Sister Katie Garff

Sister Katie Garff
Bolivia Cochabamba Mission

Monday, September 18, 2017

I Truly Am One of the Tallest People in Bolivia

Something that I absolutely love about this picture is that if I stood up,
I really would be taller than all of the young men in our ward, haha;D
Hey:)

I hope you all had a great week, especially my brother, Josh:) Happy Birthday Chubs, I hope you made good choices:D And, sorry, I am not going to write a lot, because the pictures really tell it all;) BUT, I hope you all know that I love you and pray for you every day:)
Our ward had a talent show night where every group in the ward did a traditional Bolivian dance.
It was so awesome (especially to watch my two favorite kids in the ward:))
We had a zone conference and I got to see Hna Condori (the hermana that I trained and one of the best friends I have in the mission:) 
Hna Reina: Also one of my best friends in the mission.
She taught me a TON during the exchanges that we had, including how to apply make-up again (I totally forgot!!)
Funny: I realized that I truly am one of the tallest people in Bolivia (see pics)
This is also one of my favorite pictures from the mission, because again, it shows just how tall I am here:D
This is a picture of me, my companions, and a member...
my feet are the ONLY pair that touch the ground while sitting down;D

Spiritual: We got to go to the temple with our recent converts this week, and it was such a wonderful experience:D They are so dedicated to the Gospel and want to have more and more of it in their lives. Rubén danced in the ward event this week and Angelo is seriously considering going on a mission (if not, he will get married in the temple the next year with his girlfriend). It is awesome:D
Sorry, it´s a bit dark, but this week we went to the temple with Rubén and Angelo.
They are our recent converts and they are the absolute BEST:D
One of the best pictures I have ever had taken of me on the mission, 
because it shows just how big of a dork I am;) 
I put on my jacket after putting on my bag...so taking it off was quite the process as I fastened all of the buttons on the front side;D
Love you!
Hna Garff

Monday, September 11, 2017

Busy in Bolivia


Leadership conference
Leadership conference continued
Hey Everyone:)

I hope you all had a great week watching the ByU vs. Utah game;D (Go UTES:D) because I had a very festive week here in Bolivia. Hna Renovato completed 18 months, it was Hna Garces´ birthday and also the birthday of one of recent converts. What a week, haha;D
We celebrated the Hno Rubens´birthday this week:) I LOVE HIM:D
Hna Renovato completed 18 meses this week, so we went to a Mexican restaurant to eat and...SWING:D
We celebrated Hna Garces´ birthday too:D
Funny+Cultural:What I love about Bolivia is that the flowers are so vibrant...but I have no idea why they are so vibrant if there is no water! We have not had water for a good week and almost a half, BUT:) God loves us so he helped us find a cistern where we could fill our bathroom storage buckets. AWESOME:D
Okay, we officially ran out of water and haven´t showered in days, SO I went to go find some water and yes:)
We may be taking bucket showers BUT we will at least have water;D
Filling the bathroom buckets

Spiritual: We contacted an AMAZING woman named Mary (sorry, no pics for this week) who is 27 years old, has some deformities and a heck of a life. She lost her only child a few weeks after he was born, she had an abusive husband, she craves the respect and love of her parents but only feels like a burden and absolutely detested God UNTIL she talked with us during Pedestrian day. She told us that she wanted to leave but felt SOMEBODY pulling her back to hear more. We later identified that as the holy ghost and an answer from God, and she BEAMED from ear to ear after hearing this. From that point on, her attitude has completely changed and she has been progressing a ton. She asked us what she needed to do to be like us and also what she needed to do to be baptized. She attended church with us for the first time yesterday and was absolutely happy to be there the whole time.
Despite the miracle that we have been able to see in her, the biggest miracle for me was talking to her mom. She told us that she hadn't smiled sincerely for 7 years and that she has neglected to open her heart to friends (and especially God) for those same long 7 years. I can only imagine how grateful God must feel that His daughter is finally smiling again as well:)
no sé: We re-enacted the tree of life with our ward and it was awesome! 
Lots of members were there and our current favorite little investigators too:D



Some teenagers were flirting in the street, so of COURSE we had to take advantage of that opportunity;D
The CUTEST little Bolivian boy that I have ever met in my entire life:) We met him today, his name is Johann and I am returning to Bolivia so that we can get married in a few more years;)

I love you all, have a great week!
Hna Garff

Monday, September 4, 2017

Happy Día de Peatón!

 To celebrate Hna Garcés´ first month in the mission, I drew a picture of the reality of how we proselyte. The two Lamanites (or half Lamanites) with the Nephite and her umbrella, haha:D
Katie is currently thinking that she is much taller than she really is.  Coming home might be sort of a shock...
Welcome to the story of our companionship. It is crazy, but we love it!
Hola:D

And, Happy Día de Peatón:D Or, Happy Pedestrian Day:D (more on that below) And also, I would just like to share how happy I am:) I absolutely LOVE the hermanas in my zone, my companions, my area, and the Gospel. This was an amazing week for many different reasons, but mostly just becuase I felt so happy every single moment of every day. I love being a missionary:D
 

 


Cultural: Día de peatón: This day is SO COOL because no automobiles are allowed in the streets, so there are tons of families out walking all day. It was a perfect opportunity to contact TONS of people, and we did it in style by centering our contacts completely on families.
Pedestrian day continued...I LOVE pedestrian day:D


Funny: Hna Garcés saw a baby bird trying to fly in the park and decided to chase it down to hold it...she also obligated us to hold it, but I was a big wus and didn´t want to...long story short, I ended up holding the bird, but after praying (haha) and squeezing it really tightly in my hands. Afterwards, Hna Garcés held the bird again, but because I had squeezed it too tightly, the bird ended up pooping in her hands and we had to go find a fountain to rinse, haha!
The Baby Bird
  
Rubén and David:D They are amazing!
Spiritual: Part of the reason that this week was so great is because Hna Garcés, the new missionary that Hna Renovato and I get to train, is amazing. She is conquering a lot of her fears right now, and we are so proud of her! One incredible thing that she did this week was invite one of our investigators to get baptized and he said YES:D 
It is Hna Garcés´ birthday this weeks and so we are celebrating BIG TIME! And, other Hermanas as well:) I LOVE the hermanas in my zone. They are so thoughtful and simply the greatest!
They made Hna 
Garcés' bannana bread:)
Girls are very funny sometimes. After making the bannana bread, the Hnas felt badly about eating so much, so they resolved to doing a few push-ups to burn some of it off....haha, I love them:D
I love you all and hope that you are finding a bit of happiness every single day, for God's plan is one of happiness:D

Hna Garff

Monday, August 28, 2017

Marriage...is what brings us together today...

The family of "the sweetest member in the ward": Hermana Leonor. They have a bunch of rabbits, chickens and puppies, which is SO COOL because during the lesson, Leonor made us egg sandwiches using the eggs that literally came right from her chickens! Talk about eating super fresh haha:D
Our first baptism!!! haha jk, we just saw this happy, Catholic couple taking pics in the park, and we totally photo bombed at least 10, but then we ended up asking for a personal pic, hah!
Hey:D

Marriage is what brings us together today..I HAVE DECIDED TO GET MARRIED.....not! This week was absolutely amazing in my different ways, but also FULL of lessons and experiences concerning marriage and dating....more on that in the cultural category;D
 One of the families that we are teaching right now. They are awesome and we totally love them, but they are just a bit crazy sometimes and forget the importance of going to church;)
LOL, this is one of my favorite pics. In the mission, it is pretty shunned if you walk around with an umbrella or if you wear a hat, because that's how OTHER missionaries look...so yes, I was technically a representative of another church this week, because the sun was BURNING hot and my skin was absolutely roasting.
Funny: There are tons of funny pics, but I think the funniest thing that happened is that our trio now has new names. Hna Renovato is the Lamanite, Hna Garcés is the Anti-Nefi-Lehite and I am the Nephite....purely basted on the colors of our skin. We are definitely not racist in our companionship;D
Our BABY:D
Now, this seemed a little strange to us at home.  Apparently, "mission lingo" would mean that Katie (Nephite) and Hermana Renovato (Lamanite) are the mission moms of Hermana Garcés (Anti-Nephi-Lehite).
These Hermanas are having a great time serving together
Yup, still looking for a house, but the newspapers didn't help us much as they were all VERY nice houses
....that are advertised to have water too;D
The family of our pensionista. We LOVE them!
Cultural: To be honest, I have not even THOUGHT about marriage for the course of my entire mission and it is still something that I avoid like the plague, BUT it is not uncommon (apparently) to be thinking about that during the mission. Below I have attached a photo of an elder who is practically already engaged and his fiancée is planning the wedding right now. Also, my two companions talk about marriages constantly and one is already planning the date for when she will enter the temple with the love of her life.
THIS is Elder Babbitt, and YES he was practically engaged before coming on the mission, haha!
We also taught a lesson on marriage this Sunday, and let's just say that I didn't have much to say, haha! AND, we helped a bawling young woman after the second hour of church to cope with her current break up....YUP! I will not be getting married for at LEAST 5 more years AND the only thing I know about my wedding is that we will be eating lots of chocolate;D
One of the sweetest members of all times:D She works all day, every day,
 but separates 3 hours every Sunday to go to church.
It was the birthday one of our neighbors yesterday and they invited us to eat with them.
It was super nice, but we had just come from eating lunch, so we literally ROLLED the rest of the day, haha!

Spiritual: We have been praying to find a family of 5 who can all get baptized together before Hna Renovato leaves in a few more weeks, AND we have 3 families of 5, all of which can be baptized, but we are working on it. So cool:)

Love ya´ll!:D Have another great week of school!
Hna Garff
We made TACOS for a family home evening and I LOVE them:D..the people and the tacos;)

Monday, August 21, 2017

Welcome Hna Garces, Heart Attacks, and Finding Gru's House

This is something super cool that we do in the mission. When new missionaries arrive, the secretaries, assistants, presidents and capacitadoras sing "Called to Serve" in the airport:D
Hey Everyone!

First of all, happy International Animal Day:D (it was earlier this week), but really, enjoy;) It is so funny here, they celebrate their animals every year by putting special collars on their dogs and giving them baths, cutting their hair, etc. It is a party! (but maybe that's why we don't have any water in the house to bathe ourselves...;))
Finding a house that has running water at least three times during the week;D 

Looks like Gru's house from Despicable Me so of COURSE it is an option;D)
Also, TONS of CRAZY things have happened this week! Cambios were a bit different because the new girl that arrived is super sweet but it extremely shy (and her trainer was the exact opposite). Because they didn't get along too well, President Montoya assigned us to be her MOTHER:D Hna Renovato and I are so excited but a bit uncertain about how we will still do intercambios with the other Hermanas, but hey:) It is all good and we are going to learn lots of great things being in a trio and serving the other sweet Hermanas in our zone:D
The trio:D - At a Fútbol game:)

Te quiero mucho Hermana Garcès:D Gracias por ser mi gran amiga y compañera:D ¡Trabajemos duro y con el Espíritu Santo esta semana

Hamburguesas:D

¡Todos nuestros amigos!
My companion pulling one of our investigators home so that he wouldn't leave to go drink, hahahaha
Funny: the pictures sort of tell it all this week, haha! But we had a blast eating lemon pie, pulling drunk investigators home to their houses, saying goodbye to Hermanas with destroyed shoes, taking a super serious photo shoot and attempting to do service for the members in our ward by "heart attacking them"
Ring n'runs, lol, they really don't work here;D
Cultural: Heat attacks have the great intention to show one's love by decorating somebody's door, leaving a treat and running to hide...the issue is that the people here really aren't accustomed to having someone knock on their door and hide because there really aren't policeman here and people don't often open their doors to strangers during the night. We nearly caused an old man in our ward to have a heart attack, haha! BUT, we had a blast, especially because we did it with some of our investigators who are usually locked in their house because their parents are out drinking:(

  
Spiritual: This week really was absolutely crazy and FULL of emotion for all of the sisters that were involved with the cambio to accommodate the new Heramana. But, through the midst of all of the trama, I really came to respect our new president because he was extremely preoccupied about our well-being and showed his love and concern for us every step of the way. I know that he receives divine revelation from God and that he has a genuine love and concern for all of his new hijos y hijas:D
Sister missionary shoes after 18 months of good service!
It was Lemon Pie Day the other day, so of course we had to carve out 5 minutes to find some pie....The pie, however, was so good, that we ended up eating it over the course of 30 minutes...the pictures show the process of the heavenly moment (including a pic when we had to divide the pies in half because we both wanted to savor every bite that we could, lol)!

A party that we found in the church before attending a district meeting. (We always tend to find the fiestas;))
   
I love you all, but please make good choices;D
Hna Garff