Monday, July 27, 2015

Chapter 8: Visits

I`m doing well. We just had a week with 40 lessons without divisions (that was a dream of mine with Elder Coronado, but we didn't quite make it). By the 40 lessons, you can tell that I am getting along well with my new companion. He is upbeat and a hard worker. We are going to make a ton of progress in this area.

One thing interesting that happened this week is that Presidente Hayes stopped by the boonies... I mean Cariari. He said that in trying to get there he kept asking people about where it was and nobody knew. :P Not even our Zone Leaders. :P He told us that he wants us to move houses, he`ll probably send us more missionaries this change, and bicycles are on the way if he gets authorization. :) A bunch of things changing here (including that the mission office is no longer in the La Paz, sino Los Yoses). It was nice to have him come all the way out to see us (and my companion loved the air conditioning of their car ;)  )

The new house is because we have termites and ants in the house. Also, on a side note, someone had Denge fever near our house so they fumigated the neighborhood. :P I am not sick, nor will I be any time soon. The fumigation kills all insects. :) yes, I do believe it helps. :)  My new coloring (a medium tan) keeps away all the mosquitos. :D Presidente sees how big the area is and por fin the missionaries are working hard in the area so we get more missionaries, but more it`s for how big it is. :P
Foodie moments. EVERYONE HAS TO TRY THIS! Gelatina (jello) with ice cream is normal, right? Now do Jello with Powdered milk. I know everyone has a the ability to do this and I want to hear the commentaries. What`s even better though is Jello, Ice cream, AND powdered milk.

I just got back my shoes that spent 3-5 weeks in the shop. I just never had time to get them, but they are puestos (on my feet) right now. :) I do walk a ton.

We added to the progressing investigators list this week but NOBODY came to church because it was very far away. We had to take a buseta (private bus used for transporting relatively small numbers of people) to go and even then there was absolutely no where to sit because we were opening the new stake and the whole stake was trying to fit in a non stake center building. I really enjoyed the church but I missed a ton of it because there was no room to sit and pay attention but we saw Elder Alonso. :) It was cool and now I know the entire area presidency ;) They just created the Guanacaste Stake on Sunday, in case you didn't know. That's why it was so far away to travel.

I got a new souvenir to bring home. I was gifted a painted Jikaro. Jikaro is a fruit that you don`t eat. It has a skin that hardens into a shell and they use it here as a craft object. :) It's pretty cool.
Thththththat's all folks!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Chapter 7: All is Well, All is Well

For those of you who are worrying and wondering about me and how I am doing relating to Elder Cuevas's passing, just know that All is Well.

Elder Cuevas was not in my district (La Rita), but he was in my zone (Zona Atlantica). His city is an hour away from my city. I´m not broken up over his death, but I am sad. The most shaken is Hermana A (she´s a good friend of mine) She was a good friend of his in Mexico. We went to the memorial service on Sunday and I met his parents. Apparently he looked up to me more than I thought. The saddest part was that the last thing he said to me was a joke saying that I would be the Mission President for his children. :( I actually sent him home to get knee surgery while I was a secretary and I am so proud that he came back to keep working. :) His parents are so nice and not only did I see them Sunday at the memorial service, but I bumped into them today in the street after changes (transfers). I know that they´ll fight through this. She´s such a kind woman, his mother.

In regards to my own asthma, the only thing that bothered me this week was the altitude and my breathing of San Jose when I went into the city. Now that I´m back in Cariari I am just fine. I don't need more medicine or use my inhaler at all. No need for anyone to worry. All is Well with my health.

I saw a corral snake (the dangerous one, not the fake one) and a frog with bulgy eyes (not dangerous at all). My old companion should be sending pictures. :) When he does, I will post them. All is Well, I stay away from the poison animals down here.

Oh, I say old companion because he had changes. My new companion is Elder Garay from Honduras. He's a convert, only member in the family and is here to work hard so that his mother can be touched by the spirit and convert. :D I have a feeling that this change cycle will be one of the best ones ever. :)  I might have a curse because, with the only exceptions being training and secretaryship, all my other companions have been for 1 change jaja :P )

Special moment was when we had a testimony meeting as a Zone on Friday after what happened with Elder Cuevas. It was a strong spirit that was felt there and even though I could not see the angels I know that they were with us.

I do love being here. I can´t imagine any other place I´d rather be. That´s part of the reason for a possible extension, but I also know that all things must come to an end, even if we don´t want them to. :P

Food moment -  this is the Banana and Pineapple central. :P Much of our area includes these farms and they are very cheep. (sometimes we can get 3 pineapples for the equivalent of $2 and one banana is 10 cents!) WE walk so much in our area that our branch president has asked for bicycles for the missionaries. :P

We have 8 progressing investigators and 2 showed up to church. I don´t have any more news about the family because we couldn´t visit them this last week  for the memorial service of Elder Cuevas, but I have the faith that they are doing well. :)

I can´t think of anything more for today,
Love you all,

Monday, July 13, 2015

Chapter 6: What did I Just Say?

To understand my title, you need to read the experience below. It truly was an amazing thing to witness.  It also applies to my funny moment.

I got my residency renewed, which is for a year. I got to meet President Hayes in the Zone conference he came to do. He is so full of energy and love. :) It will be great to work with him. :)  I do miss the Wilkinsons dearly, but I want to say that we´ve already received so much love from the Hayes that I'm glad to be able to serve with them as well. :)

A funny moment is teaching my companion English. Today on the way to internet I was trying to teach the different pronunciations for "pick" "peak" and "peck" In spanish they only have the sounds for "peck" and "peak" so the other is hard for him (which is both frustrating and hilarious).

One of the experiences that I`d like to share with you today is about a family, a mother, a father, two daughters and a son. Last week we were working in our area when a woman that was an antiguo investigator found us. My companion had taught her before but in a different part of our area. We had looked for her in the 3 weeks before with no luck and we had finally moved on to teaching other investigators that we had found in the process. When she found us she invited us to her house where her husband was waiting and told us about her friend that lives in front of her house. Her friend had received missionaries from all other types of religions but never "the mormons" and wanted to know a bit more. When we went to her house after we taught the antiguo investigator it was a great experience where we focused on the family. I know I felt the spirit strong and I hope they did too. We left them with a "The Family: A Proclamation to the World" and they promised to read it. When we went back yesterday they had read the proclamation and had many questions. Some of which were dificult to answer, but we found ourselves answering every question to satisfy their wants and needs. One of which was a question that I looked at my companion hoping he would answer and he looked at me with the same face. Without skipping a beat I tried to answer the question without sounding hesitant or doubtful and all of a sudden the words came out of my mouth in a wondrous flow of our beloved truths. I can only remember part of what I said while I was with them but it was an amazing experience for me and my companion to be guided so much. After we answered their questions we left them wanting more, even thought we couldn`t stay. We left them with a folleto de "La RestauraciĆ³n del Evangelio de Jesucristo" and we`ll be preparing to answer their questions this week. One thing that she mentioned to us was that she had listened to so many missionaries before and I feel like they are really searching for the truth.
Love you all!
Elder VanderMeyden

Monday, July 6, 2015

Chapter 5: Goal! Accomplished!

Yea, I`m on early today, ya know why? Today`s not P-day! WOOHOOO! The reason why is that I`m going on Thursday to get my old ticket. By that I mean that I`m getting the renewal for my cedula (visa) that happens because the last one I had expires in about a month.

Happy 4th of July!  :P This year I remembered that it was the 4th ;) but I still didn`t light anything on fire. Maybe next year (meaning fireworks, I hope).

This week was interesting because we accomplished many of our goals as well as one of having more than 30 lessons. Our plan was 32 but we had 33! We really worked hard to get these things done and we could feel the Lord`s help. On the last day we found a family of 5 of which the mother has jumped from church to church to find "the truth" she was actually a reference from an old investigator that had dropped off the map because she moved to a different part of our area. We had been looking for her and her husband for the last 3 weeks with no luck (because they go by nicknames, not their normal names). She found us yesterday and invited us back! :D This area looks like it`s going to be successful even though it`s about 10 minutes walking to get to the bus that takes 10 minutes to get to the station with another 8 minute walk to the church. :P

I have not met President Hayes yet, but we will be having interview soon so I hope to meet him. :) I do remember feeling weird the day the Wilkinsons left (the weirdest part is that I thought they had gone a day earlier, but when they told me that he went home on Wednesday I though "that`s why I felt weird" ).

There is a pass open finally to get to San Jose, and I will be taking it Thursday if it all works out. :) Let's hope no more broken bridges or landslides between now and then.

I don`t think my area ever floods, outside my area yes, but not inside,but who knows what is just around the riverbend :P

Love you all and Have a great day!

Elder VanderMeyden