This week I hit 18 months in the Mission

June 21, 2010
...I still feel like a really lame missionary. We put a baptismal date with Karen and her son Sebastian this week. They are going to be baptized this Saturday at 7pm. Im really happy about that. The housing situation is still awesome. The only problem is we don't have a working ducha (thing that heats up the water). In fact, the ducha hasnt worked ever since i got here, so i've been taking freezing cold showers every morning for the past month. That wouldn't be too bad except for Cartago is one of the coldest places in the country and its the rainy season right now. It kinda stinks, but im getting used to it. I've also been giving English classes since I got here as well. We have classes at the church every Saturday morning at 10am.
In the district meetings we've been talking about one or two of the Christlike attributes, so we can be more like Christ. This week's Christlike attribute was charity, and we set goals to love everyone and see everyone in white. We also talked about having good communication with God, our companions, investigators, ward and mission leaders, and ward members. Our district is working hard to meet our baptismal meta of 7 this month, but its not looking to good for us. We have 3 right now. We were supposed to get one more in Paraiso this week, but Mariana's baptsim fell through becasue her mom decided she didnt want her to be baptized anymore. When I went to the house to do the interview, they hid from Elder Whitlock and I . Five minutes later we sent Elder Urbina and Elder Rivera to there house to see if they let them in and they did, because they didnt have time to hide. We showed up five munutes later. After talking awhile the mom said she could continue coming to church but couldnt be baptized yet so we respected her decision. Maybe next month. Here in Cartago we will have two more baptisms when Karen and Sebastian get baptized on Saturday. That will be 5 for the district. We will still need two more, but don't have much to work with. We want to meet the meta, but dont want to baptize people that aren't ready, or don't have a true desire to follow christ, so we'll see what happens.

The world cup is all people talk about around here right now. I hope the US passes on to the next round. Yesterday was Fathers day. At church we had 92 people, the most since i got to Cartago. The rest of the day no one wanted to listen to us, so we just walked around in the rain. The only cita we had was with Brun y Jasmine. We watched the Jose Smith movie and they loved it. They are progressing a lot more and reading, they just have to come to church. Happy Fathers day Dad! I hope you had a great day! Saludos a todos. los amo.

Elder Tobler

A really fun ward activity

June 14, 2010
Our main investigators right now are Karen and Sebastian. Last week we found an awesome investigator named Yahaira. She is so receptive and wants to be baptized. When we challenged her to be baptized on the 26th, although she said she wasnt ready, I could tell she really wanted to say yes. I could see it in her face and I could feel it. The problem is, like always, her "husband". They are not married and she doesnt know if she wants to marry him or seperate from him. She told us that he recently began having drug problems again and he was wasting money irresponsibly. They have an 11-year old son named Anderson who also wants to be baptized, but Walter (the husband) hasn't listened to us yet. Yesterday Yahaira told him if he didn't listen to our message and go to church with her this week then she was going to seperate from him. Hopefully he takes some responsibility so he can be a good example for his son and so the family can stay united. He is a pirate taxi driver, so he took us home yesterday, and I think we gained some of his confidence by talking to him a little bit. Hopefully he makes the changes his family needs him to make.
Right now we are also teaching Yahaira's neigbor Marcela. We taught Marcela at Yahaira's house and we put a meta bautismal with Marcela for July, but she didnt come to church this week, so well see how it goes with her. She did seem really excited when we gave her a Book of Mormon so she could be really good. We are also teaching a taxista we contacted and his family. The taxi guy is 74 years old but looks really young and has a lot of energy. His name is Cristobal and we are also teaching his daughter in law Margot, and his wife Luz, and his neigbor Nelsy *Ü* . Luz and Nelsy say they know our message is true, but they obviously don't understand it, because although they supposedly know its true, they want to keep going to there own church which to them is "true" as well. Margot had more dudas and questions which we answered, and I think she has more chances of progressing because she seems to understand that what we are saying is something really big if its true, and she promised to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it. Cristobal is Catholic, but doesnt go to church, and he came with us to church this week and seemed to really like it. He fit in really well at church because there are a lot of older guys in this ward, and he loves wearing a white shirt and tie, he wears them every day as a taxi driver, and even though the other taxistas make fun of him for it, he doesnt care, because he likes it. I think Cristobal would get along really well with Grandpa, they are very similar (he likes talking to every one, similar personality, similar type of smile, etc.).

On Tuesday we had a district meeting centered around being Humble (with companion and with our Heavenly Father) so that we can remember that we need to work well with our companion to have the most success and be happy, and so that we always remember that without our Heavenly Father we would not be able to have any success, Alma 26:12 so we need to trust in him and give him the glory for our successes. We also talked about Diligence, and how we cant let anything be a stumbling block for us in makeing sure that we diligently move forward with this marvelous work, which saves lives and brings eternal happiness to our brothers and sisters here on the earth. We talked about our goals as a district and what we were going to do to meet them. The district has been having some difficulties, so hopefully this helped a little. We set some goals with companionships this week and tried to help out in raising everyones spirits, and it seems to have helped a little. This last week the animo and work seemed better, so hopefully we continue to progress. We went on divisions with Turrialba again this week, and this week I am going to Paraiso to do a baptismal interview with Mariana, who they plan to baptize this Saturday.
On Sunday we went to pick up Cristobal to take him to Church. He is a taxista, so he drove us around to pick up other investigators. In the end no one else could come with us in the taxi but we got to church early and went to the Comittee Ejecutivo meeting and got the plan misional going with the ward. Karen and Sebastian made it to church as well as the the Hnas investigator Diego. There investgator Maria didnt come though, even though she promised and they went to pick her up, she wasnt there so that was super depressing because now who knows if she can be baptized this month. Cristobal seemed to really like Church. We went to consejo de barrio after Church.

Last week for pday we went to Parque La Sabana in San Jose for a Zone vs Zone tournament thing. It was our zone (Zona La Paz) vs. Zona La Sabana. In the end it wasn't very organized and we ended up just having a good time playing american football, soccer, and basketball. It was fun, parque la sabana is really cool, a lot of trees and sports stuff. We ate at Taco Bell afterwards.
Today for pday we had a district activity and we invited the zl's. We all went to Turrialba to see some waterfalls. It was really cool. On our way down the mountain we ended up getting soaked by the rain and getting pretty dirty. I was worried the bus driver wasnt going to let us on the bus, but he did.
Last week we had a really fun ward activity. The usual activities they have here arent really planned out activities. People just show up, socialize, and play simple games that they bring themselves. Its really cool. When we first showed up at the activity with a couple investigators and the only member there was the bishop, I got a little worried. Later on when more people showed up we started to play games and have fun. Some games we played inside were musical chairs, sack races, jacks, jump rope, etc., while outside they played soccer. I won the sack race and musical chairs competitions in my category (adult males) and went outside to play soccer every once in awhile. Investigators that came were Karen and Sebastian, who came with there RC family, and Yahaira and her son Anderson, who came alone. Karen was laughting a lot and having a good time and Yahaira told us she really felt good about how everyone treated her at the activity. There was also food. yum.

This last Saturday Paola and Byron were baptized in Tres Rios. Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!

Los amo!

El Sabado se bautizo Eladio

June 7, 2010
El Sabado se bautizo Eladio. Fue pequeño y simple el servicio bautismal pero fue bonito. Solo como 10 personas atendieron, pero lo importante para Eladio era que su novia Arleen y su suegra estaban alli apoyandolo. Eladio estaba muy sorprendido y muy feliz ver que su mama, un mujer super catholica, tambien llego para ver su bautismo. Mi compañero Elder Rivera bautizo a Eladio. Aunque tuvo que hacerlo tres veces para sumergirlo completamente, Eladio estaba muy feliz de tomar ese paso y hacer convenios con nuestro padre celestial. ( *Ü* Eladio was baptized on Saturday. It was small and simple but the baptismal service was nice. Only about 10 people attended, but the important thing for Eladio was that Arleen his girlfriend and her mother were there to support him. Eladio was very surprised and very happy to see his mother,who is a very catholic woman but came to see his baptism. My companion Elder Rivera baptized Eladio. Although he had to submerge him completely three times, Eladio was very happy to take that step and to make covenants with our Heavenly Father.)
On Tuesday I went on divisions in Paraiso with Elder Whitlock. We had some great lessons with Paraiso's best investigators and hopefully I was able to help them. They have an investigator named Rafael, who wants to be baptized, but sometimes it seems like for the wrong reasons, like wanting to be bishop right away, or even starting his own church. We explained why he can't start his own church. We told him that if this is the true church, then Christ already established his church and he didn't need Rafael to start another one. He also came out with a lot of dudas, but after we explained everything to him he again said he wanted to be baptized. The Paraiso Elders don't know what to think about Rafael and neither do I because he says he doesn't believe in certain things, but then he says he does, and then he says he wants to be baptized, and sometimes he says he wants to start his own church. Its crazy. Anyway we also taught Alvaro and Nudia. Nudia likes the church and wants to join, but Alvaro lives with her and doesn't want to get married. We had a lesson about how the devil wants us to be miserable and captive but the Lord wants happiness, eternal life, and liberty for us. We talked about how we have to choose which things we want, and we have to choose now. They seemed pretty impacted by the lesson and Elder Whitlock told me today that they have been progressing a lot more since then. That night we went to a Noche de Hogar with Paraiso's investigators with a baptismal fecha, Walter and Helen. We had the NdH at a members house and the AP's accompanied us as well, so they could meet Walter and Helen. After the NdH we had the baptismal interviews, I interviewed Helen while Elder Sologuren (AP) interviewed Walter. It was a great experience and they passed the interviews and were baptized this Saturday. They invited me to there baptism but i couldn't go because we had Eladios baptism.

On Wednesday morning we went to zone conference. It was sweet. Learned a lot. Ate hamburgers. After Zone conference we accompanied the Hermana's to a couple citas. I went with Elder Castillo (ZL) to visit Maria y Santos, and Arline with the Hermanas, while my comp went with Elder Mitton (AP) to do Eladios baptismal interview. Our cita with Maria was awesome. The spirit was very strong and i was able to challenge Maria to be married and baptized on the 26 of Junio. She agreed to put that as a meta, and although it wasn't a sure fijo fecha, now with a goal she has been progressing better. She talked to Santos and he finally agreed to marry her, and she called her sister in Nicaragua so she can send her the papers she needs to get married here. She also came to Eladio's baptism this week. In the end our cita with Arline failed but later this week the Hnas put a baptismal meta with him as well for the 19 of june. After the citas with the Hermanas, all four of us had to wait for the bus, which took forever. We were wait out in the middle of nowhere so by the time we got home it was about 10:30 and Lijia was worried sick. In the end though, the night was a success and the interview with Eladio went well as well.

Our districts baptismal goal this month is 7. Right now we have 3 out of the 7, but we hope to pass the goal.

sorry I'm out of time so ill have to finish this next week. Love you.

Elder Tobler