Monday, November 2, 2015

Happy Halloween!

Dear Family,

As many have asked, Bolivians don't celebrate Halloween like we in the EEUU do. They celebrate El día de los muertos which for them simply means going to the cemetery all day on Sunday to visit their loved ones who are passed on. They also take a 3 day weekend. Saturday, Sunday and today Monday are holidays when no one works. We left this morning to go to the offices and report the mission numbers and there was no one in the streets. 

Other than the weekend with lots of parties and people leaving to go to the ''campo'' (which is just a term the people use to say they wont be home. Sometimes it means that they leave the city) its been a great week. I just want to tell you about 1 family and 1 brother.

Anselmo Coca Guzmán is his name. One day we were crossing a field and he was sitting on a rock. We talked to him and he told us he got baptized in 2008. We looked on our membership record list and he was there!! There previously was no address, no phone number, nothing. He was filled with joy as we explained to him that he still was a member. We are the only church here that actually keeps records of the members!! He was so happy! We have taught him almost every day this week and yesterday he came to church for the first time in 7 years. The most wonderful thing about him is that he knows it all!! He likes to memorize. Hes 69 years old and has a tiny booklet where he writes phrases and quotes he likes. Then he reads them and reads them and reads them. On top of all of that, he has the Gospel Principles books and reads and reads and reads it. For these 7 years, he has read it a million times and can teach any principle of the Gospel. He made me a booklet like his. He sews it in the middle and he signed it for me. He not only memorizes everything, he actually understands the doctrine. We recently taught him the Plan of Salvation. We just had to remind him about the pre-mortal life and a switch turned on in his brain and he remembered it all!! He was so happy to hear again that he lived with God and that God knows Him. What a wonderful man. He came to church and fully understand the importance of the Sacrament. I want to be like him. 

The Cabrera Family. The story is a little long of how we met them. We talked to a lady (Lizet) and her kids in a park, she told us her husband wasnt home at the time but that we could come back. We then for several weeks called, called, and passed by their house and called some more but we never could find her and her husband again. We went back one more time this past week with a lot of faith. Brother Cabrera (Leoncio) opened the door and immediately let us in. Turns out he is Lizet's dad! We sat down, got to know him, taught what we felt he and his wife (Aida) needed, and in the end they accepted to be baptized, he said the last prayer in the end of the lesson and we went back the next day. In the 2nd visit they had read all about the Restoration and Leoncio was excited to finally find what to him seemed like the true church. We asked him to pray and he did it!! Hes still looking and trying to recognize his answer with Aida but they both accepted a baptismal date for the 28 of November. Pray for them. They are wonderful people. The lessons we have with them are so funny! They have been married for 45 years and they argue sometimes! Sometimes we teach them something and one doesn't understand but the other does. They one who understood starts to complain at the one who didn't understand and they just go off right in front of us. Its the funniest thing I've ever seen! But I love them so much. 

I know without a doubt that, as the Lord reveled to the Prophet Joseph Smith, ''... the gospel (shall) roll forth unto the ends of the earth, as the stone which is cut out of the mountain without hands shall roll forth, until it has filled the whole earth.'' D&C 65:2 

Hurrah for Israel!

Elder Gehring

Here is my Halloween picture. A shifter in a micro.

Also here is the book that Anselmo made and signed for me :)

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