For Christmas Tanner didn’t do much of anything. He had dinner with a family from the ward on Christmas Eve at 7PM. The family gave Tanner and his companion each a tie, which Tanner thought was very sweet. In Colombia, however, most of the Christmas celebrations happen during hours when missionaries need to be indoors. The festivities mostly start at midnight. There are fireworks and general revelry. Tanner could hear everything from his apartment. In the poorer areas people added to the fireworks by shooting pistols up in the air.
|My bed has definitely been well used.|
By the 26th, everyone was back to work, and things were back to normal.
In Bucaramanga there are two stakes. Tanner is in the Diamante ward. He says that the chapel is super nice – nicer than our chapel in Newtown. It is very nicely kept, and it has an open design. Everything centers around a courtyard.
Speaking of Spanish, Tanner definitely spoke to us in Spanish/English. He had a hard time thinking of several normal words. I guess we can tell that he is definitely immersed in speaking Spanish!
Tanner has yet to see a rat; however, there are lots of lizards. There were a ton of vultures in Barbosa.
Tanner is still not worried about eating bugs though he does try to swish them off his food if possible. He just doesn’t want to waste food.
In Bucaramanga, Tanner has a washing machine in his apartment, which is great. In Barbosa he did not. This meant to wash their clothes they would rent a washing machine on P-day. The machine would be brought to their house on the back of a truck, and they had to stay with it the whole time, so it took almost their whole P-day just to do their laundry. Tanner is excited that he will now have more time to do things on P-day since he can just throw in a load of laundry and leave it.
Tanner says he lives in one of the relatively nicer areas of Bucaramanga. The poorer areas of the city are found especially in pits/holes that people live in and build their homes in.
Tanner loves being a missionary, but he does dream of being able to sit and relax – really relax without thinking of things he needs to do and people he needs to reach out to.
In his mission about half of the elders are Latino and half are gringos, but one hundred percent of the sister missionaries are Latina – for safety reasons. There are currently 22 missionaries in Tanner’s zone.
Tanner says that people walk up to him and scream in his face reasonably regularly, but he doesn’t understand what they say. It doesn’t really faze him.
Tanner reminded us all of the importance of persevering to the end. After all, getting baptized is only a step in returning to live with Heavenly Father.