Sister Katie Garff

Sister Katie Garff
Bolivia Cochabamba Mission

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Loving the People of Bolivia, (and throwing pamphlets at them)

No explanation went along with this.  I hope the owners knew that they were doing this...
Katie is companions with Hermana Romero.  She is from Peru and is very patient.  Katie loves serving with her in Ingavi
Hello Everyone!

Bolivia is so great, and I am loving it here so much! Here are some great things that happened this week!

Funny moment: My companion and I were walking down the street when we felt impressed to look up. We saw a women looking out of her window so we decided to preach to her. She was sick so she couldn't come downstairs, but we decided to try to throw a pamphlet up to her. She started backing away pretty fast, and said that we could come back so long as we didn't throw the pamphlet at her, haha!

Cultural moment: Bolivia doesn't have any carpet! This was a very interesting adjustment for me! Also, All of the houses here are 1-3 rooms big and usually only have one, faint light bulb in each room. However, only one light bulb is needed because the people are so bright and wonderful!
Katie and some sisters when they met to watch Women's conference.  Yes!  That is Hermana Lizzy Mitchell on the right!
Spiritual moment: I have noticed that I cannot understand any Spanish on the streets, but when I am in lessons, God loosens my ears and my tongue so that I can help others. This is such a tender mercy to me, and such a great reminder that this mission is absolutely not about me. It is about the people that I am serving!

I love you all! Have a great week!
Hermana Garff

Monday, September 19, 2016

I love, love, LOVE Bolivia!

Katie was fortunate enough to run into Sister Lizzy Mitchell the first few hours she was in Bolivia.  Katie spoke about being present as Lizzy opened her call to this mission.  She is a wonderful friend and missionary.
We are so grateful for Lizzy!
Oh my goodness! Like, super wow! I love love LOVE Bolivia! There are such amazing people here, and it is absolutely beautiful! Particulary, I love the SMELL! There are definitely some interesting smells, but it reminds me of the ranch, and it feels very familiar. God has blessed me with great reassurances like that to help me know that this is were I am supposed to be. Another tender mercy has been the trees. Most all of them are full of bright flowers that smell amazing! When I am having a hard time continuing to knock on unfamiliar doors, it is such a blessing to look up and see one of these beautiful trees. God helps me through hard times like these every day:)
The preceding paragraph was from Katie in a message to our family.  It was simply too good not to include:)

Wow!! Bolivia is so great and I love it so much! The best kind of people are here and I feel so blessed to get to serve them. Bolivia is much more developed than I thought! There are lots of little stores all over the place, and everyone lives in gated areas cut off from the street for security (so kind of like little castles everywhere:)). My companion is great and I just absolutely love her! She is extremely patient with my Spanish and absolutely lit with the light of the gospel. She is 30 years old, is from Peru and has two months left, crazy! Something funny is that she calls me her "conejo" or bunny, because I like to eat carrots, haha! Apparently that is not a popular thing in Peru:) I call her "chef" because she cooks like none other, and she is confused as to why I am a horrible cook, haha!

Funny moment: I have made hundreds of mistakes with the language this week, but the funniest mix up was when I thanked a member for her "caca" (which means thanks for the poop, but I really meant to say, "thanks for the cece (cake)" whoops!!

Culture shock: The people here are not incredibly short, but I am about as tall as it gets (besides the other missionaries:)). Thus, the day that I looked in the mirror after getting back from tracting was a very mixed one, because I realized that a bird had pooped on my head. At first I was super embarrassed, BUT, because I soon became very happy because I remembered my height and realized that nobody could have even seen it. Wahoo:)

Spriritual moment: The people here are absolutely the greatest, and very humble. When we went contacting we met a mother who was around my age, had two children, was waiting for her husband to return from Peru (after two years), and had little to nothing in their home. It was difficult to witness, but telling her about the plan of salvation was amazing as her eyes lit up with hope. When we asked her to pray at the end, her eyes were full of tears and so were ours. I am so happy and privileged to be out here to help great people like this find joy.

I love you all! Have a great week!

Hermana Garff

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Bolivia :D


Hello! I am just writing to let you know that I am alive, safe and that I love you so much. The mission home is so beautiful and it is right across the street from the temple! It is so great here and I am so glad to be here!

It was so great to talk with you all yesterday and I love you so much! I meant to finish by saying that as soon as we arrived in the airport I could feel an immediate love and connection with the people. I just love them so much and I am so grateful for the opportunity to teach and learn from them!

I love you all and I will look foward to hearing more about you all later. Love ya!

Hermana Garff

Katie with President and Sister Hansen
Katie and President Hansen
The New Arrivals

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Last Week at the CCM (That's MTC in Spanish)

The Best Study Bench in the World
(Located under their favorite palm tree)
Hello everyone!
This week has just flown by, and we received about a hundred more missionaries! They were all so wide-eyed and full of excitement which was really neat to see! Also, it´s crazy to think about, but we started packing to leave the MTC today! I love the MTC, but I am also so excited to serve in Bolivia next week!
Katie and Sister Masina with some friends they made at the CCM
Katie has really loved these people, and it is not just because she enjoyed the pancakes that she could request at any time.
These two wonderful gentlemen fixed the plumbing in the girls' dorm - Roberto and Alberto.  It's good to know good people!  

We have decided as a family to omit part of Katie's entry this week.  It seems that there have been a few pranks played this past week that would detract from the serious nature of the work in which they are engaged.  Needless to say, they have not lost their sense of humor.  We offer in replacement, the following.  It is an excerpt from a letter sent to Rachel:

This week I have been playing a lot of cage soccer and it is so fun! Playing soccer with Jas is so fun, and I love playing again, weird, haha! The only person I could play soccer with forever was you because it terrified me! Also, I have a PRIME story for you! Our teacher announced that he was having a baby girl and so we all started shouting out names. When it all got quiet, I raised my hand and said "platano" (which means banana), haha! It was so funny and we all laughed forever. I tell you this, because it was something I thought you would TOTALLY say!

Last P-Day with Sister Masina
All of the hermanas have been laughing about these (the omitted pranks) ALL WEEK! Amazingly enough, I think Hermana Masina and I have laughed even harder.  This was included to let you know that they are having a lot of fun.  Please know that they are still working hard and learning a lot.  They just prefer to enjoy the journey:)
Lots of people put "Only Spanish" on their nametags, so we decided to switch things up a bit.
A few more friends at the CCM
Cultural moment: I´m pretty sure that Hispanics cut apples the traditional way-with a knife, but the cultural moment definitely goes to my companion who showed me how to chop an apple in half with my head. It was great!!
The Devotional Singers
Spiritual moment: This week I had the great opportunity to sing in a quartet with Hermana Masina, two other elders in our district and Elder Bagley (on the piano). We sang "Where Can I Turn for Peace" in Spanish, and it was so neat! We all loved bringing the spirit into the meeting that way.

Have a great week in school/work and enjoy watching the football games!

Love, Hermana Garff
Bunk Buddies
Words cannot hope to express our gratitude for Sister Jaslyn Masina and her wonderful family.  They, along with the marvelous residents and staff of the CCM have made these first few weeks of Katie's mission a joyful experience.  We are delighted that Katie has had the chance to learn from such amazing individuals.  Our hearts are filled with gratitude for all who have helped her along the way.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Goodbye to Disneyland on Friday!

A Note from Hermana Pugsley
Sister Annie Pugsley left the CCM just hours before Katie arrived.  She was kind enough to pave the way for her - especially by leaving a fabulous dress and a note for her.  We love you Annie!!!
Hello Everyone!

This was another great week! I probably should have described this earlier, but the MTC is a lot like Disneyland:) There are colorful little houses everywhere, the kindest of people, and there are garbage cans every few steps! Also, I was running with my companion earlier today, and we were running through hundreds of tiny, little flowers. It is so beautiful here and I love it, but I am so excited to enter Bolivia in a few days! I know it will not be like Disneyland, but I am anxious to get out and serve as I know that´s where I need to be and that´s why I have entered the Disneyland bubble at all!
Our House
In our room we created a house out of sticks and put our won drawings of each other in there too.  Mine is the one that looks like it has dead bumblebees on the bottoms...but they're really flowers ha, ha!
Funny moments:
One of my favorite parts was when our elders were getting haircuts. One elder didn't particularly care about how his hair got cut, so the other elders encouraged the women to "Shave him like a cat!" So...she did....and he looks like a cat, haha!!
Break the Wrist and Walk Away
This is a photo of our Martial Arts lesson given by Elder Scott.
Another great moment was when Hermana Masina and I were teaching a fake investigator about the law of chastity. During the lesson he asked what it meant to "lust after another women" and why that was bad. However, I thought he was asking for the definition of pornography. I started to talk until I realized that I really didn't know any computer terms. I panicked a little and tried to think of any stories, but couldn't, so I turned to my companion and asked if she had any personal stories associated with his question, hahaha!! We all started to laugh hysterically and couldn't stop for multiple minutes.
Friends in Our District - They will be going to Chicago, Texas and Cali:)
Cultural moment:
Pronouncing last names is apparently also one of the things I need to work on. Hispanic names are a little more challenging to say, and there was one Hispanic who had the last name of "Astle" I completely pronounced this wrong and accidentally swore.
Friends from high school (Hermana Free and Hermana Masina)
Spiritual moment:
I realized that the gift of tongues is something that needs to come with time, faith, hard work, and hope. Thus, I have ceased to pray for the Gift of Tongues as a whole, but rather, for specific attributes of it. After my experience with teaching the law of chastity, I prayed and worked really hard to seek the gift of understanding. Slowly but surely, I have been able to understand much more. The gift of prayer is so powerful!
Hermana Clifford and I will be going to Cochabamba together:)
I love you all! Have a great week and know that I love you all so much!
Hermana Garff

Katie and Jas with the Latina Sisters
Katie will be heading to Bolivia this Friday.  We are convinced that part of the reason the CCM has seemed a bit like Disneyland is because of her great companion.  Jas has been wonderful to her, and has shown her the value of finding the fun in every moment.  What better gift than to learn to find the joy in the journey.  Thanks Hermana Masina!
Hermanas de Cuarto
They are just the BEST!  We laugh so hard every night through our stories and Bible charades!

The Weekly Schedule