Saturday, April 28, 2012

Palmira, Jamundí, and more agriculture

This week included two half day trips.  The first to Palmira. A city of 300,000 about 15 miles east of Cali.  The city says it is the agriculture capital of Columbia and listed a number of crops but we only saw sugar cane (caña de azucar).  I thought Sister Oliver just wanted to see the city but we had volunteered to inspect missionary houses.  They were very clean but some needed some maintenance and repairs which is what Elder Torgerson does.  We didn´t take pictures as usual but I borrowed some.  One of the apartments was in a little village called Cerrito (little hill).

The second trip was to Jamundi city of 120,000 about 10 miles to the south.  We went to buy furniture for a missionary apartment that is growing from 2 to 4 Elders. The mission has a contract with Don Ramon who drives us in one of his taxi´s or sometimes in his private car.  I am greatful to him and his knowledge of where we need to go. The biggest challenge is getting through the city traffic to the road out of town.  On this trip I noticed a few huge pines.  With research we figured out they are Norfolk Island pines.  The kind we had in the house for many many years.  In their natual environment they grow to 200 feet.  The pines we saw were the tallest trees around.  We have seen other trees that we grew as house plants.

Another interesting tree is the Ceiba.  We have talked about how big they get.  The neighboring apartments all have Ceiba in their name, the view of the ceiba etc.    We have taken a picture of this tree. We read that the ceiba tree in Mayan folklore is a sacred tree that opens the door to the 13 heavens

Friday, April 20, 2012


I took this from the office window on the second floor.  The rain usually falls straight down here but in this picture it is going sideways, note tree across the street moving--in this still shot--with the wind.

Our street was almost blocked by this slide.  We were walking here a few minutes prior to the slide.
We had gone home to meet Torgersons to go to a baptism in the San Fernando Branch.  Since we couldn't get a taxi to pick us up at our apartment building we decided to walk 5 minutes to the corner to catch a taxi.  We walked more than an hour before we finally got one.  The streets below us were parking lots and it was faster to walk.  When we finally got a taxi we were about a quarter of a mile from the chapel.  It was still raining lightly and the power was out.  We had the baptism by candle light (shades of Catholism with candles on the pulpit).  But Elder Novoa can play the piano in the dark I think.  He played by candle light and we sang with the Spirit.  It was a really wonderful baptism, Pres. Prince baptised Paola.  Her husband is a member and has lived in Kaysville!  He spoke pretty good English.

P.S.  City crews have been using a front end loader and dump trucks for two days on the slide.  You still can't see the sidewalk.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The end or the beginning

The end of the orginal Colombia Cali Mision is approahing. The goal is 600 baptims before the mission is divided 1 July. It is a 4 month goal and includes last month´s 151. 600 would pass the previous 4 month high for the mission of 500.

The President gave special training on the subject to all missionaries. We attended the Cali training. I may have mentioned the goal previously. This week the office sent flyers to all bishops and branch presidents to get their help with the goal.

Paula whom we met at home evening and later on the street where she was selling a yummy deseret will be baptized Weds. evening. We had three non members in church Sunday.

We made an effort Sunday to learn the names of the members and volunteered each other
to the branch presidency to do some teaching. We made suggestions about what the other would be good at. Colleen brought up temple prep and I mentioned piano. They have a pianist for Sacrament but use CD´s in Primary.

We also joined in a group effort to locate some of the less actives. The ones we were assigned to visit no longer live at the address on the records or the address doesn´t exist. But we did give a lesson to the mother of one of the members. (plan of salvation). She has been a widow for many years.

We want to help reach the goal and start a new chapter.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Family Home Evening

Monday night we held our first FHE with investigadors and new members. We had been waiting on furniture to do it and it turned out great. A spiritual night.

The logistics were a challenge. We had three sets of missionaries involved not counting 2 senior couples. Each of the companionships was assigned to bring one or two of the attendees. We set the time for the FHE at 7 pm and as a result we were all out in cabs picking up investigadores during the peak of the evening rush hour. To top it off there was a big soccer game than night and the member we went to get lives close to the stadium. Despite the challanges we all arrived. I think the total was 19. There were ten missionaries, one 16 yr-old who has been a member for most of his life, two recent converts and the rest either have baptismal dates or are waiting for the paperwork to get married to set their date.

We began with a get acquainted activity. Then we watched the slide show made by Mark Mabry, the photographer who did the book and video called Reflections of Christ. He also did one called "Another Testment" about Christ´s visit to America. We used "Another Testment", then the four senior missionaries shared a favorite scripture from 3 Nephi and their testimony. We invited the guests to share their thoughts about Christ and some of them did. Elder Oliver gave a promise that we will have the strength to conquer our challenges as we read the Book of Mormon and pray daily.

We then served Sister Oliver's great liquado and pastries we bought at a panaderia. It was a special experience. The missionaries are anxious to do it every week. In the future we want to include some less actives that we have met. Our bare white walls are good for projecting videos. You can watch a video clip at . We heard about it from Steve and Amelia and brought the video with us.

Saturday, April 7, 2012


We have walked the last two mornings for exercise at 6:30. The first morning we went down the Cali river to a park with cat sculptures. The river has sidewalks on both sides with lot of pretty trees and plants. The second morning we walked up river to the zoo. We have seen a lot a people out walking. Yesterday we noticed most of the walkers going on up the mountain. When we asked other walkers we were told it was Good Friday and they were headed to the CristoRey up on the top of the hill. In the afternoon from our office window we could see them coming back. The office is up river a couple of blocks but on the other side of the river from the zoo and the route to CristoRey. We live on the same side of the river as the office on a tributary of the Rio Cali called Aguacatal. The Aguacatal comes from a mining area so it is rust colored and you can see the two colors of water when they join.

Friday, April 6, 2012

New Additions

We got living room furniture! We actually got 2 chairs with the sofa. I was happy to have somewhere to put my feet up besides the bed! I have been having a little trouble with swollen ankles but it seems to be getting better. The color of the sofa is the same as the seats on the dining chairs we already have. The new chairs are cream colored.

Now we can invite new members and investigators to home evenings!

We also bought a patio palm and two plastic deck chairs. Ours is not the only balcony with no furniture or plants anymore. I like to sit there in the evening. I think we really want an indoor plant too. It changes the look and feel of the living room to have a plant in it.