Sunday, March 24, 2013

CCM week 5

hey yall. greetings from the CCM, week 5. heres how my life has been:

So like I said, i got a latin compainion here for these last two weeks in the CCM and im in a Latin district too. its super hard, but also makes me like super pumped when i know everything thats going on and have succesful social interactions with the latins. My comps name is Elder Constan D´Montreuil and he is from Lima, Peru (grandpa is french). he speaks zero english, has a thick accent, talks fast and quite, and is literally the most shy person I have ever met in my entire life. It took him about 2 days to say anything to anyone but me, and only in the past two or three days have i started to break his shell and get him to open up to me. its been pretty rough during teaching and stuff too since I know how to teach (or at least am more familiar than he is), but he is so shy he wont hardly say anything. but we´re improving. He is headed to Ecuador at thde end of this next week while I´ll be up in Bogota North with a bunch of the Latins from this group. Good times.

Also fun fact about Constan, he has three older sisters who have met and married guys from the States from an LDS dating site, and only one of those guys speaks good spanish and none of his sisters really speak english. So basically the best story ive ever heard.

- i think every missionary goes through a Job Phase, where they start feeling like their life sucks and read the book of Job and stuff. (tis is not a cry for help- i am not in my job phase)
- Someday I hope my spanish allows me to speak my thoughts, not just make me think dumber thoughts
- the most annoying thing about movies that´re supposed to be in english but are dubbed in spanish is not the mouths not matching, but the laughing and baby giggles that people do. the dubbed people do them to and it is in fact
 extremely uncomfortable.
- retainer-wearing Alex sounds like a bolivian (shout out to the two people who read this and understand what I mean)
- i was playing basketball the other day and guarding my friend Elder Wilkerson who is 6´6" and he went up for a layiup real fast and my arm was there and my elbow hit his head real hard and he had to get stitches. it was real sad but also crazy awesome. he is tough and doesn´t hate me, don´t worry.

This has been a ripe week for DoppleLatins. we have seen the following come through:
- drew barrymore mixed with kelly clarkson
- my cousin megan baker (holla) mixed with a Bratz doll
- Grandmother Willow, from Pocahontas
- Jake Gyllenhall (less hot)
- David Blaine
- Tom Hanks
- A near perfect mix of Frodo and Sam (but it is a kid from the States)
- Ted mosby (also kid from the states)

I love you all and miss you! keep being cool and I will try to speak spanish done gooder than i done do right now.

The only ginger in 300 miles,
Elder Pratt

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Still in the CCM; playing the piano

WHAAdduppp. This week was super weird - exciting and lame at the same time haha.

So remember how I said i was for sure leaving the MTC earlier than the 6 week time? well about an hour after I wrote that, I learned that not only would I not be leaving (and all of the Elders from the US who were in my district would still be leaving), but I would be joining a Latin district here in the CCM instead of the other US district. They only got here 2 weeks ago and their spanish is still pretty rough around the edges so I wouldn´t have gotten too much better, so President is putting my with a Latin companion in a Latin district. He is supposed to arrive this afternoon. I am crazy nervous and stressing but I´m also excited. My Spanish is going to get a heck of a lot better. It will have to hahaha.

Also in this past week, I got asked by some of the Hermanas (sister missionaries) to play piano for them to sing with in church for sunday. I guess they liked what they heard when I had to play prelude music for one of our meetings and asked me to play for them. They snag an arrangement of the song "If the Saviour Stood Beside Me" and it was an easy piano part but really fun to play cause its such a pretty song. I messed up once or twice during the performance in church, but I played it off (pun absolutely intended) well and kept rolling along. Since thats definitely the hardest thing for me to do, I was pretty proud of myself. Boom shaka-laka. I am a real pianist now I guess. ALSO I FINISHED PLAYING THROUGH THE HYMN BOOK AND I AM PRIDEFUL ABOUT THAT FACT.

This past week we got to go through the temple 2 more times. That place is seriously the best. I love it so much. The stress of learning everything here in the CCM gets to you some times, but the temple just reminds you why yours out here and that you have some pretty big support teams upstairs. Good stuff, yo. Good stuff.

I have developed a theory that everyone has a Latin twin (although difficult to know which one is the evil twin). There are just too many people in the world to not have duplicated of faces and stuff, just with some different colors. so far I have met many, including but not limited to Ben Stiller, one of my old district buddies cousins, and Greg Wells (shout out to FV2). when lucky, they even have the same personalities. I am thinking of coining the term "DoppleLatin" (name still in progress).

Anyways, thats about all the time I have this week. I hope everyone is doing well back home and life is treating you well. I appreciate all of the loves, thoughts, and prayers that come my way. You are in mine.

Life here is PUES ENFERMO, (search the words separately or it wont make sense)

Elder Pratt

P.S. Also, I´m sorry if I don´t write people back. We only get a half hour to email on our p-day and I don´t have much time. I promise I read every letter that comes through though. So if I dont respond to you I still love you, I just type and think slowly.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

"cabin fever makes everything more funny"

howdy y´all! I hope everything is great in the United States because Colombia is quite swell. 

For the past week, they have given us an hour to get out of the CCM grounds/cage/wonderfulness? to go try to talk to people and practice spanish and stuff. Its pretty hard to just find people to talk to, especially since none of us knows many regular-world-small-talk words and i am awful at small talking in any language. That said, we definitely get some help from on high and have had some pretty stellar conversations. Most of them end up turning to be about Churchy stuff pretty quickly since we are a bunch of tall white kids (and my red hair) wearing suits and name-tags and carrying scriptures and all that jazz. Also since its mostly the only words we know. But oh well, its why I´m here, isn´t it? this past week though we have been out 5 times and have gotten to talk to 5 people in depth about the Gospel and out purpose as missionaries. It is really amazing. We can just bump into a random person in the park or on the street and end up talking to the for a half hour and bearing testimony to them and them bearing testimony to us. It is so great to hear about their love and belief in God and then sharing with them that they can learn more about God and Jesus Christ through the Book of Mormon and our Church. We have gotten some phone numbers from them to pass on to the local missionaries to really teach them, and who knows, i might get to teach some of them since they are in my mission. That would be amazing. 

The rest of my distritc has been in MTCs (here and/or Provo) for 5 weeks now so even though I have only done 3 of my 6, I will prob head out next tuesday to the field. I feel ready as far as teaching goes- there are always things to improve but i feel confident that I could hold my own- and my spanish is getting pretty good, I just get stressed out when people talk to me really fast and can´t understand ahha. But that´ll come in time with practice. I am really excited to get out there and serve the Lord and try to bless peoples lives! 

Also exciting, this past week in our big MTC Sacrament Meeting, I got called on to give a 5ish minute talk/message/testimony thing. I think it went pretty well, especially since it was in Spanish and I could see heads nodding in understanding. Man I love that approval haaha. 

During my time in the MTC, I have been using my extra half hour after lunches and dinners to play piano and I made a goal to play through every hymn in the spanish hymn book. I have abpout 5 or 6 days left to go and have made it through 187 of the 209. I LOVE PIANOS. We arent allowed to really listen to our ipods of church music, let alone other "worldly" music here in the CCM and I am really getting to miss good music. All kinds of good music. AHHADFadsnfaosidnfasdifa. those were key types of frustration. next week once i can get all up on my church music in the field. 

One of the Elders in my district, Elder Cutler, can be pretty crazy too and we get kinda crazy with random games to combat cabin fever and its basically the best thing every. a few days ago he tried to do a standing long jump up the stairs and cleared a solid 6 stairs (incredible talent) and totally ripped an 8 in hole in the crotch of his suit pants. It was top 5 one of the funniest experiences in the past year of my life, hands down. (Don´t worry, they´ll be fine, and if not suits are cheap here) 

If life feels hard, read DC 122 and think about all the rough times Joseph Smith and Emma Smith went through, in every aspect of their lives. Then remember the promise in the last verses of the section. We are not forgotten, we will be protected, and it is for our experience. That there´s some sweet and simple doctrine. 

The Church is true, God is great, and I love Colombian food. I love you all! 

Elder Pratt

Saturday, March 2, 2013


Hey y´all! Life in Colombia is crazy but awesome!

Two new elders arrived last Wednesday night from 3 weeks in the Provo MTC, Elder Staley from So. Utah and Elder Frehner from Las Vegas. They´re both super fun to be around, which is good cause after this past wednesday, the three of us are companions! Their spanish is alright but we all are getting better each day. We taught our first lesson today as a companionship and its kinda weird keeping three people involved, especially when our none of our spanish is super great, but its exciting and is making us all better teachers.

This past week was pretty insane. soooooo much stuff happened. The Latin missionaries who arrived the same day as me in the CCM (about 60) left and the next group of missionaries (about 120) arrived. things here are so crowded its kinda out of control. This is the most amount of people they´ve housed here, so stuffs kinda ridic, but its also really exciting. plus a new district of about 8 gringos arrived fresh from the states which is always funny to watch, especially when they can´t find their way around nor ask for any help because they can´t talk to anyone haha. Baby steps, right?

This week my spanish has gotten really good. If i am a bit more patient, i can basically say whatever i want with correct grammar. A good thing since im prob headed to the field in 2 weeks. I´m getting a lot better at teaching and speaking during lessons, which just allows me to be able to really feel what i say which lets the Spirit do the converting. Its really a wonderful feeling when you can teach someone about something and try to help their life become better. There is nothing else in the world like it.

We got to go to the temple twice this past week and do some service there which was amazing as well. its really exciting and hard to have everything is spanish. it was also fun to see everything i had learned.

Also i went to the immigration office to register my visa and stuff. 1 hour in a government building and line. I believe that is a new world record.

Sarcasm gets me through the stress and my friends get my through the rest. This place is wonderful.

I dont have anymore time to write but things are great here and im having a blast. The Church is true, the Spirit is powerful, and I love Heavenly Father. He tryuly blesses our lives daily, we only need to stop and recognize the blessings we receive.

Hugs (long distance ones are mission-appropriate) and kisses (still waiting on word if long distance kisses are okay),

Elder Pratt