Cochabamba, Bolivia Temple

Cochabamba, Bolivia Temple

Monday, October 26, 2015

Nuevo Cambio

Well, first things first: the transfers were this week. And yes, I did actually have changes, and no longer am in El Dorado, nor in the stake Paraíso. In fact, I'm not even in the city of Santa Cruz. I am, however, still in the department of Santa Cruz. I was sent out to a city called Montero, a drive of about 70-90 minutes from Santa Cruz, in a ward called Floresta. Also of note, I am no longer a District Leader, but a Zone Leader.
On Monday, before learning of the changes, the 4 of us missionaries living together decided to have a giant FHE with our pensionista and her family. As such, after a long day of playing fútbol and washing clothes, we had a fun FHE, just in case one of us had cambios. Tuesday during the day we still hadn't learned of the cambios, so we set about working normal. Luckily, even though it was pretty hot, we had plenty of people to visit and teach. As such, we didn't do a whole lot of walking.
Tuesday night was when we learned of the changes, and only I was leaving the ward. The others continue in the great ward. As such, I put about packing up everything. Since Montero is close enough to Santa Cruz as to not require flying, I was able to bring everything. Wednesday in the morning I finished up and set about to wait until the time of leaving.
When the time arrived, we grabbed all my things and we went to meet my new companion, E' Solano. I had already met him before, as he had the assignment to work in the mission office when I was still in Los Pinos, which share the same Zone. Before we left to our new area (since there weren't missionaries in Floresta this past cambio, we're 'opening the area' as they say) we helped another Elder meet up with his new companion.
After the long drive out to Montero (made even longer by a detour) we had just enough time to set our stuff down and eat lunch before picking up the Elders that will be training this cambio and heading back to the city to pick up the 3 new Elders for the Zone, fresh from the MTC. We got back to Montero and dropped off the Elders with just enough time to find dinner before getting ready for bed.
Thursday we went to meet the Zone during the Zone Meeting. It's a pretty big zone of 20 missionaries when we held the meeting. After lunch we walked about getting to know our area and searching for members to help us. At night, we had to pick up a missionary that was arriving from the department of Beni after his flight that joined us in the zone. However, when we got to the airport at the appointed time, we learned that the flight had been delayed 2 hours, so we camped out in the airport with all the other Zone Leaders that came to pick up missionaries. At long last the plane arrived, and we made our way all the way back out to Montero to sleep.
Friday in the morning one of the Hna missionaries had to take a flight to her new area in Beni, so we took the trio of Hna down to the airport to help one check in and prepare for the flight. We returned to Montero and had more time to wander the area. However, at night, another Hna was arriving from Beni by plane, so we made our way back to the airport, waited for her plane to land, picked her up, then made our way back to Montero for the night.
Saturday looked like it would be a normal day of work, and we decided to take advantage of a missionary that had served in the ward earlier in his mission, that just happens to live in our house. As such, we did a little intercambio (exchange) with them. In my adventures, I met up with an Hno that I knew from Los Pinos, which was pretty exciting. However, we got a call from the office informing us of emergancy tansfers for the Elders that we were doing an intercambio with. As such, we rushed back to the house, got them packed up, and helped them get to their new area, which is about 9km south of the city. I've heard that Montero is about 80-90km north of Santa Cruz. Needless to say, we spent the rest of the working day driving.
Sunday we had a multi-stake conference, including all the stakes from Bolivia and Peru. We had the priviledge of listening to Elder Niel A Anderson talk in Spanish about the importance of attending the tample and temple marriage. From there we finally had a normal day proselyting, and the members here are super nice and helped us a lot in getting to know the area. I'm super excited about working in Floresta, and will be sending pictures of the beautiful area soon.
Con amor,
Elder Yates
**Follow up questions about his new companion and area**
E' Solano is from Lima Peru and will be finishing his mission in 5 weeks. He was the financiero of the mission for a time. We're the only 2 missionaries in the ward, and currently live alone. We have a pensionista again, and we do have a little portable electric stove. We also have a very cozy 2room apartment, with a place to wash clothes right by the window. There is also a large mango tree, which should be rippening in about a month.
The new internet café is about the same, only in Montero instead of Santa Cruz. We don't actually have a car, we went in taxis.

Monday, October 19, 2015


This week certainly flew by quickly, which is a good thing because it must mean we're working hard. However, unlike the other weeks, we even had some fun adventures as well. It certainly was a good last full week of this cambio. (transfer)
Startng on Monday, after writing to all my adoring fans, we went to walk around in the plaza 24 de septiembre, the main plaza of the city.
There we found a giant Catholic Cathedral that was built in 1605 (or somewhere around there) as well as artists from around the world working on wooden sculptures. Unfortunately we didn't learn much about them, as it seemed like they had just receintly started, but it was pretty cool. What I did find out is the artists are given an old tree trunk that the city cleaned out and have the opportunity to make something cultural from their nation. After we had some ice cream (even though it was already cold out) before returning home to clean and wash clothes.
Tuesday was almost normal, the only super exciting thing being visiting and talking with the Bishop. As a side note (almost completely unrelated to the current topic), the PS3 is king over all other consoles here, the xbox being basically nonexistant. However, the Bishop has one, that he says his brother sent him. While we didn't play anything (lo prometo) (I promise) it was pretty interesting to se an xbox again.
Wednesday we first went to do some service - what we were going to do the other week, but got cancelled because of the rain. We were asked to fall a tree, so that's what we did. We also almost knocked out their power, since a stray branch caught on their little antena thing as the tree well. Luckily we were smart enough to turn off the current beforehand, and the tree also got caught on part of their fence, thus preventing the tree from falling completely. After the experience, we had an intercambio. (exchange) However, unlike the others, this time E' Quispe went to the other area. I was joined by an American Elder (Elder Sorenson from Utah) who just recently got here. It was an interesting day, but very fun.
Ending one intercambio Thursday morning in our Zone meeting, we started another one. For this one I did go to the other area, which was actually another area in El Dorado. Unfortunately we didn't have much time to work, since we had ward meetings in the evening, but what we did do went well. We also talked alot, where we learned that we both played way too much video games before the mission, and how we're going to improve after. At night we tried ordering a pizza, but it appears that their house is too far out in the sticks to deliver. Not that I blame them, but I was pretty hopeful for a pizza...
Friday nothing special happened, but Saturday and Sunday was the Stake Conference of the stake Paraíso. However, we were unable to go to the sessons Saturday, which wouldn't be so bad if all the members hadn't had gone as well, leaving us no one to help us visit. We still had a pretty good day. The sesson Sunday that we did go to was buenango, (Bolivian slang for good?) and the best part is that several investigators came with us.
<3 con amor,
Elder Yates


It is currently very cold here, and I'm all wrapped up with a sweater, beenie, scarf and gloves. The weather here apperently depends less on the time of year, and more on the wind patterns because it certainly was not this cold at this time last year (how strange it feels to say that). When the wind comes from the south, we know that the cold and rain comes, Making the next few days sad and gloomy. This started Saturday, but tomorrow should be nice and sunny once again. Even E' Quispe has started to dislike this cold, because o the humidity and wind. It's actually pretty interesting.
This week went well for us this week, with daily and constant visits leaving us little time to walk around and get ourselves into trouble or have adventures. We also had a little surprise when the grandchild of an older Hno (Brother) that we receintly helped return to activity came and told us of his desire to be baptized. His grandfather is the only Church member of his family currently, and told us that the desires came after watching the General Conference sessons. Who would have guessed that listening to living apostles and profets would do such a thing?
After a long while, we once again returned to doing intercambios (exchanges) with the other Elders this past Friday. This time I went to an area in the ward Los Chacos. There we had plenty of time to talk. And, interesting enough, there I ran into the Flia Linares, one of my first pensionistas. Once again they are giving pension to the Elders. Since a little time had passed since the last time we saw each other, we talked awhile and took some pictures, that should've been seen by now.
In our travels we find many people with many questions about many different topics, from Church history to doctrine of other churches. However, especially this week, we met up with a man with many strange and interesting questions and doubts. Luckily the scriptures have many answers of peace, confort, and truth. It makes me a little sad that I didn't study the scriptures as much as I could have before the mission, but it's never to late to start.
Thursday we changed up the daily rut and went to the Cumavi to see what we could find. For those who don't remember (or if I never said) what the Cumavi is, it's the giant open-air market. It seems that, in our travels, my face got a little sunburned, making the rest of the day and Friday pretty fun. Saturday we got a little surprise when the Zone Leaders showed up for inspections, especially because I was still in the house in Los Chacos. It was a little interesting as the house in Los Chacos was inspected first, then we went together with the ZL to our house and passed the inspection again.
Something that I learned this week is that October 11 is the national women's day in Bolivia, so I'd like to take this opportunity to give a (late) shout-out to all the women.
With love,
Elder Yates

Monday, October 5, 2015


Well, it has reached October once again. Tomorrow I will complete one full year since arriving in Bolivia. We also had the great opportunity to listen to 4 of the 5 General Conference sessons, only missing the Priesthood sesson becaue of its late start time. Unfortunately, we don't have any other chances to watch it, so those talks will remain a secret to me, probably until we get the next Liahona  with all the other talks. It's a little sad, but the talks that we did listen to were really good. And the best thing is that we got to watch in English again. Hurray for the Internet.

This week was fairly interesting for us, as we started off pretty well with some good  references that we received, leading us to some prepared families on Monday. The father of one family is from Cuba, with a very different accent from what I'm used to hearing. At least it's still Spanish, so its all good. Tuesday we also met with a good amount of people, after  cleaning up a bit of our yard again. It was also E' Quispe's first time using a machete, and his hands didn't fare so well, leaving some painful blisters. Good ol' learning by experience. Life's a cruel master.

Wednesday we had plans to go with the other Elders in our ward, that live in a different house, to help out a member. However, since it started raining a little in the morning, we called ahead to make sure we were still good to go. We got the thumbs up from the member, so we headed out to the other Elders' house through the mud and rain. When we got to their house, they told us that they also called the member and were told that the service was called off. As such, we traveled out to the sticks in the mud and rain basically to hang out a bit as we waited for the rain to calm down and let us head back out.

In other Wednesday news, the son of our pensionista returned home from his mission to Brasil. As such, we had a special lunch of churrasco and talked with the newly released Elder Supayabe. It was especially interesting because, as Spanish and Portuguese are practically the same language, he kept switching from Portuguese to Spanish in the same sentance due to his past 2 years only speaking portugués. It was quite fun for all of us to speak with him.

Thursday was a pretty normal day, going around and making sure to invite everyone to the General Conference sessons. We also found a member that had receintly moved to our area that had started to fall away a bit from the Church, so we talked with him a while to get to know a bit of his story.

Friday we got a little surprise as the asistants called to inform us of interviews with the President that would take place in the afternoon. As such, we rushed to get everything ready and headed out to the new office, which we had to search for to find. We got to know a bit more of Santa Cruz than we  had planned. Luckily we got there on time and passed the interviews without a problem. As a side note, I also learned that E' Moreno, the first missionary I trained, headed outside the city to a pueblito (village) called Riberalta. President Zambrano also commented on several  interesting and popular photos of me that seem to be floating around on the internet.

For both Saturday and Sunday, we had a prolonged intercambio (exchange) with the Zone leaders so E' Knight and I could go watch the Conference in English in the stake center while E' Quispe and E' Saira went to watch in Spanish in the new chapel. E' Knight is also from Arizona  - Page, in case anyone is wondering - so we had a little more to talk about as well. It was a pretty  nice weekend.

Con mucho amor,
Elder Yates

ps Recibí el paquete que me envió mi familia, justo en tiempo por 1 año en Bolivia. (I received the package my family sent me just in time for 1 year in Bolivia)