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

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Don't use Bolivian Internet!!!! (July 23)

Hey everyone!

I hope y'all had a good week this past week!

So something really really cool happened this week. This week I had leadership training for all of the Zone Leaders, District Leaders and Trainers in Sucre and Potosi. And I had to give a class.....again. This time I was with Elder Salmon (an Elder from Alabama) and we were assigned to talk about working with the local Priesthood leaders. So, Elder Salmon and I felt inspired to talk about working with the leaders through the ward mission plan(a plan that helps the missionary work of the ward move forward through collaboration between the missionaries and the ward). And one cool thing was that when we were teaching the class, President Dyer (the mission president) stood up and said " I hope you all are paying attention here, because this is really important!". So, the conference ended and we went our ways, and then we had District and Zone meetings on Friday, and the Zone leaders told all of us that President Dyer had spoken to the Stake President of Sucre and that the Stake President in turn was going to talk to all of the bishoprics of the wards in Sucre about starting and having an active ward mission plan. So, yesterday we had a meeting with the ward council and started putting together ideas so that we can help the Bishop write a good ward mission plan so that we can truly help this ward grow. This is a huge change for me on how I've worked in my mission, but I have a good feeling about it.

Also we've been doing a lot of street contacts lately. It's honestly kind of nerve racking to just approach people like that, but it's been giving good results. It gives us a bunch of more people that we are talking to, and we are finding more news this way. A good thing about my area is that it's urban, and not commercial, so that people that we contact are the people that usually live around there. We also found a young man named Luis who looks to have a lot of potential as an investigator. We taught him the message of the Restoration and he is super excited to read the Book of Mormon and find out if it's true.

Elder Ruiz is doing really well as a missionary. He learns really quickly, and I am enjoying working with him!

I hope you all have a good week!

Dad- House shopping does not sound fun. At all. But I know it's necessary. Like off-season for skiing and boarding, but what can we do? I hope you have a great week!

Mom- I hope you have a great week!

Aly- Yes, prayers do work! I hope you enjoy your new house!

Emi-Hope you have a great week!!!

Until next week, y'all!

Elder Craig

Monday, July 16, 2012

Semana loca!!!! (Crazy week in Spanish)

Hello everyone!

Ok, so something funny to start this week's letter with, last night I was saying Good night to my roommates, and I  said "Buenas noches, everybody!"(A bit of Spanglish) and the other Latino in my house(not my kid) who understands a bit of English goes "Everybody, ¿como todo cuerpo( every_body)?" So, Elder Bilanzich and I laughed as we explained the meaning of it in English.

This week was an interesting week for me personally in the mission.  First thing is that having sister missionaries in my district has been an interesting experience for me. They call me a lot so I can help them out with Priesthood things that they can't do themselves, so it's been a cool experience. Like today I get to go and dedicate their new apartment tonight. It's just so new, I can't really wrap my head around it still. But it's all for a reason, to help me learn and grow, just like the rest of the mission. Also, the sister missionaries work super hard. They had a baptism this week, and man did they have an investigator of gold. He got baptized after three weeks, and in his interview, this guy had a huge testimony already of the Restored Gospel. I was also able to attend the baptism, and it was a great experience.

We also did a bunch of service this week! The first service project that we did was dig dig dig. We dug a hole for sewer pipes for a member. It was tough work, because we also laid the pipes(I know, but the member who supervised knew what he was doing, so we did alright!). We also helped our Zone Leaders change houses. It wasn't too hard, but we did have to carry all of their stuff down 7 flights of stairs(for some reason, we as missionaries live in the top of a building, or on the bottom), so that was exhausting. But it was really good to be able to serve both missionaries and members. It helps the unity a bunch to be able to do that.

We have also made good progress with our investigators. We had a great lesson on  Saturday with our investigators Wendy and Noemi Callahuara. We focused on talking about the Book of Mormon, and we were able to back up our teachings with the Bible, which really helped A TON with that lesson, so that at the end Wendy said" Wow, I'm really starting to feel that these things could be true" They are making such good progression, I know that things are going to be fantastic with them.

Dad- The planes are new-ish, I would say 10 or 15 years old, so they're not bad, but not great either. And, powder skiing(and boarding) sounds amazing right now. Awesome that you got interviewed by Ski Utah, kinda ironic huh(the weather and everything). And about the family tradition, I'm not gonna follow it, don't worry,

Mom- Meetings are fun, no? As a leader I got a ton of trainings to do and classes to give(Like tomorrow!), so I kinda feel ya. And I'm ok with $$ Haven't used any of my emergency todavia, so I'm fine. No I wasn't transfered, just traveled apart from my companion. He's doing great, by the way. He's learning a lot and teaching me a ton.

Aly- That blows about your washing machine, just buy a reliable whirlpool, and you're set! Good luck with your SOAR thing with your divided group. Thanks for the pic of your shoes, I guess. But, they do look really good! I need new running shoes.....but I can wait till I get home. Can't trust those Bolivian brands too much.

Emi- Glad you got to go to the Temple. It's my favorite place in the world, no matter which one I'm in. Keep going regularly and you'll feel a difference in your life. Nice Sienfeld reference, and I forgive you!

Until next week!!!!


Elder Craig

Friday, July 13, 2012

Wadda week! (July 9)

Hey everyone!

Man, let me tell y'all- wadda week! This has to be one of those "Only on the mission" weeks.

So, this time I'm gonna give y'all one of my day-by-day synopsis, just so you can understand how wacky this week was.

Soooo, last monday I told you guys that I would be training again. Normally in the mission that means(if you're outside of Cochabamba) that you fly out on Tuesday to go to Trainers' training on Wednesday. But, the secretary in the offices who is in charge of buying us the plane tickets totally forgot to buy us tickets. That meant that they sent us in bus to Cochabamba. That is an eight and a half hour trip. We got to the terminal Monday night so that we could overnight the trip. The bus just happened to be one of the crappiest buses that I've ever seen in my life. I had a window seat, and first thing is that the window didn't open very well, and the bus vibrated so much that it SHUT THE WINDOW with it's vibrations. Plus there were no bathrooms on the bus, and to top it all off, we got to Cochabamba at 4am, where we had to wait another hour for the secretaries to come pick us up because they didn't tell us where we would be spending the night. So, that was how my week started.

I have a new trainee( my second)!!!! His name is Elder Ruiz, and he's from Trujillo, Peru. He's a fun kid with a lot of energy to work, and let me tell you, I am making him WORK! But this week we didn't do a ton of work because I got sent back to Sucre on Friday, and he went on Thursday. I had stayed in Cochabamba because I have to start renewing my visa so I can GO HOME in four months(I'm not trunky(homesick), don't worry), buuuut, they didn't have the colque(money in quechua) to pay for the stuff, so I lost the entire day Thursday for no reason.

So, back to Elder Ruiz, I am sooo excited to work with him, because he has this amazingly huge desire to work with the members and to win referalls and all that jazz, so I know that we are going to have lots of success together. Things in the area are looking good too. Yesterday, we had two of our investigators come to church by themselves! That is an amazing thing if investigators come by themselves because that shows that they really want to know if these things are true, which is amazing progression. Oh, also there are now sister missionaries in my district, which is a first for me. I've never had sister missionaries in any of my districts before, so this will be exciting! And looking at the numbers that they gave me last night, they might be leading the district, hahaha!

I hope you all have an amazing week, and I look forward to reading your emails next week!

Oh, and here are some pics of the Temple, me, and a family I visited with my friend Elder Thorne(from Logan, Utah)

Dad-Sounds like Bear Lake was fun! I hope you have a great week! Kick butt with those numbers!

Mom-I don't think my mission president's wife knows that you speak Castellano, but that's ok, she needs to learn. And the picture of me making a face with another Elder is me and my new kid. Just fyi!

Aly- Sounds like an amazing week! Now I'll be singing Kansas all week. Love that song! That sucks about crappy next time, just blast Mo-Tab, and they'll be gone in a flash! Have a great week!

Emi- Hey you got the same score I did! And, does Miss Murray have an email???? Hahaha, just kidding(sort of)! So, you wanna know Quechua, huh? Here's something useful: " Ari, Tatay!"(Yes dad!) and "Ari, Mamay!"(Yes mom!). That'll be a good start for you! Have a good week!

Until next week!


Elder Craig

What is it with Christian making faces in all the pictures????

And he has the other elder and the people doing it too ...

From Hna Dyer, Mission President's Wife

This is Lelani, Christian's mom.

On July 5, 2012, Hermana (Sister) Dyer sent two pictures in the middle of the week and caught me completely off guard.  They totally made my day! I was thrilled to receive news unexpectedly and laughed at the pictures. Christian is such a goof. He made me smile. I talked with Hna Dyer for a few minutes on email. She seems like a great person.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Hey hey hey!

Well hellooooo everyone!

I hope that you all had a great week this past week! It was a pretty good week for us here in Sucre.

So, first thing, this was a week in Quechua for me. Two of the Elders in my district had two baptisms on Saturday, but I needed to interview them before they could go through with the baptism. Well, the wife only speaks Quechua, so I had to do the interview in Quechua. I did as much as I could on my own, but then I had a member who was there to translate for me when I needed the help. But it was a super cool experience for me because I was able to do that. I don't know if it'll ever happen again( I hope it does!!!!), but it was definately once in a lifetime.

Also, my companion and I went knocking doors as missionaries do, and on Friday morning we literally had half of the doors we knocked talk to us in Quechua. So, I ended up speaking what little Quecha that I know to try and get into the house, but unfortunately we didn't get into any of those houses. But I did speak a ton of Quechua this week.

The coolest lesson we had this entire week was yesterday. We returned to a house where we had been knocking doors and the wife had invited us to come back yesterday. So, we went back and the first good thing that happened there was that they were there(because most of the time they just say to come back and aren't there.). Next was that they let us in. But the lesson got super spiritual when the husband admitted to us that we were the first religious preachers that they've allowed into home- EVER. And they explained why. The husband of the family told us that his current wife is actually his second wife and that he had gotten a divorce. But then he read in the Bible that that was a sin, and started asking all of the preachers, priests, and whoever about it. And everyone told him that he was going to hell and was living in a horrible horrible sin. So, it was actually pretty incredible that they let us in. So, we were able to teach him about the atonement of Christ and that he wasn't condemned. It was such a good lesson that I almost cried.

Dad- That blows that they rejected your offer. There's a house out there for you! Don't give up hope. And way to go boosting your numbers!

Mom- Sounds like a good time with D'Ann! And well, I can't send pictures cuz memory readers suck. Have a great week!

Aly- Time off! Whoot! Have a great day off this week!

Emi- Way to go! Did you kill anyone? Jk, I know you did great. And now you'll wait just like the rest of us did. ;)


Elder Craig