Monday, October 27, 2014

Ang ebangehlyo ay para sa lahat! Spam is not Cow...

Sooooo...I found that phrase in Tagalog in a Liahona. I liked it, so I put it as my title of my email for this week. And as for the spam is not cow...that I will explain. My companion and I were craving spam and we found a can of meat in a store that looked like spam, but it is made of cow meat. Its from Brazil and opening the can took an hour to do was wasn´t spam! We ate wasn´t like spam....spam is not cow..cow is not spam! It wasn´t like home, but the following day I made fried rice with the left over meat we had. That was good. I am glad I know how to make fried rice. Thanks mom. haha
This week was amazing. I have improved tremendously in the lessons we had, in the language, in my desire to be here. I have been teaching with ALL I got. All HEART all soul all might and strength. God has been blessing me for my efforts...We were in a lesson with an investigator who has a lot of problems....a lot....and when I was with her...I literally hear the words being put into my mind and my heart for me to say to her. I left that lesson feeling great because I knew that I did my best and that the spirit truly guided me. She told us all her doubts and wouldn´t believe one her doubts being that--she doesn´t want to get baptized because she refuses to wear skirts. She can´t wear skirts and she doesn´t like wearing them....we tried to explain to her that its a silly thing to worry about when she clearly understands the importance of baptism....oh sometimes I go crazy in lessons when people make their doubts huger than they really are. But I am praying for her, that she can accept the skirt. hahaha

I found out that I have all the pictures from home on my thumb drive. I thought I emptied it all out, but it so happens there is a folder called "trash" in was weird but I found everything. From my studies to all the photos and videos I took before I came here. I printed out two pictures of our family from last christmas and I hold them with me everyone. One day we contacted two women on the street sitting in front of their store. They saw the photo of our family and they said that they love how happy we looked in the photo. They loved it that they didn´t want me to leave with my photo. They wanted to keep it and they wanted to meet my family. I explained to them the happiness that the gospel truly brings to our family. We have an appointment with them this week. :)
We are going to the temple this thursday!!! I am soooo excited! We are going to have a baptism this saturday. I am so happy!!!! We had worked tremendously hard for this day to come and the fruits of our labors come through. 
My companion and I have been going out running every morning. We are exercising...because we love food too. I gotten used to running that my body never aches anymore after a day...I want to ache.....because now I feel like the running isn´t doing anything...hahaha
As for the baptism, we have to tell everyone that it starts one hour earlier than it really you know why?? It is because we are on Bolivian Time...its pretty much the same as Hawaiian time. hahaha. 
I meet this cholita abuelita. She is HILARIOUS. She doesn´t know a lot of Castellano (Spanish), but she speaks quechua. But when we do talk to her in spanish, its a crack up. I was asking her getting to know you questions for example I asked her if she knows how to cook. She said yes. I asked her what she likes to eat. She said carnito (carne or meat) and soups. I asked her if she likes to eat Chuño. She told me, "I can´t...I don´t have teeth". She pointed at her mouth and I realized that I had NO IDEA that she didn´t have teeth. Bahahahahahahaha. Then my companion asks her, who is your chico? We saw you with him (she doesnt have a chico we were just teasing). She says, he wasn´t with me, he is with other chica. She laughed sooooo hard. We laughed sooooo hard. She´s a lovely woman, really. I have a photo with her. Hehehe.
We have been struggling these past weeks with many investigatores unable to recognize the promptings of the holy ghost. But after having patience and working diligently, the Lord has blessed us tremendously to meet wonderful people who already know how to recognize the spirit. There was one of them who told us straight up that she could already feel something special with us. That her heart is warmed up that it burns. Ella decia "me quema, me quema aca" pointing directly to her heart. It made us soooo happy. The funny part of that lesson with her was that my companion and I were soooo sleepy. Houses in Bolivia make us sleepy we dont know why. But when my companion was talking, I was falling asleep and so I was like I NEED TO TALK. When I was talking, she was falling asleep...hahahah we left that lesson really happy and laughing that we were struggling there but we really had felt the spirit guide us to this investigator. 

As for packages...the voltage here is 220. And the toothpaste, correct me if I am wrong, do we use colgate at home or crest??? Because I saw a red box that looks like the one at home, but I can´t remember very well... :( But I think I am going to buy it and hope that its like the one at home.
Next week I will share everything about my WONDERFUL week at the temple and the baptism! Oh did I mention that our mission president will be baptizing our investigator too?????!!!! Its really happening!!!!

I am a happy missionary...I really am. Last night my companion told me:

Hey can I tell you something.
Um sure?
Why respond like its something bad? You had improved so much this week. You are speaking so much. It makes me sooo happy for you.
I love you all my family!!! I pray for each and everyone of you. Thank you for your prayers of faith and your loving support.
Hermana Santeco
PS: As for school, I guess it will be fine to start in November so that I can start school in ease. I was a little stressed last week after when I found out the semester starts differently, but I know this for sure...that I will not shorten my time here just to study. The Lord has given me 18 months, and I will work 18 months! haha...but I know I can´t extend my time here either because the visa to stay here only lasts so long...but we will see what happens. :)

Monday, October 20, 2014

Midway through Octubre

I am going to start this letter directly to the point. This week my companion and I got into a big fight. Walking in the street together, yelling at one was ugly. turned out to be a beautiful thing. hahaha. I have never felt so relieved after a fight with my companion. The fight was necessary. We put aside our differences and learned actually a lot from the fight. I am learning so much from hermana Callata. With her, after every fight I can really feel that we are strengthening our companionship and that we both do want the same thing. She is so wonderful, really. One of the things she told me that I loved so much is that she wants to her heart to ache when she has to change companions so that she knows for sure that she has truly learned to love each and every companion she has. That made a huge impact on me...I never thought of such a thing to do towards my companions. She is the only companion I have so far that I am not counting down the weeks until the next transfer. I am really losing myself in the work. We actually had two fights this past week, but the second one was just like a talk. No screaming just venting. But I told her my constant worry of being a burden to my companions when I don´t have self confidence when it comes to speaking the language. She clearly told me flat out that I CAN DO IT. And how she is amazed how the gift of tongues works through every haole here. She admires that and she knows I can do it. She told me, "Speak directly from your heart. Pray deep down in your heart when you speak. And if you confuse them, oh well. Its not important if you confuse them because you are giving it your all. You speak from ALL YOUR HEART and from the spirit and they will feel your efforts your love you spirit. And they will feel it too and remember exactly what they felt with you." I am learning how to work with all my heart and I enjoy working that way. I am constantly trying so hard to put my all in every lesson. Trying to find ways to improve and become an effective missionary. 
We did have an interesting week. Yesterday we were in a lesson and 5 Jehova Witnesses began to knock on doors at the houses nearby us. We were teaching outside a house with chairs. But luckily it began to rain, and they left. Even this morning something happened outside. We heard a girl scream while we were studying.We ran out, and found out a 15 year old girl was robbed. She was walking with her phone in her hand and a car, passed by and robbed her. She was trembling...I felt so bad for her. So my companion and I went to comfort her. I asked her for her name and things about her family so that she would take her mind off of what had happened. We are being extremely careful and we acknowledge the dangers, but we know we are protected. 
We did a service project for a señora that cleans an entire elemantary campus by herself.....can you imagine? One person..only one person that cleans up the Kahuku Elementary campus? We went with the elders and cleaned up the place. Poor thing. After that we were walking down the street and we found one of our less active´s son drunk and wasted laying on the street. The elders had to help her carry her son in a wheel barrow to their house.´s trials. He was so wasted.......but he´s okay now. 
Saturday night was a bautism of an investigator of the elders in our ward. We met their investigator before she was baptized and actually became friends with one of our own investigators. Her name is Laura Marca. She is amazing. She actually won a free trip to China and will be in china for two weeks. She left last night. And was so excited to go to appointments with us. She was with us in two lessons before she left. She´s a gem!
We will be having a baptism of our own on the 1st of November. We planned out the date with our investigator and his dad. Its gonna happen! And we are so excited!!!!! 
As for don´t have to send me spam, but only if you´d like, because I know it adds more weight. But what I would will think its silly, but I miss Crest toothpaste...hahaha because they only have colgate here and I don´t like it.......and for the christmas lights. I don´t know what voltage it is, but if youd like to send me some, :) that´s really kind of you! I will let you the voltage the next week. 
I am happy to hear from you all. I can imagine mom being home with all the boys. Boys, you better be helping mom, now. I want to go to BYUH. I want to be home when I go home. lol. I miss the islands. 

Congrats to the new changes in the ward. New bishopric!! that´s crazy! time really goes by so fast. 

We see miracles everyday...and I love it so much. I have never wanted to be so obedient with exactness..its such a wonderful feeling. 

I love you all sooooo much!!!!!
Hna Santeco
"Eres una hija amada de nuestro Padre Celestial, preparada para venir a la tierra en esta epoca precisa para un proposito sagrado y glorioso." -elder utchdorf.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Mire adelante..​...mira hacia al Señor

Te amo, Jesus!

This week was something for me. My thoughts were constantly on Marvelyn. I tried so hard to not let such thing affect me in this work, but it did. My soul hungered.....I was having one of those weeks where I lost it, but eventually found myself. I fasted and prayed so hard so that I could learn something more from the difficulties and the trials I have here during the mission.

Last pday I could not sleep. I realized that I didn´t write that message for Marvelyn that day and that I totally forgot to do it. And I only realized that I didn´t do it, 10 oclock at night. I could not sleep.......I called my mission president and he gave me the permission to write you the folowing day. But the thing was that I had no idea what to write....that night I prayed so hard, trying to find the right words to say. I went to sleep. Woke up the next day, said my prayer, went to the bathroom...and the busy week that we had...I had no time to waste. I sacrificed my exercise time to write your message. But I woke up, inspired to write...I wrote and wrote and wrote...and thought of what I would have said if I were there. Writing this message brought me so much peace and allowed me to really just keep moving on. I realized that I really needed to put into practice of what I had learned. Talking to president Hansen helped me a lot. We had interviews with him. But throughout the week, the Lord was certainly answering all of my questions and prayers. I met at least one person each day who is facing difficulties much larger than my own and it made me realize that I need not to worry of my own problems, but as a servant of my Savior, to worry about others. What I loved the most from my interview with President Hansen was that I need not to dwell upon the things that I can´t change..but the things I can change. 

I did have my ups and downs this week...I am not going to lie. I hungered to fast...and so I fasted and found the strength to keep moving on. I received a comfort blessing from the 70ty that we live with, Elder Balderrama....and he gave me wonderful counsel to help me back to track into this work that I am in. I know you told me not to worry and that you hoped that I wouldn´t be affected by this...but I was. But it was for a good purpose which I may not know why...but God does. Just know that every trial that I have, strengthens me and prepares me for the greater trial that I will have. I need to go through these trials to test my faith and to help me grow and progress. I had met so many people this week...parents who are worried about their children´s choices, couples with marriage problems, single parents who are ill and are sick, unable to work and having to find a way to take care of 5 children...I had seen it all. The Lord has truly answered all of my prayers and fulfilled my needs.

My poor companion had such a hard time understanding how I was feeling this entire week..and had a hard time comforting me. But she did do a good job. The Lord did a good job.

But more about the week that I had, I was thinking.....Is Marvy taking all my clothes with her and all the bathing suits????? Hahahahah sorry but I need to know. I hope you didn´t take all of it! I need to come home to normal clothes....not just skirts and blouses that I wore for 18 months. 

We had a companion exchange this week. I was with Hermana Morales from Peru. She is awesome! She reminds me so much of people from Thailand. She looks so Thai. That day with her we taught 11 lessons......and I had met so many wonderful people. In her area, you can see the Cochabamba temple from afar and at night you can see it iluminated amongst the other buildings. Mira hacia el templo....It was so funny because we were walking and she asks me, do you like bread? And I was like...yes I like bread! And we ran to the store and bought bread and pilfruits (juice in bags). It was delicious. We laughed the entire day. 

We have an investigator that has 7 kids. Every year they had a kid...the oldest kid is 7 years old. We went to visit them and it was crazy...we opened the door and they all ran out. But the baby was inside their house crying. So one of the kids carries him out and it so happens that their baby doesn´t have a name yet. I told him that they should name him Nefi, which is Nephi in spanish. He might actually do that. But can you imagine having a kid every year?! That´s crazy...

Oh....and it so looks like we are having a baptism the 25th of October....:) But it all depends on the will of the Lord...we are praying so hard and working so hard so it will fall into place. We are so excited!

Yesterday was sunday, election day in Bolivia and we were given strict instructions that we cannot leave the house...until 6pm unless we have a set appointment. We stayed home all day...we studied and right after...we SLEPT. It was the first Dia de Reposo for us. The first sunday that I could rest. Sundays are usually CRAZY. But we rested :). But that night...I couldn´t sleep...I was not sleep. I was not tired because we didn´t work and because I slept all day...hehehe. It made me appreciate the times we do get to work so that we can sleep normally.

I love being a missionary and I CANNOT BELIEVE I have been out here for more than 7 months. It drives me crazy to think about it. I talked to President Hansen about applying for school and he said I can begin now if I´d like and so I´m slowing reapplying for BYUH. Ahhhh...I can´t believe it...President also already told me when I will be released from Bolivia...I will be flying home on the 25th of August...thats just an estimate....but its most likely will be the date I will leave and with travel time, I might arrive home on the 26 or 27 of August....THAT IS CRAZY.  

I am happy the wedding went well and that all is good at home. I am back on track working in the labor of love.....and I love it all. I love my life as a missionary and I wouldn´t trade it for anything.

I love you all and I hope you have a wonderful week.

Hermana Santeco

3 Nefi 5:13
He aquí, soy discípulo de Jesucristo, el Hijo de Dios. He sido llamado por Él para declarar su palabra entre los de su pueblo, a fin de que alcancen la vida eterna.
What the area looks like...luckily that hill isn´t my area. lol

i finally got my ID card in bolivia.....

elders in the hot hot hot sun. ITS HOT in BOLIVIA. Poor things in their suits. 

Monday, October 6, 2014

Si Señor, Te Seguiré

I had never felt the spirit so strongly with any other companion that I had until I met Hermana Callata. We have been fasting and praying like no other to be able to be true servants of the Lord to bring others unto Christ. We had a special fast this past week and it was actually because an investigator asked us to join her in a fast. It was such a special experience for me because I had never felt the spirit so strong in my life. I was in a struggle of my own personal testimony searching for ways to find my way back to my feet. We were having companionship inventory and we talked so much about the many spiritual experiences that we had in our lives. My companion was having a pretty rough week and I who was still trying to get to know the area and love people that I don´t quite know very well yet, I tried to understand her and fulfill her needs as her companion the spirit guided me...We talked things out of how we felt, our preocupations about our investigators and everything. I literally felt the spirit touch the corners of my heart telling me, "Hey. I am here with you. Don´t forget me." I thought about those times I had at home and even on the mission where I realized the spirit really guided me to do the things that I did. I am teaching people about the Holy Ghost and how can I forget that I have the very same gift? Its literally a true gift that is so sacred..what a priviledge to have it with me always.
Did I tell you that Hermana Callata´s family is receiving the missionaries and she fasted and prayed that her mom and dad can get married so her mom can get baptized. Her mom got married last week saturday and will be getting baptized this saturday. Her family is absolutely blessed!

We were able to watch General conference. And I DID NOT FALL ASLEEP. It was like Christmas for me. Excitement and literally attentive. My soul literally hungered to hear the words and messages from the many wonderful leaders of the church. I was able to watch 2 of the sessions in english. I was thinking quite profoundly in what my mission president told us in a conference. He said, "The most important part of this conference is the holy ghost". I thought pretty hard and realized....the most important thing in our lessons with investigators is the holy ghost. My companion and I are working so hard to teach by the spirit and to help our investigators to feel it too. I read 2 Nephi 33:1 this week and the BOM really answered our prayers. But about conference, the holy ghost was the most important thing to me. Because it helped me to become converted unto Christ and to receive personal revelation. The many wonderful lessons about prophets, building and obtaining a testimony, and being was just exactly what I needed. My questions and doubts were taken care of. The sad part was that in our chapel, yesterday we werent able to watch the morning session because....the internet went out. I missed the prophet´s message. My soul is still hungry.....and so I am downloading his message unto my thumbdrive to watch it in my house at night.
We are in a constant war our here in the mission field. We have investigators progressing ..and it so happens that those who are progressing are also receiving lessons from the Jehova Witnesses. I am not sure if I told you last week but they happened to have their own church conference this past weekend during the same times as our conference, but it is 9am-5pm...that is LONG. My companion and I were so sad to hear that they were planning to go to their conference and not with us. My companion prayed so hard with faith that night before saturday and knew that they would be able to go. The next day she told me she wanted to pass by to see if they were home. THEY WERE HOME. She later told me about the impressions she was getting....she is a spiritual giant.
I had read the emails from mom. Don´t worry about me. Just leave it to God. I had mentioned this before many times. That I really had learned that this is the will of the Lord. And I just need to accept it as it is humbling and endure it to the end. This was never my will and never will be my will. There is a piece of cloth hung in our study room that says "Mi Voluntad" which means "my will". It is ripped from the middle into two constantly reminds me that this is not my will...this is not my mission...this is not my is all to the Lord. As a representative of Jesus Christ...I have to say that I do feel the feelings that the Lord feels when things like this happen so suddenly...because obviously we aren´t perfect but he loves us perfectly enough to put difficulties in our ways to reach our potential. That I can testify.
I thought of Grandma and Grandpa when the general authority was speaking in Catonese. I said a prayer in my heart that they were listening to his talk...I honestly believe that they did....with God all is posible.

I know that the Lord really loves me....and He is comforting me at this very moment. I had been to the temple and had seen of its importance to get there. Always look towards the temple....I love you all so much. I am so grateful for all of you and all of your prayers.
El Señor nos da las dificultades para que podamos aprender algo mas que podemos imaginarnos. Les testifico que el Señor sabe perfectamente porque estas cosas estan pasando...pero es para que realmente podamos volver en su presencia....en Su gloria y en un gozo pleno y eterno. Sigan orando...sigan adelante...sigan en sus dificultades con fe y esperanza en el Señor y su amor infinito.
Les amo.
Hermana Santeco

randomly seeing a herd of sheep in the street.

my journal. reflecting on the types of food i ate in the mission