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

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

My last cambio!!!!! (Transfers!!!)

Hello family and friends outside of Bolivia!

Well, this week has been an interesting week. Totally full of surprises for me.

I'm going to start my letter this week with a surprise service project this week. My companion and I were walking down an avenue in our area when we stumbled upon a less active member, who just happens to be the son of the Stake Relief Society President. Well, we talked to him and he said that his mom was freaking out because we were in the middle of a wind storm, and she was afraid that the roof of her house was going to be blown off. So we ran (literally) to her house and ran upstairs (oh by the way, her house is under construction, which means lots of windows without glass.) and started to cover up windows and put heavy pieces of wood on the roof so that the wind didn't carry the roof off. That was a awesome, but unexpected service.

I am sorry to report that Gabriel wasn't baptized this past week. It was for reason that I really can't discuss with you, but don't worry, he still wants to be baptized, and he still has a baptismal date. We were able to go to a "White night" this past  Friday, and Gabriel came with us and he absolutely loved it. We were also picking up some investigators for church who live by the church and he goes running past us going "Hey Elders! I'm headed to the church, so I'll see you there!" He is such a great investigator. I know he'll be ready in a couple of weeks for baptism.

Ok, so to be honest, this is a totally weird week for me. There have been missionaries going home this past week, and it's just weird for me to think that I am now next in line for the airport. But, I will be finishing my mission here in Sucre, with Elder Tuesta as my companion. No idea who he is, so I will let you all know next OCTOBER!!!!!!!! The mission really has been the fastest two years of my life. But, I still have six weeks to tear it up, so I'm taking advantage of my time left.

Dad- You know exactly how I feel. But I am holding in here, so thanks for the advice.

Mom- Thanks for the pics! Have an amazing time, but just remember that the "happiest place on earth" isn't the happeist without me!

Aly- Gosh, that picture of the mountain looks pretty! Have fun in Disneyland, and DRINK WATER! I love you!

Emi- Jealous....nah. You just wait for how much you'll have with me when I get home. I'll teach you true fun! But, enjoy it while it lasts!

Til October!!!!

Elder Craig

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Chubby bunny!!!!! 9-17-12

Hello everyone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Well this week was a big improvement for me and my companion. We worked more efficiently and we began to work with members in ways that will really help our investigators.

Well one of the big highlights for me this week was the Leadership training that we had on Tuesday. It was an awesome experience for me. One thing that the President taught is that we don't just need to work our best, but in the Lord's way. That impacted me a lot, because sometimes as missionaries we work hard, but the way in that we work isn't necessarily the best or the most efficient way to work. It has to be His way, and that's what brings the most results. Also, one awesome thing was that we were taught about working with the Ward Council through playing chubby bunny, by teaching that we need the help of of everyone to help us get the success that this work needs. It was a truly spiritual experience.

So, my companion and I started implementing that in our work. We started by looking for friends for our investigators. We took a member named Belen to visit the Callahuara sisters, and things looked very good at first. She offered to pick them up to come to activities and to take them to church. But, the thing that happened is that people fall through at times. Belen got up late on Sunday and wasn't able to pick the sisters. But she's  learning just like the rest of us, so we're going to keep working with her and the Callahuara sisters.

Also things are looking very up with our investigator Gabriel. We re-extended the baptismal committment this past week, and he is so excited to be baptized! He continues to progress very well. He's keeping his committments and just coming through with everything. I am so happy for him. We are having growing success in our area here in Sucre. It's honestly been rough for us these past two months, but I'm grateful for a good companion who keeps motivating me to work hard(in the Lord's way).

This is a totally weird time of my mission. I'm loving the work, but honestly, sort of dreading the coming end of my mission. These past two years have honestly been the fastest two years of my life so far, and now that it's ending, I don't want it to.

I hope you all have a great week!

Dad- I miss Texas too. But I'm glad you enjoyed it. I hope you have a great week!

Mom- Glad you're having a good time in Texas. As to a release date, nothing yet. I was supposed to know about 6 weeks ago, but for some reason they're wayyyyy behind. Have a great week!

Aly- I think I got about 32 credit hours at Blinn....about that I think. My transcript will tell you more. Don't stress at work, good luck on your test, and smile!

Emi- I hope you have a great week!

Oh, just fyi, next week I will be telling all of you where I FINISH my mission! AAAAHHHHHH!!!!!(that's a scream.)

Keep it easy!


Elder Craig

Monday, September 10, 2012

A week for learning

Hey family!
I hope that everyone had a great week!
This past week wasn't the greatest week for me as far as the work goes, but it was a great week for learning, which I think is much more important.
Well, the weather is changing more often than a teenager's mood here. It gets really hot, then at night it's chilly, then there's today where the weather is overcast and looking like it's wanting to rain. Winter here was a HUGE disappointment here personally, so it'll be nice to have a real winter this year....even if it means shoveling snow.
My companion and I really took the time to reevaluate how we were working and looking on how to improve(Thank you weekly planning and companionship inventory!), because this week started off really roughly for us. But after we took the time to set new goals, we really changed the manner in which we were doing things, and I really think that we will see some great results this week. Something I've really learned about the mission is that it's more for us as missionaries to grow than anything else. That's something that's made a huge impact on my mission. I try to see what kind of lesson I should be learning in a certain challenge in my mission, and I try to learn it so that I don't have to go through something harder later on. I know that's a huge reason that we're here in the mission- to become our best selves. But for me to even reach this point in my personal development, I've been through a lot, and made many sacrifices, but it's all been totally worth it.
So, about my investigators. I have an investigator named Gabriel who is THE BOMB! For the past two weeks in a row, he's come to church on his own. Yesterday he went to Sunday school and he absolutely loved it. He is one of the first "golden" investigators that I've had in a while, so we're working really hard to help him gain that testimony so he can get baptized on the 22nd of this month. He's accepting and living the teachings really well, so I am super excited for him.
Also, our convert, Alina(she got baptized a few weeks ago), is already an amazing member missionary. We went two weeks ago and taught her about missionary work, and she immediately took it to heart. We gave her 9 pamphlets on the Restoration, and she gave them all out to her friends, and they all now want copies of the Book of Mormon and want the missionaries to visit them! She is being such a great example to all of the ward, and to me as well. I wish that all members had that same energy and excitement to share the Gospel.
Well, that's it for now!
Dad- Yeah, this final stretch sucks, but I'm gonna work until the last day. House things Have fun in Dallas(eat some Whataburger!) and be safe!
Mom- I'm not that jealous. Disneyworld is SOOO much better, but I know you'll enjoy it, so have fun. Thanks for the pics!
Aly- You're the best big sister ever! Thanks for your help!
Emi- I said the guys at your school have crappy hair, not you. Way to go on bearing your testimony! I'm really proud of you!
That's all for now!

Elder Craig

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Jisk'un!!!!! Kan Septembreri!!!!

Hey everyone!

I hope that everyone had an amazing week!!

This week was a better week for me and my companion as far as the work goes. We got a bunch of work done, and we even found some really cool investigators this week.

So, first cool thing is about our service project this week. I made speed bumps. Yup, you all read correctly, speed bumps. The reason is that the family that we live with just started building apartments for us in their back yard, which means that they have to dig a foundation, which means that there's a lot of dirt left over. So, the father of the family asked us for help, and 8 of us spent the entire morning on Saturday digging from a giant dirt pile into wheelbarrows and going and dumping them into huge long piles in the middle of the road(I know, you're wondering "Is that even legal?" I have no idea, but we did it anyways.) It actually takes a long time to do it. We ended up making 5 roadbumps in an about 150 yard area, which is a lot if you ask me. It was fun though, because we were able to include other elders from the zone in the project. And as of this morning the speed bumps still exist, they've just been compressed by cars and trucks going over the top.

My companion and I have done some great work this week. This week we were walking, proseliting like we do, and we found a couple trying to start their car by pushing it down a hill....and they were still a ways from the hill. So, we took advantage to help them push the car down the hill, then we contacted the wife. We had a good conversation, but we weren't able to take out an appointment. But, a few days later we were able to talk with her husband through a member who's friends with them. We were able to teach him and get permission from him to teach his family(he's headed out to Cochabamba to work, and won't be back for a few weeks.), so we're really excited to go and teach the rest of his family.

We also had a great lesson last night with the Callahuara sisters. We went over to teach them and they had invited a friend over and she just began to ask us all of these good questions, like " So, how do I join your church?"(I especially liked that one!) and we were able to teach them all about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and how its something not only to join His church, but to influence our way of life. It was a great lesson for us to teach them, and their friend is SUPER excited to continue to hear about the Restored Gospel.

We also had a movie night this week at my ward building, and they showed "The RM". To be honest, that made me a bit trunky, but it was fun to watch at this stage in my mission.....I just don't want the same things to happen to me when I get home, hahaha!

I hope you all have an amazing week! Thanks for all of your letters and support!

Dad- Well, tell Brother Witbeck that I say hi back. And I wanna see those skis! Have a fun Labor day, and a great week!

Mom-Thanks for the house pics! It's a really gorgeous backyard and deck.And I cannot wait to shovel snow(sarcasm.....)! Have a great week!

Aly-PT, huh? Well, maybe you could work for USU basketball, and get your brother free tickets.....jk! I know things are going to be stressful, but it'll all be worth it! Have a great week!

Emmmmmiiiii- I'm sorry that you're stuck with bad hair-do's and such, but I'm glad you survived your first week of your SENIOR year. By the way, your new calling sounds awesome. Enjoy every chance to serve. You'll grow so much. Have a great week!

'Til next week!

Elder Craig