Monday, April 27, 2015

Mas cerca Dios de ti..en estos 14 meses

I don´t like looking at the calendar and seeing the time pass by faster and faster and see the months disappear.....where on earth did Abril go? Now that we are entering May you know what that means?! It means its going to be mom´s birthday! and also mother´s day! I will only have one more pday to talk to you before deciding about skype, but I do ask you to prepare everything and tell me what time is good for you. I finish church here just about at 1pm and that would be at 7am in Hawaii...but I do eat lunch until 2-3pm and that would be up to 10 in Hawaii, but I think it would be good if we could do it at 5-7pm bolivia time range? That would be 11-1pm time range in Hawaii I believe? Just tell me when and I´ll do what I can and let you know next week because we are still in search of a place to do it. Its kind of hard to get good internet service here but we are doing what we can. I just hope Marvy doesn´t give birth too soon, but at the same time I would love to see the bugger, the Samoan, Chinese, Thai, Filipino baby! I would have never thought our family would include the Samoan blood, but its pretty awesome!

This week, this new week we will be traveling to Cochabamba again for a training leadership conference. I am honestly not looking forward to traveling a lot this transfer. My companion and I will be traveling a lot to fulfil the responsibilities we have. Its a little hard because we are the only sisters in our ward and having to leave is a sacrifice. 

This week just to share a little of what happened was that my companion and I really learned how to be guided by the spirit. We had a tough week to be honest. I have lots to tell you guys when I get home about all the experiences I am having here that I just can´t say right now haha. We will have lots of time for that, but my companion and I really worked to have the spirit with us more throughout the day. Being in Potosí somehow just makes us so tired. That sometimes we are grumpy together. Haha my poor companion, she has been sick these few days with a cold. The rain poured on us one day and it has been really cold. I was blessed to buy a blue scarf made out of Alpaca fur. Its sooo warm. But it rained and we had to walk home to change. But along the way we were going home, we knocked on doors hoping that because it was raining, maybe they would take us in because they felt bad that we were wet. But.....that didn´t work. It made us laugh. We went home, put on some rainboots and continued to look for people to teach. Everyone fell through with the appointments we had with them. There was a young adult girl named Jessica that we contacted the other day and a few more days later we had an appointment. We left her a pamphlet about the restoration and invited her to read it before we would return. When we returned, she opened the door and told us right away that she was against the fact that Joseph Smith was a prophet and that a prophet could even exist in these days. Oh she was hard hearted and my natural man side of me was frustrated and just wanted to change her brain structure just so she could understand it in an instant. We stood at the door and she kept throwing us questions that jumped from on idea to another. I took a deep breath and said to her, "Sabemos que usted tiene mucha buenas preguntas y nos gustaría ayudarle con ellas, pero tal vez podríamos sentarnos y hablar?" She didn´t let us into her house, but we instead went to a little plaza with a bench nearby where we could sit quietly and talk. We sat down and it was so funny because she literally didn´t give us any eye contact and she was very direct with us. We started with a prayer and we specifically asked God to help us with this lesson because we honestly don´t know all the answers to her questions, but we knew that we could somehow bring the spirit to her heart. When we began the lesson, we explained to her importantly that she is a daughter of God and that He really does love her. We explained that we can become closer to Him in many forms....she asked, "How can we get closer to him?" We explained..."Asistir a la iglesia, leer las escrituras, orar, guardar los mandamientos, muchas cosas"....she nodded her head in agreement and we could see she was starting to open up to us. We saw the spirit work in her......but now the proble was that she couldn´t come to accept that Prophets exist. My companion shared a scripture with her and she was amazed...she was in awe...and she was open to know more about them. That lesson we could feel the spirit and we could feel that she could feel it too. Just from a closed-out person, she opened up and could see that it could be true. I am still learning to recognize the promptings of the spirit and continuing to search of how I can be obedient to its my companion and I did this, we also learned that just as there is a good spirit, there is a bad spirit that doesn´t want you to feel secured with the good one.....but its amazing how things work out with the spirit.

Yesterday my companion and I had a rough day. Two dogs attacked us. Two big dogs. I just lost it, I was already frustrated with the things that were going on throughout the day and I just wanted to feel better about what was going on. But these two dogs wanted to bite us....I got so aggressive I grabbed my bag and started to taunt them and scream in Spanglish (haha) so they would just go away. They eventually left us alone. I hate dogs. I hate dogs with a passion. I swear I grown to be afraid of them as soon as I came on the mission. I don´t even think I can watch 101 Dalmations anymore because they just make me nervous. But I learned to protect myself from them. My companion and I are just grateful that they didn´t bite us. Plus, I finally can say that I can face them with more courage. 
Its interesting to really think and ponder about what I´m learning now in the mission and I can see how this things will help me to improve and to grow....14 months out and away from home is a lot of time to be away from home, but it has become the best 14 months of my life. Everyone is now talking to me as if I´m finishing the mission...they tell me, "Hermana Santeco ahora que esta terminando la mision........Hermana Santeco, espero que pueda aprovechar estos ultimos meses de su mision...." Lots of stuff like that. Its crazy. I look back and I swear I was just a newbie here and now I feel like I can finally put all I can to do this work because I finally know how it works. I am truly grateful for the things I´m learning and things the Lord is trusting me to do. He is trusting me to withstand the cold weather. He is trusting me to fight off the bad dogs in the streets even if there are 10 in one street....they are so many dogs....He is trusting me to keep wake up at 6:30 even if its getting harder now because its so cold. He is trusting me to forget myself and remember whose work is this. I had never forgot that it was never was never my mission. It was never my work. I am grateful for the spirit for telling me to serve a mission and for the blessings I have received from it. I know without a doubt that our savior Jesus Christ lives and loves us. I know that He knows us perfectly and wants us to return to Him and our Father in Heaven. 

I love the Lord...I love my family. I love my companion. I love Potosi. I love being a missionary.
I wish you all a wonderful week and a happy early birthday to my dear mother...and my beautiful sister who is about to dar la luz. Dar la luz means give light, but in Spanish it means give birth...hahaha I can´t wait for you guys to hear me try talk in English and laugh at myself fail at speaking proper English.

I love you all,
Hermana Santeco

I forgot to add a little more of what I did this week, but my companion and I spent some time with Leticia. The 64 year old lady who is suffering from uterus cancer. She taught us how to make a bolivian donut type of food. Its delicious. I have the recipe. We are going to do it when I get home! Sadly I forgot my camera that day to take pictures. That very same day we made tacos with our pensionista. I´m just cooking a lot these days. But the thing we made with Leticia is called Roscones de Nuez Mocada. Its DELICIOUS. I enjoyed my time with Leticia. She is just like our grandmother in the mission. She was alone all night so we accompanied her making with her Roscones. Yummmmmm. ^_____^

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