Monday, January 25, 2016
This week was great! It was full of miracles and work! We definitely saw the hand of the Lord as we pushed forward this week.
Elder Cook is coming. I am so excited! The chapel that the meeting will be held in is in the other mission, and nobody knew how to get there, so, President sent Elder Nielson and I on a little adventure to find out how to get there using the buses. We were there and back in no time, but we now need to make sure that all of the missionaries arrive there as well. Accompanying Elder Cook will be President Christensen of the Presidency of the seventy and the area president, Elder Duncan. I am excited to hear the words that he has for us and all of the missionaries in Costa Rica.
This week, we participated in a world-wide missionary conference. The theme was "Teach Repentance and Baptize Converts." We received a training on behalf of the missionary department of the church, members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and other auxiliary leaders. We learned how to become better teachers and missionaries and how to best help others to receive the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. It was a great opportunity for us to receive guidance and direction from the leaders of the church. Something that really caught my attention was what Elder Andersen taught about Jesus Christ. He shared a story of Elder Scott, who once traveled to a foreign country on assignment to give a training. After the meeting, he stood to shake the hands of all those who came to see him. A little note was slipped into his hand that said, "I really enjoyed your talk, but I traveled from far away to strengthen my faith in Jesus Christ." When he read the note, he realized that he had forgotten to bear testimony of the Savior Jesus Christ, he was focused on the subject he trained on. As missionaries, we should always testify of the Savior in every moment. Just as the Savior taught in the tenth chapter of the gospel of Matthew "Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven." Elder Andersen said that we must always keep the name of Christ on our lips as we teach. That is great advice for all of us.
Today we had the opportunity to visit one of the volcanoes in Costa Rica, Volcan Irazu. It is located in Cartago, and really provides a beautiful view of Costa Rica. One of our investigators really wanted to take us there and show us around. So this morning we hopped in his truck and headed up the mountain. It is located at a really high elevation, so it seemed like we were driving forever. I also had never felt so cold in Costa Rica. It is chilly up there, but the view was amazing. We looked out over the clouds and the cities below. I continue to be amazed at how beautiful this country is. On our way back to Zapote, we stopped at a little restaurant and got some rice and chicken. Mmmmm. The only bad thing about the trip is that now I've got a pretty gnarly sunburn. Apparently, your legs get really white after wearing slacks for a year and a half, not to mention the part of your neck that is covered by your collar haha.
Elder Abel and I have some pretty great investigators. We have several investigators that are sincerely reading the Book of Mormon and praying to know the truthfulness of the book. We are preparing faith-building lessons and testifying always of Jesus Christ. We found an especially great investigator this week named Marvin, who seems to be one of the Lord's elect. We have another appointment with him today and we hope and pray for the best.
I hope that you all have a great week! I love you so much!
Mi amigo mexicano siempre me decía "Espero que nos baste el diesel para llegar arriba."
I hope that you are all well! Sounds like things are fun at home. I think that it is so awesome that dad is going to speak at Nate's medical school about LVADs and ECMO. That will be a great treat for sure. Conner and Claire are traveling all over the place as usual, nice! Karli and Zach holding down the fort in St. George with the kids! I hope the best for all of you this week!
This week Elder Abel and I have been teaching some great families and doing all that we can to help the work progress forward in the San Francisco Ward. I have a great experience to tell you about. So Elias, the recent convert, went to EFY last week. He was gone all week and the entire week we were praying that he would have a good time and that he would find friends and everything. Well, I finally saw him again on Sunday. All of the youth that went to EFY were asked to bear testimony of their experience. He was really nervous, but when he stood up to tell about his experience at EFY the Spirit filled the room. He had a great time at EFY and loves the Book of Mormon. He won't stop talking about it haha. I honestly got a little emotional while he was sharing his testimony. He is so great and he has a burning testimony of the gospel.
Elder Abel and I started working out each morning a lot haha. There are some work out videos called "Insanity" that everybody works out to here in the mission. They are killer! I was so sore for days! But it has been good!
We are happy and healthy. Costa Rica is great and the work is pushing forward.
I don't have tons of time. Love you all and hope the best!
Read the scriptures and say your prayers!
Mi amigo mexicano siempre me decía "Cuando comes la comida mexicana, hay que pedir 3 tacos de pastor."
Sunday, January 10, 2016
I hope that you are all doing well! I love hearing from each of you. I was cracking up when I heard about the entertainment that dad gives to the nephews on facetime. I can pretty much imagine what it would be like in my head and it would be quite the hoot! I hope that you are all well as you start school back up and that you have success! Love you all!
This week was tiring! Elder Abel and I have been working really hard and I have just felt exhausted! Maybe I just feel so tired because Elder Abel is so tired. He has not been used the schedule we have here and he is really tired. But we continue forward each day with the strength from the Lord. We have been really busy and he is picking everything up really well. I have a lot of tips and tricks that I am teaching him that took me a year to acquire haha.
We have found some really great families. They have great questions and we are teaching them lots. We are planning to have several of them in church this week.
We have a couple bits of exciting news here in the office. Elder Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles will be coming to the mission this month. We will have a multi-mission conference with the west mission in Heredia. Also, we will be receiving Elder Ochoa from the seventy here in February. I am so excited to learn from our leaders, special witnesses of Jesus Christ. It will be great!
I love you all so much and wish the best for you! Read your scriptures and say your prayers!
Mi amigo mexicano siempre me decía "Bienvenido día santo, hoy podemos descansar."
I hope that you are not all too sad that the holidays ended and that you are all back in your respective homes and back to normal life. From what I hear, everything is well with all of you and I am praying for you always!
I am grateful for the opportunity to serve the Lord and for all of the blessings that he gives us. This week I received my new companion, Elder Abel. I don't know if that makes me Elder Cain but we are getting along better than they did haha. He is a great missionary and we are working hard in the office and out. It has been a really interesting change after having the same companion for nearly a year. I moved upstairs with him so I had to say goodbye to my cushy bed. I'm back to feeling the springs in my back each night haha. It builds character.
This week we sent home a group of 12 missionaries. They were great! The weirdest thing was that the sister missionaries that came with us were the ones that went home. I came with them on the flight here and sent them home this week. They are already done! What a blessing we have 6 months to continue working and growing the kingdom of God.
We are living a little bit of a cultural thing right now in Zapote. Each year around Christmas the hold the Fiestas de Zapote. The entire country comes to participate in the parties and do all sorts of crazy things. The interesting thing about it is that we live a stones toss from the bull ring and party grounds. Honestly, we walk out of our house and we are in the middle of Costa Rica's biggest party. Each night there are fireworks and loud music until late. It would keep me up if I wasn't such a deep sleeper haha.
The mission is great! It is my hope that we continue building our relationship with our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ each day.
I love you all and pray for you always!!
Mi amigo mexicano siempre me decía "Cuando está en Costa Rica, hay que echar pa'delante"
It was so good to talk to you all yesterday and hear about all of the great things that are happening in your lives! I love you all so much and I hope you had the merriest Christmas and that you have the happiest New Year!
Because we just talked, I don't have a ton to say. This week we had the Christmas activity here in the office. It was so great! President Hayes bore his testimony of the birth of Jesus Christ and taught us some of the history of Jerusalem and Bethlehem. The Spirit filled the room and testified of the truthfulness of his words, and all in the room were edified.
For Christmas, many families invited us to share some time with them. It was great! We sang songs, said prayers, and bore witness of the divinity of the Son of God. It was a special day for sure!
This week we are planning on bringing a great family to church! They have come to church in the past and they have family that are members. We also have a family home evening planned with them this coming Monday, and we are planning something fun and spiritual.
On Monday we begin to train new secretaries! They still don't even know that it is coming! It will be great and I am excited to get some new energy here in the office!
I love you all so much!
I am so excited to talk to each of you on Christmas!! It is great that you will all be in Draper to celebrate together! I hope that you eat some good food together. I am enjoying the traditional Christmas tamales! They are made with corn flour and wrapped in palm leaves. They are pretty good!
This week was great! We spent much of our time preparing for the mission Christmas activity that will be held here in the office. I don't know if you knew this, but our office used to be a chapel, so it has sufficient space to fit everyone. It is going to be a big event, we are finding places for each of the missionaries to stay, because many our over 3 hours away from San José. The Hayes family loves to entertain, and especially Sister Hayes has been working so hard so that all of the missionaries can have a great experience and that we can rejoice together in the birth of the Savior of the world.
President Hayes is starting to get "trunky" on us. At least a couple of times, he has said "Elders, do you know how fast it will be before you are home." We always tell him that six months is a long time and we can serve so much in that time. President has also finally felt that he is ready to bring in our replacements. They will be coming in on 28th of December. We will then start to train them and prepare to hit the field full time once again.
This Christmas season has been so special! Christmas time in the mission is such a spiritual time and it teaches how Christmas really should be celebrated. Every detail, even the special Christmas music has a way to touch and move the soul. As we put our focus our Savior, and the building of His kingdom, a special Spirit abounds in all of the things that we do. I have felt a cleansing and renewal of the soul as I have tried to share the good news of the birth of a Savior to all. The Spirit has guided and directed us as we have tried to share this message of life and salvation.
Also, I feel more grateful to my Heavenly Father for all of the blessings that He has blessed us with. Many people in this world don't even have enough food to eat on Christmas morning. As I see these situations, I feel sad, and I give thanks to my Father for how fortunate we are. It is my hope that we can all give thanks to our Lord for how fortunate we are.
As I ponder the birth of the Savior, I think of nothing more important in this world. Angels sang praises at His birth, and I hope to see angels sing and rejoice once more when He comes again. His life, ministry, and atonement have no earthly comparison. He is the reason that we are, and the reason that we will live again.
I hope that we all can remember our Savior this Christmas!
Can't wait to talk to each of you!
Mi amigo mexicano siempre me decía "Comemos tamales todo el mes de Diciembre!"
I love you all so much! Sounds like you are happy and well and that the Lord continues to bless each of you. I am really excited that you will all be together for Christmas so that we can talk! It will be great!
This week was great! My companion had his birthday, so it was a week full of cake and food from members. The day of his birthday, I felt that i was not going to be able to conquer the fourth plate of rice, fourth slice of cake, and fourth helping of ice cream. However, I came out of it a stronger man and only felt mildly sick for the rest of the week haha.
Tonight we have the "cena Navideña"(Christmas dinner) for the ward. We are planning to take quite a few people and the ward has been working hard to prepare for it. It is going to be great! We will be having pig (because that is what everyone eats for Christmas here). The Christmas season is in full swing here in Costa Rica too, and the traffic near all of the malls is almost to a stand-still.
Today the zone did a service activity in Concepcion de Tres Rios. We went to a really poverty-stricken place to play soccer with the kids and prepare them a meal. The activity was great and the kids were fun to be with. The only problem was that somehow the zone leaders completely forgot that we had to bring a meal so there was kind of a problem. So, I took off with my companion and we bought pizzas for everybody. I imagine that they don't eat pizza very often, so they were very happy to see us arrive with a stack of pizzas!
I hope that you are all doing well! I love you all lots!