Thursday, May 19, 2011

Crazy long letter...

So these last few days have been some incredibly hectic. To start, we've been teaching an investigator that the last missionaries left for us, named Viviana. She is a great investigator, but due to some very interesting circumstances (some random phone calls, members, and more), we found out that she was not the investigator that the last missionaries had left for us! There was another Viviana! Oh gosh. Worse yet, she had been progressing and had a baptismal date. No sooner did we find out about that, we went to call her. But lo and behold, our cell phone was left completely devoid of minutes.We ran around searching until we located a place selling minutes and called her. We set up an appointment to start in fifteen minutes and within an hour we had a new baptismal date set up for her. Phew. And she's great. She's actually interested in the Church, reads everything, and comes to church almost every Sunday (she only missed on our first week here). Yeah, she's getting baptized.

We also had a great family home evening with the Roduigez family. We cooked dinner, a Peruvian dish called "lomo saltado". It consists of potatoes (french fried), onions (sliced), and beef. It was really tasty and the fat content is probably going to kill me someday (hard to see how, I am the skinniest missionary here in the mission). I made dessert....rice krispy treats! It was so good, but I stuck using chocolate rice krispies, funny thing is it actually turned out better than normal. We watched a movie too about and Italian pastor who finds a Book of Mormon without a cover and becomes converted after reading it and praying. He eventually gets kicked out of his church for preaching out of it and refusing to destroy it. He spends the rest of his life looking for the church who published it and finally gets baptised by a mission president......about forty years after first reading the Book of Mormon. Now I ask, how is my testimony? Would I be willing to do that?

Don't know how many of you know, but here in Colombia we are going through a very wet season. Here in Cuindinamarca (the department in which I live, it is the Colombian equivalent of a state) there are more than 2500 acres flooded from the torrential rain. Some small towns to the south of Zipa have incredible levels of water. A university near here (la Universidad de la Sabana in Chia) was flooded up to the second floor. That's like nine feet of water. I am really getting sick of all this cold rainy weather. I am really missing nice, dry, warm, Arizona...

We had zone conference yesterday and due to the difficulty of traveling as half the roads are flooded, we had to leave on Tuesday night to get there. The bus we were on was crazy. I felt like I was on that bus out of Harry Potter, the one with the shrunken head that guides the driver. This bus accelerated faster than a Ferrari, and put on the brakes like no other. I think we reached like 120-140Km/h. Not that fast by American standards, but here, that is FAST. We got from here to Bogota in under 45 minutes, a trip that normally lasts an hour and 15 minutes. I don't think even Brother Kennedy drives quite like that...

Zone conference was great, and we had a special visitor, a newly called mission president and his wife, Pres Amaya and Sister Amaya, who are going to preside over the Ecuador Guayaquil North Mission. It was a great conference, with a ton of practices. One just had me rolling on the floor laughing. So Elder Olvera had set up a baptismal date for me and my companion. He said " As Jesus was baptized by one who had authority, John the Baptist, you too will be baptized by one having authority, John the taxi driver." "John the TAXI DRIVER!?" "Yes he's the Elders quorum president in our ward." LOL. Even funnier as in Spanish, the words "bautista" and "taxista" are very similar. I almost laughed out loud but realized that Pres Hacking was just ten feet away. But yeah, that was way funny. We ate well too. Subway sandwiches for lunch, and heading back to Zipa we stopped by McD's for dinner. Now to you, that may not seem like much, but here, for a gringo, that is the flipping holy grail. But yeah, that is all, I think. We will be talking soon.

Love Y'all,

Elder (Gabe) Rallison

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Zipa Zipa Zipa

Wow, what a day, and what a week. Life for me lately as been incredibly busy as I am working to get this area working at full speed as well as the rest of my responsibilities. I love this work though. It is really the best thing I could possibly be doing with my time. I love the people here and I love working here in helping them all to succeed in life and in the eternities.

It has taken some getting used to as last time I was here I only had to follow my comp around, now I'm stuck with a little more responsibility. I'm figuring it out though. It shouldn't be too hard....I hope. Most of the people here remember me as that gringo who couldn't hardly talk. Now, what a difference. A year of it. And really, in the mission, due to the Spirit and the work, a person changes, and changes fast. I've had people tell, me that they don't recognize me and doubt that even my own mother would recognize me now. LOL. Funny right?

Apart from this stuff, I haven't had any grand events this week, but I believe I will have a lot to share in the weeks to come.

Love you all!!!!

Elder Gabe Rallison

PS One of those events...Elder Scott (yes, that Elder Scott) is coming on to 24th to talk to the mission!!!!! Will keep you posted.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

"Elder you've got a transfer." "What?......WHERE?!?!?!?!?"

The first thing that all must know is that I've had transfers. Yep. I was told that they were going to be a week late, so it was a bit of a surprise to hear that I was being transferred. The crazier came next....the where. I actually didn't believe it at first. Zipaquira!!!! Yeah, I'm now back in my first area. It actually feels really weird being here. I really don't know what President did it, but ah well, I'm here.

So I got my transfer on Monday, spent all day on Tuesday running from door to door saying goodbye to all in Engativá. That and packing. I had to go to the house of the district leader to spend the night there and then I had to go the next day by taxi to the zone leaders house, which just so happens to be on the other side of Bogota. Got there, and then I was stuck there all day waiting. My companion finally got there at three in the morning (he came in bus from Bucaramanga). We had to go and pick him up. And then get back to the house. It was an hour in the taxi each way. How enjoyable. So I finally got to sleep a bit a five in the morning. I am dog tired right now.

My companion is Elder Yarlique. He's from Peru. He's cool and I know him from somewhere......from when I was in Cañaveral. My luck. I have a lot of that. He worked in another area with his trainer while I was with Elder Godoy, but we all lived in the same house. So that´s all real cool.

We got out of Bogota this morning, finally got to Zipa, and went to the house. They had changed houses since last time I was here and the new one is huge. Love it. We unpacked a bit and got everything arranged, then we went to lunch with the Trujillo family. It was way weird. We were talking and I understood everything. Everything. Last time I talked to them I was so lost.

So right now I am feeling way nostalgic and very weird. Like I'm in a weird dream or something. I've thought of visiting or something like that, but really I NEVER thought I would be back here again. So weird.

I don't really have much more to say...I'll be seeing all you l8tr.

Love ya,

Elder Rallison