|mustard seed ...|
Dear Mom, and Dad, and Mitch, and Jennica, and Sam, and Adam, (and of course Branson, Caden, and Sienna, who cannot read)
How are you all? I hope you are doing so well. I hope every day you are becoming better people and I hope that you all recognize how blessed we are. I hope you can always see and feel God's hand in your life. And I hope you never lose faith, because without faith we're nothing. We can't ever lose faith.
I am excited to write you. It is always the best part of my p-day for some reason. Today has been SO fun. This morning we played basketball and soccer with the other companionship of sister missionaries that are pretty close and with a few sisters from one of our wards. It was so so great. So much needed. We played for about two hours and I don't know if we got more exercise by playing or by laughing. Hermana Marca is super athletic. At first we were all laughing because the rest of us are so so. But by the end, I was stealing the ball from her. Haha it was really great, and I think the mission is super great for girls because it causes us to drop our barriers and just love and be friends with everyone (something that does not come naturally for girls). Anyway, before the mission (I can't believe I am using that phrase) I didn't ever have the desire to play sports. But since the Lima MTC I have really fallen in love with playing. When we get home I want to be able to play with Sam and Adam (and Mitch, when we are in the same lugar). I will start practicing more to prepare myself.
So speaking of getting sick, I too caught a bug this week. Actually, I think I ate something that my stomach didn't agree with. Tuesday I woke up super sick and spent the day throwing up, including on the bus. The bus worker was super upset. Ha. SORRY. Didn't want to do it. Anyway, we were traveling to Gualsaqui, where L lives, and I started throwing up so we got off the bus and this sweet little indigenous lady came running over to us talking in Kichwa. Hermana Marca understands a little Kichwa because it is a little similar to the native languages in Bolivia. Well, the little lady gave us some advice on what to do when you are pregnant and sick... super hilarious. All of the community (sp?) knows though and they are all very concerned, so that was sweet. Ha. And speaking of health, the cures and solutions here are super hilarious. A few examples: whenever anyone has a cold, everyone says they need to wrap a scarf around their waist/lower back. Tuesday a few members gave me water with oregano and told me to bathe myself with cold water mixed with weeds... And Hermana Marca told me that I probably got sick because I slipped in mud Monday... Okay. Yesterday Hermana Marca told a member that jammed their finger playing basketball that they need to put some part of a cow testicle on it overnight. A recent convert, L, also has cancer. When it gets bad, they give her a vitamin mix to drink... An elder was telling me about an experience he had recently with a doctor... I just don't know how much I trust the medics down here! So.. in response to your comment on M.. we are praying it some mistake that they diagnosed her with breast cancer.
So, yesterday was a really great Sunday. To be completely honest, Sundays are tough here in the mission. But yesterday was golden and an answer to a million prayers. God sends us trials to test our faith. We have been working really hard here in our sector and this past week a few things fell through and I was left sincerely pondering on what more I need to do to earn God's help. Saturday my hope was hanging on a string. But Sunday was exactly what I needed. Sometimes Sundays here are hard because 1. in our wards, I don't understand the meetings in Kichwa, and 2. attending church seems to be the hardest commitment for some investigators to follow through with. But yesterday was a really important Sunday for me because one of our bishops gave a talk that was exactly what I needed to hear. It was really amazing. One of those moments where you just want to say, "Thank you for following that prompting you received to talk on that, because it was the way God answered my prayer and addressed my need." Also, Saturday I had been wondering where all of the people Heavenly Father had prepared for us were. When we had that training meeting the other week, I found a lot of comfort in the message that there are certain people here that are prepared and they are who we are looking for. I was really praying to know why we weren't finding them. Sunday he sent two our way. I am constantly reminding myself to have more patience and confidence in God's timescale.
This morning I found a lot of comfort reading in Mosiah 4. I especially loved verses 9-12. My goal this week is to stand steadfast in my faith in Christ, no matter what happens.
Mom, I know you just sent me a whole bunch of packages, but I have been wanting to ask you for something more. I really would like two or three pair of skin colored, patterned tights. All the skin color tights here are 1. not my skin color and 2. plain. And, they just aren't cute. But I really need tights because my legs are covered in bug bites still. Anyway, I used to have some that were like fishnet, do you remember? Don't send fishnet, but like stripes or zig zags or some design like that. Thank you! I love you!
Adam, I love you. Don't worry that you can't write much. I hope you are enjoying all that you're reading.
I am so glad you all had such a great time in Cali for Thanksgiving! We didn't do anything here in the mission, (for Thanksgiving) but I did remind everyone we taught Thursday to be grateful. And Wednesday a few really nice people helped us out in little tiny ways and it made me think that perhaps that was my Thanksgiving gift. It was just what I needed.
Tell Stacie I say congrats. She is so great. She will be a really powerful missionary!
I love that you are playing Charlie Brown Christmas music on the piano Mom! I love that movie. And the Christmas music is my favorite. Christmas will be interesting here in the mission; it is a week after transfers. I hope it is great.
Dad, I love hearing about your BYU ward. And tell them all I say congratulations!
Oh, by the way, I sent some stuff your way! Please tell me when you get it! There is a package coming, but it is pretty light. The gifts are for Christmas. The letters for as soon as you get the package.
ÑUKA KANKUNATA JUYANY