Thursday, September 29, 2016


Well I have officially ran out of normal pencils to write in my planner and I have now resorted to using colored pencils.  Who would have thought a pencil would be so expensive (ok they aren't that expensive there like 70 cents but if I have the choice to buy a pencil or chocolate I obviously choose chocolate) plus the colored pencils make me happy :)
 The older people here can't read or write so we help them fill out their tithing slips and read the scriptures to them and they reward us with nice sloppy kisses on the cheeks!
Well right now I am sitting in this internet place in down town Otavalo and the store owner dude is watching some video and all you can hear is a bunch of people screaming in Spanish so on that note let me write you all about Jesus :)
But really this week I just feel like I need to write about what I have learned lately. This week started out really really rough for me. It was if I was tip toeing off the shallow end into the deep end. I felt like just as the sun was coming out for me the clouds were coming back and they were coming back quickly. I thought to myself "haven't I suffered enough? Haven't I already done HARD things? I just want to be happy for a little while. " I was tired, hungry, getting rejected over and over again in fact my comp said last Monday night "If I was a crier I would be crying right now." I felt hopeless. Then on Tuesday we decided to fast for a CHANGE of heart. Then it hit me. This whole time I have been putting my happiness on future moments. "OK once I am a sister training leader then I will know I am a good missionary." Turns out I feel exactly the same!! I had this idea in my head that once I had the title then suddenly my heart would just be happy and WA BAM no more trials. I thought "the day I serve in Otavalo I will just fall in love with the people and they will all love me because I am a gringa and WA BAM no more trials!" I thought that to be happy meant no trials? But little did I know to be happy meant your attitude about your trials.
So here I am in this little internet place in Otavalo and I can honestly say I feel happy in my heart. Not a lot has changed? We had some miracles but we have been having miracles this whole time. The difference is I have been taking the time every night to write down the miracles. To say thank you more than please in my prayers. I learned a powerful lesson this week that the recipe for happiness is already in every single one of us. Trials don't mean sadness, trials mean growth. And when are grateful to grow that’s when we find JOY!
 I don't understand the majority of what people say, my heels are cracking, I come home tired from hiking mountains and walking all day long, I get doors slammed in my face more than the guy who comes by your house to sell you a vacuum or wash your windows. I ran out of deodorant and I kid you not I don't even know if these people use it because it is so hard to find deodorant here. We eat beans and rice every day.
I thought I was really tan but turns out it's just dirt. But I am happy :) I am happy because I want to be happy!! I love these people. I love the way they live life. I love that everything they eat takes work! Whether it's cutting fire wood to make soup or washing their clothes in a watering hole. There bathroom door is a tarp. With their long braids and traditional clothing, I mean how could you not fall in love with them?
I promise each and every one of you that the moment you start living life outside yourself, your own problems, and your own concerns that is when you will start to see the clouds pass and the sun come out. The power of a note, cookies, a hug, a sincere compliment, a text message that just says "hey you know what you're awesome!"
We are not alone. No matter what you feel look up and believe it' s never as bad as it looks.
con mucho amor, Hermana Israelsen

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