Monday, January 20, 2014

One of the Toughest but Most Rewarding Weeks

Well to start off, I forgot my journal in the apartment so sorry if my letter is kind of disorganized. But man I just LOVE YOU GUYS SOOOO MUCH! It makes me so happy and content to read your weekly letters, it´s just great! Well I got my bags all packed up last Monday night and Tuesday morning and said goodbye to what has been my best and favorite area, Suba. We spent most all of the day in what??? yeah training meetings for the trainers, how AWESOME! haha I did get to be with Elder Albrecht all day so that was cool. He´s training in Duitama right now, like 40 min from Tunja, it´s cool how we have had similar missions. BUT the bus ride was worse than I remembered, maybe last time it was that I came from really hot (Cucuta) to normal weather in Bogota. And that was fine, but I went from normal to hot this time which really sucked. We left at 9 at night and by the time it was about 3 in the morning I couldn´t sleep just because I was so hot and sweaty on that stupid bus. But we finally got to Bucaramanga at around 5:30 6 in the morning. I´ve gotta say, I´ve loved Bucaramanga since the second I stepped of the bus!!
So the bus ride did give me time to get to know my comp a little better. His name is Elder Castrejon from Trujillo Peru. He is a pretty legit companion and is really relaxed and chill with things. As you know I really like those kinds of companions:) He has been a member his whole life and is 21 years old. I asked him why he waited so long to come out, he said that he graduated his high school at 16 years old worked for a year or 2 and started to study medicine when he was 18. He says that he really wanted to go when he was 18 but couldn´t, so he started to study, and did one year, then another year and one year more lol. He kinda tells it funny but before he knew it he was 21 years old and hadn´t gone on a mission, so he stopped studying (he was going into his 4th year of medicine) and came out here to the mish. I am really fortunate as a father because he’s already a really good missionary. He just needs some guidance and direction so that he can be the best he can be and realize the potential he has. He has lived on his own for 5 years now so missing his family is not a problem. He´s been a member for his whole life so he knows all of the rules and missionary norms and is obedient without being watched, and he´s got a good easy going personality that anyone could get along with. What more could a trainer want? he´s a good comp and I feel like I´m becoming to love him, it´s not hard at all like it has been with other comps:) 
So it´s my first time opening up an area, and can I tell you has it been GREAT!!!! So last year my ward was actually 2, but they both started to disappear and they were both consolidated into 1.   Last year there were 4 missionaries in each ward, or 8 where we are now. There is a companionship of hermanas so between us 4 we have the whole ward. So I take back every bad or mean thing I have said about hermanas.  This last week they have been a HUGE help for us. The last change it was just them for the WHOLE ward, so they knew where our house was and where to go in the area, and they helped us get to know the area a little bit. The area is AWESOME, we have great investigators and basically all of them have been ones that the hermanas have given us and from the area book. Bucaramanga stays at an average of 78 to 85 degrees everyday, and boy is it heavenly!!! man I´m in HEAVEN. I love the weather, not cold at all but not hot like Cucuta, Cucuta is just too hot for me. But here is the absolute best!! mom you should look up on google maps, Plaza real (place close to the house) Conjunto real (our SICK apt complex) and barrios: Mutis, mazanarres, and estoraques. This is where we are working principly. 
So our apt is the best I´ve lived in yet, it´s a penthouse on the last story, it´s got a huge balcony were you can see a lot of Bucaramanga, and it´s got a pool down below lol, not like we´re ever going to the pool but it´s totally legit!!!
The ward received us normally, I thought they would be a lot more excited lol, but they were just like great....woohooo....the new elders....I tried to seem all happy and excited as could be and ask a few members for help but it was just so funny how they reacted, just kinda like well...good luck elders, keep up the good work. So we´ll have to show them that we are missionaries for reals and are here to work work work and kick some butt maybe then we´ll gain a little trust with them which all starts with the bishop.  Dad I like the big picture part you told me about, I think I´ll try it when we meet with the bishop and ward mission leader this week! love you all!!!! Congratulations Shay!!!!!! I´m a happy guy:)

Elder Crook

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