Thursday, May 29, 2014

Hello Siquirres

A new team in a new place: Siquirres
My Bedroom
Elder De Leon

My closet

Our Kitchen

Our living room

The Entrance

Chapter 13 part 2 - Dogonit: the bad news

Well, things are surprisingly well, considering the changes and stuff. I`m in a town called Siquirres on the other side of the country. I don`t know much about the area yet, but I`ll find out stuff.

Bad news, I lost the luggage with all of my stuff stuff. Everything that wasn´t clothes was lost. I have my missionary library and my Spanish English dictionary, plus all my socks, shirts and pants. I only have the tie I was wearing, one set of shoes and one belt.

It was the biggest suitcase that was stolen off the bus during transfers
It was the biggest suitcase that was stolen off the bus during transfers

Good news, I feel peace even though this happened. God is helping me not be angry at this so that I can get to work.

I don´t know what your plan is, but I´m not even sure if I want you to do anything.

Just thought I´d let you know that things are good, just a bit wierd. My companion is Elder De Leon, from Guatemala, He has 10 months in the mission and is really cool and nice. That´s all I have for now.

Love you,
Elder VanderMeyden

P.S. Yes, I have permission to write today. ;)¨

Yeah, I hope you have a plan for all this, but... I got nuthin´

Luckily I have what I have and I can survive.

I don`t have much else to say so...

Love you so much,
Elder VanderMeyden


Some Hermanas in the Mission

Some missionaries from the Zona

Hey - look at that...a spider :)

The end of Team Nicoya

Team Nicoya with a Missionary Family

The Aunt of the girl who was baptized last week

The Newly baptized members

A member or investigator

A member or investigator family

Packing up his stuff - empty bed

All packed and ready to go

Hello, Goodbye - transfer day

Chapter 13: Dogonit (or Dog-on-it?); End of Book One: Nicoya

This week I have tons of news but hardly any time at all. The catchy pun for this week is that a blind dog was walking down our street one day and I told my companion to give him a piece of his chicken that he had just bought. He did it and now the Dog comes to our house every day begging for more. It`s blind and I felt bad, now we have a moochin´ pooch at our front door every night.
The dual meaning for this title is that I am leaving so I am sad. Dogonit (or however you spell that) is simmilar to Dagnabit, drats, Darn it, and another D word that does not belong in the emails of anymissionary (unless he is quoting scripture). Anyways, Goodbye Nicoya. :(
I am leaving with a BANG though. We had a Confirmation and a Baptism yesterday (the baptism was the aunt of the girl being confirmed today) and I took part in BOTH ORDINANCES! It totally rocked, But I won`t be around for the Confirmation for my baptism :(
Anyway, I know the Lord is sending me to my new area for a reason and all I can say about my old Companion is that he really helped me trust in the Lord with all my heart. I needed that more than anything else and I am so happy to have had him as my companion. Love ya Elder Saavedra.

Sorry, I have a 4 hour bus ride to San Josè and another 4 hours until my new Zone (I`m going west coast to east coast), which is Atlantica by the way.

Y`all rock,
Elder VanderMeyden

Wild Horses Couldn't Drag Me Away

An Elder (maybe a zone leader?) playing the drums at a member's home

Another Baptism (James got to confirm her)

Funny Faces

Reading scriptures in a banyon tree

Aww, such dedication

Don't fall

Team Nicoya

When you can't swim at the beach, what do you do? Make a Palm tree mat

Wild Horses

This is where they get pictures for romance novels, I think

Chapter 12: Cold Feet

It`s strange to say this but I have cold feet... When I`m sleeping! We have fans on us at night and normally I sleep without a cover, but because I have my fan at my feet I`ve woken up at least 3 times now and had to pull on my blanket. I don`t know what to do because it`s too hot to go to sleep with a blanket but I get cold feet in the middle of the night. Any suggestions? The alternative meaning of my title this week is the fact that I`ve been having a hard time doing the LPEs that I talked about earlier. Talking to people out of the blue was never my thing in school or on the street so I get nervous to do it.
Anyway, I don`t have much to say this week. I do have one thing to share about the spirit. This week we were in a lesson with José, an eternal investigator and we reached a point where we could stop or continue going. I felt like we needed to stop and I notified my companion to this. Unfortunately he "felt" otherwise. I don`t know if it was an actually feeling or not because I haven`t asked him since. I don`t want to bring it up because of what follows. My companion started reading some scriptures in the Book of Mormon about when the Spaniards will come to the Americas and José takes offense that we say that the Spaniards had God on their side. I know it`s true but this guy is Tico (from Costa Rica) and he gets up in my case for being the only white guy in the room saying that the white guys had God on their side. Even though it was my companion saying that, I was the one getting blamed. I feel like we broke the relationship we had, or at least dented it. I hope that my "gringo-ness" doesn`t keep anyone from the Gospel, and in the future I`ll be more valiant with my spiritual promptings.

That`s all I have for this week,
Y`all rock,
Elder VanderMeyden

P-Day at Samara Beach

Samara Beach

So Beautiful

Having Fun!

More Fun!

All of us!

Chapter 11: Break In, Break Out, Break Down, and (nearly) Break Up

Interesting title, no? I would have added break dance, but I don´t know how to do that. Maybe Broken break dance :P

Anyway, to explain this title a bit more: Break in- We locked our keys in the house so we had to remove a piece of the window to get to the keys so that we could get back into the house when we returned. Break out- the stupid humidity with my sweat is making my forehead break out with Zits (the giant amount of chocolate that Mom sent in the package doesn´t help either). It got really bad one day and a less active member brought it to my attention. She thought it was a rash and I had no Idea how to explain the concept of "zit" to her. Break down and (nearly) Break up- The difference in culture between my companion and I got really bad and I broke down in frustration, exhaustion, and tears. I may or may not have yelled at him through sobs. Luckily, we figured out exactly why I felt the way I did and we solved it in a snap. It took a while to heal the wounds, but we had at least put in the stitches to speed the healing process. But that´s in the past now and everything is good. :D

It was really nice to see my family again and I can´t believe how long I´ve already been gone. I won´t waste too much time on this part, because every missionary in the world is saying the same things :P

So this week I had a spiritual experience that was weird for me because there was a principle of the gospel that I didn´t feel like I quite agreed with so here´s the story:
My companion and I decided that we were going to make a lesson about prayer. I normally do a process of, Bible dictionary for basic definition, look up a few scriptures, then go to Preach My Gospel and other church Library stuff, but this time I went straight for the True to the Faith book and read a bunch of good stuff. I then, however, came across a part that says "Seek the guidance of the Holy Ghost so you will know what to include in your prayers" and I thought "so basically Heavenly Father is going to tell you exactly what to say in a prayer. That´s like me telling my friend to tell me something again. If he already knows what we´re going to say then why do I need to say it?" It was a good question for me and I kinda felt like it was wrong, but then I looked up the scriptures in this section : "Romans 8:26; 2 Nephi 32:8; D&C 46:30." After reading the scripture I still felt a bit skeptical, but then I decided "you know what, We always invite the investigators to act on what we taught" and since then, my prayers (when I remember this lesson) have never been the same. I challenge you all to do this small thing, listen for the spirit to help guide your prayers because Heavenly Father knows your faults and will always guide you to a way to be perfected in Christ if you trust in him and listen.

This week, also, we stopped by the investigator that dropped us and he is doing well. We cleared a few doubts, but he´s still a bit... I don´t even have a word for it. Anyway, he´s given us another chance and I really hope he can follow through.

Also, We had our first Noche de Hermanamiento. The missionaries here (myself included) are trying to get it set up again because it was here before they took the missionaries out of the area. It was a bit rough for our first time (especially my part) but it turned out well. Then we played a version of charades (which was difficult with my vocabulary) and Do you love your neighbor? in Spanish. It was really hard sometimes to know if I should move or not, but I never got stuck in the center. ¿Noche de Hermanamiento numero uno? ¡EXITOSA!

last few things. If you want motivation to be better, read 2 Nephi 9. If you need help with English, Jessica (a member here) says I´m the best, and I started my "Large Plates" (my journal) and "Small Plates" (my study journal).

Here is me and my companion singing "A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief" in Spanish
James and His Companion Singing

That´s all for this week,
Elder VanderMeyden

P.S. My companion got "Dear John-ed" today :(

Team Nicoya and lots of lizards

Yes, we do have some fast food here in Nicoya

Team Nicoya: Part of the Guancaste Zone

Yup, they spelled my name wrong, but at least I got my favorite #

Part of our Easter package - frisbees for both of us

Two roosters fighting - you should have seen it

The typical lizard - eating the mangos from the tree by our house

A lizard in a tree

Lizards are just as plentiful as dogs

Hey look, another lizard
Hey, a red squirrel - not a lizard

Chapter 9: Catch Up and Ketsup

So the baptism last week was of a 11 year old boy who is the son of a less active. His name is Carlos and is soooo cool. At first he was really shy around us but now he´s a bit hyperactive. That´s okay, he´s super fun.

I gave two blessings this week in full spanish. That was crazy.

The rain began last P-day and the lightning was so loud it set off some car alarms in our area. The rain cleared up by the end of the week but all I can say is "It has begun" BUM BUM BUUUUUUUUUUM!

I cut my own hair this week (simple buzz cut) but it´s too short because I had my glasses off and mixed up the guard things. Hahaha, I look bald at a distance :P

Two of our investigators say that the church is true and I am super happy but neither came to church and I´m confused and a bit hurt. :(

I made french toast for my companion and I didn't burn it. :)

I´m playing the harmonica! This is a recording of me playing "We Thank Thee, O God, For a Prophet" on my harmonica.  James playing the harmonica

I love to run but the humidity is worse than the altitude in Utah and really hurts my lungs.

A promising investigator dropped us this week and didn´t really give us a reason why. Please pray for Román to open his heart back up.

I´m sorry, I´m at a new computer and the pictures are hard to download here so next week for my baptism photos.

This week I gained a strong testimony of the fact that if you are listening an open your mouth you will be filled with the words you need to say to the investigators and anyone. We were in a lesson and my companion looked at me and I had no idea what to say. When I opened my mouth to start, words just came and came and came. I can´t even remember exactly what I said but it seemed to help the people. I bear testimony that this promise, as well as all others in the holy Scriptures are true and can be applied today even thought many were written centuries before.

Thanks all,
Elder VanderMeyden