It’s been a great week! We have been busy; we have felt spiritually uplifted, nervous and anxious. Just so many emotions, welcome to the mission life.
Well, first off, we had transfers. Hermana Cruz is going to open an area here in Cochabamba with a sister from Argentina. I am staying here and a sister named Hermana Fuenzalida is coming! She is so sweet, I know her pretty well. She is from Chile and has about a year in the mission. I will be training her as a new Sister Training Leader. We are just a little excited. We are going to be working hard, teaching EVERYONE about repentance and baptizing true converts, we are going to be exactly obedient and I believe we will be seeing miracles.
On Saturday we had our Sisters Conference. It went well. It was truly inspired by God. All the sisters in Cochabamba came together in the mission home. We listened to a guest speaker and then played outside. Hermana Cruz and I made a video about the importance of Choosing to Be Happy Now. We ate Mexican food, which President and the Assistants made. (No rice or potatoes!) Then we were able to watch the General Women’s Conference. It was incredible and exactly what I needed to hear. I don’t believe there is a better message for a sister missionary to hear than the one given at conference. We were reminded that as women we have been given divine gifts to nurture others and that we have an abounding love to help those along our way on this earthly journey. I felt the spirit strong as a sister shared stories of refugees around the world who have needed the divine gifts we have as women of the Church. As I watched conference, I realized another reason why the Lord has sent me here to Bolivia. I am here to nurture and love the poor, the sick, and the afflicted.
Yesterday, we were blessed to see the impression I felt during conference come to life. We went and visited members, just recently the mother of one of the sisters we were visiting became really sick. They brought her here to Cochabamba from her little village in Potosi so she could get to a hospital. After almost a week in the hospital, they released her and she is now staying with her daughter. While we were there yesterday the sister invited us up to see her mom. It was one of the sweetest moments of my life. She is 93 years old. She was crying because she has felt lonely, and didn’t like being restrained to the bed. Before coming to Cochabamba she had been living in Potosi by herself and no one ever visited her. We were able to spend a little time with her. She only speaks Quechua, so her daughter translated for us. We sat by her side, we brushed her hair, and she hugged us, and grabbed our hands. Soon her tears turned from tears of sadness to tears of joy. We shared our names with her and she remembered mine easily because Lomas in Quechua means mountain. Not exact but close enough. :) The sister sang in Quechua and then she wanted to sing too. We sat and listened. We prayed in Quechua. Then we took pictures, ha-ha she loved them. She wanted more and more. As we were getting ready to leave, this sweet sister grabbed my hand once more; tears filled her eyes as she repeated "Hermana Lomas". She spoke in Quechua and in Quechua she thanked me and told me that she would never forget me. She put her hand to her heart and kept repeating it over and over. Then she did the same to Hermana Cruz. We all left with tears in our eyes. I will never forget that moment for the rest of my life. There was no better way to spend Easter. This is why I am here. I may not have taught a lesson and been able to count it on our records, but the best moments in life seldom can be counted or planned. The blessings that come from these experiences are so much more meaningful than any recognition or praise given by meeting “Excellence Standards” given by how many lessons are taught in a week. (Which is a reward I have been working towards, but not all I have been focused on.) It was a spiritual experience that changed all of our lives; these kinds of experiences are what I am focused on. Oh how much greater is the reward!
I hope you have a great week. I hope you too can find those special spiritual experiences that can change your life. I love you!
Love, Hermana Lomax
My new friend Isabel :)