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

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