Sunday, February 28, 2016

Trying to keep a good balance between working in the field and in the office.

This week has been a really fun week! I have tried to think long and hard about my efforts as a missionary until now and I think I am pretty satisfied with what's happened so far. That doesn't mean that I don't have my regrets and I that I don't wish I would have done things a little differently in the past, but at least I'm learning from my experiences. Honestly, the mission has pushed me in a way that I never thought it would have. I've grown in so many ways and have seen and experienced so many things and I haven't even been out for a year yet! So anyways, right now I have to figure out how I can possibly maintain a high success level in the missionary field while still doing a good job in the office. This week I think I found a solution to this dilemma. I decided that I would try to get to know ALL of the members in our ward and work with them. Last Sunday I ran around like a crazy person setting up appointments with every member that I could see. This week I got to enjoy lots of nice dinners and really fun appointments because of it! In spite of the fact that I didn't get any references... I think it was definitely a good decision! They are more excited to work with the missionaries, we have more trust with the members, and I'm happier!
 I wish I could update you guys with a crazy story of something that happened... but nothing crazy really went down this week. We found a couple of good family that hopefully can progress. I ate at Johnny Rockets today and spend $7 on a tiny milkshake. I found out how to make buttons on EXCEL spreadsheets and wrote my own code to make the migration spreadsheet run better.... I think that's about it... hahaha
I hope you all enjoy my blogs.. I don't really know what to write about when I write them. If you want me to write about anything in specific let me know! I love getting emails and pictures from everybody! (and I know I'm a hypocrite because I haven't send pictures in a while... but I'll get better at that!!)
Always remember to pray and study your scriptures! And actually study them... not just read them because you have to!
Love you!!!

Monday, February 22, 2016

Chase helps puts investigator at ease after not wanting to get baptized because he heard you had to be naked. Oh my..

Bueno, you know how I always say how fast the weeks go by? This was not one of those weeks. It just dragged on and on and on and on. I´m usually not a very stressed out person, but my first time doing transfers by myself beat me up. It's not like it was that hard to do... and luckily it all went well. It's just a lot of stuff to keep track of. I think the stress got to me though and I got pretty sick with the flu to top it all off. Being sick on the mission is not fun at all. You feel so bad because you can't go out and serve. I remember being sick at home, and while its always terrible being sick, at least you can enjoy a day of just resting and doing nothing. On the mission you always have work to do, puking or not.
In spite of the fact that being sick was very tough, that doesn't mean that I didn't learn a lot from the experience. The Lord definitely blessed me through all of the difficulties. Our teachings have been going pretty well lately and we have found some pretty great people that are very interested in the church. One of our investigators is named Eduardo. He is 22 and we have been teaching him for about 2 months now. He is a good kid, but he's pretty stubborn. He's been going to church with us, but just "to make the Lord happy". He never wanted to be baptized or do anything in the church, he just needed somewhere to go to church so that God was happy with him. After teaching a good lesson about the Atonement and the love of Christ he asked me if he could go outside and talk to me. We went outside and he said, "You have promised me so many blessings if I read the scriptures and go to church. For the longest time I thought you were a liar. I thought I was doing all of these things for nothing. However, yesterday I found out that you were telling the truth. You know that I've been looking for a job for a while now, and yesterday I found one. And not only that, I feel more peace and happier in my life. And not to mention, I feel stronger when I work out." It was so nice to see that the Lord does bless those who seek after him.. and to hear that I wasn't a liar. haha After he told me that, I started to asking him to continue with the faith that he has received and follow the example of Christ and be baptized. His response was, "Well, I've honestly been thinking about that, and I've concluded that I would like to be baptized... BUT my friend told me that the mormons baptize naked. And I'm not doing that." I quickly reassured him that we do indeed baptize with clothes on and then he accepted to be baptized! It's still going to be a process to prepare him to be baptized, but at least its a huge step in the right direction! Moral of the story, you never know what holds somebody back from being interested in the church or being baptized, and you'll never find out unless you ask them! OPEN YOUR MOUTH AND SHARE! What's the worst that can happen? You get rejected? Oh well, at least we can do our part and invite.
Hope you all have a fantastic week!
Here is Chase's response to a picture I sent to him of my Mom, Dad, Madison and I eating a Costa Rican fruit that he has talked about.
"lol you guys ate mammon chinos? They are my favorite fruit here in Costa Rica. That or the huge mangos that they have here. But you missed out on the cool outside shell that they have. Peeling them is part of the experience!The people here eat a lot of strange fruit here. Look up nísparos or juplones. I really like nísparos but juplones are the hardest sourest thing I have ever eaten in my life. And they eat all their fruit here when its green and unripe. Like they have mandarins here, but they never eat them when they are orange, they have to be dark dark green!"

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Chase is now on his own, no more training. Stress Level 1,0000!

Hello everybody!!
I would like to apologize in advance because this is going to be very short.
This week has been insanely crazy. My trainer left and now its just Elder Fuller and I in the office. This week we had Elder Ochoa come from the presidency of the area 70. I was in charge of prepping all of the sound equipment so that it would all go smooth. Luckily my nerdy side helped me out a lot and we got all the stuff hooked up no problem. After his meetings he complimented me on how nicely planned out the meetings were and said that I'm a great secretary. I felt pretty special. haha
The zone conferences with elder Ochoa took up three days and I couldn't leave the office because there was so much work to do here... I kind of feel bad because I feel like I completely abandoned my investigators. Oh well, luckily we are teaching some great people and I feel like we can pick up where we left off without a problem.
Changes are next week. STRESS LEVEL 1,000,000!!! This will be my first time bringing in new missionaries and sending home old ones all on my own. I've kind of been freaking out prepping all of that stuff, because I can't let anything go wrong. I think I have it under control... but we will find out! I should be going to driving school next Saturday if everything goes well, and I should have a licence the week after. Hopefully I can get all these dang Costa Rican laws figured out!
Thanks for all the emails! I love hearing from you all!
PS. I sang in one of the elder Ochoa's meetings with the elders and sisters from my ward. (there are 11 of us in this ward) I'll attach the recording. It sounded better in person. I blame the I-phone mic for the reason it doesn't sound too great. haha
   *I (Andrea) wasn't able to attach the audio to the blog. Sorry.  E-mail me if you want to hear it.


Sunday, February 7, 2016

Got to meet an apostle of the Lord and help out a struggling missionary.

Let me just start off by saying, having a meeting with an Apostle of the Lord is SOOOOO DANG COOL! So first off, both of the missions in Costa Rica got together for this meeting. That was cool in itself. I only had 6 weeks here while we were only one mission, but I still know quite a bit of people from the other mission. It was really nice to get to see them and catch up with some of my BYU friends that are serving in the other mission too. So, back to the meeting. The people that were there: Elder Cook and his wife, Elder Craig C Christensen from the presidency of the 70 and his wife, Elder Duncan the President from the area 70 and his wife and both mission presidents and their wives. When the meeting started we all got to line up and shake each and every one of their hands. It was soooooo cool! Elder Cook shook my hand and touched my elbow! He didn't do that with that many other people so I guess I'm pretty special! haha
They all talked one by one in a three hour meeting and the spirit was so strong. Missionary meetings are the best. The most spiritual things I have ever been to. All of the 350+ people in the room had been called and set apart to dedicate their lives to serve the Lord. Think about that for a second. It's so crazy to think about. I could spend a long time retelling each and every thing that they all talked about, but that would take too long. The biggest thing that I took away from the meeting is something that president cook said. He said, "you are the message." By the way we live, the way we act, the things we choose, and the things we do, we are representatives of Jesus Christ. People set us apart from everybody else. We are an example of Christ in literally everything we do. It's a lot of pressure to take on, and while we can't ever be perfect, we need to always try our best to be.
Yesterday I got to do divisions with our district leader and a new missionary named Elder L. I went with Elder L. to work in his area. He's a young Tongan and only has 4 weeks in the mission. He doesn't speak Spanish. He has really been struggling lately and I was really excited to work with him all day to try to help him out. I could tell that he was having problems with his trainer, and he was realllly discouraged. We started by trying to do all of his appointments that he had set up earlier, but they all fell through. So we spent the whole day knocking doors and talking to people. We found a ton of good people and a couple of not so nice people. (I felt bad because he got bit by a dog at one house and got a hole in his pants. After I told him that happened to me all the time in my first area he thought it was funny and was alright with it.) At the end of the day he looked at me and said, "Thank you Elder Abel. I needed that. Yesterday I was thinking about walking away from my companion and just going home. I really was considering leaving. I needed this. You have made me realize what the joy of being a missionary is like. I'm going to remember this and try to be as happy as I am right now." It was so great. I didn't do anything special. It was just a normal day. By letting the spirit guide me, and just doing my job as a missionary, I was able to help this new Elder feel the happiness that comes from serving a mission. It's an experience that I'm not going to forget.
Today the ward had an activity. Lots of people came, which is unusual! There was a really nice picnic with tons of BBQ and lots of music. They played ping pong, soccer, and basketball. It was so fun to play basketball with them all. A lot of people in the office don't like playing sports or doing anything active. I dragged Elder Fuller to the activity and he ended up playing piano the in the church while I was playing outside with everyone. This ward is pretty great.
Well this was a little longer that I expected. Hopefully this makes up for my short ones I have been sending. And if you made it to the end, thanks. I love you.
Hope you all have a fantastic week! Keep sending lots of pictures!

Costa Rica East Mission