February 26, 2018
Man I miss Riberalta. I love my area, but I've never really liked the city. I hope I get to go back to Beni soon.
Did a couple service projects. Set up a barbed wire fence.
I wore holes into both of my pairs of shoes a while ago. But I got them fixed up- now they have tire soles hahaha
During family home evening (https://www.lds.org/topics/family-home-evening?lang=eng&old=true) with our investigators I have been teaching them to play Scum, Spoons, I doubt it, etc. hahaha they love it!
I love the mission so much. But I also miss home like crazy. I'm going to be torn apart emotionally when I go home. Less than 8 months left!
Felt compelled to share a story about one of the hermanas that we are teaching. She lives with her boyfriend and 3 kids. Without going into too much detail, her boyfriend treats her horribly and he has another family. When we first started teaching her she was cold and very skeptical. But little by little, as she started to read the Book of Mormon and pray, her heart was softened and her faith grew. This last Sunday during class she shared her testimony of prayer. Through prayer she came to know of the truthfulness of our message. Through prayer she has recieved comfort and strength. I love and admire her so much. Her faith and devotion to God is so strong. I am so happy that she is making these changes in her life, I know God will bless her for it.
Little insight from my personal study:
2 Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause thee to hear my words.
3 Then I went down to the potter’s house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels.
4 And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it.
5 Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying,
6 O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the Lord. Behold, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel.
One of my best friends is very talented with ceramics. I remember him explaining to me the importance of centering the clay in the middle of the wheel, or the piece will wobble and won't form correctly. These verses made me reflect a lot. I know that at times my life I've felt liked a marred piece of clay. My own stubbornness and pride have often prevented me from centering my life on Christ, and as a result left me deformed. But with loving, guiding, and perfect hands, He is always willing to pick us up and reshape us into something better. During my mission I have really tried to submit myself to His hands. It has not been easy; it requires a lot of sacrifice and it's downright brutal at times. But I know that I am so much happier than I used to be, that I can become so much more, and that I owe it all to Him.
Love and miss you guys so much.
February 19, 2018
Sorry I’ve been too busy to write a group letter but just wanted to let you guys know that I'm alive and doing well haha
Carnival was last week I'll tell ya more about it next week. I’m undefeated in chess against the other missionaries (7-0)
We got cambios. Elder Yocom bounced to Riberalta. I miss him a ton. I stayed and Im training a new missionary from Argentina, Elder Brasesco. He’s chill, doesn’t talk much but he’s funny. We get along well and we're working hard.
I accidentally have swallowed like 5 mosquitos this last week during lessons haha
We changed houses, moved into our area so that makes things a lot nicer
Rice is the bane of my existence
Getting a little tubbier everyday so there'll be more of me to love when I get home hahaha
Trying to complete my life goal of getting nice calves by staying on my tip-toes while I cook breakfast and brush my teeth. I wanna be like Johnny Bravo but with legs hahahaha
Tried some delicious chocolate mani- its like hot chocolate but peanut butter instead. Im opening up my own book store/bolivian cafe when I get back to the USA.
Cool experience from one of my investigators, Hermana Paola. We taught her how to pray a couple weeks ago. This last lesson she told us how she lost 200 Bs walking to the pharmacy. She looked all over and couldn’t find it. So she remembered what we taught her and prayed. She felt prompted where to look and found it!! GOD LISTENS AND ANSWERS PRAYERS!!
The mission is the best. Love and miss you all.
January 29, 2018
Wow. What a week.
Cambios are this Tuesday. As always, I feel worried and sick to my stomach. Hopefully everything turns out okay. I'd like to stay with Elder Yocom for one more cambio. We work well together. And he's my first companion that'll work out with me everyday haha. He's a good kid.
Soccer AND basketball are now banned. Yippee. Thinking about taking up speed chess. Or water color painting. If you don't hear from me next week, it's because I died of boredom.
I got sick for a few days. Had a gnarly headache, felt super weak, and puked so hard it came out my nose. Just another week in Bolivia:)
Aldo came to visit me again, love that guy haha
Elder Yocom and I have been finding so many new people to teach its hard to keep track of everyone haha. I guess thats a good problem to have.
Ana got baptized!! Its been a pleasure teaching her and her family, they are awesome:)
This week was pretty tough because a lot of investigators and converts have been suffering. It breaks my heart not being able to help them more. But this gospel helps them draw closer to the One that can:
11 And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.
12 And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.
13 Now the Spirit knoweth all things; nevertheless the Son of God suffereth according to the flesh that he might take upon him the sins of his people, that he might blot out their transgressions according to the power of his deliverance; and now behold, this is the testimony which is in me.
14 Now I say unto you that ye must repent, and be born again; for the Spirit saith if ye are not born again ye cannot inherit the kingdom of heaven; therefore come and be baptized unto repentance, that ye may be washed from your sins, that ye may have faith on the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world, who is mighty to save and to cleanse from all unrighteousness.
That is our message as missionaries. That the Lord knows us and our struggles. He suffered unimaginable pain for us. He loves us and "is mighty to save". I have seen so many lives changed and blessed by His hand. Everyday I draw closer to Him and the peace he offers.
6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
Love and miss you all,
PS: Shout-out to the YSA for sending me cookies! You guys are the best!!
January 22, 2018
Awesome week. Elder Yocom and I are putting in WORK baby!!
Super bummed because President is going to ban soccer in the mission:( too many missionaries have gotten hurt.
Found a crazy huge worm/snake thing.
Celebrated Elder Yocom's birthday!
I find it incredibly ironic that some people don't believe that we are Christians. Our church is called "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints". And as it says in the Book of Mormon, another testament of JESUS CHRIST; “we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ "(2 Nephi 25:26) There are a lot of rumors, gossip, and myths about the Church. But if you would like to see who we really are and what we believe in, there is this awesome movie called "Meet the Mormons". It shows the lives of 6 members of the Church, and how their faith has blessed and changed their lives. Just follow the link!
Love and miss you all,
January 15, 2018
Well President multiplied our goals 3x. No worries though, Elder Yocom are up for the challenge. We found 25 new people to teach this last week! "There ain't no rest for the wicked and the righteous don't need it!"- Lyle McClune
It has been raining a TON!! Practically swimming to our appointments haha
Loving the mission. Every day is a new adventure and a new opportunity. So grateful to be out here.....but I really miss chocolate chip cookies and BBQ. S'all good, only 9 months left!:)
Amazing talks from this last general conference about the Book of Mormon.
3 Nephi 11:10-14
10 Behold, I am Jesus Christ, whom the prophets testified shall come into the world.
11 And behold, I am the light and the life of the world; and I have drunk out of that bitter cup which the Father hath given me, and have glorified the Father in taking upon me the sins of the world, in the which I have suffered the will of the Father in all things from the beginning.
12 And it came to pass that when Jesus had spoken these words the whole multitude fell to the earth; for they remembered that it had been prophesied among them that Christ should show himself unto them after his ascension into heaven.
13 And it came to pass that the Lord spake unto them saying:
14 Arise and come forth unto me, that ye may thrust your hands into my side, and also that ye may feel the prints of the nails in my hands and in my feet, that ye may know that I am the God of Israel, and the God of the whole earth, and have been slain for the sins of the world.
Love and miss you all,
January 3, 2018
E´Izquierdo thought I played in the MLS... not sure if thats a compliment for me or an insult to American soccer hahaha
Had a flan chugging contest- LOST. Had a pepper eating contest- WON. This white boy becoming more Latino everyday ayyyo
Rained a ton this week. Elder Yocom and I went out in flip-flops all day because the water was up to our knees but there aren't any boots that fit us haha
Diego and Marcelo got baptized!! Love these goofs, its been great teaching them. Amazing the love that you can develop for someone when you see them as God see them
Our beloved prophet President Thomas S. Monson passed away January 2, 2018. It hurt to hear the news but I am happy because I know he is in a better place. I also am comforted to know that God will call a prophet again.
7 Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.
18 For I know that God is not a partial God, neither a changeable being; but he is unchangeable from all eternity to all eternity.
I know that God lives. I know that he is the same yesterday, today and forevermore- because He is perfect, and perfection never changes. I know that He loves us, and because of that he has sent us a prophet to guide us, as he has since the beginning of the world.
We thank thee, O God, for a prophet
To guide us in these latter days.
We thank thee for sending the gospel
To lighten our minds with its rays.
We thank thee for every blessing
Bestowed by thy bounteous hand.
We feel it a pleasure to serve thee
And love to obey thy command.
One of President Monson's last requests and advice:
"We live in a time of great trouble and wickedness. What will protect us from the sin and evil so prevalent in the world today? I maintain that a strong testimony of our Savior, Jesus Christ, and of His gospel will help see us through to safety. If you are not reading the Book of Mormon each day, please do so. If you will read it prayerfully and with a sincere desire to know the truth, the Holy Ghost will manifest its truth to you. If it is true—and I solemnly testify that it is—then Joseph Smith was a prophet who saw God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ.
Because the Book of Mormon is true, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Lord’s Church on the earth, and the holy priesthood of God has been restored for the benefit and blessing of His children.
If you do not have a firm testimony of these things, do that which is necessary to obtain one. It is essential for you to have your own testimony in these difficult times, for the testimonies of others will carry you only so far. However, once obtained, a testimony needs to be kept vital and alive through continued obedience to the commandments of God and through daily prayer and scripture study.
My dear associates in the work of the Lord, I implore each of us to prayerfully study and ponder the Book of Mormon each day. As we do so, we will be in a position to hear the voice of the Spirit, to resist temptation, to overcome doubt and fear, and to receive heaven’s help in our lives. I so testify with all my heart in the name of Jesus Christ, amen."
Please read the Book of Mormon. It has changed and blessed my life and I so desperately wish that for all of you. If you would like a free copy or have the missionaries visit you, visit mormon.org .
Love and miss you all,