I hope you are doing well and had a fantastic week. It’s been a great week here in Bolivia. We just finished an intercambio (I don’t know how to say it in English). It’s hard to believe I’ve been here in Bolivia for 6 weeks. I am not changing areas or companions. Hermana Alarcon is stuck with me for another 6 weeks. :) Also, we celebrated your birthday Kasen on Thursday. HAPPY BIRTHDAY BUDDY!!!!!! I hope you had a great day. I cannot believe you are 11, so crazy!
The people here are AMAZING! They love missionaries, it’s such a blessing. Most people here are converts, I think just about everyone in our ward has been taught and baptized by the missionaries. At church the kids run to us to hug us and tell us all about their week. We went to a little girl’s baptism yesterday before church. Her name is Briana. They are the only people here that have American names. Her sisters names are Megan :) and Natalie. It’s super rare here especially. It was so fun to be a part of her baptism. We went earlier in the week to talk to her about baptism and it reminded me of my own baptism. Not that I remember a whole lot, but it is so fun to see baptisms here.
So, there is a family here, they probably make up half of our ward. There are two brothers, one brother named Simeon and his wife Ebby. This is the family that feeds us lunch and dinner everyday. Simeon is the Elders Quorum President and Ebby is in the Stake Relief Society Presidency. They have 3 kids, one is leaving on a mission in two weeks to Equador. Then there is the other brother Marco and his wife Jaquelin. Marco is the YM’s Pres. and Jaquelin was recently released as the YW’s President. They have 5 kids. Their oldest son is married and he and his wife have a 2-year old daughter. He is in the Bishopric and his wife is in the Primary Presidency. Their other son is the Ward Mission Leader. Then they have a son, Banco that has problems with his legs. He can’t walk, he uses crutches to get around, but it looks painful. He is 18 years old. Then they have a daughter Daisy who is 15. Wow! Did you follow all that? Just a quick story about them, ever since they found out that Banco had problems with his legs they have been saving all their money, so they could one day go to Salt Lake to Primary Children’s Hospital to get help for him because there is nothing they can do here. They have sacrificed a lot! This morning Jaquelin and Banco left their family for 8 months to go to Salt Lake. It’s such an incredible story. Yesterday, we were invited to Simeon and Ebby’s home for FHE. The whole family was there, we were all crammed in their house. We ate bread and drank warm milk. They bore testimonies and received priesthood blessings. We sang songs (I am asked to sing ALL the time and lead the music in sacrament and RS every Sunday. Ha-ha) and we just visited with each other. The love this family has for one another is incredible. Jaquelin is a wonderful lady. She was so worried about leaving and it was such a great opportunity for me to talk to her because I kind of know how she is feeling. It’s difficult and scary to leave your home go to a whole new place where no one speaks the same language as you. I was able to assure her that there will be many people there that will help them. I was able to teach them phrases in English. She is a faithful woman, who loves the Lord. It was hard to see this family say goodbye to each other, but I am so grateful they invited us to be a part of it. They tell us all the time that we are a part of their family. Ha-ha. I gave her some U.S. money that I had when I left. I can’t exchange it here anyway and it felt so good to give her something. I am grateful for their examples and their service. This family definitely loves the Lord and carries our ward. I am grateful for the love they have for us. They have taken us in and that is such a comfort.
I hope you are all doing well. I love you all and I hope you have a great week!
With all my love,