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

Monday, January 23, 2012

I have an Argentine companion!!!!!!

Well, hello all you back home!!!!!

Well, this was an ok week for me here in Bolivia.

Ok, so this week I started with my new companion Elder Saade. He's from Argentina, and has, as of today, 5 weeks left on his mission. So, as we say here in the mission, I get to "kill " him. It'll be good, though. He has a very good reputation in the mission as an amazing teacher, so I'm looking forward to learning from him so that I can improve my teaching skills. This week he had an interview with President Dyer, so we headed up to the offices so he could have his interview. Well, after about 30 minutes, I was called into the office, and we talked about what we needed to do to help the ward here grow and become stronger. To be honest, I feel a little stressed , because the President looked at us and said," By the time that Elder Saade leaves at the end of this change, I want the bishop of your ward to say that he can't run his ward without the help of the missionaries." Yeah, no pressure there. But, it's a good incentive to help the ward.

So, we've started to focus on working with the less active members and inactive members. It's really cool because we've already gotten references from them. I think that we're going to reap a lot of work from them. It's interesting working with the less actives and inactives, because they really can help the work go forward. They usually give a lot of references, and when they reactivate, become some of the stronger members and can really help others going through their same situation, or the new converts. Plus, our leaders here in the mission have been stressing working with them to try to get more work done here. Like on Friday, my companion and I were knocking doors and decided to go visit a member who is recently reactivating in the Church, and she gave us a reference to three teenagers who were listening to the missionaries about a year ago, but mysteriously stopped. Well, we went and contacted them, and got a return appointment for Saturday. Sadly, they fell through, but the thing I learned was that the key really is working with the less-actives and inactive members. So, this week will be a busy week once we get the list that I requested on Sunday.

Dad- 30 inches???!!!!! I'm so jealous! That must have been good skiing. Oh, and Sundance will be pretty awesome, so I know you'll have lots of fun there. And the thing you wrote me about.....don't worry, things are all good here. Nothing to worry about. Have a fun week!

Mom-  Fat skis sound like fat fun!  Yes, I finally got the package with the Rangers shirt. Now waiting the rest. And, I've been senior companion for 10 months now...just been in a lot of double senior companionships. Have a good week!

Aly- Hope you had a fun time at home and ate LOTS of cake! Have a good week!

Emi- Sounds like the 100th anniversary thing for seminary was cool. And it's pretty awesome how the Spirit works in people, huh? Have an amazing week!

Til next time! 

Eat lots of pie for me!


Elder Craig

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

My week in a trio!

Well, hello everyone!

This week was a pretty good week for me here. I hope for all of you back home it was a great week!

Ok, so the first cool thing that happened this week was we took one of our investigators, José, to the temple here in Cochabamba. When we got there we took him for a short tour of the temple grounds, and explained why we have temples, and about some of the work that we do inside. We then got permission to take him as far as the waiting room. We just let him sit there for a while and just feel the Spirit in there. My companion went to the restroom, and I took the oportunity to ask José how he felt inside the temple. He responded " I don't really know how to describe how I feel, but I really like it." I then went on to explain to him that that was the Spirit, and how the Spirit of the Lord resides in the temple, and how it testifies how things are true. Then the three of us left and we went into the temple hotel and got a chance to teach José the Plan of Salvation, and incorporated the temple into it. It was a really spiritual experience, and I hope that José really starts to progress now

Ok, the next cool thing happened on Saturday. We had a ward activity where we were headed about an hour and a half south of Punata(which is already forty minutes south of Cochabamaba) to a town called Jantunpama, or in Spanish, Pampa Grande to have a ward barbeque. And, man, the drive out there was AWESOME; I have not seen such gorgeous countryside here in Bolivia. Everything was green, rolling hills, and just beautiful. Well, about 20 kilometers from the village, the truck we were traveling in got stuck in mud. Like really stuck. It took us two hours to get it out of the mud. When we got done, I was up to my knees in mud, my companion had fallen into the mud, and we were all tired. So, we turned around and traveled a half an hour to a gorgeous waterfall that I didn't even know exisited. There we ate, hiked up a stream to get to the waterfall, got eaten alive by bugs, and got sunburned. But, it was an amazing day. I  hope that I get another chance to head back there again before I go.

Now to explain the title of this email. This week I was in a trio with my companion and an argentine named Elder Nieve. E' Nieve is my district leader and roommate here in Punata. Well, he had a companion until that companion got into a fight with our dinner pensionista( a hermana who cooks us dinner every day.), and she called the bishop, who called the mission president with several complaints, who moved this said companion out of the area a week early. So, we did everything as a trio this week.

Dad- congrats on the snow! i told you that the snow dance would work! And, yes, life is funny, so we just need to laugh it off and continue! I hope you have a great week!

Mom- Sounds like craziness back home....And we're studying the Book of Mormon too here in Punata this year( I think its a global thing. ;) ) Plus, I read that everyday, so we doing pretty well :P Luv ya!

Aly- Well, a book could be good, but your first two ideas sound like oatmeal articles to me(jk, love ya!), but the health and fitness one could be good. But as for more ideas, can´t help you there. But hey, enjoy your day off and have an amazing week!

Emi- You probably haven't seen your grades, because they're too awesome to post! Oh, and prom's overrated, so don't worry too much.....just kidding, you'll probably be asked, just be patient!

Hope you all have a great week!

Elder Craig

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Three Kings have come and gone!

On the way to see Cristo de Concordia in Cochabamba

Hello favored family and friends!!!!

I hope that you all had a great week! Mine, to be honest, was a
dificult one for me. It was one of those weeks where every door gets
shut in our faces and all of our appointments just happens to fall
through on us. I think that its on of the ways the Lord keeps us
humble here on the mission. Helps that it doesn't all go to our heads.

But, things really turned around when we got to the weekend. I'm not
saying that we had a hundred new people to teach, or that we taught a
ton of lessons, but things just started falling into place. On
Saturday we started teaching lessons and whatnot, but for sure, Sunday
was my favorite day. We got up early and went to go find a pair of
less active sisters, their little brother( our investigator) and their
cousin( also our investigator). The big one to get to church was the
cousin, who in short terms, is a punk. He's only 14, but he already
parties, has tattoos, and is headed down a very rough path. But, when
we got him into church on Sunday, it was totally awesome. He paid
really good attention in Sacrament meeting, and his sunday school
classes, and it was really cool to see. One thing that he really got
interested in was the temple. The bishop gave a talk about it on
Sunday and got our investigator really interested, so we're now
planning to take him to the temple on Wednesday. We plan to teach him
the plan of salvation and invite him to be baptized, so we're super
excited for Wednesday.

Also, this week we are going to teach the mom of a couple of members.
The thing about this hermana is that she doesn't live here in
Bolivia...she lives all the way in Switzerland! So the plan is to
teach her while she's here with her kids, then pass the reference
internationally! That's going to be super cool to see what happens
with her.

Dad- Yeah, I'll just have the money for you in 30 to 40 years, is that
cool? Sorry that the snow hasn't been as good as it should
be...probably because I haven't done it yet, but I'll get right on it,
I promise!!! Have a great week!

Mom- Trust me...the Catholic barrier is hard to break through, because
it's more a tradition than a belief, which really makes it hard. But I
am grateful for the success that the Lord has given me up to now, but
it still requires hard work. Have an amazing week..I love you!

Aly- Yes, I got the Elder Scott should put them on Facebook
for me, hahaha! Good luck with the opening reception this week! And
with the Atonement, that's really something that's helped me when I
have troubles here in the field. It's amazing, isn't it? I hope you
have an awesome week.

Emi- Quit abusing yourself....that's not healthy! hahaha! Thats pretty
cool about the Hawaiian lady, crazy how life works out, huh? ANd don't
get sick! Not worth it one bit.

Hope you all had the 3 Kings pass by! I love you all!


Elder Craig

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Happy 2012!!!!!!!!!!!

Hello everyone back home!!! Happy New Years! I hope that everyone had a safe, happy, and very fun New Years. Isn't it crazy that it's already 2012? Time really flies here on the mission...I mean, tomorrow I complete 14 months here, which means the downhill spiral is really going to start spiraling even faster. But that's life, right? It also means that I have less time to work, so I really want to buckle down, because I don't like to have less time.

So, this week was a good week for us here in Punata. It was a busy week for us. When I got here to Punata, we had absolutely nothing to work with, so we've been busting our butts to get investigators to teach. Well, we finally had days this week in which we were absolutely busy ALL DAY. That's a very nice change, because that means that our work is starting to pay off.

One family that we are teaching is a part-member family. The dad is an inactive member, wife is a non-member, and their daughter living at home is a non-member. They also have some sons in Buenos Aires who are members( the dad was baptized in Buenos Aires on a business trip there.). We were invited on Saturday to the wife's birthday lunch, and we were able to chat and really talk about what missionary work is, and we were able to bear our testimonies to them. We have a Family Home Evening tonight, so we really want to be able to focus on getting the dad reactivated and really teach the mom and daughter. So, it'll be a good family to teach, if we can get them to really progress.

Well, New Years for me was pretty relaxed. Just watched fireworks at midnight and did a toast with the other Elders in my apartment. It's really weird actually to think that we're in 2012.... Well, time goes on the same no?

Dad-Well, you have an amazing week! 

Mom- sounds like New Years was fun! Have a great week!

Aly- Don't stress with work this'll a go well. Have a great week!

Emi- You lucky wolf you with contacts...sounds like Santa was great this year. Have a good week, don't do anything dumb... :)

Have an amazing week!

Elder Craig