Monday, May 18, 2015

Long, lonely bus ride to Valledupar...May 18, 2015

Wow!  So, so sorry for the time I haven't been able to write a big letter!  Two weeks ago we were able to go to the mountains of Santa Marta (got back late) and then last week I was able to talk with my family!! Wahoo for family and I love them very much but I am very honest in saying it is real weird talking with them.  Santa Marta was awesome and I loved every minute of it!  It was super hot and we had a solid church attendance of 25 (including 4 missionaries and 6 in the president's family who don't live in the branch boundaries).  However, many young people are listening to the gospel and I believe that the Lord has something prepared in the future for the church here in Santa Marta.  I actually finished up in Santa Marta on Monday after I talked to my family and left for Valledupar on Tuesday.  It was a long lonely bus ride of 5 hours but I survived and met my new companions.  One is Elder Lince who was an assistant a transfer ago.  He is from Ecuador and will be going home here in a month or so.  My other companion is Elder Miller from Roy.  He came a transfer after I did and is super awesome!  There are 21 missionaries in the zone and I am working with one whose companion went home on Tuesday for problems with kidney stones and stomach flu until his new companion gets here!
This week Elder Godoy from the area presidency will be coming to speak to the mission.  I am looking forward to listening to him and hearing what he has to say and how we can become better missionaries.  We will be in Barranquilla on Friday (leaving Friday morning at 2 and getting home Friday at 11) then back to work!!  It should be  wonderful experience! 
Besides these couple of crazy things going on nothing is to abnormal nor do I feel stressed or out of place!  The church is really truly one big family!  I love you all and I hope you all have a wonderful week!!
Elder Slack
Zone in Valledupar


Skyping for Mother's Day...May 11, 2015

**We get to Skype today instead of emailing!  Brady did say that there was an emergency transfer and he will be going to Valledupar in the next day or so.  On to a new adventure!
In the mountains of Santa Marta

District in Santa Marta

Elder Slack and Elder Piedra (Ecuador)

Sweet letter from the Hermano Vargas family...April 27, 2015

Queridos hermanos, para nosotros es una gran bendicion el haber conocido una persona tan especial como elder slack, para nosotros fue un privilegio habrirle las puertas de nuestro hogar y de nuestro corazon, el supo retribuir todo ese cariƱo que le brindamos, nosotros tambien queremos conocerles a ustedes y ojala el padre celestial nos brinde la oportunidad de poder lograrlo.

Un fuerte abrazo para todasu familia que el padre celestial los bendiga 
familia vargas ojeda.

On to Santa Marta...April 27, 2015

 What a crazy week!  I was transferred from Barranquilla to Santa Marta.  I am literally cruising the coast of Colombia!!  My new companion is Elder Peidra from Ecuador.  He is newer in the mission with just 3 months and finishing his training!  He is super good and we get along great!!  I was so super sad to leave Barranquilla, especially a ward with so many friends(my Colombian dad and family, Adolfo Vargas and super awesome people progressing in the gospel)!!  I got to my area which is one of the smallest branches in the mission with a solid 35 active members!  Haha I got to church and kind of laughed!  My area is super, super good and we have tons of people that are always so kind to listen.  We work very fluidly and have a solid 50 lessons a week without even trying.  The only hard part is it is a little trip to go to church and so it is hard for some of the people to come to church.  There are a lot of less active members here too so I would love to start to work some for them and I think that is going to be my goal while I am here.  Santa Marta is very humid and looks way too much like Globe and Miami Arizona.  The mountains are super close to the city and have all the cacti and what not.  The only difference is that in the city, all the smaller neighborhoods are separated and so it has this super small town feel to it!  I love it here and I have plenty of work to do! Santa Marta is definitely the tourist part of Colombia so when I start to get out on Mondays I will have plenty of pics for yall!!!  I hope you all have a super awesome week and I love you all!!
Elder Slack

PS.  I went from the second biggest ward in the mission in Lucero to the smallest branch in the mission.  Santa Marta is two districts and hasn't grown in the last 30 years!  Plenty of people to work with but very little come to church.  The branch president is 45 years old and has been in that calling since he was 19!!  He only took two years off to serve his mission!

I finally met Hermana Pantoja...April 20, 2015

**Brady did not send a big email this week but these were a few of the highlights...

I finally met Hermana Pantoja this week!  We were in the stake center for General Conference and we met up.  She is a nice little lady!! :)  She actually called my name while I was talking and said she knew it was me.  Haha  I don't know how, but she did! :)  (She told her daughter, Adriana that he was a happy face Elder)
I got a little sick this week and couldn't eat hardly anything without feeling the need to throw up so I am actually super skinny right now.  Haha

**We got word last night that Brady is being transferred to Santa Marta.  He will really miss the people in Lucero, especially the Vargas family

Hermana Pantoja and Elder Slack
Elder Brady Slack and Elder Stewart Black from Blanding, Utah

Elder Slack, Juliana and Elder Morales