Feliz Cumpleaños, Hermana Acevedo! And Happy Father´s Day, Dad!

Happy belated Father´s Day, Dad! I hope you had an awesome day and ate a lot of cake.
Guess what? TODAY IS HERMANA ACEVEDO´S B IRTHDAY! So what does that mean? WE´RE GONNA EAT A LOT OF YUMMY CAKE!!! I´m so excited. I love Bolivian cake. It´s the best.
We had a bunch of interesting experiences this past week. We did a lot of contacting and in total, found 13 new investigators.  two times this week, we knocked on the door of someone and a middle-aged man answered…in a towel! This happened two different times and with two different people  and we just happened to knock on their doors as they were leaving the shower. It was kind of awkward both times.
I had the opportunity to act as a translator for one of our investigators this week. This family is starting their own business where they make roofing for houses, but they needed help ordering their machines from china. The only person they could speak with china only spoke   english and chinese, and I happen to speak english, so they act me to help them order their stuff. It was pretty interesting to say the least, because I don´t really know business words in spanish or english, and  this chinese marketer doesn´t really know english 100%, so i had to translate his chinglish to english, then  my english to spanish, then vice versa. In then end though, it all  ended up working out, so that´s good!
I hope you all enjoy your summer weather because  winter in Bolivia starts TODAY and it is COLD. Count your blessings and read your scriptures.
Hermana Ius

Almost died again and caught it all on camera!

Hi everybody!

How are you all doing? Enjoying the great summer weather? I hope so! Because we are one week away from full-on WINTER here. Right now we´re experiencing Utah-weather where it´s suuuuuuper hot in the afternoon and then life-threateningly cold as soon as the sunsets. I guess Utah weather isn´t very unique to just Utah…
So the other day we had this CRAZY wind storm. It started off as a light breeze in the afternoon, but by evening it was just blowing like nothing else. And the weird thing is that the wind was super warm, too, which is incredibly unusual because it is WINTER. So there we were, being attacked by this weird warm wind and all the dirt it carried with it when I decided to take out my camera and snap a video of this weird weather (because why not?). Then, just a few minutes after I´ve started filming, I catch on video the moment we almost died (more or less). You see, the wind was SUPER STRONG, and we were walking right under this tin-balcony thing when the wind roared and TORE OFF THE TIN ROOF and then this tin roof LANDED RIGHT IN FRONT US!
I might have screamed a little bit.
Anyway we´re actually totally okay but if we had been standing just a few feet closer….pucha. So we have some little things to be grateful for this week!
We committed two perople to a baptism date this week and I´m super hopeful for them. They´re both single women and when we invited them to be baptized, the spirit was so strong and they both expressed to us their desire to change. I´m especially hopeful for Anarosa. She was so sincere with us about how she´s already been hinting towards her family that she would like to attend our church and be baptized. She was very hesitant towards accepting a baptism date, but the spirit was so strong as we taught that I felt prompted to share a scripture with her, and that scripture, along with our testimonies, helped resolve her fears and she accepted a baptism date. Now we need to get her to attend church with us! haha
Well, I love you all and I hope you´re doing great. I´m grateful for all your support from far away.
Hermana Ius

When fishing, drink water

Hi everyone!

I hope you´re all doing great. We had a b usy week last week. Presidente Rodríguez is really putting a lot of emphasis in the need to find new investigators every week, or as he likes to  call it, “fishing”, so we did a whole lot of that the past few days. We had a lot of success and found 12 new people to teach, so we´ll see if anything comes about out of that. The weather here is still super weird. It´s incredibly hot in the afternoon…but freezing when the sun goes down. And the sun is super strong…I didn´t understand what people meant when they said the sun was gross, but now I do, because what happens when you´re out fishing all day, everyday for a week? The sun fries your brain, that´s what. You get sunstroke, that´s what. BEFORE YOU FREAK OUT MOM, it´s really m ild sunstroke and we called the mission nurse and she´s helping us get better. We just got a lot of headaches and nausea and  stomach problems and Hna. Acevedo threw up haha. BUT WE´RE GONNA LIVE!  And we´re drinking a lot more water. It´s super weird, thinking tha t it´s possible to get sunstroke  when winter is starting, but hey! Welcome to Bolivia.
We had our first official English class this week, and we had so much success! The ward was super supportive and a bunch of members came, as well as investigators and some strnagers off the streets! We had a lot of fun teaching, and I think they we´re able to learn a little bit of English, too.
Well, I love you all so much and I hope you enjoy your new warm weather. Stay cool — literally– and don´t get sunstroke.
Hermana Ius

Just Another Week!

Hey friends,

I hope you´re enjoying the long weekend! As missionaries, we don´t realy get a break from the work, but we do get our P-Day!Woohoo.
This week went by pretty fast, so I don´t have a ton to say. On Monday, we hiked to a waterfall and it was so pretty and fun.
We had a multi-zone conference this week with Presidente and he announced that he was changing our schedule. No, we do everything one half hour later. We wake up at 7 in the morning, our curfew is from 9:30 -10:00, and we got to bed at 11. Super loco! However, our area is kind of dangerous at night so we actually come back at about 8:30 – 9 in order to study the language.
One funny experience– we found an inactive family in the street because we decided to buy empandas from them. When we found out they were inactive members, we decided to share a litte message with them about the plan of salvation. Well, we had a third-party listening to our lesson — a drunk guy! Haha I don´t think he actually understood anything but he seemed to be listening along and at the end came to get a pamphlet from us. As we walked away, he appeared to be reading.
Well, I love you all and hope you´re doing well. Thanks for your love and support!
Hermana Ius

Asian food in South America?

Hi friends!

I hope you´re all doing well. For those of you in North America, I hope you´re enjoying your spring weather! Fall is in full swing here. It´s super funny because in the afternoon it´s really hot and the world is green with palm trees but in the morning and evening it is COLD! We sleep in our thermals and with three blankets and so far it has sufficed, but winter starts next month and it´s supposed to get even worse…yikes!
We had yet another busy week this week, what with knocking doors and appointments and all. We had an activity with the youth where we made my mother´s super delicious brownies! This recipe will soon go viral in all of South America.
We had splits this week and I was able to hang out with Hna. Undurraga and learn a TON from her. She is so cool, and she told me about this place in La Paz called Tiwanaku. Yáll should look it up, I think it would interest you all incredibly the significance of this place. 😉
So this week I received a giant cae package from my ever-loving mother (THANK YOU!) and it contained some pretty awesome goodies. I now have a new sketchbook, and I also bought some watercolors (only 2 bucks!) so now I´m once again on the painting game, woohoo! Mom also sent me mochi — for those of you who don´t know, mochi is this asian food made with rice flour and red bean paste, and it´s dessert. I´m pretty sure this was the first time in recorded history that mochi has been in South America. Well, I shared my mochi with hermana Acevedo, and also filmed her reaction as she ate hr first—and LAST — mochi ever. She could not get over the fact that she was eating BEANS, and when I told her it was dessert, she asked, “are you sure they don´t give this to children as a punishment?” Haha! Well, at least I get to eat more mochi para mí.
I love you all so much, stay cool kids!
Hermana Ius

Mother’s Day Miracle and Black Widow Moment

Hi everyone!

Happy Late Mother’s Day! Yesterday we had the lovely opportunity to call our families and chat for 40 minutes. We were praying all week that our plans to use the church internet would work, and Heavenly Father answered our prayers and we were able to talk on time just as we´d planned — the first of many miracles.
This last week has just been so amazing — I´m not sure I’ve ever worked harder in my mission. Like I said last week, when I arrived in my new area we didn’t have any investigators, so we’ve been working really hard to find a ton of new people to talk to. This past week, we found ten new investigators — I can hardly believe it! And they´re all so great too. Yesterday, a family of investigators came to church that we had invited on the streets — we hadn’t even taught them thee first lesson yet! But they enjoyed church so much and later in the night, we visited them and taught them and invited them to be baptized and they said yes! We set up a baptism date for them, so here´s to hoping it works out!
Right after church, one of our other investigators called us and said she wanted to talk to us today, so in the nighttime we passed by for hr house and she told us how she wants to change her life and repent and follo our Savior and make convenats with God and she talked to her mom and has her support in getting baptizd into our church. It was such a wonderful miracle because this girl has been an investigator for awhile and at last is ready and excited to get baptized. We set up anothr baptism date for her and it looks like it´s gonna happen no matter what!
So those were our Mother´s day Miracles yesterday. As for my Black Widow moment, I can´t explain it to well, but basically what happened is this: Hna. Acevedo forgot the keys to enter our house and the gat that leads to our house, and w needed to get in because we had food inside that we needed to bring to a church activity. So basically, I climbed the giant gate outside of our house, let hna. Acevedo enter, then we went upstairs to the emtpy upstairs apartment where I climbed out across their patio and jumped down an entire floor to our patio where I was able to enter and let Hna. Acevedo in. I didn´t hurt anything and I felt like a SUPERHERO! But yeah it was kind of dangerous so now I´m keeping the keys to our apartment so that we never get locked out again.
I love you all! Stay safe. kiddos.
Hermana Ius
PS The computer I´m using doesn’t have a USB port so I will send pics next week.

Don’t let those palm trees fool ya

Hi friends!

As you might have guessed, we just had transfers this week. I´m now in my second area, still in  Tarija, but at the other end, in the other zone,  so that´s pretty cool! Hermana Gonzales is now leading Central and I´m so proud of her. She´s progressed and changed so much, I felt peaceful leaving her  in charge of our area and investigators. It was sad leaving so many good friends behind — our converts and our investigators literally became our family here — but I felt ready to leave.
My new companion is Hermana Acevedo! I´m the senior companion between the two of us, but she´s aleady taught me so much about how to be a good missionary. Makes me question who´s really in charge here! haha. I was a little sad when I first arrived and she  told me that we basically didn´t have any investigators (because her last comp didn´t want to fulfill her purpose!). However, we might the decision right away to find new investigators and we left and started knocking on doors right away…..and pucha we´ve already found so many people with such great potential  and it´s only been four days! This transfer is difinitely gonna be b usy.
Other things that happened: I saw the largest spider of my life just walking around in the street and I almost died.
There are beautiful palm trees outside…and it´s winter. Seriously! So winter here isn´t like winter in Utah where we have snow and all that stuff. In the afternoon it´s hot and we sweat but boy at night we slleo in our thermals and bundle up. Apparently it´s gonna get even worse.
I´ve completed 7 months now! Ahhhhhhhh I don´t like it. But we celebrated with hamburgers and Inca Kola so it was alright.
I love you all!
Hermana IusDSCF2055[1]DSCF2089[1]

Time is flying!

Hi friends!

I literally can´t believe it´s already Monday again! The week flew by so fast, and I´m struggling with thinking of what stories to tell you…
Yeah okay so Saturday night we were walking around and we had an hour left before curfew but no appointments, so we decided to pass by for one of the recents converts of the Elders because we hadn´t visited him yet. His name is Isaac and he´s 17 was baptized in October, and this kid is just always so happy to see us! As we were talking to him, he was all like, “Hermanas, I have some questions!” And we were like “Yeah man ask away!”. “Hermanas, is it super super super super SUPER bad to go ona a date with a girl and be alone (as in not in a group date) at my age?” Oh my gosh we just started laughing! All of his questions were about dating, how he should date, and if he needs to get married right away after his mission. It was pretty funny, but I think we helped clear up some of his questions,
I designed a t-shirt for just the hermanas in our zone this past transfer and I just received my new shirt and it came out so perfect and gorgeous and soft! I´m so happy.
Alejandra talked with her family this about getting baptized and has their support with her decision! She´s already planning on serving a mission, too. I can´t believe that we only met her three weeks ago and has already progressed and changed so much. It´s so true when they say that a study of the gospel with change behavior quicker than a study of bahavior will.
I love you all! Feel free to email me I have an extra 30 minutes of internet every Monday now woohoo!
Hermana Ius

Happy Conference Weekend

Hola Everybody!

I hope you all enjoyed your conference weekend and that you´re feeling very much spiritually renewed. We´ve been busy all week inviting people to the conference! We managed to get Tania, Fabiola´s sister, to come to the first saturday morning session and I was sooooo happy! Especially because she was listening to the messages and some of the talks really called her atention. Fabiola and Emili came the next day to the conference and also were able to enjoy the wonderful spirit there.
We had splits this week so I went to another area and Hna. Gonzales led our area for the first time! AND SHE DIDN´T GET LOST! I´m so proud of my baby. We received several references this week, hooray! And the other day as we were looking for one reference, we found his dad first. He asked who we were (Hna. Ius! Hna. Gonzales!) and he replied, “I´m Hermano Fernando!”. We explained that we´re missionaries, and he was all like, “Well I´m catholic but I´m not closed. When can you visit me?” Us: “Whenever you´d like!”
His son ended up being really awesome too! He wasnted to know the address of the church building, asked us for a pamphlet, and asked when we could visit him and his family before we had a chance to ask him any of these things.
Last Monday we had a hermanas-only activity and I made cinnamon pancakes and we watched Moana. Life is good here in Bolivia….
Love you all so much!
Hna. Ius

Too Many Peruanos

Hi everyone!

This week has been CRAZY! On Wednesday, our zona leaders pulled us aside and told us that Presidente is closing their area…and combining it with ours! Needless to say, I felt a little overwhelmed with this news. Everytime I start to feel a little comfortable with the mission, Heavenly Father gives me some more responsibility and sometimes it feels really hard, but Heavenly Father knows what we`re capable of so much more than we do, and if we trust in Him and give it our all, He always helps us and blesses us in return.
So, the Elders have been busy showing us their area whenever there was time. Spending time with many Peruanos all at once gave me the great opportunity to practice my Spanish and accidently learn bad words….WHOOPS. For example, they have many words for “stupid” here, and mostly you can`t use them too often because they`re too strong. Hna. Knighton taught me the word “tonto” (and I learned this in the CCM, too), so sometimes I would say to myself “oh that`s stupid” and in this context it`s alright and Hna. Gonzales never corrected me. This one instance with our zone leaders, Elder Mori was telling us how he walked to his house in the rain on a rock road without his socks and shoes, so in my American humor I said “well that`s dumb” AND OH GOSH THAIR REACTIONS. I learned this was not an appropriate situation to use this word. Oh dear.
I also learned that Peruvian word for a swearword here because Elder Barrera was messing around in his made up “chi” language and we were all making fun of him then I tried to say something in “chi” and it turns out this meanssomething very bad in Peru! Thanks goodness we`re in Bolivia and there was only one church member with us at the time.
The other day the Elders also accompanied us to a lesson to give a blessing to a member and at the end of the lesson it started raining SUPER hard and we had to walk home. The roads were LITERALLY rivers. We got utterly soaked! And it says in the missionary handbook that the Elders should never accompany the sisers home, but I guess our zone leaders decided  it was too dangerous and so they ran us all the way to our house…haha.
One of the pleasures of Bolivian life: Pomegranates. They grow in the wild here. I`ve learned how to eat them like an apple now. 🙂
This morning we visited Fabiola and she dressed us up like Chapacas and we took pictures with her mom! It was so much fun.
I love you all! Take care. You`re all amazing.
Hna. Ius