It was so good to get back to Bolivia, especially Cochabamba and the Temple and our dear friends here. We love serving in the temple. We felt loved and missed as we returned to the temple and were welcomed so warmly.
All the sisters were concerned about my wrist and wanted to help me with everything.
Two sweet sisters from La Paz, Hna. Umei and Hna. Charca, told me to use manzanilla on my wrist and hand for the swelling and to help with the healing. So I looked it up on line and found out that it is chamomile and has a lot of very healthful and healing properties and scientific studies have shown that chamomile is good stuff. So we bought some at the feria and I have already used it twice. Three times a week is recommended.
In our first week back we have been to Los Castores for Salteñas, IC Norte for food etc. The feria for produce and of course our favorite, La Cancha.
Friday the 27th of May was Bolivia's Mother's Day, Dia De La Madre. Wherever you go in the world, people love mothers. It is a great honor and privilege for me to be a mother to my children who are such wonderful people. I am also so grateful for my amazing, wonderful, perfect mother.
One day in the temple I was thinking a lot about my dear mother. There is a sister worker, Hna Eguino, that reminds me of her. She is so loving and smiley and energetic and spiritual and fun. I was telling her about my mother that particular day. She could tell I was really missing my mother and she said she would be my proxy mother while I'm here in Bolivia. So sweet.
So I crocheted Hna Eguino a necklace for Dia de La Madre. I was grateful that my broken wrist didn't get too much in the way. It was probably good for it. I "typed" her a letter and included a picture of my mother and me so she could see how beautiful and little my mother is .
Hna Eguino cried when I gave her the gift. She loves the North Americans and is so grateful for us. She spent some time in the US when her son was very sick in Primary Childrens Hospital.
Charlie was asked to play the piano for the choir of the Villa Graciela Ward for their Ward Conference. They put a lot into their Ward Conferences here and this sweet choir had been learning two "two part" songs without a pianist. They used their cell phones to learn their parts. The director was Hno. Chavez who is a temple worker and a good friend. He was very happy we made it back from Utah in time for Ward Conference. He has a good ear and feels the music and is a very enthusiastic, good director. Bolivians are not known for their musical abilities. But they are enthusiastic participants. Sister Chavez asked me to sing. I didn't even hesitate, I felt honored to participate with these sweet people and I really enjoyed it. The songs were "Love One Another" and "Lord I would Follow Thee". The sisters wore white blouses and dark skirts and the brothers wore white shirts and red ties. One of the sisters made folders for our music. Royal blue construction paper with a yellow stripe on the side and a gold cut out of Moroni. The High light was a little 8 year old boy who sang "Love One Another" while the choir hummed our parts. He had such a beautiful sweet voice and he knew how to project. You could hear him throughout the chapel and he didn't strain at all.
We enjoyed attending the Villa Graciela Ward Conference.The Bishop's talk was so sweet. The theme was about being a lantern to those around us. "Ajustemos las linternas los perdidos la verán: al errante marinero ayudemos a salvar" and the scripture was : Juan 2:10 "El que ama a su hermano permanece en la luz, y en él no hay tropiezo" You could tell he really loves his flock. The Stake Pres. message was sweet too about the theme. There were quite a few temple workers in that ward and it was sweet to see them. The choir added to the spirit of the meeting. Charlie was asked to play for the whole meeting. I'm so grateful that my companion is so willing to share his talents and that people can count on him to do so.
We celebrated Memorial Day with a potluck/barbecue with all the missionaries. We even had a Memorial Day trivia game along with candy prizes.
On Tuesday, we went down to La Cancha. On our way, a young woman stopped us. She saw our name tags. She had just returned from a mission to St. George, Utah. She was so cute and energetic. And on the way home from La Cancha we took the B Bus. A young, very handsome couple got on the bus. She had a guitar and he had a harmonica. He announced them and they sang some songs for us. They both had very nice voices. After a couple of songs he went around with his open back pack for donations. This happens frequently and the bus riders are usually very generous.
|Selling pasta, grains, flour, etc.|
|Flowers at La Cancha.|
|Fresh squeezed orange juice on a street corner.|
We are so grateful for these tender connections as well as the great experiences we are having here.
|Hno. Mendez on the left, his son Cesar on the right in 1975.|