This week was good.

January 25, 2010

We found some awesome people. On Sunday a guy named Eric told us his wife and daughter want to be baptized. We visited them on Monday and found out that Eric is a member, a little less active, and he and his wife have been going to church in San Rafael. They found out they live in the Heredia ward boundaries, so they started coming here. They aren't married because they are from Nicaragua and haven´t been able to get the papers and the money necessary to get married. His wife Daisy Esperanza, and their 9 year old daughter Erica, have wanted to get baptized for awhile now, but haven't been able to. Erica says she wants to get baptized to be closer to our Heavenly Father and so her family can be united. So this week we taught them, and found them a cheap lawyer to get them married. We found out all the papers they needed and how they can get them. If everything goes well, Eric and Daisy Esperanza will get married, and Daisy Esperanza and Erica will get baptized this Saturday.

In other awesome news, we found two awesome people named Daniela and Natalia. Well, we didn't really find them, they came to church on Sunday as well. Natalia is 22 years old and she went on foreign exchange with an lds family in Oregon a few years ago. When she went to visit that family this Christmas they took her to Salt Lake City and shared a lot with her about the church. She felt the spirit and knows its true, and so when she came back to Costa Rica she decided to come to church and invited her 24 year old sister Daniela with her. This last week we had a
Family Home Evening with them at the Cordero family's house (ward mission leader's house). Norberto and Jessica were also there. We watched "To This End Was I Born" and we shared testimonies about the saviour afterwards. It was a really awesome and spiritual night. Later this week, we taught Natalia and Daniela a few times. They are really awesome people. Natalia wants to be baptized, but she is thinking about waiting for her boyfriend Derek (from the lds family in Oregon) to come so he can baptize her. He comes in March, but we'll see what happens. Daniela is very receptive and likes what we share. The first night we taught them in their house, Daniela had a friend there and she wanted us to share with him. They asked us about the differences between our church and others. We told about things like the importance of prophets and modern revelation, about how families can be together forever, that Christ is the head of the church, and a few other things. Later that night one of Natalia's friends showed up as well and he asked us a few questions. He asked us about what faith is, and after we shared a few scriptures from the Book of Mormon with him, and sharing what Faith means to us, he seemed very impressed with our answer. He told us he is not very religious, but always asks that question to people and he told us that was the best answer he's received. He told Natalia later that he would like to talk to us some more. Yesterday, Natalia and Daniela brought another one of there sisters to church. Her name is Diana, and she is 20. They have one more sister who is 18, so they are a total of 4 sisters. They all live in the same house with their mom.

This was supposed to be our last Sunday in the church building in 'Heredia', because they are going to remodel and reconstruct it to make it newer and bigger. We don't fit in the building anymore, its always crowded. They were going to start today, and we were going to assist church at the building behind the Temple in 'Belen' for the next 8 months. That's still the plan, except that they moved the starting date til the 21st of February. Its good and bad because everyone was kinda excited and anxious to get it going, but its easier for us to have baptisms here. The plan is that after February 21st, on Sundays there will be a bus that leaves from Guarari at 6:45 am and makes a stop in Heredia Central (at the Fortin) and at Hypermas to pick up members. That bus will take us to Belen and Sacrament meeting will start at 8 am. This is going to be a big test of faith for the members, but it should strengthen them as a ward. I'm pretty excited, but now we have wait another month.

Sorry, I still haven't sent pictures, I'm working on it. No, mom I'm not close to the Volcano in Turrialba. The Volcano near us is 'Volcan Poas', and no, I'm not burning to death in lava or being hit with flying volcanic ash and debris. I really have no indication of whats happening with the Volcanoes and floods. There are earthquakes here regularly, but I can never even feel them. Sometimes we get to a house and they ask, "Did you feel that?" "Feel what?" we ask. *Ü*
Hna. Patricia isn't back yet. Right now her brother Pablo and his wife Jesenia are washing our clothes. I hope everyone is really enjoying life. Til, next week.

People were pretty happy to see me which was awesome. ☺

January 18, 2010

Today, we had changes and Elder Hansen and I took the train to San Jose again. I got a new comp to work with me here in Heredia. His name is Elder Benedit, from Honduras. He has 3 months on the mission. He is the youngest of 14 kids and is really good at basketball.

This Saturday we had another baptism with Hansen in Barrio Flores. It was the baptism of Carlos Delgado. I had met him on divisions a couple months ago and its awesome that he finally got baptized. His girlfriend is a member and i think they want to be sealed. It was cool to hear his testimony after the baptism. He couldn't say much because of the tears, but you could feel his testimony without much words.

After the baptism there was a go away party for a guy named Abner, who leaves on his mission on Wednesday. Ive known Abner since i got here as well and he is going to Guatemala on his mission. A guy named Gilber, from the Heredia ward left on his mission to Honduras in December. Another guy in Heredia named Rolando is going to Chile on his mission next month. Anyway Abners party was sweet and we got food.

Although these last couple weeks we haven't been in Heredia much, the Lord has really blessed us to find escojidos. We are a woman named Ada Luz, who could be baptized on the 31st of this month. Her daughter Jesenia, is a member who just moved here from Nicaragua. We had a Noche de Hogar with Ada Luz and Jesenia at Hna. Lorenas house yesterday. Elba was there as well. We watched the video "Como Hallar Fe en Cristo" and we talked about if we have Faith in Christ, we will be willing to do anything he commands us (ex- palabra de sabiduria, diezmos, ley de castidad). (word of wisdom, tithing, law of chastity) It was a great night and Ada Luz has been to church 3 times now.

We also found a couple named Alejandro and Sandra a couple weeks ago. Elder Brenes and I knocked there door in La Milpa while looking for a reference (house numbers in La milpa are really messed up, so we never found the house we were looking for) and they invited us in. Alejandro has had a rough past but found God and changed his life 13 years ago. He feels there is still something missing and feels he has the responsibility of finding the truth for himself and his family. His wife Sandra says she knows we are sent from God and we found them for a reason. She told us she usually doesn't let anyone in, but something told her to let us in and listen to our message. She always tells us that she can feel the difference of the spirit when we are at her house and she really likes it when we are there. They love to read the Bible and are now reading the Book of Mormon.

Yesterday we also taught a 16 year old named Daniel for the 2nd time. He is a friend of a joven that we reactivated named Erick Diaz. Daniel has had problems with his family and with other things jovenes face. Yesterday he came to church for the 2nd time and tomorrow hes going to mutual for the 2nd time as well. Yesterday he told us that a couple weeks before he met us he had been praying to God to help him get closer to him (God) and to be happy, and that when I showed up at Erics house with Elder Brenes, and he heard our message, he knew it was God´s answer. He said he wants to be baptized but needs a little bit more time. He´s awesome.

Also we received a reference from CRE (Church organization that helps the unemployed find a job) this last week. Her name is Natali, and she feels that we were sent to her for a reason. She is a really cool lady and we´re visiting her again tomorrow.

Yesterday, Elder Hansen needed to go to Barrio Flores, for Carlos´s confirmation, and i needed to go to Heredia for church because the ward missed me too much when I didn't go to church in Heredia last week (I was in Flores and Aurora). Obviously we can´t be in two places at once so we did divisions to go to church. We woke up in San Juaquin and then Elder Hansen and Johan dropped me off in Heredia (at church with Marcelo) and they went back to San Juaquin. Church was awesome. There were 6 investigators there. Ada Luz, Daniel, Jessica and Norberto, and two single adult women named Daniela and Natali. Abraham, our ward mission leader, teaches the investigator class. He is a really cool guy and good teacher. He came back from his mission in Honduras 7 months ago. Tonight we are going to have a Noche de Hogar at his house with his family, Norberto and Jessica, and the single adult women that came to church, Daniela and Natali. Church is always pretty crazy because i have to try to put a bunch of citas and people are always trying to talk to me at the same time, but its pretty sweet. I love the area and the ward here, people were pretty happy to see me which was awesome.

I hope everyone is doing good. I'm working on sending the pictures and letters, but this week is going to be crazy. I received a package today from Aunt Evon and fam, and a package from the Wolfley fam (YM/YW). The packages are awesome. Thank you so much. Man, packages are really expensive to send. Don´t send me any more mom and dad *Ü*... But if you do, I want aRubik's cube. Ive learned the Rubik's cube and acquired some piano skills out here on the mission, but I don't think a piano will fit in the package. Elder Cervantes said he would send me one, so maybe he will and you won´t have to, I don´t know. I love all of you and have peace.

Elder Tobler

Pretty crazy weeks!

January 14, 201

These couple weeks have been pretty crazy. As you know I've had to work with the Elder in the area next door, Elder Hansen, in both our areas. We work a couple days in Heredia and then we work a couple days over in San Joaquin (Barrios Aurora and Flores). We sometimes stay the night over there and sometimes here. Some days we eat here, other days over there. Its kinda frustrating to have to be away from your own area and having less time to work there. The Zone Leaders have also been doing a lot of divisions as well and tomorrow im going to be working in Alajuela with Elder Garcia while his comp Elder Williams goes with Elder Hansen to his area for a baptism interview, so no one will be working in Heredia. We've been trying to do divisions with some jovenes so we can work in both areas some days. I was here in Heredia with a RC (recent convert?) Priest named Bryan a couple days ago, and Elder Hansen was in San Juaquin with a joven from over there named Johan.

Anyway, even though its stinks being away from your own area, its been a cool experience as well. I've met some more people and places. A menos activo man in San Juaquin that I met a few months ago on divisions has changed a lot for the better. When we visited him a couple months ago he was always complaining about his life and he didn't see any of the blessings he had. But this week when we visited him he was completely different. He told us about how he had tried to change his attitude and instead of always asking for things in his prayers, he started thanking God more for all the blessings he has and he started to realize how blessed he is. He is comeing back to church now and it was just really cool the change people can make by changing there attitude (I know, you told me so *Ü*) and trusting God.

Yesterday we went to the Temple. It was really cool. Afterwards we played soccer for an hour and football (American) for an hour. It was really fun i scored and few goals and made a lot of touchdowns as well. This morning (here in Heredia) an Elderly hermana named Albertina called us and said, “I’m moving this morning.” I said, "ok." She said, "Do you know where I live"? I said, "no". (I didn't even know who she was). She said, "I live next to Ana." I said,"ok." She said, "I´ll see you in a little while" and she hung up. So we left the apartment and took the bus to Barva and found her house next to Ana Rodriguez. When we got there we realized they didn't have a truck or anything yet. All that there was was a helpless old lady, her daughter, a quiet friend, and some small guy with a big belly. Her daughter was one of those stuck up ladies and she made some rude comments about the church, in front of us. When the hermana Albertina didn't have the truck ready she asked her mom, “Why don’t they teach you to be prepared in your church?¬”. When we had barely arrived, she said, “What? Are you just going to sit there or are you going to start moving stuff. ¬” She treated us like animals or slaves.The quiet friend quietly started preparing the little stuff and Ana Rodriguez, the recent convert member, came to help as well. The short, panzon guy, acted all charged up and ready and said, ¬”Alright, lets get to work. Let´s do this. ¬” Then he grabbed a chair and took it outside. My comp and I were thinking, ¬”alright this guy is gonna help us out a bit¬”, but when we picked up some chairs and followed him outside we saw that he put down the rocking chair he was carrying..... and sat down in it. He just sat down and didn't lift anything else, and later disappeared completely. Elder Hansen and I just laughed in disbelief. Eventually, after we moved most of the heavy stuff outside, they got a truck and two old men to help us move. After loading the truck up the first time, we went in the truck with the old guy toward the new house, which luckily was only a couple streets over. As we were leaving, one of the dresser, bookcase things fell off the truck and shattered into pieces. The younger old man (Albertinas son i think) came running over and yelled at the older old man, who had been driving. The older old man just kept trying to reassure him saying, ¬”Oh, come on. That can be fixed. Yeah. We can fix it and make it good as new. ¬” ¬”Oh no you can´t¬”, I was thinking as elder Hansen and I dragged the dresser thing to the side of the road and it completely fell apart. After hearing few bad words in spanish, we continued onward. We moved everything to her new house in like 2.5 hours. There was a lot of stuff and it was quite an adventure. It was like a movie. There was the helpless old lady that needed help moving, there was the bossy lady there telling us what to do and dissing our church in our face, there was the quiet lady helping out quietly, there was the short guy with a big belly that pretends to help but really doesn't do anything (after he moved one chair outside and then sat down on it and then disappeared, we found him at the new house, chatting it up with the neighbors. I was like, ¬”what the heck¬”), there was the old man who can't really lift anything but wants to prove he still strong so he tries to run the show, and then there was the other guy who complains and tells you your doing everything wrong and thinks he could do better. Yeah, it was a pretty crazy move.
Elder Tobler

Just a thought! (M♡M)
Robert D. Hales said: "When we understand our baptismal covenant and the gift of the Holy Ghost, it will change our lives and will establish our total allegiance to the kingdom of God. When temptations come our way, if we will listen, the Holy Ghost will remind us that we have promised to remember our Savior and obey the commandments of God...Many members of the Church do not fully understand what happened when they went into the waters of baptism. It is very important for us to understand the marvelous gift of the remission of sins, but there is much more. Do you understand and do your children understand that when they are baptized they are changed forever? Adult converts to the Church often have a better understanding of this transformation because they feel the contrast as they come out of the world into the kingdom of God.
When we are baptized, we take upon ourselves the sacred name of Jesus Christ. Taking upon us His name is one of the most significant experiences we have in life. Yet sometimes we pass through that experience without having a full understanding...I urge all parents to prepare your children, and missionaries to prepare your converts, for the sacred baptismal ordinance. Teach of its significance so that their baptism will be impressed upon their spiritual memory for the rest of their lives.
I pray that each of us as members of His kingdom will understand that our baptism and confirmation is the gateway into His kingdom. When we enter, we covenant to be of His kingdom--forever! In the name of Jesus Christ, amen." (October 2000)

P-day again! ☺

January 4, 2009

Hi, its P-day again. Guess what. My comp has emergency changes. He is going to Belen, where the Temple is. Elder Lanza from the other area in our district (Flores) has emergency changes as well. He is going to LaRita in Limon. I don't know why all of a sudden but they told us a couple days ago. What's even wierder is that they are going to put me and Elder Hanson (the Elder who remains in Flores) together as comps and we will have to work in both our areas (3 wards) for the rest of the change (2 weeks). Its going to be crazy because we have two apartments, two cocineras, and we have to work in both areas and try to even it out, coordinate citas, not to mention the money problems we'll have. What a headache. But it should be fun. Anyway we have to go to San Jose today to drop off my comp at the office at 3. I think we're going to take the train again.

As you know Patricia and her family are in Nicaragua, because her daughter that lives there had a baby boy. It was born on Christmas and they named him Anthony. What a great name. Anyway we always have Noches de Hogar (Family Home Evening) on Sunday nights with Hna Itz'a Family and Hna Patricia's Family and sometimes Daniela, Lucrecia, David, etc.. Last Sunday we had Noche de Hogar at Pablo's house. Patricia, Arellys, Cecilene, Aaron, Itza, Carlos, Juan Carlos, Daniel, Gladys, Daniela, Lucrecia, Pablo, y Eric estaban alli. Enseñamos sobre como el fundamento de nuestros familias debe ser Cristo Helaman 5:12 y la manera de hacerlo asi es orando, leyendo las escrituras, y llendo a la Iglesia como manera personal y en familias. Al final tratamos de hacer el juego donde se adivina donde alguien tocó la escoba *Ü* were there. We taught about how the foundation of our families should be build upon Jesus Christ and the way to do it is by praying, reading the scriptures and going to Church, at the end we tried the game to guess where somebody touch the broom...but even though we practiced, my comp screwed it up, so it didn't work out very well. But at the end it was a fun NdH (FHE) and we ate treats too.

Yesterday, we had a NdH with Hna Itza and Hno Restrepo, and Hna Glady's, and Daniel. We read Alma 37:38-45 and talked about how our Liahona today are the scriptures. We also talked about how the Book of Mormon is important because it supports the bible and clarifies doctrine. We used the example of two pieces of paper. One being the true gospel and doctrine of Jesus Christ and the other man's understanding or beliefs of that doctrine. With just one pin (The Bible) placed on the top left corner connecting the two pieces of paper, the top piece (man's beliefs) can be twisted and turned and the position changed. Although it is still connected and has some of the basics, its still touching the corner of the truth, some things have been changed or moved. But when you connect the papers with a second pin (Book of Mormon) in the top right corner, the top paper is immovable and the doctrine is clear and its exactly on the truth, not just a part. I don't know if you understand the demonstration but its hard to explain without seeing. It was a good Noche de Hogar and we played the card game I gave them for Christmas for a little while.

I am sending home a disk with my mission pics from 2009 and I've been trying to respond to letters. I hope you all have a great week. bye.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year everyone!

January 1, 2010

Feliz Navidad y Feliz Año Nuevo! Wow, its 2010 today. Anyway, it was great being able to see and talk to you on Christmas. I love you all and I hope you had an awesome Christmas, Dad's Birthday, and New Years.

On December 23, we had a Multi-Zone Christmas "Activity". Usually when they say "activity" it means "activity" but this time it meant a long Christmas Capacitation or Zone Conference. At the end we ate a large lunch. I also recieved my new Mini-missionary comp, Elder Brenes (also from Costa Rica). Elder Cervantes stayed with us that day and night so I was with two tico mini-missionaries. It was pretty crazy.

On Christmas Eve we packed all the presents we had bought for people and the ones you sent in the package. I was stressed all week trying to think of who to give presents to and what to give. We didn't have much time to prepare those things. We bought a sweet bike for recent convert Johan and his sister Genesis. We had overheard that one of them wanted a bike for Christmas (couldn't remember which) but their parents weren't going to be able to buy them anything for Christmas, so we decided that would be awesome to give them. We had been looking for the right bike all week but couldn't find one the right size for them. All the bikes were already taken in all the stores and I thought we weren't going to be able to get one. But on the 22nd at night while we were rushing home I saw the perfect bike in front of a store, so we rushed over and bought it and went home happily relieved. On the 23rd in the night we called a taxi and set everything up so that the taxista would drop off the bike and not tell them who it was from, but when we got to the house, Jessica and Norberto and Fam weren't home so we went home. Mission failed! But on the 24th in the morning we tried it again. We watched from the bushes about 200 m away as the taxista knocked on their gate to give them the bike. At first Jessica wouldn't come out so we called her and told her to come outside with a disguised voice. Even though Elder Cervantes fake voice was pathetic, she came out and we saw her and her kids happily take the bike. It was awesome. *Ü*
At about noon, Elder Cervantes's mom came to pick him up and take him home. That was weird. The rest of the day Elder Brenes and I worked like normal, without much success, until the night. Then we went to Patricia's house to go with them to her brother Pablo's house. Pablo is an inactive member. When we got to Patricia's house however, we found out she was getting her hair done, so we sat and waited. After waiting for like 1 hour and a half, we decided just to go to Pablo's house. We ate some food and Pablo's sons birthday cake and ice cream. Patricia finally showed up and soon after, we had to go home.

On Christmas morning I tried to call home many times without success. After awhile we just left and started visiting people. We went to Gladys and Itzas house and threw Daniels secret present on the Balcony. We gave him two of those toys you sent in the package. The robot ball that comes with a magnetic card and open up into a robot. Daniel really liked them because when we came back later his mom said of all the things he got he only played with those even though they didn't even know who they were from.*Ü* After some failed attempts of throwing the package on the balcony and finally succeeding we walked over to Daniela and Lucrecias house to give them presents. I gave them some teddy bears that light up in the dark and gave their family a Toblerone to share. After that we went to Jessica, Norberto, Johan and Genesis house and gave Johan the other two robot things and gave Genesis the two fairy dolls you sent. We gave Norberto and Jessica a Toblerone. Next we went to Hna Adilias house and spent some time with Hna Adilia and her grown kids Huskell, Gendry, another daughter (don't know), and Caprina (17). We ate tamales with them and put together a puzzle. I also gave them a Toblerone. Then we went to Hna Patricias house and gave them some small bears and light up glasses to her son Aaron (he loves glasses, he tried to steal mine) After that we went back to our apartment and kept trying to call, with no success. After talking with Hna Patricia we set up the whole Skype thing and obviously thats when we went back to Hna Patrticias house and talked with all of you. It was pretty crazy day. And if you remember, I did all of this in sandals, mind you.

After that we went home got all cleaned up and met President Galvez at the Stadium (Palacio de Los Deportes). We went and did Elba's interview and got everything ready for the baptism. President agreed Elba is an "escojida" and the interview went great. He also checked our apartment (Luckily we had cleaned it the night before). After he went home we finished the baptismal preparations. It was a pretty sweet Christmas. During the week we also gave Itza's family a card game and a Toblerone. We gave Hna Gladys a Toblerone as well. We bought David a little model Lamborgini car. Also gave Bryan, Ray, and Carmen a Toblerone and Hna Adriana Perez, Marcelo, and Gabriel a Toblerone as well. We gave the Bishop, you guessed it, a Toblerone too.*Ü* They sell Toblerones in Hypermas. By the way we gave Norma, Jerson, and James a Toblerone as well. I think thats it. I would have liked to have bought more and given more but I had a lot of other things to worry about. Its been a crazy time of year.

On Saturday, we had Elba's baptism. Like always, everyone showed up late, but the baptism was still awesome. The bishop baptized Elba. She did bend her knees but started going forward instead of laying back under the water. The bishop pulled her back and was able to put her immerse her and she was baptized. Elba is a really awesome lady and is going to be a strong member. She keeps reading and studying the Book of Mormon every day and is really happy about her decision to be baptized.

The rest of the week was pretty crazy as well. The AP's (Elder Lee and Elder Rogler) came and did divisions with us, we went to visit Ada Luz, mother of Jesenia, a member who just moved here from Nicaragua but she got out of work late so we went and taught Lucrecias mom Esmeralda. Then we went back to Ada Luz. The Aps left after meeting her and we then invited her to be baptized the 16th of this month. She is still unsure even though she says she knows its true. Right now we are out of really good investigators. This time of year its been hard to get people to listen because everyone is so "busy" Sometimes when we read about people who could not see the Savior for who He was, we marvel at their blindness. But do we also let distractions obstruct our view of the Savior—during this Christmas season and throughout the year? Some are external distractions—the gifts we worry about, the decorations, or the clamorous advertising—but often it is what is inside us that blinds us from seeing the Christ. ~ Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Yesterday, we went around trying to find investigators and inactive recent converts with the Lider Misional Abraham (who came back from his mission in Honduras 7 months ago). Then we ate at Abrahams house, went to Daniela and Lucrecias house, a finished the night at Itza's house. Our neigbors made sure we were part of the New Year's fun by blasting their music all night so it was pretty sweet.

Today is Friday and P-day. On Monday is P-day so ill answer the questions you had then. By the way i marked a year in the mission on December 17th. Im going to try to send home pictures and respond to letters today. Happy New Year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!