Tuesday, May 16, 2017
The mission home is a special place. There is a peaceful feeling here that others can feel too. We had two open houses before Easter, where we invited investigators and recent converts and of course the missionaries working with them. Over the two days we had about 200 people come. We went through a freezer full of cookies! We showed videos of Christ, shared testimonies, and cookies and conversation. It was perfect.
Monday, May 15, 2017
Just wanted to share a little Bolivian culture. These are a few photos from our visit to the Hat Factory, starting with the dirty wool and ending with a strong and durable hat!
Monday, March 6, 2017
I have taken thousands of pictures during our time in Bolivia, but this is definitely one of my favorites -- Elder C. from Ecuador (who recently finished his mission) carrying a handicapped man up the stairs from the Hospedaje to the Temple. He saw a need and instantly offered service. ( Presidente Hansen)
Sunday, March 5, 2017
I was just filing some paperwork from our missionaries that just arrived. I read a note from President Hansen on one of the missionaries information papers that said "he came on his mission so his family would be blessed." These young missionaries have such faith.
I thought I would share a story of the blessings that come to missionaries. There are many, and the time table of the Lord is different for each missionary. This is a story of Elder F.
A year before Elder F started his mission his brother died. This tragedy was extremely hard on his family. The father even left home for a while to live with one of Elder F´s brothers. Elder F and his mom were the only members of the church when Elder F. decided he wanted to serve a mission. His father told him that if he left the family to serve a mission he would no longer consider him his son.
Well, Elder F had a testimony of the gospel and a lot of faith. He submitted his papers,and he was called to serve in Cochabamba. Shortly after arriving he had impression he needed to do the temple work for his brother who had passed away. President Hansen gave him special permission to complete that temple work and Elder F felt a sense of peace when it was completed. A few months later he heard that his father had begun attending church, then the news that his father was taking the missionary lessons, and then the amazing news that his father had been baptized. The family was back together. A year later Elder F learned that his parents had been sealed in the temple. He went home this week to be embraced by his forever family.
Tuesday, January 10, 2017
CUZCO - SEMINAR
Every 6 months we are privileged to attend a Mission Presidents seminar. It is definitely a time of renewal and inspiration and peace. We get to talk with other mission presidents who are experiencing the same challenges and blessings that we experience. We receive counsel, direction, and strength from our area presidency and often other general authorities. In November we were able to attend the seminar once again. We were able to listen and be taught by Elder Godoy, Elder Montoya, Elder Fallabella (new to the area presidency) and Elder Maynes from Salt Lake. This time the seminar took place in Cuzco and we were able to spend a pday touring Machu Picchu. I did not take many photos of the conference itself - but on pday we took photos at Machu Picchu.
I have dreamed of going to Peru and seeing Machu Picchu ever since I wrote a report about it in 3rd grade. I was so excited to spend part of a day there.
Even the llamas were impressed with the view :).
Following that short seminar we had a visit from our son, Andrew and his wife Kim. We loved showing them our beloved Bolivia and letting them fall in love with the people here and see a little of what we do.
We took them to a primary Sacrament Meeting that we had been invited to attend. Primary Sacrament meetings are always enjoyable. Following the meeting the children all wanted to take a photo with us.
We loved our super short time together! Our family means the world to us.
I just had to include this photo of real life. On this particular day we were waiting for a delayed plane full of new missionaries, It was early so Pres bought the missionaries that were waiting with us breakfast (salteñas and coke). As usual President has his ear to the phone.
We were able to have Elder Falabella visit and tour our mission for 2 1/2 days. We held a conference in Sucre first. Since Elder Falabella arrived by plane in the afternoon, he asked if he could go out with missionaries. Imagine the surprise on our zone leaders face when President called them and asked if Elder Falabella could work with them in an hour! They told me they were so stressed. They said he simply accompanied them and only watched them for the first hour. No words, no involvement. BUT Elder Falabella reported they were awesome missionaries and did great work.
Sucre Conference Nov 2016 Elder Falabella
And of course, we have to feed them!
CHRISTMAS IN BOLIVIAChristmas in Bolivia is a bit different for missionaries. They miss their families. and customs are a different here. During the month of December, we gathered the missionaries for a special Christmas fireside. We sang, and the zones prepared special music, we watched Christmas music videos, President and I read the story of the first Christmas from the scriptures (spanish and english so we could include everyone!) It was a special time. We prepared and distributed small gifts for each missionary according to their needs. It is quite an undertaking for 185 missionaries! One of the favorite parts of the package that everyone recieves are the cookies!
After the rush of December and focusing on missionaries and family, I realized on Christmas Eve that I had forgotten my own sweet eternal companion. I had no gift for him. He is a good sport. I made him orange rolls on Christmas Day and he was perfectly happy. It is the little things that matter.
Sunday, October 23, 2016
Just a few snapshots of Sept and October in the
Every Latino missionary is encouraged to learn English. At the
end of their mission they can take an English proficiency test
that is paid for by the church. This transfer we had 8 missionaries
pass. We are SO PROUD of their hard work.
A favorite p-day activity for President and I is to walk through
the cauncha (a HUGE outdoor shopping area where absolutely
everything is for sale). This little girl has learned to grab a nap while her momma sells bananas.
Dia de Peaton. This unique day happens at least twice a year- Cars, taxis, buses, all come to a stand still, and the streets are solely for pedestrians. At first we did not enjoy ths day because of the distruptions with no vehicular traffic. But we have come to appreciate the simple, calm that comes from no vehicles, and the family together time that ensues.
Dia de peaton is always on a Sunday. It does make walking to church fun when the streets are full of people, bikes and scooters.
Living across the street from the temple is SUCH a blessing. It is the first thing we see when we leave the house every day. A walk around the temple is a sure way to calm the soul and re-energize the mind.
The children in Bolivia are simply beautiful, and they sing with their WHOLE HEART.
I snapped this photo as we were leaving after a temple session with our missionaries. I absolutely love seeing the best dress and traditional clothing that is worn as people come to the temple. This woman is wearing a traditional hat and skirt and probably many layers of petticoats.
Sometimes I do wonder about Bolivia. Would you like to ride in this taxi with the drivers curtain blocking his view???
We often hold Family Home Evenings here at the mission home for new members and investigators and their missionaries. On this occasion we gave each family a paperback illustrated Book of Mormon for children. It touched my heart when looked for the two little boys and finally found them on the front porch, 'reading' their new Book of Mormons.
We are not above a little bribery! In an effort to improve the cleanliness of the apartments we introduced Llama Limpia. The zones can win him and keep him for the month, He comes with cookies. Missionaries will do anything for cookies!
The area provided emergency backpacks for each missionary. We sorted and organized and delivered them during zone conference. This is only a small portion of the 185 recieved so far. I will have to alter my backpack though. They have 4 tins of sardines as the food source!
Happy Missionaries!. The office secretaries brought Burger King for lunch during conference. This is actually a BIG DEAL as fast food is NOT the norm. We have found ONE Burger King in the entire mission.
We held Zone conferences in Cochabamba, Potosi and Quiriza. We do enjoy spending time with these missionaries
Yes, we do try to fit in exercising. Cochabamba has some fun exercise machines in the little parks or center islands of the road. This one is close to our home. There also are very nice walking paths, you just have to share them with the dogs who have been partying all night.
We LOVE womens conference time. We gather the Hermanas that are here in Cochabamba and spend an afternoon together.
We have seminars, learn new skills, laugh together and love.
This is the best mission with the best missionaries!