Friday, November 18, 2016


(Para empezar, siempre publico mis experiencias en Ingles... Sin embargo, si alguien desea leerlas en Espanol, me pueden hacer un comentario abajo. Gracias!)

It was an average day in service when I came upon my first deaf person ever, Nancy, at the door. Mind you that I know 0% sign and quickly realized that I was in quite the pickle. However, she can speak clearly and was able to explain to me that she lost her hearing a few years ago.

I pulled out the Listen to God brochure and my Bible and she immediately got really excited saying, “hermanos, hermanos!” She expressed to us how she wants to learn about the Bible and come to a church. So I drew her a map of where we have our meetings and wrote down the day and time for her.

Well, what do you know? The next Saturday she appears at the glass door with a smile and her two young sons by her side. Walking in, though arriving a bit late, she lovingly proceeds to greet everybody when suddenly realizing that she was speaking loudly. She sits next to me and pulls out the Bible I had given her. I give her a copy of the Watchtower and she diligently beings to read the paragraphs. Each time she wants to look up a scripture, she taps me on the shoulder, and we find it together.

Since the first visit at her house she’s regularly been coming to the meetings and we have short, weekly studies. She’s learned Jehovah’s name and uses it effortlessly. She’s learned that Jehovah is our father and we can pray to him whenever we want and with whatever we feel. She’s learned and memorized Isaiah 35:5 where it promises that the “ears of the deaf will be unstopped”. On two occasions she’s told me that she wants to get baptized. I’ve explained to her that she has to keep learning about Jehovah first and she immediately proceeds with, “when are you coming back?”

A few weeks ago a loving friend, Julie, visited me from Cochabamba who recently moved to the sign language congregation. Immediately, I told her, “please, you have to come with me!” Thankfully, Nancy was home the morning we passed by and Julie was able to teach her a few signs, including Jehovah’s name. That afternoon Nancy came to the meeting and Julie translated the whole talk and Watchtower study for her. It was also the same weekend we had visiting brothers come from the city and everybody was so kind and patient with Nancy and gave her lots of hugs. She really, truly had the biggest smile on her face! It was so touching to see her so happy.

Even though our study is going fairly well, I realize that she would progress much better with somebody who knows and could teach her sign language. In making arrangements for a friend to come study with her regularly, I passed by her house today to ask what day she would be available. Meanwhile, my partner, Paola, insightfully noticed that her husband was observing us. So she approached him to explain that we’re Jehovah’s Witnesses and we visit Nancy to teach her about the Bible.

He was really moved and proceeded to explain to Paola that he too is handicapped due to a work accident. However, the government provides little to no help to handicapped people so he took it upon himself to form an organization in my town, Patacamaya, to help out. Through explaining more of what he does for the community, we realized what generous, loving people that they are. Being the president of this group, he asked if we would come back on December 3rd and share the good news with all the handicapped people at the community meeting that they hold once a month.

Ironically, the friend that I had contacted that same morning had asked if we knew of more deaf people in Patacamaya. We didn’t, but were immediately planning to start a census. Well, no need. All the handicapped, including deaf, will be in one place on December 3rd in Patacamaya waiting for us, and the local sign language congregation, to share with them the hope they have for the future. 

As if that wasn't enough when we were getting ready to leave Nancy's husband approaches us asking if we had walked to their house. We had. So he hands us a generous amount of money telling us to enjoy a nice lunch on our way home. Of course we really did not want to accept their money and explained that, rather, we were there to help them. But, he insisted, so we humbly accepted it and explained that we would donate it to the work we do to be able to provide more publications and free Bible studies. 

It was a pretty moving experience to say the least. Until December 3rd, here are some current pictures.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016


Not too long ago I wrote a blog about the construction of the Aymara RTO branch and how amazing it was to see Jehovah’s loving hand in that to fulfill the spiritual need for a small percentage of people. Well, little did I know then that I would be greatly relying on the work from that particular RTO branch now.

I honestly feel inspired by the work that the brothers and sisters in that translation department do. They work so, so, so incredibly hard to provide the Aymara community with literature. And not only for the community but for us, for my congregation. It wouldn’t be possible to have our meetings in Aymara if it weren’t for this small group of brothers and sisters. It wouldn’t even be possible for me to preach here if it weren’t for them. Since I don’t speak this language well, I rely fully on the translated videos and publications.

In fact, March of this year was a huge accomplishment because on top of all the work that they already do they were able to start translating the entire Broadcasting into Aymara. Various congregations had showings of the Broadcasting in their local Kingdom Halls and sisters cried expressing how much they loved listening to the information in their language.

Sometimes speaking English feels like an unfair advantage because we’re the first to have everything. The new Bible. Broadcasting. Publications. The world headquarters. Did you realize that at most Aymara conventions, and Spanish too, that publications are announced, in English, but not always released electronically? Personally getting to know these brothers and sisters and work in service with them I’ve realized how much of a sacrifice they make when I hear that sometimes they work until three o’clock in the morning to meet deadlines and have literature ready for us. They truly dedicate all they have to Jehovah and his organization.

It’s been so encouraging working in this language because everyone truly feels like a small, close knit family. I have more grandmothers than I can count who constantly tell me to bundle up and won’t let go of my hands until my fingers are warm. And so many dads who tell me to be careful and that we constantly have to look out for one another and take care of each other. It’s besides the fact that I can barely speak their language but they show me so much love in so many ways and absolutely light up when I greet them in one of the few words that I know, “Kamisaki”.

All I can say is that there are so many more joys and blessing from Jehovah the more you give to him.   

With my mom visiting the RTO Aymara branch. The sister on the left is from Peru where they also speak Aymara. 

Sisters and brothers at the RTO branch

My service group in El Alto, Aymara

With a native sister on the translation team

At a welcoming party with sisters who work at the RTO

 Preaching in Aymara in Patacamaya

Informal witnessing in Patacamaya

Our congregation, Chijimarka, came to support our service group

Another party!

Mini Aymara sisters

Paola, from Argentina, with a native sister in our hall

Wednesday, March 2, 2016


So as many of you know I have embarked on a new, exciting, and very intimidating journey. I was living in Vinto, Cochabamba since June 2014 but in January 2016 I moved seven hours away to a new assignment in El Alto, La Paz.

Why the change? Well, the Bolivian branch sent out a very motivating letter to all congregations in Bolivia last year about how much need there is in native languages and that if anybody has the circumstances to move to a location of more need and to learn another language to please write them back and they would give you further suggestions. So, I did and my recommendation was to move to the town of Patacamaya which is a big town (at 13,000ft) with no congregation and only one recently baptized, single sister who lives there.

Why exciting? Because it's so untouched. A whole town that has never been preached to. There is so much potential. Imagine the sister that lives there now. She is the only witness in her entire community. I'm so anxious to go and help her preach because, as of right now, she has been preaching by herself with an entire town to get to.  She has been doing so well and conducting Bible studies that she doesn't have time to attend to all of them.

Why intimidating? Well...... Did I mention that in Patacamaya they don't really speak Spanish? I am currently assigned to a congregation named Chijimarka Aymara which is the closest congregation, one hour away from Patacamaya. The Aymara language is compared in literature to Japanese and, yes, I would agree. It truly sounds like Japanese during the meetings. My current vocabulary is at about twenty words. But, honestly, the brothers and sisters have been so unbelievably encouraging and so excited to help me learn their language that it makes me excited and less nervous too.

I will be supporting, and eventually living in, Patacamaya. However, as a congregation we have two other isolated towns assigned to us and our territory goes all the way to the borders of Peru. There is still so much work to be done!

Here are some recent pictures since I've moved to El Alto.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

My Heart Is Full

I am sitting at home at this late hour in the night writing this post because I am besides myself about how unbelievably generous all of my amazing friends and family have been and how amazing Jehovah is.

I have been home now for almost two and a half months and, to be completely honest, was having some doubts about Bolivia and if it was for me. There are so many blessings about serving abroad but so many challenges as well. However, now I'm home seeing how much support I have from so, so, so, so many friends and I feel so encouraged that I could tackle any goal. Jehovah has opened so many doors and has blessed me in so many ways that I can only smile when I think about how everything has so easily fallen into place for me during these past couple of years but especially these past few months.

Literally, I cannot physically put into words how grateful I am. Every single card I've received was so beautifully written and so encouraging. A word of encouragement really, truly goes a long way. It has motivated me and helped me to see that this truly is a special privilege I have to serve in Bolivia because not everybody has the circumstances. Everybody has been so thoughtful about my physical needs and what would be practical for me in Bolivia.

Over the next few days I will be here packing up for my next adventure thinking about all of you and how special my friends and family are because I honestly couldn't do this without all of the support that I have here at home.

Here are just a few quick pics of a few of those who make up my amazing support system but it surely isn't everyone by any means.

Thank you everyone for making it such a special trip home in Denver!