Monday, March 28, 2016

Easter, Women's Conference and Cambios=one crazy week

Hello everyone! 

     So this week was crazy! Hermana Cicotte and I were looking forward to the Women's Conference the whole week!!! On Saturday, we had to be in the mission home at 4 PM and Quillacollo (our area) is the farthest away so we left our house at 2:50, took a trufi and got there right on time. :) 
We had some games, like "Simon says" and watched a slideshow of our pictures. It was really fun. We then had REAL. MEXICAN. FOOD. You do NOT understand how AMAZING that is until you have eaten rice for 7 months. It was real Mexican food with real guacamole and salsa and beans and LETTUCE (which is ONLY allowed in the mission home) and CHEESE (not the goat cheese that the Cholita's make, actual CHEDDAR CHEESE). I ate three. They were that good. I managed to fit in some homemade Texas sheet cake. After being in Bolivia for 7 months I can eat like a dragon. :)
     Hna Cicotte saved my life. I almost was run over by a giant truck (you would think it would have stopped for a blonde girl crossing the road) but my companion pulled me out of the way. She's the best. 

     So we had a lesson with an elderly Cholita menos activa the other day. A conversation:
Cholita "Donde esta su pueblo?"
Me "Las Estados Unidos" 
Cholita "Que?"
ME "Un poquito mas arriba de Mexico" 
Cholita "Que?"
Me "Un poquito mas arriba de la Paz"
Cholita "ohhh"
Haha, you can Google translate that. La Paz is in Bolivia. Saying that the US "is a bit above La Paz" is sort of a lie but you gotta teach what the people understand and that Cholita understood La Paz. 
     One Menos Activo told us "I don't have a testimony of the Book of Mormon." We asked him if he was praying and he said "no". We asked him if he was reading the Book of Mormon and he said "No". And we asked him if he was coming to church, also "No". Well, of course he doesn't have a testimony. Testimonies are like treasures. We can't just sit around and hope they fall into our laps. Treasures take work and time. We need to WORK and FIGHT for testimonies. If anyone wants a testimony of the Book of Mormon then read it, pray and go to church. Your testimony will come as you act on your faith. 
People in Bolivia are very faithful. Pretty much everyone here believes in God. 
Instead of presents under the tree at Christmastime, they have nativity scenes. For Easter, there is no Easter bunny or plastic eggs. The humble Bolivian people remember Christ and His Atonement. This week we have been sharing the scripture 3 Nephi 11:14-15 ( It talks about how Christ, when he came to the people on the American continent, invited all of them to come unto Him and feel the marks so that they could know without doubt that He suffered and died for them. He loves us!! Isn't that amazing!!! I just want to be a missionary forever so that I can share that message with the world! He lives! And because He lives, we too will live again. It's amazing. I love you all and hope you have a great week! 
Hermana Eaves

Monday, March 21, 2016

Another week has flown by!

Wow, another great HOT week in Bolivia! Summer is still going strong. 

Surprise!  Bolivia isn't actually a jungle, like I assumed before I got here.  Haha!  Bolivia has really pretty views.

Here's a funny story:
     We were getting out of a trufi and Hermana Cicotte couldn't open the door. An old Cholita lady behind us says, "Come papa, papa mote. Da fuerza." (It wasn't really correct Spanish but the translation is : "Eat potaotes and corn (a type of corn). They will make you strong.") Haha. Maybe instead of exercises in the morning I should just eat potatoes. Haha! 
      Some #onlyinBolivias:
          -They cut grass with an edger (mom, tell that to the boys whenever they complain about mowing the lawn)
         -This country is BYOTP-Bring Your Own Toilet Paper. If you ask to use someone's bathroom you had better have toilet paper in your bag because Bolivians don't like to share toilet paper. Haha! 
         -A marijuana shaped air freshener (no wonder that trufi smelled a little funny).
         -Bolivians celebrate a holiday called "Dia del Mar". It's where they all remember that the Chileans "stole their ocean" and talk bad about them. Fun. They also have a day where they celebrate all the dogs and tie bells around their necks. Good times.

Well, we cleaned a school.  These are all the members that showed up to help.  Haha!
One more funny story:
    My companion wrote me this note during church, "The guy behind us just pulled a hair off your shirt, looked at it in awe, played with it for a while then gave it to me." Hahahaha! The perks of being blonde in Bolivia. 
Some cool stuff happened and some frustrating stuff happened. 
     One really cool thing was that the man blessing the Sacrament in church began to cry. I was listening to him and just felt that I always take the Sacrament for granted. Could you imagine one week without the Sacrament's cleansing power? I can't. It is such a privilege to have time every week to remember the Savior and 
His Atonement. I hope all of you take time each day to think about the Savior and to try to live as He did. 
     The frustrating part of this week was that two recent converts (not any of the ones baptized when I was here) got offended by someone in the ward so they decided to not come to church anymore. Ugh! I am so sad for them because they have the gospel in their lives and they have all the blessings just waiting for them but they let a petty argument take the blessings. It also made me think about charity. Even if people treat us wrongly and say mean things about us, even when we have arguments, we still need to LOVE! Charity is the key word. If you have problems with someone then love them! If you feel like you can't love them then pray really hard and fast for Christ-like love. If we have love for others and choose to not be offended then we can change the world! 

Hermana Eaves
PS Happy Easter!!! Remember the reason for the season. Though the Easter bunny comes to bring you gifts remember that the greatest gift was the gift of God's Only Begotten Son! John 3:16

Monday, March 14, 2016

"My son is single...Can you marry a Bolivian?"

Hello, Hello. 
It's been a great week here in good 'ol Bolivia. I hope you are all doing well! 
     So this week went by SUPER fast. I am still in Villa Moderna, Quillacollo with Hna Cicotte (cambios are soon so we will see if I stay or not). Anyway, we have had some fun stories:
1. We were walking through Barrio Esmerelda and all of our citas had fallen through. We saw a guy carrying a table on his head (normal). He almost fell over so we offered our assistance. We helped him carry the table to his house. He let us in and gave us some Tampico Citrus Flavored juice (imagine the taste and color of Sunny D). And everytime we would stop drinking for more than 15 seconds to talk he would say "Sirvense, sirvense" ("Drink it, drink it"). I was like "Is he trying to drug us or something?" But really he just wanted us to finish fast so we could help him bring all the chairs for the table too. He was a strange man though. These are some of the things he said to us in the course of our "service":
     "My son is single...can you marry a Bolivian?" (If anyone is interested I will hook you up-for those of you who like crazy father-in-laws).
     "Do they have chica(a very strong alcohol made from corn) in the US? What about chicherias (bars)?" 
     "I don't drink alcohol." (See statement above and judge the truthfulness of that).
     "You are beautiful...I like girls." (This he said as he shook our hands. Yup, we aren't going back to our return appointment). 
Anyway, we also went and visited a Menos Activo yesterday. His name is Beto Adriazola and his son is our convert, Ander. Beto just doesn't come to church!!! So we were joking around with him and told him that the flood (it rained a TON when we were there and flooded his new exercise room-luckily no permanent damage) happened because he didn't come to church yesterday. He also had to go check on his sauna when it was raining and we told him "Watch out for lightning, God knows how to aim." Haha, hopefully he will come to church next week. 
Okay, one more funny story. Today Hna Cicotte and I were walking down the street and we saw a Hindu clothing store. We stopped and were like "A Hindu clothing store? In Bolivia?" We decided to go in and check it out. There was actually a member of the church working there. She was really nice. But her boss was a strange man that only spoke Italian. So he was just talking to us and we would nod like we understood. It was cool. 
I put on a crazy outfit with a headband and made us pancakes this morning. Hna Cicotte called me the "Domesticated Lamanite" 

We are getting creative with our dinner ideas (we only have 30 minutes so we have to eat fast).

Anyway, Bianca was confirmed yesterday. It was such a HAPPY day! I love Bianca! She was at the chapel before we even got there (rare) and looked so beautiful and radiant. She was confirmed and just so happy! Man, I love bringing these people the gospel. Even if I had only baptized one person on my mission it would have been worth it because that person would have the Spirit and the gospel and a faithful, happy, forever family. I love my mission. I love representing Jesus Christ everyday! I love the chances I have to change and teach and be taught! This is the best! I love you all, have a great week!
Hermana Eaves

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Machetes y Mojadas


 So guess what???? BIANCA GOT BAPTIZED!!!!
Por fin!!! Apparently she has been through about 5 sets of missionaries and she finally was baptized! Man, it was a miracle. (To explain the heading, mojada means "Wet". Haha, because Bianca was wet.) Anyway, to explain how this all went down, Friday night at 8:30 was the programmed day and time for her Entrevista (Interview). (To be baptized into the church, a person needs to have an interview with our District Leader-a missionary-to assure that they are ready for baptism). Anyway, her interview was planned for that day. The Elders knew about it, we knew about it. The only problem was that Bianca did not know. And she was not answering her phone. We were trying to contact her all day, leaving notes at her cuarto, asking her sister's to call her. It was 7 PM and we still had not gotten ahold of her. We were up in a part of our area called Takata Norte and we were waiting for a trufi. We were planning to take a trufi to Bianca's cuarto to search her out. Two trufis passed by but they were full. We were getting tired of waiting and a little frustrated. Bianca called right as a trufi pulled up. Apparently she wasn't in her cuarto! She was going to her sister's house! So we said "Lo siento", closed the door of the trufi and went to her sisters house. We showed up right when she did. She told us she had left her phone in her cuarto and had just seen our missed calls. (This was 7:30 PM). Then she told us she had started working Sundays so she wasn't going to be able to come to church. PROBLEM? I think so. So we went into her sister's house and taught a great lesson about Dia De Reposo (I think that translates Keep the Sabbath Day Holy in English) and promised her many blessings if she kept the Sabbath Day Holy and stopped working. We said she could tell her boss that she would work one more week while the boss found other people to come in. She said she would. We headed to the Entrevista at 8 PM and she passed. So on Sunday we fasted for her to be able to tell her boss that she could only work that Sunday (yesterday) and no more. BUT GUESS WHAT? She came to church!!!! She walked in and we were so happy! It was AMAZING! She told her boss that she couldn't work Sundays and she came to church! AHH! Then she was baptized and so many people from the ward came! Man, it was amazing! She was nervous but she came out of the water so happy! It was a great day!
     Now to explain the other part of the subtitle: Machete. I chopped down a tree with a machete.
Yup. My first time chopping a tree down with a machete. For future reference, an axe would have been way easier. I think me and an Elder chopped at that tree with our machetes for 2 hours. But if anyone wants to get me a present when I come home next year I would be fine with a machete. They are very useful. The Cholitas here carry them around all the time. 
    Anyway, it was a great week! I love you all! 
Hermana Eaves