The title says it all! We've got transfers.
So for the first time ever.....I'm staying here in Engativá! This is the first time that I have ever had more than three months in an area. And more my comp (elder Mendoza) is heading off to Cucuta, leaving me with a new companion. His name is....well we don´t know yet. See, he doesn't get to the mission until tomorrow. But I'll be sure to let you know his name when I get it, okay? =D Listo.

So, what more is there to say.....umm. Love you all lots? Oh, I am almost old! In ten more days I'll have a year in front and a year behind. Tan linda.

Love you lots =D

One other thing =D

Okay so I think it is about time I tell you all one more thing that kind of happened.
So you all know how I've never broken a bone in my life? Well, not quite true. You see, about a month ago, when we preparing for the baptism of Daniel, I leaned against a door in the chapel and well, it fell open. I hit my elbow on the ground, hard. It HURT like the DICKENS. I got to the house somehow and put it in ice water. When I got to the hospital on Monday it was so swollen, it looked like a small melon. I got an X-ray, and then the doc gave me the news. I had broken my left elbow on the outside (okay the bone that sits on the left side of the elbow) and torn the ligaments a bit on the inside. The doctor put me in a sling, gave me painkillers, and told me to do an exercise rotating my wrist and to come back in two weeks for a consult. Also, no sports for three months. Miss football. =(

So, I had two weeks with a sling (a very stylish navy blue, Lyric, I know you'd want to know) and then headed back to the doctor (which happens to be on the other side of Bogota, only an hour ride in taxi). I saw the doctor and he did a bunch of tests to see how my flexibility and movement of my elbow is progressing. I was able to do almost every thing except touch my shoulder and fully extend my arm. After all that, he said I don't need surgery, I don't need a cast, and, from that point on, I didn't even have to use the sling. He said I was incredibly lucky and that it is healing very fast, unusually so. What a blessing! I think I owe that too my companion, who gave me a priesthood blessing minutes after the accident. What a wonderful power that God has given to man, to be able to bless and to heal. Now, I am able to move my left arm in the same manner as the right, as if I never had broken my elbow. Milagroso. Gloria a Dios. =D

Love you all. The only reason I didn't tell you earlier is because I didn't want to worry.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

So tired.....

This week has been a long one. Fun, but long. And very, very busy. So I passed Thursday traveling from one side of Bogota to the other for a special appointment and then I went and got sick. I spent all of Friday sick in bed with some flu bug. That was really fun. So, because my companion and I were out of action for two days (three if you count P-day, four if you count Monday as well.) we were working like maniacs all Saturday. We left the house at ten and worked straight until nine without even taking break for lunch. We did a lot day and even more on Sunday. In the end, we met all our goals after having done the work of one week in two days. That was hard, but in the end one of the most satisfying things I have ever done.

I had interchanges with Elder Porflit on Monday. Enjoyed it a lot too, because he is one of my best friends here in the mission. We both have the same amount of time in the mission and he was in my first district when I was in Zipaquirá. He has changed a lot. He's got a better manner of teaching and working as well as a little bit more belly. He is the funniest, craziest, and best Chilean that I have ever met. He said I have changed a lot too. Why is it that you can rarely see the changes in you? Only see those in others. Ah well.

We are having a lot of success with our investigators and we are putting forth our best effort to get them baptized. I believe the key lies in their testimony of the Book of Mormon, so we are going to be swinging by their houses to verify how each one is going with said commitment. I want Oscar baptized, but he still has a few fears that we need to address before he takes the plunge. He is great and is especially interested in the temple. I think we'll be taking him there for a special lesson.

Speaking of the temple, I got to go this morning. Yep, here in Bogota we are very lucky to live within an hour of the temple and have a chance to visit every three months. It was really something to go back, as the last time I was there was about seven months ago and with much less Spanish than now. This time I got a lot more out of it and had a hard time leaving the celestial room when it was time to go. I think I was the last to leave. Spent the rest of the day running errands and getting ready for transfers, which are this Sunday. I can't believe that it is that time again.
Really, the mission goes by so fast. In two weeks, I hit my hump day (Feb 17), that point at which I have a year behind and a year to come. Everyone says that the second is a lot faster than the first, but having seen how fast the first was, i can't see how it is possible that the second could be faster. The other thing that goes by really fast is internet time. Got to be going, will write you next week.

Love ya´ll
Elder (Gabe) Rallison