Monday, January 6, 2014

Bolivia, Charcas—Week 15

Hello Family and Friends!

Wow, so a little surprise. Last night the Elders called and I thought it was just to tell us that we had an activity, but nope, they said there was going to be an emergency transfer. Hermana Soto is going to another ward in the stake (Los Angeles), and Hermana Smith will be my new companion! I knew Hermana Smith in the MTC and she is from Utah as well! I was pleasantly surprised, because usually they don’t put two new North Americans together, but yeah, President must have a lot of confidence in us. It’s going to be difficult without a sure Spanish speaker, but it will be a good learning experience. I’m excited.

Harry Potter Scripture
This is for anyone who likes Harry Potter. I have a new goal to read the standard works (Bible, BoM, D&C, PoGP) this year, and I only need to read 5 chapters a day, (and I’m reading more), so hopefully I’ll finish before the year is up. I started reading Genesis and found something interesting—Genesis 30:14. I was pretty excited.

Love you all! Happy New Year! Be sure to make reachable goals for this new year. Whether they are big or small, continue to work at them and, whether or not you accomplish them in the time period you want, keep trying! There is always room for improvement.

Love you!


Hermana Nelson

Journal Pages
December 31, 2013
New Year’s Eve
What an Eventful Day it Was—Picolo Ice Cream
After lunch, we got permission to leave the area and eat ice cream with Lucy and her family. The ice cream was fine, but the quantity was ginormous! I got one of the smaller ones and even that was hard to finish. And, to top it all off, the family bought us two very large pieces of chocolate cake to take home for later. We are spoiled rotten!

El Rio (the River) of Santa Cruz
After ice cream, Lucy wanted to show us the only river in Santa Cruz. There hasn’t been much rain this year, so it was all dried up, but the area surrounding it was really pretty. It made me laugh at how excited Lucy was about it. She said she’d never been outside of Bolivia, so this is the only body of water she knows and she loves it so much (maybe it’s like us in Utah and Lake Powell).

Preparing New Year’s Eve Dinner
We began preparing dinner with Hermana Carol and man was there a lot of food! She bought a pig, sausage, a duck, and a chicken. We also made two kinds of rice and six different salads. We were only planning on 10 people, so I’m not sure why we made so much, but it was fun helping out in the kitchen. Then she remembered that she hadn’t bought anything for dessert and I remembered I had the brownie mix in the house, so we left to go get it . . .

Not so Pleasant Surprise in the Kitchen
Hermana Soto and I ran to the house and she waited outside while I ran into the kitchen to grab the mix. When I turned on the light, I saw something big and black move under our table. I first thought it was a bat, and screamed really loud.  Hermana Soto came running in and a huge rat ran out of the table and behind the fridge. We were both screaming so loud that I’m sure all of Santa Cruz heard us. We ran outside and I called the bishop. He didn’t answer, so I called Hermana Carol and I said, “Hay un raton en nuestra casa!” (there’s a rat in our house!). She sent the bishop with her son and Diego (our neighbor) panicking, asked how a “ladron” (robber) got into the house. We explained through tears that it was a rat and to hurry and kill it. They shut the door to the kitchen and moved the fridge. Then we just saw a lot of stomping and running around through the window. Finally, the bishop “stomped” it dead and they disposed of it outside. The bishop thought it was funny that we were so scared of a “little” rat (which was huge, by the way!) and told us that next time we need to speak more clearly on the phone. It was a fun little surprise for New Year’s Eve . . . not!

Dinner and Fireworks
We had dinner with the bishop and his family, and our neighbors, the Bravo family. Afterwards, we watched the fireworks at midnight, and then we went right to bed. It was an eventful last day of 2013.

January 1, 2014
Rabbit, Rabbit!
(conejo, conejo!)
I feel like we ended the year with a bang and started this one the same way. Sometimes I wonder if I was meant to be BLONDE . . .

No, we didn’t find any more rats in our house, we just have the usual millions of ants running around. But I can’t decide if this story tops the one yesterday. You tell me . . .

So today, it was raining a bunch when we decided to go to San Javier. So, after lunch we waited in the street for a “micro” (bus) for about 15-20 minutes. Then we decided that since it was New Year’s and everyone was drunk, the bus drivers must be drunk as well, so we flagged down about five taxis, but none of them knew where we needed to go. Finally, one woman knew the place we needed to go, but said it was going to be 20 bolivianos. We said we couldn’t pay that much. She then lowered it to 15 and we said it was still too much. Then she said she would drop us off at the entrance and we could walk from there for free. So, I was thinking, “Oh, well, free is better than the alternative,” so I got in the taxi and Hermana Soto followed. We weren’t paying too much attention to the road when the driver said, “Yeah, there are people wanting to get out.” So, we got out and didn’t know where we were. She said to take a bus to San Javier from there. We flagged down a bus and he said that none of them go to San Javier. We called the Elders to help us figure out what to do and all they did was laugh and tell us to take another taxi. After calling a few members and flagging down five more taxis, we found one that knew the area and we finally got to San Javier. It was an adventure for sure, and I just wonder if I will ever be good with directions. I don’t think so . . .

January 2, 2014
One Horrible Lesson . . . We had District Meeting today, and it started out so great. Elder Leon taught the class about studying more effectively and it was really just what I needed to learn. Then, we only had 15 minutes left and Elder Leon said that Hermana Soto and I “are going to practice.” I was already pretty emotional, because we’d had a bad morning. We began the lesson and I thought it was going well. Then Elder Leon stopped me and told me exactly what I did wrong and told me to start over. At that moment, I started over and couldn’t stop crying. All the missionaries were watching me and it was horrible. I felt stupid, like I didn’t know what I was talking about. It was really frustrating.

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