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

Monday, March 26, 2012

A good busy week

Hey everyone!

I hope that you all had a good week! Mine was good until Sunday, in the which I got pretty sick, but a little more about that later.

So, this week my companion and I have been working a lot in Yacanahuyo, which is a nieghborhood about 20 minutes from our house(but its still technically Punata.). But something really funny that happened is that we went deeper and deeper into Yacanahuyo, just exploring to see how it is, and we got lost. Yup, I admit it. we got lost. But, luckily, we were able to find a back road that took us  right back to where we needed to be, and is also a faster route for us to get to Yacanahuyo. So, it seems that getting lost is not that bad  when you're opening new areas of your area. It actually really helped us a lot. 

Alright, so a funny contact that we went through this week. We were in Yacanahuyo knocking doors, and in one house a little boy answered, so we asked him to go get his mom. He did, and we did an amazing contact, testifying and everything. Well, she just looked straight at us and, in Quechua, told us that she didn't understand a word that we had said. So, that made us totally see that we need to learn Quechua fast if we really wanted to do more contacting in that area. I've been studying a bit of Quechua, but for us Elders in Punata, slowly but surely, we are seeing the great need to learn that language. The thing is, a lot of people speak the language, but the thing is that they do not read it. So, getting a Book of Mormon in Quechua to give to them is not the best idea. It would only help us so we could learn the scriptures in Quechua.

Also, we learned that everybody and their dog is family out there. That's good for us because we can use the members out there to go and teach their family members. How ever, apparently, it's been tried before, but it's been a couple of years since they last tried, so we're gearing up to try again.

Here in Punata we're planning a bunch of activities to get the ward excited in the ward mission work...all leading up to a big activity in May- "Un luau, estilo Boliviano"( A luau, Bolivian style). So, we're really excited for it. Wish us luck.

And last night I got pretty sick...along with my companion and our district leader. Diahreea(however you spell it...I suck at spelling.) it!

Oh, and by the way, we did find Waldo this week...and we taught him! guys are funny.

Dad- The weights are made of cement...we added water bottles to make it harder... Have a great week!

Mom- Yes, time is flying, but that's needs to. And no, Mario didn't go to church, unfortunately. I love you!

Aly- Hey, animo! It'll be fun....I think. Just enjoy it! Luv ya!

Emi- Sorry about being sick....I know what that's like. Just eat your veggies and listen to dad, and you'll be better soon.

that's all for now!

Elder Craig

Monday, March 19, 2012

Hard work + Play makes Elder Craig a good missionary!

Hello, hello, hola!

Well, I hope you all back home had a grrrrrrrrreat week! This was a good week for us here with some really awesome/cool/weird experiences.

Ok, so we have this investigator here in Punata named Mario. He's a funny old man who hates the Catholic church (apologies for any Catholics reading's him, not me.), but really wants to join the church  because he likes it a lot, and is really starting to read the Book of Mormon and gain a testimony of it. Well, we went on Friday to go visit him and he told us that he had a potential problem for going to church on Sunday. He, in a work accident, cut his toe open, and, well, his foot got infected, and the doctors were telling him that he would have to be checked into the hospital to possibly cut at least his toenail off. Well, we offered to give him a blessing. He accepted and I got to bless him. The next day we were passing by a shop and saw him there and my companion and I said hi and asked how he was. He said that he had gone to the doctor the night before and the doctor had told him the his foot was well enough to not have to check him into the hospital or have to do a operation. 

Next, my companion and I were trying to decide what to do one day( because we had our appointment, and the two backup plans all fall through.), so my companion was like, "Let's go see Waldo!"(An inactive member). So, I was like ok, so we went(accompanied by a member) and we didn't find Waldo, but we find his mom. We ended up talking to his mom for an hour explaining how the Gospel could help her in her life. Well, this lady is practically dying. In the past 8 months, she has lost around 20 kilos in weight(and she isn't obese). So, we also offered to give her a blessing and we taught her the message of the Restauration. She accepted the blessing and then afterwards said that she felt like she needed to be baptized in the Church, because her husband and oldest son are members. But, she wants to wait for her husband to return from Argentina before baptizing. So, we're going to see where that goes.

Finally, yesterday, we were in a member's home to teach a lesson when the craziest thing happened. The hermana whose home we were in, started teaching this investigator all about the Restoration, the Plan of Salvation, and a few other things ALL IN QUECHUA. My companion and I were completely lost during the whole thing. I understood a few words here and there, but most of the time we were just lost. It had to be the funnies thing that happened to us this week.

Dad- Hope you have a great week! Good luck with the job search.

Mom- Thanks for the pics! I can't believe how grown-up Emi looks....I feel old.

Aly. Well, Enjoy the quiet time in the office, because Spring Break always (sadly) comes to an end. Have a good week!

Emi- Hope you had an AMAZING birthday! I like the pics of your concert too. You look like a waiter in your tux. ;P

That's all for now!


Elder Craig

Finding a purpose in me... (3-12-2012)


I hope that everyone had a good week this week. Things here in Punata are getting busy busy but things are going good this week.

So, my companion and I had a good week this week. We spent a loth of time traveling this week. We have a very big area, and in our mission, we don't have bikes. So, my feet are becoming my most used form of transportation right now. So, for me right now, the blessings of following the Word of Wisdom are real handy right now. It's just like even when we walk 6 kilometers to go try and contact an old investigator, and then walk back without teaching ANYTHING, I still seem to have the energy to keep walking.

On Wednesday, my companion and I were invited to a member's home in a neighborhood called Yacanhuyo(That took me forever to figure out how to pronounce....), and she took us to the home of a friend of hers that has said that he's always wanted to talk to the missionaries, but for some reason, they've never stopped to talk to him.(I'm thinking because of the sign that's over his door that has alcoholic drinks on it.) So, we went and talked to him. His name is Pablo Billarroel, and he's currently unemployed because he worked for about 30 years as a waiter for special events, but now with his age, the companies aren't contracting him anymore so they can hire younger men to do the work. So, he stays at home living off of government funds that he qualifies for....but the money is almost nothing. It's about $40 a month. So, he's really looking for comfort in his life in this time. So, my companion and I have been teaching him, but there's another challenge- Hermano Pablo can't read. So, everything we teach him is coming from us. Myt companion and I are searching really hard to find a way so he can develop his own testimony.

We are also teaching another young man(i wanted to use a spanish word there, joven, which means someone young, which is how they describe people here.) named Jhonaton. He's had the missionaries passing by his house for 15 years, but has recently started really listening to us with intent to try to find out the truth. It's been an interesting journey with him, because with Jhonaton(this is not a misspell, it's Bolivian spelling.), I'm encountering situations that I've never encountered before when teaching the Gospel. But the cool thing is that he's really progressing to try to find out the truth of these things.

As a trainer, I have access to a DVD player and the District DVD's, which are DVDs that were filmed in real teaching situations in missions in the states. And they've really had an impact on me and my companion as I use them to teach him how to teach certain lessons. Plus, it's helping me to really know my purpose out here. I'm really starting to feel how little time that I have left here, and I don't want to waste a moment that could use to really help the Bolivian people. I feel like there's a reawakening in me. I like it... :)

Dad- Wow, that's a pretty big move to resign, but I know it's for the best. You have my prayers and support, even from the middle of the Andies. Have a great week!

Mom- Yes, I feel old now, thank you.That sucks that hula stopped, but there's a reason for everything, right? And while you are going to spring, I'm headed to winter. Love ya!

Aly- Enjoy your spring "break" ! Love ya!

Emi- Sorry you're sick little sis buuuuutttttt...........................HAPPY FREAKING BIRTHDAY ON SATURDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Have a great week every1!!!!!!


Elder Craig

Monday, March 5, 2012

I got a greenie!

Hey everyone back in AMERICA!( And Chile...., y Argentina....)!!!!!

I hope that everyone back home had a great week! Mine was a great week here in Punata!

Ok, so this week I started training a brand new missionary, Elder Gòmez. He's from Bogota, Colombia(which is really funny, because my trainer is from Colombia as well.). So, the story as to how he became "Elder Craig's kid":

I got to the trainer's training session on Wednesday, and we went through four hours of training to become trainers. Well, then the President called in the newbies to announce their trainers right in front of everyone( just to make it really nerve racking for everyone). So, I got originally paired with an Elder Castro, from Bolivia. Problem? Yeah, he was from my first ward/area here in Bolivia(which was Petrolero, by the way), which would mean that he would be serving in the same stake that he's from, which isn't generally allowes, at all.(note: Elder Castro's in Cochabamba waitng a visa to go serve in Venezuela, and I met him over a year ago.) So, we talked to President Dyer and explained the situation. So, he switched my companion for another greenie, Elder Gomez, and that's how we got to be our now explosive pair.

Elder Gomez is a great missionary, and he has lots of desires to work. But, he's also a huge movies/ video game fan, which makes him just as big as a dork as I am. So, we spend a lot of time laughing together when I'm not teaching him a principle, or having companionship study. I'm really humbled that I get to train such a cool and awesome missionary. I really want to help him start his mission off well so he can have lots of success and be really happy on his mission.

We've spent a lot of time this past week searching out old investigators and former investigators, to start teaching them again, and we are having lots of success. We especially wanted to contact a couple that we found a teaching record for that for some unknown reason stopped listening to the missionaries. Well, yesterday, we went out in search of them, because we knew the general area that they live in. Well, we found a member on that street who pointed us right out to them. We knocked on their door, and the "wife"(they aren't married yet, but they still act like they are) answered the door and said "Hey Elders! It's about time!". So, we have an appointment with them this week! I'm super excited. Things are looking up here in Punata!

Dad- Soft snow isn't the best....but at least you have snow! I would kill for some. And learning church instrumentals on the guitar helps me keep my skills up thankfully. I feel like things are looking up for you in the big search! Have a great week!

Mom- That's practically my schedule! And with Sara getting married..... that's super weird, but whatever. Plus I send my love and support to Tio Paul and Jen(cuz that's all I can give, lol.) How's the french? We could totally have a french/quechua conversation and not understand each other, hahaha! Have a great week!

Aly- I know that work's super crazy, but that's life right? And with voice lessons, well, I'll have to write a duet for us when I get home! ;) U R G8 2! (That just happened, too!) Luve ya!

Emi- My apologies. Well, track's going to get better, and remember, when running is easier, you are faster! Have an awesome week!

T-t-t-t-t-t-hat's all folks!(Porky Pig imitation.)

Elder Craig

p.s. Pic 1 with Elder Gomez, Pic 2 with Elder Castro.