Monday, May 26, 2014

Una Vision al Senor


I want to start by saying that I was wrong about Santa Cruz. Its not hot all the time. In fact, its sometimes very very cold. And sometimes its even colder when its raining. And I can't lie, I never thought I would need to buy a jacket here in Bolivia. But I did. Friday I went with Elder Bel Tran to a street market to look for a jacket. And it was a weird experience. 1 because I am a gringo and everything is very expensive for me. And 2 because all of the clothes they have are donations from the USA to Bolivia, but the people here need money so they end up selling it all. I bought 2 sweatshirts to wear while we are in our house. 1 from a highschool somewhere in the States and another from the Utah Utes. I'm definitley not going to wear the second one ever, I only bought it so someone else wouldn't have to wear it. Just kidding.... kinda. Oh we also taught a lesson to a Pastor of a church here in Bolivia and he was wearing sweatpants from BYU. I told him it was a sign that he needed to be baptized. He didn't think so.
This week was cold but it was really great. We had a lot of success and yesterday we finally had investigadores attend church!! It was such a rewarding feeling to see them so happy during Sacrament Meeting.
But as always it was a week full of adventures. I would like to tell you about them now. 
We are always looking for service. And this week we found some! A part member family needed help cutting down a tree. I was happy to help! Espesially after several weeks working with Grandma cutting up wood!! But the thing I didn't know was that they only had machetes. And if you don't know, its very hard to cut down a tree with, well, a sword pretty much. After about an hour they borrowed an axe and things went a bit faster. Then they hooked up a rope to their car and ended up pulling the tree down with a taxi. I got it all on film. We were so tired afterwards. But the good news is that the mom of this family attended chuch this sunday! And she's not a memeber! Service really does work! So you should all do it more.
Now a secret about my companero. He loves to use his onda (sling shot). And he likes to brag about his accuracy. Yesterday we were leaving lunch and he told me to look and he shot in a flock of gallos and killed one. It was really bad... because this guy started yelling at him. I understand spanish but not when its really loud and full of curse words. He ran.. so I ran. It was just a stray gallo and the streets here aren't going to miss him but he felt so bad. It was pretty funny afterwards though. I told him hes not allowed to bring it (his onda) outside of the house anymore.

I also found a llanta this week. A huge one. I think its from a giant tractor or something. I rolled it all the way back to our house (a good 3 km) and now in the mornings we use it to work out. It almost wasn't worth it but its at least something different to do every morning. Push ups and sit ups get less and less appealing every day when your bed is very very comfortable.

OH! And I met a gringo this week. He is a student on a mission trip for his school and he preaches false doctrine about the mormons. He is very nice but he doesn't say nice things about us. He came up to us and asked us some questions. He doesnt know a lick of spanish so it was pretty cool to be able to speak with my companero when he couldn't! He is only here for 2 weeks and when he heard that we are here for 2 years he was very shocked. I was very proud to be a member of our church in this moment. He left and didn't say much else. It was pretty weird to speak in English too. Spanish is much easier here.
Tuesday we had Zone Conference. It was even better than my first one. The theme was Christ. To start, we studied about the atonement and after we talked about his life here on the earth. I can't even begin to describe and tell all that I learned and now understand about the atonement but I am here to tell you all that you can never stop learning about the Atonement of Christ. There is no act more great and more selfless than the Atonement and we can never stop studying it. But while I was reading in Mateo during the conference I came to learn something new about the story of Christ walking on the water. Go get your Bible and then come back and read the rest of this letter so you can follow along.

I'm serious. Go get your Bible.

You still don' have it...

Good. Now turn to Matt. chapter 14.

If you dont have your Bible. Get it now.

Good. Now read verses 25-30.


Now. There is soo much we can learn from this story. I Love the part in verse 25 about the 4th watch. Its hard at times, and sometimes we don't think He will come to help us but he always will. Even if its in the 4th watch. In the 11th hour of our pain. But I want to focus most in verse 29. And I want you to think about where Peter´s vision was. In this verse where was he looking?? At Christ. He had faith, he knew his goal (Christ) and he was able to walk on the water. Then in the very next verse. In spanish is says ´Mas al ver el viento...´ In this verse now, where is he looking? For a split second his vision changed. He lost sight of his goal (Christ) and later in the same verse (30) what happens? He starts to sink.

This hit me hard. That the second. The very instant we lose sight of Christ in our lives is when we will start to sink. The wind in so terribly stong in the world right now. There are temptations, problems, death, sickness, sadness. But if we look at these things and take our eyes off of Christ, we will sink. Si­ o si­. It is so crucial and so important that we focus in Christ and never look away. I know that when we have a clear vision in Christ that it doesnt matter how strong the winds are, we will be able to make it. There is so much more we can learn from these few verses but I only have so much time to write. Read this part over and over and I promise you, you'll find something new each time you read it.

I love this work, I love the people here. I love my Savior and everyday I stive to keep my vision and my goal in Him. I know we are not perfect, none of us are. We are going to sink but we can always change our visions back to Christ. He will be there to hear our cries and lift us from our sorrows. Maybe not until the 4th watch, but He will always come.

Hurrah for Israel!

Elder Gehring

A birthday party!

In a canal where the kids here like to fish.

This is Ingird and her baby.

This is the tree we cut down!

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