Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Somos los soldados que combaten [T]error

Email from Monday, June 29, 2015

Hey there,

Well, I'm writing you all with some very big news and with a big ol' smile on my face today because we actually got our call for transfers last night and had transfers today and for the first time ever...I get to stay in my area with my same companion!! YAY! :) Hermana Monar and I have been through a whooooooolllleee lot together but I just felt super strong that we still have some more experiences ahead of us and luckily the Lord told President Willard the same thing and we get 6 more weeks of miracles in Barrio Progreso! :) Seriously, I'm the happiest missionary in the world today. Well, next to Hermana Monar because who wouldn't want to be with me 24/7 for 12 weeks straight??? She's obviously super feliz. :)

Yesterday we had lunch with a member family and their son asked me "Hermana, have you ever had a miracle in your mission?" and I felt so happy that I was able to honestly respond that I've witnesse miracles every single day. 

This week was no different in that we had the awesome miracle of the baptism of Elvis and Ronald. They're the 2 sons of a less-active that was actually a reference from President Willard. (Why you should always follow up on references from your mission president :)) 

But it's an incredible story because the mom is named Gladys and her sister is a recent convert in the other ward that attends in our chapel and Gladys and her 2 sons go to the catholic church every Sunday at 7 but at the request of her 9-year-old niece who was recently sexually assaulted, Gladys went to our church one Sunday with her sister to please her niece and help her feel a little better in this difficult time after the assault. And it just so happened (in the perfect plan of God) that this particular Sunday, in May, was when President Willard came and visited the 2 wards in our chapel. And President got to talking to Gladys's sister and the whole family and found out the whole story of what happened with her niece and then took her info and called us over to meet Gladys and her 2 sons. He gave us her address and it turned out that we had visted her house that same week for a different reference of the other niece of Gladys but when we went and talked with the niece, she didn't live there so we left thinking "aw man, maybe we'll pass by some other time to visit her grandma" but then that Sunday, we receieved the reference of Gladys in that same house! (The whole story is a miracle, but I can only explain so much) So we went to visit Gladys and we start chatting with her and it turns out...she's a member! But she didn't remember anything at all, only that we don't drink coffee and that we have a program for young single adults "to find spouses". So we started teaching her and her 2 sons and she was super closed off at the beginning and in such a short time, I had the privilege of watching her heart soften as the Spirit testified to her as she read the Book of Mormon, prayed, and attended church every single Sunday without fail. Then we invited her sons to be baptized and Elvis who is 13, was super excited and agreed but Ronald who is 12 is really shy and wasn't sure. So we set a date for Elvis and then we passed by one night, and Elvis told us that he started going to seminary (he turns 14 in a few weeks and the school schedule is different here) and he loved it. We started talking about the plans for his baptism and Ronald was like "Hermanas...I also want to be baptized with Elvis on Saturday" Obviously, we were totally okay with that and we did all the plans and on Saturday, they both got baptized and it was so special. I'm pretty sure that Elvis is like the modern-day, Bolivian Joseph Smith because he's just got such a sincere desire to know the truth and then act accordingly. Their baptism was really special and I'm just so excited for them. We even sang We Are All Enlisted at their baptism because it's Ronald's favorite hymn and I never want to forget the enthusiasm in his face as he sings "QUE DICHA ES! QUE DICHA ES!" 

Anyway, all is wonderful here in Tarija, everyone says that the real cold happens in July sooo wish me luck. The zone leaders did buy us a space heater this week though so I think we'll survive my first and only humid Bolivia winter. I'm just loving every moment and hope you all are too!

Con mucho amor,
Hermana Gauger :)

PS not sure how long I can keep up with my hymn subject titles because I don't remember any complete hymn in English....but I'll keep it up in Spanish and you can all have language study each week :)

ice cream on Monday 
Hna Mejia is my sister training leader after being my second comp
We went to a museum and I had to take a mammoth pic for Mom, Bolivia ROCKS! (and you guys thought I had lost my puns)

 cold days in beauiful Tarija
baptism pics. :)

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