Monday, July 20, 2015

Tramites and Forever Families

[July 14-15, 2015] Tuesday - Wednesday

We got dressed early and went down to the "Garrita" or guard station to meet Bishop Davila who would take us to do some more tramite work for our Visas. Turns out we would be doing it on Wednesday, so we went home, changed out of our Sunday clothes and into our jeans and went on an adventure.

We had heard of a store that might carry some large sized shoes. We headed East on Avenida America, which was a new route for us. We passed by a bunch of buildings that looked like a campus and sure enough on one building were the words Universidad Catolico. The area had a college feel to it with lots of papelerias or stationary stores. There were young adults wearing back packs, as well. Also a lot of eating places.

However, no shoe store. We never did find the store. We saw where it might have been at one time, but the stores were empty. We didn't mind, it was a lovely walk after all.

We stopped off at IC Norte on our way home to pick up some things. We even bought a coconut chocolate bar to share on the way home.

Charlie has been doing some research on my family line and he found some information that needed to be cleaned up as well as some names of people who were ready for their temple work to be done. There is a Family History Center right here on the temple grounds but it is only opened on Wednesday and Friday so we will make a trip there tomorrow to print up our forms to take to the temple.

We met Bishop Davila early and did our Tramites. It took about two hours. We went to Migración where we got a number and waited in line. We signed our names and put our passport number on forms and got our pictures taken again.

Next we got in the car and went to the bank. Bishop Davila's wife Anita often helps him with these tramite ventures (he does this with the young missionaries as well). She ran into the bank while we drove around to find a place to park and wait for her. The purpose of going to the bank was to deposit money for the blood test and bring the receipt back to Migración to show that the blood work had been paid for even though we didn't have to get the blood work done.

On the front lawn of Migración under a canopy was an old copy machine (an independent vender, who sets up their copy machine there). After getting copies made we got a number and waited in line. The place was more crowded this time. We met some nuns from Korea and exchanged greetings with them.

Our tramites are nearly complete. In two weeks Bishop Davila will go back to Migración to get our passports back and we might have to do some more things. This process has improved greatly. The other missionaries' tramite work took 6 months to finish. And when Charlie was here 40 years ago he had to check in with the policia (police) every 90 days.

There is a little Church Distribution Center here as well. Their supplies are pretty limited. We bought a Children's Songbook and a full slip for me. The only size slip left was an extra large, so I spent the rest of the afternoon figuring out how to make it fit and stitching by hand.

We were able to go to the Family History Center and get our form printed to take to the temple. It was sweet to be able to see the whole process through. We did the work for my dad's cousin Vester (Aunt Rosie's boy) and his wife Bessie. We also were able to do the work for Rinse Davis and his wife who was Sarah Jane Chester from my mother's line. And Joseph Smiley and Jane Simpson were sealed together for time and all Eternity.

My assignment in the temple today was in the Guardaria. The Guardaria is a place for children who are being sealed to their parents to wait while their parents are receiving their temple ordinances. These ordinances need to be performed before the family can be sealed, like getting baptized before receiving the Priesthood.

The family being sealed had three boys. I met them at the front desk of the temple and their Dad helped me bring them to the Guardaria. The youngest boy was asleep in his arms. They live in La Paz, so they had traveled on a bus for 8 hours to get to the temple. They got to the Guardaria at 4:15 pm and their sealing was about late. Even though they were tired and it was late, they didn't complain, because they were going to be a family forever.

I was so impressed with Rrussell, the oldest brother. He was so sweet with his younger brothers and so respectful and handsome. He reminded me of Gordon, same age, oldest of three, handsome and spiritually mature. I told him (as best I could) about my grandson Gordon. We also talked a little about receiving the Priesthood. So sweet.

The sealing was going to be around 8:30 so we started getting them dressed in their white clothing around 8:00. Imagine three very handsome, dark skinned, robust boys all in white. They looked like angels.

We all sat on the couch and talked a bit and then I read to them some more. They were so tired from their big day. Franklyn, the three year old fell asleep on my shoulder right away. Joan fell asleep too.They called for me to bring the boys up to the sealing room around 8:50. I carried the three year old( I bet he weighed 40 pounds). I got to attend the sealing. I actually didn't notice they were speaking in Spanish. I just felt so much love and gratitude for being there. The sealer had the boys stand on the bench to look in the "forever" mirrors with their parents. They had a lot of guests and I loved watching Rrussell's tender expressions as he welcomed everyone's hugs etc.

I carried the "little one" downstairs (I'm afraid he won't remember much) but the other two will. They changed their clothes and we quietly played with puzzles till I got the call to bring them out front about 10:00.

So what do you do with three boys ages 11, 5 and 3 and you don't know their language very well. I'll tell you what you do, you just love them like they were your own grandkids. And I love playing with my grandchildren. We played hide the toy. We colored. We read all the children's books...then I discovered a cupboard of toys and puzzles. Those kids were amazing with the puzzles, especially the 3 year old.

It was an honor to get to be their Abuela Blanca (white grandma) for the night.

I wish I had known more Spanish kid words However I was very grateful for the times I played with my friend Miriam's children. She taught me Spanish for three years in her home. I'm grateful for her every day.

There are families that make that long bus trip with their young children on a regular basis. They stay here in the hospedaje (where we live) on the temple grounds. They take turns attending sessions and tending children. Their children are dressed in their Sunday best. The temple is a part of their lives. It will be interesting to see the good that comes from this generation of Bolivians.


  1. And I'm having trouble getting to the Chicago Temple only a couple hours away...

  2. You're the best abuela blanca ever! Lucky Bolivians!