Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Meet Tanner's Trainee!

Elder Reyes and me. He dies (goes home) tomorrow

 Unfortunately, this letter will be pretty lame. Despite it being Preparation Day, we ended up doing an eight hour long service project. I smell very ripe.

I will get into it though.

So, my kid´s name is Elder Pinoargote. Yes, that is spelled correctly. He is from Ecuador, 18 years old, skinny, and shorter than I. He has been a member of the church for less than a year and a half. He is cool and wants to work hard and be obedient. Those things are good with me. His family was baptized roughly 18 months ago. Only his mom and his younger brothers are members. The father is not. He is excited to do the work.

This week was kinda rough and crazy, just because I was not entirely ready for it. It all started when on PDAY of last week, I had to go to Bogotá with Elder Villarroel to pick up Elder Pinoargote. That killed all of PDAY, so there was no time to wash clothes, write you all, read, etc. After picking him up we had to travel overnight to Aguazul and then start working. Bus sleep is not horrible, but not real sleep. 

My bed for the week.
Also, it didn´t really hit me until we were in our first lesson that Elder Pinoargote really doesn´t know how to do anything. That sounds horrible, but as new missionaries you really do not know how to teach, when to speak, where to go, and overall what to do.

I am not saying that his testimony is not strong, because it really is, but for the first couple of weeks you are just super new and need a lot of help.

That came to my realization and I adjusted to accommodate. I have just had to pull a lot more weight this week, which was fine, just different.

No idea what animal this is.
 Also, on Thursday afternoon I got real sick. We finished off the day though. My head killed and my stomach had a ton of pain. Some member gave me some local remedy of hot aguapanela with lime and salt. It was disgusting, but after a night of a high fever and a ridiculous amount of sweat, I felt better. That allowed us to work without problems on Friday. So things are good now.

I am running low of time, so....

One funny story. After showering I felt something in my hair. It was cockroaches. I am guessing that they were in my towel, I didn´t see them, and then when I dried my head I didn´t feel them transfer. They were not that big.
This picture does not adequately show how huge this dog is.

Also, I was able to be a part of something really special this week. On Thursday we went to the "house" of Abla to teach. We arrived to find Juan David, her three month old baby boy, real sick with Chickunguña. He was bad with fever, his skin had developed an acne like rash which is common with the disease, and was bad with bone pain. Anyways, he was in bad shape and this is dangerous for all, especially for little babies. She was real worried and asked if I could do anything. After Elder Pinoargote anointed the baby with a drop of consecrated oil, I sealed the anointing and pronounced a blessing upon the baby. It was a strong, sacred experience.

We returned the next day to check up on them. Turns out as we left, Juan David´s pain left, his rash left, and his fever left. Abla told me that she was sure that what we did was a miracle. I was just able to bear my testimony to her that the Priesthood is a real, sacred power that I am so grateful to hold and to magnify it. Through the Priesthood, that small baby was healed.

Becoming a Missionary "Father"

Intercambios with Elder zuniga de Chile
Everyone uses the same two cups to drink out of the water fountain. I love it.
It turns out that I will be a father. For those who do not understand, a “father” or trainer is a missionary that trains a new missionary for typically three months. I will be training in Agauzul. Elder Villarroel, my old companion, left for Suba, a zone in Bogotá. I do not know who is my “kid” yet as we will be meeting them later this afternoon. Unfortunately we will have to drive back to Agauzul tonight throughout the night. Should be fun. 

 Yesterday, Monday, we had to leave from Aguazul at 11 AM and we arrived in Bogotá at 8 PM. The ride was absolutely stunning. Just twists and turns through the mountains. It was really beautiful. Right now I am with Elder Carriel, the same missionary that was in the same house in Barbosa. He is also receiving a kid.

We got soaked.
 I am excited to be a father. I will do my best to help this new missionary become a solid, dependable, and spiritual missionary. There is grand work to be done in Aguazul.
The bird