Tuesday, January 1, 2013

prospero ano nuevo (1/3 done!)

hello lovely family and friends!
This week was amazing because i got to talk to my family!! That was the best thing ever. Just a few clarifications: i said that no insects enter my room. That’s a lie. I’m always covered in ants. The mosquitoes are few though. not much else gets in thank heavens!!

Ok so monday night we had a special dinner with the Uriona family! that was great. it was yummy. we had to eat super fast though to get to our room on time though. we were woken up at midnight to tons and tons of fireworks! the same thing is going to undoubtedly happen tonight too so fun stuff! 
Hma Black at the Uriona home on Christmas Eve
Ok so christmas we went shopping because we weren't able to on monday pday because my companion was sick. Then we worked as normal- we delivered a bunch of christmas cards to people. We made sure to say feliz navidad to everyone we saw (which wasnt a lot) because pretty much every church here except the catholic church doesn't celebrate christmas but we do! And there’s so many missionaries- it was our way to differentiate from everyone else. then we talked to our families! yay!
Christmas dinner with fruitcake -- common in Bolivia
Wednesday- well lots of rain this week. did i mention our shower only had hot water for a week? oh also our stove blew out the outlet so we didn't have a stove or fridge (because the fridge is plugged into the same outlet) for a couple days this week. Anyways its super cold when its cold outside and then you shower in ice water! I’m thinking about doing one of those jump into the ice water charity fundraiser things after my mission. shouldn't be too hard after this :)
Elisa with her trainer, Hma Choque (pronounced Chokeee)
Ok so thursday at zone conference we learned about setting goals. We learned especially about the fact that we always need faith and hope in our goals. Hmana choque (by the way its pronounced chokeeee- everyone here is still laughing about how you said her name haha) and i have kind of lost this i think- especially because our only progressing investigator- sandra- is now in California! ha. But she said she’s going to look for the church there. She always keeps her word. Rudi will not keep is commitments (praying, reading, or going to church) and we´ve lost Auster quite completely. So we’ve been looking for new people but rather hopelessly i think. But after this conference and especially with the lesson from Hma Morris, we had lots of hope this day and we think we have found a family ready for the gospel: Elsi is the mom and she’s 36. She has 4 kids, and two of them live with her still. Santiago is 16 and has been visiting the church in another ward with his friends! Gabriella is 13 and goes to another church with her sister right now. But Elsi went to our church 3 times while living in Brazil for the last year. Anyways here´s hoping that they are ready for the blessings of the gospel in their lives!

Friday- happy anniversary! i thought about you both all day as we ran through the rain and didn’t have any doors open.
Saturday- i really got cabin fever- i want to go to another area! i love a lot of things about Hamacas (by the way that’s the name of my ward and it means hammic. hamick? its that thing you sleep on ha). But this day i was just so ready for a change of scenery! Again with the knocking on doors and not entering houses. ok we enter houses- but then we learn that they are less active members ha.
Sunday- one of our less active families that we’ve been working on for the last three weeks came to church today! They have been less active for 10 years or more. It’s a family of 6 kids, the youngest is 19. the dad used to be in a bishopric in Cochabamba. the mom and dad came to sacrament meeting today! that was exciting. we are really hoping to get more of the family to come to church- 4 of them are married to nonmembers. This family has the potential to really be a force for good if they will just come back! Also we’ve been praying and fasting that the hearts of our ward members might be softened the whole time ive been in this ward. we’ve wanted them to feel the importance of helping with the missionary work, especially with less active members and new people that come to church. Well today at the consejo de Barrio they started talking about the need for this! yes! we are so happy for this. we´ve been working so hard. We still can’t get anyone to say hello to the investigators or less actives without calling them the night before and then dragging them over during church, but at least they are talking about the change and we are excited for improvement!

So this week was long and hard but its because a lot of people around here leave town for vacations during this time. We work in a super rich area- everyone has houses en el campo. but yeah hopefully this week will be better. Also i stopped meeting with Sister Packard on the 21. I’m doing a lot better. i love one of the things she said- You don’t have to be here for forever. But if you did, could you be happy? i dont need to suffer my way though this. I can choose to be happy now. I’m trying so hard. Happiness is a choice and i choose it. :)

Also something Elder Christopherson said to us that i love: dont desire to do anything but His work His way. The His way part is really important. If it was my way, I’d send Elder Holland to knock on the doors here. But thats not His way.

Anyways I love you all lots and lots- happy happy new year!!!!!!
love, Hermana Black

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