Monday, November 26, 2012

The 2 Things I am Most Thankful For

Well, well, well it sure sounds like you guys had a great Thanksgiving this year. It makes me really happy to know that you guys are doing great up there in Oregon!
So I can´t lie.  I woke up on Thursday morning,  rolled out of bead, and did a halfhearted workout, made my breakfast halfheartedly, showered and was studying by 8.   All the while thinking, “man my family is making food right now, watching some football, the Macys parade and enjoying the day together. I was feeling pretty sorry for myself lol. Then I noticed a plan of salvation pamphlet on my study desk and I picked it up and started reading. I noticed all the photos of the happy families and after I had read/skimmed the whole thing I just felt sooooooooooooo blessed. The lonely feelings went away and were filled with joy and happiness because of 2 things: 1 is my awesome family that I have that loves me and supports me 100 percent, and 2 is this amazing gospel that we have. Being here in Colombia has made me realize even more how blessed I am to have these 2 things. A WHOLE ENTIRE family that is sealed for eternity and the WHOLE ENTIRE gospel that gives us our purpose here in this life. THANK YOU DAD for being a worthy priesthood holder who keeps his sacred covenants, THANK YOU MOM for being the very best example of faith and strength in the gospel, and THANK YOU SHAY for just being your goofy self who sets her standards high and works so darn hard to achieve her goals. Haha so after all of this it was time to leave for the day and we always leave with a prayer and after bear our testimonies. On Thursday my testimony was: I know that Tunja, Colombia is the very best place I can be right now, even though my family is sitting at the table eating turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and CRANBERRY SAUCE ( you all know that’s my favorite:). I know that someone needs the light we have to brighten their life and maybe it can even make them as happy as it has made me and my family. haha yup that was my testimony for the day. Oh and our lunch waaaaaasssssssss, you guessed it RICE!! VEGGIES!! BEANS!! and a special surprise in the beans there were pigs feet lol. I ate it with a big ol´ grin on my face cause I just know that of all the Thanksgivings I will have in my life, I will probably remember this one best! Then really after lunch,  I forgot all about Thanksgiving cause it was just another normal day for us. Now dad had a few q´s for me so  I´ll answer them. 
DAD: Yup I just live with my comp from Paraguay. So I speak English once in a while with Elder Guillete who is the other elder here in Tunja.  but I´d say about 2 or 3 times a week, mostly on p-day though. But about now I can say almost anything I want, I can joke and express myself which to me is the most important, and of course I can teach all the lessons without help anymore. But still I understand about 65 to 70 percent of the things that people are saying, but for the most part I get the gist, and can carry on a conversation. As for my favorite foods here in Colombia I LOVE platanoes.   When I first got here I hated the things lol but now I can’t get enough of them. Also the 2 best meals I´ve had here are fried fish, only the costenos make it and I´ve only had it twice. But they fry the whole entire fish and it is SOOOO GOOD, some of the best fish that I´ve had. Also there is also a common dish from the city Medellin called la bandera paisa.  Its beans, they’re kinda like mexican beans but they have a different flavor with rice and a fried egg on top, patacones (which are fried platanoes) and a big ol´ sausage lol, that’s real good too. Also I am having an awesome time here.  We hope to have 2 baptisms here in a few weeks. And no there are no problems whatsoever, and really if there was one thing about being a missionary that I can really say that I´m good at it would be getting along with my companions.  I can’t say I´m that great at anything else but I can say that I´m good at being a friend and a companion. 
Well I´m gonna end my letter with the adventurous little p-day we had today (no we didn’t go to playa blanca) I guess I´m notorious for saying that we are gonna do something sweet the next p-day and then not doing it.  So from now on I´m not gonna tell you guys till after lol, just so I don’t jinx myself. But anyways almost always we do p-days with the other elders from Tunja sur. After eating at a pizzeria we wanted to go play mini golf, soo I guess there is a golf course here that supposedly has ¨mini golf¨ so we told the taxi driver to take us to the golf course with mini golf.  He said there is only one place here in Tunja so we were like ok sweet lets go. So he takes us out of the city of Tunja and into rural Colombia, I have to say that it is sooooooo beautiful, after about 10 minutes I ask the taxista if he is sure there is mini golf at this place or just normal golf, cause obviously he´s taking us to a huge Golf course, he reassured me so we kept on going. We finally got there and he points to the putting green where you can practice and says mira! mini golf! to add to this failed attempt at putt putt golf the course was closed lol. Then the driver says 20 mil! we payed reluctantly and then opted to walk back cause we definitely couldn’t afford another 20 mil cab ride. But actually it turned out to be really awesome cause we took some great pictures in the places we found, everyone was kinda bummed but I was running around exploring and I came upon a shotgun shooting range! That was cool and we found what looked like an abandoned caddy shack that had the MOST beautiful view I have ever seen.  The pictures I´ll send just don’t do it justice. Then we walked all the way back into town which took us about 2 hours lol, I tried to ask for rides back into Tunja but the only people that stopped had sand and animals in the back on their trucks lol, so we walked the whole way. It was fun though!! haha, well until next week I LOVE YOU GUYS!!!

                          -Elder Crook

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