Friday, October 30, 2015

Chase is now a legal Costa Rican... Can't believe it has been 6 month!

Hello all!

 I hope everything is going splendid with everyone. Things are moving along nicely here in Siquirres. We are finding new people and are teaching our hearts out, and hopefully we will have some baptisms in the upcoming month!

I got my Costa Rican ID this week! I am officially legal now! It feels so weird to have an ID from a different country...I forgot to take a picture of it... but hopefully I’ll remember this week! It looks pretty cool.

The work here is weird... I feel like the Lord is testing me. We have been teaching a ton of people these last two weeks. We had over 20 people committed to go to church this week. When I called them all early Sunday morning, about ten said they were getting ready and were for sure going to go... and only 2 actually came to church. Two is better than none though. Times like that make me always ask, "why is this so hard??" but then I remember that the Lord is just seeing what I am made of. The blessings will come, I just have to be patient.

Remember Jorge and Roberto from my old area? Jorge was baptized last Saturday. I’m so sad that I couldn’t be there. This weekend they are going to baptize another one of my old investigators too. I wish I could be there... but I know it doesn’t really matter. I’m just being selfish. I’m just so happy that the work that I’m doing is actually changing people’s lives, even if I’m not there to witness it firsthand.

I don’t really have much more to write about... this week flew by. And please don’t kill me but I can’t upload the video of my apartment this week... The internet here is so slow. I tried and after about 30 mins of uploading the internet timed out and erased all of the uploaded video... next week:)

This week I will be completing 6 months in the mission! It seriously has flown by so fast! I feel like it’s only been a month!

Sorry for the lack of updates and pictures... Please forgive me!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Chase is now living in a jungle and has found 25 people to teach in one week. Wow!

I'm writing from the hot, sticky jungle of Siquirres! I got changed to an area most different from where I was! It is extremely hot and humid here. When I stepped off the bus, it felt like I got hit in the face with humidity. Siquirres is in the providence of Limon. It's pretty much on the coast. The heat is just about the only bad thing here. I already love the people so much.
The ward here is super new. Two months ago it became a ward. Luckily, there are six missionaries in this ward. There are all super cool too! I feel like I'm going to lose all of my English skills while I'm here though... They all talk in super fast slang Spanish and never in English.
My new companion is Elder Ortiz, he is from Guatemala and has only been out on his mission for 3 months. I definitely have my work cut out with him though... Elder Ortiz has no confidence. I feel really solo when I teach the lessons. Little by little I'm trying to work with him and help him in whatever way I can. We are working suuuuper hard though and have been blessed. In the first two days I got here, we found 25 new people to teach. I feel like I'm working Elder Ortiz a little too hard... but its good for him! hahaha
There is something really special about this area... I know that I'm going to have a lot of success here. The people here are so nice, humble, and genuine. I feel bad for them though... It's so hot and there is not much to do here so most of the families just sit in the shade outside of their house all day. Most of the men work in banana plantations and are never home during the day, so we teach most of our lessons outside with the rest of the family.
We had an activity with the ward last Saturday and it was really fun. I got to meet some of the ward members and we had a little water balloon fight. This ward likes to have fun. And they play a lot of soccer here. Every morning we wake up at 5:30 to play soccer at the church. Today we played a soccer game against the district of Limon. I almost died from the heat... but it was a lot of fun!
I took a video of my apartment to send to you all... but I forgot my camera... next week! The house that I live in is very simple. We have two tiny tables, a microwave, a tiny stove and a mini fridge. In the other room there are two mattresses on the floor to sleep on and that's it. We live on the side of a mountain though and the view is amazing!
We are trying to baptize two people this next Saturday... But we will see how that goes. I just feel like all of the old investigators here still have a ton to learn. And it doesn't help that a lot of the people here can't read.
There are a lot of people from Haiti or Jamaica here. They speak a form of English called Patu'a. I want to learn it so bad. For example, what happened or hows it going is: guappin. And so far tha'ts all I know. If I learn the language I will send a video. haha
Thanks for all the emails that you have sent! Keep em coming! I like seeing pictures of everybody!
Please forgive me that I don't have pictures this week... Blame the heat. It made me forget.
Pray for me that I can get accustomed to the climate and that I can have more success here:)
Love you all!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Chase is moving to a new area with a new companion.

This week has been quite a crazy one. We have definitely turned things around from last week. We taught a ton of lessons this week and found a lot of new people to teach. We are still finding some great families that actually want to go to church, which is a miracle! It's crazy how fast your attitude can change on the mission. You can go from being happy to sad, excited to nervous, tired to energetic, in a matter of 2 minutes.
Remember Eduardo? We were helping him build a second story of his house? Well over the span of two weeks, he has had some major trials. He was working on somebody's house a couple hours away, and forgot all of his tools at the bus stop. When he returned... they were gone! He lost thousands of dollars of really nice tools. That was pretty much all of his possessions. It was really sad, right when it happened we went over and tried to console him a little bit. After a couple days his family and him were more or less happy. Eduardo found a nice side job selling clothes in San Jose and was renting out an extra room in his house. HOWEVER, after about two days of peace... the person he was renting a room to stole a whole bunch of his things, including the clothes that he sells to make money in San Jose, in the middle of the night and moved. Once again we ran over there to try to help and bring peace to the family... Only this time it was worse. He had no money and couldn't pay the electric bill. They had no money for food, and the family wasn't in very good shape. We shared another lesson with the family by candle light and after about an hour they seemed to be pretty calm.
Yesterday when my companion and I were walking past Eduardo's house, he ran outside and stopped us. He said, "Elderes... I just want to thank you. Lately I have been having some real trouble with my life. If I hadn't started talking to you missionaries, I would be a depresssed mess right now. But thanks to you guys and your lessons I have learned the importance of keeping the faith. I know that these are just trials from God and Satan tries to attack us when we are weak. I know that I must stay strong and faithful. Right now I have 4 dollars and no way to feed my family. But I am happy. I am happy because of the faith that you have brought into my life. Thank you for everything you have taught me."
The work that we are doing is the work of God. We are changing lives through Christ. Even if that is the only good influence that I have on somebody for these 2 years... I'm happy. I am so glad that I have been given the opportunity help others and thank God everyday for the experiences that he has given me.
Things are going better with Jorge and Roberto too. We are still working with the parents so that they can give permission to their sons to be baptized this weekend. 
We have seen such a big change in them too. When we first taught them, they had never prayed before and didn't know how. Last night in Roberto's prayer he thanked God for the opportunity to be baptized in the true church this weekend. You can always tell how much a person is progressing by listening to their prayers. It makes me so happy when you can see somebody start to develop a relationship with our Heavenly Father and they start to express their feelings in prayers.
Also... yesterday was sad day. We received a call from the mission assistants and they told me that I will be changing areas this Wednesday... I really don't want to leave. The people here in this ward are like my family... they have seen me grow from a gringo who didn't know any Spanish to a missionary who kind of speaks Spanish! We received the call when we were teaching at a recent convert/ part family home. I have gotten really close with that family and it was really sad to tell them that I'll be leaving. They wanted pictures, so I'll be sending the pictures to you as well.
Today I'm going to play soccer with all of the youth from the ward, as well as with some of our investigators. It will be a lot of fun!
Next week I'll be in a new area with a new companion with new stories. While I'm really sad to leave Ipís, I'm really excited to get to serve in a new area! 
Love you all! Remember to write me and send lots of pictures!!


Thursday, October 8, 2015

I like the "Go Pro" idea!

I would just like to apologize one last time for the terrible e-mail I sent last week. Last week I had a ton of stuff to do and totally ran out of time to write! (I know mom... thats not a good excuse) This week has been mentally, spiritually, and physically exhausting. This whole change (six week period) has been great for my companion and I. On average we are teaching about 35 lessons a week and are picking up a ton of great new people to teach. We have done so well with this change that the leaders are thinking about sending another set of missionaries to our ward to help us out. HOWEVER, this past week has absolutely sucked. We had less than half of our average and did about half of the amount of street contacts that we usually do (usually we do about 140 quick one principle lessons in the street every week) I don't know what happened, but I feel soooo guilty. You dont really know guilt until you feel guilty to the Lord. It's a terrible feeling. We had so many people cancel on us this last week and got rained in a whole bunch of times. Annnnd to top it off, our baptisms got canceled this weekend.
Here is the story of our baptisms: About a month ago we met this mom in a bus stop. She told us that she had two 15 year old sons that are interested in joining a church and learning english (how perfect, right??) so later that week we stopped by and met Jorge and Roberto, they are so cool! We have been teaching them ever since and they have been super active. They go to mutual, church, and even went to conference in the stake center this weekend. They were really excited for their baptism this weekend, and when we talked to their parents for permission they said NO. They said that there is no way that they can already be prepared to do something that serious in such a short amount of time. Upon hearing that, Jorge and Roberto got sooo sad. We are going to continue working with the mom and step dad this week to see if they can get baptized next saturday, but it's going to be a big struggle. Okay, sorry for venting and telling sad stories. I'll try to be a little bit more uplifting.
There are many different beliefs here in Costa Rica. Almost every person here already has their "religion" even though they don't ever go to church. We were teaching this one man named Rafael. The first lesson went pretty well, but we could tell that he wanted to fight the whole time. When we returned this week to teach him a second time, he had brought one of his friends from church with him to "prove us wrong". The most popular religion here is Evengelic. Its a type of christian. Their church services are kind of scary and different than what I am use to. They have karaoke, rock bands and sessions where people talk in "tongues" and cast out demons... its weird. I have walked in on "exorcisms" before and have seen and heard some pretty strange things. ANYWAYS, when the evangelicos pray, its different. They believe that since everybody has a prayer in their heart, everybody needs to pray at the same time. So, one person directs the prayer and the others start screaming their prayers to the heavens at the top of their lungs. Sometimes they jump and spin and raise their hands up... it's scary. At the beginning of this lessons with Rafael and his friend I started by offerering the prayer. Right as I started praying, they started "praying" as well. Screaming and waving their arms and everything. It's quite a sight to see. After the prayer ended they started showing bible verses in our faces telling us how we are dumb youth and we worship a prophet of the devil and all of this stuff. Needless to say, we walked out as fast as possible. My companion and I always say that we need to wear "Go Pros" everywhere we go because of all the weird stuff that goes on here. I know this letter was kind of weird... my brain is kind of scattered at the moment. I'm still really happy to have been given the opportunity to be here. I love the people here with all my heart. I am determined to work even harder than before so that I can share the joy of this gospel with everyone!
Love you all! Oh and conference was awesome. It was in spanish and I had trouble understand about 1/4 of it, but it was still really good. Bye!