Wow this mission thing is crazy! I have learned so much about myself in the short 6 weeks I have been here! the good and the bad. My weaknesses are definately magnified as a missionary but I think my strengths are too. I know my heavenly father is changing me for the better through all of this. I´m not the same as I was when I left the MTC, and I know I wont be the same when I return home. I still have so much changing to do! I think one of the reasons a mission is hard is because missionaries are given situations daily to change them and humble them. And we constantly have to choose how to react to the situations we are given. For example, my situation is not ideal. In fact, today the elders in our zone told me we are in one of the hardest areas in the mission. But I know that I am given this trial because if I can do this, I can do anything in the mission. This is preparing me for what is to come! I dont know why I have been given this situation Im in but I have faith that its because my heavenly father knows me better and has something if not alot of things to learn here including humility because without his help I could never do this!
But the elders told me that there are alot of hermanas that they call "princess" missionaries and they told me I am not a princess missionary! Wahoo! But I dont know how anyone could be a princess here because there is nothing pretty about this haha. For example, how can you be a princess when youre walking in the dusty dirty roads and sweating your guts out? Or have a million bites on your legs (this week I got bit by a spider in the night and my leg swole up so big I couldnt walk haha and my legs are COVERED in mosquito bites!) A princess obviously couldn´t deal with that. So you should all be proud of me haha just kidding. "as for my strength I am weak."
This week I had an experience with prayer and scripture study. I have a strong testimony that if we pray with a specific problem or question in mind and after open the scriptures we can find answers! This week I found a scripture after I poured my heart out in prayer in Alma 26:27. "now when our hearts were depressed and we were about to turn back, behold the lord comforted us and said go amongst thy bretheren the lamanites (the people of aguaray) and bear with patience thine afflictions and I will give unto you success" After this ammon goes and teaches in the streets and in their houses, and still suffers afflictions all this that perhaps they might "save some soul". And the promise of the lord is kept as always and they have alot of success!
So my answer is patience- I cant count how many times that I have heard that word! But something I also learned this week is that the Book of mormon was written for our day and we are commanded to apply them to our lives. These arent just stories of ancient prophets- these are meant for us! And I know there is always something we can relate to in the scriptures. Before the mission I never realized how many scriptures there are about missionary work! And I´ve come to love alma because he and ammon suffered similar things on their mission! So my challenge is to read and apply! I know there is power in this.
This week was good but not very successful. We tried to have activities for the members but no one showed up. We were going to have a movie night and watch 17 miracles and we made invatations and everything but no one showed up except the president and his wife. But then one of our investigators showed up with his grandkids! so we ended up teaching a lesson instead so I guess it was a blessing in disguise. Its sad that the members here arent very strong. It makes our job a million times harder.
We did service this week and cleaned the church (house) since none of the members will. And after we went to our investigators Sixtos house and he taught me how to make empanadas! MUY RICO!!!! he is my favorite person here I decided! I took a ton of photos but my companion deleted ALL my pictures! She tried to act like nothing happened and put my camera back in my backpack and then later I found out that all my pictures had been deleted. I was SO sad at first...the natural woman in me wanted to be mad at her. But I realized people are more important than pictures. Just another lesson I needed to learn this week.
We also did divisions this week with 2 members. At first I was really nervous because I wouldnt have my companion to help teach and the member I went with is hard to understand and is kind of awkward. But I ended up loving it. and we are going to do it every week now! I finally felt like I could take initiative and teach by myself! We visited some inactive members and hardly any of them were home but I had a miracle- I found 3 new investigators with the help of the spirit of course! We were walking back to the church and there was this old grandma and lady sitting outside and we walked past them and I said hi...but after we were walking I felt like I needed to go back so I quickly walked back and started talking to them and they were so nice! the cute little grandma was so sweet. I asked if there was a time we could come back and teach them and they accepted. also the member and I accidently went to the wrong house and it turned out to be a man that she knew and I started talking to him and invited him to our activities and church and promised him he would find happiness if he did and he told me he doesnt know what happiness is. anyways he promised to come to the activity and our book of mormon class but like all latinos he didnt keep his commitment. This is the most frustrating part of missionary work!
We also started teaching a book of mormon class for the members to learn more...and it really helps me as well. but there was only 5 members that came...but it was good. they all really liked it and the next day in church they told the other members to come because they learned alot.
Adventure of the week: we had to go to another zone conference and so we took a bus. Well the bus stopped and everyone gets off, but we were supposed to continue on. Well the bus driver gets off and tells us he will be back...and gets on a motorcycle and doesnt come back! hahaha we were all alone on this bus in the middle of no where and had no idea what to do! and the zone leaders were calling us and telling us they were waiting for us! it was crazy haha we waited for a half hour and finally he returned haha.
also today we went back to bolivia and hiked the same hike we did last week but with everyone in our zone! it was a blast! I caught a snake! we were basically free climbing the rocks up to this waterfall! I wish I could have taken pictures! And tonight we get to have a sleepover with the hermanas in our zone! Hermana erickson! because tomorrow we have an activity with all the sisters in the mission and have to travel there! I will get to see my hermanas in the MTC! I cant wait! I miss all my friends in the MTC...we have a group email every week with the elders and us hermanas its awesome to hear all their experiences.
bueno, that was my week in a nut shell. Its so hard to remember everything that happened when the days seem like weeks and the weeks seem like days!
Tenga una buena semana!!!!
con mucho amor,