Monday, March 30, 2015

Just Keep Breathing

The Church Email Website is messed up. Getting on was a struggle. But
I finally got on at least after 100 attempts haha.

This week....I was dead tired. I am exhausted. Adjusting to the
altitud and to the cold is something I will never really get used
to....but the cold yes. The breathing in thin air...I don´t know haha.
but it was a week full of tons of things to do. We did a companion
exchange this week with my ex companion hna Muralles and her companion
who is the ex companion of her, Hna Paiva who is from Brazil. It was a
great companion exchange. I felt that we were literally doing all that
we can to help the sisters out here. It was great to be with Hna
Muralles again. I had never thought that I could be with my
excompanions, but its already been the third time. I am so grateful to
be able to look back with her and see that many things we had learned
together and the things we are learning right now. Its really nice to
serve the sisters here and just give them listen and try to
help them go through maybe the struggles that we usually go through in
the mission. I liked her area that day because it was a little flat.
Our area is full of HILLS. I can´t breathe....but I am breathing.

We had a talent night in the ward. I loved it. It was a little small,
but it was fun. My companion and I did a little act with a cardbox
with holes behind my body. She stucked her hands through the hole and
became my arms. We acted out the life of the missionaries. I have a
video and I´ll sure show it to you when I get home. Its soooo funny.
She was putting some lipstick on me, feeding me an apple, and lots of

My companion and I have the choice to cook or eat out for dinner...or
if not, we don´t eat dinner. We were given a budget to spend. We found
this cool burger place with sandwiches and salchipapas. It is
DELICIOUS and so cheap. We only have to pay 2 dollars for a burger or
a sandwich or a big plate of salchipapas (hotdogs chopped with french
fries). DELICIOUS...and their sauces they have out to add to our
food....WOW. We are going to get back there this week. We always got
hooked to their Argentina Cookies, Toddy. DELICIOUS. We are just on
the hunt for good food. I love going out to eat with my companion. It
reminds me so much when I went out with Marvy to eat at Dennys, IHops,
or random places at night when we drove out to town. I miss those

Our pensionista cooked un plato potosino. A plate from potosi called
Saice. It was delicious. It was made with soy meat? Is that even
healthy? My comp and I are trying to get healthy, but its so hard
here...all we eat are i feel like one. Exercising
in the morning is hard...when breathing is so hard. I took a picture
of the plate and with my pensionista. Her name is Rosalin. She is a
darling. We made some grilled cheese sandwiches yesterday with her. It
was delicious.

We had awesome lessons taught this week. That we could really feel the
spirit. We were given the wonderful opportunity to invite one of our
investigators to be baptized...who had been going through difficulties
with drinking..he has been sober for a month and we could see a huge
difference in him. We were touched to see how the gospel really
changes us..and our lives.

We got to see the Women General Conference in a member´s house because
it happened to be on election day here in Bolivia and there is a law
that you can´t have any type of reunions here of more than 8 people.
So we had to either see it online in a internet cafe or with a member.
I loved the conference. I could feel the spirit the whole time. And
the fact that they talked about how the family is of God and God gave
us families....I just missed you a little teary, but also
excited to be a mother in zion one day. Then I realized that my
sobrino, nephew is going to be part Samoan.......that was a random
thought that came to me....I never thought we would have samoan blood
in our family line....hahaha.  But i loved it...I studied a lot about
our divine nature as children of our heavenly family. We are literally
His spirit children and I could just feel His love for me. We are here
to progress and become like Him.

My companion is awesome. She is so loving and always aware of my needs
(to breathe). Being with a North American is so different, but so fun.
I feel that we can understand eachother just a bit more. But its
really cool to be with her.

I came to realized this week that if I finish the mission in
Potosi.....I will be finishing the mission in the most coldest time of
the year in Bolivia...and I will be going home when it will be SO HOT
in Hawaii.....That is going to be a huge adjustment for me haha. But
its going to be great.

As the time goes by so fast, I literally feel sad and also excited to
go home. I realize that its really going by so fast.....that next
transfer I´ll already receive a letter from the mission about going
home and they will already start making arrangements of flights...I
can´t even believe I will be skyping you in a little more than a
month. I love being a missionary and to see all the things that are
going on here is just a beautiful thing to reflect upon.

I am so excited for general conference. I hope all are all excited
too! I am so grateful for Young Women´s for teaching me to prepare for
it spiritually. To think of questions that I may have and to pray to
have them answered. I do want to leave this challenge with you all who
are reading and my family of course, that they can prepare themselves
spiritually and physically (gotta have your snacks during conference
right?) for general conference. Write down some questions you might
have...maybe the doubts you may have in your testimony...or your
purpose of life. I know that the Savior really answers our prayers and

listens to us...I know we are His children and that He loves us. I am
so grateful for this knowledge that we have from the gospel. Its an
absolute blessing in our lives.

We will be going to cochabamba this week for a leadership training
conference.....Lots of traveling. I had the courage to ask president´s
wife if we could stay at the mission home that night we stay in
cochabamba. They said yes. I will be in a room with has
been so long.. hahaha. They invited my companion and I to do a special
musical number at the trainingship conference....did I develop the
talent to sing or are they just being nice??? I am sooo nervous...but
so excited to sleep in the mission house...its so beautiful and also
to be in cochabamba to breathe normal. Hahaha. I love the mission
life....sometimes it is exhausting...but its the best.

This was my week...and I´m ready for a new one!

Love you all,
Hna Santeco

PS: Thank you for sending me the package and I hope mom gets better soon.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Almost 13 months

okay, I swear that I just made a year....but how is it possible that I will be making 13 this week...
Potosi is beautiful and I can not stop saying that because it really is. But this week....was a long and fast week. My companion and I went to Tupiza to do companion exchanges with two other companionships of sisters. It was awesome to be with one of my ex-companions Hna Castro! She is awesome and she still makes me laugh til this very day. But this week was a lot of learning for me. A lot....and I am so grateful to be able to learn here....I learned a lot to be humble and to accept the Savior in my life.

Tupiza is full of red hills and lots of dirt. Going there was a huge climate change for us. Traveling there was a pain. We took a bus from Potosi to Tupiza for 5 hours and had to sleep. We left around 9 and arrived there at 2 in the morning and when we left tupiza we left at almost 11 and arrived home at 5 in the morning. There were lots of snoring people and the seats were not the best but I was tired enough to knock out dead. It was hot in Tupiza. It was nice to go back to breathing normal in Tupiza, but the made me miss the cold. I was able to really bond with my companion Hna Crawford as we traveled together and did companion exchanges with the sisters.

The cold is getting colder and I am about to buy some clothes today. Do not be surprised if I take out some money out of my card....Its seriously cold here....but its awesome! Last night I made dinner and made some rice with egg flower soup. It was delicious. I missed me some shrimp and good old soup. I came to a conclusion with my companion to ask you to do me a favor and send me curry paste??? hahaha and tell me how to make stir fry noodles......I would love some ideas to cook because now that we are cooking dinner, I am really loving to cook and to eat. Or if not we eat out and this past week, we ate some good pizza and lasagna! 

But on the spiritual side...I honestly learned so much from my companion and our Savior to be humble. Being sister training leader in Potosi is....not easy. But its really a humbling experience. Its lots of sacrifice and lots of work. As I mentioned last week, my companion and I are the only sisters in our ward as missionaries is not very common in Bolivia. There is usually 4 at least. We both are new to the ward and the area and having to leave to Tupiza, we lost 2 days of work in our area. We are still getting to know our area and the members, but we honestly take on the challenge really excitingly. I learned this week, that sometimes you just got to really let people be as they are....when they do not want to just can not do anything but love them and invite them....I know that the Lord understood me of how I was feeling these past days and He could honestly see that I needed Him.
Hna Rumualdo called me the other night and told me about the miracles that are happening in Villa Luz. One of the Martinez family members finally accepted his answer to his prayer and will be getting baptized. It filled me with so much joy and I thank God for preparing him and bringing us to him. I love to see how that area continues to be filled with so many miracles.
Last Pday we went to the mines. It was totally like an underground hike, It was interesting and really an adventure. It was cool to see how things goes under there.

My companion and I are working really hard here not just with our area, but with all of the sisters that we are in charged of. Its really a challenge out here, but I honestly love it. I am so excited for general conference. It is coming up so quickly. I can not believe how 6 months went by so fast. But its just a beautiful ride through it all...
I am hoping that you are all excited for conference as I am! It is really what we need right now.
I know that the Lord lives and loves us and truly understands what goes on in our lives.
Crazy thing....the mission secretaries are already asking me what airport I will be having to go to and if my parents are going to pick me up. (I believe not right? I would like you waiting for me there and the vaccinations will probably make mom sick i believe?.)
I love the mission life. I love it a lot and I hope that I can just keep working hard til the very end. I want nothing but to be here and serve the Lord. I give it all to Him for telling me that I needed to be here...and I am finally here and loving it all...
I love you all and I hope you all had a wonderful week. Until next time,
Hna Santeco

Monday, March 16, 2015

I´m in Potosí y.......

I am in good old Potosí and I am just absolutely loving it! Leaving Villa Luz was heartaching, but a beautiful transition because I could look back and see the wonderful miracles that we had in that very area. Saying goodbye to a feel investigators and the Martinez family was just hard. I never cried so much saying bye to someone when knowing the next time I would go back would be even harder because it would be before I would be going home...One of the people I visited for sure was one of our investigators, named Melany. She is a young girl who from the very beginning never missed a sunday of church. Before telling her that I was leaving I wanted to know what difference she could see in her life from the gospel. I asked her....what difference can you see from since the very beginning to this very day...and she said...that her life has changed tremendously. It made me cry....Then I told her that I would be going to Potosí the very next day. I could honestly feel that very moment that I knew with a certainty that she would be getting baptized one day, if not yet, soon and it will happen...I know it.

Then the Martinez family. We went to her house and not everyone was home. I was sad......Patrick wasn´t even there. Only a few of them....but Patrick´s dad, Jimmy explained to me that it was because they avoided saying bye to me.....he said its "doloroso" or painful for they avoided coming home. But the heart touching words of the Martinez family filled my soul with absolute joy. They told me they are determined to visit me in Hawaii not just to visit Hawaii, but to meet my family and thank them for everything......I love them so much.......It was a bittersweet birthday of farewells and leaving behind Villa Luz. The next day just when we were waiting for the taxi with my luggages, Patrick passed by for our house and I was able to say our goodbyes.
Traveling to Potosí was a trip. It was half an hour in plane until Sucre and a 3 hour taxi ride to Potosí. You question is probably, "Is it cold there?" Its colddddddddd! I love it sooo much. I love the cold and its nothing like Cochabamba. Its so beautiful in Potosí and I already hope to finish the mission here. The life here is great really...but if anything I´m still adjusting to the air. I can´t breathe sometimes...hahaha my lungs are constantly pumping for oxygen, but need not to worry because I´ve gotten a little better at breathing here...The air is just so thin! Its lots of hills and lots of beautiful house and plazas. I feel so blessed to be out here...and to be with Hna Crawford, even better! We are loving being sister training leaders together. We will be going to Tupiza this week which is a 5 hour bus ride to do companion exchanges with the sisters. We will be traveling at night til morning. Its gonna be an adventure and we are going to be dead tired.
In our ward, they recently closed the elders´area and gave it all to us. And so we are the only

missionaries in our ward and we have the whole ward area and its not normal for having just two missionaries in the ward in Bolivia. In the states yes...because they have cars. We have to walk the whole area...ITS HUGE....but its absolutely excited and I can´t wait to do this! My companion and I are feeling just a little pressured with the new changes but we are really excited and trusting the Lord to do this.
My daughter in the mission who I trained almost a year ago, Hna Trujillo gave me a call one day and......she went home this week...I was lucky to see her on my last day in Cochabamba on my birthday....she was really sick....It broke my heart to not be able to see her....but I´m so grateful to know her. I´ve gotten to a point that I can see how amazing our companions are for us......I always find something interesting....for example with Hna Rumualdo, she got baptized on March 10th, 2012 and I got baptized on March 10th, 2002. Who knew that? With Hna Crawford...both of our moms went through uterus cancer and had to get surgery to get it out just about the same time period about 2-3 years ago...and they both go through the struggles of controlling their emotions..but they are both healthy and living and happy. To find that out about Hna Crawford, it literally amazed me....Everyday I ask myself, why does the Lord want me to be here and be with Hna Crawford? He answers me through the wonderful people I meet and my companions. Yesterday we were teaching a lady who has a boyfriend who is 12 years older than her...that made me think of mom and dad. Hahaha but she totally reminded me of you guys and I could totally comprehend them.
I have to wish a very happy birthday to my little brother who isn´t so little any more. Happy Birthday Jesse! I can not even believe you are 13 are a teenager......that freaks me out....even the did cali get so big so fast! I like kittens better...oh do we still have fishes? she doesn´t eat them right? hahaha random thought.
Today we are going to the mines! We are going on a zone activity! Its gonna be sweet! I am absolutely loving the mission...and I hate to think that I´ll only have 5 months left soon......I don´t want this to end!
I love Potosí....or they say Poto-yes! Hahahaha. I love this. I love my life and its just awesome.
I know the Lord lives and loves us. I know He answers our prayers and is happy to see us live the gospel. I invite you all to live the gospel happily!!!!
Con mucho amor,
Hna Santeco

Monday, March 9, 2015


I am going to Potosi this transfer as sister training!!! And my companion is going to be Sister Crawford! I will have my first north american companion in the mission!!! Its going to be great! You have no idea how I´m feeling right now...I am feeling all sorts of emotions....and remember that recently I dreamt that I was going to go to Potosi and my first reaction was...I don´t have clothes.....hahahaha Its going to be winter soon and really cold when it reaches June. But I will be fine. I will be able to buy some clothes and boots there. I mean it was always my dream to get all coated up in warm clothing right? Its a island girl´s dream?? Hahaha...But I´m really excited. I will be leaving outside of Cochabamba...I am just so happy. Sad because I will be leaving Villa Luz and I had met wonderful people here. I am going to miss it here and Hna Rumualdo too.

Last night Hna Rosmery, my pensionista asked what I would like to have for dinner because its my birthday and it would be my last meal with her until I come back to say farewell, I told her I wanted fry chicken :). I love her chicken! I am most likely going to cry eating it tonight...I cried just telling her what I wanted to eat. Haha. Thank you for the birthday wishes. I appreciate it so much. My zone is so kind to have an activity and cake this morning. They are most likely to throw some eggs at me and some flour (the bolivian tradition on birthdays). And also most likely going to shove my face into the cake...(other tradition). Its going to be awesome. I´m pretty excited. :) I am really grateful for my companion...Hermana Rumualdo. Its amazing how you can learn so much in 6 weeks from someone you are with 24/7...well almost because of companion exchanges...but its really amazing how you can learn to love someone so quickly....I am really going to miss her...She´ll be here in villa luz with a Latin companion. She is worried about learning english......but I know she will be fine.
We had the wonderful priviledge to have a leader trainingship conference with the 70ty Elder Carlos Godoy. It was a beautiful conference. I had never felt so uplifted by the spirit....It was incredible. It made me love being a missionary more and to realize why I need to be here. The impression part is that he speaks three languages. Portuguese, English, and Spanish. He got so confused speaking three languages...hahaha to his wife and to all of us. He taught us a lot about the difference between testimony and conversion. Conversion is so much more about the change of how we live our lives...I already plan on teaching a few of these things that I learned in the mission to others when I get home. I just love it all. Because its the same with Satan...We know that Satan has a testimony. He knows that God lives and that Jesus is our Savior..but he is not converted. He does not live the gospel. I hope that those who read this can take this in mind just a bit and work towards their conversion.
I was able to do a companion exchange with Hna Watt and Hna Nuñez this past week in Villa Mexico. I was able to get to know the area of Villa Mexico. Its a beautiful area. Huge area. Hna Watt only has 4 months in the mission. She is from Masachusettes. She speaks wonderful spanish and she helped me a lot to be constantly aware of the well-being of my companions. She is wonderful missionary with desires to complete her goals.
We had stake conference in Jaihuayco. It was also very beautiful. I loved it. I love learning from the many leaders about how we can become better people each day.

Oh I cut my hair for 50 bs. Thats about 7 dollars. The cheapest haircut you can get is for 10 bs...A dollar fifty. But you know me...and my chinese hair. I have a hard time trusting people to cut my hair, so I went to a place a little more pricy but its dang cheap still. They washed my hair and curled it. I loved itttttt! Hehehe Felt like a queen for the day.
To reflect on the 6 months that I had in Villa Luz...fills me up with so much gratitud and love. I still have to let the Martinez family know that I´ll be leaving and the other converts we have here...But what makes it easier is to know that I´ll come back on my last few days in the mission to visit a few people....At least my time here in the mission isn´t over just yet. I don´t want it to end.
Marvy spilled the beans....haha And I am really considering in Studying at BYU be able to continue my path independently. I think I really needed to come on the mission to decide to go. But I am planning to be home before school starts of course. But I´m still praying about it as the days go by.
I am so grateful for the 21 years of life I had and the one year I now have to be able to serve our Savior Jesus His vineyard of love. I am so grateful for this wonderful service of has been a wonderful blessing in my life...and I wouldn´t change it for nothing. I testify that the Lord loves us and knows us perfectly. I know my afflictions and sufferings are just a decimal of what he had to suffer for me....He leads me, He guides me...He is my shephard and He lives...
I love you all and thank you for everything,
Hna Santeco

Monday, March 2, 2015


Its already March...what on earth...I swear it was Christmas just yesterday. I say it all the time, Where did the time go???

This week was a lot of learning for me. The Cochabamba mission is doing an activity to become true disciples of Christ. They gave us a list of scriptures for us to study and analize..meditate...and then think in such ways of how we can improve individually. I LOVE THIS ACTIVITY. We make personal goals everyday to become better. The things that I learned....I promised to carry with me for the rest of my life.

1. Becoming a disciple of Jesus Christ is a process....You can never be a true disciple of Christ just in one day. We are humans and we do make mistakes constantly.

2. We all go through our personal atonements one way or another. We suffer sometimes for our own sins...and the sins of others as parents, missionaries, leaders...we suffer through Godly sorrow and try to submit ourselves to the will of the Father. 

3. Everyone has free agency...that is a constant thing I must learn. I had realized that I need to change my nature of being....and if you know me..I can be controlling. I was to control what my neighbor does sometimes if they aren´t obedient....I have come to know that I just CANT do that. But the intentions I have to want such a thing is nothing bad...I just want people to choose the right.....but I had chosen to live the Plan of Salvation. God´s plan to give every one of His children free agency. That´s a tough one for me....But I´m learning and I´m accepting it more and more each day even if it makes me sad to see people I love be disobedient....but the joy does come through. To see the people we just met a month ago, grow and progress...and have more light of Christ in their lives. That is a beautiful thing to see.

4. Being a true disciple of Christ requires obedience..compasion and love. 

I love that you are going to give a sacrament talk about coming unto Christ. This is exactly what I am learning through the transcourse of the mission. To come unto Christ and to invite others to come unto Him as well. I´ll include a little message in another email to help dad talk less in his talk hahahaha.

I received your package. Thank you soooo much. Muchisimas gracias. I was so happy to see the chocolate. To see the photos from the apple store, mom´s letter, and my debit card.....I had no idea that it expired...hahahaha. But thank you really for the goodies. I appreciate.

As I am coming closer to that day when I am going, I have thinking a lot about what I will be doing when I get home in regards of where I will be studying. I am praying and fasting a lot about that....but I know that I will just do exactly what the Lord wants me to do.

I was able to be with Hermana Hansen this past week in a companion exchange. It was awesome to be with her. We made it a goal to contact a LOT of people in the street and throughout the day. We were able to talk to 14 people. It was awesome. She taught me a lot about being bold and just going for it. I was able to be with her when we made a year in the mission.

I am learning a lot about the weakness I have and the things I do lack. I want nothing to become a better person, a true disciple, and missionary. I am so grateful to be here....I only have one more week in this transfer and I really don´t know if I will be staying here. Last night I dreamed that I was sent to Potosi and I was so worried about having to buy clothes to stay warm...because the cold days are coming up. Oh which reminds me. Embarassing night I was not just talking in my sleep...I was singing and laughing.....My companion told me just when the alarm went off in the morning and asked me, "Hermana Santeco, what did you dream??" Hahaha.....I honestly don´t remember anything....even last night I caught myself talking in my sleep....I was teaching a lesson again..but the thing was that I knew I was talking, but the thing was that I wasn´t completely conscience to stop talking......

I really don´t want to count the days anymore. I don´t want to count down when I´ll be home...its just going by so fast and I still have so much to learn. But I am absolutely grateful to be here and to have such a supportive family at home.

I do want to bare my testimony that I know that this is the Lord´s work and we are His disciples. We are to be His hands in this life. I know Joseph Smith was a Prophet and that through him, our loving Heavenly Father restored His gospel. I know that God lives...that Jesus Christ lives. That He is our Redeemer and Savior. I know that He is my Shephard. And we are His sheep. To guide us and lead us to His Father. I am absolutely grateful for this gospel. For the Atonement. For its power to free us from all the afflictions that we have in this life. I know that its true and this I can never reject. I can never reject its truthfulness and power.

I invite you all to become like a child, humble, meek, and loving...and a child submits himself to his father.

I love you all,
Hna Santeco

Do a testimony meeting in family home evening! after studying about that conference talk by Pdt. Thomas s. monson.

sharing a testimony can build the testimony of others!

love you all.
hna santeco

ps: share with me how it went