Monday, October 21, 2013

2013-10-21 Jeampierre is teaching me to play the Sanpoña.

Hey Everybody,
No letters arrived this week.
Sorry, no pictures again, the computer won’t connect with my camera.

We all went to the zone leader’s house last night to wait for cambios together.  At about 10 we finally got the call.  I’m staying here in Alamos, my companion is leaving to Jaihuaco (ghetto part of Cochabamba.)  I am going to train so I don’t know who my new companion is yet.  Tomorrow or Wednesday I’ll go to the meeting where the new missionaries arrive to pick up my companion.  I think that it will be fun to train and I was surprised because it was a small group of elders coming in this time.  It’s kind of weird that I’m getting my 5th companion though.  Most people from my group have only had 2 or maybe 3.
Last night as we were waiting for the call, Jhonny Diaz called me.  His friend Devvi (Debbie) who I taught for a long time is going to get baptized and wants me to baptize her.  I started teaching her my second week with Elder Mero and she already would have been baptized but her parents are super Catholic and wouldn’t give her permission.  They finally changed their minds though.  Last night was awesome between that and cambios.
Last week for p-day we went paintballing in the rain.   It was really fun.  Here they charge like 4 dollars for the equipment and 20 paintballs and then 7ish cents for every paintball more than the 20 that you use.  After that we went downtown and ate with the zone and then went to the Flores family’s for an hour and had Hawaiian pizza.
Jeampierre is starting to be a little more comfortable around us.  I picked up a pizza and we went and ate it with them this week.  Jeampierre is teaching me to play the Sanpoña, (small wood pipes), and most of the time talks to me when I talk to him.  He finally came to church yesterday too.
The Flores family says “hi” and Marco says he worried because you and Lizzie haven’t been on facebook to chat all week.
I went on exchanges on Wednesday this week with the zone leaders and I went to their area.  In one of our lessons I gave a blessing to a lady who got baptized on Saturday.  I’ve never felt so good about a blessing I’ve given.  I knew exactly what to say and how to say it and felt the presence of the Spirit the entire time.
During the exchange, I was in a more rural area than mine and it made me realize how many fewer dogs there are where I am now than there were in Villa Graciela.  There were crazy dogs all over during the intercambio just like there always were in my old area.
It was really cloudy and rainy at the beginning of the week but it’s been hot and sunny the last couple days.
It is incredible how the Lord leads us to people.  We found a family of 5 when we helped them push their car for 2 miles to a gas station.  The dad was so grateful that he told us to call him any day and he would get all of his family together and come pick us up in his car so we can teach them.  

Bolivian stuff-
There are so many little street vendors.  I love how in the morning there are little carts that sell scones and scones filled with cheese.  The scones are big and only half of a boliviano.
Nothing here ever starts even close to on time, no matter what it is.
In general people aren’t too educated about the outside world.  People guess that I’m Argentine a lot because I’m white.
Anytime you are in someone’s house they will offer you a drink and it is rude not to drink it.
Everyone is unbelievably short.  I hit my head on stuff all of the time and my legs don’t fit between the seats on trufis because things are not made for people of my size
Periodically there just isn’t water for a few days and that’s normal.
There is graffiti everywhere. 
They blame Chile for stealing their coast.  
They still use antennas with their TVs.
Spelling is not important.  I spell much better than they do in Spanish.
If anything is wrong with you they want you to drink mate. 
They burn garbage and weeds and stuff and aren’t careful about it so there are always fires on the mountain. Firemen beat fires out with bundles of reeds.
A lot of times they answer the door through a 3 inch by 3 inch little window in the door.  Then we sometimes teach them through that little hole.
The mission is always out of something we need--Books of Mormon, pamphlets, agendas.  Oh well, we make do.
In general, people are very honest.  They never let me pay too much for anything.
Trucks drive around selling fruit.  They have speakers attached to the top and the driver does a sing-song-y thing with the names of whatever fruit he has.
Anyway, hope you have a good week and I’ll have lots of photos next time.
Elder Howlett

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