Well, this week was amazing. We have taught so many investigators and families, and have done a bunch of service. I love it here in Punata. It is absolutely amazing. I hope I get to stay here for 4 more months.
Hey Family! I hope all is well! I just want to let you know how much I love and miss you guys, every one of my 9 brothers and sisters, and my parents, of course. I know you guys are doing well, and I’m so grateful that God has blessed me with such an amazing wonderful family. I don’t know what I would do with out you guys.
Wednesday was one of the most amazing days I have had here in Bolivia. It started early, at 6 am. Like all other days we began getting ready for the day by studying the gospel, studying Spanish, and preparing for our investigators. Our first lesson was at 10 am. He’s the boracho, or drunk that I told you guys about, but he has been changing. I have so much respect for him. I love him so much. He has 3 sons who are all under the age of 11 and he works super hard to provide for his family. He lives in a small adobe house with his 3 kids. We have been working with him each day on his addiction to alcohol, and he is progressing poco a poco. He really wants to be baptized and is trying his best to change. Right after that we heard that one of our less actives was in the hospital so we ran as fast as we could to the other side of town to comfort her. While we were there we gave her a blessing and the next day she was released from the hospital. What a miracle. Later that day my comp and I prayed for guidance for a house to knock on. We each chose one. My comp chose this small peaceful looking house and as we knocked a 70-year-old man came to the door with a bumper sticker that said, “I’m Catholic, I will die Catholic, and I will not change my religion.” It was weird because it was as if the man was waiting for us to knock on his door. After he shut the door I started to crack up but then it was my turn. I chose a humble looking house and after we knocked a man came to the door with no shirt on and I was like, “Awww man a swing and a miss,” but as we started to talk to the man we realized he was a father of 4 and was looking for some guidance in his life. It was amazing we taught him a short lesson, closed with a prayer and set up another lesson with him for Sunday.
Now here’s the most amazing part of the day. A less active member named Waldo had a reference for us. At 4:00 we met Waldo at his work. He is one of the most cheerful people I have ever met. He’s a doctor, and as we walked to his reference he told us about the person we were about to visit. She is a mother of 3 young kids, and is going through some very hard times. Last week she found out that her husband, who works in the fields 4 hours away, was living with another woman. She was devastated. At that time she was also very sick. The week before doctors drained 2 liters of fluids from her stomach. That week she went to Waldo and asked for some pills to kill herself. At that moment this member was filled with the spirit of love and compassion and was able to talk her out of killing herself, and here we were at her house about to teach this amazing wonderful child of God. She only spoke Quechua so as we taught in Spanish Waldo translated for us. I could definitely feel a spirit of love and hope grow in the room. As we finished with a prayer she brought out a clump of cheese and some potatoes. My heart melted. There we were sitting in her house made of mud and straw, with one bed, one light, and the size of about 20 feet by 15 feet. She lives in that room with her kids. She has so little but she is willing to give us so much. I just wanted to hug her and tell her that I knew life was hard, and at times we have challenges, but it is through those challenges that we are able to grow. As we were leaving she brought out another bag; about 12 pounds filled with peas, and potatoes. Tears came to my eyes. I couldn’t take it any more. This woman is so amazing and will be blessed forever. Its such an amazing feeling when we teach people like that.
Here is a photo of a member named Mario. Each day it’s our goal to take him home and read scriptures to him. His story is very toughing. He lost his leg about 7 years ago and works as a shoe shiner. Now, for each pair of shoes that he shines he makes 2 bolivianos or about 25 cents. He is in a wheel chair and each day he wheels himself about 3/4 of a miles to his work. He is an amazing man, almost blind but always happy and willing to give. His wife left him, and his wife and kids live above him in a separate part of his house. They never visit him or even stop by to say hi. He is my hero. I love Punata. I miss you guys so much! Talk to you in a week. ❤ you all! Love you mom, thank you for everything!