Vallegrande

Vallegrande
Baptism in Vallegrande

Monday, December 15, 2014

12-15-14

I got to talk in sacrament this week! I talked about the Book of Mormon and Pride though. I based if off of a few scriptures, mainly Mormon 8: 34-41, Mosiah 3:19 4:10-11, and Moroni 9:37. i talked about how the purpose of the Book of Mormon is to help us in our times. The Nephites and Lamanites never had it, Mormon put it together for us. He tailor-made it according to the needs of our day and our trials and temptations. The scriptures in Mormon 8 explain so clearly our days! :D So we should always have that in mind as we read the Book of Mormon; it´s for us! It´s like what Elder Uchtdorf talked about in one of his talks from this last conference, ¨Lord, is it I?¨ Many times we disclude ourselves when we say, the Book of Mormon is for us, or Jesús suffered for our sins. When truly those words should have deep personal meaning for us. The Lord loves the world, and yet focuses on the one. Something incredible that I wish to emulate in my life. I wish to be able to find the needs of one person in need and then help them, whether spiritually or temporally, even it is as small of a deed as a kind Word or a smile. Those things do make a difference. :) Taking the time to help someone new at church feel comfortable can be all the difference in coming back.
 
Something interesting about my week: sometimes people here when they see us walking down the street will make the cross sign at us, so that means that they are wanting to ward off demons... I saw that like 8 times yesterday. So that´s fun. We taught 29 lessons this week, one short of our goal. And actually, yes! I used all your decorations and the house is christmassy :D haha I love it. 
 
I do get the American dollars, and all my companions have received them, but now they just sit in a pile :D Maybe I should give them to Ward members :D And some places do accept our money, but I can always go to the bank and switch out the money. some ATMs give the option of taking out american dollars. That sounds really cool! about the sd cards :D I would love it!
 
 
 
 

Monday, December 8, 2014

12-8-14

Woo so big changes this week! but first, here is a lesson I learned that I wrote to president just now,
 
We learned a wonderful lesson on obedience though, the landlord of the house last night invited us to a dinner in her house to celebrate the day that the missionaries entered into her house and we went downstairs and saw a beautiful set of dishes and plates ready for us, and we sat down. And then we realized it was just the hermana mamá and us, and we weren´t comfortable with it (me and Elder Evans at least). So we politely asked her if she could bring her husband, and she replied that he was sleeping. So we explained our rule about not being alone with people of the opposite gender and she said, ¨well take your plates upstairs then! You want to be obedient to ¨El Papá¨, pointing up, and we always receive blessings doing that! But for all 20 years those missionaries have been here and they´ve always sat here and ate with me!¨ So we took the plates upstairs and ate happily as we were obedient. I took the time to explain to the other elders that we had done the right thing, even though every one of us was tempted to stay in fear of offending la hermana. But as we learned, it is always better to do what we know is right, and the Lord will take care of us. La hermana wasn´t offended at all, she agreed with us! :D I hope the other elders remember that lesson forever.
So we had our transfers this week! And I´m training again, and still in Camiri! So i might be here like 9 months of my misión :D My new companion is named Elder Dyer, and he´s from Las Vegas Nevada. He doesn´t speak spanish :D But he´s really great. We are going to work really hard and baptize!! And learn Spanish! We are now 4 north americans here. haha I´ve never seen anything like it! the picture is me with Elder Dyer and Elder Corrales, my trainer, who right now is one of the assistents to President Willard. I love Camiri, so I´m happy to be here still.
 
(I asked if I could help anyone there, and if I could send him Christmas $)
Dont worry about the people here, you can´t pay for anything :) It´s agaisnt the rules, so maybe I could do a secret santa or something, but that´s about it. As for my card... I lost my card from you. One of the machines ate it awhile back, like 7 or 8 months ago :D I think it´s just sitting in some bank in santa cruz. I was outside of the city so i never had time to go and get it, I had no idea how. I have my card from dad still, but I don´t remember the pin. If I´ll buy stuff, itll be at the end of my misión. I don´t want to carry stuff around all the time :D
 
So funny story, Elder Dyer almost didn´t serve as a missionary. He is the same age as me, he went a year to college, he used the excuse...just one year at college and then I´ll go. But he told me, ¨That was really just my excuse, I didn´t really want to go on a misión.¨So he said that it was because he went out with the missionaries a lot, and one day with a group of his friends, and the missionaries, he received his testimony from the spirit. He knew he had to go.
 
I must share this with you,
¨Misunderstanding God´s justice and mercy is one thing; denying God´s existence or supremacy is another, but either will result in our achieving less --- sometimes far less --- tan our full, divine potential. A god who makes no demands is the functional equivalent of a God who does not exist. A world without God, the living God who establishes to govern and perfect His children, is also a world without ultimate truth or justice. It is a world where moral relativism reigns supreme.¨  by Elder D. Todd Christofferson, ¨Free Forever, to Act for Themselves
 
have a great week my times up.... gosh I wish I had more time to write wade and mckade.



Monday, December 1, 2014

Thanksgiving Week

ahhhhhhh how adorable is my new cousin!!! :) He´s so cute. And well we did kind of celebrate (Thanksgiving). haha I forgot until Elder Evans told me, so he cooked some mashed potatoes his mom sent him, with gravy, and I cooked some french fries and we celebrated together :D So some highlights of this week, President Willard came to Camiri for Sunday and he and Sister Willard gave talks on tithing. They were pretty great. We had two more baptisms on saturday, I forgot my camera though so i don´t have pictures. But they were for the other Elder´s. So we´ve 6 weeks of miracles. Baptisms or reactivations every single week. A total of 5 people baptized and 8 people reactivated. Wonderful miracles. :) I´ve never seen anything like this in my misison up until now! I can testify of hard work and faith. They go hand in hand :)
 
Mmm actually we didn´t really get to meet with President Willard while he was here. When he visits the wards or branches he usually only has time for the members there.As for the BYU thing, that´s a big bummer. I didn´t realize that all my credits wouldn´t transfer... I thought someone told me they would. Who did you ask about that?
 
I am learning to work harder and give more to the Lord. This morning I did a study from PMG that really helped me reflect on my duty as a representative of Christ. It was a personal study from Seccion 1 where I studied about the ¨voice of warning.¨ Scriptures such as D&C 1:4, 88:81 Ezekiel 33:1-12, 3: 7-12 and Jacob 1:19. I really liked the scriptures in Ezekiel, because we as missionaries are the ¨watchmen¨ We are the ones called to warn others of the danger that lies ahead if they don´t repent. So we must help others understand what sin is, and then help them to repent. I think many times I get a little lost in just teaching the lessons and not focusing on helping people actually repent and come unto Christ. Our Savior is the focus of everything. He wants us to come unto Him, so if i´m not inviting others to come to Him the way He would, I´m doing something wrong. But I really love Jacob 1:19, which talks about magnifying your calling. Taking upon one´s self the responsibility to help others. I will do my best this week to invite others to Christ and to repent!
 
Another interesting thing; we are in the process of painting our apartment. It´s a disaster! haha but it looks so much better now. There´s a guy working on it at the house. So now it isn´t that horrid aquamarine color :D I´m learning lots of interesting things in the mission. It´s interesting to note what things Heavenly Father is having me learn. hahaha Yes we hired someone, and it was the landlord. But, we had to pay everything. So I told her that we would decide on the colors and how we would do it. She had some things she wanted to do, but since she didn´t want to pay I took control. She is a wonderful lady, just likes to take advantage of others. Our house situation has been a headache, but I´ve learned pretty well how to deal with it :) Also with having to work with the money of the mission and making sure nobody is taking advantage of us because we´re young and white haha. And going and paying for supplies and managing money and using facturas? haha not sure how to say that in english, it´s when you buy something with a NIT or number, so like buying stuff through the mission. Just interesting things.
 
Sorry we can´t write more, I´m always doing a ton for the mission in this time as well. Have a wonderful week! I love you tons and send my love to everyone for me!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

A surprise baptism!

Happy Thankgiving I think! haha I´m not sure if that´s now or when, but President Willard said that it was!

So we had a suprise baptism this week!!! Luis, the older brother of Noé, just didn´t want to be baptized. He fought against it so much. hahaha we always asked him when he´d be baptized and always replied he didn´t want to. But when he went to the baptism of his little brother, he decided that he actually did want to be baptized!! We also actived his father, so we really saved the whole family :) So we were super happy!

And the father just got a calling as the secretary of the Elder´s Quorum. So we were really happy :)
We also went on Pday to this place called  ¨El Chorro¨ which means the stream. It was like a 3 hour hike there and back and it was really cool. It was up a canyon, so it was beautiful. And there was a tunnel.

 

Monday, November 10, 2014

11/10/14

The first is a picture of me for Cary, I´m holding a book of Mormon in Portuguese! We have one area in the mission that is in Brazil.

The second is of a baptism that we had last night, Aurora Lopez, the young lady in the middle. (but a baptism for the other elders)
 
And then we celebrated saturday night, it was the birthday of Elder Evans and the night of the baptism!
 
(About Mandy Bon's call to SLC Temple mission)
Wow that´s so cool! That´s a very unique mission! That´ll be so wonderful! I´m so happy for her. But now her family can´t go to Salt lake for a year and a half! :D
 
Next week we should have a baptism as well! We are activating a less active family, and the dad wants to baptize his son!  His name is Noé Poca. The book of mormon was what has activated him. He started reading and came back. it was wonderful to see.
 
(I told Josh I sang One Voice in RS Sunday with Tally and another older sister from our ward) 
One Voice...I ran into that song in the mission! I had it for a little while. It was a wonderful song. That´s great. It´s a beautiful song, and i don´t know the lady from the relief society but two other incredible voices were singing! So i know it was amazing :)
 
(Cary teased him about his grimy third-world country missionary apartment that reminded him of his own in Brazil)
hahaha thanks Cary :D haha but hey we clean every week!! But this house is a little bad. We are planning on painting it and buying totally new desks and everything. Wowowo ok times up!! I love you tons mom! Have a great week! :)

Monday, November 3, 2014

Josh's emails from 11/3/14

Haha daylight savings doesn´t exist here! It´s always the same.

(We're sending off our Christmas letters to Josh this week, and the boys wanted to send Josh a pop in a package) haha I know it! i´m already writing your christmas letters as well! haha and i don´t think a soda would make it. don´t send one!! :D ... well I´ll think. I´m not sure. :D Glad to hear you all prayed together in the morning! I know we never did because I was already up and going at 6 :D (no one wanted to wake up with me!)

I got a package today! I haven´t opened it yet..  But I did read a card I got from Grandma KK, it was wonderful! Tell her I love her so much and thank you!

I'm having a wonderful week! Why? Oh every week is wonderful in the mission. :D That´s why. However, we are making miracles here in Camiri. The work is going along very well, and we are reaching new limits! I am a very very happy district leader :) There are no problems here. Just miracles and helping people change and love the gospel.

Ahh I love Grandma and Papa so much! :) They´re the best. :) I will honor their sacrifices for me by working as hard as I can. Just so you know, all of my kids are going to go on missions!!!! Every one of them! hahaha I will talk about my mission always. All the time. They won´t know a world that exists where people don´t go on missions. And I´m going to go and serve with my wife someday. We are going to be a mission serving family! There truly isn´t a greater blessing in all the world. My kids are going to share books of mormon and baptism invitacions, and pamphlets,  the first day they go to school!! hahahaha :D

My packages come in the mail. I´m always receiving stuff. :D I´m very loved. :) But yeah halloween almost doesn´t exist here! It´s all about the 1st and 2nd. And it´s all the catholic people. The graveyard was sooooooooo full of people it was totally crazy. But we went and shared like 50 pamphlets of the plan of salvation with people :D Day of the soul they say. It´s full of horrible traditions that blind people from the truth...

Wow!!! Dallin is a dad! That´s so crazy!! How exciting for him and Stormy. i hope everything is going well for them  :)

Speaking of Christmas gifts... The most wonderful things in the whole world I could receive are these emails, hand written letters, music from the Tabernacle Choir, and Old Ensigns!!!! the old ensigns are absolute treasures. I don´t know if you´d still have some, but the older the better. Especially the general conference ones. If you have one with Neal A. Maxwell, or Joseph B. Wirthlin please send one!!! Joseph B. Wirthlin is my favorite of all time :) His talks just make me love life. :) But times up! Love you!!!!! :)


Monday, October 27, 2014

30 investigator lessons!

So this week we have been seeing miracles in our área. I´m in just a small little district of 4 missionaries, in an área that other missionaries think is a hard place to be. There haven´t been a ton of baptisms and there aren´t too many members either. But in the last couple of weeks, we´ve been working a ton with the members! And now theý´re super excited. We had 30 investigator
​ lessons this week with members, and only 3 others, not to mention all the other lessons we have with less actives with members present. That is a true miracle for our misión! And, Camiri is the only branch with 100 percent retention in all the misión. We´ve brought back 13 souls in this year to the Lord, perhaps not a huge number, but theý´re still here!

I try my very best to help Elder Peña, but he´s always joking that he´ll only remember me because I say no all the time :D hahaha I´m working on that. I´m hard-headed at times, but I´m very obedient. :) My head is a lot of yes or no´s, black or White. True or false. But that can be a problem for me too. Sometimes I´m a little extreme. But talking of awesome trainers, last week, my trainer, Elder Corrales, was made assistant to the president! I was so happy for him. he´s the best. He really did teach me a ton.

Here are the four missionaries of Camiri with President Silva, one of the counselors of the misión. and yes one is from america! His name is Elder Evans. haha Elder Evenson and Elder Evans. People get our names confused :D He´s from Logan, and he´s a new missionary as well. A farm boy, so he works his butt off! He´s a great great missionary.


Monday, October 20, 2014

Personal revelation and breaking limits

Well my week was quite good. I learned a lot about personal revelation and breaking limits. And also training a new missionary is sometimes like an emotional rollercoaster. haha. I did learn quite a lot. We had 8 investigators at church this week, two families! I just know that we are going to baptize them! We will do it! The Lord will help us! ( I need to be positive :) ) Also, I am realizing that really we are working miracles here in camiri. Many times I feel inadecuate or that my strength just isnt good enough, or that I´m not really making a difference, but I realized that really we are. Even if they are just small changes, ( or kinda big, since I got here the branch has increased from about 90-100 people to 130-140. 75 were attending 6 months ago.) That´s a big change for a little branch. We just have to have a bit a patience at times. And trust that we are doing the Lord´s work. The thing I always feel, is that I could do even more! And that´s what gets me at times.

Wow how exciting for Mandy (Bon - put her papers in for a mission)!!! That´s so cool. Tell her to study Preach My Gospel Chapter 3 from me :) That would be my best advice. And to prepare to work her butt off!!! hahaha personal time doesn´t exist as a missionary :D and also very interesting about President Smith. I didn´t know that. Elder Waddell, one of the seventy in charge of our area, said that he only SAW 2 baptizms his whole mission. It really isn´t about baptizing, it´s about forming our own character, converting our own soul. Of course baptizing is the goal and very important, and I have plans to do my best to help others be baptized. I just need to work hard and learn to love to do it. Really I do love being a missionary. I just need to change little things about me and my way of thinking is all. :)

Picture time!
Picture titles: ¨3 generations¨ and "Do it"  
The first is an inspirational sticky note on my wall, and the second is me and my trainer, with my trainee! 
This is my desk. Many inspirational sticky notes and goals, and other wonderful things to study.






 




Monday, October 13, 2014

The Fourth Missionary

Yesterday, our mission president gave us all a talk titled, ¨The Fourth Missionary¨ by Elder Corbridge, and it has inspired me to change. I realized that much of my mission, I had been living as a third missionary, but not as a fourth missionary. Being a fourth missionary involves giving over to God our will. My dreams. My hopes. My desires. My will. I have to give my Heavenly Father everything. :)

Mom, I can´t come back home as the same person. My mission must change me forever, or I will have left in vain. The only way Heavenly Father can change me into as I should be is if i give up everything to Him. I won´t be the same. :) I want to be who Heavenly Father wants me to be. I can´t go back to living in the world. It just isn´t an option. My time here is so short. A year has already passed like a dream. i have to give my all. I´m ready to give my all.

When I left, I didn´t give my Heavenly Father everything. I had hidden parts within me holding me back. Things that have held me back all this time. At times, it made things so hard. Some days were unbearable. I´m ready to stop fighting. :) I am here to do the Lord´s will. Not for any other reason. Any other reason is selfish. Any other reason will not change me. Any other reason is for the pride that is within me. Why do we fight it so much? Why do we allow our pride to cause contention, to not love, to not progress? I´m so very tired of fighting agaisnt myself. Does that make sense? 

Heavenly Father has always blessed our family so very much. It´s astounding to me.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

A great birthday

It was a great birthday. Our Pension made a wonderful Lemon Marange Pie! It was super good :) and we also ate some delicious fried chicken in the night, but my best present was surely general conference! Wooo it was the best. But I felt utterly selfish receiving things as a missionary.. I felt bad. :D So I decided to give Heavenly Father a birthday present for my birthday! I went to Him in prayer and made a promise with Him. But if sufficeth me to say that I wanted to give for my birthday and not receive so much :) Oooh those were all great talks :) My top three were, Pres. Uchtdorf, about revelation and light, Elder Lynn G. Robbins about not fearing man but fearing God, and Elder D. Todd Christofferson about the commandments. ahhh they changed me forever :) I´m ready to go and call people to repentance! haha :) My conviction and conversion of the Gospel was greatly deepened. And to me, that´s the most important thing in all the world. I want so badly to be able to, through my conviction, help others feel the joy of the gospel. I want to be able to speak from the fire of my soul every time I speak of the gospel. I want others to feel that fire!
 
So here is my experience with conference!
Well we had a good week here in Camiri. Well there was a big festival here during the conference, so there was music blasting all our the church but we had a wonderful spiritual experience. It was incredible because we hardly even heard anything! The attendance was a bit downheartening, but I know the conference changed the lives of those who heard it and payed attention. It changed my life! Of all the talks that impacted me the most were the talks by Elder Lynn G. Robbins of the Presidency of the Seventy, and Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. I loved especially that Elder Christofferson said that the commandments are the greatest manifestation of the love that God has for us, that God is no respector of persons, and that we as children of God have the capability to become who we choose. Our decisions, and desires I would add, determine our destiny. I felt my testimony strengthened to a new level in this conference, to the point where I can now call people to repentance without fear. The commandments are for all. We are not, and never will be an exception to the law of God. They apply to all of us, and they are absolute. Obeying the will of our Heavenly Father is the only way to true and lasting happiness and peace. If I teach the commandments any less then they truly are, I am falling into apostasy and teaching others false doctrine. The same goes for the requirements of baptism. We can´t baptise people before they are ready and have manifested by their works their desires to be baptized, or they will surely fall away. My expectations for me, and my investigators has gone way up since the conference.
 
We have to use the internet to get conference. I think BYU tv is only in utah and idaho :D haha. But yes, I wish that I could help everyone understand the importance of the church. People just don´t grasp it sometimes.... Your Salvation is on the line! ahhhhhh That goes for everyone. Every single day we must choose to travel closer to our salvation. read Alma 34:31-32 for more references. Exaltation is a daily choice.
 
So this week I think the theme is, ´Put your shoulder to the wheel¨ Sometimes you just have to work, and work and work a little more. That would be missionary work! So at this moment, I am training a new missionary, and the other day he told me, ¨We never rest. Do we?!¨ haha it´s a bit transition from home to the mission field. There isn´t time to take a breather. :) But I wouldn´t have it any other way. There is no work so fulfilling as being a missionary. I could be a missionary forever I think and be happy. :) Time just seems to fly by so fast for me as a missionary. I can´t believe i´m about to finish a whole year as a missionary! That´s just crazy to me. And it makes me realize I have to work a lot harder in the next year. I don´t have a minute to waste. No one does really. ahhhh but really I just love the Gospel. Why do I have to do anything different??
 
I was quite productive today, I wrote everyone!! haha but now my times up.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Our priorities in life


Here is a picture with me, Elder Peña and President and Sister Willard!

And a picture of the Familia Jaro. They have been waiting almost 8 years to get baptized due to problems with their papers and birth documents and stuff like that, it´s just a terror here in Bolivia this kind of thing, but we are going to baptize them soon!!! They are so great :) (so their problem is that they can´t get legally married.) 

haha in photos they don´t smile. They are a pretty happy people. Just not for photos - it is a cultural thing. :D They´re people just like us. Just little cultural differences. 

My companion is the same age as Wade. April of 1996. Wade can, and should be a missionary. Elder Peña is great. He is already a great great teacher and so excited to work. No 18 year old has the excuse of saying that he doesn´t think he´s ready. I have seen otherwise. :)

The best ways to relieve stress in our lives is to apply the principles of the Gospel in your life. Would you say that God and the Gospel are number 1 in your life right now? Because when they are, the Prophets and Apostles have promised us that the unneeded things will just start to drop out. We always have to keep the end in mind. What are we doing right now to secure our spot in the Celestial Kingdom. Are we investing in heavenly, or earthly things? Alma 34 would be a good chapter perhaps to study :) ¨Seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and the rest shall be added.¨Just trust in the Lord. Ask from Him what HE wants in your life, and then follow it. :) I know that so much stress is NOT a good thing. It will only make things harder. I´ve learned that one! I´ve lost almost all my stress since I started my mission.

I starting serving the lord with all my heart and he took from me the things I didn´t need :) I certainty can´t tell what you should do, but I can strongly urge you to use the right principles! :) That´s the key to all our problems. This did just come to mind though. The priorities in life should be set up in this way. 1. The Lord 2. Our spouse 3. Our family 4. whatever is left. Have a good week. :)

Love,
Elder Evenson

Monday, September 15, 2014

trainer and zone/district leader all at once!

 I´ve got some cool news for you guys this week :)
 
Well if I can get my connector to work i´ll send a picture, but I have a new companion! His name is Elder Peña, from Lima, Peru. He has a total of 4 days in the misión now, so I´m training! Haha it´s a big responsibility; the new missionaries don´t know anything! :D hmm looks like I can´t send a picture this week. I am still in Camiri and all the missionaries are new, except for me. Two new missionaries, and the other trainer only has 4 months in the mission. Soooo that also means that here I am the district/zone leader of Camiri. That is also a huge responsibility! haha I have to manange all the money and all the problems and do all the training hahaha I was so stressed out the first couple days :D But I´m better now. So I´ll now get to go to all the leadership conferences with President (way excited for that!) So for me I´m just working my tail off everyday. Being a trainer is really different as well because you have to take everything at a different pace or level for the new missionaries. They are so full of faith! :D But we are also finding a ton of families to teach here as well. We are being so very blessed. :)
 
Ahh I know how you feel though Mom. :D I don´t have a minute of personal time anymore. I used to be able to study Liahonas or the scriptures or write more in my journal or maybe cook something, but now I have nada. haha I´m just working and working and working. However I´m really happy :) I know there isn´t a better work in the world!
 
Also if you could send this to the Lerwills for me: I met an Elder named Elder Peterson who got here this last week, and just happens to be from Driggs! He said that Bailey was his seminary mom :) He seemed pretty excited to be here! I don´t remember where he went though. The LDS world is pretty small! :D haha
 
Yes, we went to Santa Cruz for the new transfers and to pick up our new companions! It was a fairly large group, 27 new missionaries. We had a big meeting where we were introduced to our new companions. I found a moment to talk with him because he was the only Elder from Idaho :D
 
I´ll do my best. I sure am learning a lot! :) But I keep getting your emails late! I just got this one from 45 minutes ago! And I´m out of time :( I love you so much, write me a bunch before I get on! Love you!

Monday, September 8, 2014

an exciting week!

Well we had a very exciting week! We finally rescued a sister named Flora Vasquez. We are so happy and feel very great about the work we did with her. She is an older women, 70 and she is now so active that she walked all the way from her house on the day of Penaton (it´s just a holiday of the country. I think they have about 150 different holidays here :D haha there´s always something)! (She lives quite far away too) She lives by herself, and has felt so much love from our visits with many different members of the branch. She is an active visiting teacher and is now bringing other less-actives to church! She has plans to go to the temple in December with the rest of the branch and to bring the name of her grandmother. :) 

Being able to serve Flora really helped me learn about the needs of the widows in the church. They are so lonely :( They just want someone to talk to. haha I think she cried in half the lessons we had with her, but we really love her a lot. She´s still kicking though! She visits her families every week as a visiting teacher. ahhh yeah also the Day of Penaton was a day where nobody could use their cars in all of Bolivia. The police were out all morning to enforce it :D so all the members had to walk to church. and we had to walk for all the lessons. haha


We are currently working with lots of less-actives. We have about 4 other people we are planning on rescuing in the next month. We also have one investigator who is progressing very well towards baptism! His name is Alfredo Chumacero. He is a university student who never went to church growing up. We have had contact with him for quite some time, but nothing really solid until last week, We taught about baptism, and we knelt together and he offered a prayer to Heavenly Father, asking if he should be baptized. After he finished, we sat and just listened to the Spirit. Alfredo said that he felt like this was the path he should follow with his life. It was such a powerful lesson! He came to all of church yesterday, and is going to go to a service activity with us on Tuesday. So we´re pretty excited! The next transfers will also be this week. I´ve been with Elder Villegas now 2 transfers, and we are going to open about 25 new areas in the mission due to a huge group that´s entering. We´ll see what happens!

About the picture:
Those were the branches of Camiri and Vallegrande. To the left are the elders with me, the next two were in vallegrande with me before, so we´re good friends. In front is president Willard, his wife, and three of their daughters. So everyone of the kids of President Willard have served missions or are about to.Two of those daughters have finished their missions, one in the Phillipines and one in chile and the other is going to Ecuador in a couple months. I haven´t met their only son, but he served as well. Their family is incredible!! They are all so strong in the gospel. And their testimonies are incredible. What a family!!

Monday, September 1, 2014

7 investigators!!!

I ate a milkshake for breakfast :D not super healthy I know haha :D A powdery substance blended with frozen milk. haha not a healthy version with the actual fruit, however on occasion we do eat that.
Ok so for the news of the week, we worked really really hard this week and saw some great success! We had 7 investigators go the church, 5 for the first time. So we were pretty excited for that. We had an unusually high number of lessons for the week and saw some good progress. Hard work always pays off. And I also realized that working just a bit harder can make a big difference and it really doesn´t require all that much more effort on our part. It´s so much about the energy and excitement we have. Also making good goals to help us stretch to our potential. There is also so much power in a testimony. Declaring the things you know to be true. The Spirit can testify so strongly with a heartfelt and true testimony. I´m learning and growing so much. I have so many experiences everyday here in Bolivia as a missionary that I would probably almost never have there in Idaho. I do love being a missionary though. I could be one forever and be happy :)

Hahaha that kills me that Brandon killed the raccoon right before the bishopric meeting :D And wow! Our house is so beautiful! I almost forgot :D I love Idaho :) Looks like a ton of fun.

There is a quote in my scriptures from President Ezra Taft Benson that says something like this, ¨When obedience ceases to be an irritant, but becomes our quest, it is in that moment that God endows us with His power.¨ Pretty cool huh? I sure like that quote :) It´s all in the attitude.

Too bad for Mckade though. I´m sure his coaches have something important to teach him with that position. It´s kind of like a calling, perhaps we don´t always feel like we´re the best person for the job, or it might not be the most exciting, but there is always something important to learn. Perhaps there´re just testing how well Mckade will respond and still work as part of the team with all his heart. Hard to believe he´s in high school now! And wade´s going to finish it!

We take lots of buses here in Camiri. And lots of taxis. We´re always running late for lessons because we always want to teach too much. It´s so hard to factor in all the time it takes to travel between lessons!! We do also walk a lot. But that´s all. We take at least one bus everyday. Some days 5 or 6 times :D. 

Monday, August 25, 2014

rooster carriers and geckos

Hey Mom good morning! How was your week?? So to start off, I have two questions for you Mom, one; did Wade take the missionary discussions to get baptized? And how did you get reactived after leaving for so long?

So some exciting news for this week, here in Camiri we had a baptism! It wasn´t ours, but its the first one here since April. It was a really sweet experience, and the young man who was baptized was so prepared. His name is Simón José. He´s pretty timid and shy, but a great person and will be a great leader one day. I sure do love baptisms :)


I thought you all might get a kick out of this picture. Who knows why someone would invent a rooster carrier but there it is! :D
And here is me with a gecko on my face :)
And my pet cactus!
Geez I really don´t have many good pictures sorry :D 

Here was me with the Branch President from Vallegrande, President Tito. They were our family that fed us everyday there :)

hahaha and this was me and Elder Illanes in a huge tree. I liked these photos :D

These are all old by the way. :) And one more of Vallegrande.







​Haha that´s good Wade took the lessons. I wondered :D I never knew that every convert had to take the lessons from the missionaries. Thanks for sharing with me! What´s great about your story is that that process is exactly the one we have started to use with all members who are returning and the new converts. What a great testimony builder for the process :) 

As for breakfast, I eat cereal everyday. :) I now cannot live without eating breakfast. It ruins my whole day; i´m just without energy at all! At the beginning of the mission I eat eggs, and oatmeal, and occasionally had something different, but now it´s just cereal. I love cereal :D Before I didn´t like cereal all that much but it´s the best. As for dinner, depends. Sometimes we eat Ramen, or bread, or fried chicken. I love fried chicken. That´s the fast food of Bolivia. Fried Chicken with french fries and rice. It´s the best :D hahaha but dinner isn´t really important in South America. It´s all about lunch! :D

Simón is the guy right next to me in all white clothing. Half were the family of Simón, and the other half members. haha I don´t really feel tall, I just don´t feel short anymore! :D Well with the funds of the mission we pay a family to make lunch for us everyday. And I have to believe that yes, it does help the families, but it´s our spirit there that helps them the most. :) At least, that´s what they always say :) 

I´m starting to gain weight here. We get absolutely stuffed everyday for lunch. I´m just dying after eating.haha I was losing most of my weight in Vallegrande because I kept getting sick. The food there was not super clean I don´t think. 


Far left, companion. For laundry, I always take it to some sister to clean :D haha There are always members who will do it :) Some we pay, others no. The missionaries are well loved :)

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Humbled and singing

So Sorry i haven´t sent any pictures recently. With Elder Villegas we just don´t take pictures. I literally think I have like 5 pictures of my time in Camiri. We´re just super focused on the work. Elder Villegas is pretty strict with the rules and we aren´t ever supposed to look like tourists, so I have to imagine that´s why. I just always forget! :D But as for my week, it was pretty good! Last Monday we left for Santa Cruz for a conference with President Willard. The conference was centered in Christ. We all memorized ¨The Living Christ¨ and recited it together as a mission. It was a really cool experience. As always when we learn in the Gospel, we should have a question, or something that we want to improve, and I went to the conference with the hope of becoming more humble and less self-conceited. And well, after the conference I was feeling pretty good, and then I got humbled. Just lots of fun stuff that helped me realize that I am all too human I guess. Lots of errors and mistakes on my part... My companion remembers everything for one thing, and doesn´t hold anything back, so I get to learn all the things I do wrong :D But I know it´s good. We actually get along really well. And I know that I´m learning about all my faults because I´m ready to change them. Heavenly Father always gives us what we need to become better. I remember one district meeting we joked that we needed to pray to Heavenly Father for trials, buuuut asking to be humbler is essentially the same thing I realize :D 

My voice has actually grown quite a bit as well since I left! We sang for the last conference, a quartet, and I saw certain missionaries open-mouthed during the performance :D Our voices mixed pretty well. We sing everyday together, in three or four parts. It´s the best :)


Monday, August 11, 2014

08-11-1

So for this week, one of the counselors of the mission presidency, President Silva, came to Camiri and gave us a leadership training for the ward counsel and missionaries. It was an excellent training. After talking for about an hour over the new changes that have happened in the world President Silva challenged all of the counsel, in that moment, to go out and bring a family to church for the next day. Our Branch President assigned each member a different family, us as well, and we went out and visited them! We visited 6 families I believe. And every one of them came to church the next day! The chapel was good and full! It was so cool to see the effect we were able to have as a counsel that went out and worked in the Lord´s vineyard. :) It was great to see the fruits of our labor! The counsel is now super excited to be working together and in the way that the Lord wants us to. We´ve seen a ton of progress in just the short month I´ve been here. Since the missionaries that are here now came, the attendance in the chapel has risen from 79 to 135 :) Working with the leaders is so important. They are the heart of a branch or a ward. And the leaders need to work! But the great thing is that the Lord will always help us :)

Monday, August 4, 2014

8/4/14

Here is a picture of a service activity that we had! We use machetes a lot to cut grass and gardens, so I´m an expert now :D haha we also went to the house of the branch President and we chopped down a tree at his house. I don´t have pictures of that though. I love using machetes though, they are tons of fun! haha. So in the picture from left to right is me, our district leader, Elder Iribarra from Chile, President Guzmán, Elder Carabajal from Argentina, and Elder Villegas.

 
Well some of the big things that I´m really focusing on now are, being selfless, or thinking more about others, not being competitive as in, not worrying about my standing or position; essentially getting rid of my pride. Also working hard to accomplish the goals that I have. Being completely converted. That one is trickier. I feel like i´m converted, but that I could still be more. A lot more. I already have a disposition to do good, but now I need the motivation! haha but really I´m working on a lot. :)

Something I´ve really come to see is how much pride and vanity we have in the US.... Everyone wants to take photos of themselves and post them all over the internet or for others to acknowledge something that they have. We always praise others for the prizes they´ve obtained, the talents they have, and not for the effort or hard work we put into it. We don´t praise the values of righteous people, and as such, children don´t want to become people with values and morals. And as such, many many people in this age are perfectionists and have fear of failure. I´ve had such a struggle trying to beat pride out of myself... It´s so hard, because it´s something so natural for us. It´s so hard.  
That sure is good. I loved the letter I got from Greer and Kay, that sure was thoughtful of them :) He wrote me about how Kris was planning and had a goal to be married by October :D Still has the missionary mentality! haha But we are working hard here. I think we are going to have some real progress. When I got here, Elder Villegas had been here only 2 weeks, so we didn´t know anyone!! and it´s been a game of finding new people and finding the old ones as well :D But I think that this cambio we will baptize for sure. And baptize a family :)

Learning about competitiveness

So I´m just in love with soccer. It´s so much fun. Every Pday we go and play, today included. Why didn´t I stick with it as a kid??? haha all´s well though. I´ve also started learning very well how to handle my competitiveness. :) I worked so hard with it before the mission, but it´s still been something i´ve had to work on here. When there is competition, there is pride. So i´m learning how to just play hard, have fun, and be happy. The most important thing really is the relationship that you can make with other people. :) Competitiveness has been so hard. aaaaaaahhhh. :D But i´m trying hard. I´m so hard headed sometimes. haha I hope that I am a different person by the end. That when you guys see me in the future, that I will have gotten rid of many of bad qualities and replaced them with more love, and dedication, and faith. I truly want to serve the Lord with my heart, and that requires that I give to Him all I can, and that I make myself into a worthy servant for Him. Thankfully His servants are wonderful people full of love and service so that´s what I am striving to become. :) I love this Gospel with all my heart. I know that my decisión to be disciple of Christ is not one of only two years, but of a lifetime; of an eternity. Love you all lots, and hope that you pray every day, read scriptures every day, and rededicate your lives, Every day to the Lord. I hope that I will too :) haha Until next week!!
Elder Evenson 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Brazil and Bible bashing

My week was really good. I love this área, Camiri. It´s just a peaceful Little town like where we live :) And it´s so beautiful. We did have one experience that was pretty interesting though; one of our investigators scheduled for us, and another missionary from the Church of God to come to his house at the same time, and we, the three missionaries had no idea. So we all ended up there and had a very interesting lesson. :D We started and just shared about the Restoration; mostly the Book of Mormon and the Bible. After we finished talking, this other missionary pulled out his nifty laptop and just started Bible bashing us like crazy. It was kinda horrible. He tried so hard to try and disprove us with whatever thing he could. It was honestly a little sad to see a servant of the Lord act in such a way; completely without love. It woke me up a little and I prayed that the Spirit would help us. For both me and my companion, it was interesting, because we felt nothing but love for the other missionary and our investigator. We bore our testimonies of how we can pray and ask God what is true, and that we knew our message was true. I felt the Spirit testify very strongly, but it was only when we felt love for our enemies. I was really happy because we weren´t confounded before the doctrines of men, and the Spirit really did give us the words we needed. By the end of the lesson, the other missionary couldn´t counter us anymore; he ended up confounded :) It was certainly an experience I´ll never forget. :) I learned a ton!


I do want to tell you as well, I feel completely fluent in Spanish now! I don´t have any problems understanding or speaking. I still have a bit of an accent, but i´m working to get rid of it! I really love Spanish. I know I wasn´t thrilled at first, but now I really enjoy speaking and even writing it. I´m writing in my journal now in Spanish to practice my grammar. I'm so happy Heavenly Father gave me the chance to speak another language, and I´m thinking on starting to tackle learning Portuguese :) We have a zone in the mission that is in Brazil!

 I´ve really found the Book of Mormon gets better every time we read it! :) I´m Reading it in English and in Spanish right now, and it´s so good! I have to read slowly now so I can mark all the interesting things I find :D I love it more and more each time I read. I just finished Reading Mosiah 1-6 the last couple days, and it´s soooooooooo good :) The Book of Mormon is the best. It helps us feel the Spirit so much in our lives.
And I just got your last email within a minute! haha but I live in a two story building, on the second floor, us four missionaries live together. It´s really good. I just love Camiri. It´s so great here :)

Monday, July 14, 2014

hot in the winter

Well I really like Camiri. Right now we´re in Winter, but it´s still pretty hot here :D I´m going to die if im here for summer :D but we´re getting along really well. He has been out for about a year now, but i´m the senior companion. I don´t really know why but yeah. He Works super super hard and is very dedicated, but we have fun together. We practice a lot of English together and that´s really fun :)

Elder Villegas

Here is a picture of me and my new companion! Elder Villegas. He´s from La Paz Bolivia. We have now been together for almost two weeks I think.. Sorry I´ve been a bit lazy with the photos :D This is the first one I´ve taken since I got to Camiri! haha.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Love unlocks everything

 I did know that President Willard worked in the Church Educational System. He was a seminary and institute teacher first :) And he is sooooo cool. I think he´ll be a 70. ´He´s that good. I am learning to love everyone, that is so important in the work of the Lord. Love is the key that unlocks everything. Everything. It solves the biggest problems, and inspires people to overcome their own problems. It´s the only thing that gets unity going, and then there are miracles. The thing I´ve found that helps the branches and wards I´ve served is loving the people no matter what. That´s how you can change people more than anything, loving and trusting them. And telling them so. It makes people want to be better. And that´s the key! I´m actually considering study Theology... Or working for the church. I honestly love the work of the Lord so much. And the scriptures. I want to serve forever. :)

Monday, June 23, 2014

Very sick, but it was a really great week

I was sooo sick again last night and this morning. I´m probably losing a ton of weight here in Vallegrande, I think that the food here is really dangerous. I´m just constantly sick here. But it was a really great week. We worked a ton and met tons of new people. In the last two weeks we have found a total of 26 new investigators, meaning new people we met and taught a lesson, and then put a time for another appointment. That is a ton of new people by the way :D We were lacking a bit in people to teach so we put some goals to find new ones and have had tons of success. Well the difficult thing here is to find all these people again. The second lesson is sooooo hard, but if we get that, we for sure will be teaching them a lot. Working with just 3 or 4 is way too little for us here. The assistants hound us for lessons every week. We have to teach a ton :D

Monday, June 16, 2014

Many people here cannot read


My week was really good! We saved a family this week! A family of three that were less actives. They have been coming to church three months straight now! Since I got here we started working with them, and the father, named Limber, finally got a calling as the second counselor of the Elder´s Quorum. He is so excited to work to do activities (soccer), he´s been a huge blessing for us here. So we had a really good week :)

He wants to get the youth activated more than anything! The interesting thing here is that the kids and the youth of my generation are educated pretty well, but so many parents and grandparents here can't even read. It is a bit dificult sometimes to share the Book of Mormon when no one can even read it! Yeah just contacting works the best here, knocking doors :D

It is crazy - 8 months. Time flies!! Have a great week! :)

Monday, June 9, 2014

Search diligently, pray always, and be believing

One of my very favorite scriptures! D&C 90:24 ¨Search diligently, pray always, and be believing, and all things shall work together for your good, if you walk uprightly and remember the covenants wherewith you have covenanted one with another.¨ It´s just so great! Ahh I love the scriptures. Maybe I´ll just study religion and study scriptures forever haha. I have such a strong testimony of how great the blessings are of studying the scriptures daily, truly, ¨feasting upon the words of Christ¨ :) 
Just thought I´d share that today :)


Elder Illanes (my new companion) was born in Santa Cruz, but moved all over the place his whole life. He lived in all the areas of Bolivia at some point, and even in Brazil for a time. He was supposed to go to Venezuela for his mission, and I don´t know if you heard, but they have taken all the missionaries out of that country, and all the missionaries that were supposed to go there were transferred to other missions or just stayed where they were. Elder Illanes is really great though. He has the most incredible stories! He has lived a pretty incredible life to this point. 


I heard there were political uprisings of some sort, and that it wasn't safe for any missionaries to be there. 

Yeah that fell through (baptism). This week was a little rough for us, we had so much hope and good things happening, and it all just seemed to crash down around us this week. It´s been a little cold but not too much. But the cold will return. :D ahhhhhh at church... No just more problems. haha this branch is a bit difficult. but we´re praying! 


Monday, June 2, 2014

Some other personal stuff...

That´s so crazy! I can´t believe Christian Hansen is back! haha that was so fast. Cara's going to chile no? Same place as lyndie! Lyndie is doing good by the way. We write each other every other week or so. :) It´s really fun to write lyndie, we have always been great friends and it's fun since we´re both on a mission right now :D

So we had an emergency transfer, elder cardenas was super sick here in the cold, and he left this last tuesday. My new companion is named Elder Illanes, and he is the best! So awesome. He´s from Bolivia, and we get along so well. I´ll have to send pictures next week.

Oh yes I´m learning lots of great things here hahaha Missionaries are way responsible, it´s a great opportunity for me to prepare to be frugal and smart with what I have :) 

(Josh said something about getting married when he gets home, so I asked him more about it):  Depends on what President Willard tells me as I go home, and what the Spirit says :) I´ll obey. But I think probably pretty fast actually... I´ve thought about it a few times and the thought actually scares me to death, but the counsel normally is that I do it, and yeah it´ll be hard for a while, but as long as I and my future companion are faithful to the Lord, we will be incredibly blessed! I know Dallin got married fast because that was the counsel he received. :D Obedience is key in the work of the Lord ;)

Spiritual Thought of the Week

Here´s the spiritual thought for the week :) also to understand, Tally
gave me a story about how our life is like a car ride where we are in
the passenger seat, the Savior drives.
I think the Savior is teaching me some things. haha not just some
things, exactly the things that I need. I´m starting to realize that
really I´m the investigator here, and Heavenly Father is the master
teacher, teaching me the perfect things I need in my life to be
converted. Giving me companions that show me who I need to become, and
molding me in exactly the way I need. I think of all the faults that I
have, and then see the challenge or blessing God is giving me to
change :) It´s quite amazing. I haven´t really been discouraged, but
thank you so much for the words of courage :) I´ve just been
reflecting a lot on the experiences that I´m having so that I can
change. That´s my ultimate goal, that I can always remain faithful and
happy during whatever challenge that comes my way, and follow the
Lords will in whatever He has planned for me. Heavenly Father is the
best! He loves us so much he kicks our butt so that we can be happy
and strong :D I know I´m being prepared by the Lord for future
service, so I´m happy :) But something that is amazing, is that really
i´ve been seeing so many miracles here. I forgot to mention that last
week haha but really it´s true. So many people are accepting the
Gospel here that I never thought would. Its so beautiful! I have such
faith that really the Lord does His work. We just invite the Spirit
through our obedience and love :) If the Lord doesn´t want me to have
three hundred baptisms, then ok! haha Each and every one of us has a
part to plan in the great plan of Salvation. God calls us to do His
work, it isnt ours. We just go for the ride like you said :) And we
get to decide how enjoyable of a journey it was; did we play games?
Did we laugh together? Did we share the Gospel and Love? That´s what´s
important, and we´ll end up doing exactly what God had planned for us.
:)

Monday, May 26, 2014

package

Hahaha thanks :D Hey!! So I got my package!!! I  just loved it! Please send beef jerky every single time :D ohhhhh it was so good. And I treasure the Reflections of Christ cd. So good. Thank  you so much! I also got the letter from Gma papa and coltin, and mckade and kieran´s letters (from Christmas!!!)! Have you received mine?? No it doesn´t always snow here. Probably not this year, but oh it´s soooooo cold!

The Parable of the Talents

The branch that I´m serving in is a bit hard to work with. Some days here are really tough. People occasionally flat out argue in the middle of church, and the ward counsel can be really tough. And some days I feel like my work here is in vain because of the problems. And yet, God knows what I need to be of better service in the future, and I've actually found that my determination to follow and be like the Savior has increased as I see the great need for the Savior in those around me. I´m even more determined now to do all I can to help this branch become functional. And another amazing thing is that despite some of the hardships with the members, i´m seeing more miracles here with less actives and investigators that I've seen in my mission to this point. It´s the hardest place I've served, but I've also been blessed more here. I've seen so much hope and so many wonderful things, now it´s my job to help everyone here see God´s great love for them as well :) And also with our unique experiences here in the world, this morning I was studying in the New Testament about the Parable of the Talents, and it really impacted me! This is when the Lord was talking  to the 12, and He gave this to them specifically. One man with 5 talents, one with 2, and one with 1 each according to his capabilities. Here is the very first thing, God, or the Master, gave each his talents, and He knows how much we can do with them. Those with 5 and 2 doubled their income exactly and received the very same blessings from the Master. Everyone has their own talents, and their own roles to play. Some of the Apostles had a larger part in sharing the Gospel, some in the organization of the church, and no matter how much great of part of the work each one had, as long as they did their best with what given, they received the blessings of the Lord. It´s so easy to compare ourselves with the success of others, but that´s not how the Lord looks at us. We each have a part to play, whether great or small, but the blessings of Eternal Life are the same for all. The thing is, if we do our best, the Lord will bless us and allow us to fulfill the work He had planned for us :)

President Willard

Ouch Cary! That doesn't sound like a lot of fun. Hope everything heals
up for you! haha as for you and wade, it´s just freezing here! I can´t
feel my toes. But for the good side this weekend we had a conference
here in Vallegrande with President and Sister Willard. It was us 4
missionaries and them! :D haha it was a really cool experience. I hope
you wade and mckade will get presidents of your missions as awesome as
President Willard. They treat everyone with such love, and they
always share with the spirit. Interviews with President are so cool; i
can feel the spirit so strongly. Today we are going to play some
soccer!!! I´m way pumped for that. we also have another baptism lined
up for the 14th of June! So things are all well for me :)

Good morning

How was your week?? Here we are just freezing cold!!!!!!!!! nighttime especially is just frigid! My companion lived in Peru, and from an area where he never experienced a world colder than about 55 degrees Fahrenheit :D so he´s just dying, he´s having a hard time sleeping at night, for me it's getting out of bed right at 630. haha its just so cold!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Finally some pictures, a baptism and service

Finally here are some pictures for you!! :) The first is of us four elders here in vallegrande at the top of a nearby mountain! We went up last monday, and it was a blast. For some reason there is a building on top of the mountain, and we were on top of that. :D It was a spectacular view!

But best of all was this weekend! Elder Cardenas and I with Madaly, who we baptized on Saturday. She has such a strong testimony of the church, and on sunday when she was confirmed, asked the president what she needed to do to serve a mission! That would be so cool in my mind!! I had the opportunity to baptize her, and it was a really cool experience. :)

Glad to hear about the service you did! Service is the best isn´t it? I will always be thankful to Greer for the amazing example of service that he gave me. I appreciate it and strive to serve much more because of him :)

(One thing we learned from Josh's Mother's Day call that we forgot to mention last week is that Josh has been made the senior companion already. He was pretty excited about that!)


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In my studies this week

In my studies this week, being converted unto the Lord has really impacted me. There is a difference between just having a testimony and actively living what you believe. The Lord I learned, requires that we each have a personal conversion. As the scriptures describe it, that we become new creatures, which to me, means that we literally have to change the parts of ourselves that are attached to the world. Something very hard to do sometimes. True discipleship means giving whatever thing to the Lord. And our everything. If we are to be converted, we have to be willing to drop everything. I left a lot of things of the world when I left on a mission. The Savior wants me to leave them forever. A lot of the mentality of returned missionaries is that they can finally go back to the world, listen to their old music, watch their old movies, and return the life from which they came. I´m starting to realize more and more that that isn´t what Heavenly Father wants. He wants us to be converted forever to Him. Sometimes that thought scares me, that maybe I won´t ever do some of the things I used to do. That I would really change so much. And yet, if I want to be a true disciple of the True and Living God, that´s what I must do. I hope that I can have this mighty change of heart. And I´ll be working and praying towards it. The first great commandment is that ´we love the Lord our God with all our heart.´ That´s my goal.

Here is a pic of all the priesthood here in vallegrande! and also vallegrande :)​Displaying IMG_0011.JPGDisplaying IMG_0728.JPGDisplaying IMG_0046.JPGDisplaying IMG_0044.JPG

5-19-14




Another baptizm picture.

Monday, May 12, 2014

5-12-14

A note from Josh's mom: Yesterday we got to Skype with Josh for 1/2 an hour for Mother's Day. It was so awesome to see great joy radiating from his face. And so fun to hear him struggle with English. He told us it was weird to be speaking in English, and there were many words he couldn't remember. He said Spanish is easy for him now, but that no one mistakes him for a native yet! :) Josh didn't write anything specifically for the blog this week, like he usually does, so I am going to share some things from our brief emails back and forth. He was having trouble with his internet connection.

Josh's mom shared something she studied this morning from Elder Timothy J Dyches of the Seventy at October 2013 Conference:
As we draw near to Him, we realize that mortality is meant to be difficult and that "opposition in all things" (2 Nephi 2:11) is not a flaw in the plan of salvation. Opposition, rather, is the indispensable element of mortality and strengthens our will and refines our choices. The vicissitudes of life help us fashion an eternal relationship with God—and engrave His image upon our countenance as we yield our hearts to Him (see Alma 5:19).
"This do in remembrance of me" (Luke 22:19) is what our Savior asked when He instituted what we call the sacrament. This ordinance with bread and water renews sacred covenants we have made with God and invites the power of the Atonement into our lives. We are healed by abandoning the habits and lifestyles that harden hearts and stiffen necks. When we lay down "the weapons of [our] rebellion" (Alma 23:7), we become "agents unto [ourselves]" (D&C 58:28), no longer blinded by the sophistry of Satan or deafened by the discordant noise of the secular world.
Josh's reply:
I do especially like your second highlighted quote, I find that to be one of the hardest things for me. To just change all the little things that are hardly noticible, and yet harden my heart. I think almost everyone has little habits that we ought to abandon in our lives. Even as a missionary! It´s so hard to be 100 percent obedient in everything. And yet that is what the Savior asks us to do, to be perfect. That´s where trials and repentence come in, so that we can gain the strength to overcome those flaws in our lives. haha maybe i just need a lot more hard trials in my life. But, if we are seeking to be humble, and asking the Lord through prayer for how we can change, the Spirit will always direct us in what we need to change. The key is learning to do that every single day. That´s where i´ve been a bit lazy. I just seem to forget!! I wish my memory was perfect sometimes and I could just remember all my personal revelations and promises with the Savior. The Book of mormon says remember so many times. It´s just everywhere. I´m going to read the BoM one day and count how often it´s used. Remember, is soooooo important!
Mom described her "miracle of the hip", and Josh replied:
I´ve seen healing miracles happen in my mission as well :) Faith really is a grand power!
Mom asked if it was hard to see us all yesterday for Mother's Day. Josh replied:
Nahh it wasn´t hard. I was just happy :) It was way awesome to see [Papa and Grandma and Coltin], it was a total suprise!!
Josh also expressed his delight that Dalan and Stormi, Bobby and Kelli, and Mike and Kymmy are all expecting right now! He is so excited to meet all the new additions when he gets back.