February 2, 2015
Hey guys I’m here!
This past week has been truly amazing. When we got here we hadn’t slept in 48 hours because we flew all night and had a bunch of stuff happen, but everything is great! I got my companion. He’s a native from Santa Cruz, Bolivia, which is super cool. His name is elder Calle. I got assigned to Punata. It’s the 2nd poorest city in Cochabamba, but its perfect for me. It’s 20km X 20km, which is super big, and it’s just the two of us in this area. We walk everywhere. Sometimes it takes us an hour to walk to our next appointment, but its great. The people here are awesome and love the gospel. Spanish is coming along very well. I’m able to speak pretty well, and understand the gist of what’s going on, but I love teaching the gospel. This week we got a baptism date for my first convert. We are hoping to get many more next week.
Here’s an awesome story. Most of our lessons are with less active members, which is sad. But we had a lesion with Cancio, a less active, who lives about an hour away. We teach him and his siblings, so 4 people live in this tiny clay humble house. We taught him our lesson and asked if he would come to church on Sunday. He didn’t respond so we both bore our testimony and asked again but he still didn’t respond. We talked about its importance and read some scriptures and each bore our testimony’s 2 more times. Afterwards we asked him again, and he looked at us and said he might. Then came Sunday, and when we got to church there he was with his sister. We felt the spirit so strongly. I know this gospel is true and inspires people every day. That Sunday; our first Sunday, we had 4 investigator families, and 9 less actives come to church. It’s so amazing. Living here is super fun but you need to be super careful, because it is so easy to get sick. All the water is bad so it’s weird because you have to wash dishes, clothes, and your self in water that is super unsafe to drink. Ha-ha. But that’s the fun part too. Oh and I just hand washed my clothes today for the first time which was super fun. It took about an hour to wash some of our clothes, but now they’re hanging up outside to dry. The culture here is crazy. It’s filled with Cholitas, which are natives who speak Quechua, its super complex and ancient. To say hello you say “imaynalla k´´asanqui.”
Its crazy but almost everyone speaks it. So right now I’m leaning 2 languages at once, which is pretty hard. Also, every morning the Cholitas sell coca, the drug plant, and a bunch of other stuff. More than half the people here are cholitas. Oh, and apparently it’s totally normal for a 50-year-old Cholita to breast feed during pricipio de envangelio in a room that fits 10. That was an interesting experience.
I miss you guys. Thank you all for the emails. They are like gold to me, so if you have a chance please write to me. Hope you are all safe.