Monday, December 29, 2014

Happy New Year!

I'm really glad everyone had such a good Christmas. I have to say things were really different here. But I learned a lot, I learned the importance of family more than ever. And how blessed we are to have a family like we do and all the things we do together. My companion was shocked with how many people I talked to the other day when I called home. Things are so different here Christmas was more about eating more than anything else for these people. But I know this is where I'm supposed to be. It can be hard at times but then I realize that I can only thank Heavenly Father though my service. I have been Given much so I too must give. Haha I have started to memorize that hymn in Spanish. Really makes a difference when you take a step back and look at what you have. It crazy that things are going so fast out here. The new transfer just started today so I should be here in Neiva for another 6 weeks. Which I'm really excited about. This last week was actually one of my best ever lessons wise. We taught 19! This week I really want to break 20, but the best part was yesterday we Got 4 people to church, all of which we found this last week. And all seem to be really interested. Two of them have a baptism Date for the 17th, so we have a lot of work to do. We also have a family who is going to get married on the 10th and baptized the same day!!! We have a few others who are progressing but it's been a challenge to get them to church. It was so nice to talk to everyone the other day, but I have to say it's nice to have the work go back to normal. I have really grown to love the chance I have to share this gospel. And I don't want to lose any time what so ever. I'm going to hit 7 months in this next six weeks. 7 months!!!! I don't know where the time has gone. Kinda scares me, but at the same time drives me to work harder if I only have so much time as a full time missionary. I have grown to realize that the best thing we could ever do for someone is share this gospel, it brings an eternity of blessings. I love you guys have an awesome week, and Happy New Year!!!

Elder Chavez

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Feliz Navidad Elder Chavez

Christmas came a day early this year.  Mason is currently serving his mission in Neiva Colombia. He and his companion are the only 2 missionaries in the area! We were able to Skype with him as a family on Christmas Eve.  Mason's face radiated with pure happiness.  He was calling us from a little store just off the street that was maybe 10x20. No one in Colombia has cell phones, so you go to a store where several computers are lined against a wall and pay for your internet use.  He said it cost him a penny a minute to use the computer.  As we were talking you could hear traffic and honking in the back ground.  He said life there is so different than the states.  They have no rules on the road.  He said lights turn red and people still drive.  He joked that I would never survive in Colombian Traffic cause it is so crazy. One scary thing he said ... is that he is nearly hit by cars every day because in Colombia cars first then people.  He said the work is hard but so worth it and he is trying his very best to stay obedient to the Lord.  He eats plain simple foods daily like, rice and a Chicken bone wrapped in a tortilla and grilled ham and cheese. In Colombia They don't eat dinner.  So just 2 meals a day.  He said the food is plain and he is always hungry!  He says he eats to get full not because it tastes good! Craziest thing he has eaten so far is the fried fish.  He says you eat the entire fish including eyes.  He said the bread there is amazing!!! And probably his favorite thing!  He said in Colombia they celebrate Christmas on the 24th.  It is one big party.  Everyone parties hard all night and then sleeps the entire Christmas day.  So his plans were to spend the 24th with his bishop at their home and on Christmas they would have a planning day.  He says he loves and misses everyone!   He was able to see his pup Sophie and he was calling and whistling to her, she was looking around confused as to where he was.  The best part for us was seeing how Happy He is. You can truly see and feel the pure love of Christ within Mason.  It Brings such peace to our family know he is doing so well.  He is an awesome Missionary!  He wishes you all a very Merry Christmas. And said Please write!

He Is The Gift!

Mason asked we share this video he has been sharing with everyone he meets.  This is the true meaning of Christmas.  We hope and Pray we can all feel the spirit through out this coming year and remember and find Christ our Savior.

Monday, December 22, 2014

The Greatest Gift ...

Things have been going good. I have been thinking a lot about what is the greatest thing I have ever received  for Christmas, because of that movie. And I have to say hands down that it is my family! But I would not have the chance to live with you forever if it weren't for this Gospel. The Gospel of Jesus Christ. He is my Savior and Redeemer.  I've started to realize that this mission is the greatest gift I have ever been given. I have the chance to Thank God though this service, the chance to say I'm sorry for my faults by working my guys out to make up for them. I love you guys with all my heart and I hope you know I pray for you every day! Merry Christmas!

Elder Chavez

Monday, December 15, 2014

People Actually Came To Church!

Well we started to get to know the area a lot better and who we are actually teaching, This was one of the first weeks where I actually got people to come to church. We had three people come to church, and we actually hit almost all of our goals this last week which was awesome! It's been really hard with this companion,  Not because we don't get along we actually get along really good laughing alot in the streets. But it's hard because I feel l like I'm the senior companion when I'm not. Haha He's from Colombia sorry I left that out last week, but from way up north somewhere. It's hard because I have been the one remembering everything. With Elder Mizari he always just took control of the lessons, of the planning, of everything. But now, I'm the one who calls and confirms stuff, plans the lessons, it's hard. But at the same time I am really grateful. I feel like the Lord is really preparing me. I feel like I have actually grown so much in these last two weeks here. Once I noticed it a lot more in the lessons, I have been putting so much more focus into theses people and their lives So I'm praying that they can continue in their progress. I would like to see some pictures of the new car you got. That's sweet! Mom Don't worry about a car payment. This Gospel has blessings. Spiritual and Temporal, if we put everything we have in the lord we have his promise that we will come out on top. So just always have that faith that things will get better, because they will I know it. I love you guys so much I actually had an intercambio, which is when the district leader goes with another companion for the day. My companion is the District leader so he went with another elder. And I got to go with, Elder Tulseck, Remember him? Haha my friend from the CCM. It was a really fun long day. But we both got a little depressed in the night when we started to talk about our families. I hope all is well you guys. You are always on my mind I love you!

Elder Chavez

Monday, December 8, 2014

New Area Neiva Colombia
Mason said it is still in the hot lands, but it is not as hot as Girardot was.


Well This week was really interesting for me. Wednesday Elder Mirzari and I were eating lunch when all of a sudden we got a phone call from our zone leaders. I answered the phone and they told me that they had some news for me. That I was getting Emergency Transferred. That I needed to have my bags packed in two hours and that I was headed to Neiva. So that was a really weird way to start of my day. We ate lunch with one of our favorite families that day and when they lady served us lunch I just started to cry. Haha I felt like I had grown up in Girardot with my Dad. Elder Mizari. We were both in pretty big shock. Then we raced home and I started packing like a mad man. Got it all in my bags in about an hour and headed for the bus terminal. I always knew that Elder Mizari was going to be one of my friends forever. They call your trainer your Dad out here. When we left the house that's when I knew how much he cared for me we started walking away and he started giving me the dad pep talk. That I must always remember who I am and what I stand for, That I must always be an example and that he thinks I'm an awesome missionary. Then we Got to the bus station and that was it ... we bought my ticket and I left never knowing if I'll see him again. So I'm in Neiva. I took like a 2 and a half hour bus ride alone to get here. My new Companion is Elder Hurtado. He's 26 years old!! Haha we are both new to the area. And it's huge and I have to say I have never been so stressed in my life. I don't really know what the last missionaries did here but they left us nothing. Apparently we have investigators. They left us the names with no phone numbers or addresses. I have to say these last few days have been so hard. Not a bad hard, but we have been looking everywhere. And we are walking too so my feet are absolutely killing me well they were. Haha I can feel my faith growing. All day long I just keeping praying to my Heavenly Father to help us and I can feel the strength. I was so tried yesterday but once we hit the pavement it was like I was filled with a new life full of energy ready to work. Our ward here is awesome though. We are the only ones in the ward. Two missionaries for and entire ward! In Girardot there were 88 missionaries for a branch! So I'm really excited. I can feel the potential here, but it's hard cause we don't have a clue where anything is or where anyone lives. But hey, we are here. We are ready and we have the Lord on our side we can do this. I love you all so very much!! 

Mason and his New companion Elder Hurtado
in His new area Neiva!

This picture is for you Dad ... Thanks for cooking all those years!

Thanksgiving Dinner
Creamed Corn

Thanksgiving Dinner
Turkey Hot Dogs ... yum!

Thanksgiving Dinner Final product!
Smashed potatoes, creamed corn, peas and Turkey Hot dog!

Mason smashing the potatoes with a cup.  It was all he had to use!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Smashed Potatoes and Turkey Dogs

This week was pretty good, I was really bummed out yesterday because we had 9 people tell us that they were going to come to church and then no one came so that was really really frustrating. I don't know what more we can do with some of them. I also had my first interview with my mission president since being in the field. It was pretty good I guess.  It was really quick but his wife made us cookies so that was pretty sweet! I forgot my camera, but I have some pretty sweet pics for you. Dad's going to be proud of me ... I made Thanksgiving dinner for my whole house, I bought corn, peas and made smashed potatoes, and topped it off with turkey hot dogs. That's the only turkey they had here. haha!  I had to smash them with a cup that's all I had. But they tasted good. Love you all.

Elder Chavez

Thursday, November 27, 2014

HaPpY ThAnKsGiViNg!

Wanted to tell Our Missionary Happy Thanksgiving! We love you so much Elder Chavez! I hope your mashed potatoes and can of corn turned out perfect!  We are so grateful for this gospel and your willingness to serve the Lord and share the blessings the gospel brings with others. We love you!!!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Another Week Came And Went

Well this last week was one of the greatest I have ever had. We started off with absolutely nothing. Not going to lie I was freaking out and had no clue where to go. But all of the sudden out of nowhere we met people. We met people who were really interested. We met a grandma and her grandson  Nubia and David. He has 17 anos (years) but is really smart, we taught him on wed. He came to an activity we had on Saturday and church on Sunday. He really wants an answer if it's true. We have a noche de hogan (home evening) tonight so that should be fun. We are going to cook food from Peru Elder Mizari is going to teach us. Me and Elder Mizari are working so much better together, we always have, but I think when he realized that he was going to stay here for one more transfer  he realized that it's because god has a plan for us.  Things have been going good we have been talking about what we think a lot more and how we are going to improve things. And it seems to be working. We just need to start getting all these people to church. So they can have these blessings. That's one of the most frustrating things out here, they say they want help but the wont act. if they just came God could help them that much more. But we are trying. I hope everyone is ready for Thanksgiving. It's weird because it's not a holiday down here. But I just want to say how grateful I am for all of you! I thought I loved my family before the mission but know I love you with everything I have. I love my parents and all the things they have sacrificed for me over the years. My two little  sisters, I hope they know that I love them and that I'm sorry that I have always teased them so much, that's how I show my love I guess. haha  all my family, my friends they have been examples for me and I miss and love them too. The thing I am most grateful for in my life is my Savior and my Redeemer Jesus Christ. I never truly understood what the atonement was before the mission and still am learning as I go. But I have come to realise that that is THE greatest gift we have ever received. I love Jesus Christ and I'm just trying to serve him the best I can. Have fun eat a lot for me!!

 Elder Chavez

Monday, November 17, 2014


Well cambios are here and I will be in Girardot for another 6 weeks! With Elder Mizari too! Haha so things didn't get to changed up for me. But this last week was a little rough. Elder Mizari was pretty sure he was going to leave so we passed by all the members this last week and took pictures. Really awkward because I just sat there waiting around. Haha but it was good. He was really bummed when he found out he was staying. He told me it wasn't that he didn't want to be with me he's been here for five months already and was hoping for a change. I'm trying to work harder so that he can be excited for this cambio. We need success, my area has only had 8 baptisms for like the last year and a half. We are trying to help establish the church. So we are looking for families!! We need to have more families in the church. So this transfer we are starting a new. Getting to Work.

 Love You all Elder Chavez
Mason's First Zone Leader



Monday, November 10, 2014

Esta Semana

Well, This week was a pretty sweet one, probably one of the best ones yet! Had a lot of cool experiences... One of the cooler ones was that Elder Mizari and I got to go to a new area for a day. We got a phone call from a lady in Bogota and she asked if we could go Visit her family and they live in a city named Aguas De Dios. Which is like 30 minutes from Girardot. So we got permission and went. And it was soo cool there, way calm and relaxed and it was super pretty.  And was actually not a hundred degrees outside!!! Haha, but we had the the appointment with this lady's family and we got five people with baptism dates. So it went ok. Ha, but it was way cool because we were practically the very first Elders to ever set foot in this area. There's only one known member who is living there. So there is crazy amount of potential. We are going to go there every Wednesday from here on out. So I'll let you know more about that. Funny fact about that city to, it's a city of lepors, Like in the bible! Haha, that's where all the sick people used to live. I thought that was so crazy! We also got two sweet references this week from our members. One a lady named Norma we taught her and told her to pray to know if its true. And the next time we taught her she said the she had got and answer that she heard a voice in the night saying that what these men are teaching is true. So that was neat. She didn't come to church though when she promised she would, it was because her boyfriend came in town and they went to lunch or something so today we are going by to set her priorities straight. We also have been working with a less active Achiur, we actually reactivated him yesterday he is really cool and has been wanting to help us out a lot. He wants to be a missionary. But he introduced us to one of his friends Lorena we taught her Saturday she accepted a baptisms date in the lesson, after the lesson she came with us to the baptism that was being held that night, and then she came to church in the morning. Haha so that was a first for me. She says she really likes it we have a lesson with her today too. Book of Mormon! so she is most likely our next baptism just need to get her and all the others to church. This is the first time that I Have actually had a lot of names to work with. And the only reason we have them is because of the member. Elder Mizari has always told me the only way to have success is working with the members. So that's what I want everyone at home to do To. We can all look for opportunities to share. and also work with the missionaries. Well that's the work that happened this week, oh actually church was a little crazy yesterday. One of the members ran over a dog in the parking lot. It was fine after. But it wouldn't come out from underneath the car so everyone was outside trying to poke it out with brooms haha and now the dog is a pet for the family that hit it. haha so that's good. But during sacrament two birds flew through the window and were flying around during the meeting haha I was trying not to laugh. haha well that's all folks I love you all so very much!

Elder Chavez

Monday, November 3, 2014

Nueva Semana

Well this week came and went really fast. Kinda weird how fast things are going, I don't really like it to be honest. I only have two weeks left with my training and I feel like I still need to improve so much more, kinda scares me. But I'm just going to keep trying . This week, we got a lot of our lessons back up which was really nice. This last week we worked with a lot of less actives. We had three people come to church with us this last week all menos actives (less active). But hey they are lamas (souls) going back to God. Halloween was a lot different here. Only really the kids dress up, and people don't trick or treat at houses. They all go to stores. And they  give crappy candy too. Ha ha but it was a pretty good day. The  girls costumes are awesome and I love the pumpkin. Sounds like everything at home is going pretty awesome. Things here are really great too. It's nice I can feel myself getting lost. Time goes like nothing. I actually have one pretty crazy story. The other night we were out biking look for our next appointment. When it started to get all windy and then all of the sudden all the lights went out. It was crazy dark and then  there was a ton of thunder and lighting. This was all in like a minute period then it started to rain. It was a crazy down pour!! We had to run and hide under some random restaurant  We tried to wait the rain out but it wouldn't stop, our zone leaders called us and said to go home. The ride home was crazy, I was completely soaked and way muddy from my bike tires filing mud up on me. But what was cool is when we were waiting we got contacts  from four different people. One was in the area of my friend Elder Jones and this guy wants to come to church with them next week. There is always a time to share the gospel even during a crazy rain storm!!! So I'm going to tell you a story about that Iginio guy I wrote about last week, This is how different things are outside America. So he's 72 lives alone, perfect to teach. We passed by the other day for an appointment and he wasn't there, we stopped by again later in the day and asked him where he was. I guess he has a prostitute that lives in the  next city over, she is twenty years old and is claiming that she is pregnant with his kid. Ha ha  but he says it's not his kid until he sees the papers. But it cost a lot for papers and the lady will never be able to pay for them. So it's not his kid I guess. Oh and this lady sells drugs too. Ha ha  pretty crazy life. I don't think we are going to teach him anymore if he's involved with prostitutes. but who knows he could always change.  Well that's it for this week, I love you all some much don't have to much fun without me!

Elder Chavez

Monday, October 27, 2014

Finally Some Pictures!

I'm a Colombian!
Mason 1 of 2 gringos!

Mason's First Area ...  Girardot

Elder Chavez and Elder Mizari
First area Girardot

Mason's candy stash!
 He is saving his last package of mamba's for a special Halloween Treat!

New Soccer jersey!

Halloween is a family favorite ... Mason's pumpkin with a missionary badge!

Hammock in his apartment

Mason being Mason

They found this little guy in their apartment! 

Typical Missionary meal!

Elder Mizari teaching Mason how to cook arepas

Another New Jersey ...
 I told him it has the wrong soda company on it!
He laughed and said he knew I'd say that!

The "gringo's" decided they didn't want to pay to get their haircut,
so they cut each others hair!

Mason's trainer companion Elder Mizari hit his year and a half mark
so in celebration they Burned his Shirt!

Mason said this is a "Member Bike Ride"
He said that daily a member needs a ride somewhere
So the member hops on the bike and off they go!

We Died ...

Well we died. Haha! This week we worked so hard or at least it felt like we did. Going into Sunday we have 4 new people for a baptism date for the last Saturday before the transfer. And none of them came to church! But there are two of them we are pretty sure are going to be baptized. We passed by one new guy in the morning Sunday his name is Wilson. He's pretty sweet. He is so smart. He knows the bible down pat. But he doesn't like the church he is in now, that's why he came up to us one day this week. He totally understands the need for a prophet and the authority of God. We just gave him a Book Of Mormon yesterday and I'm pretty sure he might read the whole thing cause all he does after work is come home and read the Bible. The other guy we have, who is pretty solid is Iginio. He is a 70 old man who lives alone, watches TV all day and plays sorry with his friends all night. Haha! But he couldn't come Sunday because his daughter came in town but he is already trying to read the whole Book Of Mormon. So that's a good thing. I know there's a chance that I won't be here after this transfer but I'm trying to work harder so if i am or the missionary after me can have these baptisms, but more importantly that these people can have their salvation. Sunday was actually really cool this week it was an area conference, but for only Colombia. So we watched over satellite talks meant just for Colombia the area presidency talked with Elder Holland pretty sweet. We were both really frustrated yesterday when we had nothing to show for but, I'm just ready to go for it this week. Thanks for all the love. 

Love Elder Chavez

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Do or Die Week

This week was pretty OK. We started off really strong, going into Wednesday we had 4 people with baptism dates. But by the time we hit Friday nobody wanted to listen anymore. We haven't had the chance to go back with that family, they kept putting off the appointment. So I don't really think they want to listen to us anymore. But I don't know. I'm trying really hard to keep up my faith in these people we have.  This week is do or die for us to. If we don't find people who can come to church for the next three weeks we aren't going to have any baptisms this cambiar  (I asked Mason what cambiar means this was his reply: cambiar is to change. but a cambio in the mission is a transfer. Transfers happen every six weeks so we only have three Sunday's for this transfer so if we don't find people who can come for the next three weeks we won't be able to baptize them.) And I finish my training in three weeks too! So there is a chance I can get moved to a different area or switch companion's, Which is tough but we can find someone. We did find the best person I have ever taught this last week. We actually met him like a month and a half ago. We seriously have been going back to his house a few times a week for the last month and he was never home. But we ran into him on the street. His name is Dario. He's pretty sweet. The reason why he was never home is because he goes to School in Bogota. He's only 21 and he's already graduating college. So he's really smart. It's been really fun to teach him, he understands everything. He said he already thinks what we are teaching is true. But he still needs to read the Book of Mormon and come to church. For us to baptize someone the requirements are, they have to come to 3 weeks of church for all three hours. He is going back to Bogota this week!! Why?!?! Haha, but he said he'll want to go to church with missionaries there so we're working on getting that figured out for this week. Well that's the work for this week. Got to find those who are ready for us this week! Keep having Family Home Evening and reading the scriptures for me! And Share the Gospel with everyone you can! That's missionary talk Haha! But really DO IT!

Elder Chavez

Monday, October 13, 2014

One Of The Best Weeks Yet!

Man these weeks just keep going by faster and faster! But this week was one of the best ones yet! Me and Elder Mizari had some really good lessons this week. The spirit was really strong in all of them, I felt a lot stronger this week! Also was a lot more tired. Elder Mizari is kinda chubby so we are starting to actually workout every morning, usually he just sleeps in his hammock and I do sit ups and push ups next to him. Haha! But this transfer we are going to run every morning and do sit ups and push ups too. Every other switch off so we've been going to bed as soon as we finish our nightly planning! This week we found our first real Family. That other family I told you guys about doesn't live in my area so we can only go by for lunch on Sunday's and the last two weeks we haven't had time to share anything with them. But this new family is really cool. They want a better life for their two sons they are 10 and 12. They actually read what we assigned them. We haven't invited them to baptism yet, but they understand the importance of authority so I think they want it. This weekend was really crazy... It was the birthday of Girardot and it was insane here. People from all parts of Colombia came for it. Pretty much to just to get drunk. But the mom of this family works in a restaurant and we couldn't teach them this weekend because she was working form 3am to 7 pm all weekend. The people down here work really hard. Well some of them ... they are either working crazy hours or they are sitting outside of their houses doing nothing. Haha! Oh and I got the birthday package I have so much candy it's awesome!!! Eating it slowly to conserve it all! Love you all!

Elder Chavez

Monday, October 6, 2014

Trying To Become The Best Missionary I Can Be

This last week was a pretty hard one for the work. I'm trying to become the best missionary I can and this week I learned a lot of new things that I need to be doing a lot better. I'm trying really hard to lose myself out here. It's hard some days, but this weekend was really nice. Saturday I got to watch conference in English!!  It was so sweet, there were alot of things I needed to hear this week and I swear some of those were meant just for me! I got all the stuff in the mail Gracie's letter made me laugh so hard. Tell her they do have candy here. I love you all so much. Tell Grandma Hoskins that I love her and she better be there when I get home. The house looks really good!  Thanks for all the pictures. I didn't bring my camera today so no pics from me! But I did buy a mini pumpkin last week and drew a face on him and a little missionary plaque. Haha I'm going to miss Halloween! I think I'm going to buy some more decorations. I had to buy a new watch, the straps broke on Grandpa's so tell him sorry! It was starting to stink way bad too though. The leather straps and the heat didn't go together...  it also turned black!! haha!  ... Love you all so much!

Elder Chavez

** Mason has challenged our family to hold Family Home Evening every week ... like a real family home evening, Not just hanging out and being together!  Life can get busy and it can be hard to organize or plan a full lesson.  Mason suggested reading the Mormon messages each week.  This is What he does each week.  It's quick and easy.  He promises it will make a difference.  So I am passing the challenge on to those who read this ;) 

Monday, September 29, 2014

Ditching the Bikes

This week was kinda hard work wise, we have ran out of people to teach this last week. So we started to ditch the bikes so we could talk to people on the streets easier, which worked!!! We found like 5 new people to teach this week and one family that looks promising, they are married which is a miracle down here!! Haha!  Sundays are my favorite day, the spirit is always the best and we always have the best lessons! We can only teach that family I told you about last week on Sundays too. The dad is praying for an answer and is reading too! So that's good! We are taking it slow with him. I'm really excited for Halloween. Even though I don't get to do anything, I think I might buy some decorations for our house and even make some stupid costume! Haha! That's it for this week. Love you all!

Elder Chavez

Monday, September 22, 2014

Greatest Example

I had the best lesson yesterday! We taught a family who are all members except the dad. He likes me a ton! He always talks to me which is way nice. Sometimes people don't talk to me cause I'm the gringo. But we started talking about families and I shared Dad's story and how he changed for us.  The mom was in tears and he said he will read and try to gain a testimony. It was awesome. Tell dad he is the greatest example to me  in my entire life and that he is helping me everyday out here!

Elder Chavez
Trainer Elder Misari and Elder Chavez

Pday Snack

Nasty Bug bites!

B-day Card for Little Sister Izzy!

Shortest Hair cut EVER!
He asked for a # 3 to be used, not sure what happened?!
Still the cutest Missionary out there :)

Trainer Elder Misari and Elder Chavez

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

First Baptism September 13, 2014

First off ... My baptism  was freaking nuts!!! The lady I baptized is Nubia and she is really big! Haha, but anyways they didn't have any baptism clothes that could fit her, so it was really awkward. So like 5 minutes before the baptism we had to run, and I mean run to the store to buy her clothes ... but they didn't have any ... So we got the next best thing a bed sheet! Haha!  We got a bed sheet and cut a hole in the middle and that's what she was baptized in! Haha! I had to do it twice because she didn't plug her nose the first time and her feet came out. But I dunked her pretty hard the next time!!  Things are going getting better.  I stay busy everyday all day. I am so exhausted by the time I get home I just go to bed and get up and repeat the same thing the next day.  My legs get so tired by the end of the day everyday.  It rained here this week on my birthday,  that was cool but then the sun came out and it got super muggy and humid.  I am dripping sweat all day everyday. Weeks are flying by, 2 months today!! I am trying my best out here.  I've started to set goals to focus on.  All I really want is to get lost out here. Make sure to tell Izzy Happy Birthday! Tell her I love her and that she's going to kill it in lacrosse! I am going to try and send pictures but the Internet where I am at is really slow. Love you 

Elder Chavez

Friday, September 12, 2014

HaPpY 19Th BiRtHdAy!

Dear Elder Chavez,
I seriously can not believe that 19 years have come and gone as fast as they have.  Today is a bittersweet day for me.  My heart is so full of Love for you.  You made me a Mom, you gave me a life that I never thought possible.  You gave me Hope at a time I had none.  You're not here at home today with us to celebrate. You're thousands of miles away ... for that I am sad.  But your purpose of being there makes my heart happy!   You have grown into such a fine young man.  I often think about the people your dad and I were when we had you ... young, dumb and had no clue what this life was all about.  And then I think about you Mason,  The sweet strong spirit  you are.  And the courage you had to step forward at a time when Heavenly Father asked "Who would go down and help these two lost people?"  I picture you quietly raising your hand and stepping forward saying " I will go!" You knew what we needed, your sweet spirit showed us the true reason for this earthly life.  I always knew you were special!  You were always a little man from the beginning.  I often joke ... I don't know who raised who! Haha! But seriously Mason,  You have taught so much to me and your Dad in the 19 years you have been here!!! You make us laugh, you tease everyone all the time. You know how to frustrate me almost as much as your Dad! Haha! And lately you have made us cry, cause we miss you so much!!! But through the tears you make us smile.  We await Monday's as though it is Christmas every week!   Seeing the growth and the changes in you each week, make us so happy and proud to be your Mom and Dad!  You still continue to teach and amaze me each and every day with your strength and determination to do what's right!  I am so proud of who you have become.  I know you worry about choices you have made and if you could have done better.  But listen to me when I say,  Never regret the choices you have and will make, they are what build character, they teach us what we really want and need in this life.  We are so proud of you for making this choice to serve The Lord!  There is no better gift that I could give you at this time in your life than this experience!  I hope you cherish this gift! Love the people of Colombia with all your heart and Strength and give them the Love and Hope that you gave to our family!  We love you more than you will ever know Mason! We hope you enjoy this day and know that we love you and are thinking about you always!


Monday, September 8, 2014

First Baptism this Saturday!

Well I hope you guys liked the letter that I sent?! It wasn't very long and I hope the package you sent me was small because last week I forgot to tell you, if it's over 4 pounds when it comes, we have to pay taxes on it!! And that would come out of my food money! So if it is you might need to put more money on my card, Haha!  But I have cool news ... there a kid from school who had to go home for surgery and he said he will bring stuff down here for me. I'm going to give him your number so you can give him stuff. I would like a jar of Renfros and candy, and my Olympic Montroux and Liverpool jersey and some more letters! But things have been going pretty good. We have 10 investigators with a baptism date, but only 3 showed up to church. It can be so frustrating! But some cool and crazy weird stuff... So first off , no one wears clothes down here and it's freaking disgusting Haha! But we will be in the middle of a lesson and a lady will just pull out her boob to feed her kid it's soooo awkward. Hahaha! Everyone thinks it's so cool I speak English, they have me translate like every word. Haha and on Sunday's the chapel is awesome because it's way cold in there! And guess what way cold is?? 81 degrees Haha! I never thought that would be considered cold. Haha! oh and I'm having my first baptism this Saturday and I'm way scared!!  I really like my companion,  He is really good at playing soccer and he really likes to work hard and that is all I really want to do.  The language is coming along ok.  It can get hard at times when 5 people are talking at once.  Well that's it for this week!

Elder Chavez

Monday, September 1, 2014

The Field ... Girardot Colombia

Man it is crazy out here. Way different form the MTC. Haha! But my trainers name is Elder Mizari, He's way cool, teaching me how to be exactly obedient which I want to do so bad. Our area is Girardot. We took a four hour bus ride to get here. And holy crap it's hot here!!! 90 to 100 degrees all day! And I have to say I was pretty scared when we got out here. But I'm trying my hardest to get lost in this work. We ride bikes everywhere we go so that's fun, but my area is all hills so all day long we bike up and down hills. But I really enjoy it. We have like 8 people we teach, some are so ready for this gospel but so many people down here aren't married. So we have to wait, but they don't have the money to it's really sad. We eat some pretty interesting food down here, we call the soup chicken blender cause it looks like they put an entire chicken in a blender and pour it out. The best thing I've eaten so far is this fish. It was fried, but you seriously eat the whole thing. skin eyes and brain! It was really good Haha! We also get juice at every house we go to. Probably because I am sweating so freaking much. Honestly I sweat 24/7 even when I sleep! P day was fun today, we played soccer the whole time. And all the Latinos were like "a gringo who can play!" It was pretty funny! That's all for this week ... love everyone!!

Elder Chavez

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Elder Chavez Has Arrived!

Dear family of Elder Chavez,
We are happy to inform you that Elder Chavez got here to the mission Tuesday and ate lunch with President and Sister Lozano in the mission home with the rest of the group of missionaries he arrived with. Today he received his welcome training and now is ready to go out to the mission field with his trainer and work to bring souls to Christ through baptism and reactivation.
We are happy to have Elder Chavez in our mission and we are sure that he will soon become a successful missionary. (Preach My Gospel pg. 10)
In the mission the preparation day (P-Day) is Monday and is when you will receive updates from him, not this Friday.
Thank you for all your love, dedication, and help in the preparation of Elder Chavez with coming to the mission.

~Élder Smith~
Secretario del Presidente
Misión Colombia Bogotá Sur

Mason With the Mission President and Sister Lozano

Friday, August 22, 2014

Leaving the MTC in 4 Days!

I got a new district this week with the Latinos it's pretty fun. I only have four more days here and then I am in the field!!  I'm really excited though! A little scared but that's what makes it fun.   But I had a few cool things happen to me this last week, one of the Elders I have become good friends with asked me to give him a blessing. My first blessing ever!!! I was really nervous. But it was amazing I had never felt the spirit like that before, I started to talk and it was like something came inside me. It was awesome, we got to go back to the temple this week which was really nice. Then we got another day of proselyting yesterday and I Got 10 contacts with my new companion, we are doing OK for not having any Latinos. haha! I was also  to finish the Book of Mormon for the first time out here! 
IT was really nice, I am picking up so much more than I ever have. I know that, that book is true! And that because it's true this whole church is true! Thanks for the pictures of the girls. I really miss all of you. But I know everything will be OK. Tell grace I'm sorry about her hand, and that I'm proud of Izzy! Both of them are so beautiful! That's crazy that summer is over I don't know where the time has gone, I feel as if I were home yesterday. I love you mom! And tell Dad I love him too!  I really miss him some days, I think about all the movies we watched or how we always goofed off with each other,  I miss it. I never want that to change!!!  Dad has been such an inspiration to me out here! When I think of him I always get lot of confidence. I love all of you so much!!!!

Elder Chavez

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

First Discussion and Tour of Bogota

So let's get straight to the good stuff ... we went out teaching! And we actually got to go out two times! So we went out last Friday for like 3 hours and it was crazy!!! There are so many people in this country!  But it was pretty frustrating, everyone we would go up to would say no thank you and just walk away. But then my companion and I walked like 2 miles away to this big park, and there was only one lady there and I knew we needed to go talk to her. So we walked way far over to her, her name was Emilia and we started to see what she likes to do in life and other stuff. Then I started to tell her about the church. We were only supposed to get contacts from people, but we sat and had a 40 min discussion with her on the restoration. She said she wants to know more and wants to have good blessings in her life, it was crazy! We gave her a book of Mormon and asked her to Read Moroni 10 and pray to receive an answer. It was crazy!! She was so excited when we gave it to her, her very own copy!! We got to go out again yesterday for only an hour but it was cool, my teacher challenged us to get 5 contacts and we did it!!! The first time we only got three. But one month today! It's crazy, I still remember the drive to Provo as if it were yesterday. Two more weeks in the MTC and then I'm done! It kinda scares me sometimes, I feel like I'm not ready at all but I just keep praying for strength! Funny story ... we were out doing service the other day and this lady brought up her daughter to us and was like "look how cute she is!" "Do any of you handsome men want to marry her??" We had to tell her no. hahaha!  But I guess that's pretty common down here. And then I have some good news! I wrote you guys a letter home! So you have to see if it makes it there! I sent it on Friday and I hear it takes like 3 weeks to go back and fourth so who know when it will get there but let me know if it does. Here is my new address for the mission home, so if you want to send letters and pictures to me that would be awesome. I don't think it would ever be worth it to send a package down here. Just pictures of the family will be enough.

Elder Mason Chavez
Colombia Bogota South Mission
Calle 72 #10-07, oficina 303
Edificio Liberty Seguros
Bogota, Distrito Capital

Things here are going good! I'm just trying really hard to forget about myself and start to love others. We watched a devotional by Elder Bednar and the whole thing was about turning outward and forgetting what you want and need and help others with their wants and needs. I've been trying to do that. I miss all of you so much. I get a new companion today, we were all supposed to get Latinos but they aren't enough for all of us so I have another North American who was already here. His name is Elder Taylor. He's from Holladay so kinda close. He was friends with Paloni so that's kinda cool. Arron Wooden was here but we never were able to get a picture together, they only let us have our cameras on pday. Well I love all of you so much. It brings me to tears sometimes, I hope everything is going good at home!! I was about to cry when i read the thing with Bailey! But just let everyone know I love all of them so very much!!

Love Elder Chavez

Pictures from Mason's Tour around Bogota

This picture made me literally laugh out loud!

This is a Salt Mine that they turned into a Cathedral
Mason said it was kind of weird but really cool!