Cochabamba, Bolivia Temple

Cochabamba, Bolivia Temple

Monday, March 30, 2015

New Cambio (transfer)

Well, a new cambio (transfer) has begun with a milagro. (miracle)  Not only do I continue in the best area, but I even managed to keep my companion for more than one transfer. As of right now, we have yet to move or establish a day to move as the supossed plan to receive more missionaries in Los Pinos didn't pass. We're still looking to move, but we just don't know when...
Anyway, this week has been kind of dull as the upcoming elections interfered a lot with us missionaries. We did manage to walk around a bunch though; keeping that shape in form! Plus another companionship went and bought some Bolivian weights to lift and get swoll, so we might be able to get a little bit of muscle before we leave the house.
Some else from this new cambio, the Lord obviously thought to right to put me as a District Leader again, so woohoo for that. I got introduced real well the morning the Zone Meeting this past Friday when I was told that I had to lead and give a little lesson since the Zone Leaders were still running around everywhere to get people where they needed to be. The good news is that Elder Fleming returned from his exile to Cobija to work in the mission office (heh heh) and also became part of our district.
As I mentioned earlier, there were elections this Sunday and, because of the laws, we couldn't do much of anything. In fact, we got locked up in the house starting Saturday in the afternoon until this morning. I didn't take any pictures this time (sorry) but all we really did was play fútbol, read scriptures, nap, and talk. We actually talked a whole bunch, for the majority of Sunday I think.
As a little side note, a little interesting custom here is that the candidates and their parties give out shirts to the general public, in what I'm pretty sure is a way to try to win votes and gain support. Not entirely sure how legal it would be in the States, but it's highly popular here. As a netual group, us missionaries can't get involved in anyway. (I may have gotten a few free shirts though...)
*****(a couple "under the table" pictures)*****

Sorry that this letter is a little shorter than my last epistle, but really most of the week was consumed in moving around Elders and waiting out elections. Super Fun.
Mucho amor,
Elder Yates
At work for some religious school

The "lake" in our area

Monday, March 23, 2015

ççç (random letters from the Portuguese alphabet because I didn't know what to title my letter)

As the new week dawns, we look towards the next cambios (transfers) this jueves (Thursday) (we learn the changes miércoles (Wednesday) though) with suspense. In the cambio after this one, a Zone in our mission will be leaving Santa Cruz Norte to join a new mission, La Paz El Alto. Since this mission is the best, everyone is waiting anxiously to find out who will be in the area right before it gets taken away and become part of another, slightly inferior mission. Not that it'd be bad, but it' be different. As for me, I've already resigned to being here in Los Pinos for a while longer. The good news is that we have a new house to move into when the new missionaries arrive.
Anyway, this last lunes (Monday) we went and played some indoor fútbol as a zone which wasn't too bad. Didn't really do much else that day because we were tired, and slept until leaving to visit some people. We had a little difficulty getting home on time a couple times this week because our area is a little far and we had such good visits at the end of the day. I've probably said this before, but it's a little difficult to find people in the afternoon around here.
On Tuesday Elder Moreno had some more immigrations to do, so we met up with all the other nuevos (greenies) so they could sit, wait, and sign some papers. I went with some of the others that had companions doing migraciones to wait and eat a little. We were waiting for a while, until we got a call informing us that all the others had already returned to the mission office and we wondering where we were. Woops. We ran back, met up with our companions, and left pretty quickly.
Wednesday we went and helped out a family in the ward with their garden, which actually didn't include machetes. A little disapointing, but oh well. We also had the oportunity to talk with them a while, and the husband is especially strong in the Gospel. They just recently got sealed in the temple, and were sharing some experiences. Later we were visiting with an investigador who agreed to be baptized! So, we just have to wait a little while to help him get ready.
As a little side note, this Sunday is election day in Bolivia. As a little treat for us, we get to be locked up in the house all day as the only thing that should be done here on election days is voting. Apparently EVERYTHING is forced to close down except the voting booths here. Maybe the US can learn a little...
Thursday we had a little intercambio (splits),
so I was joined by an Elder who was in my area a year ago, so he was pretty excited to see the changes that had happened, and some members were happy to see him again. As such, most of this day was spent looking for people he knew (especially old investigators). In the night, however, was the baptism of the little Linares child, 'Nachito,' so we went to support that.
Friday kind of passed without any real stories to share, mostly because we were actually in lessons almost the entire day so we didn't have much time to 'goof off' and have a little fun. Saturday we went and did some more service, which did include the Bolivian Lawnmower this time. As a little treat, we got feed a whole bunch. Like a whole bunch. At least it was the fast week for us. As we waddled around the rest of the day we had a great spiritual lesson with a menos activo (less active) about how we're never forgotten by Jesus, who is always looking for the Lost Sheep. We enjoyed a little time in the Ward Council as well.
Sunday was a little exciting, as we spent most of the day sharing the new Easter video made by the Church. I don't think it's techniquely available for viewing until this next Saturday, but that's the perk of working for the Church I guess.
Hope this letter was a littler better than "everything is fine" ya bunch of ingrat's (JK)
Con mucho amor (with much love),
Elder Yates

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Más cartas (more letters)

Once again time to bless ya'll with my beautiful and elegant weekly letters. If only I also had the opportunity to read them... I guess I'll never know what it's like. Anyway, today we're in a different place than normal, and the keyboard is super funky. It's like an old style, big, bulky white keyboard. But the weirdest part is that it also has Korean keys. Super interesting.
As for this pas week, things went pretty well. On Monday we ate a whole bunch of food as a Zone, including enjoying some cake for Elder Moreno's birthday. Then, at night, we went to do a FHE with a family who also shared some cake in celebration. In short, we had a lot of cake.
On Tuesday we had a giant Multizone meeting. There was 6 zones, which I think was about 110 people, more or less. We got to listen to Presidente Zambrano and his wife give excellent discursos and learned much. Of course, they made sure we were also fed well. Before ending the Conference, we got a sneak peak at the new Church program for Easter, Gracias a que Él vive (Because He lives, or Grateful He Lives). It's pretty sweet, but (don't tell anyone) I like Él es la dádiva (He is the Gift) more. At least the people should actually understand the whole title of this one...
On Wednesday we went and took a little online survey because someone very important (I may have forgotten his name...) is coming to give a discurso at the end of abril and I guess we wants a little help deciding what we would like to learn of. The rest of the day went well.
Thursday we had a little intercambio that went pretty well, and Friday also passed without major incident. Saturday night the other Elderes had a baptism, so we went and supported that. Sunday was also nice and peaceful.
As for the situation with the house, we found a little home with some members that we can use, and, if it gets approved, we can move in quickly. The best thing is that it's actually in our area, so we don't have to walk as much. :D
Con mucho amor
Elder Yates
ps Picts inbound
So the chickens here climb trees fairly often. Not entirely sure if it's normal up there in the states, but it certainly is a bit strange to me.

The kitchen were we made the food, which was some traditional Peru dishes. Very tastey.

Elder Moreno and me enjoying one of his cakes, this one in the FHE (see next picture)
The family (Sanchez) with which we enjoyed said cake and FHE 

Elder Taylor, one of my two Zone Leaders
My other Zone Leader, Elder Ortega

Monday, March 9, 2015

Woohoo (Monday, March 9)

First off, I would like to say that today is the birthday of my companion, Elder Moreno. It may be unlikely that he reads this, but if he does (or someone at home can find his family and share through them our collective wish) ¡Cumpleaños Felices!

Anywhozit, this week was pretty nice in terms of the weather. There was a little rain one day this week, causing the next day to be super hot and muggy, but the rest of the week was overcast without the little showers. Then, this morning, it started pouring rain on our house. Luckily it calmed down to just sprinkling ('chicheando' se dice aquí) (they say here) so it was pretty nice. The only downside is that, once again, there is a bunch of mud everywhere. As for the day in which it rained, I was actually in an intercambio (splits) with our Zone Leader, so we got a nice picture walking in his area, which gets a little worse off than our area after rain.
Much of our week was spent studying in the morning with a few extra meetings in the afternoons, so we slowed down a little in the Work. We did, however, manage to tap into a grand help this week as we took some advice about talking with members a little more. So, we went and started talking to members about those who havn't assisted (attended) for a while and, lo and behold, we found some people that need a little help. Who'da thunk.
This last P-day we went and played a little of a sport that I think is called 'Wally' which is just Volleyball in a Raquetball court. It was super fun, but there was also a super nice looking pool that was pretty tempting to enjoy, especially after all the 'exercise' we had just done.
Today I think we have the plan to go and do some cooking and learning or something like that. Not so sure about the learning and cooking part, but I sure am excited to do the trying and testing part.
After much consideration, it is highly likely that el barrio Los Pinos (Los Pinos ward/neighborhood) is going to receive 2 more missionaries to wander and teach. Unfortunately, our little casita (house) only has space for 6. So, seeing as how our area is the farthest and the new area is probably going to be super close to the casa, the lot has fallen on us to find a new place to live. Luckily we still have the rest of this month to search, but it's going to be a little fun. We always pass places en alquilar (for rent), so we only need to find one that's acceptable, so it should be pretty easy. Not sure about leaving the only house I've known in Bolivia however...
Con amor, (with love)
Elder Yates

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Marzo (March)

Hard to believe it's already the month of March, ¿no? Not entirely sure how your weather has been up there in the States, but down here it's still been hot. Seems like it'll always be hot, too. It wouldn't be too bad if it was also humid all the time. Plus, especially in my current area, good ol' AC is practically unheard of, so our only relief is found under trees. The good thing is that, unlike Arizona, there are actually trees down here, not just 'Green Sticks' (Palo Verde). So it goes without saying that it's pretty down here, as long as you ignore the trash in the streets...
Anyway, this week was pretty relaxed and easy-going. We had a grand breakthrough in the Work this week as we managed to have an investigator assist Church with us! Unfortunately, it was only him and his daughter, leaving behind his wife and 6 other children, but it's a little victory at least. Otherwise, it seems our biggest difficulty with people is Church because the chapel is a little far away; it's located in the tercer anillo (3rd ring) while we're stationed between anillos siete y noveno (7 and 9th ring). As such, its a good 15-30 minute Micro ride, depending on where you start, to Church. And, even though we start at 10, we get many excuses of people sleeping in until its too late to leave. It seems some things never change.
To start, we havn't been breaking into houses recently, and we didn't even have to do more immigrations this week! As such, we had a little more time to read some more scriptures. I celebrated by finishing reading the Doctrine and Convenents as well as the Pearl of Great Price. Really all I have left to read is the Old Testament, so if I start now I might finish it before finishing College. Woo!
When I was still in the US, I really didn't appreciate the grand sport of fútbol. Now, however, I've seen how this sport dominates the lives of some people down here, as well as the influence it has. Granted it might be because it's just about the only sport they play down here, so that might have a litte effect on me. Anyway, it's amazing how much I've learned about fútbol down here, especially about the equipos professionales (professional teams) (Go Bayern Munich!)
Hope everything is well way up north,
Elder Yates