Just to catch up a little bit...
On New Year's day, we took a walk up the hill behind the Temple. There are some radio/TV antennas up there, and a maintenance building. While heading back down to the Temple, we came across this little Cochabambina. This is very typical dress for the more indigenous of the population. She's holding a bowl full of choclo - big kernels of corn that have been boiled.
We also met this very relaxed bovine:
Although he was behind a fence, he appeared capable of finding a way to get out if he had wanted.
On Wednesday and Thursday (6th and 7th), we got to coordinate the quarterly visit of the Cochabamba Mission missionaries to the temple. There are about 150 in the area, and they are split across four sessions - two each day. It is really fun to visit with them, and see their youth, vitality, and energy.
I visited with one Elder who is serving in Arani right now (a few miles from Punata, and in the Punata Ward), and is very driven to learn. He has taught himself Quechua. He says that there are only two member families there in Arani right now that are active.
On Thursday, I met an Elder who came in October to do work for one of his ancestors, but didn't quite finish. Last time, he got the initiatory done, but couldn't get the endowment finished. When he came this morning, he recognized me and told me he was going to do the endowment today. It was really fun talking to him. On the way out of the temple at 10:00 or so, there were still a lot of missionaries milling around taking pictures in front of the Temple. He was there, and wanted to take a picture with us.
On Sunday, Molly and I read a chapter in Neal A. Maxwell's book, "All These Things Shall Give Thee Experience" together about Service. It was really meaningful - there are lots of ways to serve, but we have to start by thinking outside our own interests. In our world today, it seems that everyone is lobbying for their "rights", while efforts towards lifting others, serving, sharing blessings, and watching out for others has been completely lost. At least in the visible, public arena.
We are really blessed here to be able to see all the small acts of love and service that these generous, kind, Bolivian members offer. Fortunately, these kinds of efforts exist in all parts of the world - they just don't get any publicity.
On Monday, we had FHE with the missionaries. President Jensen talked about the different versions and edits of the Book of Mormon through the years. Changes to the Book of Mormon over the years have been attempts to clarify and correct errors based on handwriting style, grammar clarifications, spellings, etc. None have changed the purity and simplicity of the doctrine. It was interesting to think about all the problems that would arise in printing a book that has 150 million copies having been printed and distributed through the years.
Lisa Wiggins, Sawyer's other Grandma, texted Molly to let her know that Sawyer is doing very well. They removed his PIC line, and are looking towards April to revise his colostomy.
It's interesting to note that the promises of the Lord aren't that all our problems will disappear when we make good choices, when we serve others, and even when we consecrate our time and talents to His service, but that He will make us capable of bearing the burdens. The great Plan of Salvation and Happiness are designed to help us learn to be more like Him, to bring us closer together as His children, and to progress. We are truly grateful for that Plan, and for a family who are all working hard to love and support their families as they progress towards that goal.