Friday, November 29, 2013

November 25, 2013

Hey Mom,

Well, this week was a good week. 

First off, I am sorry to say I don't think I will be able to return to American avocados after being here. Colombian avocados are really good. I like to eat them with a little salt. And the avocados here are a lot bigger.  The pit of an avocado is as big as a regular avocado in the USA. In the picture you can see how big it is.

Second off, this week we had transfers and the changes in the zone were small, but in our house they were big. We used to have the Zone Leaders living with us. One of them completed his mission and the other one left to finish his mission in another area. So we got two new Elders in the house. And now it is our district leader in the house with us and the zone leaders are in another area.  We knew the new district leader was also going to be a trainer. So there is a newbie in our house. And when they got here the world got smaller. We started to talk and the newbie is from Guatemala. And would you believe that he knows Mitchell!!! Mitchell passed through his home town for a bit, and while Mitchell was there he worked with this Elder (Elder Coc). Well… yeah small world. 

Third off, after lunch one day we helped a family move. And for everything that they wanted to move they said "We are going to need two people on this" and it was just a regular thing. So for these things I just picked them up and started walking. Things that take two regular Colombians to do—I can do alone. Granted in the words of Dad, “I am a ‘Man Child’.”  

Fourth off, I drew a picture to commemorate Thanksgiving. And in all honesty I thought it was on the 23rd so I bought a little something special. But today I learned that it is on the 28th. So now I have an excuse to buy something special on the 28h, YEAH!

Well that's all for this week.

Elder Rucker

p.s. I will send more pictures. 
And no news on my package yet.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

November 18, 2013

Hi Mom, and to all that read.

First, I had to use my cowboy skills this week and wrestle a cow who was being really crazy and tormenting the city. The city sent a flyer to find people who could try and stop the rampaging bull. Many tried, but they all failed. It was left to me to save the day. It was a struggle but I came out the victor!

I have decided to start a photo album for the dogs of the mission because there are a lot of cool dogs here.

This week there are transfers, I will let you know if there are any changes.

This week we did a lot of walking. We have the biggest area in all of Armenia. On the days we fail to sectorize we walk a lot. And this week we walked a lot! One day we walked a minimum of 3 hours. It wasn't a consecutive 3 hours: lesson--30 minutes of walking; another lesson then another 30 minutes of walking, etc.

Lastly, this week I learned what happens when you run up the stairs and don't pay attention. The picture demonstrates what happens. I know the picture and my feet are gross but I was running up the stairs to get my toenail clipper, so give me a break.

Well this was my week. Full of so many adventures that I cannot write them all.

Family, friends and all other readers thank you for all that you do for me and for my family. Stay safe this holiday season and remember the reason for why we celebrate these holidays.

Just for you mom
Mom, I love you so much. I can't say it enough.

Love Elder Rucker

November 11, 2013

First, last week for p-day we went to a little tourist town called Salento and dinked around. We got to the town and did some shopping, and then we went up into the mountains to dink around. We traveled in a Jeep. Then after the adventure in the forest we went back to town and figured out that Salento is home to creatures of Lord of The Rings. More specifically the home of Golem. To finish off we went to an overlook of the town. I would say one of my favorite p-days!!!

Second, for Grandpa’s birthday I bought a brownie and ate it. It was good. 

Third, we did service with a member and he fed us breakfast. He always feeds us weird stuff, but somehow it tastes good. This time he fed us eggs with onion, tomato,...banana, and.... orange juice. All those good ingredients in one somehow worked to taste good. 

Fourth, the President of the Branch had his birthday this week so my comp and I made him a missionary cake. What is a missionary cake you ask? A missionary cake is a little cake with a Snickers bar put in the middle for the candle. Cool right?

Fifth, I had a bit of a break down one night. I don't know what happened. All I know is that we got home one night and I was hungry, so I ate. After I finished eating I realized what I had eaten. I had eaten 4 sandwiches, one piece of cake, 2 glasses of water, and the Zone Leaders left over Chinese food. So the good thing is that it was not really a break down but a loss of control. I told myself that that could not happen again. 

Sixth, this week I was in the mood for an American breakfast. So a couple days ago I made pancakes. And this morning I woke up and made French toast and bacon for me my comp and the other two Elders in the house. It was a lot of cooking but it was worth it. I also realized that four 18 to 22 year old young men can put down a lot of bacon and French toast. 

Now for the story of last week. Well, in the month of October I seemed to have a lot of encounters with people who were passing through the biggest trials of their lives. Whether it be problems with heath, money, family or all of the above. They were all being battered by the realities of life. Whenever we talked with these people the only thing that I could think about was our Savior Jesus Christ. The life of a missionary is to teach, teach about the Savior. But sometimes we lose sight of how great and infinite his Atonement is for us. All these people were having the biggest trials of their life and to think that our Savior, Jesus Christ suffered them all and much more so that we could overcome. At times we overlook the fundamentals. We try to say something inspirational to give others the strength to carry on. Return to fundamentals and bear testimony, true testimony of the Savior. And if their heart is open the Spirit will enter and give them the peace and love that they are looking for.

I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer. Without His atoning sacrifice we have nothing. I know that no matter what trial we have in life He has felt it first and has overcame the trial. All the strength we need in life to overcome our trials can be found in the Atonement. "The Savior had promised angels on our left and right to bear is up. And He always keeps His word" President Henry B. Erying.

I know our Savior lives. I testify in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Until next week 
Love,   Elder Rucker



Tuesday, November 5, 2013

November 4, 2013

We don't have an oven so the muffins you sent were no good. But the good and amazing thing is that on the back on one of the packages of the muffins was a recipe to turn the muffin mix into pancakes. So I had three days with some very delicious pancakes. Each package makes about 7 good sized pancakes, so I had enough to share with my companion and the Zone leaders. 

No explanation on this one but it looks pretty meaty!!!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

October 28, 2013

This week was crazy busy. On Monday we participated in a wedding. Just the legal part. (We were in the court room and I thought about Kelly and his court room.) It was cool to be part of the wedding. The wedding was for an investigator and a member who needed to get married to complete the requirements for baptism. My companion baptized the daughter and I baptized the mom on Saturday.  It was a cool experience. The mom shared her experience of the baptism after the ordinance. She said, "When I entered in the water it was really cold, but as soon as Elder Rucker started the prayer I felt the water warm and warm my body. I know that it was the Holy Ghost." The spirit was there and she felt it and the others in the service felt it too.

We had two conferences this week, a zone conference and a district conference. An Area Seventy came and gave a great talk. I learned a lot and sang in the choir. So all Friday, Saturday and Sunday we were running around all of Armenia to prepare for the conferences and the baptisms.

I don’t know if I told you but we live with the Zone Leaders. One night while we were planning for the next day we heard the Zone Leaders outside the house. They were about to open the door when we heard screaming. My companion and I ran outside to see our Zone Leaders jumping and screaming "SAPO, SAPO" (sapo = Toad) So, anyways, we caught a toad!

Mitchell most likely told you but just in case he didn't—I will tell you.  My companion said his grandparents were receiving the missionaries, well Mitchell is teaching his grandparents. How neat is that?

I know it is only a little writing but that is a lot of stuff that passed.

That’s all for this week.

I love you so much.

Elder Rucker

p.s. How is the family doing on church attendance and my challenge? How is the family in general?

Conference Talk I liked--