Friday, December 28, 2012

 Elder Larsen in front of the Bogota Colombia Temple

Three Elders from Sevier County serving in the Colombia Bogota North Mission. 
Each representing a different school in the district.
Elder Brennan Franks, Richfield High School (left)
 Elder Kade Larsen, North Sevier High School (center)
 and Elder Chesley Gale, South Sevier High School (right) 
We were able to speak to Elder Larsen on December 26th.  He couldn't call on Christmas because they have to use a public computer and everything was closed on Christmas.  He looked so happy and excited about being on a mission.  He is serving in Tunja, Boyaca, Colombia.  It is about 3 hours North of Bogota.  The temperature there is usually around 56 degrees.  February is the warmest month and it gets up to 66 degrees. 
His letter says, "Tunja is very very different from Bogota.  It's quite a large city yet there are only two companionships for the entire city.  My companion and I are in the South area.  My companion is from Ecuador and a pretty good Elder.  We have SO many people in our area it's insane.  Everywhere we go we walk.  So it's pretty obvious why we had to have three pairs of shoes for this mission.  Most of our appointments are 20-35 minutes away from our house.  And thats like a powerwalking/jogging speed, lol.  I have been having A LOT of pain in my knee and it's been hard to keep up all the time.  It's on the backside of my right knee.  Started the day before I got here. 
Anyways, here they celebrate Christmas a lot differently!  They have fiestas building up to Christmas.  Like, for example, I think that on the 10th it is for Mary.  They have concerts every single night in Central Square, which we can hear from our house every night, all night. 
The city is very poor compared to Bogota.  You've heard the stories about dogs being everywhere in South America.  In Bogota, no nada. But here, yes everywhere.  They don't really bother you at all and just lay there all day.  So many though it's kind of disgusting.  the people here are really nice and the ward is great.  We have about 120 active members or so here.  There is only 1 ward in all of Tunja.  We had a ward Christmas party last week and it went great.  The people thought my Spanish was actually very good, especially since this is my first area.  Cool huh?!  I can understand most people all the time but there are a few who I think are from the Coastal areas who speak SOO much faster. 
Last night we taught a lesson to Alexander and his mom.  He is around 40 or so.  We taught about the word of wisdom and then after we invited them to be baptized on the 19th of January.  They accepted!  He has had problems with Tobacco but I think that this is a big step.  Another great thing was during chruch.  We had like 6 investigators come to church.  Two of them are from my first lesson here in Tunja where we invited them to come but they said no.  During sacrament meeting they showed up.  Martha (60+) and her daughter (40) came in!  I think they really enjoyed it so I am excited to have our next lesson with them.
Entonces, Grandma & Grandpa Webb and the Mattinsons, thank you for the money.  It's going to be buying a few things I need for Christmas.  We mainly need food.  Our fridge is pretty empty but it's because we only eat breakfast at home.  Members feed us lunch here and we kindof skip dinner which I don't like at all because I love having dinner.  Elder Burt is in my prayers.  I hope you all have a fantastic Christmas back home without me.  Thanks for sending the package Caci and Tim.  Thank you, Aurora 1st Ward for the package as well!  I need to get going.  Love you guys.  Have a fantastic Christmas! 
Love, Elder Larsen

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