Monday, July 7, 2014

El Día de Independencia sin mi?!

It was my first 4th of July without being with ya´ll...and most of all with Aunty Beth. Happy BELATED sweet 16th birthday, Aunty Beth ;)!!! Te quiero mucho! This this week. I am learning a lot everyday. I guess I should announce this officially...I am dreaming in Spanish. Well from what I can remember when it comes to dreaming. Because I remember thinking of every line in my dream and how it is said in Spanish. Usually I remember absolutely nothing because I am constantly waking up to know what time it is. But last night, I KNOW I WAS DREAMING IN SPANISH. 

My companion and I had a few....okay maybe many rough patches. To all you future missionaries, know this. You will have a companion that you will be tested patience...okay I lie, every companion that you will get will test your patience. But get this...sometimes you will find a lot of things that they do will bug you. Sometimes they snore...LOUD. But remember have the responsibility to maintain your companionship in the best condition possible to have the spirit. You want success with your investigators and how can you have that? Its obedience and the relationship of your companionship. This work also lies upon your relationship with your companion. Its a huge deal. Because this work is not easy. There is so much pressure and souls at stake here. But when you realized that you have both chosen to serve a mission for the same reason (perhaps, in most cases its the same reason when it comes to sisters), and that you love God enough to do what it may be according to His will do it together. My companion is learning a lot right now and well as I. A few days we were teaching lessons, and at a point she wasn´t letting me talk in the lessons. I would leave every lesson feeling terrible because 1. I didn´t say anything and 2. My companion doesn´t realize that I need to talk.....I felt horrible because I wasn´t fulfilling my responsibility also to tell her when we needed to change something....because well I´m training her and I am not telling her anything...and that´s because you know me...I´m shy and kind of a pushover. But......I talked to her. More like cried my eyes out talking to her because I expressed to her that she needed to allow me to grow when it comes to the language. I needed to speak in the lessons or I am not going to improve when it comes to teaching or speaking and understanding. I told her that she shouldn´t feel that I can´t speak because I know I can do it. I was given this opportunity to grow and to really learn quickly...then she starts crying telling me that she felt frustrated that she was teaching alone...she didn´t let me teach though -____-.....but know this...I have never seen someone so loving when someone teaches...when I watch her teach. She told me she needed my help. I was told her I will help her. We are helping each other. At times I really lose my patience, but then I find ways to just let it go and lose myself in the work. She was crying yesterday and I gave her the best solution. I told her, "Lets get to work then". After a few lessons she told me thank you because she have seen how when we do serve others, it gets easier. Now I am teaching more, talking more in the lessons. I am improving rapidly! One day I talked in every lesson and I understood what they said! I was so surprised because I would sit and listen and be like....oh my goodness I know what you are saying. Even one night I was laying in bed and I realized that my thoughts were in Spanish and I wasn´t even making an effort. Ahhh I feel so blessed.
Hermana Donoso visited me this past week too because she has meetings for all the sister trainers who do intercambios in Cochabamba every first week of the month. I was so happy to see her. She made me so happy because I missed her so much. She and her companion stayed at our house. We had 6 sisters in the house. We ordered pizza one night and ate Hawaiian Pizza. When she left, I missed her again. Its such a terrible feeling to miss people, so what did I do? I went to work. 

Last Pday the elders did something so special for the sisters. There are 12 sisters and 8 elders in our zone. We probably have the most sisters in our zone in comparion to the others zone. The elders cooked us lunch and had us eat while they were refilling our drinks and serving us more food. They had a little talk too of how much they love and appreciate us sisters because the sisters are the ones who usually have the highest number of lessons taught. It was so sweet. I felt like a princess who was the only one eating two plates of everything. It was soooo delicious. I have grown to love Peruvian food. Oh and did I tell you that in our zone conference, they announced that I and my companion are the youngest companionship in the mission (According to how much time we have in the mission) and also our zone announced that our companionships is one of the best ones in the zone. It made me so happy because really, we are working so hard. Remember how scared I was about having to know my area and knowing which trufi I will have to take to certain places? Well.....God has certainly blessed me with the confidence and knowledge in knowing my area. I exactly know where to go, what car to take, who to call, what to say when I call people...I am improving. :) I had the wonderful opportunity to feel like our Savior Jesus Christ for 2 and a half hours. Know that the mission prepares you for many things. Just as I said before, it prepares you for marriage, family, work, your future, oh and also taking care of your parents. Mom and Dad, the mission has taught me a lot....I helped bathe a 74 old woman this week....who hasn´t bathed in 6 months because she can´t walk very well or do things on her own. I was honestly so scared because I have never bathed an old person. Grandma doesn´t count because mom did it in our kitchen only to wash her hair. But really I have never felt so much like Jesus when I was bathing her. I thought of Dad when he was always taking care of Lolo and of grandma when we were rushing in the kitchen to wash her hair because she couldn´t sit too long more than 5 minutes. I remember seeing the wet kitchen floor and hearing grandma complain that its been more than 5 minutes. Then with grandpa, I just remember dad bathing him i thailand and when he would be dressed and freshly clean, then dad would give him coke to drink. Mom and Dad, I am prepared to help you when you are old. jajaja. It was an interesting and humbling experience...but I don´t think I want to do it again in the mission...
We are going to meet our new presidente this Friday. I am so excited. This week...I am really trying to be like Jesus and studying the attributos de Cristo. I am not perfect and not Jesus but as a representative of Him, there is always something that I can improve. I was just reading my journal of when I just have started my mission papers. I have been in awe of how much has testimony, my faith, my home. Bolivia has become my home. I realized how much I really do want to be here. I have never felt so sure about being here until I began training. I want to be an answer to someone´s prayers here so that they have really get to know the church. 
I love being a missionary and of course its not easy but its one beautiful ride. You really grow up and learn how to rely on your Savior to help you. And I promise you that He will always help you. Les prometo que Dios les ayudará. 
Mom and Dad, its almost your anniversary. I didn´t forget. I know my parents! You better eat Laie Chop Suey for me. I miss your food at home. I miss you guys also of course, but really I miss the food. 
We will be going to the temple in a couple weeks. I think I am going to buy nice spanish scriptures because the ones I have are huge and the standard kine that are soft covered. They hurt my back to hold them...and also because its huge, I avoid bringing the bible. I want to bring it I´ll buy a smaller kine. Please make sure I have money on my card por favor :) I love you! haha. 

Big shout out to Jasmine to her call to Russia! That´s a cold place for sure....enjoy receiving the gift of tongues. Its by far one of the best gifts that God can give His children. Speaking of cold...I did the math its 17 degrees celius aqui. Its about 60 degrees fahrenheit. Its COLD...well para mi.
I love you all so much. I envy that you are all going to have a family reunion without me this Christmas, but its all good. As long as you don´t eat in front of me while we skype. 
Thanks mom for reminding me that I have almost a year left in the mission....ahh I try not to count the days but everyone does it here. I can´t believe how fast time really goes by.
Family...try write me more about your lives. Gabriel.....are you working or doing something with your life? Jesse how are the movies? I heard Pitch Perfect 2 is coming out soon....theres a second one....dang...Marvy go to dance practice. Dad...I´ll pinch my nose just for you. Mom....don´t cook too much when I am not home! jokes. Oh gabe, send me the onion ring recipe please :) I wanna make onion rings! Marvy, one of my friends who was in the mish with me who returned to his house said that you respond to his message on my facebook...and that you wrote in spanish. He is persuaded that you speak spanish....did you use google translator? lol he always asks if I use google too because my writing in spanish is improving but I told him that google translator doesn´t translate very well either. 
I love you soooo mucho. So mucho hahaha. Nunca he sentido muy bendicida hasta yo llegue en la misión. Aprendo mucho cada día, cada momento. 
Disfruten su semana! y la playa...........I love you. Les amo mucho! 
Con muchoooo amor,
Hna Santeco

PS: Oh they made me sing a solo in a baptismal service for a musical number....NEVER AGAIN. Apparently here I can sing. I was soooo nervous.

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