Thursday, July 14, 2016

Dear Friends

[12 July 2016]

One of the things I wanted to bring back from Utah while we were there for Emily and Scott's wedding was my camera. I didn't bring one because Charlie does such a good job of taking pictures and he had his phone to take pictures. So many times I would think "Oh I would like a picture of that".

So I took my camera with me to La Cancha. With my recovering wrist it wasn't very easy to take pictures, so I took one or two here and there.

As our time to leave has drawn closer, I realize the pictures I really want are of our dear friends that I serve with in the temple or from our ward, etc. So this blog is dedicated to them, our dear Bolivian friends.
Hna. Altamirano
This is Miriam Altamirano. Her home and all of her family live in Tarija - an 18 hour flota ride from here. She has raised her children alone for many years and now they are paying for her to live here and serve in the temple for two years. She is a driven woman and is always busy cleaning, smiling, laughing, hugging or all at once. She works both the morning and afternoon shifts 5 days a week. She is a delight.

Hna. Cruz
Hermana Cruz is a temple worker as well as a member of our ward. She is a Cholita and usually bears her testimony and prays in Quechua. Her son recently returned from a mission.

Hna. Sandoval, me, and Hna. Orosa
Both Hermana Sandoval and Orosa are on the morning shift. I have talked about Hna. Orosa before. She has headed companies, has represented Bolivia in England, speaks many languages and calls me her Princess. We had lunch in her lovely home. The meal was prepare by her son who is a gourmet chef.
Hna. Cruz, Hna. Rivas, Hna. Hinojosa, Hna. Soliz
Aren't these sisters darling? Don't they look like they should break out in song? Hermana Cruz has been a worker for a long time but I got to be in the session where her husband received his endowments. Her son and her daughter were there with them. Hermana Rivas was the shift coordinator for a long time. She runs a tight ship. Her brother also works on her shift. Hermana Hinojosa has taught English and has helped me a lot with my Spanish. I love to hear Hermana Soliz perform the ordinances. She speaks with such reverence and love.

Hna  Rocha
Hermana Rocha is as sweet as she is pretty. She has a soft, high, kind voice. You can tell she loves everyone.

Hna Tarqui and me
Hermana Tarqui is an amazingly fast learner. I was able to help her learn how to use the computer and the cash register in the Roperia. She is very sharp, very faithful and very fun to visit and work with.

Me and Hna Mamani
Hermana Mamani has stolen everyone's heart. She works both morning and afternoon shifts everyday. She can only be a volunteer because she can't read, so she can't learn the ordinances. However, she is determined to learn them from listening and is often searching the scriptures for words she knows and adds to them. She giggles and smiles and runs everywhere.

Three generations
Hna. Perez is the grandmother of Hermana Morgana and next to her is her mother. They all work the same shift, often in the baptistry together. The mother is a volunteer because she still has lots of little ones at home. Hna. Morgana is her oldest, so you know the other ones are "little."

Hna Guaman and los Lyons
Hermana Guaman is beautiful in every way. She is the shift coordinator on Saturday morning. Saturday mornings are often very busy so I haven't had a lot of time to just sit and visit and find out her story. But she is so loving and happy. The last day that I worked the morning shift, she would take my hands and swing them from side to side and tell me how much she was going to miss me. I will miss her.
Hna Salguero
Hermana Salguero is amazing. She has taught me and continues to teach me better ways of speaking and serving in the temple. She has an amazing story. She was married once and it didn't work out. Her brother passed away and she helped raise her 9 nieces and nephews. Now that they are all grown they tell her how much they appreciate her teaching them to work and to love the gospel.

Hna Urquidi and Hna De La Fuente
On Saturday night there are quite a few young return missionary sisters who work. One night while we were waiting for the last veil they were asking me how I met my husband etc. They listened intently as I muddled through telling it in my limited Spanish as well as with lots of gestures. Then they asked Hermana Urquidi (above on the left), to share her story. I am amazed at sisters like Hna Urquidi who have such hard sad stories and yet are so happy to serve the Lord. This is how she gets through and you would never know it to see her that her life has been so hard.

Hna. De La Fuente was my first teacher here. She has worked in the temple since it first opened in 2000. She knows her stuff and makes sure we all know ours too. I appreciate her teaching and friendship.
Los Flores
These are some of my favorite people. Hna Flores was  one of the first sisters I got to know here. We decided we were gemelas, which means identical twins. We look just alike we have the same number of kids etc. etc. Don't you agee?  I only hope to be her twin.

Los Murguias
A darling couple.

Los Teran
Is this a cute couple or what? So devoted and faithful.

Los Vasquez
Our next door neighbors in the hospedaje. They are from Santa Cruz and they just sparkle together. We love to hear him sing the song he wrote about their love story to the tune of the theme from Romeo and Juliet
Los Chavez
They have two daughters, one who has been on her mission a little less than a year and the other just received her call. All of us sister workers claim their daughters as our own .

Los Paredes
Another sweet temple working couple.

Los Salazar
He is a sealer in the temple and a stake patriarch. We had dinner in their home. A yummy traditional Bolivian meal. They are gracious loving people with a lovely family.

Me and Eva Cruz at church

Hna Eva does not have the use of her left side due to a stroke. She lives alone and is very faithful in coming to church every week as well as to the temple regularly. She has to leave her home very early to get to church by 8 am taking two trufi taxis. Often times she leaves her hair till she gets to church and someone like me can help her do it (which I love doing). She has very thick beautiful hair. When she saw this picture she was so surprised at how white it is.

All done. 
I love Eva Cruz and when she is not in church I worry about her because she is almost always there. She calls me her reina (queen).

A darling brother and sister in front of the temple fountain
There are so many beautiful children like this, dressed  in their Sunday best, who come with their parents and stay in the hospedaje. We love to see the children. I was glad they would let me take this picture of them.

This little boy on the left kept poking his head through the temple door, so I went out and asked him if I could take his picture. He giggled and when his big brother came to see who he was talking to, I asked if I took take his picture too. So here they are, aren't they handsome?

Percy Avilla in the Garita (guard station)
Charlie re-baptized him when he was 12 (his records were lost and he was ready to receive the Priesthood). He is the son of Hermana Elva Lopez

Ivana "Bebita"and her mother Elva Lopez
When Charlie was on his mission Ivana was about 3 or 4 and everyone called her Bebita. Here she is all grown up with her mother Elva Lopez.

Our Sunday School Class
Rene Cabrera - Temple Recorder and dear friend
Hermano Mercado
One of the temple employees that can be found everywhere doing every kind of work.

Keven Peredo - Assistant registrar
Hermano Allyon
When there are bloqueos and it is hard for the workers to get to the temple, this devoted brother will leave early and walk a good portion of the way till a trufi or bus comes along.

Hermano Leaño and Hermano Fernandez
Good faithful temple workers

Hermano Freddie Quiroga and Hermano Lyon
A good worker and good friend.

Hermano Garay
I love to hear Hno Garay pray. He is from Chile and has a very unique accent, and he prays with feeling.
Aymaristas from El Alto
This couple received their endowments and were sealed on the day I took this picture. Charlie and I got to officiate in their session. They speak Aymará, which is an indigenous language. When they came out of the temple I asked them if I could take their picture. They just grinned.

The Chavez family and friends
Brother Chavez is standing next to Charlie. His daughter is next to him with her mission call in her hands and on her other side is her mother. She opened her call at the temple so some of their dear friends who were serving in the temple could be there. We had the honor of being invited to share that special moment with them. On the right end is her bishop and his wife.

The boys in the picture below are the bishop's children. The boy in the middle beautifully sang "Love One Another" while the ward choir hummed. Charlie accompanied the choir and I got to sing with them. Hno Chavez was the choir director.

Me and Hna. Michel
Diana Michel lives in La Paz and comes to the temple one day a month. She is a music teacher and has a beautiful voice. She is like a daughter to me.

Hno. y Hna. Coca
The Cocas were temple workers here in Cochabamba when we came last year, but he retired and they now live in Santa Cruz, where their children live. They are faithful temple workers who now come to the temple to serve one week every month.

Ok. I could go on. There are so many more dear friends that I would like to introduce you to, but this will have to do. Aren't they beautiful people? I am so grateful to have been able to get to know and work with such wonderful, faithful, devoted, inspirational people. We have come to love them dearly they will forever be in our hearts.

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