Tuesday, April 18, 2017

APRIL 17, 2017: WEEK 25

Êlder Tracy comin´ at ya from Cúcuta, Colombia! 

CUCUTA, Colombia

I passed the Holy Week here, and all the people here on Thursday and Friday were walking the seven churches. I guess it is a tradition here. Also they just recently built a big statue of Christ carrying his cross. I'll get a picture with it soon! Cool week.

Preparation Day Bowling

Elder Tracy side of the road in Cucuta, Colombia

So my ward is called Atalaya. There are four of us here in this ward, we share it with the Hermanas (Sisters) Juàrez, y Arias. We live about five minutes walking from the chapel so we are in a cool spot for now.

The Family Benitez is my first one here! They are like sixteen people who gather together in one house to listen to us. Six of them are actually Benitez, the rest are neighbors. The Benitez dad is less active and he passed us the reference of his family. Awesome. The picture of me holding green birds is in their house, and also the one where there is a ton of people in the picture.

The Family Obregón. They are cool too, they live in a part of my area called Los Estoraques, but I call them the projects. It is basically like that, super poor and super full of people who want to hear the gospel. The problem is they are like about an hour from the chapel walking, but they still came to church! (Took a taxi, and my companion then made me pay for it.) So I guess there wasn't too much faith involved.

I was in a lesson with the Obregòn family, and in the middle a lady walked in. We started again and taught her also, and at the end of it she told us that she loved it, and that as we were teaching she felt something special, and wanted to come to church with us. She has been searching for the true church all of her life. She told us also that she was just sitting in her house, but felt an urge to leave and come to their house. Well she is in luck because she found the truth!

My Companion Élder Berrú is pretty fun, and I hope that we will be able to change this area. There has not been a baptism since October, and before that I think since March. So in one year they have had one baptism. We will see what happens.

Cúcuta to explain it a little bit, is basically like the game --  Hill Climb. You just keep going up and then down and then up these GIANT hills. My feet hurt so bad after just six days, I can't wait to be here for the next four and a half months. And everybody is always in motorcycles. It's so crazy. I feel like I'm gonna get hit by somebody like every thirty seconds (because we also walk in the street because the sidewalks are garbage).

My testimony this week is over The resurrection. A scripture I found that I really liked this week is in 2nd Tesalonicenses 3:16

2 Thessalonians 3:16

Now the Lord of peace himself give you peace always by all means. The Lord be with you all.

The Lord of Peace. It is a cool time to be a missionary, and I have been trying to help others learn about His resurrection, and how we can change through Him. We may have sinned, or we may have not cared about God before, or actually tried to keep His commandments, but that all changes when we just start to have faith. Because He lives, we will live also. Because He lives, we can be healed. I know it is true and that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the only true church on the face of the earth. It isn't that the rest are all wrong, but that they are incomplete, neglecting all the truths of his gospel. I baptized a catholic priest here, so that's also been a great testimony builder. Christ lives, so why focus on the cross? Focus on making our lives be what matters, not any other object, or thing. He lives. 

I am going strong in the mission, and I'm loving every minute of it.  PLEASE WRITE ME PEOPLE, I AM SOOOOOO BORED during my writing time. 

My email address is connor.tracy@myldsmail.net!

Élder Connor Tracy

Sunday, April 16, 2017

APRIL 11, 2017: Week 24 (Cúcuta!)

I just got transferred to Cucuta, Colombia. 

I'm with. . . Ëlder Berrú, from Piura, Perú. 

My ward is Atalaya, and it is very hot in comparison to Bogotá. 

I had a fun last week in Cedros just taking pictures with people to say goodbye, and also having lunch and dinner every day was really nice.

de una to the testimony

I know the church is true. I will strengthen it here in Cúcuta just like I did in Bogotá. I am super excited to finally get transferred. I love the work of the Lord, even though it is hot as HECK here. Good luck to the other dudes from my group who got transferred. See ya!

Élder Tracy

Friday, April 7, 2017

APRIL 3, 2017: WEEK 23

APRIL 3, 2017

I actually did go to Monserrate this time!

I walked up, and it took about 30 minutes with tons of breaks because we went up with the Hermanas (Hermana Melo and Hermana Acuero). It was super hard and in the path there were some wild llamas. Weird. Then once we got to the top just found a TON of white people. I haven't spoken that much English in 6 months. I found a girl who started talking to us from Dayton, Ohio, who knows Jansen Morby (a guy from my home Stake) which was weird. Cool experience though.

Anyway, this week we had some pretty cool experiences. I was walking up in the mountains, and we came up on this dude named Jainer. He told us that he served in the army for 2 years and that he's willing to learn from us. He's got his wife, and he's 25. He is from La Guajira or something like that. Cool.

I want to share a quick story!  Whenever my comp, Aguilar II came into the area, in the first week, 8 families dropped us. It just demoralized me so much, but now I'm feeling better than ever, because the families that dropped us, we could free up our time to really focus on finding new people, and it´s happened! 

I´ve been thinking a lot also on how to improve my blog. It gets kinda hard when you have been out for so long and you just get kinda bored of writing. I think I'll just shorten these up with less stuff that happens in the week, and take more pictures! But I still don't know. I'm sorry if I've been boring these last couple of weeks.

My testimony this week is still about #PrinceofPeace. The peace that the Lord gives us transcends anything we will experience in this world. Alma the Younger described it like this Alma 38:8

And it came to pass that I was three days and three nights in the most bitter pain and anguish of soul; and never, until I did cry out unto the Lord Jesus Christ for mercy, did I receive a remission of my sins. But behold, I did cry unto him and I did find peace to my soul.

He found peace to his soul! These messages are true, and I just love learning more about the Lord. There are times when we feel down, or out of the game. I've even felt that way in the mission, but there's somebody who will listen. It's Him! The prophet testified of Him, and the apostles witnessed of Him, and we had a very special opportunity to have these same things revealed unto us in these modern days through a living prophet, and apostles. It was a very sweet opportunity that we had to listen to them during LDS General Conference.

Ronald A. Rasband's talk gave me the most to think about. He spoke about first promptings. Joseph Smith said about them that if you ask on them 9-10 you'll get it right. I was in the bus today, and there was a man who kept looking at my missionary tag. He looked, and then looked again, and then looked again. I dismissed it, but about 5 minutes later I felt a prompting to talk to him, but now I didn't know how to talk to him! I prayed for help, and just tapped him on the shoulder. I asked about his job, and the bus route we were taking. I asked for direction to get to Monserrate, and a little woman that was standing very near to us began to talk to me. She gave us some advice, and so then I started talking with her also. Her uncles are Mormon. She knew a lot about the church but didn't really feel interested. At the end of the day, I got her phone number and address, and the man who I first talked to slipped away. But, the Lord worked in a mysterious way today. I felt so prompted to talk to this man that I started a conversation in a bus jam packed full of people. and it ends up the girl standing next to him was the one I needed to talk to. The Lord knows his sheep. John 10:16

I have experiences like that often, but for some reason or another I don't write them, but I'm going to be a better missionary in the field, and out of it. Pray unto the Lord, and he will give you this peace, this guidance, and these promptings. Watch General conference talks over again, and learn more from these inspired words of God. 

Next week I'll write better! See ya nerds

Élder Tracy