Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Bolivia, Week 2

Hola friends and family!

Thank you so much for your love and concern!!

Monday night, I experienced 2 miracles that really helped me out a lot. The first one was when we were walking at night. There was this giant dog out. A man came jogging past the dog (this is weird- people dont jog here. ever) right in front of us. the dog started going crazy and barking wildly. the man stopped the dog from attacking him, but then of course we were scared to pass the dog. But when the man saw us, he circled around and blocked the dog from getting to us as we walked by! Definitely he was an angel. Seriously he was right there at the right moment and I was so grateful to feel like the Lord was protecting me!!! Also, The lady who lives next to us who feeds us lunch every day is named Roxana. We had family home evening with them because they are recent converts, and we try to visit recent converts for 2 years after their baptisms. Anyways her husband promised that they would do anything for me that i needed. They are the sweetest family- only a year and a half in the church and the dad is in the bishopric, and their daughter teaches seminary! The church is young here in santa cruz. Anyways those were my miracles monday night and i know they were possible because of all your prayers!!

Ok some housekeeping stuff- i can EMAIL every week, but i can only send letters every 6 weeks. this day is today, so hopefully some people will get responses to their letters in the next 2 weeks. Also I am so glad i have a backpack! thanks for sending that mom!!! I actually just got the dearelder where you said you’d send me a backpack and to buy new scriptures. Therefore, i did not buy new scriptures because i just got that dearelder and i should have got it in provo... so email is best.

Ok anyways thank you family for all your love and advice. Seriously It helps so much! Also, my theme scripture this week was Revelation 2:10 which says, fear none of those things that ye shall suffer. Lots of other things helped too but this was my theme scripture!!!

Ok so after my miracles monday night, my next couple of days were awesome. OH! heres a little bit more about this place: the people are really nice, they always invite you in and give you drinks. But that's usually as far as it gets. getting them to go to church or do much is super hard. My companion is Hermana Choque. Choque in english: collision. so, people at church always say hermanas black and white! or, they push us into each other for a collision. haha. its great. She is really sweet and is from Bolivia. OH! I am in Hamacas if you want to googlemap where I am. :) Also, the main things we eat are rice and meat. Hermana Roxana is a super good cook- I always love all the food she makes. Because of this, she keeps making more and more traditional meals. She has cooked for lots of gringos and she said that they dont usually like very much of the stuff, but I seriously love everything! Also, we cant flush down toilet paper. gross right? haha. Oh and my house IS normal mom- I talked to some other sisters and they’ve had more cockroaches than I have. ha.But Ill definitely be oiling up the house thanks!

One of the things that helps me the most here is when I am myself. When people ask me what i did before my mission and i tell them about what I study, they always ask me to sing. I am getting super good at singing The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow. haha. I love it though. IT really helps me be more comfortable. Also, everyday i try to remember to smile as much as possible, thanks to some advice from Aunt Patrice. I ACT happy, and it helps me to be happier. Acting and singing are things i love, and they are helping me lots! And its amazing the effect smiles have on people. I can help someone soften their heart simply by smiling at them. They are polite so they smile back, and often their countenance changes and they listen more! So i know that smiling is powerful.

So we are supposed to bring members to every lesson if we can, so that people have friends when they go to church. If you have missionaries in your ward i encourage you to go with them to lessons! It helps us a lot. Also, If there are missionaries from other countries in your area, be nice to them. haha. Its so hard being so far away from my culture, language, and well everything! I have so much more respect for all people that have served missions.

Something else that is really helping me is to think only about the day that I am on. Its tons easier to think, "I can be strong today!" instead of "I can be strong for 15 and a half months!" Missionaries always say that the time passes fast. I really hope i start feeling this soon because right now it feels kind of like eternity. haha. Also Chi-Chis advice about being grateful for one thing everyday. Gratitude is so helpful!! I try to focus more on this.

Anyways I think I wrote a little about Luis in my last email- we invited him to be baptized. He said yes, but he hasnt come to church because he has work. He wants to go, but he has to pay 1000 US dollars a week for 7 weeks to pay off a debt. This doesnt sound super bad, but remember here one US dollar is 6.8 of their dollars. so its 6,800 dollars a week. we taught him about how God will help him if he follows the commandments. He is great and we are hopeful for him, but this is a very, very difficult challenge. Im grateful for Grandpa blacks story about how on his mission he taught a family about the blessings of tithing and then the power that had in the lives of that family. This is helping me as i talk to Luis. :)

Well this is the hardest thing Ive ever done. I am grateful for all of your love and help!!

Much love,

Hermana Black  

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