Monday, May 5, 2014

Milagros de nuestro Señor

I am deeply touched from all of your emails. Unfortunately I did not receive an email from Jesse.. :( is it from your email address or his, mom? Your emails bring me so much joy and motivation to continue to work...harder..haha. So this week was pretty busy. We had las manos Mormonas que ayudan, Mormon helping hands. It was hard work. At first we were going to paint trees (I have no idea why we would paint trees), but instead we just weeded and did some gardening. I ran into Élder Johnston there! Tell April that! He recognized me right away. I had to take a little time to realize that it was him. He is doing great. 
It was really cool to see all the many Bolivians get together and do some service. It was hard service. Afterwards our ward had lunch, but there wasn´t enough for everyone, so the sister missionaries, we ate really little. But its okay.
I had my first intercambio this past friday! I was sooooooo nervous. I was freaking out when I found out that I had to leave my house and sleep somewhere else for a day...then having to get to know new people and a new area....but really it was just a day. I was just overreacting. hahaha but it so turned out to be really great. It was a great experience. My companion for the day was Hermana Flores from Peru. She has a month and a half left in her mission. She is such an amazing missionary. I swear, because I was with her, my spanish has improved mostly because with her, I refused to speak any English. She pushed me to teach in our lessons and it helped tremendously for me to really rely on the spirit to guide me through the lesson. We also had another service project as a zone. We cleaned a yard of some family in Tiquipaya (our zone area). It was HUGE. We cleaned for 4 hours straight. I have never raked so hard with such a tiny bolivian rake....but really, I worked so hard. My body aches from all the service. 
We had many miracles this week. It was fast sunday, and we were fasting for our investigators that they would be able to progress and to have the desire to change their lives. We have investigators, but our usual problem is that they NEVER go to church. It was a problem because before they can be baptized they need to go to church three times. We fasted and we prayed with so much faith. Yesterday, 3 out of 5 of our investigators came into the chapel one by one. It brought me and my companion so much joy. Then we see a less active family that we teach often walk in too. I started to cry. It was just incredible how miracles can happen so quickly at once when you really do your best in this work. So far, our investigators are really progressing. They show so much desire to change their lives. In fact one of them tried to come to a baptismal service with us this past saturday but he was late. And we told him, its okay next time you will see how baptisms your own baptism. And he said, "Yup, I can bet on that". He really sees that the Book of Mormon is changing his life eversince he started reading it. Its really a miracle. Then another investigator, he is so good at keeping his promises to do the things we invite him to do. He plans on coming to church again next sunday, then the 17 of May, we have him date to be baptized. 
It brings me so much joy! 
So there is this young boy named Fernando. He is in the photos I have sent a week or two ago of me and Hna Esperanza, the Cholita and her nephew on the mountain. He is 12 years old. He ALWAYS accompanies us in our lessons and helps us to find people to teach and he is only 12 years old! I showed him a picture of our family and said that Jesse was his age. Then we was like, "He is so tall! So big". Then I realized that Jesse is still growing...I can not believe that he is taller than dad! Dad are you shrinking? hahaha jokes. But anyways, we invited Fernando´s cousin to the baptismal service and we were calling him but he was not picking up. His cousin is a golden investigator by the way. So we ask Fernando to go to his cousin´s house to see if he was there because we were at our house and it was a trufi ride away. Finding trufis is hard at times. So Fernando goes and it so happens that his other cousin starts telling him that missionaries are bad..and she started to call us really bad things. Fernando defended us and went home because our investigator was not home. Fernando was crying so hard. He called us and we could not understand what he was saying, so we promised to visit him at his house after the service. After the service, we had such a hard time to find a trufi to go to his house. We were waiting for 20 minutes and just about to give up, but at the very last minute a trufi comes our way and we reach his house. He tells us what happens and just cries and cries. Then who knows what happened but my companion, Fernando, and I were crying. We were expressing how grateful we were for his sacrifice to help us. We told him not only did he defend us, but he defend Jesus Christ. I have never met such a young boy with such a big heart. Hes only 12! Tell Jesse about him! Tell everyone about him! He is such a great example. I have learned so much from him. He always talks to me in Spanish and he knows I can not understand everything, yet he still talks to me. hahaha. I am helping him with his English homework. I gave him a English Book of Mormon and told him that if he read it completely, he could receive the gift of tongues. Because I know he can. I have seen it happen, because the BOM is so powerful and God is willing to bless him. 
Last night we taught a family that is preparing to be sealed in the temple this month. We talked about eternal families. I carry a picture of our family in my scriptures. So I showed it to them and said, "This is my family..." and then the following words....I just cried. So much because the spirit was so strong. I know right there and even now that our family is eternal. I expressed how much our Heavenly Father loves us that He blesses our families through His gospel. He made it possible to receive joy here on earth and the life after. I saw their family as God did. Their family, every family is special to God. This I really know to be true. 
I hope Stef is doing fine. Tell her to email me! Tell her not to be down on herself. God understands her. He is blessing her. I know it. Tell her I love her and that I miss her! And that I am proud that she can ride a bike! hahahaha that's my bebot!
This morning at 2am my companion woke me up crying. She had really bad stomach pains and was constanting walking back to her bed and the bathroom to throw was 2am and my mind was shut off from spanish. Bad...i know but I did my best. She told me to call the zone leaders and so I did and they were pretty shut off from speaking period, and she was crying and I was like WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO?!?! Then I woke up the mother of the family in our house to help us. She took us to the Clinic to get her checked and from my understanding she had food poisoning. Everyday we eat or drink something really WEIRD. Mostly drink something weird. I can eat. It's the drinks. They make drinks out of peanuts, or it will not have enough flavor...last night we drank or more like chugged down this jelly drink made out of this reddish fruit. It was really gross but we had to drink it all. I think it was what made my companion sink. She believes that too. When the mother of our house realized it might be the food, she looked at me and said, "are you okay?!" and i was like yeah......hahaha I can handle food here now. Its like nothing. I think I have adjusted well so far. I told my companion that I will make us saimin with eggs and spam. She thinks I can cook....bahahahha but really its just the simple things we eat at home. Speaking of which we have a new pensionista for lunch and it happens to be a guy who is a chef! His food is soooo rico!!! so good! I promise you I almost cried eating it because it was really almost just like home. He made a broccoli was to die for!!!!!

I can not believe that I get to skype with you guys this sunday! I am stoking! I do not even know what we will be talking about because I bet I will be screaming for the first 5 minutes. We will have 5 to 10 minutes this saturday to talk on the phone to figure out what time I will be calling on Sunday. 5 to 10 minutes aint enough for me but it will have to do. I lie....i think we only have 40 minutes to talk on skype.. :( but itll be worth it! Ill let you know the real facts. It is hard to really understand what is going on when I'm still learning the language. lol
I am hoping that we will have three or 5 baptisms this month...I am hoping sooooo hard. Thank you to our ward members for being so supportive of the mission that I am serving. It touches my heart to know that they are donating money towards the mission. Tell the ward that I love them and miss them! And a biggggg MAHALO. un GRAN MUCHAS GRACIAS! Ah I miss hawaii and the beaches and such. I saw a church video that had parts of BYUH in it and I had to rewind to see it again. TRUNKY. Wahhh.

But sunday! SUNDAY SUNDAY SUNDAY! I get to see all your smiling faces! I am soooo excited. I love you allllll soooooo much!!!!!!! See you on sunday!!!!!
Con MUCHO amor y abrazos,

Hermana Santeco :)
PS: Fotos from last week´s hike to the waterfall and my scripture covers!

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