Cochabamba, Bolivia Temple

Cochabamba, Bolivia Temple

Monday, January 26, 2015

Bolivia (Monday, January 26)

This week, while not overly successful for me and Elder Fleming, was really good for our District. In a quick recap; 4 people were baptized in barrio Paraíso, we had a wedding in Los Pinos on Saturday, and another 4 or 5 people are getting ready to be baptized this week. Exciting times indeed are begining.
Otherwise, there were a few exciting points this week for us. This last Monday we met up with probably a bit more than 60 missionaries to play some football. Unfortunately, it took up a little more time than we wanted to, so we didn't really have much time to do anything else before trying to find a few people to talk with for a little while. 
This Thursday was a feriado, (holiday) but no one was really sure for what. The most accurate answer we got was 'por el gobierno.' (for the government) Not that it really made a difference honestly; it was still difficult to find people in their houses. We did have, however, a little Ward Party thing in the evening. I think it was supposed to be an oportunity to help us find investigators, but it was probably more of a fun time for the members as the ward played some games and drank some drank. It was held in a park called Cambódromo, a park which stretches 4 rings (I think its 40 blocks or something), a little big. Luckily we wern't wandering the enitre thing, only a little bit.
On Saturday we took a little time to visit and support the couple that got married. The ceremony was pretty nice I guess. I don't have any pictures unfortunately, so imagine the gym of a church with balloons and a white table with flowers and cakes. Add a lawyer and two people dressed in white and there you have it. Naturally there was food and drink, which we made sure to partake a little, but we didn't get to have any cake since we had to leave a bit early. A little sad, but I think I'll live. Maybe.
With Love,
Elder Yates

**Mom Yates here**

I got several pictures forwarded from Elder Flemings' mom this morning. I'm guessing this first one was from the wedding?
The rest of these pictures were of Elder Yates and Elder Fleming fooling around at the home of a less active member. Such goof balls!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Carta (Letter - Monday, January 19)

Well, as always a little more time to focus on a different aspect of the Lord's work (which also is probably my parents' favorite part) by writing home another fantastic and super informative letter written by the super humble Me. What luck ya'll have to read my letters. Wish I could...
Anyway, this week was super exciting as we had the opportunity to baptize and confirm Hna. Claudia this past Saturday, which I was also able to do the baptism. The service went pretty well, but the details were a little fun to achieve, as we didn't know where to find the baptismal clothing and the Bishop was out of town for the week. So, we were calling around a bit trying to find where the clothing was. Luckily we found a few sets tucked away in some dark corner of our house the morning of the service, so we had a little time to wash them. Plus we were finally informed who had the

baptismal clothing for the ward, and delivered it into the hands of the correct people. Then, when we got to the chapel, the baptismal font was only half-filled and the water-filler house thingy wasn't working well. So, using our super smarts, we filled and hauled buckets until it was sufficient. Unfortunately it also meant the water was a little cold, but whatever.

Well, other than that I'm not entirely sure what else to write about as we were tunneling pretty hard on making sure the baptism went well. We were able to serve a couple more times with the blades of cutting in the week, and already have the next week fully planned with more service. It's pretty fun, if a little difficult at times. At least I get more time with machetes >:)
Elder Yates

Tuesday, January 13, 2015


Sister Zambrano, the mission President's wife has posted a new address to send all letters and packages to for the mission.

Pouch mail instructions remain the same as before. Please see side bar for instructions for pouch mail.

From now on, all letters and packages being mailed directly to Bolivia will be sent to:

Elder Mark Yates
Santa Cruz North Mission
Calle Cochabanba Nro 710, Esquina Saavedra
Torres Cainco, Piso 5, Officina 2 y 3, tf. 3116322
Casilla de Correo 3873
Santa Cruz, Bolivia
Apparently, they have been having difficulty with the mail and think this will help. She warns that it will take about a month to a month and a half, but your missionaries will receive their mail.
I will update the address on the side, but please take note.

P-Day Zoo trip pictures

A group of missionaries went to the zoo on January 5. If you remember from his letter that day he mentioned he was sending only a quick note because they were going to the zoo. Here are pictures from that trip...

More letters (Monday, January 12)

Woo another time to rack the vast space I call my brain to try to find something to write about. To make things even more fun, the space bar of the computer I am currently using is a little busted, so pay no attention if some of the words run together a little bit; it's just like trying to speak/listen to Spanish.
This week was pretty great in the missionary work; had a bunch ofvisits, met some new people, but most excitingly, la Hna Claudia is having her baptismal interview tomorrow (Tuesday) and when she passes the 'test' probablybe baptized this Saturday. It seems that whenever I write home saying we're going to have a baptism something happens, but  I'm pretty sure her baptism is secure. As for our other investigator ready to be baptized, Elder Fleming wants her to wait until her husband returns fromwork (many people here work 'en el campo' which means theyleave for a while with a few days of rest returning home) in the attempt to help him progress.
Also, a menos activo (less active) family has begun to attend church once again,with 2 assistances in 2 weeks! Unfortunately, the father also had to get his apprendix removed this past week so wepassed by to help him out a bit. Plus the father of another family decided to try flying from his roof only to learn that gravity still works. Luckily nothing major happened, just well bruised up a bit,but we stopped by to help a little anyway.
At last we  were able to find another excuse to use machetes - er, offer service this pást week. With 12 missionaries and 3 hermanos (brothers) we started to chop through the jungle (yes,jungle with smalltrees and vines) of a lote of a family in another barrio (neighborhood). It was good,hard work for over an hour, but we didn't quite finish. Not sure if all of us will return or only a part, but someone will get it done I think.
As I was studying this week, I was focusing on the words of the Savior,especially in His Sermón en la Monte. While this part in the Bible is bien, (good) it is a little confusing at times. Luckily, we also have His words in the Book of Mormon which explains it a little more clear. Something I also noticed is that the bienaventuranzas (beatitudes) are in 'order' if you will in terms of 'completion.' For example, the first one, poor in spirit (humble) leads to mourning  (repentance). Very interesting, ¿no?
With Love,
Elder Yates
p.s. As a side note, I received a package from my wonderful abuelos (grandparents) in Arizona as well as a letter from G.G!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Woo Año Nuevo (Woo, new year!)

Hurray for the year 2015! In celebration we ate a bunch of grilled sausages the night of 31 before going to bed at the normal time. Very exciting stuff I know. We also learned of our cambios (transfers). It appears that i'm still needed here in Los Pinos, but I was joined with the giant Elder Fleming. He was born in Texas but moved to Arizona (woo) at 16 in Snowflake. He's only 6ft 6in, so it's not too bad. Kind of funny to see a giant and a normal-ish gringo (white guy) walking down the street in shirt and tie, so we get more than our far share of glances. The good thing is that he is super and loves to work. After the struggle of getting up in the morning of course.
So this semana (week) wasn't too exciting as we were waiting for investigators to return and the fiestas to calm down from every night to the usual every other day or two. Plus the exciting cambios (transfers). Anyway, the biggest thing of note this week is that on Friday it rained literally all day. There was no full stop, only moments when it wasn't pouring. As such, there was a lot of water and mud for a few days, but it lessened a little with the excess heat that follows the rain here. Fun times.
The good and happy news is that Hna Claudia (the mujer (woman) that contacted us) not only accepted a date for baptism, but is actually reading and praying about the Book of Mormon. As for the rest of our investigators, we still havn't really been able to make contact with them. I hope they're not dead...
During my studies this week, I was reading in the first chapter of Juan about the testimony of Juan el Bautista (John the Baptist) of the Christ. It's a beautiful read from a prophet of God testifying of the Son of God, who also had the oportunity to meet and baptize Him. However, much of the testimony was not complete or wholly accurate. As such, the first 34ish verses were retranslated by José Smith and included in the index of the Biblia. It's interesting to see the things lost by time or changes, but lucky we have the promise of God that all things will be restored.
Sorry if this letter is a little short, but we were told to finish more 'on time' then normal since we're going to the zoo today (woo!) so next week will include some fun photos.
With Love,
Elder Yates
***Just a side note from Mom Yates here. I absolutely LOVE social media and how frequently I can see my son on Facebook. Funny thing with the new transfer, I learned all about his new companion through Facebook before I even received his letter. Within hours of a picture being posted I received a friend request from Elder Fleming's mom. This morning I received a message from her that I just had to share...
Part of Elder Flemings email today...

The ward is really awesome! My comp is really awesome too! He is one of the best companions that I have had. He is really kind and always helping me out and is always serving me. That is what I really love about it. Tell his Mom that he is one of the Best missionaries that I know! New Year has passed and I am really excited to be here in a New Ward with a New Companion. I am really going to enjoy this time in Los Pinos 2 with Elder Yates! I am PUMPED!

He is really enjoying your son, sounds like he is an amazing missionary. It makes me so happy to hear that Elder Fleming has another wonderful companion. Thank you

She also mentioned that she got to talk to her son briefly while he was online and that he said a lot of nice things about Elder Yates then too. She passed on to me that Elder Fleming really likes Elder Yates, which as a mom I love to hear!