Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Wow, a new big change for Chase and his resposibilities! Crazy last 3 days.

Wow, my mind is going 1000 miles per hour right now. First off, I would like to say how great that Christmas video call was. It was so nice talking to you all. I'm not going to lie... I got a little homesick when I saw all of the pictures from Christmas at the house, but I'll be home soon enough to enjoy Christmas with you all again.
Okay, so all of what I'm about to tell you happened in the last 3 days. Try to read it all, it's going to be a long one. I'll start with the morning the day after Christmas.
Remember George? That American that lives here in Costa Rica but is really really sick and I've been translating for him? Well the day after Christmas I got a phone call from Dania (The lady from my ward who has been taking care of George while he's been sick) and she said that she is caught up in a legal problem with George. George got really sick and almost died, and when Dania walked into his room and found him lying on the ground, she called 911 and the ambulance came and took him to the hospital. When he left for the hospital, he forgot his money and his passport in the hotel room that he was staying in. So Dania took them to keep them safe.... Well one of Georges friends is a lawyer and she accused Dania of using George to steal his passport and she wanted to throw Dania in jail.
Dania wanted me to go with her to the island that George lives on to personally deliver his items and record it with me being the translator. So a couple hours after, my companion, Dania, and I headed out to an island called Parismina.  First we took an hour and a half bus ride to a port, then we got on a little boat and headed off into the ocean for about half an hour until we reached Parismina. Its a tiny little island that has it's own little civilization. It's so cool! I'll make sure to send pics, it's so pretty there! So anyways, we get to the shack that George lives in and give him back all of his stuff and now things are all good.
Okay... so if that wasn't enough, as we are returning from the island the zone leaders call me... They tell me that I need to bring my white clothes to the church in 30 minutes because I'm going to baptize. The Zone leaders have been prepping a little girl named Tania for baptism and as district leader, I do the interviews for all of the investigators to make sure that they are ready to be baptized. well last week I interviewed Tania and I guess she thought I was pretty cool, because the day of her baptism she asked if I could baptize her! hahaha Tania's family is really interesting, the parents are really young and they have 6 kids. I have become really close to all of them and the 10 year old says that I'm his best friend. I love how loving all the people are here.
Okay and the last crazy thing. Last night we got home and started planning for the next day and our phone was on silent. After we finished planning I picked up the phone and we have a missed call and message. I first check the missed call and it's from PRESIDENT HAYES (the mission president) and I'm like... ohhhhh shoooot what happened? Because he only calls missionaries for important matters. then I check the message and it says "Elder Abel, call me" and then I know that I'm in trouble. So, I call him back as soon as possible and he answers and tells me that it isn't for anything bad, in fact it's for something really important. He asked me if I could serve him in the office for the next couple of months as the secretary of immigration! He said that as secretary I am going to know everything that goes on in the mission. I am going to be responsible for buying airplane tickets, helping with missionary changes, dealing with passports, the new missionaries, and a whole bunch of other stuff. I'll also get my own truck to travel to different places around the mission. I'm really excited, but really nervous, because it is a big responsibility. Tomorrow I have to be in the office super early and have to leave at 4 in the morning... Also, I think my P day is going to change, so I'll be writing home on a different day.
Annnnd I think thats enough for now. Congrats to you who read the whole thing, sorry if it was long and is hard to read.
I'll keep you updated on this new assignment, and keep me in your prayers por favor:) Love you all!

They made friends with this man who wanted to be a missionary for a day.  They dressed him up and hit the town.  Chase said it was a lot of fun for all involved.


Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Christmas Party with all of the American fixings

Merry Christmas everybody!! I hope that everybody is enjoying this
Christmas season! Christmas sure is different here in hot, sticky Siquirres. With the warm weather, the hard work, and the monotonous day to day routine. Christmas time doesn't feel anything at all like Christmas in the States, but it sure is nice to not get all caught up in the normal Christmas hype. I can totally put aside all of my wants this Christmas season, and can use all of my time and efforts to help others. How cool is that??
It has been soo hard to work here this past week though. Nobody is home! Its impossible to find anyone to teach because everyone is working or has gone to San Jose to enjoy the colder weather there. Plus the soccer finals are going on and whenever a game is on, nobody lets us into their house, because literally EVERYONE is watching the game.

Last night was our mission Christmas dinner. It was a lot of fun! It was really cool to see the whole mission together. There are quite a bit of us! It's a little weird though... Since I have been some time in the mission now, there are a lot of new missionaries that I dont know. Its fun seeing them starting out and remembering my first months in the mission. Gosh... I was so lost. hahah I sure have come a long way, but I still have a lot of progress to make if I want to have success. For the dinner we had a traditional American meal. Turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole with cornflakes on top, and a whole bunch of american baked deserts. It was so nice to be able to eat a full meal without rice!!! After the dinner we had a lot of special musical numbers performed by the missionaries. My zone sang a Christmas hymn medly. It actually didn't sound too bad haha.
We also watched the Christmas video for this year called, " What would the world be like without a savior?" Its really good. Heres the link:
I invite everybody to watch it and share it with your friends! Its short, but powerful!

I'm exicted to be able to call you in a couple of days! Im sure you're all counting down the hours, but don't worry, it'll come soon!;) I'll make sure to study up on my English so that we can talk without problems!
Love you!!


Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Having some beach fun!

Hello everybody! I hope you all have had a good week, because I sure have!!
This Saturday we had a baptism for Joneiker and Monserrat. It went really well and they are both happy that they were able to take this big step. Their parents came to the baptism and it seemed like they really enjoyed it. I'm hoping that we will be able to start to teach their family soon, so that the whole family can enjoy the blessings of the gospel.

It's really hard to teach in December, because hardly anybody is home. Costa Ricans take Christmas seriously, they buy a lot of gifts for everybody. Ticos love to spend money. They all have brand new tablets, smart phones and huge flatscreen TVs, but the same people sleep on the floor and in houses without roofs. The priorties of the people here are strange... Since they are prepping to buy a lot of things for Christmas, everybody is working overtime to save up some last minute money.

This week we have been doing a lot of contacting, trying to find people in the new area that we adopted. It has been a fun experience because we have found many black people that speak island English. I got to teach a whole lesson in English, and it was so hard! I forgot so many words! I also have completely forgotten how to pray in English.

Yesterday we went to the beach! The beach is called Manzanillo and its about two and a half hours from my area almost to the Panama border. We went with the whole zone. A return missionary was visiting from Utah and he drove us around and gave us a little tour. We played soccer on the beach and just hung out all day. It was a lot of fun!


Monday, December 7, 2015

Continues to receive "celestial guidance".

Buenos Dias!

This week has been quite a long one. The mission always
brings interesting experiences, but this week has been almost
overbearing. I've felt realllly happy and I felt realllly sad. It’s
crazy how fast your emotions change in the mission. One person can be
progressing really well and the next minute they can cut you off.
Satan is real and it’s so obvious how hard at work he is when an
investigator is about to make a big change for the better.

Let’s start off with some good things. With this recent change, we
changed some of the leadership. There is a new zone leader, and I’m the
new district leader. As district leader It’s my job to help all of the
missionaries that are serving here in Siquirres. So far it’s been a
good learning experience, but it made me realize how much I need to
improve as a missionary and be a good example for others. So far the
biggest challenge of being district leader is making sure that the
other missionaries get along. And that’s not an easy task. Please
forgive me whining for this next bit: The new zone leader took over
control of the area and doesn’t let the old zone leader do much.
The old zone leader comes over to our house to vent about
the new zone leader. They don’t get along and their teaching methods
are super opposite. And as if that’s not enough, my companion is
starting to take sides with the old zone leader and they both gossip
behind peoples backs. It’s a huge distraction for our area and it's
hard to always stay positive. I’m trying real hard to just
keep my head up and be a good example but it’s tough sometimes..

Okay... back to some good news! Joneiker and Monserrat are going to
baptized this Saturday! We have already had the interviews and the
parents have given us their permission! I’m super stoked that they are
going to get baptized. They are really going to be good, strong

We also have been working with a part member family. The husband (well
they aren’t married, but they call themselves married) was baptized
three years ago, but went inactive, and the rest of the family are non
members. We have been working with them on and off for about a month
now. They have always given us excuses as to why they can’t go to
church, and I was getting pretty frustrated. Last week in one of the
lessons, I decided to take a chance and invite them to be baptized
just to see what would happen. At the end of a really good lesson, I
started to say, "And if you come to gain a testimony of all of the
truths that we have spoken, will you...." And right as I was about to
say "be baptized" I felt a hand on my side. I turned around to see why
my companion touched me, but he didn’t. Nobody was there. A little
weirded out, I turned back around and tried to regain my focus. As I
started the invitation again, I felt the same hand run up my back and
then rest on my neck, as if to comfort me. Unphased by this feeling, I
kept on with the invitation and they accepted! Annnnd they all went to
church this week! I know that missionaries receive celestial
guidance to help Gods children return to him.
Another cool experience that I have had this week was the opportunity
to meet an 83 year old named George. George is from the United States,
lived in the Bahamas, and now lives here in an island off the coast of
Costa Rica. He doesn’t speak much Spanish and is very very sick. He has
an enlarged thyroid gland on his neck (about the size of his head),
skin cancer, parasites, and a whole bunch of other problems. One of
the new members of our ward saw him and wanted to help him, but
couldn’t communicate with him. After church yesterday she pulled me
aside and explained the situation and asked if I could translate. It's
been a really neat experience being able to translate in a way that
could save somebody's life.
Well that’s about all the time I have this week... Hopefully you all
can understand what I wrote, because I typed really fast.

Love you all, thanks for the emails!!

Three hours of playing soccer with no sun screen!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Chases germaphobe phase is finally over! He's been cured!

Sorry, I ran out of time this week to do a big email... please forgive me.
Really quickly... We had changes this week. Every companionship in the Zone has at least one person being changed expect for me. Elder Ortiz and I are going to be staying for Christmas and New Years. I'm excited that we are going to have more time here. The work is going really well!
Thanks for all of your emails this week and for all of your love and support! I really appreciate it all!
Ps. I saw an armadillo two days ago. It was cool:)
Chase's response to mom's e-mail-
Hey! Yeah I'm feeling a little better now. The mission is super tough in that aspect though... I haven't had one day since I entered the mission where I haven't felt sick or had something hurt. The mission is really hard on your body. Especially in this area in the heat. I'm hoping that if I just fight through it all, I'll eventually get a break. I kind of stopped complaining and have just accepted the fact that that is how a mission is. I do miss the US though... I don't like how dirty it is here. But because of that, I have officially ended my germaphobe phase haha
The water here is pretty clean for the most part. When I'm at home, I filter my water. But when I'm out in the street I'll take water from anyone.  I'm not sure how the Christmas chat works, tell Elise to be prepared for Skype just to be safe.

A baby was giving him tattoos.