Cochabamba, Bolivia Temple

Cochabamba, Bolivia Temple

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.

PiraƱas 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.