Colombia Bogota North Mission
September 2016 -- September 2018
November 21, 2016
This week we had Stake Conference, companion exchanges, and other stuff. It was a good week.
We received a reference from other Elders to teach a man named Gilberto. He lived in the United States 30 years and is in a humbling place in his life right now. He is ready to be taught. He also lives with a ton of Jehovah's Witnesses. We have visited once and tried to visit twice. The other two times the Jehovah's Witnesses have tried to Bible bash with us, but we don´t contend with them.
We have been trying to visit the families that have inactive members and try to help. We are also starting to drop people who aren´t progressing, and try to work around areas which are easy for people to receive help or attend church. For example, in a circle around the chapel is an area that is strong, because the people can't have the excuse the chapel is too far away, which is an excuse for others in the far parts of the area.
I am way better than I was when I left at football. And I am adjusting to Micro, which is football on a small court with a super small ball.
]Also, my Spanish is getting way better. I can speak 10x better than I could my first week in the field. Also, there are tons of people who try to speak English in the street with me and invite me to smoke or drink or to help them build a factory or give them money. There are also a lot of people who want to rob me! I wouldn't plan a trip for Bogotá. It is safe from 5 am in the morning to about at night. After that you need cuidado.
I don't really have much else to write, but this week is my first where I've felt like Colombia was normal for me, and that I knew more or less the area. I haven't been having any super big struggles, so this is good also. The Lord has definitely been protecting me.
My testimony this week has been over the Lord's ways compared to our ways.
Isaiah 55:8-9 is a good scripture over this topic. For me, I love my friends and want to be able to talk with them. But just as all of us, the first two years of freedom sometimes is too much for people. I am out serving the Lord while all the others I was acquainted with are making their first, and sometimes biggest mistakes. I am in a more humble place, and I can see a different way of life, and appreciate so much more the United States. We all need to think over our ways, and then his ways. Then, like Lamentations , we need to return to it if we have strayed. It is like in John . If we will live in his way, we will see the benefits and blessings.
I am doing fine, and I'm starting to get a grasp on the language. It sucks being the last one to learn Spanish, but I will get there!
Good luck to Harrisonville in the State match. If we can beat Webb City, we can beat anybody.
Elder Connor Tracy
P.S. Added from email to Connor's Mom.
Here in Bogota people would love to buy all of our stuff. The people here are willing to pay 100 pesos a minute to talk, and the phones are tied to windows or carts in the street, and also there is usually candy on the carts. There are also tons of people who live off of the trash of other people. With carts that they pull themselves that are probably super heavy. Also, another legitimate job is bottle collectors. and the beer here that is most popular is called Poker. The streets have a few dogs, but not too much, and all of the parks have people in them until about 8 pm. After 8 pm, you are going to get robbed if you are walking in a street that doesn't have camera's, guards, or other people in it. But we are working.
For me, I was just thinking how I have lived more of my life baptized than not. My next goal is more endowed than not, and my next more married than not. I have a lot to go until I am where you guys are. I will try to take more pictures. The problem is, if you stop to take them, the ladrones (robbers) will see us and want to steal our stuff. So we don't take many pictures in the streets.
There are people who enter every single panaria, give people candy, and then ask for money. If you touch the candy they'll hurt you or make you pay 1 mil per piece of candy, which is crazy. Or people that pretend or are blind, or have babies who get on the bus service, and get on and off of every bus they can and sing or beg, and hope that people will give them money.
I never give money. I only give the restoration pamphlet if they want something.