Monday, May 26, 2014

Week 17 in Manzanares!

Week # 22
This week went well. We did a TON of contacting. I found that as I contacted, I learned better how to connect with people and break the language barrier. It was actually really fun contacting this week, but most of the people we talked with werent super interested. We have about 15 names that we are going to follow up with this week, hopefully we will be able to find some new investigators. Our zone has a goal to contact 10 people daily in each companionship, so we are striving to complete that goal. 
News with Carolina Herrera- if you remember last week, I told about Carolina, who is ready to be baptized, and to have her baby. Well she decided on Thursday to drink some oil that is supposed to make you have your baby faster, because she was impatient. So, on Friday night she went to the hospital and got stuck there with exams until Saturday, so she couldnt make it to the baptismal service. We have stake conference this weekend, so it looks like she is going to have to wait 2 weeks. We arent really sure what has happened more, because she never answers her cell phone. But things are going well with her generally, and I am happy.
So there is a member here who works for some bakery and sells bread. She has figured out when we meet all together as a zone, and when we will have money, so she comes to the chapel to sell us bread. The worst part is that it isnt very good, and its expensive. Plus, its super hard to say no, because she wont let you say no. We always have to plan how we are going to escape her. 
Another funny cultural thing here, when people say they will do something in 1 week, they say ´in 8 days´, which is just so wrong. There are 7 days in a week. I have no idea why they say in 8 days. It bugs me. 
Last night Colombia had their presidential elections, so we had to be inside at 5 pm. It was nice to relax, this week has been trying. 
This morning we helped a member here put the second floor on her house. It was just about the same as last time, and nice to do some work. 
This week we also had interviews with the president. It was really nice that he asked me a lot how my family is doing. I talked with him about my plans to work harder and be more focused, and he was able to help me better my plans. 
We have exchanges next week, getting anxious. It seems that its my turn to leave Neiva, but I really dont want to! 
Last night in our last visit we followed up with the Gomez family. We had contacted them a week ago, and they seem really excited to investigate our church. It is great to see the Lord is trusting us, and I know he had people everywhere waiting to hear his word.
Well, thanks for reading. I am so honored to be a missionary. It really is the greatest thing I can be doing with my life, and I am very happy.
Elder Beck
pictures: a typical breakfast, and our district

Monday, May 19, 2014

Week 16 in Manzanares!

Week # 21
This week was challenging, but went well. 
We found a new investigator last week and she is really great. Her name is Wendy. When we visited her last Monday, she mentioned that she didn't have a bible. Luckily, I had bought a cheap bible before leaving the MTC. Something just told me to give her my bible, so I did. She was super grateful, and it was a really cool experience. 
This week we have been working hard to find new people to teach, because a lot of the people we are teaching right now are slowing down a lot and we need to focus on the people that want the gospel in their lives. So we have been searching a lot, and haven't had a lot of luck. With our zone, we have a challenge to contact 10 new people every day. Its really fun contacting, and it feels really good working hard. 
In the central ward here in Neiva, a member from LA came down to marry a member here. I got super excited I might get to talk to someone from the states. I got to say hi to him, and it was fun speaking English. 
So in church this Sunday, one of the teenagers wore a shirt that said ´sexy baby´. It was really weird. I just though, oh no.... Im not sure if they understand what that means, but its just bad. We had one investigator come to church in the last hour.
Her name is Carolina Herrera, and is going to be baptized this week. She is 17 and pregnant, or no longer pregnant. She was scheduled to deliver on Saturday and is expecting today as well. She is really great, and has a great testimony. 
The Torres family is doing great. They couldn't come to church because they were all sick, but Hugo is well and they all pray together and read the book of Mormon. Today we bought a white shirt for Hugo to wear to church.
Not much else has happened, and im out of time. 
I had cow lung last night, and its a lot like cow intestine, chewy and salty. But a little less chewy and less salty. 
Thanks so much for reading. I also suggest reading the Book of Mormon daily- its a must read! 
Elder Beck
I got some trinkets today, and some pictures of our district.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Week 15 in Manzanares!

Week #21
So this week a lot happened, and I am feeling really lazy because this keyboard is super sticky, and I am literally pounding on the keys to type.
The week started great. We had a family home evening with the Hugo and his family, and it was a great night. We played a game, and everybody ended up laughing (sorry I dont have time to explain it.) Then we shared a message about eternal families and everybody was super interested. Then on Wednesday, after the English class, Hugo came up to us and asked, ´what do we need to do if I want to be baptized this week?´ So we took care of most everything and he was baptized saturday night! Elder Hurtado baptized him, and he had his interview about an hour before the service, so it was a super hectic day.
So every time somebody asks a question, even super complicated questions, Elder Hurtado says´look, its simple...´ and goes on explaining. To me its really funny because the answer never is really that simple. Elder Hurtado also turned 26 on Friday, so that was cool. Our lunch fell through, so we went to a restaurant and they served us cow stomach soup. It was actually pretty good. The stomach chunks were kinda chewey. On sunday we ate lunch with the bishop, and they had a cake for Elder Hurtado too. It was pretty nice.
I got to skype for Mothers day, so that rocked, even though the connection was bad. Also, Happy mothers day!
This week, Humberto came with us to a lesson, it was funny. Its strange to have an investigator come with us to a lesson. When the lady asked a question, he started answering, and it was pretty funny.
So another investigator, gina came to church this week, and when she was saying the closing prayer in one of the classes, she goes,´thanks for my gringo friend´ and pats me on the back. It was just a little uncomfortable. But cool as well.
So about 6 weeks ago, our zone leaders told us to start inviting people to a dance contest activity we would be having in each ward. So this saturday we were supposed to have the activity. Apparently there was a lack of communication between the ward and stake, and nothing got organized.  So 6:00 rolled around and a group of dancers shows up. They were all really well prepared, and had been putting on makeup and dowin their hair since 2. Just us missionaries were present, so we got to take the heat and tell them the activity was cancelled. The worst was that they werent members. So that was super uncomfortable.
Most everything else is going well. We have more people at church, and we are still working to improve that. But, this area is progressing. Hopefully we will be able to baptize Hugo´s family soon. They are really great.
Thats about all I have for this week. Thanks to everyone who wrote me. I know that through Christ we can live free from guilt, and what a wonderful gift that is!
Thanks for reading,
Elder Beck

Mothers Day Skype

Monday, May 5, 2014

Week 14 in Manzanares!

Week #20
A lot happened this week. 
The week started with a big scare. We visited our investigator, Hugo, who is closest to being baptized. He has gone to church 2 times and a baptism. He reads the Book of Mormon frequently and also reads with his family. He told us when we visited him that he didn't want to listen to us anymore. He was frustrated that he couldn't make it to church last Sunday, and I was just thinking, ´no, no, no, no this isn't happening´. We were able to talk to him for about 30 minutes and help him reason some things out. Before we left, he accepted another visit from us. 
So, on Wednesday Elder Hurtado and I organized a movie night for him and his family in the chapel, after the English class. We brought in arepas from a member who sells them, and watched the restoration with them. It was a great experience, and Hugo felt a lot better about the church. He went to church Sunday, and we hope that he can be baptized this Saturday. 
Other than that, this week went well. We has a lot of investigators in the chapel, and a lot of our investigators are really progressing. its great to see fruits of our hard work.
In one visit this week, the dad was coming home late from work, and the two boys of the family started shooting each other with water guns, using us as shields. Its was really funny, and nice to laugh a lot. Overall, things are going well in our area. I am very happy in my mission, and feel I am really becoming focused on my mission. 
Today was really fun. All of our zone went to the stake center, and we played a giant game of ninja. It was really funny. It was really nice to relax today.
I went on an exchange with the zone leader on Friday, and we were riding bikes all day. I was so tired. We were riding through the center of the city, and traffic was super busy. Traffic here is not very organized, and I was super close to getting hit 2 or 3 times. It was scary, but not TOO close. Also, on the exchange we got up early and went to a members house who had workout equipment. It was so great. We also ate a really good burger. It was amazing.
That's pretty much all I have for this week. I love being a missionary. My Spanish is really starting to feel natural, although it can be a pain at some times. I really love to see how the Lord is changing me out here. 
Thanks for reading,
Elder Beck
So i actually have pictures too!
This morning we went to the bishops house and made ´baliadas´ which are basically hondureƱo tacos. We made the tortillas, and it was super good. Then there are some pictures of the zone, and Neiva. Also, the machine is used to squeeze the juice out of sugar cane, and they call the drink Guarapo, its super good.