I just love getting emails...and hearing all about what blessings our family is receiving.....I already planned on going to Bangkok for the Temple dedication and seeing the cultural celebration will be just amazing. I just feel so blessed just thinking about it. I am really happy Gabriel wrote me. His email made me laugh. He is still the same old Gabe. I can see him as a missionary that makes all the people he meets laughs.
This week was a good week. Did I tell you guys that all the missionaries in Potosi (we are about 20ish) are going to reenact stories from the Book of Mormong. I am going to be a sheep (a cute one of course) and Sariah from the Tree of Life story. Its going to be great! I gotten so hooked on making costumes and decorations...It made me miss my mayor. There is just never enough time to do this things. The sisters and I were in charge of making the tree of life. I was pumped. I wished I had wires and spray paint and a whole bunch of time to do it. But I had to use what we had in the house. I found a broken green umbrella, a christmas tree and branches. I sewed the branches to the tree. I thought it looked pretty neat. Ghetto. But neat in regards to the limited time and supplies to do it. Then one day I was in a lesson and look to the side of me and see a fake BEAUTIFUL fall tree. We asked them to lend it to us. So my tree I made won´t be used, but its okay because I couldn´t finish it. Hahaha. We don´t have a car, so my companion walked around the streets with it. People gave us weird looks haha.
Sometimes people ask us the weirdest things. We contacted this one man in the street one day and as I was about to explain about Joseph Smith, he interrupts me and says, "Why weren´t there 10 apostles? Why there had to be 12?" I tried to keep calm...and explain it to him with love....but I could feel the contention...so I asked him, "Well why do I have 2 eyes?" I had a point......sometimes we don´t have the answers to the questions we have, but all we do know is that God created us that way, and Jesus established His church that way.
It has been so cold. Really cold that I can´t be outside without wearing leggings (thermos). I am having to do it...I´m taking out money. I know I´m stingy with money, but I am dying from this weather. I never thought the cold could be so painful....Sometimes I´ll wake up in the morning before the hour to wake up and I´ll be so cold that I can´t sleep. My companion is taking good care of me though and she lends me warm clothes. Sometimes it rains and when it rains, it hales....we were outside this week when it haled and I remember just standing at the door step of a house knocking with my companion, hoping someone would let us in. It was a man´s house so we couldn´t enter and we stood at the door. I was just standing there feeling the hail hit my back. Hahaha...the mission life. Never gonna live this at home.
We taught english classes this week. I got to teach two little kids while my companion taught the adults. They were the most two adorable kids ever. They just keep talking to me about their dog and I tried to help them learn the names of the colors in English. Sometimes I still can´t believe that I´m finally fluent in Spanish....it has been so long....lol. Its what I have been waiting for since day one.
Our district leader is awesome. He is such a humble guy. I had never had a district leader like him. But one of his lessons really impressed me. We all had to teach about an attribute of christ in the district meeting. When it was his turn, he has us all read when Jesus washed His disciples´ feet. Then my district leader said, "I know I´m your district leader, but I do, too have weaknesses. And so I would like to clean your shoes". He got down on his knees and pulled out a pack of shoe polish and a brush. He told us he couldn´t do it for my companion and I because it would be appropriate, but he did it for the elders. And I just watched him and thought about our Savior Jesus Christ.....he was polishing their shoes and I started to get teary....Now that I can finally understand Church Doctrine better in my life, I find it hard to believe when Jesus returns and does such acts like that...I was really grateful for that class that he taught. He has helped our district grow and have success. We set some goals, one being to find families and contact 10 people everyday in the street. My companion and I love contacting and we are finally able to do it without being afraid, but with confidence. We did intercambios or companion exchanges and I stayed in my area. We put it to test. I read a conference talk about becoming consecrated missionaries that teach us that a consecrated missionary puts in his all. He walks in the rain. He knocks just "one more door", he smiles even when people reject him. I was with the lovely, Hermana Giles from Arizona that day and it was raining that night. It was a cold night. No one in the streets. We looked for a reference who ended up not living there, but someone else who automatically let us in because it was raining. We got to meet him and his wife. We left the house happy because Potosí..is not easy. Getting into people´s house the first time is not easy, but they let us in. We continued looking for people to teach. We were going to look for one of investigators that wasn´t progressing, but we felt prompted to go somewhere else. We were walking around the block, avoiding the puddles...more like rivers (Bolivia doesn´t have water drains in their streets) and we decided to knock on doors. It was fun. We would knock, and I said, "Is Mary here?" Then we hear a voice..."NO. MARY DOESN¨T LIVE HERE!" And I respond, "CAN WE GIVE YOU A GIFT?" and she yelled back, "NO!". We laughed soooooo hard and continued to walk in the rain. We knocked on another door and three kids opened the door. "Is your mom home?" We talked to her mom and she let us in......we found a family. We walked in their beautiful home. A family of three kids, a mom and a dad. They gave us something warm to drink and bread. I was in awe...We found a family.
We had interviews with our mission president. I loved it. Being sister training leader makes the interviews a little different, but interesting. But he asked about Marvy and I just cried. I was just so happy to see that the baby boy is going to be born and that she will be going to the temple this year. Then he asked me, "Hermana Santeco, now that you are finishing the mission, how do you want to end it?" I first thought....wow I am really close to the end....and I said, "I want to work hard...and finish it good." He smiled....he was happy with my answer. I had came to a point that if I don´t work hard, I feel terrible. I feel like a terrible missionary. I want to finish it good. Finish it with every ounce of energy that I have....I want to live it to the fullest...because it really is ending soon.
I am so grateful for this time...sacred time to serve the Lord. I reflect upon the blessings and continue to feel the love of the Savior and my Heavenly Father in my life. I know that this is the Lord´s work. Its a work of love and work of miracles.
I do hope you all have a wonderful week and have a wonderful sunny day in Hawaii!