Cochabamba, Bolivia Temple

Cochabamba, Bolivia Temple

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


Sunday, October 19, 2014

Election Weekend

I'm back with another quick email, since Monday is the P-day in Bolivia I get to write again. Yay! Not that I really have much to talk about, since only a day and a half has passed, so it'll be shorter this time.

Sunday was Bolivian Election Day, so we couldn't go out because of some law about no religious gatherings or something. Instead, we spent the day locked up in a house - it did have AC though, which was nice. (My new place doesnt =/) It was also an Elder's birthday (the same Elder Mom skyped actually) so we celebrated that. We had a huge lunch of steak, chicken, mashed potatoes, and Bolivian style rice. Everything was super amazing - I even enjoyed the potatoes. It took forever to light the charcoal for the grill though, since we didn't have any lighter fluid, but a bunch of young men will make a fire eventually.

Not much has happened since; Elder Rios and I moved into our new casa and spent the morning unpackind. As of right now, we have a bed, a dresser, and a chair each. As we were unpacking we borrowed a fan, and someone was working on hooking water to our bathroom (he did finish, yay toilets!). Everything else, we need to get since it's a brand new house. On the plus side, we already have 3 appointments for tonight, one of which is a progressing investigator. The work starts tonight!

Elder Yates

Mail (Saturday, October 11)

Hey everyone! I made it safely down to Bolivia. The flights were long, but I survived. My little group of 7 people received another 14 people, so there are 21 new missionaries in the Bolivia Santa Cruz Norte Mission. Just jueves (Thursday) we learned our assigned areas of work. The mission secretaries were surprised since 11 of the nuevos (greenies) were being sent out of the city. Unfortunately (or fortunately) I get to work in the cuidad (city) first. The mission area is called Los Pinos and is on the very edge of the cuidad (city). My trainer is Elder Rios.
Normally, I'm told, P-day is lunes, (Monday) but we're writing today since this semana (week) was kind of crazy for those assigned to the office. I will also write on lunes (Monday) though, so be ready for that amazing email aswell. I havn't really done much this week, just kind of waiting around and reading the scriptures and Jesus the Christ. I'm told there is a blog for the mission, which has pictures, at I'll get my pictures to ya'll lunes, (Monday) maybe.
The driving here is absurd; Mexico City looks pretty well compared to here. I'm fairly certain the only rule of the road is Don't Crash. The stop signs are practicly ignored, the 2way streets don't even have lines, people pass like crazy, and I've even seen multiple cars make u-turns over islands to avoid intersections. So glad I don't have to do any driving.
The food here has been amazing. We've had pizza a few times for dinner, and it's always been the same: Hawaiian and BBQ Chicken. The BBQ gets really salty and soggy here, but the Hawaiian is pretty good - they even put peaches on it. I would highly recommend it. Also learned some interesting things regarding off-limit foods: no lettuce, cabbage, strawberries, watermelon, or other fruits that grow on the ground like the previously mentioned. Oh, and no pig of any kind. On the other hand, apparently the only meal we have to make for ourselves is desayuno (breakfast); miembros (members) are payed to provide for us.
This letter is kind of short since not much has really happened. If I remember anything else I'll include it on lunes. (Monday) If not, I'll take more time answering emails. I have no idea what time I'll start, but it'll be for an hour. Oh, one more thing: Bolivian Elections are Sunday, so all missionaries will be locked up in their casas (houses) for the day. Woohoo! more time to sit around and read. Then lunes (Monday) is another P-day. So, hopefully I start the work noche de lunes. (Monday night) It's almost time to get to work!
Elder Yates 

Sunday, October 5, 2014


I know today isn't my P-day, but I'm not breaking any rules I promise, maybe. I was told since I leave early in the Morning Monday, I could take a quick break to email home. So, I am sending this quick email home at the end of General Conference.

I hope Conferencia General was as spiritual an experience for you guys at home at it was for me. I specifically loved Tod Callister's talk and David A Bednar's. I was surprised to hear that talks were to be given in native tongues, which was also really cool. Unfortunately, we here at the CCM were not able to hear the Spanish talks since the translation covered them up. I was kind of disappointed because I didn't get to test my level of Spanish, especially regarding Gospel topics, but also glad that I could get the full message of the discursos. Hopefully in six months I can get both.

My excitement to get out into the mission field is all-encompassing at this moment. Yes I'm nervous about the language, and about talking with people, and with the extreme amount of work needed, but I know that with the help of the Lord  and His promised blessings, I will be alright. Kind of hoping my first area is in the jungle, but I won't be too picky.

Yes, I'm all packed and ready to go. Everything still fits well, and comfortably under the maximum weight too. Got my boarding pass all printed and ready to go, so all I have left to do is just wait for another 12 hours before leaving the CCM for the airport. Unfortunately, no other mail has arrived for me since Dad's physical copy of the email he sent. They will come though, and they will somehow get to me in Bolivia. I hope.

Got one last picture of me in the CCM - it consists of some people from our zone with my district. With all the busy work and meetings entailed here, we couldn't get everyone together. The previous whole zone pictures were taking right after Sacrament meeting so everyone was together anyway. I think one of you two will receive something related to the CCM goodbye video, but maybe not. Don't quote me on that.

Elder Yates


Saturday, October 4, 2014


A Cheerleader showing his skills with a volunteer jumper

A view of the city

The next six are of me and the best (don't tell anyone) from the district

The rest are several photos forwarded from a Sister in the District

Our zone at the CCM

I think that's all. Not too much time to take pictures and much to take pictures of.

Week Five

Almost done and out of the CCM! Got my flight plans this week, so the end is finally in sight. My first plane takes off at 10:17 in the morning of Monday (think I have to be ready to leave the CCM at like 5:30 though) from Cuidad de Mexico (Mexico City) to Panama City; a flight of just under 4 hours I think. The second plane will take me straight from Panama City to Santa Cruz; a flight of only 5 hours, more or less. If I remember correctly, we should land right around 11 at night in Bolivia, and then the real work begins!

Other than flight plans, this week has been kind of boring. We got a nuevo maestro (new teacher) since the old one fue a (went to) BYU for schooling. I guess not the escuela peor (worst school), but he could have done better. We have been doing a lot of studying and preparación for el campo (preparing for the field)  since it's almost time to comenzar (begin). Practiced some of the more lecciones 'divertidos' ("fun" lessons) like castidad (chastity) and palabra de sabiduría (Word of Wisdom), which was interesante (interesting).

Listened to some pretty sweet discursos de Elder Bednar sábado y martes (talks from Elder Bednar Saturday and Tuesday) about converting to the character of Christ and how to learn from profetas modernos (modern prophets). His method is pretty nice; escuchar por Doctrinas (listen to the Doctine), Invitaciones, y Bendiciones (Invitations and Blessings). Will probably try it out, since un apóstol (an apostle) recommended it.

Got my hair cut hoy (today), no pictures of the new dew at the moment though, so ya'll will just have to imagine mi pelo (my hair) shorter. Some of the other elders complained about how the barbers were rough, but I think they be cray. Got some other pictures though, from just before the massacre, so it should be fine. It'll take a while to send them (darned size limit) so bare with me. Will also try forwarding some emails from an Hermana in the distrito (Sister in the district) that took some pretty nice fotos.

Once again, the mail box has been dry. Either everyone's parents lied to us and didn't send any cortas, (shorts, but he probably meant cartas, which means letters) the gobernado de Mexico (government of Mexico) might not like us. Not sure which one is more accurate.

Lo siento (I'm sorry), pero this semana (but this week) has been kind of stuck in a rut. Still no emails from Ryan, but I got an amazing gato (cat) from Robbie. Maybe he likes me more. Christina definitaly likes me though. Since this email was shorter, I have a little more time for responding to personal emails, yay!

Elder Yates