Tuesday, January 27, 2015

A Mother's pay day...January 26, 2015

*** No letter this week.  Things are very busy for Brady and he is working so hard to help the Marquez family work towards their baptisms this weekend.  This experience has been so hard but also extremely rewarding for him.  However, he did send me this birthday wish and I just had to share.  This is one of those pay day moments that you wait for as a mother. 

Mother, I just would like to take the time to write and tell you Happy Birthday.  I know I am very far away but just know that I really do miss you.  I regret doing the things I did that you told me not to do and I am truly grateful for not only the relationship we have but the friendship we have.  You are truly my first and only girlfriend! ;)  I am so grateful I made the decision to come on a mission and have not looked back for a minute!  So many things have changed mom, and it isn't just me physically.  I know I will not come home the same but it is because of the way you have raised me. Thank you for all the things you have done for me mother.  I really look up to you and love you very much.  I hope you are crying reading this because I am too and people are giving me weird looks!! :) Thank you very much and I hope you have the best day so far this year!!  Just remember, only one more mom and I am home!!
Love you with all my might...Infinity Googles! 
Love, your son, Elder Slack

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

It has been a rough week...January 19, 2015

Holy it has been a rough week!!  Transfers are next week and I am dearly praying with all my little heart that I don't leave my area!  It is so much fun and there are so many people to talk to!!  We are teaching a couple (Deivis and Diana Marquez) who just lost their daughter.  We were teaching a lesson and I asked if there was anything we could do to help them feel happy. Her response word for word was, "I just want to die.  I will be happy if I die because then I can see my daughter!"  I cannot explain the impact that one phrase had on my life!  Nobody in the world should have to go through what she is going through.  Luckily her husband (they just got married to be baptized) is a solid rock and a huge help for her!  In a different lesson this week she started balling during the middle of the lesson and went to her room.  I feel terrible and as a little weenie 19 year old I have no idea what to say.  I guess that is why I am here, to learn and grow and help them however I can.  I just don't feel like it is enough.  I am so grateful for the knowledge I have of eternal families and the power of the Priesthood that is here on the earth.  I know we can be eternal families if we are sealed in the temple of the Lord! How grateful I am for that knowledge!
Other than that, it was a pretty normal week.  I had another exchange with Elder Brunis who is from Ecuador and has about 4 months left in the mission.  I am still doing super well and just kinda doing what every missionary should do.. work! :)  I hope you all are doing awesome and take the time to say your prayers, read the Book of Mormon, and go to the house of the Lord (the temple).  If not to go inside, just to be in its presence!  I love you all and wish you the best!
Love, Elder Slack
PS Prayers for the Marquez family would be greatly appreciated.  We meet with them again on Tuesday.
**I got these pictures of Brady and Carlos Pantoja who is the High Councilman for the Lucero Barrio (ward).  His niece, Sarah, is in my preschool class.  She was so excited to show me the pictures!

Elder Brady Slack and Lucero Barrio High Councilman, Carlos Pantoja

Elder Brady Slack, Thumbs up as always!

Not the greatest zoo...January 12, 2015

Holy time is flying by and I feel less and less like writing a big email!! ;)  The time kind of escaped me but I hope you are all doing well!!  It is all the same here except a couple we are teaching returned home this week from traveling.  They came to church and presented themselves to the class as future members who want to be sealed in the temple.  They are super awesome, the only thing is, their 8 year old daughter passed away a little less than 2 months ago.  I am so glad they are finally realizing the things they need to do here on earth but I am a little saddened to find out that something so tragic had to happen for them to realize it!!
We were able to go the zoo here and I have to say it isn't the greatest zoo.  Especially when you can see the apartment complex behind the elephant enclosure!  I do have to say they have quite the collection of iguanas!!  One I saw is just as big as our dog, Rigby!!!  We also watched a movie today and that was nice to just relax!!  I was also able to go on a couple of exchanges with Elder Gonzales from Bolivia, Elder Carrera from Guatemala, and Elder Kletzli from Kaysville!!  It is so interesting how different each and every one of them teach but how same the gospel is!!   As we start the new year I hope we will all realize the blessings that come from being members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.   I know that I am here to help the people in Colombia.  Our Father in Heaven is just waiting for them to find it!  I know our Savior loves me and I know that this is the work of the Lord.  I know that Joseph Smith is a prophet of God and that we have a true and living prophet here on the Earth today.  I love my Savior and I know that it is through Him that we are able to live with our families forever.  I love you all and hope you all have a wonderful week!! :)
Love, Elder Slack

Thursday, January 8, 2015

What!! No letter??...January 5, 2014

No letter today.  Still in a bit of a daze with all I am trying to do.  Hope I am doing what I am supposed to.  We have a meeting with the Bishop and Deivis and Diana tonight.  They want to get married and baptized this week!  Wahoo!!  We went to the zoo today as a District.  It was kind of dumb but I got lots of pictures.  I will send a big letter next week!
Elder Mora

Thumbs up with the Badger!
Elder Kletzli
Elder Kletzli from Kaysville, Utah and Elder Slack
Elder Slack

Yes, Elder Slack is a mono (monkey)
The Lucero District
Elder Mora, Elder ?, Hermana ?, Hermana ?, Elder Kletzli
Elder Slack (District Leader), Elder ?, Elder ?

KFC in Colombia...December 29, 2014

Hello and Happy Holidays from Colombia!!  I hope all of you have had a wonderful holiday season and that you all were able to enjoy time together as family and friends!!  I do have to say that I never have eaten so much in my life nor had quite a Christmas dinner. I bet none of you will guess what we ate as a mission for our Christmas dinner...When I told my mother that it was Gavin's and Dad's favorite place to eat (not really) she immediately knew what it was!  Yes, for our Christmas dinner we ate a chicken wing, hamburger, and coleslaw from KFC!!  Here in Colombia!!  Haha!  I was quite surprised to see that and I can honestly say it was the worst Christmas dinner I have eaten in my life!! Haha!  It was not bad but just not what I was expecting!!!  Our week was fine but kind of difficult because it was the holiday season and many people were either too busy with family or too preoccupied in the corner store.  We were able to talk to a couple of people though.   Less actives more than anything.  So that is our focus for the next little bit here!  The ward we are in is so willing to help us in whatever way they can which makes things super awesome!!  I hope you all have a wonderful time and remember truly the reason why we celebrate this time of year!!
Love, Elder Slack
***For the first time I have other Americans in my District and Zone!  Elder Kletzli is in my District and he is from Kaysville.  He knows Davis Owens and we get along great!  There are 3 other Americans in my Zone; Elder Edgar from Idaho, Elder Frost from Arizona and Elder Atwood from Springville, Utah.

Elder Mora taking a nap
This is what their washing machines look like...no lids!

First transfer to Lucero...December 22, 2014

Happy Holidays from good old sunny Colombia!!  I got transferred to Barranquilla and am now serving in my second area called Lucero!  The ward is super awesome and I have truly felt the importance of the missionary work from the members, not just the missionaries!!  My new companion, Elder Mora, is from Ecuador.  He has about 2 weeks in the mission and about 5 days in the mission field!!  I am super excited to get to talk to the family for Christmas and I am super ready to just eat tons and tons of food!!  We already have about 6 dinner appointments!!  One of the new families we are teaching is a couple who lost their only daughter about 3 weeks ago to a bad prescription by a doctor.  It is really rough to walk in their apartment because they are torn apart. They actually have set their own baptismal date, their own date to get married, and listened and downloaded to just about everything from the church onto their phones!!  I am praying really hard that they just stick with it!!  Other than that we are a little lost here in our new area in Barranquilla but I am loving it!! I especially love watching the Lord's work move on!!  I wish you all the best this week and as Pedro says, "May all your wildest dreams come true"!!  Merry Christmas!  Feliz Navidad!
Love, Elder Slack

PS  When we went to church yesterday, the high councilman, Hermano Carlos Pantoja, approached me and asked me if I knew an Elder Swap.  I said no and asked why and he said he had a niece who lived in Utah and an elder was here serving whose mom was her teacher.  I asked if the teacher was Miss Amy and he smiled and said, "Welcome to Colombia.  Let me know if you need anything". Kind of fun to have a connection from home.