Monday, July 14, 2014

Its a Sick in bed kind of Week

Hello Familyyyyyy!!!!

So....this week I caught a cold. I lost my voice and everything. And so that meant that I couldn´t teach lessons or go out of the house because the weather is crazy here at night. Wind and everything with dust in the air. It first started out with a scratchy throat, not a sore throat. It was itchy eversince I had to sing at that baptism and then...I would wake up without a voice for 3 days. I had a fever that was climbing and lowering for a day. My companion was freaking out the whole time calling other missionaries and asking what I should do. I would do one thing and next thing I know, I´m in the shower taking a hot shower for 20 minutes. Then I´ll be checking my temperature every 15 minutes to see if there were any changes. was rough. I couldn´t even talk much, but only whisper or talk through a raspy voice. It was ugly. I was sad because we couldn´t go to our appointments because I can´t talk....but I am better. I am just glad that I didn´t go to the doctors again. I will do anything to not go there. AH.

Can you believe it? Next week I will make 5 months in the mission. I am freaking out how fast time goes by. Oh mom and dad, your anniversary is this Sunday. Yes mom and dad I remember. I am still your favorite daughter, I know (sorry bout it marvy hahaha jokes). sooooooo in regards of your anniversary, FELIZ ANIVERSARSIO! Can you believe you are going to have 23 years together??? Almost quarter of a hundred!

So we finally got to meet our new president and his wife. They are beyond amazing. They have such powerful testimonies and tremendous amounts of love for our Savior. This week was honestly a little hard for me. It was a mountain worth climbing though. In the zone conference that we had, I had learned that I really lack the attribute of Christ, Charity. I wanted to strengthen our companionship really bad because it was hard for me to be happy. I wasn´t completely happy because constantly I was picking out reasons why not to be happy. It was bad. We also learned in conference that we needed to really make use of our personal studies in the mornings. The Lord gave us a specific time of the day to study because He really knows that it is the right time to receive revelation. The following day after conference, in the morning, I took the challenge to really study in such a manner that I would feel ready to work for the rest of the day. I was studying the attribute of Charity. I have studied it many times before but this time I studied it with the intent to really change my faults and to become better. I have learned that besides that Charity is the pure love of Christ, is that we are commanded to have charity in our hearts. I thought hard about this and came with a conclusion of several things. In 1 Cor. it talks about charity and how we are nothing without it. We can have everything in the world, work, a house, a family, opportunities to serve others, power, authority, but without charity we are nothing. So if charity is the pure love of Christ, it means that we are nothing without the pure love of Christ. And how does He demostrate His love for us? The atonement. If we don´t have the atonement we are nothing. What is the atonement for us? It is our hope. Without hope we are nothing. In bigger forms, without Christ we are nothing...without love we are nothing. I have felt His love when I studied so hard about these things and I have grew a greater appreciation for the gospel.

One night...well one of the nights of staying in bed sick, I was writing a letter to Elder Wheeler because I finally got his letter which was sent in March. Many times when I write, I receive revelation of the things which I have learned in the mission. What I have learned was something really profounding to me. As missionaries, we always teach our investigators the importance of keeping the commandments. We always express that we keep the commandments and have the promise to receive blessings. Right there I realized that its more than that. Its like in John 14:15. If ye love me, keep my commandments. The greatest commandment is to love God. Second is to love your neighbor as yourself. I love God more than I have ever loved Him. I have never felt so motivated to keep His commandments. And I realized that I wasn´t just doing His will because I want the blessings, but really because I love Him. Before I came here to serve a mission, I have always done the right things because I just knew it was right. Plus if I didn´t do what was right, I knew there are consequences of feelings of regret and such. I did it for the blessings. But perspective has changed. When I realized this...I also realized that I wouldn´t have learned this for myself if I wasn´t here in Bolivia. I have never loved God so much that I have such a strong desire to serve Him and to be so obedient. Its important to express to others of the importance of obedience because of course you will receive blessings, but also its because He is our Heavenly Father and if we truly love Him and trust in Him, we should be willing to do what He asks of us. This really touched my heart...and I continue to remember what I have learned and use it to motivate me to work with all my heart, might, mind, and strength. Love is my motivation and that is something I have always known and said before I came here.

Within that same day my companion had really bad pains in her body. She didn´t tell me until it was really bad...I was a little concerned that she didn´t tell me because well.....we were in an appointment and we were helping someone wash their dishes. Here in many cases, we wash dishes in buckets of water outside the house. There is no sink in many houses here. And so....we were washing and washing. My companion was squating on the ground and then she tells me that she can´t get up..........the pain increased and she couldn´t walk. We were in our area Chilimarca....up on the hill, far away from our house. I called our leaders and told them what happened. Called a member to pick us up and take us to our house. Oh and we live on the third floor.....she hopped herself up 15 minutes. Poor thing. She continues to have pain...and because of that she hasn´t slept for 3 days. We are going to give her something to help her sleep and if she still is in pain, we will have to take her to the clinic. So with me being sick and my companion being unwell....we couldn´t work that much this week. But know this, I have grown to love my companion. After studying about charity and praying for help to develop this attribute with opportunities to strengthen our prayers have been answered.

Getting to know Bolivia can be hard. Especially with references that we have. Addresses here aren´t labeled on the houses. All of the references are said in this manner: 2 blocks up, 5 blocks left, curve left, a store is in the corner, next door is our house, black door. Its rough....but we gotta do it!

After being so sad for so many days, I have learned to work with this sadness and find opportunities and ways for me to enjoy myself and really just be happy because I need to be happy. What a waste to be sad in the mission. This is really such a beautiful adventure really. I keep saying it because I mean it. Its everything to me right now and probably will be for the rest of my life.

Last week I said how the mission prepares you for marriage and such, but also I´ve learned that it prepares you for motherhood. Sometimes you literally will become the mother of your companion. Marvy, my companion reminds me of you. She is 21 but acts younger than she really is....hahaha. I have never felt so responsible of a person besides myself. But really, you learn how to be a mother from the experiences you have in the mission. They always say that you have a huge chance of having a daughter or a kid that is exactly like one of your companions. With the problems and trials that you have with your companion, you will learn how to deal with them and that will prepare you to know how to deal with certain situations with your children. You will know what to do in such a way of relying on the spirit, speaking with love, and dealing with patience and longsuffering. The mission teaches you a lot. It prepares you for your future and helps you to really see what matters most to you and most importantly to our Heavenly Father.

I really love each and every one of you. I am truly humbled to be a representative of Jesus Christ and to preach the gospel to the Bolivians. I have grown so much spiritually and hopefully not physically...only if its like muscles then its okay with me haha.

Thank you for all of your support, your testimonies, and love and prayers. I am so happy to always see have each of your lives have been blessed through the gospel. Know that I love you all and that I miss you. Have a wonderful week and enjoy every day of your life :). El Evangelio es todo para mi. Nunca he sentido mucho gozo de servir nuestro Salvador. Saben que estoy aca para ayudar a las personas a recibir el mismo gozo que tenemos. No tenga meido o temor a compartir este gozo con las personas que lo necesiten. El Evangelio es por todos....todos de sus hijos. Les amo mucho mi familia y amigos. Nunca se olviden de que estoy aca todavia....jajaja. Les amo..tenga una buena semana.

con mucho amor,

Hna Santeco

PS: I made a lei for one of the Elders birthdays! It was so hard to find the materials to make it....oh bolivia. hahaha. He loved it!
the mountains are so pretty in the morning.....

We arrive at the chapel early sometimes. Members come a little late because the trufis are always full.

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