Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Great last week on the mission!

Last email... and no time. please enjoy the pics. I have lot's more but I'll just show them to you in person:)
This week has been great, the members are treating me so nice and I'm eating so much.

Remember J from Perez Zeledon? The one that showed up out of nowhere on a motorcycle and asked us to help him with some problems he was dealing with ? Well I just found out that this weekend he got married and his wife got baptized. He is now a reactivated faithful member of the church. This was such a nice reminder that even when I'm not in the area or in the mission anymore, the work goes on!

Also, remember that picture of the barbeque with the less active family? Well we have been working really hard with them and yesterday (my last day of officially serving in an assigned area) the daughter was baptized and the whole family came to the baptism!

Sunday, April 2, 2017

2 baptisms and a very interesting un-birthday for Chase

Hey! well... I don't have lots of time today... it was a really busy day.
This week:
We had two baptisms, one of the which we had to go to a different ward to baptize her because she lives out of the ward boundries. And they both wanted me to baptize them.
Today we went to the temple to prepare for general conference.
I bought a really cool suit.
My companion had to get a wisdom tooth pulled.
and that's pretty much it. Fun week.
Talk to you Monday!

This is Andrea- Chase told me about an interesting(little scary, strange, he thought was cool) story that I thought I would share:

"Funny story... well the church gets food donated once a week and it is usually cakes and premade food so this time when we were on divisions we decided to take a cake to eat at our house before we went out to work. as we were walking to the house we passed this corner that always has a lot of sketchy people around... (drug dealers, prostitutes and all that fun stuff) and when we walked by they said Hey, come here! We are going to rob you! Who's birthday is it? All at once the other missionaries said, Its Elder Abel's birthday! So all of them said, Lets Celebrate!! so then, slightly obligated for fear of getting mugged, we started to share our cake with them. When the other sketchy people saw that we were sharing cake with everybody, they all wanted a piece too! So then all of a sudden this white guy (see picture) comes up and says, hey man, me first I'm starving! then the black guy says heck no this is my piece. Then the guy throws his piece on the floor, rips his shirt off and the two guys start boxing over who gets the cake first in the middle of the street! then even more people came out and started filming the full out brawl that came out of nowhere! When this started we decided to leave with the cake then the fight stopped and they started running after us because they wanted the cake!! We stopped, gave them the cake, the large group of ghetto people started singing happy birthday to me and we got a cool picture with about a quarter of the group. It was the best un-birthday party I've ever had.
Fun story right?"

One of the families in the ward that have been less active decided that they were going to have a really big family home evening with us and they cooked up a lot of meat and gave us their first family home evening lesson in years!  It was great!

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Body is sore and tired after two years


Well... good news and bad news. Remember those 2 baptisms that I was stoked about for this weekend well... they both are interviewed and ready to go... but there is a small problem with one. Keylin (the 17 year old) doesn't live in our area. I talked to our bishop and he said he had to talk to her bishop to see what to do. Well he talked to the bishop and he says that she has to be baptized in the ward where she lives!! Soo.. we are going to see what happens. hopefully she can still get baptized on Sunday so we can have a baptism on Saturday and Sunday! Francini is still going strong. the family decided that I would baptize her so that I "can take home a nice family memory of them." haha some ticos are just so great.

As far as other updates... I dont think I have any. I am just trying to hang in there till the very end. My body sure is sore and tired and I don't think I own a pair of clothes now that doesn't have a stain or a hole in it, but that's just part of the joy of serving a mission!

Love you all lots and lots!

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Had some fun in the mud!

Well hello!
This week has been pretty darn good. In this ward I have learned that it is pretty much impossible to have success knocking doors so I've pretty much just been hanging out with members the whole week and hoping that they give us references, and it has been working out just swimmingly! The family that I told you about last week where the daughter and the dad aren't members... well we had another lesson with them yesterday and we now have permission to baptize the daughter in two weeks and the dad is really excited.  The dad wants to learn more and see the baptism. Who knows if he gets baptized too before I leave? It could happen. 

Also, we have been working with our cooks sons girlfriend quite a bit. It's been tough because she lives out of our area and we can only teach her once a week, but she has been progressing really well! This week was stake conference and she came. During the meeting I thought to myself... well, the district leader is here, and she is here... let's just do the baptismal interview right now and see what happens. So right after the conference we went into a room and asked her how her testimony was. She said, well as a matter of fact I was reading the Book of Mormon last night at one in the morning after praying like you taught me and all of a sudden I felt such a strong feeling. I knew in that instant that the Book of Mormon was true and I needed to be baptized. It was perfect! So right then and there we did the interview and she passed with flying colors! She will be baptized the same day as the other little girl on the 25th.  So that was pretty spiritual... and as a reward for completing last months baptism goal we got to do a zone activity! We went to a place called Fossiland and it was a lot of fun! It was high up in the mountains and we went zip lining, played paintball, went cave exploring, and went down a water bobsled. It was super fun but we got soooo dirty. It was kind of like a trust building activity so there was this crazy guy that was in charge and told dumb jokes and threw a bunch of water at us all the time. We had to do silly little challenges and the losers had to lay down in muddy rivers or smear mud all over themselves. It was honestly the weirdest thing but it was a lot of fun! I'll send some pictures this week and next week I'll hopefully have more of the activity.

Well.. thanks for the emails this week, I got more than usual... but they all had something in common.. "Chase I can't believe that you are almost home!! Sorry for not writing you hardly ever in the mission, but I can't wait to see you!!" I still feel like I have a lot left in the mission and I'm going to work as hard as I can this last month... but thanks for making me think so much about being in the real world again. haha
Love you!

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Highlights for Chase last week; a possible baptism and being a DJ

Hmmm... another week has gone by and I can't think of anything to write...... These weeks are just going by way too fast now. 

One cool thing that happened this week is that I helped set up a YSA dance this week and we got to DJ at the beginning... just long enough to get cool pictures. haha

This week we have been seing even more miracles with the members. We are now seeing a constant church attendance of 160+ which is really good for a Costa Rican ward. We are also recieving lots of references that are really prepared.

This week my companion and I were walking down the street looking for something to do because our appointments fell. I thought to visit a less active family and since we were close by we got there quickly and started to teach the family. Then all of a sudden another family that I hadn't ever seen before comes down the stairs. Apparently the family lives there and the wife is a member but the husband and the daughter aren't. We started talking to them and the daughter said that she turns 8 this weekend! I asked if they were setting up for her baptism and the mom said that she has been thinking about that for a while, but she has been inactive for a long time. We said that we would help her out with her daughters baptism and she got really excited and invited us over to have a lesson with her daughter and her husband. Hopefully it turns out well!

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Oldest missionary in the mission now!

Time is literally flying by so fast now. I am officially the oldest missionary in the mission now. Only 1 change left. It feels so weird.

Well... let me think updates.
D got confirmed and received the priesthood. He is going to be called as a ward missionary and he is super happy.

I don't have changes so I'm going to finish Elder Sanchez's training. 

Each Sunday night we eat with this one sister in the ward who has a tradition of feeding the missionaries every Sunday for 8 years. She has a massage chair. I fell asleep. Good times.

We also made district t shirts and they look pretty cool. Today we played soccer and basketball with the whole zone and it has been the first P-day that I have done something fun in months!
We had a bunch of people show up to church on S unday and we just started prepping them for baptism. Hopefully they can get baptized in March!

Sorry for the short e-mail.. I don't really have much this week to write about.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Loved hearing this, "God sent two angles"

This week has been insane.

First off, sorry for not writing yesterday. Today we had our month check at Presidents house for all of the new missionaries so our P-day got moved to today.

But crazy announcement. D got baptized on Sunday!! He has had a lot more challenges this week and he called us and said that he didn't know how much more he could take. His ex wife was not honest with him and said that she was going to bring his daughter that he hasn't seen in months to San Jose so that he could see her. But when he got to San Jose she was there alone and told him that she was going to get married and that she brought papers for him to sign saying that his daughter isn't his anymore and that his last name was removed from the daughters papers. Obviously he didn't sign the papers and left very hurt. 

After that we went to the ward mission leaders house to eat lunch. As D was telling us all that happened the ward mission leader said, D, when are you going to get baptized? And he said, my baptismal date is March 4th. Our ward mission leader asked, do you believe that Joseph Smith is a true prophet of God? He responded, Yes. then he asked, Do you think that the Book of Mormon is true? Yes again. Then he asked, so then what stops you from being baptized tomorrow? And D thought for a second and said, Well... nothing. so we taught him the commendments right on the spot and I called the leaders to come over and do the interview so he could be baptized the next day! And it all worked out! That all happened on a Saturday and on Sunday we announced his baptism and like 40 members , President Hayes, Sister Hayes, and Presidents mom showed up at the baptism that night! And it was so spiritual! So many people started crying after D was baptized because he told his story about how he lost everything and God sent 2 angles to save him and pick him back up. Then he shared his testimony and it was so good!
After the baptism he pulled us aside and said.. when you guys leave, you are going to take a piece of my heart with you. And started crying! It was such a crazy experience!

Soo.. in short miracles come true. Challenge people and you will be surprised with what happens. Remember that a challenge is a challenge when you might not be ready to accept it and can be hard. If you invite somebody to do something and they are ready, its an invitation and doesn't always provoke the same growth as a challenge.
Life is good.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Service can change people's lives


Well, I'll first start off with a D update. This week was pretty intense. Our ward has started having regular self reliance classes (which I have been hoping my wards would do for pretty much my whole mission) And we invited a whole bunch of investigators and a couple went. Including D. After the class we were going to have a lesson with him but when we got in the room with him alone he broke down and started telling my all of the stuff that had been going on during the week. He had been on disability from his little job that he had, but when he went in to work they fired him. He had no way to pay the rent, so then he had to sneak into his house because if his landlord saw him he would throw all of his stuff in the street. After that he got super mad and wanted everything to be over. We got to his house just after all of this had happened we talked with him for awhile and invited him to the self reliance class. He took it as a sign and went. Then we had the bishop and the ward mission leader give him a blessing and afterwards they took him to eat. The bishop went around collecting money from members to pay D's rent and the ward donated so much tht he had enough to buy food for a week! The next day when we saw D he said he felt like a new man! Another member from the church got him a job and now he is a happy as can be. He said this church just has to be true!! He said I just want to know everything NOW! Where can I get Doctrine and Covenants??  haha he is so prepared and so happy!

When D was telling us about his life problems I shared this scripture. (this is the reason why he wanted doctrine & covenants)
D&C: 121

Joseph Smith's prayer when he is in Jail and it seemed like the world turned against him:

O God, where art thou? And where is the pavilion that covereth thy hiding place?
 How long shall thy hand be stayed, and thine eye, yea thy pure eye, behold from the eternal heavens the wrongs of thy people and of thy servants, and thine ear be penetrated with their cries?

 Yea, O Lord, how long shall they suffer these wrongs and unlawful oppressions, before thine heart shall be softened toward them, and thy bowels be moved with compassion toward them?

 O Lord God Almighty, maker of heaven, earth, and seas, and of all things that in them are, and who controllest and subjectest the devil, and the dark and benighted dominion of Sheol—stretch forth thy hand; let thine eye pierce; let thy pavilion be taken up; let thy hiding place no longer be covered; let thine ear be inclined; let thine heart be softened, and thy bowels moved with compassion toward us.

 Let thine anger be kindled against our enemies; and, in the fury of thine heart, with thy sword avenge us of our wrongs.

 Remember thy suffering saints, O our God; and thy servants will rejoice in thy name forever.
And this is the Lords reply:

 My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment;

 And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes.

 Thy friends do stand by thee, and they shall hail thee again with warm hearts and friendly hands.

 10 Thou art not yet as Job; thy friends do not contend against thee, neither charge thee with transgression, as they did Job.

Deep stuff. If we think life is hard... it could be worse. We could be like Job. And that would just be terrible. something to think about.
Love you!!

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Another amazing experience

Good afternoon. This week has been quite splendid.
Last week our Ward Mission Leader´s wife called us and said that she had a reference for us and that she wanted to take us there to meet him.. but we were in a lesson and we couldn't go at that time... so she said that she would make an appointment with him for later. Well she called and called and he never answered. The next day we saw a guy walking really slowly up ahead. I felt like we needed to talk to him and I tried to get my comp to start a conversation with him (he is still very scared to talk to people and hardly ever does..) But after a 30 second conversation with my comp, I saw that I wasn't getting anywhere so I ended up starting the conversation. We started talking about the plan of salvation and if he thought that he had a purpse for his life and he started saying that he hadn't ever felt true happiness. He lost his job because somebody broke in and robbed his business, because of the stress of losing his business he had a stoke, after the stoke his wife left him with his 2 daughters, and now he has nothing and rents a tiny room that he doesn't have money to pay for... so it's safe to say that his life is hard.

After talking to him a little more he said that two days ago he was hit by a car and a Mormon helped him all day in the hospital... who was that Mormon? The ward mission leaders wife! He then said that he has had the feeling to talk to the Mormons ever since but he was too embarrased to ask for help. We then scheduled an appointment with him for the next day at the bishops house. We had family home evening with him and taught about The Book of Mormon. Over the next couple of days he started reading the Book of Mormon and said that he felt a happiness that he had never felt in his whole life. He said like he felt like his first love and he couldn't put the book down. Every night he fell asleep reading it. Then sunday came around and all the ward members wanted to take him to church, but he said he wasn't going to be able to go... but right before church started he said I'm here! He walked 45 minutes with a cane to come to church and didn't want anybody to help him because he didn't want to be embarrased. It was so crazy! The bishop was so exicted to see him there! It was super cool. He has a baptism date coming up and hopefully he can make it! Pray for Danny!

God puts us where he needs us so that we can help his children.
The Gospel is true. Love you all

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Don't judge a book by it's cover.

Life lesson from the mission: When you are doing everything in your power to do things right and everything goes all wrong, it's because there is a blessing coming your way, its just running late.
I think this is something that Joseph Smith learned when he recieved the revelation 58:4

 "For after much tribulation come the blessingsWherefore the day cometh that ye shall be crowned with 
much glorythe hour is not yet, but is nigh at hand. Remember this, which tell you before, that you 
may lay it to heart, and receive that which is to follow. Behold, verily say unto you, for this cause 
have sent youthat you might be obedient, and that your hearts might be prepared to bear testimony of the 
things which are to come; And also that you might be honored in laying the foundation, and in bearing  record of the land upon which the Zion of God shall stand;"

This week many of our investigators were on vacation so we were forced to contact pretty much every day. I don't really mind it, but it gets kind of boring after a while when you are the only one doing contacts. (my comp is still a little scared) So I tried to change it up a little bit. I started to become more and more direct with my contacting. Here is an example:

We saw a guy outside of his house smoking, and I whispered to my companion, contact him. My comp got scared and said that he wouldn't want to know anything because he was smoking.  I walked up to the smoking man and started talking about life after death. He seemed really surprised and taken aback but focused on smoking and didn't look at us. I started asking him questions and he started to answer them but still didnt look at us in the eyes. I felt the need to talk more about the plan of salvation until he said, my wife just died giving birth to my son. and it all made sense. I kept testifying about the importance of the plan of salvation and life after death and then we gave him a pamphlet. As we were about to leave I asked if I could say a prayer. He agreed and during the prayer, this strong, tough, tatooed guy started crying. And he asked if we could come back next week. As we walked away my companion mentioned that he understood a little bit more why we need to talk to everybody we meet and not judge them.

This week we have had a couple other of experiences like that, but I don't have much time... but pretty much the jist is that if you feel like you need to talk about the gospel with somebody- do it. The lord will let us know what we need to say when we need to say it.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Meeting some interesting people in the city

Training sure is an interesting experience! I was blessed with a Hondureñan 18 year old. In just this short week I have experienced a little bit of what being a father is all about. I have to teach him the language (Costa Rican Spanish), lend him money (until he gets payed next month), teach him everything I know (about missionary work), and make sure that he is happy at all times. 

This week we have had some pretty interesting experiences. Sadly last week many of our investigators told us to never come back... so we have been forced to knock doors once again... gross. But my companion has to learn that not everything we do is fun sooner or later!!

This week I met a very nice woman who had 666 tattooed on both arms and explained to me that Jesus was a woman and lives today in Miami. I also had the experience of talking to a man that explained that the United States has a secret time machine that we used to make the trojan horse of Rome and ruin lots of other important events. The city sure is an interesting place...

Well now that January is almost over we have been trying as hard as we possibly can so that M gets baptized. (an ex alcoholic that is making huge life changes one step at a time) He now knows all the lessons and has been going to church every week since I have been here but for some reason still doesn't want to get baptized! We have done all that we can, but he just doesn't think that it is time yet! It's stressful... but the ward is supporting him 100% and sooner or later he will be baptized.

Pray that I will be able to find prepared investigators this week please!!
Love you!

New companion and missionary trained by Chase

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Training a new missionary, good tracting experience and shout out to Elise

I'm going to be a father!!!! And don't worry... that just means I'm going to be training a new missionary. I've been waiting for this for so long! This week we had changes my companion left and President said that I am going to get a new missionary this change. I will probably finish the mission training. It will be hard, but fun! Tomorrow I find out who I will be training.

As far as my week goes.. I had one pretty cool experience. Right after lunch, we started to visit our investigators... and one by one they all started canceling on us... what a suprise. So by 2 we were completely out of places to go, which only means one thing, knocking doors. So we started in an area that we had never been to before. After about half an hour burning the heck out of my neck, we heard someone yell, "Elders, Elders come here!" I had no idea who it was but we went over there. Right when we get there he says, "Hi. I'm a less active, and haven't been to church in a while... but my girlfriend wants to get baptized, Can you help me?" It was such a great miracle! He also said that he had already set up a family home evening with the ward second counsilor and that we were invited, so tonight we are going, we will see what happens! Hopefully it goes well!

Well, I hope that you all have a fantastic week! Shoutout to Elise! Congratulations on getting engaged! You beat me to it... I didn't think that that would happen!

Love you all! Pura Vida

"Expecting" to train the new missionary.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Cleaning out a house and and an unexpected daughter listens to a missionary lesson

We have started changing how we are working here in the area. We have a good group of people that are progressing in the gospel, but I have really been working hard on finding families lately. I have found that it is realllly difficult to find families knocking doors because usually only one person is home.So we are now trying to get to know everybody in the ward and have a lesson with them at their house to try and get them to trust us and give us references. Well, it has been working greatly so far.

This week we showed up at a members house to visit them and they asked us if we could help them clean out their neighbors house that was full of garbage so that they could rent it out to someone. Obviously we said yes, but I didn't know what I was agreeing to.. when I walked in, there were literal mountains of garbage and dirt throughout the whole house. and the backyard looked like a dump. We spent the next 6 hours cleaning out the house... luckily all of our night appointments canceled. After cleaning out the house, they gave us 3 part member family references!

Also.. I had a cool experience last week. We have been visiting this family that lives close to the church and the mom is super great. She reminds me of grandma Cathy and grandma Lisa mixed into one person. She is super active and works in the temple. Anyways, the last time we were there her sons girlfriend just happened to be there and so we taught a lesson with her. While we were teaching, the moms daughter came out of her room and started listening. As the lesson ended the daughter said, "if I don't get married is it possible that my son can get sealed to my mom so that he doesn't get lost in heaven?" and the room got super quiet. I had no idea how to answer that question.. but I'm currently studying the answer. Anyways, the daughter has been inactive for years and nobody knew why. But just from that one question, it all made sense!

We went back to the house yesterday and just the mom was there and she said "THANK YOU SOO MUCH" we had no idea what she was talking about but then she started to explain why. Supossedly she had gotten into a yelling match with her son about how he chose his girlfriend over going to church on Christmas and the girlfriend didn't understand why it was such a big deal, but then after talking about it we showed up and the girlfriend saw how important the church was to the mom and got super interested in the church. Then she said that she was amazed that her daughter came out to listen to our lesson and she hasn't wanted anything to do with the church for years. After we left the daughter said.. "I don't know why I started listening to them this time, I just felt like there was something different about the new gringo elder.. the way he talked just made me feel like I needed to listen. And then the girlfriend said the exact same thing. Apparently the girlfriend liked it so much that she didn't drink wine with her family on new years and she now doesn't drink coffee in the mornings either. Who knows what is going to happen, but it made me feel super good. Lots of times in the mission and in life, we are just put in the right place and the right time. If we let the spirit guide us in what we need to do and say, we can be the means by which God works miracles.
Not a lot of pictures this week... Just a scorpion that we found walking down the street

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Love Chase's face in the picture!

Feliz Navidad, Feliz Navidad, Feliz Navidad, Prospero Año y Felicidad!!
haha I never understood that song until the mission.. now it makes so much sense!

This week has been rough... everybody takes Christmas and New Years off to go on vacation, so nobody was home!! I walked quite a bit this week just looking for people who were in their house..

We also were supposed to have a baptism this weekend.. however when the missionary showed up Manuel confessed that he felt like it was all going too fast (and he may have a point... we met him 3 weeks ago). He has been progressing so well! He used to be an alcoholic, but since our first lesson with him he hasn't drank once!! He also said that December has been the hardest month in his whole life, because his wife just died and he feels really lonely, but he knows that the Lord sent us to his house to pull him out of his depression. He is still progressing really well, he will just need a couple more weeks to get ready!

New Years Eve is super big here and it was really hard to sleep that night. At 12:00 they lit off sooo many fireworks! It was crazy! I felt like a war was going on! It was a contant flow of rockets going off for literally 10 minutes! I seriously thought that Nicaragua came to take over Costa Rica and they were dropping bombs.

oh.. here's a funny picture! haha I went to get my haircut at an investigators hair salon... the barber decided to teach the investigator how to cut hair and used my head as a practice dummy... she ended up completely shaving the bottom part with a razor blade. good times