May 25, 2015
That’s really all I can say about this week. It was literally the best week I have had on my mission thus far.
It started off on Monday when we went to Tupiza for our zone conference, which was scheduled for that next day. I was able to meet up with some amazing missionaries from my first area, which included my very first zone leader. I gave him a bunch of letters, to give to my family, which was amazing. The next day we set of to Quiriza. Quiriza is an amazing place. There are only 2 elders there. They don’t wear church clothes, only jeans and a shirt and tie for the whole week. Mountains and other pueblos super far away in the middle of nowhere surround it. There are no cars, so their mode of transportation is walking and riding horses. They also go on weeklong campouts where they ride for a day far out to a pueblo and camp out on the ground in a tent. In the morning they set out to visit the other pueblos, which is super cool. They also have to buy their food from Tupiza each week. There is no food where they are which is crazy.
Another amazing fact about Quiriza is that it is where the church began in Bolivia. It is where President David O Mckay received revelation that he should start the church in that exact spot. The people are literally the direct decedents of the Lamanites. Our president said that they were 100% Lamanites. We had the second part of our zone conference there in the very first chapel built in Bolivia and with the first 2 members in Bolivia. It was crazy.
We got back that night at 10:00 and ate, showered, and went right to bed. The next morning we went to Alex and Melina but we couldn’t find them anywhere. We decided to go back later that day and Alex’s brother was there, and he told us that she was in the hospital. It was about 5:00 that night and my comp and I ran to the hospital and met up with them. As we were talking to her, she was crying and she told us that she had just lost her baby in the womb. We were devastated. It’s been super hard because this family has been going through such hard times. We keep teaching them that if they keep the commandments and pray as a family, and read the scriptures, they will be blessed, but they keep on being hit by these tragedies. When my comp was talking to Alex I sat on the bed of Melina who is 27 and had just lost her baby about an hour before. She said, “Elder, do you remember what you told me in our last lesson?” I said, “ What did I tell you?” Then she looked at me and said, “You promised me that if we were faithful, and read the scriptures, and prayed as a family that God would bless us in our family. You said that we would be able to feel His love and be happy. I was thinking to myself, oh dear, what is she going to say? I made this promise to her and now she just lost her baby. But then she looked at me and said, “Elder, I haven’t lost the faith. I know that I will learn and grow from this challenge and that soon the Lord will bless our family.” I just had tears running down my face and still do now. This amazing investigator has more faith than I have ever seen. She is so inspiring and just a true amazing child of God. We stayed in the hospital with her and her boyfriend and another investigator, Ivanna till 9:00 that night just talking. Ivanna’s baby Kimberly is just doing amazing! She is doing so much better. It’s amazing! I know that God answers our prayers, and thank you for all your prayers!
The next day we went to visit Melina and Alex, and Melina said that she and he broke up and that he was leaving her. She was crying as she got in the taxi to leave but said, “Elders, I’ll see you at church. I won’t loose the faith.” I started thinking, how does she still have this faith? We promised her that she would be happy, and the next day she lost her baby, and the day after that her boyfriend/husband broke up with her, the man who introduced her to the church. When she left we talked to Alex and told him to pray about his decision. Then this is the part of the story where everything starts to turn out for the best and when we really see Gods blessings in their lives. Last night we went to Alex’s new house directly from being in Argentina all day. We had this feeling we should visit them. So off we went and when we got there, there was Melina in the one room house just smiling. We asked what happened, and Alex bore his testimony and said that he had gotten scared and abandoned her because he thought that it was her fault that she lost the baby because she had been drinking, but then he said he realized that they were meant for each other. He realized that there would be challenges in our life but they are there to make us stronger. He said that he realized how important family is and they can really see how the Lord can, and will bless them. Oh, I forgot to tell you that Melina has a son who is 9, and as Alex was talking he called Melina’s son his own! I just smiled in awe! How amazing it was that he called him his son. Then they said that they are going to finish their legal papers super soon. Their goal is to have it done by the 5th and then their marriage goal is in the month of June or July. The baptism of Melina and her son would be the next day. It’s amazing! It’s a family! As we were leaving she asked us if there was a way that we could live together forever after this life? My comp and I just looked at her and smiled and said, “yes,” and then proceeded to teach her. It was truly the most amazing week that I have ever had here on my mission. I know how much the Lord can and will bless us in our lives. I know why I am here on my mission.
I just want to say that I love my family and I’m so very grateful for the gospel in my life. I have seen how much it has changed me. Birthday dad, I love you so much. I am so grateful to have you as a father. Thank you for introducing me into this amazing gospel, with out you I don’t know where I would be.