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

Monday, October 24, 2011

Hey! I'm Still Here

HI everyone!
I hope that everyone had an amazing week! Things here were pretty good this past week here in Tarija.  It’s been really windy here, to be honest, and if these studpid computers would read my memory card, i would send you all some ridiculous photos of the crazy wind that my companion and I go through.

This week was a loong week for me and my companion. We literally had times where we would have an appointment on one side of our area, and literally have to go to the other side of our area, which means about 30 minutes of walking for us, because there really aren’t buses that go exactly where we needed to go.  But, we found some great people this week knocking doors. One is named Herlan. He’s a college student who really is intersted in the Restored Gospel. He showed up to church on Sunday, and we set him right with other Young Single Adults, and he found friends right away. It’s really cool to see how the influence of a member can really help out investigators feel at home in the Church. It really helps with this investigator, because he is a timid person, and doesn’t socialize really well. But we have really high hopes for him, because he really is taking what we teach to heart.

We’ve also been working with a family of inactives, whom we found knocking doors one day. There are two daughters in particular whom we’ve been focusing on. Both of them felt embarrased to go back to church because they’ve been inactive since they were little, and now have children, when the rest of their church friends are still kind of dating people. So, for the older one, we’ve put a goal for her to return to church in three weeks, and to help her out, we are stopping by three times a week for five minutes just to see how she’s doing personally with the goal. With the younger sister, we just had to invite her, and on Sunday she was in church. It was super cool to see her in church, because she seemed so happy that she had decided to go back.  I know that the church is truly for everyone, and that all can make it back and feel that same joy that they felt before.

Alright, now about the cambios, I am staying here in Tarija one more exchange. The President wants every companionship to stay together for two exchanges, unless they are dealing with major problems. But, my companion and I are going great, so we get six more weeks here to help more people out!

Dad- I had the wierdest feeling about that…i was talking to my companion and was like “You know, when I get home, I don’t know where I’m going to sleep!” Funny, huh?

Mom- That sucks that you got rained out again. But, what sucks more is that you didn’t get the best Dr. Pepper….oh well…hope you have an amazing week!

Aly- About the job, what happenes is what is supposed to happen, so don’t worry! And your hair cut looks fine, don’t worry! (I say that a lot, huh?)

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

That’s all for now!


Elder Craig

Another conference....and another week!

Hello family and friends north of the equator!
Well, this was another super exciting week here in the land of Quechua! This week of full of suspense, terror, and….just kidding! It was a calm week (tranquillo, like we say down here.)
To be completely honest here, this week was full of lots of walking and rejections. It was actually strange for my companion and me, because usually our week is full of appointments. But, this week we spent most of our time knocking on doors in our area, which kinda sucked, because the weather this week was wacky. Literally we had rain, hail, super hot temps, and cold temps. And then a ton of people this week were rejecting us, to the point that my companion was saying “This is unusual for us…no one is letting us in this week. They usually do.” But, you know, I took it as a lesson from the Lord to make sure we didn’t get cocky, because that can happen with missionaries who have tons of success, no?
We also had Zone Conference this past Friday with our mission president. It was a good conference for us. We all reported the need for more lessons with members, which is really important for us. Experience shows that lessons with members helps that the investigators actually baptize. So, my companion and I are going to focus on that this week, because we have a ton of good investigators who just need the support of a member to help them into the font. So, a suggestion, if you can, accompany the missionaries to a lesson or two….they’ll really appreciate it, and you could help someone get baptized!

Dad- That flight sounds amazing….Hope you took some awesome pics. Hope you enjoyed the Warren Miller Movie. And way to go getting Marcos out of bed for that hike. Have an amazing week!
Mom-Sounds like you are having a great time learning about Bolivia…some things do appear pagan, no? But really, it’s a really cool culture.
Aly- Get that job, woman! I know you can do it! Best of luck!
Emi-That sucks that you’re having that many problems…I’ll pray for you. Have tons of fun this week!

That’s all for now!


Elder Craig

Monday, October 10, 2011

What an AWESOME week!

Hello everyone at home!

What an amazing week that this past week has been! It's included many surprises that even I wasn't expecting.
So, first thing's first. No, the earthquake didn't affect anyone here in Tarija....I didn't even feel a thing. Apparently other missionaries did, but my companion and I didn't feel any type of quake. All things are nice and quiet here in Bolivia...for now. I'll explain later.
So this week has been awesome for me and my companion for the work of the Lord. This entire week we've been focusing on the baptisms that we had, a massive activity for the ward mission work, and finding news. And you know what? With lots of hard work we were able to complete all of our goals. Our ward activity was pretty cool. Maybe y'all have participated or seen this before. It's a simulation of ward members and investigators that are on a plane that crashes...and everybody dies. Then according to a label on your boarding pass you get conducted by angels into one of the three kingdoms of glory, or outer darkness. I had the privilege of being an angel in the Celestial Kingdom. It was super cool, and a really spiritual experience for me. We had almost one hundred people show up, which is almost half of the actives in our ward. It was all in all a very good should all try it out.
Ok, so....I had 4 baptisms this weekend! The familia Sanchez got baptized...along with five others from the other missionaries in our ward. That was a cool experience that I won't forget. 9 baptisms doesn't happen every day. It was an amazing experience that almost made me cry. It's been so humbling to see a family that we've worked so hard to teach decide to make a covenant with the Lord and join His church. They are going to do so many great things in the Church, I just know it! Then yesterday the confirmations took FOREVER during sacrament, literally like forty minutes. Then came the surprise...I was asked to bless and give names to two children in the ward from a family of converts where the dad doesn't have the Melquesidec Priesthood yet. That was really cool. But, I had always felt that the children that I would first bless and present before the Lord would be my own,,,but apparently the Lord had different plans for me.
And, no pics this week cuz the computer is being dumb and won't read my you'll all have to wait for next week for a new computer to see the pics. Sorry!
Dad- Have an amazing week! Glad you've had so much fun hiking!
Mom- I tell you, your business is going places. Get ready for the ride of your life!
Aly- Well, tell Deborah "Hi, and welcome home" for me, will ya? Don't you worry, I'll pray about the job thing for you!
Emi- Have an amazing week! Hope all is well!
Until next time!

Elder Craig

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Happy Day After Conference/ Eleven Months!

Hello, hello, hello everyone!

Well, I hope everyone had an amazing General Conference weekend! Those were some pretty sweet talks this weekend, weren't they?

This week was a good week for me and my companion. We this past week had so many appointments on Tuesday and Wednesday that we didn't have time to schedule time to go knock doors or to even go to dinner! We were super busy, but we still found time to go find news. We decided to trek into an area that I've never been into before in my area, and there we found three, later seven, new investigators in one family! They are super cool, and most of them went to General Conference with us yesterday, so they are progressing really well towards a baptismal date of the first week of November. We are also teaching this teacher and her daughter, and they came to Conference too. They are doing really well in their progression. They have a baptismal date for the end of this month! They have an interesting case because this hermana has a "husband", but they don't live together, which is really unusual down here in Bolivia. She lives here in Tarija and her "husband" lives in La Paz, so really there is nothing really stopping us from baptizing her when she recieves her answer about the Book of Mormon and the Church.

So, my companion and I had a scare this past week when we went to go teach Palmyra Sanchez this past week. We went to her house with the intentions of teaching the Word of Wisdom, but we felt really, REALLY strongly that we needed to teach the Law of Chastity, and it turns out that she wasn't keeping it with her boyfriend. It would have turned into a BIG problem if they were living together, but thankfully we know that they don't, so we can still baptize her this Saturday.This weekend we have 4 baptisms planned, plus a massive ward mission activity, so this week will be a stressful one for me, because there is so much riding on our work for both activities.

So, General Conference was really good for me this year. For me the talks of the 70's were actually my favorites this time around. I especially enjoyed Elders Ian Ardern, Carl B. Cook, and Kazuhiko Yamashita's talks. They really spoke to me.

Dad-I'm keeping you in my prayers. Just trust in the Lord, and all things will turn out how they should.

Mom- Hope you had a great time in Boston! Have an amazing week!

Aly- Hope it's been good for you. Heard USU  barely lost...there's always next year!

Emi-Don't do anything stupid to worsen your ankle! ;) Have an amazing week!

Remember- always look up! 


Elder Craig

New companion, new changes (9/26)

So, hello everyone.
First of all, I really want to apologize for that picture last week. I didn't see the hand in the back, and I feel really bad that you all saw that....and I am really embarassed to tell you that I know who it is. But that's enough on that.
Ok, so this week has been a CRAAAAZY(with all caps again) week. My companion and I just got out there and started to knock all the doors we could, and our agendas started filling up with so many citas that we had to start telling people "Sorry, we can't Sunday, we're booked all day...can we come by another time?". It's been a good crazy, and I haven't had this much work in a while, so it feels really good, although I'm exhausted. But, don't worry, I like it, cause we're really working hard to try and help the people here all that we can.
Soo, we've got some really awesome things going for us here, We have, in our ward, 9 baptisms for the 8th of October, 4 which are mine and my companion's, and 5 of the other pair of missionaries in our ward. We also have a massive activity that we're doing with the ward missionaries on the 7th. And on top of that we have to get investigators to Conference this week and get them not to drop their baptismal dates.
We have many awesome investigators right now, one of which is the little brother of a recent convert whose mom doesm't  want him to have anything to do with the Church....that will be a huge hurdle to leap over, but we've got faith we can do it.
That's all the time we have for this week....
Dad- I hope the job search is going well....I like the new helmet and goggles you got. Looks like to me you're ready for ski too. ;)
Mom- That's a total bummer that you're going to miss Conference....but I know good things will come from this conference you're going to.
Aly- You are still super cool to me! You're a dork, and that's what makes you awesome!
Emi- Have an amazing week! Don't do anything too dumb! :)
Until next week(My eleven month anniversary!!!!)

Elder Craig

Still here! (9/19)

Hey everyone!

I hope you all had a great week! Mine was good  and things are looking
up ofr the work of the Lord!

Ok, so you're all wondering if I got moved... well, the answer is no.
I am still here in Tarija "La Chura", and I have a new companion. His
name is Elder Diaz. He's from Ecuador. But, the funny thing is, I've
already lived with him. He was my friend Elder North's companion in
Cochabamba when I lived there with him, so I know what he's like
already. No praying and hoping that I have an awesome companion, I
already know what he's like. He is super cool and he works really
hard, which is really the type of companion that I've been wanting for
a while, so I'm really happy.

We went out immediately and started to work and in just three and a
half days, we found the same number of new investigators that my last
companion and I found in an entire week(sometimes two). It's been
super fun to work with him because he works hard and also plays hard,
so we really enjoy each other's company as we work.

Also, something really, really cool happened this week. That family
that I've told you about these past couple of weeks, well, they've
recieved answers to their prayers concerning the Gospel.....and they
know it's true!!! They have a baptismal date in two weeks on the 8th
of October....please keep your fingers crossed.

That's really all for this week.

Dad- Well, I'm glad you're at least have success with selling the
gear....I'm still praying that you'll find a job you want and like. I
love you-have an amazing week!

Mom- Glad that you found that office space! It'll keep you in the
habit of going into the same building. Have a great week!

Aly- Yes!The Utes won! Woop! Thanks for the news Have an amazing week!

Emi- That sucks that you're sick....hope you get better by Homecoming!
Have fun! I want to see pics!

That's all for now!

Elder Craig