Monday, February 23, 2015

One Year in Making

This week was so fast. It went by so fast. And I already shared with you about the days of Carnavales......Even after those two days of SUPER WETTING days, everyday in the street I would get hit by a huge waterballoon, sprayed on foamy soap, or they would dump on me buckets of water from their car...or kids would be with their water guns. It was kind of annoying just with the waterballoons because they hitted me from behind from their car. But I was fine. These days were really hot, so it didn´t really matter to me. It made me laugh too because I had no luck whatsoever. We even had a ward activity. We did a water activity. It was awesome. The frustrating part was that....I had to guard the waterballoons from the kids most of the time....they were testing my patience. I was going crazy telling them over and over again the the waterballoons were for just a little more later. Then they started pushing my buttons touching the balloons to taunt me.........but I´m going back to normal now...I get uptight talking about that. Those kids really drove me but they´re kids. What do you know....

I was able to do an intercambio, or companion exchange with the Hermana Bender from Idaho! She is newwww and greenie! It was so much fun and I had never had to be with a new north american sister in a normal day. Going out teaching and trying to help her adjust to the mission life was cool. When we did language study, I was able to teach her and taught back at the CCM with Pdt. Dyer gave me that comfort blessing and promised me that I would be able to teach the language....that I would come to point to be able to teaching it to others....The blessing was fulfilled. :) But Hermana Vender is awesome. She reminded of me so much when all I wanted to do was teach already, but the language barrier does come in the way when you want to express yourself.

We had zone conference. Guess what we did?? We watched MEET THE MORMONS! Finallyyyyyyyyy. All my friends were emailing me and telling me that they all got to watch it on the mission....but finally we could see it :) and I loved it! We had to watch it in Spanish and it was just HILARIOUS. I don´t know if you guys got to see it, but in the end there is a part when an Elder says bye to his family in the airport in Utah to go to the African mission....that part just made me bawlllllllllll......I was doing perfectly fine not missing home, not thinking about home, but I thought about that day when I had to say farewell to my family in the airport. I recently talked to my companion about that last night when I was hugging Gabriel and realized that he was crying....ahhh I miss Gabriel. I miss you all so much. But as I go back to work, I always say to myself and my companions....Oh I wish I could just stay here forever and be a missionary forever....then I laugh because I know it can´t happen....and when I say missionary...I mean full time missionary with plaque and everything. Its just amazing to be here....then I read in Alma when prophet alma wanted to be the preach the gospel as an angel...then later one he says that its a sin for him to desire such a thing....hahaha....oh I must do the will of the Lord however it shall be.

But the conference was awesome. We ate good burritos. We learned a lot about become consecrated missionaries. My companion and I did a role play in front of 4 zones and president Hansen and his wife. We were so nervous, but we enjoyed it. Because of carnavales and zone conference, we weren´t able to work so much as normal this week but we were able to see many miracles. Oh and I¨m getting so much better at Bolivian Sign Language. Yay!

One of our investigators wanted to pay tithing. He told us he already has his tithing slip and evelope ready. He even came to the chapel with the pamphlet about tithing. He was reading it as we met with him that day to help him get around the chapel. It was awesome. People are progressing here and I love to see progress.

Mom´s last email from last week made me realize how much the mission also helps me to become a mother one day. Being in charge of so many souls in the area is a lot of responsibility...and getting to know learn to love them and to see them not progree or do things they shouldn´t heart aching...and all you can do really is teach them, invite them, and pray for them. There is one thing I learned for sure to remember this week is that every one has their free agency. Sometimes people just are that way and don´t progress.....(sighs)......I can´t say that I´m ready for parenting life when after yelling at a few kids for touching waterballoons.....I repented of that...I felt bad yelling, but they were pushing my buttons

I cannot believe I will be making a year. Last night I realized that today makes a year after President Hafoka set me apart as a full time missionary. It goes by so fast.....Oh cool thing. I´ll be with Hermana Hansen, one of the missionaries from my group when we make a year. We will be doing a companion exchange that day! Yay! So excited. I love being a missionary. I love it all!!!

I am happy to hear that my family is doing the challenges that I am sending them. I love it. Keep it up.

I love you all and I hope you all have a wonderful week. I feel like I don´t have much to say because only 5 days ago, I wrote you all. My time in Villa Luz has gotten shorter and I feel that I might just leave this place soon..It will be so hard. I love it here.

But anyways until next time!!!
Hna Santeco

PS: FOTOS Del presidente hansen del bautismo con Jenny :)

Family Home Evening. Take turns teaching the lesson. and I would like that you teach about this conference talk:
enjoy it!!!!!!
i love you!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Jenny got Baptized!

Read the Book of Mormon 15 minutes everyday. whether it be personally or together as a family. Do it! Its a beautiful thing to do.....I love it and I hope I can keep doing it when I get home.

hna santeco

Good luck!

So here are a few links of a few pictures that President Hansen has taken of us. Its been great really!
I have been just so happy this past week. We had worked so hard and yet we have to work even harder as the days go by. We had been working a lot with the members and the miracle was that they were punctual and came on time where we told them to be. I loved it! We were able to see many people progress and see how every lesson that we had was inspired. Last Pday we did a zone activity and played capture the flag with paint, waterballons, mud, and IN THE RAIN. It was sooo much fun. Another Zone was also there. I was able to see Hna Trujillo! Its awesome to see old companions again.

The highlight of my week was when Jenny got baptized. It just filled my soul with so much light. I just remembered when I met her at her door and when we found each other in the street and when we first entered her house and everything...I remembered when the spirit told me to invited to be baptized and she said yes. She go baptized and receieved the Holy Ghost. She is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints....The Lord has led us to her and brought her to our path. What a blessing it was to meet her and see how the spirit has worked through her. Her son is the one who is deaf. This past sunday and on the day of her baptism, I conversed with him almost the whole time. I am improving so much in speaking Bolivian Sign Language. Its amazing how it just happens.

We wil having a zone conference this week with president. They asked us, my companion and I to prepare ourselves to do a practice role play in front of everyone....scary but I´m excited! Oh did I tell you I spoke in Sacrament Meeting again....its the 4th time in this ward....hahahaha

We were able to go to the temple this past week as well. One night I was thinking about extending my time in the mission for 6 more weeks long, but I knew I had to pray about it. I was blessed to go to the temple and do that. I got my answer and it was a big NO. So don´t worry family, I´ll be home when I´m supposed to.

I love doing companion exchanges. I had seen how it helps me become selfless and seek opportunities to serve my companions. I was blessed to be in the companion exchange with Hermana Wingate! My first companion in the CCM! It was crazy because I remember when we first taught a fake lesson in the CCM and we couldn´t speak Spanish and that day we taught like pros. I loved it. We laughed all day. We were talking in English and I had the hardest time to say "Jesus Christ" because it kept coming out in Spanish. We LAUGHED SO HARD at that. Hermana Wingate is training right now and she is just doing so great. I love her so much. In that companion exchange we were able to see after a year, we had changed so much...that we would had been so different if we had stayed at home. We were so happy and absolutely grateful to be missionaries. We had so much trials in the mission, but they did nothing but strengthen us.

It was Carnavales...carnivals! It was crazy. People would wet us form their cars with water balloons or soapy water or buckets of water. On sunday there was a huge truck full of people with buckets of water in the back and they totally wet us. We couldn´t escape. I was my skirt. I laughed so hard after that. But these past two days we stayed home to study, clean the house, wash clothes, and all the PDAY stuff that we normally do, except writing to our families via email. Going outside was scary. But yesterday we had to do it to have lunch. My companion and I walk outside like ninjas and tried to escape from every kid with a waterballon or watergun. We were able to arrive tothe pension dry and safe. We made some salteñas with Hna Rosmery! It was delicious! I can totally make them with Sis. Hurst or with you guys! It was fun. After eating.......the Elders took us by surprise and attacked us with waterballons, foamy soap, and BUCKETS of WATER. The funny part was the Hna Rosmery stepped in and the elders also attacked her. She helped my companion and I to attack the elders back. I think I went a little crazy and realized I didn´t have anything to use to attack them so I grabbed the broom and started chasing them. Then I knocked out their bucket full of waterballoons and stepped on all of them so they wouldn´t have a stash anymore. It was hilarious! Then after a truce,we when out in the corner of the street and started to wet the people who were walking by. It was soooooo funny. Its so normal to do that here.

The elders had to accompany us to our house because it was a hour when everyone was outside wettig people in the street. Once we reached the street of our house, all we saw was TONS OF PEOPLE with waterballoons in their hands. The elders tried to do a secret service thing and surround us, but they totally left us that very moment and I got wet. We all ran to our house laughing sooooo hard. And Joshua and Kim, elder Balderrama´s kids were outside wetting people too. I changed my clothes and came out to the yard to see what they were doing...and they wet me AGAIN. I had to change twice.........but it was a good day! :) I still laugh about it.

ahhh....I can´t not believe that I will be completing a year already in the misson. It scares me to be honest how time goes by....I just wish it would never end and that I can be a missionary forever.
But know this...I know that I need to be here...that at times I lay in bed and ask my companion, "Is it bad that I don´t miss home?"...I don´t miss home. I love being a missionary and love it all.
It makes me happy to always receive emails from you guys to see how things are going at home. I love this gospel so much because it just blesses everyone everywhere.
I´ll be writing you on Monday. I love you all so much.

Until then,
Hna Santeco

Monday, February 9, 2015

I Love the Martinez Family

I had such a week. We had our first companion exchange, we have 4 investigators progressing, we are feeling the spirit, our first leadership training conference...its going just great. I had never ceased to be so grateful to be able to meet the wonderful people here where I am assigned to work. I had never felt so much like our Savior..but only close is what I can say. My mind is literally focused on the people and their needs...and how I can only become a better missionary. I came to a conclusion that as missionaries, we are literally just like walking bishops or walking Jesus Christs. You wouldn´t believe the things that we know, we hear, and what the people tell us when we walk into their homes and tell us sometimes gives me heartaches and makes me want nothing, but to help them. We know so much......we carry so much with us as we leave their homes after a long lesson of hearing the stories of the investigators and members...their lives of how they had faced numerous difficulties. Its a know. But what a honor is it to be trusted in to know these things..

I was asked to notify you all that next week, PDAY will be on Wednesday in the morning.. I will write you on Wednesday like at 8-9 around those hours because it will be Carnavales and we were given strict instructions to stay in the house all day.....Carnavales is Carnivals I believe. They already started a little....its when they don´t care who you are and throw water balloons at you in the street and whatnot. It will be a little crazy...We were already attacked by little boys on a way to an appointment and I only yelled at them saying, "CONOCZO DONDE VIVEN! I KNOW WHERE YOU LIVE!" And as they arrived closer to us because we pressed the doorbell of the house where we were to visit, I told them, "OH yeah...I have a waterballoon in my bag too! But its without water....." My companion laughed so hard. But really I had a waterballoon that was unfilled. We entered that house dry. 

We had our first companion exchange with sisters in Cobija. They are just wonderful sisters. I had to stay in my area and it was just amazing.....I was sooooooooo mouth-blabbing and cheery talking to everyone. I was happy in every lesson and I was talking a lot....hahaha we were focusing in finding new people to teach. A miracle happened. As we were walking down the street, we were greeting everyone, Good afternoon, buenas tardes and a old woman says, "Buenas Tardes Jovencitas. Quiero invitarles a mi casa a tomar café!" And I was like when they say café. its not really coffee..its just a hot drink. It was strange because we just said good afternoona and she invited us into her house. Along the way to her house she tells me that she is 89 years old.......I was like WOWWWWW. We went into her house, her daughter was home and they really tried to make us drink coffee...they were really understanding though when we told her that we can´t drink coffee. These two women are so loving. Every time I spoke they 89 year old woman would tell me, "Que Lindo es...esta jovencita esta tan amorosa hablandonos de Díos...mi papito!" I just smiled the whole time. And as we were talking, she kept telling us, "Just a little glass of coffee. Just poquito!" I told her no probably 6 times lol. We were able to teach a little things with them and hear a little more about them where they come from. The daughter is divorced and has two kids who are now teenagers. She expressed to me how grateful she was to have the Lord in her life. I just already grew to love her that very moment...we were able to leave that house with a big welcome to their house and two new daughters of God who could be prepared to hear the gospel.

Yesterday...sundays....I try not to be stressed on sundays...but with tons of people in the chapel, running around to see if investigators have a friend and are in their classes, talking to members to receive references and to ask if they could accompany us in lessons...all of that in 3 rough. I go crazy.....I get stressed...but what stresses me the most is when people don´t come to church...mostly people that I love the most. I have been working with the Martinez family for a long time now. I love them so much and because I love them so much, when I see a little error here or there, it hurts me a lot. Yesterday my companion and I were able to teach Patrick´s dad, Jimmy. I literally just cried the entire lesson..because my heartached to see progress not  happen. It was a beautiful lesson...he told me in the end that one day he and his family will visit us in Hawaii....he told us his dreams and goals in life. And my companion and I helped him to see those dreams and goals that he has in a different the perspective to gain eternal life. Every dream, every goal...there are things to do in order to achieve that goal. He understood perfectly and commited to come to church every sunday. I could see the light of Christ in his eyes as he bore his testimony to us...I could see his soul wanting to be free from the trials of life. I love this family so much....that to imagine myself leaving this area..leaving Bolivia will be really hard for me. I had grown to have the perspective to see myself be before our Savior and Him asking me, Why isn´t the Martinez family not here?...My companion and I are doing our all to save this family...I want to see this family in the celestial kingdom. I want to enjoy exaltation with them...Patrick reminded me so much of Jesse. Patrick received the calling as 1st counselor in the Deacon´s Quorum. And he wore the tie you gave him for christmas. I realized that its the same time you guys have in the christmas photo of us. Thank you for that tie..:) he sends his love to you as well. I am so grateful.....I am soooooo grateful and filled with so much love to be able to meet the Martinez family. They make me so happy, sometimes frustrated, but happy, too. They became my family in Bolivia. They became a huge part in my life and in my heart. I can not imagine not meeting them if I were not to be here on a mission. My life would be missing something huge. My eyes are filled with tears as I type this and reflect on the wonderful experiences that I had with this very family. If they can´t visit us in Hawaii....all I want is that they can be in the celestial kingdom as a family...I want them to get to the temple...I just want them to live the gospel. I hope..I really hope that I carry these experiences, feelings, this testimony that I have with me for the rest of my life....

I want to become a consecrated missionary. I want to be a true instrument of the Lord´s hands. I love being Hermana Santeco and His disciple. I hope you all can feel of the Love of the savior with you throughout this week. That you may push yourselves to become a little more obedient and little more like Jesus...and then you will see the fruits of your labor..

I love you all,
Hermana Santeco

Read the Book of Mormon 15 minutes everyday. whether it be personally or together as a family. Do it! Its a beautiful thing to do.....I love it and I hope I can keep doing it when I get home.
Good luck!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Soy yo, Señor? Hacía donde miramos?

I loved this week so much...and plus I finally learned what my calling is in English...
I´m a sister training leader. That is the word! Oh which reminds me, I learned a word last night that made me laugh so much. I learn new words each day. My companion and I were planning an activity for our family home evening with the Martinez Family. The activity includes handcuffs. Do you know how to say handcuffs in spanish??? "Esposas".....did you know esposas also means wives????? I cracked up so hard. We had to call one of our investigators who is a police officer to see if he would have a pair that he could lend us tonight, we called him and asked, "Tal vez tiene esposas????" And in my mind I just thought...He is probably thinking that we are asking him if he has wives.....hahahahaha. We had to explain that we were directing to handcuffs. Oh and his only has one wife by the way. 

But as I was saying, I loved this week so much. I am tremendously blessed to be with Hermana Rumualdo as sister leader trainer. I love her so much already and I continue to learn so much from her. I waited for her at the airport to arrive from Tupiza and when I saw her, I just ran up to her and gave her a big hug. We were excited to work together. First day together, we worked until we were tired. I loved to hear to teach and see how she taught with all her heart even from the first day she got here. She has become a huge example to me to become an effective missionary. I am soooo blessed to be here companion. We planned out the companion exchanges and looks like we were asked to sing in our leader trainingship conference this wednesday. We are stoking! Yesterday on fast sunday, I loved how she involuntarily got up to share her testimony that she was not afraid to share her testimony....because it was something she learned in the mission. She honestly trusts in the authority which she has to be a representative of Jesus Christ. 

Now that is it February...I am constantly reflecting on the things I had improved spiritually and on the things of how I can become better..last night I thought back to that day when I opened the mailbox and saw the big envelope. Not knowing where I would be....and here I am. It filled me with joy to know where I am today. I read my mission letter call over and over and saw the fulfilled blessings that I could experience thus far in the mission. I went to bed a little sad because I hate imagining them remove my mission plaque...this has become my life....and I wouldn´t want it to end just yet. 

President Hansen recommended me to read a conference talk called, "Which way do you face". It impacted my week tremendously and it answered my prayers. I learned to fear God more than my neighbors....I recommend you to read this conference talk. Its wonderful...sometimes we allow the first and greatest 2 commandments to we placed out of order...we are to love God with all our heart....and our neighbor as well...but do we really love our Heavenly Father more than our neighbor to be willing to be obedient??? Or do we love our neighbor more than God to lower our standards??? I also read another conference talk...I´m not sure what it is called in English, but its "Soy yo, Señor?". This talk hit me hard. I want to be humble. But also what I loved from this talk the most is that if we have the desire to develop the attributes of Christ, the Lord will makes us instruments in His hands. Its gospel truth right there. 

We have 4 greenies in our zone. To see them come fresh from the CCM makes me so happy and see how the time goes by so fast and how we really grow spiritually. My pensionista told me that my Spanish had improved tremendously since I came here in September. YAY!

I have been practicing a little Bolivian Sign Language with our investigator´s son. Its a struggle because I´m so used to signing in English, but I´m learning! 

This month and transfer is going to be wonderful. I have a great feeling about it. We will be going to the temple, having a baptism, a few conferences, and carnivals! Its an exciting month. I am so happy to be here with my companion and to see how the Lord guides us to people. 

I had grown to be grateful for the priesthood this morning as I reflected upon the blessings that we receive when we have the restored keys of the priesthood in the earth...I am so grateful to have a father and two brothers who hold the priesthood and have the responsibility to bless the children of God. 

I have grown to have a firm testimony of the Restoration of the Gospel and the love of Christ. I know that these things are true....I love being a missionary and love being a representative of Christ. Recuerden hacía donde miramos y quienes somos nosotros. 

Les amo mucho,

Hna Santeco
PS: Thank you for sending the package!!!

i want to start doing this thing with you guys and give you a challenge. I want you guys to try to keep the sabbath day holy as much as possible which includes not watching movies on sundays. i invite you guys to allow the sabbath day be a day of rest, but also a day of spiritual growth. i invite you guys to study  1 nephi 8-11 to study the tree of life. and i want you guys to share with me what you guys liked from the vision of lehi. 

i want to see progress at home as im here too!! haha...but i promise that if we keep the sabbath day holy with can became a day full of testimony building experiences...

i love you.

hna santeco