Dallin (Bolivia Cochabamba Mission)
–Paraphrased from Dallin’s mission interview–
Language and environment in Bolivia
They do speak different dialects in Bolivia: Aimara and Kichwa. I learned a little bit of Kichwa, but only enough to say Hi, how are you. Not many people speak it outside of Bolivia and Peru. There’s also a part of the mission that’s about 14,000 feet above sea level. It was fun to experience that different environment, I felt like i was on top of the world.
History of the LDS Church in Bolivia
For church growth in Bolivia, the country actually just celebrated 50 years of the church being there. The very first chapel ever built there was in my mission. The Church is still growing very much. In Cochabamba there’s 5 stakes, and they’re hoping to open up the sixth. there’s 2 other stakes in the country, and a few district. The people are becoming more and more accepting, and the members are growing stronger. There’s now second and third generation members.
The majority of Bolivians are Catholic, though many don’t really practice. They say they are because their parents were, they definitely believe in Christ, and God, but not much beyond that.
The Church today and the Cochabamba Temple
Church attendance was pretty good in the wards where I served, with about 70 in each ward. It may not be alot, but it is growing. There’s a temple in Bolivia in Cochabamba. We were allowed to bring recent converts and families to be sealed there. A giant Cristus statue stands on the hill, with his hand pointing towards the temple. I don’t think that was planned, but it is perfect. The path up the hill to see the statue of Christ is a difficult one, but it is worth it. It’s just like our path to eternal life through Christ.