Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Rain rain, you can stay if you want to

WHADDUP I hope everyone is healthy and happy!

SO if you haven´t guessed, it rained a lot this past week. It doesn´t usually rain too hard though, so i just put on my little windbreaker and bust out my umbrella and we work normally. It did rain when we were leaving to go grocery shopping though which was exciting cause we had our bags and it was coming down pretty nice. Fun times. The rain is a nice break cause the air is real cool and it feels good to be outside. It looks like we might get more of it this next week too. Life of a missionary, right?

Also real fun this week, I got my first 24-hour bug. I ate a little cake thing before bed on Tuesday (i bought it at a legit store, it was packaged, all the good normal stuff) and idk what happened cause I woek up in the middle of the night feeling preeeeetty stellar. We stayed in that day and I spent most of it in bed pretty wiped. Since then, I´ve been eating basically normal (a bit less than usual - blessing in disguise?) and have been hurting a bit stomach-wise every once in a while but its all good. That´s just how the cookie crumbles sometimes, especially for the Gingos.

Also fun story from my week- so we have this investigator named Gloria. About 50 years old, real nice and sincere lady, reading the scriptures, doing well, all that. I think i told you a bit about her last week. So she had been having some issues with the Law of Chastity; she has a boyfriend that she really likes and all but she feels really awful after shes with him, like can´t look her kids in the eyes bad. So we talked about repentance and the Atonement and all the blessings that God has given us to get rid of these feelings. She starts to light up. She gets all pumped up and breaks up with the dude. Awesome. She is happy. Dude gets mad, thinks shes leaving him for someone else, all that. But she´s fine. Fast forward about 4 days, we went with a memebr to go visit her and talk to her and make sure her spirits were up one night. She syas all is well, shes reading the scriptures and staying away frmo the dude. Perfect. She´s happy. We leave. The next day, she calls us and said that while we were talking the night before, the boyfriend was HIDING IN THE BUSHES LISTENING. After we left, he got up and banged on the door and was all yelling your leaving me for these kids blah blah blah and shes freakin out. Her 25 year old son comes home, sees him yelling, knows hes talking about us and that were good normal people, and starts beating up the dude. They are all fighting and stuff (by this time the neighbors are all watching and up in on this) and Gloria gets the chance to leave and call the cops and they take him away and she filed a suit against him. so yeah, preeeeetty freaking awesome stuff. Satan is working hard on Gloria, but she is a stalwart and awesome. Shes really getting a testimony of the Book of Mormon. Its really special to be a part of her conversion.

So yeah thats my fun stuff for the week. I hope everyone is doing great and i miss you all! Keep up the prayers for Zipa and me. Hopefully my next letter will include Belén´s baptism!

I love you all!

Elder Frat (close, but no cigar)


Howdy y´all, from the Colombiaaaaaaaa

I hope all is well. I dont have much time today so im gonna update you on some little stuff and our stats here and have to write more next time. LETS ROLL

- 30 - 40 attendance weekly
- 7 active Melch Priesthood holders (this is real tough when we need people to accompany us to lessons with women because we can´t enter a house without a man over 18 yeras old there)
- chapel house thing, two stories, some classrooms, nice and cozy

- Belén: about 45 years old, real nice lady, super funny but also super prepared for the gospel. The elders here before were kinda teaching her daughter and then my first day here we met here more and she gained some interest and weve been teaching her. Her husband just got in a motorcycle accident (he was driving buzzed, like a dumb person) and is hurt kinda bad so we havent been able to teach her in a week or so, but we still pass by and talk. she really likes the church and the book of mormon and the gospel in general. Pray for her to complete her Apirl 27th baptismal date!
- William: about 40 years old. found him on the street here and dude has had some hard times with his parents dying and stuff and is ready for teh message. has attended church 2 times, including both sessions of conference on sunday (all 4 hours like a champ) but he is super busy during the week and never has his phone on so its gonna take a miracle to prep him for his baptismal date, also April 27th
- Jaider: about 22 years old. dating a less active lady, likes the teaching of the church and stuff but theyre living together and not married and he has some smoking problems hes working on quiting and stuff. but hes a real cool guy and we like talking with him and everything. his fiance is kinad nuts sometimes but shes friendly as well and likes us (i think? haha) they are planning to get married in ÇMay and he has a baptismal date for the 18th of May!

We have a few others who are really close to bapstismal dates and all, but its just a goal. the real thing is that they are learning and progressing. We are doing a lot of work to get the ball rolling in this city, there hasnt been a baptism since November. Pray for the work here!

- members/investigators who have seen spirits here: 3 (and some real sketchy stories too, man. crazy crazy stuff)
- we have a cute old man in the branch named Gabriel and he is like 60 or 70 but he comes to do visits with us sometimes (on his bike becasue theyre far - he is so precious) and he is the nicest and cutest old man ever. you can like help him with the tiniest thing and he´ll be like "thank you tahkn, so kind" and he always gives us fruit juice and lets us use his bathroom (cause our house is far from where most of our appointments are) whenver we leave he gives us this big "i hope you are good and everything goes well and the god blesses you" speech and its the best. He´s my favorite ever.
- we tried talking to our Italin landlord and giving him an italian Book of Mormon that we picked up in the Distribution Center by the temple one day and he was smoking at the time he goes (in mixed italian, spanish, and english) "NO NON NO NO. Jesus is a drug, church is a drug. I dont want that kind of drug, i like this kind of drug" afterwhich, he takes a biiiig deep breath of his cigarette and blows the air like in our face. It was sooo hard not to laugh. Idk rejections dont really make me feel bad, most of the time theyre jsut really funny.
- we rang a doorbell of a reference and a dude in a towel comes up to the door. he was real friendly adn really open to hearing our message. we talked for like 5 or 10 minutes, got his number and passed the reference to the other missionaries in Bogotá (where he lives). real nice guy, albeit in a towel.

Gotta go but I LOVE YOU ALL and i hope you are all happy and healthy. keep doing work and being good people and cool. PEACE 

Elder Prak (some of the people here have trouble with my name)

Tuesday, April 9, 2013


i picked up a yo yo from another missionary so thats the title this week. ahhhhh yeahhhhhh

WHATS UP??? (early apologies for my typos and stuff this week, the computer im using has a real bad keyboard and also the keyboard is a US keyboard and the computer thinks its a spanish one so its kinda confused and some of the buttons are in different places and all that jazz)
I hope lif is going well for eveyone and y`all are happy and healthy. I heard a tiny bit about the stuff going down in North Korea and a bit in the US with it all. STAY SAFE OR ILL GET MAD AT YOU.
Some real exciting stuff happened this past week, including but not limited to General Conference (which was BOMB as always, especially when you´re watching it with investigators next to you who have baptismal dates and the speaker says something super useful for them and you´re just like ahhhh yeahhhhh modern revelationnnnnn), lots of walking and talking, SPANISH, and teaching various things to people other than the gospel. 

This week, Elder Sanahuano and I helped teach a girl algebra (simplification of multitermed expressions or something like that, it was all in spanish). First I had to remember how to do the problems after not having taken a math class in about 3 years. then i had to solve the problems. then I had to try to teach it to her (aka to my comp). Then my comp would explain it again with better grammar and vocab. TRUE LIFE: she is real bad at math so it was really hard, like she was having trouble with stuff like dividing 10 by 2 and stuff. shes like 15 or something. it was fun though, I miss math and logic and stuff. a good refresher. Also I have taught my compa dn a lot of other people a bit of english. I am working a lot with my comp on pronunciation and accent. he has a decently large vocab and understands pretty well, but his pronunciation is rough and his accent is pretty thick. usually its just easier to understand when he speaks to me in spanish, but he wants to learn so we´re practicing. hes helping my a lot with my spanish so hopefully were gonna both be legit bilingual after our companionship is over.

Remember I said I was having a problem getting full and stuff? well i fuond a pretty killer solution: OATMEAL. I DO WORK on a massive bowl of oatmeal every morning and sometimes at night too before bed. Im still pretty hungry during the day sometimes, but we´re working it out. Im just slimming up my fat curves, right? Also fish and i are getting to have a real nice relationship. I eat fish a lot and while i wasnt a huge fan before my mission, with my hunger fish and i are getting to be real friendly together. I daresay i like fish now. Also, chicken foot soup. Thats a fun one. I couldnt do it my first time, it was too weird. I could like feel the chickens thoughts and stuff. but the second time I got it i was really hungry and now its all good. chicken feet are only mostly weird to eat now.

Conference was super cool and real nice. there were some money talks and the choirs were real nice too, since it was like the best quality music ive heard in the past two months. a real treat. Conference choir shout out to KIKI HENDERSON and CORTNEY BREWERTON, i totally flipped a biscuit when i say you guys on the tele. (also a bunch of other i saw around campus a lot but dont really know) but man was it cool to see you guys. also Richard G. Scott translates and prerecords his own talks and they play ithe recording during the conference instead of having a translator. STUD.(and did i hear steve lang get called as an area 70?)

i dont have any more time today but i love you all and hope youre all doing well and READ THE BOOK OF MORMON cause its awesome and especially the chapters with Alma and AMulek. killer missionaries, powerful teachers, and great lessons. Get all up on the Book of Mormon, its really really special. also the teachings of Alma to his son Helaman around chapter 36 to 38. Money.

Keep on keepin on!

Elder Pratt

Friday, April 5, 2013

First area - Zipaquirá!

whaddup y`all? I am in my first area! It is CRAZY.

So the city I´m in is called Zipaquirá, it´s about an hour or so north of Bogotá. It is real cool. Its like a normal city, but like pretty ghetto. Like messed up streets and sidewalks, a lot of busted up buildings, all the buildings are brick or cement, a ridiculous amount of free roaming dogs, all that good stuff. Its real fun. For the most part, the people are super friendly and nice and alwasy greet us in the street and stuff. I get a lot of stares and everything because I´m the only white person in the entire city or surrounding communities, much less that I have red hair and I´m about a head taller than everyone else. Oh yeah and I wear a white shirt and tie and have a nametag. But its fun. My comp`ss name is Elder Sanahuano, and he`s from a suburb of Cali, Colombia. He is deffy not white and speaks a bit of english, but for the most part my life is totally in Spanish. He wants to learn English though so I have been helping him a lot with vocab and pronunciation and all that good stuff. His Spanish is pretty easy to understand because his mom`s family is mostly countryfolk so he talks nice and slow. `ve been learning all these fancy Colombian phrases so I seem more legit and all that jazz. Its pretty tough, especailly since (as I have learned) I`m a visual learner so I like to see a word spelled out when I hear a new one, but I`m trying to change.

In our first week here, we picked up a few new investigators and some even have commited to baptism! We are working hard and a lot and already seeing some fruits. The hard part right now is taht Zipaquirá is kinda big and there are a lot of people, so it was two areas. Yesterday, though, the other two missionaries left to go to their real missions in Mexico (they were waiting for visas) so now at least for the next 5 weeks, it`s just Elder Sanahuano and I here. It`s a lot of ground to cover, but we`re pumped.

I really like that we get an hour each morning for personal study, its been real nice. I really like to read nowadays and I love getting to learn more and more, for my knowledge and my testimony. I have been trying to read the Book of Mormon in Spanish and sometimes It`s pretty tough to understand, but I usually get whats going on. I just need to learn the random scripture vocab and stuff. My Spanish has been getting a lot smoother and I`m understanding more and more every day. Elder Sanahuano says my spanish is the best he`s heard of any new gringo. I take it as a huge compliment, but until I can understand everything that`s going on, I`m gonna be frustrated haha. Someday that`ll happen, and I hope its not too far away.

Food here is delish. Super rich and tasty. The only problem is I eat a lot (and fast), especially for a person my size. So sometimes, I kinda struggle to get full (but dont worry I eat enough and I need to learn to not fatten myself up too). The other elders always laugh when we`re eating cause I eat so fast and so much. So sue me. I`m like 30 punds more than them, I should eat more than them anyway haha.

I hope everything is going well back home and I miss you all! Keep me and my comp in your prayers, you all are in mine!

Love, Elder Pratt

PS if you want to send me letters but dont want to email me or whatever and dont care if i dont get the letter for a few weeks, check out DearElder.com. they send letters to the mission homes for free (i think) and its cool.