Sister Katie Garff

Sister Katie Garff
Bolivia Cochabamba Mission

Monday, December 11, 2017

See You Next Week!


When life rains on you, you gotta open your mouth and drink it in.
This life is a wonderful blessing and we should all savor every second of every situation!
Our Christmas tree:)

Our crazy district:D I am definitely going to miss them!
Our matching dresses:)
I can't believe that this is my last p-day. I feel as if I ended my training about 2 months ago and that I am just about to start my mission again! BUT, I must say that I am so incredibly excited to see you all again! Being on a mission has made me realize just how blessed I am (especially to have so many great friends and family at home to love and support me)! Thank you so much for your prayers, emails, cards, packages and love. I love you all so much and am truly grateful for your friendship.
My companion and I went to go visit my wonderful pensionista in my first area and she was so generous!
She made her best plate-pique macho and a strawberry cake! I love her so much and will miss her TONS!
The scarf that Hna Natividad made for me. I LOVE this scarf because it has a cute, little hole where the opposite end of the scarf should go (so you don´t have to wrap it around your head multiple times) but also because it made me feel like I was from the Hufflepuff house in the Harry Potter series:D
When one is afraid of getting skin cancer...
A wonderful family whom we are teaching right now. The mother has plans to get baptized by the end of this month, and her children are close to follow:) We feel so happy and so blessed!
One day, we contacted for 10 hours straight without tons of success, so we decided to buy churros and a shake for dinner. 
It was probably one of the better decisions I have ever made in my life!
There are lots of dogs in Bolivia, but I think dogs with makeup are hard to come by...

I would love to share my testimony, but first, I need to share a brief story about an amazing woman named Soñia that really changed the end of my mission. Soñia is a sweet woman whom we are teaching (I attached a pic of us peeling potatoes together:)) that really made me reflect on how incredibly blessed I am and how important it was for us to meet. After talking to her for a few minutes, I came to find out that she didn't know who her parents were (and therefore didn't have a last name). I also came to find out that she doesn't know how old she is, nor what she likes to do to pass the time. Her life simply consists of going to work everyday to have enough money to live. She doesn't have her own family and she doesn't know what she wants to do with her life. I am pretty sure that I am one of her first real friends that prays for her and cares for her and she just made me WEEP that day!
An investigator that hates taking pictures and really didn't want to talk with me,
BUT by the end of the visit, I think we became best friends;)

I know that God loves her. I know that he has a plan for her and I know that she will have a very special place in the kingdom of God if she continues to live as she is doing, but even more so if she will learn to accept what we teach her.

My testimony:
I have learned so much on my mission, especially concerning the love of Christ and the wisdom in His Gospel. The Gospel is for EVERYONE and if we choose to accept it, we will be able to find a happiness that we have never felt before.

Personally, I have been able to see the Gospel change the lives of my investigators, converts and companions, but to me, the biggest miracle of all has been seeing the remarkable change that the Gospel has made in my own life.

I have become a much better disciple of Christ, and I understand much more clearly my purpose as a member of this great church. Truly, I know that when we can lose ourselves in the service of others, we ultimately find ourselves.

I know that this church is true and I know that exact obedience to its teachings can lead us back to the home of our Father in Heaven.

I am so grateful for the time I have had to serve as a missionary, but I also realize that my work has just started and that it is essential that I keep working in the Lord's vineyard to continually invite others to treasure its teachings.

I love you all and will see you very soon!
Con mucho amor,
Hna Garff

Merry Christmas:) The lights here are so wonderful. I love Bolivia!
But, I am also excited to see the beautiful lights of the SLC temple!
It has been a joy to post Katie's entries on this mission blog.  We have loved seeing Bolivia through her eyes.  Though many of Katie's shared experiences have highlighted the humorous side of things, it should be noted that she has worked tirelessly and has given these months all of the effort she possibly could.  She loves the people of Bolivia as well as the people with whom she has served. 

Well done Katie!  It is with open arms and grateful hearts that we welcome you home!

Katie will arrive home on December 18th.
She will be having an informal open house at our home on Friday evening, December 22nd, from 6:00pm-9:00pm.
Her mission report will be December 24th, 1:00pm at the church building on 3103 East Craig Drive.

We would love to see you should these times work into your busy holiday schedules.  Many thanks for all of your support on Katie's behalf.  You are greatly appreciated!

Monday, December 4, 2017

Happy December!

The Jungle :)
Hey Everyone, Happy December!

This was a wonderful week because I was able to work with lots of different companions in exchanges to carol to just about everyone in the street/in their houses/whatever it may be-it was just awesome!
Celebrating the birthday of our mission leader. He was ELATED:)
He told us that it was the best birthday that he has ever had!
One of our last intercambios-wahoo:)
Funny-we were able to go to Incachaca (a jungle in Bolivia) and so we had to wake up at 3:00am to do so. To be honest, I wasn't too tired, so Hna Andreve and I made pancakes with chocolate chips for our zone. It was awesome!
The Jungle :)

Cultural-we know have a fully-functioning bathroom with a shower that not only works and has water, but that also has a tiled floor to shower on:)
Visiting some of our favorite investigators: Jose y rosemary:) They were super nice to give us food, because generally, they do not have food in the house. When we arrived, one of their sweet kids was actually cleaning a part of meat from a cow
so that his mom could cook it for their family later that day.

Spiritual-We are currently teaching an amazing woman named Yaneth, and her son, Jostine. They are WONDERFUL and have such amazing spiritual experiences concerning their conversion. The other day, Yaneth told us that she had a dream where my companion, Hna Andreve, and I were teaching her and an angel appeared to her and told her that she needed to listen to "Follow Christ and listen to the missionaries." This was such a wonderful thing to hear after praying, fasting, acting and following the spirit for countless weeks to find the Lord's chosen. We feel so happy and so blessed to be able to teach her and her son. Missionary work is real and God truly loves his missionaries!
buying ice cream after not having too much success after about 4 hours of contacting;D
a SWEET traditional costume that the children use hear to dance and celebrate their culture
Have a wonderful, second week of December. I hope that you will be able to receive more snow to make lots of snowman and, hopefully, go skiing:D

Love you all!
Hna Garff

Monday, November 27, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving!

Leadership Conference
I hope that you all had a great week with your studies, work and other activites:) 

Funny: This section has been omitted.  The only reason we mention this is to assure you that Katie has not lost her sense of humor.  Perhaps she will tell this story upon her return, but it will not be over the pulpit.  Needless to say, we are excited to think of her coming home.
There was a HUGE forest fire in the mountains this week
which is truly awful because there really is no water in Cochabamba...
Cultural: Bolivians don't celebrate Thanksgiving, but my pensionista worked in the US for a family, so lots of her recipes and traditions come from the US too...I LOVE HER SO MUCH:D

Spiritual: This was an amazing week because we really decided to focus on the members in our ward. We were directed by the spirit to visit an amazing woman named Rut Leon who truly needed our help. She and her daughter are the only ones who attend church because her husband and 3 sons have gone completely inactive. We were able to talk with the dad a day later in a family home evening, and the situation is so sad: he doesn´t talk directly to his wife-only to us and his children. He has started to smoke, he doesn't like to spend time in the house and is simply tired. He doesn´t want anything to do with his family, especially with his wife. 

When we visited the wife a day earlier, she was completely distraught and hopeless. By visiting her, however, we were able to help her through reminding her of her great importance as a wife and mother and we were also able to help her husband. 

We talked to the family about priorities and putting the Lord first, the family second and after, other obligations. We will visit them again this next week and are confident that we will see improvement:)
Making brownies with a few investigators:)  Don't worry, I didn't cook this time, I just encouraged;D

I love you all and hope that you all know that this work is so important. Never think that you can accomplish the difficulties of this life by yourself. You need the help of God. Never doubt the power of kneeling in prayer to talk with Him!

Hna Garff
I seriously almost left the house like this because it was super comfy;D

Monday, November 20, 2017

Another Cooking Attempt -"Hna Garff, been intent, pero for favor, no vuelvas de cocinario"

We visited an AMAZING family this week that TOTALLY reminded me of my own family:) They LOVE to laugh and simply made me feel like a million bucks. They are amazing and sadly they don´t live in our ward, BUT, it is my hope that their kids can serve in SLC, UT in a few years!
This was a great week that was absolutely full of activities to help our zone. We did 3 different exchanges and 1 zone invasion (where the whole zone serves in one area to help the missionaries there). It was awesome, but it was a bit tiring;D
I decided to be creative with my make-up this week
Funny: Cooking.....I don´t know why this section is almost always composed of me in the kitchen, but this time I tried to make my companion a different pasta sauce that my trainer had taught me how to the end my companion told me "Hna Garff, buen intento, pero por favor, no vuelvas de cocinarlo" which means "Sister Garff, good try, but please, don´t try to do it again.";D;D
hasta que no haya fotos. We worked a TON with our zone this week and did LOTS of exchanges. It was super fun, but a bit exhausting;D
Cultural: we still don´t have a shower. Sorry to keep mentioning that, but I think it describes the rate at which construction is done in Bolivia. It gets done, but in its own sweet time;) As for right now, we still shower, no worries;) but in a plastic container that we place on the floor so that we don´t end up giving the neigbors a shower too;D
Spiritual: We have an amazing new investigator named, Yaneth and her sweet son, Jostine. Yaneth went to church with us this week and started crying after heraing one of the talks. She asked us after "hnas, did you ask that woman to give that talk just for me?" We told her, "no, but she was asigned that talk by the bishop, who receives divine revelation from God to meet the needs of our ward." It was so cool and we are so excited to teach them more this week:)

Love you all!
Hna Garff

Monday, November 13, 2017

100 Words and Loads of Pictures

Alex's baptism:) He is AWESOME and his family is SO humble!

The lesson that we taught for Alex's baptism while he was changing with my Spiderman puzzle:)
On the way to the baptism, we stopped by a few houses to pick up our best friends in the ward. I was also pulling my suitcase because we needed to drop a lot of things off at the church too, so of COURSE it was only appropriate that they rode my suitcase to have some fun:)

Sorry, not a lot of words today, but LOTS of super funny pictures:)

Spiritual: Alex´s baptism. Alex and his older sister are members, but I loved that his parents were there to support him. They are SUCH a humble family and very spiritual to. I KNOW that they will all be members of the church soon and that Alex will serve a mission in a few more years.
This brave, young elder decided to let us cut his hair...neither my companion or I had EVER cut hair but it was a super funny experience (especially because right after I had cut 3 HUGE patches of his hair off, our neighbor mercifully came and finished the cut, haha:))

Funny: Just about every picture
The healthiest and craziest "lunch" I have ever eaten;) We were serveyed by someone in the street, brought to their store, taught about health and given water, tea and a smoothie that supposedly fills you up the whole day....we left abslutely STARVING!!haha:) Yup, doesn´t work, but it was super fun!
Cultural: sink and bathroom (see in pics for update)
It is summer right now, so we didn't have water for this whole week, BUT we received water today and went to different Hna´s houses to shower throughout the week, haha!
It didn't really matter that we didn´t have water, because we don´t even have a shower right now (something was wrong with the drain and we almost fell through our neighbors roof! haha:)) BUT, it should be fixed this week, so more on that for next week.
We have a sink:) We couldn´t exactly use it this week, but we are stoked to use it tonight:D


LEFT:  Our beloved, special and unique bathroom - tadah :)
MIDDLE:   We may or may not have had a water-fight in the street;D
RIGHT:  Restaraunts like this are super typical (with the meat being cooked outside to draw the attention of pedestrians), but it is NOT typical to find the owner of the store, dressed up outside, so of course we had to take a pic:)
A family home evening that we had with two new members of our ward. They are super awesome and will be so helpful in the mission work!
The new members are from Peru, so they made us a traditional Peruvian dessert. I forgot the name, but it is basically hot, grape jello with fruit that tastes like bubblegum...
LEFT:  We went to the temple as a zone and it was SO important and SO refreshing. I love the temple:D
MIDDLE:  Three new Hnas arrived in the mission and they are awesome:) In fact, the Hna that I trained is now training Hna Ballard (one of the new Hnas) so in missionary words, I have a grand-daughter:) Also, we ate cake and ice cream for breakfast
RIGHT:  There is a grand lesson to be learned here: when your shirt rips, it is okay. You can still wear it, but you must put a sweater over it...
My companion when she tried to hide from the big, slobbering dogs!
The Elders when they decided to try on the Hnas old is a good thing that they are Elders:)
A couple that we saw flirting in the park. We were a bit worried about them until they started reading the bible together....yup, weird, but an efficient way to flirt and learn at the same time!
Perhaps this is the BYU experience...

I love you all and hope that you had a funny, spiritual, cultural week too!
Hna Garff