Tuesday, August 27, 2013

August 26, 2013 Parts of Alecia's E-mails this week!

 Alecia received her first package in her mission! She is so happy! We found out it takes a month for her to get packages from us. 

 This is the sweet young woman that was baptized this past weekend with her little brother!

 So yeah, this is what a whole lot of the women look like here.. except with boots and LONG braids, and a huge colorful bundel on their back! lol! I got to go see all the dances of Bolivia at the church  and I wish I had pics! Ugh... My camera died! How ridiculously sad! But yeah... this is what they wear! lol! Dont laugh too hard at me okay? haha!
me at globos today for pday! A really cool restaurant!

Excerts from letter to the President this week:

Tenia mi primera bautismo de mi mision en este semana pasada Gracias
solamente a Dios y su amor para nosotros! Fue un milagro en verdad!
Soy muy muy emocionada!
I was able to see two youngsters be baptised and confirmed this week!
I could not have been more excited! They are such good kids, and we
are hoping that they can be a strength to their mother and help her to
come to Christ as well. In all honesty, seeing them be baptized was
the very best experience I´ve had so far in my mission! That and
hearing their testimonies afterwards!
As for spanish... Poco a poco I am learning more and more. I have
taken up a new habit to learn more quickly. I have a little notebook
that every time I hear a new phrase or word, I write it down and try
and use it that day. Its pretty helpful. I am also still working on
memorizing the Scripture Masteries in English and Spanish. They are
really coming in handy during our lessons. And I am able to learn new
words as I go.
Hermana Santa Cruz and I are getting a long great. We are getting to
know each other better and better, and learning how to teach more
effectively together as well. She really is the best trainer!
My area is fantastic as well! I really love it with all my heart! Our
investigadors are more like family to me every day. And our
pensionista really is like a kind of mother figure here in Bolivia.
She is always looking out for our health and cooks like an angel
Every day its getting harder and harder to think about leaving. These
people have stolen my heart away! This truly is the best place to be,
and the best work to be a part of.
I do have a question about the back packs too, are we allowed to use
them on pday? Or never? Just wondering.

Excerpts from her letter to me this week:

So, this week was absolutely fabulous! Two baptisms! I got my package! We had mani pedis with the elders for fhe with a family of members! That was about as hilarious as it gets! lol! I finally got to print pics! And Hma Santa Cruz and I are going every morning to the gym to work out so we can be more obedient with our schedule... we both have difficulty with the early morning work out... But we also dont want to get fat with all the food we have to eat here! Sometimes we end up eating two or three lunches! goodness! lol!  We were able to really have a blessed week! I dont think I have ever felt as close to the Lord as when I saw those two youngsters be baptised and confirmed! They are so strong and so faithful! They love to read the scriptures...and ____is going to go to the temple next week! We are hoping to be able to go with her! We also have about three more baptisms planned for this week! Miracles truly come to pass when you are obedient! I have also been working really hard on becoming more familiar with my new set of scriptures. Spanish is difficult, but I always want my relationship with the scriptures to be strong.. So that our investigadors can see how important they are through my love for them... Anyway, I cant send a whole lot of pics this week because these darn computers are really slow... but I hope you can see how happy I am to have my package in the one I sent! It really lifted me up! lol! Tell Gma I am praying for her... And I am sorry she is hurting. And hma Stewart that I love her back! I will pray for the car and a miracle! I am SO glad everyone is feeling better! I was a little worried... Thanks a ton for praying for my investigadors... They all mean so much to me.. and I love to know that they have your prayers as well as mine.. Anyway, I just want you to know how much I love you. And thank you so much for your prayers. I can feel them everyday. And I hope yall know just how special it is to hear from yall for me. For me, its like a recharge... A moment to remember exactly what I am here for... A moment to share everything I can of what I am learning, and to gain more strength for the rest of my week. I love to here about your lives, what your studying, who you talk to, and everything! lol! Anyway, until next time! I love you muchissimo mom... You really are the greatest! 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

August 19, 2013

This is Aleica’s reaction to hearing about the change in our Stake President (Church leader for a larger geographical area)

Awesome! That just sounds so right! He is really going to be great!
Even on this side of the world, I can feel how right he is going to
be! He is really called by God!

Im sorry everyones been sick! :( Ill
be praying for yall, ive been a little sick this week too.. I got a
bit of a cold from the waiting wet and cold last monday. Its been
really hard to wake up every day at 6:30 in the morning when i dont
feel overly well... but its not too bad. And I am almost over it. What
about the kids? are they close yet to being better? Could yall pray
for ________one of our investigadors? He is an old investigador who really knows everything...
he could be baptised any day he chose... We just need a lot of prayers fro him... anyway, this week I
learned that sometimes the mission really is hard.. but that in these
moments we learn the most. We also have decided that this week we are
going to be absolutely completely obedient, because we need miracles
with our investigadors right now... Did i tell yall that ________and
her husband are preparing to enter the temple together? It is
so absolutuely fantastic! Im excited for them! I just wish that the
chapel were flat... we have so many people like them who cant attend
church because they are too old or disabled to walk up those steep
stairs. And its to dangerous to have the elders carry them... I really
wanted to try that idea out... but it would be risking lives...
Anyway, we are going to finally have baptisms this weekend! I am so
excited! We have three little kiddos ready to be baptized! I am really
excited! I love yall so much! and I love hearing about your lives!
Thanks for the recipes! I cant wait to be able to make cookies and
marshmallows and everything! Hey,. could you send the recipe for king
cake too? I really really want to make that soon! I want to share a
louisiana food! lol! anyway, love ya!

Anyway, im slowly learning more about tenses, but they confuse me a
lot. I can prettty much get my point across during lessons though, so
I dont feel too bad. I just keep studying, and eventually it will
My companion and I are struggling a bit with the schedule, especially
this week. But we have addressed the problem and plan to be completely
obedient this week. This is our goal, and so far we are doing pretty
This area is truly the greatest. The people are so incredible. Anyway, all I can do is keep working and pray.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Aug 12 & 13, 2013 Slightly Edited Emails from Alecia

Hey mom! No time, long story why I didnt email today.. maybe I can
email tomorrow... dont know.. But this is the letter I sent to
President Dyer, and I am okay! Love you guys SO much! Hola Presidente
I love this area! And everything is just absolutely perfect! I
couldn´t imagine a better place to be! I love my companion too! She
really listens to me and helps me out with my spanish a lot! We had
the greatest experience this week! We fasted this Sunday for two
things, one was to find a family ready for the gospel, and the other
for a baptism. And we found both in the most miraculous way! But only
after a long hard day where no one could make it to church, and all
kinds of other trials. It was really cool to see how the Lord can work
miracles... but only after the trial of our faith! Anyway, I really
love it here... Everything is just about perfect... I am getting a
little more comfortable in spanish too! Anyway, have a great week!
(Sorry this cant be longer, I dont have a lot of time!)
Hermana Alford

Okay, I have a few more minutes, so I am going to take advantage of
them as much as I can! I went up a mountain today! It was SO hard, but
I got to play in the snow! It was Hma Rosmarys Birthday this Sunday!
We made her cards and I gave her a necklace I made! I am so glad you
got my letters! There is one more on the way that I sent a little
later, and I am writing one right now! I lost my wallet, with almost
all my money in it... except my emergency cash... so I might be taking
out some money in my account this week... idk... Oh! And we have been
having so much success here! I really love it! Tell everyone I wish I
could email them all... But that the elders messed up the
schedule today! We were supposed to be back by noon... But they went
WAY farther than they should have in the mountain and we had to wait
FIVE HOURS for them before we could head back!  I definitely needed to learn
patience today! Anyway... We have been doing so much! I am still
pretty healthy... Only a few little problems with my tummy... All of
which are ridiculously minor considering the conditions I am in right
now!  And anyway... I was going to send pics today... But dont
have time! I took pics of all your
emails to read later tonight... and I am just hoping I can email
tomorrow... But its pretty unlikely... I miss you all so much! But
this place is truly fantastic! I never thought in a million years I
would see some of the things I see here! Mountains and flowers from my
dreams. Smiling faces of Gods children I have the opportunity to
teach! Oh! And I attended my first baptism in the mission! SO cool! I
gave a talk! In spanish! About the Holy Ghost! I am on my way to being
a true Bolivian! Oh! Everyone here seems to think I am Brazillian by
the way!  how funny! Hey mom! Can you send me the recipes for
pancakes, chocolate chip cookies, marsh mallows, and king cake? We
cook with the bishops wife every week, and they want me to teach them
how to make something... Just send it over email if you can, and well
try and make something next week! We made cinnanom rolls this
week... love you all
sooooooooooooooooooo muuuuucccccccchhhhhhhh!!!!!!
Talk to ya when I can!

 Life is crazy here
too! especially the schedule! ouch! But I am, slowly, adjusting to it.
lol!! I
got a really cool back pack from the Cancha here! It is totally
Bolivian! My bag didnt make it past the first day in the field.
Hma Santa Cruz and I have picked up a habit of finding new contacts in
the park! Its so fun! This sunday we found a whole group of little
kids we teach... and we had a little lesson! They are so funny! always
asking me why I have pelos blancos on my arms... white hairs!
Then we swung on the swings with them for a while too! They gave me
like a billion flowers too! Which they put in my hair ! So cute! I
felt like a princess! Actually, I feel like a princess on a regular
basis here!  Especially with the children! They always ask me to
sing to them in english... Which results in a lot of singing and
dancing to disney songs! They about die with laughter dancing
with me! I love it! We also met a new family! Through members of the
church who have been teaching them for quite some time! I can just see
them in white! I am so excited! This is such an amazing part of the
member missionary work! The members really do help a lot! This was the
 answer to our prayer and fasting! Through
members! How chevere! (cool, but in spanish!) Anyway, turns out I
had more time than i thought!  I really love to email yall! It
gives me a new look on the things that have happened! Love yall1

Hey mom, 
Oh, and packages from here to
there are WAY cheap! So i might  be sending a few!! Kiddos! i
am so happy for all of you this year in school! Remember always how
smart you all are! and I pray for you always ! I went up a mountain! Pretty cool
huh? Made a snow man, and a snow angel! Had peanut butter and oreos
for the first time in months!!! YAY! And had a birthday party! Its so
cool yall are having baptisms! how great! Pray for me and my
investigadors will you? Anyway.
It really is great here! And everyone tells me I am doing well with
spanish.. idk... I can only do the best I can every day and hope that
is enough1

Okay, so I have just a few minutes today... But I just wanted to write
a bit more. I was going to send a pic of me and Hma Santa Cruz in the
park with a bunch of kiddos we were teaching... But my camera doesn´t
seem to want to work with this ancient computer lol! Its so funny,
we´ve sort of made a habit out of going to the park to meet new
contacts. And it works so well! Its a really great way to meet familys
and have fun at the same time. The mountain was so cool! It was really
hard, because I had some trouble breathing... But I felt so
accomplished looking down from the top! And I saw my first live
lama!!! How cool is that? They are so much bigger than I ever
imagined! Anyway, I am not sure what all Ive already talked about and
what I havent said yet... So yall probably get a lot of repeats...
Sorry about that, its just hard to remember what Ive written before,
what I wrote in letters, and what I wrote in my journal ! So yeah,
Im learning a whole lot here! About myself, God, and Spanish.
Sometimes I kind of feel like my head is going to explode! I cant wait
to be able to send yall pics of me and my investigadors! The young
women here are so great! I love them all! Oh! I might be teaching an
english class soon! And every wednesday Ill be teaching how to direct
music! It is so interesting here... Almost everyone knows at least a
little bit of a second language! Oh! And the flowers here are
absolutely fantastic! Could you look up and see if Im allowed to bring
dried flowers home? I know theres some kind of law about plants or
something.. but I really want some to bring home and put in my scrap
book1 ! So, what else? Oh! Look up choletas! They are all over the
place here! Hmmm... Life here is just grand! I love everyone! And the
food is so great! I havent yet had anything I really couldnt stand...
We actually had burgers twice! With french fries too! Anyway, I love
all of you to the moon and back! Adios!

By the way, I can just about find anything I need here too! Especially
in the Cancha! Its like a giant, crazy mall that never ends! And has
everything you could imagine wanting! lol! I wont be able to send my
letters till I have envelopes... Which Im going to try and buy soon..
and I am going to try and send them through the regular mail here
rather than pouch mail.. Because you can only send one page with pouch
mail in the mission field.. and I like to write a lot more than that
! anyway... I just wanted you to know that I am good to go here!
lol! You dont have to worry about me not being able to get something I
need. :) I figured out smiley faces! awesome! about time! I really
really love the people here mom! They are just about the greatest
ever! I love ya!

Friday, August 9, 2013

A poem from Alecia "I and the Angels"

I and the Angels
By Hermana Alecia Alford

A world where light is dim
And circumstances dimmer...
A world of poverty, humility
and dirty streets.
How is it then, I feel so blessed?
So Rich and Bright and Grand.
The streets, It's true are
made of dirt
But their hearts are
Fashioned of Gold.
The Love and Kindness
Godly is,
The smiles Genuine
As diamonds are.
No place on Earth compares 
to this.
My calling. My Call.
My land.
These are my people.
Children of God They are.
They're different it's true,
Yet Golden and Bright and 
Grand are they
May God and His Angels
Watch over them.
And may you see Someday
The light of their love
Shine forth in me...
When once again I return to you
And leave this work to the Angels
Once More.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Reporting Aug 5, 2013

This week has
been pretty awesome! I really truly love it here in Cocabamba! And my
companion is perfecto! She really helps me a lot with my spanish! We
have a goal to learn at least six words a day! Thats quite a lot per
week! Our investigadores are fantastic too! I have never encountered
such humility and love in all my life! Anyway, I am feeling pretty
great here! I couldnē³» imagine a better place to be! Oh! And our ward
is fabulous! I just love everybody here! My spanish is still not
overly great, but I am beginning to be able to feel more comfortable
talking to people... I was even able to translate a joke into a
chiste! And everyone understood! It was a pretty pivotal moment for me
in my slow learning of Spanish! And everyone is really helpful here!
Any time I dont know a word, they are so nice and try to help me learn
it! One of the greatest experiences I had so far this week was when we
were out tracting with a member... She started heading towards a door
we were about to pass up, and we found a family there that is so ready
for the gospel! Her name is ________ and she has six children. All of
them came to church with us this Sunday! We were so excited! I really
just felt so happy sitting in church with her! Also, I have been
having a lot of really great opportunities to use my knowledge and
talents to help our investigadors! I love it! I can really see how the
Lord has prepared me with my life experiences specifically for these
people! And its only been a week! I dont know how it can possibly get
better than it has been so far! I love it here! This is just such a
great place to be! Anyway, thanks for listening to the spirit on my
assignment! My area and my companion are exactly perfect!
Hermana Alford

August 5, 2013 Alecia's Email after her first week in Cochabamba

Hey mom! Okay... So here goes! I have no idea where to begin! This is
just the craziest thing ever! Did you get my email on Thursday?
Telling you I made it safely? I didnt know if it was the right email
or not.. My companions name is Hma. Santa Cruz... And she knows
English! We live with the family of the area seventy! In a little
house! And its the best place to live! My bed is comfortable, we have
hot water for our showers, and they even have a washer and dryer we
can use every once in a while! I am in the city Cochabamba... My
spanish is really coming a long! I am healthy... Which is quite a
miracle! Most North Americans are sick for the first week... or
month.. But the Lord has answered our prayers for health! The people
here are so fantastic! I just dont know how you could not love them
with all your heart ! Especially the children! There is one family of
investigadors that has five kids... All of which come running when we
come over yelling over and over  again hermanas hermanas hermanas! We
taught them a lesson yesterday... Its hard to focus because the
children are all loco! But I got to sing to Madeline. She was crying
about something... so I told her to come to me. I hugged her and asked
what her favorite princess was... Then I sang her the little mermaid
song! They all kept spoutin off different princesses after that! it
was so fun! Ham santacruz has me sing EVERY WHERE! LOL! its come in
handy! Oh! And so has my crafting! We like to make object lessons and
gifts for our investigadors! Oh! And she really loves to teach me
Bolivianized words and listen to my gringa accent! So funny! I can
joke in spanish now! I love it! Oh! And my pensionista is the greatest
lady! Her name is Rosmary and she has two daughters violeta and
angela... Both of which are so great too! I love her food so much! I
eat better than the latinos! lol! Its a sign of love and respect and
manners to eat all your food... Which means I am getting fat... But
the people know I love them. I have had to make a really hard
decision... About coca cola... I will drink it if an investigador
gives it to me.. Because it is their way of showing us they love us
... And I am not going to reject that. So, yeah, its hard.. But I want
always for the people here to know that I love and respect them...
Which means that sometimes I will have to eat or drink things that are
a little wierd.. Or coke. lol! Anyway, We are the only sisters in our
zone... President and sister dyer are way cool! I saw the christus for
the first time thursday! SO PRETTY! I cant wait till we can go climb
the hill and take pictures ! I have been having such a great time
here! The people love me almost as much as I lvoe them! It is really
wierd to be considered so foriegn... Really wierd... But it opens
doors sometimes that would other wise never open! Love ya mom! I willl
try to send pics next week okay?

A second Email from Aleica! Answer to the one I sent last week that she didn't get to see until today:

YEAH! I totally know hma adams! We were best friends! Everyday, we
worked out together! Tell her mom I said hi! And she has one strong
daughter! Mom, I love you so much! Everyday, we wake up and get
dressed and ready.. Then we study... ALOT! lol! Which is so fun
actually! And then we go to lunch! Our whole district eats together at
hma rosmarys house. She is a member... and she reminds me a lot of
you! Such a great cook, a beautiful spirit, and a lovely smile! Lunch
is HUGE! And consists of soup and another course... after which we jsu
t hang out and talk alot, in spanish. Then we go out in the field! The
people are so great! i jus lvoe them all! And then we go to dinner...
which is a little smaller... talk and laugh and joke in spanish...
they love to teach me! Which is great because I need to learn.. and
then we go  back home... plan... talk some more about our lives,
families, likes, dislikes, and so on! She is so great mom! And we go
to sleep... in  a really soft bed by the way! lol! And we wake up and
do it all over again the next morning! oh !And shes teaching me salsa
for our exercise !lol1 i am learning to play the piano... and I just
really love it here mom! love ya! Hope that helped at least a litlle !