Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Actual Letter of Arrival

Dear all,
Yes, I am in the field. I´m not really sure what has happened since i last wrote, so I´ll start by answering all of Mom´s questions and then write maybe more.

The plane was 17.5 rows of 4 and didn´t have hardly any space for luggage, so our luggage had to be driven to Medellín the day before.  There were 20 missionaries traveling with me (21 in total) and we are a big group. But we were only like half the plane. 
In the Medellin Airport
first sight of our plane to Medellin

21 of us in our group, a real big one

 Above Bogota

 At the Medellin Airport

I´m typing fast because I don't have all that much time to write. 

We spent the day in the mission office sitting and doing nothing and letting our brains run out our noses as we spent 3.5 hours waiting for all the latinos to go through immigration and then another 4.5 still sitting in the same little room.super boring. 

Presidente y Hermana are real cool, super loaded, and he makes money armoring cars. They know hardly any english. 

 Kai with Hermana and Presidente Pitarch

That night, we got our trainers and mine is E´Hurtado from Ecuador and he´s pretty cool but doesn´t get up on time. My first area is Envigado in Medellín, right in the city with a couple mountains making use of the 45 degree angle streets that are really great to go up and down a couple times a day.
 Our Newbie Group

 Elder Gassaway and me

24 floors down from the Mission Office

View from the mission office

View from some overlook

 Basically the only cable cars here are the ones we went up for pday yesterday. So in the mission, there are a couple interesting things. Some are good and some aren´t. Law of Chastity isn´t really a thing and that includes ALL of the law of Chastity. But with how I hear it, at least I´m not on the coast. The ward is spiritual, and the kids are super cute and relatively well behaved. Medellín really does have the most attractive women in South America, but it´s all plastic surgery. Our ward is pretty wealthy and has 10 missionaries because all the office elders and APs are there too. But this is one of the best wards in the mission. 

As for best areas, that isn´t true. It´s a real big area and it´s in two pieces that are pretty far apart from each other and we don´t live in either.  People are too busy to listen, investigators are difficult to find and they often don´t progress. But, i hear if you work hard enough it works. It´s pretty hot and pretty humid but nothing like the coast. 

First day, we went around trying to talk to people but no one was home or no one wanted to listen and then we did an hour or two of service. The hardest thing right now is probably the climbing the equivalent of a 14er everyday in missionary clothes and then at the top, the investigator or less-active isn´t home and we walk back down. 

I´ve still got to get used to being a missionary and that takes different amounts of time for different people. One of the office elders said it took him like 4 to 6 months. Meals are just at members homes but they´re often needing to be confirmed. Today we don´t have lunch so we´ll go out and buy something. But, we often don´t eat dinner and breakfast is a little granola with milk. 

The weather is hot and humid and rains every other day or so inconsistently. Our tiny little house is pretty poor. It´s just the second floor of this little place and it isn´t actually a house. 

The view from our window

We saw this a lot in Peru. It´s got a tiny bathroom and shower (used to not drain) and then also had a hole so the other day it was flooding the apartment and we spent some time cleaning and drying until it got fixed. We don´t have actual beds, we just stacked two mattresses. They said to bring just a twin sheet, and I see why. I´d die with more. they gave us a pillow and fitted sheet thing and so we´ve got that. But everything is basically permanently dirty. Just think ghetto and dirty and you´ve probably got it. There´s only room for Hurtado and I. 

Not much surprises, just lots of walking and not as much teaching yet because as I said, investigators are hard to find and hard to work with. And I mentioned church. For P-day yesterday, we took the metro to the metrocable and took it all the way up to a mountain that was designated as a massive park.  

View from the Metrocable

Elder Hurtado and I going up the metrocable

 There´s like obstacle courses and stuff to do, but we just walked along a path into a forest and decided to play capture the flag. 
I got bug bites like mad but it was way fun. The forest was real dense too so that was interesting. People were like diving through bushes and sliding in the wet dirt and we lost twice but it was so fun. 
 Elder Something, me and Elder Johnson

On the way back, storms whipped up real good and they closed the metrocable. Considering this was basically the only way down, everyone was just stuck at the top. We just waited the storm until they could open the metrocable.  

 Hurtado and I on our way down..tired!
 Loads of rain made the river an entire meter higher!

Then we finally came down and then ate dinner at some restaurant in some mall in someone else´s zone and got home, wrote letters to the president, and went to bed. That´s why I´m writing this morning. 

So, it´s confirmed that letters and packages are reliable to send, I asked around and your package is here. I haven´t actually gotten it yet, but it´s at the office and Hurtado says that packages like always come through fine.

It really makes sense now why a mission is called such hard work because it´s exhausting every day in many ways and it feels nice normally.

Élder Hicken

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