Anything is possible for our Heavenly Father.

September 20, 2010

Yesterday morning Isa was baptized and confirmed a member of La Iglesia de Jesucristo de los Ultimos Dias. She was so happy about being able to enter the waters of Baptism, even though the water was freezing cold. The baptism supposed to start at 7 AM, but it started half an hour late, like always (we know if we say the baptism is at 7:00, everyone will get there at 7:30, so we always announce the baptism times to be half an hour before we really want it to start). We had a simple baptismal service, and I was able to baptize her. Then in Sacrament Meeting Don Julio gave Isa the Gift of the Holy Ghost.

At the beginning of this last week, Isa had decided she would stop smoking whenever she felt like it. On Monday, while she was sitting on the couch smoking a cigarette in front of Don Julio and Jessica, Isa suddenly stopped smoking. She handed the half smoked cigarettes to Don Julio, as well as three packs of cigarettes that she had in her pocket and in her purse. She knelt down and began to cry, saying “No mas, No mas. When Don Julio saw that Isa was praying and pleading for help, he gave her a priesthood blessing. Then Isa, Jessica, and Julio all embraced each other and started to cry together. Since that moment Isa hasn’t touched a cigarette, and on Thursday when we went to visit, she told us that she was going to be baptized on Sunday morning at 7:00. In the lesson we just talked about life after death and about the final Judgment, and we didn’t even mention baptism, but I knew that we wouldn’t have to. I had felt earlier in the week that Isa was going to tell us she wanted to be baptized in our next visit and that’s what happened. I’m very thankful for the spiritual experience Isa was able to have that helped her beat her addiction, and make a covenant with the Lord. Although no one thought it was possible (Isa’s son’s told us we were wasting our time and we were trying to plant flowers in the desert, or something like that) anything is possible for our Heavenly Father.*Ü*

This week was good except for we don’t really have any good investigators. We are teaching a man named Jerson still, but he isn’t progressing. Jerson is Hna Mairena(Eladio’s future suegra)’s brother in-law. When we started teaching him, he was a crazy drunk “fallen pastor” (he used to be a pastor). He was always drinking alcohol, and it was destroying his home and his family (his wife Maritza and daughter Yaritza). Although his wife told us we were probably wasting our time, because the missionaries had tried before, we were determined to help him out. We went by many times, and although he was drunk we committed him to stop drinking at least whenever we had appointments with him, so that we could help him. At first it didn’t work, but then we got him to come to church with us one day. We went early, so that he wouldn’t drink, and tried to take him to church, but the effects of not drinking made him dizzy, so he couldn’t walk to church. We ran to the church and got a member to go with us to pick him up in his car. We got to church, but Jerson couldn’t make it through the first hour because he felt like throwing up, because his body was so used to having alcohol in it. We ended up having to take him home early, and we thought we had failed, but since that day he hasn’t drank alcohol. The next week he came to church by himself and we have been teaching him since then. The problem is since he is a “fallen pastor” he thinks he knows everything about the Bible, and even though he is reading and praying about the Book of Mormon, he’s basically already decided that he can’t accept another book that isn’t the Bible. Every time we go over there now, the lesson turns into a Bible bash, and even though we chop his head off with the Bible and the Book of Mormon, he is to proud to admit it, and always comes up with the most random topics and explanations for his point of view. Its really sad because even though he is really thankful that we helped him stop drinking, he doesn’t want to accept the gospel, so we’ll probably have to leave him pretty soon.

Basically the only good new investigators we have are Jessica Maria and Gladys. Jessica Maria is a friend of Jessica’s. She is 18, and we taught her for the first time the other day. She didn’t have much time so we just talked about the Book of Mormon, and left her a copy to read. We will see how she progresses. Gladys is a mildly elderly lady that lives in front of the church. She is such an interesting lady. She kind of looks like the lady from the incredibles that makes their super suits, except that she has a super high, sweet, kinda crackly voice. She runs a little shop in Cartago Centro. It used to be a gift shop, then it was chair shop, but now it is a rocker store. Yeah, an old lady that sells slipknot and Pink Floyd stuff. Sometime religious fanatics tape signs on her shop that say, ‘Closed, in the name of Jesus’, and one time a woman came in saying, “It smells like death in here”. That woman came in the store and said that so many times that one time Gladys told her, “You know its really funny that every time you come in here, it smells like death.” Anyway, Gladys is a widow, and was reluctant to let us in because it was nighttime, but she received a book of Mormon from the 1st counselor in the ward, Hno Rojas (who is a professor and a really good man), so she listened to us. She is kind of incredulous, because she has gone to many churches before, and has decided to follow God in her own way, but we’ll see what happens.

On Wednesday night I went to Paraiso and visited Alejandro and Adriana, who had been set to get married and baptized that Saturday, but Adriana had changed her mind. We talked about and settled her doubts, and she decided once again to be married and baptized on Saturday, and they were. The only problem is in the end Adriana wasn’t confirmed, because she decided she had to stay home and wash clothes. Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?

On Thursday night the Hermanas and us went to Carlos and Marielos house for Hno Carlos’s birthday. We made and ate food and cake. We also sang and danced to a song that goes, “Periquito, Periquito, se parece a su mama. Por arriba, por abajo, por delante, por detrás.” (Little parakeet, little parakeet,You look just like your Pop From your feet to your middle, From your middle to your top) They got me doing that dance/game on video, and they really get a kick out of watching it.*Ü* We also visited Hermana Lijia this week. She is staying at her sister’s house so she can take care of her, but she was really happy to see us.

Our recent converts are doing ok. Xinia, Karen and her family are having economical problems, and are going through tough times though. Sometimes they have to work on Sundays, and they aren’t as strong as I would like them to be, but we are trying to help them through it. Eladio is pretty strong in the church. He is eager to read and learn more each day, and has already given his first talk in church, which was really good by the way. He and Arline are planning to get married soon, and he is set to receive the Melchizedek Priesthood this next month.

Anghedon (Brun) and Jasmine are super strong right now. They are so happy every time we visit and every time they go to church. Anghedon has already shared his testimony at church, and has received a calling in the Young Men’s presidency in the ward. He is also preparing to receive the Melchizedek Priesthood, and is very eager to read and learn all he can. Every morning he sends an email with a scripture from the Book of Mormon to everyone at work. He is going to baptize his son Sebastian when he turns 8 in November. Jazmin is also very strong and is sharing the gospel with her friends. She always has a smile on her face when she talks about the gospel. Yesterday we watched the video about Parley P. Pratt and Vincenzo D. Francesca finding the Book of Mormon and gospel. They really loved it and Jasmin wants to show that video and others we’ve seen with them, to her friends.

We are really worried about Jorge, because he broke up with his member girlfriend Pamela, and it doesn’t seem like he’ll be moving to Cartago anymore. We need to find out the address of the church where he lives in Escazu, so he can attend there. Jessica and Isa are really happy and excited to be members of the church, and always read the Principles of the Gospel Book, Libro de Mormon, and love the hymns. We bought them hymns cds at the temple for cheap, and they love them.

The district goal is 11 baptisms this month. I was pretty sure we were going to pass the meta with about 13 or more, but like always, a lot of things go wrong. A few of the investigators that were set to be baptized this next week didn’t go to church. We have 7, and should still meet the meta, as a district. I’m disappointed because I wanted every companionship to meet their area goal, and even we are struggling to meet it. We’ll see what happens.

Elder Tobler

Anghedon y Jazmin