Mom note: James sent us an audio recording of his last week. It was highly adventurous, so I transcribed it and put it on here for you to read. The actual recording will be on his blog with lots of pictures he sent: eldervandermeyden.blogspot.com. He really struggles with his english and muc of it is spanglish (spanish english). It's quite funny. So go check it out!Audio:
This week was a little crazy. Started out Monday of last week. We were planning on going to San Jose so we could get to the (mission) conference on time. The last bus from our area leaves at 5:30, so we had our day planned out just right. So about 10:30am we get a call from the zone leaders telling us to sleep in Guapiles and travel to San Jose in the morning because the mission home was a little full. (we were planning on sleeping in the mission home originally) All the missionaries from Guanacaste Zone, Puntarenas Zone, and Zona Sur were staying there because none of them can make it there in the morning, but from Guapiles, you can. So the day went okay, we had lunch, I taught some people how to play scrabble. We didn’t have the instructions, so I made some of it up, but it turned out well and made sense and we had fun. Then we went to do internet which was awesome. I want to say thank you all for the support you all give me for writing me so often. We were an hour into internet and got a phone call from the zone leaders saying we had to go to San Jose that day. At that point it was already 5:30 and we had to run to the bus stop where the bus left us, so there was no bus from Cariari to San Jose that night. Moreover, we had no bag to sleep over and no suit coat jackets, so we ran to the house to get that, because there was a bus leaving from Guapiles, but at that point it was 5:45 and the last bus leaves at 6pm supposedly, but it’s not possible to make it to Guapiles in 15 minutes. Even by going by taxi super fast it takes about 20 minutes. So we were stuck out here with no plan, and no way to make it to San Jose. We made lots of phone calls.. packed our stuff. and trusted in the Lord and had faith. The branch president had a great suggestion that we sleep in Siquirres and take the first bus from Siquirres to San Jose. The thing is we had to be in San Jose by 8am in the morning the next day so we could make the picture of the whole mission. The first bus from Guapiles was at 5:30am. The reason we had to leave that very same day, because the route goes through Zirqui, but the pass is not as safe as it would seem because a bridge fell (due to flooding), wohoooo, so now we have to take a bus through Turrialba which adds another 2.5 hrs to the route, so if we took the bus at 5:30am on Tues. then we would show up around 11am, three hours after when we needed to be in San Jose. But the first bus in Siquirres leaves at 4:30am, so we decided to sleep in Siquirres that night. I got to see a few good friends, like Hermana Magaly and her family. It wasn’t just us that did that (sleep in Siquirres), the elders from La Rita as well were stranded. So our entire district went to Siquirres to sleep, it was pretty cool. We were dead tired. We woke up at 2am to get to the bus stop at 3am. Just following our leaders suggestions. The zone leaders and the assistants told us that we should probably be there at 3 in the morning even though the bus didn’t open til 4 and the bus didn’t leave until 5. But we did it anyway. We were really tired that day. Moreover I couldn’t sleep in the bus, for some I reason, I don’t know what it was. Turns out we were trying to get there by 8am. There was lots of traffic for the last 15 minutes, and we made it there by 8:07. Good news is that the president hadn’t showed up for the picture yet, so we luckily made it for the picture.
The conference was really cool. It wasn’t a goodby conference for President Wilkinson, it was a hello conference for the new presidents, even though they are not here, they are coming today in the noche. It was President introducing them and giving last words and telling us to be obedient to the new presidents. Don’t try to defend what he taught. I really like when he said, if for me it’s black and for the new president it’s white, for you it’s white.
One note from the conference, he gave us a really cool thing teaching us about how to stay active in the church.
He said if we do these 7 things put a goal and keep to them we will never fall away from the church. We will always feel the spirit and will never worry about ourselves in the eyes of the Lord. Super powerful.
This week was a cool experience on Saturday. On Saturday, we were just walking and I felt we should talk to this person and so we went and talked to him. So we did and just like that and he let us into his house. I don’t know why we were told to knock on his door because he wasn’t very receptive to the spirit but he said we could come back at anytime, which is good. We are going to go back. We left him with a proclamation to the family to the world. The most important thing in his life is his daughter. He wants her to grow up to be a good person and if he reads it he will get a whole bunch of ideas that will help him.
This week we went out with our branch president. He took us to an area far away and it has a little group of members and that is really cool. To be honest, some of them are partial families where not all of them are members. We had an activity Saturday. We couldn’t eat there. But I made snow cones – but the snow cones here are different. They are called granasaldos or colpos. First you put the shaved ice first , then the syrup then powdered milk, then more shaved ice, then more syrup then condensed milk over it. It’s actually amazingly delicious. I suggest each of you go home and try it. If not, when I get home I will make sure to make a few.
I love you all,