June 01, 2009

Last week I wrote you a long email but it got erased and I didn’t have time to rewrite it. =* {
Anyway these last two weeks have been good. I’m here in Cariari with my comp Elder Hernandez. My comp is from Panama and has 15 months on the mission. We work pretty well together. I’ve managed to convince him that food is necessary to survive in this world, so don’t worry, we’ve been eating pretty well. I’ve also been teaching my comp English.

Cariari is a little town (pueblito) in the campo. Our area is pretty big. It is pretty around here and kinda jungly. We live in Cariari Centro in a pretty nice, small, one room apartment. Cariari is hot and humid. We sweat a lot here. It supposedly rains a lot here but these last few weeks it hasn’t rained much. It would be nice to get a little rain instead of always having the sun beat down on you, but we’ll see if I still feel that way when it rains every day. We walk a lot here. We take buses to the far away parts of our area. Some parts are a couple hours away.

My comp and I have been working pretty hard. We always have a lot of investigators but only a few progresses. Juan Carlos is one of our best investigators. He is a 22 year old guy who has read a lot of the Book of Mormon. He just has to stop drinking and tone it down with the ladies. We also have 3 guys whose wives are members. They are Max, Francisco, and Jonathan. We had a baptism set up with our investigator Adan this week, but it didn’t happen because he's having doubts. Adan was taught in Limon about a year ago and we found him two weeks ago here in Cariari. He lives in El Rotulo. He is 28 years old but he isn’t sure if he should be baptized because his mom doesn’t approve. She says he’s already been baptized and even though we’ve explained how authority is necessary we need to keep visiting him to talk about his doubts. His mom is pretty unbelievable. We taught her about the restoration last week. When we asked her if she would change religions if God told her to, she said no. Her answer shocked me and I wasn’t sure if she understood my question so I asked her again so she would understand. She said she wouldn’t leave her church even if God told her it was incorrect. Sometimes I wonder why people go to church, if not to follow and please our Heavenly Father, then for what? Anyway this week we’ve found many new investigators and a few seem pretty promising.

Being in the campo has goods and bads. The people are a little more humble and will listen to you, but that also makes it harder to know who is actually interested and ready. Sometimes it’s hard to know if people actually understand the importance of what we are telling them.

We’ve been working in an area called la Sole lately. The people there seem curious when they see us and we know and are friends with a lot of the young men in that neighborhood. We are teaching a couple of them. We are teaching some guys named Jose and McGeaver. The last time we taught them they had doubts because the pastors in La Sole told them to stay away from us. Even though the pastors warned the people not to listen to us, it seems like their curiosity wins. We answered all of Jose and McGeavers questions and settled some of their doubts. We told them to read the book of Mormon to find out for themselves by praying about it.

Cariari has been in 'fiestas' this week. Every year around this time Cariari has carnivals and rodeos and parades for about a week. Yesterday was the last day and the streets in Centro were full of people parting and watching the parades.

There is only a branch here in Cariari. The church building is bigger and nicer than the one in Moravia, yet only about 30 people show up to Church here, when in Moravia it was about 90 people. The branch pres and counselor are from other cities in our district (Larita (where Elder Christensen (the elder I came to the country with) was until last changes) and Guapiles). The branch is pretty weak and I think it’s because the few priesthood holders we have don’t meet their responsibilities. Also some of the woman members have non member husbands (We are working on that).

My zone is Atlantica. Our zone leaders are Elder Manning and Elder Chamu. Our Dl, Elder Lynsky, is training Elder Belmont, in Larita. On Pdays we usually take an hour bus ride to Guapiles and meet at an outdoor synthetic field to play soccer. Sometimes we play against locals as well. We always win because we have pretty good soccer players in our zone. Elder Belmont and Elder Hollingworth played in High school too and are pretty good, and I'm not bad myself. *Ü*

I received the package you sent. I received it at changes but I forgot to tell you. I sent a package home two weeks ago. It had my blue suit, trench coat, and Cd with a bunch of pictures on it. Did you get it yet?

To answer some of your questions:
We have a member who washes our clothes but we don’t have a cocinera. We eat at sodas or at members houses or wherever we can. We have Mega Super and other stores in Centro so we have everything we need. I have had contact with Catholics, Evangelicals, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Adventists, ex-Mormons, and atheists on my mission. They all want to fight but no matter what we say, no one wins. I have had a lot of contact with drunks, hobos (was friends with a group of hobos in Moravia), and crazy people as well. A drunk hobo gave me a hug yesterday.

How are you ALL doing ? S........ Congratulations on getting your Women in Excellence Award.
I miss all of you, Como esta Abuelito y Abuelita y toda la familia? How are Grandma and Grandpa and the whole family?

Elder Tobler