Monday, August 31, 2015

Chapter 13: Sticking Around

Monday, August 24, 2015

Chapter 12: Improv and Feeling Old

Yep - that's right. I´m felling a bit old in the mission but looking back, I´ve only had 3 companions with more time than me: Elders Saavedra, De Leon, and Hoover.  It's crazy to think that I only have 4 months left on my mission. I´ll ask president the actual day we head home. I think it´s still under thought but it may be before new years. I know we´ll be here at least until Christmas, so don´t worry you´ll have that last call ;) A bunch of our group wanted to make it back before school starts and some schools start a bit earlier than mine. so President changed our release date (sadly) from January 6 to end of December. But it does mean less time and I´ll be back home.  I still don´t feel like I should go to school right when I get back. I know it´s weird, but the 2 major points that keep running through my head are that 1 I want time with the family and 2 I want to work so that I can come back to Costa Rica (especially if I have some converts from this area that will be going through the temple after a year of being baptized). A third would be money for going on dates and being close to home for a bit to get some rest.

This week was amazing en cuanto a la obra (talking about the work). I was ASTOUNDED when I saw the 58 people in the chapel and 5 of them not being members. Does anyone remember the family that sent us a really awesome text at the beginning of my time here and then they dropped us out of nowhere? I took my companion to visit them and see how they are doing. THEY ACCEPTED US AGAIN, CAME TO CHURCH, AND ASKED US TO HAVE ANOTHER VISIT WITH THEM TO PLAN THEIR MARRIAGE AND BAPTISM! It was a simple thing that happened and Satan entered into their relationship. We explained that to them and everything changed! :D It just wasn´t their time before but NOW IS! I don´t know what a matter of 8 weeks can make, but God has it all planned out perfectly. :D

This week we also had a conference with a broadcasted conference in Honduras with the new President of the 12 Apostles, It was an amazing conference and I received multiple answers to my prayers. One thing that made me laugh is the fact that they were talking to over 1000 missionaries and they brought up MARRIAGE!!! I can only imagine all the groans going on ALL OVER Central America. :P It was an amazing conference though and I have a goal to study better for all of my investigators. We have multiple families progressing right now and they need my help! I´ll let ya´ll know if I have changes next week, but I´m not expecting them (unless we open Cariari 2).
And now for the improv comment: One  thing that was really funny about the church this week was that I was asked to give a talk 5 minutes before the services began and I gave a great improvised talk about the atonement and someone told me that I had given them a different perspective about the atonement! After that I was in charge (with my companion) of the Gospel Principles class (which was FULL by the way) which was about Pray and I only had 10 minutes of preparation. AND last, but not least, the teacher for Elders quorum was not there and the backup was a counselor of Pte Soto (branch president) and he told me to give the lesson because he "had to do something with Pte Soto." So I gave a lesson on filling out homes with light and truth based off a talk that I had NEVER read before. It turned out well! I´m so happy that I learned a bit of how to get participation and follow the spirit! :D
Love ya'll!
Elder VanderMeyden

Monday, August 17, 2015

Tortogeuro (turtle preserve)

Here are some pictures from our visit to the turtle preserve.

Turtle Nesting Grounds

Chapter 11: Field Trip

So last week we went on a field trip. It was super cool! A once in a lifetime thing. We went to Tortogeuro the Turtle Preserve. Finally I have been on both coasts of Costa Rica. My first area was on the West Coast and last week I made it to the East Coast beach. We had to ride boats through a lagoon to get there and we saw crocodile. Best part was the beach. We saw the tracks of the turtles as they came out of the water and walked across the beach to lay their eggs. It was awesome!

Today I am in San Jose.Yeah, they just wanted my help to clean up the desktop on Hna Burt´s computer and work on a few other projects in the google drive.

Next week is changes. I hope I do stay here. There is one family that I want to be here to baptize. They are AMAZING! It´s the Family of references that had a bunch of preguntas from a few weeks ago. :)

We are also hoping we will split my area. We have a large house now so we´re ready for more missionaries. :)

We had 46 lessons, 13 news and a family that is progressing told us to invite them to church. I don´t want to leave this area before they get baptized. This is my family to come back for in a year´s time. I really am glad to be working with Elder Garay and to see more on our Tortuguero adventures you´ll have to see the pictures, telling the story will not be enough to tell of the beauty of the week. :)
P.S. Happy Mothers day in Costa Rica (they celebrate it on the 15 of August) :) This is not just to my mom, but to all the moms on my email list! Happy Mother's Day!
Elder VanderMeyden

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Chapter 10: NO TIME

First, I apologize to everyone that wrote me this week. I only had 5 minutes on computers today so I was not able to read or write any emails except this one. If you wrote me or asked questions, I will read and reply next week. I was in TORTUGUERO (we just received permission this week and went with the Zone Leaders). WE were going to catch the bus at 3:30, but it turns out there was none and so we had to return at 4:30 instead. I took a ton of pictures but there was not time to upload them. Please forgive me and my shortness with the email this week.

The only thing I have to say is that we had 47 lessons this week and 48 in the chapel! It was a new record! but the thing is that it wasn´t full of visitantes like the last time it rose, it was full of members (and one investigator)! we´ve been working with quite a few of them to make them members that come every week and we had MANY who came! :D

This week the goals we have are 140 LPE (which we have yet to reach since Elder Garay showed up) and 15 news. Please pray to give us the ability to meet our goals and give us the courage to be more obedient.

Sorry I can´t write more but I have to go, it´s 6.

Love you,
Elder VanderMeyden

P.S. I got burnt and it feels so good. :) It´s been a while :P
Our Zone playing in the rain

Merry Christmas from the Mission

Our Zona Atlantica

More Zona Atlantica

Gotta love the little trinkets

Driving in the rain

Pretty wet out here

Me and Elder Garay, my last companion

One of our families (Susan - our cook)

On the bus to the mission home

Hermana Whitman

Hermana Acosta

Elder Hoover and Elder Miller

Elder Saavedra and Elder Miller

Me and Jar Jar Binks

Pretty awesome little bug we made

At the turtle santuary

The boat ride to the turtle santuary

Me, Elder Garay and a member

Climbing Trees

We call this kid Chino (Andres)

Leap Frog

A turtle in the water

Lunar Eclipse

My scripture covers

On the bus with the missionaries

Yummy food I made 'salchipapas'

Cooking at the church

Hanging out

I decorated a missionary planner for someone


A real cocoa bean

Susan's Family

Susan's Family

Serving at the nursing home

Christmas Service project with the zone

Making tamales

Families in my last area

All of us came from the MTC on the same day (me, Miller, Mills, Neider)

Christmas Party at the mission home

President Hayes

Elder Nelson

Hermana Whitman

Mini Missionary from my old ward in Zapote

Hermana Chen

Elder Jensen

Hermana Kugath

Elder Munoz

Hermana Markle

Elder Coronado

More ward members

Zona Atlantica

Miguel's family

Hermano David

Pday fun


Cariari Branch

Domingo and his family

My Zone leaders

Elder Lewis


Our zone with President Hayes and Elder Duncan