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!
Landon Foust – holy. My best friend forever.
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.
I WANT WHAT I WANT.
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: ´´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.
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,