Saturday, May 31, 2014

Hma Alford's Tips and Thoughts to anyone going to Cochabamba on a mission(more for sisters but some will help elders)

So, I thought I'd go ahead and share a little bit about Bolivia,  A few facts and memories and things I've seen, too. I hope they will help ohters who are on their way here know what to expect as well as to remember further on! So, heres a few things about Cochabamba Bolivia... As well as the mission here!

So first offf: Climate- So in Bolivia you have a mix of extremes. Potosi, La Paz, Oruro.. those are extremely COLD climates almost all year round (Based on what everyone tells me), Santa Cruz and Chapare, However, are extremely tropical and burning HOT climates. In Cochabamba, Your've got the most temperate of climates in Bolivia, Sucre as well, where it is not as hot as Santa Cruz, but not as cold as Potosi either. The only thing is, That the weather changes up on you so fast. It is easy easy to catch cold!

So,Tips for Cochabamba preparation, (clothes wise)
1. Bring a whole Ton of those little sweater type things... Light and easy to tote around (not very heavy) as well as a coat for when it's really cold. Light Jackets are a good idea as well.. as it is cold in the morning, Hot in the afternoon and Super Cold at night. In the morning you are studying, so you can sit with a blanket or a hoody on and you're all good. In the afternoon, it is Hot and you are not going to want to bring a jacket for the added weight and hassel of toting it along.. HOwever...It is a BAD idea not to bring one as you are going to get a cold and be in bed a few days for you laziness! : ( So... Solugion: Light Jackets and a scarf, and you're all good! : )

Next: Culture:
Eat the Food!!! and do not hold back in the Praise~ These People show their love and appreciation through food! They are also rather focused on FILLING rather than enjoying. Rather than asking you if you liked it for example they ask you if it filled you up... So you can imagine I suppose what he plate looks like... FULL! But, you must eat it all! So many times I hear of missionaries who have refused them! Don't be that missionary! Eat It! Even if it's hard, you don't like it, or you've already eaten in 3 other houses and you're about to bust....Eat the food they offer you! They will always give you the best of what they have.. and often the only food they have. These incredible people would rather go hungry a day, than to not offer you food! So make the sacrifice and make them feel THANKED!

Shoes: Buy your self 3 sets of GOOD shoes! Ballet flats, heals, or any sandal-type thing is just dead here in a week! We walk A lot!! Miles sometimes per day!!! Wimpy little shoes are NOT going to make it!! I suggest Clarks with a thick sole, a strap and roomy) Oh... color doesn't matter... they are always going to be covered in dirt anyway! (note from me the momma: She brought three pair of clarks 2 with the strap and 1 flat for Sundays and she says that she will use them her whole mission!!!!)

Skirts: Go for Color! We are still girls sisters! Even as missionaries... so buy cute skirts with lots of colors...but don't be too worried about them getting dirty....They Will...  and you will have to wash them by hand...But its not really a big deal. Just ve aware that a lot of the lessons are given in the Dirt or on the side of the road. People often don't invite us into their homes. So white is probably not a good proselyting choice LOL!

Shirts: Light shirts are a good plan..In lots of colors to change up your outfits! Scarves are a good idea too... to be able to be able to mix and match. You will get bored with your clothes without them!

Hair: The water here is dirty and full of salt. It damages hari and dries it out.  (everyone here uses lotion in their hair) Be aware of that and bring state-side stuffs to care for it!

Don't bring em. They hand them out here! However sheets (jersey material being the best in my opinion) are a good idea. The blankets here are thick and itchy...(good for cold nights) which means it's nice to have something between you and the blanket... and there are a few areas that are Hot at night time and you want something lighter.

You're gonna want a journal, a study journal, writing paper(for letters), a scrap book (If you're a scap-booker) and a notebook for memories (recuerdos) The mission here has a tradition where each missionary has a book of recuerdos... That is empty and they hand it out to important people to leave pictures, notes, info, and jokes shared! (I have two one for missionaries and one for members/investigators) It's kind of like a scrap book that other people do for you! : )

Bring coins with you from home! It's fun to trade and collect coins from around the world!

Memorize the scripture masteries! Helpful in so many ways and most of all... Be you! : )
God chose you for a reason! Trust in Him!

Love Hma Alford

May 26, 2014 Emails and pics

My new comp is here! I am training! She is f rom Argentina, her name is Hma Alarcon, and i am so very excited!!!!
 not even kidding! this sister is already trained! She knows more than i do!!!! lol! Anyway, we have been  working hard and learning together! Oh, and here I am saying hello from my third floor window!

 HI EVERY BODY!!!!! This is me right now! i just took this pic... sending a great big HELLO to every body back home!!!!  LOVE YOU ALL SO VERY VERY VERY MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HAVE A GREAT WEEK!

Part of my email to Alecia: It explains her first comments : )

Oh guess what! You have a new calling! You are now the ward chorister for Alexandria ward! LOL It was annouced and almost sustained yesterday. Hehehe. I have actually been asked to be the chorister but they announced it as Alecia Alford and not Teresa Alford. LOL Sooooo does that mean we get to skype every Sunday so you can fulfill you duties. : ) Big cheesy grin is on my face!!!!!  Oh well I guess I will just have to lead.  I got such a kick out of all the comments afterwards. It ran from oh my when is Alecia coming home to the skype comment. It was fun!

Alecia's email to me:
Hey mom,
that is hilarious about the calling! Ill be sure and ask the mission president if skype is allowed to fulfill my new calling in louisiana! lol! sounds like yall are having a whole lot of fun! As for me, i have been working hard and trying to train my new companion to be a better missionary than i will ever be. I love to train, because it makes it a whole lot easier to live the mission right... kind of hard with companions who dont want to... but a newbie ALWAYS wants to be perfect! and when we have the same vision or goal to do things the way we should, it makes it a whole lot easier to be more obedient! And, i just love to teach! Show them how to follow the schedule, teach, plan, and have fun all at the same time! I truly learn more in the process than they do! Anyway, my new companion is from argentina... is from a family of three... mom, brother, and her... and she is FABULOUS! I feel like shes already been trained! Shes already taught me a few things! ;) And i forget she only has half a week in the mission sometimes! lol! like this saturday the relief society decided to go out as giant group and visit all the less actives they know in the ward... and i was like, ¨OH, we could totally do splits¨ (or split up, me with one sister, and her with another..) and shes like, ¨ OH NO I CANT!¨ And i was all confused... why? Youll be with a member, who knows the area and everything! This is GREAT! But she looks at me all terrified and tells me, ¨I CANT teach a lesson all on my own! I need my companion! i only have three days!¨ And I almost died laughing ... the poor thing was terrified i was going to leave her all alone with three days in the mission... anyway, we have been getting along great... and i am so excited for this opportunity.
anyway, you already know i love you... but i never get tired of saying it! I love you mom!
have a great week!
love hma alford
oh! ps, could yall maybe help me out with something? My flip flops broke... and although that might seem trivial... its not overly safe to shower with out shoes here... any kind of fungus or who knows what could get me... and a few sweaters would be nice too... winter is here in Bolivia... and it is SO wierd!!! The mornings are COLD, and at night time too... but the afternoon is too hot to be walking around in a giant jacket... Sweaters are ideal seeing as you can take them off and toat them around with out a problem... i got one already, the tan one i am wearing... but just if yall can help me get a few more... that would be nice... not overly necessary.. but nice, just if yall can id like to buy a few things like that.
love ya!

Sweet Story:
Hey, cool story! this little girl was baptised this Saturday by the elders in our ward... we went and had a special number in her baptism... and i felt impressed to give her a little gift... it wasnt much, just a card i had in my scriptures, a few pens, a flower, and such... a ¨scripture kit¨ i called it.. anyway, she loved it so much, and i felt so great. She came to church the next day, and everyone was celebrating mothers day!  (its this tuesday, you cant skype again! lol! already asked...) and the darling doesnt have a mom... the primary had been practicing  a song to sing to their moms in the relief society class... and were given little gifties to give to their moms along with a big hug. I thought she would hesitate, or not know what to do... but she came straight to me. She grabbed me in  a big warm hug, and i almost cried. I hardly know the little girl... but out of that big crowd of mamas and daughters, she chose me. And i felt so very blessed. love you guys! have a great week!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Happy Mother's Day from Bolivia!!!!

My sweet girl sent me a Mother's day picture!!!! I love her so very much!

Monday, May 12, 2014

May 12, 2014 email and pics

 caught stealing a taste before we prayed! it just looked SO yummy! And it was! lol!

  making antiquchu! or, in other words, COW HEART!!! YUM! ;)

All the oranges i grabbed! in one day!!! ;) lol!
home made orange juice! the VERY BEST THING ON THE PLANET!

Pakai... a strange fruit that grows down here... it has a hard, almost wooden covering, with a cottony sweet inside! Cools you down INSTANTLY in the hot bolivian sun! love it! First time i tried it.. not so much.. but now, i am quite the fan! ;)


Hey mom! i will be sure and pray for kady and her tests! ;) i am glad you had a great mothers day! I sure was happy to hear from you all! AND THAT SKYPE WORKED! I was SO nervous about that! anyway, did you ever get your pics? ;) why do you need a knee brace? are you okay? now i want lindor truffles!!! SO yummy! i loved dads face when i described sopa de mani (peanut soup) to yall! should have taken a pic! haha! im sending pics right now of cow heart! lol! What can i say? the food is wierd here... but you get used to it.. the only big issue is that i like meat even LESS than i did at home... so, thats kind of hard to deal with when every single plate is FULL of meat.. and sometimes three different kinds! lol! anyway, i am really loving it here mom! i have grown to love so many people so very much! my pensionista is so fabulous! we officially rescewed her yesterday! and this 30th shes going to get married to maivert, and then hes going to be baptised!!! we are working so hard with this incredible family! and i am so scared of having to leave them behind! transfers are this sunday.. and i dont want things to change yet!!! ;( but, i know that all the transfers are the Lords will, and that there is a purpose behind each and every one! anyway, i love you lots and lots and lots!!! and cant wait to see the lamp shade! as for the doctor.. i am really feeling a whole lot better... and cant go to the dr without permission from sister dyer.. just praying that i have actually healed, taking vitamins like crazy, drinking lots of water, (hma dyer sayse it could be because i am just constipated.. we eat a TON of rice and bread and noodles down here you know!;) so yeah.. i am feeling lots better! tell jessie i love her from the moon and back! and not to worry about it! she can write me a letter twice as long for next monday! haha! love you mom!
hma alford

Monday, May 5, 2014

April 5, 2014 Alecia's emails and pics! Prayers Please

 taking fun pictures last pday! :)

more bday pics! ;) 
 service this thursday! ;) all the wards and stakes in cochabamba were there!
Just wanted to send you all a ¨hello¨from Bolivia! have a fabulous week! ;)
hermana alford
 more fun pics!

Hey mom! so, this week has been really a bit hard.. we have been working hard.. but my comp is sick. shes got typhoid fever. explained a bit more to dad... but please pray for us both! GOOD NEWS!!! Hermana R is planning to be married to her boyfriend!!! They have been living together for a few years.. and as we were teaching M...... (her bf)... he wanted to be baptised! And as you cant be baptised with out living the law of chastity.. we werent sure how to go about telling him that he would have to move out or get married! anyway, we talked to hma roxana... and she was so sad. she didnt want to marry him.. not sure why.. but wanted him to get baptised first... and then see about a future. However, she decided we should tell him. But every time we were about to teach the law of chastity, we felt deeply impressed NOT to! well.. hma roxana got tired of waiting! lol! and the night l... was baptised, they got to talking about baptism... heres the translated conversation she shared with us: ¨so, what do you think? are you going to get baptised?¨  ¨eh, ill think about it...¨ ¨WHAT?¨ ¨HAHA! Of course i am!¨ ¨the thing is, the sisters told me you have to move out, or get married before you can be baptised.¨ ¨we get married then silly.¨   One of the most beautiful things i have ever heard!!! anyway, they are going to figure out all the papers today... and they have a date set for the 26 of may!!! and then the 27 he will be baptised!!! PRAYERS ARE DEFINITELY APPRECIATED! ;)
Anyway, i am sending another package of letters today! got one for lauren in there! and quite a few more! i am hoping that everyone in the family can get at least one letter from me in the course of my mission.. ;) anyway, i am so very glad to see the new little guy! ;) tell lauren congrats for me okay? lol! love you mom!
oh! cool scripture: mosiah 5:15!
love you mom!
hma alford

Hey Dad! ;)  This week has been a little hard. My companion has typhoid fever... it is a life long sickness... and contagious at that... im not quite sure what we are going to do about it either... because the only way to get over it, or at least ¨put it to sleep¨ as we have been told... is to avoid badly prepared foods. It is passed through not washing your hands. You go to the bathroom, dont wash your hands with soap... prepare food.. and youve possibly just infected someone! There have been quite a few sisters who have been infected in this area... so please pray for my companion, and me as well. I am terrified of catching it too... and my stomach has been hurting a bit lately. I was bleeding from my colon again this past monday-tuesday... hermana dyer told me to be careful of what i eat, and drink a lot more fluids for a week.. and then call her with an update... to see if i should go to the dr. or not... im not bleeding anymore, but sometimes my stomach hurts still.. anyway, pray for us really hard please? its not exactly possible to control what you eat as a missionary in Bolivia... but hey, prayers help! ;)