Monday, November 10, 2014


As many of you know, my cousin Ryan has recently come to Bolivia as well. It has been so amazing to have him here for so many reasons. One reason, however, is that his fresh eyes are appreciating things that I've already gotten used to or forgotten. When moving to a foreign field, it is more than learning the language, it is learning the culture. These are some of my pictures that help me appreciate the Bolivian culture!

The congregation has so much work on their hands but they never get discouraged and thoroughly fulfill their assignment.

In a town nearby, Sipe Sipe, they serve a breakfast in the market called Buñuelo. It is very comparable to a Funnel Cake! However, served with hot Api it is quite scrumptious! When our service group is to meet and work in Sipe Sipe we meet there for breakfast before getting started. 

When new ones come into the congregation it is customary to have a welcoming party which involves dancing and food! They cooked us a meal called Pampaku which is cooked underground. They heat up the hole and leave it covered for hours before putting in the food. It gets very, very hot and will stay hot for hours afterwards too!

Please feel free to leave comments and questions :) 


Best Convention Ever

As Danielle had mentioned, the English convention here in Bolivia was truly amazing.  It was such a privilege to be there among 500+ other need greaters from 30 different countries. All the talks were so special and touching. Though we fully understand Spanish and had already attended the same convention, it was so much more moving in our native tongue! I understand the reasoning from the organization now.  It does make a huge difference.  

From the talk entitled, Highly Esteemed Present Kingdom Blessings, I appreciated a point that was brought out about how powerful Jehovah’s word is. So much so that it doesn’t matter what we do or how fully we support his kingdom. He doesn’t need our vote, it will come either way. It is our decision then where we place it in our lives.

During the baptism talk (yes, one young brother was baptized. He moved here with his family two months ago) a statement was made that really stuck with me. After reading Isaiah 41:10, “do not be afraid, for I am with you.. I will really hold on to you with my right hand of righteousness” the brother mentioned, “our breaking point in this system is relative to our reliance on Jehovah.” Isn't that so true?

I really appreciated how personal the brothers made the talks during the Saturday afternoon symposium, “Pursue Goals That Can Help You Seek First the Kingdom” because this was something we all had in common. We had all made a sacrifice to move to a foreign field and learn a new language. So it was brought out how we can do more, how to be content, and not to be over-confident.

The list could go on and on from points that stuck with me, but that’s enough for now. Here are some pics!


Monday, November 3, 2014

History in the Making

     As many of you know, we had our first ever English convention in Bolivia this past weekend. It was so special, indescribable. All of the speakers were either Bethelites, special pioneers, missionaries, and need greaters. It was a true treat indeed. I would like to share a few of my favorite points!

     It was mentioned that here in Bolivia there are 638 foreigners serving here from 30 different parts of the world. Of those 638 over 400 are serving in the preaching work while others are serving in Bethel, or construction. On Sunday, we had our meeting for those interested in applying for the evangelizer school. Out of an attendance of 668, 299 attended this meeting!

     One of my favorite points brought out was from Isaiah 29:9. Babylon the Great has their people spiritually drunk. If we think about preaching to a physically drunk person we know how impossible it is. They can’t follow a logical line of thought. We say “The soul that is sinning will die” They say, “no it won’t”. We ask “Do you believe what the Bible says? They say “Well of course” We say, “well it clearly states it right here”. They say, “Well I know that but that is not what it says.”……Spiritually drunk.
     Another illustration that I really appreciated was that of trying to explain to people how Jehovah is truly affected from idolatry. Imagine a wife who is looking through her husband’s wallet and finds a picture of another woman. A very beautiful woman. When she confronts him about it and asks why he has this picture, he says, “Well, honey she helps me to remember you.” That is what the people are telling Jehovah with their idols – they need those false gods to remember Jehovah. Absurd!

Here are a few pictures from this most special event!


A Trip Down Memory Lane

     Two weekends ago we paid a much overdue visit to the town Amanda and I used to live in, Montero. After many smiles, laughs, tears, and one giant reunion, I’d say it was a most wonderful visit indeed. Allow me to share a few highlights.

     First of all, let’s go back in time a touch. When Amanda and I arrived to Montero, (Sept 2011) we were assigned to the congregation, Naranjal of 80 publishers. At the time there was one elder, 5 servants, and 9 pioneers. The spirit in this congregation was very sad. It definitely lacked happiness to be frank. Little by little we were privileged to see the many changes that occurred. It was both rewarding and encouraging for us – which of course goes without being said.

     I am now happy to report that Naranjal has 5 elders, 11 servants, 30 pioneers, and 112 publishers!! They are also supporting two groups! One in a nearby town called Saavedra and a sign language group in Montero itself. I could not believe the growth in just 3 short years! Jehovah’s blessing is most definitely evident. Oh! And one of Amanda’s studies is now baptized. Her two sons are unbaptized publishers and her husband continues to study! Amazing.

     Also while in Montero, we went preaching one morning. A sister and I called at one home and two ladies came out and invited us to come sit down. Within the half hour of visiting with them we were able to leave 4 magazines, a brochure, a book and show the video on why study the Bible. Not only was a Bible study started that day, but the next day one of the ladies came to meeting with her daughter!

     It was very sad and hard for me to leave Montero. They had truly become a part of my family and it was hard to leave them all over again. So many memories were made there! However, it warms my heart knowing that I left Montero in the spiritually stable condition that it is in. Now….all concentration in Vinto!!


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Mother Tongue

     This same morning in Machajmarca, Anacleto preached to an older woman who speaks one of the native languages Quechua. I couldn't understand much of what was being said. Ok let's be honest, I understood nothing of what was being said. Nonetheless I followed along in the scriptures he was reading, as he was reading in Spanish and then translating to Quechua. He reads John 5:28,29 and then Psalms 37:29. All of the sudden the woman turns around and leaves. Surprised and concerned I ask, "what happened?" Not a moment too soon she returns with her Quechua Bible!

     Anacleto later tells me that this poor lady lost her husband to death a year ago. She said that she is waiting for the day when she will see him again in heaven. Anacleto asked her if she had known that the Bible actually speaks of a resurrection here on earth. After showing her those scriptures she had to see for herself in her own Bible and of course in her mother tongue! She was so happy to learn what the Bible really teaches. She was left with magazines and a promise of a returned visit.

I have two return visits of my own in that area who want to study the Bible! Our day in territory Machajmarca was a successful and memorable one indeed.



This morning I worked in a part of our territory called Machajmarca. This territory requires a lot of walking, or better said, hiking. The terrain is mainly dirt mixed with rocks and sand.  Filled with a mixture of both steep hills and flat fields....let's just say the journey is anything but easy. However, with that said, allow me to describe my morning in said place.
I had the privilege of working with our dear 75 year old brother named Anacleto. Coming down a hill, on our way to the next house, my curiosity gets the best of me and I ask, "Brother Anacleto, how did you come to know the truth?" He stops, looks at me and replies with a grin, "You really want me to tell you sister Daniela?" "Of course!" I reply, returning the smile. He walks me to the side of the road and begins telling me the story....
"First of all, let me tell you that I blindly came into the truth. No one taught me. I was without knowledge. Should I continue?" Again said with a smile. I nod and smile. "The year was 1964. I was just a young kid, 25 years old. I was in a city going to visit my brother at a plaza. Upon arriving, I see my brother walking towards me with something in his hand. Approaching me he asks, 'Have you seen this magazine!?' It was the Watchtower. I tell him yeah, I've seen it. 'Well have you read it?' Months ago I had received one of the magazines from a workmate who was handing them out to all of us. I had accepted it and just kept it in my room. I never read it. 'You have to read it!' He tells me. 'It teaches from the Bible that God's name is Jehovah.' I look at him and smirk. God's name is Jesus Christ. 'No, his name is Jehovah.' No it's Jesus Christ. 'Why don't you come to meeting with me. Sunday at 4. I'll meet you here at 3:30 sharp.' I agree.
After spending the whole week thinking about what my brother had told me, Sunday finally comes. I arrive at the plaza at 3:20 eager and ready to go. The meeting was in a very small room with maybe 30 others there. We began with a song. At the time we didn't have music. We just all began singing on the count of, two, three...and we all began. After, the brothers gave me a watchtower to study and a songbook. Everything that I would need. I left that day totally convinced of God's name Jehovah. I attended every Sunday meeting. My brother tells me that there is a book study on Tuesday evenings at 7 for one hour. 'Do you want to come?' Of course! Every Sunday and Tuesday I was there. 'We have another meeting on Thursdays from 7-9. Wanna come?' Of course! Every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday I was there.
'Now, it's time to preach with us. I will meet you in the plaza at 9am.' I loved preaching. It was easy! All I had to do was accompany the brothers and sisters. It was great. Until.... 'Now it's time to talk to the householder.' No way! What am I going to say? I can't! 'Yes, you can. Read Matthew 6:9 and explain it. It's easy!' Ok. First door. Scripture is ready. Thoughts are in order. The man comes.....I freeze. I have no idea what to say. Gggg...I try to say good morning. Nothing. My brother takes over. Little by little sister Daniela I learned to speak at the doors and to love it.
Now, back in those times, at assemblies the brother would simply say, 'those who desire to get baptized please come to the first aisles tomorrow.' 5 years went by until I finally decided to get baptized. I was married to my lovely wife at the time. She told me, 'well if you're getting baptized, so am I! 1969 we were baptized. She knew less than I did about the Bible! (He laughs to himself) So here we are sister Daniela. Preaching the kingdom, without having had anyone preach to us. (He laughs again).

Our loving brothers taking the lead in service
Anacleto, Orlando, Carlos, Juan
(from left to right)

Anacleto preaching with his 8 year old grandson, Job.

This brother is out in service faithfully every day. One of the happiest brothers I have met. You will never see Anacleto without a smile. (with the exception of the picture I posted hahaha!)



     Every Wednesday morning Danielle and I attempt to travel to a town called Thio Moko to study with a mom that Danielle found in the territory a few weeks ago. The attempt comes from the fact that on some days we have had to wait up to 45 minutes along a hot, dusty road for a truffi to pass that will take us there. The duty of stopping the correct car usually falls on my shoulders since Danielle claims I have eagle vision and she can’t read the signs in the car windows from far away. It is quite disappointing though when I get distracted for two seconds that right when I look up again the exact car we need passes right on by without seeing us. However, once we finally get the truffi we need, we are excited, of course, but they are often very full and quite smelly. And when I say full… I mean, that in a van that should hypothetically fit 7 people it remarkably ends up fitting 13… and then stops for two more. These Bolivian’s get very creative. However, once we are on our way, it is a short ride along a smooth paved road. Not! It is the longest, bumpiest road ever.  Somehow though we always get there and wonderful Rosa is waiting for us.   
     She is such a sweet person with so many questions and so much interest. However, that is about all I can tell you though because about five seconds after we arrive each time her adorable two year old daughter, Kenya, comes giggling around the corner.  So, since the very first study, it has been my duty to keep this mischievous child occupied while Danielle and Rosa study. She has an attention span of less than five seconds and after opening everything, touching everything, climbing on her mom’s back, running towards the street, pulling the cats tail and doing every possible thing that she shouldn't she looks at us scrunching her adorable little face and starts giggling like she is being tickled. It is so hard to be mad at her and we all just start laughing.  As naughty as she is, she is too adorable for words.  

Sunday, July 6, 2014


One Month Anniversary

It is hard to believe that yesterday marked our one month anniversary in Bolivia!  We have already learned so much and feel so grateful to be here. Though it is hard being far from home and from the people we love, it is such a privilege to have the experience of serving in a place that needs so much help. Comments from brothers and sisters expressing how grateful they are to have our help in the huge assignment that they have makes us feel so appreciated and that our sacrifices to get here were worth every effort.  Every day is a completely new experience, not knowing yet of what to expect. We’ve been preaching far into the mountains, to a national park and to distant farm lands. With that said, we wanted to share some pictures!

"The truth will set you free" - John 8:32

The truth behind these words have been proven true countless of times. They have touched us personally, we've seen others benefited, and often read of experiences. I would like to share a few of them that I have seen thus far:

1. Does God hear my prayers?

A young mom named Benita wondered this. "I would pray asking God for many things and never received an answer. I felt that God never listened to me. I even got to the point of bad mouthing him and denying his existence. However, since studying the Bible I have realized that that is not the case. Jehovah always listens to our prayers and answers us. I have learned that I had a selfish motive when praying to Him in the past which is why I felt that He wasn't listening. I love my Bible study. I feel so much closer to Jehovah and that I have an actual relationship with Him."

Benita expressed this just after chapter 2 of the Bible Teach book.  :-)

2. Does the Bible truly benefit me?

Another young mom named Rosa grew up in a Christian household. Her parents would often teach her Bible texts that she would recite often. "After getting married and moving away from my family, I drifted away from God. I didn't read the Bible. I never went to church. I felt so stressed all the time and that something was missing in my life. I then found out that I was pregnant. Once my baby girl was born, I worried so much about her and wanted her to grow up knowing God. I prayed so much and started reading my Bible again. I would often feel worried or stressed, but after i felt calm and peaceful. I have such a hard time understanding the Bible, but I have no doubt that when God is in my life everything is ok."

A Bible study was started with her that day. :-)

3. Are the dead living?

One lady named Norma asked this question after one study. She had been taught before by other witnesses that the dead are simply sleeping. "But the other day I was watching a television program given by a pastor that said that the dead are living. One part showed some of the dead burning in hell. It scared me! I am just so confused. If the dead are sleeping how could they be burning in hell?"

Ecclesiastes 9:5,6 and 1John 4:1 were shared with her. We explained that what she had learned about the sleeping condition of the dead was indeed a biblical teaching. We went on to discuss how hellfire is not a teaching of the Bible and encouraged her to "test the inspired expression" due to the many false teachings in the world.

"Thank you so much! Now it makes sense. It is very clear."

4. Fear of God

Zaida a single mom with a Catholic background had a true fear of God. She felt that she couldn't have a relationship with him because of that. "To be honest I sincerely fear God. I know the power that he has and I make many mistakes. I fear the punishment that he is capable of giving."

Acts 17:27 was shared with her.
"How beautiful! I am going to keep this in mind to remind myself of this."

We then explained the proper fear we should have of God and how he is a God of love.

These are just a few of my favorites. It is such a special thing to see someone coming to know Jehovah and be apart of their spiritual growth!


Wednesday, June 11, 2014

And .... We Are in La Paz

So, upon request, I've been asked a few times to explain myself for why and how Danielle and I ended up in La Paz instead of going all the way through to Santa Cruz.

Let me explain a few things first though. It is very unusual for me to be this persistent.  However, here were our options:

1) Go to Santa Cruz (like planned) on Wednesday June 4, land on Thursday morning, get all of our very, very heavy luggage, catch another flight to Cochabamba (which means repaying all of the luggage fees), travelling to Vinto (where Meghan and Andre live) in a small taxi, unpacking a tish, and then repacking and going back to La Paz on Thursday evening.  That would give us time on Friday to start our visa process during the week and then attend a wedding on Sunday.


2) Go to La Paz on Wednesday. That would give us time Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday to work on our visa. Plus, we had friends there waiting and expecting us.

So, I was unusually determined to get off that plane. Which looking at the situation, it really shouldn't be that complicated. The plane was stopping in La Paz anyways. People get off. People get on. Then it continues through to Santa Cruz. All I wanted was to get off with all of our luggage.

I asked 8 different times. 8 different people. Here were my responses....

1) Unhelpful man through booking company, "Sure, let me look into that. It will be $1400 each to stop in La Paz".

2) Unhelpful man through American Airlines, "Nope. I'll have to rebook your ticket and charge $200 change fee to each of you plus the difference in the price of the ticket".

3) Lady 1 at DIA when we were checking in said, "Nope. I can't print a different ticket unless I change your flight which means I'd have to charge your a fee and the flight difference."

4) Lady 2 at DIA when Lady 1 walked away, "Ya... that's not possible without buying a new ticket".

5) Lady 3 at the Gate in Miami, "You will have to talk to the officials." Me,"what officials? Where?" Lady, "when you get there."

6) Flight Attendant, "It is against the government. You can't do that."

Now we have landed in La Paz, people have gotten off and officials are coming in to check carry ons and security. The door is open and I can see the city right outside. I wanted off so bad! But, at that point it felt too late and I hesitated asking.

7) Official 1, "Well... no. If you would have asked earlier maybe, but it is too late now."

8) Official 2, "Well... no. I mean, maybe. You should have asked earlier. How many bags do you have? Color? I need names. Give me your tickets."

He pulls out his walkie talkie and starts communicating that we need 4 bags off. I felt relieved that someone was finally taking action but nervous because it was so last minute! People were already boarding the plane for the continuing flight! We were asked to step to the front of the plane, then step off the plane. We could hear conversation over the walkie talkies and they kept expressing that they didn't have the bags. Now I was nervous that 3 bags would come forward and 1 would get lost in Santa Cruz. Which was a very high possibility.

Then, all of the sudden, "go ahead ladies, they have your bags." I still didn't fully believe them. Not until we walked around the corner and then there they were! All 4 safe and sound! Yay!!!!

The End :)

Colonel Roberto Guardia

As I am sure many of you have heard we have arrived here safe and sound to Bolivia!! We had few issues at the airport...with the exception of our sudden change in plans. Our original plan was to arrive from La Paz to SantaCruz, and take another flight to Cochabamba. Please read Karly's post on how we ended up staying in La Paz.

So we end up staying with this incredibly nice family in LA Paz. At the time all I knew was that the wife and children were witnesses and the father was not and worked for the police department. We took advantage of being in LA Paz and got started right away on getting our residency. (LA Paz has all the government buildings there)  After going to get the requirements from Interpol, we get back to their home. Ade (the wife and mother) asks us what we need from Interpol and as I am reading the list to her here comes the father in uniform. We introduce ourselves. A very intimidating man at first.

After finishing the list, Senor Roberto Guardia (the husband) takes the list and says he will take care of it and get us all that we need. Of course I don't argue with the man. I readily agree and listen attentively as he tells me what he needs from us. He leaves to go back to his office and tells us to meet him there later that afternoon.

After he leaves Ade tells us that he is the Colonel of Bolivia. He is second to the highest official position. Next is General. So, needless to say this man's got power in the system! As we later came to see, just the mention of his name demands attention....and we are staying in his house. The Colonel's house!

Longer story short, he helped us get all the paperwork that we needed to turn into Interpol. All of the documents have his name and signature on it so no one questioned us. Residency process is half way finished! Turns out, Karly's unexplained persistence worked out in our favor after all. :-)

After getting to know him, he turned out to be a very loving, sweet, caring person. He gave us a lot of safety tips and advice and was always eager and ready to help. We turned out to be great buddies.

Something very interesting too is that Awake actually interviewed him. There is a paragraph and picture in the July 8 2002 page 4 awake. His name again is Roberto and in parenthesis it says (Bolivia).

How crazy is that?! :-)

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

August, September,...June?

    Where has the time gone? It honestly seems like yesterday Karly and I were sitting in front of the laptop, hearts beating, mind racing, as we decided to click that oh so finalizing button..."confirm". And just like that we were officially going 'back to Bolivia'. At the time (Sept 2013) I knew I had 8 months to prepare yet again for this exciting adventure. Now, 8 months is solid right? Plenty of time to save, buy all the necessary items, tie off loose ends, etc. Here's the problem: that "8 month" mentality never left my mind. 8 months never turned into 7, 6, 5 months. I always had 8 months left. Then suddenly, it was May! Time to give my notice at work, notify the bank, buy the remaining needed items, and hardest of all, say goodbye.

    And here I am. June 3rd. Mere hours remain before departure time. Am I ready? Do I have everything? Will it all run smoothly? Only time will tell.

    But with all the worry, thoughts, and emotions, the encouraging words recorded at Isaiah 41:10 fill my mind. "Do not be afraid, for I am with you. Do not be anxious for I am your God." And then suddenly, everything is ok :-) 

    I am so eager for this exciting chapter of my life to begin. And am even more eager to share it with you all! More posts, pictures, and wonderful experiences to come!

Danna B

Monday, May 26, 2014


   Each day that passes, I get more and more nervous for our big adventure. I know that so many exciting things will happen and that Jehovah will bless us in many ways, but the anticipation and the unknown is killing me! I dread saying "goodbye" to everybody and wish I could just skip that part. My expanding pile of designated "Bolivia stuff" makes me dread packing day and the constant fear of going over that daunting 50lb mark. Somehow, though, it all works out in the long run. With my last day of work now behind me, our commitment to this trip is quickly becoming a reality! Setting my fears and nerves aside, I really am excited to see what these next months bring!