June 6, 2016 {Week 51}: A great week and lots of pictures

Okay so a couple little stories, but let’s see if I have time to share all of them.

1. So we called a reference and asked if we could meet with her and she told us that she was SCARED to meet with us! I was so shocked!  Why would someone be SCARED to meet with the missionaries and grow their faith and learn even MORE about Christ!?  And then I remembered its because of the adversary.  FEAR isn’t a tool that God uses, He will never use FEAR to teach us.  Our earthly parents tam poco don’t use FEAR as a tool for teaching so why should God?  If someone is scared to meet with us its becasue Satan les ha engañado, he’s tricked them and gotten them to make a bad decision.  It’s so sad seriously….  I just wish everyone could listen to the promptings of the Spirit when missionaries contact them and be baptized into the fold of God so they can be saved.  Which brings me to another point along the same line.  When I started this group email several people reminded me to be careful with what I shared and said, but the mission as taught me to be more bold.  The thing is that as a missionary theres is NOTHING TO FEAR.  We ARE representatives of the Lord Jesus Christ, and to explain that a little better I pulled up My Missioanry Commision by Bruce R McKonkie.

I am called of God.
My authority is above that of kings of the earth.
By revelation I have been selected as a personal representative of the Lord Jesus Christ.
He is my master and He has chosen me to represent Him–to stand in His place, to say and do what He Himself would say and do if He personally were ministering to the very people to whom He has sent me.
My voice is His voice, and my acts are His acts; my doctrine is His doctrine.
My Commission is to do what He wants done; To say what He wants said; to be a living modern witness in word and in deed of the divinity of his great and marvelous Latter-day work.
How great is my calling!

So we will leave that thought there.

OH! Another side note!  I have developed here in the mission a great anxiety for the salvation of people important to me, just like each of you!  You are special children of God and He, more than anything else, literally more than anything else desires us to return home to Him.  That is all He wants–  (Moses 1:39) “For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring topass the immortality and eternal life of man.”
BUT! There is something, sometimes that impedes Him from doing that. And that is our agency, the power we have to choose between right and wrong, to make all sorts of choices.  We have had this power since the beginning of our existence as spirit children of His.  And it’s something that He can’t change, all He can do is prompt us, through the Holy Ghost, to make good decisions, but in the end there is no power on the earth below, nor in the heaven above that can change the agency of even just one of us.  Which leads me to a beautiful set of scriptures that make me cry almost every time I read them.

And it came to pass that the God of heaven looked upon the residue of the people, and he wept; and Enoch bore record of it, saying: How is it that the heavens weep,and shed forth their tears as the rain upon the mountains?
29 And Enoch said unto the Lord: How is it that thou canst weepseeing thou art holy, and from all eternity to all eternity?
30 And were it possible that man could number the particles of the earth, yea, millions of earths like this, it would not be beginning to the number of thy creations;and thy curtains are stretched out still; and yet thou art there, and thy bosom is there; and also thou art just; thou art merciful and kind forever;
31 And thou hast taken Zion to thine own bosom, from all thy creations, from all eternity to all eternity; and naught but peace, justiceand truth is the habitation of thy throne;and mercy shall go before thy face and have no end; how is it thou canst weep?
32 The Lord said unto Enoch: Behold these thy brethren;they are the workmanship of mine own handsand gave unto them their knowledgein the day created them; and in the Garden of Eden, gave unto man his agency;
33 And unto thy brethren have said, and also given commandmentthat they should love one another, and that they should choose me, their Father; but behold, they are without affectionand they hate their own blood;
34 And the fire of mine indignation is kindled against them; and in my hot displeasure will send in the floods upon them, for my fierce anger is kindled against them.
35 Behold, am God; Man of Holiness is my name; Man of Counsel is my name; and Endless and Eternal is my namealso.
36 Wherefore, can stretch forth mine hands and hold all the creations which have madeand mine eye can pierce them also, and among all the workmanship of mine hands there has not been so great wickedness as among thy brethren.
37 But behold, their sins shall be upon the heads of their fathers; Satan shall be their father, and misery shall be their doom; and the whole heavens shall weep over them,even all the workmanship of mine hands; wherefore should not the heavens weep, seeing these shall suffer?
38 But behold, these which thine eyes are upon shall perish in the floods; and behold, will shut them up; prison have prepared for them.
39 And that which have chosen hath pled before my faceWherefore, he suffereth for their sins; inasmuch as they will repent in the day that my Chosen shall return unto me, and until that day they shall be in torment;
40 Wherefore, for this shall the heavens weep, yea, and all the workmanship of mine hands.

He cries over us… God the Father cries for us and because of us.  He, the Almighty, cries…

2. Birthday stuff!  I got that pretty skirt in the photo which I used on Sunday! That is a picture with Hermana Adriana y Hermana Reina. Hermana Adriana gave me the green skirt and has asked for the orange skirt(which I’m obsessed with, but won’t fit me when I lose some weight and get skinny again so I’m gonna give it to her).  My hairdo got me a BUNCH of looks from men.  Every dude we passed in the store windows like strained their necks to look at me, so I decided to take it out……  Hermana Adriana got me good with my cake.  Although that cake con la familia Romera was insanely good! Especially for Bolivian cake.

3.  Other randomness….. so yesterday we were walking to church and I stepped down of the side walk and kind of messed up my foot. I stepped down on the outer part of my foot, and in one of the photos you can kind of tell it’s swollen. My ankle is okay, but my foot is swollen and a little green, so I have to go to the doctor today, bleh. oh! Also I’m giving a talk on the Sacrament next week in church which I will probably share with y’all on Monday!

4. A humbling lunch experience

So Thursday we ate with la familia Suarez, one of the more well to do families here en Pompeya.  It was good! We ate, hung out with their pet rabbit and on their couches, etc.  Well on Friday we went to another family who recently moved here who are investigators (although their one son is a returned missionary).  They invited us to lunch as well but I would just like to explain their situation a little bit more and why I’ll probably remember this lunch with them more than the lunch with la familia Suarez.  We helped her wash clothes.  With water from the pond by their house.  Their house is a concrete patio, a tin roof, wooden walls, a large table, and 2 beds. There is no door, just 2 dogs. The water we took out of the pond was already dirty when we took it out. They bathe with that water too.  They just have a hole for a bathroom and a tarp with 4 posts as a door for their shower/bathroom.  When we poured the water out from washing, it just sort of ran back into the pond.  We ate fish that had been out on a line all morning in the “sun”.  I saw her daughter pick up like 3 pieaces that had been on the ground first…..  Her kitchen is a little stove that let’s gas run into and she had to sit on the ground to cook.  They have no nora,  (no well) for taking up water.  So before we ate I forgot to bless the food and had to a say a second prayer.  It was until after our humble lunch did the sisters point out that the rice we ate and the lemonade we drank was probably from the pond water!  We haven’t gotten sick yet, so I’ve learned the importance of ALWAYS BLESSING THE FOOD.  I genuinely think, that the humble families here en Trinidad are more humble than the people I lived with and visited with everyday en Riberalta.  We are so excited to start teaching this family as they have A LOT of potential.  And the father has already said that he would like to become a member of the Church so we are gonna get down to lessons with him and his family when he gets back from el campo doing some fishing(he’s a fisherman!)

Yeah anyways, I think that’s about everything.  I am really happy here en Trinidad and I love my companions(as you can see by the many pictures jajaja!) and I am loving the people and the progress we are seeing here and new investigators are always popping up from members and references so it is a joy and a privilegie to be apart of this great work of salvation!  I have learned to be direct but lovingly, and I am trying to put that into practice with y’all too.  I hope you know that I love you and pray for you everyday.  My great anxiety is that you too can accept the Gospèl into your lives and be filled with the joy and light of the truth.

Que Dios le bendiga en todos sus hechos.  Pray, Read and GO TO CHURCH.

Love you to the moon and back!

Hna E Butikofer

Suggested readings for the week!:


(3 Nephi 28: 34,35)
34 And wo be unto him that will not hearken unto the words of Jesus, and also to them whom he hath chosen and sent among them; for whoso receiveth not the words of Jesus and the words of those whom he hath sent receiveth not him; and therefore he will not receive them at the last day;
35 And it would be better for them if they had not been bornFor do ye suppose that ye can get rid of the justice of an offended God, who hath been trampled?[Erin was able to send several pictures this week AND I received two SD cards in the mail from her with lots of pictures. Because she had such a hard time sending pictures while she was in Riberalta, the majority of the pictures on the cards, I have never seen.  I will posted several.  Perhaps several each week over the next several week.  For those of you who have been following her blog you may be able to connect certain pictures with stories, people, places she has talked about.  If not, just enjoy photographic sampling of her missionary time in Bolivia.]IMG_8822.JPGIMG_8823.JPGIMG_8749.JPGIMG_8787.JPGIMG_8804.JPGIMG_8813.JPGIMG_8779IMG_8801IMG_8767IMG_8803

[The follow pictures are a few from Erin’s first 6 weeks in Santa Cruz with Hermana Huerta, her first companion.]

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