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

Carnaval is OVer, POR FIN!

Hi everyone!

Carnaval is over AT LAST. It seriously got a little scary some days — I don´t like water balloons very much anymore! We spent three days in the casa and basically watched Disney movies and ate food all day, and the last day Hna. Pereira did all of our eyebrows so now we´re all super pretty, woohoo!
Fabiola and Pablo are for sure getting baptized this week, not sure if I already told all of you that. I´m so excited, Hna. Knighton and I found Fabiola Christmas day when we had no appointments and were just walking around all day! This family was definitely a Christmas miracle. It´s been so amazing to see hos they´ve changed and progressed, and are so willing to follow the Savior. I know that after their baptisms, their lives are going to change so much and Heavenly Father is going to flood them with blessings!
I celebrated my five month anniversay this week, I can´t believe it´s already been five months! In April, I´ll only have one year left, how terrible! And to think that I was worried that 18 months would seem like an eternity — I realize now that it´s not nearly enough time. I just hope to make the most of it and not waste a single second!
Last night, we had a Noche de Hogar with Carla and Chan, a family in the ward, and we made mom´s Best Ever Gotta Have Ém Brownies, and they were soooooooo good! They might just be the next big thing here….;-)
I love you all so much and I´m so grateful fo r your love and support everyday. I definitely have my moments when I can feel your prayers and I know that the Lord is here helping me in everything I do.
Have a great week everyone!
Hermana Ius

It’s Dangerous to go Outside!

Hola everybody!

Here in Bolivia, there´s a month long holiday called Carnaval. In the beginning, it´s not so bad, and you don´t even realize it´s a holiday. Then slowly, teenages start carrying around water balloons to throw at you, children have water guns, and people stand on their rooftops threatening to pour water on you if you walk beneath them. The other Thursday was Copadres, and there were a lot of drunk guys on the street in celebration of this. This Thursday was Comadres, AND IT WAS INSANE. We had literally just finished a lesson, were walking to another house, turned a corner to one of the small plazas in our area, and it was stock full of people smoking and drinking and dancing. My first thought: We´re living in Babilonia! Our area is literally the center of the city, which means on every corner there were groups of men and women drinking and smoking, plus it´s the tradition here to attack the ladies with water guns, balloons, and sprays. WE WERE TERRIFIED, and our appointment for the night fell through meaning we would have to stay outside, but there was no way we could contact anyone when they were all druink. Eventually we called out Zone Leaders and explained the situation to them, and they agreed that it would be much better for us to just go home early, which we promptly did. Anyway, Comadre´s isn´t even the worst part of Carnaval — Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday we have to stay inside all day because it´s just insane outside. Should be interesting! But literally, yesterday Hna. Gonzales and I were walking, looking for a reference, when a car drove by and the backseat inhabitants sprayed us in the face with their waterguns! It wasn´t that bad actually, but boy did it surprise us.
Well, last week we´d been talking with Fabiola a lot about baptism, but everytime we brought it up she told us she wasn´t ready, maybe in 6 months, so we decided that this week we would just focus on teaching her the lessons. We visit her everyday to read the Book of Mormon with her because she can´t read very well, and after one of these visits we asked her afterward how she like the Family Home Evening we had the other night. She told us she likes it very much, and that this Sunday they were going to stay all three hours of church, and the next Sunday she would get baptized. We were so shocked, and I wasn´t sure I understood, so I asked her to repeat it all over again. Sure enough, she want´s to get baptized! We were SO ESTATIC. The only thing is that she wants to get baptized with her husband Pablo, and he doesn´t know this yet, and he also hasn´t received all the lessons, so we´re scurrying to teach him everything. Yesterday, we visited them with Hna. Rodríguez (our mission presedent´s wife), and Fabiola kept talking about how much they´ve changed since they´ve met us, how she´s staying true to her committments, and how she wants to go to the Temple and knows she needs to get baptized first. It was such a humbling experience to see how much an impact someone like me could have in their lives. Really, ity´s not me who´s changing them, it´s the gospel, it´s the Savior, and I´m just an instrument in His hands. Sometimes in the mission it´s really hard to see the fruits of your labors, and we had a lot of days this week where we were just knocking on doors and where all of our appointments fell through, but Heavenly Father is working miracles through us yet!
Well, I love you all so much and I´m so grateful for your love and support. You won´t be getting an email from me next week because of Carnaval, so you´ll all just have to hang on until the week after!
Hna. Ius

Tender Mercies

Hi everybody!

This week has definitely been a long one. It´s my first time leading my area and also training, that plus my need to still learn spanish = slightly stressed Hna. Ius. I really felt like I was working harder than ever and we weren´t seeing any blessings or benefits, but as I look back on the week I can see how we accomplished something good everyday. We practiced knocking on a looooot of doors this week! I have yet to meet a missionary that actually loves knocking on doors, but we met some really nice people. One in particular was this lovely lady who was all like, “Yeah, you girls can pass by for me anyday, everyday! I´m always here!” That made me super happy. We also were finally able to give a Book of Mormon to one of our investigators, Villa. She´s super wonderful and her reaction when we handed her the book? Priceless. We also found, at last, one family that we´ve been passing for since the beginning of my mission, and we set up an appointment with them! Woohoo! We also found an old investigator and visited with her for a little bit, and at the end, she asked us when we could return. Tender mercies….
Well, I hope you´re all doing okay! I love you all very much.
Hna. Ius