Colombia Bogota North Mission

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Week 6 Bucaramanga!

I'm civilized so I'll do this chronologically, if you want to read about the cartel violence and how I lost my ear, you'll have to keep reading. Bueno .When I left the CCM I left a lot of awesome friends and teachers (I was even tight with the CCM President and his wife) but it's all good because I like the new people too. My mission president is super cool and funny “that's a good looking group besides Elder Downing.” After an interview and multi hour welcome presentation, I got my assignment. Bucaramanga!! *....firework....firework* specifically in a town called Giron. You can visit me on google earth if you would like. I'll ask my companion for our address when he wakes up. It's 10 hours north of Bogota. (I'm only guessing because everything in the mission is North of Bogota) by bus and so I drove all night. My companion is Elder Torres from Costa Rica and he doesn't speak English. He's super cool though and he's really enthusiastic sometimes and a really nice guy. Honestly I got pretty lucky. I like working with him. He has the nicest eye leashes I've ever seen. It low key looks like he's wearing mascara a lot of the time... but he's not. My apartment is pretty cool. My favorite thing in it is my fan. It's a solid fan, like it's really good. Our curtain for our front window is really cool too. Its a shower curtain with a picture (drawing) of a bunch of fish. One problem though is I can't find the A/C or the hot water knob in my shower. Like I'm pretty sure I've looked everywhere. We are the only companionship in the apartment which I like because I have an entire small bathroom to myself and a small fan. Milk comes in bags here it's weird. It's a lot jankier here than Bogota, especially my area. But thanks to the nice area of Bucaramanga we have good drinking water here! Bucaramanga and Bogota are the only cities. But yeah it's way poorer here with houses with a roof on only part of the house, or like the house is actually a cave and the bed is actually a sleeping bear. Forgive my lack of seriousness, it's hard to joke around with people when you don't know what they said, and so my sarcasm has been bagging up (I would have said bottling up but here they use bags). Speaking of Spanish I'm getting destroyed. So you know when you're talking to someone and you didn't hear what they said so you say “what?” and they repeat it but you still didn't understand so you say “I'm sorry I still didn't hear you, one more time?” and the the third time you still don't know what the said so you just go on pretending like you heard what they said and it's this terribly uneasy and awkward feeling and you watch for body language ques but you still can't understand and your soul slowly melts? That is how I feel all the time. I know all white people get destroyed at first and it'll probably build character (even though mine's already pretty decent) but it's pretty hard in the moment. In one lesson I didn't understand a single word the investigator said so I just guessed based on what my companion said and went by the spirit. I think what I said was relevant because she nodded. Honestly, teaching by the spirit is a real thing. I'll have no clue what's going on and then feel prompted to say something. I hear after the first few months people usually do decently. Months are short right? I can speak well enough if I know what I should be saying but I rarely do. It's also hard trying to meet and remember all these people and how to do missionary stuff and where things are but i'm sure it'll all smooth out. I'm just trying to be happy until I get the hang of it. I'm pretty good at it too. I hope everyone had a good fourth of July, the Fourth here was game day (we lost).

Elder Downing

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