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

Monday, July 11, 2011

The week I used a sickle! And a new mission president!

Hey everyone! 

Well, as always, this was a great week! Not as interesting as last week, but it was still pretty cool.

First things first, yes, I used a sickle! On Wednesday, we had a service project as a zone, and we went to go clear a lot of weeds...tall, tall weeds. So, we went to this lot with machetes, sickles, and shovels, and we went at it! It was a lot of fun, and with 20 of us, we practically leveled the place in about an hour and a half. Then we found out that we were going to have zone conference on Friday, and the other missionaries from the cities of Tupisa, Villazon, Quirisa, Uyuni, and Bermejo were coming up on Thursday, and that we were going to have the chance to work with them. Well, Lady Luck was definately on my side, because I got to work in my area for the afternoon with my good friend Elder Thorne(from Logan, Utah- He's an Aggie!). We got some good work done, too! We were able to find some investigators that normally we can't find, and we taught them! We had lots of fun working together, and now my companion and I are finally teaching some of our long-lost investigators.

One frustrating thing that happened this week is that we have this investigator named Giovanna. She is the older sister of a recent convert, and she's been pretty receptive to what we teach....from the Bible. She's a part of this church called Cristo Viene, which is a church started by an ex-member of the church, so she's super, super against anything about the Book of Mormon. Well, in our last lesson she asked us about Baptisms for the dead. It was a super-powerful, spiritual lesson, and she and her sister had tears in their eyes and everything. Then Giovanna turns around and negates everything that we just teached, saying that she didn't believe anything we just said(even though we could totally tell that she was believing everything that we said). So, we left the lesson very disappointed. I believe that some of the investigators that we have are here to humble us so that we remember that we need to work hard for every lesson and baptism that we have.

I know this is the work of the Lord and that I have this chance to represent Him. This has been an awesome 8 months, and it's scaring me how fast it's flying.

Remember that everyday is the best day of your life

Dad- Hope you have an amazing week! Hope to hear from you soon.

Mom- Wow, glad you're office is growing so much. Also, enjoy the hula! :)

Aly- I'm glad you love your job so much! Have a great week, and enjoy that movie!

Emi- I'm so jealous that you got to see DCI!!!! I hope you enjoyed it. Keep working hard. P.S. Maybe you should try out for DCI... :)

That's it for now!

Elder Craig

Happy 4th of July!

Well, happy 4th of July to all of you! I hope everything is going well for everyone!

Funny fact-  Today is the 4th of July, and my area is 4 de Julio II(4th of July II), and my ward is called 4 de Julio...ironic, huh? Well, I thought it was kind of funny.

So, every week  on the mission brings new, wacky, experiences. This week sure wasn´t out of that category.

Alright, so this Monday, after all the fun and festivities of P-day, I was in bed when we received a very disturbing phone call. Apparently one of the members in my district had to go to the hospital, so we went to see him at 11pm, which was very weird. When we got there, we found out that this elder, Elder Bond(Texas), was getting his appendix removed, and that I was there to translate to his parents back in the States about the surgery and why they were doing it, and that I was going to spend the night there with him(just me and his companion). The poor guy was scared out of his mind. He went into surgery at 1am, and came out fine at 3. He was totally fine until his anaesthetics wore off, then he was in a lot of pain. I talked to him to try to calm him down, and he told me that he was thinking about going home because he has had nothing but challenges and trials since he´s gotten to Bolivia. I came back and told him about the challenges that Joseph Smith went through, and how he felt at times when he went through his many trials. Then I bore my testimony to him about how trials are there to help us in life and that we become stronger because of them. I really feel like it helped him out. That was a long night, I only slept three and a half hours. But, good news is is that he´s recovering, and leaving the hospital today.

So, because Elder Barros and Elder Bond have been in the hospital this past week(and probably won´t work this next week either.), Elder Hernandez and I have been teaching one group of their investigators. One of them, José, had a baptismal date for this Saturday, so we went to visit him on Tuesday. One problem was was that he wasn´t sure if he knew enough about the Church to be baptized. We ended up talking to him about how baptism is something that we do with faith, that it´s a step of faith, and that a perfect knowledge isn´t necessary. Well, he decided to take that step of faith, and he was baptized on Saturday! He´s such a good kid, and now we hope to put baptismal dates this week on his two cousins.

And this week, we put two fechas on two of our best investigators, and we are going to work super hard to get these baptisms. This week(and next) is winter break here, so we hope to get lots done. Keep your fingers crossed!

Dad-Hope you enjoy the parade today! And maybe the new career is TV....keep your faith up, and all will turn out how it´s supposed to. Promise.

Mom-Glad you enjoyed the reunions, those are always fun. ANd my camera just doesn´t have batteries....and good lasting ones are tough to find....I might invest in rechargeables...we´ll see.

Aly- Keep working hard and playing hard. Things are going to keep getting better(Cuz floating in a river is the best!), so be prepared!

Emi- Glad you got to see that Vardlings! Hope work is good, and study hard for chem!

That's all for now! Enjoy those fireworks!

Elder Craig

Hello Tarija (June 27)

Well, hello everybody!

Well, I am now in my second area! And it´s obviously in Tarija, hahaha! 

My area is called 4 de Julio II. It´s in the northern part of town(I think) and it is very very big. It´s a poorer area, so many of the roads are pure dust and sand, so my shoes are just completely covered by the time we get home at night. My companion and I live outside of our area, in the area of 4 de Julio 1. This is because, according to my companion, that there aren´t any homes in our area that fit within the standards of the mission, which I now understand. We live in a small apartment in the home of the second counselor of our ward. It´s a nice little room, and we have hot showers, so I can´t complain. 

My companion is named Elder Hernandez. He´s from Colombia, and he has ten months on the mission. We are both Senior Companion, so we get a lot of things done mutually, without the "Well, I´m the senior companion" thing. He´s good, though. Working with him reminds me a lot of being with my trainer, Elder Atencia. I guess all of the Colombians work the same, so I´ll just go with it.

One awesome thing that happened this week is that we have two cholitas(natives women) that work in the house I live in, and they live in my area, so we´re teaching them. Well, we just startedto teach their "husbands"(meaning it´s their boyfriend that they live with, but that´s what they call them here), and they´re accepting the Gospel and starting to progress.The only problem is that they aren´t married, so we have to get them married before we can think about baptizing them. So, that´s the next bridge to cross with them, I guess. We also have a bunch of investigators that we can´t regularly find, but we are working on getting them going again, so that means a lot of work for us, which is good.

No pics this week, my camera´s dead.

Dad- Hope you have a great week, hear you are a beast at working out!

Mom- Yea! i´m glad you are doing well, glad you finally sold the house. P.s. I use both vos y usted

Aly- i´ll keep my fingers crossed for you! I think all will work out well.

Emi-Thanks for writing me en español. That was cool to read your letter. study hard!

Thats all for now!

Elder Craig