We have the best housing situacion

Mayo 31, 2010
My first week in Cartago was pretty cool. We put a baptismal date with a man named Eladio for this Saturday the 5th of June. Eladio is a member's boyfriend named Arline's and he is a really great guy. So this week we will continue to prepare him and he'll be baptized this Saturday, "Si Dios quiere", (If God wants) como dicen los ticos (Like ticos Say). This week we knocked a lot of doors and found some new investigators. The people don't seem too bad. Some good investigators we found are William and Genori who live by the church. There is a family of part members I really want to complete as well. Xinia, Marianella, and Ana Gabriela (mother and two daughters) were baptized a couple weeks ago but Xinia's daughters Karen, Maria Jose, and Rosibel, and her son Lester, aren't baptized yet. I haven't met Lester yet, but I hope to soon. Maria Jose and Rosibel haven't been as eager to listen to us, but I think its because of their boyfriends, and yesterday I challenged them to read some chapters of the Book of Mormon that we left them and pray to see if it was true. Karen has been listening to us and she and her son Sebastian could be baptized this month. Sebastian turned 8 years old yesterday and we went to his birthday party the other day. It was fun, we ate food and cake, played musical chairs, and gave him a present that he really liked (some truck toy thing). We have family home evening with this family in an hour.

Also this week I went on divisions to Turialba. Its a really beautiful city in a valley at the base of a volcano. The volcano is acting up a bit and spitting ash. It takes like an hour and 45 minutes to get to Turialba, and the bus ride down into the valley is full of curves and turns that make everyone sick. I got a headache going there but i didn't get as sick as I thought. My comp and Elder Castro however, almost threw up. We have district meetings on Tuesday mornings in the church of Paraiso. The missionaries in my district are Hna Roundy (New York) and Hna Flores (El Salvador) in Cartago Sur, Elder Urbina (Honduras) and Elder Whitman (Gilbert, AZ) in Paraiso, and Elder Orton (Bountiful, UT) and Elder Castro (Honduras) in Turialba. Everyone in the district is pretty young in the mission, except Hna Roundy, because this is her last change. All the responsibilities of being district leader are the same as before (run district meetings, go on divisions, take numbers, make sure every companionship makes it home every night, call the zl's, do baptismal interviews, etc.) We have to get to know all of our districts investigators as well, so we can help the other companionship's in the best way. This week the district didn't do to well, and there have been some problems in the companionship's and the areas, so I have a lot of work to do.

Here in Cartago we have the best housing situation. We live in a part of a house separate from the rest with the dueños (owners). The dueña is named Doña Lijia and she and her family are catholic. Although they are catholic, the missionaries have lived there for 20 years. The reason they have live there so long is Lijia is such a great woman. She cooks us three meals a day, and cleans our house all the time, washes our clothes every day, and she really cares about the missionaries, its unbelievable. I wake up in the morning and breakfast is on the table waiting for me. I get home tired at night, and dinner is there waiting for me. I can wear a different shirt every day, while in other areas I've had to wear the same shirt for sometimes four days. I don't even have to make the bed, because when I get home our room is neat and clean. (Wow...better than home! *Ü* ) Of course I make the bed because I feel bad, but this housing situation is really sweet, and shes not even a member. (I feel so much LOVE for her already. What more can a M♡M ask for?)

Today was supposed to be P-day, but instead I had to go to a meeting in Los Yoses with all the Zone Leaders and District Leaders. It started at 9 am and ended at 3 pm. It was a great meeting. Its kind of like a knights of the round table type thing. I learned a lot from President and the other missionaries and received some key impressions about what I can do to help my district. We broke the Costa Rica baptism record again this month of May, with 141 baptisms, but President made us understand that even with that we haven't even hit the half of our potential. President is really motivating the mission to do more they thought possible before. He expects to put goals and meet them. This last month five zones met there baptismal goals, and one of them was Los Yoses, the zone I was in, which met the baptismal goal for the first time. Zona La Paz, which I am in now got its head chopped off because they didn't meet the goal. I saw a lot of old friends at the meeting as well, like Elder Bonn, Elder Tagliaferi, Elder Buckner (who is in my zone again) and Elder Chavez. Elder Chavez told me that not only are Paola and Byron getting baptized, but Juriel finally made it to church and he has another fecha bautismal for this month. They are also moving because we were eaten alive by fleas every night in Tres Rios, so they are moving to the cocineras house. The mission is really young right now with more the 50% with less than 8 months in the mission.

On Friday ex- Elder Lee (pres released him, because hes done), his mom, and his sister, came to eat lunch with us and our cocinera here in Cartago, because he was in this area a year ago. His mom says thanks for sending her emails, mom. Like pres says, if your going to put a goal, make sure you meet it. Make and meet your summer goals, and then your life goals. love y'all. chao.


I guess the Lord needs me here in Cartago

May 24, 2010
This week Javier and Vivianna were married. After being married they were baptized along with their son Alex and a man the hermanas (Sister Missionaries) taught named Jorge. The day of the wedding/baptism was really tiring and wet (a lot of rain) but once the wedding/baptism started it ended up being an amazing night. I lent Javier my suit and gave him one of my ties, and Vivianna bought a blue dress for the wedding. Hna Dunia also lent her some jewelry, some shoes, and did her hair and Javier and Vivianna looked and felt great for their wedding. There sons´ Alex and Jonathan wanted to use ties as well, so i lent them some, and their daughter Alison looked very cute like always in a pretty little dress (she is always so well behaved as well). It was great because many members came to show support and two of Javier's brothers (non-members) came as well.
The lawyer Domaso, arrived late as usual, but he married the couple in a simple, yet special ceremony where they put rings on each others fingers, signed on the dotted line, and did all the classic you may kiss the bride stuff. I took pics, and made Javier and Vivianna kiss 3 times, because I pretended that I didn't get a good pic, when really I got one every time, so I got 3 kiss pics. jajajajaja. There was also a talk about eternal marriage, which is Javier and Vivianna's goal now in a year (they say they are going to invite me). After the marriage we went straight to the baptisms.
We all changed into baptismal clothes (Alex used his white taekwondo outfit) and after hearing talks about Baptism and the Gift of the Holy Ghost they were baptized. First Hno Fonseca baptized Jorge and then I was able to baptize Alex, Vivianna, and Javier. It was a really special experience. After the baptism we ate food. The Relief Society brought a cake, some cookies, and some frescos. Some of the members who live in San Vicente (Dunnia, Patricia, Ivannia, etc.), near Javier and Vivianna, got together and brought some food (rice, beans, challote, etc.) and utensils. We bought a cake for Javier and Vivianna to take home afterwards and we also provided the chicken for Hna Dunnias arroz con pollo (that morning we went halfway up to San Vicente to take the frozen chicken to Dunnia, but we forgot to bring the chicken so we went back home took the chicken out of the freezer and marched back up to San Vicente with it). In the end everyone was fed and happy and it was a fantastic night.

In other news is I had changes today. I am now in the most Catholic city in the country, Cartago. I'm only like 20 minutes away from Tres Rios, but I'm in a different zone, Zona La Paz and I'm District Leader. It seems like a cool area, and I'm excited to work here and in the other areas in my district which are Cartago Sur (Hnas), Paraiso, and Turialba. My new companion is Elder Rivera from..... you guessed it...... Honduras. My fifth Catracho comp, and my twelfth comp total. He has 3 months in the mission. Although Cartago seems good, I'm still kind of disappointed. I wasn't expecting changes at all. When they told me Friday night i couldn't believe it. Once we finally started getting things going in Tres Rios. We had the plan misional running, the members trusted us, and we have awesome people getting ready for baptism. We put a fecha with Paola and Byron Vega, and got Hna Myriam's son Nicolas ready as well. Ariel, Francisco, Jeudy and Vanessa, Carolina, all getting close. That's life i guess, but it kinda stinks. I really wanted to finish helping Familia Vega become fully active again as well. With Paola and Byron baptized and Jose Luis Sr. and Jose Luis Jr. coming to church again, now we only needed to activate Hna Vega and the other son Stephen. In the end though, I guess the Lord needs me here in Cartago. Good news is Paola, Byron, and Nicolas are going to ask president to let me come baptize them, and since I'm so close, I might be able to.

On Sunday we did divisions like always, and I went up to San Vicente again to pick up Javier and Vivianna and other members. We always pick up a group of members and go on the bus with them to church. Its kind of a little way my goal of riding in a bus full of members to church (which I wanted to do in Heredia) kinda comes true. On the way to San Vicente we saw our investigator Alvaro and invited him to church. We told him to take the bus with us, but he said he would walk. I doubted he would come but he did come and liked it a lot. The young single adults Braulio and Fabian offered to teach him to read every Sunday morning before church, because Alvaro can't read and feels uncomfortable. Our investigators Francisco and Carolina also came to church. The other investigators who promised to come especially since it was my last day, didn't come. THis week there was the most confirmations in the history of the mission here in Costa Rica, 56 of them, and 4 were here in Tres Rios.

After church Hna Bingham (who also had changes) and i felt like a celebrities because we were bombarded with people wanting to take pictures with us. I think it was mostly because of Hna Bingham (because she was there for six months, it was her first area, and she has a beautiful voice) but its ok. Sad to say goodbye to everyone especially Javier and Vivianna and fam. That day i visited and said goodbye to Esteban, Magali, and Milagros, we ate lunch there after getting soaked by rain on the way home. Also visited Familia Vega (Jose Luis Jr., Paola, y Byron in there pulperia), Fam Mesen (Silvio, Milady, Carolina, Keldry, Tahiri), and Familia Vasquez (Hno y Hna Vasquez, Katherine, Marcos, Braulio, Bruno (on mission), Aramis, Saul, etc. there is a lot of them) and ate dinner there.

My ex comp Elder Chavez is now senior comp and district leader in Tres Rios and Hna Almengor is still there as well. Elder Mitton is the new AP, and Elder Valerio is going home to Chile, and then coming back later. Love you bye.

Elder Tobler


Mayo 16, 2010

This Saturday at 6:00 pm Javier and Vivianna are going to be married, and Javier, Vivianna, and their son Alex are going to be baptized. The Sister missionaries' investigator named Jorge, is also going to be baptized at the same time. Yaaaaaaaaay!

This week we had a Noche de Hogar (Family Home Evening) with some of the members in San Vicente (Sinia, Edwin, Blanca Rosa and their family, Patricia and her kids, Ivannia and her kids, and sometimes Dunia and her kids as well. We've been doing this every week, and we rotate the house we have it in. Today we are going to have it in Ivannia's house, and we are going to take Javier and Vivianna with us.

On Tuesday we did service for Tomasa again, but this time we didn't move dirt. We painted the rain thing on the top front of her house. We painted it black. It looks a lot better now, we are pros. We tuaght Francisco again as well and he gave us a type of food they eat in Limon called pati, which is kinda like an empanada, but a little different, sometimes with chile. He also knows how to make rice n´beans, another Limonense food, which is made with coco.

On Friday Elder Hicken came to do divisions with me and my comp went to Los Yoses with Elder Mitton. Elder Hicken and i went to visit Javier and Vivianna to confirm the baptismal date, but we didn't have to do anything. The last 3 visits we've had with Javier and Vivianna, we've gone with a plan to help Javier progress (because Vivianna has been sure this is the truth, she`s just been waiting for him to decide), but Javier just starts talking to us and telling us how he feels. Each time he shared with us we've seen him getting closer and closer to being sure this is the truth and what his family needs. He's been reading the book of Mormon and praying and on Friday he told us that he wanted to be baptized. He said that there is no point in putting it off any longer, and that even though his mother and other family members might not agree with his decision, he has the responsibility to do the best for his wife and kids. I've really seen how the Lord has been changing the family for the better, especially Javier. Its awesome because they always pray and read as a family now, although before they didn't think it would possible with the kids, and they are really excited about the changes they've made. So anyway, we called and confirmed with the lawyer, and we're setting everything up for the wedding/baptism this Saturday.

On Saturday morning before ending divisions with Elder Hicken, we had a really good lesson with Ariel. We talked about obedience and how our Heavenly Father gives us blessings for every commandment that we obey D&C 130, but if we don´t obey we could miss out on those blessings D&C 82: 10. We testified to Ariel that his Father in Heaven was always just waiting for him to choose the right, so he could derramar all those blessings upon him. We talked about the blessings of being baptized, and challenged Ariel to be baptized on Saturday as well. Ariel told us that he really, really wanted to know if this was the truth, but that he just wasn't sure yet. We shared our testimonies and experiences with him and challenged him to always be valient and to do a fast, so that he can recieve the answer that he needs. We told him we were going to fast for him as well. We are going to see how it went this week.

Another great lesson we had this week was with Familia Vega, a family thats been inactive for a few years now, maybe because they have a pulperia that they keep open on Sundays, maybe other things as well. Familia Vega consists of Hno. Y Hna. Vega (Hno. has been going to church alone lately, Hna. has been inactive for awhile) Jose Luis Jr. (who has started coming back to church since we found him), Stephen (who is baptized, but goes to the catholic church), Paola (who isn't baptized, but we are teaching her and she's awesome), and Byron (also not baptized, also teaching him). The lesson we had the other day was just with Paola and her parents. We taught about the Plan of Salvation. It was a long lesson, because they asked a lot of questions, but Paola was able to understand God's plan really well and it really made her parents understand better the importance of going to church. It really impacted them, especially when we talked about the Final Judgement. The scripture in Alma about wanting the rocks and mountains to fall upon us to hide us from God's presence if we are not prepared, really hit them hard there was a moment of deep silence. I saw Hno Vega tear up at the thought. Afterwards we talked about the Kingdoms of Glory and that made them think a lot as well, about what they really wanted. It was a powerful lesson and i think the family is starting to turn around.

Church was good yesterday. 5/9 investigators expected came to church. I went to pick up Vivianna and her kids Alex, Jonathan, and Alison. Javier was working til 9 that morning, so he came from work directly to church, and got there during the second hour. Juriel and Ariel didn't end up going and Silvio and Carolina either. But Paola and Byron did come with there dad Hno. Vega and brother Jose Luis. The members welcomed the investigators really well, and i think Paola went to a Single Adults activity that afternoon, so it was a great day. After church we at at Esteban's, Magalis, and Milagros house again. We had a good lesson with Claren and Yaosca, and few other lessons as well. We ate dinner at the Chavez/Porras home. Yummm, food.

My resources tell me that most of the people we baptized in Heredia are staying strong. Natalia, who got baptized after I left, wrote me and told me that her, and her sister Daniela, and her friends mom Nidia, who all got baptized after I left, are staying strong. They love going to church, even if they have to wake up early to go to Belen all the time. They all have callings (in YW, Primary) and they went to the temple. She also told me that her friend we were teaching, Pamela, also got baptized a couple weeks ago. That's awesome!

My comp is still having problems and I'm doing my best to help him but i don't know whats going to happen in the end. Today was supposed to be a normal day, and Wednesday P'day because we were going to the temple but they canceled on us so now today is p’day. It’s too late though because we already have some appointments, so p'day will end early again.

Sigue adelante everyone.

Happy Mother's Day

May 10, 2010
Hello, long time since we talked right? jk. It was really good to talk to you all yesterday. Happy Mother’s Day again mom!

Our best investigators right now are Javier and Viviane. They are scheduled to be married and baptized on the 22nd of this month. They have an 11 year old son named Alex who would be baptized as well. We also have Ariel who is reading and praying and has been to church 4 times.

We are teaching Familial Vega's daughter Paola who isn't a member, as well as her brother Byron. Byron was going to baptized a couple weeks ago but decided he needed more time. Paola is progressing really well, she is awesome. In our last visit she told us that when she prayed about El Libro de Mormon (The Book of Mormon) she felt like her heart was going to explode from the happiness she felt. She wants to be baptized but isn't sure how soon yet. She still has to go to church 3 times and pay her tithing before getting baptized. All our investigators have to do that before getting baptized, to make sure they stay strong in the Church.

We are also progressing with Jeudy and Vanessa. They are awesome and are reading, but still aren't sure yet. They haven't been to church either; Jeudy's only been to the church soccer mejengas we have. Milady Mesen's (a member) non-member husband Silvio, and his niece Carolina are progressing well also. We teach them two or three times a week with Milady and her daughters Kendry and Tairi there as well. The problem is that Silvio is afraid to come to church. Carolina has been twice.

The other two couples we've been teaching, Jerson and Lady, and Claren and Yaosca, have been progressing very slowly because they have to work so much and it’s hard to teach them regularly. Jerson believes in the Caballa, and says that because of that he knows this can be the only true church, but I don't know what to think about him and his Caballa practices. He gave us what I think is part of the Caballa, that has to do with the names of God in Hebrew and everything but it’s really confusing and doesn't make much sense, but he said has going to pray about the book of Mormon so we'll see what happens. Yaosca works in Torta de los Dioses, a bakery in Los Yoses near the mission office, so she meets a lot of missionaries, but the problem is that she and her husband Claren are always working.

We found a few new investigators like Francisco and also Yamileth. Francisco is from Limon. He believes everything we've taught him and wants to one day go to the temple. He is going to go to church next Sunday. Juriel, an investigator we had a couple months ago, is finally back from Nicaragua and says he still wants to be baptized, so we are going to work with him.

Yesterday we were expecting to have 10 investigators at church. Ariel, Luis, Paola, Byron, Javier, Vivianna, Jeudy, Vanessa, Silvio, Carolina, Juriel, and Alba. Wait, that's 12. So I guess we were expecting 12 investigators at church yesterday. My comp and I went on divisions with the Vasquez brothers Mario and Braulio. My comp hiked up to San Vicente to pick up some investigators while I went to a meeting with ward leaders to get the ward mission plan going. After the meeting we went to pick up some investigators. The ones we were going to pick up couldn't go. Even the ones we had called the night before, and had promised us they would go, didn't end up going. My comp also showed up to church with no investigators, but with a menos activo family. The only investigator that showed up was Carolina, who came with her aunt and cousins (basically her mom and sisters), but Silvio didn't show up with them. When sacrament started I sent my comp with Braulio to go pick up Silvio and drag him to church while I waited to see if anyone showed up late. They came back at the end of Sacrament Meeting empty handed. It was a really disappointing day, but I guess I should be used to it by now. In the end I’m happy Carolina showed up.

I think the cafetal between El Monte and Calle Mesen is cursed against us Last week we were attacked by a pack of dogs in the cafetal, and yesterday we were stoned by an army of demon children. They jumped out of the trees while we were passing through and started throwing rocks and sticks at us and calling all sorts of names. We scared and chased them away a couple times but they just kept coming back and following us and yelling at us. It was kind of funny and wasn't that big of a deal because they were just kids and they couldn't hurt us. But it was also sad to see so much hatred, and hear such foul language and threats from kids, and mostly because we don't drink coffee. While walking back through the cafetal we found the kids again and this time calmed them down and tried to teach them to behave.

Last night we had 'Noche de Hogar' (Family Home Evening) with Esteban, Magalis, their mothers, and Milagros. We also had a Noche de Hogar with the menos activos (less active) Johan, Andrey and Flori. Hna Flori made us pancakes with syrup. Mmmmmmm, they were so good.

It was awesome being able to talk to all of you last night, thanks for everything. Shalom.

Mormon Missionaries Experiences!

May 3, 2010
This week it rained every day. We found an old lady sheltered near a building, soaking wet, and shivering. We covered her with our umbrellas and escorted her to her destination. On the way she started running because she wanted to get home fast. While she ran we kept up with her by walking because she cant run very fast. My comp kept telling her to stop running but she didn't listen. Moments later she fell down. I'm sure people probably thought we, the evil Mormon missionaries were pushing down old ladies in the rain, but we weren't. We tried to help her up but she just laid there in the rain for a few seconds before we were able to help her up. In the end shes fine. We got her home and she wouldn't stop thanking us for helping her. Later that day we were able to also help some people push a truck that was stuck in the mud. We got a little dirty but its alright. That night while crossing the autopista (Freway/Highway) we saw a lime green snake. I'm sure it was poisonous. It tried to attack us but the rain was like a river on the side of the road so it took the snake away from us. Then some guy used a long stick to fling the snake into the middle of the road where it was flattened by three semi trucks.

We had interviews with president Galvez this week. This time the interviews were in our apartments so we had to clean up real good last p'day. While pres. interviewed my comp, Hermana Galvez inspected our house. The most part our house was clean so we won a cake. The zl's checked our area book as well and we also passed with flying colors. They should have seen the carpeta de area (forms) we had in Heredia, that thing was perfect, and everything was filled out.

Our house key broke in half yesterday. Luckily I can get in with my Tarjeta Mayorista from Mega Super, like a plastic discount card thing. Our neighbor has a little girl with big glasses that always comes out and stares at us. She is really cute, but sometimes she freaks me out because she just stares at us and doesn't say anything. She is like a ghost girl. *Ü*

Yesterday Javier and Vivianna both made it to church with their three kids. Ariel came as well. My comp went on divisions to pick them up while I went to ward meeting. We are trying to get the Ward Mission Plan going here like we did in Heredia. It was a good day at church. One of the Vasquez brothers, Bruno, is leaving on his mission to El Salvador Oeste (west) y Belize on Wednesday every one in his family bore there testimonies. It basically took up the whole meeting because the Hno. (brother) and Hna. (sister) Vasquez have 9 kids (and one that died a few years ago so its actually 10 kids) so there were 11 testimonies born. It was a really special experience though because you could really see how important the gospel has been in there family's life. This is the 3rd Vasquez going on a mission and they have a couple preparing to leave this year.

Our investigators Jeudy and Vanessa are progressing. We had a great lesson with them about getting to the Celestial Kingdom and having an eternal family. I think they were really able to feel the spirit. Now they just have to come to church. We also had a couple great lessons with the part family Mesen, and I think that the non-members Silvio and Carolina are coming along. We taught the Vega family (Less active/part family) this week about the Restoration. The daughter Paola, non-member really understood well and we are going to teach her boyfriend as well. We are also going to start teaching RC Maria Rosa's husband Luis. We have been reading the book of Mormon to Maria Rosa because she cant read, and we are going to watch "Testamentos" (Testaments) with her and her husband.

Today we went to San Jose centro to pick up my comps package, and a doctors report to send to the states about his eyes. This week he has been more animated and we've been working hard, but his eyes have been hurting a little. He really appreciates that you guys are worried about him and it has helped him feel a little better so thank you for everything and for your prayers.

Thanks mom for the conversion story. Its really special. Its awesome that you saw the new Temple. Send me pics.
Elder Tobler