Sister Katie Garff

Sister Katie Garff
Bolivia Cochabamba Mission

Monday, October 31, 2016

Lessons From Shoes

Dinosaur Popsicles:)
Happý Halloween!!

The weather is probably cooling down quite a bit at home, but here, it is getting pretty dang hot! It is about 90 degrees right now, and will continue to get really hot as is it only the Spring. I am just so grateful that my mission is warm so no complaints!:D

Also, this work is absolutely beautiful. I love it so much, but sometimes there are harder days. On these harder days, Hermana Romero and I have learned to buy saltañeas, chocolate milk, bananas or TACOS!! For instance, on Tuesday, we were having a pretty hot, hard and dry day, so after 5 hours of tracting, we stopped to buy tacos and felt 110% better-taco tuesday:D
A taste of Bolivia
Funny: I sleep like a rock here, but my companion says that more often than not I preach in my sleep, haha! And, kind of funny, but she says I don't preach in English, I preach in Spanish! One night I think I was especially excited, because Hermana Romero said I sprang up in my bed and started excercising. I don't remember this at all, but she was laughing pretty hard in the morning!
Pica Macho - my favorite Bolivian food and our amazing pensionisa, Hermana Betty:D
Cultural: Tons of things are sold in the street (milk, fruit, peanuts, everything!) When people go about selling these things they use a rusty megaphone so every time I hear a product being sold it reminds me of the teacher in the "Peanuts Movie", because it is super muffled and makes me laugh every time:D

Spíritual: My companion, Hermana Romero, is amazing! She is such a great example to me especially because she is so diligent in the work and doesn't complain. The other night when we finished a day of walking 12.5 miles, I looked in her shoes and saw that the heel was completely thrashed and that she had practically been walking on a waffle iron! We fixed this the next day as we got some shoes from the mission president, but WOW! What an example she is to me!
Hermana Romero and her shoes

In our family email:
Also, if you have read the story of my companion and her shoes in the group email, awesome! She is such an example to me, but I have also been able to help her a little bit. Althoguh she is such a great example to me of patience, I was able to explain to her that "perservering to the end did not mean to suffer until the end!" This life is hard, but it is also so beautiful, and if we have problems, we should do everything we can to do our best to fix what is in our power and have patience and faith with the rest.

I love you all! Please know that you are all such great examples to me and that I pray for you every day:)
Hermana Garff
Bolivian Night

Monday, October 24, 2016

Three Cheers for the Gonzales Family!!!

Bananas - the Drug of Choice
Not many pictures this week, but we did get a letter.  We have included a few of the things Katie sent to our family in italics.  We thought you might get a laugh out of them.

It is so great to hear about Fall and the leaves changing colors! I hope that you are all enjoying that great weather! Here, the weather is great too, just different:) It is very similar to the weather in Hawaii (just without the water, because there ain't no water here, haha!)

Funny: My companion is trying to learn English, and I am trying to learn Spanish. We have come to realize that the greatest way to learn these languages is to SING!:D The funny part is that the only songs I have taught my companion (besides gospel songs) are about dogs because there are tons of dogs here, and I guess that is just always on my mind! "How Much is that Doggie in the Window" and a song that Hermana Masina taught me in the CCM "Black Dog."

"In times where I am sad, homesick or discouraged (not often, don't worry:)), I either sing or TAP! The other week I was pretty homesick after emailing on Monday, and there were tons of changes with tramites, BUT God blessed us with a rainstorm, so... I sang and danced in the rain!:D I taught my companion the lyrics and we laughed for the rest of the stormy night! ...Also, thank you for encouraging me to play the piano. I use that talent more than you could even guess!"

Another funny is that lots of the young women members in my ward have a strong desire to marry "gringos" and have been making arrangements with me to visit my house after I return so that I can introduce them to all of my friends, haha!

Katie also cooked dinner for a family there.  She wrote home and asked for recipes that did not use a stove, an oven, a microvave or a crockpot.  Here were her words:
"Thank you so much for all of those recipes! I actually haven't cooked yet, I will be doing that in about an hour, so wish me luck, haha! I actually practiced with my companion the other day and it was DANG good."...
"I am worried about doing this, so please pray for me that I won't kill this family or burn down their house."

Cultural (to the mission:)): This week we had something called "tramites" where we hosted 2 other sisters so that they could get their passport information taken care of. It was so neat to be able to host them, because we arrived in Bolivia at the same time, and it was neat to be able to meet with them and see how they are doing!
The Gonzales Family
Spiritual: Last week I was feeling a little homesick after reading all of your awesome emails (thanks for writting me!). I love being here, but I am also so grateful for my home in Utah. I learned that even when I am having a hard time with homesickness, that my companion is always here to help me, and also God. I have witnessed SO many miracles this week including being able to meet the GONZALEZ FAMILY (friends of my friends in Utah, the Castillo family)! They are so kind, and they took 3 hours out of their busy lives to meet us, feed us, talk with us, and most of all, put up with my mangled Spanish, haha! God will always provide a hope and way for us to do His work because He loves us!

I love you all!

Hermana Garff

Monday, October 17, 2016

Bananas, Cardboard Traps and Sublime

Hola Everyone!

This was another great week, where I learned so much, including opening my eyes to avoid cardboard traps, and what I find joy in during harder times!

Funny: When my companion and I were entering an investigators house to teach them, I accidentally fell into a hole that was covered with cardboard...I don´t know if that was there to catch wild aniamls, or even missionaries, but they definitely got me, haha!
A Little Break...
Cultural: There is one, big, general store here called IC Norte. It is great, and I love it, but people actually prefer to shop in the alternative, hole in the wall stores that are barred (to prevent theft), because it is much cheaper, and much more convenient as they are pretty much everywhere. I have come to love these stores too, because they sell bannanas for 25 Bolivians and this awesome chocolate called "Sublime" for cheap too. These two items bring me so much joy when it is super hot and when it is a harder day:)

Spiritual: For Zone conference I got to accompany a sister while she sang. We performed "I know that My Reedemer Lives." It was such a joy to play, because this is such a beautiful song, and it is actually pretty rare that anyone can play the piano here, so I loved being able to share that with others:)

Have the greatest week ever!
Hermana Garff
Seriously Katie.  Youa re not giving me much to work with here...

Monday, October 10, 2016

Bolivia is Great!

Zone Conference with Hermana Romero
Hello Everybody!

I hope that everything is going well for you all. Bolivia is great, I love my mission presidents and the examples of the other missionaries to me. It is not difficult to learn hundreds of positive, great things every single day:)

Funny: Last week I sprained my ankle, but forgot to mention that the reason for doing so was because I was distracted by the drivers ed cars...the people were probably driving 2.5 miles per hour, and I couldn´t help but watch and laugh a little bit while we were running, and I rolled my ankle, haha! So, not very smart, but totally worth watching. It reminded me of the good old days when I failed my driving test not 1 or 2 or 3, but 4 times, haha!!
Fruit a la Cancha
Cultural: The fruit here is absolutely amazing! It is always fresh, available, cheap, and very different! My new favorite fruit is called Chidimoya...I think that is how it is spelled, haha, but it is crazy good!

Spritiual: I forogt to mention my thoughts on General Conference last week, but watching General Conference was such a special experience, and I couldn´t stop thinking about our investigators as I was watching it. This Gospel is so good, and changes lives for the better! After conference, I was so happy and so filled with a new hope and trust, that when we were teaching, I couldn´t stop from shaking!
Juevitos!  I learned how to say eggs correctly in Spanish for the first time in my life.  I found out that I was telling everyone that I like Thursday for breakfast instead of eggs, haha!
This gospel is so great, and I hope that you all know how much I love you, but also how much your Father in Heaven loves you!

Love, Hermana Garff

Monday, October 3, 2016

Feeling Sort of Like Ariel

Washing clothes by hand.  I just love it ;D
Hello Everyone!

This week was really great, and as usual, I learned so much! Part of that learning process was searching for the good in absolutely everything. I twisted my ankle earlier this week, and was sort of bummed that we couldn't walk as fast, but it was actually a small blessing in disguise, because it was a GREAT excuse to introduce myself and talk to three other women, all of which also had twisted ankles. God works in strange ways sometimes, huh?!
Flamingo Sheets.  One of the more unusual items on Katie's Missionary Packet Packing List
Funny moment: We meet a borracho (drunk man) on the street and he came up, introduced himself and could not seem to fathom that I was American. At our departure, he took my hand a gave it a big old, wet, alcoholic kiss. YUM;D
Marketplace in Ingavi
Cultural shock: Water is something to be cherished here! We usually only have running water for 1-2 days per week, and the other days we really have to ration, and fill up water while we can. Kind of funny, but in order to get the toilet to flush, we keep 10 liter sized jugs by the toilet so that we can drain one of them into the toilet to flush it.

Spiritual moment: I felt like Ariel in the Little Mermaid this week, because most of the time I could kind of understand the conversation, but couldn't really say anything, because my Spanish vocabulary is pretty limited. Thus, I realized that all I could do was really just show them that I loved them by listening and smiling, like Ariel, haha! This really is a blessing in disguise too though, because sometimes people just need someone to listen, even if they know that the person on the receiving end can't understand it.

The Temple in Bolivia