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

Monday, August 27, 2012

I survived the week!

Hey everyone back home!

So this week was a good week for me here in the land of cholitas. My companion and I tried to implement working with members this week, and it brought somewhat results. It's always a little rough at first, but we got some good results this week. One good thing is that we have a new young ward mission leader(the other one went to his mission in Venezuela) and he's always ready to go work with us. That's because he's finishing his mission papers to go on the mission himself, so he's not studying, and just working at his dad's woodshop, so he's getting really bored(I know how he was a bit like that for me before the mission), so he's always wanting to go out on splits with any of the four of us in the ward.

So, the other elders in the ward had a baptism this weekend, and like always, there's no such thing as an easy baptism! So, my companion and I went to go help the other companionship clean up the ward building before the baptism(which, by the way was a pig stye(?) ) and things were going pretty well. We got the chappel sparkling clean(thanks mom and dad for teaching me how!) and waited for the kid to get there. And waited, and waited. So, the other elders called the house and the mom answered(oh and she got baptized about two months ago) and said that it was too cold outside(oh yeah, I forgot to tell you, Winter showed up again and it's been here for a few days now! Yay!) so they wanted to wait on the baptism. But the other two elders went with our cook to go get them, and they came! So, the baptism went really well, and everything turned out alright.

My companion and I also exercized our gardening skills this week doing service for a member in our ward. We spent a couple of hours cutting down trees, trimming grape vines, and just getting dirty! It was fun. We also built a wooden frame for the grape and tumbo plants to grow onto. So, I have successfully constructed something! And it's still standing!

We also have a great investigator named Ariel. he's a great kid who's part of a part-member family. He's reading the Book of Mormon on his own, and he really wants to be baptized, but we still need to talk to his parents so that we can have the green light for the baptismal date in a few weeks. Keep your fingers crossed!

Well, not much else happened this week, but this week will be a great week, so it'll be a longer letter next week, I promise!

Dad- I'll keep my fingers crossed ...for the house, not the bunk bed. And I remember when I saw Matthew in the MTC....two years ago! You better show me your new skis!

Mom-House sounds pretty awesome!  Have a happy last week of August!

Aly- Sounds like work is a blast.....but don't worry, things will slow down now that school's started! Have a great week!

Emi- Hey, have a good first week at school! I know that things are rough right now, but it'll all turn out alright. Remember your big brother in Bolivia loves you!

Have a great week! These pics are to show how much of a dork I am! ;)


Elder Craig

Monday, August 20, 2012

My week at the airport!

Hi everyone!
It's me again, that one missionary that sends you all letters once a week.
Well, this week was the week of transfers, and let me tell you, when your area is the one right next to the airport, it is not fun. I had to pick up all of the new missionaries and make sure all of the things went well until the zone leaders were able to show up. Then I had to take an elder's luggage to my house, because his stuff showed up, but not him. Then the next day when I went to the airport, I had to take a pair of missionaries to my house, because one of their luggages never showed up, so they stayed the night at my house. Then the next day I took them to the zone leader's house to drop them off. So, the first few days this week I didn't get a whole ton of work done, but then my companion and I busted our butts off to make up for the time lost.
We had some great lessons this week! My companion and I got back into contact with some of our old investigators:Jesus Porcel and Dorian Duran! To reminds you who they are, they are college students that live in to farthest neighborhood in my area named la Belen(means Bethlehem). They are great kids that we lost contact with when winter break came, and they went off traveling as college students do, so we couldn't contact them. When we had our lesson on Saturday, Dorian also told us that she lost her phone as well, so that answered my doubt about why she never answered my phone calls when I called to try to get appointments with them. But it was great to get back in contact with them. We also went to visit a less active member, and her nephew answered the door, and so we contacted him and ended up teaching him. Then, to top it all off, we went to a lesson last night that was also supposed to be a lesson with a couple less actives, and it turned into a lesson with member and a new investigator who wants to be baptized! Things are looking up for the area.
Other than that, there's not a whole ton of stuff going on in my life. Thanks for all of your letters!
Dad- I want some pics from that photo shoot! Hope all of the things in about the house goes well!
Mom- Sounds hectic back home....just like my life here! Have a good week!
Aly- Hope you feel better! Have a great week!
Emi- Don't stress! Just enjoy your last week of summer!
There's photos this week! Hope you enjoy them!
Til next week!


Elder Craig

Monday, August 13, 2012

No such thing as an easy baptism!

Hello everyone!!!

I hope that you all had a good week! This week was a great week for me and my companion.

So, this week was full of service projects for me and my companion, and we finally had a baptism!!!! Actually, we had two baptisms, but it's practically the same.

So, this week we had a service project helping a member pack a truck because he moved to La Paz this past week. So, first thing we did was the usual pack a bunch of cardboard boxes into the truck. And we loaded about 40 into the truck when they said "ok, let's go pack the car!" Yup. We packed a car into the truck. Now, we were all worried that we would have to actually pick up the car (we are in Bolivia...crazier things have happened.). But we just headed to a spot where there was a ridge of dirt and we made a make shift ramp make of wood and tires(which almost fell apart under the weight of the car) and the hermano just revved his car are put it on the truck. Then we returned to his house and we helped pack a bunch of heavy stuff (Fridge, etc, etc.).

We also helped a member clean their super super messy house this week. I washed windows! We spent about 3 hours doing that, helping them out.

Now, about the baptisms. We got to the chapel at 6pm, and that's when everything went downhill. The ward mission leader was supposed to be in the chapel at 4pm to fill the font up, and he got there at 6:15pm. Then, there was NO water in the chapel, so we were filling it up by hand and running the water through the heating system to heat what little water there was up. After about two hours of that, out of the nothing, water from the main system just started gushing out water, which was super cold, so we heated the water in vain. But we were able to have the baptisms still, we just started at 8:15pm. It was super cool, because right before I baptized Alina, she ran outside and just started praying like crazy. I've never seen such a sincere prayer out of someone so young. And when she got up, she was crying. I performed the ordinance, and it was a super spiritual experience. Also, when she gave her testimony, she just ended up crying again. It was a really great experience.

Dad- Release date is Nov. 7. Thanks for telling me about Jodi....I'll really be praying for her. Also, can I see pics of the house?

Mom- Yes, I know Elder Abad....what connection do you have? I'm glad the wedding went well. I WANT PICS!

Aly-Wow. work sounds fun......Just don't get sick!!!!

Emi- Yes, I respond to practically everyone who writes me. Awesome that your friend got called to Austrailia. Enjoy your second to last week of summer!

Hey, I will have pictures next week, don't worry! Oh, and I'm here in Sucre for the next six weeks(I only have 12 weeks left!!!! AHHHH!!!!!!!)

Elder Craig

Monday, August 6, 2012

Sick week + Happy Bolivian Independence Day!!

Hey everyone!

I hope that you all had a good week this past week! For me personally, this week was a tough week for me because I was sick all week. Like I even have a name for the sickness that I have. Gastroenteritis (That's what he said and wrote down, the doc. If he's wrong, that could be a problem.). It's basically the precursor for Samonella(??) poisoning, so we caught it at a good time. I am on three different medications, and they are helping, so that's a good thing. No need to worry, I am still alive!

This week we had a zone conference and an interview with the mission president, which was a good conference. The weird thing is that it was my second-to-last conference, so the next conference that I have will be two weeks before I go home.....that's really freaky. I don't feel like one of the old ones in the mission, but I am....But I really don't wanna be one of the oldies. My interview with the mission president was amazing! He was able to give me great advice for my area and my district, and he told me that I should be here in Sucre until the end of September, then I'll head out to some random area for one more transfer. But we'll see, because Presidente Dyer has been known to change his mind at the last minute, like a lot, so I could be going next week. My fail-safe though is my companion. I say that because that I'm training him, I need to finish training him this transfer(It's a 12 week program). I am PRAYING to stay here, but if I don't, what can I do?

So, I got great news!!! It looks like I will finally have a baptism this upcoming weekend!!!! Two to be exact. They are the Lopez sisters. And boy are they excited! Me too! They've been so good, going to church, being active in their organizations, so it's been really cool to see them grow spiritually, so I am really happy for them. They've been wanting to get baptized for a couple of weeks now, but now's the time.

Sorry the letter's so short. SICK WEEK!

Dad-Well, we'll have dude time when I get home, so just make it through three more months! Have a fun week!

Mom- Thnnks for the pics of the run. Really sweet! Good luck with the house in Cottonwood Heights!

Aly-His name is Cloward. He's the first Gringo to complete this mission in four years because of dumb political stuff. My group will be the fourth group to do so.

Emi- You're adopted because you're the "Wolf child", remember?? Or does Dad need to pull out the National Geographic to prove it a gain? Have a good week!

P.S. Winter's over already. Worst. Winter. Ever.

Take care!


Elder Craig

Se vende chicha por mayor y menor

Sunday, August 5, 2012

It finally got cold!!! (from July 30, 2012)

Why hello everyone!

I hope that you all had a great week! This week was better for me this week than last week, so that's a good thing.

So, winter decided to finally show up here in Sucre this morning. It's absolutely gorgeous, but this is Bolivia, so there's no snow here- ever. Just some hail once in a while, which is a really uncommon thing. But we woke up today with the city completely covered in fog and clouds and cold, so it's a good change of pace for us.

So, my ward had a talent show this past Friday, which was pretty awesome. We Elders did a skit about doing a movie, and being stupidly over dramatic and ridiculous, so it was a lot of fun. All of my investigators that have baptismal date did participate in their organizations though, which was awesome. My investigator, Wendy Callahuara, sang a song, and man, does she have a voice! She's got soul! But one of my favorite events of the night was that an inactive member came to the talent show, who is an amazing musician. He sang some of his own songs, and then invited me to sing a song with him. It was soooo much fun for me! It was a very successful activity.

We also visited a crazy old church/museum last monday. It was way cool because it was full of super old original paintings, so I couldn't take pictures(but I have an 8 minute video to show you guys when I get home!), but it was awesome. These paintings and sculptures have at least 400 or 500 years each, and it was pretty awesome. But to be kinda honest, a bunch of the pictures freaked me out a bit. It also has one of the largest trees in Bolivia- it's so big that it takes at least 8 people to be able to wrap the tree. And the legend is that if you walk around the tree 3 times to the left, you get three wishes. And if you walk around the tree 3 times to the right, you get married! But, don`t worry, I walked around the left.

We had some very cool lessons this week with the Familia Lopez. We've been teaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ this week and when we got to baptism, after we explained thoroughly what it consists of(including the covenants that they'll make) they were still very willing to be baptized next weekend! I'm so excited. The girls from this family haven't missed a Sunday in 6 weeks, which to me shows that they are very committed. We also had a great lesson with Wendy Callahuara, also talking about baptism, and she says that she will be ready for baptism next weekend, so I am getting very excited for next weekend!

That's all for now!

Dad- Glad you're having a lot of success with work! And, yes, time is flying too quickly. But that's just the way it is! Have a great week!

Mom-Actually, my mission is (unfortunately) coming quickly to an end. But I am living in the moment, working hard til the end! Have a great week! P.S. I will NOT share a room with Emi. ;)

Aly- I love the music of Wicked- I've played a bunch through being in band, so I know how good it is. Have "fun" with your work this coming month. This should be a very busy month for me too. Have a great week!

Emi- YOU! Are still adopted! ;) You know what I mean. I've always wanted to try wake-boarding, so I'm now officially jealous. Have a fun week, cuz summer's spiraling to an end for ya!

Have an amazing week everyone! Don't forget about a poor Elder in Bolivia!


Elder Craig