Wednesday, May 27, 2015

This e-mail got to me.

kay... I officially feel bad because of the short email last week. In my defense I was pretty dang sick. However, the medicine that the doctor gave me is making me feel a lot better!
A lot of cool things happened this week! One thing is that my investigators are realllllly starting to progress. Last week my investigators seemed like they were starting to plateau, but this week my companion and I really starting planning for our lessons. I think the one main thing that really helped us teach is when we would apply the scriptures directly to their lives. We started our lessons this week by teaching the investigators that literally EVERYTHING in the scriptures can apply to you! We would assign reading homework at the end of our lessons, and the next visit we would ask them what their favorite part was and how they applied it in their lives. They really started to open up to us! There is so much more that helped them, but I don't have much time to explain. Overall, the spirit is amazing. If you allow the spirit to guide you, your life will be so much happier. I have had some really cool experiences in my lessons with the spirit. There have been a couple times in my lesson where I don't really know what to say, but all of a sudden I open my mouth and start teaching the investigator exactly what they need to hear in (somewhat) perfect spanish! 
That reminds me... Elder Holland gave the devotional talk this week! It was so cool! He taught a lot of cool things about missionary work, but the thing that hit me the hardest was at the end. He talked about the importance of opening your mouth. The devil wants to destroy the righteous here on the earth, however he doesn't have the power to take our lives. Instead, satan does the next best thing, binds our tongues. There are many times in my life where I have wanted to say things, but have felt embarrassed or too shy to share them. Elder Holland made me understand that when that happens, that fear of opening your mouth comes directly from satan! Read the account of Joseph Smith's first vision. What happened right before he saw God and His Son? Satan bound his tongue. As a missionary, I know that I need to give everybody a chance to hear the gospel and can't allow Satan to bind my tongue.
Our sunday devotional was also really special. One thing that really hit me hard was that he said the we all have angels watching over us as we serve. I starting thinking about that and realized that that means that DAD is probably watching me. So that night I dedicated my personal study to reading about angels. I learned a lot that night. Afterwards I prayed and asked for answers to some of my questions and almost immediately after the coolest thing happened. I had a warmth come over me and I KNEW that he was there. All of a sudden the mission felt so much more important. Dad's a pretty popular guy, I wonder who else he dragged down to watch over me? haha just something cool to think about. 
I would like to give a shoutout to Mike and Charisse. I wore the boots the got me for the first time at the MTC yesterday to break them in and they are AMAZING. I don't even care how many people gave me weird looks as I stomped around in those massive things! It got me so pumped to be able to use them in the rainforest!
Lastly, I am so ready to get out of here. It's been quite the experience, however I NEED to leave! I feel like my spanish is coming along quite well, and now the best way I can improve is to be immersed. I am so ready to be confused in Costa Rica. I want to struggle! I feel too comfortable here now. I know it definitely will not be this easy out in the field and I'm scared that I'm getting too used to it here. Oh well, less than two more weeks!
I wish I had more pictures this week... Its hard to get cool new pictures when you're stuck in the same two buildings for over a month.

Love you all!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Short e mail this week..hope Chase feels better soon.

I've been super sick this week... I think its the food. I've been super nauseous this week and finally went to the doctor yesterday about it. He gave me some pills and I'm starting to feel better. This week was definitely a struggle and I can't wait to get over this. I only have one picture for this week. Hope you like it!

I wish I had more to write, but not much really happened this week! Since my companion and I are the Zone Leaders we got to welcome in the new district and gave them a tour of the MTC. They are all a little quirky, buts its all good. Since I was sick all week I didn't really do anything exciting. Our investigators are all still progressing and I'm still growing a ton in the gospel every day. I just got done playing sand volleyball at the field and wow... I'm already so out of shape. It is super humid today and its like 80 degrees or so and I'm DYING. I am so unprepared for the Costa Rica heat. Oh well! It will be quite the adventure!
Thanks for the package! Elise's announcement looks good! I want to see pictures of the graduation party! If its anything like how mine was I bet it will be amazing! 
I don't have a ton of time to write this week, so I hope everything is all well at home! Keep the dear elders coming!!
Love you!



Thursday, May 14, 2015

Week 3- Oh no, Chase has poofy hair!

I can't believe its already been a week! This whole week has been a blur! I feel like a lot has happened... when in reality I haven't really done all the much. Its the same every day. Up at 6:30. Study. Breakfast at 8. Gym till 9:20. Study spanish/ Book of Mormon for 3 hours. Lunch for 30 minutes. Spanish for 3 hours. Dinner for 30 minutes. Spanish/ lesson training for three hours. Study. Bed at 10:30. Rise and repeat. (unless I have to do service which has consisted of cleaning toilets at 6 AM for over a hour twice a week) 
Even though my schedule can seem really monotonous at times, I do feel like I'm getting a lot out of it! I had a really interesting experience a couple of days ago. My companion and I were a little late to class...(but its okay because I wouldn't have this experience without being late... so it was kind of like a little blessing we were late?) and a teacher came up to us and asked if we could teach a quick lesson to an investigator. So we went with her and ended up teaching an 18ish year old girl named Crissie. Crissie is from Florida and she came to Provo to live with her Mormon brother for a couple of months. While she was here she wanted to learn more about Mormon church... and the best part is SHE SPEAKS ENGLISH! So my companion and I start getting to know her and teaching her about Heavenly Father and the Book of Mormon, and near the end of the lesson she starts getting teary eyed and asks if we can get a Book of Mormon for her! It was such a cool experience! I can't wait to get out into the field and have experiences like that in Costa Rica!! I also have an investigator that I've been teaching named Raul. Usually the investigators the the missionaries practice on are members who are just acting to be nonmembers, but my companion and I agree that Raul could very easily be an actual nonmember. Our lessons are not the best since we can only teach in Spanish... but we try really hard and they are getting better! He definitely is a tough cookie to crack though... Hes a hardcore Catholic who reads the Bible every morning and goes to church every saturday. We have been getting him to read the book of mormon in addition to the Bible and he seems to be progressing. Yesterday I asked him if baptism would be a possibility and he said that he would think about it... so thats a good sign I guess! One thing I've realized is how great all religions are... there is some truth in almost all religions, my purpose as a missionary is to invite others to come unto christ by accepting the gospel in its fullness. We dont ask people to change their previous beliefs for the most part... just to add to them.
I dont really have any other major updates... my hair is getting long and poofy but I'm scared to get it cut here because they only use clippers. And I dont think I'm mentally prepared for a buzz cut. 
Things are good here, I love how I can totally forget about real life and focus on growing my testimony of the gospel. The branch president challenged out district to reread the whole book of mormon before we leave the MTC... Im a little behind, but Im getting there! I forgot how informative it is if you just start at the beginning and read through it like a novel. There are so many truths in each chapter and I have found so many scriptures that I can apply both to myself and my investigators. I encourage you to read the last chapter of 2 Nephi... I think its chapter 31? I dont have my scriptures with me. The testimony that Nephi bears at the end of his writings is amazing. I really like it because it isnt really any different that how ours should be! We can come to know the truthfulness of the gospel just as much as Nephi did! That had never really crossed my mind before... This week I have been thinking about that a lot and have been striving to strengthen my testimony of lots of different things before I leave for the field. Once I'm out there I only have my testimony to rely on (well kind of... not really) but you know what I mean.
I will send pictures later!
Les Quiero!
Chase sent this message to Elise and I thought it was funny; "Guess what? Im wearing my polka dot socks, a costa rica soccer jersey, my running shoes and a ctr ring I found on the ground. I am quite the stylish missionary. Oh and I also just got my hair cut. Its super short. But I still look dope. And i just took a 30 min nap and finished the book of jacob. Today is a good day."

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Week #2 at the MTC "Thank you for letting me be a woman."  What??

I am seriously so jealous of the english speaking people right now... At the mtc you are given "investigators" to teach and you have to teach them in your mission language. So far I have had to teach four lessons and it is so hard to do in spanish! I have so much id like to say, but I have no idea how to say it, and it can be really frustrating at times... but I will say that the gift of tongues is real! There have been times in my lessons where I start saying things in perfect spanish and I have no idea where they came from! The mission is pretty cool like that so far. You REALLLLY have to be in tune with the spirit when you teach lessons.
The CCM is pretty amazing... there are soooo many missionaries here! It blows my mind how many people are getting ready to serve missions right now! It can get realllllllly exhausting here. you sit in class for at least 9 hours a day... and at least three of those hours are completely in spanish. I am growing so much though! My spanish is coming along really well! I have had two spanish dreams so far.. and that is really trippy! I am starting to forget english words already, so I cant even imagine how bad it will be by the time I leave!
The food is the exact same as the cannon... so i guess thats good and bad. It just gets old.. ya know? Oh well, rice and beans for every meal in costa rica will get old too i bet. haha 
As far as funny stories........ two of the elders that I share a room with are soooo bad at spanish. but they are both the nicest, funniest guys! They try really hard to pray in spanish... and usually say "I know Jesus is my Son so I am thankful" Or.... "Thank you for letting me be a woman." I dont think we have had an apartment prayer that we have gotten through without laughing! We all laugh so much here! Its like we are all five year olds who dont know how to talk! We try to only talk in spanish to eachother and it usually ends horribly... its definitely a challenge but im enjoying every second of it!
Please check out dear elder and send me messages from that! I like it a lot more than email because I can hear from you all the day you send the message and dont have to wait until wednesday to hear from you all.
The biggest and strangest adjustment so far is calling everyone elder and sister... The branch pres gets really annoyed when you call somebody by something other than elder (even "you guys")
I dont know if you will believe me, but I have woken up right at 6:30 every morning... not that I really have a choice... but I impressed myself with that!
I will send pictures as soon as I can! Even though today is my pday I still have a ton to do. I am going to the temple with my district today so ill probably be back at like 4 or 5?
OH! my companion and I are zone leaders, so thats pretty cool. There are only 7 people in our zone and district right now... but we should get like 8 more next week? so thatll be a good experience to be in a position of leadership for a little bit. Ahora hay siete personas en mi districto. Hay tres hermanas y cuatro elders. All of the people in my district are so nice and I get along really well with the elders that I share my room with.

ALSO tell thanks to donna warr for the cupcake! It was good! Its nice to know that somebody cares about me and send me stuff:)
one cupcake was good... DONT send massive amounts of food. We have so much to eat already. I told my comp that we are going to start working out during gym time because they force so much food down our throats here.
The food you send would be much appreciated... but pleeease dont make me fat!
Ask madison about the funny story I just sent her... im too lazy to type it out again:)
I have been watching mormon messages in spanish to help practice. This one just made a big impression on me (i found it in english for you)
You can watch it if you want... its pretty good!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Welcome to the Provo MTC Chase!

Chase made it safe and sound to the MTC!  Here is his first e-mail and a picture from a kind stranger on his plane!
Hi! I guess Wednesdays are the P days here so I get to send emails every wednesday while Im here at the MTC. I am running off of 1 and a half hours of sleep and I am so exhausted! We started spanish class the second we got into the MTC. I was the first person to arrive in my district for about half an hour three teachers were just talking to me only in spanish. It was pretty crazy! I already more confident about the language though. My teachers all seem really smart so far, and seem really nice and helpful. 
The food here is pretty good. It reminds me of living in the dorms and eating at the cannon. The food, trays, cups, and everything are exactly the same. I am really not looking forward to waking up at 6:30 tomorrow morning. I know that isnt going to be enough sleep with how crazy my day has been today. Its already such an adjustment. Calling people elder and sister is really throwing me off. Luckily everybody who works here is super nice and is always willing to help (and they are almost all like 7000 years old) so I havent been too confused finding where everything is.
My companion seems really cool. He is from Arizona and went to BYU last fall. We have a lot of things in common and we are about the same skill level in spanish. 
I hope you havent worried about me too much! Things are all well here, and I didnt have any difficulties figuring out what to do to get here. Ive already made friends, and im feeling pretty comfortable here.
Hope you all havent shed too many tears!
Love you,
Elder Abel
(pronounced ahbell)