Okay so let me tell you that Buenaventura is HOT!
Holy cow its incredible. It’s 95 to 100 degrees every day and the humidity is like 98 percent, it rains every day. When you leave the apartment you are sweating going down the stairs but then you have to walk all over the hills and you are absolutely drenched. Everyone told me that I’ll get used to sweating constantly that it’s just part of the life style in Buenaventura. I hope their right.
We aren’t even allowed to bring our suits here to because they rot, ha-ha, awesome right.
The majority of the people here in Colombia are what you would call Afro-Colombiano's, the majority are black and I’ve come to accept that I’m one of the more whiter people here. Although I have met plenty of Colombians that are blonde haired and blue eyed but here in Buenaventura I am the whitest thing for MILES.
Everyone here loves American’s, I don’t know why. Also everyone loves to try to speak English. Every companionship here in the Zone is a Latin and an American pair, that way everyone is safer. American’s the majority of the time are very safe here in Buenaventura because people love them. I’ll be walking down the street here, dripping wet, when I hear off to my left, ¨What’s up dude! ¨ Ha-ha.
My zone is pretty awesome. I’m with the famous Elder Rowley, super weird to hear everyone say that, hahaha. Elder Donoso from Jamundi and I are living together again. Right now I am living in an apartment with Elder Sacco from Utah, Elder Campos, my companion, and Elder Donoso from Argentina.
This Saturday we had interviews with the new president of the mission. It was super awesome to finally get to know President and Sister Prìcoli on a one on one basis. The president’s assistant’s had to leave and go back to Cali so we were in charge of the President and Sister Pricoli who were dying of the humidity. We brought them to a baptism, which was super awesome. We did it where everyone does baptisms here, in the pool. Yes I know I’m on the coast and we could do it in the ocean, however no one even dares to enter the water, it's SUPER DIRTY, like your coming out of the water with no hair and a deformity of some type. The baptism was awesome and then we got to drive around with President in his air-conditioned car…. such a blessing air conditioning I had completely forgot that it even existed.
This week we had an awesome week, well of course we did because we are in the Turín Turán and it’s the best zone in the whole mission because the people here are super happy, super humble, and love American’s.
We are teaching 30 lessons weekly. It’s CRAZY. I LOVE IT.
Last week we even taught lesson 3 in English! I’ve been teaching my companion English.
We are all loving La Costa; it’s what the zone is called. It’s a new branch the church started here like 2 years ago so everyone in the church are recent converts. The zone leaders are in charge of the church… yeah that’s right.
Let me just say, I’m nervous.
We meet with the branch president weekly and we also meet with the presidency of every organization, Primary, Relief Society, Young Men, Young Women and Quorum of Elders. We make sure that everything is going good and that no one changes church doctrine. It’s really interesting how easy these people can bring their influence from other religions to the Church of Jesus Christ. We are in charge to make sure they aren’t making to many mistakes and to teach them the why behind what we do.
For example when we are blessing the bread and water for sacrament we do not stand up with our hands raised and shout, ¨THE BLESSING OF THE BREAD, OH GOD THE ETERNAL FATHER…¨ ha-ha, we simply kneel and begin the prayer ¨Oh God, the Eternal Father…¨.
Or when we are giving testimonies we do not throw ourselves on the ground because we feel the holy ghost, we stand there and express our feelings or we enjoy his presence silently and secretly. But the branch is getting better.
Truth is, the branch is HUGE, 120 people attended church yesterday. That’s more than those who attend in Bugalagrande, my last area, where we were getting around 70 people every week even though the ward has been there for 25 years.
Buenaventura is a once in a lifetime experience. I’m so honored to be here and to have the great honor to serve my zone every day.
That brings me to what is the Great Apostasy.
It’s so easy to see how the Church of Jesus Christ disappeared after the death of the Apostles and Jesus Christ. Here the church is about 2 years old and people stray from the doctrine, why? Because they don’t have all the answers and they’ve never learned what they are. When the Apostles were writing their letters back and forth there is something very interesting that happened in a letter that Paul wrote to the Galatians. In it he talks that they had strayed greatly from the doctrine of Christ in only years after his departure from the Galatians. The church was lost after the death of the Apostles and the largest Christian denomination church was established 300 years afterwards, the Roman Catholic Church.
We believe in the restoration, that we have the original and complete church that Christ had established with his Apostles and that the church is under his control after the same manner that He established in ancient times with a prophet, 12 apostles, and the authority of God given to men called the priesthood. This is the Church of Jesus Christ in these latter days, and there is no one living that can take that knowledge from me nor from those that ask of God if it is true.
I love you all
My challenge to you all this week is the following:
Learn to bear your testimony, very basically at least, in another language. I know you can do it. I know that one day it will serve you.
I know that the book of Mormon is true and that the Bible is true and that God loves me.
Yo sé que el libro de mormón es verdadero, también que la biblia es verdadera y que Dios me ama.
I love you all
Les quiero a todos
Have an awesome week,