Cochabamba, Bolivia Temple

Cochabamba, Bolivia Temple

Monday, November 30, 2015

Día de acción de gracias

¡Feliz día de acción de gracias! (Much more simple in English, ¿no?) For our Thanksgiving day here in Bolivia, we didn't do anything. Honestly, I didn't even remember until Saturday, and only because we passed by a store with its 'Viernes Negro' sales. How strange that the Bolivians don't have Thanksgiving, but do have Black Friday. Not entire sure what to think about that.

This week was the very last full week in the mission field my companion, E' Solano, had. This new week he will be heading home, and newbies will be coming to replace him. It's like the circle of life. As such, I already know for certain that I'll be receiving a new companion this cambio, (transfer) but I havn't a clue who it'll be. Fun times. As part of his last week, we had a fun little NDH (FHE) with a family where they treated us to what they called, la negra. (the black) Supposedly its true name is morcilla, and is basically a cooked intestine filled with blood. It was actually pretty tastey, but my companion claims that its much better fried.
We had a little intercambio (exchange) Tuesday, where I went to go with an Elder in a ward called Guabirá. It was an interesting day, where we had many people to visit with the help of a ward member. The member that acompanied us is a little strange, always making strange references to scriptures. I made sure to humble him a little, and started to talk about other things. We talked a lot, the other Elder and I, about how to improve as missionaries, and had a pretty good day.
While I was away, E' Solano got an interesting call telling us that we would recieve 2 new Elders to restart missionary work in one of the wards. As such, Wednesday we headed down to SC to pick them up, It turns out that one of the Elders is E' Moreno, one of the Elders that I trained. Unfortunately, they had to return from Beni because his companion had a little health problem, so they had to check out a few things in some clínicas. (clinics) As such, we just returned when we realized it was getting too late for us to stay in SC. In our way out, we took a ride with a very interesting taxi driver. We were talking normally for a while, until we suddenly burst out yelling '¡BIEN! ¡GLORÍA A DIOS! ¡que bueno!' (GOOD! GLORY TO GOD! HOW GREAT!) and pounding on his stearing wheel. We didn't talk too much after that, and every once in a while he repeated his little chant. A interesting fellow.
Thursday was pretty calm, and the new Elders arrived during the District meetings. We also had another intercambio, this time E' Solano went to a ward called Stadium (yes, in English). I was joined by an Elder that said he is from Italy, but lived much of his life in Utah. An interesting Elder, and a nice guy. On Friday we had to head back down to SC to try and get a few problems fixed up. We ran back after so we could visit a bit in the evening.
Saturday morning was pretty normal, but then E' Solano started to have some problems with his stomach, so we had to take things a little easy. It also decided to suddenly start raining, and didn't let up until Sunday afternoon. It also got really chilly, giving us a small break from the sun. Luckily the sun should come back soon, and will be moving us along in the streets, nice and dry.
With love,
Elder Yates

Monday, November 23, 2015


This week went by pretty quickly and calmly, in the sense that we didn't have a giant mixup in communications. It also cooled down a lot in the middle of the week, with some heavy rain and thunder storms in the nights. Luckily the rain stayed in the night hours so we didn't have to trudge along in the rain at all.
In interesting news, we were traveling around Monday in motos when, after leaving my moto, the driver called us to talk a little. It turns out that he only wanted to contend a bit with us. However, in stead of trying to convert us with different doctrine, he started telling us about the things that we actually believe, such as the importance of Jesus Christ. When we told him that we believe in the things he was saying, he gave us a weird look before running off. Very strange some of the people we meet.
On Tuesday we had to go to the city of Santa Cruz for a multizone conference.

It was us and 2 other zones, and we learned a lot. This conference was a little different in that a lot of the time was spent doing practices instead of listening to and participating in classes. As a side note in the conference, I found myself with 5 of the original 7 of us missionaries that were together in the CCM of Mexico. (Also the last 5 of us remaining, 2 already have returned home) After the conference we headed back up to Montero to continue working. The best news is that we found a member of the Church to help us transport all 19 of us in one go, making the transition relatively easy.
Wednesday passed along without much excitement, filled with walking around and visiting people in the day. Thursday we had our district meeting in the morning. As we were visiting in the afternoon, we get a call from one of the Elders in the zone asking E' Solano for the address of a convert in his old area. Then, the Elder passes his phone to President Zambrano, who starts talking to E' Solano. It appears that the President decided to visit with another companionship de sorpresa. (by surprise) There we learned that the next day would be our interviews, this time specifying that they would be here in Montero. We then continued on, even having a ward activity at night about acting out Book of Mormon stories. I have pictures to share, and should arrive one day.
It was Thursday night and Friday early morning when the rain fell hard. Luckily the President made it out here to Montero safely so the zone could have its interviews. After the interviews, we all returned to work. The rest of the week passed by without much worthy of note, just visiting and finding people. One day, as we were looking for a house of a less active family, we passed by a man reading the Bible. While not altogether something of note, it was interesting that it was the Bible published by the Church, so we stopped to talk a bit with him. Another day we went out to the extreme of the area to visit, and were out there until late. It seems like we managed to grab the last trufi (public transport) back to the city, so we didn't get to have too grand an adventure that day.
We still havn't made it out to the pueblito (village) like I wanted to, since it's pretty far, but we noticed a sign this week advertising a museo (museum) of some kind out there, so the desire is still strong. One day we'll go.
Con love,
Elder Yates

Monday, November 16, 2015


I think we're getting stuck in a rut; here we are, waiting to write and read emails Monday morning, just like every other week. While I'm not one to complain about reading, many times I don't have a clue what to write. It really makes an impact what we learned in Church yesterday, about how Paul took about 6months to write his letters to the saints. Interesting how those worked out. (Don't worry, I'm not going to take just quite 6months to write a letter, but something to think about)
I think that, as a whole, this past week went better for us than the last one, for several reasons. First and foremost, it didn't rain on us at all during our proselyting time (it did rain in Montero, however; more on that later). We also had more success in visiting and getting to know less active members, and even some new investigators. The members here have continued to help us a lot, and have gone visiting with a wide variety of different people.
Monday went pretty well visiting in the evening. We had a FHE with a flia (family) where we were treated with a home-made Bolivian style pizza. For those interested, a bolivian style pizza doesn't have very much sauce, and is loaded with corn hot dogs on top. Tuesday would have been an easy day, especially since we were informed that the zone was going to have intereviews with President Zambrano, starting at 10am. Since Montero is a little far from the city Santa Cruz, and (so I've been told) past interviews have been done in Montero, we assumed that they would be here this week. As such, we informed the zone of their scheduled interviews and told them to be ready at the appointed times. However, when we got a call at 10:30 from the sister missionaries asking why no one was in the chapel, we also started to worry a bit. Upon calling the asistentes and checking why, we were told that they were to be done in Santa Cruz. Woops. After a small process, we were told that the scheduled interviews were cancelled until further notice.
Aside from the interesting morning, the rest of Tuesday went pretty well, visiting and sharing the gospel with the sun smiling upon us. Wednesday we did have to go to Santa Cruz, but for a different reason. As such, we only had a little time in the morning to visit a less active Hna after the receint loss of her husband before running down south. As we were returning, the rain struck Montero and the road between the two cities. It rained pretty hard on the road, probably for about 10min, and when we got to Montero we found the city wet. Luckily the sun quickly came out and dried up all the rain, so the itsy-bitsy Elders could walk around normally the next day.
Thursday and Friday we had our normal District Meeting and Weekly planning seasons as normal, and spent the days in relative peace sharing the Gospel of Christ. For the first time in our time here, we managed to visit with the bishop and see how we could help out the ward more effectively. Saturday also looked to be a normal, promising day, until we went to one of our pre-set appointments. We supposed it was a new flia de investigators, (family of investigators) but the member that joined us said they were members. When we entered and got comfortable, there was a knock at the door; a preachor from another church. As it turns out, the hna who was member of the Church decided to join another one (Adventista if you're wondering) and set up the appointment to basically Bible Bash with us. It was an interesting experience, and it saddens me when people close their hearts to the Spirit.
Sunday we kept pushing on, this time taking some scenic routes to enjoy the plant life in our area. We also heard of a small pueplito (village) that is supposedly part of the ward boundry, so you can probably imagine what I want to do in this next week. If we make it out - and back - safely, expect some photos.
With amor,
Elder Yates
it seems that, when we went to do inspections, a missionary had his camera ready and snapped this when I tried out his weight.

Monday, November 9, 2015


Well, another week past and gone down here in Bolivia. This week was pretty normal, without too much excitement or big adventures. The good news is that my companion, E' Solano, and I get along pretty well. We might even have become friends. Not quite as much as with ex-E' Fleming, but we're trucking along. The weather certainly has been interesting this week, as the first half was gloomy and rainy. Wednesday was hot and humid, but the last half of the week wasn't too hot or too cold. Just right, as Goldilocks would say, with some sun, some clouds, and some wind to make our time walking a little more fun.

After a fun-filled P-day and a gran FHE for Monday, we had to return to SC on Tuesday. The reason is because of the concilio de líderes (leadership counsel) that the mission has every first Tuesday of the month. In said concilio, all the ZLs, office workers, and hermana capacitadoras (sister trainers) of the mission gather to talk about how to improve or in what to focus on in the new month, or something like that. Yes, even the ZL from Beni come to SC for the concilio. It was a very spiritual meeting and we learned many things. We took the opportunity to do some things in the mission office before heading back to Montero, giving us just enough time to visit for a little while before we were supposedly going to have consejo de barrio. (ward council) Oddly enough, no one else showed up. Instead, we got drafted to give a small message in the RS activity that was going on before ending the day.
Wednesday morning we planned on going to the houses of the other Elders and doing some inspections to make sure things are going well. We received a call from a companionship inviting us to help in some service, which we originally declined, planning on doing the inspections. However, we felt the impression to help them and returned to call and offer our help. At the time it seemed like no big deal, but the next day, in the Zone meeting, this companionship shared the experience in this way (mas o menos): they planned on helping a family move houses, a service which would be very difficult with only 2 Elders, so they set to ask help. Unfortunately, all the other companionships were unavaliable. Worried about whether they could do the service or not, they set to pray for help. It was the moment after praying that we called offering our help. Coincidence? 
The service went well, and helped us remember the importance of serving others. As part of the moving process, we loaded up their stuff in the truck and we rode in the back to help keep things stable. It was easy going until the last 5min when the road got bumpy, leading to a fun last while of the trip. Thursday morning, for the Zone Conference, also went pretty well as we shared the information and teachings from the concilio with the zone. The biggest miracle is that there was a lot of participation from the zone, leading to even more learning and giving us the spiritual strength to keep moving on.
Friday in the morning we headed out to inspect the 4 other houses in the Zone housing the other 7 campionships of Elders. One of the houses is in another little town called Mineros, a drive of about 30min northeast-ish from the center of Montero. In the drive we passed with jungle on both sides, and found the small city tranquilo and peaceful. The other houses are much closer to our house. All the Elders appeared happy and excited to be serving missions. After the inspections, we headed back to our area to continue visiting and getting to know the ward.
Saturday and Sunday passed by without too much problem. Saturday morning was spent doing weekly planning since we didn't do it Friday, and we got to meet some more families. Since the weather was pretty nice, we enjoyed walking. Only a few areas were still muddy, so we didn't even have the chance to risk slipping. Sunday we had church in the morning, followed by some more walking and getting to know people. The members here are super nice, sharing a whole bunch of different types of fruit with us. It'll sure be interesting to return to Arizona and only find apples and bananas...
With love,
Elder Yates
As a side note, there are sooo many mango trees here that almost every house has at least one. Also very interesting, I think it became some kind of challenge to merge mango with other fruit genes or something, as we constantly find mango mixed with other fruits, such as the mango manzana or mango piña. Very strange

Monday, November 2, 2015


The month of November has arrived once again, and another Halloween passed by in the mission. We saw 4 or 5 kids this time, walking around and asking for candy in the many street stores that dot our area. However, more common seems to be the observance of the Día de los Muertos, (Day of the Dead) as many people mentioned such. A few seemed quite surprised when I commented that we don't (generally speaking) have such a day in the US, insteading opting for the demonic day of asking for free sweets. Oh well, different cultures.
This week went a lot better us in the sence that we didn't have to take as many trips back and forth from the city, leaving us with plenty of time to get to know the new area. The ward of Floresta is pretty big, and it seems the majority of the members are located at the two extremes of the ward. Which leads to another interesting point; about half the area is pretty well off with paved roads and nice houses while the other half is out in the middle of nowhere. And, since we're the only missionaries the ward, we get to travel back and forth.
The majority of the week was nice and sunny, but for whatever reason it seems like the Sur decided to come, and has been rainy and overcast since Friday night. While the rain hasn't had too much of an effect on half the area, it has converted the other half into muddy streets, making for very interesting travel. Luckily we havn't quite landed face first, but we'll see if such luck holds out.
As I said before, this cambio (transfer) both E' Solano and I are new in the ward, leaving us both almost lost. Luckily the members here are super nice, and have helped us out a whole bunch, to the point that we now know where the vast majority of people live and we no longer get lost. We are, however, still walking with a small map to help out just in case. We had a small excursion Wednesday to the city to do I don't remember what exactly, but it was relatively quick and painless.
Not really sure what else to write, as we've been busy in the endevor of opening an area and seeking out people to visit. As part of this task, we walked a whole bunch through sun, rain, dirt, mud, and snow (well, probably not that last one). We have been blessed with a lot of success, and the following week should be filled to overflowing with such people to visit. I did make sure to take some photos, which will be following this letter, I promise.
Con Amor,
Elder Yates
**Promised Pictures**
Me with a duck that we hunted down and caught in the front yard of our pensionista in El Dorado 
The cathedral that we went to visit while still in the City of Gold
Me in the torito of a member in El Dorado
  My new companion, E' Solano, posing in part of our area in Floresta
Another part of Floresta