Friday, September 30, 2016

Grateful for the power of prayer


Well... time has run out again on my quick Monday writing sesh.

Here is a quick experience that I had this week that was awesome.
It has been hard getting people to come to church in this area... and I was really scared that this week was going to be the same. My comp and I had confirmed with our investigators that they were going to go on Sunday, but that never really works out. So early Sunday morning I was scared that nobody was going to come to church, (a missionarys worst nightmare). When I was in the shower and all alone, I decided to say a prayer and ask Heavenly Father to please help the members and non members want to come to church (as a missionary you say lots of prayers in the bathroom because its the only place where you can be alone.. so it's not weird or anything haha) Anyways, we went to church without bringing anyone and I was a little let down about that, but right as the meeting started a member walked in with his girlfriend! She is an investigator that lives in the Zona Sur which is like 2 hours from my area. Then right after that another member brought his girlfriend from another city that is like an hour and a half away! We were able to have 2 people come from suuuper far away and I am convinced that it was because of the simple shower prayer that I said! Now one of the girlfriends has a baptism date for the end of next month and we are going to work more with the other.

Prayers are answered and I hope this quickly typed, scatterbrained story makes sense.

Pres also came this week to visit us and he is really cool. He interviewed us and taught me more about the gospel and how to be a better missionary. acachete. 

Love you all! Hope you have a fantastic week full of miracles!

Celebrating a new members birthday!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Hiked to amazing waterfalls and had a birthday celebration

Hey, this is going to be short... just to warn you.
Here is a quick rundown of my day:

I woke up at 5:00am
Got on a bus at 8:00
Got dropped off in the middle of the rainforest at 9:00
Hiked an hour and a half down to some crazy sick waterfalls
Ate some sandwiches at 12:00
Chilled for about another hour
Sprinted back uphill for 3 miles to catch the bus at 2:30 and almost died in the process

So yeah... my day has been pretty crazy, but it has been really fun! I love being in such a beautiful country that has so many pretty places to offer!

Also.. thanks to everyone who sent me birthday wishes... I don't have time to respond to all of them individually, but thanks a bunch!

September 15 is independence day here so in Perez Centro there was a huge parade and lot's of cool stuff to see. The youth in the branch had a big food sale to raise money for EFY so we helped out and got to see the parades and everything! Then afterwards, the branch all got together and surprised me with a cake! They all sang to me and we played charades and it was a really good birthday.
Here in costa Rica they have 2 birthday traditions: one where they break eggs on your head for every year that you complete (I narrowly avoided that one) and the second is where the birthday person has to take a bite out of the cake without anyone shoving your face into it... I almost did it... two young women got me really good though and I spent about 5 minutes fishing frosting out of my nose. haha

All in all this week was a success. I hope everything is going well with you out in the real world! 

Much love!

A lady sent this picture a year ago to me on FB messenger and I just saw it. 
It is of Chase at the temple.

Chase with his new companion

Independence Day parade

Cake in his face for his birthday, courtesy of the YW in the branch

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

A couple of great experiences this week. Changes, Buses and Miracles

Well... I have now traveled a total of more than 16 hours in buses this week. I had to go to renew my Costa Rican ID (I'm officially old in the mission) and later in the week I had to go back to San Jose to pick up my new companion. Elder Palencia headed off to Limón and now I'm with another Salvadoreño named Elder Valles. He has more time than me in the mission, but not by a lot. I have always had more time than my companions in the mission, so this is going to take some getting used to!

This week has been good though! One crazy experience I had was when I was walking to an appointment when out of nowhere a man came out of his house and said, "You guys!!" and then said very quietly, "I need to listen to you guys one day..." and so I responded, "Why not right now!?" and then he let us in and explained that he has always wanted to go to church with us, but has been to scared to just walk in alone. He has studied a whole bunch about the church and even listed all of the BYUs that there are. haha It's not every day that somebody takes the initiative to find you and not the other way around! 

After that crazy miracle we kept walking up the mountain to where we were headed originally. (a little background info before this story is that the whole mission and church members in the country did a fast to pray for angels to help us in the mission work) So as we get to the top of the mountain we see this one lady run into her house and I think to myself that we have to contact her! So we knock on the door and she comes out and says, I know you guys!! and lets us in. As we sit down she starts telling us that a long time ago she accepted visits from the missionaries and was reading the Book of Mormon but never went to church. Then to start the lesson I asked if I could say a prayer. Before the prayer she said, "After the prayer I need to tell you guys something really important." So I said the prayer and immediately after she said, "Do you believe in angels?" Immidiately my mind started racing, thinking "What does she mean?? does she know about the fast?? Is this a trick?!" after asking the question she said, "when most people think of angels they think of wings and feathers with halos... but I don't. to me... you are angels. The Lord knew that I needed your help and he sent you to me."

It was such an eye opener... sometimes I am guilty of thinking that missionary work would be so easy if angels appeared to people and prepared them to accept the lessons. But if I look at it as this lady did, I can do the exact same that an angel can do. I just need to help!

Monday, September 5, 2016

Chase has been having fun with machetes

The weeks go by way too fast now... I try to look back at all of the things that I have done and its so hard to remember.

Let me start off with one the things that I didn't have time to tell you last week... last PDay my comp and I went up to the mountains to give service to a less active member. When we got there her grandson was waiting for us with 3 machetes and took us out back to clear out a place to plant  behind the house. It was soooo fun! It was a super dense rainforest out there and I went crazy with the machete and just started chopping everything down! It was a good 4 hours of letting out all of my stress on those poor little vines.

And this week... let's see. Lately, things have been really weird and slightly disappointing. We have been putting a lot of effort into finding people, and we have been blessed enough to find some amazing families.  One kid that we were teaching says that his mom wont let him come to church anymore because she wants him to go to her church (she doesn't go to church), one investigator that was begging to be baptized a month ago now says that he doesn't need god, one investigator that has family in the church and loved learning about the priesthood now says that he has heard too many things about the church that are bad that he doesn't want to continue with us... and that is just to name a few. The mission is full of disappointments and trials like that. And honestly, that's probably the hardest part of the whole mission. Whenever somebody doesn't complete their commitments, when a baptismal date falls, or they drop you, its literally hurts so much. You grow to really love the people that you teach. And when they just cut you off or cut God off... it's terrible.

Buuuut whenever everything seems to be going against you, God sends blessings.
Alma 26
 22 Yea, he that repenteth and exerciseth faith, andbringeth forth good worksand prayeth continually
 without ceasing—unto such it is given to know the mysteries of God; yea, unto such it shall be given to 
revealthings which never have been revealed; yea, and it shall begiven unto such to bring thousands of 
souls to repentance,even as it has been given unto us to bring these ourbrethren to repentance.
27 Now when our hearts were depressed, and we wereabout to turn back, behold, the Lord comforted us,
 andsaid: Go amongst thy brethren, the Lamanites, and bearwith patience thine afflictionsand will give
 unto you success.

Last week we were out contacting and knocked a door of a very Christian lady who wanted to reject us with every fiber of her being, but did not close the door on us. We started testifying about the importance of the priesthood and eternal families and she agreed to let us stop by in one week when her whole family was home. One week later sure enough they were all home and were all waiting for us. It is a great complete family. Husband, wife and three kids. When we sat down to teach I could tell that they were super hesitant to accept us. It seemed like the looked up a bunch of anti- mormon stuff on the internet to test us. But every question they asked I was able to answer with the scriptures and they were content with what I was telling them. I was answering questions with scriptures that I had never remembered reading, if that doesn't tell you that the spirit was helping me, I don't know what does. After about an hour and a half of questions and answers they invited us back to teach more! It was so nice to see how the spirit works in the hearts of people so that they can recognize the truth in our lessons.

Since I' ve been pretty lame with pictures lately... here are some pictures of the statues inside the National Theater of San Jose.