Cochabamba, Bolivia Temple

Cochabamba, Bolivia Temple

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