Very Sad to leave Heredia

March 1, 2010

I had changes. My new area is Tres Rios. My new comp is another Catracho (Honduranean), and his name is Elder Sierra. He has about 5 months on the mission. I have to be honest. I am really depressed. I really wanted to stay another change in Heredia. This change was going to be the change of my dreams. Awesome investigators, awesome members, awesome city. The best cocinera (cook), the best lavadera (laundry lady) Although the apartment smelled bad and was full of cockroaches, it was still sweet, in the most convenient area of the city to get around. I was going to be able to see the Temple every Sunday when I took a bus with all the members to the church in Belen. I was so excited to take a bus full of Mormons to church early Sunday mornings. The biggest surprise is that my comp Elder Benedit got changed out as well (he went to Liberia). The ex AP, Elder Lee is now in Heredia. He is there with a brand new missionary. When they told us we both had changes we were shocked, and couldn't understand why. Rumor was that they were going to put Hermanas is Heredia. Elder Benedit and I were so decepcionados (discouraged) our last few days there, but at least Heredia is going to have a good missionary like Elder Lee there with them. They should have a lot of success this next change. Elder Lee and I were talking and we figure they could have 10 baptisms this month. Among those could be Natalia, Daniela, Nidia, Jasmine, Sunilda and her two kids, Pamela, Vanessas two kids, and the wives of two inactive male members we were about to start teaching.

Although we were kind of depressed, we did have the blessing of baptizing Vanessa our last day in Heredia. Vanessa is the member Jose Rays´ friend from work. She came to church on Sunday of February 21st. She liked church but didn´t seem that interested. But later on in the week, on Wednesday, she called us and asked us to come that day, to teach her. We went immediately and had a great lesson with her. She had been reading Liahonas and the Book of Mormon that Jose Ray had given her for a few weeks. At church she received the 'Principios del Evangelio' (Gospel Principles) book and had almost finished it after only 3 days. She said she had felt the spirit while reading those things. After teaching her, I felt I should invite her to be baptized on Saturday the 27th, in 3 days. She said she couldn´t because she was working, but she said she would on Sunday. So we put the fecha (date) with her to be baptized on Sunday the 28th of February. It was awesome. She called Jose Ray right away to tell him the news. He was shocked and didn't know what to say. We visited her on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, and prepared her for her baptism. She gave us the coffee she had in her house so we could throw it out and we gave her agua dulce. My bag still smells like coffee. Every day she told us how excited she was and that she couldn't wait until Sunday. Sunday came and since it was stake conference in Alajuela we had the baptism at the Alajuela church before conference. We went on the bus with her and her two kids, and Jose Ray and his son Raymond and brother Bryan. A good number of members made it to the baptism and Jose Ray baptized her. It was a great experience and she was so happy.

The last week I had in Heredia was amazing. On Tuesday we taught Tommy and friends again. There is a group of little kids in La Milpa, from ages 8 to 12, who always want us to teach them something about God. We always teach them and they enjoy it. Sadly their parents are less interested in listening even though there kids beg them to listen. Hopefully the kids listen to missionaries when they grow up, when they can make their own decisions. We went to Mutual and talked to the YM about the mission life, our objective as missionaries, and how to prepare. The bishop also talked about his mission to Spain.
We also taught Natalia, Daniela, and Nidia this week. Natalia left for Guanacaste this week, but we gave her the direction of the church in Liberia. She went to Stake conference there and she met my trainer Elder Bonn who is there right now.

On Thursday night there was a Charla Fogonera (Fireside) in Belen where Presidente Galvez spoke on the tema ¨Porque Creo¨(Because, I Believe). The bishop was supposed to announce it in church but he forgot so I had to invite all the members. I used Hermano Casas's program that sends a recorded message to a whole bunch of members at once, to get the word out. I also used it to invite everyone to the baptism. Anyway, on Thursday we visited a man who's been inactive for 7 or 8 years. At first he was kind of grumpy and didn’t seem interested in coming back to church, but then he started showing us pictures of the missionaries who baptized him and telling us about all the good times he had in church, and he started getting all excited about coming back to church. We invited him to the Charla that night and he actually drove us there as well as Ada Luz and her daughter Jesenia, and RC Bryan. It was a bumpy ride in his older celeste colored car he named ¨Celeste¨, but we got there safely. There weren’t many members from Heredia, but there were from Belen. The important thing is that the investigators Daniela and Nidia came by themselves. It was a good Charla and the Belen Missionaries had a baptism there so everyone that came got to see it. My comp and I and the two Belen missionaries, Elder King and his comp, sang a musical number. We sang ¨Un Pobre Forastero¨. It was a great night.

Also this week we taught Natalias friend Pamela 3 times in my last week as well. We taught her once outside the church during mutual, once in the library of the Universidad Nacional, and once in the garden of the Catholic Church in Barva. We answered a lot of her questions and she was really glad that we were teaching her and she was understanding well. Since she is studying arts, she gave Elder Benedit and I each a picture she made. Hopefully Pamela eventually gets baptized along with Natalia, Daniela, and Nidia.

On Saturday morning we went on divisions with Flores. Elder Hansen and my comp went to Vanessa's house to do the baptismal interview, while Elder Recino and I went to do service at the Barragan family's house. We painted the porton in the front of their house. We painted it black. After painting we rushed up to Barva to teach Pamela more about the Book of Mormon. Then we met Hansen and Benedit at Hna Gladys's house, to eat the last lunch. We then ran over to a bunch of citas including one with our investigator Sunilda. She was really sad to see us go. We also went to Hermano Saenz, Carmen, and Sandra and Hno Saenz gave me a wooden Abraham Facsimile #2. That night we went to Jessica, Norberto, Johan, and Genesis house. They were really sad and kind of angry that we were leaving Heredia, but we talked awhile with them, took some pics, and said goodbye. Also while we were there I had to make a whole bunch of calls. One was to Natalia, so I could give her the address to the church in Liberia, because she is there for a couple weeks. When she answered she screamed, "Noooooooooooooooooo!", because I guess Pamela already told her we were both leaving.

On Sunday morning we went with Vanessa, Jose Ray, Bryan, and kids on the bus to Alajuela. On the bus Hna Esperanza and her daughters told us they heard we were leaving and were sad. They asked for our mail. We got to the church, had Vanessa's great baptism, and Abraham and a few members started complaining to the Zls about us leaving. Then stake conference started. The conference was actually us watching over satellite, the Apostles Henry B. Eyering and Todd D. Christofferson, and Presidente Acosta of the Seventy, and Sister something (sorry) from the Young Woman’s Presidency, talk to Central America. It was great. I wanted to listen to it in Spanish because Acosta and Christofferson actually speak Spanish, but it was packed, and there wasn’t any room in the sacrament and gym buildings. Instead they showed us in the English room with a few gringos. After church I wanted to get pics and say goodbye to a lot of the members, but I only got to say goodbye to a few. I said goodbye to Eric, Daisy, and Erica and they started crying. Jose Ray asked the bishop to make it so we didn’t leave. We said goodbye to Rolando, who’s going on his mission to Chile soon as well.

After church we ate at Hermana Adilia's house and took pictures with her and Gendry, Juskell, and Kaprina. We said goodbye to Daniela (Inv) and she made us tortilla soup. We went to visit Adriana, Marcelo, and Gabriel, and returned their guitar that they lent us. We went to Hna Gladys house and said goodbye to Hna Gladys, Juan Carlos, Daniela, and Lucrecia. Unfortunately, Hna Itza wasn't there. Then we finished off the night going to Hna Patricia's house. We took pics and said goodbye to Patricia, Arellys, Ceceline, and Aaron. Then the Heredia days ended. I've been running around these last few days, writing down info, and trying to make sure whoever took over Heredia wouldn't have to start at zero. Luckily, I had been keeping the area book and the teaching records (registro de ensenanza) up to date so I hope I left everything good. Today, we went to changes and Presidente Galvez told Elder Benedit after changes, that Abraham called President asking him not to take us out of Heredia. Anyway, I’m in a new area now so I might as well make the best of it. *Ü*

............Elder Benedit & Elder Tobler........................ Hna. Patricia & Family