Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Yeah this week we moved! On Tuesday night we packed up all of our stuff and on Wednseday night the Zone Leaders came and helped us move! We thought that they were going to bring a member and a truck, but we watched as the Elders used (poorly fastened) cords to lower our dressers off of the balcony, and stack them on top of the members little car. They put two dressers and a mattress on top on the first trip.... 

But now we're all moved in, safe and sound. We live in an apartment at the back of a member family's house. They are so sweet. They bring us breakfast sometimes, and they let us use their washing machine, which is a miracle... I'm looking forward to doing laundry for the first time in six months or so. But yeah, I haven't settled in too much, because it'll be a pain to pack it all up again and I've been in this area for a while.

Yesterday we had elections here in Santa Cruz, and it's against the law to meet in groups on election days, which means we stayed in the house until six. Buses don't run, taxis don't either, businesses close.... It was interesting to see! It was also kind of crazy to see the propaganda for everything. 

That's pretty much it for me, but I have to tell you... Yesterday I was in a lesson and they were playing oldies in the background... But like...  Good oldies. I told the lady "This is the kind of music my parents listen to!" And I was pretty content, haha. But after that she had to go feed her kids, and so she left me and Hermana Llerena for a little bit.... And Sound of Silence by Simon and Garfunkel was playing... And it was amazing. 

The lady was such a sweetheart though, and she told us that she really feels separated from God and that she wants to start going back to church. She has three kids and the poor thing is so tired. She fell asleep sitting up during the closing prayer, haha....

Well, that's it from me. :) You guys are always in my thoughts and in my prayers and I hope you know how much I love you... And I want you to know that I'm changing and growing up a lot. I think being a missionary has taught me so much more humility than I would have learned otherwise. It hasn't been easy, but it has been worth it. :)

Monday, March 23, 2015

Celebrating 6 months out with a burger, father's day in Bolivia, the sunshine tie, and swinging, featuring the tannest white girl in the wordl!

HI. First of all.... Yeah, I still didn't move. We're moving on Wednesday. I'm going to miss our cute house, and the cute family that lives below us.... But maybe it'll make leaving easier when I go....
We gave talks in church on Sunday about the Work of Salvation. No one wants to hear missionaries talk about missionarywork, but we tried our best to do it without being preachy. I also gave the lesson in Gospel Principles last week.... It still makes me a little nervous to teach big groups in Spanish, but what's important is that I did it.
Thank you for the package!! Opening up the package and seeing the sunshine tie was the cutest thing in the world. I'm going to have to try to find a way to wear it somehow... or attatch it to my backpack without hurting it, haha. And thank you for the Biscoff! I've been eating Biscoff and peaches for breakfast every day this week. I think I've already eaten a quarter of the jar or so...
Do you remember Hermana CedeƱo whose blog I read every week back home? She went home last transfer! Crazy how time flies...
This week we spent a lot of time in the clinic for my poor comp., whose ankle is kind of messed up. On Tuesday we had just a general doctor's appointment for him to check it out, and then on Thursday she got like an ultrasound on her ankle (ecografia... I don't know if that would be ultrasound or what, because I've never heard the word ecography) and X-Rays, which reminded me of you a lot and made me laugh. I was like "I wonder if mom likes taking X-Rays of ankles with all those little bones."
Hermana Laura showed me what Dustin said in Spanish and.... I've gotta step up my game. He hasn't been in the mission for like 12 years or so, and his Spanish is kicking my trash. He even still can use past subjunctive! What a punk.

On Sun, Mar 22, 2015 at 9:36 PM, <momkatherine@gmail.com> wrote:

Monday, March 16, 2015

The first picture is me and Leonise.  She is a less-active who's 20 and is studying English.  She loves American music, which is pretty much the best..  We get along great, and I love her a ton.  Here we're making sonso, which is a weird yuka, cheese mixture... it was pretty good!  ;)  She can cook!

The other two pictures are la familia Calle... I LOVE this family, they are hands down my fave.  A few of them aren't in the picture, but I sure do love 'em.  They're always there to give us food and the oldest son is always talking about his crazy mission stories.  They love the gospel SO much.  I have to come back to visit them before my mission is over.  They bought us jerseys with the colors of Bolivia.  They're my fave.
Yeah, we found a new place to live. A family of members have a little apartment in the back of their lot. It's tiny, even smaller than where we live now, but it'll do. :) And the family is awesome, so that'll be good. We're going to have to move this week, which is a bummer because I love our apartment and I've lived there for 5 months now, so I'm gonna miss it... And the family that lived below us, but it'll be fine. :)
Chicungunya has hit Bolivia.  I'm putting on repellant like a crazy person!
Okay. Now I am going to tell you how my week has gone.

On Tuesday we had a conference as a zone, and interviews with President Willard. I have the best mission president in the whole world. He's such an powerful person, and he's pretty young too. I wouldn't be surprised at all if he's a Seventy after the mission. That was really cool to be able to talk to him and apply some advice that I really needed.

The next day, I had an intercambio. My comp stayed, and I went to another area. I was worried that maybe she didn't know the area, but she rocked it. And I saw a monkey on a chain in the park, so that was interesting. There's also a guy in my area that walks around with a monkey on his arm. Apparently people just have pet monkeys here.

Also, I weighed myself this week and I'm at 115. I've gained 10 pounds in the mish. I've got a li'l gut these days, but I think most of the weight went to my legs. We have a big area and I'm too cheap to take the bus, so at least I've got that going for me. If I keep it up, on my 9 months when I take my "pregnancy" photos I'm... actually going to look preggers. 

This week the mom of a little girl in my area told me a story. She had a conversation with her daughter that went like this:

Angela (3 year old): When I grow up I want to be like Hermana Hall!
Mom: A missionary?
Angela: No, choquita! I wanna have yellow hair!

Here instead of saying "gringa" sometimes they say "choca" or "choquita." So I'm glad I'm inspiring the youth of Bolivia.

Yesterday I helped someone with their math homework, which was awesome. I still know how to do math!

Hey, when you get the chance... Watch the District season 2, episode 1. There's a companionship of Elders that remind me and Hermana Llerena of ourselves. We were watching it, and it was talking about Elder Tuituu, and an Elder said that he "hadn't had the success that he deserves" and Hermana Llerena was like "that's you!" And then it showed Elder Murray and some Elders were talking about him being a hard worker and a fireball, who wants to serve the Lord, and then it showed him talking about how he hadn't had problems having baptisms before, but now that he feels more capable, and had more experience, and he was having a hard time having baptisms, and I was like "that's you!" And pretty much everything that has to do with these two elders applies to me and Hermana Llerena. So watch it, and laugh, and think of your daughter in Bolivia.

I love you a lot!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

 Today IS my six month mark. Can you believe that? Just like you said, it feels like it's been a while, but it also feels like I just left. 6 months ago yesterday we stood in the airport and said bye, and I got on a plane to South America.... And here I am!

 I've been asking about winter here and they say it's brutal. It only gets down to like 50 degrees but because of the humidity it's cold and wet. Your clothes take forever to dry, and it rains a lot.... Only two weeks are horribly cold, but for about three months it's pretty miserable. They say that for a week it's super cold, then for a week not so bad... It starts mid-April. As of right now I can't really believe that because it's still pretty dang hot. But if you could send me my sweater tights if you get the chance, it would be wonderful!

Yessenia is AWESOME. She's a recent convert of like a year and a half, nineteen years old, with a mission call to Colombia. She leaves for the field the 22nd of April and is so sweet and humble. She had told me that she had talked to you...

To answer your questions, I sing all the time. I sing in the shower, I sing in the streets, I sing in the apartment.... For a couple weeks I played the piano in sacrament meeting....I get the chance to practice once in a while while I wait for meetings to start.

The best thing that happened this week was when we went to visit a family that's going to get baptized next month... They're the elders's family, but the wife had some doubts about baptism... We went to visit her and more than anything just tell her we love her and share a scripture, but I could really see how much they had changed and how much they love each other and their savior. It was so neat to see the effect that the gospel had had on their lives and remember how important this work really is.

Things in the ward are good. The work goes slowly, but surely. The members are so awesome, and there are so many people here that are going to be really hard to leave.

Funny story. Every morning we read 3 pages of the missionary handbook as a companionship as we start companion study. This week we were reading where it says that we have to call the offices to let them know if our parents change phone numbers, emails or addresses. So I was like "okay, yeah, I'll call the offices to let them know my mom changed her email," but I felt kind of weird about calling for something so little. The conversation went like this:

Me (half-laughing): "I'm just calling to tell you that my mom changed her email, and it says in the missionary handbook that I have to call the offices."
Elder: "Yeah, Hermana, no problem, no problem."


Elder: "Do I write that down?"

Then me and Hermana Llerena laughed really hard.


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Monday, March 2, 2015

I'm still here another transfer. I'll still be here for General Conference. I spent my first G. Conf. in the CCM, and the second in my first area... How crazy is that!
This week while we were eating lunch, Hermana Furness and her parents came to eat with us... she's going home! She also started her mission here. Her dad knew Spanish pretty well, but her mom knew nothing of Spanish. They were super cute and reminded me of you and Dad. While we were eating an injured falcon landed in the yard.... It flew away, but it was sure crazy to see it from so close.
We have to move out of our house... The family that lives downstairs is going to rent it out to a relative who's moving here from Brazil to study. So.... We're looking for a new place. I'm sure going to miss our little apartment.