Friday, September 21, 2012

This is Sister Cardon, serving at the Cochabamba Temple with her husband.  She lived in Alpine a number of years ago.  She is posing by a statue of one of the early Friars in the monastery.  An interesting kind of instrument he is playing.

There was even a foosball game to play at the monastery.  The fellow in the white hat is the temple president, President Crayk.

One of the missionary couples at the temple walking up one of the narrow streets of the small Bolivian town where the monastery is located.  They are walking towards the main plaza.

Here we are at the plaza, a very picturesque plaza with this beautiful cathedral.  The priest was giving mass when we entered so pictures were not appropriate as he was administering the sacrament.

Doesn't matter how old you are, if there is a slide, it has to be tested.  The slide is at the lake side restaurant where we ate lunch.  This "young" North American is the wife of the first counselor in the temple presidency.

You don't often see the picture of a public rest room, but this one was so unusual Sister Dibb wanted to include it on the blog.  This was at the restaurant and as you can see, the whole interior is of rock.  You can guess what those little individual rooms are.  The best thing of all is that everything about the restroom was clean and inviting, an unusual combo for this part of the world.

This is the lake side restaurant, a very pleasant place to spend a couple of hours waiting for the meal to be prepared.  We were convinced that the trout had to be caught before the meal was prepared.

We stayed in a vacant couples apartment at the hosped for the temple.  As you can tell by these last two pictures, the accommodations for the senior couples are really very nice at the Cochabamba temple.  A couple of real important features here are that there is plenty of hot water and you can drink the water from the tap.  This would be a great place to spend a temple mission.  Elder and Sister Cardon do not speak Spanish, so speaking the language is not a requirement to serve here.

We got permission from the area authority to go to the Cochabamba Temple - after much discussion.  We left La Paz after a"Mini MTC"  meeting.  Pres. Crayk, the temple President spoke, as did Pres. Quintanilla and Elder Balderrama, a Seventy.  It was a very good meeting.  The missionaries in the La Paz area sang "The Armies of Helaman" and recited our purpose as missionaries.  It was really touching.  Sister Dibb had a chance to play the piano for them and for the rest of the music.  Elder Balderrama changed the closing song to "Called to Serve".  It was a very inspiring meeting.  We just had to rush to get to the airport in time for our flight.

Monday, our P-day, we went with the couples from the temple to visit a little town that had a monastery It was very interesting and had some beautiful grounds.

This is the wine press and there were many big jars in this dark, cool, room

It was interesting to see the robe and keys that were hung in the "break room".

This is the "break room" 17th century style with "OLD" chairs and table.  One of the missionaries called it the "high council room."

Some of the missionaries in front of the wishing well.  It went down pretty deep and there was actually water in the bottom.

We are sitting in the garden area.  The birds behind us are fake, but the flowers, trees and shrubbery were very nice.

This "bird of paradise" is one of the most beautiful flowers in the gardens.

We like this picture of the garden area.  There are more photos to come, but downloading 18 pictures at a time doesn't seem to work.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Suriquina Sept. 9, 2012

We traveled to Suriquina on Sunday to train some of the members of the branch there.  We arrived a few minutes before Sacrament Meeting was supposed to start.  The Branch President and one other sister were there.  These are the two children and 1 of 4 sisters that were in the meeting.

Here are two more of the sisters.  The lady in blue has a baby with her.  She carried him on her back as she "led" the singing.  Elder Dibb, the taxi driver (Jorge) and the Branch President were the only priesthood there.  So Elder Dibb blessed the sacrament, both bread and water, and Jorge passed the sacrament to 4 sisters, 2 children, myself and the priesthood.

The sister holding the child is the Relief Society President.  She gave a talk.  I gave a talk, and Elder Dibb took the rest of the meeting. Then the Branch President stood up and summarized our talks in Aymara.  (The language that most of the adults speak.)  I also played the keyboard for songs.  It was quite an experience.  Sister Dibb had never been in such a small sacrament meeting.  We took some time after the meeting to help set up some visiting teaching.  It is very difficult when people live so far apart and don't have any transportation.  When Elder Dibb was on  his first mission, he had the same kind of experience.

The sister on the right looks like she is asleep.  They all looked that way as we were giving our talks.  We must not have been very inspiring.

The branch president rides this bike for one hour from his home to the chapel over very rough, rocky roads.

The R. S. President, Hermana Poma wanted to learn to play the keyboard.  We brought one, along with the Church Keyboarding Course.  We learned a few things at the church, but wanted to take the keyboard to her home so she could practice.  She has to walk about 1 hour to get to the church, so we had the taxi driver take her and the keyboard to her home.  It consisted of several rooms around an inner court.  This is a picture in front of the door to her bedroom.

This a a room with a special kind of roof made of barley straw.  This is inside the compound.  We are planning to return to help her with piano soon, so hopefully we'll get more pictures. 

Monday, September 10, 2012

Feria de Multicultura in Colegio

We were invited to a Feria de Multicultura at the school of a part member family.  While there, this lady came up to us and said she was a member of the Church, but that she hadn't been for a long time.  We invited her to return.  She is the only one in her family that is a member of the Church.  She seemed happy to talk to us.

This is the familia Cordero.  Lucia is 12 and is not a member of the Church.  Her mother is not a member either, but Hermano Cordero has been a member - mostly less active for many years.  Lucia and her team told about the animals of Bolivia.  She and one of her team members gave some of the information in English.  They did a great job.

Following are some pictures of other cultural presentations by the students.

All of these things are made from recycled bottles and other materials.

Lucia with her other team members again.

Lucia being judged on her presentation.  This reminded me of our science fair when all the students had science projects and had to be judged.  This was really well done and we enjoyed our time there.  It was interesting that the principal invited us in when we first got there.  As we walked around and listened to the presentations, she offered us a taste of "wine" from Tarija (the wine producing area of Bolivia.)  We just politely declined.  Interesting - at a school function.  The chance to support these special people is a wonderful blessing on our mission.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

September 4, 2012

We went to a Zone meeting to teach English to the missionaries.  We arrived much earlier than expected and stopped at this shoemaker's "booth" to see if he had velcro to fix my shoes.  It was interesting to see him working on the shoes and sewing them with his "old fashioned" machine.  He searched through all his bags, but only found white velcro.  That would not have looked good on black shoes.

We are standing on the step outside of the chapel in San Pedro.  The building is "sandwiched" in between other buildings, but the view of the city is amazing.  You have to go upstairs one more level for the chapel.

We were walking around in our apartment one morning last week, when we noticed two guys "washing our windows".  We are on the 7th floor and there are 19 floors in the building.  They have some cables they drop down the side of the building and then use a brush to put water on and a squeegy (sp) to clean it off.

Looking down from our apartment.

Looking up from our apartment.  Note that we have 5 X 5 windows, one 3 X 3 and some floor to ceiling windows in our bedroom and in the living room.  It took two days for them to get our windows done - coming down, then starting at the top again - over and over.

Another of the dogs "dressed" for the day.

We had an appointment Saturday and saw this fellow sleeping on the "soft" concrete.  Sometimes we see others sleeping on the benches in the park or just on the sidewalk.

Sunday, we were planning to go to Suriquina, but found that it was "El dia de pieton".  (The day of walking.)  No cars, buses, or minis were allowed on the street - just people.  We postponed our trip until next week. It was so nice to not have the traffic and all the noise (honking, etc) that goes with it.

We were quite surprised when this "traffic zebra" greeted us at the crossing on our way to the office.  Several of the one-way streets changed directions this week and there were police and of course, the zebras to make sure people weren't going the wrong way.  This zebra happens to be a member of the Church, that's why she was so excited to greet us.