September 14, 2015
El Parque Branch
Santa Marta District
Santa Marta District
Companion: Elder Wooden
Well hey everyone!
Things are going great as usual. The mission is teaching me a lot! My companion coined a phrase this week: "We are here not to change the area, but so that the area can change us." Deep, haha. This El Parque branch is known for being a tough area, but I like a challenge! I like being creative and thinking out of the box to get things done. It's great! We are actually having a lot of success!
One success story is with E***! If you remember, she is the one that came to church this last week. Earlier in the week her only daughter got really sick so E*** went to Cartagena to help take care of her grandkids. She did, however, return Friday night. We passed by and just by chance her birthday was Saturday. She invited us to come and eat the next day on Saturday night. She made a tasty potato salad by the way. Anyway, I'm not sure I told you last week but she likes to drink alcohol. So we were talking a little about that and she was kind of a little hesitant to the subject because she wanted to drink on her birthday. We promised her a lot of blessings if she stopped drinking and she commited to come to church and everything. But the next day on Sunday, she didn't come to church nor did she answer her phone! It was weird so later in the day we passed by her house and she said she had been throwing up and was really sick because she decided to drink! It was cool because it was then that she was able to see the direct promises and consequences! So she is progressing a lot.
Another cool investigator that we have is L***. Side note: her husband's last name means 100 fires (cienfuegos). Anyway, she is Indigenous from the Sierra Nevadas right here in Santa Marta. These mountains are actually the tallest in all of Colombia and are home to a number of Indigenous tribes. Her pueblo in the mountains is really far away. You first take a bumpy car ride for 8 hours on a windy road and then when you can't go farther you have to walk or ride a horse for another 12 hours! She also speaks another language and taught us a couple cool words. For example, zayzay, means happy and nepaow is God. She is a real self-driven person. She grew up with the normal Indigenous beliefs and then converted to Christianity and helped some of her family change as well. She then came down from her town in the mountains to live in Santa Marta and now runs a multinational business sale of authentic Indigenous handbags. She actually travels to Canada and Europe to present and talk more about her culture. It's way cool. It's been fun teaching her. The best part was giving her a Book of Mormon. We were really able to testify that her ancestors had been part of this story. It was like giving a diary of ancestors back to its owner. A real seldom feeling. The spirit was really strong in that lesson. We will see where it all goes!
So we are doing real well. Today we went to a boardwalk kind of a place and took some pics. There were a lot of statues of the Indigenous people here. Oh and next week we get to go to Tayrona park again! That will be awesome! Well anyway, have a great week everyone!
|Boats in the Bay|
|With one of the Indigenous statues|
|With another Indigenous statue|
|With Elder Wooden chillin' on the beach|
|Elder Crandall & Elder Wooden|
|With Elder Munoz wearing traditional hats of Indigenous people|
|On the Boardwalk|