Monday, January 30, 2012

Time is like a greesed rope with a 500 pound weight on the end...try as you might you can never make it stop or even get a good grip, that is, until t

That statement that makes the title of this weeks email is one that is weighing very heavily on my mind. This week has been good, but it represents another week of my life and my mission that I will ever get back. I have spent it the best I can, but still... nearing the end makes one think of these type of things.

The highlight of this past week has to have been that Christian got baptized! And I got to do it! It was pretty cool. We had some small difficulties along the way, but in the end everything went off without a hitch.

Well, I would like to write more but I find myself out of time as I was fixing a camera bug.

I promise an extra long and extra cool week.

Love you,
Elder Rallison

Monday, January 23, 2012

Working hard or hardly working

First off, the transfers. I am in Giron with Moya still. We are working well together and all, so I guess that President just wanted to keep us together until we die (note: die is mission jargon for finishing the mission.) But eh cool thing is that there are now new missionaries in Portal. They are very cool and all. One is Elder Raines (gringo de Utah) and the other, the "son" of Elder Raines, Elder Roduigez (a Uragayan).

So we've been visiting a lot of people lately. As a matter of fact, Christian passed his baptismal interview and gets baptized on Saturday. So that is pretty awesome...yay for us. Also, we've been working with one family in which all the kids are members but the parents aren't. Why? Because the husband doesn't want to get married. Yeah, they have six kids and have lived together for 19 years, but this guy just doesn't get that they need to get married. He said that he doesn't want to feel so committed. We'll keep working on that.

With Juan everything is going well, he is reading the Book of Mormon and praying for an answer. Oh and want to hear the crazy bit? We went to visit him and he told us he found a copy of a Book of Mormon in his house. What?!?! He went and pulled out a copy of the Book of Mormon, printed in '92. It was yellowed and the cover was pretty much destroyed but there it was, the Book of Mormon. He can't remember where he got it, but wow. It's just that his neighborhood is really ghetto and no one in the ward even remembers the last time the missionaries had gone to that neighborhood until we did. The only problem that we are having with him is that his wife is making it very difficult for him to continue (such and bringing in preachers and trapping him in the house on Sundays so he doesn't go to church). Sounds a little intense but that is how Santander-ian women are.

I've also had an awesome split with our ward mission leader this past Friday. It was great. We contacted a whole ton of people and got five appointments set up just from those contacts. We also got to go visit an old investigator of the ward who is dying from stomach cancer. So, I had no idea what to do, but after the prayer, I went directly to the Book of Mormon and started reading seemingly random scriptures about the faith and the Atonement of Christ. We finished with a prayer and a blessing, and by the end, in spite of the pain, she was smiling. I felt very strongly the Spirit guiding me in my every word. In all it was a really incredible day.

As for the menial stuff, we had zone meeting....with half the zone as trainers/newbies and the other half like me, dying this transfer. It was pretty epic. The new zone motto we invented is "Baptize and/or die". It was pretty funny.
We went bowling today as a zone activity and I actually bowled a really great. On the first one I bowled a 105 and on the second a 123. But lo and behold, an Elder who had never even bowled before pulled out a 143. I testify that there are miracles and that there is such thing as beginner's luck. We also invented several hymns---sung rap style. Word.

Love you guys,
Elder (Gabe) Rallison

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

And life goes on....

So this week were were teaching a lesson and right as we were finishing up a christian pastor showed up...looking for a fight. We were literally getting up to leave too. So we got to sit there and listen to him present an anti-Mormon shpeel (in front of our investigator, Juan) that lasted about half an hour. That was about the longest half an hour of my life. Then, we went and simply shared our testimonies, invited everyone to pray and ask God if what we shared is true, and left. I felt very good to leave that behind, and better yet, Juan is still listening to us. Epic win.

This past week we had intercambios with the zone leaders. We went with Elder Busch and had some crazy awesome lessons. We found a really cool family, Claudia and her sister Fabiana, and taught an amazingly awesome lesson. The Spirit was strong and we were just about to pull out baptismal dates when....the husband of Claudia pulled up on a motorcycle. The atmosphere changed completely. Fabiana went running to the kitchen to make sure that the lunch was ready and Claudia started acting all distracted and depressed. Dang, there is something awry in this relationship. So we quickly left but we set up and appointment for this Wednesday.

That day we also contacted a colombian girl who married a mexican and now lives in San Diego....yeah, that San California. Cool right? She talks english...kind of...and was here visiting her family. But it was just weird, talking to someone and trying to teach, in English. It felt weird. And she also made me realize how much I miss mexican food. But even crazier was when we contacted a German guy. Now, he could barely speak Spanish and I only know how to say "Auf Wierdesein" and that phrase that Opa uses to "say hands off/Don't touch that" (which I am not even going to attempt to write). He said that he was here enjoying a break from the cold of Germany coming here to Colombia. It was cool and all, but I just wish I understood what he was saying.

I can't really remember anything more to share with you all, here we are anxiously awaiting transfers, which will be arriving tonight. My last transfer. Yikes, it is one of those moments that as a missionary you never think are going to come. But come they do.
Well, I love you,
Elder Gabe Rallison

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

All is Well in Zion, Zion prospers....

Life is good and it just keeps moving along.

Just a small waiver here at the beginning. This is a really terrible keyboard. With that said, let's delve into what Elder Rallison has been up to this past week.

So this past week, several investigators along with our recent converts, invited us to a cool little park that was all lit up with Christmas lights. It wasn't nearly as spectacular as the temple Christmas lights, but it was still pretty cool. And at the end they had a little pond full of fish that the people can feed. It was a fun little outing. We were quite the bunch.

And better yet, we were able to get about half of those investigators to get to church on Sunday! It was great because the whole stake presidency showed up as well, and each one shared his testimony. Then, in the classes, in both hours, the teachers also shared powerful testimonies and invited everyone to pray to know if all this is true. It was epic!!! And the investigators were blown away! The only bad thing about that Sunday, is that we are now on the 8 o´clock schedule. Which means that we, the missionaries, have to be there at seven in the morning....well, at least we live close.

And after church we got to go visit the less actives in the ward with the stake peoples. I went with Pdte Leon, a counselor in the Stake Presidency, and Hno Isaac, the assessor of our ward. We visited several families, including one mildly drunk father of 14 children (I guess they didn't have television)=D. He said that he plans to stop working on Sunday and get back to church. We'll see if he doesn't come next week.

As for baptisms, we've got one coming up a week from Saturday. A kid named Christian. He's good, it's just a little difficult keeping his attention. Sometimes they get distracted so easily....but I guess that is life. Right? As a bigger-picture metaphor...what Satan does is distract us. He makes us take our eyes off the goal with glitzy, worldly, and sparkling things. The first of the ten commandments is this, not permitting that any other "god" come between us and our Heavenly Father. Just some food for thought.
Not much more to say.
Love you all,
Elder (Gabe) Rallison

New Years Day

This last week has been difficult to say the least. Here, it is always hard from Christmas to New Years to work as missionaries. We try, but everyone is out of town or has family in town visiting. So it's been a little tough, but we did find a few new families and we'll see how they progress this week.

We spent the New Year pretty well. First off, Jason invited us over to his house for dinner....once again tamales and some very tasty natilla. Not really sure how they make it, but it is sure good. It´s kind of like a carmel-ish Jello/flan thing with raisins and cinnamon. I want to learn how to make it because I love it. And afterwards we went to the house and made Mexican tacos! =D I was in heaven. Then, at midnight the whole neighborhood was lighting off fireworks and blaring music. Here, they celebrate New Years...until 8 in the morning the next day. But yeah, happy new year!

Love you all,
Elder Gabe Rallison