Monday, July 11, 2016

So Here it is...the Last E-mail

Good Morning,

So here it is...the last email. It is strange to think that it is already time to go home (I know mom has been thinking about this moment from the day I left)

Last week we went to Santa Cruz a again to have a conference known as "get to meet president and his family." All his family are converts to the gospel. Even after many attempt his mom at the age of 90 got baptized and recently went through the temple.

It is amazing the things you learn on a mission. It is an one--of-a-kind experience. It tests and refines in so many ways that aren't normally possible. It is hard to say goodbye sometimes--it is quite like the story that President Uchtdorf told in the General relief society session. At first Bolivia is quite unfamiliar and right out different, but over time there begins to grow a love for the people and the country. But I know that everything will work out just great (how could anything possibly go wrong as Natalie as your asset manager.) By the way we are going to have to make a tight schedule a very tight summer schedule or else my brain won't know want to do. I think back before the mission, and I don't know what I did with all that free time on my hands. I just hope there are a lot of things to do whether it be working in the yard or helping mom make dinner because I am used to be doing something every second of the day. 

I guess to close I can give you my testimony: I know that Jesus Christ lives, he guides us in our decisions, if we are obedient and faithful. I have learned here that the miracles come from small things, especially small acts of love that we give to other people. The most important thing that we can do each day is fortify our testimony of Jesus Christ and be valiant to stand for the truth. The best blessings come from when we give our all, and this is because He gave his all to save us.

Anyway, Don't get too excited (or else you wont get any sleep) I will see you all on Friday-- take care. 


Elder Gilbert 

New President and Family

Monday, July 4, 2016

Families are Forever

That is cool that you were able to meet president and hermana Willard, they are always fun to be around. I would have liked to have heard their testimonies in English. But I am sure it was good as always. 

This week we had a marvelous week. First of all we went to Santa Cruz for the leader council with President Rodriguez. It is definitely from Spain, you can tell just by the way he talks, but he looks like a really nice guy. We also had to go in train again so that was pretty fun. there is a picture below with all the leaders and president and his family.

The most exciting was the baptism of the familia Jord├ín. It was just a beautiful experience. They told us afterwards that they felt the spirit very strongly. The mom wanted to  cry when she saw here daughters get baptized and the daughters also felt good, especially when we closed with the families are forever song. It was also pretty cool for me because that was the first complete family that I have personally found, taught, and baptized. I saw the whole process from start to finish. Below is the picture of them.  

Well as Natalie and Justin have pointed out there is little time remaining. I will miss a lot of things about Bolivia but mostly the people. I will look forward to the food again and also just the luxuries of life like a washing machine and of course the family. Yes it is scary to have to go back because now there are no definite mile marks--it´s like brutal life. But 

 Jordan Family Baptism 
 New Mission President

Monday, June 27, 2016

The Real Fun

Good Morning

The conference was just lovely. We each got a photo with president and president gave us all a big hug.  Afterwards I got to go out to one of my old areas and I got to visit with one of converts from a year a ago. He was the one that speaks Quechua. It was cool because he is still active and his son is preparing to go the mission (his picture is also attached). This week we will be having another conference in Santa Cruz with President Rodriguez; so that means we have to get back in the bus on Thursday.  

The Jordan family will be getting baptized this weekend. Attached is a photo of them. They are doing just so great.

I was writing a lot of converts today and stuff for the mission, so there was not much time.  Well, I hope you are all well, enjoy all the activities that you can before the real fun gets home : ).

Love Elder Gilbert

Jordan Family

Monday, June 20, 2016

Piranha Soup

Good Morning

As you saw in the picture we ate piranha soup last week. It was quite delicious. Basically you take the piranha and shop it up and then boil it down and you get soup. They say that it quite healthy and full of vitamins.

This week the assistants also come to visit us. They got here on Thursday and were with us for our district meeting and then they accompanied us the whole day and then got on the bus and went back to Santa Cruz. 

This week the Jordan Family got married. They got married on Thursday and now they are just about ready to be baptized. The baptism will be on July 2 because we still have to teach them a few things and this week we will be traveling to Santa Cruz for our last conference with president Willard and so there will not be enough time to teach them everything beforehand. But there are very excited and the mother especially has a very strong testimony.

The wedding turned out very nicely. One of the sisters took toilet paper and streamed it around like streamers and then me and my companion sang a song and then they signed the paper and they were married. Wedding here are just so much simpler.

So this is going to be the last week of President Willard, so we will be traveling to the conference on Wednesday. I don't know what connection he has in Utah, but apparently he will be speaking there on July 3. 

Make sure to wish Grandma Miller a happy birthday for me. It is crazy that the time is winding down now and I will soon be there in person

Elder Gilbert

 Lake at sunrise

Monday, June 13, 2016

Fishing and Lopsided Cake

Good Morning Family 

To finish last weeks email I was saying something along the lines that I had always loved trains since a child, but the time was suddenly cut short so I wasn't able to finish it. My companion has been out almost a year and is from Eagle Idaho.

This week we have had some big progress with the family Jordan. We were in a family home evening with them on Monday and the mom asks us, ¨Can we married before we get baptized¨ And I was like But of course. And they were like ¨Good, because we want to get married next week.¨ And so now they are progressing super rapidly. They only come across a small problem when they went to the notary and found out that there exists three records of the Hno Jordan so he has to present more documents in order to a null the other ones,but I think it should get straitened out today. Hopefully this week they will get married.

There is a fisherman in the ward and he tells us what it is like to go fishing here and from what it sounds it is a lot more difficult than rainbow trout in the river. He fishes piranhas, alligators, other really big fish all while watching out for anaconda snakes, tigers, bugs, and all sorts of wild animals. He showed us the things that he caught and one of them was a piranha and they really do have sharp teeth. You wouldn't want one of them to nibble on their toes. Today for lunch we are going to have piranha soup. 

I also made a Texas sheet cake last week for one of out investigators and I gave it to one of the ladies to cook it in her oven. It turned out quite interesting. First it didn't rest flat on the rake so it come out lopsided. One end burnt to a crisp and the other side thick and okay. And she forgot to put oil on the bottom so it suck to the bottom. Oh well, the family thought it was fantastic.  

I tell you that the cold weather has stayed for a while. Some years it comes and goes in a couple days and other years it stays for a couple months. This year it has stayed for a while. Let's just say that now to take a cold shower in the morning when it is 60 degrees outside makes for a very reinvigorating morning routine. I can't imagine it being any colder than this at home. We should probably move to a warmer place.     

Hope you all have a wonderful week. Until next time

Love Elder Gilbert

Monday, June 6, 2016

Angry Semi Drivers

Good Morning,

This week was the week of cambios and my companion got sent back to Santa Cruz and now I am with Elder Smith from Idaho. It was quite the go around trying to get to Santa Cruz because there was a blockade (angry semi-truck drivers protested and parked all the semi trucks on the freeway) and so didn't have anyway to get to Santa Cruz. So we found a train to take us there. We got on the train at 6 at night and got to Santa Cruz at 7 in the morning. It was a little bit slower but it was nice because there was a on-board dinner and everything. We got to Santa Cruz and we were going to buy tickets to get back and so I was waiting by the ticket office and then they kicked us out of the building to go wait outside with everyone else. And so we stood in the rain a while and finally got in to find out that the tickets for that day were all sold out. And so we bought tickets for the next day but they were a lot cheaper than the one we bought before. That day I spent the day in my old area of Antofagasta (my old companion was sent there). The next day I went to the leaders council where all the zone leaders of the mission and president and the assistant get together and talk about the challenges of the mission and give accountance of all our work (basically stand up and say how many people you baptized and the goal for next month and what you will do to achieve the goal) And then afterwards President Rodriguez skyped into the meeting but we had to go back home on the train. This next train was a little different, it was a lot bigger and stopped at every town along the way. All in all we spent about 21 hours in the train going home. But as I have always said from my childhood years, everybody 

Elder Gilbert

Monday, May 30, 2016

Fat Baby and Fluffy Dog

Good Morning

It warms my heart to see that Grandma still can do the jitter dance around these days. 

There have been lots of preparations going on to prepare for the new President Rodriguez. I think he will be getting here in July. Today we are writing a letter to introduce ourselves and everything, so that took up a little bit of time.

 I don't think I have ever told you much about the Rosado family, but they have a baby. And it is one of the fattest babies that I have ever seen. The baby's name is Katerine and she has like 9 months, and she rolls around talking gibberish and she grabs the dogs tail (they have a small super soft dog) and the dog starts making funny noises. It is really funny to watch. I will have to take a picture and send it to you next week.   

Well, dad is telling me that the stake president will release me on Saturday. This week a missionary got back from his mission and since it is a branch, President Willard is the ¨stake president¨ for the branches and Puerto Suarez is ten hours away he just released him on the cell phone. Interesting...

Last week I went shopping and it went well. I have something for everybody.

Anyway, sorry I wasn't able to write much but I hope you all enjoy the bike trip.


Elder Gilbert