Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Milk and other things...

Also I forgot to tell you I think you would be very surprised that Colombia has made me a milk-drinking, banana-eating fanatic. 
It’s a treat for me. 
It’s breakfast, milk and bananas

Us: WHAT??? You milk? No.
What kind of milk, like white milk

Rawly: Yes like regular milk, ha-ha
It’s in a bag though they don’t have cartoons here. It’s pretty delicious

Us: Is it cold or on the shelf?

Rawly: Cold

Us: Wow most milk in Mexico comes on the shelf :)    YUCK
So did you get some of my other recipes?

Rawly: HAHAHAHA I DID

Us: So what is happening with your sweet Evelyn? How is she coming along??
Rawly: Evelyn will be baptized the 17 of August along with my first fecha....I put the date on this person. Paola, hopefully her mom, they are in Cali so we will ask her mom later. And today we put another fecha on someone named Luz Dary
Evelyn is receiving lots of nido its Spanish for nest and it’s when the members support the investigators. A girl named Daniela Certuche is helping us a lot with her, along with our Gil, Spanish slang for idiot-lovingly-Sergio. Ha-ha-ha. She is so excited for her baptism now.

Us: I've been reading the blog of a missionary that is in Popayan he is N.American and it seems that his leg is hurt. I hope he is okay he mentioned that President Prince was going to talk to him about what his options would be...

Rawly: Is his name Elder Peterson???

Us: Yes I believe so...

Rawly: Of course it is, he’s super nice.

Rawly: It’s so weird, the people that are in my life everyday you don’t really know. I have an adopted mom here; they are the first members that I met here. Familia Incapie. The mom loves me and has treated me so well; they own the store that we buy everything from. The father Eddy is a cross fit trainer yet is kind of chubby hilarious and a less active member; their daughters are dynamite members. Angie, 21 is awesome, and Vanessa 11, is absolutely adorable. They have adopted me really. They are super strong members of the church and live so close to us. Seriously they are awesome. Hermano Pedraza, is the president of the quorum of elders and has a fairly large house. We use his house for family home evenings and his is also a dynamite member. He is the bomb, a little chubby hahaha but awesome. He was the president of the temple in Bogota not to long ago. 

Rawly: Oh also, if you ever send me a package, can you send pens, the pens that we bought that aren’t the ones you can erase are my favorite. They are awesome for what I am doing 

Rawly: Lots of love. Talk to you in 6 days. Transfers are every 6 weeks. So we have like 1 week and a half left.
Lots of Love

Elder Lyle

Monday, July 29, 2013

A couple more thoughts from Elder Lyle

Hey I just wanted to say that I love all of you SOOO MUCH 
This week will be awesome. Seriously awesome, Elder Borg and I are still on fire in the area if we could just get some baptismal dates on to some of our investigators. All will be well. 
Lots of love 
My eyes are amazing. 
Lots of Love 
I LOOOOVE MYYYY EYES THEY ARE AWESOME

Elder Lyle

You have to learn how to make bread like they do here. It’s so easy, but somehow we just simply can’t do it there. 
Also you should accept a friend request from a Yersson or Yersey Flores in facebook. We are building his house. Yersey the father is a less active member and we are reactivating him ha-ha and we will baptize his family. He has pictures of Elder Borg and I building their house, and wants to share them with our parents. 
Rawly: I have to go. 
Lots of love
Your Elder 
Us: Love you more and more and more
To the Moon and BACK!!!
Mom

A Quite Week

Well, 
Overall this has been an interesting week. My companion is sick, has had problems with his asthma. The weather is putting everyone who has asthma in the hospital. Weird I know. So, we really didn’t do anything until Thursday. We went to Timbio on Wednesday though, which of course is my most favorite spot in the world. I seriously love Timbio. If I could move to anywhere in the world today, I would move to Timbio. It’s my favorite specifically for the sunsets. There are members out there that love us to death and it is always fun to go out there. Sergio plays the guitar with a member’s son, Nefi (Nephi). Elder Borg tries to copy Sergio and Nefi´s apparent skill, but most the time to no avail. I spend the time talking with Hermano Bentencur. They are awesome.

Right now Elder Borg and I feel very good about our investigators, we have a good handful of them, so we are inviting them all to be baptized on the 17th of August in something we are calling Una Noche Blanca, The White Night. It will be very special especially if we can get the 10 investigators that we want to be baptized to be ready. (The Una Noche Blanca is when the entire mission try’s to have baptisms all at once.)

Elder Borg and I finally had our moment, I knew it was coming. He and I are very different people, hence there was bound to be problems. The main problem I’ve been having with him is that he is so prideful in himself that he never listens to me or to anyone, which can be fairly difficult when you are trying to teach a lesson. He ends up being the mouth and I’m the ears in the discussions. Which would be fine if I could respond correctly to some of the crazy fast questions the investigators ask me. Our little blow up session ended well however and our companionship is stronger than ever. Luckily we did it in the comfort of our own home.

Really this was kind of a breath easy week. I’ve felt like I’ve been running for a month straight and to have a little space to breath this week was kind of nice. Nothing crazy happened, we didn’t go anywhere special, it wasn’t Independence Day, it was just a nice calm week.

However, this week will be EPIC. It started with our family home evening last night with 32 investigators. Our rama (branch) loves us, ha-ha. 32 investigators showed up at a house in which Elder Borg and I set up the best game ever. It’s called Captain Morgan. This is how we play the game:
We tell the whole room that we have a special guest named Morgan, but that Morgan is very shy because he is handicapped. He’s lost an arm, a leg, and an eye. Then we blind fold a person and bring them in the back. Elder Borg would then say, "This is the beard of Morgan", my hair. "This is the good arm of Morgan", my good arm. "This is the bad arm of Morgan", my elbow. "This is the good leg of Morgan", my leg. "This is the bad leg of Morgan”, a broomstick. "This is the nose of Morgan", my nose. "This is the good eye of Morgan", my eye closed. "And this is the bad eye of Morgan" at which point I hold up a tree tomato (kind of like a roma tomato) and then Elder Borg sticks the persons finger into the tomato. At this point the person would SCREAM!! AHAHAHA It was so funny. We did about 5 people. (I'm assuming that this is one of those "you had to be there to really understand moments") Then we shared a spiritual thought and then I invited all 31 people to prepare themselves to be baptized. We’ll see how effective that was.

I love it here, the weather for me is perfect. My companion always thinks its way to cold and has a hard time breathing, but it’s like 78 every day. I love it here, this for me is the most amazing experience. Everyday we are involved in people’s lives. People call out to us by name in the street, all the kids in the neighborhood know our names. It’s awesome. 

Today however my eyes were opened. We went to the nicer part of Popayán. I thought we lived in it, nope; ha-ha, we live in the slums of Popayán for sure. But guess what, I love it anyway. I love that you can buy candy for half a cent. That lunch costs 1 dollar, sure it might make you sick for a week, but I’ve found that I really have a tough stomach, ha-ha, my companion not so much. I feel bad for him as sometimes he spends quite a lot of time.... feeling sick so to speak. 

Already I feel the need to climb into a spot of leadership. No joke, my dream is to become the assistant to the President in the mission, but there are a lot of rungs to climb before I get there. 120 missionaries, how will I distinguish myself? 

I’m going to baptize and preach and teach like crazy. Yes there will be many people who aren’t interested, or feel like they are not ready, and that is fine, but I am here for one purpose:  To share The Gospel of Jesus Christ. I love my Savior and in the past week I was able to really spend some time studying the crucifixion of Christ and the Atonement of Christ in my personal studies. What I have found is this:
We have barely scratched the surface in understanding Christ’s sacrifice for us. 
We use the atonement of Christ to repent, but that’s pretty much it. I read something recently that changed my whole view of the Atonement (The sacrifice of Christ). Instead of reading the sacrifice of Christ, or the Atonement of Christ, read "The enabling power of Christ." When you do this your mind can be opened to some of the incredible blessings of our Heavenly Father and Christ that are also known as Grace. The Atonement of Christ is powerful; through Christ we can have the power to do anything. Christ suffered so that we wouldn’t have to. Its incredible when you think about just how powerful that can be. If you feel tired you can literally use the strength of Christ to continue. We are promised this:
 That "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" (Philippians 4:13) ALL THINGS. I absolutely love this scripture and everyday it has a better and grander meaning to me. 

Things that happened this week:
My companion is sick, vitamin C for me.
We dug a ditch for 2 miles down the side of basically a cliff for a family of investigators so they could have water. 
We are building a house for the Flores family. 

Lot’s of love 
Elder Lyle



Monday, July 22, 2013

An email from Elder Borg

Elder Borg:
Hi mom, I know you do not know me, but I am Elder Borg. Better missionary companion in the world. The truth is that I'm surprised at your son, never had a missionary with both encouragement and willingness to serve as Elder Lyle.
I'm proud to be his first mate, he is an excellent missionary and great man ... well then ... do not know you but I love you for helping
chaoooo family.



Emails & Pictures

Rawly: And I’m here

Us: Good morning!!
How are you?? How was your week?

Rawly: I’m good, to be honest my week was hard but good.

Us: What made it hard?

Rawly: It was hard because everyone wasn’t home.
Now that I feel adequate to float on my own Elder Borg and I´s strong type A personalities are beginning to show, ha-ha.
And I missed you guys like crazy last week.

Us: Oh… we miss you more!  
So are you and your companion getting along, you do know that he is your trainer right Mr. Alpha male.

Us: Remember when you feel like you are missing us, just look at the moon and know that we are looking back and sending a major amount of LOVE your way!!
Last night was a full moon and I wished upon it great things for you and Elder Borg for this week!

Sergio is the son of the Branch President.




Sergio & Elder Borg going somewhere on a bus 

Us: By the way: I love the pictures.
Try to take some with you in them out on your walk abouts :)
Rawly: I can’t normally bring my camera with me because I’ll get robbed, but all good. I’ll do it when I can. Lots of love Elder Lyle
Us: Well we love ANYTHING we get!!!!
Don't carry it around; we don't want you getting robbed!!!!
Rawly: I have to go love you lots. 
Talk to you next week. 
Us: We sooooo LOVE YOU TO THE MOON & BACK!!!!
Rawly, go forward this week with honor, love and hope in your heart and you will continue to have success!!!!

LATER THAT DAY

Rawly: HERE AGAIN
Rawly: The picture of me cleaning the font was the most recent, Saturday it will show you how much weight I’ve lost, ha-ha.
Us: You've lost weight??? I think you should eat more!
Rawly: I think I should eat more too! We only eat almuerzo when the families feed us. My companion doesn’t eat. Which really bothers me. He only spends money on clothes and candy. 

Lots of love 
Elder Lyle
Sergio
Elder Borg in their apartment doing morning exercises
Elder Lyle during a LATE night study session

Update~The Kiss?

Oh my Gosh.
Well this has been a crazy week. Our baptism fell through again. We honestly at this point don’t really know what to do about her. Although, we are working with some amazing families right now and we feel like we will have an explosion of baptisms very soon. We are working with a family, the Flores, they have two kids, one is my age the other is 13. The father is inactive and the mom is Catholic, but they are all trying to find something more in their life.
We were walking the other day and had inspiration to walk down a street and the first house we saw we met an awesome family that had been praying for guidance, Family Fernandez.
We are also working with the Salazar family, who are awesome. It’s just a lady and her husband, probably in their 40’s. They are very conservative and remind me of a family from the 50’s, sweaters and all. They are the family that took us to Coconuco the other day.
All these families are amazing. 
out tracking with Sergio in tow

All right, now the interesting part of the week:
Well I do believe I may be the only missionary to be kissed twice in less than 24 hours. 
So here’s the story: 
We found another family of 3 ladies, a mom, her daughter and her niece. We helped them build their bed, they just moved into the area. We went to visit them the other day and the mom’s friend was there, and when she went to leave... BAM, she kissed me and walked out the door. My companion let out a noise similar to a dying cat and his face turned redder than a tomato, which is fairly impressive as he is black, hahaha. Sergio, who has become my best friend here (he is the branch president’s son, he spends every day with us and he’s 18), didn’t know what to do. My companion, such a trooper, attempted to continue with the lesson but ended up just erupting into laughter, which made Sergio explode. However, I was still sitting on the couch in shock, hahahaha. Oh my gosh, I had no idea what to do. That my good friends is what we call a “snake” here in Colombia. 
Then Sunday at church there was a new member that got baptized on Saturday. Not by us, there are 4 missionaries to every ward. When we went to leave I gave her son the "missionary hug”. Then I went to give her a firm handshake when I saw the lips getting ready for take off. She hit my cheek and my companion let out another gasping wheeze very similar to a dying albatross. I leapt up told her sorry we can’t do that and ran for my life. Literally RAN out of the church and into the street with my companion and Sergio close on my heels. 
Oh my gosh it’s been an interesting week. 

Now that I feel fairly adequate in my abilities to talk and teach, my companion and I are starting to have the alpha male fights, ha-ha. I am not a good follower because I am always the Leader. We had a boy scouts meeting with all the missionaries and of course the instructor made me leave the group because he said the other missionaries needed to stop depending on me to lead them in a maze activity... My companion was the next to leave. We are both very strong type A personalities, which make us very good missionaries. We are very easy to talk to and naturally dominate conversations, which makes us good teachers. Unless both of us are fighting over the steering wheel. Eventually we will figure it out or come to blows, jk. He is honestly the best companion. 

Saturday we needed to get ourselves ready for the baptisms that were happening in the branch, but our baptism ended up falling through... Jehovah Witness creating more doubts in the investigators. However, little by little we are helping Evelyn move through these doubts.
The other missionaries Elder Jones and Ramirez had a family baptism. To bad the font is broken. Sergio, Elder Borg and I had to empty, slash clean the font which hadn’t been emptied in who knows how long. It was green and full of algae. When I stepped into the font there was a cloud of green and it left footprints. We had to empty the whole thing by buckets, which took 2 hours, yikes. But we did it! 

I eat Sancocho and rice everyday with the occasional grilled chicken. I like it but would enjoy a little variety once in a while, ha-ha.

The members here are amazing. They have fully embraced us into their lives. 

I’m now the Gospel Doctrine Teacher. Yup, I found that out on Sunday. The first lesson I had to teach, with little under and hour to prepare; The Law of Chastity. Oh my gosh, that was probably one of the hardest things I have ever done. In SPANISH. I could have done it fine in English but there are many words I do not know that go along with this lesson. It’s even harder when you have a “snake” sitting front and center winking at you... oh my gosh.
I guess the last missionaries were fairly flirty with the members. Elder Borg and I are trying to change that standard but Jones and Ramirez aren’t helping. It’s hard to gain the respect of all the members when they think you are flirting with their daughters.... No surprise. 

I love it here, the weather is absolutely perfect. We have one of the largest zones in Popayan, Americas. We walk everywhere, I love it. At times I feel like singing “Climb Every Mountain” from the Sound of Music cause we do just that. The other day it poured and we were soaked through and through, lightning everywhere, crazy storm, but still I love the weather here, it is perfect. 

The people here are amazing. I’m learning so much about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the power of faith.
Philippians 4:13 
Todo lo puedo en Cristo que me fortalece
All things I can do through Christ who strengthens me. I think that is how it’s translated 
There is a reason it says All things. 
The scripture is not some things I can do through Christ 
It says ALL THINGS
All things we can accomplish through Faith, but remember Faith without works is dead. 
I love you all so much 
Elder Lyle

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Independence Day in Colombia


Wow flags and music everywhere, mariposa seems to be the favorite by juanes or mana I don’t remember it. I kind of love this song now, but we will see by the end of the day.

I love you guys so much.

Celebrate Independence Day with me 
Mom make Sancocho soup:
Rice
Colombian beans
Grilled chicken
maybe fry a banana
This is what I have eaten every single day since I got here, hahahaha, no joke. Good thing I like it. 

Love you lots
Off to the forest today again 
Baptism... maybe. We can only hope, she has been having lots of doubts. 

Lots of love 
Elder Lyle

P.S. Aven make juice
Mango in the blender with orange juice and water
Strain it 
BOOM… juice 

Lots of love and hugs to everyone

Friday, July 19, 2013

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Another unexpected online exchange with Rawly today

Rawly: Just want to say I can receive mail. An Elder received a box of peanut butter yesterday, ahahaha
I love you 
Elder Lyle

Us: Do you have a mail address that is better than the mission home in Cali??
What would you like from home :)

Rawly: Mission home in Cali. 
I don’t know, I’m just saying I can get stuff, but it has to come in the padded envelopes that you can seal shut.  
I'm really in no need of anything, I love the food here, I have lime chips, and I have my new favorite candies and everything. 

Us: Well we knew that you would LOVE the food…
Although Kricket and I think of you every time we eat something GREAT :)

Us: Don’t forget to take a picture of your first baptism :)

Rawly: Of course not, her name is Evelyn. She is awesome, oh my gosh, like seriously so awesome. 
I forgot to tell you; everywhere we go kids, kids, kids. I love it. I got adopted by one last night at family home evening and he kept calling me papi, hahaha.
Seriously this is just solidifying my career as a pediatrician. 

Rawly: Oh, also they send little CD’s or mini thumb drives that are small with videos on them. Like; Hey how’s it going or pictures of a big event or something like that. 

Rawly: We love it here 
Lots of love, Elder Lyle and Elder Borg

Monday, July 15, 2013

Love it when I'm online while Rawly is...

Here are just a couple of communication emails we had going back and forth yesterday. Some of it is informative about his living conditions and some of it is really funny:

Rawly: Remember that what we have to cook with is a portable stove top and an olla, you’ll have to translate that I can’t remember the English word.
I love you tons send you an email tonight.

Lots of love Elder Lyle

Rawly: Sorry. I sent three pictures of a game we played for like 2 hours today in P-day. We spent the day in Coconuco. The van is how we got home for an hour, ha-ha. (We never got the picture of the van)

Us: So the picture with the two S.American’s, are they also missionaries?   Rawly: My companion and a random drunk dude who was playing the game with us.

Us: Your Dad was very very happy to see you wearing Barcelona… Rawly: I’m wearing that right now!! With my white pants of course. I fit in much better, hahaha. Us: Of course you are wearing those white pants.
Speaking of, so how are you doing your laundry??? Rawly: A dude shows up with a machine on his bicycle.... hahaha Us: so like to do your laundry? Rawly: No to drop off the machine silly, hahahaha. We RENT IT! HAHAHA. Us: There's a guy that drops off a machine to do your laundry? How does that work? (Right about now I’m envisioning some kid on a bike delivering a full size washer, so I say: That is soooo funny!!  So what kind of machine do you rent? Like a washing machine? Rawly: He drives up on a bicycle in the morning, knocks on our door. Walks the machine in, sets it down and hooks it up to the sink. We pour soap and clothes in and boom LAUNDRY! Us: What that is sooo funny...we want a picture of that next week! Rawly: Yeah like a top load full sized washing machine and the kid is like 14 and waddles. I will next time he shows up.... ha-ha we will see when that is.

Us: So are you getting our messages that we send to you during the week? Rawly: Yes I am getting them all.  I LOVE them so much they really make my day. Us: I am so glad. Wasn’t sure if you could get them. Did you get the pictures of your Dad in Alaska? We thought your companion would like to see all the snow in July. Rawly: Yes he loves it! He wants to be a pilot but probably won’t have the chance. The Prince’s paired me up with him because they hope I can teach him English. Most senior companions have to teach their "niños" Spanish. Well I’m teaching him English. If I can teach him English in 3 months he can go to BYU. Challenge Accepted. Us: Do you think you will have him for the whole time? Rawly: I hope so. I will talk to President Prince on Wednesday, interviews!!! And during my interview with him I am going to talk to him and his wife about it. They told me to teach him English and I’m positive I can do it. I just need the rest of his 3 months to do it. It is his dream to go to BYU and he has the chance to do it. Him and I are working at finding people. Plus I’m sure they wouldn’t have a problem with me staying with him. Us: That sounds so great. 

Us: We did see that the Prince's are doing interviews and Sister Prince comes and makes sure your apartment is clean....YIKES. Rawly: Well, we are making sure she comes to ours. We are missing everything. Warm water, draws for our clothes, places to put our books. We bought a telephone wire that we hang our clothes on, ha-ha and our bathroom constantly smells of poop. It’s disgusting and we have no idea why, we think it is because we are on the second floor....

Rawly: If you want to see where I live; I live in La Ladera it’s a barrio in Popayan.

Us: Dad wants you to know that a 23 year old Colombian named Nairo Quintana is in 2nd place in the Tour de France!!!  Rawly: Oh I know; we all know. There are four things Colombian’s like to talk about:  Food. Sports. Religion, and Music, in that order. There was a huge futbol game last night, the favorite team won. People ran through the streets screaming and honking horns and playing music, ha-ha.

Us: So...Have you meet any other missionaries that are in Popayan? Rawly: Yes, I made quite a ripple from what I’ve heard. I’m known as the Mono or monkey, gringo that can speak Spanish. I’m already known in the area, ha-ha. There are 20 missionaries here in Popayan and I have the best area because I’m not in the city but on the outskirts. I love me some dirt floors, ha-ha-ha. Us: So mono means monkey...gringo??? Does that mean that you speak really good Spanish for a white boy? Rawly: Mono is what they call the white people who live here ha-ha-ha, so yes.

Rawly: I have to go right now. We need our CASH BAD, ha-ha-ha.
Lots of love. Your missionary. Elder Lyle
Us: Rawly, soooo LOVE YOU and are soooo PROUD OF YOU!!
GO FORTH WITH HONOR AND SERVE THIS WEEK!!!
Love you to the Moon and Back. Mom

Rawly: Tell everyone I miss them like crazy it’s a good thing I have a companion that I’m so tight with, because I’ve been missing you guys a lot lately, and the food. HAAHAHAHA 

Here is the Update...

All right so this week was interesting:

We didn’t have our baptism. Our investigator’s name is Evelyn and she is 14 years old. We moved her baptismal date to this Saturday though!! It will be really incredible. 

For the most part we spent the past week out. Like OUT. Ha-ha, our area covers a neighborhood called Barrio Cristales, look it up. Although I didn’t get the sleeping bag mission, I have the coolest mission in the world. We had to hike up a mountain maybe for 2 hours to reach this place in the middle of nowhere. I wish I could have stayed there; it is one of my favorite barrios. 
My favorite food here is ahyuca, spelling not quite sure. It’s a soup that is absolutely to die for along with maracuya juice. (Tarren I realized the granadilla and maracuya are cousins, that’s why it was so familiar but maracuya is soooo much better than granadilla). Everyone makes juice here; they just throw some fruit and water into the blender, blend it, strain it and serve. It’s so awesome and easy. Why don’t we do this at home??

This week nothing much went on. I did get sick do to some nasty drink an old lady made me, ha-ha. I didn’t throw up though; I think I lost the ability to throw up with my surgery.... hahaha

This lady was maybe 102 and when she poured the water into the canteen it spilled all over her and the floor, but she was doing everything so fast it was like she does it everyday! The drink was some mixture of the left over burnt corn made into a coffee substance. I’m assuming because it was made of corn it was okay to drink. It was warm instead of hot so not all of the granules dissolved, actually like none of them did hahaha. But yeah that was really fun later. My companion was just laughing and said ¨welcome to the next two years of your life”. 

We found 25 new investigators this week. We are having the times of our lives! My companion can be a little stubborn at times but we are getting along great. 

Today we went with a new investigator family to Coconuco. Look it up it’s so cool. They went to the natural hot springs, which my companion was absolutely disgusted with the smell, ha-ha, and we played a game with rings. Its kind of like toss the ring, but little rings and there’s multiple points you can receive. The main goal is to try and put it through a metal frogs mouth, which is entirely impossible. 
My companion is hilarious, he is honestly like a big brother in everything, and I look up to him so much. Its hilarious though he hates rice, blackberry (juice) and can’t seem to choke down breakfast or dinner, hahaha.
We ate lunch with these investigators picnic style. And man when Colombians picnic, they PICNIC. Ha-ha we had to walk up a shear cliff for a little while, then across fields and through all of this they are caring a whole cooked chicken, and a pot of rice, a large POT of rice, hahaha. 

I have ridden in some awesome automobiles, not going to lie. It’s been so awesome! I ´m getting to know the members of the church and they are helping us so much. All the people we are finding are through the members of our ward. They are amazing and so energetic to help. This is honestly how every family should be in the church; filled with zeal to help raise Zion. It is not our responsibility if they accept the message you share, but you are responsible to share this message with them. 

I am growing so much as an individual. It’s incredible. 

The gospel is TRUE; I know it with all my heart. 

Pray with faith, you will receive the answers to your heart 

Lots of Love 
Elder Lyle

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Lucky number 13

It seems that Rawly's lucky number is 13!
He graduated in 2013
Received his endowments on the 13th
And today, the 13th, he has his first baptism...

For his first baptism I sent him a letter with this poem in it because I believe it says a lot of who Rawly is and the gift he has for loving others... As Rawly talked about in his last letter when the mission president asked him what they were doing to be so successful and he answered: "We just think of the people we teach as our friends and share with them the message we love."
Then I wanted to share it here because I believe it says EVERYTHING about what missionary work should be and how to be successful and how simple it really can be... Be a friend.

THE ROSE

A certain man planted a rose and watered it faithfully, and before it blossomed, he examined it. He saw the bud that would soon blossom and also the thorns, and he thought, "How can any beautiful flower come from a plant burdened with so many sharp thorns?"

Saddened by this thought, he neglected to water the rose, and before it was ready to bloom, it died. So it is with many people. Within every soul there is a rose. The God-like qualities planted in us at birth grow amid the thorns of our faults. Many of us look at ourselves and see only the thorns, the defects. We despair, thinking that nothing good can possibly come from us. We neglect to water the good within us, and eventually it dies. We never realize our potential. 

Some people do not see the rose within themselves; someone else must show it to them. One of the greatest gifts a person can possess is to be able to reach past the thorn and find the rose within others. This is the characteristic of love, to look at a person, and knowing his faults, recognize the nobility in his soul, and help him realize that he can overcome his faults. If we show him the rose, he will conquer the thorns. Then will he blossom, blooming forth thirty, sixty, a hundred-fold as it is given him.

Our duty in this world is to help others by showing them their roses and not their thorns. Only then can we achieve the love we should feel for each other; only then can we bloom in our own garden.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Sharing a letter to Dad/Because according to his Dad, "He is one of a kind...Amazing!"

Hey Dad! 
Oh my gosh I am having the time of my life, seriously I can’t even begin to describe the peace and happiness that I feel every day when I wake up. Maybe it’s the mandatory 8 hours of sleep...hahaha

Dad I just wanted to say that I love you so much and that we are so coming back here when I finish my mission. This is the most incredible city in the world, though you might have to lower your standards of living a tiny bit hahaha. Dad I love it here, the people that I am teaching are truly the most humble people I have ever met. Imagine teaching people where we all have to sit on the concrete floor because they have no tables or seats besides a bucket, which the 76-year-old grandma is using. Dad the more and more I am studying the gospel the more and more I realize how incredible it really is. I realize how easy it was for me in the past to go along with the flow and really not think all that much about religion. The miracle of life itself is a testament of the love of our Heavenly Father, I am learning so much everyday of his overwhelming love. Someone emailed me and asked me, why does God allow such poverty to exist in the world where people are barely scraping by. 

I was able to think about this over the past few days and honestly I have such a firm belief in one cliché answer:

They are not the poorest people on this Earth; in fact those who have the most are normally the poorest. My view of poverty has changed immensely. The amount of love that I see here for everyone is absolutely incredible Dad they love everyone. If they leave their door open my companion and I start talking to them and they invite us in because they love us the moment they see us. The family’s here are so united its amazing. I really have been able to think that although some people have riches, they truly are dirt poor, because they are missing out on some of the most amazing experiences of life, laughing and enjoying life with your family little by little through the hard and easy. That is what a family is and I have seen that here more than I have ever seen in my life. 

It’s crazy how just a few weeks can change your perspective on life, granted it has a lot to do with the way I have been living these last few weeks but still, I look back on who I was just a month ago when I left and I see a scared boy with little understanding in what it means to live. I had a hard time writing that college essay because it was missing the truths of life, it was missing knowledge of what it means to live here in this life. I feel stronger than I have ever felt in my life, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically and I am ready to take on the world. Little by little I feel like I am doing just that.

I love my mission, it is changing the way I live and will change the way I live forever. I understand the meaning of time rather than money, which really is one of the biggest, challenges this world has to overcome. We live in a world where people think that the newest update is more important than an hour with your family and although I do love me an update, family and those people you love in your life are starting to have so much more importance to me. I don’t feel proud when I say this, but it’s true; I know the meaning to life. Through the Gospel I have found what it means to live, what it means to have a family, what it means to hold close those people in your life that truly make a difference in who you are.

I’m sure you are going to tear apart my grammar and spelling, ha-ha my English really is starting to move downhill quick, my Spanish is slowly getting better, my phone conversations are getting better unless I’m talking with an Argentine, hahaha 

I love you so much Dad
I just wanted to share with you some of my experiences that aren’t purely physical 

Love you to the moon and back 
Your Son

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Another call from President Prince

So the President of the Mission called us again today and wanted to know:
¨So what are you and Elder Borg doing exactly¨?
We found 9 more people to teach yesterday, hahaha. 
We simply replied; we just think of the people we teach as our friends and share with them the message we love. Some people get stuck in a rut of teaching without friendship. We love every single one of our investigators and let them know it. 

We are on a roll and we love every single one of our investigators.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Really slow computers

Wow the computers are really slow in Popayan
I received these photos today, 24 hours after Rawly sent them:

Here I thought his apartment looked pretty cool
Well this photo gives me a new thought on it...

But inside it looks not bad...
Elder LeeLay's closet and laundry line
He says: "It's my little home! I love it so much, isn't it perfect, very cold showers but absolutely perfect. I'm in love with it."
Spiders and insects as BIG as your face as well as the grapes

Monday, July 8, 2013

Channeling My Inner Aven

Hello Friends and Family 
Oh my gosh. Here we go. 
Since we left off I was in Cali. In Cali I was chosen to go out with the missionaries for a quick, debriefing.... well they chose me to go to one of the most dangerous parts of Cali, hahaha, I loved it, something about me being not quite as a gringo as the others... Anyways the poverty is incredible. In Cali we had to go down under the street to a family’s home. But the most amazing thing, as I was sitting there in a concrete floor, roof, wall, one room house, I noticed something. The people are incredibly happy. It doesn’t matter what kind of status your family is, as long as you are together it is home. I was the only white person there everyone else was African Colombiano. It was probably one of the most impoverished places I had ever seen, but the people were all the happiest. 
My Companion: Elder Borg 
Elder Borg in one word is, hilarious. I have never met a better person in my life. I thought I got along with my last companion; comparatively I was just tolerating him. Elder Borg and I are doing awesome together. Today was P Day and instead of going to play futbol with the other missionaries what he wanted to do was cook. He hates rice, which is all we eat here. So we cooked. I cooked gnocchi and he cooked chicken.... It was probably the best food I have had since I got here, his chicken was soooo good and affordable it only cost us about 4 dollars for juice, chicken, papas, flour everything! My companion and I are having the times of our lives. He is finishing his mission and I am starting mine. He is from the Dominican Republic and has lost like 70 pounds on his mission ahaha he was a big boy. He plays baseball religiously and is a rapper singer. Before the mission he was recording with some of the people we hear on the radio. He’s awesome. 
Okay, so we made our way to Popayán via bus for 5 hours, and when we arrived we beheld our apartment. I LOVE MY FIRST APARTMENT!!!! It´s.... minimal hahahaha. I was elected to get the apartment with the pipe in the wall in the downtrodden neighborhood, AND I LOVE IT. I can’t help from laughing sitting here at the computer telling you guys all this. It’s a cold shower every morning, so of course I can’t help but singing and doing the taro patch twist. (For those of you that haven’t heard this song, it’s a great Hawaiian song our family loves) HAHAHA We don’t have a closet to put our clothes in and the spider webs...well they’re gone now haahahaha. My companion was disgusted with our apartment, it’s a good thing I don’t know anything better cause, I LOVE IT!!!!! Oh my gosh I love it. We have a tin roof and an amazing view of the city. We bought some wire to hang our clothes on. The plates are where the laundry normally goes when washing it but that’s fine. I titled this Channeling My Inner Aven because that’s exactly what I had to do. I felt like I was creating my own little cafe in a tree house. Putting plates over here, laundry over there, sweeping our wooden floor yaddah, yaddah, hahaha. We live on the second floor, but it’s weird cause the second floor is road level, you have to go down under the road to meet the neighbors. I LOVE MY HOME!!! Its a little run down but its mine and I love it. 
The weather in Popayán is perfect, seriously. It began to rain the other day while we were out walking and got soaked. Literally dripping wet, best moment ever of my mission. 
What we are doing is we walk, walk, walk and then walk some more, climb a hill, climb down a hill, meet a family, eat, talk, eat, talk, eat some more, eat even more, and continue walking. Saturday I had three lunches, which are all huge, like fast Sunday, always big, and I had three!!!! Oh my gosh. What we eat is rice with some sort of meat and lots of it, and then soup. And always, always, always juice. I’m in love with the amount of juice I have drunk. The most common is something like a tomato from a tree, but I don’t know the translation and it tastes kind of like tomatoes but more fruiter and is actually delicious. I also love lulo fruit, and GUAVA!!!
Well President Prince called Elder Borg and I personally today to address an issue...
What are we doing with our time?
Because in the 4 days we have been here we have found and started to teach 17 people, we are on fire. He and I are very much alike and are always laughing and joking. We told him that we are just meeting people talking to them and asking them what’s going on in their lives. We are already starting to help tons of family’s. Our goal for the four days was 15 people and President Prince was a little surprised he told us that 15 people in an area that we don’t know at all in 4 days in really hard to do.... hahaha. We are having the times of our lives.
My first baptism is on Saturday. 
Funniest moment of the week:
(I have NO idea what he is trying to say here, except that I think he believes that dogs go to heaven and has a scripture reference for it but obviously it’s not in Apacolpyse)
A drunk guy came up to me and asked me why dogs can’t go to heaven, and showed me a scripture reference in the end of Apacolpyse where it said so, I continued to tell him in meant the dogs of men, like those with bad heart and that dogs are will forever be mans best friend, The moment I said this I look down and a little dog is peeing on my backpack and my shoe...HAHAHAHAHA I about died. Elder Borg about had an aneurism(spelling!?) 
I love my scheduled life, though man will I come back in shape, we do exercise, hard exercise every morning, I feel like I’m at Bible Boot Camp or something. Hahaha. 
6:30 we wake up and exercise, starting at 7:30 we study till 12. Then we go out for almuerzo (lunch), then we visit and at 10:30 we are asleep no siestas, hahahaha 
We really only eat one time a day for lunch, which has taken a little getting used to, no breakfast or dinner. Elder Borg got sick in his mission and really can only eat one time a day or he gets sick, yikes. Well, it’s all-good though. 
I’m on the outskirts of Popayán, in the more rural area in the hills. Which I like a lot. The people are amazing and incredibly humble.
One thing that I do love is the bread. There are bread shops everywhere, which smell so incredible, really incredible. The bread is flaky like in Europe. Seriously America what is up, why can’t we seem to get it? They drink hot chocolate with their bread here and they put cheese in it, but it’s a weird cheese that doesn’t melt. It’s actually quite delicious. 
I love you guys so much, it’s so amazing to see the progress that these people are making. I am so incredibly grateful to have so much in my life and I have been majorly humbled here. I really can’t believe the way some people live here. What I thought to be smog when I first got here is just smoke from all the fires in the street that people have made to cook their food. I love it here, the people are amazing, I never want to leave Popayan, it’s absolutely amazing. My trainer, Elder Borg is so awesome. We are having the times of our lives. 
Love 
Elder Leelay
Outside of Rawly's 1st apartment
Rawly cleaning the cobwebs out of the apartment, who knew he knew how to clean?

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Ode to the Bennion's...Because they LOVE Rawly!

The awesome Bennion's with Rawly after being set apart
They wrote him this great poem and I believe it is note worthy enough to post:

"Y" We Love Rawly

Because he has the hips of a Puerto Rican woman

Because he always makes us smile

Because he will do the Haka with Luke

Because he can miss almost all of his senior year
And still graduate at the top of his class

Because he is going on a mission to Colombia

Because there is no detail too small for him

Because he dominates at mutual cooking activities 

Because he is family oriented

Because he is an amazing older brother

Because he was Rachel's first date

Because he knows how to pull Karla out of her most stressful moments

Because he recognizes and follows spiritual promptings immediately

Because he Loves Life

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

A Welcome Letter from Sister Prince

We are excited to be serving the Lord here in the Colombia Cali Mission with Elder Lyle. He arrived in a world completely different than this own tired but ready to work. After having an interview and training with President Prince, he has now gone off to his first area, Americas in Popayan, with his companion, Elder Borg, who is from the Dominican Republic.

I have attached a picture so you can see that he actually did make it! We have all fallen in love with Elder Lyle and appreciate him pitching right in to clear dishes and help out. He is doing excellent with his Spanish and is ready to work!


Elder Lyle getting to the Cali Airport
Having lunch with the Prince's after arriving in Cali
President & Sister Prince with Elder Lyle
The Elder's looking over the city of Cali
The new Elder's & Hermana's from the MTC in Bogota
Getting ready to meet their trainers
Meeting his new companion/trainer
Rawly with his new companion Elder Borg
Everyone getting to have lunch together and get to know each other
Rawly seems to be telling a story, which is so him
And as you can see...he is still talking :)
Getting instruction from President Prince
Rawly 2nd over 
Hanging out in class
There is still more to learn

If you are interested in following our mission comings and goings (and occasionally finding a picture of your missionary posted!) you may check out our blog at: http://colombia-cali.blogspot.com/ (it has been a busy week...be patient while I try to get all the pictures posted!) I think you already know about this!

I am including below a few helpful tips for mailing packages to Colombia (it can be complicated and expensive!!)

We are grateful for you prayers and support.

Un abrazo, 
Hermana Prince

The best mailing address for your Elder is:
Elder Lyle
Colombia Cali Mission
Avenida 2 Oeste #10-130 Oficina 201
Edifico Tempo
Barrio Santa Rita
Cali, Valle, COLOMBIA

If you ship a package with a private courier, you will need this phone number 57 2-892-1709. 
This is the mission office address. You may mail letters and packages to this address.
To mail a letter of normal size and weight it costs 98cents to mail it here.

You can use the church pouch mail for letters at the following adress:
Elder Lyle
Colombia Cali Mission
POB 30150
Salt Lake City, UT 84130-0150

Pouch Mail Instructions: To prevent possible fines, only postcards and letters that are single sheet, folded into three-panels, and taped at the top only (no envelopes) may be sent through the pouch. Packages cannot be sent through pouch mail.

Here are some hints we have learned about the mail system to/from Colombia:
It is better to send things in padded envelopes rather than boxes. If the packages weigh less than 2 kilos (about 4lbs) they usually arrive without the missionary having to pay a fee to get it out of customs. you should declare ANY package at a value LESS than about $20 to also avoid paying a customs fee. 
Most letters and packages are taking about 14 or 15 days to arrive.
Our missionaries have to PAY ON TOP of what you have paid to ship...just to receive the package...IF it is too heavy or worth a lot. It is better to send 2 envelopes than to pay a lot and send a big box.

Mail leaving Colombia for the USA is VERY VERY expensive. I tried to mail a regular letter to my brother and they wanted 77 mil pesos or about 40 dollars to mail it. I did NOT mail it.
The best way to communicate with your missionary is via email.

Once a package arrives in the office it can take up to a month to get it out to the missionary as we have to wait until we can get it to the zone leaders at a conference or take it when we are traveling.

If you want to send something for Christmas, plan accordingly for the time it might take and mark the package FOR CHRISTMAS.

Please remember that many of his companions will be Latins who may never hear from home or receive a package...if you want to inclue a little something for the companion it is always a kind gesture.
I hope this helps.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

HOT off the press!!!

Coming in at 9:21 am....

I can't read all your emails at this time, I just have time to send out a quickie to you'all saying that...I'M IN THE FIELD!!!

My time in the CCM/MTC was so quick and incredibly busy. Food was good. Company was good. Gospel was amazing.

My new area is...

Popayan!!!! I have another companion like my last, hahaha, from the Caribbean, but this time he is from the Dominican Republic. I am really excited although I haven't met him yet. I already love what is happening. I have internet on Monday's for an hour! So next time I can write to you it will be for an hour. Cali is HOT and humid but it's a lot like Hawaii so I love it. I'm not sure about Popayan yet. I am so excited I know that this is what I need to do with my life. I can't even begin to describe the peace in my life and my love for everyone I meet. I have had some amazing experiences.

I sang last week in church, made people cry...sooo maybe I did good. I have found that I can sing a lot better than I thought I could sing, hahaha. I'm so excited to start all this work. I am excited to start to really love the people of Popayan. I am going to miss Hermana Dyer and Presidente Dyer but I already love Presidente Prince and Hermana Prince.

I have had some amazing experiences, incredibly spiritual building experiences,

I LOVE YOU ALL

oh and you'll never guess who picked me up from the airport, Elder Wellings, hahahaha. Felt like a bit of a creep not going to lie (We were all following Elder Wellings blog before Rawly left, so this is pretty funny) 

I am going to miss my district, I loved being their leader. I loved helping them with whatever I could and really trying to understand what their needs were.

I got in a tiny bit more trouble in the CCM/MTC, hahaha, had to do with smiling at the hermanas and having to be more serious...It's so hard to be so serious all the time. Presidente Prince said that that is just the CCM/MTC. Although stay away from the girls but still be friendly, hahahahaha. (Personally I wonder how this is going to work out for Rawly)

I love everything that is happening here. I love how fast my Spanish is exploding with how much better I can speak and understand. My English is slowly slipping away.

I love you all

This is an incredible message that has been shared with the world. If you have any doubt in the world it can be answered through honest and faithful prayer. Pray, if you don't want to, pray, it is simply because we HAVE to pray. It will not hurt you to get on bended knee for 1 minute to offer a simple prayer to your Heavenly Father. Even if you have doubts that He is there, pray, He will answer if you truly desire the response, because He is there for us always. 

I know that our Heavenly Father loves us and wants us all to come unto him.

I love you all,
Elder Lyle (Lee-lay)


Monday, July 1, 2013

Picture & Letter from Sister Dyer @ the MTC

Dear Brother & Sister Lyle,

Attached is a picture of Elder Lyle and some of the members of his district.
He has been the district leader and has done an amazing job. He has led
with much love and care for each of the members of his district. He loves
them and they love him!

You wanted me to ask Elder Lyle to take pictures, but unfortunately the 
missionaries are not allowed to take pictures until the morning that they
leave. To thank you for all you have done for us, I have taken this picture
for you.

From left to right they are:

Elder Omar Merma, Elder Jose Rojas, Elder Lyle, and Elder Jose Vargas
his companion.

Everyone is very excited to depart tomorrow. They are ready! I'm very
happy for them, but always a little sad for me. I will miss them. We wish
we could have had Elder Lyle with us for a little longer, but he has
important work waiting for him in Cali.

In our next life when we return to California, if you are ever in the area of
San Diego, we would love to meet you.

Thanks again for all your kindness and generosity!

Love,
Sister Lynda Dyer