Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Trip to Batallas - Aug. 19, 2012

Another one of the chapels in La Paz where we teach English to the missionaries.  All the chapels are on hillsides with lots of steps because La Paz is totally a canyon.

We took this picture on our 45th Anniversary, August 18.  Elder Dibb bought me some beautiful flowers and we received congratulations from children and friends.  We visited a sister who just got out of the hospital after a 2 month stay and took her some flowers.  It was good to visit.  We had a great "lunch" at the Argentine Steak House.  It was delicious, then spent the rest of the day practicing with a choir (I accompanied) for the Saturday session of stake conference.  It was a wonderful conference and the choir sounded really good.  Pres. Crayk (President of the Cochabamba temple) spoke. He called me up out of the audience (I thought he was going to have me speak) but luckily, he just had me play the left hand of "As I have Loved You" and asked the congregation to guess what the hymn was.  No one was able to guess.  Then he had me play the right hand.  Of course, everyone recognized the melody.  Then we put both hands together, then he sang the words.  It was such a sweet spirit and we understood his message that in the temple you have every part of the Gospel that we need to return to our Heavenly Father.

After conference on Sunday, we traveled to Batallas (about 2 hours from La Paz) to give training to the YW, R.S. and Primary leaders in that branch.   This is our driver.  He is a secretary in the stake and really a nice young man. 

We are waiting at the chapel for the missionaries and leaders.

Here come the missionaries down the street.  Elder Gonzales on the left is an amazing missionary.  He is the Branch President and was previously the secretary to the mission president. When we arrived in the mission, he and his companion (Elder Cuellar) took such good care of us.  They will always be some of our favorite missionaries.

The training went really well - one on one.  We took some Personal Progress Books, Faith in God pamphlets and Visiting Teaching information.  We set some goals and worked through some ways to organize things. We will return in about 3 weeks to see how things are going and continue with some more training. We also visited about the Church's music program and will try to set that up in our next visit.  Things seem to be progressing.

We are always amazed as we watch the building going up across the street from our apartment.  This little lady works twice as hard as any of the men.  Every time a big truck dumps a load of sand, she is the best "shoveler" you've every seen.

She turned around just in time for another picture.  These people work hard.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Kelly's baptism and R.S. dance festival

Patricia and her daughter in our apartment making Elder Dibb's famous cookies.  The recipe has had to be tweeked several times to get them close to what we make in the U.S.  The altitude is so high that it is difficult to make things like we do at home.

Kelly's baptism.  She is in the center.  Her boyfriend performed the baptism.  There was also a couple that were being baptized at the same time by Elder Andrade (on the right). 

This is Kelly with her boyfriend and her family that came to support her in her decision to be baptized.  Just to Kelly's left is Arturo, a young man that we baptized a couple of months ago.  On the far left is Maria, who is taking the discussions and has a baptism date of August 25.  The little boy in front of Kelly is her nephew and is 7 years old.  We're not sure what the problem is, but he is really small for his age.

A close-up of Kelly, Arturo, Gonzalo (her boyfriend) and her mother on the right.

Here we are with this special young lady.  We surely learn to love these children of our Heavenly Father quickly.  They are choice spirits.

An addition to our "dance festival" from last week.  It was the youth last week.  On Saturday, it was the Relief Society Dance Festival.  We finished the baptismal service for Kelly just in time to go down and see our ward perform.

Sister Flores, a son, Kevin, Jose (one whom we baptized) and their cousin.  The costumes were amazing.

This is the group of sisters and the 3 young men that performed the native Bolivian Dance.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Sopocachi Stake Dance Festival

Our stake had a dance festival on Monday, August 6.  It was a holiday in the country (Independence Day)  But because the President doesn't really think that it is Independence Day, there were no country celebrations.  So the stake had a celebration.

They had dances from different parts of the world.

This is from the U.S.  These two young people are President Quintanilla's children from Obrajes.

This is a Russion dance.

These are from India.  The girl in the yellow costume really had some talent.

This dance is from Mexico.  These are the youth from our ward.  The young man in the center is a young man that we had the opportunity to teach and he was baptized.

This young lady also was a "dancer". 

These are some of the stake leaders that did a Bolivian dance.  When we went to a museum, we saw hats like these that were used in dances.

More fun costumes.

This dance was from Potosi and was very colorful.  They also had an angel and a devil depicted.

This is our ward again doing a second dance from Bolivia.  We really enjoyed this event and know that the youth in our stake are really lucky to have such activities going on a lot to help keep them faithful and active in the Church.

Monday, August 6, 2012

National Holiday 6 de Agosto

We went to lunch at the Troche's home.  Their son, Jhonathan, (spelled correctly in Spanish) makes sandwiches out of every dish that is fixed.  He has picante, mayonaise, chicken and mashed potatoes on this sandwich.

Looks like he's enjoying it a lot.

This is the Troche family.  They also have a son in the United States and a son on a mission in Venezuela.  They are a great family.

Today is Bolivia's independence day.  We walked up town to see if any celebration was going on and found these dancers at the big cathedral getting ready for a parade.

There was also a wedding celebration going on.

We found that the parade was part of the wedding celebration.  A couple of young men led the procession with fireworks.

There were older women, but also a few little girls dancing to the band music and parading. Notice the women in the background.  There were a lot of them in different colors dancing.

A couple of the men who were dressed for the occasion.

Another little girl and her brother.

Love this picture with the "mini" trumpet.  The band sounded pretty good.

These costumes were the most interesting.  The men put some padding over their shoulders before putting the top part of their costume on.

They each had a mask and hat with plumes.  Some wore them, others just carried them.

The men also had special shoes that went with their costumes.  It was a fun experience seeing them and their celebration.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Last week of July

Sorry for being late this week.  The blog wouldn't download any pictures until this morning.  This is Hermana Chambilla and Hermana Gomez.  Hermana Chambilla went home this last week and wanted some help with the English program.  So they came to our apartment a few times for help.  She made the scarf around my neck and gave it to me for my birthday.  It was a sweet thought.  It is warm and very soft.

We finally got our package out of the aduana.  Notice all the papers around the mutilated box.  It came into Bolivia on July 11 and we finally got it on the 27th.  The customs always seems to come up with something new to hold things up.  But we sure enjoyed the contents - letters and cards from our grandchildren and children - plus some goodies, cosmetics, soap, lotion, bracelet and book on tape.  Thank you to all our family for their thoughtfulness.  It was a great day!

Across from our church is a Catholic Church.  Each Sunday a group of native Bolivians gather at the door asking for money.  We noticed that the little boy standing up with the light pants is our little ukelele player that we posted last week.

We had a zone activity and was asked to do the cup game again.  We had 3 different groups and were surprised at the difficulty some had working together.  In one group in particular, there were too many leaders and nobody ever made a final decision.  They broke the elastic before getting the pyramid built.

Some of the missionaries doing a game with the Book of Mormon.  We are in the Stake President's home.  This is downstairs by the raquetball court.

This is the first time we have ever saw anyone try to use the strings to move the cups.  It didn't work too well, but they were creative.

Here are some of the missionaries playing volleyball after lunch in the raquetball court.

A banana tree in the front yard of the Stake President.

As we came home through the park, there was a high school band with the rest of the student body practicing.  These are the typical flutes in Bolivia.  They also had drums and bells, flag twirlers and baton twirlers.

After being home for about 20 minutes, we heard the drums coming up the street.  There they were marching down the middle of the street with cars crawling along behind them.