Sunday, December 28, 2014

Christmas Lights and Tanner's Favorite Investigator

My favorite investigator is Fernando and his wife. I have mentioned them before, but today I will fill you in a bit more. Fernando is from Venezuela. He is super cool. He sells Lechona, or deep fried pig. It is super tasty. I ate the pig ear and pig skin with him. He is also super smart. He knows more about the church than any of our other investigators. He is progressing, but at a very slow pace. He understands us super well and what we are doing. He is taking the right steps; the problem is that he is taking baby steps. I love him though. He also has a super cute little daughter named Karol. She is awesome and loves me. 

Typical meal
As for my health, all is well now. As for Thanksgiving, the people here do not celebrate it. Obviously. I spent Thanksgiving fasting. There is someone in the states that is really struggling right now in many different aspects of their life. I thought there couldn't be a better time to fast than on Thanksgiving. My day on the 27th was definitely different, but special if you ask me.

Sorry for the grammar and spelling. It is hard to retain English when you literally never speak it. Great.

 I have come to the realization that I am two things: Stubborn and Impatient. Mom, you have always told me that I have these two wonderful attributes, but I never listened. You were right. I hate being slow. I hate waiting. Patience is definitely a godly virtue, but currently I do not have it. I am working on it though. Elder Quispe is definitely helping me work on my patience. I love him to death, but he is just soooo slowwww. He honestly is the best, and I love him, but sometimes I just want to whip him into faster action. No worries though. I am stubborn too. Just a fact, but a fact that I need to change if I ever want to get married.

From a P-day excursion
 One funny note: Everyone here thinks that I have so much older than I actually am. When I tell people that I am 19 they all gasp. The typical guess is 25 and the highest I have ever received is 32. 32??? Seriously! When I ask why, they just say that my facial hair makes me look older and that my build is of a 25 year old´s. I do not know if this stuff is a compliment or not, but whatever. 32......

On Saturday we had a zone conference in Tunja. I hate the wasted time of traveling, but it was a good conference. As I am sure you all know, the church is starting a huge initiative called "Él es la Dádiva" or "He is the Gift." We received new pass along cards and videos to help us center our teachings in the month of December on Christ. It should be great. The video is super good. On the way home a little girl fell asleep on my left arm and a very fat farmer fell asleep on my right shoulder. It was such a great ride!!

Typical house
Not gonna lie, it has been real hard. Barbosa 1 is just struggling. We have no investigators, and the few that we have are wishy washy. We spent a butt load of time on our feet this week just trying to find new people. Unfortunately, not much success. A little, but we will have to see what happens with the new people that we found. Often times, people are just nice and let us talk to them. However, they have absolutely zero desire to learn. It is all good though.

Tanner and his dinner
 Despite the struggles in our area in regards to investigators and teaching opportunities, I honestly see light in the Barbosa Branch. Things are not easy here. If we get 4 or 5 people to ward council things are great. We also have not had a branch mission leader for the last 8 weeks. The last couple of weeks we have averaged 45 people for sacrament meeting. Despite the real struggles of being a branch for 20 years, in my opinion things are looking up. There is light at the end of the tunnel. Right now the light is dim, but at least there is light.  Overall, things are gonna get better here. Every week isn`t gonna be a walk in the park. Things are gonna be hard. Whatever though. This upcoming week will be better.

Christmas lights
Christmas here is huge. Every house that can afford it is decked out in lights and decorations. On the 7th there is a special Colombian and Venezuelan tradition where you put out candles during the night. Also, there has been non-stop fireworks for the last 2 days. It is like a warzone. Crazy.

I finished Jesus the Christ, by James E. Talmage. Excellent account of the life of Christ and everything surrounding him. Everyone should take the time to read it. My testimony and knowledge of the Savior is much stronger.

Christmas lights
 Quick note on Barbosa:  For the freshest milk, you go to the milk horse. Pretty much a guy on a horse rides around in the morning banging a pot with a stick. If you want milk, you go out and he ladles milk into your personal container. The milk is fresh, but that means it is also gross. We never use the milk-horse-man, but cool nonetheless.

For a washing machine, we call a guy that use to be an investigator. He brings the machine on his moto and carries it into our house. We fill it with buckets using water from the shower. When we are done, we call him and he picks it up. Not the best cleaning though. My white shirts are not exactly as white as they use to be. Haha no worries though.

Also, we were walking in the street and this guy was roasting some meat over his fire. In an effort to contact him, I asked him if he was selling his meat. He said no, but that if we wanted to try some he would let us. 15 minutes later his wife served us a full plate of yuca, cow liver, cow intestine, and cow heart. Delicious. The intestine was just ok considering I could not chew it, but the heart and liver were excellent. Yuca is always good too. Now I can say that I have eaten liver, heart, and intestine on the mission, plus I can say that I truly enjoyed it.

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