Monday, January 19, 2015

La vida Boliviana (The Bolivia Life)


I am going to write in English so Mom, you can understand :)

My area is called Antofagasta. My limits are the 5to and 4to anillo between the avendia Vallegrande and Doble Via la Guardia. It is small and full of dirt. It is very very hot and I sweat a lot. The chapel is small and simple. The benches are made of a dark red wood that smells like furniture polish. There are 12 industrial fans that line the ceiling and provide an ever so slight breeze in the immense heat of Santa Cruz. There are 15 classrooms, one office for the bishop, one room for the secretaries, and 2 bathrooms. The kitchen, relief society room, and the pila bautismal are all put together. The kitchen is one sink and 2 electric stoves. The baptismal font is filled with cold water and sometimes smells like dead lizards (because sometimes they get in and cant get out).

Houses here are different from my first area and different from the center. There are 2 enclosed neighborhoods in my area that are identical to the US. All the houses have yards, mailboxes, driveways, etc. Ive never gone inside becuase you can only enter upon being invited by someone who lives there but we have passed by many times and seen inside. The rest of the houses are anywhere from 4 wooden walls to a nice brick house with a front door and 2 floors. Its very different here. A lot of houses have several rooms and a different family rents out each room. Each house always has a lavandería to wash clothes by hand.  

Every tuesday and saturday there is a fair in the middle of my area. Blue tarps are tied on the top of 4 poles stuck into the ground. The shade is hardly a refuge from the heat of mid day here. Fruit is the only thing I buy. It is cheap, delicious, and fresh. It all goes bad fast but its okay. I eat it fast. You can get pots and pans, used shoes from the US, clothes of any kind, movies illegally copied, and nick nacks of all sorts (usually little plastic kids toys), and just about anything in the fairs here. I usually stay away from the food stands with fried chicken, fried pig, fried papas, fried everything. 

My area is also in the middle of a lot of tallers. I dont know what 'taller' is in english. Basically its a car repair shop. But here in my area they are repair shops for large trucks. There is an open field in front of these tallers of pure dirt. The width of a football field and as long as 4 or so. The trucks come and come all day. Welding, tire changes, engine repairs. You name it they do it. 

I get a lot of comments still. 2 were pretty funny from this week. They usually come frequently. Ill translate to help you out. 

1. ''Do you walk all day in the sun?'' ''Yes! But its not too bad.'' ''How are you still so white??''

2. ''Heylo mister pancho!!! One, two, three!!'' (this is a pretty standard comment that many people use)

Not too much other crazy stuff happens. I learn a lot here. This week I learned how to mix cement, and lay a cement floor. We went and help a less active member and he taught us. I laugh a lot here. Little things people do make my laugh. For example. We contacted a family and the kids were the first to leave the house. 2 little girls (twins) came running out and gave us hugs. We talked to them, couldn't understand what they said and then asked if they wanted a present. They of course said yes. I then gave them a picture of Jesus (a pass along card) and they lost it because they were so excited. Hugging it, jumping up and down, screaming, and then ran and showed their mom. The whole family is now listening to us.

Miracles happen here. Our baptism was wonderful. His whole family came and supported him and the ward mission leader baptized him. He was so happy and couldn't wait to bear his testimony of the way he felt. 11 years old and already has a firm testimony. 

This week I learned a lot about the work of salvation. I read and studied DyC 50. I asked the zone ''What will happen in our lessons if the Holy Ghost is present?'' we studied and came to the conclusion that many things will happen. They will feel the desire to be baptized. They will have a change of heart etc. But really the only thing that will happen is that they will fulfill the conditions set in DyC 20:37.

I love the Lord. He is my Savior. I have a personal relation with Him and I become more close to Him everyday. 

Hurrah for Israel!

Lots of love,

Elder Gehring

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