Cochabamba, Bolivia Temple

Cochabamba, Bolivia Temple

Monday, February 29, 2016

Año Bisieto‏

Woo febrero 29! How often does a missionary get to say that? Apart from this extra day of the year confusing some people, this week has been pretty interesting, what with the cambios and whatnot. I'll say now that I was a part of some changes, but so that people actually read the rest of this letter, I'll say what those changes were later.

To make the suspense bigger, let's start with Monday. After writing the last letter, we went as a zone to play some games. We didn't stick with just one, so I don't know if they had names. We did do things like tying balloons to our shoe laces, throw cream pies (I think) in people's faces, and run around in circles before trying to kick a soccer ball. It was interesting. After using the rest of the day cleaning and washing clothes, we went to do some small visits in the evening.

Tuesday morning we thought to go and do some service painting a house. However, when we got there, we found the house already painted. Still, being persistent in being of service, we found something to do: scraping the dried paint off the floor tiles with a butterknife. It was certainly a new service, but it reminded me of cutting lawns with a machete, only on a smaller scale. Service is still service. After that, we went visiting. We visited with a young man named Beymar who is progressing a fair amount in the gospel, reading the Book of Mormon and praying every day. I have high hopes for him, as well for 2 others that are going to be baptized the 12 of March. We also visited a young couple that needs to get married, who are also very excited to be baptized. The only downside is that they want to get married in June. Well, looking on the time table of the Lord, I guess it's not too far away...

Wednesday morning we were expecting to visit with the bishop of Paititi for the first time. Also, since he was out of town for the entire cambio, I was excited to get to know him. However, he canceled on us and I went the whole cambio without meeting the bishop. Don't know how to feel about that. The good news is that we spent the rest of the day visiting people. We contacted a guy that was in our area and were teaching him. We were pretty happy until we realized he doesn't actually live in our area. Woops. We also visiting with some converts, thinking to let E' Fusi say his last goodbyes before learning the cambios that night. And so it was. We got home and learned the cambios.

So, now for the highly awaiting time. First, I have a new companion named E' Quiroga. He is from Buenas Aires, Argentina. He is pretty funny, and shorter than me. Second, E' Fusi stayed in the area of Paititi 1 to start his 6th cambio there. So, where am I? I got switched over to another ward in Trinidad called Mangalitos, the exact other side of the city. As such, the rest of the week I was kind of lost, following my companion and trying to piece together the different parts of my new area. It's not too different from Paititi in the sense that the people live humble, but there isn't as much jungle. Instead, there are more ponds and small lakes. A whole bunch of water.

Other points of interested, it has been constantly raining this week. Every day at least a little, and always cloudy. We've been told it's 'water season' here in the jungle. Unfortunately no one knows when it ends, as I've heard answers ranging from the middle of febrero until the end of May. Normally the rain isn't too bothersome, but Sunday it went crazy. A solid 3 hours of hard rain made it kind of difficult to stay dry, and boots a necessity. We also played futbol Saturday morning as a zone, which was fun.

Love ya'll.
Elder Yates

Sunday, February 28, 2016


Well, this was a very strange week for me, and a very uneventful one
to write home about. We really didn't do too much this week
unfortunately, and I'll explain why. Also not too excited about the
cambios this week (spoiler) because E' Fusi has already been here in
Paitití for 5 cambios, so it's very likely he leaves me. Oh well, the
mission moves on.

Monday was exceptionally uneventful, as all we went and played some
fútbol for our activity as a zone, and spent the night visiting some
people. Tuesday was also kind of boring, as we spent a lot of the day
walking as appointments fell through. As we were walking, it started
to rain pretty hard out of nowhere. Luckily I always bring a plastic
bag with me during proselyting, so my scriptures didn't get wet.
(Don't worry, the exciting stuff is coming.)

Wednesday we had some service erecting brick walls. It was fun, and it
started to drizzle on us again. When we finished and were super
exciting to start visiting, we get a call from the ZL that we had to
go to the center of Trinidad to pick up another Elder. It would appear
that the missionaries serving in the other cities of Riberalta and
Guayaramarim come here to do immigrations, so after a slight delay we
started visiting around in a trio. I felt kind of bad for the new
Elder, who came in normal shoes while we where in rain boots, as we
were walking around in the mud. A fun little adventure, but then we
had to go back to the center to drop him off.

Thursday all of our meetings were bigger, because of the 10-something
missionaries that came to join un in Trinidad for a while. After
eating lunch in our area, we had to return once again to the center to
pick up a different Elder to come and join us. A whole bunch of
traveling - as we had to drop him off in the night - but it was kind
of interesting to work in trios again.

So, Friday looked like it was going to be a normal day, full of visits
without having to run to the center. and we were pretty happy. But
then, it all started. First during personal study, the ZL tell us we
have to be home by 7pm the next 2 days and not leave Sunday, which we
were expecting. However, during language study, we get another call
telling us not to leave at all until Monday. And there went all our

As such, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday were spent locked up in our
house. We passed the time cleaning the house, washing clothes, and
reading the scriptures. From the little contact we had with the
outside world, we learned that all of the missionaries in all of
Bolivia were on lock-down because of what happened in La Paz. Google
it if you want to find out more.

And now here we are. A very exciting letter, I know. I think I have
some pictures to send, so woo for something.
Elder Yates

Monday, February 15, 2016


Woo we survived the Carnavales! It was 3 days filled with intense
struggle against the mind to keep sane. Well, maybe not too intense.
We spent the time just chilling, reading the scriptures and watching
movies. Not very exciting to write about, sorry.

The good news is that Wednesday, when we were set free, we went out to
proselyte with renewed eagerness. We managed to keep ourselves
visiting all day long, thus keeping out of trouble - and exciting
adventures. The most exciting part is that three of our investigators
accepted baptism dates for the 12 of March. Two of them are siblings
of a recent converts (Victoria y Santiago) and the third is a little,
old man with many years working out in the fields (Antonio). Super
happy for them.

Thursday morning we had our little zone meeting were we learned all
about what the leaders talked about in the last concilio (counsel). We had to
then head out to the otherside of Trinidad again for another baptismal
interview. Since we didn't have too much else to do, we did spend some
time looking for some references we had recieved and getting to know
the area a bit more. And trying to loose some of that Carnaval weight.

Some of you might remember that last year I was stuck in trio with E'
Padilla and E' Camargo. I might have said this already, but if not,
both of them are with me here in Paititi once again. So, Friday we
went to do an intercambio (exchange) with them. This time I stayed in my area,
and E' Padilla came to visit. We spent most of the time laughing and
stuff. We also got a call that the other Elders in Paititi needed
interviews, so we headed out real quick before getting back to work.
We had a good time, and (hopefully) helped out a bunch of people

After more than a full week, we finally found more service to do
Saturday morning. We did the super exciting task of moving dirt. One
of the people helping happened to be a return missionary from the
Puerto Rico mission, so we talked a bunch about his experiences and
the differences in the missions. When we were visiting in the
afternoon, we found a family that was pretty interesting that lives on
the edge of the jungle. Apparently there is a type of vine that, when
a certain part is touched, burns the skin. The father of said family
had his leg 'burned' pretty badly, but it didn't really bother him too
much. At least to the point of sharing his views and jokes with us.
Very interesting fellow.

Yesterday in Church we learned that next Sunday there won't be Church
because of elections. As my past experiences suggest, we may have to
be locked up next Sunday again. Dang elections. Anyway, we found
another strange family in our travels, consiting of a grandmother and
some nietos (grandchildren). The grandmother was very happy that her nietos learn more
about God, and was somewhat strict about them being present,
listening, and participating in the charla. However, she herself
didn't seem too interested. Very strange the people sometimes.

While this letter bay have been kind of short, I do have some pictures to send.
Elder Yates
With Love

Another Elder using my hammock during Carnaval 

A little project I did during Carnaval (The Aircraft Carrier, not the scripture covers)
My results of the Carnavales (4 days of not shaving :)) 

A little gator. Well, its head and hide and least 

My top part on the hammock 

My bottom part on the hammock, working hard during carnaval

Monday, February 8, 2016


Well it looks like we got some time to send out our last will before
the madness begins. I don't really have much to write about, but I do
have some pictures to send. They will come this time.

The week passed by super fast. Not sure what happened, as we all
thought that it would be a long week because of the waiting. It all
started Monday where we went and cooked hamburgers and played ping
pong together as a zone. We also met a reference we were given,
Beymar, who is a good guy. He played profesional soccer, but then
stopped because I don't know. He's super interested in the gospel, and
the best part is we've visited with him several times already.

When we were doing service Tuesday morning, it started to rain hard.
As such, our service changed from cleaning up the lawn of the family
to putting up raingutters. It was interesting. Luckily, by the time we
finished installing the gutters and heading home, the rain stopped.
But the streets were already flooded, so that was fun. It also rained
Wednesday. And Thursday. And Friday. It hasn't rained yet today, but
we'll see.

After more service Wednesday, we did a little intercambio. Since my
whole district is in the same ward (aside from the Sisters), not much
time was used in travel. We did, however, take a long walk out to a
little aisalated community to preach a while. When we were out there
teaching, it started to rain super hard. We started outside, but
quickly had to move inside the little house, where I still got a
little wet sitting in the doorway. It rained super hard for over
20min. Needless to say, we were very glad we were wearing boots.

Apart from all the rain Thursday, it was a pretty normal day. Because
of all the rain, the people didn't want to leave their houses, so we
got some good exercise in. Friday as well. However, we did get a
little more adventuras Friday, as our planned route brought us out to
the farlands of our area. For info to be given with the fotos. And
Today, not much has happened. The only thing of note is that we, as
the entire zone, got up early this morning to go and play futbol on a
large field. (As a house, we got up to play 2 or 3 days I think.)
Because running kind of sucks, I just played goalie. But a good

Elder Yates

Some stuffed pigs that we wanted to (but didn't) eat. 
We took the picture a while ago, but just now it's getting sent. Sorry.
After a whole bunch of rain, these 2 rainbows (not sure if you can see the second one in the picture) appeared. They disappeared pretty quickly too. 
 There's a little river in our area, and we found this cool little spot to take pictures.
 The trail that we were taking to contact. 
To one side is the little river from photo 3, and to the other side there are some houses.
 The other side of the trail from photo 4. There were some cows blocking our way, but they scrammed pretty quickly when we passed by.
 Here in South America there is something called mate, which is basically a cup filled with water and ground leaves and sticks that is drunk through a special straw. Technically mate is with hot water, but I perfer with cold water (tereré). Essencially herbal tea.
 Part of the jungle
 Evidence that we were there in the jungle of photo 7
 A tree in the jungle. We wanted to do some fun stuff, but time was short and the mosquitos were many.
 In Trinidad, it is common to have giant water tanks, that supposedly help distribute water to the neighborhoods. I wouldn't know. I do know, however, that they can be climbed, and are pretty high up. A good perch to seek out those investigators.
 Another view from the same water tower of photo 10
 'Selfie' from the water tower of photo 10, evidence that I was there.

Monday, February 1, 2016


Woo first day of febrero! Hard to believe how fast time flies. It's already the month of the Bolivian Carnavales. This year (since the exact date changes) the craziness shall be this next Monday, so we'll probable be locked up again from Saturday until Wednesday. Nothing is completely confirmed just yet, but I'm guessing it'll be así (so). Maybe we'll be able to write home Saturday like last year, but if not, don't get freaked out if I don't write next Monday; It's because we'll be trying to survive the locura (madness).

With that great news, this last week was super good. I'm getting to know the jungle bit by bit (yes, we sometimes go out there, but not often) and all that it brings. I've seen some beautiful things, from trees and plants to native artwork. Especially since last Monday we went as a zone to a little museum that talked about the ancient cultures of Beni. It was pretty cool, and se saw some cool artisan work. Also on Monday, since we had a little extra time of P-day, we went and played some fussball. And I have to say, latinos are good at more than just football with their feet...

Something super bueno about Beni is that people are more receptive to service, so Tuesday we went to cut the lawn of a family with the good ol' Bolivian lawnmower. We also had to deal with a little swarm of petos that, apparently, wanted to make their hive by the house, so we cleared those little pests out. And, this time, we escaped unscathed. Then, in the afternoon, we had to go out to the otherside of Trinidad because a companionship was going to have some baptisms, and I (their DL) had to give some baptismal interviews. It was a little weird doing interviews again after some time, but it was nice to get to know more of the city. It's a pretty good size, but nowhere near the size of Santa Cruz.

As I said before, we do more service here. Wednesday morning we went to help a family move some more bricks and destroying more of the broken house. We find some pretty cool bugs, spiders, and snakes in the rubble. And no, nothing bad happened here either. That night we were also visiting a family that needs to be married before getting baptized. We had a super powerful lesson, and we had great hopes that they would put a marriage date. (When we returned later in the week, they hadn't, so we talked a bit more and left them the challenge again with more ánimo (energy)) We also got to know the president of the SocSoc (Relief Society) and ate ourselves full before returning home. A good day.

If it wasn't for the District Meeting Thursday, I think that we might've had more service. But we didn't, so we went about visiting as normal. At long last we got to know a less active member that we were trying to meet for a few weeks, and he seems like he really wants to return to the Church. We also had a little Video night in the chapel to invite people. There was a decent turnout. Much better than the English class that we were supposed to have Friday night, which we had to cancel because not even the person with the keys showed up. Oh well, we instead passed by a party one of the Church organizations had going on to see if any new people showed up, and to get some food (not entirely on purpose the second part, but I won't complain).

Saturday morning we once again had more service. Again we went to clean out weeds and stuff, but this time without the machete, just with our hands. Luckily we only found ants and a frog this time. We also had some spare, broken down dressers and bed frames in our house. Instead of just throwing them out, we donated them. Score one for us on cleaning out the house without adding more mess to the streets. Since next week is Carnaval, we decided to fast this weekend. The good news is that it wasn't hot at all. In fact, we didn't even see the sun. It was a rainy and cloudy weekend. It rained pretty hard for algunos (about) 20min Saturday afternoon, and then just sprinkled the rest of the weekend. Even now it continues, but should soon let up.

It's super cool serving in Trinidad, as the people are very receptive, the scenery is very beautiful, and there is rain and mud. 

Love ya'll lots,
Elder Yates

va a disculpar que no los envié la otra semana, pero aquí están ahora.
(I'm sorry I didn't send these last week, but here they are now)

Yo y mi compañero, E' Fusi, con la flor Patujú
(Me and my companion E'Fusi with the Patujú flower)

I also sent him a warning letter about the Zika virus that has been in the news letting him know he should be using bug spray to avoid the virus and this was his response:

The other day in Montero we were talking with a less active that is older (80's) that was telling us how all these new diseases were made by drug companies so that their pills would sell. While not quite related, this email reminded me about said conversation. Luckily I have yet to get dengue, chikungunya, nor zika, even when my companions and room mates have. I plan on continuing the trend. I wished him luck in this goal of his.