Cochabamba, Bolivia Temple

Cochabamba, Bolivia Temple

Monday, May 25, 2015

Another Week

Well, after giving all the praise to my companion E' Flores, I learned that he actually hates me as he tried to brutally cut off my finger with a chair. Luckily I was able to fight him off. Before everyone (Mom) starts panicing, nothing actually happened; I just got my finger hit pretty hard on accident. I only wanted to start off with something interesting before ya'll fall asleep.
This past Monday we went to the zoo to see all the pretty animals. While it was my 3rd time already, it was the first for many, so está bien (it's good). This time was also very unique, as the photos that I should be sending will show. The only downside is that it used most of our day as we are a tad bit farther from the zoo than I was before, so the bus rides were a little longer. As such, we were a little rushed to get everything ready and prepared on our P-day (which should be the exact oposite of today, as the heavy rain canceled all plans of doing stuff). The plus side is that Monday night we were informed of immigrations that E' Flores needed to do bright and early Tuesday morning. Getting up super early, we had to get to the other side of town by 6:30 so we could wait in line until almost 8:30. At least we wern't the only ones; there was a total of 31 missionaries that needed to sign a little piece of paper in the Bolivian DMV, plus algunos (some) 9 of us that just got dragged along. Really felt the toll of disturbing the sleeping pattern as I've been especially tired the rest of the week.
Thursday was also pretty fun, as after we had our little District Meeting, it started to rain. Hard. We really enjoyed walking around all day in the mud and rain. It was also our day of following Nephi's example in 1 Nefi 4:6-7 (if I remember correctly its somewhere around there). Unfortunately we didn't have as much success (no one that I know of died) but we were able to meet and get to know several inactive families that havn't attended for a while, which makes this next week much easier.

Friday it started off pretty cold in the morning, but quickly got warm before cooling off a lot at night. !Tan raro el clima aquí¡ (The weather is so weird here!) Anyway, in our travels today we were joined by a ward member that served a 8 month mission (cut off for health problems; currently tring to return) in Brasil, so we tried learning a little portugués. As a side note, everyone that gets asked to help the missionaries, PLEASE DO, missionaries without help are severely limited in who they can visit, as well as a ayudante. Saturday was also pretty calm and peaceful, and we were joined by another ward member all day. The youth (cuz I'm not, ¿no?) here are very helpful for us missionaries. When we went to teach a family, the Hno was just starting to cut his 'lawn,' to we quickly grabbed tools and helped cutting all the green. Unfortunately we cut a little too much of their garden. Luckily they forgave us.
Sunday was another rainy day, all day. There was also a whole lot of mud everywhere. I remember mud being a lot more fun and exciting as a small child... We had the pleasure of having the Primer Consejero de la Estaca (First Counselor in the Stake) join our meetings today, and he quickly recognized me from Los Pinos. Here there is a word to describe people like him: wasquiador. No sé si pueden entenderlo (I highly doubt it), pero un día lo explicaré. (I don't know if you can understand (I highly doubt it), but one day I'll explain.) We walked around with much water falling on our heads, and was actually a very pretty day.
The sky this morning was flaming orange; interpret that as you will.
With Love,
Elder Yates


Monday, May 18, 2015

Nueva Semana (New Week)

Woo for the first full week in the City of Gold. As I thought and mentioned in the other letter, it didn't take long for it to rain on us and further hide the gold under mud and water. Lots of mud and water. It's actually kind of absurd how much mud and water. At the very least it makes things a lot more interesting and fun to try and walk around. There are some 'puddles' that I'm pretty sure we could swim in without a problem.
Speaking of the weather, it's also quite absurd. It goes from really cold to really warm pretty quickly. The clouds also love to cover all of the blue sky, but leave the sun to smile down on us. Never have I seen such a strange climate, going from gray and depressing to super bright light almost every day. Plus I'm told that the Sur has yet to start, so its bound to get even colder. Can't wait...
This week went pretty well as I got to know the area a bit more and meet more people. A very common trend around here is the co-habitation, with people living together without getting married. It mostly has to do with the large cost of the whole ordeal I think, as this area is also very humble. However, we've already had 2 couples express their desires to get married, so that's a good sign. Another trend around here are churches. A whole bunch of churches. There's one church practically behind our house that stole all their songs from the SUD himnario. (LDS Hymnal) Very interesting to hear all the different versions they have.
In regards to the new chapel that was supposedly finished and ready to be used, it actually wasn't. I was told that it wasn't quite perfect enough, so the workers have to return and touch things up a bit, and that it should be ready in a few weeks. Unfortunately, we didn't learn about this until 9:30 Saturday night, after already going a whole week getting all the people excited about the new chapel. Needless to say, we were a little frustrated that we wernt' told earlier, but got to work anyway calling and telling everyone that we could that we had to return to the old, almost abandoned wearhouse to have church for a while more. Luckily people were understanding, and we still had a decent day of church.
I learned a little more of my companion this week as we travelled, and he's a pretty cool guy. Elder Flores is the only convert of his family, and headed out on his mission only a year after being a member. He was a professional fútbol player and also raced motos, winning 3 big races (don't ask me what ones, all the names are odd and Spanish). He's very excited to be a missionary and loves to work hard. We work well together, and I'm excited for this time to work with this Peruano. (Peruvian)
Mucho amor,
Elder Yates
p.s. Enjoyed much amor (love) from up there al recibir cositas (and received packages) from my family and good ol' SV ward

Monday, May 11, 2015


Well, I finally managed to get a call to serve somewhere else than the mission Los Pinos. It was a good 7ish months+ and I learned a lot, but I'm also excited to get to know a new area. Speaking of which, I now have the pleasure of working in El Dorado (the City of Gold) of the zone Chacos. Interestingly enough, I continue in the Stake Paraíso (Paradise), and all I really had to do to change wards was cross some railroad tracks. Such a long and difficult journey, I know. As such, I'm still on the edges of the city and enjoying all the dirt and mud. I've been told that the mud here is worse than in Los Pinos, so I'm excited for when it rains, which should be really soon.
My last few days in Los Pinos were very laid back, as we played some fútbol on Monday until heading home to rest a while. After we went to visit some people  and get some more exercise. Tuesday and Wednesday mornings were spent in busy study as we rushed to finish the training program that should be finished in the first 2 transfers, during the time that we try to use to offer service. As such, we didn't get to work with any fun herramientas (tools) my last few days in Los Pinos. Wednesday night we got the call informing us of the changes, so I got to throw all my stuff in my suitcases quickly before sleeping away the final night-
Thursday was when we actually moved around, and I was lucky enough to have E' Taylor (my old ZL) also change with me to Los Chacos. Friday and Saturday were spent getting to know the area. It's pretty big, and with a whole bunch of dirt. Everywhere. From what I've noticed its also a little cleaner trashwise, so that's a plus. It's kind of like Los Pinos, amostly a residencial area, but for whatever reason more popular. Motos are also much more popular than autos, and we always see moto-taxis flying by. Unfortunately I was told we can't take them inside the city =(
Many already know that for Sunday (Mother's Day) we got to call home for a while. It was nice, but I'm sure Mom enjoyed it more than I did. When we went to Church, it was in a wearhouse. A big wearhouse with makeshift walls and speakers thrown up. It was very different experience, but next week we move to the newly made Chapel. I got lucky enough to see it right before it gets abandoned. In Church, there were several people that recognized me from Los Pinos. Plus our pensión (family that feeds us) is family of the pensionista (family that feeds missionaries) of some of the other Elders in Los Pinos, so we already new eachother a bit. Buena gente (good people).
I got put as DL again, and my ZL is good ol' Elder Gunderson from the CCM. Good times in the cárcel (prison) celestial...
With Love,
Elder Yates
(Elder Yates mentioned in his call home that his new companion's name is Elder Flores and he is from Peru, out about 3 months now. While he didn't mention him in his letter, he did send a picture.)
mi compañero

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Mes de Mayo (Month of May)

¡Woo happy Cuarto de Mayo! (4th of May) ¡Feliz día temprano de ninguna cosa importante! (Happy day of nothing important) We had a little holiday down here in Bolivia the first of May, called Día del Trabajo. (Day of Work) I was told its because of some guy from the US protesting artísimo trabajo (artisan work) some 200ish years ago. A better name would be Día de flojera, (Day of the Lazy) but who am I to judge?

This week is another round of transfers, and I'm super excited to start my 6th transfer here in Los Pinos. It has also gotten surprisingly cold down here, introduced with many days of solid rain. The rain here is very odd; one second all is calm, then the next its raining harder than Noah's era, only to die down to a light drizzle after a minute or two. Extremely strange.

Monday was very relaxing day as we started off playing some hardcore fútbol followed by buying food and relaxing in the lil' casita. 
Tuesday we decided to go and conocer (get to know) a little more the edges of our area, and should be including these photos quickly. 
Wednesday I went to see how another area is going. We managed to get pretty lost and wound up in the South mission by accident. Whoops. 
I think I repressed a little what happened Thursday, so we probably did something sumamente inicuo. (extremely wicked) From what I remember we walked a bit and tried some contacting again. Then there was another wedding that was brought about by the missionaries, so we went to support that. 
On Saturday we were going to de some service, but it got canceled because the Hermano (Brother) wimped out in the rain. We then decided to go to the absolute far edge of our area in search of a reference we recibed. (received) Luckily we found him without a problem, because it was in the middle of nowhere. We then had to run all the way back to the chapel (algunos (some) 30min in a straight line of driving) to have a little ward council before returning home. 
Sunday was also pretty relaxing, and we spent some time learning how to make a plato tradicional called masaco. We ran a little late returning home because of a NDH (FHE) we did with a family, but it went well.

Sorry for the super brief summary of the week, but in cambio (exchange) I have plenty of photos that need some explanation or will be a little confusing. And, if I can tap into my super techy skillz, I'll send a little video about making masaco. (He was unable to send the video because there is a limit of 25mb on the email and the video is 26)
Elder Yates

Promised Pictures

Part one of the edge of our area

Part two of the edge of our area (taken standing in the same spot)

All of our district (minus one) in the final District meeting of the transfer

Elder Moreno y Hno Mendoza preparing the yuca with which to make masaco (and his demon dog)

Me with the utensil para hacer (to make) masaco

Placing the boiled yuca in a little pot in which to mash the yuca and make masaco

Making the masaco (in my super high quality boots)

Another angle of the work

​The end result; we didn't take pictures of it, but we added meat and onions in the giant bowl and mashed it up a little more. And don't worry, that isn't coffee, it's tea

A very interesting fruit, called noni, that is found in the house of where we eat lunch. Supposedly its some kind of super fruit that makes people live forever (I have some doubts about that)

A different angle of the noni that shows the different stages of growth