Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Dear Family,
My new year was really good but it was pretty boring compared to all of you guys.  We had the other elders sleep over again and I think we had Ramen and Mtn. Dew.  Oh yeah, we feasted, ha.  No, we didn't have any rules about being in the house by 7 or anything.  What we did that evening was cool.  We went to a place called Puente de Boyaca.  We went in a bus and its about 15 minutes outside of Tunja.  We walked around for about an hour taking pictures and stuff.  During this time of the year they have an insane amount of Christmas lights and decorations set up.  This is where Colombia won its independence, I think.  But it was really really cool. 

We had dinner scheduled with a really neat family at 8 p.m. so we planned to leave just after 7:30 from Puente de Boyaca.   There was one big problem.  It's really really difficult to return to Tunja from there.  REALLY difficult.  It is not a designed bus stop so not many buses stop and the ones that are actually headed to Tunja are already crammed to extreme.  Taxis are pretty expensive but after about 30 minutes of waiting and trying to flag down more buses, we decided we might just take a taxi, to no avail.  We tried to get a taxi or bus for the next hour.  After about an hour and a half we were about to start walking even though it is at least an hour walks from there to Tunja.  We mentioned we should say a prayer and right when we were about to start, a bus was driving by so we tried one last time and there happened to be one of those white excursion van type things behind it.  The bus kept going but the van stopped.  We asked if they were going to Tunja and they offered us a free ride.  It was a man, his wife, and their two kids, probably under age ten.  It was great and we had a small lesson with them on the way back.  We ran, literally, to the house we were supposed to have dinner just to say hi and happy New Year before we had to get back to our house at 9:30.  It was a pretty fun night, ha.

Alex and Ines are on track to get baptized, I think.  They are very interested in the gospel and want to keep progressing.  They just want to know everything they are getting in to before they are baptized.  We had a lesson with Ines on Saturday night.  Alex was working.  We invited her to go to church again.  We offered to pay for her taxi and everything.  We decided we would meet up at their house in the morning and then go to church.  It's  a ways from their house to the church.  We got there in the morning and no one answered the door.  Ah, come on!  So we called them and they had forgotten we had said we were coming in the morning and were already headed to church!  Cool huh?!  They are fun to teach and I hope we can keep our date of the 19th.  It was fast Sunday as well so it was fast and testimony meeting and it was great.  I hope they were able to feel the power from other people's testimonies who are members/converts. As soon as the counselor announced we were opening up the meeting for people to bare their testimonies, like ten people stood up and walked up there.  It was awesome to see.  The members here have a lot of power in their testimonies and are great people.

That is insane that you guys are freezing that bad at home.  When was the last time Aurora got that cold? I might feel like I'm freezing but that's because it's at night and I'm wearing a t-shirt and shorts or pajamas. During the day it's similar to a May day back home for me.  That is crazy for you guys though.  I honestly would hate being in that cold of weather so I am thankful I am not having to live in that right now. lol  Bueno Suerte!  haha 

The ice fishing thing is pretty awesome and you guys got loads of fish.  Thanks for losing my reel in Otter Creek, lol.  I guess I can get a better one when I get back.  I am not that mad about it.  It's not like I can use it too much while I am gone, right? Just don't throw my rifle or shotgun down an ice hole. lol 

This week I have felt the most Grinto I have probably ever felt in my life.  It's just like everyone just glares at me the entire time and it's so annoying.  It's hard to look past the glares somedays.  I would pay some big bucks to be darker right now, just kidding. But yeah, it's been a weird week for some reason.  I mean in the streets I get the looks, not at church.  Anyways, I need to get going so sorry about that.  I love you guys and hope you have a great week.  I hope it warms up a bit for you guys because it sounds kind of miserable, I won't lie.  Loving the pictures that you guys send.  Love ya and miss ya!  Elder Larsen

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