Wednesday, August 27, 2014

CCM Week 4 and Bus Ride

1. Latino Companion. Today I am getting a Latino companion, he is from Peru and his name is Elder Ramos. I have not meet him yet. I am sending pictures of Elders in my last room. 

2.  Password. I figured out that you changed my password when I could not log in. I could not figure it out why it was not working for the longest time so I had to reset it. So hopefully I will get that letter before I leave.

3. Proselyting. We went for about 3 hours last week. We went to place that is project or ghetto. We met some fun people. One guy was an Evangelist who said amen and blessings about everything we said. Another guy gave us a 40 minute lesson about what he believed and her did not like the Book of Mormon until we explained that it doesn't replace the bible. He ended up taking a Book of Mormon. I got sunburned too while doing that. That is why my face looks red in some of the pictures.

4. Tour. Yesterday we went to the top of a mountain on a tram to a church. I think it was 10000 feet or something at the top. The bus we drive in pretty fun. Its one from the 70s or something and it is stick shift. We usually make 5 point turns we about 3 inches of clearance. I sent a picture of motorcycles driving and  stuff on the streets. Afterwards we went to Museum of Gold and people and we had to walked for a couple blocks. It was like a parade the way people were looking at us. Downtown Bogata is like Peach days except the traffic keeps going. There are lots of vendors on the streets people playing music and such. It weird to see the buildings. sometimes you will see building that are really nice and then you see buildings that are crumbling apart. The museum was interesting. It was a bunch of gold from the Mayans and stuff. Then we bought jerseys. If Justin wants one you have to tell me which one and I sure I will probably have another opportunity.

5. For that missionary night, the main thing is you know Preach My Gospel and the lessons and be able to explain them clearly.

6. Also time to start piortizing. If you want me to answer a question put it at the top in bold cause I only have time to skim through emails and I am going to send pictures emails to mother so it doesnt take long. Or if you want you can log in into email and make a group of some sort.

7. Wooden Nickels. yes the Latinos are crafty. they always want my ties, but they usually trade for something. Elder Ruiz about flipped out when I gave him a BYU shirt that was slightly small for me  for  a bag. That is the one I am wearing in the pictures. It is sad to see that some Latinos just show up with duffel bag with like minimal stuff. 

Emailing around here is funny. Yesterday we didn't have time because our tour went over time but it is usually pday or the day before or after. We just got another shipment of missionaries here. 3 from Mozambique Africa. There are tons here now including 20 hermanas compared to the usual six.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

CCM Week 3 and Bad Words


Well, we continue to do about same thing everyday. 

1. The Roommates. We now have some Latinos in our room which is pretty interesting. Elder Ruiz from Peru and Elder Aregulo from Ecuador. Elder Ruiz is a nut. One time he got some gum and started chewing it until someone said muy mal about something else so he spit it out on the ground. When we told him it was okay he picked it up and did the cross movement across his chest and then stuck it back in his mouth. I am pretty sure that his a convert from Catholicism because last night he was pretending to bless us with water like the pope. Elder Ruiz does not like American food. He begged for some Cheezits so we gave him a Cheezit and he took a little nibble and spit it out and asked for water. 

2. Bad Words. We often have to have lessons on what bad words are. Elder Hatch (another north american in our room) let out a large toot and Elder Ruiz (who can speak some english) says "Put a cork in your a**". Her also knows some very profane English songs by heart. Apparently a lot of swear words in the US are not bad down here. For example we asked our sister pregnant teacher what aye currumba meant and she said "d***" apparently neither of those words are negative down here. 

3. Nail Polish. We noticed one of our maestros (guy teacher)  painted his finger nails with clear polish and we asked Hermana Hernedez (the pregnant sassy teacher) if that was normal and apparently it is. It makes you more presentable. So the next day she brought her husbands nail polish and let us paint our nails as a district.

4. Schedule. Tomorrow we are attending the temple in the morning and the next day we are going proselyting for 3 hours and then its P day on Friday (which is only 4 hours long). So I will probably have more stories then. The rest of time we spend in clase or practicing teaching investigators.

5. Spanish. Yep that is coming along. Last Sunday I got the opportunity of being randomly announced to speak. I was able to impress all the Latinos with my impeccable and well rehearsed Spanish.

6. Things I forgot. I am saddened to find that the picture album was not in my suitcase. I also wish I had my scripture notes off my LDS account. By the way, who did end up with all my assets. Any letters take about two weeks to get here. 

7. Food. Continues to be about the same. The two spices here are salt and hot sauce. If there was cook book here it would be how to make your food taste plain in two or less ingredients. Good thing is that bread and pastries are always the best. Meats are always tender and juicy. Any attempt at american food is futile. We had spaghetti which consisted of noodles and hamburger. I do not think the people here know what marinara sauce or any other tomato product besides ketchup is.  Another important distinction is that South American food is not Mexican. I have not seen more any tortillas, re fried beans, or any Mexican Cuisine.  Additionally, there is a feeling of more rawness. Don,t enjoy pulp, well here they don't care to take out the seeds out of orange or fruit juices. Its also not uncommon to find bones in your soup. All the drinks made here have no sugar in them so the lemonade today was puckery.

8. Natalie's Trip, yep that will be fun. Hopefully is more refined that Bogota is. The first time you'll be shocked into the culture is when you are going to through the immigration border control and trying to understand the person asking you questions in heavy accent. Also hopefully they wont want to inspect your bag at customs, Elder Bigelow (the reindeer friend had a bad experience). Try to talk to the people to people in Spain with your Spanish and see what happens.

9. Elder Dansie is from Pleasant Grove Utah. Just graduated from high school 

10. Yes it would be nice to have my notes, especially my scriptural tags if that is possible.  It takes about 2 weeks so you would have to send asap I am not sure how much it costs but it is about 2 dollars to send one form here. I also think I I left family stories open on the computer that I did not print off. Also some photos would be nice. Maybe the airport took my album becuase I did have a fun note saying that it had been searched. Also Natalie, I hope that you dont get stuck in the airport for 9 hours like I did. Make sure your plane takes off on time and that you have a decent layover. Ours was like 30 minutes and our plane landed just when the other one took off. Also never talk to people in Spanish with the tu form. it means you want to form a close relationship. One of the people in my district said it while proletying to a woman and he got a fuuny look.

11. It is funny how the distribution center at the temple has now become like walmart. That is about the most exciting thing and the only oppurtinuty ti purchase stuff.

12. I do not know the next time I will be emailing, it probaly wont be this friday the next pday is tuesday, put there are not enough computers and enough time for all the missionaries so they like to switch it up. Next week when the latinos leave and the new batch comes in I will have a latino companion and we speak solo espanol. We also get to go on a tour of Bogota and people like to buy soccer jurseys at this time. I could get one for justin if he likes there like 12 dollars here.

Chao Spanish word for by

Elder GIlbert

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

CCM Week 2 and Reindeer Farmer


Sounds like Seven Peaks was fun. 

Its been a fun time here at the CCM. Because the temple was closed, today they actually let us go outside and proselyte. It kind of fun to try and speak to the people. We simply walked around and tried to talk to people. Most of them are very nice and try to slow down for us. We got one contact (people who want to hear more about the gospel). The hardest part was trying to get people to stop to talk or walk with them as we talk. It also hard to understand what they are saying but we can usually get the main idea. Most of them are catholic and all believe in God and family. It was really nice to get out and see stuff. Today has been a pretty easy going day. All the Latinos left last night and so we are half empty waiting for new shipment. So we all had to switch rooms and stuff. I am also sending lots of emails of pictures because they only let me send 3 at a time. And there are duplicates, i am trying to send as fast as can, they only let us have an hour to email. The guy with the soccer jersey is my companion (Elder Dansie) and the others are in my district. The one with the red hair and glasses is elder Bigelow. He is from Alaska and works on a reindeer farm. He reminds me of a mix of  Dwight Shrute and Napoleon Dynamite. 
The teachers here are fun. We have maestro Polo and Maestra Hernedenz. Hermana can be say sometimes. she likes to point to her baby bump and say Okay, we are going now and then walks off. She also likes to fist bump her baby. Latinos here are funny. They try to take your ties or trade with them. Yesterday some of them were weighing themselves and then they turn around and start poking me in the belly. Today we were in our room when like 7 latinos burst in yapping about how one of the girls in a picture is their girlfriend. They also like to put ketchup on everything like rice and such. Today we had cheese and sausage for breakfast with our warm milk and bread. The bread here is some of the best bread I have ever had.

It always sounds like an arcade game outside, there are always car alarms, sirens and airplanes outside. By the way we have cameras on p-days only, it just the rules. 

What else happened this week...the water pump broke so we couldn't use the toilets for a little while which is big deal because there lots of people here NEED to use the bathroom. I  don't know what it is but a lot of people here have gastrointestinal digestive issues. Hermana Dyer has a supply of laxatives apparently. Typing here is pretty annoying it says everything is spelled wrong and the keyboards are not the same hence there are lots of misspellings but i don't have time to fix them. 

Spanish is coming along. They key Natalie is pronunciation and verb conjugation. I have found the best way is to read books out loud in Spanish. A makes ahh, e makes ehh as in Canada eh, i makes e, and o is oh as in oh, is that right, and u is the oo sound as in boo. So ustedes is not pronounced you-stedes  but ooo-stedes, and opurtunidad is not ah-pertunitydad but oh-pertoonneedad. That is key. 

Sundays we usually have a lot of devotionals and conference talks as well as priesthood and district meetings. For Sacrament meeting, each person of the district is assigned to write a 5 minute talk in Spanish and then presidente dyer randomly picks people to speak. So if you thought that talking in Sacrament meeting was hard in English just try to write a talk in a language you are not very acquainted with. It's time for me to go bye bye now.

Elder Gilbert

Thursday, August 7, 2014


So... I have finished my first week here at the MTC. Because there are so many missionaries here they allow us to email today instead of pday becuase there wouldnt be enough time for everyone. I am not sure when I will get to email next. It is quite the place here. They keep us on a pretty tight schedule from sun up to sun down. we are always doing somthing. The food here is starting to get pretty predectible already. For breakfast we usually have warm milk, a corrasant role, fruit which are usually sort of strange, some eggs or  really milked down oatmeal mush. Lunch is always the biggest meal. Consists of steak, chicken breasts, lots of rice, potatoe,  soup--sometimes lentle seed soup--and then some sort of salad with a breadstick, and more fruit and such. Then for dinner they might give us a bowl of soup, or rice with ground hamburger. I am  really tired of eating plain rice. They rarely make any american food, we have had sandwiches, a strange looking hot dog, and some sort of hamburger. So that is what the food is like if you guys were wondering, pretty bland most of the time. 

Spanish.  All the people here know little to no English. Everthing is in Spanish in the CCM here. The devetionals, the meetings, the hymns, all the lessons, all the signs in the bathroom. Everything. Plus you always have to be ready to speak spanish. You never know when you will be called on to give a prayer, spritual thought, sacrament meeting talk, etc in Spanish. The funnest part is trying to teach our fake investigators in spanish. We try to teach the lessons in our broken spanish. We usually do 1-2 of those a day. Sometimes I like to say the wrong words. For ejemplo, I said that Jesus Christ came to atone for the dead fish of the world instead of sins of the world. The differnce is pescado and pecado. Sometimes they record it and then we have to relive our pain again. The only mercy with spanish is sometimes with the devtionals they give us headphones so we can listen to a latino attempt to translate into english. 

They finally let us out of this compound to go to the temple last week. We are locked up pretty tight. There is a big fence around this place and you dont do out unless the secruity guard lets you out. . We got to se the city again. It is a wild place. I saw a bus going down the equivenlt of a freeway with its doors open because there were so many people that the doors would not close. Lots of grafiti everywhere, it makes the all the arcutecture quite lovely. The roads are pretty slow here though beause there no enforced traffic laws. Even ambulances go down the street at like 25 mph. It is fun to watch out our  window of the CCM and watch the cars, somtimes they drive right over the median or honk to go through a interection instead of stopping, lots of motorbikes weaving all over. I nother words if you dont drive defensively you will be toast in like 2 seconds. Anyways going to the temple was fun.  It is interesting trying to understand because it is all in spanish too. It can be difficult to becuase it is hard to hear what the temple workers are saying and so I attempt to imitate what they are saying in my greengo spanish. I am pretty sure they got exhausted trying to correct what I was saying and so they just let a lot of things go. 

I am also the district leader for my district which constists of 4 companiships. This means that I usaully have to make sure the kids do what they supposed to. All but one of them are recent high graduates with grandiose dreams of becoming lawyers or doctors and they are obessed with sports and high school topics and such, which can make for somewhat dull converstaion. My companion is alright, not always focused and takes forever to get ready, he is obessed with soccer. 

Here is a spiritual thought from Elder Holland from a devottional. Missionary work is not easy because it was not for the son of God.  Discipleship means doing what the master would do. So each road to salavation passes through the garden of gethsemanea and calavry. Pretty cool thought. I believe that it can be applied to any aspect of life. 

So that is the general idea of the CCM, the days seem like like weeks and the weeks seem like days. It all blurs togther. Anyway here is a picture of the CCM they took yesterday, I am on the roof towards the right. they took away our cameras so I dont have any other pictures. 


Elder Gilbert