Monday, October 26, 2015

Chapter 21: Is it Halloween or Christmas?

Happy Halloween! We are not really celebrating Halloween this year, that and all the people are already taking out Christmas stuff here. I actually helped someone decorate their house this week. Halloween is not celebrated in Cariari from what I´ve seen.They do have pumpkins here in Costa Rica, but mostly in San Jose (I haven´t seen any here in Costa Rice). But I´ll see what I can Carve out for Halloween :)

This week was so much better with my companion. I really enjoyed the week because we had many people that we visited show up to church. Mostly less actives, but the less actives brought a non-member as well. :) Plus, we received a great reference of a family that are married and want to learn more about the gospel. The received a baptismal date following the spirit and I hope that we´ll be able to help them progress. :)

My week went by slow, which was very strange, but very enjoyable. WE actually had a great moment when we found a Less-active that I had tried to contact with Elder Coronado over 4 months back. What was funny is that we found his wife so long ago just doing a contact, but she said her husband is a member and he had actually been lost from the list of members because he moved from one part of Cariari to another. We tried visiting him again but he wasn´t there, but now we know his schedule so we´re going to visit him when he should be home. :) He´s part of an entire group of members that were youth at the same time. From what we can see is that those that went on missions came back with honor and those that didn´t got girlfriends outside of the church and started living with them, then had children and went less actives. It goes to show the power of the mission and the change that it can have in the lives of the missionaries. :)

For p-days, we´ve actually been writing here in Cariari with the entire district (they come here because the internet is better and less crowded than Guapiles). We normally plan Soccer games after the internet and eat pizza as a district sometimes.

We´ve been cooking for ourselves this week for the most part. We had Spaghetti, fried chicken, tacos from fried pork, fried chicken, salads, and tacos from fried chicken (we bought a bit to much chicken so we had to cook it all this week, but I didn´t get sick. :P  ) One day we ate in a soda (a restaurant similar to a fast food joint, but with more options) and while eating we talked with our cook and after we finished and were waiting to process the food I was thinking "how great would it be to eat some ice cream, I think I´ll come back here in an hour to buy some" when the lady that served us came out with two bowls with Ice cream. It goes to show that if you have a good relationship with the cook you can have more perks. ;)

With Grateful month (November coming), my mom asked me some things I am grateful for: The first thing that I am thankful for in my life is the Holy Ghost and how it helps me in my life. Also the Atonement of Christ. But other not-so-spiritual things would be the blender that we bought this week. We´ve been making fruit drinks and smoothies every day this week and they are delicious. :)

Have a great week!
Elder VanderMeyden

Monday, October 19, 2015

Chapter 20: uh oh, what just happened?

One spiritual moment that I had was small but necessary. Yesterday my blood pressure dropped or raised (I´m not sure but I´m okay, I already talked to the nurse and it probably won´t happen again) and we had to go to a less active member´s house until I got better. They gave me a great drink of milk with oats but they served it hot in a glass cup. I could not lift the glass to drink it but then I remembered that in lunch the sister gave us bendy straws and instead of throwing the straw away I felt like I needed to keep it so I put it in my bag. It was a great help for me to have that straw there and God was looking out for me so DON´T WORRY about what happened Everything is OKAY!

My week was excellent. I smoothed things out with my companion, but we still are having problems with getting people to church. This week we have planned to find many news and many less actives. WE´re going to a new area to meet a reference and help find less actives. :)

We had an amazing Zone meeting that took an entire day´s work out of the picture. But it really was amazing. :) The Stake President was there with us and shared with us his goals for the stake and experiences from his mission. Even though we hardly worked that day it was really worth it because I received the inspiration while we were at the conference for the way to talk with my companion and tell him my goals for our area and what we need to do to accomplish it. I was working hard in seeing the things I was doing wrong this week so that we could make this area explode. :) and once I saw my faults I was able to start on fixing them. :) My companion also saw the things that he had to change and bit by bit is working on them as well. :)
Elder VanderMeyden

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Chapter 19: Water balloons, cow pies, and crazy addresses

Today we had an awesome Zone activity, which really helped turn the entire week around. WE played with Water Balloons! We had a whole dodgeball type water balloon fight that was so much fun. I never actually hit anyone during the game but they had a hard time hitting me. :P After the game though (while a few other missionaries went for more water balloons I hit a few people with hidden balloons, but most importantly I gave the hidden balloons to other people. I don´t like to be the bad guy when in games like this because it always comes back to bite you, but it´s fun.

I had a few trials, but I can see a few of the blessings that are coming from them.

I also broke my glasses this week, but it´s not a big deal because I taped a piece of wood to it and they work, and if I really need i,t I have a backup and contact lenses, which I used today in the activity.

And to put the icing on the pie, I stepped in a cow pie. :P But honestly, it´s not all that bad... okay, the smell was bad, but I got it all cleaned up.

The good news is that with my studies and the people we met I had a real good week. WE actually got a less active recent convert to come to church this week. plus we met the father of another re-activated member and he gets along with us well. He´s funny and he knows that he´s not cumpliendo con su parte, but he´s happy and will come back when the time is right, we just need to keep inviting. :)

I didn´t have changes this week and now the next changes are in 6 weeks, the last week of November, but from how it looks I´ll be staying in Cariari until the end of my mission.



I always use the mission house address, 1. in case things change and I get transferred 2. because the address for my house would be (but not exactly):

Elder VanderMeyden
entrada del vavula 3ra calle a la izquierda
2da casa mano derecha, verde y amarillo
Cariari, Limón Costa Rica
América Central

Which being translated would be

Elder VanderMeyden
the entrance of the vavula 3rd street to the left
2nd house on the right, colors green and yellow
Cariari, Limón Costa Rica
América Central

The adresses are horrendous especially when someone gives you a reference. One of the worst I´ve received (and it´s a joke in the mission) is when they use references like "the mango tree" or the "dead dog in the street" The first is bad because the area had about 50 mango trees. They are so bad with directions. :P

Speaking of Monkeys (I know we weren't but hey) :) , we heard, but did not see, a few of them this week. They are called Kongos by the ticos. :)

Elder VanderMeyden

ps - my ponderize scripture was Mosiah 3:19:   For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child,submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Chapter 18: UhMazing Conference

I loved the General Conference and I had a great time translating some of the commercials (that only came in English) for the Latinos that were with me.I really enjoyed it. I really liked the holy places potter´s spin talk, but I left my notes at home, sorry. It´s not my favorite talk, but it was the first to come to mind that I loved. I´ll be looking for my scripture to ponderize ;) And you all? What is your favorite scripture to ponderize this week. Please send me your scriptures. We didn't call it ponderize, though. in spanish the word is meditizar.

I was able to go on divisions with Elder Lewis and that was fun as well.

We got a few great references and one of them says that he wants to get baptized with the rest of his family because the saw a General Conference while surfing channels in April back when he lived in Nicaragua. :)

I was also asked to translate for a man from Madagascar who wanted to watch the conference in Spanish even though he is still learning. Needless to say we finished that session of conference in the English room. It really goes to show the power of the Gift of Tongues. This man from Madagascar is not a member of the church but an invited person. He´s been in the country for one year and still has difficulties, while the majority of the missionaries that are here in Costa Rica learn the language sufficiently to watch conference in under 9 months.

I also had rice and shrimp, an amazing recipe that I will take back and share with you all. :D

A funny thing about that talk by Pte. Uchtdorf. There was a sister from our ward  and she had a shirt that said "Simplify" but it was in english so she didn´t know that it was Simplificar until I told her. :P

Elder VanderMeyden