Cochabamba, Bolivia Temple

Cochabamba, Bolivia Temple

Monday, August 31, 2015

Un Año Ya

Well, I have officially passed the one year mark in the mission, and boy has it passed by quickly. This week passed especially quickly as we were constantly busy helping and visiting people. We had a few interesting experiences that we lived through, and I also will describe a bit of the entire past year, with many photos coming.
One of the families we are visiting, the flia Urimo, accepted our numerous offers to help them and let us pass by Tuesday morning to help clean up their yard. We also passed by Saturday to lijar sus paredes (wash their walls) so they could paint. Unfortunately we didn't get to help paint, but we still got plenty dirty. We also had the great joy to finally see them attend Church with us Sunday. They're a great family that needs to get married to continue, and are pretty excited still.
We were invited to a lunch with some members this week, with one condition: that I would cook the hamburgers. They brought all the materials, including the grill and charcoal, so I went about and made the burgers. They turned out well, and the family was decently surprised that it was so tastey. The only problem was that the bread that we used for 'buns' didn't really go well with the meat, and just threw on salad of tomatoes and onions. Still very good however.
Saturday the Elders from the other area in El Dorado had a baptism, but when we arrived 30min early, we realized that the water hadn't been changed since the other week, so we had to change all the water en la pila (the font). We had to help the drain by sacando baldes (filling buckets) of water and pouring them out so we could start filling it up as quickly as possible. Then, when we got to filling, we made makeshift mangueras from the grifas (hoses from the ??sinks??) en the bathrooms to pour into the pila (font), as well as filling more baldes (buckets) to make the process as fast as possible. Amazingly we got it done in just over an hour and a half. Naturally we took photos of the process to give a better idea of what happened. (However, he did not send said photos this week)
And now, I would like to start the yearly recap, obviously with the most import thing: the food. This year, even being in the city, I have had the priviledge of eating many strange things, including, but not limited to: gerbil, cow stomach, cow udder, cow tongue, chicken feet, chicken heart, just about every other part of the chicken, probably 15 or more different fruits and vegetables I've never heard of before, I don't even know how many types of bread, and a whole bunch of different styles of cooking rice. My favorite things probably are: majadito tostado con charque, masaco de plátano verde, cuñapé, and the salteña de carne. I havn't suffered in any way from the food.
Many people and missionaries say they feel homesick or start to miss the people they left behind when leaving for a time. Luckily for me (and without wanting to offend anyone) I havn't been plagued with such feelings, although obviosly I'd love to see my family and friends again - but after one year more. Although I havn't been able to go where I wanted in the beginning, I really enjoy my 2 areas (even if they are in the same stake) I have been in. The people are really nice, and many people love to hear the word of God. Doing and living, on the other hand, is a little harder...
I've learned many things over the course of this year, things that I would never trade for anything. Things have been hard, but I don't know if I have every truly felt this ssame level of happiness.
Con mucho amor,
Elder Yates
ps I'd like to end with one of my favorite saying: Antes la misión, hablaba un idioma muy bien. Ahora, hablo dos idiomas mal. (Before the mission he spoke one language very well. Now I speak two languages badly)

Decorating the church for the marriages last week

The 3 beautiful couples that were married

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