What a strange, strange week it has been here in Ipiales, Colombia! By far the weirdest week of my short time here in Colombia. I should first tell you that everything is okay now, thanks to the prayers of everyone the government was able to solve everything again and it looks like the protesters have gone away satisfied and the roads will open up!
It all started last Monday when we saw a ton of indigenous people protesting and shutting down all of the stores and Internet shops and just about everything that is in the city. That was strange but we could work around it. Then night came and found out that they had gotten even more mad because nothing changed. And then everything went crazy and they even started throwing rocks at taxis and stores. That is when we got the order to stay in our houses until everything cooled down. And it didn't calm down until yesterday! We were in the house the whole week teaching lessons over the phone, having members visit all of the investigators and just feeling helpless that whatever was happening with our investigators was in someone else's hands.
We had to keep two Elders in our house because where they were living was way too dangerous to be. It was pretty boring all week but we sure got a lot of studying time in! I realize I won't have the time to study this much after the mish so I took advantage of the time, I pretty much read the whole New Testament and Jesus the Christ! Haha but seriously there is not much to report after that.... we did have 7 baptisms in the zone, using a great scheme of leaving our houses surrounded by members who communicated with us by cell phone if there was danger or not. That was a huge tender mercy! We were worried we weren't going to be able to have the baptisms because we couldn't visit anyone! But the Lord was looking out for us and helped the people into the water.
We did get horrible news that one of our fellow missionaries had died . Elder Encarnación was a good friend of mine. We met in the Bogota MTC and was one of the first missionaries I talked to there. I tried so hard to speak Spanish well but I remember not understanding a word of what he was saying. He was from the Dominican so I think I asked him if he played baseball or something like that. It was really surreal hearing the news it was one of those moments you choose not to believe. But all is well, he was serving his Lord here in Colombia and he will continue preaching the Gospel on the other side.
I beheld that the faithful elders of this dispensation, when they depart from mortal life, continue their labors in the preaching of the gospel of repentance and redemption... in the great world of the spirits of the dead. (D&C 138;57)
I know he is still working hard in this work just like before and still is going great for his goals for the month of September! He sure will be missed.
Well now that everything will get back to normal we are super hungry to get back to work. There is nothing like staying in the house a week that rekindles your drive to get out and work. It should be a fun week, we have tons of plans that are hopefully going to result in some baptisms here in the near future! Can't wait!
Thanks to everyone who offered a prayer on our and my behalf. The spirit of prayer was felt all during the week as I just knew everything would be okay. When the enemy rises up contention against the Work of God, it motivates me more to keep going strong.
We also have a trip to Cali planned for this week! Elder Waddell of the First Quorum of the Seventy is making a visit to our mission and we made it just in time out of the strike to go! Wish us luck!