RM


CREATED AND UPDATED BY: M♡M

Feliz Cumpleaños papa!

December, 21 2009

I hope you have a happy birthday. Eat a lot of Chocolate cake for me but make sure to run it off later. JK. I´ll be back for your next B-day so make sure you take advantage of this one. *Ü*

Lucrecia was baptized On Saturday. My comp Elder Cervantes baptized her. My comp almost drowned her but it was a pretty sweet baptism. On Sunday Juan Carlos Restrepo confirmed her.

Yesterday we put a baptismal fecha for this Saturday, with a woman named Elba who really wants to be baptized. She has been to church a couple times and to a few activities. We also might invite a woman named Aurora to be baptized this Saturday as well. There are a few others that we are going to invite for baptism this week as well. Presidente Galvez is planning on coming with us to do Elba´s interview. We have a lot of work to this week.

Also this last Saturday, after the baptism we had the ward´s Actividad Navideño. There was food, clowns, juggling show, piñata, a cake tasting competition, music, and lots of fun. We contacted a lot of non-member people that came, spoke with some menos activos, recieved references, and had a good time with our recent converts and the members.

The Reyes family who sells shoes, gave me new shoes yesterday. I feel bad because i was about to buy some for myself and when i wanted to pay them they just gave them to me. I think Im going to burn my old shoes for my one year Anniversary, Christmas, and New Years. *Ü*
I am going to be calling on Christmas probably in the morning. Maybe at about 10 or 11. Just have the phone with you all day.

Feliz Navidad!

...I'll keep trying!

December 14, 2009

YEAR

This week we knocked a lot of doors. Some of the young men in the ward came out with us to work a few days this week. Jose Pablo and Marcelo (recent convert) came with us on Tuesday and Juan Carlos keeps coming with us to prepare for his mission as well. I´ve been giving classes to Juan Carlos and Elder Cervantes (mini-missionary) on how to teach each of the lessons and its been pretty cool to help all these young men get ready for their mission. A guy from the ward named Gilber, left on his mission to Honduras last week. This next week we are also going to go to work with Bryan and Gabriel (recent converts).

This week we cooked a lot but the stove and the microwave stopped working and so now we´ll probably starve to death. JK. Thank you again Grandma and Grandpa for the package. Everything I wanted was inside. thnx.

Yes, I know Elder Ash mom. He was in my district when I was in Moravia and he was in Tibas with Elder Tagliaferi. Elder Ash is awesome.

Lucrecia is going to be baptized this Saturday. We found a lot of new investigators this week. We have recieved some references. They call someone a entrenador (trainer) when there companion is a greenie, although we don´t use greenie much here. Recently Elder Clark of the Seventy asked us to not speak with those nicknames because if someone is in a taxi, and a missionary says," I killed my father" (his trainer finished his mission when he was with him) what will the taxista think.*Ü* So we're going to have to break the habit even though I rarely speak like that, just in the emails.

I know that Jesus Christ is our Saviour and Redeemer. He is always there inviting us to come unto him. Although sometimes we don't listen, he is always there with his hand outstretched and if we take hold and follow him we can find true happiness and return with our Heavenly Father again. I know this church is the true church of Christ and his gospel and his doctrine. I Know that Joseph Smith was truly a prophet of God. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and if we abide by its precepts we will get closer to God. I know the gospel of Jesus Christ is what everyone in the world needs and although sometimes they don't accept it or want to listen I'll keep trying, because I know that when the people do listen and accept the gospel, they are blessed greatly.

That is why I dont like saying goodbye...

December 7, 2009

My comp Elder Perez had changes today. This last week he was sad because he was sure he would have changes, and he did. We spent all of yesterday saying goodbye to everyone. There were a few tears shed,and that is why I dont like saying goodbye. Elder Perez is really going to miss this area, because he really loved it here. The people here are like a family to him. I told him not to worry because he can love every one of his areas and the Lord really needs him elsewhere. Apparently the Lord needs him in Vizcaya, in Zona La Sabana because that is where he got sent.

My new comp is a mini-missionary named Elder Cervantes. A mini-missionary is like a temporary missionary that they call when they need more missionaries. Elder Cervantes is 18 years old and is preparing to go on a mission next September. He is from Concepcion, here in Costa Rica. He will be my comp until December 24th, and then they will send me another mini-missionary.

Daniela and David are still doing really well. They are attending church and mutuals and making friends. Lucrecia also goes to church and mutuals with her cousin and she is set to be baptized on the 19th of this month (December).

Mutual this last week was awesome. We were able to get Jerson and James (some recent convert jovenes) to go with us to mutual, because they usually don't go. We also helped Bryan (another recent convert joven), who's family is having financial problems, make it to mutual as well. The young mens mutual activity plans didn't work out, but we started an American Football game going. Elder Perez was captain of one team and I was captain of the other team. In the end i think we ended up at a tied game. It was awesome. We were supposed to play just two hand touch but everyone was tackling each other so that rule got thrown out. I sacked Elder Perez a few times and leveled him once on accident. His team took it out on me a few times (especially the two times i intercepted the ball, ouch) but couldnt stop my recievers from getting a few passes for touchdowns. James went long and caught two of my passes for touchdowns. David ran super fast and made two touchdowns running the ball. Elder Perez's team got us with a few trick plays, when they pretended to hand the ball off to someone and everyone followed that guy, the guy who actually had the ball ran it in for a touchdown. Everyone also had a good laugh when I dived on the hood of a parked car while trying to tackle the guy running for a touchdown. Although it didn't hurt, it sure made a loud sound. After the young woman finished their activity they came out and everyone ate hot dogs together. In the end it was an awesome mutual because a bunch of menos activo jovenes, recent convert jovenes, and investigator jovenes, were able to come and have a good time together. The recent converts Gabriel, Marcelo, Jerson, James, David, Daniela, Bryan, etc. came. Also Eric, a inactive joven, came and is coming back to church. Even some of the younger kids, like Joan were at church so we got to teach kids how to throw a football. I think everyone had a great time. *Ü*
I got a package from Grandma and Grandpa today. Thanks!
I hope everyones doing GRRRRRRRRRREEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAT!
Peace.★

Thank you Grandma & Gradndpa for the Package...

Thank you Grandma for the cookies...

Gracias Abuelita por la corbata!

...More Faith!

November 30, 2009

This week we had another baptism. On Saturday I baptized Daniela. It was pretty sweet. On Sunday, Elder Perez confirmed her and she recieved the Holy Ghost. We are also teaching her cousin Lucrecia and she came to church on Sunday. Other than that it was a pretty uneventful week. Elder Martinez, our district leader, is super trunky. He dies (goes home) this week. For Thanksgiving I ate chinese: Arroz Cantones and Chop Suey with bread and Fanta Naranja.

Today for P-day we played soccer (surprise, surprise). It was really fun, but we got a little sun burnt. David seems to be doing really well. He always comes to church and activities, even though he lives far away. Joan’s (Its actually spelled Johan, but pronounced Joan) family really wants to follow his steps and be baptized, but they still can’t. I think Lucrecia will end up following her cousin’s example and be baptized. We are teaching some other people that can be baptized soon, like Melvin and a 12 year old kid named Julio. We have a lot of Recent Converts to teach, so we don’t have much time to find new people, but we are getting a lot of references from members so that’s good.

We’ve been really blessed these weeks. We’ve been trying to have more faith and the truth is I don’t even know where our baptisms came from. Some people are just ready and our Heavenly Father prepares them and basically hands them to us having faith that we won’t screw everything up.

I hope you all had a thankful Thanksgiving. Did you save me any Turkey? I miss a lot of foods, but I can’t remember what they are. Hope everything is going good.

How to teach your children to be GRATEFUL: (Not that I’ve been the most grateful son in the world but here are just some ideas that popped into my head):
Teach your children the value of hard work, so they understand what it means to have something or earn something and be grateful for it.
Pray as a family and give thanks to God for all that you, as parents, are thankful for, and teach your children to pray and give thanks as well.
Thank your children regularly for the good things that they do.
Do volunteer work and service as a family so that your kids can see how other people have more problems than them and realize how blessed they are, and so they can feel love for other people and have a desire to serve them.
Make your home a happy home so your children can more easily feel and see the blessings they really have . Thank you!
Elder Tobler


Johans Baptism

David's Baptism

Daniela's Baptism


Well, Feliz Cumpleaños Mamá!

November 23, 2009

Espero que tuviste un cumpleaños muuuuuuuuuuuuuy feliz! Hope you have a good b-day week.
David was baptized this week. Juan Carlos was able to baptize him. Then yesterday bishop confirmed David a member of the church and he recieved the Holy Ghost and the Aaronic Priesthood. It was an awesome weekend. We baptized a Colombian in Costa Rica! *Ü*

Daniela has her baptism set up for this next Saturday, the 28th of November at 5:00 pm. We have been teaching Daniela at her new house (she moved to live with her aunt and cousins) and we have started teaching her cousin Lucrecia as well.

Yesterday David and Daniela came to Church. David is already feeling at home in the ward and he has been coming to the mutuals and activities in the ward as well. Daniela seemed to really like church yesterday. Everyone in the ward was really welcoming and was saying hi to her and talking with her. The young men were especially eager to welcome Daniela to the ward. By the end of church she was sorrounded by young men basically with their tongues hanging out. I hope they don't scare her away. *Ü*

Yesterday at night we had a Noche de Hogar (family Home Evening) at Hna Itza's house again. Hna (Sister) Itza's family and Hna Patricia's family, David, Daniela, and Lucrecia were there as well. We watched the "Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration" movie. It was a really fun FHE. Everyone loves that movie. We ate some chips and dip at the end. I think some people double dipped the chip, maybe even triple dipped but whatever.

We've been taking freezing cold showers this week because our ducha (the shower head type thing that heats up the water) exploded on me last week. In the campo it would be survivable (In Cariari we didn't have a ducha), but here its kinda cold in the morning and cold showers aren't something you look forward to. Luckily, Elder Lanza was able to fix the ducha and we can shower in warm water again.

We keep knocking doors around here. We don't have much success. We are trying out different ways to get people interested in our message so they will let us in. My comp gets kinda discouraged when we knock doors. He hates it. But if we have nothing else to do we have to knock doors. Lately i've been really eager to share our message with people, and we walk around with a Book of Mormon in hand. People just don't understand what they are missing when they reject us. Oh well, we have to keep trying.

I hope everyone is doing fine and loving life. peace.

Elder Tobler


Elder Tobler & Elder Perez

Hna. Patricia & Hna Gladys

...You still have the best years ahead of you so make them unforgettable.

November 16, 2009

On Saturday Joan was baptized. Only a few people showed up, mainly his parents Jessica and Norberto, his sister Genesis, a member friend Hna. Esperanza, and the Lider Misional Abraham. It was a cool baptism. Elder Perez baptized him and even though the water was cold, Joan seemed excited to be baptized. Yesterday at church I was able to confirm him a member of the church and now he has the Holy Ghost to guide him in his new life.

This last week we put two more baptismal fechas. We put a fecha for Daniela (16 year old girl we found while knocking doors) and David (a 15 year old guy who moved here from Cali, Colombia about 10 months ago). They are both awesome. Both accepted the compromiso (commitment) to be baptized really easily. They both had fechas (dates) set for this Saturday, November 21st, but we´re going to have to move Daniela´s fecha back a week because yesterday morning when we went with David and Juan Carlos to pick Daniela up to take her to church she wasn't there. We had told her we were going to come pick her up but for some reason she wasn't there. We have a cita with her tonight, so we´ll keep preparing her for her baptism.

After going to pick up Daniela yesterday, we also went to pick up Jeniffer, but she wasn't there either. At the end we just went with David, but other investigators that showed up were Jimmy (who always comes) and his brothers Melvin and Michael. Joan´s parents Jessica (who always comes) and Norberto came as well and obviously saw Joan´s confirmation. Carmen (mother of Recent converts Bryan and Rey) came also, and was able to see her son Bryan bless the sacrament for the first time. It was a good day at church and i think David and the other investigators liked it and made friends.

The rest of yesterday Juan Carlos and David accompanied us to all of our appointments. At night we had a Noche de Hogar (Family Home Evening) with Hna Itza's and Hna Patricia's families combined. (Hna Itza is Hna Gladys's daughter and Juan Carlos is Hna Itza´s son). Hna Itza has two other sons, one is like 18 and is never home, and the other is named Daniel and is 5 years old. We call him pantalones, because he always runs around without pants.*Ü* When I got here he had long hair, but bit by bit they´ve been chopping away his hair. I think his mom has a hard time letting go of his hair because it took awhile to grow, Anyway he is always like, "Elder Tober, quieres jugar con migo?, Mira me Elder Tober. Elder Tober, Elder Tober!" , Hna Patricia has three kids. She has two daughter and a 2 year old son. we watched The Testaments: Of One Fold and One Shepherd I hope every ones good. peace.

P.S. Happy Birthday S........! I hope you had the best birthday ever! It sounds like for the most part you had a pretty sweet birthday. I wish i could have been there to party with you guys but it was probably better without me. You still have the best years ahead of you so make them unforgettable. Keep being a good example for me and our younger sisters and make sure you save me a doughnut, or a piece of your birthday cake. Jk. peace.

keep working and rely on the Lord!

November 09, 2009

This week we found a couple of pretty good investigators. Daniela, she is around 16years old, we found her while knocking doors. After teaching her the first time, we asked when we could come back and she asked us to come the next day. When we came back the next day she said she had prayed and knows it’s the truth. She asked us when she could come to church. We set everything up so that we would pick her up with some members her age but she ended up not being able to come yesterday. She says she will come next Sunday and we have an appointment with her tonight. We also found a guy named Kevin and he actually asked us for a Book of Mormon so he seems good. We received a few references from the members this week. Juan Carlos ((Hna. Gladys’s grandson) Colombian) who is preparing for his mission, gave us a reference named Jenifer, and when we taught her she said she knew it was the truth. She was also supposed to come to church yesterday, but when Juan Carlos went to pick her up she wasn’t there.

This week we also have a baptism set up for a 10 year old named Joan. His family should be baptized by now except for the father has to divorce his first 'wife' so he can marry Joan’s mom.*Ü*He’s a really smart kid and he’s excited to be baptized.

It’s a lot different here than in Cariari. Sacrament meeting's assistance is about 160 people. There is a better organization and hopefully more help for us. In January we are going to start going to Belen for sacrament meeting (Right next to the Temple) because they are going to remodel and expand our church building here. My Mission President told me in our last interview that this area is very important because they want to make a stake here in Heredia. So I have some pressure on me but we´re just going to keep working and rely on the Lord to help us.

Today we went to Volcan (Volcano) Poas. It was too cloudy so we couldn’t see a thing. I’ll send you pics later. We also played soccer. There is passion fruit juice here, but not as common as I would like. I’ve had the actual passion fruit but its not as good because it has a bunch of seeds.
Peace...Stay humble, but take over the world. *Ü*
Elder Tobler

My first week in Heredia...

November 02, 2009

My first week in ‘Heredia’ went pretty well. Heredia's a pretty big, loud city. It’s a lot different than being out in the campo. We don’t have that many investigators here becasue the Elder before me was dying (ending his mission) and I guess he was really trunky (missing home). We did have a few appoitments with investigators ,Ma...., and RC every day but we also had to knock doors every single day this week. In Cariari our days were usually filled with appointments or people to visit but here it’s harder for people to listen to you so, it’s different. Should be interesting though.

We put a baptismal fecha (date) with a 10 year old boy of a family we’re teaching for this Saturday. His parents want to be baptized but they aren’t married to each other. The father is married, but to another woman so we have to solve that little problem before they can be baptized.

There are a lot of Colombians here. Our cocinera (cook) and her family are from Cali, so we eat Colombian food every day. It’s pretty sweet. We are also teaching a fifteen year old who just moved from Cali, Colombia as well.

We don’t have a telephone line in our apartment so we were going to have to move, but after talking with the dueño, he agreed to put one in. Its good news because now we don’t have to use the public or member phones every night to call in. Plus I like our apartment. It’s big and in a good location. I also get to take warm showers for the first time in months.

It was Halloween on Saturday. For some reason my comp and I thought it was on Friday, so we wore orange ties all day, and then found out it wasn’t Halloween yet. Halloween doesn’t really exist here. There were a few freaks running around dressed up in costumes but not many. I think they thought we were just dressed up as Mormons for Halloween. I’ts seems to be a scary costume for a lot of the people here who don’t want to talk to us.

I forgot to tell you that before I left Cariari, we went Iguana hunting. Every one had been promising to cook me some Iguana, for months, but no one ever did. Before I left, we went to hunt them with some of the jovenes in the rama. The Iguanas live way up high in the trees, so you have to climb the trees and when you find one, you try to knock it of the tree with a long stick (actually like three big sticks, you tie together). When you knock it down, the people waiting on the ground have to jump on the Iguana without getting bitten. Unfortunately, it rained a lot the day we went hunting. That made the trees slippery and the Iguanas were hiding. Jesua, one of the jovenes, climbed way up high into the trees and spotted an Iguana, but the stick wasn’t long enough and he wasn’t able to ever reach it.

Anyway, supposedly iguana tastes like chicken (everything tastes like chicken), but hopefully I can eat some Iguana before I leave the country. One of the basic tico foods is Gallo Pinto, which is rice and beans mixed together, sometimes with egg, meat, bread, and natiya (some white sauce like cream cheese and mayonnaise mixed). In Limon they have something called Rice n Bean, which is, you’ll never guess it, rice and beans mixed together, with coco flavoring. *Ü*

No spiritual experiences to share here yet. Sorry. ARC did cry the other night, but it was because she is having a hard time leaving coffee. She says she gets really sick and feels unbelievable pain and feels like passing out when she goes a few days without coffee. We didn’t know she still had that problem. We found out because she told me she had been reading Doctrine and Covenants and realized some of the pages were missing. When I looked in her book the section missing was Doctrine and Covenants 89, which is the Word of Wisdom. We decided to read the section and talk about the word of wisdom. It wasn’t until the end that she told us she still had problems with coffee. We talked about it with her but she became a little angry and started to cry, saying she had tried and tried but she can’t stand the pain and that God understood her. “Addiction has the capacity to disconnect the human will and nullify moral agency. It can rob one of the power to decide" “We should avoid any behavior that is addictive. Whatever is addictive compromises our will. Subjecting our will to the overbearing impulses imposed by any form of addiction serves Satan’s purposes and subverts our Heavenly Father’s. This applies to addictions to drugs (such as narcotics, alcohol, nicotine, or caffeine), addiction to practices such as gambling, and any other addictive behavior” (Free Agency and Freedom) ~ Dallin H. Oaks
We CAN overcome our addictions through the Atonement of Jesus Christ by being humble and honest and calling upon God and others for help. “I do not boast in my own strength, nor in my own wisdom; but behold, my joy is full, yea, my heart is brim with joy, and I will rejoice in my God. “Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things” (Alma 26:11–12).

Yesterday we taught a dual lesson while we were knocking doors. The only one who let us in was a drunken man and his really old grandfather. My comp and Juan Carlos (a Colombian guy about to go on a mission) were trying to teach the drunken guy. I tried to teach the old man but he couldn’t hear me so I just ended up listening to him talk the whole time.

We are right now on divisions with DL Elder Martinez who dies in a month. And we are Going to play soccer with the zone today. Nothing else to report. How’s life? Goodbye, I guess.

Sad to leave Cariari...

October 26, 2009

I had changes today. I am now in Heredia which is just north of San Jose. My comp is Elder Perez from Honduras. He has four months on the mission. I am his potty trainer (second comp). All three of the other elders in my district are 'Cotrachos', in other words they are from Honduras.

I am really sad that I had to leave Cariari. I wanted to stay there one more change. We had a lot of people really close to baptism. We had awesome investigators like Haydeé, Dalia, Danny, Oljer, Jessica, Mindy, etc... Mileidy and Miguel had decided to get married and baptized as well. We were also helping out a lot of menos activos. Hna Molina started coming back to Church was even doing her visiting teaching. Shirley was reading the scriptures every day and became a really good friend of ours. Wilson and Sabata, who had been having some family problems, changed their attitude and started coming back to church as well. Elder Valerio is my favorite comp that I’ve had, easy to work with, not too controlling, fun to be with, and a good missionary. We were really working well together and had found a lot of new really good investigators like Marcella, Matilde, and Bernardo y Roxibel. We had also started teaching Juan Carlos’s sister Alejandra, and Shirley's’ mom Elba and her brother Edwin. Cariari was a really great area. I learned so much there. Although I’m sad about having to leave, I was expecting it because 6 months is a long time in one area. I’m sure Heredia will be good too.

I tried to avoid saying bye to people before I left because it’s really awkward. I did say goodbye to a few of the people I felt closest to and a few of the goodbyes were, just like I feared, awkward and sad. (...Many relatonships that you will develop in the mission field will last your entire life. Not only your companions but those to whom you teach the gospel will be close to you and they will be an influence of help and strength to you throughout your entire life!)
By the way Juan Carlos, who is 24, is getting married in a couple weeks to his 17 year old girlfriend. I’m kinda worried about the age difference but at least he won’t be doing it unmarried anymore, and maybe he can get baptized. And hey, he’ll be married, which isn’t common in this country. Anyway, yesterday I had to give a talk in Sacrament meeting at the last second and i talked about the Atonement (Expiacion). Today we played soccer with our zone. Elder Hernandez, my previous comp, and Elder Belmont, the one who was in LaRita in my district in Cariari, are both in my zone, Zona Alajuela.

I hope everyone is good. Got to go. bye.

Elder Tobler

"All that is necessary
for the triumph of evil
is that good men
do nothing."

~Edmund Burke

Pray to receive personal revelation (Always!)

October 19, 2009

Hi, this week we’ve been knocking a lot of doors trying to find “los escojidos” (the chosen ones) We've found a few new good investigators. We’ve been knocking on streets around members trying a new strategy. This week we had zone conference with Elder Don R. Clark of the Seventy, the President of the Area Central America. It was a really great conference and I learned a lot. We made some goals for ourselves and some things I chose to mejorar (do better) were: Tener Fe Excepcional para lograr milagros, Encontrar Los Escojidos, Conocer todos los Recien Conversos y Menos Activos, Orar para recibir Revalacion Personal, (Siempre) ...have Faith to receive miracles, find the Chosen ones, get to know better new converts and less actives, Pray to receive personal revelation (Always!)

Our investigators Milady and Miguel agreed to be married and baptized so that’s pretty cool. *Ü* We are going to confirm the fecha (date) tonight but we already have the lawyer ready and everything so it just depends when they want their marriage/baptism to take place. We also had Stake conference this week (yesterday). I had to sit way in the very back corner of the gym kind of on the stage, but it was a good conference.

About Shirley, we dropped by to "make sure Shirley was reading the scriptures everyday like she agreed" and we managed to kind of see her husband, but weren’t able to talk to him because Shirley quickly told us that sorry, but they were really busy. She was smiling, but looked really nervous and I hope we didn’t do her any damage. I don’t know if she was nervous that we saw him or that he saw us. We were hoping to be able to talk with him but we couldn’t. My companion saw him better than i did, and said he gave him kind of a dirty look. Lately people around here have told us about all the lies they have heard about Mormons. Its ridiculous all the stuff people believe. Many of the people we’ve taught have realized that after learning more about the church all the bad things people have told them and continue to tell them aren’t true. Mormons Myths and Reality

As you know my comp is Chilean. In Chile, Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay they drink a type of herbal drink called “Mate” (ma-tay). My comp always drinks it. I always joke with him and tell him that it looks like he’s drinking weed. What you do is put some kind of herb in a cup and then put hot water in it as well. Then you drink the herb flavored water through a special metal straw called a “bombilla” that has a filter in it. I guess its a social thing they do way down south. Everyone sits in a circle, talking and passing around the cup of mate. I’ve participated in a mate social circle a few times now. In between the sessions of General Conference we passed around the mate awhile with the ZL´s (one of them, Elder Rojas, is Chilean as well. I don’t really love mate. It’s bitter, especially if you drink it without sugar, like my comp. Mate isn’t that bad, but its not that good either. But it is kinda fun being part of a mate social circle. Anyway my companion right now is pretty cool. He’s really proud of his country. He is really chill and easy to get along with. Too bad changes are next Monday and I might be out of here.

I hope everyone is well. Thanks for the emails and letters. I still haven’t responded to a lot of letters. I’m terrible but ill get to it. Oh, and I got ‘abuelitas’ package. Gracias abuelita. Me gusta la corbata. Peace everyone.

Everyone has problems...

October 13, 2009

Sorry about not writing yesterday. We went to Limon for a Zone activity. We played soccer, watched "Remember the Titans" and went to the beach to finally see the ocean for the first time since I’ve come to Costa Rica. We went to the beach in ‘Cieneguita’, which is the most dangerous town in Costa Rica, so the beach obviously wasn’t the prettiest but it was the beach and we could see the ocean so it was pretty sweet. Anyway we got back home and didn’t have time for anything else because we went and gave a blessing to an investigator's (Oljer) cousin who has cancer.

Anyway this past week was more of the same. Everyone has problems. Haydeé is still progressing nicely. She really wants to go to church but has had to work these past Sundays. This last Sunday and the next she has exams for some classes she has been taking. I’ve been helping her study for her English exam. This week she was going to go to church and had even invited her brother to come from Limon to come with her to church but then she remembered she had exams. She was trying to make her two teenage sons go, but they don’t want to go without her. Haydeé is awesome. She has been reading the scriptures and asking good questions. She has been trying to leave coffee as well. She only buys aguadulce now. The problem is her co-workers always offer her coffee at work so she has to fight against that. Haydeé has also been trying to not use the Lords name in vain as well. I told her that every time she is going to use the Lords name in vain she should say, "Chimichanga!", instead. She seems to enjoy saying that. *Ü*

We found out more of why Shirley is inactive. I always kinda guessed it, but my hypothesis has been confirmed a bit more lately. The reason seems to be because of the father of her children. She has two daughters, a 3 year old named Valentina and a five year old named Ashley (They’re so cute). I guess they separated a few years ago and while this, Shirley met the missionaries and was baptized. She was an active member until about a year ago when it seems they got back together. I’ve never met him or even seen him because he works away all week long and is only home on Sundays. Shirleys mom told us that he doesn’t want Shirley to go to church and they go to the Iglesia Centro Americana Sunday nights. I don’t know if he doesn’t want her to go to church because he doesn’t like the Mormons or because he just wants her to spend the whole day with him but either way she is in a sucky position because she wants to go to church but I‘m sure she wants her daughters to have their father as well. The mother also told us that supposedly they were going to get married but it hasn’t happened. I really want to help Shirley come back to church but I really don’t know what we can do to help her especially since she doesn’t talk to us about any of this stuff. We always visit and share messages and do service but I feel helpless in this situation. Shirley gets made fun of by some of her brothers for being Mormon so she doesn’t really have anyone to support her. The good thing is today we are going to teach one of her brothers and hopefully get her some support in her family.

I feel pretty worthless right now. The branch is getting a tiny bit better but should actually be a group. I’ve been in Cariari almost 6 months and had only one baptism. Even that baptism is only semi-active. No matter what we do no one is baptized. We have had so many people that have been so close, but for some reason they don’t. I'm a failure. (..."Who among us cannot remember moments of failure? Let us shed any thought of failure. Let us discard any habit that may hinder. Let us seek; let us obtain the prize prepared for all ...keep trying and moving forward. Your family and your leaders are cheering for you" 'Never Give Up' President Thomas S. Monson)
Anyway im glad everyone seems to be doing well at home. I don’t think I need the church’s new Spanish bible. My comp bought it a couple weeks ago at the Temple but it got wet when our house flooded last week. My comp has 16 months on the mission. He has had 7 areas and 16 comps. Crazy. Tell everyone in the family 'Hi'. Thanks for the info on life. Goodbye.

Toblers Arc...???

October 05, 2009
HI, how’s it going?

Monday was p’day. We finally cleaned the apartment. It smells nice now. Well, not anymore, but it did for a couple of days. The rest of the day we just slept because my comp was sick. Elder Valerio is from Valdivia, Chile and its pretty cold where he lives so the heat has been making him sick. He also has to watch what he eats because he has Gastritis and sometimes he gets sick because of that as well. Elder Valerio is a really cool guy though. He knows English really well. He learned here on the mission. He is also learning Hebrew. He has been teaching me a little bit. Anyway the highlight of my p’day/b’day was when we went to a menos activa named Shirley’s house to eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and watch "Testaments". It was pretty sweet. We also ate pbandj sandwiches with Diego and Fam last week. Everyone loves them.

On Saturday we took 5 investigators and a menos activo to Conference. I basically begged Diego, Lourdis, Daikline, Dalia and Shirley to come because they haven’t been able to come to Church yet and I wanted them to see conference. So Saturday morning we met Shirley at the bus terminal and then took the bus to ‘Guapiles’. When the bus got to Astua, Diego and Lourdis and their daughters Daikline and Dalia, and Dalias daughter Natalie, got on the bus, like we had previously planned. The bus was pretty full and Natalie (Dalia´s 5 year old daughter) kept yelling "Gingo, Gingo, Gingo!" (Gringo) at me because thats what she calls me. Anyway it was an hour bus ride but we got to the Church in Guapiles just before conference started. Shirley and Diego´s family could only stay for the first session but i think they liked it so it was pretty sweet.

We stayed and watched all the sessions, which was good because last General Conference we had to keep working and couldn’t watch conference. On Sunday we also watched conference. The night before we had ran over to a menos activos house, Hermana Molina, and begged her to come as well. She said she might come but then she didn’t. We also invited many other people but they didn’t come either. The good thing is that at lunch, my ZL Elder Carr and I went out and brought two random people from the street in to watch conference with us. One of the guys was kind of drunk and he kind of invited himself as we walked by, but we just washed him up and just kept an eye on him (put him between two Elders) but he was pretty calm and was asleep half the time. The other guy we brought in to conference was pretty good and I explained everything to him and answered his questions. The Elders in Guapiles are going to start visiting him this week so all in all conference was awesome.

In other news, I left my umbrella on a ‘Sagrada Familia’ bus last week. At first I was like, "o, darn.", but then I remembered I had extras at home so I was ok. *Ü* But the sweet thing is that on Saturday when we were at the bus terminal about to go to conference, some random lady handed me my umbrella and said she’s been looking all over for me to give it to me. I thanked her and got her address so we can pass by and share the gospel with her. I was just really surprised and it’s awesome that she went through all that trouble to give me back my umbrella. Anyway, I don’t have my umbrella again because Shirley was holding it in her purse for me and I forgot to get it back after conference, but luckily we’re going to visit her today so I can get it back.

At 1 O’clock early this morning we woke up to our neighbor banging on our door. My comp jumped down from the top bunk and exclaimed, "What the heck!" because when his feet hit the ground there a splash was. Our apartment was a half inch flooded with water. One of our pipes under the bathroom sink had burst and water had been spraying upward and out at a 45 degree angle hitting the ceiling right above our desk, where my scriptures and my comps journal were laying wide open. As you probably already know what goes up must come down so our stuff was all wet. I don’t know how long it had been spraying out but it had to be for awhile because there was a lot of water. I don’t know how we didn’t hear it because our neighbor heard it from his apartment and luckily woke us up before we drowned in our sleep (JK). Anyway we swept all the water we could out of the apartment and put our stuff out to dry and then we went back to sleep. (I guess your apartmant is ALL clean again! *Ü* ) Luckily my scriptures will be ok and my comps journal, although a little smeared, will survive. (send us pictures)

Today for p’day we are just going to buy food and go to the Church to play the piano and guitar, play soccer, read the scriptures, and rest. I’m glad everyones doing fine and having fun. The new house looks pretty sweet. Thanks for the b’day letters and packages. Peace.

October 2009 General Conference, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

This week was good...

September 28, 2009

Hi,

we’re still working hard. We had a Priesthood activity on Friday night. The activity was to play soccer and eat some meat. We brought 3 investigators (Diego, Jose, and Oljer) and a menos activo (less active) and recent convert from Limon (Victoriano and Michael). Unfortunately very few members showed up. Fortunately, some of them brought friends and we got some references. Unfortunately no one had keys to the Church, and no one brought a ball, so we had to wait outside the gate for about 2 hours waiting for president Nelson (who lives in La Rita and works in Guapiles) to get there with the keys. I gave two jovenes, (Young men) John and Caleb money to go buy a ball and I had to try to entertain (or at least distract) the people waiting with my stupid comments. (I'm sure they were funny! *Ü*) I tried to keep a positive attitude on the outside but on the inside I was thinking things like, "NOOOOOOOO! WHYYYYYY?", and, "You’ve got to be kidding me." In the end we finally got inside ate some meat and played ball. I scored a hat trick and in the end everyone really seemed to enjoy themselves so it was good.

Saturday I called and invited like 5 investigators (Daikline, Dalia, Juan Carlos, Eduardo, and Mindy) and 3 menos activos (Hna Molina, Shirley, Johan) to Church and they all said they would ("Voy a hacer todo lo posible", "Si Dios Quiere", "Si, voy a ir"). (I'm going to do everything possible to go...If God wants...I'll be there) In the end none of them showed up, except for Hna. Molina, which is awesome, because she hasn't gone to Church in the whole time I've been here and maybe longer. We've gotten the menos activo Victoriano to start coming back and he and his "wife" (who we’ve been teaching) Jessica came as well. But man, why didn't the others show up. If you say you are going to come pick them up, people say, "no ill make it this week" and then they don't. Or if you go to pick them up they can't go for some reason. I just don't get why it’s so hard to get people who seem so interested to go to church. But at least Hna. Molina, Victoriano, and Jessica came.

I was able to get the Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration movie in Spanish (I have connections) and so we organized a family activity for last night so we could show the movie to all the members. I love that movie and the message it gives (Shall we not go forward in such great a cause? or something like that) is exactly what this branch needs. Even though there were a couple of little monsters (kids) *Ü* running around making noise the whole time, I think the members saw the sacrifice the early saints and Joseph Smith made for the cause and liked the movie. We've been trying everything we can think of to animo (encourage) this branch. Anyway last night we talked with the in active member who is studying with the Testigo's (Jehovahs witnesses) and clear some questions, He's started studying with some other evangelical church as well (Movimiento Misionero Mundial) and is confused. We've told him to ask God many times before and finally he agreed last night. Hopefully he does. He is the night guard for the store in front of our house (Super San Martin).

Thanks for all your emails everyone. It’s sweet that you’ve moved into the new house. Sounds like you’re having fun most of the time so I’m glad. Keep working hard everyone and good luck.

Plenty of investigators!

September 21, 2009

Hey,

how goes it in the US of America? Here it’s fine. I've been showing my comp the area this week. We’ve been visiting a lot of people. We haven't had to knock doors here for awhile, thank goodness. We still have plenty of investigators and a bunch of menos activos (less active) to visit. This week we found a couple more investigators and menos activos. We got a menos activo named Victoriano to come to Church and we are teaching his non member "wife" Jessica. Today is p'day and we have a lot to do. We have to clean the apartment, buy food, get a haircut, go play soccer in La Rita, hopefully rest for a few minutes, and teach Haydeé and her family.

We also have an appointment with Manuel and Jose Manuel. Manuel is a good investigator who came to church with his kids on his own last week. He works as security in the 'Saprissa' stadium in San Jose and other stadiums so yesterday he couldn’t come but next week he says he will. I thought our zone was back to its original size but actually the zone leaders just got moved to ‘Guapiles’ instead of ‘Limon’. Our zone is still the whole Limon side of the country. How is everyone doing? I hope you’re all doing grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrreat!
Goodbye.

New Companion...!

September 14, 2009

Sorry I didn’t have time to write last week. Last week p’day was changed to Wednesday and we went to the Temple. This week changes, which are usually on Thursday, was changed to Monday which is today. Friday night they told us that Elder Hernandez was leaving and I was going to stay in Cariari.

Elder Hernandez was really sad to go because he was here for 5 1/2 months and we have some good investigators right now. One of our best investigators right now is a woman named Aidé and her 3 kids. Aidé works at the ‘Cariari’ bus terminal (in the ticket booth) and we started teaching her 2 weeks ago. She and her kids are very smart and understand everything we teach better than probably anyone I’ve taught before. They understand so well that they are already asking us questions that most people don’t ask until after they’ve been members a few years. Sometimes we have to slow them down so they don’t jump ahead. Not only are they smart but Aidé really seems to want to know the truth and wants to learn.

Anyway today I received my new comp. His name is Elder Valerio and he is from Chile. Elder Hernandez was sent to Tropicana in Zona Alajuela. Today I saw a lot of Elders I haven’t seen in awhile. Elder Kamiya was with Elder Tagliaferi for a change. Elder Kamiya is dying (finishing his mission) in six weeks. This is his last change. Our zone is back to its original size. Now the two zones that combined last change split up again. Our ZL´s are Elder Carr and Elder Rojas. Elder Buckner and Elder Belmont are still in my district.

Just remember mom that I can only fit so much in my suitcases, so if you keep sending me stuff I will have to leave some of it behind when I change areas. sorry! = {
Don’t worry about me; I have money and food now. I hope everyones doing well. Thank you! and have a good week.

Mountain bike...???

August 31, 2009

HAPPY BIRTHDAY --- ----------!
I hope you had an unbelievably remarkable, extraordinarily inconceivable..... Well, I hope you had a happy birthday yesterday. You're now 17 years old. I think that’s probably one of the best ages to be. Enjoy it and take advantage of it. Do everything you want to do (as long as it’s not bad of course). Make and accomplish goals. Try to learn a lot, in school, the scriptures, the guitar or whatever you're interested in. Anyway, how was your day of birth? Did you guys eat cake? I ate cake for you on Saturday night at a branch activity we had here. What did you get for your birthday? Send me pics. Peace. luv,
your big fat bro,

...Nothing interesting to tell. trying to find new investigators. Doesn’t look like Max will be baptized for awhile. We were supposed to go to the Temple this Wednesday but it’s closed. We have to start working earlier today because p’day was going to be Wednesday (Temple trip) so we made appointments for today and now today is p’day again so our p’day will be cut short. We’ve have been out of money all week because of some unforeseen events that took place this month. (were you robbed? ...lost your money? ...washed your pants with the money inside...???) It wasn’t hard because we’re used to not eating and sometimes members or investigators fed us. Some days we just lived off the starbursts you sent me.

This week we made the bike trip a couple times. We've shortened the trip because we take a bus out to ‘Astua’, walk for awhile, then stop and borrow one bike from a member, then my comp and I ride on the one bike until we get to another members house and pick up another bike and get to our destination. Then after the appointment we ride back, drop off one of the bikes, and ride back and drop off the other bike, walk, and then take the bus back to ‘Cariari’. When my comp and I are on the same bike one of us is riding on the bar (which is really uncomfortable and even painful on rocky hills, but everyone here does it) and the other pedaling. We take turns, and hopefully I’m going to get strong legs from this.

One time the other day while i was on bar and my comp was driving we crashed. My comp drove off the road because I guess he has a hard time seeing over my fat head. Before I could warn him we were on the ground. I got a couple scrapes, nothing serious, but my comp didn’t feel a thing cause he landed on top of me. = {

Anyway, other than that we just had a branch activity this week. It was an activity for mothers’ day, better late than never the men in the branch say to their wives. It was fun, a lot of food, and some cake. Other then that nothing new or interesting.

Yesterday, it was a good sacrament meeting; There was a talk about the priesthood…and I though about you: “The Priesthood is the power and authority of GOD. Our Heavenly Father shares his Priesthood power with worthy male members of the Church. The priesthood enables them to ACT in Gods name for the salvation of the human family, through it they can be authorized to preach the gospel, administer the ordinances of salvation, and govern God’s kingdom on earth” see….You are NOT a fool! I LOVE you! M♡M

One Path, One Lord, One Faith...

August 24, 2009

Hola,

We were supposed to be having three baptisms this week (Mariline, Carmen, Baikline) but some problems have come up. Mariline isn´t married to her "husband" and they are from Nicaragua and need to get a Costa Rican cedula or ID to get married. First, they didn’t have money for it because Mariline´s husband doesn’t have a job. We helped them find a way to get money for it but when they went to take it out they said it could take 3 months to get. We still need to find out more from them but it doesn’t look like we’ll be having their baptisms this week. They are the family that lives really deep in the middle of nowhere, and we always borrow member’s bikes to get to their house. The other day I had to use one that didn’t have breaks. That was fun but I could have died because the paths are really rocky and hilly.

Maritza and Karina would be baptized by now if Maritza could find a job and another house so she could not be so stressed and focus on baptism. A lot of people here have either economic problems and almost no one is actually married. Even though you promise them blessings from God if they just put their faith in him, it’s hard for some people to understand and believe. We started teaching a lady that works at the bus terminal, who we see almost everyday. We haven’t been able to progress with Max because his wife Vanessa has had Dengue and been really sick for a couple weeks. She is better now so hopefully we can keep helping him.
Our recent convert Adan is missing church lately. He is slowly slipping away from us because the evangelical chick we were teaching who left us because she heard we were diabolical is inviting him to church and he likes her. Nooooooooooooooo!
Maria Daisy and her family don’t have enough money to make it to church every week so they haven’t been progressing, but we found out they will be moving into a new house closer to the church in the middle of September. They are excited to have a new house and we’re excited too. They’re a great family and I hope we can help them get baptized eventually.

This last week we also had divisions with ‘LaRita’. Elder Belmont came here to Cariari with me. This week we also taught a few more drunks. Most of them were pretty nice but one of them wanted to hit me in the face. We’ve been working with a lot of inactives here as well. We taught one of the families last night. They are Max´s in-laws. The Father is turning into a Jehovah´s Witness and the mother is leaning evangelical. The family has been having a lot of problems getting along. The kids feel their parents don’t love them and the parents have thought about divorce. But in talking to all of them separately they each want to save the family and stay together. Something that has been causing divisions is the unsurity of what Church to go to. So last night I told them what they need is to know the truth. If they know the truth, life as a family will have more meaning and they will be more unified. I told them if they want to know the truth they need to have faith in God, faith that he loves them and knows what’s best for them. And if they have faith in that, they will ask him to find out the truth. I said they should ask God if The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the true church of Jesus Christ on the earth because there can only be one truth. One path, one Lord, one faith. They seemed to take it well so I hope they do it, but what do I know. I feel weird giving people advice because I’m just a young inexperienced fool, trying to help people in all the tough situations of life. (don't feel like that, you are representing Jesus Christ. You prepare each day , study the scriptures and staye close to the spirit to be able to teach... but like you said they will have to find out for themselves through prayer, Don't underestimate the power of God in you. you are bringing the hope that the gospel of Jesus Christ offers to all and WE are very proud of you! ♥ )

I haven’t been too sick to work yet. I’m eating ok. We don’t have a cocinera (cook). We just eat wherever. Hna Pacita washes our clothes. There are a lot of restaurants to eat here in Cariari Centro. A lot of tourists stay here when they are on their way to Tortuguero. ‘Tortuguero’ is a national park near here. It’s on the beach but you have to take a boat on a river to get to it. Tortuguero is one of the places where the buried baby turtles hatch and come out of the sand and go to the ocean. This is the time of year that happens, but we can’t go to Tortuguero because you have to take a boat to get to it. The bike riding we do is hilly, rocky, and muddy when it rains. We do internet at an internet cafe on our street. We don’t get to go to the city Limon, we go to Siquirres for zone conferences.

Make good choices everybody!
Goodbye.

...Thank you for the power! ; )

8:45 AM - August 17, 2009

70 °F Light Thunderstorm Rain

9:39 a.m.
This week I chopped a chick's (baby chicken (more like a pre-teen chicken i think) head off with a kitchen knife, chopped a tree down with a machete, and destroyed an ant civilization. We did this for service for a less active member named Shirley. The chicken thing was hard to do but the chicken was sick and dying and Shirley asked me to put it out of its misery by "cortando la jupa". I practiced cutting the head off another chicken that was already dead; because I wanted to make sure I could kill the live one in one clean chop. When I finally was able to bring myself to decapitate the chicken, its head came off completely in one chop. Although the head came clean off, the body kept twitching and flapping its wings, and there was some blood that squirted out. This was kind of freaky, but I’m glad its death was quick and hopefully not to painful. Anyway after the execution and burial we took on a tree ant civilization. The ants were relentless in defending their civilization and gave us some good battle scars, but in the end we were victorious in chopping down the tree they inhabited with a machete. *Ü* I don't know if I should laugh or cry!

10:39 am
How are you all doing? The power here in Cariari has been going out a lot so this is like the 5th time I’ve had to write this email. I think ill send it in parts just in case it goes out again. This will be the first part. To be continued......


11:15 AM
This week we had some interesting lessons. We had some of the most random questions and doubts, but we were able to answer them. We still always borrow members’ bikes to get to some citas (appointments) deep in the jungle.

Yesterday, the leaders of the stake came to speak to the group (I thought it was a branch, but its actually a group) here in Cariari. They were some good talks. The Cariari group is in the ‘Los Yoses’ Stake in San Jose.

Also we were FINALLY able to get Juan Carlos to come to church. He said he liked it, so that’s good. We were expecting about 8 other investigators to come as well, but they didn’t show.

12:58 AM
Finally the powers back on. This should be the 4th part of the email. Did you get them all? How is everyone doing? Are you staying busy dad? Still having fun at work? Life? Feliz Dia de Madre (happy Mothers Day!) here in Costa Rica mom (2 days ago) ...Thank Y♥u! . What are you up to? I´m praying for all of you and hope you´re all good. I better send this before the power goes out again!

They just don´t get it!

August 10, 2009

Hi,

This week we just keep working. We borrowed some member’s bikes a couple times to get to some appointments an hour into nowhere. The path is really rocky and muddy but it was faster and more fun than walking. Unfortunately the first time, we were stood up, but the second time, we had a good lesson.

Our zone was combined with the Limon Zone so our ZL’s are in Limon. The zone is still called ‘Atlántica’.

Max was not baptized this week. Its going to take at least a couple more weeks for him to be baptized. I don’t know if anyone is really close to baptism right now. Every time we think someone is getting close, something goes wrong. For example some sisters we were teaching are hesitant to listen to us anymore because some of their uncles, and stepdad, told them the Church was diabolical. Even though the sisters have been to Church many times and have said they feel good when we share with them, they believe what other people say. Also the people that are most likely to be baptized always have economic problems, or live far away, or have too many kids, this makes it difficult for them to go to Church and progress. Then the people we teach for a long time, like Jonathan and Juan Carlos, just won’t be baptized for some reason we can’t figure out. And then they won’t pray about it either. It’s really sad.

We are planning a ward mission activity since a member basically told us we are lazy because we haven’t planned one yet. We had a guy tell us that he respects our mission but thinks we just walk around passing houses without visiting people. We explained to him we usually have appointments we are walking to but when we don’t, we do stop and knock doors. Unfortunately, sometimes we (the members) tend to forget that missioneries, have been set apart as servants of the Lord, and that they teach by the spirit. Jesus Christ will guide you to the people that are ready to receive his teachings, stay close to the spirit and don't get discouraged! M♥M

The doughnuts in the package were in fine condition and good. I did also get the ties. Silk isn’t the best (beacuse of the humidity), but I like the pink tie and wore it to Church. I basically already finished the books you sent too. They are very interesting and helpful. (Catholic Roots, Mormon Harvest and Book of Mormon Evidences) I’m glad school’s going good for you girls. I know you’ll all do great. Stay confident (all of you), and be friends with everyone. Have some fun. Hola Abuelito. Hola Abuelita. Hi Grandpa and Grandma. I hope everyones doing well. Goodbye.