Monday, March 23, 2015

Chapter 2: Adjusting to Flores

The computers here are not what I´m used to, but I guess I could expect that from anywhere. At least they´re not like the ones I had in Siquirres.

Anyway, that aside, I had an okay first week. I still don´t quite have a feel for my area yet. I know how to get to the cook´s house from the church and from our house but I couldn´t find the bishop´s house if I tried. The first time I visited his house it was dark, but I chose well. I showed up with Brownies and he has a real sweet tooth. I am so happy to be here. Most of the investigators here live far apart though. I have a plan to try and get many investigators in one part, and not all over the map. Oh, speaking of maps, the area here doesn´t have one yet. We went to talk to the Municipalidad and now we have electronic ones. I´ve already asked a few people where we can get a large one printed out, but no luck so far. I´ll get back to you next week about it. I really just want to work hard but with purpose. Many people say "work smarter, not harder" I say "work smarter and Harder" don´t leave anything behind. ;) Put everything you have on the table. :) I really love my new ward. there were 135 people in the chapel and they have a small chapel. they actually have to open another room so that they can fit everyone. This other room has a TV set up to a camera that is in the reunion sacramental. The goal for the ward by the end of the year is 225 attendance. :D I´m gonna help them get that and they´ll be remodeling the chapel to give them more room soon. The Principios del Evangelio class was 100% to capacity. :)

On to my companion. He´s pretty fun. I really think he has a great capacity to love and is a good jokester. The first thing he told me about the house was that it was bigger than the Secretaries´ house, but the whole house is about the same size as room where Elder Hoover and I slept. In the same space where I only went to for sleep we have bunk beds, bathroom, shower, supplies, kitchen, etc. And when I showed up it was very dirty. It´s getting better by the day because every moment I get I try to clean something. We´ve planned a few hours later today to clean it, but I´m not sure how dedicated Elder Valtierra is to the cause. Either way, I can see him being a great leader someday in the future. Here´s just an example of how I know. When President announced that the District leaders couldn´t call the hermanas at night to get numbers it frustrated him because our district has 3 companionships of sisters and 2 of Elders (us and the Zone Leaders) so he felt as if he couldn´t do the best he could for the District. I heard him struggle every night about it until he came up with an idea to get the numbers and names and all the information he needs. He then ran it by the Zone leaders to see if we would be able to put it into practice and they, the Sister Training Leaders and the other District leader all talked about it and came to a conclusion about the proposal. I feel as if it is a great idea and doesn´t overrun the rules in any way. He is very intelligent and really cares to do the best he possibly can, but his sense of urgency is a bit low. Mine was too though, so I´ll help him on that as I learn from the many other things he can teach me. 

My spiritual moment: All I can say is that I had a cool moment with prayer. It was the day of the mission conference and we took a mission Foto that Hermana Wilkinson has. The sun was very bright and I just asked in my heart, for the Lord to put a cloud in the way to see the eyes of all the missionaries. It then became a bit shady and I thought a cloud had passed over the sun, but to my surprise, after the picture, I learned that it was a small part of a tree and that it literally only covered my part of the sun. Then, just a bit later there was problems in the meeting with sound and I said a prayer and it was fixed by the service center guys only a few seconds later. I love prayer.

Anyway, I just want to let everyone know that everything´s fine with me and I´m being VERY obedient. I even found a cool scripture and wrote it on my manual misional- D&C 66:11.

Love you,
Elder VanderMeyden

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Chapter 1: Surprise Ending

The weekly title is "surprise ending". At the meeting with President Wilkinson Sunday night he told us that we would not be going to our areas on Monday in the morning but instead waiting in Zapote until Friday when we have a mission conference (surprise ending #1). Just before that was another surprise ending with the bishop allowing Jorge get confirmed right after baptism, even though he didn´t get baptized before church as planned. Surprise ending 3, as you can see I´m in my new area so what president said was voided by having to replace the people who are finishing their mission. I replaces an Elder Moran, who was in Jardín (en la paz) while I was in Zapote. so Surprise, I´m changed already to my new area. :)

 I am serving in a place called Flores. I litterally just made it to my new Zone, Heredia. we have our district meetings right behind the TEMPLE! I love it and I´m so excited to be here. :D My new companion is Elder Valtierra, one of the mexicans that came in while I was Secretary. he´s also the District leader so I´ll have some time serving with the leaders here.

Our area is City, but they say that my ward is the most awesome and strongest ward in the stake. :) I'm excited for a strong ward.
I have no idea how long I traveled, sorry, but you can google it. We went from Zapote to San Jose to Heredia central to Belen and we´ll be going to Flores in a few moments. No bags lost yet.
I´m super excited to be here and as you can tell i´m not training. I´ll miss my converts a bunch. We did get 5 baptisms in my time there. 2 on the last week and I was able to do the baptism. Elders Nielson and Hoover have the pictures because I didn´t have my camera in my bag. sorry.

Take care, ya'll!!!
Elder VanderVanDam

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Chapter 24: Tenga Paz

These are not my pictures, but from my Mission President's Wife of the volcano

Tenga Paz

There is a phrase here in Costa Rica that I really like and I ´m going to incorporate it into my life. It is "Tenga paz." This literally means "have peace" but it´s also used as "have patience."I know my mom and others may worry about the Turrialba Volcano here in San Jose, but Tenga Paz. Tenga Paz: ie peace, that I`m not affected by the Volcano. Tenga Paz ie patience, that you all will soon know where my next area is (cause my family keeps asking me where I am going). Tenga Paz, Madre Mío and all others who worry about their children. The Mother of Christ must have also had much anxiety over what would happen to her child. Think, she knew the prophecies about the Messiah and how he would be rejected by His own. This would have been unnerving to her, but she made it through. If you need to Tener Paz, just read John 14:27 "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."
Back to the volcano - it is about 30 miles away from me. The volcano is pretty cool, but I didn´t even know about it until the evening when it errupted. There is a bit of dust falling though, but it´s only hurt me while climbing a few of the hills in our area. I was actually running home last night and I was better off than the other Elder with me. :P The ash is so thin that I didn´t even know anything about it until someone told me and then pointed out that the cars had a bit of ash on the after the entire day in the street. I´m no where near the volcano, don´t worry about me yet ;) I can't see it from my house, but it is the big talk around here.

I have been doing fine and my only struggle is finishing up with everything so that my trainee has a new slate. :P We have the two baptisms this week and there is a possble family later this month for the other Elders (I´m more than a little bit jealous).

Tenga Paz, ya'll!

Elder VanderMeyden

Chapter 23: Bow Breaking

bow breaking
the pictures are from Elder Hoover and I making bow and arrows stuff. We went though a huge evolution and it was a great P-day thing. All you need is hangers and string ;) I call it the Nephi`s broken bow challenge (he beat me) because it all started with my little toy bow breaking. ;)

I don`t have much time to write,  but I thought I`d say I love you all and that this week was great. We had a small problem with an investigator that was supposedly smoking (says a member) but when we prayed about it we felt good about following through on the baptism. He`s a great guy and I honestly don`t think he was smoking but we talked to bishop and he said we should probably move it back anyway to not offend the member so the baptism planned for this week has been moved to the next. It`s a bit of a bummer, but I have to go with what the bishop says. This week was also a bunch of stress trying to run and get things done without all the required equipment. I even got behind a bit on my journal writing which is also stressing me out. All these things led up to my theoretical spiritual bow bending and almost breaking. However, I repaired my spiritual bow just like I repaired my real toy bow:
In the Multi-zone conference that we set up I had a wonderful time. We got to meet Elder Alonso and he talked to us all. The meeting was a bunch about Obedience and Not letting your companion throw his mission away. We owe it to God and ourselves to not let it happen. Anyway, that`s all the time I have for today,

Love you,
One of my favorite ward members! (yes, I look like a geek)
Elder VanderMeyden

Friday, March 6, 2015

Some pictures

Storm clouds rolling in

The Moya Family

Chapter 22: I Wanna Iguana

Everything is going well. I honestly have enjoyed this week a ton and I have had some great experiences in and out of the office. No more ear infection that I can feel. :)  I want to try iguana, but I´ll probably never get the chance. I probably shouldn't anyway because if it is not cooked correctly, then it can make us gringos pretty darn sick. But I hear it is also pretty good. Maybe I will stick with iguanas as pets.

Spiritual moment- My journal entry: Miracle for today! We found one of the Escogidos. We just decided to walk down the street to find an LPE (investigator) from earlier but no querian atendernos. So we 'knocked a door' asking about a wood house that he had on the wall and he said 'la hizo mi hermano, pasen para ver mas'! He just invited us in like that, but he wasn't the one I was talking about, his brother that made the houses is. His brother came out and said he had already read half the Book of Mormon and it made him feel good, better than the one time he went to church with his mom! He agreed to being baptized on the 15th and asked when and where to go to church before we even invited him. He uses an oxygen tank and he's looking for a place to congregarse. He was was escogido and I can't wait to see him go down into them waters of baptism. :)

funny moment- This week we´ve had some fun talk about Hunger Games and so I came out today (P-day) with my toy Bow and arrow and started "killing" everyone. Elders Nielson and Nelson ran to their room to hide but I was too clever and I killed them on their way out. :P

Oh Crap moment- I was stuck working on a PowerPoint project for president all Monday long (I started early in the day and I was able to finish by 7:30) Luckily I stayed with a member at their internet café on divisions while the other 3 secretaries and a missionary who was staying with us at the time went out to work. :) the Oh crap part is the fact that I´ve done 6 PowerPoints for them and there is no one else to do it when I leave.
That's it for now. Two more Saturdays and then I will be transferred to the field.
Love you all,
Elder Vandizzle

ps - I have now had 10 baptisms