Sunday, August 7, 2016

E-mail 1: July 19, 2016. Week One in the Bogota CCM / MTC (Missionary Training Center)

Hola amigos y familia!!

So this has been  a crazy week in the CCM or MTC for all you none spanish speakers. Sorry if the writing is bad, i am typing on a spanish keyboard and it is a little different. Anyway, so Colombia! What a fantastic place!  I am aleady growing to love the people. I don't know where to begin.... Let's start with my amazing district! there are 11 of us, 7 from utah. They are all way awesome, and  we are all going to the same mission. It will be great to spend the next few years with them. 

On to the spanish. I wish i could say that taking four years i spanish would've prepared me for this, but i learned more in the first 4 hours than i did in all my years of school. It definately is a lot harder than i thought it would be, but being with amazing latinos in my room as definately helped me learn the language. The latins here are such great examples to me. Many of them are 20 or 22, and have been preparing for a long time to go. They are way funny too! some of the things they do are have competitions to see who can gargol their mouthwash the longest. They call us nortes, meaning from the north, and if we are from utah they call us the la fabrica, which means  the factory, for producing missionaries.  My roomates are Elder Castillo, Elder Coches, Elder Guiterrez and Elder Flores. They are all amazing.

The food. The food is amazing down here! For some reason, down here fruit is way different, in all going to the same mission, so it will be a blast to a fantastic way! The fruit is full of flavor, i don't know how i lived without it. The other food has been different as well, just the past day i had pig skin, which isn't too bad. I would love to send pictures of the food, but i can only take pictures on pdays. 

On to some spiritual experiences. The day we landed in colombia was way late at night. We went through customs, got our money, and hoped on a bus. The bus was packed with north american missionaries and latino missionaries. On the way to the CCM we all started to sing the hymns in our native tongue. The spirit was so strong as we sang Called to Serve. I am so grateful for the power of song and the amazing power it has. It was so incredible to feel the spirit and burning desire of each missionary as we began our mission.

Our district was able to teach an investigator for a little bit, in English gratefully. It was so great to hear all of their amazing testimonies. I felt quite inadequate in mine as i attempted to testify of the gospel, but I knew that the Lord would carry it into the heart if i tried my best. I am so grateful for all of his help.

Last but not least, my companion shared a great scripture that i would like to share with all of you. By the way, my companion is from Bountiful Utah, Elder Duerden. What an awesome dude! I am so grateful to be his companion, he has been such a great example to me. 

Anyway, he shared this scripture with me. D and C (i have not found any way to get my computer to use parenthesis or and symbols so) los cientos, D and C 121 verses 7 through 9. I know that all my adversities, through spanish and through learning the gospel will all be for some good. when my companion shared this with me, the spirit hit me like a wave. I felt God`s love so much.  I know, that whenever we are struggling, if we pray to Heavenly Father, and ask for his help, HE WILL HELP US. 

I love you all. Thank you for being such great friends and family and helping me get to this point. You guys are so amazing. Thanks again for everything.

Tenien fe
y charidad,
and all things shall work together for your good.
untill next week,

Elder Parson

Photos from the Bogota Columbia Temple