Monday March 19, 2012: Hermana Bowles--Anniversary of RS
This week was the 170th (did I get that number right) anniversary of
the Sociedad de Socorro (Relief Society). Las hermanas put together
an event on Saturday for all of the women in the District--Nueva CAja
MArca, Rioja, Soritor, and Moyobamba. There was such a good turn out
and everyone commented how good they felt to be with so many sisters
together. The District president and District Relief Society President
spoke and after there was an afternoon of typical dances! This was
something I`d been waiting to see more of since I got here! Our branch
danced "la marinera". They had on really wide bright-colored skirts
with white blouses. Their hair was done up in tight buns with flowers
they`d picked off of trees in their houses in their hair. "La
Marinera" is danced with handkerchiefs and no shoes. Only the dances
from colder regions like the Cierra used shoes. There were dances
from the selva (jungle) and from the Cierra (mountains). Each branch
and group had beautiful typical costumes that were so cool to see. I
love that there was such a cultural celebration of sisters! I wanted
to stick a picture from the event in the new "Daughters of my Kingdom"
Manual for the Relief Society because it fits telling the pioneering
cultural spirit of the hermanas with their dances. I`m grateful for
the Relief Society and the unity it brings for the women of the
church....I know it is a God-inspired organization.
The other best part about the activity is that two hermanas we started
teaching came! One is a friend of one of the less-actives we were
visiting and the other is a woman that we met in the plaza with her
husband and dog. Her husband was waiting in their truck with his dog
(which is really ugly) in the back. Hna. Rodriguez said, "oh look at
the cute dog (which actually is an ugly dog)...let`s go talk to
them!" Went up to the window and as we were talking to the husband,
his wife came back. Come to find out,they just moved here from the
Molinain Lima where they`d seen the "Mormon Temple." Hopefully things
go well with them this week.
I learned A LOT about agency this week. When one family told us that
their pastor basically prohibited them from investigating another
religion and they couldn`t continue receiving lessons, my heart was
shouting inside,"no...no...just think about what you`re saying!" She
said she`d "felt normal" when she prayed to know if the things we were
teaching are true. I know that concrete answers come from concrete
action. We cannot receive answers to questions if we are not going to
act on the answers.....If I`m giving out cookies, I`m not going to
give one to someone if I know they`re just going to thow it away. I
know that each person should have the opportunity to follow Moroni
Everyday I`m here I think more and more about how lucky I am to grow up
in a home that had the gospel. I don`t think I`ll ever really be
able to fully comprehend the blessing of that.
Hymn 112 "Savior, Redeemer of My Soul" became the overwhelming thought
on my mind this week. It doesn`t exist in Spanish :( but here are the
lyrics in English:)
"Savior, Redeemer of my soul,
Whose mighty hand hath made me whole,
Whose wondrous pow`r hath raised me up
And filled with sweet my bitter cup!
What tongue my gratitude can tell,
O gracious God of Israel.
Never can I repay thee Lord, But I can love thee,
Thy pure word,
Hath it not been my one delight,
My joy by day, my dream by night?
Then let my lips proclaim it still,
And all my life reflect thy will.
Overrule mine acts to serve thine ends.
Change frowning foes to smiling friends.
Chasten my soul til I shall be
In perfect harmonywith thee.
Make me more worthyof thy love,
And fit me for the life above."