9 February 2015
My favorite part of the week was exchanges with the trio in Putaendo. I was with Hermana Ward and Hermana Nuñez (from Chile). It's interesting to have an exchange with two companions because I can see how they interact as companions and teach together. Although, since then Hermana Nuñez has left the zone. Guess who her new companion is? Hermana Clark! Good thing they got along before. They had three transfers together and now they will have at least five more weeks. That's a lot of time. What happened is that Hermana Clark left to train but then her trainee decided to go home, so President pulled Hermana Nuñez from the trio. It's sad to hear about the sister who went home, but the dynamic duo is back, even if not in our zone.
Anyway, I was happy to spend the day with two spectacular sisters in their sector. We had a family home evening with an investigator and a convert. We taught about Peter walking on water and the faith that a new convert needs to have. We brought completos and ate outside because the investigator works on a ranch where he grows corn and watermelon and other produce. I really felt like I was in South America that evening. He brought a bucket of water which we washed our hands in, along with tomatoes, avocadoes, and a knife we found in his fruit stand. We sliced everything at a small table (while praying in our hearts that the water was clean) and because it was getting dark, he lit a candle. His fruit stand is made of wood and a few palm fronds form a roof. He joked that it was a thousand star restaurant. Hermana Nuñez said, "I know, I can see them," as she pointed up at the night sky visible through the roof. Stars were appearing through the palm fronds.
As we biked home it was completely dark but the full moon was brilliant and it was hard to keep my eyes off of it as we rode. As we entered the gate, I paused to observe the stars and Hermana Nuñez pointed out the southern cross, Orion's belt, and other constellations that she knows from the southern hemisphere.
We taught another man we have been teaching this week and finally finished explaining the Plan of Salvation with Kingdoms of Glory. He says he wants to go to the Celestial kingdom, obviously, but isn't doing any of the basic things that he should do such as read, pray, and attend church. We finally found a doubt with him. "¡Diez por ciento es mucha plata!" "Ten percent is a lot of money!" I'm afraid that after the final judgment there are going to be a lot of people who still say that the Celestial Kingdom was too expensive.
As we taught tithing to the young woman with the baptismal date, her only doubt was, "Does it have to be ten percent?" We explained that it was about obedience and faith and then she said, "But wouldn't it be easier to donate all my savings than to calculate a percentage?" Real intent. We also taught fasting and she ran to get a notebook so she could write down what we were saying. She wanted to make sure she fasted in the right way.
I completed eight months. I am almost at the halfway point and this week I remember Lauren saying this time last year that she wasn't sure if she was up for round two. I think I understand what she meant. Everything is fine. I'm healthy. I love my companion. This branch is wonderful. I'm just lacking some energy and I need to get it back. Reading my patriarchal blessing always helps. I realize that Lauren is already home and that my time here is really short and that gives me the motivation I need to keep focusing and working.
I love you! Happy Valentine's Day to everyone! Eat some sugar cookies for me :)
Hermana Eva VanCott
What a gross dessert...
Dried peaches. Juice. Wheat.
It's growing on me.
The bikes leaning against the ironing board. We have to carry them up a flight of stairs and keep them in the house so they don't get stolen.
My companion made me a wallet out of a milk carton.