Feeling Better!

Hello everyone!!! My week was really great – I learned a lot this week, especially about being humble.

Last Monday I was VERY sick and I had been for a while, haha, but we prayed so much, and God really did help us out. I was seriously completely fine by Tuesday night, and we were able to go to work on Wednesday! Thank you to everyone who also prayed and submitted their faith to help me. I am so thankful! I KNOW God hears our prayers:)
As this week was Easter, I really studied a TON concerning the life of Christ during the last week of His life. All of the holy week, what He did, what He taught, and ultimately His Atonement and Resurrection. I am so thankful for what Christ did for me, and all of mankind! I am so thankful that because of Him, we can live again and can be with our families forever!!!!!

This week we had the chance to go on TV for an interview.  One of the questions was “If you could answer with two answers, what would you say is the biggest difference between your church and others?” My two answers were that, like the times of Moses, we have a living prophet today who leads and guides the church. The second, for me, was that we have eternal families and that the family is the most important unit of society for us. It was so cool to see their reactions:) hahahaha.
It went well, and I was really happy we got picked to do it:)))
Our week went really well. We taught a lot and contacted a ton! We have several people committed to baptism who are really excited to be baptized, so we are working a lot with them.
One of my favorite things that I studied this week, was the opening message of the Liahona for this month, by Pres. Uchtdorf.  He talks about faith and shares a scripture that I had never heard of!!! Romans 1:17 …’the just will live by faith!’
I LOVE THIS! because faith is actions, and when we live by faith we just trust in God with every action that we commit. I seriously am going to try to start living by faith at this level.
I love you all! Keep praying for missionary experiences for YOU:)) they´ll come!
Love you all!!!
Elder Hammond

A Rough Week

Honestly, the only news to report this week is that I am sick. We went to the doctor on Wednesday, and they said I have salmonella and a stomach infection. (not sure that is an actual diagnosis in the States, but ok). Because my body didn’t seem to have any defenses left, I also ended up getting a big strep sores on my throat. (OW). I thought I had turned a corner and was getting better on Saturday – I was not passing blood anymore :).

Then Sunday- today, I seem to have gotten food poisoning…. so just a ton of puking and diarrhea at the same time (sorry, gross) hahahaha. I’ve been praying for the Lord to help me get rid of whatever is I have…so maybe this is the way he is answering my prayers? BUT I’m happy:) I got a blessing and feel a lot better already:)
FUNNY STORY: Hermana Hansen, the President’s wife KNOWS I love to work, and so she made me give the phone to my comp, Vargas and told him under no circumstances to let me get up and go work, even If I tried to trick him into it.
HAHAHAHAHA she´s too funny, but probably right.
I love you all. Please pray for your own opportunities to open our mouth and share the gospel!
Elder Hammond

No Excuses

Hello everyone!!!!
This week was awesome! We saw a ton of miracles happen. We found like four AWESOME families who are super receptive:)
We went to general conference with some investigators, so that was super sweet! From that, I am really focusing on having charity. I love the people here, but not as Christ loves them all the time.
Also our new motto is ‘no excuses.’ It doesn’t matter what people do, WE control how our mission goes. So I like that – no excuses.
DSCF7212[1]I feel so happy, I’m trying to listen to the Spirit and that’s what matters. I have been enjoying studying and just finished Jesus the Christ again and am almost done marking everything about the atonement in the Book of Mormon. I seriously love the Book of Mormon and have gained so much a stronger testimony of its divinity and power here in Bolivia.
I love you all, and I love the work!
People to pray for:
Jovana and the Quintanilla family
Carmen Choque and her family
and YOU that YOU can have missionary experiences. Try that!
Instead of praying for me and “all the missionaries in the world” (classic), pray for YOU that YOU might have missionary experiences.
Like Elder Bednar said: YOU have been called to serve as a member of His Church.” Go serve the Lord with all you heart, might, mind and strength! Share the gospel! We are ALL commanded to open our mouths in the way.
DyC 24:12 is not just for missionaries:))
Love you ALL!!!!
Elder Hammond

My Own Pioneer Story

Hello everyone!!!!!

Elder Hammond here.
We have had a pretty good week! We started off roughly, but it got a TON better!!
So last Monday, we played soccer and I kinda jacked up my knee, so I just took some ibuprofen and figured it was all good, right?:)) Haha, nope. The next day I couldn’t walk, so we went to the doctor and they hit me up with some pills to get the swelling down and help the pain. After a few days that fixed it all up:)
Tuesday we just contacted a TONNN.  We are focusing on finding families! Our area is like a big road and three blocks to the side of the avenida on both sides, and then follow it for like 10 blocks. So basically my are is a 60 block rectangle. Not very much area if you think about it and I am pretty sure I have knocked almost every door:)) WHOOO that’s kinda cool.
This week we had an awesome bonus because a store was going out of business, so everything was 50% off!  YEAHHH for Pringles and Ramen!!

We had a total pioneer moment and IT WAS AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!! So on Wednesday, we were walking the sky was fine, it was even warm  and everything was all good. I had a short sleeve shirt on because it’s almost time where I will be in all long sleeves and everything.
So, we go into a cita at 4 and at 5 literally I thought it was the end of the world! IT STARTED HAILING SO BADLY!! LIKE YOU CAN’T SEE 100 FT BADLY, LIKE A SNOW STORM BUT HAIL AND RAIN!!!! The whole city was suddenly white and it was so slippery!!!!! Hello, 14,000 feet altitude!
We were walking trying to find a cita, and  it was so bad. I had a little flimsy jacket that the family let me borrow, but there were FAMILIES in the street without any covering or anything! We saw a little girl crying with her grandparents who were just wearing jeans and shirts and no shoes. Potosi is super poor.  This girl didn’t want to move because it was freezing and the streets were rivers..literally. So I ran over gave the little girl my jacket and I carried her to her house. Then – we just spent 2 hours carrying people. Old ladies, kids, even women, across the streets because they basically were RIVERS. It was insane!! Seriously loco. I was so cold and couldn’t feel my feet for the whole time, just drenched and freezing, carrying the people. BUT I had NEVER BEEN HAPPIER IN THE MISSION! NEVER! IT WAS AWESOME! I just lost all feelings and desires for myself and focused completely outside of myself, something that was so awesome to feel. I felt like I had true charity for the first time and it was AWESOME!!!!!!
Potosi hail
We had a fun activity on Thursday night, a ward mission night, and we probably are going to do it every week now, so that’s fun.
Saturday we had a baptism! but classic Elder Hammond forgot his camera… hahaha so maybe someone will send me some pics to send, but it was for Lucita and Ruben. She is super cool, very young and funny!  She cracks me up – Ruben is her uncle.
Sunday we went to church and I had been pretty sick Wed- Saturday, so that wasn´t fun. Even though I was not doing very well, I stayed for all three hours and reallllly saw the blessings!!! Usually we eat with the Bravo family on Sundays, but this Sunday an investigator, Jovana and her fam invited us to come eat lunch with them- WHICH IS HUGE! because her parents NEVER wanted us to come teach her. They just were SO NICE to us!!! It was AWESOME! They were so interested and we talked and ate for like 3 hours. They received the first two lessons! SO that was a huge miracle:))
My compi Elder Vargas is doing AWESOME! He is working so hard! He is super funny- like he is super young, a bit chubby, and sometimes just gets really tired too. BUT HE WORKS SO HARD! I am so thankful and seriously pray about this giving thanks every day that we are comps. He is just who I needed with me here. I know that he is gonna be a pro missionary:)
I love this guy so much. He is the first comp I´ve had where I seriously love this guy for who he already is. I am working really hard to get his self esteem and confidence up, but he is progressing so fast!!! Its awesome!
I love the work and love this area so much! I am going to be super sad when I have to leave, but it’s the plan of God:))) Love you ALL! miss you! Keep strong in the faith:)  ALSO please pray for the people in northern Peru. They really just got destroyed. I don’t know if the US talks anything about it, but it is INSANE in the news here.
Elder Hammond

Time Is Flying (Too Fast)

Hello everyone!!!! This week was super fun. We really didn’t do anything too loco, but we did have some intercambios, so that was fun! I got to switch comps for the day, with another elder and I was with Elder Gill, from Arizona.  He literally knows no Spanish- hahaha, but it was way fun!!! We went and visited a bunch of people, and even got some food, so it was a good day. We also had one with elder Jorgensen, so I was with him. He is super cool, one of my best buds here in the mission, and he teaches REALLY WELL! He is Zone Leader and really funny! We went and cooked a pique macho with an investigator family that’s going to be baptized on Saturday! I am super pumped!!!  We also cooked spaghetti and chili for the pension this week, because she is super pregnant and has trouble some days cooking, so we go to help. It was fun, I really miss cooking!

This week I had a ton of study time! I finished Jesus the Christ again, and am finishing up the book of Alma in the BOM! I also am reading “Our Search for Happiness” If you have not read this, READ IT! IT IS SOOOOO GOOD! It makes me so happy! and explains what we believe so clearly and easily. I love this book and really have applied a lot of material I learned form this book in my mission teaching! It’s sweet:)DSCF7167[1]
We played soccer on Saturday with some members for a ward activity and it was super fun. I really love soccer -it’s the best. We also played a TON today (like four hours straight) and it was a blast. I just really like running!  I’m easily one of the worst, but I like to play and it helps me in learning to be humble, right?
That was our week:) I will be honest that I really am not enjoying how fast the time is flying by!
Some talks I really loved studying this week-
Am I Good Enough? Will I Make It?
Joy and Spiritual Survival
Music- I Will Not Be Still
Also we had a sweet blessing this week, and I really have strengthened my testimony of the priesthood and that it is the power of God, but only will be available as we are worthy.
I love you all! Have AWESOME WEEKS!
Elder Hammond
Bonus Pictures:
#1:  I FOUND THIS PIC OF A MISSIONARY AND HIDE IT IN VARGAS´S STUFF ALL THE TIME!!!!! So, he will open his scriptures and people ask him if its his girlfriend HAHAHA ITS THE BEST EVER!!! HAHAHAHA
#2:  I made myself a milkshake- haha -so expensive but so worth it. Dad, you get it.

Going GREAT!

Hello everyone!

This is my weekly email. from elder hammond. word. haha

I don’t know why, but I am in a SUPER GOOD MOOD! I have been so happy recently1! I think its because everything is going well for us here in satellite Potosi!:)))) We had a great day today! I’m writing this late, because we had an interview with Presidente Hansen. He is doing well -super happy with or work so I’m happy:)  Really we didn’t do much this week except just worked hard!

We had a sweet zone conference in Tupia, we left at 3 am and then got there 5 hours later. It was an awesome conference, the only problem was that I was super sick and it’s hard to not have diarrhea on a bus. HAHAHA  But we survived without any accidents!!! It was super funny -like 5 of us were sick, but we prayed and it all worked out. At the conference we talked a lot about finding new investigators ( alligators with vest- AHAHAHA  no not that;).  DSCF7117[1]

Here in Potosi, we have worked really hard! We really try to be as exactly obedient as you can be…and we are really seeing the blessings! I’m not sick anymore, I am happy:) and we played soccer today and that’s fun.

(My new comp and my AWESOME dolphin blanket that is THE BEST)
Jovana-20 years old- girl- and she is super cool we are helping her realize that the peace she feels is an answer. She is starting to go to church and has a baptismal date for two more weeks
Lucia- she is really cool, and her parents just gave us permission to bapti( my Z button doesn’t work lol so I’m copy and pasting this Z HAHAHAHA whatta goof that i am:))) Ze her and so that is going to be awesome!
Familia Garnika- not really progressing, we are praying for help with them:)
Juan Tapia- he is the father of 6 and is really cool! The thing is that he lives on the limit of our area, so he might get baptiZed in another ward, BUT I DONT REALLY CARE as long as he repents and receives his salvation, I am just happy that the Lord has given me the opportunity to teach him and his family:)))
Yeah, that was basically my week. I had a good one, but this one is gonna be better:))
LOVE YOU ALL!!!!!!! Have amazing weeks – I’m praying for you!
Pray that you can have missionary opportunities instead of praying for me!
Elder Hammond

Miracles & My New Hijito

Hello everyone!!!!! This week was AWEEEEESOME!!!! We seriously had some crazy experiences, but it was SWEEEEET!

First of all, my new compi (hijito) is named Elder Vargas. He is from Tarija, Bolivia, and is super awesome!!! I love this guy! He just turned 18, and like is such a baby! hahahaha DSCF7104[1]

It’s so funny to see the new elders, because they literally have no idea what’s going on! I am hoping I am a good example for him:) BUT let me start the week off at the beginning.

Monday and Tuesday- we were stuck in our house for Carnival…so that was fun? not really. Just lots of studying, more studying and playing some games.
Wednesday!- So Wednesday, we were planning on travelling to Sucre and then flying to Cochabamba for the trainer’s meeting. We got our taxi and left at 6 am, we made it to Sucre and then realized that NO ONE knew where the airport was!!! Our flight left at 11:30 right? So then we were driving and got SUPER LOST! like 3 hours away lost, (hahahaha) and so we just stopped the car and all of us got out and we knelt down and prayed that somehow God would delay the flight so we could make it to Cochabamba. We actually prayed for rain that would come strongly and stop the plane from leaving! Kind of just a leap of faith, haha, but then we found out where the airport was and drove that way. On the way there… NOTHING! No rain. NOTHING!!!!
Then, when we were like two miles away from the airport and we saw that within two miles of the airport was a FLOOD! hahaha – It was POURING! It was so cool to see the miracle that God gave us!!! We were all very teary and happy:)
SO our flight got delayed, right? We checked in our bags and then realized that every single one of us had left our wallet in our bags. We had five bolivianos between the three of us (Elders Farroñan, Walfriedes, and me) We all did the same thing! We hadn´t eaten since forever! and we were dying of hunger, so we prayed in the corner that we could get something to eat -even if it was like a package of cookies. Then we finished and walked to the store and were looking for something, and there was NOTHING to buy for that price. BUT,  then a woman came up and was like “Hey, my daughter hasn´t come yet and I bought her this whole box of empanadas for her and her family, but I want to give them to you guys. How about, like I don’t know, five bolivianos?” There were 15 inside!!!!! Five for each one of us!!! I seriously cried eating those emp’anadas. I’m also tearing up right now!!!
It was just so amazing to see the Lord answer the prayers of His servants! I really love the part in third Nephi where it says that when we are trying to do something righteous and have righteous desires and the FAITH for something to happen, the LORD ALWAYS PROVIDES! haha – seriously! It happens. Just have faith and try to do his will. I LOVE IT!
I AM SO HAPPY TO BE HERE! Seriously there is no other place I´d rather be! I’m not gonna lie, I was struggling Monday and Tuesday, I was just tired, like just my body was giving up and I was feeling low. BUT NOW I KNOW EVEN MORE THAT I AM HERE FOR A REASON! I KNOW that I will be blessed and my family too!
I know that this church is true and that really this work is the most important thing I could be doing right now! I have gained such a strong testimony of this work and the lives that I am blessing. But really I am more grateful that I can be a tool in the hand of God. There is no better honor!!! 🙂 I am so thankful for my Savior who gave His life for me so that I could be here teaching about His sacrifice and have the joy of using the atonement EVERYDAY!!! What an amazing gift! Heavenly Father and Christ have such a love for us, a love that I am trying to gain and emulate for the people here in Bolivia, starting with my new kid;) I love you guys and am thankful for your prayers!!!
Elder Hammond