Cochabamba, Bolivia Temple

Cochabamba, Bolivia Temple

Monday, June 22, 2015

new cambios (transfers)

Well, this week starts the new transfers. Plus this week was pretty
unique. First off, I'm still in El Dorado. My assigned companion is
still Elder Flores. However, things were pretty interesting this week
and, to briefly explain my situation, i'm currently without a
companion in the area El Dorado 2. Instead, I'm in a trio with El
Dorado 3.

Now then, to start. Monday, as we were playing fútbol, another Elder
and I played a little to hard, so we went to make sure things are
still fine. The ankle of the Elder (E' Padilla) was hit a little hard,
but we went to work normally.
Tuesday E' Flores had an interview with Pdte Zambrano. After the
enterview, he told me he probably would have to return home. However,
we went about working normally. It was also the last day in the field
for E' Espinoza, a missionary from Santa Cruz (yes, he served in his
own city) so we enjoyed the time.
Unfortunately, Wednesday the ankle of E' Padilla wasn't as well as we
thought it was, so he had to rest the day because he wasn't able to
walk. Plus, his companion had already left to go home, so we were
stuck with him in the house all day.
Thursday morning we had to go to the other side of town to pick up E'
Camargo, the new companion of E' Padilla. Since he then had his
companion, E' Flores and I were able to leave and work, teaching a
bit. However, as I would later learn, the other Elders didn't fare so
well as E' Padilla got even more sick, and E' Camargo also started to
feel a little under the weather.
Friday morning E' Flores had another enterview with Pdte Zambrano, and
confirmed that he would need to go home. As such, w planned to spend
his last day visiting some people. Then, as we went about visiting, we
got a call informing us that he needed to be ready to leave at 7,
instead of the next morning. We rushed home and packed up so he could
leave, leaving me alone with two men down.
Saturday we didn't do anything as the other Elders had to rest. Sunday
we were able to go to church, and also the dedication service for the
new chapel. Since the chapel is technically in the other mission, the
other Pdte came to the service, and I got to meet him a little.

As you can see, this week was a little interesting, and we still don't
know when or even if I will receive a new companion. Lots of fun.

Lots of love,
Elder Yates

***I sent an email this morning to Elder Yates asking about their new chapel being in a different mission and teasing him about kicking Elder Padilla in the ankle and crippling him. I got this response...

"Yes, the new chapel is technically in the mission Bolivia Santa Cruz.
This next week a ward from another stake will be also be attending the
same chapel, but in the afternoon. Not sure how things will work out
yet, but it'll be interesting.

As for his ankle, it wasn't me; it was another Elder. Also, fracturé
mi codo y ahora todo mi brazo derecho está con yeso. Pero está bien,
todavía puedo trabajar, y estoy aprendiendo como utilizar mejor mi
mano izquierda. Ambedexietry! (I fractured
my elbow and now my right arm is in plaster. But it's okay,
I can still work, and I'm learning how to best utilize my
left hand. Ambedexietry

Talk about making my heart miss a beat! I was very calm in my response and after ribbing him for failing to mention this vital information teased him about being just like his sister who fractured her elbow a few years ago. I also was reassured as to why his letter was late this morning and why the formatting is so different from previous letters. I'm sure he is fine because I didn't hear from the mission President or his wife and I'm glad he is adjusting well.***

Monday, June 15, 2015


We did it! We finally got to meet in the new chapel! In celebration, the ward had their week of activities, with something exciting happening everyday. We did get invited to some activities, which I will discuss later, so we did get to see the chapel before Sunday. It's a really nice chapel, but it's kind of out of our way. The price of having such a great blessing.
The ward's activity week started Monday with the Noche de Hagar (Family Home Evening) in every household. This was the only day when people were told not to go to the chapel. We spent the night in the cold walking and talking.
Tuesday was the Sport's night where the members were invited to enjoy the fútbol and vollyball courts. We wern't invited, probably to help the members feel good and not ashamed for losing to the missionaries. I'm told there was a good turnout. We spent the night talking ad visiting with others that didn't go. It was also a very warm day.
Wednesday was the Missionary Night where the ward would come together with investigadors and learn about the Work. We were invited to this one; unfortunately no one else decided to join us. Instead, we were asked to practice a song for the special number Sunday, as it was also Ward Conference. This was another very warm day.
Thursday was the Movie night. During a lesson we were having, President Zambrano called us; luckily it was only to ask us to pass by the Office and pick up the movie that the bishop wanted to watch for the activity. So, after the lesson, we ran to the center of the city and back to the edge with the movie, Meet the Mormons (en español, no se preocupen (in Spanish, don't worry)). We were also invited this night (probably because we had the movie) so we went to watch a little and talk with any new investigator. There was a good number of people, but we had to leave early because it was late. I'm told that the disc was a little scratched, so they started to watch Malificient instead. (As a side note, all the movies here are only 5 pesos or less - everything is pirated) It was another warm day.
Friday was the gran fiesta with lots of music, dancing, and food. We were not invited... But we also had immigrations in the morning for E' Flores again, were he received his carnet de extranjero (traveler's card - essentially the foreigner ID card issued by Bolivia) after only 4 months. And here am I, practically illegal by now I think. We also had an intercambio (exchange), so I went to see a different area. It was pretty nice, especially as it was a cold day with a lot of rain in the morning that really flooded our area. What good planning.
Saturday we had the open house, with a great attendence of no one. It was also a very hot day. How strange the weather here. In the night the other Elders baptized the children of a family that was inactive, which was beautiful.
Sunday was the first day of Church in the new building, and many people showed up. It was also the day of a whole bunch more rain, which made the attendence of 321 people even more outstanding, as it is not the best conditions forpeople to attend church in the rain. We visited an investigating family who want to and set a date get married, so in just over a month photos of that should be coming.
It is currently very cold, but I'm told that, por lo menos, (at least) it's not going to rain. Never thought I'd be so happy to hear that...
With love,
Elder Yates
A few pictures sent without explanation...


Monday, June 8, 2015


Everyone gather around and bring your popcorn, for it's time for the weekly Bolivian Letter. This past week was pretty much the exact opposite of the last week in terms of the weather, and it's been hot and sunny without rain. It's actually very strange to think about, going from so cold to so hot so quickly, but I'm told that's normal here and what should happen during the 'winter' here. The good thing is that the sun and heat is baking away the mud in our area, so we can walk peacefully once again in the streets. Now we only have to deal with all the dust in the wind...
Anyway, this week was pretty nice, especially as we didn't have to do any immigrations at all. What a relief to be able to sleep normally. We did, however, have our regularly scheduled interviews with President Zambrano, which took up practically all of our Friday. In other news, we were informed that we are going to have Church in the new Chapel next week. The difference this time with the announcement is that the bishop already has the keys to the fence and building, so it's set. 
In celebration of the new chapel, the ward is having a jam-packed week of activities every night, including sports, movies, and dancing. Luckily for us, we get to focus in the work of the Lord walking the streets of our area. Woo. We did, however, get to go and see the new chapel Sunday as we had several meetings, which took up almost all day. Luckily we were given time to eat lunch before starting, or it would have been very not fun, especially right after the fast.
We had great luck this week in doing service twice this week, both without the use of the Bolivian lawnmower. One day we went to dig holes for a family. Not entirely sure why, but I think it's to bury their trash. Unfortunately, the next time we passed by their house, they told us the holes wern't big enough, and on the wrong side of the yard. In our defense, the person that wanted the holes dug wasn't present and the others had to guess what she wanted. Maybe one day we'll pass by and fix it. The other day we went to clean the rafters of a house so we could later paint, but when we arrived the family was getting ready for a birthday party. Being the persistent people we are, we decided to help with that instead, as the other option was return home. We inflated some balloons and learned how to make empanadas de queso, a type of fried pastry filled with cheese. Very tastey; I'll bring it home with me.
Also this week we decided to go to a market that's only open one day a week called the Cumavi. First thing's first: es grandango; streets and streets filled stalls of whatever one would want. It's also the steriotypical open-air market with stalls with little awnings, sellers advertising their wares, and people haggling prices. It was pretty cool, but also very crowded.
A loro we found when it was much warmer
Elder Yates
From the cold week...

a medallion for a soccer tourniment
(the child of our pension won it; i borrowied it for a picture)
The side of the new chapel

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Junio (June)

Hard to believe that it's already June, and even harder to believe that June could be so cold. We're already walking around in sweaters and hats, and we're told that it's bound to get even colder. To make it worse, it's constantly drizzling and gloomy all day. It would appear that my perpetual summer has finally come to an end. Oh how I wish to return...
Anyway, this week was pretty average apart from the super beautiful weather. We're constantly enjoying walking around in boots in all the mud and water as we trudge from place to place. People are always suprised when we show up at their door, as they thought we wern't going to brave the elements, but the work of the Lord goes forth regardless of all things of such minial importantance.

Once again we had to go and do immigrations for E' Flores bright and early in the morning on the other side of town. Thankfully the public transport system of Micros also starts bright and early, so we were able to make it on time to start waiting for an hour in line before the place even opened. Than, when it finally opened, we progressed steadily forward for another hour until realizing that every one of the 31ish immigration papers of the missionaries had the wrong code for something or other, so we had to wait a good 2 hours to get everything fixed up right. From there it only took another hour to finish so we could go home. It wouldn't have been too bad of an experience, as there were plenty of people to talk to, if we didn't have to wait outside in the cold and occasionally drizzling rain. (Hope ya'll are enjoying the heat...)

Again it surprises me how helpfully the young men are in this ward, probably because all of them are waiting for their calling to arrive, and how willing they are to leave their warm houses. Not sure if the States has heard about the grand plague that's passing around in Santa Cruz, but it's called chikunguña. Aparently its like dengue, only worse, and it's been all the rage with the people living in our area. Oddly enough E' Flores y yo havn't been 'lucky' enough to be a la moda, but we constantly find people that have or had said disease.

I'm told that we should have the keys to the new chapel so we can leave the abandoned warehouse within the next 2 or 3 weeks. Maybe we'll see it before this cambio (transfer) ends...

Con Mucho Amor,
Elder Yates