Monday, December 15, 2014

Okay, so this week me and Hermana Mejia..... BOUGHT A CHRISTMAS TREE.
It is small, but it is cute. And... I don´t know what I´m going to do
with it after Christmas, exactly. BUT, you only live once. There were
smaller that I could´ve bought, but... Ya know.... I like Christmas.
It´s about hip-height, with blue, green, yellow, and red lights, and
blue and red ornaments. It also has Santa and candy cane ornaments. IT
IS SO CUTE. We also bought little Christmas tablecloths for our tiny
desks, and we´re going to buy a little bit of garland for the front
patio thing... And we´re leaving it until two days before cambios or
so (which are January 14th) because... We like Christmas.

Every night we say our prayers and stuff 10 minutes early and have our
"ten minutes of Christmas" where we just turn off the lights and look
at our Christmas tree. And then after that, we turn it off (so
reluctantly) and go to bed.

We like Christmas.

This week on Tuesday we had a lesson with a less-active member that
we´ve been trying to get in contact with since I got here, but never
was home. Her name is Leonice. She´s a little bit older than me, and
she´s in college studying English. She´s really busy and hard to find.
But last week she called us out of the blue like "Hey, can we have a

Uhm, yes.

So we had our lesson with her on Tuesday, like a week later, and we
talked about the Holy Ghost. She was a little distant at first, but we
felt the spirit really strongly in our lesson.... We asked her if she
had an experience with the Holy Ghost. And she told us that she felt
the Spirit when she called us. That she didn´t want to, but felt that
she needed to. And then she said "I need to meet with you guys
(ustedes). I need to listen to you. I miss the chuch, I miss the
activities. Relationships in the church are different than outside.
There´s more trust."

And it was so awesome. The spirit was so strong. And when we left,
Hermana Mejia was like "She was not the same in there as she was
before. Before she showed no interest in what we were saying. She´d
listen, but she didn´t care. She was so different back there."


Anyway... I think that´s it from me this week. Just getting excited
for Christmas! I hope everything's good at home in the cold and snow,
because everything is pretty great here in the heat and rain. ;)

It´s raining a lot.
Christmas is way different. Turns out it´s a lot like New Years. You
wait until midnight and then you open presents and dance and party for
like four hours. It´s crazy. But yeah! There´s decorations and we´re
singing Christmas songs and it´s a ton of fun.

It´s very hot. And humid. It just gets hotter and more humid every day
until it rains, then it´s better for a couple of days, and then it
starts getting hotter a little bit more every day again. But I kind of
like it. I´m getting a nice tan. You shoulds see my feet, cutest tan
lines ever

Monday, December 8, 2014

Guess who finished her first transfer! Hermana Hall, that´s who!

Monday we went to Central Santa Cruz to send Christmas packages to our
family! And... It was crazy. Allow me to explain. The addresses here
aren´t very exact, and that´s why if you want to send me a letter, you
have to send it to the mission home. And the only place I can send
letters from is Central Santa Cruz... So chances are, it´s going to be
mostly emails from me my whole mission...

But Central Santa Cruz is beautiful! Well... all of Santa Cruz is
beautiful, of course. But Central Santa Cruz has this huge plaza with
a big cathedral and they have Christmas lights up and just... so


Cambios work like this: Every night at 9 o´clock we have planning for
a half-hour. During this time we aren´t allowed to call other
missionaries, because they´re also planning. After that half-hour we
often receive calls from our sister leaders, our district leaders call
us in order for us to report our numbers, etc...

The week of cambios on Tuesday night we get a call from our district
leader to tell us where we´re going and then on Wednesday in the
morning, if you changed your area, you leave!

Anyway, most stressful planning ever as we´re waiting for 9:30 and
staring at the phone, praying we both stay and can have Christmas

BUT we stayed together! Hermana Mejia is going to finish training me
and we´re going to have Christmas together! After we found out we were
staying together we pretty much just hugged and yelled "NAVIDAD!" like
20 times.

We´re not excited or anything.

Also, funny story... On Saturday we were eating with our pensionista
(Hermana Yulie) and she told me "I gave you a little piece of meat,
you´ll have to let me know if you like it."
Me: "Ooh, what is it?
Hermana Yulie: "Meat."


Yulie: "Do you like the meat?"
Me: "Yeah, it´s really good!"
Yulie´s Mother-in-law: "It´s tongue."
Yulie: "It´s ´meat.´"


The rest of the week wasn´t anything crazy. Getting excited for
Navidad, working with Visiting Teachers and Relief Society, telling
people about the Plan of Salvation in Spanish... Ya know. Living in
Bolivia and whatnot.

I love you all and I hope your week is fantastic!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Mom! :)

About decorations/transfers.... "Cambios" (transfers) are on
Wednesday. My training is for two transfers... But it really isn´t
unheard of for you to get transferred and to have another missionary
finish training you. I´m afraid to say anything is likely or unlikely,
but I´m really hoping to stay.

 My pensionista is awesome, Mom.
The other day we were talking to her about her siblings and she said
she hadn´t seen them in a while... and then she said "Eh. It doesn´t
matter. My family is my sons and the missionaries." She´s so cute.
She´s not really a touchy-feely person, and she really calls it like
she sees it... but this week she told me and Hermana Mejia that she
didn´t want us to get transferred. It was really cute. She´s been a
pensionista for the missionaries for like 18 years or so. I love her.

Please, send decorations! I can´t find anything that I want to
decorate with! Please send tinsel for the apartment! And white hot
chocolate mix! I will die, I´ll be so happy, Mom.

Hey, I bought Christmas Piano Guys this week!  Me and Hermana Mejia
both LOVE Christmas. We´re constantly
singing Christmas songs, we have what we´re going to do on Christmas
planned already, how we´re going to start decorating.... If I get
transferred and I can´t spend Christmas with my cute trainer, that
will be so hard. I struck gold with her, I really did.

This week on Wednesday me and Hermana Mejia had two conferences with
President Willard. The first was for new missionaries and their
trainers for three hours, then us and one other companionship got to
eat with President and his wife (chicken cordon bleu, what up), then
another conference for the Hermanas here in Santa Cruz. We talked a
lot about gratitude and how we need to cultivate an attitude of
gratitude. Being positive can kind of be something you have to force
until it´s a habit, but it´s a habit that will bless you SO much.

We have real running water! Hot water! It really isn´t so bad here. Just
laundry by hand is all. Today it´s rainy, which means we´re going to
have to find time during the week to do it.

My apartment has a tiny bathroom with a toilet, a tiny sink, a
curtain, and a shower faucet thingy. It´s very small, it has our room
which has our beds, or suitcases, and our dressers. There´s a patio
and then another room with our study and our kitchen. Don´t take your
microwave for granted! We live above our landlord lady, who I´m pretty
sure is rich by Bolivia standards. She runs a restaurant at night
outside. She´s so stinking nice.

We serve in just one ward. In fact, us and a pair of elders serve in
our ward. Nope. No baptisms. There are a lot of less-active members
here in our ward and so we´re working with them a lot. We´re working
hard with our area. Hopefully this month we´ll have a baptism though!

My days are as follows:
6:30 - Get up, exercise
7:00 - Shower, get ready, breakfast
8:00 - Personal study
9:00 - Comp. Study
10:00 - 12 Weeks, which is a training program with my companion
11:00 - Language study
1:00 - Lunch
2:00 - 9:00 - Teaching, proselyting.....

I don´t know how to explain how my days are exactly. I wish I could
explain better. Maybe it´ll be easier when we can Skype! I can already
feel that an hour isn´t going to be enough.