Monday, April 27, 2015

Miracles Really Do Happen

27 April 2015

Wow... this week has been so cool! This week our hopes and prayers were answered! Our investigator CAME BACK! Wow! How cool! We were honestly heartbroken when we heard that he had left and left behind his kids, until we received a call this week from one of the members that lives near him saying that he is back. And one more thing, we met with him this week and HE is the one who set his new baptismal date! How amazing!

Fun things to say for the week, I have officially carried on the CCM tradition and found the spirit animals of everyone in my Zone ;D very fun ;D They say that I am either a crane or a dolphin... who knows ;D

My companion and I were able to have a ‘noche de deversion’ [fun night] that is pretty much just a short lesson from us and then a bunch of games and refreshments at the end. SO fun! We had a lesson on fe [faith] then my compi and I gave them a bunch of games with balloons and another with an alphabet-soup-type game! Que divertido! [What fun!]

We also got the opportunity to go to the Cochabamba Bolivia Temple with our ward this week! This was quite the experience because at first we didn't think that we would be able to go. The mission rules are that we need to go with a recent convert who is going to the temple for the first time and we didn't have anyone... (This is a rule so that the missionaries don't flood the temple grounds and so that there is room for everyone else ;D) BUT! Long story short we ended up going because one of our AMAZING investigators wanted to go! Way cool that: 1. she even wanted to go and 2. that we had permission to go with her! It was such a wonderful day to just be on the grounds of the temple and to be able to share this with our investigator who we love to pieces!

Well, that is all I have time for this week, but take care, have fun, make the most of each moment and try something new (I tried cow intestine patties and cocaine cake- don’t worry it isn't “cocaine” cocaine - this week ;D)

Lovfte you!

Hermana Mather

Last p-day we went to a small Bolivian amusement park with my district! :D

We went to the temple with our ward this week!

The temple!

This is part of our area!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Haven’t Had Hot Water for a Week

20 Abril 2015

This week has been harder than usual... it has actually been kinda funny ;D  we haven’t had hot water for a week so we end up trying to warm up some water in our water boiler and take a ‘shower’ with that ;D also the baptism that we had fell through because the investigator that we had left for Chile, leaving his 13-year-old daughter behind to take care of her two little siblings and live with their grandma who isn't the best of influences because she is drunk practically every night... it’s been pretty sad to see things play out...

At these hard times I’m am reminded of the poem footsteps in the sand. I LOVE THIS POEM! It has such amazing meanings for me! It reminds me that Christ is always with us, in the good and the bad. And at times when things get really difficult and we feel all alone, these are the times that Christ is with us the most and is carrying us through these difficult times. I love the comfort and help that I can receive from my Savior and the love that I can feel from Him, for me and for all those around me!

Good news, my camera is here! WOOOOO! I’ll post some pictures of us with our new investigators ;D 

Funny story for the week- in our pension [apartment], two other companionships eat there -- one companionship of Hermanas and one companionship of Elders.  I was making faces for the emotions that they would name (sad, happy, angry, the like) and I made a face and one of the Elders just asked what emotion it was. I told him to guess and he just BURST out laughing! I had no idea why... and then he asked me about my ‘cara (face) de gas’! hehe He thought that I had said ‘gas’ instead of ‘guess’! So I officially have a ‘cara de gas’ in the mission! hehehe awkward... ;D

Tender mercies for the week:

  • Cambios [companionship exchanges with the Sister Training Leaders] were this week and only one missionary from my zone was transferred to a different area! We are going to have an awesome zone of missionaries this transfer!
  • I`m still learning slowly but surely! I have hope that I’ll be able to speak fluently sometime in my mission  ;)
  • The ward members in Colcapirhua are really starting to get involved in the missionary work here (this is SO helpful!) the missionaries here are    so caring and funny and hard-working! It’s just great!

That’s all I have time for (especially with this HORRIBLE keyboard... I really am struggling to type anything...) Love you guys!

Hermana Mather

One of our new investigators: "Hermono Grinch"

Having fun between service activities!

My beautiful area!

Washing our clothes this morning!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Un Dia Mas de Vida‏ [One Day More of Life]

13 Abril 2015

The reason for the beginning of this email is every time that we pray with new investigators they ALWAYS thank the Lord for “one day more of life”! I think that that is way cool to thank the Lord for every single second and every single day that we get here in life to grow and learn and to become better! It really makes me appreciate all the time that I am given!

Every single day, my companion and I work SO hard! We come back to our apartment and are just beat and ready to plop into bed and sleep for days! Every day is so packed full of emotions and things to do and just WOW! So many people to love and to teach and to help!

Hehe, so funny story, it turns out that the people here REALLY love to talk! Really ;D and they honestly can talk for hours. I love listening to them and learning more about them! But at times, we have appointments right after another to visit more people in the area.... so we have a really hard time being on time for things ;D especially since I really don't know how to fluidly transition to end the conversation... so since we are always running late to things, we literally have to run from person to person, apt to apt ;d it is quite hilarious to see Hermanas running on the side of the roads at times, and we have had a few members of the ward come up to us and say that they saw us running on the side of the road ;D hehe

If you have time, look up the video Él Vive [He Lives] it is sooooooo good! Wow! It is so powerful! I love how it starts with how the Savior was a teacher, a friend, and prophet, and all these things for the people around him, how he died for us, but the greatest miracle of all is that HE LIVES! and He is in every second of our lives. He is always here for us. En las malas y en las buenas! En cada momento! El esta aqui! [In the bad and good! In every moment! He is here!] I also love that at the end of the video it says "buscalo" [look]! He is here in every moment and every seam of our lives—we just have to look for him!

soooooo... this week... we have just been working and teaching and helping everyone around us as is the life of a missionary :D

One cool thing, I feel like before my mission that I have a really strong testimony in English and now that I'm learning Spanish and reading my scriptures in Spanish, I’m gaining a testimony IN SPANISH! It is amazing to feel the swelling, large growing feeling that comes from this little seed (Alma 32) of faith and the  growth of a new testimony in a new language ;D

Challenges for those of you out there who have read this far in my email ;D :

  1. Make goals for reading the Book of Mormon! It is so much easier to work towards a goal and be motivated by it!
  2. Help the missionaries by letting them know of friends and people that could really enjoy the blessings of the gospel (that is everyone ;D)
  3. Pray every morning and night! And when you do, wait just a little bit afterwards ;D its pretty awesome what the Lord can say when you are listening
  4. Just keep smiling! No one is perfect and life is to be enjoyed! (Men are that they may have joy)

Tender mercies for the week: Either I have less bug bites, the bugs don't like my blood as much, or the bites have just stopped itching! Woo! My compi [companion] is lovely and patient and sweet! I have a lovely family who loves me and writes me, the people here are so open and kind. I have the energy each day to keep on going!

Keep your head up and your spirits high.

Love you guys!

Hermana Mather

Here in bolivia they have special days where no cars are allowed on the roads which is VERY different than usual!

 So we wanted to get a picture or two! Way cool! And this is one of the few roads in my area that is nicely paved!

We found glow sticks in our apartment the other night!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

My Mission is Making My Feet Hard and My Heart Soft‏

6 Abril 2015

As you can probably already determine from the title of this week's email, my feet are doing better, just turning to leather ;D and my heart is truly becoming soft to the spirit and to stories of all those around me. I’m one of ‘those missionaries’ that you can see tearing up in sacrament meeting and when bearing my testimony. I think that I am becoming soft because not only the hard experiences that we have and the truly humble people and lives that we see, but also because of the reliance that I am starting to have on the spirit as well as my savior. I am so grateful for the opportunity this Easter to really think and meditate about Jesus Christ (I almost wrote Jesucristo ;D) and the gratitude that I have for him. I am so grateful for the opportunity to view conference as well!

Can I just say that Conference is a wonderful blessing every time that we get a chance to watch it? My goodness! (In the LDS church we have General Conference 2 times a year where we are able to hear the inspired words of prophets and apostles for 4 sessions - 2 on Saturday and 2 on Sunday) I am SO happy to say that I was able to watch conference in English! All of it! My mission president thinks that it is very important to be able to understand conference and to watch it in our native language (if you so choose) so the North American Elders and Hermanas [Sisters] in my zone and I were able to watch conference in English!

General conference is always so inspiring, especially around the time of Easter (Happy Easter by the way!) I love all the talks that were on the Savior! I feel like on my mission I am coming closer to my Savior as my brother and as my redeemer (especially in the hard times that I have had with the language and getting used to all the craziness of a mission... cause to be 100% honest, it really is hard... but it is also 1000000% worth it!)

If you guys have time this week, watch (or rewatch) the talks that Elder Jeffrey R. Holland and President Dieter F. Uchtdorf gave for the Sunday morning general conference session! I loved these talks! I love how Elder Holland talked of the Savior as our brother and that he reaches for us and once he has our hands he never wants to let go! And how there are times in this life that we feel like we are hanging on a sandy canyon edge, struggling and slipping, but that God has a plan for all of us and the entire sequence of our lives were designed for our divine happiness! How cool! And then I love how President Uchtdorf talks of the grace of God. My favorite quote from this is that the gates of heaven are unlocked and the windows of heaven are open. We just have to enter into those gates (I like one of the greeters for that gate- like an Wal-Mart... but better ;D) and that gate is baptism! woo! That is why it is so important as well (remember my email last week?) and the windows of heaven are open to rain down blessing for all of us on earth! I love that!

Laundry washing by hand is great! It’s very different and sometimes our cloths fly off the line onto the dirt below and we have to wash them again but it’s going well. I have a new appreciation for washing machines and the hard work that they do every single day ;D My living conditions are great! We live in the second floor of a house of a woman who is very sweet and lets us pick figs and apples off of her trees in the yard to eat! My pensionista is great! Everything comes with rice (should I be surprised?) and it’s super yummy! The other day we had a traditional Bolivian dish called pique macho and oh my! I fell in love ;D She also lets me cook once a week for everyone! It is far from good for you but it is delicious! I found some shoes/sandals that are dorky but they work so well and they are 100 Bolivianos (which is about 15 American dollars) and I love them! They are great and they help with the pain! woo!

Pique a lo Macho

I hope that you guys like me if I come back from my mission bald... the water here is REALLY bad for your hair here and all the sister missionaries loose a bunch of hair.. I have already lost a bunch of hair and I've only been here for a month (wait... I've been here for a month?!?) soooooo... don’t be surprised if I come back with no hair on my head. And please still love me regardless ;D

They have a mission violin! And I think that I am going to be playing for our baptism this week!

Well, that is all I have time for this week, but take care, I love you, keep it up, read your scriptures, watch a movie for me, appreciate your family, attend the temple, and listen to the music (from conference ;D)

Hermana Mather