Cochabamba, Bolivia Temple

Cochabamba, Bolivia Temple

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 tacĂș.

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