Monday, August 24, 2015

Making America proud, one funnel cake at a time.


The work is still progressing, but progressing slowly. Luckily, we have had two baptisms scheduled for this week.  I’ll keep you updated and let you know if that happens! 
I don’t have too much to write about, but this week we had a very fun activity in the ward! We all cooked a cultural food from our country and shared it. There were all sorts of dishes from different countries in Central America. And I was the only American. I wanted to represent our country well and make something really good, but it is impossible to find food from the US here! After three different ideas didn’t work out, I finally remembered something DELICIOUS that I could make, FUNNEL CAKE! So I did just that. Funnel cake with Hershey’s chocolate syrup (which cost more than 6 dollars for a tiny bottle), powdered sugar, and coconut! It was super good and I think the people at the activity liked it!

 One thing that the American missionaries have to do is teach their Latin companions English! My whole district is Latino and they asked me to start praying in English so that they could learn. This morning I started to pray in English with my companion, but halfway through the prayer I FORGOT HOW TO PRAY. It was the weirdest thing. I could only think in Spanish. Talking in English feels so weird to me now! 

Oh and also, last Saturday we had the opportunity to listen to a talk by Elder Nelson (one of the 12 apostles). He is visiting missions down in Central America, but since he won’t be visiting our mission directly, we got to watch a live broadcast of him speaking to a different mission. It was really nice to hear his talk. He gave a lot of good insight on missionary work. He can’t speak Spanish though so he had to stop every 10 seconds for a translator to translate his words into Spanish. It was a nice refresher in English!
Sorry for the short e-mail......  Next week will be better!!!!!

                   We bought futbol jerseys in San Jose. Saprisa is LIFE
                              This is Victor. He is quite a great person.

                                         Making America proud.


Monday, August 17, 2015

Chase got bit by a dog this week amongst other things

This week was full of ups and downs. Lots of success and lot of wasted time. I'll start with the bad to get that out of the way. The people here are never home!! Even when we have an appointment and arrive on time the people aren't home! If we call them and say we will be there in half an hour, they always leave right before we get there... its kind of frustrating. BUT we have found a way to combat this struggle. My companion and I have been doing a lot of divisions with ward members. A division is where I go with a ward member and my companion goes with a ward member and we each teach a lesson. We can teach twice as many lessons this way.
We had divisons on Wednesday of last week and I was super nervous because I would be teaching a little bit of everything to a whole bunch of people since we were doing a 6 hour division. In those 6 hours I taught 6 lessons, challenged people to be baptised, found new investigators, and talked to a lot of people. It was seriously such a cool experience! I felt like I really helped and did my part that day! I know I wasn't alone though... I was praying a lot the day before that I would be able to have succesful divisions. There was not one time that day where I struggled with my Spanish. I understood completely everything. That had never happened before. It was such a blessing and a miracle! It was a direct answer to my prayers. And since then my Spanish hasn't been anywhere close to where it was that day. I know that I was blessed because I put my trust in the Lord and was confident in myself. And the same applies for every aspect of life! It's cool how that works!
Yesterday I got bit by a dog in the leg. Not bad, but was enough to want to kick the dog afterwards. Didn't make a hole in my pants so everything is all good.
I also had quite the experience with my companion the same day as the dog bit. (not sure if you want to share this in the blog or not mom) He always has to pee... like seriously every hour. We were coming back from lunch and he said it was an emergency and started run/skipping to our apartment. But I had the keys. He ran upstairs and waited for me to unlock the door, but I started talking to the neighbor about the rent. I guess I took too long because when I walked upstairs my companion had peed himself. Badly. I felt bad but couldn't stop laughing. He had to shower afterwards and we lost about an hour of our day.... 
Also, this Saturday was Mothers Day in Costa Rica. (weird right?) Anyways, there is a recent convert who lives by us named Victor who always likes to plan get togethers with the community. For Mothers Day he hosted a Mothers Day party and we decided to stop by and take advantage of all of the nonmembers there and teach a giant lesson. We show up and they start talking about how somebody needs to hire a stripper. Right when we walk in the house the power goes out and the whole house gets dark. When the lights come back on we are standing in the middle of the room... guess what they thought. yeah.... it was awkward. But my companion and I sang two hymns about families and passed out cards with our numbers on it. Hopefully we get some lessons out of that!

Hope everybody is doing well! Love you all!

Guess the name of this fruit! They are super popular here. Inside is a clearish center with a big seed. The inside reminds me of the inside of a grape but its really chewy. I really like it because you can throw the whole thing in your mouth(once its peeled) and chew it like gum!
             I received this picture from a member through e-mail.-Andrea

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Chase sang a solo in church??

This week has been full of new and interesting things. I needed a lot of patience this week. We usually plan our week pretty good, but for whatever reason almost every single plan we made ended up falling through. We really struggled finding people to teach during the day because almost everyone was either at work or in another city.
Even with this struggle we still managed to have some success! There was a total of 103 people that came to church this week which was the most I've seen since I've been here! We also had 8 investigators show up so that's comforting also!
This week we had a multi zone conference. It was pretty cool because elder Duncan from the 70 came and gave a 3 hour lesson on missionary work. It was cool to be able to have a somewhat personal lesson with a member of the 70! Alllllso, there was a special musical number in the middle of the conference and guess who sang? ME! Two of the sisters in my district kind of forced me into it... but yeah. I sang with a couple of other hermanas from my zone at the meeting. And I had a solo at one part. 
On another note, some kid tried to sell me drugs this week. That was an interesting experience. He came up to me and said, "hey gringo, want to buy some drugs, just two bucks" (in ghetto Spanish) I politely turned him down and then he told me that if I ever did I just need to let him know. So I guess I have a dealer here if I ever need one...?
Yesterday I had the opportunity to talk to two drunk men. The first kept talking about how a little mouse on his coin was God and how we need to all search for Joseph Smith. The second was actually a cool experience. we were walking down the street and a man named Rodrigo came up to us and asked us why there are bombs in the world. Even though he was a little tipsy we used this as a teaching opportunity and taught about the plan of salvation and how everyone can change. After a little bit he invited us over to his house. I guess its his birthday tomorrow and his whole family was there celebrating. We are going back to his house this week to teach him and his family. I feel like there is a lot of potential with that family, and if it ends up working out, it will be a great story!
Other than that, not a lot new has happened... I hope all is well with you all!
Continue to keep me updated with your lives! 
Love you lots!

Abel is a common name here, and when I found a truck with my name on it I couldn't resist!
I am really proud of my chicken coop that I made this week! Eduardo didn't have walls for us to put up in his house this week so instead I built this for his chickens!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Record numbers at church

I am very tired but very happy. The work here is crazy! For the last month or so there has been a rumor that the stake wanted to close down our ward because your attendance is so low. Like in the 40's every week. So the  members have been freaking out and are begging my companion and I to work super super hard. and this week we saw our hard work pay off. We had almost 100 people show up yesterday! The number of attendance more than doubled! It was so cool to see the chapel full of people! But not only that, we had 8 investigators show up too!
Although we got to taste a little bit of success yesterday, we still have a long road ahead of us. We have a lot of investigators with baptismal dates, but its so hard to get people to keep their commitments and go to church. 
I need to start writing down important things that happen in the week to put in my emails... because I'm always so tired I cant even remember all of the lessons we taught at the end of each day, so please forgive me if my emails don't make sense, seem scattered, or are boring:)
I'm trying to be extremely confident with my Spanish. I literally talk to everyone I can. A lot of people probably think I'm crazy, I just want to give everybody the opportunity to learn! 
Its funny, because now I can understand most of what other people say and I'm starting to realize how much stuff people say about Americans as I walk by. Its either an insult, some name, or how bad they want to go to the states. Also, pretty much everybody that I walk by uses me as a quick English lesson. A lot of people know 1 or 2 phrases in English and love practicing them on me. Like saying good night at 8:00 in the morning. 
People also love reminding me how dangerous it is here and warning me of certain places. We will be out looking for lessons at night and pretty much everybody tells us to go home or stay out of a certain area because we will die. The people tell us that a super dangerous neighborhood is Zetilall and we need to stay out of that area, because since I'm American everybody will think that I have money. We live in Zetilall. Nothing has happened, and I doubt anything will, but its nice that people care enough to warn us about possible danger.
Lastly, there have been some crazy miracles going on down here because of the exact obedience of my companion and I. We will be walking down the street and people will yell after us saying how they need to be taught! Or people will be walking out of their house just in time for us to come into contact with them. I wish I had time to explain some specific examples... Next week!
I am healthy, safe and happy. Couldn't want anything more at the moment! Thanks for all the emails! Keep them coming!
I love hearing from new people too, so if you haven't emailed me, DO IT!

I got a little homesick and decided to make this. I am pretty impressed with it. I tried to get really fancy and use some glass that I found on the side of the road. I tried to break it into shape and sliced my finger pretty good. So... theres no glass.

Found 38 people to teach!

This week has been suuuuuper long. I feel like I'm starting my mission all over again. Elder Cárcamo is working me so hard. But it's a really good thing. I am learning how important it is to be obedient. We follow the mission schedule EXACTLY. And for that, we are having a ton of success. In just this week we have found 38 new people to teach. We literally talk to everybody. We have lessons and prayers in the middle of the street if we have to. Elder Carcamo is super forward though. In almost every first lesson, he challenges them to be baptized. And its good for the most part,but its hard to keep track of the people who really want to progress. We had a ton of baptismal dates for august, we just have to get them to chuurch 3 times before then. And that is a huge struggle here. Nobody wants to go to church. Luckily, this week we upped the assistance of the church by 20 people, but only two were investigators... most were less actives. I hope we can continue working this hard, because it is so nice seeing your hard work pay off.
My spanish is also getting way better, really fast because my new trainer cant speak english. I speak spanish all day everyday now. I am so grateful that I can understand almost all of what other people are saying now. Words are actually starting to sound like words. Its a weird feeling to describe. Before, literally everything sounded like a huge mess, but now I can recognize structure.
Im getting to the point where I start thinking in spanish. And I dont think I like it... because ill be thinking and then Ill think something thats not gramatically correct. It really throws me off.
Yesterday I had two people tell me that my spanish is really fluent, and they would consider me a tico-american. While I still dont feel that confident, it was definitely a nice confident booster!