4am at the Spokane Airport, 2 Dec 2013
After three plane rides I got to Bogotá, went to the home of the mission president, and spent the night there with some new missionaries. The next day we had a training that lasted all day. That night I was put on a bus and went for a little, 10 hour bus ride to Bucaramanga. I'm in an area called La Cumbre so named for the many hills and mountains.
My legs look great.
Life is pretty good. I was a little stressed out my second day in Colombia but I feel fine now. The stress was a result of lots of little things: like not having a lot of sleep, not being able to understand anyone or have anyone understand me (which I knew was going to happen but it still wasn't fun) not having the right kind of money, not having a hot shower or even a warm shower--but at least I have a shower. One day this week I didn't work so I had to bathe out of a bucket.
In case you're worried, Mom, I haven't been robbed yet . Although three people tried. I'm kidding, Mom. That was just to scare you. Only one person has tried to rob me... ok no one has tried to rob me.
The bread here is really good. That is because it's made out of the whitest flour I have ever seen, so I probably should not eat too much of it. Bogota is not 3rd world at all. The showers there are nice, the houses are nice, and you can drink out of the tap. I can't do that here. I boil my water. Everything here is bought in bags, like bags of milk and bags of yogurt. (Although you can buy soda in bottles.) Whenever we go to people's houses, they offer us juice which is pretty nice.
I'm able to participate in lessons which is awesome. I feel like the Lord is really helping me with the language.
My first day here, we went contacting and I went with a native speaking elder. We to a park and were giving out a pamphlets. I let my native comp lead the way. He pointed to a person and said that we were going to go talk to him. While we were walking over there, I thought that the guy looked a little too white to be a native Colombian. It turned out that he was British. We did the lesson in English. So my first lesson here in Colombia was in English.
It turned out that the guy was an atheist and was there to be part of a protest that was about to happen over coffee. He was a coffee farmer.
We ended up leaving that area pretty fast because the protest started.
So that is basically the life here.
I'm learning a lot, and my Spanish has gotten loads better through the grace of God. When I'm not in a lesson, I still can't speak all that well, but when we are in a lesson. the spirit comes and all of a sudden I can understand people and they can understand me. It's the most amazing thing.
Elder Rallison and President and Sister Andelin