Cochabamba, Bolivia Temple

Cochabamba, Bolivia Temple

Monday, September 5, 2016


Well, even though the subscription expired, I'll be kind enough to
through in one last letter. However, it will be short in terms of
words. I think I'll mostly send photos and call it good.

In the little that I will write, I will say this: this week has been
really cold. I hope it warms up quickly, because I don't won't to
remember a cold Trinidad for the rest of my life. It is much better
hot. There has also been a lot of rain in the week, a good thing since
Bolivia has been suffering a drought reciently. I think things are
beter now.

Also, a little bit about the missionary work. We will be having one
baptism for sure for my last week as a missionary. We wanted to have
2 more, but the other candidates didn't have their interviews
yesterday, and we're not sure that we can get them done this week. I
guess they'll be for the next Elders that come...

And that's about all that I want to write for this letter. Nothing
much has passed this week, just trying not to be super trunky and get
something done to help in the future.

3 Juan 1:13-14

(13 I had many things to write, but I will not with ink and pen write unto thee:

14 But I trust I shall shortly see thee, and we shall speak face to face. Peace be to thee. Our friends salute thee. Greet the friends by name).

Mucho amor,
Elder Yates
The night when we had 15 baptisms in El Dorado
 Me when it's cold
 One of my companions, E' Quiroga
 My first companion, E' Rios
My first package recieved in the mission field
 One of my companions, E' Guzman
 My last foto with Pdte Zambrano
 Hunting for investigators
 One of my companions, E' Abrego
 My first baptism in Los Pinos
 One of my companions, E' Fleming
 Me in a traditional dance hat, Tincu
 One of my companions, E' Moreno
 My first Carnaval, when we got locked in the house for 4 days
 Not trunky, not trunky...
 Me in a traditional dance hat, Macheteros
 Me and a sloth
 Me and another sloth
 Me and another Elder walking and walking and walking...
 One of my companions, E' Solano, and a flower that only blooms once a year.
 Me exploring in a place I probably shouldn't have gone...
 The alligator that bit me once.
 Selfie with Pdte Cabezas!
 One of my companions, E' Fusi

Monday, August 29, 2016

¿104 Letters?

Well, if I'm not mistaken, I think this is the 104th letter that I
have written in the mission. I didn't count, I just assume it is asi
because 2 years have officially passed since I left home. Crazy to
think about how much time has passed, but it has passed so quickly.
But very soon this shall all come to an end...

To not continue the trunky, this week we had a very interesting time.
This is because our mission president, Presidente Cabezas, came out to
Trinidad. As such, we were told to use Monday to clean the entire
house. Again, super easy due to the size of our house and spent the
rest of the day trying to kill time in a productive way. Another easy
thing to do as a missionary, because there is always something to do.

Even though we knew that Pdte Cabezas was going to arrive, we didn't
know what day. So Tuesday we had an intercambio; I went to work with
one of the ZL in their area. During the day, we constantly recieved
calls from the mission office to check up on certain things, and I
remembered the time when I was a ZL. Glad that time is in the past.
Anyway, it was an interesting mix of proselyting and planning for our
intercambio, and we learned that Pdte was to arrive Wednesday morning.

Since the ZLs had to do more things Wednesday morning, we had to end
the intercambio early in the morning. We also expected to have
enterviews Wednesday afternoon. Unfortunately, their plane got
postponed for a very long time, and we suddenly had a lot of extra
time. We found something to do until we were called to have the
enterviews in the evening, and stayed there until our day ended.

We also expected the conference Thursday morning, but it was also
postponed until Friday. There was a special little meeting for mission
leaders, so we went to that in the morning. And then we had to do our
weekly planning in the afternoon. So our Thursday was really short,
what with the Activity Night we had as well.

Finally the time for the conference arrived. The conference was all
about the Book of Mormon, and we were together the entire morning. For
lunch we all went to eat at the same steakhouse as the last time. If
it were possible, I ate even more this time than the last time. Yum
yum. And then we returned to have even more time in the conference,
which lasted the entire afternoon as well. As such, we only had the
evening to proselyte, but it was a very good conference.

For the first time in a very long time, we didn't play futbol Saturday
morning (maybe because we played Friday morning). Instead, we played
some weird combination of football (American) and Ultimate Frisbee.
The gringos did pretty well, but the Latinos struggled with the
concept of throwing and recieving an American football. The rest of
the day passed by without incident.

We woke up Sunday morning to a cloudy sky and slightly reduced
temperature. We assumed that it wasn't going to rain and left
normally. And the morning went by normally as well, but the afternoon
didn't. As we were finishing lunch, it started to pour for a solid
hour. And then it kept drizzling on and off during the rest of the
day. Unfortunately, with our afternoon Church schedule, it gave an
excuse for almost the entire ward to stay home. We really felt it as
we had an attendance of less that 30 people, and us missionaries were
asked to do everything. This must be what it's like to serve in a

And so passed this week. With all the meeting and such, we didn't have
a lot of time to visit, so it was boring on that end. Also, as this
104th letter comes to a close, I also think that the subscription to
my thoughts ends as well. But we'll see how things go this next week.

Con amor,
Elder Yates

Monday, August 22, 2016


Here we are again at the beginning (or end?) of a new week. This week
passed by without any major incident, so let's see just how much of a
letter this gets to be. First, after writing the last letter, we went
to play some volleyball as a zone. It was really hot Monday (as well
as the rest of the week) but we still managed to enjoy ourselves. At
least the heat made washing clothes by hand a bit more desirable.

Before we could proselyte Tuesday, we were asked to give a baptismal
enterview for an investigator. But, when we went to the chapel, the
investigator didn't show up. So it got postponed. We had to be in the
chapel for a meeting anyway, so it didn't really effect us; we just
got there earlier than the others. Then we could go proselyting. In
the evening, one of our investigators accepted a baptismal date for
the first week of September. Yay!

Since the enterview Tuesday didn't work out, we tried Wednesday. And
we were met with the same luck; again postponed. We didn't have a
meeting this time, so we left a little empty handed. We had a good
time the rest of the day though, so I guess it makes up for it.
Thursday we had to return again to the chapel for the normal
missionary meetings. As if the regular 3 hour church schedule wasn't
sufficient time to be in the chapel... (just kidding.) After
proselyting, we had the Activity Night in the church. Again the
attendence was a bit low, but still have a good time.

As always, we had a boring Friday morning as we struggled through
another weekly planning sesson (almost done...). When we happily
finished, we went to do some visits. We had some good success, and
another pair of investigators accepted a baptismal date for the second
week of September. Yay!

Also as always, we went to play futbol Saturday morning. I might be
learning bit by bit how to play, but I don't know if I'll keep playing
after the mission. Anyway, the other Elders in the ward had baptisms
in the afternoon, and we planned to go support them. Unfortunately,
nos paso la hora, and we didn't make it to the baptism. Woops...

However, Saturday night the ward had a Talent Night, and we were
expected to do something. Since no one else had any ideas, I stepped
up and busted out the good ol' Boy Scouts skits. My Boy Scout leaders
would be so proud. We only did 3 skits for the Talent Night, but I
spent a good amount of time remembering all the skits I've seen or
done. And us Elders had some good laughs. We were the highlight of the
night, I think. We didn't have time to watch many performances, since
it was already pretty late, but I'm sure they wern't as good as ours.

This Sunday was also a special one, as it the Ward Conference of
Mangalito. We had a very large turn out, and had to open the overflow
curtains for the first time. And we finally managed to have the
baptismal enterview done as well, so the Sisters in the district will
be having a baptism this week. Yay! Third time's the charm!. (Tercera
vez vencida, if anyone wanted to know)

After a very hot week, the temperature dropped Sunday morning and it
rained the entire morning. The cold has continued until know, but not
as servere. And it should warm up quickly, so that's fine.

With love,
Elder Yates

Monday, August 15, 2016


One week more has passed, and a little bit closer to the end. It
doesn't really seem real that the end is so close, but it does help to
not think too much about it. It seems like it always helps to not
think. Although it's not always possible to avoid thinking...

Don't know if remembering the past week helps the time slow or not,
but the writing the letter sure does. does. Maybe because I realize
that we didn't really do anything during the week. For example, our
Monday activity was gather together as a zone and play games in the
chapel. And then we went home to wash clothes (a lot slower by hand)
and clean the house. Not the most exciting of days. We did find out a
little about our friend that was arrested: looks like it was just a
little misunderstanding and everything was resolved.

Tuesday was also pretty boring. All we did was walk around and talk
with people. One of our visits was a little interesting as the father
and the son started to fight during the lesson. We didn't really know
what to do, so we kind of just waited the situation out and tried
talking it out. A new experience I'd say (but not one to repeat...).

For our Wednesday morning, we got invited to do some service. We went
with the idea that we would help contruct a house out of wood planks,
but when we arrived they told us that the materials needed never
arrived. So we helped leveling out their dirt floor instead. However,
the dirt we were trying to use was really hard, so we wound up
breaking and/or bending some of their tools. Woops...

We got an interesting little call Thursday morning telling us that we
had a little change of plans with regards of the missionary meetings.
Normally, the zone meetings are held Thursday so the weekly planning
can be done Friday, but we were told that they would be switched
around this week. Not sure why, but Thursday we planned and Friday we
had our missionary meeting. Strange, but nothing to stop the work. We
had an average day and then went to the chapel in the evening to have
our activity night.

A little different this week, the new Elder of the house knows some
magic tricks. So we enjoyed a little performance as well. This
magician is a good one, as he teaches us the tricks in the house. So I
might return with a new little skill. Maybe. At least it gives us
something to do in the house in our extra time.

Friday we had a normal day, except for the change of missionary
meeting schedules. We walked around and visited some people. Oddly
enough, when we returned to the family that started a fight in the
middle of the lesson, the son left as we got to the house. Hopefully
something works out and helps the family. Then it was Saturday morning
before we knew it, and we went out to play futbol again. Maybe one day
we can find something else to play Saturday morning (if the Latinos
let us change).

As we walked around proselyting during Saturday, we wandered into the
house of a less active member. When we got there, he called together
the entire house to listen to the lesson and repeatedly promised his
attendance and that of his household to church (nno one arrived..) and
we had an interesting visit as the house had several different members
from different churches. Better than a boring visit where the people
don't talk I guess.

Sunday we got invited to eat lunch in the area of the other Elders, so
we had to wander a little to find the house. Luckily the intercambios
helped recognize the area a bit. Then we had to do some baptismal
enterviews, so this Saturday we will have baptisms in the ward. Woo!
just in time for the ward conference. Excited for this week.

With love,
Elder Yates

Monday, August 8, 2016

¿Nuevo Cambio?‏

In this week we learned about the cambios in the mission. So now I know where I will (probaby) end and with whom. It might be a little surprise, but we'll see a little further on. Also, all the people that got here with me are now home. So I am the lone survivor. I think that means I win. That also means that I have to write 4 more letters after this one. Yay?

Because it was cambios this week, the LZ didn't want us to have an activity together. Instead, they expected us to clean the house up well. Well, that's what we did. How exciting. Since our house is so small, we cleaned up quickly and tried to keep uorselves busy until it was time to walk the streets in the evening.

To start our day off on Tuesday, we went to do some service with a family. We helped moved some dirt around and then pound it down to make a very beautiful, dirt floor. After our efforts, we got invited to eat some fish. And boy did we make sure to eat a lot of fish. Since Trinidad is surrounded by rivers and lakes and other bodies of water, the fish abound here. The rest of the day we walked around with bellies full and hearts happy.

Wednesday was a pretty normal day, as we found many people to visit and chat with. The one little news of excitement was when we learned about the cambios. Of the 4 of us Elders in our house, one had cambios back to Santa Cruz. This person was neither my companion nor me. It would appear that these 2 trunky missionaries will be together to the end. I only wonder what will happen to the area after we leave...

When we got to the missionary meetings Thursday morning, we learned the cambios of the entire zone. Not that there were very many; maybe the new president is testing how things go. After our time visiting in the afternoon, we headed down to have our weekly activity night. We expected a good turn out, but the assistance died down a bit. Maybe we won't surpass the sacrament meeting just yet.

Again this Friday we had a decent day. After the ever-so-fun task of weekly planning, we set out to the streets to see who we could find. We also tried getting the help of some members, and were met with mild success. Nothing like some good ol' waiting to increase patience. Luckily Saturday we had better success with less waiting (we achieved suficient pacience?). Obviously we started Saturday with a game of futbol. What will I do when I get home and have no one to play with? (Maybe sleep in a little more.)

Also of note, Saturday (6 de agosto) was Bolivia's Independence Day. However, it doesn't seem to be as important as the 4th of July, as the other difference as that some houses had a Bolivian flag out front. Everyone still worked and stuff. Strange.

Speaking of strange, we had a strange experience Sunday morning. We went to visit a family we talked with earlier in the week, but when we got to their house they wern't home. When we asked where they were, we were told that the police came by and carried them off to jail in the early morning. Well, nothing we could do. Later in the day, it started to rain on us as we visited another family, and then in the night after church. This was the first rain in who knows how long. Let's see how long it stays...

With love,
Elder Yates
(34 days...)

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

¡Agosto!‏ ‏

And so begins the month of August. If I hadn't extended my mission, I
would be going home with the others that arrived with me in a few
days. How crazy to think about that, but it looks like I'm the last
survivor. I win. That also means that this week is cambios, so I'll
quickly find out where I will be ending, and with who. But ya'll will
have to wait a whole week more to find out. Heh heh.

The good news is that this week had some very memorable moments. For
example, in the first time in who knows how long (some 6months I
think) we played futbol on a Monday. We had established beforehand
that, with the games on Saturday, Monday would be reserved for
something else. But that idea got chucked and we played futbol anyway.
Yay for running around in the sun? We made sure to take things easier
the rest of the day, and went out to eat some schawarma in the
evening. Who would have thunk that I would have to go to South America
to try some Arabic food? (Schawarma is Arabic, ¿no?)

We also had quite the adventure on Tuesday. As we passed by the house
of a member, we stopped to greet the family. As we talked, I noticed a
small pot hanging over a fire. I asked what was cooking, and was told
that it was cow eye and nose. Then came the immediate offer, "want to
try it?" How could I say no to such an offer? After tasting cow eye, I
must say that it is quite tastey, and would recomend it. Will send
picture as evidence, if anyone really wants to see it.
The famous cooked cow eye.
Only the meat surrounding the black sphere is eaten, and with plenty of salt.
After that big adventure, we had a normal day. Wednesday we had
another little intercambio to see how things were going in the other
half of the ward. I went out to the other area, and we had a pretty
decent day. I think that E' Abrego had a better day, but since we're
all in the same work, it doesn't really matter. And the sun shines
down on all of us.

After our last District meeting of this cambio, some birthday cakes
(July was full of birthdays; a common month to be born it seems), and
an average day of proselyting, it was time for the weekky Activity
Night. This week we had a whole bunch of people show up. I think if
this trend continues, we might have more people arriving to our
activities than people getting to Church.

Our Friday and Saturday were pretty normal, without anything really
happening. We had our last weekly planning sesson and the last
Saturday futbol game of this cambio, but that's just about it. We've
done a good amount of walking and contacting because of different
reasons, but that doesn't bother me, as it's always an adventure. For
example, one person we found told us that he was contemplating
starting his own little church, and wanted to know if we would be
willing to teach a bit. Tempting offer, but not sure if we'll accept
just yet.

That just about wraps it up for the week. If I get transfered from
Mangalitos, I'll miss it here (except maybe for the afternoon church),
but we'll just have to wait and see. Maybe I'll share the details next
week, but we'll wait and see.

Con love,
Elder Yates
Working hard (or hardly working?)

Some bananas used to make masaco. They are pealed green, fried, and smashed.

 The process of making said masaco. The bowl thing is called tacú.

Working hard for the future (not trunky at all...)
Book is titled: My Search for Employment

Monday, July 25, 2016


Where has this week gone? It seems like just yesterday I was trying to figure out something to write about, and once again here I am. That might be a sign that this week was either really busy and exciting, or I didn't do anything all week. Not too sure which one is more accurate...

So, if this letter doesn't reach the minimum approval rating, it's not my fault. Anyway, after cranking out last week's letter, we all went down as a zone to try to play another game of kickball. And I have to say that it went a lot better this time. It might be because we eliminated some of the rules, but whatever. As the day rolled on, I found a little extra time to kill. So I decided to try to peal a coconut using only a steak knife. After a very long time, I succeeded and arrived at the conclusion that the matchete is MUCH better at opening coconuts. Who would have thought.

Something that we have been trying this week is to focus more on contacted references we receive from different sources. So we spent much of the week walking around and getting to know better the area. It also feels like an adventure some times, as the addresses here are not always the most accurate. It gets even harder when the streets don't have names and the houses don't have numbers. That said, Tuesday and Wednesday passed by fairly calmly with plenty of tanning time.

Also of interesting note, almost all the people we were visiting with before have slowly lost interest in our message. Even though it's sad, we have also been constantly finding new people that are interested. Funny how this things work. Thursday night we had again our weekly activity night sponsered by the missionaries. It looks like the fame is growing, as a very good number of people showed up. We hope it keeps going strong and many people will get to know the gospel this way. (If anyone is interested, we start the activity with a scripture, a small video, and then play games. Very entertaining.)

In this past week, we had 2 birthdays in our house. And they just happened to be companions. Not that we did too much, just eat cake and sing. Also, since I'm told that the independence day of Peru is this week (don't remember the date; 28th I think) the 2 peruanos made sure to buy a big flag to show their patriotism. And then they hanged it up on our balcony. Since it doesn't have the symbol of Peru, it looks like the Canadian flag without the leaf. My companion and I make sure that the people know that we are not peruanos.

When asked if it was safe to hang the Peruvian flag in Bolivia he responded:
Well, we're still alive and nothing has been stolen; it's not quite the same level as having a chileno flag. I'm told that Peru and Bolivia were actually one country many years ago, so maybe there is some old family ties.

We still make sure that others know that we are (proudly) not peruanos.
We had a very adverage Friday and Saturday. The only things of notice are the things that we do every week. Friday we play and Saturday we go and play futbol. We might be stuck in a rut. Not that there is too much we can do, except wait 7 more weeks (not that we're counting...). The good news is that, even though everyone always tells us that a cold front is coming, the sun keeps on coming out. Hurray for then sun! It does make Sunday afternoon a little uncomfortable, since we only sit around in the Church building with nothing but a few cieling fans. It looks like the people still arn't quite used to the afternoon church time. Not that I blame them; 9 o'clock church is the best. Since most of our proselyting time is in the afternoon, it also makes it feel like we don't do much on Sunday. Oh well.

If the letter didn't satisfy, some of the pictures that are coming should (hopefully) do the trick.

Con Amor,
Elder Yates
A part of our area, if anyone wanted to know how the outskirts of Trinidad are.

Pirañas that out pensionista fished, one amarilla and one roja. I didn't even know that they came in types. They are quite tastey, but with a lot of little bones to pick out.

A turtle that we found as we were walking along. Not sure where it came from or where it was going, but it wasn't making very good time.

As we visited a family, I let them borrow a Book of Mormon I carry around just for the ocasion. When we told them to go to a certain page, they told me that said page didn't exist. And, would you look at that, it didn't. The book replaces the chapters of Jacob-Mosiah 10 instead of the rest of Mosiah. I think this is how the apostasy started...

A little request fron Gran about how we wash clothes.
This is were I do my meditations and reflect on my life.

Monday, July 18, 2016


One week farther from when I started, and one week closer to the end. Of interesting note this week, we got to meet the new mission president, Presidente Cabezas, and his family. They are from Sucre, Bolivia, and have spent many years serving in church callings and even working for the Church. They have 5 children, but only 1 is young enough to be in house still, so only one came to the mission with them. Will send pictures later.

Since Pdte Cabezas arrived Tuesday, we were told Monday to use the day cleaning the house. So we did quickly, and then spent the rest of the day doing other things to kill time until we left to visit some people in the evening. Tuesday morning we went to a little 'get-to-know' conference with the Pdte where he introduced himself and his expectations for the mission. He seems like a good guy and has a big plan for the future. Too bad I won't be here to see much of it...

After the little conference and a small lunch, we had our first interviews with Pdte Cabezas. The interviews where a little strange, as they were different from how Pdte Zambrano did them. While one Elder had his interview, the rest of us played games with the Flia Cabezas and we got to know each other better. I guess the interviews ran long, as several Elders with dismissed to work with the condition that they returned the next morning to have their interviews. My companion and I had ours the first day, so we didn't have to worry about that.

Wednesday morning we found a service to do, so we went out to serve. We went to help a family build a fence out of chuchillo, and wound up spendin most if the time cutting the chuchillo to be ready to be used in the fence.
Working hard cutting those chuchillos
The 4 of us Elderes of the house had left to help, but we got a call informing us that the Pdte was going to do house inspections, so we sent the others back home to that someone would be there. I think we passed.

After the well-done work Wednesday, we returned to the house to change and go eat lunch with the Pdte Cabezas in a nice steak-place called La Estancia. I'm not sure how much meat I ate, but I do know that it was a lot. Yum.
Selfie with the Flia Cabezas! (even if they didn't know)
My first plate in the restaurant. I think about 3 more followed.
Thursday passed along pretty normally, only a little birthday celebration after the district meetings and proselyting and the like. We did try having another activity night in the chapel, and more people showed up this time. I guess it's just like a sandball rolling down a sand dune that grows as it goes.

We decided to do an intercambio Friday with the Elders of the other branch of our district, so we changed companions after we finished our weekly planning. I went to work with the E' Elder Cochran in his area and we had a good time. We had to walk a very good amount to cover their area. but oh well. A little more exercise never killed me. Since the E' Cochran will also be ending in September, we had plenty of things to talk about.

Bright and early Saturday morning means game time, even if I was sleeping in a different house. We went and played and returned to the other house until it was time to end the intercambio. When we returned back to my house, we found that the house was hosting a funeral service since the grandmother of the family had died. It was awkward trying squeeze our way through.Somehow we did it and returned to our normal working pace. In our travels, we found the family we had helped Wednesday still working on their fence, so we stopped a while to help them build a little more before continuing on. Always a better week with service.

And so that's just about it for this week. The weather was pretty nice almost the entire week, until it cold cold Saturday night. Luckily it went away by Sunday afternoon. Glory to the sun.

Several fotos should be coming.

Much love,
Elder Yates
There are a whole lot of motos in Trinidad, if I hadn't mentioned that before.

A wagon out front of the restaurant La Estancia

A little parrot to match my tie

The whole Trinidad zone with the Flia Cabezas

The missionaries in Trinidad that will be ending in September
(exept for the sister to the far right; not sure why she is there...)

Monday, July 11, 2016


Yet another week gone by, and the end getting ever closer. Got to enjoy it while it lasts, and this past week definitaly was an exciting one. Not in the sense that something went horrible wrong, but in a good way, and we wern't bored this week.

In celebration of the great American Independence Day, we really didn't do too much as the zone is mainly Latinos. But we did enjoy some tacos for lunch (same continent; close enough). The house I'm living in is currently composed of me and 3 Latinos, who do not share the same patriotism for the US, but at least they all agreed to join me in eating hamburgers. Will try to send photo of the closest thing I could find to a good ol' Murican burger.

We were going to visit normally Tuesday morning, but the ZLs called us to inform about a little zone leadership meeting were were going to have. So we headed down to see what happened. We talked a bit and then returned to work. One of the families we visit sells relleno during the day and, whenever we go to visit them, always shares with us. Pretty darned tastey, cow intestine filled with meat and rice. Would recomend. So we passed by to visit said family Tuesday night and enjoyed.

Wednesday was a very normal day, spent walking and talking. And then, in the evening, it was the birthday of one of the ward members, so we got invited to a dinner. We are not the type of people to turn down invitations, so we headed on down and shared some food, physical and spiritual. Thursday we decided to do an intercambio with the other Elders in the ward. Since E' Abrego is still trying to get comfortable in the area, we sent him off and E' Flores came to work with me. We had a pretty good day, and I got a good reminder of why the stereotype in South America is that Peruanos talk alot. 

For the first time in a while, we got up early to play futbol over in Paititi Friday morning, before we returned home to study and the like. We also wanted to change things up a bit and get the ward more excited, so we tried hosting a little movie night. We watched the movie 'The Testaments' since we couldn't get ahold of a copy of Finding Dory just yet, maybe next time. (heh not really; we just wanted to show something a little more spiritual.) Unfortunately, not as many people as we hoped for showed up. Maybe if we keep on trying with different activities...

After our usual Saturday morning futbol game, we were informed that we were going to have a zone service activity for the first time in who knows how long. The service wound up being in our area, even though the family lives in another ward. Anyway, we went out to help transport construction materials (chuchillo if anyone was wondering) and build a little house, as well as help clear out some tall grass with the Bolivian lawnmower. It felt so good to use after such a long time. The rest of the day was not as exciting, as we wound up walking a good bit of the day. Some good exercise done at least.

With this Sunday being the second week attending in the afternoon, it looks like people are getting a little bit acostumbed. At least more people arrived. However, there was some important transmission from the Area Presidency, so we had to cut the regular meeting short and send the people down to the stake center. And, unfortunately, we were not invited. So we had to find something to do until the day ended.

In a little recap, the weather this week was nice, as the temperature only dropped once. Wednesday morning we woke up cold, and it stayed the same all day, until Thursday afternoon. I've been told that another cold front was going to arrive yesterday or today, but thankfully nothing just yet. Hope it stays like this.

With love,
Elder Yates

ps. Happy Birthday Mom!
You've had a birthday shout hurray!
We want to sing to you today!
One year younger and wiser too!
Happy birthday, to you!
¡Que las cumplas feliz!

ps My companion didn't show up in the foto, woops. The other 2 are the other Elders in the house

Monday, July 4, 2016

¡4 de julio!‏

Woo! Happy Fourth of July! Even though the people around me don't seem
to be as enthusiastic, I'm pretty pumped for the good ol' USA. And the
weather this year is a whole lot better than last year, when it was
freezing cold and pouring rain. For now the sun is out and showing
it's smiling face. Not sure just yet what we're going to do in
celebration, but I'll figure something out.

In this last week preparing up for this day, things were pretty
normal. Not once has it gotten realy cold, even though at the
beginning it was a little chilly. All week people have been warning us
that a cold front was going to arrive, but nothing arrived. What a
shame. And so, Monday in the afternoon we went as a zone to play some
volleyball. We wanted to try a new place, but only 2 Elders new where
it was, so we all meet up and started getting to know more of
Trinidad. I don't think any of us got lost. At least, E' Abrego and I
could later head out in the evening to do some proselyting.

When we were heading around visiting Tuesday, we received a reference
that lives in the little hidden neighborhood of San Silvestre that we
found some months back. We had stopped heading out there because it
wasn't yeilding any results, but we had to go back to try and find the
reference. It was fun taking the very sturdy bridge for the first time
with E' Abrego, who was not thrilled to give it a shot. Heh heh. And
then, Wednesday morning, we did some arts and crafts with a family to
help create a 'read and pray' reminder for their house. It was quite a
change of pace, but not exactly something I miss very much from
elementry school.

We had an interesting District Meeting Thursday, since half the
district had to leave about half-way through, leaving just the 4 of us
Elders from the house. So we really just had a House Meeting in a
different place. A very common thing here in Bolivia (at least in
Santa Cruz/Beni) is to have parrots in house. That said, in the
afternoon of Thursday we had some fun playing with some parrots as we
waited a few minutes to share a message of the Gospel. And we didn't
get pecked at this time, a win-win. It is also common that the fathers
of families leave the city to work in the fields for long periods of
time, which happened with some of the families we're visiting. How

Once again Saturday morning was futbol morning. While futbol is
growing on me, I'm still not a fan of waking up even earlier in the
morning. Oh well. In the afternoon, as we were searching for another
reference we had received, we contacted a family kind of by accident.
As we shared the gospel, they seemed very interested. Guess there
arn't any accidents in the work of the Lord, ¿no?

Our scheduled Church time changed this week, so instead of starting at
8 in the morning, now we're attending at 4 in the afternoon. This
first Sunday was kind of weird, as I've never gone to church in the
afternoon before. And, based on the attendence this first week, the
ward isn't too used to it either. I hope that we can adjust quickly.

Photos will be coming.
Mucho amor,
Elder Yates
E' Abrego and I with one of the parrots we found.

This contraption is the 'motorcar' which is basically a motorcycle use for hauling stuff around.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

¡Nuevo Cambio!‏

Woo and now we start a new cambio. I'm sure at least a few of you are excited to know what happened, and I'll tell ya'll shortly. But for now, it'll just be an agonizing wait (unless you just skip ahead, which I'm sure someone will do.) Even though it was the last cambio that Pdte Zambrano did, and should now be heading home soon, the mission doesn't really feel different. Not sure what I was expecting, but it didn't happen. Maybe in the next (and my last...) cambio it'll be different.

For the very last P-day of the last cambio, we all got together as a zone and we ate tacos. It has been a very long time since I ate Mexican food, and I definitaly miss it. And then, in the evening, we had a big FHE with our pension because it was the last Monday night of one of the Elders in the house. We ate cake and BBQ.
Really tastey. We also had a larger despidida Tuesday night for the same Elder, but this time without BBQ. I liked Monday night better.

After a long day of work and anxious waiting, Tuesday night the ZLs called to tell us our cambios. (Not too long of a wait in the letter, ¿no?) And so, we learned that my old companion, E' Quiroga, is now assigned to Riberalta, the northern part of Beni, while I stay here in Trinidad. My new companion is E' Abrego, a Latino from El Salvador that arrived in Bolivia with me. I was kind of hoping that I would get a new Elder to train try help me not be trunky, but instead I'm with an Elder that will be ending with me. How strange. And I might just be in my last area.
If it sounds like I'm getting trunky, it's a lie. I'm completely focused still. Wednesday in the afternoon we picked up E' Abrego, who was just in the neighboring ward, and started to get to know the new area. We took a little break to give our last farewells to all the Elders that were ending their mission in the airport, and spent the rest of the day walking and visiting a little. And we were told that the both of us were District Leaders together. Not sure how this will work out, but it looks like my little vacation from leadership positions has ended.

Normally, every Thursday morning we have the missionary meeting and Friday the weekly planning seasons, but for whatever reason this week it got switched around. I think it was kind of weird for most of the zone, as many missionaries were still waiting for their companions to arrive and had to plan alone, but who am I to judge. At least it gave us one day extra to plan the district meeting.

In the early morning of Saturday, we all went as a zone to play futbol together and get to know the new arrivals. One of the newbies is E' Quispe, my old companion from El Dorado that I trained. And now he must have almost a year or more in the mission. How crazy to think how fast the time has flown by. Sunday evening, after a very normal week with its weather, things decided to change. We were sitting in ward councel normally, and then it suddenly started to pour rain and the temperature dropped. Because there was no warning at all, none of us had brought a jacket. Luckily we only had to tough out a few hours before we got to return home and warm up a bit.

Most of the week after Tuesday we spent helping E' Abrego get to know the area, and us getting to know each other. We're super excited for this next cambio, and we are currently helping several people progress towards their baptisms. If all goes well, this month should be a white one.

Mucho amor,
Elder Yates

Monday, June 20, 2016


And here we go with yet another letter home. I think this letter will be a little better than last week, but I'm not entirely sure by how much. Something of note, it hasn't been too cold this week. A few days it was actually almost normal. Unfortunately, I've been told that it will soon get very cold. Oh well, living the hard mission life...

Our last P-day was pretty calm for us, as we played a few 'FHE' games to kill some time. And, when we visited a family in the evening, we ate some relleno beniano (the sausage cooked in a cow intestine; very tastey). I also had an interesting ride back home in the night, as the father of the family we visited offered to give me a lift in his motorcycle. He is a nice guy, and has Parkingsons. Luckily it doesn't show too much when he drives motorcycles.

After a normal day of proselyting Tuesday, we wanted to have a FHE with a family that we're visiting. But, instead of doing it in their own house, we brought them to the house of a member of the ward, who also just happens to be their uncle. After the small lesson and some hymns, the members busted out giant plates of a traditional dish called majadito. We returned home very full and content.

For a little bit of fun excersizes, we woke up early Wednesday morning to play futbol. When we got back home, we started an intercambio. I left the area again to go work with the DL E' Olson. Poor E' Olson is returning home this week, as his time has come to an end, and it's starting to show a little. We explored a little when we had some extra time between visits and got invited to eat several times. In one house, we got invited to some very unique lemonade made with salt instead of sugar. Not the best invention, and the family spent a lot of time apologizing. Would recomend.

Thursday we had the last District Meeting of this cambio; crazy to think how fast the time has flown. As we were visiting, we found 2 young men that have a lot of potential to progress in the gospel, and have a lot hope for them. Even though they are in situations very different, it's amazing to see how the same gospel of joy brings so much hope to us. Also, a package arrived from the States, and we enjoyed some good ol' American candy.
We had our last weekly planning Friday as well for this cambio. Not entirey sure what'll happen with the new mission president, but it seems like I grew roots here in Mangalitos. Maybe I'll just finish here and not have to pack my bags again. The proselyting day was interesting as we ran into a less active member who was very unhappy with the people in the church. We tried to help him shape up a little, but I'm not sure how well it worked as he didn't show up Sunday...
As is the tradition, Saturday morning we got up to play more futbol as a zone. After the game, we got invited by a family to eat some breakfast. We headed over and enjoyed some patasca. It's a soup commonly eaten on the weekends here that is normally cooked with the head of a pig. But we can't eat pig, so the family used something else for the meat: cow head. If you don't really think about where the meat that you eat came from, it's really tastey.
The patasca soup. All that meat is from the cow head. Yum.
Us eating the patasca.
The rest of the day passed without any major incident, just another visit with one of the young men that we found the other day that is doing very well. We visit the other young man Sunday, and he also improved bastante.

Will send pictures to complement letter.

With love,
Elder Yates
Out exploring a little

Russian boat, American conquest.