Tuesday, October 22, 2013

October 21, 2013

Hey Mom,
My companion and I are doing good. The language is coming good. With my first two companions we spoke in English most of the time. And the first couple days speaking all Spanish was a little hard. But now I am doing alright, I am using Spanish that I did not know that I had. We communicate really well. 
The weather here in Armenia is hot and humid. There are three different temperatures areas in my mission: Manizales 55-75 degrees, eje Cafetero (were I am at right now) 75-95 degrees, and the coast 85-110 degrees. So right now it is hot but not as hot as it could be.
Story time.
Well...there is a member named Jairo. He is really cool. His family started to receive the missionaries 30 years ago and accepted the gospel. He did not. Last month he was baptized by my companion and his companion at the time. It needs to be the right time for someone to accept the gospel. Sometimes they can accept it right away or thirty years later. Any way we do service in his house every Tuesday. Right now we are painting his house.
Well I am happy to say that I had my first PB&J sandwich this week. The first on in about 8 months. And it was delicious. I also bought a Snickers bar to eat with it because I found a place that sells them for cheap, cheap, cheap.

The missionary that left this area left it in good shape. He and his companion (who is now my companion) had programmed many people to be baptized. And this Saturday 2 of the people with a baptism date where baptized. So, on Saturday my companion baptized them, then on Sunday I confirmed them as members. They are two young men. Both of them are 13 years old. They are best friends. The parents and brother of one of the boys have a baptismal date for the 9 of November and are really excited for it.
This Sunday was great. One reason is that I had the opportunity to confirm the two boys members of the church. And on top of that it was the sacrament of the primary. It was amazing. I don't think that it is a primary program without one of the kids screaming into the mic.
Last story: I got on the computer and started to write this letter. Then I thought to myself, "I want to look at Mitchells blog". So I did. I read a couple things and then saw the town that he is in is Solola. I thought, "My companion is from Guatemala I wonder if he knows Solola". So I asked him. Turns out he not only knows the town, he is from the town. So I will be telling Mitchell about this. It's a small world after all.
That is all for now! 
Until next week 
Love Elder Rucker

P.S. The steps for a PB&J

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

October 15, 2013

Sorry it didn't work out for me to email on Monday. Usually I like to write for 2 hours but since it is Tuesday we only get one hour. Oh well, you have to deal with what you get!
Sure wish I could of been with you guys on your cruise. However, I did some traveling as well. So as I told you last week, I got my first transfer.  First, I had to travel North to Medellin (5 hour bus ride) to receive training on how to train. I was in Medellin for one night. On Wednesday we traveled back south to my new area in Armenia (7 hour bus ride).  When you get on the bus they hand out little bags.  They are for if you need to throw up, because the bus ride was really turny. So if you thought you needed one you could just take one. However, one Elder declined to take a bag. Then at about two hours in ....you guessed it, he blew chunks!!!  He tried to make it to the bathroom and did. The only problem was that he could not get the door open. So the bus driver stopped, as soon as he could, and cleaned it up.  Then we were back on our way. Note: The busses were really nice. I had tons of leg room and the seats reclined a good amount.
When we finally got to Armenia I received my new companion. I am going to finish his training. Training is 12 weeks. He had one companion before me for 6 weeks and I am going to finish his last 6 weeks. His name is Elder Azañon. He is 18 years old. He is from..... Guatemala. So of course I told him all about Mitchell. He is my first Latino Companion. I am really excited to work with him.
Yesterday we had a poorly planned Zone Activity. And when I wrote you yesterday I was mad that I had no time to write. But now I look back and see that it was no big deal. I will tell you what we did. So we were told that we needed to gather together at 10 in the morning to start the activity---we started at 11:30. The activity was to walk to a waterfall and eat lunch. The waterfall was supposed to only be a 30 to 45 minute walk. So we started to walk. And right as we started to walk it started to sprinkle rain on us. Then after 30 seconds it started to pour rain on us. However, we all thought, "This is Colombian rain--it will stop in 15 minutes". Three hours later it was still pouring! And we had been walking in the rain the whole time. Anyway we got to the river soaking wet and then our guide said that from the point we still had thirty minutes to walk. So we ate lunch and called it quits and walked back into the city.  Then we got a cab to our house, cleaned ourselves up, wrote our families and President Pitarch for 15 minutes then headed to the district meeting and then called it a day. Every missionary wants mission stories and now I have one more to put on the list!
Thanks for the package! I got it and it was great!!! I finished the Skittles yesterday and now I am starting on the peanut butter. The good thing is that my companion does not like peanut butter, so more for me! I will write thank you notes to everyone next week when I have more time. The notes meant a lot to me.

That's all for this week and until next week,
Elder Rucker
My old zone in Manizales and my new zone in Armenia.


Thursday, October 3, 2013

September 29, 2013

We had a really good week.
I forgot to tell you last week. We went to a Family Home Evening at the President of the Relief Societies house. And for the snack she made Morcilla. Morcilla is blood sausage. The next paragraph might make you gag-- just a heads up. But It was not that bad to eat.
Black puddingblood pudding or blood sausage is a type of sausage made by cooking blood or dried blood with a filler (rice or onions) until it is thick enough to congeal when cooled.
Well after the multi-zone activity in Pereira I headed to Chinchiná for a division with the District Leader's companion. I worked in Chinchiná for a day and a half. It is a lot hotter there but it worked out good. We passed by a club that had painted the sidewalk to look like a piano. I played on it. It was fun. Another cool thing is that I got 13 mosquito bites on my legs. hahaha

After the divisions with the district leader I worked with my companion for a day then started a division with the zone leaders. I worked with Zone Leader Elder North. He taught me a lot. We had a great day.

On Saturday we had a baptism. It was really cool. This is how we found the investigator. One day when we were out contacting we started to talk to some people. Then a car pulled up and the guy driving said, "Elders". I had to tell him to wait because we were talking with another person. Then when we finished we started to talk with the guy in the car. Turns out he was a member who had been inactive for a couple of years.  So we passed by his house and started to teach him and his family. His wife is not a member but wanted us to teach her son and baptize him just so he could have a religion in his life. After a couple visits the son lost interest but the mom had gained interest. After a little work and activating the father, he was able to baptize his wife.  It was a great experience.

Sunday was a good day. Right before sacrament the President of the Branch came up and told me I was going to speak in Sacrament. So yeah, I gave a talk on obedience and knowledge.  It went pretty well.
This week is going be a great week,  just because it is GENERAL CONFERENCE. I am so excited. I hope you are excited too. 
I love you lots.
Love Elder Rucker

September 23, 2013

Hey Mom

I know that the Lord is blessing our family, more than I can imagine, with me and Mitchell out serving.

It is good to exercise! For a little while I was not doing any exercise because I was lazy. Then Hermano Rendon gave a lesson about exercising. He asked us, "Elders do you exercise every morning?" We said "No". Then he said something that impacted me a lot. He said "Elders we need to exercise, it is our duty to exercise, Will you do it?" I have not missed exercising one day after that!

I will get my package here in about two or three weeks. We get a notification when the office receives our package but then we have to wait for our zone leaders to go get it and they only go once a month. But we have transfers here in two or three week and I will get it then.

In Colombia if you want something to be street legal all it needs is a motor and wheels. But if you want to drive a four wheeler or a motorcycle you have to wear a helmet. And no one drives those things without helmets. I think it is cool that of all the laws they break--they choose to keep the helmet law.

Little story time.

Today we decided to have a multi Zone activity in Pereira. A city about 90 minutes from Manizales. In the rush to prepare to leave I forgot to write in my agenda what I wanted to tell you. So I don't really remembered what happened this week, but I remember one thing.

We had a lesson with the Avila Family. They are a family of investigators. We have been teaching them for about 7 weeks. They like the church a lot. In a lesson we had this week they said that they knew the church was true. However they don't want to get baptized yet because they have a fear of commitment. During the lesson I was feeling the spirit to share what I was thinking. However, my companion and the dad were talking back and forth and I didn't want to interrupt. But the Spirit kept pressing me to speak until I could not resist any longer. I interrupted. They all went quiet......... Because they like they way I speak. Anyway, as I started to speak the spirit filled the room. I did not know what I was going to say I just started to speak. I know the spirit was helping me find the words to teach to the needs of the Avila Family. I felt the Spirit and I know they did too. The mom started to tear up and then I choked up a little too. Maybe we were the only two feeling it, but none the less, the spirit was there. I am so grateful that I acted on the impression of the Spirit. I know that both I and Diana (the mom of the family) were edified by the experience.  We will keep working with the Avila family. And I will keep you up to date.
That is all for now.
Love Elder Rucker
Movie time