Monday, November 24, 2014

Exotic Bugs

Sounds like the house is falling apart and the horses are as devious as ever. Let me say that I did warn you about them. And Natalie somehow pulled off a feat of idiotas en accion. I too sometimes found myself in this category. Like the other day when we were getting off the bus and the driver shut the door on me and started to drive away  (with me in the doorway) and I had to jump out to pull out my bag. I am sure all the people on the bus were laughing.
I have not yet received the Christmas package. There is no such thing as thanksgiving here. Right now the kids are getting out for summer. Its weird to have 2 summers in a row. But the next holiday here is of course Navidad and New Years and then festival in march when the whole city closes down for a week to celebrate something. 

The celebration of the church was very bonita we marched on the stage sang left and got back in the taxi and left. It started an hour late. At 7 they were still adjusting the lights and turning on the video wall. I don't think there was a general authority there. 

The funnies of this week:
We visited a member this week who was talking about the celebration and how the 7th day Church of the 12 apostles now has 50 years in Bolivia. And we asked her what church is that? Ans she said well isnt that what we are called. Uhh no. It is the Iglesia de Jesucristo de los Santos de Los Ultimos dias. Then in the lesson she was able to give a 20 minute Leila Grover style testimony on paying tithing.
Another Menos Activo. (who is a bit taller)
Do you remember when you were baptized?
Yeah, I was baptized twice?
Oh, why were you baptized twice?
Well once while I was living in the Villa and then I moved here someone asked me If i would baptized and I said ¨Claro (obviously yes)¨  but they put me in that small pool and when they baptized me they bonked my head on the wall.
Well no wonder why your inactive. Still have not figured out why he was baptized twice.
I have also hired someone to wash my clothes and that makes things a lot nicer.

Here are some photos of exotic bugs, I thought Natalie might like to make a poster or calender of all the bugs. The one with wings which my companion caught is a Chucharra and it lives in the ground for 14 years then pops out and flys around making really loud noises. All found within the convenience of our house.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Real Hard Life

Well it has been a fun week at the house sounds like. Sometimes it is hard for people to comprehend what it is like in Utah. People here are shocked that there are wards in Utah of just single adults.  

This week has been pretty regular. Teaching lessons, planning peoples marriages (the only people here married are super Catholics or Mormons), talking to all the people, eating rice for lunch (want some mayonnaise with that? that is really what people put on their rice, it helps it go down easier), and fighting the war against the bugs. 

The fun things you found out when doing family history: So we were teaching a less active family about family history and how you can look for your ancestors names on family search when the dad says. ¨´Well, my real name is not Zamora. So I don't think it will work¨. Oh! what is your real name? ¨It is Gonzales.¨ Why did you change your name? ¨Because it was easier to get into Bolivia with Zamora. Oh okay. 

The  next day: we find him drunk in the road and he spills the whole story. He grew up in the bad part of Peru where he learned some bad habits. He apparently robbed a bank and that is why he is an illegal immigrant here in Bolivia. So we took him home and later we talked to his wife she said that he had broke someone´s arm and robbed their motorbike today. Oh, well that certainly does complicate things.

It is things like these that make me think how pampered everyone is the United States. I feel like Spencer and Taylor got jipped in experiences of real hard life. Everyday I witness the circle of life (chicken legs in the road) Here there are no water heaters, nor washers, dryers, dishwashers, microwaves, supermarkets,  air conditioners, nor cars with seat belts for that matter. I also learned about the crap holes. Where I live there is no sewage, so everyone digs a really big hole in their yard and covers it up and that is where the toilet water goes. Water from the sink usually goes out into the street so you have to watch your step. 

And one more thing. I need lots of ideas for Family Home Evenings (like activities or lessons that keeps that whole family occupied) because we do a lot of them. I also need a picture of our house in the winter. Many people here have troubles comprehending a house made from wood and how it looks . when it snows. 

This week is the celebration of 50 years of the church in Bolivia and there is going to be a big celebration this Thursday in the stadium and the all us missionaries in Santa Cruz are going to sing and also there will be traditional dances of Bolivia and they say a general authority will come. 

Photos of the ostrich thing I found, Elder Caal, and picture next a soccer statue (just to join in on the soccer worship here)

Chao Chao for now

Elder Gilbert

Oh and yes  I get the dear elder things Natalie.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Fear of Bugs and Bolivian Favorites

I just got a package today, it had Starbursts and letters and photos in it. I do not know how many packages you are guys are sending, but it sounds like the first of many and now you know that it works. 

First, yes we had a baptism and it was quite lovely apart from the spiders and the cockroaches. When we went to clean the baptismal font there was a spider slightly smaller than the palm and it was fast and kind of a blue color and it could jump. So that was slightly unsettling but the worst part were the cockroaches. In order to plug the drain you have to go outside and turn the handle which is kind of in something similar to a sprinkler box. When we opened it there were about 50 cockroaches the size of dads thumb and they went crazy. One almost went up my companion's leg. So of course I enlisted the help of the elder from Guatemala (the one who took care of the frog) to put his hand in there and turn the handle. He informed me that we don't need to have fear of the cholupes because they can't bite. We only need to worry about the scorpions, tarantulas (which are easily found in the bushes and as big as your palm), and snakes. So that was good news and even more comforting to know was that my companion once upon a time found a tarantula in his bed. For this, I also check the bed and under the bed and in the bed and on the ceiling for such things. But I do take comfort that the Latinos do not have such fear of bugs. In fact my companion was telling me about the time that he had a gringo companion that found a rat in the bathroom and came out screaming and my companion just steps on it and kills it (even all the guts came out). This story reminded my of the video Stephanie showed me of that lady killing the rat. But on with the baptism, it was great. It started an hour late waiting for everyone to show up. That is just how things roll here. Meeting always start at least 30 minutes late.

One problem for Bolivians is the rain because when it rains there is a bunch of mud
because the roads area all dirt sand. SO sometimes it makes it hard to walk anywhere. So hashtag thirdworldproblems.

My favorite things about Bolivia. 

1. The liberty. If you want to build a house go ahead and do it. If you want to not obey the traffic laws , go ahead and do it (they are really only suggestions). If you want to burn your garbage or dig a ditch in the middle of the road and are free to do so.

2. Everything is super cheap. Last week I bought 7 liters of Tampico for 1.50 dollars. Garments are 1.50 and everything is soo cheap! 

3.Bolivians are funny. Yesterday we had a 4 hour ward leader training meeting  with the all leaders (bishopric RS, all of them) about how we need to do this and that but then right after the meeting they go and buy 20 chicken meals (kinda like Maddox) and 6 2 liters of coke for refreshments. The refreshments so that important they break the Sabbath for it. 

If you think that Utah is kid capital think again look at the photo of the baptism with the family. IN every meeting there are kids running around wild. 

Thing you can do. All the Latinos want english hymnals, If you can, send the small english hymnal for my companion. I would also like the music of Paul Cardell the music piano hymns and that come on Pandora. You can also complete the My Family booklet of family history in spanish by putting in the photos,and translate the histories of the ancestors into spanish and fill out the booklet and send it to me.

Chao Chao

Elder Gilbert
View from house

Here are photos from Elder Caals birthday party.
The hermana made some of the best apple pie I have ever tasted.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Halloween and Day of the Dead

Querido Familia

Do people celebrate Haloween here. No, not really. They know about it but dont really do anything about it. More important is the Days of the Dead following. Now this, everyone celebrates. Saturday was day of dead for children, sunday for the adults, and today is a holiday just to finish it all off. Basically what happens is everyone goes to the cemetery (which are quite creepy looking) and do their ritual or whatever. Some people even sleep there over night. We didnt change time here in Bolivia but it doesnt really matter anyway because meetings always start 30 minutes late.

Investigators. We have two bautismals lined up for this weekend. Marco Miranda and Evelin Parada. So we will see how that goes.  We found a family that are all members except for the father and basically he wants to be baptized but he has to wait for his divorcement papers to clear through.

Goofy things; I found this box to place all my books in because my desk was getting swamped. So I put it next to my desk and called it my biblioteca. Well two days later I was eating my froot loops (Yes they have these down here but I had to drop 49 bs for them which is like 7 dollars). And i opened my milk which is in a plastic bag, poured my milk and set on my desk. Then randomly 10 minutes later the bag randomly falls off the desk and into my library box. Luckily I was able to save my books but it was the end of my library becuase my companion grabbed it and throw it out the window full of milk (we live on the second floor). So that is Bolivian ingenuity en accion. My companion informed me that I talk in my sleep in spanish now. I was also sitting on the toilet when a frog almost jumped on me and it scared it me and I told my companion and he said to sweep it out and I didn't want to, but I was saved when another elder from the first floor came up for a social visit and I enlisted him to take care of the frog.

Happy Birthday to Justin boy. 

Elder Gilbert