Bolivia sure is different from the states, from Idaho at least, it's so HOT here! :) I'm moving to Alaska after the mission, haha. I've seen every type of insect imaginable, from grasshoppers the size of my hand to cockroaches so big that they have wings and fly! I've had fleas, and been bitten by more mosquitos than I can count, and even received Dengue, a fun tropical disease that makes your bones ache and fever for a week! Santa Cruz is really weird because there are so many plants and insects, but there is sand everywhere! I love it, though. :) There are only 2 seasons here, really hot, and 2 weeks of cold. I could talk all day about Bolivia, but it sufficeth me to say that I love being here.
Up until now I've had 9 companions, and 5 different areas. My companions have been from Chile, Colombia, California, Peru, Bolivia, Bolivia, Peru, Nevada, and Utah. A little bit of everything! They have each tight me important things that have helped me grow and change my life. Of all the things I've been as a missionary, I think my favorite is training, receiving a brand new missionary and teaching him everything. New missionaries are so full of faith and energy, it's a ton of fun. I've been a trainer 2 times, with Elder Pena de Peru and Elder Dyer from Nevada. They're the best! :) I've been extremely blessed to have been a part of many baptisms and reactivations. I love helping people come unto Christ. I know the Lord has always put me where I was needed most. He has been very mindful of me. :) The Lord knows what he's doing. He could do His work without us really! We are just blessed to have a part in it.
One of my very favorite scriptures is this, "wherefore, be to weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that with is great.
"Behold, the Lord requires the heart and a willing mind; and the willing and obedient shall eat the good of the land of Zion in the last days." D&C 64: 33-34
These scriptures always help me to remember the great importance of being strict with small things in m life like praying, reading scriptures, going to church, and doing service. I've seen how just an invitation to come to church has changed someone's life. It also helps me not only to be obedient, but happily obedient! that makes everything better. We can always trust in the promises of the Lord. If we dedicate ourselves to Him, He will bless us abundantly. I loved the talk by President Uchtdorf int eh last general conference to the women how he compared the commandments to vegetables. We like to eat the pea but groan with the carrot, but as every wise parent knows, children must eat ALL the vegetables to have a healthy body! We can't pick and choose which commandments to keep and not keep, otherwise 'commandments' would just be 'suggestions'. I keep a little card in my pocket that says, "Obedience brings blessings. Exact obedience brings miracles." I've seen the wonderful blessings of obedience as a missionary, and the miracles of a 'willing mind" when it comes to obeying them!
I know this work is true. I know God lives and listens to our every prayer. He loves us. I know Jesus Christ lives and is our Savior. Only through Him may we be saved. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. The Book of Mormon is true. Our families can be eternal. I know that true happiness comes through a life devoted to God and the teachings of Jesus Christ. The commandments are the manifestation of the love God has for us; they are here to bless and instruct us! I know that anyone from age 10 to 110 can receive the same knowledge as I through sincere looking; prayer, study, and an open heart. Know that any stress or hardship can be taken from us as we open our hearts to He who suffered all. I know we will one day live again and stand before the Lord to give account of all we have done, who we are, and who we wish to become.