Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Together for 6 more weeks...September 29, 2014

Well hello everyone!!  What a long week it has been.  Very fun but super long!  As long as I just forget about home and think about how easy I have it here, everything goes by a heck of a lot quicker.  I mean, I don't have to worry about school, a job, money, what I am going to wear for the day (besides the color of pants and a tie to match), or money, or whatever.  All I have to worry about is what we are teaching and where to go because there are some places in my area that I wouldn't wish upon anyone.  Elder Herbas and I are together for 6 more weeks.  Nobody in our district changed so I am sure next time it will shake up.  Everyone has been here in Cartagena for 3 months except for me.  The weather is still hot and the food is still good, that probably won't change.  What did change is who we are teaching!!  We have one neighborhood area that is really starting to get difficult because of some problems we are having with a member so we have thrown out the names of those who aren't progressing and just started to ask for references and talk with people in our other barrios (neighborhoods).  It has helped so I guess we will see what we can do with what we have!!
I am amazed at how much I learn from the scriptures!  We are teaching two pastors who are very interested and I am amazed at how much the Bible testifies of the Book of Mormon!!  Boy did they have questions and boy did we shoot 'em down with answers that are found in the scriptures.  I am so excited for General Conference this week and I hope all who are reading are praying and preparing to listen to the Prophet of God and his Apostles who are all called.  I am so excited to hear and receive answers to so many questions I have had since I arrived in the mission!!  I am amazed at the work that is happening and what is in store for us as children of our Heavenly Father!!  I know this Church is true and that if we will prepare, pray, and read the scriptures and go to Conference with a question, we will receive an answer directly from God through His servants the Prophets.  I hope you all find time to thank Heavenly Father for what you have and to read the scriptures.  Find time to go to the temple if nothing else to sit outside and feel the love He has for us!!  I am so sad we don't have a temple in the mission and can't wait for the people of Colombia to receive another House of the Lord!  Love you all and I hope you are all safe and sound!!
Elder Slack

Elder Brady Slack and...?

Monday, September 22, 2014

My 32s don't fit me anymore...September 22, 2014

Well, this birthday was the first in the field  and the only way I know how to put it is.. it is just not the same as home!!  I, however have not eaten so much cake in my life!!  Elder Herbas and another set of missionaries woke me up on the big day and surprised me with a shirt and a cake.  The District celebrated my birthday as well and the Relief Society President had another cake for me! (3 total cakes)  It was awesome!  I am 19 but certainly don't feel any older!!
Elder Slack and Elder Herbas on Brady's birthday
He got this shirt as a present

His District

Another birthday celebration
The Relief Society President and another cake...check out the firework candle!

Elder Slack and Elder Herbas in the centre
This week has been somewhat normal but we did have another baptism in our ward!  His wife and daughter were baptized with our recent convert (Hmo Victor) and finally he was able to be baptized!! I have never in my life seen someone cry as hard as he did nor smile as wide as he did at the same time!!  I have never felt the spirit that strong in my life before either!!  It was incredible and he will be such a strong convert!  Finally the grandkids of Hmo Victor were able to come to church and I think they had an awesome time.  They learned about tithing.  My comp was not too happy about that because now we have to try to explain to the mother what tithing is and about the blessings we can receive by paying it.  Maybe not real good timing but I am sure The Lord has something planned.  Who knows besides Him, right?!  
Cambios (transfers) are tomorrow and I have a feeling I will stay in this area but receive a new trainer.  I guess we will just see how it goes tonight when we get the phone call.  All this is crazy and everyone in the district was freaking out but I have adapted the trait of Gavin and just go with the flow.  Don't know how I have done it but hey, I now know why he is the way he is and I love him for it!  Haha :) The weather here has been rather cool with tons and tons of rain!!  It kind of killed some of our plans we had this week but we ate some good food!! :)  I had to go and buy some new pairs of pants!  My 32s don't fit me anymore! 
The members are awesome and I love the area I am in!!  I am hoping we don't get switched but it is all in the Lords hands.  I am really fine with whatever happens.  I am so glad to be here in Colombia and doing the work of the Lord!!  I hope you all are doing well.  Love you all!!
Love Elder Slack
P.S. Happy birthday to my awesome brother Dane and Papa!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Holy, it is a joy...September 15, 2014

Well, this week has just flown by and I have now idea what happened besides eat, work, sleep, eat, work, sleep, and more eating, sleeping, and working!!  We are working super hard and I know that is why the time has been flying!  It has also been a lot cooler this week and I don't know if it is because I am becoming more accustomed or what but it was certainly a blessing!  We have also been able to meet lots of new people and share short lessons with them.  Our schedules are packed!!  We have started teaching the grand kids of our recent convert Victor.  One of them (Jose, 11) is so incredible!! He sits in with us in all of our lessons and comments and prays and reads and wow!!  It was so disappointing Sunday when he got up extra early to get ready and his mother refused to let them come to church.  I don't know why but it was so sad!!  My comp couldn't finish his breakfast!  We have to find time to meet with her because she works every day and it is so frustrating but I know if we can just share our testimonies and a scripture she will be able to feel the spirit and see the blessings she can receive from the gospel.  I have also realized the importance of three questions, and they aren't where did we come from, what is our goal here, and where are we going.. no it is are you reading your scriptures, saying you prayers, and going to church!  We had 7 or more appointments with people this past week who are having some serious problems and every time we ask them these questions, they have not done one or more of these things!!  I know it may be a coincidence, but all I know is I don't want problems if I can help it!!  It is amazing how the Lord works and everything we go through is just a trial of our faith and how much we trust in the Lord and His plan for us!  He wants nothing more than for us to be happy and return to live with Him!  Oh how much I have realized in this little time here and how much more I will realize in 21 more months!!  It is so fun to be here in this area and meet so many new people every day!  No offence to my mother but the food here is so darn good and I eat so much!!  Oh rice with coconut, fish, agua de panela, all the juice (they juice every fruit possible), and the street food!!  Holy it is a joy being here and I wish and pray for the best for you all as well!  Love you all!  Infinity Googles!!
Elder Slack

PS. Mom, have Sister Davis teach you how to make arroz con coco (coconut rice) and arroz con pollo(chicken and rice)


That's darn good food?
Thumbs up!

Monday, September 8, 2014

All is well in Zion...September 8, 2014

 Week... ah who really cares I'm here to stay and they all feel like the exact same week with naps!  It is the same old and not much has happened.  We have been teaching one mother of one of our recent converts and I don't know why but she didn't want to come to church or progress.  Finally, we decided to have a lesson together with another lady in the ward and BOOM! it seemed like the world opened and she finally got it!  I can't believe the connection members have with the people in the ward and how much of a help she was!  She came to church and started to read with this lady and her sister.  It was a miracle!  Our recent convert, Victor, got a sweet haircut (thank heavens I bought those clippers) and shaved, got a white shirt, tie, and the priesthood and looks like a champ now!
It has rained consistently every morning which makes for super hot and humid days... but really, let's make some memories!! :)  Every day is blending together and don't worry... I sweat my body weight daily so I don't think I will be coming back fat (at least I hope not)!!  I would say come to Cartagena with a swim suit and sunglasses but not with a white shirt and tie because the shirt will just get sweat stains and the tie makes you sweat more!!  Heck yeah!!
I actually love all that is going on!  We watched How to Train Your Dragon 2 as a zone today and that was an experience!!  Our district leader told us to wear street clothes because we were going to be playing games and we got there and yeah... we were the only ones in street clothes!  Haha!  My comp was so embarrassed but I embraced it after I took a deep breath and it was fine.  All is well in Zion!  I took my name badge off and acted like an investigator.  It worked for a bit because only my district knows me and I was also wearing glasses, but hey, I can try right?  It is super fun and I am learning tons.  Hope everyone is doing awesome and I love you all!!  Keep up (or start perhaps..? :) the scripture studying, praying, and attending the temple!!  Infinity Googles!
 Elder Slack

Monday, September 1, 2014

First Baptism!!...September 1, 2014

Week 3:
Wow what a week I had!!  We had the opportunity as a mission to hear from three of the Brethren from the church!  Elder Waddel and his wife, Elder Suarez and his wife (both from the 70), and Elder Christofferson and his wife (from the 12 duh!!).  It was truly an incredible experience and I learned so much!!  Listening to the Spanish was like listening to English.  Thanks to the Spirit everyone felt the gift of tongues!!  I tell people all the time that I have only been here for 8 weeks and nobody believes me!!  This gospel truly is incredible for many reasons!!  The rest of the week was pretty much the same except we had two lunches one day (the food here is so good and we always get fed) but that night I had a terrible dream!!  I dreamt that I had to buy a new suit and when I got home my family didn't recognize me because I was so fat!!  Holy worst dream I have had so far and the only one I can even remember!!  We work so hard that I sleep like a rock and don't remember a thing!!  Days just whizz by and you just take 8 hour naps for 16 hour days.  Haha gosh!! I cut my hair  and got bumped and messed it up pretty bad so we tried to fix it.  Doesn't look too bad!!  However, I bought a pair of lenses to try and just cover it up!!  I look pretty fresh in these new gaffas! 

Yummy empanadas

At the beach in Cartagena
One of our investigators, Victor Sanchez, took a huge leap and was baptized this past Saturday!!  It was such a wonderful, incredible, eye-opening experience for me and I can't believe the change that has occurred in his life!  He has a strong testimony and feels the spirit even more so when he reads the scriptures and prays!!  What an amazing thing that we all have but take for granted all the time!!
Elder Brady Slack, Victor Sanchez, Elder Herbas

 Today we went to the center (Cartagena) and holy ocean and people!  I have learned that everyone here thinks that all Americans have tons of money and food.  There is a former military American in my area who stopped us to talk.  Speaking English was a God send but we talked and he said it is difficult to live here because everyone thinks he has tons and tons of money.  Slowly I think I can talk to him more and more about what we are doing here, but for now small talk will have to do.  That is basically it and for those of you who have served you know what I mean when I say that only about 1 or 2 major things happen that are worth writing about.  The rest is just work.  I love you all and can't wait to see what else the Lord has in store for me!!  Keep on doing what y'all are doing!!
Elder Slack 

Elder Herbas and Elder Slack playing soccer on P day