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. 

Love 

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

Love 
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 

Love
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.

Love 

Elder Gilbert




Monday, May 23, 2016

Brownies and Alligator

Good Morning,

Thanks for all the birthday wishes

It has been a good week. Last Monday we ate alligator and then made brownies as an activity. It was funny because after we ate the brownies we had to eat oranges to help pass the sweetness. Lets just say people here are not accustomed to eating sweet things like that. 

Things are moving along with the investigators. Our biggest challenge is helping them to get married. It is always a nightmare with paperwork and money. The Family Rosado is ready to be baptized he just has to present the paper that shows that he is divorced and have that put into the system and then they can get married. The Jordan family wants to get married but they want to wait until August and so now we have to hasten the work there too.

Yesterday was quite busy in church. Since there are not a big pool of members available to give talks I was chosen to be the concluding speaker (usually a 15 or 20 time slot). I talked about the covenants and told the story of one our ancestors and the impact that it has had because they kept their covenants. Afterward I taught the gospel principles class. It always keeps up on your here.  


I have a small challenge for mom and dad. I know how much you two love to plan church activities and I was thinking that you guys could help me. In the Branch we need to ignite the spirit of doing missionary work (such as the members sharing the gospel with their friends). I was hoping that you two could brainstorm together this week and send me some ideas of an ward activity that we could do to encourage the memories to share the gospel. By the way, Bolivians love activities that involve food.

 This is our picture with elder Montoya from the conference


 A really big bug







 Here is a picture from when we were getting home in the morning

 The alligator that we ate last week

 When we made brownies for p-day

  The car converted into a trailer (I thought dad would get a kick out of that) 

Monday, May 16, 2016

Dog Power

Dear Family,

I was pleased to get my birthday package. Thanks for the card, perhaps we could start putting the card's advice in practice and celebrate for a whole year. I thoroughly enjoyed the dog whistle. The first dog I tried it out on about jumped out of it's skin. It gave me a good laugh and gave me new sense of dog power. 

We went to Santa Cruz on Wednesday. It was quite the adventure. We left here at 9 and got there at 6 in the morning. I was just glad that the police didn't get on to check identity cards because one of the elders forgot theirs. It was a nice conference with Elder Montoya. He told us to be bold or notable missionaries. I was also able to visit one of my converts in Santa Cruz and he was pretty excited to see me because he made me a new scripture bag. We also had to buy glasses for my companion. Turns out that his eye went up a full point. Practically I was exhausted when the day was over because we were running around in taxi and buses the whole day and the cell phone died and it was all very exciting. 

Anyway the family Rosado is yet to be baptized. Turned our that they spent their money to help their sick son. But we have lots of more people getting ready to be baptized.  I don´t remember if I told you but the familia Jordan was able to go to church today, so now they are on the path.

Anyway thanks for everything,

Love Elder Gilbert

Monday, May 9, 2016

Fans and the Gospel

Good Morning

It was nice to see you all again yesterday. I still can´t believe that Justin´s voice has changed so much. Always when we talk I have no idea what to say, there is so much that I could tell you but I always forget. oh well... Yesterday they also asked me what airport I want to arrive at, so they should be making my itinerary soon. 

In the priesthood meeting a family from Corumba showed up and told us that they needed to take us to meet a family urgently because they needed to be baptized. We find the family and we gave them a health blessing (one of his lungs was full of liquid--possibly tuberculosis). They are a family of 6 with 4 to baptize. They were all very prepared and accepted baptism. It was definitely a blessing. 

We also found a family where the mom is a member (she was baptized when she was 12) and her husband who is Brazilian. There were going to come to church but they didn´t make it.

President Willard came yesterday and spoke in the sacrament meeting. He pointed out there were exactly 10 fans in the room and that one of them was not working (supposedly for a bad connection). So he started to talk about how 10 Hebrew is complete and that sometimes there are members that are not working because they lack something. But then someone went back to the switches and turned it on and it started working. And then he made the analogy that some of the members (less actives, new members, etc) just need to be switched on with a visit or an invitation. So now whenever we look at the fans we think about that. 

It sounds like we will be traveling to Santa Cruz this week to meet with Elder Montoya. It always cool to have conferences with the seventies. 

Anyway hope you all have a marvelous week.

Love Elder Gilbert

 The Family Choquevillca 

 My shoe

 Some street shots of my area



The dock in my area

Monday, May 2, 2016

Bolivian Economy

Good Morning,

Wow,  to all the changes that are going on. Never expected Katie to be getting engaged.

To tell you little bit about the area: Lately the economy of Puerto Suarez has been going down hill so it feels kind
of like a ghost town.There were also 4 branches in the area Puerto Quijarro, Corumba Puerto
Suarez and fronter. Corumba got put into the Brazil mission and Puerto Quijarro got closed. And so the missionary work here is interesting. Before there were about 8 or 10 missionaries here, but now there are only four.

We have a family to be baptized for the 14 of May. The Family Rosado they have to finish their marriage papers and then they are good to go.This week will be having a conference with president, the assistant and us (the 4 missionaries). It should be interesting.

Also Elder Montoya wil be coming this next week to visit the mission.

I will be calling some time probably around 1 o clock Utah time to confirm the details. I think I will be available anytime after 1:00 Utah time. Or in the morning at 5:00.

Anyway, I will be talking to you soon and mom could you send me the recipes for brownies, pizza, and cinnamon rolls and the family wedding picture (with everyone) again in high resolution. Thanks.

The pictures is a lake (there is piranha) and those are other missionaries and my companion.

Love, 
Elder Gilbert

Monday, April 25, 2016

Transfer

What a neat experience at the wedding! It must have been heart thrilling to be in the temple. I hope they had a nice time on their honey moon.

Well, I got transferred and boy do I get transferred. Gird up your loins Elder Gilbert because they sent me on a 10 hour bus ride to Puerto Suarez. Right smack on the border of Brazil. I am the district leader/zone leader for the other companionship in Puerto Quijarro. Right now I am in Puerto Quijarro because the internet went out in Puerto Suarez. So I have now set my eyes on Brazil. To tell you little bit about the place in summer (December, November) it hits around 50 degrees Celsius and in winter (June July) we ride around 41-46 degrees with 4 days of slightly cooler weather as dead winter. Interesting, no? Let´s just say I begin sweating at 8 in the morning. There are also quite a few Brazilians here. Some times they say stuff and I just smile at them. My new companion is elder Orrego from Lima, Peru. There is a lot of stuff to do here such as caves, eat alligators, a big lake, etc. It is also slightly more Jungle-ish 

I have some photos that I wanted to send, but the USB isn´t working so it will have to wait until next week.

Next week Monday I will be calling to test the connection, so that should be sometime before 4 o clock Monday.  

By the way, maybe mom you can refresh me on how to play the states game and the animal kingdom, spoon and fork, etc.for the next week. 

Anyway I am going to send this email becuase I am not sure how much time I have left.

Have a marvelous week,

Elder Gilbert

Monday, April 18, 2016

Investigators

Good Morning 

Tomorrow is going to be a big day. I know that it is all going to turn out just great. Just make sure I don't get knocked over or blown away in the wind.   

Transfers will actually be tomorrow. I expect to be changed, but it is can always be a surprise the transfers. This will be our last transfer with President Willard, then comes President Rodriguez from Spain.  

We found a couple of interesting people. One works in the circus and apparently can do lots of swinging on the ropes and walking on glass (I don´t know how). We also found another guy He is from Trinidad and tells us about how he got baptized in the river and then grabbed a paloma and threw it in the air. When we asked him if he would go to church he said "with joy". But he didn't make it because when he woke up his eye swelled up and was burning. We also knocked a door and found a guy that told us that he almost got baptized and by now would have been a bishop or stake president. He then he told us it didn't matter because the nivero or something was going to come tomorrow (the tenth planet and that would be the end)

This week we helped a family move into the ward. They must be really rich because they live in a private nieghborhood. Afterwards I felt the strained muscles in my back. I always love myself a moving project.

One of the sons of the Choquevillca family came home to visit from Provo. His friend from Ecuador also came and so we made some good conversation with them 

Have a marvelous and most wonderful day tomorrow (take lots of pictures)

Love, Elder GIlbert

Monday, April 11, 2016

Bolivian Grandma Miller

Good Morning

I am glad to hear that everything went well on the vacation. I don´t know why but mom always seems to end up being the victim on those fourwheeling/motorbike  trips.  

This week for me went quite normal. We did service for a lady that reminds me a lot of Grandma Miller. She has the same voice and we had to trim down some bushes with a machete.

I am excited too for the upcoming wedding. Let me know how the preparations and everything is coming. I was talking a lot to other comapnaion today so I don´t have much time

Love, Elder Gilbert

Monday, April 4, 2016

Missionary Experiences

Good Morning

Sounds like by now everyone should be four wheeling (try not to give mom any scares).

This week we had a week full of conferences. First we had a conference on Tuesday with President Willard and then Thursday a zone conference and then a exchange with the zone leaders and then Saturday and Sunday General Conference. 

On my exchange with the zone leaders I went over to their area and I found out that a certain person had gotten baptized. This really surprised me because the last time I was in the zone leaders area this man didn't want anything to do with us. When we walked in he would get up and walk away. He was against his family getting baptized and threatened to beat them and so on. Finally he gave his family permission  to get baptized but not him. After some time, their family was praying to bless the food and his daughter of about 5 years gave a simple prayer and said ¨Please help dad change his character and go to church¨. The moment changed the dad forever and was promptly baptized. Interesting how hearts are softened.  

Our investigators are doing okay. Ariel tells us he doesn't need to pray because he already believes the Book of Mormon to be true. Of course he will still have to pray but it seems to accept everything. He just needs to go to church. 

General Conference: I really enjoyed the priesthood session, especially the talks of Elder Nelson and of course president Uchtdorf was hilarious. I don´t know if dad went or if you saw it, but that is a good one. Also the last session with Jeffery R. Holland was funny. It was surprising that he showed that picture. But you will all have to watch it.

As far as the package it has not arrived yet. I will definitly send a photo next week. 

Have a good week,

Elder Gilbert

Monday, March 28, 2016

Broken Machines

Good Morning,

Ah, I see the good old ¨do it now and ask forgiveness later instead of permission¨ happened again. What could possibly be waiting to surprise me when I get home? (hint hint)

With the investigators, really right now the best prospects is Ariel, the guy that works for Coca-cola. He always makes me laugh. He told us how at work one of the machines broke down (the one that puts the soda in the box). And so that got that fixed and then they started up the line again and about 2 shakes later the same machine broke again but a lot worse this time because all the other machines are operating and they can´t be stopped for more than an hour and so he has to fixed the problem quickly. So what he does is he wrangles up and the line workers (which is difficult because he tells us that sometimes they get really tired and just start sleeping or they find a crate and go off and start sleeping in the corner when things break). And so he wrangles everyone up and they start putting the soda in by hand. Afterwords someone tells him that there is a back-up of 400 liters of soda and so needless to say by the time he got home he was pretty stressed out.

This week I made peanut butter bars and they turned out quite nicely and so I took them to our district meeting on Thursday and everyone loved them. It also worked out nice because one of the assistants showed up and observed the meeting. When we left the church that day it started to come down really hard. Needless to say it is starting to look a lot like a Bolivian winter. 

My companion got the Chikungu├▒a this week. It is a disease transmitted by the mosquitoes that makes all your joints and bones hurt. But we found a less active member doctor who gave him a prescription for a shot and so we took him to the pharmacy and they gave him one right up the rear end. That fixed him right up.

I forget that this weekend was Easter I thought that it was the next week.

Happy birthday to dad. May you have a wonderful day!

Love, 

Elder Gilbert

Monday, March 21, 2016

Taxi and Wedding Ideas

Dearest Family

I loved the poem that Niels wrote, he really does have some skill in that. I am glad everyone enjoyed the drinks. That is what I drink everyday--the peanut mix is acuatully pretty good to put in smoothies and such in the morning. 

Last week for p-day we went bowling and afterwards went to the newly built Papa Johns. It tasted really good. I almost forgot how good food tasted at home.

This week was pretty regular. There were a couple of youth investigators that went to church this week. This week we found a cheaper way to get to our district meeting. Before we always paid 15 bs to go in a taxi but now we get there for 8. The only downfall is that now we have to take 2 rides instead of only one. The transport here is always a hoot. 

It must be pretty exciting with all the wedding preparations. If I was there I would have put myself in charge of as asset management and seating logistics. You know how those things are. We could have elite table seating which includes an extra candle and a goldfish in water or something and then there are the uninvited guests which clearly got a seat with poor visual view. Also a small picture taking fee so that we can make a little more business off it and so on and so forth. Just kidding  

Anyway have a good week,

Elder G

Monday, March 14, 2016

Mission Facts

Good Morning,

To start off, I didn´t get transferred so I will be here in Antofgasta for at least the next 6 weeks.

And an answer to mom´s question, we have zone conferences (usually about 80 missionaries) with President Willard every transfer or every six weeks (with an interview every other transfer).  Back in the day we used to have lunch with the conference but they cut back on the money and now they broke it up into one session in the morning and one in the afternoon. We also have zone conferences 2 times every transfer where the zone leaders teach (16 missionaries) and then the other 4 weeks I teach my district (8 missionaries.). In our mission there are about 200 missionaries in total but they are spread out. Most are in Santa Cruz but then who have to travel up to 8-9 hours to reach the borders or an airplane ride to Tarija. It is quite large the mission (hard to think of the mission at home only being Logan and Brigham)

This week we have had some difficulties with our investigators with not attending church and such, but there always seems to be these kinds of problems. Sorry I didn't get to write much, I'll try to write more next week. 

Thanks for sending all the emails mom, you guys are the best.

Monday, March 7, 2016

National Flower and Investigators

Good Morning,

I just sent a couple pictures. In one of them I am holding the national flower of Bolivia the Patuju and other is with the sons of the Mamani Family. The small kid with the red shirt is Rodrigo. He is actually 22 years old--I suppose his body never hit that growing stage. 

The week is transfers. It is a toss up on whether I go or not. 

This week we found a pretty cool guy. I asked my companion if he wanted to knock a certain door and so he goes up and pounds it really hard. We looked through the cracks of the gate but we didn't see anyone. A few seconds latter a man comes out and I presented ourselves and he let us in. He gave us two sodas to drink and said to start walking with him and we found out that he works for Coca-Cola (apparently he supervises 60 people and the machinery and he has to make sure that everything runs smoothly because every minute about 15,000 dollars of product comes of the line and so if there are any delays or faults he is in charge of it.) He was super intelligent and had so many good questions and made really good inductions. The next visit, we took Natan (who visited mom) because they work in similar fields and Natan shared how he turned down being an CEO of a company because it felt that it would drive him away from God and his Family. It was a pretty good lesson.

The Family Mamani. We have some work to do there still. We have to help them get married and such. We have to work hard with the members and help them feel more comfortable and such.

Anyway, today we are going to go shopping in the center. Should be exciting.

Love, 

Elder Gilbert



Monday, February 29, 2016

Investigators

Good Afternoon,

As far as the investigators go, almost everyone here will get committed to be baptized, the hard part is helping them keep that commitment. The Mamani family is doing well. To tell you more about them the mom contacted us in the street and told us that we should visit them because her son was going down a bad path and had bad friends. The Saturday we visited them they accepted everything and went to church that next day during Carnaval. We have been doing well in teaching, but we find out that they are not married and so now we are working on a marriage date. They have four children and the oldest is 22 years old but looks like a 10 year old (apparently he stopped growing at that age.) Then their daughter Camila is 18, Ignacio has 14 (the rebel one) and a baby of a year and a half. They are a nice family and yesterday the mom and daughter were able to go to Church. It rained really hard and we get to church and there was about 6 people there (people don´t like to come to Church when it rains hard) And we felt that we should call this family and they were ready to go and so we wrangled up a member and forged the rivers and picked them up. The Lijeron family told us that they wanted to stay in the Catholic Church and so we are not working with them as much. 

Also talked with Natan yesterday. He didn't say too much other than he showed us some photos of his trip. I suppose his parents are converts although his mother did serve a mission.  

Hard to believe that Justin is going to buy a motorbike. You'll have to make sure to be careful with that. By the way Justin should write me--I haven't heard much from him lately.

It also sounds like there is a lot of wedding planning going on. Let me know if there is something I can do. 

I also have one last homework assignment. Could someone send me a list of Spanish nouns that end in e with the gender la or el. It should be pretty easy if you look for Spanish gender noun exceptions or something. But basically  a list of nouns ending in e and whether it uses la or el. For example: La Sangre the blood is feminine. In Spanish when a noun ends in e is impossible to know whether it feminine or masculine.

Thanks for all the recipes. Lots of people want to try them.

Elder Gilbert 

Monday, February 22, 2016

Natan

Yesterday there was a vote about whether or not they should change the constitution so that the president can be president longer. It came back as a no. But we had to stay inside all day in our house. And as a fun fact it is illegal here to drive your car on election/voting day. There also wasn't any church.

Our investigators are doing well. We have the Mamani family and the Villarroel Family and the Lijeron Family. They are all doing great.

This week I had my regularly scheduled interview with president. He brought my finishing date as July 15 and told me that this would be the second to last interview with him and that my final interview would be with President Rodriguez. President Willard leaves two weeks before I do.

I also wanted to tell you a little more about Natan. Before leaving on the mission, he graduated in Electrical Engineering or something and was working with a mining company as the guy running the control board or something and was earning about 100,000 dollars every year. While on a airplane trip from Peru to Bolivia he was sitting on the plane when the people who sat next by him were President Willard and Hermana Willard sat right next to time. Natan asked them what they were doing and they told him that they were going to be missionaries for 3 years in Boliva, Santa Cruz and then he told him that he was a member of the Church and that he wanted to go on a mission too (he was a little embarrassed because he had a beard and was 25 years old). So happens that he left behind his career and went on a mission and before he left his mother was diagnosed with cancer and he left all his money for her and her treatment. Three weeks before returning home his mother passed away. When he came home President Willard was in the airport picking up other missionaries and came to his homecoming. He is a super cool guy. He is also one of my favorite people in the ward. I am glad that he was able to make it to the house and that mom was there to receive him. I just want to know what mom first thought when she opened the door.   
Did everyone see the video on my flash of us moving the house? I just wanted to make sure. 

Also I have a big favor to ask: Could someone put all of the emails that I have sent home (text only) on a word document and send it to me. Thanks.

Have a merry, merry week,

Elder Gilbert

Monday, February 15, 2016

Bolivian Visitor in Brigham City

Good Morning

I am glad to see that eveything got to you. There was an envelope with letters for everyone and a small package that had my flash drive, some drinks typical of Bolivia (chicha de mani. it is my favorite chicha. They usually just make it out of corn) a small pen and I don´t remember what else. Those things Brother Choquevillca took with him and put it in the mail. Then Natan should have given you a bigger package with a horn cup, rock nativity, wooden cup, metal straw, and a little hat. By the way the straw is to drink mate (it is quite popular). What you do is you take some herbs and put it in the wooden cup and pour hot water and sugar in it and with the straw suck out the juice. The holes on the bottom of the straw prevent you from sucking up the herbs I was going to send some mate herbs but it looks like marijuana, so I thought they might have taken it out at the airport.  I hope you got everything I sealed up the second package pretty good so that no one would open it. Let's just say as a missionary you get pretty good at plan A and plan B I will have to tell you more about Natan next week.

For Carnaval, we were shut up for 3 days. The members can leave but they usually don't. If you do people just start throwing water baloons at you (with or without paint). In some places in Santa Cruz everyone gets drunk and starts throwing car oil, fat, and other nasty stuff. That is why we don't leave in those days.

This week we found two families who are super good. I think they will get baptized. One is called the Mamani Family and the other Villarroel. The Mamani family's son is going in the bad path and is super receptive.

No, we are not allowed to eat pig, lettuce, strawberry, or fish. The reason for pig is something they slaughter pigs that are sick and they carry a parasite that doesn't die when you cook it. And this is the gross part, they are like worms that travel to the brain and start eating brain tissue. But it is still pretty rare.

No one batted a wink about Valentine's day. I barely remembered it myself. 

My time ends,

Love Gilbert

Natan and Karen

Monday, February 1, 2016

Rain and Lost Ring

Good Morning 

Well, to explain the wardrobe outfit in the picture. That day was the day that my companion left for Vallegrande and so we were packing him up (that is why I am wearing sandals) and that is grease on my arm because I leaned onto one of the semi-trucks. 

I can´t believe that everybody is getting married. Dad also told me that you got a few inches of snow. Well, I woke up in the morning to find that we had a couple inches of rain in our house. Turns out that it rained so hard that the water came in through the door and got everything wet. We spent the morning bailing the water out and drying the mattress.

Yesterday we had stake conference and Elder Godoy came and talked about a scripture that says we are the holy nation and that therfore we should have some kind of credential. He said that more than anything the thing that shows if we are truly converted are the things we do when nobody else is watching. We were able to take an investigator family with us and on the way back their son grabbed the mom's ring of her finger and threw it out the window. We had to stop the car and look for it but it was a good thing we found it.   

Next week is Carnaval and so I won't be writing next week. 

Anyways until the next,

Elder Gilbert

Monday, January 25, 2016

Missionary Transmission

Good Morning,

Well, let me know if there is anything you want me to do for the wedding preparation. I am sure I can find just a lovely craft idea.

This week we got to watch the worldwide missionary transmission. It was quite interesting. Dallin H. Oaks said that something to the the effect that they are giving this transmission now that the number of missionaries have stablized and now they can focus on the doctrine or something. Also during this conference our mission president felt impressed that my companion should go to Vallegrande (about 4 hours away). So that night he packed up his bags and went to Vallegrande at 7:00 in the morning. I am now with a new companion, Elder De la Fuente from Buenos Aires. 

This week we have a new family attending church. The Lijeron family--the mom is a member but inactive and the dad is investigator but accepted to be baptized the 20th of February. 

I also got an apron today from the ward. I haven´t opened it yet though because who knows what it looks like. 

I also talked with Hermano Choquevillca on the phone the other day and he said they were going to try and pass by this week and if not they would send it in the mail. 

Here are some photos. One with my new companion and one with the old. Also a member that likes to dance.

Have a good week,

Elder Gilbert