Good morning folks, from rainy and humid RIBERALTA BOLIVIA.
I’ve returned to the Rama Riberalta with a vengeance! Good, better, best– This time we are doing best! My new companion is Hermana Vega, she’s been in Trinidad for the past 6 months and has the same amount of time out as all of my companions…so she’s ahead of me by 3 transfers. She’s my first non-Peruana compañera, and she’s from Ecuador!
Back to what’s gone on in la Rama Riberalta– the good first: I’ve never seen asistencia so high. We had probably 100 people come to church yesterday, and many that I’ve never seen before! Hermano Rosendo has progressed A LOT and I’m excited to see more changes in him has he accepts the Gospel into his heart. The rough part: it really hasn’t changed at all, for the past 7 and a half months missionaries have worked with the same members without a single change, and the rama still doesn’t really function, SO we are dropping almost all of the less actives and we´ve been contacting like crazy these past 3 days. I think we are just gonna contact every single door in our area until we find those white and ready to harvest and be brought into the fold of God. It’s been A LOT of walking and I think it’s just going to continue that way for the next month(this transfer is supposedly only 5 weeks so we´ll see). I’m stressed, but stressed because I only want what’s best for them and we are gonna try something different to get these people to progress and do what the Spirit tells them to do.
Las hermanas also went back to their difficult selves as soon as cambios came in, so we are just going to avoid contention. No new hermanas again in the mission, so that would be 9 months without anyone new, and we are down to only 15 or 16 sisters, its really sad. 😦
La abuelita died this week. We went to her funeral service and did the mournful Catholic walk down the Beni Mamore (main street that runs through town). There is a snare drum another drum and trumpet and they play really sad songs and the coffin is in the back of the car and you walk really slowly as the family bawls in the car. Normally it backs up the entire Beni Mamore, but luckily it was drizzling all day so no one was around except the funeral party and a 16 year old boy behind us. That was sad. The cemetary here is really colorful, but it’s just sad knowing that almost all of those peopler passed on without knowing Heavenly Father´s plan for them and without their family knowing His plan for them. La familia Mariobo can be consoled that they will see Julia again in the next life and can be reunited with her if they remain faithful.
So I’ve been thinking a lot this past cambio about the changes in me. I feel like I haven’t seen many miracles here in my mission efforts, but I realized that I’ve seen the miracle of ME! The Lord has changed me through my companions, humbling experiences, and my studies in the scriptures. I am so much more the person that I know my Heavenly Father wants me to be. He didn’t change my weaknesses, but He did change ME(Ether 12:27). I am so grateful for this Gospel, especially now because I can say that it has changed me and my life and my vision of what I want. I know the Spirit can touch hearts and change peoples desires, thought, words, and actions, because it changed MINE. If I don’t have another baptisms for the rest of my mission it is not important– what is important is that at least one soul was brought unto Christ. And that soul is mine.
“me reflejo en mi nueva vida y en mi nueva corazón”
(I reflect on my new life and my new heart)
Hna E Butikofer
Another hot and humid and rainy day in Riberalta
Mi nueva compañera, Hermana Vega de Ecuador
We play soccer every Pday. Every. Single. Pday.