Monday, August 5, 2013

Am I in Heaven? I think I might be

Man so first of all I am glad to hear that the Quest  went well! That sounds like so much fun and I laughed while reading that everyone dressed up as characters in the
BOM, especially brother Lacoture as Captain Moroni! Haha he is like the perfect person to dress up as Moroni, and I wasn´t surprised to hear that dad was conducting the waterballoon fight. It sounds like you had a blast! It is so cool that the church is that organized and that economically blessed to have an activity like that! I love you guys so much and am really glad you got to have a good experience at quest! Shay the one thing that I was thinking about while reading your letter was MISSION. You should really start to think about it....look you can leave at 19 yrs old after 1 year of college just like I did, serve 18 months and get back and still be 20. I honestly don´t think you´ll be thinking about getting married at 19 or am I wrong;) Just think about that spirit full week that you just had and how much that you learned and grew. Now put that on a scale of a year and a half! It is an amazing experience and you can just feel yourself learning and growing. So like dad says, put that thought on the back shelf of your mind and see how you feel about it in a few years. Really, it is THE best thing you could be doing in your 19th and half of your 20th year.
Well well well I feel like God has given me one of the biggest blessings in my whole mission, his name is Elder Perez. He is quickly becoming my favorite companion. He is kind of a quieter guy but is not shy. We have passed the majority of this week talking about almost everything. He has almost 18 months and was in Cucuta with me but he was the zone leader of the other zone. We had already talked quite a bit because Atalaya,my old area in Cucuta, was his old area when I was starting the mission. He is one of the most humble guys that I have met and gets along with EVERYBODY and I mean everybody because I know some of his old companions and a few of them aren´t the easiest people in the world to work with. That’s why it is such a blessing! We are friends, we both like to work and like to work hard, and we both want to try to get better each and every day so he accepts every idea that I have on how we can do things better or more efficient or things like that. Specifically we have had 2 lessons this week that we have been so in tune with each other that we both turned to the same scripture to share! It might be such a small thing but that was the first time ever in my mission that that had happened, I´ll let you guys know when we have baptisms because I´m sure we´ll have some this month.  The last change my comp and his old comp worked super hard and so when I got here I found so many investigators!!! It has just been so awesome this first week!
Alright so before I talk about Bogota and my new area, Shay had some questions that I will answer. SO the bus ride was decent, it was only like 15 hours so we made good time, it´s really hard to sleep on the bus for me because the seats are kind of uncomfortable. But we left Cucuta at like 4 in the afternoon and got here to Bogota at 7 in the morning.  I slept for a few hours here and there but all in all it wasn´t that bad. And yes there is a bathroom but only for going number 1 and it’s always fun trying to go when the bus is shaking and rocking back and forth because of all the curves in the road. We did have a few stops, once we stopped at a place in the department Santander at night and it was freezing! You could see your breath and I kinda wanted to go back to the warm nights of Cucuta. The food here in Bogota is pretty good, except in Cucuta the members gave us bigger portions. Oh the other day I found a chicken foot in my soup! There was a leg of chicken in the soup but accompanying it was the foot, I ate the leg but snuck the foot in my backpack and took a few pictures of it when I got home lol:) Also I´ll tell you a little about the investigators. When I got here we had just received a reference for a complete family, so we went and found out that it was a family of 8!!! The parents ,who are already married, and 6 kids! The oldest being 19 and the youngest 8! Also the dad has his brother and cousin that are members, so they were the ones who gave us the reference. WE started teaching just the mom and dad because the kids are always busy but on Saturday we went and had a lesson with THEM ALL. We invited them all to be baptized and at first they said yes but when we said for the 24th of this month the dad said no because he has already been baptized in a christian church and a few of the kids said no because they haven´t been to church yet but the mom was very firm in her decision and said yes definitely and a few of the kids too. We will be working hard to try to get them all baptized for this date but if they need more time I think we might move everyone’s date back so they can all get baptized at the same time. 
So right when I got here it was like coming home a little bit. Riding down the streets that I had walked on  last year at this time. WE went to the bakery right next to our apt complex and immediately the owner and his sister remembered me. They said ¨Mr. Crook You came back, have you learned Spanish yet¨ when I talked to them they told me that my spanish skills have gotten a lot better! it was so cool:) Then today I was walking down the street with my comp and saw an old investigator! Elder Suarez and I baptized his 2 sons (they were my first baptisms) and I learned that he too had gotten baptized 3 months ago!!! IT MADE ME SO HAPPY:) man thats why I titled my letter am I in heaven, because I am!!! The other day I met up with some of the young men in my old ward Jordan! They all remembered me even my name! as hard as it is to pronounce. It has just been super cool and hopefully I´ll be going on an interchange with the Elders that are serving there right now!
Well I am really short on time but I got to meet all of my buds from my mission at our leadership meeting we had this week, every first week of the month the zone leaders get together and the president and the assistants teach us new stuff. I met up with Albrecht again and Elder Veil who is from Portland and Elder Avila who was with me in Tunja, They are 3 of my best friends that I have made here. It was super fun to meet up with them again. 
Also bad news we too have to give up our backpacks - I guess its world wide mission rules now. So I have been on the hunt for a satchel type thing that’s big enough to carry my stuff and cheap too. 
Well I sure love you guys tons!!! Have a great week I know I sure will!!!! I love you guys sooooooo sooooooo much!!!!
-Elder Crook

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