HEY! Great day to all 😀 This is going to be a long one. Sorry.
So i absolutely LOOOOVE my new sector. It is a lot more country than Ibarra was. It is pretty uncivilized. I hand wash my clothes every day, my shower is cold, and everyone does things the hard way! Seriously, there are no machines or anything to make things faster. haha. They cut their crops, wrap em in a blanket, and carry it on their backs to wherever they need to go.
Everyone speaks Quichua. I am studying it again! Haha. My companion, Hermana Rojas, speaks Quechua because they speak that in Bolivia. It is a little different from Quichua, but she can understand at least! So she is helping me a ton. Church is allllll in Quichua and i almost understand NOTHING. I only understand a few words because they kind of mix it with Spanish a little. It was funny though because the branch president (yes, i am back in a branch…87 people has been our record number of attendance) asked me to bear my testimony. So i went up and said “Na yachanichu quichuata” which means “I don’t know Quichua” then i bore my testimony in Spanish. They all got a pretty good laugh out of that -__- haa I just don’t like when they talk about us. No one knows that Hermana Rojas can understand, and she translates and sometimes they are talking about us but heyyy it’s whatever.
I was wrong about people not having TVs or watching the world cup though. They may be sleeping on the ground and barely have a roof over their heads or something to eat each day–but they all have TVs. I don’t get it. So that’s been a struggle. On the bright side, USA beat Ghana. Who would have guessed?
Every morning my comp and I run to the waterfalls of Peguche. It makes me think SO MUCH of Oregon because it is super great and beautiful and…i love it. aaaand i am finally getting back into shape. haha. We also are going deeper into the forrest some days, like behind the waterfall, and I got to boulder a little bit which was way cool.
My comp was in the Bolivian army as basically a firefighter, which is cool. She is actually so cool. And wayy cultural. haha Bolivia has a really cool culture.
My sector is literally just a mountain. We are always walking up and down the mountain and it is really hard to find people to teach because they all hide in their houses when they see us. They are a super timid community.
It is seriously like I just walked into the Book of Mormon though. Everything is so real. Everyone here (men included) has super long hair and it is always in a pony tail or braid. Everyone wears their traditional clothes, and for the men it means all white shirts, pants, and shoes. It is actually so incredibly beautiful here–the culture.
Right now we are going through the celebration of “San Juan”. It is insane and we have to come home early at night because everyone goes crazy. They basically march down the streets in huge group of people, playing music and dancing and singing. It is the coolest thing ever. But once they hit the end of the road, they enter the forrest and go bathe in the waterfall at midnight. Apparently it “washes away all the bad”. But then they get really drunk and crazy and knock on doors and try and enter your houses at like 3 or 4am…It’s sketch but pretty fun to watch. haha.
This week I made a friend named Tupaj (too-paj) (the “j” is just like a flem sound) which means “king” in Quichua. anyway, it sounds like Tupac so he’s pretty cool.
This week Humberto got baptised! I have only known him a week now, but he was in a reeeeally bad place in his life. This gospel seriously saved his life. He has left his friends completely and is starting over fresh. He’s only 22, but he is seriously determined, seriously strong, and seriously changed. I feel really lucky to have been able to meet him and learn from him.
The people here are so humble and it is incredibly refreshing. There may be a lot of hard hearted people who at times shoo us away with brooms…but there are some really amazing people here too. I never want to leave. I seriously adore this culture and these people.
The people here don’t understand or read or talk very well though. I have had to teach lesson in extremely simple terms. The other day, we were sitting on the ground teaching about repentance and I had to put rocks and dirt on my hand to represent sin and show how we can leave that behind and be clean (as i poured water on my hand)…he only understood by that example. This is how i pictured my mission to be. I feel like i am truly doing what God has called me to do and it is a refreshing feeling i have never experienced before. I love these people so much. I never want to do anything else. Just teach, serve, and speak spanish…!
Well, this week I have learned a ton. It is crazy how I can keep learning something new every week, but i love it. Something I learned is that by doing the right things and being obedient to God, we will be blessed. But we will also see trials and the adversary in our life. Satan never gives up, which means neither should we.
I had been thinking about that saying that goes “Life’s a journey, not a destination” but if you think about it…in a journey, you still have a goal. You still have a purpose. So just because you’re on a journey, doesn’t mean you should just let life shape you. Be firm in your purpose and do what God requires of you. This life is the time we have to prepare to meet God. If we aren’t preparing, then why are we here? We must be constantly working on our relationship with our Heavenly Father. As the Cheshire cat says in Alice in Wonderland “if you don’t know where you want to go, it doesn’t matter which path you take.” So figure out where God wants you to go. Figure out where you want to go. Then take the path that leads you there.
MUCH LOVE! Alichishi,
Hermana Dunne 😀