Sister Katie Garff

Sister Katie Garff
Bolivia Cochabamba Mission

Monday, August 7, 2017

Happy Bolivian Independence Day!

So this wasn´t exactly a good picture of anyone, but YES:D The baptism went so well and Rodrigo is the best! 
Something rather dumb, but before filling the faunt, we forgot to clean it...so in desparation,
I tried to clean the faunt by individually picking up the floating garbage, haha
Hey!:D
I just wanted to wish you all a Happy Bolivian Independence Day:D It's crazy, because hardly anyone has their stores open today, everyone has flags adorning their houses and nearly all of the cars are decorated with the Bolivian colors. It is awesome! Also, it's crazy because this last week I completed 1 year in the mission. I definitely don't feel like I have been here for a year, but when thinking about my awesome friends and family back at home, it most certainly does feel like a year, so time is crazy in the mission, haha!
To celebrate 1 year in the mission and also, to appreciate Ice cream sandwhich day,
we, OF COURSE, ate ice cream sandwiches during intercambios! (exchanges)
We had an awesome dinner with our neighbors, but it was weird,
because usually we don´t eat dinner, haha!
Sometimes when the food is really good, one can´t help but lick the plate;D
Funny: The mother of two of our recent converts came to church which was AWESOME! She is such a great person, but the only thing is that I guess I was a little too excited because I accidentally spilled some of the sacrament water on her pants, haha! But the BEST part was that after I apologizedd perfusely, she just laughed and said, "Don't worry, now I am blessed", Haha! I love her!
Hna Renovato and I decided to clear the house of the old clothes from past hermanas.
But before doing anything, we had a pretty grand time playing dress-ups;)
We usually buy and eat the same food every single week, and here is a picture of evidence:)
This is Hna Jordan, eating the same breakfast of papaya, milk and granola
that she has eaten for the vast majority of her mision, haha!
Cultural: We helped our zone leaders change houses because they had tons of mold growing on their wall. But, because they live in the city, their water is also a bit dirtier and comes out yellow and sometimes with cute little insects. YUM! But, honestly, it was also a culture shock, because it was so AWFUL to enter the home of men...it was like entering a fraternity house...but without the beer;)
What the Elders buy on p-day...
What the Hermanas buy on p-day
Chilenos talk like parrots...so what did we do?
We gifted two parrots that squack at the speed of light to their rightful owners;D
These parrots were imported directly from SLC - we knew that Katie would help them find a great home.
Spiritual: Rodrigo got baptized:D He is such an AMAZING person and it was so neat to hear his testimony at the end. He heard a lot about the blessing side of things from our lessons, but really, he got baptized because he loves God and wants to show his love for Him. I love being a missionary!
A family home evening that we had with a recent convert (Ruben:)) and our pensionista....
we decidded it needed to be programmed, because we are planning their salvation little by little;D
Probably one of the spiciest things on this planet for me to handle, but for my companion, aboslutely NOT! 
She eats at leats 5 of these pepers every day! But seriously, when I eat them, my throat BURNS, my nose runs like crazy and my face starts turning bright purple. Yup, probably not the food for me.

My companion after eating too much;D
Have a great week! I love you all!
Hna Hey!:D
Katie had the opportunity to see Hermana Lopez once more.  Hermana Lopez was kind enough to send this photo to us.  Katie loved serving with her and we are so grateful to her for all that she taught Katie and for the joy that she seems to carry with her always.

Monday, July 31, 2017

A Different Take on Airport Restrooms

These are photos of our friends in Sucre.
You may remember them as the happy couple for whom we hosted a wedding:)
The woman pictured above is named Yaneth and she is incredible!  She just showed up at church one day and we have taught her ever since.  I love seeing these great people in white making covenants with God :D
Hey Ya'll:D

This was another incredibly amazing week absolutely full of miracles:D

Funny: There is an awesome family in our ward named the family Quakida, but the thing is it was really hard for my companion and I to remember their names, so we had to remember the phrase "quack quack" ...but know we just call them familia pato (which means the duck family, haha!)
This is one of my favorite pictures because it really displays the reason for why we usually don´t have water.
I love our neighbors....but NOT when they wash a lot of clothes;D

Cultural: We were in the airport the other day to drop of an Hermana, and decided to use the bathroom. Entering the bathroom was probably one of the best things I have done during my whole mission, because they were luxurious:D:D The toilet paper was super soft, there was soap in the despenser, there was a machine to dry your hands AND....there was WATER:D My companion and I were just laughing and having a blast when the other new missionary that we were accompanying told us that "maybe we had been in Bolivia for a long time", haha:D I love Bolivia!
For p-day today we had a barbeque with a member. It was awesome:D
This is a super sweet member who is almost blind and practically deaf, but is a complete sweet heart! She has been a faithfull member for over 50 years and still attends church every Sunday despite the physical difficulties that she has. We made cake with her and sang hyms:)
This is a plate that is really typical in Bolivia. It is called "false rabbit":)
Another typical plate in Bolivia:) I think it´s like their version of chicken noodle soup.
Spiritual: This Sunday was really chaotic, but the chaotic Sundays are the BEST because it is AWESOME to have lots of investigators attend church and it is AWESOME to have the members' trust to receive references. One of the biggest miracles was when we were appointed to a woman who wasn't a member and had just walked in the door. The amazing thing is that she is our investigator but only through a card contact on the street. We came to find out from her neighbors (who are members) that she had gotten all ready by herself and was extremely excited to go to church. It was such a cool experience and we are so excited to visit her this week!
We found 7/11 here!!!....
Not really, it was just a sign that was recycled, but it was so weird to see that here, haha!
Now that the weather is changing and starting to heat up, 
my companion and I have noticed that our tan lines too, have changed, haha!

Have a great week:) 
Hna Garff


Monday, July 24, 2017

"Scratch It"

Through the herculean efforts of wonderful friends, we were able to get a few packages to Katie.  Pictured above is the wonderful family who took the packages on their second leg of the journey.  We are so grateful!
                        

This morning we made french toast with a member and the other hermanas in our ward;D. 
Hola:D
This week was absolutely incredible because I was able to grow closer to my Father in Heaven, help lots of people in need, and help the missionaries laugh through my many accidentally dorky comments:D
I don't know if ya'll can see very well, but we gave Starbursts to a family after family home evening and they have HIDDEN the candies on a high shelf so that the older boys in the family won´t eat so many. Also, they have been rationing out their supply of Starbursts every day. Every day, one can only eat two, haha:D
We ate tacos TWICE this week and it made ME super happy but it put my companion completely in HEAVEN because she is from Mexico. Holy frijoles;D
We have debated putting in this next portion of Katie's letter.  It is most assuredly on the brink, however, it is deliciously Katie, so we decided to include this story regardless of its somewhat distasteful nature:

Funny: There was an elder who was in the hospital all week, so I asked him how he was doing and what happened. He proceeded to tell me a long and dramatic story so I kind of zoned out...BIG MISTAKE!! I started thinking about something that my dad always told me when I was sick. He always jokingly advised to "scratch it" which is definitely not the cure for absolutely ANYTHING!! haha:D So, I advised the elder to do the same and everyone started laughing uncontrollably. After I learned the location of the infection, this advice seemed a little less appropriate.  AWESOME!
The story continues because my companion and I wanted to make sure that he was okay and was improving. So, that night, we sent him a very considerate message "Are you scratching it?" ;D
Cultural: This week my companion taught me how to make a Mexican dish. It has rice, bananas, jalapenos and a tomato/cebolla sauce. Fancy;D
 This sweet old woman is named Doris and she is so funny:D she always loses the pamplets that we give her and usually forgets what we say, but she is learning slowly and surely:D
Spiritual: This week was a very special week. We were able to visit people who, simplemente, needed our time and our help. For example, on Monday we visited 2 very special people: A girl who is 13, wants to believe in God and in the scriptures but is finding it hard to. She works in her family's store every night to collect money, but more than anything, to strengthen her family relations because there is no love or unity;( We also had the opportunity to visit a teenage boy (16 years old) who had not had anything to eat or drink all day because he was worried about his mom who had been abused by his older sisters. 

The world is so imperfect. There are incredibly sad things that happen that shouldn't, but we are so fortunate because we have the Gospel of Christ in our lives to lead us and guide us along the rocky paths. It is a message of hope and happiness that can bring us the greatest joy. We just have to choose to follow it!

I love you all! Have a great week!
hna Garff
          
Yes - Skirt over a dress.  Making the wardrobe work:) 
We paid for gas the other day and we were so stoked, haha!
This was actually to pay for the gas oven.  They apparently have the only oven in the mission area, which is a big deal.


Monday, July 17, 2017

Another Awesome Week in Bolivia

Luis, a boy from my old ward in Sucre got baptized by Juan Pablo, a convert I worked with.
 SO COOL!!!
 
Hola:D

This week was absolutely incredible. We were able to see lots of miracles and laugh a lot...I sent tons of funny pictures to represent the funny and cultural bullet points por hoy:) I love that the Lord expects us to work hard, but that along the way, He wants us to laugh and enjoy the ride:D

Angelo is a person that just appeared in church during my first week in my new area He came up to us and told us that he wanted to learn more. The things was, we were super shocked because we already thought that he was a member. He was dressed nicely, appeared to be a return missionary, and, from sunday school, we could tell that he already had tons of knowldege about the gospel. We came to find out that he started attending church in his girlfriend's ward for 2 months and exactly 4 weeks after we met him, and on the date we set for his baptism, he got baptized! He truly is incredible and has great goals and intentions for the church. He wants to serve a mission, get a calling, get his patriarchal blessing, get sealed in the temple and, simply grow in his understanding and happiness of the Gospel. I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!
We had two great baptisms, and it was great to share that day with the elders too as they had a baptism.Angelo is in the middle with Ruben and David to his left.
Ruben is el mayorcito that is in the picture next to Angelo. His son, David (a recent convert who has his mission call to serve in Mexico), baptized him and is very supportive of his son and his decision. What I love most about his testimony is that it is extremely humble and pure. He loves that the church is so supportive of families and desires that the rest of his family can accept the Gospel too! And he, like Angelo, is incredible! He got baptized very quickly (6 weeks after knowing him) and got baptized on the day that we made the goal as well. It felt so good to be in his home, watch his conversion and then watch his baptism. And, as I mentioned above, I just LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY because it is the best kind of service there is to bring others to the level of happiness that they need!
With our investiagtors, we highly stressed the importance of bringing dry underwear but the elders forgot to tell their investigator. How do we know? The bench really does tell it all. Poor kid!

This is an awesome elder that proudly showed us a hat made of cow skin that he had received from a member. I will definitely have to find that member;D
Pictures of our study wall. Mine is the one with the orange paper, and, really, my wall is full of spanish vocabulary and ridiculous pictures and quotes....and, that of my companion is quite different. She has got lots of inspirational quotes, mission pictures and cute, crafted things...maybe one day I will repent and improve, but for now, I will keep laughing:D
This is my companion cleaning the house becuase the big bottle of water exploded while she was trying to put it on the tap. The water was ALL OVER the kitchen and hallway and we laughed SO HARD as we figured that it was God´s way of telling us that we needed to clean the floor;D
I love you all, have a great week and know that I love you all very much!

Con Amor, 
Hermana Garff

P.S.  Enjoy your running water and we will for today too because we have WATER today:D:D:D:D:D 

Some Hermanas were in our house to do tramites,
so we casually decided to buy some churros to celebrate.
They are AMAZING!:D
Also, I got a package from the Woods. PLEASE send these pics to them and let them know that we nearly cried over seeing American candy. I shared this candy with them (one of the girls from Peru had never even SEEN candy before) and it has been super fun sharing the candy in family home evenings with different families in the ward.  Also Lisa Mietchen's Luna Bars were AWESOME!



Monday, July 10, 2017

Not a Lot of Water, But Highly Ambitious Goals


This is Hermano Ruben. He is AWESOME and is going to get baptized this Saturday.
His son, David, is in the background and will baptize his dad. I AM SO EXCITED!
Oh, and he made us this famous Bolivian drink that was purple and lumpy and just the best:)
 
Hey Everyone:D

I hope you all had a great week, becuase this week for me was aboslutely hilarious and FULL of miracles:D

Funny: I tried asked one of our investigators if his baby had any hair (he had a hat on) "¡Su bebe tiene cabello?"...but I accidentally asked him if his baby had any ANIMAL HAIR "pelo"...whoops, haha!

No tocar is like saying, don´t ring this doorbell.
So what did we do?
We ABOSLUTELY rang the doorbell and ran;D
We heard a bunch of "wordly songs" from our neighbors house as we were studying in the morning, so we decided to burst into spiritual song...our neighbors turned down their music, haha:D

During intercambios this week, one of my best friends,
Hna Jordan y yo dibujamos el plan de salvación en el piso.
Fue increíble y SÜPER divertido:D
Cultural: Because we didn´t have any water this week, and hardly any the last week, we borrowed the other hermanas' shower but because there was hardly any time to race to their house and take a longer shower, my companion and I weren´t able to shave for two weeks....it was super funny to put on our companionship goals this week "SHAVE";D

We made chocolates with a member this week and....it was SUPER weird to use a hand mixer!!!
The super awesome member who taught us how to make chocolates. YUP she is my favorite;D
Spiritual: Luis, from Sucre (my former area) (and the amazing 16 year old boy who brought his family to church by himself) got baptized yesterday:D And, this Saturday we are planning on having two baptisms: Ruben, a 65 year old man who is incredibly sweet and has the greatest testimony of family, and Angelo, a 22 year old young adult who is seriously a miracle and has plans to get married in the temple, wants to receive the priesthood, a receive calling and help the rest of his family get baptized:D

Elder Higgins and Elder Warr-two of my super good friends.
It was awesome to laugh with them after their last zone conference:D
I LOVE the mission and I LOVE all of you. Have a great week and know that I pray daily for my good friends and family back in SLC:D

Love,
Hermana Garff
My planner....I LOVE my companions selfies. They are so funny because she is usually the only one that shows up in the pictures because of her height:D