Sister Katie Garff

Sister Katie Garff
Bolivia Cochabamba Mission

Monday, November 28, 2016

Pictures - and Only Pictures, But We Will Take What We Can Get

First Baptism
From Josh (Katie's brother who is currently serving a mission in Tahiti):

Congrats on the baptism! I hope it was a great experience!

Also, is everyone in Bolivia shorter than 5 feet? You look like a giant in this picture...

We are sure that Katie loved that.

First an apology for the photo on November 14.  Katie and her companion were standing in front of a sign that meant something different than we thought.  Katie recently told us what it meant, and despite the fact that it does not remotely compare to the respectable and somewhat serious nature of an overwhelming majority of missionary blogs currently being read and written, we have decided to leave it in, without an explanation.

This week we got loads of pictures from Katie, but very little text.  Hopefully these pictures will paint a thousand words:
Katie received her first paskage this week.  Many have been sent, but this was the first to arrive.  We are hoping that the scriptures (Spanish) that were sent prior to her departure will arrive before she returns home from her mission.  

Hermana Romero helped Katie open this package.  She may have been a little shocked at the ridiculous nature of the contents, but she just might understand after being Katie's companion for these past months.

Katie and Hermana Romero have been helping this family paint and construct a new room
Family Sanchez
Their awesome son Fernando (8) has been helping them encourage the whole family to come to church:)
Best Darn Picture Ever.  There is not a lot of graffitti in Bolivia, but when there is, the artwork is pretty prime:D
The Artist of this great work.  This artwork is right outside of the artist's home.  We walk past it every day.  When we were finally able to meet him, we HAD to take a picture:D
This woman is so great!  She is a member and her husband is an investigator.  We saw her on the streets one day hauling all of this paper to be recycled.  She will turn it in so that she can receive new paper.
 It was awesome to help her out!
12 Semanas - FINISHED!
This is a program developed for the first 12 weeks in the field.  It has tons of doctrine, movie clips, practices, etc.  We celebrated pretty darn hard when I finished by dancing and singing around the house - Ha ha!
Incachaca, The JUNGLE!
This is such a pretty place!  It reminded me of Tarzan - minus the gorillas
Gorillas in the Mist

My District :D

The Jungle Group

There are lots of wild dogs in the streets and sometimes they take the liberty of following us around, so of course I belted out "Dumb Dog" from Annie:D

Hermana Justa with me and my companion :D  She is an incredible woman!  She is 72 years old, but insists on accoumanying us (sometimes all day), 1-2 times each week.  Shie is an ANGEL, but she talks super fast, so I usually have no idea what she is saying.  From what I can discern, however, she has made plans to visit me when I return from my mission so that I can introduce her to some gringos, ha ha!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Visiting the Jungle

We received this photo from Sister Lizzy Mitchell - Thanks Lizzy!
Hello Everyone!

This week was full of miracles, including my first baptism with a rock, solid member, and visitng the jungle!

Funny: As we were closing a lesson with an older women, I told her "descanse en paz" because I could tell that she was very tired. I learned very quickly, however, not to say this as it translates directly to "rest in peace" or, to die...

Cultural: This week was also very eye opening. We met a boy named Joseway who was sitting alone in the streets with his head down and eyes red with tears. We came to find out that he was waiting for his grandma to walk him home (which could mean hours). We also found out that he was very lonely as he didn`t have any other friends. It was clear to see that he lacked confidence in himself and also in his future. Thus, we taught him about Christ, prayer, and the love the Christ and Heavenly Father ALWAYS have for him. When it came time to say the closing prayer I asked him if there was anything he wanted for me to pray for specifically to which he replied "pan" or bread.

Life isn`t always fair. It is hard and sometimes seems impossible, but through the light of Christ, there is always light!

Spritual: This week was very special and spiritual as we were able to witness Andy be baptised and receive the gift of the holy ghost. He is a great guy, and he will make very influential chages for the better in the ward!

We were also blessed to encounter a family who has many less active members as well as two children who have not been baptized. We are currently teaching the two children who attended Andy`s baptism, attended the church activities for their age groups and church. They are learning very fast, have lots of interest and we are working towards their baptism date which is in a few weeks from now! Hopefully we can also reactivate their family!

I love you all so much! Have a great week, and please know that we can always find our way out of the darkness if we simply remember to turn on the light (the light of Christ)!

Hermana Garff

This was added as a bonus :)


So, one more story...

Earlier when we were visiting the jungle I accidentally left my camera on the bus and didn´t realize that until later. I have my camera now, so no worries, but here is the story:D

I felt very prompted to talk to the bus driver befor leaving the jungle. His name is Juan Carlos and he was very nice! Probably one of the nicest people I have met here:D After getting off the bus I felt impressed to check for my camera, but saw my case and thought nothing of it. I continued to get feelings to check for my camera, but didn´t do it until after lunch.

After realizing I didn´t have my camera, I panicked, prayed, called around, and prayed some more. 10 minutes later, we were able to contact the bus driver and we met with him later today to pick it up.

This was definitely a miracle!!! People, especially with finances, have all the temptations in the world to not be honest, but he was.

I know that God is with me, and that he answers prayers. It is truly a miracle that I have my camera and all of pictures again. I have also learned that I need to download my pictures on a flash drive and that I need to follow the promptings I receive, and watch out for my possessions more.

Sorry about no pics this week, really! I forgot the cords at our house because we left for the jungle super early this morning, but I will send lots of pics next week:D

Love you, sorry for losing my camera!
Hermana Garff

Monday, November 14, 2016

Halloween and Stalker Pictures

Hello Everyone!

This week was great, and I was able to witness many miracles, especially yesterday! But first, I would like to touch on the election! In all honesty I don´t know very much about the election, but I find it so funny that pretty much everyone in Bolivia knows everything about it! They always try talking to me about it, but seeing that I really don´t know that much about it, I have really found that all I can say is "This is why I am living in Bolivia:)"

Funny: The picutre that I sent that is a little dark is actually pretty funny, because every night before we enter our hosue, we always run into this same couple who is always flirting, kissing, or hugging and finally, I plucked up the courage to take a stalker picture with my an effort to be sneaky, you can barely see the couple, but it is pretty prime:D
Yes, this is Katie's Stalker Photo.  Clearly this took a great amount of courage to take.
 Too bad nothing is distinguishable, but still very Katie
Cultural: Bolivia doesn´t exactly celebrate Halloween or any other holiday besides Christmas and New Years. Thus, my companion and I celebrated pretty heavily, with Halloween candies that we received from the Wood family-thank you so much! It was so fun to share this candy with other kids on the street and explain a little about America and their holidays:D

Spritual: Yesterday I had the opportunity to play in church for the first time, and I almost cried as I was able to see how full the chapel was. Almost every bench was brimming full of people, and my heart leaped as I was able to watch a less active member walk into church after the sacrament. We have been working really hard with him for weeks to feel a desire to come to church again!

Also, we have a baptismal date this Saturday for a very solid and prepared investigator named Andy. He has been taking all of the lessons very well, is very excited for his baptismal date and will be such a help to the church in the future! I am so grateful to be out here teaching whoever is willing to listen, but it is such a miracle to have an investigator like this every once in a while who is extremely prepared to enter the church!

I love you all so much!
Hermana Garff

Monday, November 7, 2016

Rest in Peace...

Hello Everyone, 

I am so sorry, I have about 2 minutes, but this week was great and yet again, I learned so very much:D

Funny: "Descanse in paz".  I tried to tell a member to rest well, but I really ended up telling her to rest in other words, die. Luckily, she understood what I was trying to say and just laughed, haha!

Cultural: Luckily we have a pensionista who cooks lunch for us every week. She is super great and cooks like a Champ:D

Spiritual: Fasting for 24 hours is difficult, and sometimes I think I am going to die, but it is also so powerful and very spiritual. It is such a privilege to fast for our investigators and for their needs. God answers our prayers, but His answers through fasting are also very powerful!

I Love You All!
Hermana Garff

Katie did not send any pictures this week - We were lucky to get what we did.  She has promised to send some pictures next week.