Tuesday, January 13, 2015

I Belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints....

Which is a RESPONSIBILITY not just a hobby. :)

Email from Monday, January 12, 2015

Hola Familia, Amigos, y todos! 

Before I left on my mission, I promised myself I wouldn´t be that sister missionary who thinks she knows everything since she´s on a mission. And I promise I don´t think that, if anything, I know less now than when I left since I now realize how much more there is to know! But anyway, I do want to share something with you guys so we can all learn and grow on my mission! :) Just like Jorg Klebingat warned in GC, I will speak boldly in order to make my message clear, please take no offense. :)

This week, we met with an older woman and taught her about the Restoration and the spirit was so strong during the lesson. We then invited her to attend church and she asked us what she had to do before she could go. We were confused and told her that anyone was welcome! She then shared an experience that broke my little heart. Apparently when she was a teenager, her family lived in a house with another family that were members of the church and she always saw their joy in going to church and church activities and yearned to join them and go to the church and make friends but they NEVER invited her. They never even talked about church to her. She felt she wasn´t allowed to go, that there were certain requirements or standards that she´d never meet, she felt rejected. She spent her entire life thinking that she wasn´t good enough to be a part of or even be invited to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. What a shame that those members never took the opportunity to share the gospel with their friend and bless her life and her family. When we are baptized, we PROMISE with our Heavenly Father that we will be His witnesses AT ALL TIMES, IN ALL THINGS, AND IN ALL PLACES. Sharing the gospel is NOT the work of the missionaries. It is the work of our Heavenly Father and we have COVENANTED to do our part. I´m not saying that you all need to serve a full-time mission but I am thinking that we could all improve in our willingness to share the gospel and invite our friends, neighbors, and loved ones to share in the joy and privilege of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. It´s for everyone. So this week, do something to share the gospel! Give a reference to the missionaries in your area and ask them for help. I promise they will be eager to help you in this great and marvelous work. :)

Okay, that´s my exhortation for this week. I just hope we all take a moment this week to evaluate how we could be better, more converted members. Imagine if the missionaries were teaching you and your family right now as if you were investigating the church for the first time, would you be considered progressing investigators? As in, are you reading the Book of Mormon and praying each day? That alone will make a world of difference. I can promise you that. :)

As for my #justBoliviathings this week,
  • we almost got attacked by a dog, it was terrifying! Hna Lyon was about to throw her Book of Mormon at it to save our lives (desperate times call for desperate measures...)
  • I tried to contact an ostrich this week, didn´t go so well but I got an AWESOME picture out of it :)
  • Discovered that Boliva is FAMOUS! If you don´t believe me, go check out pg 214 of your nearby Preach My Gospel book (232 if you happen to have a Spanish edition) and check out how BEAUTIFUL the Cochabamba temple looks! I´m definitely going there someday!
  • ironically enough, we also saved a dog´s life this week when it got stuck in the fence, it was barking and growling at us the whole time (ungrateful) but we helped it out anyway. Then I made the analogy of how the dog is a representative of the people we contact that are rude to us...we´re just trying to save your soul, sorry! 

This week, Hermana Lyon heads back to the States and I get a new companion Wednesday and it´s completely up to me to know the area, the investigators, and the members. I´m pretty nervous because our area is huge so for all of you that are praying this week, please pray that I will be able to know the area and remember all that I´ve learned in these past 6 weeks. Specific prayers receive specific answers. Thank you all a million times! 

I don´t really know how many people read these and I don´t suppose I ever really will. I don´t think we ever realize the impact we have on others in this life but to you, whoever you are, that´s reading this, thank you. As a gift to you for your time spent here, I just want to share a portion of my testimony. I know that God loves and knows us perfectly. I know that He has a plan for each of us and has provided us so many resources in this life to return to live with Him. I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and He lived a perfect life so that we could follow His example. I know that we have commandments as guides for how to live a happy life and that following the commandments becomes less of a "ugh do I have to?" and more of a "yes I want to!" when we truly understand all that Jesus Christ has done for us and truly develop a love for Him. 

I love it here and I am so blessed every single day! I am so grateful for this chance to demonstrate my love for my Savior and to stand (or to walk 4-6 miles each day) as a witness of God. 

Thanks for your love, support, and prayers!

Con mucho amor,
your favorite missionary in Bolivia,
Hermana Gauger :)
(this is assuming you don´t know any other missionaries here....)

Botanical Gardens- P-day activity last week with the hermanas. 

oh my heck, so fun! 3 of our investigators came and the rest are youth from the ward. one of the boys in our ward made an i love Taylor swift sign...it wasn´t clear but i think they were talking about me and one of them is weirdly obsessed with me...awkward but I took a picture of his sign anyway :)

Random Bolivia Things...

Rosa is one of our investigators, she makes me look like I´m a giant.......

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