Monday, November 3, 2014

Bolivia, Montero—Week 4

P-Day: Trying to sleep in a hammock
Dearest Family and Friends,

I hope you all had a fantastic Halloween. We surely had a fantastic Day of the Deadlots of culture, lots of crazy rumors and stories, and lots of people. It’s a two day holiday and no one was in their homes, so we walked a lot!

Inactive Family—They met us at the door to tell us never to come back. All we said was that we were here to serve and if they need anything, to call. But they were pretty firm in their decision.

“M” and “J”—“M” is a young, very intelligent, less active young man. “J” was an investigator a couple of years ago. They are both great and just need some support. We taught them about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and they understood well. “M” is always sharing scriptures from the Bible with us and asking questions. Today was about music and parties in the Church and if it is okay or not. We read from the For the Strength of Youth pamphlet and it helped them understand.

Member—We did service today at a member’s house today because she had lots of cleaning and such to do. She’s all alone and doesn’t have anyone to help her, so it helped lots to weed her whole back yard and clean her things as well.

“P”—She’s a future investigator that the other Hermanas taught a few times. She has 3 kids, one on the way, and a typical Bolivian husband (always drinking beer and doesn’t help with anything). Hopefully we can help her out a bit.

“M”—She’s an investigator that we presented a Book of Mormon to today. Let’s just say that she didn’t accept it one bit. She asked for a Bible instead.

Familia “B”—We went over tonight, but “M” wasn’t there. The hermana said she wanted to go get rid of her stress, so we went to the soccer field and played a bit with her, her kids, and their friends. It was super fun and stress-reducing.

Familia “D”—We went by the Familia “D” for FHE. “M” was there and we began to talk to them. As usual, though, they began arguing about everything. Hermana Cumatz read them the scripture about contention being of the devil. We talked about their goals, we prayed, we did “companionship inventory,” we talked, we discussed, but they just argued more. I’m not sure we were able to help them at all. I hope they take our advice to pray together, make decisions together, and not yell at each other. No it’s just up to them to decide if they want to take our advice or not. Man, it’s so hard! I’m so frustrated and stressed. How am I, a single 20-year old, supposed to give advice to a married couple? And help them? It’s all up to the Spirit now.

On Saturday, the ward members came with us to their home to weed and such. They didn’t want us to come, but lots of the members pitched in and we did a lot of good. We have a plan to go to their house once a week now to help them out with their marriage and family problems.

“E”—We went out visiting with “E.” She’s going on a mission in December.

Day of the Dead
All of the people go to the cemetery and make presentations for their dead. They put on tablecloths all of the things the person liked in their past life here (bread, flowers, soup, fruit, all their favorite foods, pictures, etc.). The family hangs out at the cemetery all night to give away these things to people who come by and pray (mostly the Catholic memorized prayers). Also, if the dead person liked dancing or drinking, they also do that all night. They believe that during these two days, the spirits are walking around eating the food they put out for them. Tonight we visited and it was super cool. I love the culture of it all. I know it’s not the correct religion, but I do think it’s a beautiful thing to remember their loved ones.

We visited the Familia “D” again. They were planning to come to Church today, but it rained so hard that their whole house was surrounded in water and they couldn’t leave. We read a chapter of the Book of Mormon with them and helped them understand it a little better.

We went looking for more people to visit, but even the members weren’t home because everyone went to the cemetery to celebrate The Day of the Dead. We went to the cemetery for a little while to sing Hymns and be with the people.

You Know You’re in Bolivia When . . .
. . . You find bread in the shape of a cross (with Jesus as well) . . . and the Elders in our Stake buy that bread and eat it for dinner!

I hope you all have a great week. Please continue to pray for the Familia “D.” They need lots of prayers.

Love you all!

xoxo Hermana Nelson

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