Wednesday, December 4, 2013



It was like the weirdest thing ever. It felt really unreal. Especially since the days after I spent with Elder Velazquez, another elder who´s comp went finished up the 2 years. Preeeeeetty weird. It feels like I should see him again in like a zone conference later on cause it was just a normal transfer, but it´s not really that simple. A major bummer. But it was good to get to know him and work with him for the time we had. But now transfers were this morning and I have a new comp!! His name is Elder NEWBIE CAUSE I AM TRAINING!!!!! 

JK his name isn´t Elder Newbie, just I don´t know who it is yet cause they get here tomorrow. BUT I AM PUMPED! I will have another kid and Elder Galleguillos will have a brother! Training was really fun and a great experience (I LEARNED SOOOOOO MUCH) so I am really excited!

SPANISH LESSON FOR THE WEEK: Baptize (the verb) in spanish is "Bautizar". Baptism (the noun) is "Bautismo." Everyone here says "Bautizo" and it is SO FRUSTRATING not really lol but like for real. We joke aobut it, saying that "bautizo" is the little flick-water-on-the-forehead thing and "bautismo" is the thing that Christ did. It is funny/obnoxious, especially when the people testify in Sacrament meeting about "bautizo" which totally doesn´t exist BUT ITS FINE.

So I don´t really know what to say aobut htis week. I totally got to eat turkey leftovers on Friday, which was cool. Thursday for sure was not a Gringo thanksgiving, but I totally ate turkey and mashed potatoes and stuffing (but the stuffing totally had the insides of an animal which isn´t too gringo but it´s all good) and then to top it off, they had nice gringo ice cream and PUMPKIN PIE. I haven´t liked pumpkin pie in like 10 years but MAN that was one delicious piece of pumpkin pie that I got. 

I hope everyone is doing great! Please, always remember to do the small stuff! Read your scriptures, pray at least 3 times a day on your knees, and do the little things to keep the Spirit in your life and keep him guiding you! Here are some powerful words of one of my buddies, Elder Salazar that he said during a district meeting this week: "Ignoring impressions of the Spirit doesn´t come from fear, it comes from pride. It comes from us thinking we know better, but we just simply don´t." Ouuuuuuuuch.


Elder Pratt

PS Lotsw of love to the Trounce family. Keep them in your hearts and in your prayers. We love you guys!


THIS has been a week of SERVICE. This week, my comp and I have done like almost 20 hours of service activities here in San Luis, and surprisingly all of them having to do with fixing roofs (or is it rooves...). Like three tiems this week we were over at the house of this investigator family helping them build tmore ceiling part of their roof, putting up cross bars and wood underneath the already place roofing sheets. It was fun and I learned a lot along the way. They were doing it in a pretty cool way so I was pumped. Then today (yes, during p-day) we went over to the house of our ward mission leader and helped him stucco his ceiling. That was really interesting because I had never done that before, but he taught me and now I totally know how to stucco someone´s ceiling with just the bucket and a little metal plate. Kiiiiinda felt pretty awesome to learn that, not gonna lie.

So San Luis, being an almost entirely illegal city/neighborhood (meaning the land-owning and building and all that good stuff is done totally without involving the government which totally makes the government unhappy) kinda has some problems with water and power sometimes. Like last week, the power in the whole city totally went out just like cause for like an hour. That happens once every few weeks. And we run out of running water in the house sometimes too which is cool. Just helps you learn some patience and to appreciate the little stuf, you know? But this city is awesome and I love it. There are some stellar people here and it is just wonderful. 

WEEKLY QUOTE: Refering to how some people choose to be unfaithful in their marriages and stuff, one of the members who we are helping come back to church said, "Don´t look around for fast food when the best food is in your own house!" I ALMOST DIED LAUGHING IT WAS AMAZING AND SHE TOTALLY GOT A HIGH FIVE AFTER SAYING THAT. If anybody knows my Aunt Ann, this lady is soooooo similar and I love it soooooo much. She is the best!

CRAY FACT: Chuck totally finishes his two years as a missionary and goes home in like 4 days. It´s weird. He is cool. We are gonna miss him like 10 bundles.

SO I totally don´t remember if I have told you all about Helen, but she is this investigator we have who is 19 years old and cool. We have like taught all of the lessons to her, sdhe understands them, but she was missing something. We came to the conclusion that that something was the Book of Mormon. She wasn´t really reading it too carefully and wasn´t getting a testimony of it. She liked a lot of waht we taught and already believed a lot of it anyway (including like the majority of the commandments which is spectacular) but she just wasn´t progressing like she could´ve. THE KEY - The Book of Mormon. She started to read a bit more carefully and pray a bit more. Se now has a much better understanding of it all, but we had a killer appointment with her the other day where she realized that she probably wasn´t putting the faith necessary to really receive an answer from God about the book, and therefore had doubts about everything else. PEOPLE EVERYWHERE: Read the Book of Mormon. Read it with a sincere heart and pure intent, really wanting to know if it´s real. Even if you have already received an answer or even if you think it´s true or even know it´s true, ASK AGAIN. HE WILL ANSWER YOU AGAIN. It is amazing. This book is the real deal. It is the most correct book on earth and will help a woman or man get closer to God by reading it. I know that simply because I have experienced it for myself. I invite you to do the same and see the difference.

FINAL THOUGHT: If you want different results, DO DIFFERENT THINGS.
BOOM that quote is money and shatters my mind everytime I hear it. So simple yet so true, am I right???


Elder Praff


HEY SO I HAVE NO TIME BUT I thought I´d share some stuff:

Yuri got baptized!!!!! It was so great!!!! When she shared her testimony after, she like nailed it. Like a lot fo people just say they feel really happy (which is super awesome and spiritual, don´t get me wrong) but she like gave a 5 minute talk like teaching the doctrine of baptism. That morning, she also taught the entire Joseph Smith and First Vision and Restauration story to her mom. It was crazy. She is outta control. Ahhhhhh yeahhhhhhhh. So yeah, that was pretty much an awesome part of our week. 

ALSO so we had the Primary Program yesterday in the chapel and it was AMAZING. Daniel totally nailed it directing the meeting and playing his song on the violin. We were so proud of him. Also, the children were crazy cute and everyone cried when they shared their testimonies and it was great. One girl said "I know that Jesus Christ was baptized and that he went church every Sunday." Soooooo when you think about not going to church or something, just remember the words of this little girl. :)

ALSO in church, we had a lesson on service and the Elders Quorum President shared these inspired words: "Service is like peeing your pants. Everyone notices, but only one person feels that little warm feeling." So if you feel cold and want some warmth in your life, try thinking about serving. 

Sorry I don´t have more time. I love you all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


In my dreams I`ll always see you soar above the skiessssss

My comp and I totally started singing the song from the movie Pearl Harbor this week. That movie is spectacular.


So I totally forgot to mention that I found a Gringo two weeks ago in this really rich part that is part of our area but like not at the same time. We went to visit some members and we were in the city and we totally found this guy with a rich deep southern accent and talk to him and he is from Tennesse and MAN it had been a long time since I had heard a nice southern accent. That was reallllly funny. BUT this week I FOUND ANOTHER. He is this kid from Florida (I say kid but he is like prob my age maybe older) and he didn`t speak any spanish so when he found me and my comp he came to us from a distance on the street yelling, "Hey man, what`s up???" like suuuuuper excited. It was his first day in Colombia. Precious Gem. Also He was also preaching the gospel- he is a Johevah`s Witness. But unlike a lot of people, he was like super friendly and pumped to talk about the stuff we have in common instead of trying to argue or fight, which often happens. It was cool. 

Second of all, I just wanna give a shout out to the girl from the HB Stake Girl`s Camp that sent me a note. I got it in one of our Zone meetings and totally made everyone jealous, saying it was from my girlfriend. If I knew who you were and was not like crazy far away, I would fist pump you.

Third of all, shout out to the 90s version of my brother Murray Pratt for totally coming to my mind this week when, while standing outside of a random house waiting for a bus, that one Sugar Ray song called "Every Morning" came on. That was a delicious blast from that past.

Fourth of all, we were in the house of a family we are trying to reactivate and I heard in the background from another room that song from Nacho Libre that is playing when they are going shopping and its the super funny song and yeah the grandma of the family was definitely watching Nacho Libre. It was pretty amazing.

OTHER FUN STORY so this crazy guy, who we met a few weeks ago when he crossed us in the street and pulled out the only words he knew in english to talk to me (aaaaaand one of the 5 was not a very nice word), totally snuck up on us the other day and was like "ooooooooOOOOOO I am the devil ooOOOOOOOOOOOO" and yeah then he followed us for a while and was like "no just kidding I believe in Jesus too" and was calling us other cool names. He does a lot of drugs, but it was like a totally cool story that I now just have with me which is cool. 

FUN FACT: When people get really mad about really silly things sometimes I think it is funny. I don`t know if I should feel bad about that, but sometimes it just is really funny. But don`t worry, I`m always classy about it. 

EVERYBODY so I had understood something cool this week that I think I hadn`t understood in the past. So there is this one line of Preach My Gospel in Chapter 8 that says something to the effect of, "Your attitude towards missionary work is directly related to your love towards Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and your understanding of the Atonement." IT IS SO TRUEEEEEEEE. I have realized that the times when the mission is really hard is when I don`t remember the Atonement, when I don`t remember the love that God has for me and I for him, and when I just forget about the importance of Jesus Christ in my daily life. When I humble myself and remember these things in my daily life, the mission is a joy. When I don`t, that`s when times get harder and the people we visit stop progressing. With this shared knowledge, I would like to throw an invitation. Pray more fervently, pray more sincerely, and really listen. Really think about how He is listening and how much He loves you. When you come to understand that love a little more, missionary work comes naturally. Sharing what you feel comes a bit more naturally and less scary. It is true. So, so true. Also, THE PRIESTHOOD HAS BEEN RESTORED. Just ponder how huge that is.

I LOVE YOU ALLL!!!!!!!!!!1111

Elder Pratt



Halloween in Colombia is sketchy!!! I am in "tierra fría" and stuff is waaaaaaay crazier in tierra caliente (I hear)  but I don´t know if I ever wanna see that then!!!!

but yeah. this week wwas pretty coool. We had a super awesome Stake Conference this weekend and there were some pretty stellar talks given. The Stake President started off his talk saying "Well 1 Corinthians 4:20 teaches us that the kingdom of God is not in word but in power, so let´s forget about all of the cool words we hear and ACT." Yeah, thooooose were some pretty wonderful words to hear as missionaries because MAN our jobs would be so much easier and we could work more effectively if instead of TALKING the people got ACTING. But yeah that was a pretty cool moment ahaha. 

Other excellent moment of conference was when the 1st counselor said "The Atonement gives us the power to ask for forgiveness, but also to forgive." Sometimes forgiving people is really hard but JUST DO IT because you will feel like so much better. Holding grudges is really tiring and annoying and after a while you just forget why you are mad and are just mad because you feel like still being mad and its really silly. Like I totally picked that word for a reason. Silly. I want you all to think about your grudges and how silly they are. yeeeeaaahhhhh thats what a thought. Go tell them you are sorry for being lame and silly and then just stop being lame and silly. Those are two attributes that I am trying to develop a bit more and I can frankly say my life is like so much better. Learning how to forgive and learning how to humble yourself and ask for forgiveness, and not just to God, but to other people. Try it out, believe me is is the bomb.

TODAY WE WENT TO THE TEMPLE AND IT WAS SO GREAT I LOVED EVERY MINUTE WOW everyone who has the opportunity to go to the temple frequently and doesn´t do is totally missing out. Like for real. Man the Spirit is so strong there. Preeeetty awesome.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK, attributed to Thomas S. Monson:
"Never let solving a problem be more important than loving a person."
Just let that one sit in a bit. Yeeeeeaaaahhhhh. It´s pretty fantastic.


ALSO finding golden families is like the best. BUT I reaslly dislike how (almost) everyone isn´t living the law of chastity and it makes missionary work harddddddddd but its totally fine because THAT´S WHY I´M HERE.

With lots of loooooooooooooooooooove,

Hermano Tras (I really don´t understand why my name is so hard)

(also the nickname gets funnier when you understand the meaning of the word "tras")

Hello World

Why yes, that was a shout out to computer programers becuase even though I am a missionary, that doesn´t mean I´m not a nerd.

THIS WEEK was like crazy then normal then wacko (I haven´t used that word in a long time) then super chill. CRAZY THINGS THAT HAPPENED:
- WE FINALLY HAVE A BRANCH MISSION PLAN HERE IN SAN LUIS!!!!!!!! It took a loooooong time and a lot of pushing from us and from the stake (and from the Area Seventies) but we finally have one and we are pumped. We are hoping to be able to make changes here and help out a lot with the branch and not just with the investigators because if the branch is bad, it will be so hard to help retain all of these great people so WE ARE WORKING ON IT!
- SO word got out that I liked music and knew a bit (thank you, companion) during the branch council aaaaand I got two new assignments. I have to play piano in church next week (we have a like 20 year old keyboard that is awful and I am out of practice so this will be fun) aaaaaaaaaaaand the funnest part. So the primary program is in two weeks and Daniel, the 9 year-old who got baptized about a month ago, wanted to play violin in the program. The primary leaders said AWESOME, and said okay do it. then they told me that that was going to happen and I said cool and they asked me to go over there and help him a bit and I said um okay I don´t know abotu violins really but okay. That was a few weeks ago. Fast forward to yesterday. they tell me he hasn´t practiced or anything and get mad at me and I´m like woah you didn´t tell me when the program was, waht song, or like anything. So yesterday I had to go over and tune the violin (he has no idea how to do it and FUN FACT it is way harder than tuning a guitar, especially since I had never ever tuned a violin or played a tuned violin, but daniel knew the notes to tune it to), which I succesffuly did after a while, and then had to show him the song. We decided to got with "I Am a Child of God." I quickly learned that he knew almost nothing of how to play violin and can´t read music. I found out he took like 2 months of lessons about 6 months ago and never ever practiced. Also he is only 9. But he has a decent little ear so we went to work and I can now say that I am moderately proficient in playing violin (I had to learn so I could teach him) and he is getting better. Now I have to take like a half hour out of my day every day to give violin lessons to a 9 year-old. moderately annoying but also really cool at the same time. I hope I can keep developing this new-found hobby!!!
- Our Gospel Principles class on Eternal Marriage yesterday turned into a discussion racism during a 25 minute strech. And not even like any type of relevant racism at all (if such a thing existed). Just a straight talk on racism. At one point, after many failed attempts to gently fix the topic, my comp and I just straight took over the class to get us back on topic and stuff. It was cool I guess. (that was sarcastic)
. another investigator of ours has a baptismal date and she is so crazy awesome!!!!!!!!!!! and we have like 2 more on deck getting ready for baptism!!!!!!!!! and Paola is getting a bit better (also a bit worse at the same time but its a work in progress!)!!!
- This investigator of the other elders who is also a really good friend of ours totally escaped from the house of her abusive boyfriend after a crazy explosion fight and now she is safe!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The whole mission thing is like super crazy but also suuuuuper cool. I have learned so much about everything and it is crazy how you can apply God´s love and the Atonement of Jesus Christ in your life. Let´s remember what Alma 7:11-13 reminds us: Jesus didn´t just pay for our sins, but he suffered for our sins, afflictions, pains, temptations, and more so he could know how to help us when we need help. That is something that I have really learned a lot more and been able to experience as a missionary. There are a lot of things that stress us out as missionaries: people who don´t progress, people who are progressing but then get a big trial in their path, members who don´t come to church or aren´t living the commandments, and a lot more, but Christ died to help all of us out and to help us to keep moving forward how he knows we can. There is a line in Preach my Gospel that says something to the effect of when we feel the healing power of the Atonement in our lives and understand it better we WANT to share the gospel. We WANT others to receive the help that we have received, the same hope in Christ that we have found in our lives. It is soooooo true. Once we feel that change, we can´t help but feel like Lehi, desirous that our family and friends partake of the same fruit. We can´t help but feel line Enos, who prayed and worked so his friends and even his enemies could get a knowledge of the Savior like he got. We can´t help but go out and share what we know, even if it is just at first with our example. SHARE THE GOSPEL. There isn´t a joy greater in the world thatn knowing that you have helped others be happy and you will rejoice with them in this life and the life to come. Share with others the miracle that God has done in your life and help them to receive the same.

I love you all and hope that life is lovely!!!!!!!!!!