Sister Katie Garff

Sister Katie Garff
Bolivia Cochabamba Mission

Monday, December 26, 2016

Merry Christmas, Family Castillo, and A 4-Way Skype

Merry Christmas Everybody!

There were many "best parts" about this week, but the greatest events were definitely caroling in the park with all of the other missionaries, seeing my friends, the Castillos, and Skyping!

Funny: During our Skype session, my companion and I decided to sing songs in both English and Spanish for our families. One day, I was reading the lyrics to my song in Spanish, and I totally rammed into a, haha!

Cultural: Bolivians celebrate Christmas with a large Christmas dinner that starts at midnight. They like to eat 3 different kinds of meat: chicken, pig and turkey as well as a special fruit cake called panetone. I don`t like it a ton, but it is definitely not bad:D It was just funny as we had to eat it about 7 different times during the day, haha!
These past few weeks I have been working on a musical number with the young adults in my ward. They sang Silent Night and I accompanied them on the piano. It was so powerful, and it was also a blast matching my companion the whole day, because everyone called us penguins!

Spiritual: A few days ago we sang and contacted in a park filled with lights for about 3 hours. It was awesome, and the feeling of singing with 20 other missionaries is oh, so powerful and we were able to contact hundreds of people during that short time!

Family Castillo! They have been good friends of my family for many years, and it was such a blessing to be able to see them today! They treated us to lunch, and gave us great words of love and encouragement. I love this family!
Family Castillo!
Skyping was such a blessing. I love my family so much, and from the second I opened the Skype call to this very moment, I am still full of an overpowering sense of joy and love for them, and for the great plan that our father in heaven has for us. I know that I can live with my family forever!
4-Way Skype!  Bolivia, Tahiti, SLC and Bountiful
Merry Christmas! I love you all!
Con Amor, 
Hermana Garff
Katie and Hermana Condori

Monday, December 19, 2016

Don't Worry Folks, Harry Potter has a Book of Mormon

Don't Worry Folks, Harry Potter has a Book of Mormon!:D

Merry Christmas Everybody!
I really can´t believe that it is Christmas because it is super hot and sunny here, but I am definitely not complaining:D 
A little more about my companion:)
Hermana Condori is absolutely amazing, and we teach very well together. We have laughed a ton about the plainest things, and we are seeing so many miracles every day:
Funny: For P-day our district decided to play "Walley" which is just volleyball in an enclosed court (which is perfect because who wants to chase a ball anyways;D). Everyone has their own talents, and we decided before hand that we didn't exactly have many skills in this sport, so we wore "Zumba" wristbands to scare everyone away as we could appear a little tougher:D
Cielo is one of our investigators:) She is very nice, and we are working with her on finding a desire to attend church, believe in God, etc. I am teaching her English and she is teaching me how to draw:D
Our pensionista loves to make things very naturally:D
Cultural: The fruits and vegetables are super awesome here because they are very cheap. We just have to peel or soak them in chloride before we eat them to avoid getting sick. Particularly, we have grown quite fond of bananas because they are the cheapest of all, require minimal effort to peel and taste pretty darn good with just about anything. Between the two of us, we ate 40 bananas this past week, haha:D
This family is super awesome!  They are members, and we have received tons of solid references from them.  As a bonus, they have tons of pets including rabbits, hamsters, baby hamsters, dogs, sats, and I think more, haha!
Spiritual: We experience countless miracles every single day. We are teaching great people and we have extended 4 baptismal invitations this last week, and are hoping to help them reach their goals by the end of February. 
Yup - This is a baby hamster.  Way to go Katie!

The Christ statue that the trainers and new missionaries visit before starting to work:D This statue is absolutely beautiful, and we can usually see it from where we work every day. It is a solid reminder that Christ is ALWAYS here and that he is ALWAYS on our side!

Monday, December 12, 2016

New Companion Hermana Condori

 My new companion! Hermana Condori is the greatest! We get along well and teach very well together too.   Heck! We even dress the same without meaning too;D

Hello Everybody!

This week was so great and just flew by! We experienced many miracles, and I absolutely love my companion! Her name is Hermana Condori, she too is from Peru, and she is 24 years old. She is very sweet, incredibly sensitive, and is excited about the work. I really love that she has such a strong relationship with her Father in Heaven and that she is here to work hard!
It is so fun to run into members on the street - they make it all seem possible!
Funny: One day we were knocking on a door, and a man yelled from the other side "Nadie esta" which means "nobody is home"...really, sir?, haha:D
Cultural: In order to prevent "ladrones" or "robbers" in Bolivia there are usually tall gates with spikey bits of soda glass and barbed wire. In some areas, there are even people who are stationed in the streets to blow their whistles to sound the neighbors if they see anything suspicious (there really aren't police here, haha!). There really aren't too many robbers, but yes, that's Bolivia:D
 My best friends in the mission! I love sister missionaries!

Spiritual: As we were walking to one of our appointments, we encountered children begging in the streets. We can't give money, but we can give food:D I gave them some peanuts from my bag, and watched as they joyfully raced to their mother who was hovered in a corner of a store. We walked over to the mom and taught them about Christ and the love He has for them. After the lesson, we bought them a bunch of bananas and some bread. The food was temporary, so we are really hoping that they can find peace, love and a future through Christ!
 We got the package with music! Thank you so so so much! I am planning a musical number with the young adults here and they are very excited! Also, my companion didn´t get any packages for Christmas, she is new and she was super stoked about the package, so thanks for sending one!

I love you all, and I hope that all the tests/final projects will go well this week before the holidays:D

Hermana Garff

Monday, December 5, 2016

Adios to Wonderful Hermana Romero

A baptism through our reference!  This family is super-great and the dad will be baptized next week :D
Hola Everyone! 
This week was super great, but quite the roller coaster too! I said goodbye to Hermana Romero (my amazing companion who can make jam out of sand), and I was called by my mission president to be a trainer. I am VERY excited about this, but also pretty darn tense. I want to be the best example that I can be for mi nuevita, but it is also a little difficult as I still can only comprehend 50% of conversations. I know that God will provide a way though, becuase when God commands, and we act in faith, we will be helped! 

My companion's farewell is this morning - It was crazy!
Merry Christmas!
This is a Christmas tree made up of Coke bottles - awesome!  It is super-good marketing too!
Funny: We were in an appointment where the investigator asked me "how do your parents punish you" (as he is a father and is curious about how Americans punish their children). The word for "punish" in spanish is "castigar"...which is very close to "caridad"...which means "chastity"...Therefore, in my gringa mind I translated this as "have you taught the law of chastity to your parents." Needless to say, it is not the same:D 

There is 1 day per 3 months that cars are not permitted to drive in the streets to prevent contamination.  It was awesome because we walked in the middle of the street all day.  It was like a grand parade:D
(though it may seem that the parade was not really well-attended)
Cultural: Once every 3 months there is a day where no cars are permitted to drive due to contamination problems (pic:)), but when people can drive, they do not usually obey traffic laws because there are hardly any policeman. The funny thing is, I haven`t even seen one accident! People drive very smart here, because usually, it is their only method to gain income.
A great member who had cancer and is constantly in lots of pain.  Nevertheless, he is nothing by kind to me (especially with my Spanish).  He reminds me of my Great Grandma Betty because he is always kind - even though he is not always feeling the greatest.
Spiritual: I am so grateful for the resources that we have on the mission. Many times when pamplets, cards and scriptures can`t exactly reach investigators, it is neat to share video clips with them (if they have a dvd player) and stories from the Liahona. The other day we were visiting a man named Roberto who has been studying religion for years and never quite grapsed the book of mormon. We gave him a Liahona to study, and when we returned a few days later, he proudly declared that he had read the whole Liahona and was very intruiged with its messages. So cool!
Our new pensionista - I'm a GIANT ha,ha!
I love this work. It is not always easy, but bringing light into people`s lives is absolutely worth my time! 

Nuestra pensionista otra vez mas.  Ella es super-buena y muy amable

Love, Hermana Garff 

I forgot to mention that this amazing women, our pensionista, is working on the 25 ways to lighten the world pamplet. The other day we helped her write a letter to her daugther. She never learned to read or write in her childhood, but is currently working on it right now. It is so cool to be able to help her, and I it really made me realize once more, how blessed I was and am to be gaining an education!