Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Damage Control...November 24, 2014

I think this week should be called damage control in my mission!  After a very long week of pure partying by the people of Cartagena, we finally got to leave the apartment and begin teaching again.  This week was mostly to see who was doing what they should have been doing and who remembered what.  Unfortunately, a couple of the people we are teaching no longer want to hear or aren't doing what we had taught.  However, we do have a baptism of an investigator and her son this coming Saturday!  All of the family that they live with are members and they are the only ones!  It should be a wonderful experience for the entire family and I know that the baptism will help some other members who are struggling right now!  Weeks are kinda the same but I would however like to use an analogy (or a parable, because Christ taught in parables) that my Papa told me this week to help us all this holiday season!  He said, "When you have two mouse holes, do you only set the trap at one hole?"  He gave this analogy of the missionaries of the church, but is there anyone we know that is slipping?  As I enter the holiday season I remember more now than ever the importance of Christ in Christmas and the importance of service and remembering Him and His work.  I hope you all are doing splendid.  Just know that I am doing awesome!  The prayers help but they help you too so keep saying them!  I hope you can all find time in your busy schedules to "Count your many Blessings".  I love you all!
Love, Elder Slack

Views from the apartment

Elder Aguirre, ?, Elder Slack, ?

Not much else to report...November 17, 2014

Well, this week certainly didn't fly by, but it did go surprisingly fast for the circumstances. It was Carnival here in Cartagena, celebrating their independence or something like that.  I don't think that they even needed a reason to celebrate.  What a week!  I definitely heard the noise and the crazy but I think I live on an old person street because nothing exciting happened! My district leader calls every night to check up on us and his street has a huge party going on and he said that a man was stabbed to death in front of his house!  Way too much drinking and dancing!!  Every year about 20ish people die and so the missionaries are pretty much behind bars. We were in the house every day and thank heavens it rained and it was nice and cool this week because if not, I am not sure I would be living.  I had ample time to read the scriptures and ponder conference talks, pray, learn the lessons and read Preach My Gospel, and talk to myself in my head (if I did out loud my comp might think I am crazy;) I caught up on serious napping that was much needed.  I am just afraid that our lessons after lunch this week will be a little rough... :/ Not much else to report.  I hope you all are wonderful and can do the things we have been commanded!!
Love, Elder Slack

Not much to do besides eat, goof off, and read the scriptures while stuck in the apartment for a week


Monday, November 10, 2014

It is already a little crazy here...November 10, 2014

I survived another transfer and am still here in Cartagena (Alto Bosque estaca Los Alpes).  However, my companion did transfer to Barranquilla.  My new companion is Elder Aguirre and is from Lima, Peru.  He is 18 and has about 7 months in the mission.  He is a short little guy and we are getting along great!  We have worked really hard this week both cleaning the house and talking with a ton of people!!  This mission has three names first Mission Barranquilla Colombia, second Mission Impossible (but that is another story), and third, Mission Peru y Utah (because just about all the missionaries are from Peru and Utah).
We have 5 investigators on track for the 22nd of this month.  They were on track for this coming Saturday but we have a little thing called CARNIVAL or Festival here in Cartagena this week.  It is the celebration of the independence of Cartagena.  All the missionaries are not allowed to leave the house.  Only on Sunday to go to church and they have to go in a taxi.  I am super excited to see the craziness but I am only excited to see it from the comfort of my apartment.  Haha!  It is already a little crazy here!!
All of our investigators are doing awesome!  We have two that I am a little nervous about.. one has had multiple sets of missionaries because she doesn't want to give up smoking.. the other one recently had a baby but isn't married.  We taught the Law of Chastity to her and she immediately asked what she could do so that she could live this commandment!  I am so impressed and amazed at the faith some of these people have and I have realized what a blessing this Gospel is in our lives.  This week, one of the men on our street passed away.  We had talked to him a little and he did not want to listen. His mom passed away about 2 months ago and he was devastated. He would sit outside alone crying on his porch.  We finally went up to him one more time and just talked and taught a little about the Plan of Salvation.  It was terrible for the people living on our street and everyone was panic stricken and crying and I am so glad to have the knowledge I have and it was a great teaching opportunity!  I just feel a little bad for not being a little more persistent and talking to him more.  I guess I learned that I need to take the opportunity when I can and listen to the promptings of the spirit more.  I am doing awesome and hope the same for all of you!  Keep reading the scriptures and praying and going to church and the temple when possible!  We are so blessed!
Love, Elder Slack

Elder Slack and Elder Aguirre from Lima, Peru


Monday, November 3, 2014

Always help and serve those around you...November 3, 2014

Well, the week has come and gone and it has been a different but at the same time a very special week!!  Our recent convert, Victor moved this week so we currently have 0 recent converts to teach.  It is about time we get some new ones huh??:)  We have 5 people (2 Perez family members, Alba Carrasquilla and her son and Hma Maritza) on track for baptism the 15th of this month.  It really all depends on them to gain a testimony, read the scriptures, and pray.. I know that if they really do it, our Heavenly Father will give them the answer they are looking for because He can do anything if we have faith and are obedient to His commandments!! This week was very special for me because of one event that took place.  On Saturdays we have an English class I teach but nobody showed up so we left early and ate arepas (they are so so so good but that wasn't the special part).  As we were walking home, we encountered an older man walking with a cane.  I felt impressed to talk with him even though it was a bit late.  We stopped to talk to him and come to find out, he is 70 years old, blind, and he was 15 minutes from his house (in the other direction of our house)!!  I was shocked that he was out walking without anyone to help him!  In this moment, I remembered words that both my Grandpa and my Dad have told me, "Always help and serve those around you because you would want someone to do the same for those you love".   I asked if we could help and he immediately grabbed my arm and said Thank you.  He was very lost actually and needed help but didn't know what to do!  I can't describe the feeling I had as I was helping him walk up and down sidewalks, around trees, and just talking to him.  I have seen him before around his house but I certainly gained a different perspective this week.  I truly felt the pure love of Christ and I know one day I will see that man again and thank him for changing me and being a blessing in my life for a day!  I am here on a mission but actually, those I talk to are helping me.  I love Colombia and everyone I serve.  I hope everyone takes the opportunity to give simple service as we start the season of giving and holidays!!
Halloween was fun here and they even trick or treat the next day for all the leftover candy!!  I think I will start that tradition when I get home!! :)  We get the call for transfers tonight so I will have Hermana Ledys' Facebook message you and tell you about my new assignment.
Love you all and hope you continue to be blessed and be obedient to what our Father in Heaven has told us.  Obedience is a direct reflection of our commitment and faith.  Love you all and keep being bousses!
Love, Elder Slack