Monday, April 28, 2014

Yacuiba is killing Hermana Cedeno

Shout. Outs.

To the Achievement day Girls in my ward!! They're learning about missionary work, the best work there is. Sometimes it's so hard. But I actually JUST figured out this week, that every time the thought "this is too hard" pops into my brain, I'm thinking about ME.

When really.. who should I be thinking about? CHRIST.

That's all missionary work is. The pure love of Christ. Turning outwards instead of inwards. Thank you cute girls for your hard work and all that you do. Continue being examples to those around you. Always remember to turn outwards to others. And when things are hard, remember... Jesus loves you. xoxo

Also. Tuesday was Earth Day. So… yay Earth. Haha

The 29th of this month is my friend Rachel Boaz's birthday. She´s serving in Washington State right now and loving it! HBD, Rach.

The 3rd of May is McKinley´s birthday! My sweet little cousin – 9 years old! I can´t believe it´s already been a year since I spoke at her baptism. Happy Birthday, kin! 



This week was rough. Lets start with the good.

Monday was good.

We had a zone activity for p-day. I like zone activities here in Yaquiba because there are only 14 missionaries here, rather than the 40 there were in Tarija. So we do fun stuff. We went to the church, the only place in this country that there's an "All-American-Oven" and we made baked goods. And finger painted.

Hard-core Relief Society and Primary all in one. We had fun :-)

And after that… the week just went down hill.

That night, Monday night, we went and visited a less Active family, la Familia Tangara. The parents have gone to the temple and everything, they were so strong in the church! And something happened between the wife and another member in the ward and she said that she "will never go back".

It was like a punch in the face.

The worst part?

So many generations of strong members will be lost. The familia Tangara consists of 10 children.. all under the age of 15. The cutest kids EVER. They need the gospel so bad, and the whole family KNOWS that the Gospel is true. But the smallest things are keeping them from living what they know.

Okay. Right now, I'm going to tell you all a story.

It's about this girl named Hermana Cedeño. And she has gigantic hair.

And her life was fine with her gigantic hair. Until one day, Heavenly Father sent her to Yacuiba. Where the water is completely… horrible.

So Hermana Cedeño showers. She showers every day. And washes her hair. Every day. With this water.

Then. Hermana Cedeño's hair starts to fall out. By the freaking handful.

And then she starts to cry. And she goes and talks to the other sisters that live with her, with a handful of hair. Her hair. Crying.

So then, Hermana Lopez says "Oh. My. Gosh. It's okay, don’t cry, I'm going to fix it. It's fine."

And Hermana Lopez sits Hermana Cedeño down, pulls out scissors and hair oils from this heavenly place called "The United States of America" and goes to work.

And now Hermana Cedeño doesn't have hair. Because we had to cut it off. 

And she's way ugly. Because Yacuiba freaking hates her.

So there's that fun story.

Someone send me something. A 911 hair emergency package.


Wednesday night, I went to sleep… feeling so sick. Just so sick. And I woke up several times throughout the night because my stomach hurt so bad. At about 4:00 in the morning… I was running to the bathroom. And I threw up the rest of that day. A lot. I don’t think I've ever been so violently sick, in my whole life actually. It was hard.

The whole day I just laid in bed and dreamed of things like… Mickey Mouse.. and the Tower of Terror… and Swimming Pools… because my family was in Disneyland that day. AH.

Anyway, all of you sisters that email me that are on their way to Bolivia Santa Cruz Mission.. You pray to your Heavenly Father that he never sends you to Yacuiba. Because Yacuibia kills North Americans.

Anyway. Back to Missionary Work.

On Tuesday we had a Conference with Presidente y Hermana Willard. It was one that I really needed. Like I said in my Shoutout at the beginning of my email, Ive figured out that every time I get sad… it´s because I'm thinking about me. Just me.

The "poor me", "why me" kind of stuff.   It's the natural man. I mean, it's not WRONG to think about me. All Thursday I was thinking about me! I was so so sad! But after thinking about "me" for some time, it takes a second to shove the right thoughts back into my head.


This isn't my area, this isn't my branch, these aren't my members, these aren't my investigators, this isn't my mission.


I'll tell ya whose they are. They're HIS.

All of this stuff here.. is His. God's. None of this belongs to me! And I really want to work on keeping that in mind in every moment until the end of my mission.

This week… was rough. Hermana Ruiz gave our District Leader the "weekly numbers" this week.. and she started crying. A lot. Because this week… the numbers just didn’t show the work we really did. And that was hard.

We lost a lot this week.

For example... all of our investigators.   I've heard that missionaries got doors slammed in their faces... but I had no idea that it literally happened. 


zero investigators.

zero help from members.

zero baptism dates.

zero. zero. ZERO.

But it's okay.

I know Heavenly Father has a plan for this Area. I don't know what it is and I don't know what I have to do to get the Area to that point, but I know it´s coming in some way or another.

In February, my Aunt Monica sent me a little quote book and this is the quote I read today:

"The Simple Secret is this:

Put your trust in the Lord, do your best,

Then leave the rest to Him."

-Joseph B. Wirthlin

And we´ll just leave it at that.

Love you all!


Hermana Cedeño

Monday, April 21, 2014


OKAY. So our apartment SUCKS and half the time we wake up.. THERE IS NO WATER. We don’t know what´s wrong. But let me just say… I'm one of those people that HAS to shower everyday, ESPECIALLY here. Where I'm walking around sweating. And ya just can't do that if there's no freaking water. Its disgusting. So the sister missionaries in Yaquiba are hard core cave-manning it. 


I really am camping.


HAPPY BIRTHDAY… to some cousins :-) to Brock, Owen, and my little man, Caleb. I hope it was awesome, don’t grow up too fast without me!!!

Also, happy birthday to my Abuela Melba, my dad´s mom. I cant wait to go home and talk to you all… in Spanish :-) I love you so much!!

And, shout out to Hermana Blanco, my mission mom, and Hermana Lyon, my best friend. They both hit their half-way mark this past week! So weird because when I GOT HERE.. THEY HAD JUST FINISHED TRAINING! The mission goes by so fast.

Okay. So Yaquiba actually has missionary clothes.. and I've gotten to the point where the worst part of everyday is standing in my towel, staring in my closet like..

"what to wear… what to wear.. what to wear…"

Because I freakin' HATE ALL OF MY CLOTHES.

So. I went on Monday with Hermana Ruiz and bought some new skirts. The whole way to the tiendas, Hermana Ruiz was freaking out, she was so excited to go shopping! When I asked her why she was so stoked she said..

"Because I've always had North American companions and they always raise the price for us!! But you don’t LOOK North American. So I´m going to know how much everything really is!!"

I laughed way hard.

We then took them to a cute lady in our ward to fix them up – they were a little too long. And now. . I'm a happy camper.

Wednesday, Hermana Ruiz and I went and did service for one of the less actives we're trying to rescue – La Familia Alvarez. Silvina has 2 kids, is pregnant, and her husband works all day. She´s been super sick due to her pregnancy and she needed help washing clothes. So that's what we did.

The problem was… This Hermana had more clothes to wash than all of mine and Hermana Ruiz´s clothes put together. So we didn't finish washing all of them, but we did a lot!

Now everyone go hug your washing machine.

Yesterday at church, I met a couple more people. Because I'm  a new missionary here, it takes a bit of time to get to meet all the members. Yesterday I met a woman and we were talking for a second.. and she asks where I'm from. I tell her I'm from "Los Estados Unidos"

And she's like: "LOS ESTADOS UNIDOS?? Pense de era de Santa Cruz, ya tiene accento Boliviano, No se puede notar que es gringa!"  ("THE UNITED STATES??  I was thinking Santa Cruz, you have a Bolivian accent, I never thought you were a Gringa")

And… ugh.

The problem with this whole "Bolivian accent" thing is that Bolivians speak very.. sloppy Spanish.

I think of my Dad's Spanish and it's very clear-open mouthed-rolled "R" s-spanish.

Bolivia isn't like that. It's slurred, letters aren’t pronounced, it's.. sloppy.

For example.

If someone here says: "Como esta Usted?"

They say it: "Como e-ta U-te"

The other day, one of the Young men came up to me and said: "Usted es de Los Estados Unidos, no ver?"

But it Sounded like: "U-te é de Lo E-tau U-nio, no ve?"

And I'm just like… what? I understand them.. but sometimes it takes some effort. And if I go home and my Spanish sounds like that… my dad is going to kill me.

Also this Sunday.. I went to church. And there were no new Easter dresses, or Easter ties, no primary presentation, no talks about the resurrection, no Easter songs, no Easter.

No Nothin'.


There is a family here, la Familia Vargas. They're members.. and I LOVE THEM. They remind me of my family at home. Their house is "the missionary hang out home".. like my house in Utah haha

They are so awesome. The Hermano, Fernando, went to New Jersey on his mission so we like to speak English and we have so much fun with it. We laugh and laugh.. it´s great. He loves English slang.

Sometimes it's so weird being in their house.. because they have so much money. And every other place I teach.. has dirt floors. Its so different. But they are so humble and so loving and they always feed us when we go there and they love us. Which is so different than all the other members. Haha But I love them. I'm hoping I can go there to skype my family on Mothers day so that they can meet them :-).

Well. That's about it. The mission… is now hard. Our weekly numbers don’t do our weekly work justice. But… asi es. Hermana Ruiz and I are working super hard. We have a few people with baptism dates, but we have to help these people live the word of wisdom, get married, pay tithing.. and all kinds of stuff that will definitely test their faith.

But I love them. And I have lots of faith in them. Pray for them, will ya?

Love you all –

Hermana Cedeño

Monday, April 14, 2014

Everything is going to be OK


First off, I´d like to apologize. My letters have been soooo…. Lame. 

I had a way rough week.. or weeks.. 

Since our last transfer and so many people listened to the spirit (AKA… my mom..) and wrote me last week. I can´t even tell you how much I needed that.

SHOUT OUTS. (some are repeats but I finally got through all of your emails after printing them off and reading them so they are fresh on my mind still.)

To all of you that wrote me an email… WOW!
Amy Cottrell
Michelle Reed
Jessica Merril
Freenky Portas
Olivia Moore
Nedra Hunsaker
Michelle Baires
Jennifer Flint
Morgan Hokanson
Ann Flint
Rick Smith
Lauren Backus
Sheralyn Webb
Landon Foust – holy. My best friend forever.
Deann Hess

Special Shout Out to Randy Hansen… thanks. I needed that. :-)

Also. Happy Birthday to Ken Hermanson. I don’t even know how you're related to me, but you'll forever be one of the best uncles on planet earth. Even though you're like my second cousin or something. Thanks for giving me puppies when I eat dog food.

And Benjamin Hunsaker. For writing me last week.. and freaking.. WELCOME HOME DANGET.
And to my Mom. I love you. I wore my rainboots almost everyday this week. Thank you.

And … just for all y´all that didn’t know… I hit my 6 month mark. And I celebrated by finishing off my recess puffs that my mom sent me a month ago. I saved them just for that day. It was fun. Me... my puffs… and the Book of Mormon. It was a good morning.

My Aunt Stacie also wrote me and.. she will never know how much I needed to hear what she had to say.

She talked about how...

Well. Sometimes we don’t want what God wants. But he doesn’t send us different situations and trials because it´s fun or because he wants to make life difficult. It´s because he knows what will make us happy – what we need- in the long run. 

And it´s just so hard sometimes to let him help us, ya know? I just want to do what I want to do and that´s it. 


But.. it doesn’t work like that. I mean.. it can work like that if we really want it to. But we wont be happy. We wont get out of this life the things we need – the things we´ll one day wish we´d learned.

And, of course, it´s not like now that I've come to such realization that all of a sudden my life is going to be some fun, easy thing- I'm not going to be skippin' around like  "I LOVE MY TRIALS SEND MORE"- It´ll still be hard! I´ll probably still cry and whine and have HB´S for my life. But it´s okay. God doesn’t abandon his faithful servants. He loves us dearly.

Also. Update on Yaquiba. I never thought I would find a more bipolar place then Utah.. but here it is.

Journal Entry #1: (Wednesday)
Okay, so Yaquiba has been super féo lately. It´s just SO unbelievably hot and humid. I was telling Hermna Ruiz earlier this week that in the Unites States, I have to work out way hard and long to be sweating the way I sweat here. And I don´t have to freaking do ANYTHING here! I sit down to read y scriptures in the morning and I already have drops on my upper lip and down the side of my face. And ya know what? It´s actually disgusting. If I don´t lose weight here, then there is no hope for me because at this point, I´m losing 3 gallons of water weight every 10 minutes. I'M PROSELYTING IN A SAUNA.

Journal Entry #2: (Sunday)
So. It´s freezing. This morning, I was walking to church in my rainboots and coat with my scriptures under my arm  and we walked past a restaurant that smelled like French fries and hamburgers and I had a flashback that went something like this –
I was walking on a flat, white iced ground in my boots, coat, and a snowboard under my arm. I was walking past the lodge at SnowBird with the smell of toast and hot chocolate trickling out.
Then my brain came back to reality and I was in Bolivia again and there is no freaking hot chocolate.
THEN I had Nickleback stuck in my head because that´s kind of what happens when I think of snowboarding back at home. And then I repented because missionaries don’t sing Nickleback.
Don’t even worry, im sitting at my computer today wearing thermals. Kill me.
Here´s a fun conversation that happened this week.

Hermana Lopez: ´´Hermana Cedeño, lets trade clothes, im obsessed with your clothes´´
Me: ´´Yeah.. except youre like the size of a barbie and im the size of Godzilla´´
Her: ´´Everybody loves Godzilla, I love Godzilla.´´
Me: ´´….´´
Her: ´´…´´
Me: ´´Yeah, okay, i'm gonna go run a mile.´´

This week we've been working really hard to find all the less actives – which is good and much needed. Here in Yacuiba, It´s not ´´baptisms´´ that´s the problem (which… that number could be increased a bit as well…), It´s the LESS ACTIVE and INACTIVE MEMBERS. There are freaking millions. 

And I've been trying so hard in this area to do what I did in my other area with Hermana Lyon – find people and baptize ém. That was it. And it worked, and we were good at it. We were happy. 

But here… that´s not what this area needs. This area needs rescuing. We need to rescue the inactives, bring them home, and THEN we will see some changes around here. 

I'm still trying to figure out WHY Heavenly Father sent me here.. I was a little bitter about that for a while. My prayers weren’t the same. I was so mad that he sat me on a plane and flew me away from my Querida Tarija. But that´s how it is. And I think I'm slowly but surely figuring out why he did it.
Im starting to think that it wasn’t just for the people. That it was for me. I'm the kind of person that doesn’t like change. I get attached too easy, I get comfortable too fast. I need to get used to change. Because, honestly.. that´s life. 

In my other area.. things were always going so well. I had the best companion, the best investigators, and the best members. I loved it. And I was getting so caught up in it and how great and smoothly everything was running. I was maybe even starting to become a little proud of my success.
I wanted to be in the pictures at my converts baptism, I wanted to report to my leaders every week that we had 6 investigators with dates and 6 at church, I was so proud of how far my Spanish had come in just last transfer. 

But I ran into a scripture this week.

Mosiah 23: 10-11

10) Nevertheless, after much tribulation, the Lord did hear my cries, and did answer my prayers, and has made me an instrument in his hands in bringing so many of you to a knowledge of his truth.

11)Nevertheless, in this I do not glory, for I am unworthy to glory of myself.


Where are my desires?

I love my investigators dearly. But I want to invite them to be baptized because of that! Because I love them and they deserve this opportunity. Not because I want the most numbers out of every other missionary in my zone. Does that make sense?

Hopefully I grow to love my area as much as I did my other. I love being a missionary though. Sometimes I miss my family so much and all I want to do is go back to them. But I know God is the one that called me here. How do I know that? Because the whole "mission thing", I can tell ya right now, was NOT my idea.

God knows.

Like my companion, Hermana Ruiz, always says.. "Everything is going to be OK"

I love it when she says that. 


It’s the only sentence she knows in English and it’s the only one I need to hear every day.

Love you all,

Hermana Cedeño