Monday, September 28, 2015

Chapter 17: Crisis Averted

This week there was a huge miracle with my Mom. She had a virus attack her computer and she lost my pictures from November of last year until I showed up in Cariari. The miracle is that since I got into the office something told me that I should put my pictures onto a flash drive and not erase them from my camera. She had no idea that I had these backups and she wrote me devastated. When she told me what happened I told her not to worry about a thing and told her what the Spirit had prompted me to do almost a year ago. At the time I had no idea it was a prompting, but I followed it nonetheless. The Lord knows that my Mother would have lived with that guilt for so much time if I hadn´t had the backup that he gave me a way to be the way for Him to save the day.
The other crisis is about our mission trip. The house of the mission was full and we were going to get there late so we were not going to get a bed until Elder Garay had the Idea to sleep in Tibas. It was a great idea with only one problem, how would we get to the temple by 6:30 when they asked us. the other house had a micro bus coming to pick up everybody but for us, nothing. We wake up in the morning with faith that there would be a bus at 5:00 to the temple so that we could get  there by 6:00 but as we waited in the station the 5:00 turned to 5:30 and the 5:30 to 5:45. there were other people in the line but no bus came. All of a sudden at 5:50 a bus rolled up and we were off! The bus that normally takes near an hour when there is traffic took 35 minutes and we showed up at 6:25 just as they opened the temple! :D I was so happy. :)

My week went by too fast. The Temple was on Wednesday so it felt like we only had Thursday through Sunday to work. I loved work this week but it was WAY TOO HOT! I actually couldn´t sleep last night until I showered at 1 in the morning, and that was even with the fan on. the strange thing is that I´m only dying of heat inside the house but when I´m in the streets I feel hot, but not that bad. I´ve been asking for many glasses of water though. :P
One of the most memorable moments this week was the lunar eclipse that we saw yesterday. We were teaching a family when their neighbors came in telling them to come see the moon. I ran outside not knowing what to expect and BOOM! the Moon was eaten by the shadow of the earth. It was awesome.

This week was a bit hard trying to find news especially because we focused our short time on visiting the investigators that we already have and invite them to church, even though none of them made it. We´re really working on trying to get people to the General Conference.
Love to all,
Elder VanderMeyden

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

A poem for General Conference

So, I wrote this back in June, but with conference coming, I thought you'd like to hear it. I am definitely not a poet, but just gowithit. :P
The Living Prophet’s Voice

How would it have been to talk with Moses, who saw God face to face
Or maybe to our father Adam, who chose to fall for the human race
To hear the covenant of Abraham, from him would be a treat
Your dream interpreted from Daniel, Oh Boy! Would that be neat
To hear the voice of Christ Himself, proclaim His Gospel true
To be with Him and the Apostles, to be among the few
To hear Prophets of old, so bold, so strong, proclaim the word of God
Written for generations to know and love, it is our iron rod
They lead us to the tree of life but wait “There’s more!” I say
We have the words of Prophets old but there is one today
We can listen to his voice as well, the truth it sings so clear
He gives us warning for our day, our prophet kind and dear
We listen to him twice each year, in April and October
But when the conference ends, the inspiration is not over
I turn the computer on, and make a very simple choice
To the internet I go, to hear a living prophet’s voice!

                                                                JV June 6, 2015

Our Visit to Turtle Sanctuary Video

Chapter 16: It's all about that Bus

So this week most of my moments happened around a bus stop.

This week was good, the 15th of September came around again, but this time like a thief in the night. I almost forgot that it was the Costa Rica Independence day and I didn´t prepare anything! I felt sad but my companion isn´t one for celebrating anyway. We had some difficulty visiting some people just for that reason, but I wasn´t going to give up. We found a way to get in some quality visits during the worst hours due to a bit of inspiration from our friendly neighborhood Holy Ghost. :)

One moment I had this week is that while waiting in the bus station there was a small television where they were showing Avengers 2. We didn´t stay long because our bus came and I shouldn´t have been watching it, but it really showed that the world didn´t stop when I lef the USA but at the very least the new Star Wars will still be in theaters by the time I get back. :P

One cool thing that happened this week is that we were waiting for the bus yesterday and a car past by really fast. About 100 meters down the line it stops and goes into reverse all the way to where we were and offers us a ride! They were an LPE that I had done a long time back and I it was so nice of them to help us out.

Okay, funny story, while waiting for yet another bus I ran into a man that I had met in Zapote. We had given him an english lesson, Elder Hoover and I, and now he´s speaking English relatively well. :) We had a full conversation in English and I didn´t get lost in what he was saying. A great improvement in 7 or 8 months! :D

My most memorable lesson this week was the lesson with C and her family. We shared a small video and shared about it. It was actually the "living below your privileges" from Pte. Utchdorf. It was a strong spirit and I hope they felt edified. :)
My dad mentioned all the missionaries that spoke in stake conference about a principle that they learned and loved on their mission. He asked me what I would say. One principle that I have learned to love is the power of prayer. :) More on that later, I am out of time.
Elder VanswizzlemizzlederMeyden

Monday, September 14, 2015

Chapter 15: Frog Water

I am doing well this week. I absolutely love it here, don't want to be anywhere else! It was a rather boring week for me no big news or milagros. Right now I have a bit of a head ache because we were playing soccer as a district and it was so much fun. :) But I did get a ton of water in my eyes because of sweat and rain so they dried out. :P

For those of you who have missed my moments:

Foody moment: They have a drink here called "agua de sapo" Or Frog´s Water. It´s really good even if it doesn´t sound like it :P It's actually agua dulce with lime juice.
Oh crap moment: This week some missionaries from Guapiles wanted to borrow my Meet the Mormons DVD but I forgot to send it with a member so we had to send it through the bus system. Jaja a bit of a crazy thing. :P
Happy Moment: There was one day when things weren´t going so well but I decided to ask for references (following the spirit and I didn´t even know it) and they gave us 2 and told us that they might have more in the future! :)

Church was great, we had 54 people show up. That´s the 3rd time above 50 and two weeks in a row, especially considering that quite a few people didn´t show up because they had to work or something. :P
One of the most exciting things this week was the fact that we had the Mother´s day activity in the branch (it´s about a month late but better late then never) and I got to help with the cooking of the food and preparing of the salad so now when I get home I can make some Platos Ticos. :)

Each week we receive a message from Pte. Hayes telling us about a principle of the gospel. This week was this:

"We arrive at the 4th principle and 2nd ordinance of the Gospel according to the 4th article of faith. My favorite chapter of the entire Book of Mormon could possibly be chapter 19 of 3rd Nephi. This is where we watch the process of the sanctification of the Disciples of the Savior take place. This is the second day of the Saviors visit to the people of Bountiful. However, before he arrives the second day, the disciples have begun teaching the people the very same words the Savior taught the day before. That is when we read that the disciples pray.
“behold, they knelt again and prayed to the Father in the name of Jesus. And they did pray for that which they most desired; and they desired that the Holy Ghost should be given unto them.” Verses 8 and 9.
These verses surely teach the importance of the Holy Ghost. Of everything that had been taught the day previous, (Chapters 11 thru 18) the disciples pray for that which they desired most, The Gift of the Holy Ghost. It causes me to realize the importance of that gift in my life. As you continue to read we find out why.
“ And it came to pass when they were all baptized and had come up out of the water, the Holy Ghost did fall upon them, and they were filled with the Holy Ghost and with fire. And behold, they were encircled about as if it were by fire; and it came down from heaven, and the multitude did witness it, and did bear record; and angels did come down out of heaven and did minister unto them.” verses 13 and 14.
If this is the description of what happens when one receives the Holy Ghost, it is no wonder why the disciples prayed for it most. As you continue to read in chapter 19, it appears to be a necessary step to what happens next to the disciples of the Savior.
The doctrine is very clear. Baptism must first occur by the power and authority of the Aaronic Priesthood, and then by the power and authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood the Gift of the Holy Ghost can be given. In John of the New Testament chapter 20 verse 22, the Savior does the same to his Apostles in Jerusalem. They had been baptized three years previous. They do not receive the Holy Ghost immediately, as we can see from Acts 1:5-8. However 10 days later in Acts chapter 2, the Gift of the Holy Ghost is present.
The reception of the Holy Ghost is absolutely necessary in our progression to become Sons and Daughters of Jesus Christ. May we all live worthy to receive and use this wonderful Gift."
Have a great day! Pray for us missionaries!!
Elder VanderMeyden

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Chapter 14: Sick and Soccer and Youth

This week was a good week with one exception. I got sick. But I'm better now. One thing that really helped me was the ability to sweat it out playing Soccer with my companion today. He´s really good and I´m not so I asked him to teach me a bit while we do exercise in the mornings before getting ready. The best part is that we live within 100 mts of the church now so we can use the chapel to practice.

This week was very good. We used much of it to visit some families that formerly didn´t receive us. I feel sad that someone who was touched by the gospel could turn 180 and forget the truths they had learned. One of the members that we visited, a very good man, told us outright that he knew that the Book of Mormon was false. What can we do? I can´t just say "No, you´re wrong." I felt like I couldn´t do anything to change his mind and I was frustrated inside. He still lets us visit him so I hope that our light will be able to reignite the fire that he had before.

One the other side, the joven (youth) that I mentioned last week came again to church. We visited him on Saturday and his brother was also there. We invited them both and they both came, as well as a joven that lives next door that is an inactive member that we met this week. I was very surprised that we had so many jovenes in the chapel. In addition to that there were 60 people! I was astounded. We´re going to be working with the youth to invite more friends to the activities and then to the church so that we can enter into more houses and bless people with the gospel.

Have a great day,
Elder VanderMeyden
ps - my return date home is officially December 30th. New Year's Eve Eve.