Monday, August 14, 2017

Preaching Repentance in Sodom and Gomorrah

So the worlds been up in flames this week. Literally.
So on Thursday night we were walking home after a long and good working day when we looked up to an uncommonly obscure night sky and a bright basically orange full moon. We ran up to the roof of our building to admire the moon and it was indeed beautiful hanging just above the brick colored Tarija houses and rolling mountains. I admired it for a minute or two and then I turned around to go back inside, but what I saw when I turned around was a long orange crack in the dark night sky. I pointed it out to hna Herrera for a moment imagining that the Apocalypse had actually come or the fabric of time had been broken or something when I realized that the crack wasn't in the sky but it was lining the tops of the dark mountains. And there was more a bit farther to the east too. We realized it was moving and the reality of a HUGE mountain forest fire hit us. I realized why the stars weren't as clear as usual because the sky was filled with smoke. I felt like I was in the Twilight Zone. I hadn't heard a word or seen any panic all day and the city was as calm and peaceful as it usually was at night. Yet there it was in front of my eyes destruction that wasn't really to far off.
We watched it for a while and then went to bed. The next day followed with finding out from our pencionista that all classes had been cancelled and people should stay inside from the air contamination. And that the fire was spreading almost to Argentina without any signs of stopping. Chili with their big firefighting helicopters were of no help, typical chili. and the government in La Paz were partying while Tarija was burning.  She told us if the fire got to the city with all the loose electrical cables, that there wouldn't be survivors and likened the situation to Sodom and Gomorrah. We were directed by our leaders to buy face masks and to keep working. We continued our day as normal. The fire continued until on Sunday we were told to stay inside the house unless we had a secure appointment with someone. But not too soon after lunch the fire had finally gone out and we were told we could go out proselyting again.
it was an interesting weekend. ha ha
We had a stake conference this week and were able to hear messages from the general offices broad casted to all of Peru and Bolivia. I learned a lot and one thing I like was they talked about missionary work ,and how if you're a youth and trying to decide to go on a mission, the better answer is yes, because we will never feel like we need to repent for serving a mission but we may feel we need to repent for not serving one. So if you do have the opportunity, you should choose to go and I testify of that because its the best! Also what was really cool is they shared a story of a member named Henry, that everyone thought was a great story, afterward I realized it was the story of one of the members and his family that I know very well from my last area!! Cool!
OK well don't have much time but I love you all, and don't be afraid to do things even if you don't know exactly how to do them, just have faith and act and that's how you will learn!
I testify that Christ lives and he loves and knows each and every one of us individually. He is our Savior.
love you all have a great week!
love and luck from Bolivia <3

Hermana Brown

Monday, August 7, 2017

Happy Independence Day, Bolivia!

Hey guys!

So this week we had some ups and downs. We were able to help out an awesome member named hna Cachari. She is a returned missionary (she had 80 converts! crazy) and she's amazing. She's a strong women who is fighting lucimia right now. Her faith is amazingly strong. We made her a little cake that we bought in the "campacino" (which is a giant market area that seems like a tiny city because it is throughout multiple surrounding streets.) and I decorated. pics attached.She liked it a lot.

We have an amazing family that's absolutely golden and its a mom with her two daughters. They have a date for the 19th and they absorb the gospel like a sponge! They came to church this week and loved it they already seem like members! We are blessed to have the opportunity to teach them.

We also had a great lesson with an old investigator where the spirit guided us to talk about the love of god. And it was a great spiritual experience, she understood a lot better.

We also met some pretty hard-hearted people this week too. One guy walked in on a lesson we were having with someone else and started attacking us out of know where and the spirit left. We kept our cool though and did our best to be patient even though he was being pretty rude. 

We also got to go to an amazing activity where the whole stake came and all the members had prepared traditional Bolivian dances from each department that they performed for celebration of Bolivia's Independence Day! It was amazing! But I forgot my camera... sorry.

yay Bolivia!

I know the gospel is restored on the earth and I know Christ lives and he is my savior! I'm so grateful for the love He has for me and the sacrifice He made! There is nothing better I could be doing right no but sharing His light with others!

I love you guys! Remember to do something good for someone else this week!
love and luck from Bolivia

hermana Brown

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

New Area, New Everything!

Hey guys! So as you've heard, I'm in TARIJA!!
So a little about Tarija, to start its a LOT more beautiful and calmer than the big bustling Santa Cruz (and although i love it here and the streets are a TON cleaner, I feel a weird defensive pride for the city that I learned to love. <3 Santa Cruz)

But my area is basically everything I dreamed. The city is beautiful.  We've got lots of restaurants in our area and the marketplace and the Feria (there was a Feria of all things tiny this week that only happens once a year it was so cute and everything was indeed made tiny! mostly food but still we had fun eating tiny salteñas empanadas and cakes and mini hamburgers.) There's bags of juice here called Karpil that hna Mamán talked all about and I finally tried, I felt like I was drinking a straight up liquidated orange. It was awesome. 

The streets are like those of San Francisco. You don't have be looking down for it to be staring you in the face. I'm burning a lot more calories hiking to our  investigatores houses ha ha. There are MOUNTAINS! It's beautiful! And our house is like a real house! It's really nice and I like it a lot. We needed to do a lot of cleaning and organizing though which took up all this morning and we still have more to do. The members here in 4 De Julio (hence #freedom) are really nice and great but its a small ward and they don't have a pianist. But the chapel is nicer and cozier. Also the weather here is perfect! It's not hot and crazy windy and eating sand 100% of the time like Santa Cruz. I can actually wear a sweater. 

We only have 3 companionships in our district. But one of the elders is from my CCM (MTC) district, he is training a new missionary. 

Hna Herrera is from Argentina too! We drink mate EVERY night! I love it. She's from the province of Misiones where the giant falls bigger than Niagara waterfalls are. She's the tiniest person to ever exist but shes full of energy and were both ready to work really hard this cambio. I'm excited. It's kind of scary being senior companion because I'm the one responsible for everything and my comp looks to me to make the decisions.But I'm learning and growing a lot. I feel like I'm being a real missionary. But I still feel scared to open my mouth sometimes. but I open it anyways and trust the spirit to guide me. It always works ha ha. 

We made "rollos" with a family this week that were really good and we also have a really nice park in our area and also we found the mystery machine!!ha ha. 

Well I'm excited to be here in Tarija and I know that I'm exactly where I'm meant to be. I'm so blessed to be here and also to have met all the people I've met in my area before in Las Misiones. I've attached just a few of the photos of only a few of the many amazing people and friends I made in Santa Cruz and some from Tarija.

OK love you guys! remember that wherever you are right now you can do what you can to make a difference! Have faith and just do it! the lord always provides a way for us to complete his commandments! (1 Nefi 3:7) walk the path he's prepared for success!

We also met a wonderful lady with her daughter this week named Janith and Fabiola who accepted a baptism date in the first lesson. She's amazing and we teach her in the park. She absorbs the gospel like a sponge and I'm happy to be teaching her the wonderful message of the restored gospel. My challenge you you all this week is to ask the missionaries for a pamphlet of "the Restoration" and give it to one of your friends!! You can do it! Share Christ's light with the world and make the world a little bit happier!
Love you all thank you for all your prayers! I really need them!
Love and luck from Bolivia
Hermana Brown