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