Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Home, Burger King, Cold Stone, Choir

[July 16-20, 2015] Thursday - Monday

Molly and I mostly just lazed around the apartment this morning, doing some studying and catching up with things. Molly still felt a little under the weather from her bout on Sunday. So I figured I'd give you a view of our abode:

Apartment 303 - The Lyons

The Dining area and Living Room - Molly is blogging, I think. 

The Kitchen is to the left here.

The Kitchen. Nice stove and refrigerator. Hot and cold running water,
adequate storage, etc.

Our bedroom and desk.

Dresser and mirror.

Closet and another dresser. Bathroom in the corner.

Bathroom from the door.

Looking back the other way in the bathroom.

There is a shared laundry down the hall with four nice washers and four dryers. So, there you have it. It's perfect for us.

As part of our language study, we take one of the articles in the Liahona magazine. One of us will have it in Spanish on our iPad, and the other in English. We read through a paragraph in Spanish, and make sure our pronunciation is good, and then we try and translate it to English. Once we think we have it as good as we can get it, we check it against the English version. We're getting better, but we still come across words that we need to learn.

We went up to the temple at 4:00 pm, and my assignment for the day was to run the Baptistry. Each group that comes is asked to bring enough endowed men with them to help do all the work. A number of the men were fathers of young men or women in the group, and they wanted to baptize their own child(ren). So, we made sure that happened.

One of them was visibly moved as he performed the ordinance. That's one of the really neat things about working in the temple - you get to participate and help with ordinances that bring families together, and it doesn't always mean just ancestors that have passed away. It works to bring living family members together, too. It was special to be able to share this experience with this father and his daughter.

After our afternoon temple assignment, Molly was feeling worse, so she used one of the UTI dipsticks that we brought from home. Sure enough, it looked like she was headed for a UTI, so we started her on a three-day dose of antibiotics (that we also brought with us) to get in front of it quickly.

Due to our experience just before coming here, we were well aware of what to look for, and were well prepared, so we just did what we'd discussed with the doctor back home. As the week progressed (see Saturday...), we realized that we really had been instructed in how to manage things without having to find a doctor down here (yet!)

Since I still haven't found a source for size 13 (US) / 47 (European) shoes, we tried following another lead. There is a street called the Prado, or Avenida Ballivian, where there were supposedly some stores that cater to tourists. We were told that this was the most likely place to find something. So we took the bus down to the middle of Cochabamba - about 2 blocks away, and went walking.

We walked up the Prado, and back down without any luck. For shoes that is. But we did find a Burger King, and a Cold Stone:

Burger King

Cold Stone (look closely on the right)

Since we were here, we figured we'd take a look around, so we just started walking and looking. We had heard that there was a shirt factory on Av. Sucre, so we headed that direction. No luck, but we did find a little place selling nice shirts, so we got one for me for about $7.00.

The streets downtown are a bit narrow. That traffic moves, pretty much without regard to pedestrians, so make sure you don't step off the curb:

Av. Sucre (I think)

Then we remembered that someone told us where to find Alpaca sweaters. Since Molly needed something when the mornings or evenings are a bit chilly, we headed that way - the intersection of Av. Ayacucho and Av. Heroinas. It was a real touristy area, but we found a very cute sweater for her:

Then we walked east along Av. Heroinas, and stumbled across a fun looking pasteleria:

Ice Cream - remember how you can tell how
long a missionary has been out by what he/she
does when a fly lands on their ice cream cone?

Could they possibly taste as good as they look?

We also got some good pictures of interesting looking places:

A building on Av. Heroinas

Plaza 14 de Setiembre (I think)

We'll have to come back down here when we have some more time.

On the way back to the bus stop, we stopped to get a bottle of water. As I paid the vendor (a little lady with the traditional braids, etc), she looked up at me and just started laughing. She said she'd never seen anyone as tall as I was. I do stand out a bit here (see the picture on this Sunday for proof.)

All in all, we walked about 3 miles/5 km. A nice day's exercise.

Molly also started getting a cold sore - shades of our experience in the month before we came here. In the US, you have to have a prescription for good stuff (acyclovir), so we treated it then with Abreva - $17 for a .07 oz tube. Here, we ran to the nearest pharmacy, and for $3, we got a .5 oz tube of Acyclovir. Hopefully that will clear it up quickly.

In the temple this afternoon, Molly was asked to pray for our preparation meeting. Since the group is mostly Bolivian, she got to do it in Spanish for the first time with a big group (15-20 people). She was a bit intimidated, but did it like a trooper. I wasn't there to hear, but I'm sure she did fine. I got called out right at the beginning of the meeting to go get the Baptristy organized again.

Since this is the last week of school break, there were a lot of young people again. It's so fun to seen them come every day - I am getting to know and recognize some of them, and they are so happy, and gracious, and appreciative of this opportunity to do temple work. As I've indicated, some of them come from Santa Cruz and La Paz, spending the whole week doing baptisms for their ancestors. Pretty neat.

We went to the Feria - our usual Saturday activity. Lots of fruits and vegetables again. Fresh. Bananas are sweeter here, tomatoes seem to always be in season, etc. Molly bought some flowers to brighten up our apartment. Hopefully they'll make it a bit less drab, since we're hosting the missionaries on Monday - FHE, as it were. She's going to make some Cocadas (coconut macaroons) to highlight a Bolivian treat. I get to come up with a lesson.

After our shift in the temple, we went to a very nice restaurant within walking distance called Cayenna (or something close). The food was very good - and priced in the same range as the other Saturday night restaurants have been. Pretty swell.

While we were there, I got to talk to President Hansen - the Cochabamba Mission President - for a bit about how the missionary work is going, my experiences here previously, etc. One thing he told me was about the New Mission Presidents' seminar that was held in June. One of the General Authorities talked about how important it was that new members have a Temple experience as soon as is possible after they are baptized. That will typically be an opportunity to do baptisms for the dead - exactly what I have been helping with this week. According to the research, retention is significantly enhanced - as much as 30% better - if the temple is taught early, and experiences to do Family History and Temple work are provided within the first year of membership. It gives me a good sense that what we are doing is really closing the circle on the missionary work I did 40 years ago, but with new members of the church.

As we got done at the restaurant, Molly's mouth was hurting - Thrush symptoms, again, just like she'd had before we came here. Since we'd gone to the clinic in West Valley, and been given a prescription for Nystatin, we knew just what to look for. So, at 10:00 pm, we headed for the pharmacy down on Av. America. Sure enough, we were able to get a bottle of Nistatina - $3. At Smith's in West Valley, it was closer to $70. Hmmm....

On our walk back up to the temple, we asked someone about all the fireworks that were going off. It was a celebration for the Festival de la Virgin Carmen. He didn't know exactly what is was that she was being celebrated for - just "milagros". They kind of like to celebrate anything they can, here. Lots of nights with fireworks going off. And they aren't just the little ones. Some really light up the sky. I suppose I'm happy we aren't up on the Altiplano near the mines. I understand their fireworks are more along the lines of dynamite, if that's all they can find.

On our walk down to the Pharmacy and back, we were accompanied by our "guarda espaldas" - body guard - Hna. Marina Valdizon. She's originally from Peru, but has lived in Provo, Utah for the last 20 years. She speaks Spanish better than English, and has no fear. She promised that she would take care of us, if needed. As usual, though, we had nothing to worry about.

After we got home, we Skyped Seth's family. Riley was baptized today, and Shalana reported that Seth had given Riley a special blessing along with his confirmation. It was fun talking to them.

We left early to get to the Barrio Linde Ward Conference, taking a trufi. We got there early enough to practice with the choir, but, by the time everyone showed up, it was time for the meeting. It was really nice. The choir did fantastic with a special arrangement of "I Love to See the Temple" and "Families Can Be Together Forever." They sang "Let Us All Press On" as a prelude to the meeting. Very well done.

The talks and lessons were amazing. The Bishop and Stake President spoke, and their messages about eternal families and temple work were so perfect. The Sunday School teacher is a young man who is probably less than 5 years back from his mission. He did a fantastic job teaching about how we are all witnesses of Christ - easy to understand, involved everyone, and communicated very good points with the spirit.

Afterwards, the choir director wanted a picture with all the choir. See if you can spot the gringo in this picture:

One of things is not like the others...

[Out of sequence, but applicable - one of the other gringo missionaries made some joke about not doing anything amiss. I said that it would be hard with so many people watching over my shoulder. He commented, "What do mean watching over your shoulder? It's more like they are watching under your armpit!"]

Also, the Bishop came up to me afterwards, and wanted Molly and I to take one of the floral arrangements that they had used to brighten up the chapel:

Very sweet of them.

We finished off the day Skyping with kids. It's nice that we can communicate so easily with everyone. They all seemed to be doing well.

What a fun day.

You had hoped that you were about done with this week's posting, but not yet!

We really spent the bulk of the day prepping for our Family Home Evening assignment tonight. I put together a presentation about the history, geography, people, etc. of  Bolivia, while Molly cooked the coconut Cocadas. They didn't quite turn out as expected, but they were very tasty. They just didn't harden up much, so they were more like squishy macaroons (really squishy...) than the ones we've tried elsewhere here. But, we'll keep trying (everyone loved them, squishy or not!)

I'll see what I can do to make the Powerpoint presentation available - I can't see an easy way to attach it to the blog at this point, so I'll see what other methods I can use. It did turn out to be pretty interesting to do all the research about Bolivia.

On the shoe search front, Hna. Valdizon went to La Cancha with an outline of my shoe, and claims to have found three or four places that have ones that are big enough for me. The most expensive is a Reebok branded shoe (who knows if it is the same as in the US), for about $50. I think the last time I wore a shoe that cost that little was 35 years ago.

There, I think I'm done now. Feel free to post your comments below. They are moderated, but as long as they are pertinent and interesting, I'll let them through. :)

Another picture of the temple:


  1. Cute sweater, Mom! And Dad, I don't care how long you've been there, don't lick the ice cream off the fly ;-) It was fun to see pics of your place, nice and cozy! I hope Mom gets feeling better soon, we're praying for you! Love you!

  2. I know we all thought Mom's health issues before y'all left were...you know...the adversary. But now I think they were to help you know how to doctor her appropriately without going to the doctor, and so you'd know what to expect :). Love you guys!

  3. Love this post! We miss you two so much! Thank you for sharing your mission! XOXO