Cochabamba, Bolivia Temple

Cochabamba, Bolivia Temple

Monday, December 29, 2014

Christmas pictures

Elder Yates sent a separate email of several pictures. Once again he forgot to label them, but based on the conversation we were able to have over Christmas, I'm pretty sure I can label them all pretty accurately:

 Christmas and birthday packages from home!
Note the pictures of Mary and Jesus on the boxes? Neither package was opened or delayed - we think the picture is the reason why.

 His desk all decorated for the holidays with treats and decorations from home.

 We asked about public transportation, so he included a picture of the "Micros" or buses. This one doesn't look very crowded at the moment, but he says they usually are far more crowded and everyone always thinks there's room on the micro, regardless of how crowded it currently is...

 A local Nativity

 Several Elders in front of the Nativity

 Christmas lights

 A pretty Christmas tree he found. I wonder if he noticed all the alcohol bottles underneath it :D (he probably did, which might be why he took the picture)

 Elder Yates and his companion Elder Guzman

 Elder Yates and his companion from the MTC, Elder Gunderson

 Another decoration in their casa

 The Elders starting a fire in their BBQ for their Christmas Eve feast

 Some of that BBQ feast...

Fin de Ano (End of the Year)

Well, this is the last letter of the year 2014. Hard to believe it's passed already. The Bolivians appear to be enjoying this last little bit of the year with little firecrackers and the such everywhere. Combined with the travels and the drinking, we really didn't have the opportunity to teach much this week. Plus we had to return home a little early the 24/25 (and will have to 31/1 as well) oby order of the President, so our most productive hours were a little difficult to use effictively. Oh well, the time passes and things will return to normal.
Since I also had the wonderous opportunity to Skype my family on the 25, I think that this letter will be significantly shorter since we already have communicated this week.
Elder Yates

Bueno, a little more won't hurt I guess. During the call, my parents made sure to ask about the things I don't share, so I'll expound a little more. It's actually a rule to not write negative comments or remarks about the people, culture, or country. And, as luck would have it, I rather enjoy to notice and comment on this very thing. There are also things I don't share because I don't want anyone to run down here in panic. Everything is fine, despite what the stories may sound like. If I get a promise for everyone to stay tranquilo (calm) I might share some 'fun' experiences that I was going to save until after the mission. Who knows.
Anyway, we really ate a lot this week. On Tuesday we went as a mission to a buffet and literally ate everything that was prepared. EVERYTHING. Naturally, I made sure to add more than my fair share of the feasting. Then, on Christmas Eve, us 6 missionaries used our handy-dandy grill to make some steaks in celebration. The following day we ate a bunch of sausage. The members also made sure we were eating these special days.
As many already (and should) know, my birthday was also this past week. Many also know about the little celebration we had in the house of our Ward Mission Leader, where they were amazing enough to prepare a cake (which was delicious by the way). What probably is not well known is that our investigator that is (hopefully) getting baptized this Saturday also made a bunch of treats and a birthday card when we stopped by to visit. Not entirely sure how they found out it was my birthday, but I'm guessing it's because of the Facebook posts. Darned social media is everywhere.
In attempt to make these letters a little longer for my Mother (love you!) I'll try also adding a little something I learned during my studies. So, as I started to read the Doctrine and Covenants in the proper order of revelation (no, the sections are not in order) I noticed something very interesting. The vast majority of the first 20 revealed sections start the same way: about how the field is white and ready to harvest. So, probably, I'm thinking the time is right to bring all unto Christ...
Elder Yates
***Mom Yates here - I sent a separate email this week with a couple of questions and decided to share his answers because I find them interesting.***
I've also been wondering if people pronounce your name as one syllable like we do here at home, or do they pronounce it as 2 “Yah-tes”?
About the Yates thing, it's very interesting. Some people use one syllable and some use two. It appears to depend on how much 'schooling' the person received in English and if they connect me with the US. Not entirely certain which is more common, but I think two syllables is. I always introduce myself with 2 syllables, but again, some people disregard what I say and use one syllable.
I loved the birthday cake that Sister Linares made, it looked really good. What did she put in between the layers?
The cake had peaches in the middle. I don't know what it is with Bolivia and peaches, but they are quite popular.
Here are a few pictures Sister Linares posted on Facebook of this amazing cake and the celebration they had for my missionary

Friday, December 26, 2014

The rain has begun (Monday, December 22)

Well, I'd like to take this oportunity to say that it began raining this past Wednesday. It's been kind of strong and then weak, but it has not stopped yet. As of now, the streets are rivers, the roads are mud, the canals are practically overflowing, and everything is wet. It was literally impossible to leave our house without wading through water, so we mad make-shift boots with plastic bags. Unfortunately, one of my bags ripped a little so my shoe is a bit wet, but whatever. A little bit of water isn't going to stop me. Yet...
Anyway, this week had several exciting points and a few not so exciting points. What is important is that I'm alive, right?
So we had several days this week completely pre-planned with future appointments. Unfortunately, Practically all of them failed. The failed to such a degree that Friday we did literally nothing but walk all day. Man I love how people say they're going to do something and then not do it. In the defence of one person, he was at his house at the 'scheduled' time, but he was also getting drunk with his friends. We decided to pass by this time.
Sunday night was super special, as all the missionaries in Santa Cruz gathered in a plaza and we sang for an hour and a half. We were also iluminatd with a bunch of lights and greeted with tons of people. What was even more fun was trying to return home on time, because we had never heard of this plaza before and the person we traveled with to reach the plaza dissapeared. Heh heh, good times.
One of the gifts sent to me was badly ripped open, and I could tell it was cookie dough. While I am extremely grateful to have some tastey treats, we have a small problem: we don't have an oven. So, I'm not entirely sure how or if we can bake them...
So last week we had the pleasure of breaking into a house. This week we were lucky enough to break out of a house. What happened is we stopped by to visit a menos active (less active), and, upon letting us in his gate, locked the gate. Imediately after locking it, he exclaimed he doesn't have a key to unlock it since the rest of his family left to do something or other without him. So, we had two options; wait until almost 11 pm for his family to arrive (and most likely be killed by lightning/our zone leaders/the Mission president) or hop the fence. Not surprisingly we decided to hop the fence. Not as easy as it sounds because the fences here are crazy and barbed. Man the missionary life is the best.
Elder Yates

Monday, December 15, 2014

Mail time (December 15)

This week was kind of slow in the beginning, but the end of the week was pretty interesting...
So last Monday we went and played football (soccer) with another zone, which was pretty interesting. However, it seems like there is never sufficient time on Monday to do everything I would like to do. I feel like this feeling will persist a little in my life in general, however, so I try not to worry too much.
As a mark of great joy, I received two wonderful packages from my family for the Christmas season, which I opened promptly so find many decorations, treats, and presents. After decorating, I made sure to take pictures to send home, and then forgot to bring my camera. Welp, some things never change. It's very festive however, so take my word for it. As for the presents, I'll probably try to wait until Christmas to open them, unless my family suggests otherwise of I get exceptionally anxious. Who knows.
So on Friday (or Saturday, everything's a blur) we went searching for a referencia and a antiguo investigador. (referral and an old investigator) Unfortunately, we didn't find either. However - and this is interesting - we did find a family that is super menos activo (less active) with many members, the grandparents having 8 living children. We also found a new investigador that is very receptive; the Spirit was very strong when he prayed at the end (on the side note, when we asked when we could return his inicial response was 10/1, so we talked a little more).
Ok, so I'm not the greatest at remembering day to day experiences and feelings to express them later, sue me. However, first it's story time.
So yesterday our best investigadora (the one getting baptized 3/1) didn't make it to Church at all. And, being the loving and caring people we are, we stopped by in the afternoon to make sure everything was alright. We found her, her family, and her sister/friend/someone locked in her house because all three of her gates had been locked and she was unable to find the key for any of the three locks. So, we had the oportunity to break a lock and, essencially, into her house. It was pretty funny because of the weird looks we got from passerby's as we were hammering away at a locked gate. Us Mormónes will share the Gospel at any cost it seems.
Elder Yates

Monday, December 8, 2014

Pictures with labels from Elder Yates this time

So, as a missionary, this little book is pretty important. Important enough to be printed in several languages, 4 of which I'm lucky enough to have. I can read and understand 3 (yes, three) of them, but the fourth one is gibberish. You can probably guess the languages of 3 of them, but I'd wager a third of my 5th born son's inheritance no one can guess the language of the last one. This language is so obscure, it doesn't have all the chapters translated (see next picture)
Most noticably, it doesn't have any of the chapters from Isaiah.

These are our little Él es la Dádiva cards to hand out, which I like quite a bit.

Letter (Monday, December 8)

Hurray for another chance to write home! Evidently, ya'll still want more information, so I'll go ahead and try to share what you want to know. If I still don't explain what you want to know, please email me and I'll explain a little bit more.
First off, a little about my companion, Elder Guzmán. He is from Perú and is exceptionally taller than I am, probably over 6ft. He has 10 months in the mission, most of the time being spent outside the city. He is humorous and helpful, another great companion. He can speak English, but not very well, because his father speaks English and taught him a thing or two.
We got a new investigator this week, in a very strange way actually. As we were returning home, we were stopped by a woman and called us over to speak to us. As it turns out, her sister lost her new-born child recently and wants to find comfort in religion. Also, she has had many difficulties in her family as well, having lost her brother and father in an accident. So, we gave her the Plan of Salvation pamphlet, took a appointment, and headed home. Plus, she attended church with us, so I think she will find great joy and peace. (Claudia Guerrero)
We were informed Tuesday night that Wednesday we had interviews with the president, and Elder Guzmán had immigration paperwork to do at 6. Unfortunately, we were in an intercambio (transfer), so we had to get up at 4, walk for over an hour, then quickly get ready to head over to the immigration place thingy. After this, we headed over to the mission office so we could be ready for our interviews, which were supposed to take place at 11:45. We got our interviews just before 4 and left to eat dinner. So, not much done this day.
The rest of the week was pretty normal, except for Saturday where we didn't do much again because of Missionary correlation and ward council meetings combined with eating with members taking up the entire day, practically.
So twice this week we have had lessions (lessons?) until 9 at night, with our curfew being no later than 9:30 or we get struck by lightning for living in apostasía (apostasy). To make things super fun, both nights we were probably 1.5-2 miles away from our house, and the bus that passes by our house doesn't pass by where we were. So, we walked (since we're not supposed to run) like mad, and luckily we made it home on time both days, granted with a little bit of pain. But hey, pain is better than death.
With love,
Elder Yates

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Diciembre (Monday, December 1)

Wow, it's hard to believe that it's already December. Christmas and (more importantly) my birthday are practically upon is. It makes me a little bit sad to realize I won't have the oportunity to be with my family during the holiday season, but it's not so bad when I remember I'll have eternity to spend with them, so a little break isn't so bad. This past week I saw (shown by the ward mission leader; tranquilo) my blog for the first time and, apparently, someone thinks my letters are lacking a bit, so I'll try to improve a little bit.

First I'll start off with the fun thing: we did some service by going out into the jungle and destroyed some walls. Then, we took the rubble, loaded it up into a truck, drove it to a certain stretch of road, and unloaded the rubble. Supposedly, I'm told, it's to help make the road passable in the rain since the rubble provides a more firm layer, but who knows. Also, we didn't quite finish, so we're going to return sometime this week to destroy a little more (woohoo!)
This week we had a surprise Multi-zone conference to learn about the new Church iniciative this Christmas season, Él es la Dádiva, which I assume is He is the Gift in English (not entirely sure why the world 'dádiva' was chosen, practically no one here knows it) to help people remember the true reason of Christmas. Not sure how much was made known to ya'll, but it's pretty sweet this new program.
Now then, there are things I can share and the things I can't (or shouldn't) share, either for my protection, the Church's reputation, or to avoid causing ya'll to worry, but I'll try to share a few stories here and there about what goes on down here in Bolivia. Unfortunately, this past week we didn't have much time to proselyte because of conferences, meetings, and service, but we did have an investigator tell us (the same one from a few weeks ago) she wants to be baptized, sí o sí, 3 de enero. (around January 3) So we did have a little happiness this week.
Unfortunately, Thanksgiving is not celebrated here. However, yesterday (30 de noviembre) was ward conference, and us missionaries were invited to almorzar with the obispo, (lunch with the bishop) which was topped off with APPLE PIE! Of course it wasn't as good as the pies made back home, but it was still pretty good, and it was close enough that I'll go ahead and call it my Bolivian Thanksgiving.
So I'll finish this letter with a short story in Spanish (since it wouldn't make much sense translated) and another in English about two experiences I've had.
Al tocar puertas, mí compeñero y yo encontramos una casa especial, porque no se puede ver afuera de la casa porque hay una pared y puerta grande. Cuando la tocamos, una mujer contestó. Ella nos vio, gasped y cerró la puerta diciendo "O no! Mormónes! Son Mormónes!" A eso, lo respondimos, "No, soy Elder Yates. Mormón fue un profeta de Dios." Unfortunately, she left and didn't respond. De modo.
(Essentially this is the English version as translated by Mark Sr.: While Knocking doors, my companion and I encountered a special house where you couldn't see the door because it was behind a large gate. When we knocked, a woman answered. When she saw us she gasped and shut the door. "Oh no! Mormons! It's the Mormons!" Then I responded, "No, I am Elder Yates. Mormon was a prophet of God." Unfortunately, she left and didn't respond. Oh well.)
As we were walking down the street, we were stopped by a guy on a motorcycle to be questioned. First, he declared that Mormons have multiple women, to which Elder Guzmán responded that he only had one mother and one father, so that was a lie. Next the man asked us if we had a different book then the Bible, "un libro de, uh, de un Smith. Sí, de Will Smith!" ¡Cuán gracioso! ("a book of, uh, of a Smith. Yes, of Will Smith. How funny!)  We told him we have a companion book to the Bible, translated by José Smith, but that Will Smith is an actor. Good times.
Hope this letter is a little more pleasing to ya'll
Elder Yates

Pictures from service

Elder Yates didn't send any explanations of these pictures, so I will do my best to label them.

I think this is the backyard they were working in

Putting up a covered patio
I'm sure Elder Yates is just taking a break, but has been working hard
And it is done! Look at all that shade...
Elder Yates and another Elder showing off all their hard work

Elder Yates, after a long day with his machetes

Should I be worried about how much he is enjoying those machetes?

The workers at the end of the service project and the family they were helping?

Elder Yates and his companion, Elder Guzman. A bit dirty, but still happy.

I would imagine this is the jungle the headed out to for the service

The truck is filled with the bricks from the wall they destroyed.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Late =/ (Tueday, November 25)

*A little note before we get to the letter this week. Elder Yates has been very diligent in writing home each week. They are not always the most informative letters about what is happening to him in his mission, but we have been able to count on a letter each and every week. However, yesterday we checked our inboxes regularly ALL. DAY. LONG. with nothing! By the end of the day we were a bit worried, so thanks to current social media and a friend request I received just last week from the Ward Mission Leader, I posted the question to the ward mission leader of whether or not Elder Yates was transferred because he didn't write home. I am so grateful to the lovely wife of the ward mission leader that responded (and a husband that can read Spanish!) that there was a problem with the internet and he was NOT transferred and still doing well. I was sad that I wouldn't hear from him this week, and even more sad he wouldn't feel that burst of love from home with being able to read our emails (several had been sent this week and we worried he would spend all his time reading and not have time to write) but we are blessed with technology today to help alleviate my concerns. Then we got this lovely letter this morning. I am a very happy mom! Enjoy!*

¡Van a disculpar! (I apologize!) This letter is a day late, I know, but there wasn't anything I could do. The place we come to to write was closed for cleaning. Why they bother to clean I'm not entirely sure, because it's only the day after cleaning and it doesn't seem too clean. But hey, just another joy of living in a third world country, no?
Anyway, I started my second cambio (transfer) here in Bolivia, but nothing changed. I'm still working in  Los Pinos, and my companion is Elder Guzmán, the one I got a week before the transfers. A little sad I'm still in the city, but on the bright side, that also means I'll be in the city for Christmas (which is only a month away...) and able to Skype, instead of just a phone call.
Not sure if I've shared this before, but the members here are amazing with helping us; if they're home, they're willing to join us in a lesson. There is only one little problem: certain members LOVE to talk. As such, some times the member talks the entire time and we only get to share a brief message before we have to leave. But hey, at least they help us.
Otherwise, not entirely sure what to share. Elder Guzmán is cool, the people are (generally) nice, and we walk a lot. Oh, the ward got to have a trip to the temple this past week, so it was exciting for them, and I'm excited for them. However, I was informed that our mission president doesn't allow us to visit the temple during the mission since it's not in our area, so it's not our priviledge. Little disapointed about that, but the mission president knows best.
One last thing I guess: we found a family here that reminds me a lot of my family. It's a family of 6, 3 sons and a daughter, with the oldest being 19 and the youngest being 7. Plus, the family is very important to them, especially the mother. As such, I'm excited to be able to share the Gospel with them and hope they receive it well. On a side note, we're also teaching a family of professional football players :o
Sorry for the delay,
Elder Yates

Monday, November 17, 2014

Mail Time (Monday, November 17, 2014)

Yay for more time to write home! This week, ending miércoles, was supposed to mark the end of this transfer, after which I would most likely get a new companion. And it still does, but as of sábado I got a new companion, Elder Guzman, because of an emergancy transfer. Without getting into much details, the leadership was changed around just a little and a few missionaries get a little sick. Don't worry, I'm fine and elder Guzman is pretty awesome.
Anyway, this past weekend Bolivia got the pleasure of receiving the 50th aniversary of the Church in Bolivia broadcast. Unfortunately, missionaries wern't invited and we kept on working. The official aniversary is 20/11, and the Church is going to have a little party that day, also which missionaries arn't invited to. Oh well, no big deal.
Uhm, I may have forgotten what happened this past week, which probably means it wasn't very important (I think). I did a lot of walking, as usual, and taught a few lessons here and there. Unfortunately, we don't really have many progressing investigators since the people either don't like our message, are firm in their errorous ways, or 'don't have time' for us. On the plus side, the members here are super amazing and helpful. Give and take a little I guess.
I actually brought my camera this time, so I'll take a little time to write about the pictures since this letter is so short.
With love,
Elder Yates
**Pictures from a separate email**
The average cat here, more or less. Pretty sure none of them can purr. So sad
Behold the most powerful missionary in the world. I "borrowed" everyone's name tag in the casa.
He he he

Had some excitement this week as the police landed a helicopter behind our casa.
No idea what they were doing, but whatever. Shot from our second floor.

I got a little prize in my cereal box! Pretty sure its supposed to be a dragon glider from
"How To Train Your Dragon 2." Shot from the front part of our casa. 
Thought I took more of our casa, but I guess not. I'll get them eventually.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

More Mail (Monday, November 10)

This week was a bit more exciting than last week I think, as I was lucky enough to have two intercambios (not sure of the English word here)(exchanges, or splits) and learn from other missionaries this week. So, let's get started.
First off, the investigator that wanted to be baptized wasn't because her husband wants to get baptized with the whole family, but he isn't ready (the baptism requirements here are a bit lofty: all five lessons, 3 Sunday attendences of all 3 hours, and an experience with both fasting and tithing). They will be baptized eventually though, as they are great people.
During the intercambios (splits) I went around my area with an Elder Hernandez, one of my Zone Leaders. Practicly everything went decently well, up to the point where I forgot where one of the investigators lived (in my defence, the organization of houses here sucks). Good learning experience though.
After the intercambios, Elder Rios y I decided to search for an old investigator that was abandoned without reason 3 years ago. All we had to work with, however, was a barrio (neighborhood) and a house number. So, as we wandered the streets (all of which have their own numbers, by the way) looking for casa 52, we learned something very important: numbers mean nothing - in three houses the numbers went 28-137-6. Then, to make things even better, we realized we where in the wrong barrio. Heh heh. Eventually we made it to the correct barrio and found the lot 52 that we could, but the building that was there was a nice appartment building, that could not have existed 3 years ago. Oh well.
I would like to take this time to tell ya'll that here, the Earth is, without a doubt, NOT clean right after rain; mud is everywhere and everywhere stinks. It's keeps the day interesting though as we walk all day, so it isn't too bad. My poor shoes though... =(
Not sure what else to write, the food is good, the Spanish is Spanish, the culture is different, and the conditions are pretty poor. Despite that, it is pretty sweet here. I'll send pictures someday, if I can ever get it into my head to remember to bring them.
Elder Yates

Monday, November 3, 2014

You got Mail (Monday, November 3)

Most of this week has been pretty average, a lot of walking around and teaching a little here and there, so in this letter I'll sum up the main events really quick and then try to explain a little about the culture here.
We found a guy that loves to read the Bible and the words of God, but when we tried teaching him he wouldn't accept the Book of Mormon, so we had to cut him off. An investigator that has been being taught since like February or something finally told us she decided to be baptized, so that should happen Saturday.
That was fast, huh? Well, I guess I'll start with the most important part of any culture - the food. Here in Bolivia, rice is eaten with EVERYTHING. Enjoying some beef? It goes better with rice. Got that nice chicken? Nothing better with chicken than rice. Eating some kind of vegetable mixture thing? Rice will add some flavor to those plants. You want some soup? Of course we're going to put rice in it. Trying to drink some milk? BAM, rice milk, nothing better. It's pretty absurd how much rice is eaten here, but I ain't complaining. Lunch is also the biggest meal here with a relatively small dinner, the opposite of the US.
Anyway, especially where I'm stationed, there are no supermarkets or big stores we can stop by to get everything we need. Instead, there are little pulperías practicly every street. These pulperías are pretty simple little shops where we go and buy food and drinks and the like. If we want practicaly anything else, we have to take a trip downtown where there is essentially an open-air market, but inside. Supposedly there are actually supermarkets and malls further downtown, but I think those are part of the South Mission.
Here, you can't walk up to some's door. There is either a wall with big, solid metal doors, gates, or a little wooden and barbed wire fence around each house. Most don't have doorbells either, so trying to get the attention of the inhabitants can be fun sometimes. However, the culture here is pretty nice when it comes to visitors since almost everyone will come and greet you when you come knocking, except for a few inpolite people.
The puplic transport buses, Micros, are pretty crazy too. I think I touched a little on them last time, but I'll go over it again really quickly. There are usually 13 seats in the back then a little area round the driver with like 4 or 5 seats and then just a little open space in front of the door that, in the US, would probably hold like 2 or 3 people. Not here. Here the people fill up EVERY open space, from the seats to the aisles, which can make it difficult to get off sometimes, not to mention the actual trip. Fun times.
Not sure what else to share, since everything is at least a little different, but if I get anything else I'll send it your way.
Elder Yates

Monday, October 27, 2014

Letter (Monday, October 27)

Another week done down in Bolivia. Not really sure what to share since nothing major has happened this week, but I'll try.
We did a lot of walking again this week, and we probably will be doing a lot more walking in the future. Luckily, we've started getting appointments set up so we can rely on those instead of just wandering around everywhere trying to find someone to teach. The biggest problem I've found is that the husbands are usually not home, since I guess they need to work or something. Not sure about what the rules used to be, but now missionaries can't enter a house without a member of the same gender over the age of 18 years. We make it work, even though it ends up being most of our appoinments in the night time.
This weekend was also Stake Conference, so we got to go to that. Unfortunately, it also made it so we couldn't proselyte at all on Saturday because we studied in the morning, ate lunch, then Elder Rios (as the District Leader) had to conduct a baptismal interview that lasted until Priesthood session, which was immediately followed by some meeting called the Work of Salvation. It was pretty decent, but we had to cancel a few appointments because we didn't find out we were supposed to assist those meetings until just before lunch. On the plus side, the stake center has air conditioning. Sunday morning we had the general session. The stake president here is amazing too.
Again I've meet some strange beliefs down here in Bolivia, I'll have to tell ya'll about someday. We also found this crazy witch-doctor like house that was pretty cool. There was a big circular pit in the yard with a whole bunch of chairs with names carved into the backs. And there was a whole bunch of cages scattered throughout the yard. Unfortunately, no one was home, so we could only observe from the other side of what Bolivians call fences.
The public transport here is also a whole lot different from those in the USA. There is no such thing as a maximum load that I've noticed, as people will hang out the door of the Micro if there is no room to enter. Plus, people are a bit more lax; I've carried on machetes several times without a second glance from anyone. And also, the machete is the Bolivian lawn mower - go ahead and try to cut grass with a machete, it's a bunch of fun!
Elder Yates

Monday, October 20, 2014


I downloaded several pictures from the Santa Cruz North Mission blog of Elder Yates arriving in Bolivia. Check out the mission blog for more pictures from the mission.

I posted a permanent link on the sidebar of the mission blog for future reference.

A few pictures of my favorite missionary:

Elder Yates with his trainer Elder Rios

Elder Yates (in the pink tie) with other missionaries at lunch

The 7 missionaries that traveled together along with the Mission President and his wife
Elder Yates is the shortest one, in the middle

On the bus, heading to the greatest adventure of their lives
Elder Yates is the one in the front left

Elder Yates is welcomed by President Zambrano

In the airport, just arriving in Bolivia

Bolivia W1

Well, la primera semana de mí obra misional es terminado (the first week of my mission work is finished). It's been interesante (interesting), with the orientation and adjusting to the vida nueva (new life), so I'll compartir que puedo (share what I can).

The majority of esta semana (this week) was used para caminando (for walking). Mucho caminando (lots of walking). Mí casa tiene 6 misionarios (My house has 6 missionaries), all of which are in el barrio Los Pinos (the Los Pinos ward). Entonces, Elder Rios y yo tenemos gue caminar por 30min just to llegar in nuestro área (Then, Elder Rios and I had to walk for 30min just to reach our new area). On the plus side, sólo about medio of the calles (only about half of the streets) are dirt. Also the casas (houses) are decently spread apart, and the miembros (members) are dispersed well. Mis pies me duelen un poco, pero (my feet hurt a little, but) I'll live.
We didn't really have much luck meeting with menos activos until domingo (less actives until Sunday) , but we did well on domingo (Sunday). Oh, y Iglesia (church) was pretty divertido (fun) being all en español (in Spanish). There was some primary thing, but I think I tuned it out and leí las escrituras (read the scriptures) instead. Since the previous semana (previous week) didn't have anyone working in Los Pinos we didn't have any citas (appointments), so we tried our suerte con tomando puertas and referencias (luck with taking, he meant knocking doors and referrals). It was decently effective I think, but not something I want to rely on.
Enseñamos some lecciones (we taught some lessons) to some people con weird creencias (with weird beliefs) and the like already. Una persona (one person) would only answer preguntas con "Dios sabe" y nada (questions with "God knows" and nothing) else. Another insisted que Dios (that God) couldn't exist porque (because) people arn't perfectos aquí en la tierra (perfect here on the earth). Not to mention the mumbling and accents they speak with. This is going to be a divertido dos años (fun 2 years).
I will send pictures today, no se preocupe (don't worry).
Elder Yates
**the following are the pictures he sent in a separate email**
The first 2 are of the hotel room Elder Yates stayed in when he first arrived in Bolivia

The next 5 are of a party the missionaries had on election day
celebrating one of the Elder's birthday

The last 2 are of his current house and his beautiful dresser