Sister Katie Garff

Sister Katie Garff
Bolivia Cochabamba Mission

Monday, January 30, 2017

Bracelets, Chicken Feet and Bolivian Plumbing Adventure Part 2

This is one of my favorite little girls from the amazing family that we had family home evening with.  She made us bracelets and they are so cute!:D  What I loved most though, is that we paid through the roof for them, haha:D
Hello Everyone:D

This week was super great, but also very different. As missionaries, we received a new schedule from the general presidency where we have the flexibility to choose when and where we do the majority of our studies. This is such a blessing because we can visit a lot more people at the times that work best for them!
Bucket showers because we have a deep and ingrained fear of our shower

Funny: I talked about our bathroom last week, so I thought I would give another update, haha:D Our toilet is now fully functioning, so that is awesome! But our shower is completely clogged. It won´t drain because the pipes are completely backed before every shower this week, we have had to empty all of the water out one bucket at a time. By the end of the week, we got tired of this, so we resulted to bucket showers-much better:D I don´t think I have ever looked forward to buying a toilet plunger so much in my life, haha!
Meat is very fresh here, so it is not ever refrigerated.  It is just sold in the streets.  When people eat the meat, they eat EVERY part of the animal (including the feet)!
Cultural: Bolivian chocolate is the GREATEST!:D But there are also specific types you have to buy, or it is not so good. The other day, a recent convert gave us some chocolate so we were super excited! We started eating it really fast, but soon realized that this chocolate was very...suspect because it had one of the most bizarre aftertastes. We soon discovered that it was because this chocolate was made for pregnant women, ha!
Yup folks, it's saltena Monday:D
Spiritual: We had a family home evening with some recent converts and also their mom who is an investigator. It was so special and I have such a deep love for this family. They are new in the ward, have a strong love for the church and simply want more:) The spirit was so strong in the lesson, and it was so neat to hear their testimonies; they have grown so much personally and as a family! I loved seeing the power of the Gospel, the power that it can change lives for the better!
BURRRRRRITOS:D Hermana Condolí finished 2 months in the mission, so, of course we celebrated with burritos:D
I love you all and love hearing from you all as well! Thank you so much for all of your love, letters, emails and support, it means the world to me:D

Con Amor,

Hermana Garff

Monday, January 23, 2017

We Speak For The Trees

These flowers smell and look amazing.  They are scattered in our area - Such a blessing!
My companion trying to smell the flowers (height is a challenge sometimes:))

Hello Everyone:D
This was another great week! Our area is progressing very well, and and we were able to see so many miracles! 
We bought Bolivian backpacks because we wanted to feel Bolivian, haha!:D
Cultural/funny: The toilets here are very special; especially the one in our house. The pluming is very fragile, so toilet paper is disposed of in garbage cans. Our toilet has been "broken" since the day I got here (there is no water, it won`t flush, it makes weird sounds)...plain and simply, I have had a great fear of this toilet from day one, ha! However, the other day, our house owner came to fix it!:D I am proud to announce that it is very close to being fixed, wahoo!:D
This photo is SUPER funny, because it really depicts our life.  Life is always good when you have bananas, and our beloved toilet accidentally made the picture.
Spiritual: Katherine Cordova is the name of one of our investigators, and she is simply amazing! She is 11 years old, but has an incredible love for the Book of Mormon. One of the greatest miracles this week was seeing the phrase "I love to read the Book of Mormon" on her screensaver. We are working rapidly towards baptism with her, but her family is a little slower in the process. 
Have the best darn week of your lives! I love you all:D
Hermana Garff

90+ Degrees and Sunny
This is a tree that I ALWAYS run into if I am not paying attention (again, height is an issue)

Monday, January 16, 2017

Loving Bolivia

Graciela's Baptism
Graciela's Baptism

Hey Everyone:D
Happy January! It is a balmy 70-90 degrees here (it depends on if there is rain:)), but I hope that you are all enjoying the snow:) It was a great week in Bolivia! We had a baptism and three of our investigators attended! (more details below:))
Our Zone
Funny and Cultural: Onions, they are served with every meal here. Thus, I have tried making meals for my companion with them, but I didn`t realize that they were prepared in a special way (with lemons or water to dim the odor) until this poor companion have politely been eating my "odorous" food for WEEKS, hahahaha:D 
Breakfast to celebrate transfers
Bolivian Nights
("This title goes very well with the introduction song in Aladin;)"  Yes, that was straight from Katie)
Spiritual: A wonderful woman named Graciela was baptized this week. She has such a strong testimony of the Gospel and is always very excited to see the missionaries in the street and attend church. What I love most about her is that she truly understands that the Gospel is a light:) She was primarily taught by the Elders in our ward, but we were able to help a lot in the process, which was such a blessing! 
Somos Bolivianas;)
Additionally, three of our investigators were able to attend the baptism to prepare for their own baptisms: 
-Eloy arrived 30 minutes before the baptism and was wearing a suit and tie:) He remembers his baptismal date (Feb 11) very well and asked lots of very good questions to prepare for his own baptism! 
-Hernan arrived with us, and was also very interested in baptism. We don`t have a date with him yet, but he is progressing very well, and we are excited about his progress.

Katherine made us matching Friendship Bracelets

Katherine is 11 years old, and has a complete heart of gold. She loves it when we come to visit her, and she always completes her assignments and enjoys discussing what she read/watched with us. She wants to be baptized and mentioned that her main goal right now is to become a missionary in the future:D
Have a solid week! Thank you so much for all of your prayers and support. I truly can feel it:D
Hermana Garff 

Monday, January 9, 2017

We Laughed Every Day This Week

The Zone - Complete with Hermana Mitchell:)
We visited the temple this week
Hola y Feliz Año!

This week was absolutely hilarious! Every single day we laughed, and for good reason too:D

Funny: We were contacting a man in the street one day, and he was awesome! But when we tried to make a future appointment with him he said that he would call us in the future...when we hear this, more likely than not, we know that we will not receive a call. Thus, after we "ended", we decided to follow him to his house, haha! We followed him for a good 10 minutes, and came to realize that he lived right accross the street! We knocked on his door the next day and met his wife who displayed absolutely no interest, but later that day, she called us and asked if we could meet with her neighbor! This was just crazy awesome! When we met with her neighbor, we realized that she was deaf, so she gave us a pamplet and on top of spanish, we will be studying sign language too! The last part of the story is pretty crazy too! The initial women who at first wanted nothing to do with us decided that I was better than she thought, and so she introduced me to her 24 year old son and announced that we were going to get married and sealed in the "Temple of those Mormons", hahaha!
It is always a good day when you match the flowers at the temple:)

One more story, becuase it´s just too good! I was describing and planning a family home evening lesson to an investigator and I meant to say that at the end, we would play games, but I accidentally said "jugar con juguetes" which means, we will play with companion and I laughed pretty hard about that one after, haha!
We eat about 30 bananas and 15 apples every week. The other day, our pensionista introduced us to an "apple banana" life has been for ever changed!
This is an autistic boy named Kevin. Kevin is so great, and I will never forget him, becuase I have about 50 pictures of him on my camera...he likes selfies, haha!
Cultural: In spanish the phrase "no" is used a lot to verify things. For example: We have a lesson with you today, no? But it sounds negative to me, so I like to say "yah". This isn´t terribly incorrect, but it is not common either, so everyone has been asking me if I am German...I guess the answer is "yah"!

The Breakfast of Champions:  saltines and ice cream:D
Spritual: This week I learned to really "trust in the work." The only real obstacle in the mission is second appointments, becuase people forget, life is busy! With this, Hermana Condori and I have been writing sticky-note reminders to help people remember, and be held accountable. Also, when our appointments do fall through, God has blessed us to meet some great new investigators through contacting, and antiguo investigadores tambien. It is so awesome to be an instrument in the Lord´s hands, and I am really learning how to trust in the work. In other words, we are always in the right places at the right times to meet very specific people or to learn very specific lessons.

One day I saw this poor dog with a cone on, so I decided to take a picture. When we were taking a picture, the owners came out, and thanks to this dog, we have some great, new investigators!
Have a great week and good luck getting back into school and work. I love you all and pray for you every day!

Con Amor,
Hermana Garff

Monday, January 2, 2017

Happy New Year with Grapes, Paintball, Underwear and Johnny Lingo

The kids here LOVE the little figures and CTR rings. Thank you for sending them! I don`t think they receieved anything else for Christmas. Their eyes just ignited at these figures! They are small, but mean so much! 
Happy New Year!:D

Cochabambinos celebrate New Years a little differently. For different desires people wear different colors of underwear! Green=peace, Red=love, Yellow=money. So of course, I wore yellow, but on the outside:D Also, people make a wish on 12 grapes for the 12 different months:) Thus, we celebrated New Years with burritos, grapes, and Johnny Lingo!:D

Funny: When we were caroling in the park last week, we decided to contact the grinch:D
Paintball with our Zone :D
Also, the other day we visited one of our investigators named Cielo (she is 12 years old), and we asked her what she got for Christmas. She proudly puffed out her chest, motioning that she had received her shirt for Christmas. I was excited for her too and noticed that there were some words in English, so I mimicked her proud attitude, and read loudly, "the worlds best mother" companion and Cielo know English pretty well too, and as I read the words, we all slowly understand the meaning...and simultaneously, started to laugh:D
Cultural: The people work so hard here, and usually, in very monotonous work. Theodora is one of these amazing people. She is about 60 years old, starts work at 9 in the morning, finishes at 7 at night, and walks the same streets every day hoping that people will buy her ice cream. She has been doing this work for 30 years and will likely do this until she can`t walk anymore.
Body Combat Class
Sprirtual: We have some great investigators right now (probably around 30), and I want to describe two of them:)
1.Eloy: Eloy is about 60 years old, and works as a security guard in the streets. He knows that the Book of Mormon is true, is anxious to attend church with us next week, and we are working towards a baptism with him in February!
Visiting the Temple with Adela
2. Hernan and Adela: Adela is a sweet, little, old lady that always likes to pinch my cheeks and tell me that I am beautiful, haha:) She sells peach juice in the street all day and every day...that is like having a constant lemonade stand, she is such a trooper and knows how to bring a smile to everyone`s face! Hernan is her son and has lots of interest in the church. Together, Hernana and Adela are happy but their lives are really difficult. Oftentimes they do not have enough money for food, but nevertheless, they are very insistent on sharing their food with us. One of the quotes I loved hearing from Hernan was "Happy: I have never felt this way before. I feel differently when you are in my house, because I feel like I have real friends. And with the Gospel, I feel hungry to learn more."
Mas Legos :D
It is such a blessing to be able to serve these people in Cochabamba. They are so strong, so humble and such great examples to me.

They give all that they have, so so will I!

I love you all, Happy New Year! 
Hermana Garff
Underwear for Wishes in the New Year!
Happy New Year!