Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Baptisms and more

A baptism in Siquirres - so special

Another baptism - the gospel is true!

James and his companion Elder De Leon

making their own tortillas (yeah - that's not their stove - they must be somewhere)

James has been begging for his banana bread recipe since he's in the banana capital of the world - I wonder if someone made it for him or if he made it and burned it himself. Not quite sure - but the insides look yummy. Not even sure if it is banana bread.

James bought a machette in Costa Rica, and I guess, I loves using it as often as he can.

Go Costa Rica!! The World Cup is huge in Costa Rica since they are winning in their group. His companion especially loves soccer.

Chapter 4: When it rains, it pours

When it rains, it pours; blessings from above, that is! :D

This week we were rewarded for our dedication by the Lord working through us and putting people in our way! :D Plus, there have been huge rain storms here in the evening that have actually scared some of the people here (myself included).

The spiritual stuff though, are like this
1) I found someone. We called the Red Cross to help with one of our investigators with low blood sugar and the Ambulance driver was a former investigator. I felt prompted to thank him for his work when I first met him and the rest is history. He moved so the old missionaries didn´t know where to find him, but now his family have a date to get married and soon after baptized :D
2) the same investigator with health problems had a change of heart and wants to do everything possible to get married and baptized! 
3) More former investigators were found when we were trying to find a less active member in their area. They were the investigators that I sat next to my first Sunday here and now they have a date to talk to the lawyer about marriage too!
4) We were able to take 70 members out of our personal list as Rama Siquirres and now we are at 522 members. All we have to do is take out 40 more and we can start think about becoming a ward
5) Speaking about becoming a ward, we had 127 people in chuch today, and then the Stake president showed up and saw all the people.

Everyone´s happy with the missionaries they have here in Siquirres, but I know that it´s not us that´s having success, it´s the Lord´s work :)

That´s all for this week, ;)
Elder VanderMeyden

Chapter 3: WHAT????

Well, this week my weekly email list dropped off the map so I don´t know what´s happening.
Also another "what" is that we did an LPE with a wise man that had all the right questions. We gave him a book of mormon and told him to call us. He was really prepared for us at that time.
Another "what" is that in the same spot a few days latter we found a less active member who says he wants us to visit him so that he can prepere to go on a mission. he´s 27 so he can´t but we´ll still visit him.
Also, I had a wonderful Idea that I would love each and every one of you to follow through with: I was re-reading my journal and realized that there was 18 1/2 years missing before it so I wanted to ask all of you to write a hand written letter with an experience that we had together and a picture of yourself so that I can put in a special place in my journal. If you would like to write more than one, please do it. I just want to have these experiences and I´ll be doing the same with all the experiences that I can remember from before my mission.
That´s all for this week,
Elder VanderMeyden

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Multi Zone Conference and Temple

Elder VanderMeyden, Hermana Hearne, Hermana Chatwin - all friends from Layton High
Elder V and Hermana Chatwin - Theatre/Choir friends reunited in Costa Rica

The Costa Rica, San Jose Temple

Doing service

Having musical fun

Chapter 2: Wet and Nerdy

what I should say is wet and geeky, but it didn´t have as much of a pun.
Wet because I was soaked 3 times this week and geeky because I was able to geek out with the band friends of my cook´s son. It rocked and was nice to talk music with people again.
Here´s the stuff from this week:
Temple was rockin´ ;)
Elder Ochoa was also super awesome. His words were inspired and the love was shown. It was a great Birthday present. :D
Another great present was that I got to see a bunch of people the day of my Birthday, Like Elder Saavedra, Hermana Montoya, and Elder Miller. What´s a bigger surprise is that I saw Hermana Chatwin and Hermana Hearne too! They are 2 of the 3 other missionaries from Layton Utah that are here in Costa Rica right now. The Multi-zone Conference was the place we could all meet because, even though all 3 of us are in different zones, they were the 3 zones invited! Hermana Hearn only has 2 cambios left and Hermana Chatwin literally just got here. It was a real treat and there are plenty of pictures.
There is a possibility of a baptism this week, but I don´t know a whole bunch about it. Hopefully it goes through :)
The Food here is generally the same, a bunch of rice and beans, but they also have a specific dish here that is "Rice and Beans" that I absolutely love. It is much cooler here and there is more rain.
Also, I´m learning Fútbol because our branch building has a "cancha" I can´t wait to get home and play with my other friends. They say I´m a great defensive player but I´m just beginning, so we´ll see what develops from this.
Also, one time when I was playing Fútbol I fell and hurt my wrist. I´m super slow at typing today for this reason. Don´t worry, I´ll be better before next week ;)
The 2 big packages that were sent came in on my Birthday exactly, so I go them immediately.
P-day was just Fútbol, Ping Pong, and Uno, the card game. Not much more which was nice :)

Sorry for not much more,
Elder VanderMeyden

Monday, June 2, 2014

Siquirres: Chapter 1: Just a little LOST

Just a little lost.... First things first- I lost one of my suitcases! I had all of my clothing but basically nothing else until Wednesday. We thought is was stolen and I was a bit frustrated. Here´s the story of what actually happened and the recovery:
The suitcase holder openned up mid journey and the suitcase simply fell out. The Traffic cops found it and openned it up to see whose it was. They saw the Libro De Mormón that you had written your testimonies inside (in English by the way, so I can´t give it to anyone :P ). There was one of the cops who had a Mormón Amigo in the bus system who he contacted saying "Encontramos una maleta [We found a suitcase]. Tiene una biblía de su religión [It has a bible from your religion]. Un Libro Azul, El Libro de Mormón [A blue book, the Book of Mormon]." This friend in the bus system remembered talk of a case that went missing from two boys in white shirts and ties that stopped in Siquirres (where he travels quite frequently) and gave us a call. All in all, the suitcase was bruised and broken (but only small holes that can be easily repaired) but everything was there and now I have it."
The funny thing is that during the entire time I was missing my bag I had this incredible peace that was completely unexplainable. I had no way of knowing that my bag would be recovered but I KNOW that the holy Ghost was giving me th courage, strength, and peace I needed to continue in the work, whether my bag was found or not. I now have an unbreakable testimony that the Holy Ghost is part of the Godhead, knows everything, and will give us comfort even when it looks like there is no hope (whereas before I thought more of the blessings of words to my mouth and knowledge in times of need).

Second lost thing: ME in my new area. I now understand the small part of huge Siquirres that we use. The area is HUGE, there are only 2 missionaries for the entirety of Siquirres. I was lost and just following my companion, even though we only visit the close areas. The Building for the branchis also huge, but we only have a regular attendance of 70 people for the time being (BTW We had 8 investigators in Sacrament Meeting). The Branch President is really cool and we had a heart to heart yesterday where he explained the problems Siquirres has had in the past. My companion and I are getting along swimmingly (that is to say that we have a bunch of fun and we´ve had some great success). I love my new area even though I miss my old one a ton. This new Companion is Elder De Leon. He´s actually shorter than me, whereas my last two were just slightly taller. He has a quick talking and joking attitude that makes him easy to get to know quickly. I actually opened up to him relatively fast because of what I learned from my last companion, Elder Saavedra: if you get to be friends with your companion, it makes everything easier.

This week is my Birthday, Numero 19! Don´t worry, I´ll enjoy my Birthday, We have a Multi-zone Meeting with Elder Ochoa of the 70! It landed directly on my Birthday and I am PSYCHED! The way my Mom put it is "being spiritually fed and spiritually feeding others. I couldn't ask for a better birthday!"

The people I´m serving are very open hearted, but they have a problem that they can´t leave the house alone because it´s really easy to steal from their house so going to the church is a problem. Also, stealing is a problem too, our chapel, the night after I arrive, was robbed and they took everything from the TV to the Trash bins! How frustrating. They jumped a fence (that really is too easy to jump) and apparently went in through the roof. Quite the story.

Anyway, Last bit of information: I GET TO GO TO THE TEMPLE!!!!!!!!!! This Wednesday is a Temple trip! It´s been 3 months since the last time I was in a Temple of the Lord and FINALLY this day has come back. I will love every minute of peace and blessings I receive. :D

Anyway, Thanks a bunch for your support, and this is all for this week.