Monday, February 29, 2016

Week 21 - Loving the Mission!

This week was good. I can not complain. The dogs are consistently possessed, especially the ones that herd the goats, which is all of them. But once you get past them, everything is just great. I love the mission, and while though it has it's highs and lows, it is amazing. This week we had a less active come to church for the first time in maybe 3 years, and we were able to do good work as far as teaching and serving are concerned. My area is so unique, and I love it to death. The adjustment to pioneer living still isn't easy, but with the help of the gospel and good members it has proven to be one of the greatest experiences of my life.

I hope you all have a good week, and I will talk to you all soon!

I asked Brad what he thought of the food now that he's been in the country for a while.
Bolivian food really isn't bad, from what I have had. To be honest it has probably cleaned up my diet, at least the way we eat in Quiriza. All Natural. But it is always, always like this: You work or finish whatever you are doing, pull up a tree or a comfy looking rock, they bring massive pots of soup, then we eat soup, and then they have a bowl of rice with some mystery cut of meat that they give us with some sort of mystery sauce. I find it better not to ask the source.  I know I have eaten the face meat of pigs and stuff, and chicken feet, and llama and donkey. The food here generally lacks flavor, but it isn't bad.  Just not great, lol.

Brad sent this to Katherine...
Three days ago we were walking to back to Quiriza from one of our other villages, about an hour away even on foot. And it started to rain hard. I was soaked from head to toe, the waterproof boots are kind of water proof, I realized. But much more comfortable than the others, I have decided. And there is one or two dogs in Quiriza, and when ever we walk past them, they will walk with us for hours to the other villages, wait for us in front of whichever house or hut, and go to each lesson with us. Just little mutt dogs, but they are cool.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Week 20 - Burger King!

(I told Brad that I thought spring was around the corner and asked him how the weather was there and how his trip to Cochabamba was, he calls it Cocha)
Ha, we are heading into fall right now!! Burger King was a long awaited for and much needed treat for the taste buds. Lol. President has told me twice that this is my last transfer in Quiriza, so I should be in Cocha soon! Cochabamba is like Hawaii or So Cal weather, without the beaches and the other basic American things, but it is gorgeous. I probably had to come live in the 16th century (referring to his current area in Quiriza) to realize how nice modern living actually is. A little humility and gratitude check. The little guy crouching down in that picture with me, Elder Cortez, the assistants is President Roly, our Branch President. I don`t think you knew that! I love the people here, they are awesome. And man, I realized how bad I wanted to drive again. I sat in the driver seat of some guys truck, it wasn't on or anything, man I could feel the endorphins buzzing in my head. I wanna drive.

(I asked Brad if he knew something President Hansen didn't about him being in Cochabamba next, I also asked him how he likes his companion Elder Wren and Elder Stoker, who has become a good friend) I do want to go to Cocha, I would be fine spending the rest of my time there. And Cocha is hot, it is a wet hot, pretty humid for 9,800 feet. Elder Wren is hilarious, his comedy is kind of like combining George Costanza with a Cole Mackay, not very loud, just little comments that destroy you with laughter. Elder Stoker is a great guy, he is in Sucre now in his third to last transfer.

(I asked Brad how his Spanish was coming along)
I am learning the finer points of grammar, but I am fluent basically. I can't understand Chileanos hardly at all, but I understand the others almost 100%. I really enjoy the mission, not saying I am not excited to be home, but still, I enjoy it. I forgot like my home routine, I had like ¨Brad´s way of doing things¨, as you and others described it, and I just don't even remember it. Next week you gotta tell me about some of the crazy or unusual things I did with machinery or trailers or whatever it was so I don't forget who Brad was\is. I could spend hours talking about the crazy things Brad did with cars, trucks and equipment and the thousands of dollars he cost me in repairs :)

Below are some pictures of Brad having fun on P-Day with Elder Stoker and his district.... He's still a goofball, so not too much has changed.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Week 19 - 2 Baptisms!

This week was slow, but really good. I baptized two people on Saturday and confirmed one yesterday, so not bad at all.  Elder Wren is my new companion, he is from Bakersfield, California. A really good guy, and man he is hilarious. I like him a lot. I leave tomorrow at 1 pm for Cochabamba to finish immigrations, so I should be back Thursday night or Friday in the wee hours of the morning, then we are planting a field or 9 of garlic Saturday.  :)

(I asked Brad if it has still been warm and also told him to make sure that he get's the paperwork right for that poor couple that had to be re-baptized. I also asked him about his trip to Cochabamba and if he had somewhere to stay while there) The weather has been fine, and yeah, I made sure the papers were done right this time, lol. It was their second baptism. And we don't have a place to stay, usually we will get to Cocha at like 4 am and then we will leave on a flight to Sucre at 3:30 that same day, and we leave Sucre at 7:30 pm to head through Potosi and into Tupiza. So unless there are no flights or floatas (Buses)  leaving Cocha I won't be staying over. But if I did I would be in the assistants house, I believe!

I hope you all have a great week, Love Elder Howells

Monday, February 8, 2016

Week 18 - New companion, Elder Wren

Hello.  My companion was transfered to Cochabamba, and I have a gringo companion, Elder Wren. He won't be here for a few more days, so I will be with a Colombian Elder until our new comps arrive. (Brad was with the Columbian Elder in the CCM)  But all is good here, this week we had a lot of lessons with members, not a lot of service.  Just working and doing the normal missionary thing. Carnival started this week and it is pretty good, but I like the Sandy City parade more.

(I told Brad a lot of people commented on his picture last week of plowing the fields in sandals)  Hey, the sandals, called abarcas, are what all of the natives wear.  They have car tire for the soles, and they have thick leather straps. Anything short of my work boots get destroyed in the fields.  Everyone, literally, has the sandals.

The investigators are progressing more or less, just keeping their commitments. We will have 2 baptisms for the people who I told you about who couldn't go to the temple because somebody screwed up their records, so they have to be baptized again. (A couple in Brad's area were off to the temple and had saved for a temple trip.  His mission president came to give them a recommend and couldn't find their membership records.  They were baptized in Argentina but the baptisms were never recorded).

Have a great week!

Monday, February 1, 2016

Week 17 - Plowing

This week was good. We had splits with the ZL's in my area and Elder Stoker and I had 5 of the best lessons of my life. The best teaching I have ever done. We will be having about 3 baptisms this next transfer, I am sure of it. A great week teaching wise. Saturday, I learned how to plow with a mule, I did it on my own. I am a pioneer. Haha. I love my area, it is a great place. The people are great, the lifestyle, though not entirely for me, is just fine, and Bolivia is an excellent place. I am very pleased with the way things are going.

(I asked Brad if one of the people was Alejandro an 11 year old boy he's been teaching) When Elder Stoker and I taught him, he hadn't been coming to church and it was strange, he had no light in his eyes, his mom didn't either. But he and I taught him the first vision, which I shared, and the spirit hit like a truck. It was great. Then two days later he came back and said that he prayed about the lesson Elder Stoker and I taught and he recieved an answer, and he wants to be baptized again.  so... BOOM.

I plow.... :)