Monday, April 27, 2015

Chapter 7: Goodbye - Hello

Hello to my new companion Elder A, another Mexican. I don´t know him very well yet, but I´ll get to know him in this next week. :)
I´m excited to get to know my new companion, and get to work. :)

Goodbye to my old companion. This last week Elder V decided to say goodbye to todo el mundo (all the world) porque estaba seguro que iba a ir (ooops, sorry, this means he was sure he was going to leave, I´ll turn off the spanish now) so we had many lessons where he gave his final testimony, and final advice. to be honest we had 48 lessons this week.

Goodbye to my cold - it's finally gone. Yay!!!

Funny Moment: Funny moment was went we played a little bit of fútbol this week to get to know a few more people and now everyone in the neighborhood calls Elder Valtierra Chicharito because Chicharito is a famous mexican soccer player

Scary moment: - When the guy that assaults people said "pasen tranquilos" I really haven´t had any scary moments and I really live by faith, the spirit will tell me if I´m in danger.

Food Moment: For lunch we have great food from a great cook, for dinner we have members that give us food. I have come to realize that the Ticos put Tuna in everything. I have now been envenenado by salads with tuna, arroz con atún that looks like arroz con pollo, and Speghetti. Who puts TUNA in Spaghetti?!?!
I love me peanut butter still, we just ran out of bread so I haven´t eaten it in a week.

Spiritual moment: Spiritual moment was Meeting Oscar y Mayra Hello Oscar and Mayra!! Their registro was in our Area book so we decided to seach them out and WE FOUND THEM! They are ready to read the Book of Momon to find answers and every time we go to their house the time flies and they ask questions and they´re great investigators. I started looking in the area book because I wanted to find news. I started with a prayer and then went to the Preach my Gospel. There was a section that really stood out to me called "antiguos investigadores" so I looked in the area book and found their paper! I am so excited to be able to teach them. :D
Goodbye ya'll, sorry I have so much spanish in my letter, I have a hard time thinking in English these days.
Love ya,
Elder VanderMeijden

Monday, April 20, 2015

Flores Pictures

Me and my companion Elder V (and I am also Elder V) :)

an Hermana from the stake

Me and the office Elders

Me on St. Patties Day (you can't keep the Irish out of me, but I probably can't have a mustache that color on my mission)

The Kitchen

Our beds

Our bathroom

Out Study space

Men from the Ward Elder's Quorum
I love this family, the Bobby Family

My companion  with a friend of his

This family is great!

Hey - we baptized him!

And Here is his family!

Some more guys from the ward

Our zona at the templo

Our Bishop

Chapter 6: Sick

This week was extremely hard. Our Monday was normal, but our tuesday had too many appointments that fell and wednesday I was called into the office to help with a small problem there. We got it all worked out but out plans for that day went down the toilet. Thursday, was great, but it was mostly because of the plans that Elder Valtierra did because we had divisions and he was able to do a lot of work as I just had lesson after lesson fall through (I did receive many references though :D  ). Thursday is also the day I got sick, but I didn´t let anyone know so that we could continue working, it didn´t get bad until Sunday, when my nose let the flood gates loose. :/ It's just a bad cold, but I hate being sick, so, I'm sick of being sick. I hate it so much, that's why I made it my title. I am still sick today, but not letting it keep me down. :/

Other than stuff like that I love my area and I´ve see many miracles (or recognized many more than before) and I really hope I don´t have to move for a while. My companion and I are getting along great. He is a good missionary even if he has more to learn, but he has much to teach and much to give, so I´d like to keep him around for a while longer ;) The changes or transfers will happen a week from today. I feel really weird about what´s going to happen. I can´t put my finger on it but I´ll let you know next week how it went.
The house gets messy real quick, but it´s small, so I can understand. The worst area is the Kitchen because the dishes don´t always get done. I like to wash after I use them, but my companion waits for a large group. It´s not a bad thing, it´s just not the way I normally do things.

We had Norling come to church. He´s the miracle from the a few weeks back, and, even though they got lost, they came to church so his fecha (baptismal date?)  is still on track if we can ever teach him. :P It was a problem this week that many appointments fell, including 2 with him. :/ We´ll get to him though and he´s really interested in the church and his wife is helping us out too. :D
Unfortunately he was the only on in the church and Kevin has backed out of being baptized for now because his father told him he´s too young to make decisions like this. We taught him again and he rescheduled the baptism for the 30th of april so we´ll see how that goes. :)
those are the 2 biggest progressing investigators. :)

Love you,
Elder VanderMeyden

Monday, April 13, 2015

Chapter 5: Miracle Followup

Miracle followup- The Man who is the husband of the nicaraguan member is progressing well. He recently found the Church video database and is in love with them. :) At first we thought he might have problems with drinking because of all the bottles outside, but the hermana reassured us that it is the other person renting. (there are 3 small houses in one big house, they just divided it with walls) and that the only problem he has is Coffee! :D they didn´t come to church this week, but they had the desire to go so we set up 3 appointments with his wife this week, wednesday, saturday and sunday before church to get them to come. :)

Miracle followup on the spirit and my small plates: The multizone conference was amazing this week and I am realizing a real ability that I have to have the spirit whisper things to me. I have had many small ideas that have come to be promptings. The multizone conference was about planning and teaching. It really clicked and now our lessons are so much more powerful. We had a 15 minute lesson with someone yesterday that had them invite us back even though at first they were reluctant to let us in. I also finished with my study journal, something I never thought would happen. I´m buying my next small plates today. ;) (if any of you forgot, at the beginning of my mission, I wanted to have large plates with everything and small plates with just the important stuff  - kind of like Nephi). Here is what some of it looks like in my 'small plates'. It's a miracle I actually finished a whole journal book of small plates.
Elder VanderMeyden

Monday, April 6, 2015

Chapter 4: In General

I didn´t do much for Easter, but I got to see every session of conference. I really enjoyed it. :)

I was laughing because of how many were about marriage and parenthood. :/  :P I don´t think there is another topic as unwanted for a missionary as that. I thought it was a sad but funny thing. It is such a huge problem in the world nowadays that I can understand the reason why it was needed, but come on! I don´t want to get married withing a year and a half of today. :P

I really loved the talk by Wilford W. Andersen, it really hit a home run in my mind. the other two that I loved were from the Priesthood session, President Uchtdorf and President Monson´s Talks. With the first I took a ton of notes, but with the other I hardly took any because my eyes and ears were glued to the screen. Just so you know, I watched the entire thing in Spanish.
I have a testimony of so many things. I´ve already shared that I know the Book of Mormon is true and that the Holy Ghost is a comforter and guide. I have felt it´s lifting power and it´s enlightening and warning presence. I also have a newly grown testimony of the Doctrine and Covenants. It is modern revelation given to Joseph Smith and a few other Prophets. The book belongs alongside the Bible and the Book of Mormon to make the truth fully known throughout all the World. I also know that the men and women chosen of God to be our general authorities receive revelation from the Most High to bless us and help us as well as answering our questions. I know that missionary work is the Lords work and really it is the Work of salvation among the living and the dead. I have learned much during my time on the mission that I would not trade for anything. I have been set apart by the power of God and given the authority to preach the gospel. My life has been changed, my sins forgiven, and my outlook transformed all by the power of Christ´s Atonement. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen! :)

A foodie moment might be that my companion gives me lollipops with chili powder. Like every good mexican companion, he´s trying to convert me to the chili. ;) food miracle is that our cook said that she´d bring food to between the conferences but she never showed up so instead we had nothing, but for some reason a lady brought food for the missionaries in another area, but they had already eaten so I was able to eat from them. ;)
Here is a picture of my zone from our temple trip last week. In case anyone forgot what I look like, I am the short one on the right in a gray suit. :P

Love you all!
Elder VanderMeyden
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Chapter 3: A Lot of Movin' and Shakin' Going On

Just so you know, there were a few trembles yesterday and this morning. There are earthquakes happening somewhere, but I don`t know where, but I can feel them. :O (from James' mom - the earthquakes are from Mount Poas, a different volcano closer to where James was transferred)

There are a few baptisms planned for this next month. and there are a few news that look like they`ll progress fast enough to join them. I really hope they can :) There was a wedding and baptism.

I have yet to have a normal P-day in my new area, the first was normal-ish, but we cleaned the house instead of doing something fun. Today is shopping for food and going to temple (it already happened). (Mom note - this was from Wednesday - I forgot to send it when he wrote it, sorry).
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We just went to the temple today and now I`m in an internet cafè. Honestly, the computer that I have is very diffucult so I apologize.

Spiritual moment- as we walked to church this week after picking up an investigator a running lady called for us to go over. We went over and she said that she is a member that moved recently from Nicaragua. She is married and her husband isn`t a member, but he`s willing to learn more and we put a baptismal date with him for the 25 of April. :)
Funny moment- There was a very blonde girl sitting outside our neighbors house. We stop to do an LPE with her. WE thought she was Gringa, but... SHE`S CANADIAN! I thought it was funny that even I think that all the white people are gringos :P
Foodie moment- MONDONGO! otherwise known as Cow`s stomach. I ate it and liked the taste. The texture was fine until about 3/4 of the way through, but then it got old. It was a good meal though, even though it felt weird. It was bad once though because I was swalling a piece that I had chewed off the larger chunk, but it still had one strand so it got stuck. It didn`t freak me out, but I didn`t expect it. ;)

Oh crap moment- when I realized that I wouldn`t be writing on Monday I though "Oh crap, how can I tell the rest of my family." I wasn`t able to tell you, but I`m writing today. :) Just so that everyone knows, from now on I`ll be writing on Mondays, near 11AM. Just so that eveyone know for sure when they need to write me.

Oh, I added the picture of our whole mission. If you can see me, right behind the person seated on the left, I am in the gray suit, and you can see the miracle I prayed for (a cloud so I wouldn't squint) and that it only clouded our little tiny area for just the few seconds of our portrait.

Love you,
Elder VanderMeyden