Monday, September 28, 2015

Driving Tactics

Dear Family:

I am glad that you enjoyed the fotos.

This week we have been finding lots of new families and they are really good.

Monday and Tuesday I was with Elder Smith while waiting for my
companion to arrive. Monday I got a little sick in the stomach. I am
not sure what it was that I ate, but lets just say that everything
that I eat that day for lunch just came right back out the same end
when we got home.

I also saw some funny things. There was a car entering the round
about and was going really fast and so to insure himself the
right-away in the round about he put out his arm and waved the other
cars back like, ¨get out of the way¨. So that is a new driving tatic
you can try to get the right of way.

We were also passing a house and there was a guy sitting in his
doorway fiddling around and when we said, "buenas tardes" he look at us
and hurriedly got up and went inside and shut the door. I suppose he
didn´t want to talk with us.

And finally we were passing a house and the cops were outside
investigating and talking with some people and this guy with a 12 pack
of beer walks up and kind of sneaks in the house and continues to
party with his friends.

This week the owner of our house went to La Paz and left us in charge
of her house, which means to put the lock on the door and put the
blanket on her parrot´s cage in the night. She is a really funny lady;
kind of like a Grandma Miller. To give you an idea of what she is
like she left us with her bank account number in case of an emergency
and told us that she trusted us more than he own son (in the presence
of her son). And everyone in town knows her.

To tell you about my companion he is from Lo Alto (the alittude is
like 13,000 feet) and his parents are not members of the Church. His
parents are from the country where they speak Amyara and so he knows a
little bit of Amyara. He is very nice and humble.

I hope that you are all excited for General Conference. I think I will be
watching the whole thing in Spanish (it's a little different to have a
translator rather than their own voice) I have some names to throw into the
betting pool of the next apostles. 1. Ronald Rasband. 2. Whitney Clayton.
3. Tad Callister. 4. Perhaps somebody who is not a general authority or is
a foreigner.  5. Cecil O Samuelson (Go BYU). And the next one to die
will be Robert D Hales or perhaps even President Monson.

Anyway, till next week,
Elder Gilbert

Monday, September 21, 2015

Lots of Pictures!

Good Morning,

As you saw in the photos we went to the chorro and it was quite lovely. It was the first time that our activity wasn´t playing soccer. We paid a taxi to drive us up as far as possible and then we made about an hour hike. There were tunnels, brigdes and beautiful nature.

As mom as noted, cambios were last night. My campanion went to Santa Cruz in Plan 3000. My new companion will be Elder Apaza from La Paz. He will finish his mission in December. He will arrive here tomorrow night.

 And it sounds like Justin is being kept busy these days (enjoying the privilegde of being the only child in the home.) Today is Stephanie´s half birthday and I am shocked that no one is celebrating. I suppose it is just a Curt kind of trademark. And mom is also adventuring to try something new. 

This week we helped a a man (who only has one leg) pick up firewood and take it to his house in a baby stroller. Something different.

Well, I hope you are all well, I sent many photos so that you can see more than read.

Elder Gilbert

 Looks like some nature out today.

 This is a field where they play soccer in 100 degree weather.

 It is also sort of desserty in Bolivia.

 A traditional and very common Bolivian house. 

San Francisco de Asis 

 Enjoy some Celine Dion photo shoot at the Chorro 

Monday, September 14, 2015

Lessons from Elder Uceda

Good Morning,

I forgot that peach days was this week, I´ll have to buy a peach (but
then ones in cans because the peaches here are the size of a small
plum or something). And yes when there is a sort of festivity here,
the missionaries stay away especially in the night because that is
when they all get drunk. The last time there was a festival there
where drunks running around throwing bottles and yelling at each other
in the wee hours of the morning. That is one thing you don´t see much
of in Utah. Here I have learned how to identify drunks, the smell of
alcohol, and all that. Bolivia has a serious drinking problema, they
can buy the cheap stuff but it destroys their body. I think all of the
investigators we have ever had have drank before.

This week we had the conference with Elder Uceda. We arrived in Santa
Cruz at 6 in the morning and then went to the church and studied until
Elder Uceda arrived at 2 in the afternoon. First sister Willard spoke,
then President Willard, then we did the practices (in every missionary
meeting we do practices with other missionaries to improve our skills
in things like teaching, obtaining referrals, etc), and then the wife
of Elder Uceda spoke and all that lasted abour an hour and a half.
Then Elder Uceda gets up takes off his suit coat and says ¨Let´s get to
work.¨  That statement was followed by a 3 and a half hour lecture.

Some of the things that he spoke about was (1) learning english or
spanish: we cannot always see the future and how learning a language
can bless our lives in the future. Face your fears. He has not opened
his Spanish scriptures for 30 years (2) Obedience: Sometimes we
justify breaking the small rules thinking that ¨nothing will happen¨.
Satan will do everything to make sure that ¨nothing does happen¨
until we believe our own lie and then something serious happens. (3)
Persuasive Teachers: Our investigators do not progress because we
don´t know how to help them progress. We often learn by doing and need
to talk with the heart, because talking is not always teaching.  (4)
Scriptures. It is like the square that is divided into 16 squares and
at first we superficially only see 16 squares but as we look there are
more. Same thing with the scriptures, we sometimes ready superficially
and read the same scriptures over and over and get the same meaning,
not searching for hidden treasures from the spirit.

And by the way, we were in the back of a taxi and I look at the
driver´s shirt and it says Ogden Clinic, Golden Spike Reality, Jamba
Juice, etc. His shirt was a race shirt that they give out to the
participants. Apparently the clothes we donate to DI or Charities make
it here to Bolivia.

Today we are going to go to the Chorro, a waterfall thing.
Anyway, have a nice week and enjoy!

Elder Gilbert

Photo with Elder Uceda

Monday, September 7, 2015

Rubber Tire Shoes

Buen Día

Well to answer some questions. I think I would prefer the car that
will last longer mechanically (but knowing that it is almost
impossible to predict) you might as well flip a coin or do as you guys
see convenient or advantageous at this particular moment in time. It's
okay, you don´t have to send season packaging. As far as the shoes, I
took them to a shoe shop person and he put a tire rubber on the bottom
but crazy how much the mission wears out shoes. My companion´s hush
puppies lasted about 3 months.

Something that shocked me is that Sadie is going to Utah State, so
weird. What is everyone in the family doing these days?

This week was pretty regular. Nothing new to report this week.
Tomorrow we will be heading up to Santa Cruz again for another
conference with Elder Uceda. Should make for something interesting.

Anyway, have a good week

Elder Gilbert