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 PREACH THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST HERE IN COLOMBIA.
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.