Monday, February 29, 2016

Mormones estaban aqui

Hola a todos! 
This week was a LOOOONG week. I think it is because we worked hard. It seems like forever since I last wrote. 
     Primero to explain the subject title. Hna Cicotte and I were in a trufi and the window was fogging up because it had been raining and was a little cold outside. We wrote "Mormones estaban aqui" in the window (Mormons were here). We felt clever. We should have written our phone number on the window too and gotten some new investigators. Haha, just kidding. 
     Just a little Spanish mistake. We were in a Zone Meeting and my companion accidentally read 2 Nefi 9:28 ("O that cunning plan of the evil one!  O the vainness, and the frailties, and the foolishness of men!......) instead of 2 Nefi 9:18. ("But behold, the righteous, the saints of the Holy One of Israel, they who have believed in the Holy One of Israel, they who have endured the crosses of the world...their joy shall be full forever") When she started we were all like, "What??" Look it up, it's pretty funny. 
My zone after paintball. It was a great way to release anger at the other missionaries in our zone. Haha! Just kidding! We played PAINTBALL for P-Day. It was soo much fun! I had never played before and I have some pretty gnarly bruises. But it was so much fun!! I loved it. It would be really cool to be a paint-balling pro one day. Haha, only kidding. But I do hope to play again when I am here. 
We did some service and I climbed up in a Pakai tree. Hna Cicotte was scared I was going to fall.
Eating my giant Pakai that I found in the tree!
Chopping weeds....Bolivian style!
     Something awkward from this week. Hna Cicotte and I were walking down the street one day, just normally, and I look over and see a young couple just kissing in a doorstep. The boy was a MENOS ACTIVO in our ward. I was like, hey, I know him. And so we waved and said hi. The poor young man. So the moral of this story is for all the young men out there: DON'T KISS GIRLS. The awkward sister missionaries might walk by...Also, if you are kissing girls you had better be ACTIVE. Haha.
     Anyway, it has been raining most of this week. When it rains here, the drains become full and then they start to overflow so the rain water on the ground is also mixed with sewer water. One of our investigators told us that her and two other mom's lifted 40 kids from the school over the dirty water so that the kids wouldn't have wet shoes all day when they were in school. I thought that was a really cool story. Just one of the little acts of kindness that people don't really know about. 
     Okay, here is a SUPER CHEVRE story. We went to teach Bianca, who is an investigator that we have been teaching for a long time. Her two sisters are baptized but she isn't yet. So we went to teach her and try to find what was holding her back from being baptized (she has all the lessons). I said, "We know you want to wait a little to be baptized." And she said, "Actually, I have been thinking and I want to get baptized this week." WHAT?? We just sat there in shock and then were so excited. So she is going to be baptized this Sunday. We are SOOO excited for her!! 
     Man, it has been a long week but also a great week. We are really excited for Bianca! I love you guys and hope you are all anxiously engaged in good causes. We can't do everything but we can do lots to help the world be a little better! Keep smiling!
Love, 
Hermana Eaves               
A great view of Bolivia!

Monday, February 22, 2016

Another week has come and gone...

Wow....in four days I will cumplir (don't know if there is a word for that in English...wait, yeah, I will COMPLETE) 6 MONTHS in the MISSION! How crazy is that?? Time is passing so fast and I know that it will only start passing faster!  These shoes have walked a lot of miles...... (Yes, we have the same shoes, ha!)




     So this week, a guy rode past us on a bike and shouted (as he rode by) "Hello babies! I love you! God bless you!" Now that's what I call a drive by...haha! 
     Also, we were on a trufi (definition: a big van with no seatbelts that stops when you stick out your hand to let you get on and stand in between 3 Cholitas as it careens down the road #noseatbelts) and we heard something metal fall off the outside of the trufi and clatter to the road. The driver stopped to go and grab this chunk of his trufi that had come off and we continued down the road...haha! #onyinBolivia
      Another trufi went over the median on the highway because he wanted to turn but there wasn't a road there. So he just decided that the median looked like a good place to turn. Haha. 
In case you are wondering what missionary work in Bolivia looks like... (I'm pretty sure that Cholita said she lived around here somewhere #noaddresses)
We went to do service and we both forgot our nametags, haha! We felt so weird without them. 
   Anyway, this week was CRAZY because it was elections in Bolivia and they were a BIG deal. There was some riots in La Paz where they burned stuff so our President told us that if we didn't have FIXED/SURE sitas on Friday or Saturday then we had to be at home. Friday we were at home for an hour and Saturday ALL of our sitas fell through so we were in casa a LOT. We also weren't allowed to contact people on the streets or knock doors. So that was crazy. Sunday was the day where everyone had to vote and President had us stay at home ALL DAY. We couldn't leave at all. So we slept,read scriptures, read the Liahona, got a little desperate and watched the District. By the end of the day we just felt tired and bored from being inside all day long. It was crazy. And we still don't even know the results of the election! 
     I saw something this week that made me very happy. We were riding in a trufi (wow, lots of trufi stories this week, lucky you guys) and I see this man ahead of the trufi on a bicycle (people just ride their bikes through the road here). He looked like he was picking something up off the road. We passed him and when I looked back I saw him place two little (alive) baby chicks in some bushes. He had saved them from being run over!!! Then he just continued on riding his bike. How nice though. Couldn't we all do a few more kind deeds throughout our days? There is someone out there that you will encounter during your day that needs a kind word or a smile or an act of service. It doesn't have to be big, it can be 30 seconds or less. But let us all be a little kinder this week. Just like it made me really happy to see a random Bolivian man pick up some chicks (haha) off the road, other people will be happy when we serve them or when they see us serving others. So do an act of service this week! It will be great! I love you all!
Love,
Hermana Eaves

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

No Letter this week!

We did not receive an email from Carlie this week but she did send some pictures with brief explanations.
In celebration of the "Carnivales" holiday, people were lining the streets with their guns and foam to spray/soak us.


In a trufi and at our apartment right after getting soaked!
I was mostly soaked, ha!  Everyone yelled "Gringas!  Mojenlas!"
Fried chicken heart (yup), sausage and a potato.
BBQ with our pensionista.  Janet's sister, Nadir, Michelle, Me, Hna Cicotte & Martin
What do you do when you have to stay inside all day.....?
Make a MUSIC VIDEO
of course!!!
We made a Valentine's present for President Hansen y Hermana Hansen!

Week 18 in Bolivia?!?.......SUCCESS!

Monday, February 8, 2016

Wow!!!

This week was just PACKED full of great stuff! There were hilarious experiences and some sad and some hard but mostly just GREAT!!!! 
      So first some stories about a drunk guy (because who doesn't love those-the stories, not the drunk guys):
          So remember the drunk guy that hangs around our church building and came into our Zone meeting one time. Well, my compi and I were knocking a door in our area and he walked up to us and asked for money. He was completely drunk and my compi told him we didn't have money. He left. That Sunday, he was in our ward (he always comes into our ward). He was just sitting in the congregation and Church started completely normal. During the announcements he stood up and started yelling at all of us and walking around. We were all staring at him and a man got up and led him out of the meeting. 
        Another day we walked past a guy in the street who may or may not have been drunk and he said, "ooh, muchachitas lindas!" We get called lots of things...just a normal day in Bolivia. Oh, we get cat whistled at a lot so during weekly planning we were talking about what we could do about that and we decided it would be better if we cat whistled at THEM before they cat whistled at US. What do you think? Haha
      Also, my compi and I are both gringas with blonde hair so for all the Bolivian kids that is so weird. One mom, when she was passing us, told her kids "Cuidado, te va a llevar ella" (Translation: Careful, they are going to take you.) We laughed pretty hard at that...
      Also, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday here in Bolivia was a holiday called Carnaval where everyone SOAKS each other with water and sprays each other with this foam stuff. Gringos, blondes like me and my companera, are especially targeted. So yesterday all the little kids were trying to soak us with water and foam. They only succeeded with the foam. Today though as we walked down the street EVERYONE was trying to soak us with these giant water guns and giant cans of foam. It is actually a great holiday here. I am soaked as I sit here writing this...haha. People ran after us with buckets of water and huge squirt guns...We had to run most of the way to internet. The rest of today and all of tomorrow though we can't leave our apartments because there are going to be a ton of drunks in the street...haha. So that's cool. 
      Anyway, this week was a bit hard just because the barrios (wards) here are really hard to work with. For example, we have 22 converts in this area from the last year. Only 12 of those converts are active in the church and of those 12 active converts, 5 are on the verge of being inactive. It is frustrating because the missionaries can't do all the retaining of new converts, a LOT of that is the job of the ward. But the wards are very unorganized and there are a lot of less active members. I wanted to know why. So I asked the bishop WHY the wards were so different here compared to the states. He said something that made me think. He said that the people here in Bolivia are the PIONEERS. Back in the 1800s when the church was restored in the United States, the Saints, the recent converts, were weak too. They had a hard time being faithful. They had difficulties. Many fell away. It is a lot like that here. The Bolivian saints are pioneers. They are weak because they are new. But the ones that are truly converted will stay and continue in the church. They will spread the gospel and teach their children and in 10 years we will see MUCH progress. It was a really cool thing. Something else cool this week was that Edwin blessed the Sacrament for the first time. It was amazing!!! 
Anyway, I love you all! Have a great week!

Love, 
Hermana Eaves

Monday, February 1, 2016

We got robbed...

Hello everyone! 
We did not really get robbed. Well, tengo una historia...Hna. Cicotte and I were knocking doors back in a little alleyway(just to make this easier to visualize, most of Bolivia is little, muddy, unpaved alleyways that are really narrow. Also, all the doors are made of metal and painted different colors). So we were knocking on all the metal puertas and we find this one that has a bunch of barbed wire, broken glass bottles and a rams horn on top of it.  
 (to clarify, people here usually have an outer door that you have to knock on. They then leave their house to answer it.) Well, we decided to knock on it. So this Cholita answers and starts speaking in Quechua (the native language here). Luckily I know Quechua (really only 5 phrases) and so I ask her what her name is. She says "Sneada". She doesn't really know what we are saying but she wants us to come in and see her baby. So we enter this door and walk in and as we are walking towards the house my companion says, "Do you feel like we are doing something dangerous?" And I totally felt the Spirit super strong as a warning. So we stopped walking towards the house and instead offered to say a prayer with her outside. We said a super short prayer then turned to leave. She wanted to search in my bag so I pulled out a folleto and gave it to her. She wanted more and I was honestly a little scared of her so I gave her another one. Then she grabbed my companions Libro de Mormon (all this is in Spanish so she can't even read it anyway). We just decided to let her keep it and made a hasty escape. So in a way we were robbed of 2 folletos and a Libro de Mormon. We decided to not go back for our return appointment the next day...
     So I do not talk much about Spanish blunders but this week we had a few. Sometimes it is hard because Hna Cicotte and I are both gringas so our Spanish isn't perfect...one day, a Cholita came up to us and said, "I lost my sister". Hna. Cicotte thought the Cholita meant I lost my sister like she Died. But the Cholita just lost her sister, her sister wasn't dead. Hna Cicotte told the Cholita that she would see her sister in heaven. When the Cholita walked away I was like, "Hna, her sister isn't dead, just LOST." Hna Cicotte was so embarrased. The next Spanish blunder was mine. So for some background. It is SOO hard to hear people on the phone here. First of all, there is not very good reception and second, the people are speaking a different language. So I called someone to let them know we would be late to a sita. Well apparently, I accidentally agreed to go to a party with her. Oops...we showed up at her house and then had to explain that we actually could NOT go to parties. Haha, funny. 
     Anyway, we do more here in Bolivia than knock on strangers doors and get robbed by scary Cholitas. We actually have some really cool people that we are teaching. First of all, we are teaching a couple named Ever y Norma. They have two little kids and really want to be baptized but they have to get married first. So we are working with them on that so that they can be baptized. They also really want to be SEALED in the temple for time and all eternity. I am so excited for that day, one year from now, when they will be SEALED in the temple and be an eternal family!!!! 
     Literally, we see so many miracles every week! This last two weeks I have been the one who has to know the area and lead us around. It has been really great and we are seeing a lot of progress and miracles. Whenever I take a wrong turn on accident (for example, get off the trufi too late or walk in the wrong dirrection) we end up finding someone awesome! For example, the other day we were on a trufi (and a bit of background on trufis-they are like buses but you have to yell "vamos a bajar" when you want to get off) and I accidentally got off late. So we went and had a lesson with a menos activo family and it was awesome! I know that Heavenly Father is leading us in this work. I know that there are angels (physical and unseen) helping us with this work. I love the gospel and the hope it brings for the people here in Bolivia. Life is hard here in Bolivia, people can't find jobs easily, they have hard times in their families and their living conditions are just HARD. But what we bring, the gospel of Jesus Christ, can bring them hope. It can lift them when they are sad. I am so grateful that I have the gospel and I am so happy to be here! I love you all!
Love, 
Hermana Eaves