Monday, January 12, 2015

There are feet to steady, hands to grasp, minds to encourage, hearts to inspire, and souls to save. Are we doing all we should?

"There are feet to steady, hands to grasp, minds to encourage, hearts to inspire, and souls to save. Are we doing all we should?" -Thomas S. Monson

I can not believe how fast January is going by. Its already almost February...and I´ll already be out for a year....and many people are already going home....Nye told me that her farewell will be on the same day when Tyrone and Tatiana are giving their homecoming talk. How special is that!

I have to share something. This morning as my companion and I were walking to the internet place, we saw two dead dead and wet from the rain laying in front of a house along the street, and the got ran over by a car......two dead dogs within the time span of 10 was creepy hahaha. Poor dogs. 
This week.........I had grown the great desire to be a better person and better missionary. My Heavenly Father has answered my prayers daily. I was having such a hard time getting up in the morning. Mostly because the mornings are cold and it makes me sleepy and because the life of a missionary is exhausting. That night before I prayed with so much faith and remembered one of the lessons we were taught in our district meeting, that we can give all of our weaknesses to the Lord and have Him help us make them into strengths. I prayed so fervantly that night asking that He would help me get up without any problems getting up. That He would give me the energy that I need to get up and be better. That morning I got up, got on my knees and recognized that I wasn´t tired. I wasn´t sleepy and in fact, my body just didn´t want to be in bed. I prayed unto God with a grateful heart. I was extremely happy because after a prayer of faith, He has answered me. 
With a new year, we have been able to see the statistics of the Bolivia Cochabamba mission. In the year of 2014, the mission had 959 baptisms. And in December we had 60 baptisms. Welll 61 baptisms and 60 confirmations...I think there was complications with one of the souls that got baptized. Its a pity really. But last night we were going to have dinner with our pensionista like normal, but this weekend she went for a trip with her family out of town and was going to arrive just in time for dinner. But....she didn´t arrive. And all that we had to eat in the house was tortillas and my egg flour soup without an egg.....we were going to ask the Balderrama family to lend us an egg so I could make soup, but inside they invited us for dinner. I was dead nervous to eat dinner with a 70ty......But it was a wonderful dinner. We got to know them better. Elder Balderrama is the area 70ty of Bolivia, Peru, Venezuela, Colombia, and one more country....I can´t remember. But he shared with us that the church is growing tremendously fast in south America that statistics show that every 15 minutes, someone is getting baptized. To hear that filled my heart with so much joy...Its amazing how the work is hastening. He was telling me how he is to take an english exam to prepare himself for the possibilities of giving a talk in general conference. He asked me to lend me a few of my books and to help him with a few words. What a priviledge...I helped a 70ty with English...that´s going in my journal! Hahaha.

We had a day superrrrrr funny. My companion is improving in learning English. I´m doing my best to help her. One night I was praying in English to help her to listen and understand...but I had the hardest time to remember the word "example". I repeated the word "ejemplo.....ejemplo....???" then she told me "example"...she helped me remember the word.....we help each other pretty much. But one morning I was asking her questions of how to say a few words and I asked her how to say the word cocina in english and she said, "Chicken".....I laughed so hard.......she laughed so hard.......I´m in the chicken! hahahaha its supposed to be kitchen. Then much later that day two members invited us to eat at their house. And I was like...yeah sure we will come. The six missionaries in our ward went....did I mention they live like on the edge of a cliff??? They gave us HUGE PIECES of BREAD. We struggled to finish eating it....then after they gave us HUGE EMPANADAS big as my FACE. Then after they gave us cereal without milk to eat in a huge bowl........and the sister kept going outside, I don´t know what for, but she would come back with another bowl of was soooo funny because all of us didn´t know how to eat it was just a day where you just had to be there kind of day hahaha. 
I have been praying so hard to be able to see Giovana my convert with Hna Callata in the chapel. She has been busy with business trips and such that she couldn´t come for three sundays. My heart ached so much during those weeks...but yesterday she came...and I nearly just cried. It filled me up with so much joy. Then I saw our progressing investigators come into the chapel. I was even just more happy. And imagine how happy our Heavenly Father is...Jenny, one of our progressing investigators has a son who is deaf and knows sign language...for spanish. He also came to church yesterday and he stayed the three hours. I was constantly making sure that he was okay and feeling comfortable with that only his mom knows the signs. I tried so hard to talk with him with the signs that I can barely remember in English and he just kept smiling at me as I tried to make him teach me signs. Signing in spanish when I´m thinking English to sign is hard...but his mom told me that they will teach me signs as we continue to visit them. It made me so happy!! I´ll be teaching him hopefully the gospel in signs! I´m working hard on that. 
So there were a lot of changes in mission rules and such and it really was inspired. I loved the changes. But one of them that I don´t love so much is that packages can´t be more than 2 kilos heavy or I will have to pay...lots of money to get it out of a place where they keep it until I pay for overweight. Yeah that is just to let you all know :). 
We did a family home evening with the Martinez Familia a week ago and we a powerful activity that made a huge impact on one of the less actives in the family. We had brought chocolates for each and every one of them. And we had one of them do us a huge favor. We had one of them do 10 push ups for every person who wanted chocolate. But the thing was also if they didn´t want chocolate, the person still has to do 10 push ups. We had our less active member do the pushups...and he suffered. His body trembled and struggled to push through the pain. We taught about the atonement of Jesus Christ and how He has suffered for each of us, whether if we want to repent, have eternal life, go to church, keep His commandments....He did it for us because He loves us and sometimes we take advantage of His suffering because we will never come to full comprehension of how painful it was...but we were able to see that He has suffered...not completely like we do when we do 100 or more pushups....but He honestly did it because He loves us. The spirit was so strong......we were able to make an appointment especifically with him and the following lesson with the less-active....we could see that we did something good...and God was working through him. I could feel the power of his testimony that he once had and was coming back. I am eternally grateful for being guided to him and to see how he truly needed to go back to the gospel.
So....our stake is doing a missionary fireside! A musical fireside...which I have been waiting for forever. They don´t have a lot of those here. But its planned out by President Hansen, our mission president and he has chosen a few of us missionaries to do musical numbers...unfortunately I was chosen.....hahaha but really he wants me to sing. When did I ever get known to sing well??? or in my words...on pitch??? Hahaha....Its gonna be great. But nerve wrecking because he wants it to be PERFECT. It will be happening this sunday!
I only have two more weeks in this always goes by fast...I have no idea if I will stay here or leave. But I think it is really possible for me to stay. 
One of the things I studied this morning was about the 2000 do you call that in English??? hahaha......but its a wonderful story. Read it. Its in Alma 56-57. They had wonderful mothers. I have a wonderful mother. It made me think of you mother!! 
I´m absolutely grateful to be here...I look at pictures of everything that has happened and I sometimes can´t even recognize myself.....I would ask myself, who am I? I feel so different and I can´t even imagine not even serving a mission....who would have thought I would be a missionary...I never wanted to be one...hahaha but now I am. 
I know that la iglesia de Jesucristo de los santos de los ultimos dias es verdadera. Yo lo se con todo mi corazon. I know that my family is eternal. I know we all have a purpose in this life and I am so grateful to be able to be part of this grand work of the Lord...
I love you allllll!!!! Abrazos!!!!
Hna Santeco
PS: I didn´t take a lot of photos this sorry....there wasn´t enough time....but here is a pic of me with my hymn book and of my chinese was a cold morning that day!

And I forgot to include that pdte hansen told us that this saturday, the church announced 11 new missions in the world. One of them will be in Bolivia! La Mision Bolivia El Alto! Que chevere!!!

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