November 19, 2015
I have some time to think this week about some of the things that I have had trouble with in the mission. Some of the things have been health, comps, and the food. Although these things have been hard for me I have learned the gift of be positive! I was reading this morning in a talk given in the last conference but I believe that it was in the “only women part” about two wonderful people. Their names are Eva & Aunt Rose, the condensed story is that Eva had to go to the house of her Aunt Rose for the summer. Eva thought that everything was going to be really boring because the house was old and that there wasn’t her family or friends. Time past by Eva realized that her Aunt Rose wasn’t boring but really the happiest person she had ever met. As the timed came to and end with her Aunt, Eva asked “how are you so happy?” She answered with a painting. The painting depicted a pioneer girl, who was jumping down a green lined trail. She asked “what do you see?”.Eva responded “a girl that is jumping”, she her Aunt explained that she was happy to be on the trail although there was many trials. What I love most about the story is the following response “There is enough things in life that don’t go well, anyone can sink into the heaviness and the sadness. Although I know many people that, even when things do go well, they focus on the wonders and miracles of life.”
As I have reflected on my week, I have figured out that it is easier to focus on what is bad than what has been the miracles. I will share something very personal, this week I had the opportunity to fast outside of the Sunday fast day, and wow… to give a little bit of background story, for the entire week before this day I had not felt the Spirit and it made me sorrowful. I had pleaded and pleaded with God to be able to give me a portion again but he did not, or at least I thought. As I was sitting in my at a members house, I asked if I could start my fast in his room and he said yes. As I put my knees to the floor I said “Father, I can not do this anymore, I need your help…”. when all of the sudden I felt happy. I felt as if someone had put there arms around me and said everything is going to be ok. I cried for a few more minutes and there it was a new me.
I can testify that when are down we need to look for the help of our Savior and our friend.I can also testify that I would be here almost at a year away from everything if I didn’t have a strong testimony that Joseph Smith restored what we know as the true gospel of Jesus Christ. Amen
October 26, 2015
This week has been rather interesting. My comp has been sick I had a lot of time to reflect and read in Doctrine and Covenants 132 which talks about eternal marriage and what it takes to be able to reach the celestial kingdom. As I pondered that, I thought about the people in whom I am putting my effort to help them to make this covenant. Many people here are not sealed as a family and they are not happy. They have problems… They are going in two different directions, or they plainly do not love who they are with. I have learned that in order to have a happy family, we all have to make a goal. One of these goals can be read as a family the Book of Mormon or pray as a family or even eating each meal as a family. I remember when I was still in my house, I did not appreciate the time that I had to be able to be with my family and I have learned that time you will never get back. What you can do is be better. I extend the invitation to put a goal a family to read the scriptures or something that puts Gods will above ours(Mosiah 6 11).
The next thing I wanted to share is a scripture, which is found in 2 Corinthians 2:4
” For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote you with many tears; not that you should be grieved, but that you might know the love which I have more abundantly unto you” With that scripture I just want to say that I love each person the takes the time to read this email and I testify that Jesus Christ is with us in each of our trials. It is only us that push him away. I know that God anwers each prayer if we have the patience to wait for it.
September 21, 2015
Ok so for this week I am not going to tell any thing to crazy spiritual but more the things that I like about Bolivia.
Well I will start off with the food. The food here is rather different from the States. It is full of grease and everything is fried. We have thin called milonesa which is like a pressed chicken breast that is breaded and fried. RICE oh my gosh so much rice but I have grown to love the rice here. The norm here for breakfast is something called a saltiña or a empanada which is like a hot pocket from heaven they are soooooo good!
My area is literally jungle and farm! Although there is much city around the highway once you get about ten minutes away it turns into farm. There is this one part in my area that live people called cholitas…these people come from La Paz and they do not really like the North Americans..ha! The people here are humble but are sometimes hardhearted to the message that we give which makes me really sad…
The church here. The church here is still very small but is growing lil by lil. This week we taught on how to become a ward and not stay a branch and it helped the members here to become a lot more excited for the new capilla.
As for a spiritual note, I had the chance to talk about Jesus Christ in church this week. I talked about how many times do we think about him because before the mission I was very much a Sunday Mormon….I feel… as I have not put my thoughts in anything else but him and his teachings I have realized that we as members do not think of him as much as we should. I love my savior and know that He lives and is trying to guide us in the last days!!
Hey, so I have had a very different week this week but has been one of the ones where I have been able to find that God really loves his children. So, the past few weeks have been full of chastisement and I have finally got to see the fruits of the hard work that the Lord has been doing here! Last week, we had a family that had not attended church for awhile. After not attend church again, we kind of gave it to them hard and guess what happened the next week ? They attended with smile on their faces;) I say this because at time we do not realize that we are doing something wrong and people tell them over and over again but it never really sinks in…until God sends a messenger to tell them that this could be better so please fix it. Although sometimes it is hard, I know that we can fix all the problems we have through Jesus Christ.
Something that was fun this week is that we had a Brotherhood night. It was actually really fun because we can act like kids again playing telephone and I give you a book! Sometimes we feel as if the church is work work work , which really it is, but we also can have fun in the process. We can play games, dance, or even just sit down and read together! I feel that the little thing of life are of the most worth and the things of this earth that are of the most worth actually don’t mean a thing.
I just wanted to say that I love you guys and that truly I have been called to participate in a great work
I guess I will talk about everything that has happened in this last week….really this area is very hard to be able to get it to progress! This week we had a multi zone conference that blew my mind! We actually just talked about the basics of the teaching that we teach but very profoundly! I would like to just have everyone that reads this think about the first time the realized that they had a testimony of Joseph Smith. As you are thinking about that, I want you to think of how many people that come to Church that have a testimony of him…as we at there learning I learned that he is what has made our Church different. He has made our Church the true Church because he brought back to earth the Book of Mormon, temple work, and real baptism. I now have a testimony that without him our Church would be just like any other Church!
As for my birthday, ha it was not one of the best days of my mission….all of the visits and plans that we had feel through and I still didn’t get my package so that was a lil sad.
As I have started to really read the New Testament, I really liked in matthew 6: 17 -18 when it says “But thou, when thou fastest anoint thy head, and wash thy face” “that thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy which is in secret: and thy father which seeth in secret, shall reward the openly” I really like this scripture because we should never do anything for the sight of man only our Father. I have found that many people think that the things of this world are more important than the things of the world to come. Although very sad we often feel that we have to impress the people here with the way we look. What we do with other people when really we are like unto the Pharisees when we put the materials above Him.
I love this gospel. I love my family. I love everything I am able to do for my Father for that is my greatest reward!
Ok so this week has been very crazy! I have had a transfer! I REPEAT I HAVE HAD A TRANSFER!!!!! Right now I am with my new comp, Elder Britt, from Saint George Utah! Although it has been really sad to leave my area, I have learned how much I actually loved the people of Los Chacos…I had been there for almost 7 months and it really did feel like a home ward. I do just want to say that I do feel needed in my new area EL TORNO, which is the farthest place from the city without being considered outside of the city. It has been exactly like what Cobija was and I am really starting to love all the people here!
This week I had the opportunity to attend a funeral which, to be honest, was one of the saddest things that I have seen in my mission…even though I did not know the person that was dead, I could really feel the true mourning that was coming from this family for the loss of their son. As I had the opportunity to get to know who he was through these people, I now know that he was a member of the Church and that he truly loved the people around him. I am so happy to have the testimony that I have of the plan of salvation. It has brought me more happiness than any sort of sadness that I have ever felt. As I heard the cries of the mother, I just thought about the day that I left on my mission and seeing my family crying, but knowing I would see them again brought me happiness. That is the same principle. When someone dies we need to know that we will see them again … it will only be but a short time in our lives…
This week, a girl in testimony meeting shared a story that I would like to share with you guys. She shared a story of a butterfly that was being killed by ants. What was amazing is she related it back to how we have sins. They might not be as big as us but in time the kill us at times physically but more often than not spiritually. They slowly sneak up and climb onto our back and inject their poison. At first, we may not feel one, but than another climbs on and bites and another and another until we die. This death can easily be avoided by brushing them off with the atonement and just keep moving forward….
I testify that Jesus lives and that He is my Savior and because of Him, I can live with my Father again and take upon me His glory. Amen
I guess this week I will share something simple…and I will start by asking a question… Who ever got hurt by love? I’m not talking about marriage or when we are in a relationship…I’m talking about the second great commandment that Jesus gave us. “Love others even as we love ourselves” That is what true love is. True love is that no matter what someone does, we never stop being a friend. I’m not going to lie. I am not perfect in this. I am still human and as a human, it is normal to hold grudges. But I know that when we truly look beyond these things, that is when we finally feel what the Savior feels for a person.
As we think of who our Savior is, I know that He would be the first to love me after I betrayed Him. He would be the first one to give me a hug after I had cursed His name. He would, at that last day, testify unto the Father that I have done well. I know too often we focus on the faults of others and say that everything is someone else’s fault, when in reality, we can always change our mind and think…how can I help this person.
On my mission, I have seen people change . Not because they received all of the lessons… not because I am an amazing teacher (which i am not)… and not because they were looking for a church to go to. I can testify that people change when they finally feel a little bit of the love that our Father and our Savior have for us. As the primary song goes “Love one another as Jesus loves you. Try to show kindness in all that you do. Be gentle and loving in deed and in thought, for these are the things Jesus taught. “
Wow this was really stressful but super rewarding! I had the opportunity to go to a lot of different houses not just the house I live in. Hmmmmm, I have had a lot of experiences with the spirit that I am not willing to share but will share one with you this week! It happened on wednesday. we went to a house and there arouse the question of why won’t the church pay for my medical if I pay tithing….? I had a wonderful opportunity to testify in the name of our Savior that the tithing is not for medical and that if we to have the church pay that we would need to have insurance with the church..ha so this lesson was quite interesting. I was guided to say that his son would be healed if he would pay his tithing for only two weeks…. not that much time right? As i was giving this promise, I felt as if my Spirit was coming out of my body it had so much energy…
study: The new conference talk by Wilford W Anderson ” The dance steps of the gospel are the things we do; the music of the gospel is the spiritual feeling that comes from the holy ghost. It brings the change of heart and is the source of all righteous desires” I share this because a lot of time we are only in the dance to dance and not to enjoy the music…I have seen with myself and with many missionaries that this is true. I have also seen that when we are listening to the music I have been able to work miracles in the people! I am able to say what the people need to say. So as a challenge this week, I offer the invitation to listen more than we do!
I look back on the times that we sent out missionaries two years go from our high-school. It seems like that was yesterday! I am just having a blast here in Bolivia! I have had so many opportunities to learn how to become a better person and missionary! I want to share a lil story with you guys this week about a multi-zone conference we had!
We had a conference about how to be a consecrated missionary. There was a talk given by Bishop Càusse and in this talk he shared a story about a family that was getting ready for church and they were missing their son. As they looked through the house they ended up finding him playing with his toys in his room. The dad then said “Lets go! We have to go to church” The boy looks at the dad and then at his toys. He then turned and got up from his toys and leaves them behind.
I share this story because people can do this with anything! They don’t need to have a plaque to be a consecrated missionary! They just need to leave behind their toys. This can be drugs, alcohol, parties, people that hold you back, cell phones, and much MUCH more!
As I was studying today, I looked under what it means to WORSHIP because I have seen that as members we have in the years, lost this ability. It says in True to the Faith “to worship God is to give Him your love, reverence, and devotion…if you place any person or thing above the love of God, you are practicing false worship or idolatry” This has absolutely blown me way because I was one of these people! That is why I say that we can do better in this because I have seen when we put the love of God first it really changes not only our lives but the lives of those around us!
So I have been in the house now for two weeks because the comp is a lil mal but I have had many opportunities to study the scriptures and to study the conference talks(which by the way get a whole lot more meaningful when you are on the mish…). Since i am permitted to say whatever I want in these emails, I will share with you a part of the talk by Prez Eyring in the Saturday morning sesh
“And if thou draw thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness shall be as noon day” isaiah 58:10.
This scripture about the ordinance of fasting hit me so hard that i almost cried… as we all has the opportunity to fast yesterday did we all feel our light grow? Did we feel the loving arms of our father carry us through the fast? I know I did… as I have been sick for a good while now. I have time and time again tried to fast but could never complete and yesterday for the first time in months, I was able to complete the fast that I had started! I testify that I know that the fast not only help others but strengthens our light, gives us the hope to know that what we are doing is the will of the one true God!
As I have been able to come to know my Father, I have realized that the things He asks really are not much of us. We are not asked to walk 1000 miles across frozen ground. we are simply asked to go without food for 24 hours so that other will be able to have some. We are not asked to give more than what we have and if we are is because we will receive something greater after. What I want to people to remember is that we can become more for the Lord to use to further His work or we can be as the man that buried his mite and brought back only what He gave…but I know we are all capable to bring back more:)
I have seen miracles I can not deny. Like Joseph smith “I knew and I knew God knew and I can not deny!”