Monday, September 30, 2013

my life gets more and more interesting everytime I stop and think about it

It´s true. It´s super weird actually. But also cool I guess haha.

- My camera memory card picked up a virus and it like desstroyed a lot of my photos. We have an investigator here who repairs computers. He offered to take it, suck alllllll the photos that it has ever had and restore them, reformat my memory, then give me the photos back. I ended up scoring some old photos from BYU, including photos from when I had my hair moderately crazy and my dirty old mustache. My comp got a real kick out of that. He said I look really young nowadays hahaha.
- Our investigator who was stuck in open union (or whatever it´s called in english) got separated and is now living with her mom! we have big plans coming up!
- I want all of you to think for a second about how much Mexican food you eat in your life. Yeah. A lot. Now think about how much more you would eat if you spent a semester in college and that was your specialty. Yeah, a lot. Now I want you to think about how I don´t eat like ANY mexican food these days. Think about the emptiness in your life. Think about the hole that exists in your heart. Yeah, it´s large. Now think about the resulted happiness when a really nice lady in the branch makes lunch for the elders and makes taco salad. Yeah, i´m talking beans with ground beef. Cheese. A salad (that isn´t just onions, like many Colombians make). Avocado. Colombian version of Fritos. I almost cried.
- Vanessa, an investigator of ours, came to church this week!!! It was the first time she had been to church in a loooooooong time. Her mom is a member of some 20 30 years who basically never comes to church, her sister just left on a mission, and her grandparents are also members who never come (and have some moderately apostate ideas, like the Holy Ghost is more important than God the Father and Jesus Christ and is the one that commands in all things.... okay maybe super apostate) but they came all together to church! It was basically the best thing ever. We learned this week that she totally has a testimony of like everything and knows a lot, but she is rebellious and is scared of change. She is one of those teenagers who basically just does what she wants, but she is cool. We are hoping to make some good progress this week and get her a baptismal date for the 19th of October. Pray a lot for her!
- Some really sketchy stuff happened here in San Lucho and the legal system is a piece of junkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk and I don´t understand how they make their decisions sometimezzzzzzzzzz but whatevs

So many things I could say about my beloved Colombia these days. But I shall refrain. lol

The scriptures are really cool. Also they are really good for teaching us stuff preeeeetty clearly. Like how the Godhead totally isn´t one person with three names, shapes, and forms, but it is three people with one purpose. If you have doubts, read the New Testament. Or just read Matthew 3 when Jesus is baptized and all three members of the Godhead present themselves in different forms. Or in Acts 7 when Stephen (I don´t remember if he spells it Stephen or Steven or whatever in english. Esteban.), while full of the Holy Ghost, sees God the Father and Jesus Christ at his side. Hmmmm. Interesting, eh? SO this week when some investigators of ours the other day told us that there church taught that they were only one person, we (lovingly and with the Spirit, calm down) helped them understand the truth. It was a nice experience. My comp and I were reading this one talk the other day from the past General Conference (WHICH btw I AM SO EXCITED FOR THIS WEEKEND) where one of the 12 (I shamefully forgot who, was it D. Todd Christofferson??) said that basically the most important truth we need to learn at the start of everthing is the nature of the Godhead, and that was one of the worst things that these days is all confusing. (BTW that talk is like crazy powerful for us as missionaries. Maybe when you heard it, it was just kinda normal, but for us it was like out of control because he explains super plainly like the basics of everyting and many of the things that a lot of people don´t have so clearly these days. read it again from the standpoint of a person with no or a mixed-up understanding of the Godhead.) So yeah. good times, yo.

Oh, also,
I have a formal declaration:
Thank you, that was a formal declaration against spousal abuse.

Um so yeah well I don´t have much esle I can say right now, but I always accept emails, letters mailed by snails, DearElders, and candy. 

I hope life is wonderful and you all are super happy and stuff because life is pretty cool and if you are sad you should stop being sad and think about how God doesn´t want you to be sad. IF that part isn´t super clear, go looking for some of the stuff that he has given you to make you happy. YEAH there is a lot, huh? just remember the lot and forget how sometimes stuff goes against you (or we just think it does because we can´t see the big picture like God does) because the good stuff is almost more plentiful, stronger, and super awesome.


Elmer Praff




Welcome to this weeks email.


- FIRST baptism in San Luis HOLLAAAAAA
- FIRST time I learned how to knit using two knitting needlezzzzz
- FIRST hillside fire while in Bogotá that almost shut down our access to the city (there was crazzzzy traffic on Saturday when we were going to the baptism and we eventually got off the bus and walked down the mountain so we could make it in time. We walked for like almost 2 hours and still got there before the people who stayed on the bus)
- FIRST time I accidentally went to Bogotá Sur because this crazy bus didn´t stop for like 45 minutes and took us like 2 streets outside of our mission limits (don´t worry we already talked to Pres lol)
- FIRST time duing my mission I witnessed an investigator get baptized and not get confirmed the next day (don´t worry it wasn´t our little Daniel - that kid is gold)
- FIRST other thing that I can´t remember but was crazy too

So yeah this week was pretty cool. Daniel is so great. he is only 9 but he is like powerful. this week we were teaching him and his family (who are almost ready to be baptized - pray a lot for Paola!) and he was like totally dominating the world and telling this one guy who was there that he needed to stop drinking and repent if he wanted to get saved and baptized and really repent. also he explained to his mom and grandma during the appointment the difference between the influence of the Holy Ghost and the gift of the Holy Ghost perfectly. HE IS SO GREAT ITS AMAZING. Also his recent-convert grandma is totally teaching me how to knit which is like the second most legit thing of my life. Im totally making a scarf right now.

- This is a formal invitacion to read the lyrics of the hymn, "I Stand All Amazed" and really think about it, not just think about how sometimes the hymn feels like it goes slow or how you sing it like twice a month in sacrament meeting. YEah. I knew your thoughts. But seriously. its soo good. like crazy powerful. Also the song "If the Savior Stood Beside Me" and pay attention to the line at the end of every verse that says, "...if I could see the Savior standing by, watching over me." He is ALWAYS there and ALWAYS watching and ALWAYS ready to help us and stuff. We just need to make sure we are doing our part. 

AND REMEMBER if there is disobedience it is because we don´t understand well enough or have the faith sufficient. Think about that a bit.

My time is short today but thought I´d senbd some pics, some love, and some appreciation. I hope life ins wonderful in (the place where you are)!


Elder Pratt


I am struggling to come up with good titles nowadays

This week was a week of lots of exciting little things. Here is a list of some exciting little things:
- I saw a mall cop on a Segway (or however you spell that) with training wheels. Instead of 2, it had 4
- I ate a burrito from Taco Bell, the second burrito I have had in 7 months.
- We almost had a precious baby dog of one of the members of the branch spend the night in our house but we decided not to - REVELATION cause we learned the next day it wasn´t potty-trained
- My companion has seen Space Jam and we spent like a half hour quoting it (and by a half hour I mean like 5 maybe 10 minutes but they were some spectacular minutes)

This week has also had lots of exciting little things about missionary work. Here is a list of some exciting little things about missionary work:
- We have a couple of investigators (Jair and Sandra) who are totally keeping their commitments with like the readings and pamphlets we leave them and they love the members of the church and ARE ALREADY MARRIED OH MY WORD ITS A MIRACLE they are so great it is like a sweet experience everytime we go teach them. Like how DC 88 says it, we don´t just teach and cool, but we are all spiritually edified.
- We have another investigator who is super cool and her mom just got baptized and her kid is getting baptized this week and she just decided to get separated from her abusive, alcoholic, live-in boyfriend and she is gonna progress more!
- Vanessa, the non-member daughter in a less-active family and sister of a girl in the branch who is leaving on a mission tomorrow, totally found out she has a testimony of the Joseph Smith and the restauration (im not sure if thats how you spell it in english and am embarrassed) and that is like a huuuuuuuge deal. It was a super crazy good visit.

LOVE EVERYONE. stop being haters and judging, yo. if you are going to be judging, do it at home alone on your on time. Read Mark 3:15-17 (I think thats the right reference). Jesus (aka the church and the Gospel) is for the sick, not the people who are perfect. We are all trying to get better, just in different ways soemtimes. Love everyone. I know sometimes its hard, but trying isnt going to hurt. In fact you might actually surprise yourself and love them a tiny bit. Try it. It is like super cool and makes everyone happier, that I know for sure. Help to gather those who maybe dont feel as loved. do something small, even a text or something, to show you are thinking about them and care. I triple dog dare you, so now you can´t back down or I will call you a woosy.


Sincerely, (this is like the 4th time in my life I am ending a letter with sincerely)
Elmer Praff



Saludos from....... San Luis!!! They didn´t transfer me nor my comp so we are still here working in the outskirts of Bogotá. It is hard sometimes because it is a town on the side of the mountain and we basically are hiking all day, but it is an awesome people and we have some great investigators.

- I am reading the New Testament still and am finding some cool scriptures. They are some burried gems here. Also, lots of really funn scriptures. Like Romans Chapter 14 verse 20 that says (I´m translating so the wording might be a bit different), "No destruyas la obra del Señor por causa de la comida." which is really really funny and actually has some uses, which is fun.
- We were standing outside yesterday waiting for a bus to come by and a dog urinated on one of our companions which was just about the funniest thing that has happened in my life.
- As missionaries, we have some rules like we can´t hug people (well women) and stuff like that and you know what, I think that is an absolutely great rule (especially when there are crazy ladies in your ward who come all up in your grill and you need an excuse to get them off and run away). That said, who doesn´t like a little hug now and then? SOLUTION: dogs. not the crazy dogs in the street, but the dogs of nice members of the ward and investigators who are little and nice and sit on your lap while you pet them and yeah. there are some precious little dogs here in San Luis and it is just great. And yes, you all have permission to laugh at me becuase I am also laughing at myself.
- speaking of dogs, wow there are so many dogs here. Like maybe more dogs than people. and everywhere. and they are annoying sometimes and do sketchy stuff. One bit my comp the other day (just a tiny tiny bit calm down mom) and the next day we went by there again and it came up to my comp so he kicked it in the face (and softly calm down everyone) and it hasnt bothered us since. Nor its buddies. sounds like they learned a lesson to not mess with the dudes in suits. Problem solved.

I feel bad for not having sent pics and you guys have no idea of what my life looks like here(well mostly because we took some wicked awesome pics that I am super proud of and well I want to brag). But today we finally found internet with a working USB port and I will be send some your way promptly. You´re welcome.

so lets all turn in our Book of Mormons- wait no its Books of Mormon- wait no its ummmmmmmmmmm

so lets all turn in our copies of the Book of Mormon to Moroni 7. Please read this chapter (whith special emphasis on the back half) placing special attention to the words Faith, Hope, Charity. These are 3 very special attributes of Christ (please see Preach My Gospel Chapter 6 for more info). Analyze these three attributes. Pay close attention to how we need to have these more in our lives, following the example of Christ. It is pretty crazy. Like we can do everything perfect, but if we don´t have charity, it doesn´t do us much good. Think of three ways in your life your are charitable. Keep it up. Think of three things (and specific things) that you could do to be a bit more charitable. Make plans to accomplish this goal. Do it. Pay attention to how good you feel after. Yeah. That´s right. It´s kinda hard to describe but you feel really good, huh? Wash, rinse, repeat, and pass it on. Make it a weekly process, this self-analyzation. Watch the blessings flow to you and others (maybe even to others through you).

I love you all and hope your lives are wonderful!!

Elmer Praff (now my name is a running joke and the other elders here and some members tell everyone that I am Elmer Praff and its just easier, they understand better so I let it go)


I don´t know why I like saying howdy so much I´m not even from the south or anything



I hope all is well in wherever you all are. Life here in Colombia is totally life in Colombia. Today during P´day we went down to Bogotá and were in a mall and it is a super new and nice mall and it was also like a really rich kinda mall and had a bunch of Gringo stores and I felt like I was in the USA again. They even had gringo music and I could speak english with one of my Latin homies. It was crazy. Then we got on the bus to go back up to San Luis and it was soooooooooo full (like people on top of each other full) and crazy and I totally had another "we´re-not-in-kansas-anymore" moment. But it still way cool. Colombia and the mission are a blast!

Well my life is cool right now. San Luis is a super cool branch with some really awesome people. The work here is moving along really well. We have transfers this next week and if they transfer me I am going to be super bummed because Elder Chauque and I have PLANS YO. We have these two awesome families that just have to get a bit more assurity (pretty sure thats spelled wrong) and (of course) get married (because we are in Colombia lol) and we will have two great families added to the branch here. We are kicking booties and takin names. Missionary work is a blast.

I am short on time this week but Ihope you all are doing great and I love you! If I find a blasted computer that works right one of these days I´ll send some photos! Ciao!!!

Elmer Plaff (I´m serious the people here call me this)

It is hard to understand people who talk fast and have no teeth


Howdy y´all.

San Luis is going wonderfully. This area is crazy hills. Like we never walk more than ten steps on flat ground. we are always going uphill or downhill.  It is a workout yo but it is full of great people. 

This week was full of funny little stuff. Like when:
- We were having a district meeting with 6 missionaries in the chapel and proselyting Jehovah´s Witnesses came and knocked on the chapel door and started to try to Bible Bash with us. That sure was enjoyable.
- When we contacted some people and they invited us to come visit them and one of the daughters said, "Great, let´s kill a chicken!" CULTURE SHOCK I´m deffy not in Kansas or Utah or California or anywhere over there anymore
- This one 50 year old guy we were contacting said these words: "My mom is Catholic and bless her heart but since I have grown up I´ve come to realize that that is probably the most incorrect church out there." Then he started saying all this mean stuff and we had to stop him cause even like I was getting offended adn I´m not even Catholic. We were just like woah chill dude they are like super good people just calm down lets not just talk smack about them. But man it was also kinda funny I can´t lie. First and last time I will hear someone say that in this country haha

But otherwise it was a pretty good week of work. We are meeting a lot of new people and getting some progressing investigators. We´re praying for a marriage/baptism to go down on the 21st of September of the excellent family. Life is great!

Sorry I haven´t sent photos but all of the good internet cafes were closed and the one I´m at doesn´t work with my USB for some reason but it´s a work in progress. I have some pretty swell photos to send down your way.

I hope all is well and you are all doing great! Read the talk from Jeffery R. Holland from last conference! It´s sooooo goood!


Elder Frack (yep like nobody here can say my name either)