Lot's of things happened this week! I got to do a few intercambios (exchanges) with some Latino elders, and a Bolivian holiday called Dia de Peaton.
The Cochabamba area in general is know in Bolivia as being the dirtiest place in the country. This is probably because it's in the middle of the 2 biggest cities La Paz and Santa Cruz, so there is alot of transit between the two. This means that tons of semi trucks, and goods are moved right throught the city. They don't have any regualtions on the cars like they do in the states, so there is a ton of pollution and trash everywhere. In an effort to try and preserve the ozone layer, the government didn't decide to try and clean up. They didn't try and put regulations on any of the cars, like in other countries. All they did was ban vehicles for a day haha. If anyone was caught driving, (which I saw some of them) they were charged 1,000 Bolivianos (about 150 USD) and their car was taken to the impound lot. This day was yesterday. Luckily it was a, so we were going to stay in the area anyways. Since my town is already barely a blip on the map, it looked like an ancient villiage without any cars on the dirt roads. People used other means of getting around: There are tons of horses, so they rode those, and bicycles too. I wish I would have gotten some pictures because I felt like I was in the 1920's haha.
I had the chance to go on 2 different intercambios this week, but they were both in my area. The first one I had was with a Peruvian elder. He is the best missionary, and takes the saying "talk to everyone you see" literally. If there was 10 minutes of down time, he was busy chatting with a new person and taking out an appointment to visit them.
The second intercambio I had was with an Elder from Santa Cruz, Bolivia. He is a new Elder here in the mission, only having about 2 months. One of the great things about this elder is he speaks Quechua fluently. So part of out plans were to go up into the hills in my area where they only speak Quechua and contact. He held a Quecha BOM and I held a spanish one. If they spoke spanish, I spoke to them. But if they only spoke Quechua, he spoke. It was so cool hearing the gospel be taught in another language!
This was a baptism that we went to. The little guy in the middle is from a less active family that's starting to come back. He's 8, so the baptism doesn't count for the mission, but he loves all the missionaries, so he had one of the elders baptize him!
Elder Potts IIIBolivia Cochabamba Mission