Monday, December 15, 2014

Carta de Envigado

[Kai's replies to Sunny's email]

I loved reading all the happenings in your email last week.  The urgent issue this week planning skyping.  Talon is flexible this year, as are we, but I suspect you aren’t so much.  How much time will you get?  Do you have to figure out all the details of location and such, or is something already arranged?  Tell us what you know, and I guess we’ll have to have it definite by next Monday.  Or is your P-day being switched next week for the holiday?

We will know next Monday when we can skype but it´s good that you are all flexible. 

So I guess TODAY is your first “regular” P-day, since last week you had a multi-zone activity.  Is it “regular”?  Are you writing from an internet café?  

Well, in Medellín, there are so many things to do that they normally have zone activities and at the moment our zone activity is writing our families. Last week was an internet café but right now it´s in a library by the airport.

Are there arepas being sold on the street everywhere?  What do you eat when you buy something?  What are the rules about what you can’t eat?

There are often arepas, and we try to never buy stuff. But it´s often just pan.  There´s a peruvian restaurant that delivers so we´ve had Peruvian pollo twice and it´s great and also Hugo (líder misional del barrio) went to Peru on his mission and cooks peruvian so we had Ají de Gallina at his house saturday. We aren´t supposed to eat off the street, but sometimes the best food is off the street. We also can´t eat coca.

So Élder Hurtado’s younger brother is serving in Lima, Central!  That’s wild!

Does your tongue get tired speaking so much Spanish?  And your ears from hyper focused listening?  That’s what I remember about my first month.

My tongue isn´t so much tired, but every once in a while I just get tired of Spanish and just talk English to Elder Hurtado which is ok because he understands all of it. But, Listening to it gets annoying too. I´ve had times when I just wish I could have an English mission because English is easy.
We went to the Choir/Orchestra concert this week.  It was fun to see so many kids we know, like Kenzie.  Her mom was telling me that the two of them got letters from you just that day.

Yeah, Kenzie told me it was really great to see you guys at the concert! She said it went really well and I kinda miss choir just because it was so fun I´m glad you went. I sent her mom a letter the week before I sent her one just to bug her but it failed and they got there on the same day but it was a good effort. 

Last night we had our Christmas Gathering of Neighbors at our house.  Much of the stress is trying to find people that will come.  None of our actual neighbors could make it, and we branched out a bit in the neighborhood, and got enough people to make it fun.  Little kids, and Lily was excited, but pretty emphatic about having the pink bell, doing a different song, and wearing the big kid angel costume, etc.  You know.

We weren’t able to get any kids Renen’s age to come, we’ll have to plan that better next year.  But he was a good sport and participated.  Yesterday he and Dad blessed the sacrament for the first time in Sacrament Mtg.  You probably remember when it was your turn to do that with Dad.

It´s weird to think that Renen´s at that age but too bad he can´t do it in Spanish. I remember in Peru doing it in Spanish is more fun than English but I haven´t been able to do it yet here.  But  I AM now playing a little keyboard for the hymns in Church.
After a cooold fall, we had a few mild weeks, and then yesterday it finally snowed again, which was a nice touch for having a Christmas gathering.

I’ll keep it short so you’ll have time to write.  We get to talk to you in just a week and a half!  Oh—I see you’re on, I’ll send this right now.

[Next, he had enough time to send out a letter to all of us]

Hello those who matter,
This area/district is pretty rough. The Hermanas in Itagüi have a baptisimal date for a family, and that´s the first date in a couple months in the District. We have a couple people to teach, but we keep calling and visiting but we can´t get an appointment with them to teach. We finally taught one family, children of a member, and they are real rough. 

Agenda for Dec 13

This is a story I should share. Earlier this week, we were street contacting and it wasn´t going well, or rather was going normal. We couldn´t talk to anyone, and people just about never ever answer the door or aren´t home so that´s real inefficient. So we just talk to the not-drunks in the street but often at least half the city is drunk or drinking. So this day was pretty rough and we found ourselves on a new street we hadn´t walked before. But still, no luck. Suddenly, a lady ran up to us and expressed much relief at finding Mormon missionaries and called her friend over who exclaimed "¡Gloria de Dios!" They explained they are Paisas living in Spain and visiting again to Medellín and couldn´t find the church building. They had the address, but the address was wrong. We walked with them to the church and talked with them on the way. The one was baptized 8 months back, and the other was held back by her super Catholic parents (they are about 55 years old), and the member had a married nonmember son with two grandchildren. She expressed desire for us to teach her son´s family and said this was the main reason she was in Colombia. So, we went to teach them a day or two after on Friday. The family is very Christian, with very Catholic beliefs. A mix of the two. 

The member is a good member of the church and has a firm testimony, and the son was being fairly receptive but obviously reserved. Then his wife came over and made the objective to prove what we said wrong with the Bible and mainly the words of their pastors and it completely drove the Spirit away and made it a very difficult situation. Hurtado said it was the most difficult lesson by far that he´s ever been in. It was real rough but we have a return appointment and a stronger plan which includes more Spirit and no bible bashing; I think it´ll go better. But as of yet this family is our only investigators.  We have a couple more people we are trying to teach, who have Books of Mormon and our phone number and we have their number and stuff, but it´s very difficult to get a lesson right now. 

Then on Saturday, I was fairly distracted by the fact that it was the one-year anniversary, and then on top of that we were having absolutely no success.  I said a quick prayer for help to be concentrated, and then some guy, Adolfo, came up to us and said he was less-active, trying to get back to the church and wanted our help. Well, this helped and got us excited a bit. Then more things happened to help me concentrate and I felt blessed. 

Then yesterday, after our lunch which was super far away (like 30 minutes by bus then 40 minutes walking) we went about San Rafael the whole afternoon and evening trying to get lessons or new contacts but no one would respond, or was busy, or drunk. They say that Sundays are the best for contacting and teaching, but in this mission they are the worst. Especially during Christmas season and soccer season. Literally most of the city is drunk or drinking, and then the rest are at some party, and Sundays a good part is asleep. There is nearly no one to teach on Sundays so we basically walked around trying until it was late then we went home. It was rough. On the way to church, some drunk lady grabbed my arm and tried saying something that no one understood and I gave her the classic "get off me crazy woman" look and she went back and kept laughing with her other drunk friends. That was an interesting moment. We received a million (actually about 25) names of less-actives to teach and right now we can´t keep straight everyone and also people won´t meet with us or talk with us so we are kind of in a rough spot right now but it´s looking to be better this next week. I don´t remember if I said last week that it went super slow but it did. But this week was much quicker and I didn´t even get any blisters though we walk bastante. 

Thanks to Peter & Annette for the package, it was wonderful and I was very grateful to receive it and the things inside. So far, since I´ve gotten in the area, none of the normal activities have happened because of futbol or something else but we haven´t had the normal ward futbol night, carnes after el consejo, or la noche de cine and we are like, "what". 

Be great,
Élder Hicken

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