Monday, November 23, 2015

Chapter 25: When it Rains, It Pours

This week was actually excellent :) We were able to visit many people have and a baptism. :)

I forgot that Thankgiving was this week. Eat some turkey for me, ya'll. Everyone´s getting ready for Black Friday this month and some discounts came early to trick the people into spending their money early. :P (what one person tells me is that they do discounts of 30% right now so that way when it comes to 50% that they´ll have very little to sell. :P  ) I´m not able to eat turkey but I was able to save the chapel with my companion.

This week it has been raining hard. So hard and unexpectedly that Elder Garay and I have been caught in the rain without our umbrellas on more than one time. One of these times was for an activity that we had in the chapel. We were going to watch Meet the Mormons on a really old projector that out stake has. Everything was going well until we started on our way to the chapel an hour before it began and it started to pour! When we finally arrive (after calling a taxi where the window didn´t roll up :P We found the chapel filling with water. Luckily it had not yet hit the electric devices that we had in the center of the floor but before we clean up the mess we had to find the problem. Turns out a tube that was a drainage pipe on the roof had gotten clogged and the flat area on the roof where the air conditioning unites are positioned, had filled with water. The water was overflowing the sides and entering under the main door into the chapel. Fortunately, we got that solved and the water dried before other people arrived. Unfortunately, with all the rain, only 2 individuals came on time and one family showed up late. We decided to postpone the activity until further notice. :P The good news is that if we didn´t have the activity, the baptismal font would have filled all by itself that night so that when we showed up the next day for the baptism the entire chapel would have been filled with rainwater. :P

Baptism went well. We had a nice spiritual experience and I was very happy to see that his mother and brother came to support him. :) I´m so happy for Rene! :D

Today we wanted to play soccer, but it rained really hard and the cancha está mojado. :P

Our branch wants to go paintballing with the youth, but the youth want to go with us, so we´ll see what President says about that. :P

This week some of the youth came out with us to do visits, do practices in our house and learn about being a missionary. They actually let us borrow a few bikes to get to and from far away areas (namely Semillero, the place where Rene lives). I know that we´re not assigned to be bike missionaries, but it was necessary for practicality and it´s not against the rules. I felt free while I was riding the bicycle and I´m excited to get back to my bike back home. I was a bit frustrated witht the bike I was using because every time I wanted to go fast the chain came off. :P I guess it help me not get too out of hand, but I wanted so much to just ride forever! :D

Also, we saw an armadillo last night as we headed back to the house. I couldn´t get apicture because it ran away when a car passed by, but it was awesome to see it. :)

Also, A girl in our branch here in Cariari loves the music from Teen Beach Movie and I was singing karaoke with her this week. It was really cool and even though she can´t speak english, she´s heard the songs enough to know how to say the words. It was really cool to sing with her. She´s only 11 years old. :)

We also had a primary program here in Cariari, it was fun, and the best part is that even with the POURING RAIN we still had 51 people show up! I was extremely happy to see the willpower the people used this week to accomplish their baptismal covenants. :)
this is us with Rene on his baptism day

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Chapter 24: Young Men and Animals

This week we had a huge responsability: The young men! We were in charge of taking them to and from our Stake conference this weekend, both Saturday and Sunday! It was an exhuasting weekend, but well worth it. My question for you today is: Was I as crazy as these youth are or was a good kid?

THIS WEEK WE SAW MANY ANIMALS! 3 Turtles in a river hanging out with 2 crocodiles. That same day we saw a street crab (I think it is a river crab but it was big and far from the river, either way, it was angry and we decided to bother it for fun... I should be sending the video) And today as we went to lunch we saw an iguana in the street! :D I love seeing animals.

This week we had a great capacitation about home teaching. It was stake conference this week so we saw both the branch president and the mission president. :) I love the stake conferences but I was busy helping with tech that never wanted to work so I couldn´t listen to the main session. The tech never worked so we had to shove 530 people into two rooms instead of the 450 planned. That was a huge challenge, but we fit almost everyone in there :P I also got to see a bunch of people from Siquirres because they are in the stake as well. i love it! :D

The baptism is on track. Parental permission and interview are both checks! :D All we need now is to plan it well. The baptism is planned for Saturday.

Some of our investigators are: Rene- the youth that will be getting baptized, he loves the church and is excited to continue in the church
Katerine- a lady that I found with Elder Lewis in divisions about 2 months back
Dayana- future wife of a less active member named Wilson. He´s the ex-husband of the mother of the family that is giving many references and doing mission work with us.
Norberto- A retired man who is ex-police. He´s a great guy that reads the Book of Mormon a ton, but thinks that all churches are good so continues in a church where the people come to pick him up every sunday.
Luis and Daisy- A couple that were old investigators when I was with Elder Coronado that we were able to visit again. Their no longer receiving the Jehova´s Witnesses so they are more open to receiving us. :)
Mindy is the wife of another less active member named Johan, they don´t come to church anymore and we can´t figure out why, it´s all excuses with them. >:/
Those are some of our investigators. :P

Have fun eating Turkey ;)

Also, I´ve been eating a ton af fish recently. In the last few weeks I´ve had fish in at least 5 different ways, including fried, grilled with white sauce, in soup, and breaded. The best news is that they have caused no allergic reaction in my body, just TUNA from the can. :P

See ya soon!
Elder VanderMeyden

Monday, November 9, 2015

Chapter 23: I'm a little red, He's a little golden

This week was a great week because the reference that we received last week from one family came to church AGAIN and asked us what he can do to get baptized! He´s a golden investigator and will be my first investigator of 3 weeks. I had actually lost faith that someone like that actually existed. It really made my week (and even my month) to hear that he was going to start to stop drinking coffee! I was very surprised because he is More of a sporty person that normally wouldn´t have time for church, but he has some great support from his friends in the church! :D  He even asked his mother´s permission in front of us and she gave it. Hopefully we can get his interview done next week and in two weeks we´ll have more pictures for you all :)

That was the best part of the entire week but today we were playing soccer as a Zone and I was in the goalie position. Turns out everyone loved my performance and many people asked me to be part of their team. One funny thing is that on the bus ride ith the other Elders to go do internet one of the Elders that had played against me told me that I should try to find a team in my area and continue playing after the mission because I was good. The funny thing is that this same Elder was the one that was trying to scortch me (kick the ball very hard to make the goal) and I stopped about half the goals from him (at the risk of my wrist, but it was fun). It was an amazing day, even though I got very burnt by the sun. :P Yeah, that's the red part - I wore long sleeves so I wouldn't get burned, but my hands got burned bad (and my face).

I had another video, but it wouldn't go through, but just imagine this in a video: The video explains everything that happened this week. I saw toucans (my first time - they are SOOOO COOOL!), We had 65 in church, one person wants to get baptized, we had 2 stories from our mission leader (one he was tied to a chair so that the members could change his shoes because they had horrible holes and the other was when he had a confrontation with the jehovahs witnesses, they didn´t know he was a missionary at first but ended very mad because they couldn´t win. He said that he can´t even remember what they said, but that it was very true and following the spirit. :)  ) good news that we are eating at a restaurant and we love the food and we pay the normal amount. :) AWESOME!

See ya later,
Elder VanderMeyden

Monday, November 2, 2015

Cookin our own food

Our zone! Atlantica! Plus One of our friends!

This is Miguel with us

Chapter 22-B: Did I tell you it is hot?

Chapter 22: It's Hot - really really hot!

My week was fun. It was super hot this week and I sweat a ton and the fast sunday fast nearly killed us both for lack of water (I´m exagerating, but it was brutal :P  ). I really love fasting, even though it´s hard. It is a good way to sacrifice. :)

I loved the Zone conference. One funny thing that happened at it was the fact that Presidente Hayes was talking about how the missionary work is the responsibility of the tribe of Joseph (Ephraim and Manasseh) and he says "and all of us here are from the tribe of Joseph"
My companion looks at me and whispers "should I tell him? I´m going to tell him"
I whisper "no, don´t worry about it, I´ll tell him in the interview."

Jaja I laughed when he said that. :D (For those of you who don't understand, I am not of the tribe of Joseph, I am of a different tribe).

It was also really hot (did I already mention that?) and I had fun making exercise in the morning awesome! I run in place while trying to play the piano! It´s super hard and soooo much fun. :)
We got brownies at the zone conference and the lady that cooked was someone that I knew from Heredia. :)

One of the coolest things (cause, yeah - everything else is really hot)  that happened this week was the family of Sabata, Candy and Gilson (members) invited 2 friends to church who came! One is from Uruguay and had to ditch his bodyguard to come to church. He really enjoyed the meetings and said that we make less "noise" than the other churches. :P The other is Tico and also enjoyed the meetings, but he had friends who are members so we´ll see when we can meet with him this week. :)

Today we´re going to make piña colada and arroz con leche with one of the youth from our area. :) It was super hot this week.
Oh, and Happy Halloween. Here is my contribution to the pumpkin carvings: (A carved carrot and quasi carved pineapple). We can´t celebrate halloween here. The entire contry thinks it´s demonic (and in a way it is), but even the members are spooked by it. :P It might have something to do with a rumour I heard that they sacrifices children in one of the rural areas of the country a few years back... Yeah. :(  So this is the best I could do).