Tuesday, May 27, 2014

2014-05-26 ...also because I just really like her and her family.

Hey Everyone,
Me and my companion on top of Cerro Rico
Well this was a good week.  I didn't get to write yesterday because we went to hike Cerro Rico in the morning and one of the companionships got lost trying to find their way back down.  It took an extra 3 hours to find them and we didn't have time to write anymore.

Oh, by the way, I put 3 photos of my really nice current apartment on this email.  I wouldn't mind having more hand warmers.
Manuel went with me to do divisions all day onSaturday and we
went to a restaurant to finish theday.  It only cost about 5 dollars
each for a ton of food.  Chicken, steak, salad, rice with cheese,
potatoes, and delicious fresh peach juice.
Last Monday in the afternoon we went to 4060. It's a restaurant and I had a steak cooked in butter, garlic and other spices--definitely the best beef I've eaten in Bolivia.  The restaurant is named for the number of meters above sea level.  They also have delicious fresh juices.  I had pineapple. I love how inexpensive the food is here.  We'll eat there when mom and dad come to Bolivia with me.  As we were leaving, we got 3-scoop ice cream cones for 4 bolivianos (a little over 50 cents.)

Hermana Carmen got out of the hospital yesterday. She is way better now.  Tonight we are going to my favorite pique macho restaurant with her and her family to celebrate because it's Mother's day in Bolivia--also because I just really like her and her family.  Her son is Manuel who is really good about helping us when we have too many appointments and need to do divisions.  He also does a really good job in the lessons.  This Saturday, as we did visits, I felt the Spirit strongly as he bore his testimony, once about the priesthood and then once talking about his own baptism (he was baptized less than 2 years ago).  As I thought about why I'd felt the Spirit strongly, it helped me understand that a testimony doesn't need to be eloquent to be powerful.  His testimony was simple but sincere and it allowed the Holy Ghost to do its job of testifying of the truth.  Also Saturday was awful weather.  It's not as cool in the picture as it was in real life, but the wind started blowing really hard.  It picked up so much dust that it went from being sunny to just being dark in the middle of the afternoon and it was cold.  Everyone gives us mate (beverage) when the weather is like that though which is nice.

For Hermana Carmen, almost dying has actually had a really good effect on the Spiritual side of her life. First of all it made her realize that God does hear and answer her prayers.  I don't believe I have as strong of a testimony of any gospel principle as I do of the power of prayer.  It is important to pray earnestly and I believe it is the most common way for the process of conversion to begin.  That experience also led her to reevaluate the priorities in her life.   She is committed to go to church, she's been reading her Book of Mormon, and she's decided to do something she's put off for far too long as a long-time member of the church... go to the temple.  It's often hard to understand why bad things happen to us but I've learned a principle that calms my mind when I see people passing through hard times. Come what may, God loves us and His work and glory is to bring to pass our immortality and Eternal life. The experiences that He allows us to go through are necessary for our salvation and often for the salvation of someone else as well.

We went to help with 3 English classes at the Bancario school (elementary to high school) again.  It was a ton of fun.  I attract attention there even more than just on the street.  Between classes, everyone comes up to talk to me.  I also found out that Santiago is an inactive member of the church who is moving next week to our area. He's also conveniently moving in just a couple blocks from the church.

We had interviews with President on Friday.  I love his interviews because he always just says really nice things about how great a missionary I am and I leave just feeling great.  One thing interesting he said is that he'd intended to send me or my companion away this transfer but had felt like we should stay a 3rd cambio together.
Me, Elder Severiano, President Dyer, Suzanna, Christian (our investigators).  Why?  Because while my companion was having his interview with President Dyer, Christian and Suzanna walked into the room, saw my companion, and pulled up a chair.  President Dyer talked to them a little and then called me in so we could all take a picture together.
Things are going pretty well with Savino.  He came to church on Sunday.  He's doing pretty well with reading in the Book of Mormon.  He wants to be baptized, we just need permission from his dad.  I think we'll be able to get permission but it will probably take a lot of praying and a little time.  After church, Savino had to go get his hung-over father and take him to their house.

Happy end of the school year everyone.  Now that you don't have school you have way more time to go to the temple.  It is where we can have a fullness of the Holy Ghost (D&C 109:15).  That's a pretty good reason to go there.  There is nowhere that allows me to be more receptive to receiving personal revelation than within the Holy Temple.

Elder Howlett

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