I’m so sorry about last week folks! Things are crazy in Riberalta, not to mention that we didn’t have any internet this morning either, hence the late email today….. AND still no pictures, Riberalta is lame like that. Hermana Zambrano, on her blog, has a video of us lideres para concilio en Santa Cruz este semana pasada(mission council meeting in Santa Cruz last week) and I’m up front and singing loudly if you want to see me though(va disculpar soy gordita)!
List of things I like about Bolivians:
1. No shame to pray, anytime and anywhere they will pray.
2. Wicked creativity. Theres not a lot of money here in Riberalta, so people are crazy creative with the things they can find. Gonna be buying a tablecloth and place settings here soon.
3. The food is creative(I’ve now also tried piranha and cow heart, HEART)
Soooo, Hermana Justo and I are awesome! I seriously love having her as a companion, we have already invited each other to our weddings, so I guess you could say its pretty official jajaja. We are doing great as a companionship.
There are 2 elderes en nuestra rama con nosotras, entonces we have decided to visit every single member en nuestra rama, so they now that we are here for THEM. So we’ve been filling up a lot of time with them. In fact the 4 of us are in charge of all of Christmas en nuestra rama, literally our presidente said “el exito de Navidad esta en las manos de la bra misional.” So we are all a little stressed and have our hands full, but we are happy to do it. We told one of los consejeros that we were here to help, 4 active members dispuestos a ayudar, and I felt my heart change. It was like something unlocked a little bit. I truly meant it when I said that, I wasn’t just saying it to say it. I crave the success of our rama, I want them to understand why the GOSPEL IS IMPORTANT, not just why the Church is important.
Gosh, everytime I sit down to read the Book of Mormon(I a little behind to finish out loud before the New Year, but I have faith!) I think to myself “dang you can’t mess with the Book of Mormon!”, and then a little later “dang you can’t mess with the Church of Jesus Christ!” and then later it boils down too “hot dang, you can’t mess with the Truth!” You just can’t mess with the truth. I can honestly and uprightly say, con todo íntegro de proposito y corazon que el Libro de Mormón es verdadero. It’s true, that’s all it comes down to. And you can’t mess with the truth.
I love la familia Lino!(my pensionista) Everyday I walk to dinner and shout “Buenas tardes mi familia!” and out rains barking and giggling, 3 dogs and 2 children, followed by the other 3, Hermana Cristina y Hermana Karolina con el bebe. I love hearing the sweet prayers of the kids, as they pray for Hermana Eche, Hermana Piscoya, the people who couldn’t attend church on Sunday, the Prophet, me, Hermana Justo. It’s just the purest happiest little prayers.
We recently started a Book of Mormon reading challenge now that everyone esta en vacaciones de colegio, con ellos. This past Sunday Hermana Christina shared 2 experiences that had me bawling in the Relief Society room. I’ll share them with you.
1) Every morning Gordo(realmente su nombre es Nefiael, pero se llama Gordo), who is 7 gets up at 6am. He’s the first one up in his entire family. He goes to the fridge, grabs some galletas y Triny(soda) and sits down to read his scriptures. We recently gave him his own copy of the Book of Mormon and he was so excited! He’s nearing the end of 1 Nephi yo creo. He actually reads his LdM, el uno con dibujos, like the comic book one. Every morning at 6 am!
2) Her youngest daughter is 5 and is still just learning how to read, but she knows about this challenge we have made for her family, se llama Mariene, pero mas facil, Bebe. Every night as she’s gearing up and heading off to bed, she tells her mother “necesitamos leer mama, antes de duermo” and Hermana Cristina says “un rato mi amor, estoy canasta” she’s tired at the end of everyday washing un monton de ropes by hand for her neighbors. But Mariene says “no mama, necesitamos leer agora, porque yo voy a dormir, y no vamos a leer despues.” So every night Mariene reminds her mother to read a chapter out loud so the two of them can read the Bookn of Mormon together. I seriously love la familia Lino. Estrañaré ellos muchisimo, en el fin de este cambio en Enero.
Another neat experience! So Hermana Justo doesn’t like English, as I’ve said, didn’t want anything to do with it. But her accent is seriously wonderful! Sometimes when she says little things I think Im talking to an American! But the other day she came to me and said “Hermana, pienso que quiero aprender Ingles.” I was shocked! I thought she was kidding, but she wasnt! We have set the goal that she can finish reading out loud all of first Nephi by the end of this transfer. In English of course. I am so excited for her! I am so proud. I really am. I know that by reading out loud we can improve drastcially our language skills. In the past 3 months I’ve read almost all of the Book of Mormon out loud in Spanish, and I get compliments frequently now that my Spnaish es bien clara y bonito. I know that it’s not from more time in the mission, but because I have diligently been reading out loud as I study the scriptures in Spanish. Next will be Doctrina y Convenios out loud, y de allá el Nuevo Testamento. It’s gonna be tough work but I know it can bless and change my Spanish.
oh! Our Elders now are Elder Batz(Guatamalteco) and Elder Sanders(Utahan). Elder Sanders has a year out and I think will be going home with me next year, Elder Batz goes home in Febuary so this is his last cambio mas de nada yo pienso. Hermana Justo y yo are making a Trunky agenda full of fake goals and names and quotes and it’s hilarious for when he gets home and gets down to looking for his eternal companion bahaha. So excited. oh! Our phrase for the 4 of us is “Paciencia con una sonrisa.” “Patience with a smile.” I even shared that en Concilio en nuestra clase de Hermana Sedano y yo sobre trabajando con miembros.
oh! we had a mini CCM for some jovenes en nuetrso distrito! I was in the city for all of it except el teatro(which was way hilarious sobre a “Day in the Life of a Missioanry”), but it went over pretty well from what I’ve heard!
Read your scriptures and prayer and attend church this week, not only because it’s the Christmas season, but because you really want to and it’s the right thing to do.
Aún hasta la muerte y más adelante!
Hermana E Butikofer
[No pictures from Erin again this week but this picture, along with the video from above, showed up on Sister Zambrano’s blog this week.]