Category Archives: Bucaramanga

Bucaramanga

February 4, 2013

Hola,

So ive just finished week one here in los pinos. It was a pretty solid week. It was a little slow because the elders before us didnt leave us with much to work with but we made the best of it. We got to know the families in the ward and our leaders as well. This ward here is super supportive and they help us out a lot. We spent about 3 hours in ward council talking about how they can help us here. We also met with the few investigators we have as well. One of them is an older couple that had the chance to visit temple square and general conference. If they arent ready for baptism after hearing the words of the prophet they probably wont ever be. They are super nice and friendly. One man in this ward lived in redmond for 3 years. About 10 minutes from our house so that was pretty crazy to hear. We talked about washington and how its the best place ever. Hes going to help us teach english classes so i think thatll be a good way for us to open doors. Well the work here is just getting started but its looking promising. Im still healty and doing good. Not fighting with the comp but some insect bit me in the eyelid last night so it looks like i got hit in the face. Its pretty entertaining. All the elders in my house had a good laugh. Well thats about it for this week.

Con amor Elder Sawyer
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January 29, 2013

Transfers!!!

As you can tell by the title we had transfers. During the whole day Sunday my com.p was super nervous about the transfers and was super scared. As for me, i felt perfectly calm and strangely peaceful. I figured this was because i was going to stay in the Cumbre. On Sunday we said goodbye to all our our friends, families, and investigators. It was a little sad. Lots of the hermanas were crying. It was a pretty solemn day but we made the best of it. We had some great experiences with the people of Cumbre. We were also able to find 4 new investigators so that was cool. When we got back to the house Sunday night we started packing our things while waiting anxiously for the phone call. When the call came in i still felt super calm so i was sure i would stay in the Cumbre. I thought for sure the spirit was reassuring my soul that id stay. Then the zone leaders said i was gonna have to take the long 10 minute taxi ride to the other zone here in Bucaramanga. I’m currently in the area Pinos in the Bucaramanga stake. I was a little sad at first but then i realized that this is where God needs me to be so i cant really complain with that. He knows much much much more than i do. So yeah, Im here in Pinos with my companion Elder Ojeda from Bolivia. Don’t tell him this but i have no idea where Bolivia is and I’m too ashamed to ask. I know its here in south America but no idea where. Hes got 2 transfers left in the mission so I’m hoping he’s not super trunky.  Trunky is a mission term where you always are thinking about your house, girlfriend, and other worldy things. Hes pretty cool though, I don’t know him very well yet but we will be living together for 8 weeks so hopefully we get along. This transfer is 8 weeks instead of 6 to make up for the change in the MTC. We live with another companionship in our apt. Elder Franco from Baranquilla, Colombia who was in the same MTC group as me, and Elder Ramsey from California, a dodgers fan, so unfortunately I wont be able to talk to him. Well that’s about it for this week. Its kinda weird to be here in my new area because its more like a city, big buildings and all that. Its way different than Cumbre. I love and miss you all.

Elder Sawyer

January 21, 2013

I’m starting to get a little nervous that I’ll be transferred  I’m in love with the Cumbre. This area is amazing but I’m almost certain Elder Valenzuela and  will be transferred  We’ve both been here 3 months and im finishing my training. Ohh well. Whatever happens happens.  Ive got one more week left so ill make the best of it. To be honest we haven’t had the most success here numbers wise but we strengthened the ward a lot. We helped reactivate a lot of inactive members. I’m still waiting for a baptism but that will come eventually. Its the Lords time schedule not mine. So i promised a lot of friends they would get good letters this week so ill keep this one short. We are still having the same problems with commitments but we’ve got two families who are progressing super strong and keeping all the commitments. We are also running into new investigators as well. So all is well in the missionary work department. As for exotic foods i ate cow tongue, intestines, and stomach this week. surprisingly not all that bad. Today for p-day we played basketball with some of the zone. Elder Boyd met and invited a fellow gringo from Chehalish WA. HE met his Colombiana girlfriend while working at the great wolf lodge and he’s living here with her for a little bit. He knows of Eastlake high and some kids who wet there. It was cool to talk to him about my homeland. Small world no? Well that’s about it for this week.

I love and miss you all.     Elder Sawyer

 

January 14, 2013

HELLO FRIENDS AND FAMILY,

So im still alive here in colombia. So far no problems with the drug cartel or anything like that. I did hear at lunch the other day how Pablo Escobar wasnt a bad person, many colombians love him. This week was a good week. I think it was one of the hottest weeks ive had in colombia, today was the first day this week with clouds and it rained super hard. It started raining when we were on the top of a mouintain but ill get to that later. This week was good, way better than last week. We had a bunch of super good lessons, 10 of our investigators came to church, we met new investigators, and i started collecting dinosaur stickers. We started teaching a super cool family this week, familia lopez. It started out with one girl who wanted to talk to us, later she introduced us to hr sister, later her brother and then her uncle. Now we are teaching all of them. We invited them to pray and ask God about the things we taught and dianna had an awesome expirence. She prayed and that night she had a dream. In that dream she say us, the missionarys, dressed in all white sitting at a huge table covered with food, she then heard a voice that said, “these are my servants, i need you to serve them” That was super awesome. She is ready but is lacking marriage. We are helping them get ready for marriage but the situation is complicated. The whole family is so nice and very receptive. Also as a brief sidenote, dianna hasnt stopped giving us food every appointment so thats cool. SO this morning we climbed a mountain here in the Cumbre. It was cool. We went with a family here in the ward and my companion and i got to take the dogs. At the top we had an amazing view of bucaramnaga but then it started pouring. We practcally ran down the mtn. Thats all for this week. I love you all.

Elder Sawyer

PS. WE have little chocolates here for 300 pesos and they all come with a dinosaur sticker. From what i can tell its more than 300 stickers but i plan on collecting all of them.Wish me luck.

January 7, 2013

Hola mi querido amigos,

So to be honest this week has been pretty rough. I feel like every appt we set is either cancelled or we show up and nobody is there. This is especially rough when we go to one side of our area and climb up all this hills and arrive…. to nobody home. A quick side-note, i found out that cumbre is the summit of a mountain so tha’ts where the name comes from. this is hill country. Yeah.. so this week was a bit disheartening. To add to the sorrow the investigators that we have appear to have all deicded to stop progressing and in fact move backward. That’s been one of the hardest parts. Especially with one family, they know so much about the gospel but they wont act. They even said “i know we need to read and pray but we just cant do it” They are a bit scared to receive an answer because they know it will represent a change in their lives. Its pretty tough. This week wasn’t all bad though. Some of the highlights were a wedding of a young couple in our ward. The mom of the daughter claims the few words i said were revelation but to be honest i cant really remember what i said or if it was even good spanish. That was pretty cool though. We also had a conference with Presidente Andellin and that was awesome, he is such a powerful speaker. I saw probably close to 1 million leaf cutter ants, it was a pheonomonon that was straight out of planet earth, pretty cool. I can speak Spanish so thats good. Well this letter is a little short but that’s about all that happened this week. I love and miss you all.

Elder Sawyer
ps. I know this letter is a little sad and depressing, but i know that it will get better and that i have a lot to learn form this experience.
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December 31, 2012

Buenas Dias,

The festivities here are almost over, thank goodness. The pst 2-3 weeks have been super slow and a little unproductive. We walk to one side of our area and they arent home, then we walk to the other side of our area and they dont have time. Its a bit discouraging but we are still having progress. One of the best parts of this week was the wedding of Hmo y hma mendez. They finally got married and it was an awesome ceremony. The notary here in bucaramanga is a member of the church and he officiated th e marriage and it was way cool. He emphasised eternal marriage and the temple so that was great fpr the non members in attendance and for the couple as well. Ive attached a few photos . The wedding was in our stake center and we helped set it all up. Luz dari has plans to be baptized on the 15th so thats exciting. Im pretty sure itlkl work out. We also had a good christmas here as well. It was great to be able to skype with you guys on christmas. We had a christmas dinner in the house of hma marita and it was really good. Im not excatly sure what we ate but it was kinda like bbq ribs and mashed potatoes. Spèaking of po-ta-toes im seeing the hobbit for sale on every street corner and im not gonna lie, its a bit of a temptation, but ill survive. Also for a lunch this week i ate cow stomach….. it wasn’t too bad. It was in soup form and kinda has the same flavor as squid. Its a bit strange though. As for missionary work thats going along well. We have 8 inv with baptismal dates right now and im hoping they all work out. The hardest thing for us is to get inv to keep commitments… but its all good. Well thats about all for now. I love and miss you all.
Elder Sawyer

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December 24, 2012

Ohh yes, Its christmas time. Even though im in Colombia surrounded by latins, doing missionary work, without my family it still feels like christmas. I think it has somethinmg to do with all the lights music and just how people act around christmas time. This week has been really slow. A lot of our investigators and refrences are out, either on vacations or shopping, so weve been looking for thiungs to do. We had a super good week though. We were able to get baptism dates for the Vega family and the novio of one of our members. They are all progressing super well. The vega family is super special. The dad, oscar vega, has a knowledge of the bible that is unbelievable and he knows the answers to all of our questions. He has been prepared. He can rerspond to some of his families questions better than we can. For example his wife asked if she could take the sacrament and he gave an answer that im pretty sure you could find in some church publication. It was incredible. Im starting to realize that my spelling in english is getting progressivly worse, i apologize. Well i dont really have much to write about since i can talk to yall tomorrow. Love and miss you all. Elder Sawyer