Tuesday, May 19, 2015

05/16/15 Zona Sur!

Hey everybody!
I hope everybody is doing well!  You all looked well on the phone call so I am happy and it was a great experience!  Love you lots.
Well like I told you on the call, this week President sent us on an errand to Zona Sur.  Zona Sur is on the boarder of Panama and is 8 hours away from San Jose.  We went down there to take the movie "Meet the Mormons" to the wards down on the boarder.  Each ward was able to have a movie night and to enjoy the movie together.  We just had to take the video down to them.  So we were preparing for our 16 hour road trip to Zona Sur and on Tuesday afternoon we took off.  We were also really excited because President recommended a few restaurants for us to try on the way in Quepos and Jacó. 
So our plan was to stop and stay the night with the Elders in Quepos and continue down the rest of the way in the morning.  The most interesting part of the trip is that Elder Burt gave us a new GPS from the mission to use on our trip.  So we put Quepos in the GPS and started off.  We thought it was really weird that the GPS was taking us through the mountains and not on the freeway, but didn't think too much of it.  So we pressed forward with excitement.  Well before we knew it we ended up on really rocky dirt roads.  However, we had never been to Quepos so we kept going forward thinking that everything was fine.  It turns out that we were in the mountains of Costa Rica on dirt roads that were the steepest I had ever seen in my entire life.  After about three hours in we started to think that we were going the wrong way.  Now, when I say that we were on dirt roads, they weren´t nice dirt roads. They were terrible!  Really rocky and they frankly freaked me out.  They had potholes the size of craters, but we kept moving forward.  At one point, we found ourselves in the middle of the mountains, getting dark, weak cell phone coverage, fog rolling in, and looking a little low on gas.  We stopped to ask one of the houses that were sparsley scattered along this road if we were close to Quepos.  They said "Yeah, just two more hours on this road."  At this point we realized that our GPS was on the setting "shortest distance" not "fastest way." Oh my goodness I was going to get sick.  Up and down on the bouncy mountain roads didn't sit well with me.  It didn't help either that the Burts gave us a HUGE bag of chocolate and my companion and I ate it all within the first hour of the trip.  So we kept going, pressing forward with faith.  We had to take the car through some small creeks and cross some not-so-safe looking bridges but we were getting close. Finally after weaving through a bunch of palm trees and the help of some Costa Ricans we were able to make it out in Quepos 5 hours later.  We were so relieved to see civilization.  The drive was actually quite beautiful because you could roll down the windows and hear the monkeys, birds, and frogs.  Amazing experience.
In Quepos we were able to visit with some members, and boy was it hot.  My companion and I were drenched with sweat the second we stepped out of the car.  But it was so beautiful.  We stayed the night with the Elders there and woke up very early the next morning to continue down to Zona Sur.  We rolled in to Zona Sur around 7:30 and headed right back for San Jose.  On the way back we stopped in Quepos for the restaurant and it was beautiful.  I will have to take you there someday.  It was looking over Manuel Antonio National Park and was made in an old airplane.  It was a great experience, extremely beautiful. We also stopped at a famous bridge that overlooked a river filled with crocodiles.  They were huge.  And there was a local there that was throwing steaks over to them and it was wild to see.  Then we made our way back to San Jose (this time on the freeway) and got to work.  Elder Nielson and I were so grateful for the opportunity we had to go and see much of the mission and to help members see the movie. 
Recently, we have been seeing a bunch of success in the field.  We have some great investigators and I love teaching them.  The Lord is very good to my companion and I.  He truly does show us miracles daily and I am so grateful to Him for all that we have.  He gives me so many great opportunities to serve and to grow and this week I was amazed as I saw all of His beautiful creations as we drove to Zona Sur.  The Lord is smiling on Costa Rica and hastening His marvelous work.  How lucky I am to be a part of it.
I hope you all have a great week!
Elder Nelson
Mi amigo Mexicano siempre me decía "Qué hace en esta calle de piedra, tome la pista mejor."

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