We made the trip to La Cancha this morning to look for shoes. I've been told that some of the Brazilian vendors there have the larger sizes, but no success.
The more amazing thing was that I forgot to bring a map, and we didn't get lost! We did buy some rugs to place next to the bed so our feet won't get so cold on the tiles in the morning. I also bought an HDMI cable so I could connect the laptop to the TV. That came in handy on Friday for President Packer's funeral.
We took the #3 bus down and back - it was really packed. On the way down, Molly sat next to a lady who talked her ear off, and Molly said she really was pleased that she understood most of it. She is really doing great with learning the language and communicating. She is losing her fear little by little. Given that we've only been here three weeks now, I think she's made tremendous progress. She really works on not letting the Gringo accent get too strong. I realize we'll always sound like Gringos, but we both are working on our accent and improving each day.
On the bus, Molly was really impressed by the politeness of the people - old and young. As she got on, a young woman stood up and offered her seat without any asking, etc. Molly doesn't really look like a senior citizen - it was just a polite effort on the part of this young woman. The children always greet us with smiles on their faces. Some of it may be the uniqueness of seeing these foreigners here, and realizing we aren't great at communicating, but everyone is so friendly and helpful. It makes every day enjoyable.
In a prior post, or posting some pictures, our son Matt asked if these trees on the temple property were gum trees. I figured I'd get a close up of the leaves so he (or someone else) could answer the question properly:
Trees on the temple grounds - Gum trees?
Leaves of said trees
Another family I'd like to reconnect with, if possible, is the Alvarez family from Santa Cruz. There's another sweet story I'll post at some future time. In talking with President Garcia here at the temple (he's the First Counselor in the Temple Presidency), I found that he had lived in Santa Cruz, so I asked him about the Alvarez family.
It turns out that Hno. Alvarez was a Bishop at one point, and President Garcia had been his counselor. Hno. Alvarez, though, passed away about three years ago. Pte. Garcia told, me, though, that his wife was still active in the church, and lived in the same ward as Pte. Garcia's daughter. He told me that if I wrote her a letter, his daughter, who is coming to Cochabamba next week, will make sure it get's delivered.
So, I started writing letter to Hna. Alvarez. In Spanish, no less. We'll see how that goes. I'm excited to hear about her and her children.
Also, this morning, Molly got a haircut and color from Hna. Valdizán. Hna. Valdizán is one of the temple missionaries. She's from Peru (lived there for 36 years), but moved to Provo and owns a home there now. She was a hairdresser in her former life, and enjoys helping the sister missionaries here at the temple. She speaks Spanish natively, and speaks very good English as well, so she helps us understand things while we're still learning.
We were able to connect the laptop to the TV, and watch President Packer's funeral through the Internet. The connection was very good, with only a couple of times where it hung up and missed something. It was so sweet to see President Monson speak, and communicate such sweet things about President Packer. All the talks were powerful and moving. President Packer has been such a forthright teacher of correct principles. His book, "Teach Ye Diligently" was one of my favorites, and I took it with my on my mission as a young man because the principles were so meaningfully related to the work I had been called then to do. He was (and is) a very great man and a wonderful example to all of us.
The temple has been very busy this week. The schools all have there winter vacation right now, so families take the opportunity to come to the temple together. The young people do Baptisms for the Dead, while the parents participate in the other temple ordinances. The hospedaje is packed from Wednesday through Saturday. Buses arrive early in the week, and families stay through Saturday, doing work each day, often for their own ancestors. It is really sweet to see.
They often bring their children, and they take turns watching out for them. The children, even though they are too young to go in the temple, are usually well dressed, and always well behaved. They are so happy to be here.
As we were walking back from a trip to the store, this group of children came running up to us, wanting to shake our hands, and greet us. They were so fun. I figured I had better get their picture with Molly:
Bolivian children at the temple with Molly
Someone made the comment that these children are being "raised" with the temple. It is central to their families' experience to come here. It really is a powerful testimony of the faith of the members here.
Another trip to the Feria. The fruits and veggies are plentiful and inexpensive. This amounts to about $8.00 of produce:
We had another very busy day at the temple. It's wonderful to be so busy, and see this temple being utilized so fully. There are six endowment sessions each day, five days a week, and every one of them has a good number of patrons, usually. This week, we've been averaging over 30 per session (the capacity of each endowment room is 50 here, so that's pretty good.)
When we got through, Molly wasn't feeling very well, so we passed on the Saturday night restaurant run with the other missionaries, and just came home. We're not sure what got into Molly, but she had a pretty miserable night.
Mom still was not feeling well. President Jensen came over, and we gave her a blessing. We weren't able to attend the Linde Ward this morning, but I knew they were counting on me to help with the Choir, so I called the Bishop to let him know what was up. A little while later, I got a call from the Choir Director, indicating the practice would be at 6:00 pm.
Molly still wasn't up to making the trip, so I asked President Jensen if I should just invite another missionary couple to accompany me. He said it would be fine if I went alone, so I did.
I caught a Trufi (2 B's - 30 cents), and made it out there in plenty of time. We practiced for nearly two hours, so the sun had set when I finally got away. I had hoped to catch a Trufi back, but waited for 15 minutes or so without seeing one. So I finally caught a Taxi. I really didn't feel any danger, but I'm always happier to be with Molly as my companion. Even though it is only about four miles away, I wasn't really excited to walk home alone!
We started the day by walking down to Los Castores with Hna. Valdizán to get some salteñas for breakfast. We decided to get the "super picante" ones this morning. They were really tasty, and not as "picante" as we had hoped.
We walked back up the street to IC Norte to get some groceries. Molly needed to get some stuff to make cookies for our FHE tonight. There is a group of students here in Cochabamba from BYU, who have come to teach music in one of the schools here. They come to the temple each week, so we've had the opportunity to visit with them, and ask them to come and share their talents with our group of missionaries. They willingly agreed.
So, we got the groceries we needed, and decided to bring a taxi back, since we had 5 bags of groceries. It was good to have Hna. Valdizán with us, because she can get much better deals, especially on taxis. Since she is a native Latin American, they don't treat her like a "rich American". The taxi pulled up, and where they would have charged me 15-20 Bolivianos, she got them to only charge us 8 B's. Hmmmm....
And, on a last note before the obligatory blog ending pictures, we've been pushing ourselves to learn how to use the FamilySearch website to do Family History better. Today, I was able to find source documents for one of Grandpa Glidewell's cousins that gave his birth date, death date, and death location, along with his wife and her information. As a result, their work can now be done to be sealed together. I also found documentation for their three children, all of whom could be living. We'll have to see if we can connect with them to get the work done.
Lots of learning, and lots of fun.
So, here are some Cochabamba and temple pictures to wrap this week up.
Cochabamba (in the distance) from the temple.
View of the temple from our walk home from IC Norte (groceries).
View of the temple through the fence around the temple grounds.