Monday, December 22, 2014

Bolivia, Montero—Week 11

Dear Family and Friends,

We had a busy week full of teaching, learning, and even a few bat encounters!
Missionary Service
“E” left for Colombia today. We stopped by to see her off and she was so sad. I know she’s going to be a great missionary. It’s weird to think that I went through all that just 16 months ago. It seems like it was yesterday. I still feel like I am new to the mission, but I’m 100% glad I made the decision to come here. I have learned so many important lifelong lessons here that I know I couldn’t have learned anywhere else.

We’ve taught a lot of recent converts, references, and less active members this week. The thing that we keep trying to help them understand is that we need to continue doing the things we know we should be doing: attending and participating in our meetings, praying daily, reading the scriptures, keeping the commandments. It’s so easy to get too busy or tired of doing the things we know we should do. We really need to stick with the things that work and not let anything get in the way. Endure to the end!
Bats (1 of 4)
Hermana Gomez woke me up in a panic at 5:00 a.m. this morning. She was in my bed telling me to turn on the light. I asked her what happened and she said that something was in her bed. Then we saw something small and black walking in her sheets. We thought it was a small toad, but then it fell on the floor and we both screamed. I jumped on the kitchen counter and Hermana Gomez was on the bed. We didn’t know what to do. It was the first time we’d both seen a bat—ever! We just watched it crawl around until we got up enough courage to trap it. Our plan didn’t work, though, and it began to escape. Then we couldn’t find it, so we both went back to sleep. Later, when I was sweeping the floor, I pulled out the refrigerator to sweep under it and there was the dead bat. It looked like it got burned or something. Three more bats visited us in our apartment this week. Needless to say, even though it’s super hot, we’ve started shutting our window at night.

Familia Sanchez
This family is the best. Last week, we discovered that the Dad baptized Hermana Gomez’s grandma and aunt! We read from his mission journal and looked at the pictures. Sometimes I just never want to leave their house. They invited us over for breakfast on Monday and want us to visit their other house. And, on top of all the love they show us, they gave us 3 references! We are blessed here with so many great, faithful members.

Heat and Fasting
Today felt like the hottest day ever. We were walking in the sun all day, and on top of it all, we are fasting. All of the members were trying to give us things to eat and drink, but fasting is more meaningful when there is a true sacrifice.

Some things I love about Bolivia:
1.   The Culture. The traditional clothing, food, language, etc. I think it is beautiful that they still have these traditions.
2.   The Heat. Sometimes it’s had to live with, but it’s so much better than the cold. And you have a good excuse to eat chocolate ice cream often!
3.   Everything comes in bags—water, soda, milk, yogurt, etc. It’s fabulous.
4.   All the different species of bugs, worms, animals, etc.
5.   Everything is tile. All of the floors, walls, and even the front walkways are tile. It’s fantastic.
6.   The fruits! They are the best.

I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas!

Xoxo Hermana Nelson

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