Well, my time here in Cala Cala is sure passing by quickly. I get to thinking sometimes how hard it is going to be to leave this beautiful country and all my loved ones here. I never really thought that leaving your mission would be harder than leaving home seeing as when I leave, here, who know's if I'll be able to come back. But I do have a firm hope that one day, yes I will come back! haha
So Hna Fonseca had been with us for a few days until her comp got here on Friday last week. She had a great welcome party at the airport singing called to serve as she came out with her suitcases haha.
There are some great new missionaries here in the mission and a lot of american companionships.. which is the craziest thing for us all because that just started about three changes ago when there was only two or four american elders together. There are now like 8 companionships and like four of those are sisters. The mission is sure changeing little by little and it's cool to see the revelation that Pres. Hansen receives for each and every one of us.
This last week, my comp and I got to go up to Tirani which is up on the mountain. We helped our new investigator Justina gather flowers (that she will sell) and then we took a few minutes afterwards to teach her a little about what we do as missionaries and the sweet message we bring to everyone who wants to listen to us. It's a bit of a challenge for her to understand because she speaks Quechua better so we are planning on bringing a member with us who speaks Quechua next time.
Last Wednesday, we had an amazing Consejo de Lideres (Leadership conference) With all the zone leaders and Sister leader trainers. Hna Gardiner and her comp. Hna Morales taught a great lesson about helping the members understand the atonement better to help them know their duty more in helping us as missionaries. They started out with an activity that was very impacting: They had one elder come to the middle to help. They took out a box of chocolates and told the elder that he had to do 5 push ups for every person in the room that wanted a chocolate. Well.. it started out on our side and the elder started doing 5 push ups every time Hna morales asked us if we wanted a chocolate and gave it to us. At first it seemed simple. But as Hna Morales got to the 20th missionary, the elder that was helping started struggling a lot. 42 people received chocolates. The elder did five push ups for every single one of us. When he was finishing up about the last 10 people, it looked like he just wanted to cry as he pushed through each push up. He was trembling and sweating just trying his hardest to lift his body up again and again as we all just sat there in complete silence watching because we couldn't go help him finish. Wow, that moment, watching this poor elder suffer so much for us to receive a little chocolate made the atonement so much more real for me. I honestly can't imagine the pain that Christ felt as he suffered for each and every one of us so that we can be forgiven of our sins and receive comfort WHENEVER we need it. That is much more valuable than a little chocolate. I have never been able to understand the atonement more in my life than now.
Conference was absolutely amazing as usual. We went to the stake center to watch it and the connnection was awesome. Not one problem with that! I loved the many talks we were blessed with this year especially the ones about how we as people, need to be a little kinder, a little more obedient and a little more stronger in sharing the gospel. There was also a great emphasis on the importance of taking the sacrament.. well, we won't be able to take the sacrament for a whole two more weeks seeing that presidential elections are next sunday here in Bolivia and they are not allowing any religious services or meetings of any kind to take course. It's a day completely dedicated to elections. So we're gunna have to see if there will be a way to take the sacrament this next week. It really is so important that we understand the importance of taking the sacrament and that we really do understand what exactly we are doing by partaking of that bread and water. I was studying in 3Nephi this past week where Christ comes and introduces the sacrament to the people here in America. A great recommended study for you all to be able to understand a little better the sacrament!
So due to the elections, us missionaries have to be in the house on Saturday and Sunday from 8 am to 6 pm... Well.. we're gunna whip out my birthday crafts and put ourselves to work! or just play a little bit haha as well as take advantage of the great study time! ;)
Well, we're going over to the Rivera's (Claudia and Nacho) to visit for lunch today! I will give her a hug for you, Mom! ;)
Love you all and hope this week treats you all wonderfully!!
p.s. anyone who was not able to watch conference I advise you to go watch it on internet! You will not regret it!