Sunday, October 19, 2014

2014-10-13 ...we sat on their porch under a little tin roof while it rained...

Hey Everyone,
Yesterday was weird because it was election day in Bolivia.  In Bolivia that means that nobody works and nothing is open and it's illegal to have any kind of meeting so there was no church. The mission made some extra rules for us.  We had to stay in our apartments yesterday and they had us buy extra food and water for the house just in case we couldn't leave the house after elections because of political unrest.  It seems like everything is normal today though and they let us go out normally.

The rest of the week generally went well though.  Wilfredo is still one of the best investigators I've ever worked with and he can't wait for his baptism on Saturday.  During our last visit he gave us one of the sweetest watermelons I've ever eaten.
lunch at a member's house--they made a really
good dessert so I took a picture of it and there it is

Also, we had a great lesson with Kevin (who recently was baptized)  and his two younger brothers.  The almost 10-year-old Samuel told us that after reading in the Book of Mormon and praying he received his answer that this is the true church.  He told us that that means he wants to go to church always with Kevin from now on out.  We invited him to be baptized and he readily accepted.  The date is set for the 22nd of November.  Alan (the 12-year-old brother) was excited to talk with us which hasn't normally been the case.  He promised to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it too.  Our goal with him is the 22nd of November too.  Kevin once again bore a powerful testimony, this time about how he's felt since being baptized.  The mom loves the church and is looking into it in Spain.  The dad is polite with us but just doesn't seem interested at all.  He listens to us every once in a while but isn't progressing.  This week we asked his sons, especially Kevin, that they can try and show their dad how important this church is.

I don't remember if I've talked much about Roxana.  She wanted to be baptized but this week she drank a little when she went to visit her family.  She says she still wants to be baptized but it might take a little while longer for her to really get herself ready.  I don't think she has much of a testimony of the gospel either.  I think that's what's keeping her from really working hard for her baptism too.  We are going to start reading the Book of Mormon with her to see if she can develop a stronger testimony.

Collapampa in the rain
We went to Collapampa twice this week.  I was in interchanges with Elder Rosario one of the days that we went and it was raining all day.  Collapampa was a muddy mess.  We bought trash bags to cover our bags so our scriptures wouldn't get wet.  Our best lesson there was with Herminia and her 18-year-old son Israel.  We had visited Herminia several times and last week when we went, her son Israel listened to us for the first time.  He didn't seem that interested last week but when we talked this week he told us that he had prayed about it like we'd asked him and he didn't understand why he hadn't gotten an answer if it was true or not.  We explained a little more about the receiving revelation and then had a great lesson about the Plan of Salvation.  Israel told us that he is the only person in his family who hasn't been baptized and that he wants to be baptized but doesn't know in what church.  It was a really fun lesson too because we sat on their porch under a little tin roof while it rained and the mom made us mote with cheese.  Mote is like giant boiled corn.

I've noticed 2 very different attitudes while I've been here in the people I've taught who need to change something to live the gospel.  Of those who have come to know that they need to change, some focus on making that change.  Many other people focus on a generally true principal that changing our lives is a process and distort it until it becomes a major obstacle for them to affect the necessary change.  Those who simply decide that they need to change and that they are going to do it usually make the change even if it does take them a little while to do it.

There are way too many people who say that change only happens over time and use it to justify procrastination in beginning the change or use it to justify a limited effort that they'll put forth.  I believe that change normally takes however long it takes us to decide that we'll change and know that God will support us in our effort.  It does sometimes take some time for a person to build that needed confidence or faith in God but that faith does not arrive until we are willing to give our all to make the change.  A change to live the gospel is repentance and God's will is always that we repent as soon as possible.  He won't hold back his help if we live in such a way that we can receive it.  I don't know how so many people have been confused into thinking that it will take them some incredibly long amount of time to make a change and that that is ok.  It is not ok.  We repent as soon as we know we should.  

I hope everyone has a great week.  I hope you go to the temple because you should.  I love being a missionary!
Elder Howlett

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