Colombia Bogota North Mission

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

CCM Week 3

So the last 10 days have been similar most of the time with one huge difference. We got three new north american guys. Elder tenney who i met at school and swam in our pool once since he is the tenneys cousin, Elder Jones who I also knew up at school kinda and Elder Winchester. They are all super cool and funny and so our district is a blast. We also have two brazillians, one guy and one girl, and the guy Elder Soares is in my room and hes great too. I havent really talked about them, but my teachers here are so awesome. Hermano barrios and Pita. They are crazy hilarious and great teahcers. I love them so much. I hope I come back for a conference in the future (we had one last week with the Bogota missionaries) so I can actually talk to them. The new latinos were super hard to understand at first, and now we have 60 misionaries total which is almost twice as much as the last two weeks. The latinos are super hard to understand. There are some that I can never understand no matter what they say but Ive gotten a lot better at understanding them and they talk slower for us white people now too which helps. I guess the CCM President said not to let us speak english because they are like police. Any time we speak english they immediately say "no Ingles!" and even when we are studying silently theyll do the same thing its actually really funny. But its good because we practice a lot more than the last two weeks (24/7). All of the native speakers including my teachers call me "Elder Dowing" and Im starting to really like it. I get a little sad whenever white people say it correctly. I wish everyone at home could see me here and everything that happens because letters convey so little. One really cool experience is everyday after lunch we teach the security guard english pronunciation so he can move forward in school. He actually is improving really well so its awesome. I saw evan starr on tv! We watched a devotional by Elder Holland and he asked the missionaries in the audience questions and evan answered perfectly and it was awesome to see my friend in the white person mtc and see that hes doing well. Elder Holland said he deserved a cookie and a golen star on his forehead for how good his answer was. pretty cool. Me and my companion found a trick to make the time go by faster. These were our thoughts on sunday "tomorrow is monday which means the next day is tuesday and on tuesday we have the temple devotional for going to the temple on wednesday and after wednesday its only one day until P day!" and it works pretty well actually haha. Another random update is I can roll my Rs now! Not while Im speaking which I need to work on but there is hope. Another random update, latina girls are starting to look cuter and cuter. I dont know if the latina girls here are cuter than in the states but a lot of the hermanas are pretty. Its because they have the light of Christ in their eyes or because Im cut off from women or both, I dont know. Ok so the big update is I went proselyting! not sure if I spelled that right but I did it. Me and my companion who speaks barely any spanish and I went out on the streets by ourselves. Two white guys who cant understand anything loose in the streets of colombia unsupervised. chevere. I heard that other american companionships in the past had gone out with a teacher but our first hour and a half was solo. We asked which way we should walk and then left the ccm. Also I should add they never taught us how to street contact. But it was great! super hard because we could barely understand anything but it was really good. We walked a few minutes to the a main street while we were building our confidence and then while we were waiting to cross we saw an older guy at the bus stop across the street and I knew he would be my first real experience with missionary work. We crossed and started talking to him and he was super receptive and interested. We told him some things and he asked if our church had any literature (crazy right) so we taught him a little about the book of mormon and gave him one and got his info so he could be taught later. It was so cool!!! I know God prepared him for us and it was a huge blessing to have that be the start of our three hours of proselyting because there was a lot of discouraging things tha happened too but we kept our heads up pretty easily. We had a lot of other really cool experiences after that too and in 3 hours got 21 contacts! (9 were with a teacher which made it way easier because he could speak) I know we didnt deserve that much success but when you do your best the Lord really does take care of you, that day was a testament of that for sure. It was awesome to be able to walk the streets and explore what was around us (we got lost for 20 minutes haha) we walked through parks, by freeways, shops, other churches, streets of houses guarded with assault rifles, and a bunch more. It such a vibrant and different city, and I only saw a small part of it. I can only write a little about the experience but imagine two white guys who dont speak spanish talking to as many people as they can and then not understanding what they say and that was what happened. It was crazy hard. The rest of the week has been the normal studying and practicing. Its hard to feel like Im improving a lot because its so gradual but I know I am. Its too bad people outside arent as easy to understand as the slow dumbed down spanish we get here. All in all Im really happy here and doing well. My testimony and knowledge of the gospel has grown a ton since Ive been here and its been one of the best experiences. I know its true and I hope I can help the people know for themselves. Take care of the united states for me while Im away,


Elder Downing

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