Cochabamba, Bolivia Temple

Cochabamba, Bolivia Temple

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Después la Carnaval (After Carnaval, Monday, February 23)

Well, we all survived Carnaval this year. It was a super fun 4 days of being in the house. I managed to finish reading el Libro de Mormón in 2 days, leaving plenty of time to do other stuff. We were a little spoiled in our house as we managed to borrow a projector and a 'screen' with which to create our own little movie theatre. We made sure to take advantage of it and watched a whole of bunch of (Church) movies, including almost 3 hours of Bible videos in English followed by another hour and a half of Bible videos in Spanish. We also ate pretty well, BBQing a bit and eating the meat salad. It was a nice little break from walking and talking all day.
After Carnaval, I got to do even more immigration work this week, and boy is this a fun story. Another Elder in our house, E' Taylor, also had immigrations with me, so we got up and got ready to leave by 5:30. After a horrible taxi ride (the driver running lights smoking the entire time, until passing a Catholic Church and quickly discarding the cig to do the little cross thing) we arrived and began waiting. And boy did we wait - we finished and left at 1:30 to start the hour trip back home. We made a little lunch and then went out to do some super fun Zone Leader work, as E' Taylor is ZL and I was with him for the day. It was a pretty good day.
Unfortunately, my compañero E' Moreno got pretty hit pretty hard by the new food, as it happens with most North Americans, and we took a little resting day Saturday to make sure he feels completely better. I got to do a few things here and there to clean up and get ready as well, so it was good for both of us. He's fine now and is super excited and eager to work and preach, a true ejemplo para mí. (example for me)
As an attempted peace-offering for not writing too much this week on account of mucho tranquilidad, (much tranquility) I will including plenty of fotos of our time in Carnaval.
Elder Yates
p.s. A little time locked up in the house meant a little time to avoid the task of shaving... >=)

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Sopresa (Surprise - Saturday, February 14)

Not sure if this is a surprise for ya'll, but we got a little time today to write home before getting locked up for a while. It's probably because of the nuevos (new ones) that arrived this week, and the Presidente wants to make sure that their families don't get overly worried. Speaking of which, I got the oportunity to work with a nuevo, Elder Moreno. Elder Fleming ya se fue (is gone), leaving me here to continue. Elder Moreno is a Texan by birth, but all the rest of his family was born in Mexico. As such, he already speaks English and Spanish, the best of both worlds.
This week was a bit hectic as we had a few things to do in a short amount of time. Por ejemplo (for example), I had a few things to do for immigrations I was told of the day of, as well as immigrations for Elder Moreno that were to start an hour after we were informed. As such, we had a bunch of running around really quickly a couple of times.
Other than that it things have gone pretty well. After a little time to write, we're going to do a little shopping before getting locked up in our house for a while. Not entirely sure what more to write before starting the super-reading-session of the Libro de Mormón (Book of Mormon).
Lots of Love,
Elder Yates

Monday, February 9, 2015

¿¡Carnaval!? (Monday, February 9)

Well, first things first: I'm not going to be able to write this next week. Instead, I'll be locked up in the house because of something called Carnaval. Not sure if ya'll have heard of it, but (from what I understand) it's more or less like 3 days of free-for-all water gun/ balloon fights in the street, but with paint. So, from Saturday in the afternoon until Wednesday in the afternoon, we're not allowed to leave our house. To make things even better, cambios (transfers) are this week right before Carnaval, so things are probably going to change a little. It's bound to be loads of fun...
Ok, on with the more fun things. This week, while visiting with a family, un palta (an avocado) fell from a tree and broke open. It wasn't anywhere near ripe, but I was allowed to take it anyway. So, for the rest of the day, we walked around and I clapped the two ends together like in Monty Python with the coconuts (on a side note, we have a few coconuts as well) and I was pretty entertained. It's amazing how simple things are so thrilling as you walk around.
We also got the chance to do some more service with the ever-so-fun machetes >=). Everything went well, up untill the last few minutes, where my flawless 19year streak finally came to and end: Elder Fleming and I encountered a little bee's nest as we were hacking away as the tall grass near a tree. I was lucky enough to get away with only a sting or two, but pobrecito E' Fleming got a few more. Oh well. It was a little painful I guess, and it lingered for a while, but we forged ahead.
We saw the movie Conozca a los Mormones (Meet the Mormons) last week, which as a video was pretty good. However, it was lacking a little in a few movie aspects. Por ejemplo (for example), it had outstanding character development, but then it just kind of moved on. There was no real plot, no climax, no resolution. There was some action however. In all, it was pretty nice to watch (in Spanish of course) and a little break from the movie-less missionary life in Bolivia.
Sunday in the morning we actually made breakfast. Granted it was hamburgers with toasted buns and Ramen, but Mother would be proud of me for actually cooking something, right? I also figured out how to eat the treats sent from Christmas, as I just added a little water and cooked it like pancakes. They turned out super well, proving that we hard-core missionaries don't need to follow the norms of others, and forge our own paths.
With love for this week and the next,
Elder Yates

Monday, February 2, 2015

Una carta mas (One more letter...Monday, February 2)

Well, it's once again time to write and enjoy the little time I get to 'speak' with my family. Today I write a little earlier than normal because we, as all the missionaries in Santa Cruz, get the priviledge to go and watch the movie, Conocer los Mormones (Meet the Mormons). Not entirely sure if we´re going to watch it in Spanish or English, but I think it's going to be in Spanish. Good ol' Spanish.
This past week was nothing special really for us. Mostly it's been a little sad because most of the people we visited wouldn't accept our message, rejecting the glad tidings of great joy for little things here and there. It's amazing how the people are so quick to turn away because of something small that challenged their beliefs.
Our ward had another baptism this week, so that was pretty exciting. However, we had a little bit of difficulties before the service. For one thing, it was still filled with the old water from our previous baptism, so we had to empty it out and clean it. Then we had to fill it, once again filling and carrying buckets of water, from probably about 3 until 5. The funniest thing, however, was the attendance and start time. It was originally said that it would start at 4:30, so that people would arrive by 5 and we could start. The bishop showed up at almost 5:30. The person getting baptized and her family showed up around 6:10, and the baptism started at about 6:20. The Bolivians here arn't exactly very punctual...
Speaking of punctuality, we had a very interesting experience. A member of our ward was kicked out of her house this week, and needed a little help moving her stuff to a new house. As luck would have it, the only two people in our ward that have trucks are both Sumo Sacerdotes (high priests), and had a meeting the same night. So, when we called, they told us they would be unavailable until 9, after which they would go and help. At 9, we called and confirmed that they were in transit to help. At 10 we got a call from the moving member that no one showed up. We tried calling around to find someone to help, but everyone had their phones turned off, including the Bishop. I'm not entirely sure what happened, but eventually the Bishop showed up to help them, and the next day everything was ok in the new house. Very interesting the people here.
This week I finished reading Jesus the Christ, a good-length book about the life and ministry of Christ. It was especially interesting to read about the final 'trials' by the Jews and Romans. I really enjoyed it.
Elder Yates