Monday, December 22, 2014

Carta Antes de la Navidad

Buenas to all

Sometimes I try to send videos but it never works so if someone has a really good way to send videos hit me up. 

This was definitely another very difficult week. In Medellín, partying is like a real big thing, so on any given night, much of the city is drunk but I think it´s just worse because it´s Christmas and New Year´s. We have to be in the house early the 24th and 31st. 

We had another lesson with Harrison and Evelin and it was better than last time, and we were able to keep it under control more, but they still want to debate but I think we set it up well for next time teaching Plan of Salvation. We just said "this lesson answers three great questions: where did we come from, why are we here, and where are we going after we die?" and Harrison immediately said "well where did we come from? where does it say so in the Bible??" and we just said, "This is our lesson for next time; we are an hour late for the ward activity" very nicely but really they are a rough family to teach but there´s a chance. 

We met another less-active this week named Joaquin and he actually called us over on a day where there was actually literally no one in the street for about 4 hours and we don´t know where they went.  But he walked out of his house and called us over and he was baptized in 2000 in Envigado, He is now living in Cartagena and just visiting Envigado. He´s a very interesting person and his Spanish is difficult to understand but he came to church and a Noche de Hogar [Family Home Evening] and so that´s well. 

We also had an investigator at church named Marta and she´s a Paisa living in Spain, has a testimony and wants to be baptized but isn´t yet-- her parents are old hardcore catholics so they´re holding her back from making decisions like this so we´ve got a bit to work with. But, for now we´ll be teaching her in the church building. 

This week was mainly just filled with us walking around, no one being able to visit with us, and us wondering why so many people were drunk. We´ve asked members what the occasion was and they said that the 4 weeks before Christmas are normal with everyone drunk and also New Years so this is a great time to be in Envigado. 

Last night on the way to a Noche de Hogar, we passed a group of drunks with soup (it´s like a normal thing for people to go out in the street and get drunk and fry meat or make soup) and they pulled us aside and gave us soup and we said thank you and left -- so even the drunks here are nice. They just aren´t great to teach. Also it´s a big thing to play ridiculously loud music and set off fireworks while cooking drunk. 

 People frying meat right across the street

 Some Christmas lights -- festive...

Also right outside our window is like a popular spot to do so. Poor Hurtado hasn´t gotten a good sleep in like a week because the fireworks are ridiculous and Saturday night the music was way loud and kept until 5am. I sleep through everything except the bombshells which only happen like twice a night and those are fireworks which actually shake the cement in our building and shake all the windows and while sleeping it´s like the equivalent of suddenly Lily dropping on your chest and I can make that comparison because I know how that feels. 

So, it´s been a rough week and there hasn´t been all that much sleep to accompany it. Lately it´s been hard with that combination because I really feel like I have more potential as a missionary than I am using or that I can use here and although Hurtado is a decent trainer, he isn´t into working as hard as I think we should be. It´s really just little things like using the area book more, or giving updates to the Líder Misional de Barrio [Ward Mission Leader], and sure I would really like people we can actually teach and start meeting goals, but that part is really more the area just being super difficult (and like the entire mission knows it is) but then there´s also we don´t have lessons with members much-but that´s more because we aren´t having many lessons at all. These days have more success than my first week or two, but regardless it´s rough. But, I still thank God for the rough bits for many reasons. One is that it´s easier to learn lessons from hard situations than from easy ones, and another is that when/if I get transfered to the coast where people often have 3-5 baptisms a month, I´ll be able to see the mission differently and it´ll feel so easy compared to here. It feels like I´m being prepared. The ward says that all the elders that start in Envigado end in the office (which is in the same ward) and that doesn´t sound too bad, except that the office proselytes in the same zone as us and has only slightly more sucess. It´s rough, but I´m still enjoying it. I usually think the loud music and fireworks and drunks all night are funny, and I´m learning alot. 

Thanks for the music, mom! Hurtado and I bought matching ties for the Christmas dinner we have with President Pitarch Thursday and he bought a new suit and I paid a lady in the ward (the grandma in the picture of us and all the office elders) to sew the Colombian Flag in the inside of my suit jacket and it looks super cool.Also we found a store that sells a bunch of stuff all for $5000 and I bought a Rolex watch and an Adidas watch each $5000 and they be sweet. Everyone wants to look real good at the Cena so we will. Also, I´ve found that it´s way fun to do deep studies following a topic using all the standard works and just spend a bunch of time on it because you find loads of stuff and it´s actually real fun.

I hope it snows for Christmas, Not here, but in Colorado. Actually if it snowed here it´d be a miracle

Do something cool,
Élder Hicken

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