So the majority of you guys probably haven´t heard anything, but Bolivia, specifically Tarija, just experienced a major forest fire this past weekend. Now I know what you´re thinking: “But Utah gets a forest fire like every other year, it´s not that big a deal”. Well, I thought that too! But here´s the thing — Utah is a state in a fancy first world country where we have the means and supplies to knock out a forest fire, while Bolivia is the poorerst country in South America that doesnt have a profesional Firemen unit in, like, the entire city.
See the difference here?
So the fire was a pretty big deal here, only twenty minutes away from where we are in the city. At night, we could see the flames with the naked eye! All of the bolivians were being asked to volunteer to help put out the fie, and Bolivia was receiving help from their neighboring countries –Argentina, Perú, etc. We got pretty scared Friday morning when we got the call that we needed to buy fresh water immediately because the fire was about to destroy the water tanks kept out in the forest, and that we also needed to prep our emergency backpacks. Saturday, the smoke was so think that we literally couldn´t see the mountains. It definitely didn´t help that the wind was blowing hard that day!
However, they were finally able to put the fire out that very night. So I´ll be living for the next little while!
The forest fire would really be the biggest news for this week. I forgot to mention last time that the 6th of August is Bolivia´s Indepenedence Day! So we made a Llama Shrine to celebrate.
Thanks everybody for your love and support.
Well, we´ve been told that the winter should be lightening up from here on out, and by the middle of August it should be getting warmer, but who knows? We´ll just have to see how it all plays out. I´m a little scared to hope for anything when it comes to the weather because it could all very quickly turn south and I don´t want to be responsible for jynxing everything! This past week it hsan´t been too cold, but poor Hna. Jara just arrived from the city of eternal sunshine so she´s been shivering fairly constantly. I hope for her sake that we don´t get another cold spell!
We were super busy this week with contacting references and setting up visiting our investigtors. We have a bunch of people who are progressing rather nicely, and we´re hoping that we can see a baptism this transfer! We had a funny experience yesterday when we were eating lunch with some members. I made the comment “we need baptisms” and the husband in the family just pointed right at his little nephew who was with us and was like “baptize him! I´ve already talked to his parents that he needs to get baptized. He´s gonna get baptized!” and we just looked at this 12-year-old kid and asked “Do you want to get baptized?” and he just shrugged and was all like “I guess so.” Haha! He´s a really good kid and we have plans to visit him this week, so we´ll see what happens.
We got to attend the Pioneer Festival that the stake organized this past Friday. Every ward/branch had to prepare a dance, and it was definitely interesting to see the Bolivian interpretation of “pioneer/cowboy square dancing”. The outfits were pretty funny too — some totally accurate, and others the glitzed-up version of what a pioneer would have worn. All in all, it was a ton of fun!
Well. I love you all so much and I¨m grateful for all of your love and support.