Serving in the Cochabamba Bolivia Mission
November 3, 2010-November, 2012

Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter Week

Why, hello everyone!

I hope everyone had a great week!

Well, I believe the highlight for me this week is that we finally had a BAPTISM! First within our companionship! It was a super-cool spiritual experience. But, anyways...

So, Monday was a huge disappointment because we were supposed to play soccer, but we didn´t. So, it just turned into a day of relaxing and sitting around doing nothing. That night we didn´t even have a Family Home Evening, which meant a boring night.Tuesday was a looong day. We turned out having lessons all day, and we worked busy all day.

Something my companion and I have been working hard to achieve is to find 12 new people to teach every week. Not for the numbers, but to have more people to teach. This involves a lot of knocking on doors, which neither my companion and I like at all. It really is not fun to knock doors, but it´s necessary to find more people, so we do it. One of the really cool things that happened this week is that we recently started to seriously teach a friend of the kid who was baptized this week. He´s a super cool kid, and he already wants to be baptized. He already asked his dad if he could be baptized, but his dad said he wants him to learn more before he does so. That makes sense, and we still have stuff to teach him, but it´s super cool to have someone with the desire to be baptized so soon. On Saturday we had our baptism. This means we practically lost the day. We still hadn´t received the permission from his grandma, so we were freaking out about that until we got it that afternoon. Then we were stressing out even more because the chapel was being used for a stake youth activity that was supposed to last from four until six, but they started an hour late, so we weren´t happy about that. Next, our investigator didn´t show up until seven because he was at his great aunt´s house, so we were freaking out until he got there. Then, to top it all off, our mission president decides to show up for the baptism, so we were totally stressed out! But everything turned out fine, and our investigator was baptized by his uncle. It was a super spiritual experience, and I almost cried when our investigator shared his testimony. It was so STRONG! I am so happy right now for him.

Dad-I´m sorry ski season is ending. I hope you have a good week!

Mom- Thanks for your email. I´m glad you´re doing well and enjoying yoga!

Aly- Didn´t hear from you......Have a good week.

Emi- Glad to hear you had a good week and a good first date. Now work hard to beast your chem test!

Have a good week all!!!


Elder Craig

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Greetings from Bolivia!

Hello family and amigos(that´s spanish for friends.... XD) !!!!

Wow, this week just flew on by, it´s crazy! I can´t believe that I´m half way through this transfer, either.

Well, this week was a good week. We started off the week alright, with a family home evening with a part member family, which went alright. This family is an inactive mom, who has a daughter that we´re teaching, and this daughter has a kid. Well, we challenged the daughter, and she has a baptismal date for this next weekend, April 30th. We´re really hoping that this baptism goes through. We haven´t had a baptism in this area in four weeks, so we really, really need one right now. Also on Monday we played futsal(street soccer) as a zone, and that was fun( I scored three goals!!!!). Then we just chilled until our FHE, so it was a good relaxing day. Tuesday didn´t go entirely good. All of our citas fell through, so we spent most of the day knocking on doors. And we found some awesome new investigators! The only problem is, is that they told us that they don´t have a ton of time to listen to us( I know you´re thinking that they´re giving us excuses not to listen, but I can tell the difference, and they were sincere.), which totally blows, because they would have been awesome. So, we´re planning to pass by sometime to see if they´re there. Wednesday was a looooong day. We got up at 5:30, because we had Zone Conference! It was a great conference, and we talked a lot about how our desires can shape our destinies, and how what visions we have can determine our lives. And then they decided to show us how a desire can change everything by showing us a good chunk of that new movie about the guy in Utah who got his arm stuck under a rock, and after five days, he cut his arm off because he had a vision of him having a son someday. Yeah, it was cool. It´s definately on the mental list I have of movies to watch when I get home. It was a super cool conference. One other thing that they taught us was to focus in sharing about the Gospel from the first lesson, and boy has it worked! It´s awesome. I´ve definately changed the way that I teach now, and we´re getting more results from it. Thursday was a normal day, but something cool did happen. We were teaching one of our investigators, Dennis, and he decided he wanted to read the entire Book of Mormon before he gets baptized. He told us this three weeks ago. Well, he´s in Alma now, and he asked us about Alma 5:38-41, which talks about being a part of different folds, whether the Savior´s or Satan´s. He thought that they were judging people right away, but I studied it, and read him Matthew 6:24, which talks about how you can´t serve two masters. Man, you should have seen his face! It was awesome. We hope that he finishes soon, so that we can finally baptize him. Then for the rest of that day and the next day, I was on exchanges with my district leader, Elder Cespedes. It was a super cool experience, and we worked a lot! We ended up getting seven new investigators and challenging a bunch to baptism. Saturday, my companion and I were out working all day long(like we should) and boy was it HOT! We were sweating all day long.But we still ended up teaching a bunch.....and we have a baptism for this Saturday! His name is Oscar Sierralta. He´s 14, and he´s been coming to church with this grandma and aunt and uncle for a while, and he wants to get baptized! So, this week we´re going to focus on him, and he´ll be ready by Thursday! I´m super excited! Well, Sunday kinda sucked. We had one investigator in church, and we had to drop an investigator. It´s super sad when we have to do that, but sometimes it´s necessary.

Dad- Hope you had an awesome birthday! Mom sent me a picture of you at Texas Roadhouse, and you look like you had a great one! Have a good week. And good luck on the job search!

Mom- hey, I´m reading the Bible right now for the first time, and I´m almost finished with Exodus! I´m glad you like your yoga program that much!

Aly- Have a good week in school, and good luck on the big girl job search!

Emi- That totally sucks about your knee. And about your date.....I can´t believe you´re old enough for that. I guess you still seem super young to me....Well, have a good week!

Until next week!


Elder Craig

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

District Conference

Hello beloved family and friends!

Well, another week has past, and it was a good week. I hope everyone else had a good week as well.

Ok, so Monday. Well, my district and I went to lunch at a place called Tuesdays, which is just a TGI Friday knock-off(everything´s a knockoff here), but it was good anyways. Then afterwards we went bowling. Those of you that know me, know that bowling is not my best sport. But, with the help of my companion and some friends, I was able to bowl a 90! I was so excited! Then we went and played futsal(basically street soccer), where another elder practically took my right knee out with a kick(don´t worry, I´m ok now, just need to be careful.). On Tuesday, we got up at five-thirty in the morning to go to the temple! It was such a cool session! Afterwards we had the chance to go to the distribution center to buy stuff, and they didn´t have ANYTHING! Which totally sucked, because we needed to get stuff for our investigators.

So, we just went home, and went to work. It started out as a really good day. We found three new people to teach, and it was going really well, then I got the chills really bad, and a headache, then a fever.
So my companion took me home and put me to bed. I literally slept from six in the after need to ten the next morning. I felt horrible. I spent the day on Wednesday in bed resting. It was not fun. I never figured out what I had, either. Thursday I went back to work, and it was seeming like it was going to be a bad day....until that night we were knocking on doors and we found eight people to teach! I was sooooo excited to teach them.  So, that was the end of a good day.

Friday we just taught citas all day, and one of our investigators, Dennis, asked very difficult questions. It was crazy! Saturday was just a normal day, with teaching citas like normal, and we found one more new investigator when we went back to the house where we found the eight. And Sunday we got the chance to watch Conference, which was awesome. We didn´t teach at all yesterday.

Well, that´s all for now. My zone leader´s threatening to turn my computer off(He really wants to go), so I gotta go.

Dad- Hope you have a good week! Work hard!

Mom- Glad you´re having so much success! Have a good week!

Aly- Glad school is going well! Just know that these weeks are going to fly!

Emi- Good luck with the doc and work! Have fun!

Elder Craig

Monday, April 4, 2011

April 4, Cristo de Concordia

Well, hello to all, family and friends, from lovely Bolivia! I hope everyone had a good week, mine wasn´t very successful.....but this week will be much better!

Well, to start everything off, this week was transfers week, so it was a crazy week. Monday, since it was Elder Atencia´s P-day in Cochabamba, he wanted to go to the Cristo de Concordia, so we went....when at the same time we had members that wanted us to visit them at their jobs( I know, weird.) so that they could tell Elder Atencia goodbye. So we took a taxi up to the top of the Cristo, which turned out to be a ridiculously long drive because we climbed two mountains to get to the top. Once we were at the Cristo, we did the tourist thing of taking pictures and all that jazz. It was cool! The statue is SO HUGE! I felt really small next to it. But it was fun, and I can now say that I´ve been to the Cristo de Concordia. After that we RAN down the mountain(huge hill?) to catch a taxi to head to visit the members. That was a huge mistake! I´ve been sore all week from that.

We got down in fifteen minutes when it usually takes forty-five(No joke). Then we went and visited some members at their work...and they ended up giving us huge banana splits! For free! I wasn´t expecting that at all! We were super full after that. Then we ended up taking a bus to get back to our house, which turned out to be a MASSIVE mistake. We were on the bus for an hour and a half because it went through La Cancha, and traffic in there is horrible. We probably could have walked home faster. Well, when we eventually got home, we had to hurry and change our clothes because we were 15 minutes late for our Family Home Evening. We practically ran to the appointment. Everything else when well from there. We got home super exhausted. Tuesday we spent the day just teaching lessons, and Elder Atencia wanted to say goodbye to everyone else that he could, so we spent a lot of time doing that. That night our English class had about fifteen people in it, which was really cool. We had a lot of fun teaching that class, because we´re to the point where we´re having the students make sentances and all of that stuff. I also spent a lot of time helping kids understand their English homework, because the teachers down here do not teach English well at all. Wednesday was a loooong day because of transfers. My companion finally finished packing and everything that morning, then we had to go to the airport to go pick up my new companion. We ended up being at the airport for two hours because of a mix-up of one of the secretaries. But we finally got home, and we left to go show the area and go say goodbye(yup, still going) to more people. That night we dropped off Elder Atencia at the Temple(from there he went to Tarija, then to his destination at Villazon), and since then it´s been just me and Elder Hull. Thursday we hit the ground running with the work. It seemed like we were going to have a really good day, but appearances can be decieving. We had four citas that seemed solid, but two of them ended up falling through. So, we spent a lot of the day walking. Friday was a good day, though. We taught plenty of citas, and contacted a couple of people. That night we had our bi-weekly noche misional, where we played sharks and minnows, then shared a cool message about charity, and how it´s the pure love of Christ. Saturday was an interesting day. My companion woke up without a voice, so we called our mission mom, Hermana Tenorio, who then told me to call the doctor for an appointment. So, we ended up watching conference in two different stake centers because the appointment with the doctor was in another stake center than ours.

And we found out that he had larengitis (i´m not sure how to spell it), so we were restricted from going to Priesthood Session, and we were really bummed out. Sunday was actually a normal sunday because of the day of Peaton, which is the one day a year where they don´t drive cars in Bolivia, so they delayed showing conference until next Sunday, so I don´t know anything about what happened on Sunday in conference.

My new comp is really cool. He´s from Provo, and he has a real desire to work....which is what I really wanted from my next companion, so I´m super grateful.

Dad- Thanks for your email! It´s good to hear you´re doing well. Thanks for the advice.

Mom- Hope the business is going well! Have an amazing week!

Aly- I´m glad all went well on your tests! Thanks for the pics!

Emi- I´m so proud of you for getting that job! I want to see a pic!

Have an amazing week!

Elder Craig

March 28, 2011

Well, hello from Cochabamba "Corazon de la Madre Tierra"! (The heart of mother earth)

Well, this past week was a good week! My companion and I worked really hard this week. We knocked on a lot of doors, but we had little, little success. But, we did the Lord´s work, and that´s what really counts, right?

So, Monday, we played soccer. And, boy, did we play. We (Zona Jaihuayco) played against the Zona Estaca Universidad (Which is where all of the asistants to the Mission President, and his secretaries work.). It was an awesome game. We blew the other zone out of the water(The score was 10-3). No, I didn´t score any goals. I stayed back and played defense, so I blocked a bunch of goal opportunities. And, it was raining the whole time, so all of us were soaked to the bone with freezing cold Bolivian rain(It rains here all of the time, especially right before now). We ended up just chilling at the apartment for the rest of the day just staying dry and eating Top Ramen. It was an awesome day. We then had a family home evening with a part member family, which was really cool. Tuesday we went and worked the area close to our house, but we had the feeling to head over to a part called Temple San Carlos( it´s called that because it´s kiddy corner to a Catholic Church called that) where we had a ton of investigators. Here´s what we learned: That a famliy containing two of our converts had moved away(without telling us), and that another one of our investigators wants to get married in the Church! She´s a super cool investigator who has a testimony and is ready to be baptized, but she lives with her fianceĆ©, so she can´t be baptized until she gets married....and they set their wedding date to be in June. Which means that I probably won´t be here. And that totally blows. But we´re going to continue teaching her( and her fianceĆ©) until they get married, so that they con get baptized right away! Then that night we had our weekly english class. And lately we´ve been having a group of non-member kids coming to the class. So, we finally got their information, and we´ve gotten citas to go teach them!!!! We´re super excited, because they all have some relation to the Church(like they live with a non-active member, or their aunt or uncle is a member, etc.) So, we´re really looking forward to teaching them. Wednesday we went to a dermatologist appointment for my companion( he has stretch marks on the inside of his legs....really weird), then we went and taught one of our best investigators, Dennis. He´s the son of my first convert, Delia. He´s super cool and is coming to all of the church activities and such. I think this week we´re going to challenge him to be baptized. The only thing is that he´s waiting to recieve an answer to know if the  Book of Mormon is true. And he´s been waiting for a while, so we´ve been praying super hard that he´ll get an answer. We also taught one of our investigators who lives by Templo San Carlos, and she´s waiting on her mom to return to get permission to be baptized. We´ve been waiting for at least three months for this to happen, so we´re going to pass by as often as we can to catch both parents there. Thursday was a busy day. We had our weekly planning session, then we went to work. We taught a non-active member, who told us she got driven away because of hypocrites in the Church. It´s always really sad to see someone driven away because of that. One important thing that we taught her was that the Church is perfect, but not it´s members. So, we´re working with her to get her back to church. Then we had a cita fall through, so we went knocking on doors.
We then got approached by a man who said he  was a member, but he was new to the area, and that his wife wasn´t a member, and that he wanted us to teach her!!!! We were soooo excited to get that reference! Then Friday was just a normal day, with sitas and such. Saturday was an unexciting until the evening, when Elder North(who lives with me) had his second baptism! It was a super cool experience. Always super spiritual at a baptism!

Ok, so, finally. Last night we found out our transfers.And.....I´m staying here in Petrolero for another transfer! My compi is going, though. He´s headed to a city as far south as you can go called Villazon. My new companion is going to be a gringo named Elder Hull.But it´s a weird situation.....we´re both senior companion. Yup, you read correctly. Both of us. My zone leader explained to me that when the President does that, that means one of us after this transfer is going to train a newbie, and the other one will become a secretary to the President.....yeah. So, it´ll be interesting to see how it turns out.

Dad- Well, have fun skiing. Hope it´s an awesome week and such. Btw, to die as a missionary means to go home.

Mom- Glad all is well, have fun looking for someone for the office.

Aly- That sucks that USU lost....and that your bracket blew up in your face. Have a good week! Good luck on your tests! Ps- I never got your pics

Emi- Congrats on getting a job! I´m proud of you. Have a good week.
Good job with the percussion too!

Have a good week everyone!

Elder Craig