Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Don't know what the celebration is, but we heard a band coming down the street.  By the time I got my camera, they were about gone.  This is a picture out of our apartment window (tinted green).  Anyway, this happens a lot and the traffic just follows along behind at a slow pace.

We walked to the store one day and saw this little boy with his "guitar" singing at the top of his lungs.  Notice the little cup and teddy bear in front of him. Of course, we gave him some money and on the way back from the store asked if we could take his picture.  After the picture, we gave him some more money.  Cute little guy!  His mother and another brother were  begging a little ways down the street.

Even got a smile with this one.

This is Hermana Cabrera and her son, Rodrigo - now Elder Guiterrez.  He is leaving today for his mission in Bahia Blanca, Argentina.  That is where Kevin served his mission, but it is really small now.  Anyway, we have spent a lot of time with this family, Christmas Eve and nearly every Saturday for lunch.  Patricia is a single mom, even though the Dad is involved with the children, and is a lawyer.  Elder Guiterrez was the mission leader in our "barrio" for a while and has gone to "citas" with us and taught the Gospel.  He will be a good missionary.

This is Rodrigo with some of his family, most are not members of the Church.  Monday night for family home evening, we had a ward meeting.  The Stake President spoke, the bishop and then before Rodrigo was set apart, anyone who wanted to hug him was allowed to do so because after the setting apart, he would no longer be able to hug the girls.  After he was set apart, he shared his testimony and several others in the congregation were asked if they wanted to speak.  Elder Dibb took a few minutes to talk to them and shared his testimony.  It was a nice meeting.  Then we all had treats.  Nothing else has happened this week as we have been stuck in our apartment.  Elder Dibb has been sick for over a week and Sister Dibb has a bit of a cold as well.  Hopefully we will be able to

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

July 10 - 16, 2012

This is Arturo and his Sister, Kelly.  Arturo was baptized a couple of months ago and he called us one day to tell us that his sister wanted to be baptized and wanted us to teach her.  So we have started teaching her.  The last meeting, she brought her other sister.  We told Arturo he is a "missionary" already. 

One of the nice chapels in Calecoto where we teach missionaries English.

We just had to put this in.  This is just a small rack, but they are all "dog clothes".  There are booths all over and even some complete stores that have only "dog clothes."  Some of them are really cute.

The Saturday before our "Barrio conference" we had a lunch at the church.  Hermana Gonzalez in the front is the Primary President.  Our bishop is standing in the background and our stake president is the last man you can see on the right.  It was a nice event.

Hermana Coca had her daughter, granddaughter and great-granddaughter here from Santa Cruz.  Hermana Perez (her daughter) has a missionary son in the La Paz Mission.  He was in the office for a while and we got to know him quite well.

This cute family has just become active in the church.  We ate lunch at their house last week and the little girl, Sara was so excited.  She met us at the elevator and spent quite a bit of time talking to us.  Hopefully, the boys are preparing for missions.

On Sunday, after we came home from Church, we heard a trumpet playing.  We didn't think much of it, the hurried to the window to see what was happening.  There was a little parade of people, some carrying the statue, others singing and marching.  Just got the back of the group out our apartment window.

This is a much better picture.  On Monday, we went to the Cordero's for lunch (part member family).  We came upon this procession as we walked.  July 16 is the date of the founding of La Paz.  So even though they didn't know it, they whole city celebrated Linda's birthday.

The group paused, sang a song and then the priest in the white cape said some words.  It's interesting to see that anyone can stop traffic and do their things in the middle of the road.  The park is right behind them and would have been a much nicer setting for their celebration.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Suraquina July 8, 2012

This is one of the nicer churches that we have visited to do English with the missionaries. It is in Miraflores Sur and is built on a hill - as is the entire area.

As we were watching the jaguars on the ground at the zoo.  Elder Dibb looked up to see this one sleeping in the tree near the fence.  We wondered if he could jump over if he wanted to.  But he was just relaxing and enjoying the nice, skinny bed.

We visited Suraquina on Sunday for church.  This is the little chapel out in the middle of nowhere.  The little building to the left is the bathroom.  There is a chapel, branch president's office and a little room in the back. There is no landscaping.  This was taken from the car as we approached the building.  The houses are far apart and most of the people walk to church.  It takes them between 30 minutes and an hour to get there from their homes.  There were a few people who had bicycles.

The district president is on the left, the branch president on the right.  The smaller man in the middle is a counselor in the branch presidencies and is shaking hands with our taxi driver (who is also a member of the Church)

This little guy is the grandson of the branch president.  He did smile when we showed him the picture of himself.

The bathroom had 2 stalls with a water tank on top for flushing.  There was no other running water so nothing to wash hands with.

The Relief Society President came early and we visited for a few minutes.  She speaks a little Spanish, but mostly Aymara.  The wind was blowing and it was cold.

This shows the typical houses and  property.  This one is near the church.

These sisters are preparing some food for the meal that they have after the meetings.  They are cutting up lettuce and the little guy wants to be a part of the fun.

Ruth is a 16 year old girl we met before the meeting.  We asked her how long she had been a member of the Church.  She said she's been coming for 2 years but hasn't been baptized.  She walked over 30 minutes from her home to get there.  It was interesting to see the culture of these people - They were all very quiet and shy.  We noticed that no one greeted her, sat by her, or talked to her during the meetings. 

This is the chapel with the sisters and children.  The district president is on the front row.  All of the sisters took off their hats and put them in the windows.  Everyone kept their shawls and blankets on during the meeting.  There is no heat in the building and it was cold and cloudy - so no sun to warm things.

This is kind of the "men's" side of the chapel.  Notice that the older men have their knitted caps with the ear flaps.  They also have regular hats that they wear over the knitted caps.  The youth are near the back.  The first 2 youth on the left side passed the sacrament.  The little girls in the middle kept the shawls over their faces most of the time.  When we asked if we could get pictures, they covered their faces and shook their heads "no".

After the meetings (which were Sacrament meeting and a 20 minutes Sunday School - which they asked Elder Dibb to teach just before the closing prayer in Sacrament Meeting), they laid out wheat sacks that had been sewn together for the meal.  Atapi is what they call pot luck.  Usually, they just dump all the food on the sacks and people get what they want.  That would have actually been better because they brought us a "ton" of food. Everyone just sat quietly and waited for about 15 minutes while the R.S. loaded plates.  Then the branch president and a few others brought the plates out to everyone.

This is the plate Sister Dibb got.  It has salad (which we can't eat - mission rule - along with pork and strawberries) about half a chicken, 5 potatoes, 3 sweet potatoes, ocra, and 2 fried bananas.  Everything tasted pretty good, but we prayed that the blessing would be in effect so that we wouldn't get sick.  So far, we are OK.  Because we couldn't finish all that was on our plates, we took the left-overs back to the jovenes (teenagers) at the back of the chapel.  They finished everything off like "vacuums".  That's what the members say about the missionaries.  They will eat "everything".

This is one of the little boys in the church.  Notice his red, chapped cheeks.  Because of the altitude and the strength of the sun, plus the wind, most of the people have these rosy cheeks.

We took a lot of pictures, so you will only see a few.  But these two little girls were a little shy about having their picture taken.  They liked it when they saw it.  The sister in the back is "giggling", which most of them did when they saw the pictures.

These three little girls were excited to have their picture taken.  This is the 3rd one they wanted me to take.  The oldest is 13.  We took a few Personal Progress and Duty to God books and gave them away.  We should have taken more, because I ended up giving my copy (with notes and markings) to one of the girls. Then I had a few PP journals that I gave also.  Now they need some training on how to use them.  Hopefully we didn't miss anyone.

After the meetings and lunch, many of the sisters just sat outside of the building.  We left before they went home. It made us so grateful for the blessings we have and the direction we have in the Church.  It is a hard life on the Altiplano for these people.  Most of them do a little farming and raise sheep and cows - no cars.  The travel by "mini-bus".  The counselor in the district presidency came from Huacuyo and left at 6:00 in the morning.  He took two mini buses and had to walk a total of 6 kilometers to get to the meetings.  He arrived at 11:30 for the 10:00 meeting, which started at 10:30.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Sister Dibb is giving piano lessons to the 10 year old girl in this family.  She is excited about learning and is willing to put in the time.  The little boy in the mother's lap is our little wanderer in Sacrament Meeting.  He spends time with the Bishopric on the stand.  This is the Escobar family.

We spent last Saturday in Achicachi on the Altiplano in our continual quest to provide training for the leaders in those struggling branches.  President Quintanilla, our mission president, the one on the left in the back, and one of his counselors are in the picture as well. 

After the training meeting in Achicachi, we visited with a family in the small town of Warisata.  This little opening through the adobe wall is the entrance to their home and yard.  We went to his home to see the greenhouse he has built.  You can see it in the background.

Here is the greenhouse.  It works, too, it was nice and warm inside.  He is just about ready to plant the vegetables they will be growing.  His wife is in the picture as well with their three month old baby on her back.

Here are the greenhouse husband and wife.  We are on the Altiplano and surprisingly, he began speaking English with us.  He served a mission in the Everett, Washington mission about eight years ago.  He traveled from Bolivia to Washington to teach the Gospel while our youngest son, Andrew,  traveled from Utah to Bolivia to teach the Gospel.  They were on their missions at the same time.

This is the mountain backdrop for the town of Warisata.  The name of the peak is Illampu and it is about 21,000 feet high.

Notice the sign on the gate.  The little chapel for the Warisata branch is hiding in back of the gate.  Its just a small one room building.  Some day soon, they hope to have a new chapel.

The building now used for the chapel is in the yard of the branch president's family.  This is their dog, one of the smallest little Heinz varieties we have ever seen.  It is only about four inches high and six inches long.

The baby of the family, the grand daughter of the branch president, is all wrapped up in the blankets the mother uses to carry the little girl on her back.

This is the only tom turkey we have seen in Bolivia.  The family told us not to get too close.  Seems the old tom likes to attack anyone who gets near.

We are all in the yard of the branch president,s family.  You probably recognize Elder Dibb on the left, next is President Quintanilla, then his counselor, President Miranda, next the branch president and his wife, and last the greenhouse husband and wife and their two year old daughter.  Sorry, Elder and Sister Dibb could not remember the name of this family.  We love to visit with the members on the Altiplano.