Sunday, January 5, 2014

Bolivia, here I come

Dear Family and Friends,

I can not believe A) that it is almost mid December??!! and B) that I leave for Bolivia in 3 days. I am excited to be out of the CCM because I feel like a prisoner who never sees the light of day, and if i stayed here i would become obese because all we do is sit on our butts for 15 hours a day and eat three square meals of starch and carbs. However, I am really nervous to be with my companion and no one else in 3 days in Bolivia since I can not speak Spanish haha. I can say the most basic of the basic and understand like 50%, more if it is gospel context. it is so frustrating. There is SO MUCH to get done here! Learn the language, learn the lessons (but no memorizing, just know them so well we can put them in our own words), strengthen our own testimonies in order to be able to genuinely testify, read the Book of Mormon again, etc. But it is okay because i am progressing and i want to get to that point where i am actually lost in others. 
Besides these struggles i am very happy here. my latina companion is Hermana Lezcano from Argentina where they pronounce the ll as sh (in bogota it is j, in bolivia it is y, so everyone just sounds different all the time ha). She is an amazing convert, the only one in her family (like many of the incredible latin americans here). she finally opened up one night and told me about the domestic abuse and drugs etc in her home. she likes being here instead because of the spirit she can feel in contrast. A lot of these girls have similar conversion stories of going against their parents will and breaking up with long time boyfriends etc etc in order to be baptized and go on a mission. they are such huge examples to me. 
My favorite latina hermana is a 21 year old from El Salvador, Hermana Lopez. we became quick friends although she knows virtually no English, and we find ways to communicate with my sketch spanish haha, and we have the exact same humor so that makes it easy to find ways to bond. She is also the only member in her family.  
A couple days ago we went out to proselyte and my companion and i ended up talking to this man for like 20 minutes in a park. then at the end BAM my companion just asked him to get baptized hahaha. we are supposed to invite for baptism preparation in the first lesson and this was just street proselyting, but she did it anyways. And he said he would (although he was being very polite haha) and she could literally not contain her excitement all the way back to the CCM hahaha. 
Well, today was our last day going to the Bogota temple!! If I ever get to go again it will be in Cochabamba, Bolivia. Also, last week we got to go on a real field trip! to this giant salt mine with a catholic cathedral carved in the middle. it was SO AWESOME. i was in awe. and i really felt it was a holy place. there were crosses for the various steps jesus took on his way to crucifixion and then an open slab at the end representing his triumphant resurrection. i will send pics!

love you all. Pray for my companion in Bolivia to be able to tolerate my "spanish" haha. 

love, hermana bingham

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