Wednesday, September 18, 2013

September 16, 2013

The first thing we did this week was ask for our branch directory. We started to go through all the names to visit the members who we have never seen or heard of. We found out most people have moved without telling anyone. It was kind of discouraging, but then after a day of doing this we found one member who has been inactive for years and they said we could come back this week and visit them!
Second, on Wednesday we got back to the house to finish off the night and we noticed our neighbor had company over. They had parked half on the neighbor's lot and half in the street. That was no big deal because there was still enough room for cars to pass. So we went inside and started to prepare for the next day. Then we heard a car honking. A car had pulled up to the car in the street and was honking for the owner to come out and help guide him through. The owner came out helped and got the other car through with no problems. Then a second car came. We noticed him pull up and were waiting for the honk but never heard it. He thought that he could do it all an his own. He got about a quarter of the way through then got stuck.  Then he started to honk! The owner came out to help but it was already too late. He was in a spot that if he backed up he would scratch up his car and if he went forward he might scratch the other car. So very slowly he started to work his way forward. He got about three fourths of the way and the cars made contact. Then everyone in the neighbor's house came out to try and pick up the rear end of the parked car and move it. But they couldn't do it. So I said "Companion, let's go out and help". He said, "No they will get through there in a second just wait". They did not get through. So again I said " Let's go help". This time he said, "If in five minute they are still working on it we will go out". Five minutes passed with no progress. So for the third time I said "let's go out and help" and he said that two skinny Americans would not make a difference. So I told him he could watch me from the window and I would go out and help. So I put on my shoes and went out. And I asked them if I could help. They said yes. And they said they were going to try and move the parked car again. So we all got a spot on the car and moved it. Ha! Ha! A skinny American made all the difference. So I turned and started to walk into the house right as my companion was coming out. He saw that we had moved it and went back inside. By the time I had made it to the door he was already upstairs. Here is where it gets funny. I started running to go up the stairs and I started to say "Captain America has saved the day!" Right as I said it I hit the top of the stairs and jumped......................... and.....................bashed my head on our concrete arch way. Yeah!!! I got a pretty good goose egg.  
Third, we have been getting a lot of rain. One day when we left the house it was pouring rain. We started walking and then I had realized that I had left my keys in the house. No big deal because I had bought some keys for my Companion for when stuff like this happens. However he left his keys in the house too. So we were locked out. We live on the second level. So I started to look for a way to climb into our apartment. And I could have done it, but since it was raining everything was really slippery and I could not get any grip to climb. Luckily our next door neighbors were watching us and lent us their ladder. So I used that ladder to climb into our house. In the time it took me to climb the ladder and get in the window I was completely drenched, but I did get in and get our keys. 
Lastly, I was feeling a little like having some food from home, so I made some tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich. It was good but was nothing like your tomato soup and grilled cheeses. 
The mission now has a Facebook. 
That's all for this week.
Elder Jayden Rucker

Videos for the week.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

September 9, 2013

So this week was really slow until Saturday, then things started to pick up.  

We started off the day with an activity with the young men and women. We played basketball and soccer and also had a water balloon toss. It was really fun. But I did not take any sunscreen because when we left the house there was not a single spot in the sky where the sun could peak through. But then after two hours it cleared up and I was outside for the next hour. And because we are at a higher altitude it is easier to get sunburned. So now I have Neapolitan ice cream arms.

Then later on Saturday after lunch we started to have great lessons. The first was with a man named Cesar. We found him one day when we were out walking. At first he waved at us and we waved back--but thought nothing of it.    Then when we passed by the same point after 10 minutes he was still there and waved us over. We found out he had been an investigator about 5 years ago. And that through the visits with the missionaries he stopped drinking. But then something happened and the missionaries lost contact with him.  During the lesson he started to make phone calls. And at first I thought that he was being rude. But then after hearing him speak a little with the person on the phone I figured out that he was talking with one of the missionaries who taught him 5 years ago. He passed me the phone and I talked with the missionary. The lesson went really well and I am really excited to continue teaching him.

We then went to visit the Martinez family. We had a great lesson. And their dog Lucas is now more playful and he started to play with my hand after the lesson.

On Sunday, we had a Branch Council. It was really good.  The first two hours my companion and I were outside the gate of the church standing in the pouring rain waiting for members and investigators who were showing up late. We had a great attendance of 150 people to sacrament meeting.

That night we had scheduled two lesson at the same time so we went on splits. I went with the YM President. His name is Julian Peña. He is younger than 26 and he is the President of the Young men, that is crazy. Our lesson went great. But my companion had a really really good lesson. He worked with a priest named Ramon Felipe. They went to a FHE with Luz. She has only been a member for a couple weeks and she has already given us 2 references: her niece and her husband. Anyway, during the lesson my companion said that Luz bore her testimony. And she said something to this affect:
      "When I was investigating the church I was trying really hard to find out if it was true. I     was doing everything that the Elders told me to. I was reading the Book of Mormon and I was praying every night. And I felt good, but did not feel like I had received an answer. Then one night I had a dream. And during this dream I was on a long and narrow path and the Elders were guiding me, they were showing me they way. In the morning when I awoke I went straight to my Sisters house (her Sister's name is Gloria Matilde, she is the President of the Relief Society). And I recounted the dream to her. And she helped me understand that that was my answer."
We started to teach Luz and 18 days later she was baptized. I know that when we do our part to get an answer from our Heavenly Father, He will without fail do His part to answer our questions.
I know I was not at the FHE where she shared this testimony, but when my companion recounted what she said, I felt My testimony grow. 

To finish off, Sunday night we ate dinner with the Velasquez family and the Avila family. The Velasquez family is a family that Elder Sorensen and I helped get active again. The Avila family are the neighbors of the Velasquez Family and they are investigators.

Oh, also I think on about Tuesday we had a lot of cloud cover the whole day. The clouds were really thick. 

I love you a lot and hope you have an excellent week. 

Elder Rucker

p.s. here are some cool videos that I like, I hope you like them as well.  

Monday, September 2, 2013

Elder Jayden Rucker's 1st Post

August 27, 2013
We had a good District activity last week and a good one this week. Last week we went to a pool hall and played pool. This week we played soccer. They were both fun activities. I like them both but I need to work on my soccer skills more!
We named our District the Avengers. And got some cool shirts made.
 On the back we are all different Avengers. I am Captain America. And after playing pool last week I went and found my costume in a store. It is really cool, but don't worry I didn't buy it. I wanted to--but knew that I didn't need it.
I also got my hair cut this past week.   I learned to make some Colombian food as well. Well, at least I helped make the patties. I did not learn the recipe. 

We had some things happen this week that were very special. We helped two people enter into the waters of baptism. One had been an investigator for about one year, her name is Yerica (Jerika). She is 16. And the other was an investigator of gold, her name is Luz Edilia. She is 44. We had such a great baptismal service. We called it a Noche Blanca (White Night). We called it that because five people entered into that waters of Baptism. Then after the Baptisms the people who were baptized could share their testimony. Luz Edilia got up and shared her testimony. It was so powerful. Her sister is the President of the Relief Society and Luz Edilia said she helped a lot. Then she said something that I had heard about missionaries but had never had it applied to me. She called us "My Angels". In that moment the spirit was so strong and my testimony of missionary work was rejuvenated. The message we share changes peoples lives, and not just for the better but for the best.
I am so grateful for missionary work.    
Another member on the branch got their Mission call this week. Her name is Leidy Ramos. She has been called to the Santa Maria, Brazil Mission. She leaves the 11 of December, one week after her best friend.
We got transfers today and I found out that I will be here in Manizales for at least one more transfer.
I can't tell you enough of how great of a week we had. I felt the Spirit so much this week. I am so happy that I will stay at least one more transfer here in Manizales. My companion is great and I know that we are going to have lots of success this transfer.
I love you so much.
Elder Rucker

 September 2, 2013
Story time:
Story number one. We went to visit Luz Edilia (our Baptism of last week) and she called us her "Elderes preferidos" or her Preferred Elders. It was really cool. I didn't really understand how important missionaries were to individuals until she said that.  I have heard converts refer to the Elders who taught and baptized them as 'Angels'. And I never understood that until now. From the time we started to teach her to this point, I have seen a change in her life. Not because of what we did for her, but what the Gospel of Jesus Christ did for her.
Story two. We have been visiting the Martinez family a lot to see what we can do to get them to reactivate. They are a great family and we love to go visit them. One because, even though they are inactive they still have an excellent spirit in their family and home that we love to feel. And two, because they have a puppy named Lucas. He is fun to play with and always likes to cuddle into armpits just like Belle. 
Story Three. I made a scripture case for my hard cover Book of Mormon and it is pretty cool. It just has to last me until I find a place to get some good scripture cases made. 
Last story, Hermano Rendon pulled his testimony train trick on me again. I was going to share my testimony anyway but the train gave me more motivation. We had a really good fast and testimony meeting.  We went over in time because when we had 15 minutes left around 8 people went up to share their testimonies. But the meeting was filled with the spirit.
That is all for this week. Hope you have a great week.
Let me know if there is anything that I can do about anything.
Elder Rucker