Thursday, August 27, 2015

Hermana San-flecha

I have developed the reputation here in the mission for being a "flecha". Those who served spanish missions, probably understand what I mean by "flecha". I am a flecha, or in English, I am an is an arrow? Its sharp, its straight, it goes in one means to be obedient, to enforce the rules as it is, and to sometimes, ocassionally, tell others that what should be done and what shouldn´t. I am not going to lie. I have changed a lot after these 18 months, and I am no longer afraid for standing up for what´s right....if I have to walk out of a movie theatre because its inappropriate, I´ll do it. If a person is mistaken, of course as a missionary, I´ll tell them otherwise, but with LOVE. I learned that.....I know at home I have been known as this type of person also, but I learned to do it better. Mom and dad always called me the police cop at home, but really this is different. I had definitely found the joy in being obedienct with exactness.....After being sister training leader, I developed this...I overcame the fear of correcting other them (better said). I was really scared at first because I didn´t want to offend or make them feel bad, but I learned to do it in a way that is loving and helpful. The Lord helped me with this...and because of that, I can see how I can improve and as well as those who I´m will to speak up to. An elder asked me this past week, "Hermana Santeco have you always been a flecha your whole mission?" I honestly didn´t know how to understand. But at the same time, as a human being I felt bad to here such a question....because sometimes when I speak up, I get teased for saying if I suck out the fun of things. But my perspective changed. I know that the Savior recognizes that I want to obedient and that this is HIS MISSION and it was and is never mine. Because of that, I can never say, "in my mission my mission that." Its THE MISSION...the mission of the savior.
I was able to go to the temple this past saturday. (mother I bought you garments, you got lucky). It was my last session here in Bolivia. We did a session with our mission president and wife. It was a beautiful session. I sat in the celestial room remembering the first night I arrived in Cochabamba and went straight to do a session in the temple....and then there I was in the temple for the last time. I love the temple here. Its a special place. After the session, I had my final interview with president Hansen. Everyone says that its really trunky, because president asks us to bring documents of things....a list of things we learned in the mission, a list of things we seek in a future spouce, and our testimony. It was a beautiful interview. It was really heart touching for me because I could really feel content for what I did in the mission. I don´t regret anything.....he first asked me how I felt about the mission and he asked which companions I had, that had a huge influence on me. I reflected and just in tears, I could feel the spiritual growth I had throughout these 18 months....then we went over the documents. He explained to me how I should be looking for a husband (funny stuff, I will tell you bout that stuff when i get home), and he read my testimony. I love being a missionary...
Towards the end of the interview, he tells me, "Hermana Santeco, I am really happy with you. I am happy that you are a flecha. I can't think of a greater compliment than to be thought of as a flecha for one's entire mission." I teared up more because honestly I felt that no one here sometimes can see me for who I really am and what intentions I have to be better each day. Then he tells me, "You know what hermana santeco? You need not to worry for being one. I am a flecha too. Joseph Smith was a flecha. President Monson is a flecha. But most of all, Jesus Christ was a flecha and we are all supporting your side." I could feel that God was content with me and with the desires of my heart. President Hansen told me that he knows that I won´t be one of those returned missionaries that go inactive. I told him, that I will sure stay active. How can I ever go inactive after all the things I learned here?
I can not believe that my time here is really running thin. I realize each day, that I love Bolivia...that it is really hard for me to say goodbye. I called one of my converts and met up with her a bit ago and I could feel how hard it was for her to realize that I´m leaving.....I ran into two members from my first ward yesterday who moved to my last area. The first thing they told me was, "hermana santeco! you are talking really well now!!!" Hahaha.....after so much time...i can finally speak...I can connect with the people here. Bolivia has taken captive over my heart...but mostly the Savior. After these 18 months I have really came to know my Savior and Redeemer more. I have seen the imperfections I have and seen how much I do need my Savior. I am nothing compared to Him, but with Him, each day I can become more like Him. I love being a missionary and I am sure going to miss being one, but I must keep moving on.
I know this is my last email in the mission field. But know that I love you all......It is really bittersweet for me to write this and ponder on the wonderful things that I have experienced here....I testify that our Lord lives and loves us. I know that we are in the true gospel. I know that we are His hands. He needs us more than ever to serve Him, whereever it shall be. At home, in the mission. Wherever. I love this gospel. I love the Savior and the example His has set for us. He has blessed my life tremendously for what He has done for us and what He continues to do for us.
I am a flecha and I love the way that I am. I have a reputation in the mission here as a flecha. An obedient one who enforces the rules that sometimes others think I cant have fun. I know that people look at me such a way, but i know that the Lord recognizes that I do it because i found happiness in being exactly obedient...and no one can tell me otherwise if i do something wrong...i love the savior enough to do it and continue to push myself to be more obedient each day. And that way....we do really become closer to our Savior and become more like Him...

I will see you in a week! I love you,
Hermana Santeco

PS: If I gotten fat.....its because this past week and probably this week I am eating a lot because my pensionista loves me and wants me to enjoy the food while I am still out here.
PPS: I wont be able to receive more emails after this. Just wait til I get home.
PPPS: We went to incachaca today. It was a beautiful hike that reminded me of Hawaii.

Ready or Not...Here I come!!!

I am no longer sad...well until right now. I prayed super hard to find a way to accept that I am going home...and I accepted it and I feel so much better. I am actually really happy that I am going home. I can not wait to sleep on sundays....I am not going to lie. I think my body is giving up slowly as I keep doing the same things everyday. But do not get me wrong, I am not TRUNKY! I am  just ready to go home. Haha.
Yesterday we had a baptism. It is probably my last baptism I will have here. It was an interesting experience. It was so interesting that I went for a "swim" and  got a little wet as I lifted up my dress to see if the water was leaving the font. It was really funny really.......why are they so complicated to fill up and to heat up??? I ask myself, are the baptismal fonts the same in the states? Haha..... I enjoyed getting in the font......I miss entering waters.
I love the pension. They already had known me since day one for eating a lot. The elders asked me one day, "hermana santeco,  how do you each soooo much?? where did you put it all???" then the next day they tell me, "hey hermana santeco, my companion and I had been talking about this all day and we think we know how you do it.  We came up with a logical reason why and how you can eat and not get fat." I would tell you the response...but its too funny that I will just have to tell you when I get home what they told me. hahaha. one day i finished eating my lunch and said to my pensionista,  "hey hermana angelica, what are we going to have for dinner?" she laughed so hard and said, "hermana santeco! you just ate and now you are thinking about dinner?!"  I am going to miss her food.

We went to the temple and had our zone conference with president. It was a beautiful session. I love going to the temple. I really look forward to going to the temple often at home. I had to give my last testimony in our zone conference. I did not cry. Mission accomplished. I did fine and my spanish did not suck inspite of the nerves I had. This morning I read something in English for my companion. My mouth was so confused.....
I only have 2 weeks left- ready or not here I come!  One more letter after this!!!
I love you all,
Hermana Santeco                          
PS: funny note. i saw a fresh cow tail cutted off from the cow itself.......walking in the street.   

Monday, August 3, 2015

Es Agosto!

Que rapido! Es agosto! The time is flying and soon I will be flying in an airplane. This week.....I was able to be in America this week with my sister training leader for a companion exchange. America was the place where I had my first companion exchange in the mission. Isnt that crazy? My first and last companion exchange in the mission was in the same area, same pension....same was really weird to go back because we would walk down the same roads where I walked about 17 months ago with my first STL, Hermana Flores. I remember not speaking so much because Spanish was hard. But when I walked into that house and searched the Hermana who lived with us, I screamed and said, "HERMANA!! DE TANTO TIEMPO!!" It was bittersweet. I was able to see the same sister landlord that continues to live in the same house. She asked me to bless the food during lunch and after the prayer she said, "100% spanish! ya puede hablar!" Time flies...and it continues to fly. 

We have another baptism this week. Isn't that crazy? We are going to see how the lessons go because we still have to teach him a little more to help him feel ready for the big day! I am running in circles these days now, trying to find a member to be with my companion so she won't be alone when I leave, trying to find a member to accompany to visit my ex/areas so I'm not alone....calling people that I can't remember their names nor their phone number...I am doing lots of stuff. 

I learned more words in spanish....I'm lucky because my companion is still new in the mission and because of that, she remembers the language better hahaha. And she helps me a lot. I am hoping that I can be understood when I get home because they tell me sometimes I speak Boliviano! 

Its been super hot here...and I can't imagine how hot it is at home.

They made me share my last testimony in our zone meeting this past week. I cried like a baby. I don't want to go but I'm coming home!

Tomorrow we will be going to the temple and having Zone conference with our mission president. Its going to be a beautiful day!

I feel that I don't write a lot to you guys now that I feel that time has gotten shorter and my mind is constantly occupied with thoughts and fears of going home, but its a beautiful adventure really.

So next week....I'll be writing again. then the next monday, again. then the following, I'm flying out!!!!

I love you,

Hna Santeco

PS. We walked a whole lot in the dirt this companion copies my she loves me.