Monday, August 26, 2013

This week we got...LOADS of pictures!

We are rockin' it
Us: Hey does Elder Borg ever... Smile?
Rawly: He always is laughing and smiling just never in pictures. Ha-ha, something about a Dominican's ego. He always needs to look boss in pictures.

My scripture case that I had made... awesomeness!
The Back
The Front
Us: This just made me cry... You do realize that is the photo that I used on your handout for your baptism. It is also the picture that has ALWAYS hung in your room. I love that picture of Christ as a boy studying in the temple.
Rawly: Why do you think I used it...

Yeah... French Toast. I'm amazing
Us: That looks really good. I'm no longer feeling bad for you about what you eat...

Sunday is Special Breakfast Day

My breakfast every morning, Oatmeal
Us: Well that looks really good and healthy. Is that toasted coconut on top?
Rawly: Yes mam, I only did it once, had to take a pic. The rest of the time it's just oatmeal in a pot with some water, milk, banana and a strawberry

My Surprise Baptism
Us: This picture doesn't even look like you.
You look like you are heading to the Psych Ward

Evelyn got baptized
Us: I'm so EXCITED! She is adorable. 
I love you dressed in white
Rawly: Oh just wait, there is a story behind that white suit
Us: So do tell...
Rawly: It's coming. I'm working on it, it was a surprise.
(He told the story in his weekly letter)

After the baptism

The Best Duo
Goof Balls

This is where I write you from each week
Elder Borg writing his family

My view from our house

The new addition, awesome neighbor gift

Soaking Wet
Us: Is this during a rain storm? You look cold.
Rawly: It rains like crazy everyday. It's starting to be winter. This is my rainy day tie from the Bennion's, getting some use. :)
Us: Do you ever use that umbrella we bought??
Rawly: We do not use the umbrella, why? Because the Jehovah Witness's use umbrellas. We get wet because we are Saints of Jesus Christ.
Okay this was one of the best excuses we've heard for not using your umbrella

Surprise Baptism/ Rawly's 1st Baptism

Well hello family and friends,
This week was a hard, yet an awesome week. 

It all started with my companionship with Elder Borg. We had an awesome week together, something clicked. We were working together, and we understand each other’s needs most of all. It’s weird, we understand that we are very different, but we are learning how to live with one another. Our lessons are coming along great and so are our families. Things started getting a little weird however in the work we were doing Thursday. Thursday we had lunch with our favorite member and her husband Catherine Diaz. However when we called she was very sad and jokingly my companion said, "Did you have a fight with Jackson (husband) and there was silence on the other line. 
He has been doing drugs and coming home drunk, leaving the house for 4 days at a time. Stupid jipi, (hippie). Honestly this makes me so sad. A family that was happy has been utterly destroyed by alcohol and drugs. This is why I am here to help these families, but the problem is, occasionally, they don’t want to be helped. That is the hardest thing to accept. 
To see this family fall apart is awful. All we can do is support the wife, Catherine. She needs all the help we can give her. 

Things got weirder after that. Later that night when we were planning, we received a phone call from a family that lives in Timbio, (my paradise). We were teaching the grandfather of the family who had cancer. He passed away Thursday. So we went out to Timbio Friday morning to give… Yes, give the service. It was a very emotional experience for the family and I am glad that Elder Borg did the majority of the talking because I still have an obvious accent and make errors when I talk. Open casket is a weird way to say goodbye to someone in this life, it made me uncomfortable to see the face so placid after having talked to him recently.

After that we had no idea what to do, and it started to raining, like I’m talking I have never seen rain like this in my life. We were soaked through and through. 

We had interviews for baptism with Evelyn and Luz Dary. Evelyn informed us that she wouldn’t be baptized and Luz Dary, who really wants to be baptized has some things in her past that will be cleared up this week with the Presidente of the Mission. She will then be baptized this Saturday.

Then Saturday, the day of the baptisms, all of our appointments fell through, no one was home. Evelyn now has decided to be baptized. So we went to the baptism where a member was going to baptize her. 
We showed up at the baptism and the person who was going to baptize her never showed up. So the next in line was… Me. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the baptism that we do in the Church of Jesus Christ, we believe in being baptized by immersion in the same way Jesus Christ was baptized which is found in Mathew:
In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. 
I have never read the ordinance to baptize before in my life. I have no idea how to baptize and I had no clothes to do it in. So we quickly ran around like mad chickens and found clothing to baptize her in. We finally found something that would work, and both Evelyn and I enter the baptismal font. Normally the person who baptizes the investigator gives the person support on their back, not me… Before the baptism Borg told me you have to do it with force and fast. So I focused too much, said the ordinance correctly and basically threw her under the water with my right hand making a right angle... 
Everyone now calls me 300 for the movie 300 with the gladiator that said
And then kicks a dude off a cliff. Well in one-way or another, Evelyn is now baptized, ha-ha.

It sounds like I will be starting with English classes soon. Teaching twice a week.

All right now everyone,
How did your goals for the week go?
Because mine went great. My love towards my companion and my investigators increased immensely all because of thinking of the pure Love of Christ all week.

This week is all about:     Missionary Work in the Ward

The goal for Borg and I this week is to bring 20 people to the church on Sunday. The other missionaries are going to do the same, 40 in our branch. We can do it, however we cannot do it without the help of the members.
To be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints means so much more than just going to church and listening every Sunday. It means to exemplify Christ in everything we do.

Before we came to this Earth we agreed to do all that we could to extend the gospel of Jesus Christ that we know in this life. We agreed to the words said by Christ in Matthew 28:19-20
19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.
20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

We are all missionaries here, and the work that missionaries due is incredibly difficult without the help of the members. Practically impossible.

The goal of the week is this:
Call the missionaries and ask them if you can help them in any way possible, aka can you visit any investigator of theirs, or invite them to a family home evening. Really this is what the missionaries need. Members to support them. If we are not supporting the missionaries we are not supporting the work of Jesus Christ here in this life, which we have already agreed to do. 
If that isn’t enough for you here is an epic scripture that I found in, Ecclesiastes:
 4 When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed.
 5 Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay.

In Spanish they use the words when you make a promise, and in verse 5 it says: It is better that you shouldn’t have made a promise than to make that promise and not keep it. 
We have all made this promise with our Heavenly Father to continue the work, the work of the missionaries. Missionary’s jobs are to teach the lessons necessary. 
The work of the members is to talk to these investigators, give the references to the missionaries, make these investigators feel at home and visit them. 

Goal of the week:

Help me reach 20

 Achieve the goal of 20 investigators in the church this next Sunday.
 Call the missionaries and ask them,
"What can I do, I am ready to visit"

Help us please! 

In the name of Jesus Christ

Elder Lyle

Monday, August 19, 2013

Only one picture this week and a request for some things...

Rawly: It was a really boring week due to the strike. We have to be really careful right now, so the only picture this week is….
Eggs 3 ways
Eggs poached, scrambled and fried, with a bed of potatoes. 
My special Sunday breakfast.

This is Lori. So sorry you and your companion are struggling. Remember charity, I know that sounds lame but whenever I was struggling that was always the best answer. Do the charity study in PMG and inform your mission president of your struggles if you need too. And remember you have a voice and a companionship should be an equal partnership. Love you I am proud of you
Rawly: Whenever I try to show my voice he says, “and what do you have that’s interesting to tell me” or ignores me and does what he wants. I really hope that I don’t kill him, missionary sense, as in his last companion he has. There’s one transfer left and he is really ready to go home. 

Rawly:  A list of stuff I’m dying to have in my life
Spices of any kind 
Especially curry, rosemary, and garlic
I would love to have cream of tartar if I could find a way to make cookies stove top, 
Spices are huge and I have no way to get them 
Cheese that melts. There is nothing here...
I love you lots 
Us: I will send you spice’s this week.
I hope they get there because cream of tarter looks like... cocaine???
And the rest may look like marijuana...

Lori: How is the lessons going?
Rawly: All I do is listen because I feel very inadequate with my Spanish in front of him because I do have a funky accent. My understanding has shot through the roof I understand almost everything now which is awesome. All I need now is a better accent. My accent is leaps and bounds ahead of the others yes, I have been blessed, but still, he kind of makes fun of me openly. How I have made mistakes and stuff like that it’s hard. I really am learning so much though. I just now am waiting to apply what I have learned in hopefully 5 weeks 
Lori: I am sorry hat you are having such a hard time. I love you and I am proud of you. Sometimes you just have to take it one day at a time.

Rawly: Things to add:
My families are doing amazing 
Evelyn will be baptized this Saturday and her grandma now has a date to be baptized the 7th of September. We are teaching her entire family now. Luz Dary will be baptized as well this Saturday, which her daughter is very excited about, she is a member. The familia Muñoz do not feel ready to be baptized but have the desire, which is huge. The familia Florez is waiting for the very Catholic raised mother, who no longer attends, to pray and receive a response. Sandra and her awesome children are growing immensely in the gospel and will hopefully be baptized the 7th of September as well. We continue to meet new people with tons of questions.
Us: Oh my gosh I am so happy for Evelyn and her grandmother :)
Your families sound amazing and I am so happy that at least in the work that you are finding happiness...

Rawly: Things are amazing here in Popayan. The city that all the missionaries want to go to because of the incredible beauty and weather. I think Popayan will forever be my home in Colombia no matter where I go. 


All right folks get ready cause this week was juicy enough to be broadcasted as a telenovela, soap opera. 

It started with our zone meeting Tuesday, where the room practically exploded with everyone yelling at the zone leaders telling them they are doing a crap job. Saying that they can’t tell the missionaries what to do, that they are pressuring them too much, blah, blah, blah. I felt really, really bad to be honest. It was crazy Elder LaBar practically broke down into tears, and the other elder, Elder Cha didn’t care cause he was being moved out. 

That brings me to point number 2

Cambios, exchanges. 
Elder Ramirez left. Elder Jones now has a companion from Chile, I love most Chileans not going to lie, as missionaries, the Chileans and the Argentines work the hardest. This Chilean will work hard, his name is Elder Carrasco, but ha-ha he thinks he knows EVERYTHING and acts very un-Chilean like from the other Chileans I have met. 
Other missionaries came in, some are really awesome, another Chilean, Elder Silva is the bomb. 

Now why I call this Foundations:

This week Elder Borg and I went out to Cristales to continue our service project building a house. Right now we are building the foundation of the house, laying concrete making concrete yaddah yaddah. And that is when I was able to think about what I am doing here. 
I am here in Colombia building foundations. Yes I am building foundations for houses but even more than that; I am building foundations for life. I am helping these people build their foundations on a solid rock, so that when the tremors and storms of life come they can rely on their foundations, their foundations in their Savior Jesus Christ and the Gospel that they now have in their lives. It really is an amazing opportunity to help people rebuild their lives, inside and out. 

This week we were blessed with the presence of President and Hermana Prince. They really are awesome, I love them, and they just make everything so awesomely fun. We had a conference with them Saturday that lasted 8 hours but it was totally worth it, and yes they brought tacos and burritos, which was the most amazing treat of all. Oh, how I miss this food. Any how… 
The conference was awesome; it was all about love and action, love towards members, leaders and companions and how we as missionaries should take action. 
I’ll explain this a little bit later 

Then Sunday we had Stake conference. AWESOME yet again, however we had to pay for all of our investigators to reach the building, our district had the most attending, 24, which really is an impressive number, but it did a number on our money supply. Although it was totally worth it. The investigators loved the stake conference, especially because President Prince and Hermana Prince spoke. Afterwards they came and met our investigators, which they couldn’t do with all of the missionaries, because of the strike that They had to leave immediately after the meeting. 

This week, my companion and I had another moment, we blew up at each other, yet again one morning, but once we blow up things go a little easier. We kind of fight off and on now, but only once in front of an investigator so I consider that a success. Sometimes I think my companion is the best and others I want to punch him in the throat.
Some of my favorite phrases of his, "Well you see, I’m very talented, in everything". "I am very intelligent", or my personal favorite "One day I will be prophet". These are honestly my favorite phrases I hear that just make me smile. My companion is the best. 

I will start to work on doing something called Goal of the Week, and I would like whoever is reading this blog to do them to. I think it would be a fun way we can all make ourselves better, and stay connected. I’d like to hear your responses too, how it all went, and stuff like that. 

So here is the…


Have Christ like Love and Act. 

The main message that Presidente Prince and Hermana Prince shared is that we should have Christ like love always, as it is a commandment of God. To share and to love all as we should love ourselves. If we love God, yet dislike our neighbor, we do not love God and we are liars, it says so in the bible. Mathew 5:43-48 read it. 

My friends and family, love with all your heart, trust me, I know sometimes it can be incredibly hard, but somehow when you think that Christ died for that person, all of a sudden your ability to deal with whoever that person is heightens and makes it that much easier. Think about it this way. Christ died for them and for you. If Christ died for this person surely you can try to live through whatever circumstance that you have in your life right now. People who you may not get along with try to have love for and act on it. 

But I don’t want to. Right? 

I know, sometimes we may even have fear of what that person will say or do, but friends and family, 1 John 4:18-21, if you have fear, you do not love God, to love God and have perfect love is to not fear. Do not fear to show love.

Friends and Family be perfect, or try, try to walk with the dignity that you are a child of God. That you have purpose and meaning. "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in Heaven is perfect" Show love without fear, act and do not be acted upon. For fear is to not have love and to have love for others is a commandment of God. 

Lots of Love 

Elder Lyle 

Yes today is...

Only 22 to go...

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Zone Conference in Popayan

Rawly's on the back row 
3rd from the left

Elder Borg & Elder Lyle
back row in the middle

Monday, August 12, 2013

Passing on a legend that was shared to Elder Lyle

A little something something
So I heard the craziest story the other day from an Indian here that we were teaching. 
He told us an old legend of his people. 

There was 3 days of darkness and horribleness when all of a sudden a figure appeared, he was the son of a virgin and a God dressed in all white. He came and taught them how to farm and how to cultivate the land as well as how to be good citizens. 
It is a commonly known legend here in South America, or this part of the South America. 
I forget their names of course, they are different from what I know.  Also in the legend it says the he would return from the East, and would bring with him justice to all mankind. 
Super awesome, huh? 
How can you not see that this is it! 
This is a verbal account of Jesus Christ in the America's 
Thought I would share this 

Lots of Love 
Elder Lyle

Mission's are Hard and other facts

I’m becoming quite the chef if you ask me
Us: That looks really good... Nice to know that I taught you something that is useful in the mission. 
Here I was worried that you didn't know enough to live on your own :)

A gringa
Us: She is ADORABLE! Who is she?
Rawly: The Mona, her name is Katarina Restrepo 
Her mother is Sandra and is amazing. 
Her mother is hearing us and is awesome seriously. Sandra lives fairly close to us and when we were having the worst time in the world, we were in the middle of a rainstorm, couldn’t find anyone and she found us out her balcony.

Said goodbye to a missionary today
Us: So what was his name???
He looks familiar I think I have been reading his blog...
Rawly: Yes you have Elder Peterson

Rawly building a house in Cristales
Us:  Love the pictures. The ones with you in them....
You look like you are working hard!!! Is that water safe to drink??
Do you wear that shirt and shorts every Monday?

Rawly: I wear that shirt and shorts every service we do. We were working hard making a concrete foundation for a house. The water is safe here. Which is awesome. But we honestly never drink water it is always juice, or panella and limon. Panella is the preferred drink here. 
Oh I almost forgot to tell you to try this it is delicious. Very cold milk, and oatmeal in the blender, add a lot of honey or sugar and blend it. Then strain it. I don’t know if we have the very fine strainer at home. It is absolutely delicious and is my most favorite drink in the world. You have to try it seriously. Like OH MY GOSH. It is so good. I crave it, but milk is really expensive here.

Mr. Elder Borg
I admire him, seriously I look up to him, I just learn from him in his success and in his faults. I think he will be my best companion. 

Rawly: But the thing is, is that in terms of missionary work we accomplish a lot together and he does make me laugh, he constantly is rapping and has dreams of marrying Tarren and has her picture up in our room, which just makes me laugh. He does love you guys though and wants to visit you. When he goes to BYU, which I honestly think is a ship long sailed for him.

Us: Not sure if I tell you often enough... WE ARE SO SO PROUD OF YOU!!!! You are AMAZING!! Heavenly Father is looking down and loves you and is also so proud of you and the man you are becoming. Always, always stay close to your Heavenly Father and then you will know that you will be fine, more than fine, GREAT

Elder Jones from San Clemente, California
Another of Elder Jones...
Elder Ramierez & Elder Jones

Rawly: I love you so much, 
We are heading out. 
Lots of love
Talk to you in a week. 

Lots of love 
Elder Lyle

Why I Love It Here

Me:  It is really, really beautiful. 
So more mountainous than I thought. 
Do you walk around these things all the time?

Rawly: Around... ahahahahahaha 
Oh no mother,
I walk over them. 

Lemme at em'

This week was a week filled with... Storms!

That’s right, storms, and we are talking about the heavens opened up and dumped. I have been soaked more than once this week. Yesterday I organized a family home evening and when I finally arrived I was so soaked that, Hermano Pedraza gave me one look and went to get me a towel, ahahaha
Dripping wet.

I love it, the weather here is amazing. Blue gray clouds always and the thunder and lightning!!! So epic. The thunder is constant and the lighting always, the rain sometimes. I love the weather here.

So some of the things that happened to me this week:

No baptisms, again, but we are looking good for the 24th of August if all things go well, I’ll explain a little later. Sunday we had our best day ever, 21 investigators. We are experiencing serious growth in the Americas branch. We are reactivating less active members, which is my favorite. It kind of bugs my companion that I’m not baptism hungry. He is almost finished with his mission and has a lot of experience behind him, he is very accustomed to baptisms, and all I want to do is work with the people that already know the gospel and just need a little push. Of course I love working with my investigators and I am helping them towards baptism. During our planning session, I like to put 3 less active or inactive members and Elder Borg would rather put 1 or none. This Sunday we had around 10 less active members show up at church!!! So I was pumped. The most important to me is Eddy Hincapìe.

Eddy Hincapìe, is the father figure of a family that is very close to me. Maribel is the mom, Angie the daughter and Veronica their other daughter. They were the first family I met here. They are amazing and incredible members of the church. The father just never was interested in going back to church. It was really hard for the family, because all Maribel wanted was for her husband to sit in church with her and listen to their daughters bare their testimonies. Eddy is awesome, he knows the gospel, he just doesn’t go to church. Their daughter, Angie will be going on a mission, and got her call while we were here. She is going to Santa Cruz, Bolivia and she will come home on the exact same day as me. 
I’ve been working very hard with Eddy. We used the president of the quorum of elders to finally get him to come back this Sunday. How? Hermano Pedraza went and told him he would like him to teach the lesson this Sunday in priesthood and left. It worked. It was such an incredible moment for the whole family. 

We have been doing splits a lot. We have a lot of work to do and only one pair of us, so we split up with the members of the church. In splits we are so effective. Seriously it is awesome. The other day I went to go see Evelyn in splits with Hermano Certuche, and I invited the whole family to come listen. The whole family will now be hearing our lessons with Evelyn. I really hope that the family will be receptive of what we teach, it would mean so much if Evelyn had the support of her family.

Our investigators are progressing well but none are progressing better than the family Muñoz.
Richard and his wife are epic. Richard goes to a church where they shout and clap and all that, so it’s always exciting to have lessons with him. Our first lesson we introduced the Book of Mormon. The second lesson, he told us that he has never read more truth in his life and not only did he read the section we had left him but he and his wife are almost done reading the whole darn thing. Oh my gosh so incredible. We then invited him to church and he said, OF COURSE. We asked his sister-in-law if she would like to come to, she asked where and Richard essentially told us of course she would come and started lecturing to his in-law how the Book of Mormon was true and that the Bible and the Book of Mormon together will lead their family to salvation... Elder Borg and I were blown away by his conviction. 

The family Florez are coming along, but slowly, they normally can’t attend church because they are still building their house and Sunday is the only day the dad has off. They are all doing well though. 

Today I was very surprised at the amount of love I received from EVERYONE. I loved it. I printed out 7 pages of size 10 font of everyone’s letters it really meant a lot to me. Thank you all for the support.

All right now to the fun stuff:

Lemme at em’

Elder Borg and I have felt like we needed to save some money and didn’t know why. 
Well, one word
Paro or...
Don’t worry everything here is all good. What happens is that all the roads in and out of the city are closed in a lot of cities here in Cauca. 
The problem is that things get very, very expensive. But we are prepared.
Today was cambios, transfers and Elder Borg and I were informed that we would be staying together here! That means one thing to Elder Borg: 
He will die here in Popayan. 
That is what it is called when a missionary finishes his mission, they die. So he is getting pretty excited, understandably. 

This week I think the most important thing for all of us to remember is to:
Who would have thought that I would be the person that would start to have a heart attack when 9:30 comes around and we still are not in our house, well I am. It kills my companion sometimes, but I know we are receiving blessings for our compliance. 
Remember this,
If we comply to the laws set down by our Father in Heaven, how much easier it is for him to give us blessings. 
If a child is constantly disobedient and does whatever he wants, and then asks for a new phone, or help in buying something, how much do you want to comply with their wishes. If they are obedient and are constantly trying their hardest to do their best, think it would be easier to give them their gifts?
Remember this:

This week is a week of obedience, and thusly will be a week of, 

Lots of Love
Elder Lyle

Monday, August 5, 2013

Pictures of Elder Lyle from the Florez Family

I received a message from the branch president's son, Sergio Perez asking me to accept a friend request from a family that are investigators:

Jersson will post pictures of your son.  send me recipe for rice coconut

Jersson Florez,
Hello I am a friend of the Elder Lyle in Cali Colombia. I hope you accept the request to send some pictures of our brother.

Rawly has been helping the Florez Family build their home...

Rawly helping build the house for the Florez Family
Rawly & his small worker, Sergio
The Florez Family
Jersey, Sergio, Jersson, Elena with Elder Lyle
Rawly with the other Sergio
Rawly & Elder Borg helping build the house
Rawly, Sergio, Jersey, Elena and Elder Borg
Elder Lyle doing what he LOVES best
Helping others... so so HAPPY!
Elder Lyle, Jersey, Elena Jersson Florez & Elder Borg
Crazy how they build house in Colombia... buckets??
The sweet Florez Family with Rawly
He loves teaching them the gospel and helping them build their home
I love that since his mission he seems to have learned how to clean up

Thank you Florez Family for sharing these pictures of Elder Lyle

New pictures from the mission in Popayan

Yeah, that’s right I made french fries with platanos and they were delicious. Though my companion thought they were weird and Sergio told me that this is NOT the way to cook platanos. It was delicious

On the road to drop off Milo

On our way to Recuerdo, we found a ride

P-Days we make almurzo

Elder Borg cooking in our little kitchen on our toy stove :)

Revenge of the Hot Chocolate


All right, recap of the week.

We really had another boring week, nothing too exciting. We continue to work with our families, and some are progressing really well. We didn’t go out to Timbio this week because Elder Borg and I both feel like we need to be saving money for something, what it is, we don’t know yet. There are 9 days till cambios, exchanges. Elder Borg and I think we will stay here in Américas in Popayán together. I’m still in training.
My Spanish is getting much better, everyone says you talk like your papa, aka my trainer in the mission, and yesterday I received the comment, oh man, you are starting to talk like your pops! I’m not sure if this is a good thing, or a bad thing, as my companion is from the Dominican Republic. They are known for having a very odd accent and Spanish that is a little below par. Oh well, it’ll just have to do, ha-ha.
This week, we walked and walked and walked, and somehow we feel like we are accomplishing nothing. Don’t ask us why, it’s just that we will walk 2 miles into the middle of nowhere to find that the person isn’t there. It’s a bit frustrating. 

On a better note here are our families that are progressing:

Jersey Florez and his family: Jersson (17), Sergio, (9), and his wife Elena (late 30s?)

Estella Salazar and her husband Fernando Salazar

Paola (20) and Tulia Gonzalez (50s)

Luz Dray (38)

Richard Muñoz and spouse.

We have a ton of people that are progressing, but they aren’t quite ready for baptism. 

All right, I’m sure the majority of you are wondering why this is titled
“Revenge of the Hot Chocolate”
This is why:
We went to visit Evelyn Ramos (14) on Friday to see how she was doing with her new baptismal date and how she felt. Her mom, being the kind woman she is, made us some delicious hot chocolate. Everyone here drinks hot chocolate; like they heat the water and melt chocolate into it with a special tool. Except this hot chocolate was special to me because; 
(a) it had no cheese in it, a very common thing to find in hot chocolate here, as well as cheese in tea. 
(b) it was made with MILK. 
Oh my gosh it was so delicious. When we had finished we talked for a little while and then we were off on our way. Elder Borg and I were walking when we stopped by a panadería, where they sell bread, there was a super nice lady who had given us bread there the night before and we wanted to thank her. We started to talk to her and she told us that her son was baptized by the missionaries but her husband refused to allow him to continue to go to church because they had done it without his approval, which is in fact a HUGE NO NO in the mission. Right about now I start to feel a little sick to my stomach and I think, oh no big deal it will pass. You kind of feel bad 24/7 here, ha-ha.
She invited us in and I start to sweat, I’m not doing well at all. Smells are starting to make me nauseas, and what do you know, she brings us to the baking area of her panadería, where the smell of bread is overwhelming and on any other occasion would have been heavenly, but now I was shaking and sweating bullets. My companion was giving me weird looks. We start talking when I have to vomit. I quickly ask to use the bathroom, and hurry off in what I assumed was the directions she gave me (my Spanish when I’m sick is not good at all). I try making it up the stairs when I fall and find myself laying on the floor retching. At this moment I realized something, it is confirmed, since my surgery in October I have lost the ability to vomit. SO, too weak and filled with shame to move I lay sprawled across the stairs for a good 2 minutes shaking, the kind of shaking you make in order to throw up, I have the reflex just no gag reflex so no sounds, no vomit.
When that little episode ended and I was thoroughly covered in sweat, I made my way down to the panadería again. I sat down on my stool and we continued talking. At this time her daughter brings me a plate with three huge warm, just cooked, croissants and large glass of strawberry yogurt. Delicious right? 
Well at that moment I took one look at that food, and thought, 
"Well, tonight is it: 
“Tonight I die". Ahahahahaha.
My companion saw the look of pure horror on my face and informed the hermana that I would not be partaking of her delicious bread. At this serendipitous moment, I begin to retch again, the same movements as if I was throwing up, it probably looked like someone was punching me in the stomach over and over, cause it’s what it felt like. I’m sweating bullets now again. My companion tells the hermana that we need to go, and half pulls/drags me out the door and to the apartment where I laid down in my bed until I died of exhaustion. 
This my friends is what I call revenge of the hot chocolate

When I woke up Saturday morning, I felt fine, a little bruised inside, but the nasty stomach feeling was gone. I looked over at my companion and he said, "Well, you are now officially a missionary of Cali Colombia." I guess I passed the requirement, hahahaha
I feel fine now, but do not look forward to my next little "episode".

Overall this has been kind of nasty week, nobody showed up at the church, but that’s fine, because there is always next week. 

I had a lot of time this week to consider some thoughts that I would like to share now.

What is life? 

I know right, deep topic, but I had a lot of time to think this week. 

Life, we think we know what it is, but living here in Colombia has opened my eyes to things much bigger than I could ever imagine. I realize now that my life at home was not living, it was a privilege. The people here that live around me are living. Life is delicate, and when everyday you can see this delicacy of the fibers that make up life, that is when you are living. 

The difference between my life here and my life at home is this:

My life at home is similar to looking at a blanket, all you see is the comfort of this blanket, all the strands that make up the blanket are so well sewn together you don’t pay attention to it. You just see the comfort that the blanket represents in your life. 

My life here is similar to looking at a burlap sack. You see its functionality, that it can carry a load, and more importantly, you see what it is made up of. You see where the weave is weaker, you see where the strands are woven, you see how although it is durable material and would take a lot to break, you see how to break it. You see where it is fragile, you see its essence. 

Living here I have the ability to see the durability of life, how people live here for function, not necessarily for comfort. People here eat the same meal for lunch every day, Sancocho soup, rice, beans, and chicken. Well if they are lucky. Why? Because it gives them the strength they need to finish their labors. Food is important, but the functionality of the food is what is important here. In the United States we sometimes see food as a tight woven blanket, as comfort. Here they see food as a burlap sack, something functional to help them get through the day. 

If you can understand that, Congratulations, you just got an A in Elder Lyle’s psychology class. If not, don’t feel bad; I’m not quite sure if I would be able to understand it either. 

I love it here, 

I love what I do here. I love the people I meet. 

If any of you asked me what will you do in Colombia? And I responded: Help people, help them put their lives back together, help them with their addictions. All of these would be true. 

BUT hear me now:


I am here to share the word of God.

I am here to share the happiness that you can find through our Heavenly Father and his only Son Jesus Christ.

I am here to share the true gospel of Jesus Christ here in this world once again, restored to the fullness as it was taught by Jesus Christ so many years ago.

Yes, I am here to help people, to help them with their difficulties. To help them put their lives back together, but I do it through the authority of Jesus Christ, through my ability to share His love with everyone I meet. 

I know with all my heart that this Church is true, 

That Jesus Christ died for my sins,

That I can live forever with my family, 

That I am loved here on this Earth and above,

I know I will receive the strength I need to accomplish all that I must do here in this life,

I know the purpose of life,

I know that this is the true church of Jesus Christ on this Earth. 

In the name of Jesus Christ.

Elder Lyle 

AP scores, Shaving legs, Flamboyant missionaries & Blind dogs...

Us: Hey did you ever get the snap shot of your AP score for calculus?
You never said anything... I thought you would have
Mr. St. Onge was so proud of you!!
Love ya
Rawly: I did I was so excited, Peter and I were bragging about our 5’s to each other, hahahahahaha
Us: So funny :)
Hey how was your week?

Rawly: My week was kind of boring and a bit of a let down to be honest. We thought we would have like 8 people go to the capilla but when we did splits to pass by them in the morning, none of them could attend. I went into mourning and decided I needed to do something different to lighten up my day. So last week I shaved my legs. (Okay we can blame his Dad for this) That’s right, it was a heck of an experience that still makes me laugh, ahahahahaha Oh my gosh, I was in the shower for like an hour and when I finally emerged with my shaved legs my companion went down to the ground laughing. At least it boasted our moral for the week.
Us: Oh my gosh...
You do realize when those puppies grow back they will itch like crazy and cause ingrown hairs....

Us: Sorry to hear about your investigators. Your area seems really hard. But don't give up hope. Just keep on trucking and know that if you share yourself and love them something will happen. Remember you could be in Hong Kong right now walking the streets waiting for people to talk to you :)

Rawly: Ha-ha. My area is really easy in some aspects. Everyone wants to talk about God and Jesus Christ and love what we talk about they just have a hard time changing their life styles. It’s easy because we can talk to everyone; it’s hard because nobody wants to be baptized.
It is so hard for people to change their lifestyles. Good news is that it should help you when or if you are ever tempted to not live a good lifestyle to see how hard it is to change bad habits...
Us: But don't give up I know that something is bound to happen. Speaking of, is Evelyn still getting baptized?
Rawly: Evelyn is a member now, seriously she attends seminary and everything, but we still need to keep checking up on her. 

Us: So when do transfers happen?
Do you think you will stay with Elder Borg?
Do you spend much time with the other Elders in Popayan?

Rawly: Not really, we have a meeting every Tuesday, always. Borg is the leader of the district; 4 missionaries in the Americas Branch and then there are district leaders over all the missionaries in Popayan. Elder Jones, hahahaha, is in our rama, he is hilarious and is from California, he has to be one of the more flamboyant missionaries I have met and has prettier ties than me, ha-ha. He is obsessive with what he eats and working out, kind of like Josh, without his body type. Transfers are in 9 dias and my companion thinks I will be called as district leader. I hope so, I am dying to have some authority its killing me, ha-ha, classic right? I think Ill stay with Elder Borg, or maybe no, I actually have no idea. It would make sense for him to stay with me for another 6 weeks, another transfer, to finish my training, but he says I’m practically finished.
Us: Elder Jones sounds like he is a lot of fun.
We did send you with some pretty boring ties, for you anyways :)
So do you feel like you've been out forever??? Because I feel like it has been about year and that you only have a year to go :)

Us: About your money. You probably shouldn't have that much cash, should you? 
Rawly: About my money, I just took all of it out, I had the feeling that I needed to take it all out, I don’t know why, but it is all with me, don’t worry we are being very frugal with our money 
The cash thing is fine, we both feel like we need to be prepared for something. So we are being really frugal with our money and saving up. Its weird how we are able to almost act as one now, weird but true.

Us: How is Elder Borg doing and are you guys getting along better?
Rawly: He and I are getting along much better. Everyone says that you talk like your papa in the mission, the person who trained you, and well, yesterday I was told I talk like a Dominican, ha-ha. I’m not sure if that is a good or bad thing, we will talk later. I have to walk all the way from Americas to Recuerdo now to help Sergio and his blind dog.
Lots of love, talk to you later 

Elder Lyle

Us: Blind dog?
So what are you guys worried about???
If you are talking like a Dominican that's BAD, your Uncle Bret would be ashamed
By the way 

Rawly: Oh my gosh, I’m not going to lie, this is so hard

Rawly: Don’t ask me why but this week has been the hardest one yet. I really do miss you guys. It’s finally real how long a mission really is. Good thing is, I can’t believe its almost been 2 months. The time fly’s here

Rawly: Lots of love. Talk to you in another 7 days, ha-ha.