Monday, June 1, 2015

Siga Adelante no mas!

I learned a lot this week. I did. It was really hard for me to accept that I have only two transfers left and watching the missionaries go home made me realize how hard it will be to go home. It is hitting me harder more and more each day. I tell my companion that its like running into a wall full of spikes. It hurts, but you just gotta run into it because its in front of you. I am so surprised how my flight schedule already got home. This week, the mission secretary even called me to ask me when I am going home and to what airport I will be going home to. As so I have a huge favor to ask all of you that are writing me....please in your emails, I don´t want anything that says, "You will be home in so-and-so weeks, months!" All I want is to receive, "Hermana Santeco, as you know your time is coming to an end....keep working hard and enjoy what you have left. I really need lots of encouragement right now. I am absolutely exhausted and freezing....My body just aches from the struggle of getting use to the huge weather change and the altitud. I need to keep working. Tell me, "Marisa. I want you to know that I´m cheering you on until the very end." I need that and I want that please. I have missionary friends that just left and were not able to sleep their last few weeks in the mission because they were having a hard time to keep working because going home brought them so much fear....I really need to sleep....and I need to forget that I´ll be home soon. I want to work and I want to do it the best that I can. So that is all I ask of you. I imagine you are excited for me to come home so I can get back to helping around the house and to eat all the left overs that you can´t finish, but I need this.

Hermana Crawford is leaving me to Sucre and I will have a Latin companion from Peru. My 5th companion that is from Peru. Sweet! She is from an island I heard. Where its hot. So I think we will just be able to relate as we suffer in the cold haha. I have really came to a conclusion of how blessed I was to be with Hermana Crawford and that I really needed to be with her during these 12 weeks in the mission. These 12 weeks were hard. Really hard for the both of us. But we worked hard and really learned a whole lot. I have never felt so tired and cold. But I am doing all I can and trying to do more so I can become better. I am really going to miss Hermana Crawford. I will be in a house full of three latins and I´ll be the only North American. I´m excited because now I will be speaking more Spanish and I want to speak it more before I end the mission.

We went to Uyuni this past pday. A week ago. It was GORGEOUS. It looked like snow, but endless snow, but it was all salt. It usually looks like glass in January to February when it rains, but it was still beautiful. We went as a zone and got to go to this cactus island in the middle of the salt flatts. It reminded me of an island with a dry sea full of salt. It was BEAUTIFUL. I grown even more grateful for God´s beautiful creations. I wished you guys were there with me to see it. You would enjoy it. We took pretty cool pics there while we were there. I went crazy and bought cute colorful things to wear that day. My companion and I were twins.

We worked super hard this week and we prayed hard for help from the Lord. We felt that we never had any success here in Potosi these 12 months together until the very last week together. We have been watching the district over again to be able to remember the things we learned in the beginning of the mission. Repetition is really good. It helped us a lot and we saw a huge difference in our effectiveness as missionaries. We just forgot so many things to do to make things more effective in lessons. We grown to see that the Lord could see our desire to do better and really do His will. Having a stomach infection was part of His will (which happened two weeks ago), but now I´m better! I´m telling you now what happened...hehehehe but I´m so much better now. We were able to achieve all of our goals together and find three people who are now preparing themselves to be baptized this month of June. I just feel God´s love for me as I type this because He has been so patient with me.....I just see the many imperfections I have as His daughter and I just beg for Him to help me to be work better.

Teaching someone who doesn´t believe in God has been hard, but I love her to death. Her name is Juani and this week I was searching a way to help her. It was hard, but I just knew that she just needed to have a personal spiritual experience. We have been having her try to pray to this "Energy" that she believes in and to ask it specifically if its God. She is slowing but surely doing it. I can´t imagine not believing in God or anything in that matter. I studied a lot for her to know what to do and I came across my journal that I had at home. It was a journey entry I had from July 2013 when I was going through a few hardships at home and I did something a little out of normal. This is a shout out for a good friend of mine who helped me get through the trial and see the blessings of it. My friend Marleyna told me to talk to the spirit, to God in a isolated place and to talk as if He were to be right there with me. I read that journey entry and I just bawled. I remember that day so well. It was after class at BYUH and I took the car to go to the temple and to be alone. I climbed all the way up on Laie hill to see the entire Laie and I talked to God....and asked Him, God are you there? I need your help because I feel so alone. I bore testimony in my journal and saw how that helped me so much. I could feel the spirit so strong that day at the very pavillion up on Laie hill. I could feel the peace that He brought me to my heart. Reading that even brought me the very same feeling. I read other journal entries of when mom was going through Chemo and the trials we went through as a family. My heart was full and I was amazed of how much of a person I was at home to do such a thing, because apart of me makes me feel that because I am so tired and after doing the same thing week after week for 15 months, I forget those kinds of experiences I have and had at home. I neeeded to read that. Now I know how I can try to help Juani. To share her what happened to me. I am grateful for writing in a journal to see how the things that we go through can benefit us in the future and even others around us.

I ate chinese food. We found a new chinese restaurant here in our are. Its called Hermanos Chifas. They are LEGIT chinese people and so I thought two things: 1. They must know how to cook good chinese food. 2. I´m in bolivia...I hope their meat is good...I hope its not cat. I never felt soooooo insecure about eating in a chinese restaurant until I came to Bolivia. After getting an infection, I am super careful with what I am eating. I asked her, the chinese lady what kind of meat it was. She spoke more chinese than spanish. It was funny. But I was stressed because all I wanted to do is eat calmly and peacefully. We ate Chop Suey and it was DELICIOUS. They have a sauce that I like that is not Bolivian. We didn´t eat the meat in it though we were too scared. After eating I told her in chinese, thank you, Shui-shui! She smiled. My companion kept telling her that I was chinese too...It made me laugh.

One thing I learned for sure is to just keep moving forward. "Siga adelante". Keep going. Keep working. I know it will be REALLY hard for me to finish the mission and leave it....but you just keep going. I just have to keep working.

I am really excited to work this transfer and a little curious of what will happen. Its going to be great. Really great. I can feel it. Inspite of feeling cold, I feel great. I love the mission and love being a missionary. I am not trunky, but if anything just a little nervous and excited how time is going by so fast. That gives me more reasons to work! Let´s do this!!!

I love you all. Have a beautiful week.
Hermana Santeco

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