July 2, 2018

 

HElllooooooo everyone!

Elder Hammond reporting live from Quillacollo, BO.

WEEK BY NUMBERS
16 -protests this week. why? because
    3- mayors kicked out of office in coups.
    12- days of hunger strikes by local officers to bring back the mayors.
8- lessons taught by the elders of avaroa:))) (US) and three of them accepted fechas!!! so thats fun:))
2- Baptisms this saturday!!!! they are the cutest little girls and are SO SMART!! like its ridiculous how fast they learned!!! their parents got baptized by us a while ago, and so we are finally able to have their baptisms:)))
3 intercambios. We actually did a ton of travelling, so that was fun. One of the areas is like an hour away so it was great to travel with them.
1 interview with president. We talked about the zone and being prepared to go home!!! AHHHHH
1- consjeo. Elder Montoya came and it was SO AWESOME!!! He was super nice and recognized me and my comp as an example of working hard and doing what we should.
Then, he just WRECKED the missionaries that have not been maintaining the rules, (so that was actually pretty fun to watch:) )
1 – great week!  We are obviously excited for the changes coming up in our lives, but we are working hard, loving the Lord and trying to use His divine help and influence in our lives 🙂
LOVE YOU ALL!!!
Have a great week!
Elder Hammond
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June 25, 2018

HELLOOOO! This week was really interesting.

OK, on Monday we didn’t really do anything interesting…just normal PDay. HAHA
On Tuesday we had some meetings- the theme for this cambio is 1 John 4 – we are talking about love. Love for our comps, love for our investigators, and love for God and Christ. Basically love for EVERYTHING haha, but its really cool. I love the theme 😉
We also got to go teach Jose again – we are so very happy to have found him! We haven’t been able to find this kid for like 2 months! So he is back with a fecha and came to church on Sunday.
On Wednesday we had an intercambio in Bolivar. I was with Elder Gill and we basically went to the offices all day to show him how to be a zone leader:)  We also had a fiasco with Farroñan´s flight home, the secretary bought it to go to Piura which is 2 hours away from his house, so we fixed that too.
On Thursday we went to the hospital because one of our families were in a car crash, but they are fine, the dad just got some scratches. We also had a FHE with the pension, and got to eat hotdogs!! THEY WERE SUPER YUMMY!
On Friday WE WENT TO BELLA VISTA -it was AWESOME!!! I got to see some of the first converts I taught and it was so special. we cried and hugged and it was awesome. I just loved the experience, and I’m so thankful that they have testimonies and desires to keep growing and be fully active in the church.
Saturday we had a stake activity and it was interesting because literally just the missionaries showed up.  It was a holiday here so no one was really expected to come … but we had fun and sang a bit together.
On Sunday we couldn’t leave the house because of huge protests in our area, the government is falling apart and everyone hates Evo…but he is going to hold on to power – so it’s simmering and escalating throughout Cocha. We are now basically PRO smack players… and war…. and two person monopoly. We do read and study, but days are long when locked inside.
Today we actually went to the two biggest high schools in the city and it was very interesting because they were celebrating the 4th of July. ???  But they are celebrating it today because the 4th is actually a vacation… so I got to go sing the National Anthem as an American, and WOW am I rusty, but I think it went well:) We got to take lots of pics with the students after, HAHA so that was fun.
I LOVE YOU ALL!! Stay awesome!!!!
Elder Hammond

June 18, 2018

So this week we caught up with some new converts to finish up their lesson. We taught Melissa and put a fecha with her and with her friend Ericka to both be baptized, so that will be an excellent way to end the cambio, with two more baptisms!

So answers to some of your questions: Sunday meetings are pretty interesting. The ward here is AMAZING!!! The bishop is the main reason, he is a great leader and very loyal this ward. He loves to help and always calls us to come help members – which we love, so we are really close to him! The rest of the ward members are very Bolivian. They don’t seem to really care about church until Sunday comes. We usually start sacrament meeting around 20 people finish it with 150. Not kidding. You used to think our Spanish branch was funny. Then third hour there are like 30 again HAHA, so yeah. That’s some of our challenges. We are working with less actives too, but it’s hard to do here. A lot of hard hearted people, but we keep loving.

When we contact,  basically it is walk and pray at every street corner and if you feel something, you go down the road and knock every door. A lot of times people will answer, but not always. Sometimes we will knock every door and talk to them and EVERY ONE WILL REJECT US. Hahaha. At first when I started the mission it was hard for me, because I would feel like “why would God send me down this road?” and a lot of times I blamed myself for not doing it well enough. NOW I totally understand that A LOT of times, God is just trying us to see if we will be obedient and do what he says. When we have His trust, we can be trusted with the truly GOLD people – in hopes that we don’t mess up their teaching too much.

So the basics on how to contact… knock the door. Then when they open, just start talking and then I just always keep the person talking by asking questions, always maintaining eye contact.  Then I quickly introduce myself and at this point, through the questions I should have already gotten a NEED to focus on, and so we launch in and share a two min message focused on that need. Could be family, money, something like that. Then, we immediately ask for another cita. It works well for me, and I enjoy it although most missionaries hate touching doors. Most people get pretty annoyed when they see us, so I like joking around and using that so they will let their guard down to us. Haha I usually start with some self-deprecating joke about how we are ugly or something like that. People here, in general are pretty mean, but I kinda like it – at least they are honest. If people were nice there wouldn’t be nearly so many funny moments! HAHAA

Also it kind of helps being white, because I have different color eyes. Everyone notices and are always asking if they are real … so it’s a nice opener. I am pretty tall here and I will definitely  miss that when I get home, haha, because I am gonna be short again, but, humility is good.

Other ways we do contacting is talking in the street, but that doesn’t work too much because not many people are actually from our area. We do play chess in the plaza still and I am getting better! I haven’t lost in like two weeks now to a random player. We also play in the pension during lunch, and the husband actually played professionally and we are now even- It’s so fun. I seriously love thinking and miss school so much  :)))

I love you all and miss you all!!! I am woking hard to be wothy of returning home with honor and can’t wait to be back with you guys!! LOVE YOU!!!

Elder Hammond

June 4, 2018

HELLLLLLLLLLOOOOOOOO everyone!!!

My week was very fast. haha

Tuesday we had a conference with Pure missionaries and it was great. It went really well and learned some insight about the creation- President is super smart. We had a pretty gross lunch and then many of us just puked it all up that night. Basically from Tuesday night to Saturday night I was just sick:))) But we still managed to keep it positive and watch some church movies and talked a lot. I haven’t just laid in bed for LONGGG time, so even though I couldn’t really get up…I guess that was nice? :)))
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At a recent conference President had taught about the importance of taking time to be alone. He also taught that feeling lonely means you are being more like Jesus Christ. We read quite a bit from Pres Hinckley’s talk about the Solitary Leader. It was GREAT. The assistants also talked about being leaders and our responsibilities – a pretty powerful class.
We have a baptism on Saturday! Milena is her name and she is 18 and the best. She is one of the most prepared investigators I have ever met, she is awesome.
We are loving the Lord and loving the work here in Quillacollo!
I realize that the time is starting to fly by and I don have much left, but I will be working as hard as I can to be ready to give an account of my work here.
We just found out that we stay together – both of us leave to go home at the next transfer, so thats FUN! I am PUMPED to finish here and be with Farro until the end:)
I love you all!
Elder Hammond

 

May 28, 2018

HEY EVERYONE!

This week was actually pretty predictable.
Tuesday we had meetings and mostly talked about finances. Farroan and I are on the financial counsel with president- we really just spend lots of time thinking of ways to spend less money.
Wedensday we had an intercambio with elder Ortolano! IT WAS SO FUN! We taught some great lessons. He is a great elder, and a total goof, so we were laughing the whole day.
Thursday we went to the clinic with an old lady investigator to help her get to surgery. He kids are in Spain so we basically are their replacements, but it went well and she is fully recovering:))
Friday was a normal day. We did some service by painting and made furniture for the pension, which was super fun! I have missed building things with drills and my hands HAHA it was awesome- very fun service:))
Saturday we went to do some visits and lessons. Birthday of the pensionista, so we helped to celebrate.
Domingo, we went to some converts Farroñan taught and they cooked for us, it was SUPER YUMMY!!!
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This week we also got interviewed by media for the South American Games going on here in Cochbamba. The games started this week and it’s been really fun to see everyone coming in! A ton of random other nations’ people are here and is pretty cool to see. We have been talking to them and we shot some hoops with the Columbian girls bball team. They WRECKED US at PIG. HAHHAHA This one chick made 10 3s from the NBA line. It was so awesome.
A pretty great week, but just normal:)))
LOVE YOU ALL!!!
Elder Hammond

May 7, 2018

HELLLOOO everyone!! m

My week was a bit crazy. We did a lot of administrative stuff…  money stuff, moving stuff, contract stuff, but even some actual church stuff 🙂

On Tuesday we did a move and went to Cochabamba twice for contracts and furniture. That was really fun -we took lots of needed naps in the taxis throughout the week!! (a taxi to Cocha is about an hour) so, it was pretty chill in between lifting workouts moving furniture.
Wednesday we went to an event with President. We had a meeting with the different stake presidents in Cochabamba. Basically, Farro & I are the oldest missionaries in the mission and we are together, so we get to help out with some different duties and have some fun special time with president. We get to go to some meetings for him and help out with stuff like that. We also get some funny calls from president that always start, “you guys have more time here than I do, what do you think?”
Thursday- we had interviews with the zone with president. Hermana Montoya brought us cookies, so that was yummy. We did another move, so that was basically all the day.
Friday we had a meeting with the zona and with the DLs. We taught a class about not falling for the traps of satan, and not being followers. It was a really spiritual class and I really liked the direction it went. We actually taught a TON of lessons Friday afternoon, including a family where only one kid is a member and the other elders had always tried to teach the parents but they were very cold. We went to meet them and it went SUPER WELL…and THEN we smelled smoke and the house next door was ON FIRE so we ran in and tried to help put it out! I had never been more adrenalined up than that night!! it was nuts! just running in and helping try to save people and the house- it was intense. I guess the mom was very drunk and had left the stove on and then passed out. When we came in with Duan ( the kid who is a member who is going on the mission) we carried her out and it was nuts. We helped put the fire out and secure everything. Then the police came and we had some fun questioning. HAAHHA It was pretty funny calling Estes (who is the assistant now) to report in and tell him about it HAHAHA
Sat— We had some citas with a new family and with Victor. They went really well and we got some new references.
Domingo- we really didn’t have that much time to work in our area this week and we were pretty bummed to go to church because we were worried that not many people would come. AND THEN we walked in and 4 people were already there! A family of investigators came, and then in the end 7 investigators were there for meetings. IT WAS AWESOME! We had a great day!!
It was a great week. We are a bit tired and ready to skype for Mother’s Day:)))))))))) WHOOOOOOOOO
I love you all! Be examples of Christ in everything!! love ya!!!
Elder Hammond