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

Monday, August 22, 2011

I Shook the Hand of an Apostle!

Hello my dearly beloved family and friends!

I hope everyone had a fan-diddily-tastic week! This week was one of the best of my mission. 

So, this week started off pretty good. That hermana that I told you all about last week, well we were passing her house to go knock doors and she came out and asked us to come in and talk. So we went in, and she apologized to us for how she had been acting and asked for our forgiveness for how she had been acting. I thought that was pretty cool of her, she seems to really be repenting of starting to inactivate in the church. What I really want now is for her to get a calling in the church to really help her and keep her active.

So, the best part of the week started when on Tuesday night we found out that we, as a zone, were being flown out to Cochabamba to hear Elder Neal L. Anderson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles speak! And, man, what a weekend that was! They flew us out on Friday, and we were there until last night, so we spent the weekend in Cochabamba! One of the cooler parts was seeing the ENTIRE mission together. I was able to take a pic with my padre and my abuelo(my trainer and his trainer), whick was really cool. Then we were able to hear him speak, plus ask him questions for about whatever we wanted. The first Elder to ask a question went straight for the big guns and asked him if he's seen Christ. Well, needless to say, Elder Anderson didn't say yes or no. Just said that the testimony of an Apostle is enough, and he testified that He lives! I think the answer is pretty clear there. But the best part for me was when he was explaining on how we can keep the Spirit as strong as it is now after the mission. He said that in the mission that we are preparing to recieve a greater blessing afterwards, and if we aren't faithful during and after the mission, that we won't receive those blessings. Pretty deep stuff. He said a bunch of other awesome things, and finished the meeting reading MY mission scripture( Moroni 10:31-34), so I was pretty much sobbing at the end, I was feeling the Spirit so strong. The only disappointing thing is is that we weren't allowed to take pícs with him, but I still took one of him as evidence that I was there :). 

Well, that was my amazing week- I hope everyone has an amazing one!

Dad- Thanks for the advice, I really appreciate it. have an amazing week!

mom- Sounds like things are going great! You'll have to wait for next week for the pics of everything.

Aly-Wow, NY sounds amazing. Maybe we can go and rock it there someday together. ;)

Emi- Well, I only send as much as happens, and every week'll be different. Glad you had fun with Jana. I met Aubrey with Cherene once, she's her best friend.

Scriptures of the week:
2 Nephi 2:8
2 Nephi 31:20

Luv ya all!

Elder Craig

An Awesome Week!

Hey everyone!

I hope you all had a great week! This was, for me, my best week so far in Tarija. Well, mostly.

Alright, so all in all, my companion and I went an knocked a ton of doors this week, and we found some GREAT potential investigators, and we've begun to teach them.But the coolest thing that happened this week happened during my exchanges. We do exchanges with our District Leader and I was working in my area with his companion. Well, we were knocking doors when a girl of about 18 years answered her door. Well, we did the door approach and she said that she didn't have time, but that she would come and visit the church. 99% of the time when people say that down here, we never even see them again, much less see them in church. But, she actually showed up! We were able to teach her in the church, and she seems really excited to recieve the Restored Gospel. 

Then, some really sad news. The sister that we baptized a few weeks ago has already lost her testimony, and has become inactive. It's been really rough on my companion, who fought super hard to help her recieve a testimony and baptize her. It's super true when they say that many are called, but few are chosen. That doesn't mean we've given up on her yet. We're working with the ward missionaries to help her regain all that she has lost. We still have hope.

Oh, and some drugie tried to fight me yesterday just for being gringo....on in the mission, right?

I hope everyone has a great week!

Dad- Hope you have an amazing week! Don't give up hope!

Mom- Thanks for the Jeffery R. Holland Quotes! They're really cool. Hope you have the best week ever!

Aly- Sounds like New York is freakin' sweet! Can't wait to see pics next week! Have fun, and be safe!

Emi- Well, enjoy your last week. And go kick trash at your meet!

'Til next week!

Elder Craig

Monday, August 8, 2011


Hey everyone!

I hope everyone had a great week! My week was super cool!

The first thing awesome that happened this week was our baptism on
Tuesday!(Sorry, no pic.) It was the hermana I've told all of you about
alot who was totally into her church and everything. She didn't want
anything to do with baptism or the Book of Mormon, and now she's been
baptized and reads the Book of Mormon! Crazy how the Spirit can change
peoples' lives, huh? Well, she told us she didn't want ANYBODY at the
baptism because she said that she isn't sociable. Well, the ward
mission leader announced it in church, and so a bunch of people showed
up. So....she said she didn't want to be baptized, because all the
people showed up, and now she was angry with us. So I talked to her
for about 20 minutes, and shared scriptures with her that showed her
that the time of her baptism was then and there, and no other time.
She finally agreed, and the baptism went great. Then on Sunday we went
to her house and picked her up and took her  to church to get her
confirmed. It is absolutely amazing to me how her countenance has
changed. She seems to be radiating with the Spirit now. If you could
have seen her before, you would be amazed too.

The next cool thing was on Saturday, which was Bolivian Independence
Day. The Stake had a stake-wide activity where each ward presented
traditional food and a  dance from a department in Bolivia. My ward
had the department of Oruro, so we ate lamb with corn and potatoes. It
was really good. Then they danced "La Morenada", which is a pretty
cool dance, but my favorites are the Tinku and Los Caporales. YouTube
them, they are pretty cool.

Dad- Looks like you had a great time fishing...Tell Uncle Biz I like
his Metallica goatee. XP

Mom- About Quechua, I am trying to learn so I can teach a new
investigator. Tarija is a medium-sized city, so it's an entire stake.
About my daily's about the same. We have a pension where we
eat, and it's por una hermana. And I work all day. :D

Aly- Have TONS of fun in New York. I can't wait to hear about it and
see all the pics. Eat a hot dog for me!

Emi- Well, I think you're doing well for your 5k time...Just run and
push yourself more, you'll get faster. Promise ;)

That's all for now!

Scriptures of the week:

Alma 26:12
2 Chron. 15:7

Luv you all!

Elder Craig

Happy Bolivian Independence week!

Why hello friends and family! ¿Imanayakashanki? (That's Quechua for "How are you?" And the correct response is "Jualejia")
Alright, so this week wasn't really that exciting, but some cool things did happen this week. On Wednesday we had intercambios with our district leader, so I was with Elder Bond. Since his appendix was removed, he hasn't really been able to go out and work because any time that he did go out and work, he would open his stiches a bit and start oozing nastiness all over the place, so his surgeon said that he didn't want him walking out and about so that he could heal and what not. So, I was in his apartment all day, just chilling with him. And we had a really interesting conversation about how he really got to go on the mission, but he's feeling really down because he can't work. It reminded me how true it is that as missionaries that we serve two missions- Among the people and among the missionaries. It was a super spiritual afternoon, and I learned tons about him. He's the member version of my friend Tyler, so I feel like we're good friends now.  Also on Friday, we had a District activity where we went and worked in the zone leaders' area. And I learned how much people care when things can apply to their families, because so many families are really disfunctional down here. Makes me really appreciate the family I have, and it also makes me want to work harder to help these people have the blessings that I enjoy in my life. For me that's the best part of missionary work(besides seeing people accept the Gospel in their livesa), seeing families become more unified in the Gospel. It's undescribable the joy I feel when that happens.
Dad- Hey, you are totally right. I am where the Lord needs me to be. Have a great week!
Mom-That's crazy about what that missionary did. That truly takes guts. Glad you spent lots of time with Alyssa.
Aly- Hey, thanks for cheering me really does help!
Emi- Way to go on your college course! That's way cool. And summer is never long enough. And you'll get fast enough for XC!
Scriptures of the week:D&C 88:133, 128:22
Hope y'all have an amazing week!

Elder Craig

Week of miracles!

Hey hey hey everyone!

I hope you had an amazing week! This has been an amazing week for me here!

First thing awesome that happened this week is that we had a ward mission night to try and get the ward excited for missionary work. We had sixty people show up, which is really cool because it really shows that the ward is going to support our work. We even had one of our really really tough investigators come(And there's a awesome miracle about her! I'll say more in a bit.). It just turned into a really awesome night. The next night we went with this same hermana and her sister to the stake pioneer day at the stake center. It was really cool to see how they celebrate the pioneers down here. They really have a special place in their hearts for them, especially because many of them are really pioneers in their own families.

Alright, so the best part of the week was Saturday there wasn't any crazy parties or anything, just a super super spiritual experiance. We went to go visit our investigator Giovana, and we were talking with her and asked if(for like the billionth time) she had received an answer. Well, this was her answer- "Well, I'm not going to share my answer-that's for me. But I will tell you this- I know you two bring the truth, and nothing but." This made me cry. She was really an investigator that I was really losing hope in, but it just goes to show that the Spirit can really bring miracles in peoples' lives. That was probably one of the most spiritual experiences that I've had on my mission.

I'm super grateful to be here and see these things happen in peoples' lives. I feel a llittle piece of heaven everytime that happens. It truly is special.

Dad- I hope you have an amazing week! Luv ya!

Mom- Sounds like things in the office are doing great! 

Aly- Hope things go great this week!

Emi- Work hard this week! Hope to hear form you soon!

Have a fantastic week all!


Elder Craig

Cambios half gone

Hello everybody from the largest city in the south of Bolivia! I hope
everyone had a fantastic week! This was a good week  for me here!

Aw right. So, first awesome thing that happened this week was that on
Tuesday we had a lesson with a member's boyfriend, who turned out to
have a twelve-year old son as well- and that's not the best part! So,
we ended up teaching the 1st lesson for about an hour and a half,
which is longer than usual. The dad kept asking really good questions,
so that put us back a bit. But, at the end of the lesson, we
challenged them both to baptism, and they both said "Yes!". And the
dad even flat out said that he wants to be baptized(that's super
awesome, because that never really happens here, especially in the
first lesson.)  So, we're super excited to teach them again(we have a
lesson with them tonight!).

Another cool thing that happened is that we went to go try and
recontact an old investigator, and we ended up finding only his wife
who's never listened to the missionaries before. So, we ended up
teaching her, and she's super receptive to the Gospel! She's a "golden
investigator", as we like to call them here, and we're looking forward
to talking to her and her husband this week.

And we also were able to contact this woman on the bus we take to get
to our area, who's been searching for the truth in her life. So, we
went to her home later that night, and we taught her and her mom most
of the first lesson, and she seems  really excited to hear about the
Restorted Gospel.

And those are most exciting things that happened  this week. We have a
fireside for investigators this week, so that should be awesome.

Dad- Thanks for the advice(You give me some of the best I've gotten
for my mission). Plus I want to see a picture of your new car so I can
remember what good cars look like. Have a great week!

Mom- I know you'll find your new office space...and here in Tarija we
eat lots of spaghetti, so yes, I eat pasta.

Aly- Hey, liking the new look more mature. X)

Emi- Lots of suerte on your chem test this week!

Until next week!

Elder Craig