August 17, 2015 {Week 9}: I Can’t Help But Be Happy

As of yesterday I have completed TWO WHOLE MONTHS away from home!  I can’t believe it’s already been that long. [Neither can I!]  The days are slow but the weeks literally seem like they don’t exist.

This week was long sleeve t-shirt, big hoody, flannel, grandpa sweater and legging type of weather, but of course(unfortunately) I had to wear skirts.  I really miss pants y’all.
I have offically decided that English is a very good foundation for other languages, but other languages aren’t a good foundation for English.  I am trying to show Hermana Huerta that it’s easy, everything is very similar you just have to practice!  That’s something we are still working on, Together!  Hermana Huerta is pretty much my best friend haha, she is so much like Abby too!  Our relationship reminds me of my twin relationship with Abby!  I am soooooooooo thankful to spend these 3 months with Hermana Huerta, because we actually get along beautifully!  We have many, many plans for post mission and I am hoping they can come true. She’s the best.  She is 22 and studies finance and accounting. She says she’s going to miss me a lot when our companionship ends so this isn’t one sided!
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  A couple of weeks old…Hermana Huerta y yo
So in the MTC I got a blessing from the elders in my district for my knee.  It had been seriously bothering me in the MTC and I had to always wear my brace and be very careful and gentle(which is annoying let me tell you)-  Anyway, I was blessed that my knee wouldn’t be a hinderance in my missionary work… my knee hasn’t bothered me ONCE since I’ve been in Bolivia!  It’s never tight, nor sore, I don’t need my knee brace, and I can stand up after kneeling for prayers without worrry!  Which brings me to another blessing of the priesthood this week.
Yesterday we visited a sister in the ward who has cancer.  She is weak, in a lot of pain, and can’t attend church.  Her son and his wife are members and take care of her everyday.  We visited her with the ward missionaries, 3 other sisters and the ward mission leader just to check up on her.  As we arrived 2 other members of the ward were just leaving and about 5 minutes later the whole bishpric showed up!  Hermana Cecilia had like half the ward in her house!  I couldn’t understand everything that was said, especially as she cried and I watched her pillow get wet with tears.  But I immedialtely felt the warmth and love the bishop had for her as she spoke with her. I love the bishop of this ward!  They gave her a blessing too, and although I couldn’t hear much of it I could feel and understand the spirit during this time.  Everyone was close to tears as they gave her a blessing to be healed.  After my experience with my knee and a blessing from those who hold the priesthood I know, I know I know I know, that she can receive the promises of those blessings given according her faith.  We are going to bring hymns next time we visit so that she can listen to those as we teach Hermana Fabiana, her daughter-in-law.
I love visiting less actives and recent converts, and they love receiving us!  This week Hermana Veronica said that she loves receiving us and feeling the spirit as we teach  Hermano Quinones(an inactive member with a powerful testimony). He called us “his angels”!  I hope I can live up to that title…  Anyway, we had a Noche de Hogar(Family Home Evening) with Hermana Veronica and her husband Hermano Luigi about The Family: A Proclamation to the World, and afterwards Hermano Luigi said– “I want to sincerely thank you for visiting my wife so often.  She is at home with the baby a lot and I am gone at work so she doesn’t have a lot of opportunities to talk to people, but she always shares your messages with me.  I just wanted to say thank you for helping us strengthen our relationship.”  I seriously wanted to cry, that just made my week and my day.  This is why I want to be here!  So that I can help strengthen people’s families and testimonies of the Gospel!
We also had a service project helping a less active family move(and now she has invited us back!) and again, I was reminded of the value of a clean home.  I am going to have a clean house(thanks Mom!) my goodness, it’s so much easier state side to have a clean home too, so there’s no reason why it shouldn’t be spotless!  I do want to help with more service projects however, but no one ever invites us to any or accepts our help when we offer it!  I’ll just need to pray then haha, for more opportunities.
My bread and butter meal is oreos and peanut butter.  Cold oreos.  That hits the spot, especially when they are less than $2 for a big bag of ’em!  I realized, that right now in Bolivia I am living on like $200 a month, easily!  It’s kind of crazy haha.
I am enjoying my time here in Bolivia and I am learning more to love the culture and the place here.  Many times I look aroud and can’t help but be happy.  The members sometimes call me Hermana Sonrisa! 🙂
I have include a few pictures of my life.
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We made cupcakes!
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Around my neighborhood
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The courtyard in front of our house
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My bedroom
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My kitchen
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Cat on my roof
Much love,
Hermana E Butikofer
Don’t forget to check out the new recipe that I added, coxinhas!
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