July 8, 2014
Two really great things happened this week. On Wednesday, Elder Uceda, the area president, and one of the 70’s I believe, came and gave a conference for all the missionaries in our mission. It was super super good and I learned so much. He talked a lot of about faith, and how that is the foundation for everything. And it gave me so much animos para seguir trabajando, and doing all that I can do to fulfill my missionary purpose to help others come unto Christ. I love this gospel and love this work so much!
On Saturday we had intercambios, so for the day I went to the area of Equipetrol with Hermana B, who I love so much! It was so nice to be able to express everything that I’ve been feeling to her, and she helped me to be able to know that I’m not alone. I learned so much from her teaching. She speaks from her heart, and her love for the people really shows.
Anyway, things are good and I am so grateful for everything that I am learning and the attributes I am developing, and for the opportunity I have to be with such amazing people and helping them to come unto Christ. We are teaching a new family that has come to church the past 3 Sundays and they are so amazing. They have so much faith- one of their daughters is really sick and in a wheelchair, and we brought an hermano from the ward to come give her a blessing, and it was so powerful. I am so grateful for the priesthood. Also I can’t remember if I mentioned that last week we fasted with an investigadora for her mom that was going to have a serious surgery, but we all fasted with faith, and then after she found out that her mom wasn’t going to have the surgery and that everything will be ok. Anything is possible with faith.
Con mucho amor,
July 14, 2014
The lessons we have had this week have been really good. We have an amazing family, La Familia R. I think soon we are going to have their baptism which would include 6 people!
Also this week I have learned why obedience is so important. My companions are really great and I love them and we have a lot of fun. Yesterday we had ward conference and a lot of people came, including 8 of our investigadores! They talked about la obra de salvacion and what a role we play, members and missionaries, to bring about the work of salvation.
Also this week we had an activity with the Relief Society and I taught them how to make banana bread, and it turned out really good and everyone loved it. This week I’m going to teach them to make brownies. We made brownies yesterday with our pensionista and they turned out super delicious.
I don’t know if you’ve heard of this, because I hadn’t before so maybe its new, but there’s this thing called HEFY, which is Humanitarian Especially For Youth. There are groups from the States coming here to different parts of Bolivia to serve for 2 weeks, and this week they are with our ward. They came to church yesterday and are going to be doing activities with the youth this week. It’s so cool to see the influence of them on the members here, because North Americans are like celebrities here. I was talking to the counselor who graduated from BYU and is like an EFY counselor for this group, and I totally want to look into this when I get back to see if I can do that. Also it’s funny because only the leaders speak Spanish so I was helping translate.
Thanks for all your thoughts and prayers.
Con mucho amor,
These photos are our district, our zone, and my companions.
July 21, 2014
Tuesday night we had an activity with Relief Society and I taught them how to make brownies (from a recipe that I got from another Hermana). And they turned out super delicious and everybody loved them, and now they are famous and everyone wants me to come to their house and make it with them.
Wednesday night we got the call for cambios. And it was so crazy. Both my companions got called to go to Trinidad! It’s outside of Santa Cruz and they both have different companions, and the 4 are going to be the first Hermanas there in Trinidad. So that’s crazy awesome, but also going to be so hard to open up a new area, but it will sure be an adventure. My new companion is Hermana C. She is from Guatemala and she is really sweet. I actually already met her when I was in my first area in Jardin, and we became friends when we were there together, so that’s really nice. Before being with me she was with Hermana B. and Hermana J. It’s really funny because she learned to say some phrases in English like ¨Freaking¨and ¨Sick Nasty¨and ¨What the heck¨. She´s really nice and funny and I love her, and I know we´ll get along well. We just have so much work to do. First there were the two areas, Belen 1 and Belen 2, but they didn’t send other hermanas this cambio, so it’s just me and Hermana C., and we have the whole area of Belen, and it’s grandismo! So big, and so many people. So I know that we´ll be working really hard this cambio. I have definitely learned from my trials to be strong and put all my trust in God, and I know that I am not alone and He is always there to help lift me up. I am so grateful for this gospel for the opportunity I have to share it with these wonderful people here.
Con mucho amor,
P.S. Please pray for the Familia R. They are a familia de oro, and I’m afraid we´re going to lose them. Please keep them in your prayers!
July 28, 2014
This week has been a pretty good week besides the fact that I’ve had a cold. The weather has gotten cold again, so that is probably why. But anyway so here´s what has gone on this week. And here´s what a typical week is like here in the mission in the crazy semi-peligroso super amazing city of Santa Cruz, Bolivia.
On Monday after going to the Internet cafe, we went to a park and played kickball with the zone. Super fun! Then we went and had lunch, and went off to do our chores, grocery shopping, clean the house and wash our clothes and things. By the time we finished everything we had but half an hour to rest and write in our journals before it was time to get ready to leave again at 6PM. We had a noche de hogar con la Familia A., and we had asked el hermano to prepare the mensaje, but of course he didn’t, so we came up on-the-fly a lesson for the whole family that we centered on the proclamacion para la familia. It was really good, and brought me so much joy to be there with this family (who are converts that just recently got sealed in the temple), who have a small humble home with but one room to sleep the family of 7 and yet are so happy despite what little they have.
On Tuesday and Wednesday morning we went with the elders to do service for an old lady named Hermana N. here in our ward that is a recent convert of about a year. As she lives alone, she is really lonely and so sweet, and offered to have us come live with her, but we said “thanks, but we already have a place to stay… but we´ll come a and visit often!” We helped her weed and clean her yard. (And we found a huge tarantula!) She is so precious and so strong in her faith. And between those two days we walked a lot trying to find people and had some good lessons with investigadores and less actives and recent converts. Then on Thursday morning as always we have our district meeting, and I was asked to give the class. I had the topic of el estudio. So I talked about the importance of having an effective study of the gospel so that we can be prepared to teach. And the most important thing is that we can study and learn by the spirit so we can teach with the spirit. Then Thursday night we went to the capilla for the sociedad de socorro actividad to learn how to make cuñapé (which is this super delicious cheese-filled bread), and then we had our consejo de barrio. The leaders here in this ward are so amazing and so willing to help and to serve.
On Friday we went to a member’s house to make brownies, because she arrived late to the actividad when I taught the sociedad de Socorro how to make them. She loved them so we went to her house to make them with her and her two girls that I love. That was fun, and then we went out with a recent convert named Daniela. She is so amazing, the only member of her family and preparing to go on her mission. She wants us to teach her friend, and she comes to some of our lessons. She has such a strong testimony and is such a good friend to our investigadores. Then on Saturday we had a lesson with a lady named Ericka who is an investigadora who is totally prepared and could be baptized by now, except the fact that she´s not married to her husband (the problem with everybody here). She´s been reading el libro de Mormon and is in 2 Nefi 20. She is incredible and is one of the many people here with such great faith. Saturday afternoon we went to the capilla to help una Hermana teach the mission prep class, and we went out with them to contact her friend. Yesterday was Sunday and as always is the best/worst day of the week. I love Sundays because we can go to church and I LOVE going to church, being able to take the Santa Cena and feel the spirit, and to learn from the strong and wise and humble people here. It’s always stressful though when we have investigadores, because we have to always be by their side and help them find their classes and everything. But that is why I am so grateful for the members. And it is always so disappointing when the people that said that they would attend don’t end up coming. But anyway, I always love being there with the members and everyone, because they really become your family. Then it’s always hard to find people, because on Sundays practically no one is home. The culture here is so centered around families, so people go to visit their families or have fiestas (or siestas) so it’s hard. And a lot of people drink, and we always come across borrachos … (a gross drunk guy tried to kiss me, ugh!) But anyway we were able to visit a few people, and we ended the day visiting the family of my converts Alejandra y Jorge.
La mama de Hna. Lidia is one of the most incredible people I’ve ever met. She´s been through so much with having her husband leave her recently, but she has such strong faith and she knows what’s important, her faith, and her kids. She is so grateful that her kids were able to get baptized and now they have the gospel in their lives like they´ve always wanted but couldn’t have because of her controlling husband. Anyway, she and her kids are so strong and I´ve learned so much from them. This week we´ve visited a lot of the recent converts, and the investigators that are progressing such as the Familia R. I appreciate your prayers for them. We were only able to teach the daughter Melissa this week, and we have a baptism date for the 9th of August. I think her mom will also get baptized this day. They are just busy most of the time, so the challenge is finding time to teach them. But they have come to the activities this week and the mom and Melissa came to church yesterday. They are doing well, but we just want the rest of the family to progress too.
Anyway, we´ve been working hard and this work is hard but is the best. I also love my companion. She is so funny, because her last companions were North Americans. She´s picked up a few phrases that she always says that is hilarious. She´s really great and she has a big heart and is a hard worker.
I am still ever so grateful for my trials and for everything I am learning and experiencing here on the mission. I can’t believe that I´m going to be coming upon the half way mark (the 6th of August). How fast time flies by! And in one month from today I will be turning 20. Crazy!
Anyway, I love these people I love the gospel I love the mission and I love my Heavenly Father and I love you all!
Con mucho amor,
NOTE: In order to protect their privacy the names of my companions, members and investigators will be omitted and their name tags obfuscated.
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