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Dec 25, 2013

Dec 9, 2013 Navidad

This week was great. 

It was such an awesome opportunity to watch the Christmas Devotional last night. Of course it was dubbed into Spanish but I was literally BAWLING. Such incredible messages from our church leaders. I loved Russell M. Nelson´s talk. AH, it was so so good.  There are a lot of good Christmassy topics in the Liahona this month, wooo. We have been challenging members, investigators, menos activos, actually pretty much everyone we come in contact with, to come up with what they are going to give to Christ this Christmas. Almost exactly like what was talked about in the Devotional, I thought that was way cool! 

A family has made the decision to get sealed in the temple after 13 years, SO awesome. I am so happy for them! They´re going to the Guayaquil temple this month, since there isn´t one in Quito.....yet :). Others are wanting to give more service, read their scriptures, COME TO CHURCH (Hallellujaah, it is so nice to hear that as a goal since most of our area is made up of indigenous people who work in artesanias, they are usually always at the ferias selling their goods on Saturday and Sunday and they don`t make it to church), spend more time with family, have family home evenings more often, pray more, etc. It is such a privilege to see how the light of Christ touches people, especially during this holiday season. 

I personally, was praying in regards to what I should give to my Savior this month. My answer came to me at a way spiritual FHE a couple nights ago, when we were going around the circle. It was crazy because the words just fell out of my mouth. I decided I am going to recommit to putting my whole heart into my mission. I will not pass through my mission, I will let my mission pass through me. I know that The Lord will give me more strength and even more possibilities to touch and change lives, but I need to be obedient with exactness. I need to put forth allllll of my efforts, aaaand I cannot hold anything back. I can try a little harder to be a little better every single day.  I have seen miracles. I have been able to see how Jesus Christ's Atonement has re-shaped lives through His mercy and love. I am so thankful to be a part of this sacred work!
-Soooo, it turns out we had beg bugs. Yay third world countries! Hahahha I was literally throwing up. So nasty. But it is now taken care of. Although I continue to bathe in bug spray. I call it my perfume, ha.
-We ate chicken claw again..... I have pics to prove it this time. 

-MOROCHO is the key to my heart, (even though my heart is currently locked and focused on the work, haha) but oh my heavens it is so good. I had it twice this week, because our mamitas found out how much I love it. Its like soup with milk and corn but dang, it is delicious. 

-Tostado is also yumyum as well, it's just the kernels of corn. Kinda like a bigger version of soy nuts.

-Never thought I would say this but, I MISS VEGETABLES. They hardly dont exist here. And the only fruit I can find is in downtown Otavalo, like 15 mins away. We had broccoollllli on Wednesday and I jumped out of my chair with glee.
I´m gonna just write the highlight of each day, because we have so many lessons daily, I get confused.

Monday- We were in Quito all day, and rode back in the dark on a sketchy bus. But it was all good because we stopped at a Columbian store and bought Polaca, THE GREATEST STUFF ON EARTH. Its like yogurt of oatmeal or something. Yall can google it.
Tuesday- We visited Jimmy, Armando´s cousin (Armando was the first one we baptized when I got here) and he is SO stoked to learn more about the Gospel. He wants to get baptized, but he´s 16, which means he needs his parent´s permission. (Permission is a big thing here, even if you are over 18, if your husband doesn´t want you to get baptized, you can´t. Like, one of our investigator´s husband´s threatened to kill her if she got baptized. It is very intense) But we have permission to keep teaching him, and we sang Christmas carols to his parents, so I think they´re starting to soften up a bit. Armando is going to talk with them as well. But Jimmy is reading and progressing way well, he gives us these in depth resumenes of his lectura. Noche de Hermanamiento was great. We watched some videos that I remember watching in SemSem (Shoutout to Brother Holt) 

Wednesday- We went and visited Pacha 9 and Dayna 11 (Flower and Earth in Quichua) two sisters who are looking into the church. They are so enthusiastic and they love learning more. They ask questions and they are super cute. They both want to get baptized but their mom is a hardcore Evangelista and their dad is an alcoholic. They always pray for him during lessons, its so tender. We went and visited some other conversos recientes as well. 
Saturday- ALL OF OUR CITAS CALLERON. (all our appointments fell through) It was such a hard day. It was really frustrating. But ya gotta have good days and hard days. Doesn´t mean each day doesn´t serve a purpose. We ended up visiting Hermana Sole, whose hubby is in Venezuela for a couple more months. She had been praying for comfort and a friends and then we showed up 2 minutes later. Her little sister, is in the hospital because she attempted suicide and the whole family has been having a really hard time. We were able to just offer her a shoulder to cry on and honestly we just cried along with her, but then we shared some really uplifting scriptures with her, and we were able to help her feel her Heavenly Father´s love. She is a very strong member and has an awesome testimony. Later, we went over to familia Moreta for a FHE, the husband was there but wouldn´t pry his body away from Facebook to have a short lesson with us, and Blanquita, the wife, just started bawling. People here are way open about their business, so she vented. I think she needed it. We adapted out lesson to her needs, and gave her a shoulder to cry on. Then, we sang her her favorite hymns, and gave her some passages of scriptures to read! Along with a couple conference talks. On our way back home, we stopped by the familia Campo, and they invited us in for a FHE as well! We talked about Christmas and what gifts they wanna give. It was awesome. So our Saturday turned out to be not so bad. We were able to be in the right places at the right time. God knows what he´s doing. :) 

Sunday- AHHH THE DEVO WAS SO GOOD. I loved it so much. LEYDI GOT BAPTIZED WOO WOOOOO! She´s a really cute, super shy 16 year old from Colombia, and I honestly had only seen her smile twice before her baptism. But she was literally beaming when she came out of the water. We saw her this morning at the store and she was smiling so big! I am so thankful for the changes people can make in their lives through Christ and His healing Atonement. :)

Monday- Since today was PDAY, our zone went to Toxapamba, which is this dope waterfall. It was quite the hike hahah, and it was pouring rain the whole time, which meant a lot of mud. It was SO dang fun though! Our zone is so awesome. We were singing hymns and stuff. It was great. I didn´t slip and fall into the mud, but a lot of people did hehe. The waterfall was gorgeous! I love Ecuador lalala. 

Dang. I have so many pics I wanna send but this email confuses me and it takes like 3928 minutes to load half of a pic. 
We are excited to have our Christmas dinner at the mission home in Quito this week! YEeeee, we get to hit up the cityyyy! 

Hermana Bowman

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