So much to do, and no time to do it!

February 22, 2010
This week we taught Nidia the 1st lesson (The Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ). She had a Book of Mormon for many years but agreed to start reading this week. We left her 3 Nefi: 11 to read (the chapter we usually leave investigators when we first give them the BOM). She seems really promising. We also taught Sunilda again, as well as her two children. We taught her the 2nd lesson (The Plan of Salvation) last week so we taught her the 1st lesson this week. She seems good as well.

This week I found out that Hno. Saenz (zapatero from Moravia) is moving into the ward. He is going to get married again. He is going to marry Hna. Maria del Carmen, and will live with her in Guarari. Its pretty sweet. We taught him this week. When I left Moravia, Hno Saenz told me to call him at the end of my mission, because he had something made of wood, to give me. This week he showed me what it is. He is going to give me Abrahams Fascimile 1, made of wood. Its about a foot in diameter and its something that I've been wanting. He said he got it from Honduras.

Last week we found a recent convert from Tibas named Bryan (gringo). He was baptized by Elder Tagliaferi and Elder Ash while I was in their district in Moravia. Bryan moved here to Heredia a few months ago, and he didn't know where the church was so he hasn't come. We found him last week and showed him where the church but told him we were going to go to Belen in a couple weeks. Anyway, I called him Saturday night and he said he had just gotten home from work and was going to go to church the next day. On Sunday morning he called me and told me that he was in Panama. He said they had called him and given him an assignment, and he was in a tight spot and had to go. Bryan has read the whole Book of Mormon and is reading it a second time. He says hes trying to get away from what he does, so he can have more time for church and can be spiritually better.

On Friday night we watched "Los Testamentos" (The Testiment-Of one fold and one shephard) with Natalia, Daniela, and their friend Pamela. They really liked the movie and Natalia cried again. We met Pamela awhile ago, but she didn't seem interested. We saw her in the street with her mom a couple days ago and she called us over to meet her mom. Her mom quickly said hi and then she kinda ran away by pretending to see something she wanted to buy. Pamela tried to greet us with a kiss on the cheek, as is the norm here, but I stuck my hand out and held it firmly away from me. She felt embarrassed afterwards because she forgot that we can't do that. It was funny. Anyway, Pamela surprised us by coming to lesson, and she is interested now. She came to church as well, and we are going to teach her this week.

On Sunday (yesterday) there were 187 people in Sacrament meeting! That's a new record here! We had 6 investigators there, and some of the menos activos (less active) we've been visiting came as well. *Ü* I think many people came because it's the last week the ward will meet in that building before it is reconstructed. This week when we visited Hno. Perez, an Elderly member who works in the Temple, he told us a little of the history of Barrio Heredia and the missionary work there. He showed us pictures of when the church in Heredia was just starting out, and it was just a group that met in a house. That was like 50 years ago, and he showed us pictures of the missionaries of that time, and how they were baptized in a river near Alajuela. He told us about how much hard work has been done to make the church grow in Heredia and it was one of the first places that there were missionaries in Costa Rica. He told us that many people have been baptized in Heredia, but they always move to other places, and the other places have grown in strength by the work done in Heredia. It was really special learning a little of the history behind the church in Heredia. The church building was originally built about 30 years ago. The construction was delayed because of opposition by the Catholic churches in the area, but was finally built because of the faith and insistence of the members. Years later that building is now going to be mostly destroyed to be rebuilt bigger and better. Although some of the members are sad to see it go, they realize its part of the progression and they will be blessed with a new building. *Ü* And boy do they need it, because on Sunday it was packed and too loud. Next week we have Stake Conference in Alajuela, and the week after the ward will start attending the church in Belen next to the Temple.

On Sunday (yesterday), Natalia and Daniela came, like always, they're awesome. They also brought their friend Pamela with them. Nidia came with them as well. Jose Ray brought a friend named Vanessa and Hna Gioconda brought a friend named Ivan. Jessica was there like always as well. At the end of church I was running around trying to made appointments before everyone leaves for lunch, it was crazier than usual. After church we went on divisions with Erick Diaz and Alejandro (Maria del Carmens grandson). I went with Alejandro and all our citas (appointments) fell through as usual, so we knocked a lot of doors. We also taught some members the 1st lesson, because a lot of times as members we forget the message we share or, like me before the mission, we don't fully understand it. It was a long day, but we finished it off by visiting Hna Adilia, Huskell, Gendry, and Kaprina. They are an awesome family and Hna Adilia always gives us food. We haven't been able to visit them for a few weeks and they missed us, especially since the missionaries used to live right next door to them about six months ago. I wish we had more time, but we get pretty busy a lot of times. The times that we don't have anything to do, no one else has the time, and when we have too much to do, everyone wants us to come and visit them. Its crazy and can be a headache to figure out, but its cool.

We were supposed to go to San Jose again today, to pick up Elder Benedits residency, but for the second week in a row, we went to a burial instead. Last night at 9 pm, Presidente Galvez called us and told us to go to a funeral home here in Heredia. that he needed some info about a member that die, like what ward he was from, and if he had been to the Temple. After getting the information the deceased man's family (mostly Catholic but also with a lot of inactive Latter day Saints) asked us to do some kind of special prayer for him in front of everyone. We explained that what we could do is dedicate the tomb after the burial the next day, and if they wanted a prayer right then, it would just be normal prayer that anyone could do. In the end they wanted us to do both (well some of them wanted it) so I said a prayer in the funeral home last night and we got home after 10 pm. Then this morning we went to the burial. My comp and I sang the hymn, "O, Mi Padre" (O, My Father). Afterwards I dedicated the mans grave, and his wife's grave, which was right next to his, as well (she died two years ago, but her grave was never dedicated so her children asked me to do it also).

I love all of you. I'm working on sending pics and letters. sorry, I have so much to do, and no time to do it. I have new shoes. They are brown. sweet. I hope everyone is doing great. Good luck and success at school and work and church.

Elder Tobler