We were able to meet our zone goal for November!

November 30, 2010

This last week was amazing. Both Esteban and Jesus were baptized in our areas. Jesus was baptized in 'Puerto Jimenez' and Esteban in 'Rio Claro'. 'Golfito' baptized Ezekiel, Yorleni, Virgita, Felix, and Margarita. In 'Perez Zeledon' they baptized Ananias, the husband of a long time member (cocinera of the misioneros Lady who cook for the missionaries). With those baptisms, and the baptisms of William, Timoteo, Randall, and Virginia earlier in the month, we were able to meet our zone goal for November of 12 confirmations.

My companion and I are super happy about it *Ü* and so is the zone. The best part about what we were able to do this month is that in the 12 confirmations we had in the zone, there were 8 adult men (much needed priesthood holders for the branches here) and 4 families (future sealings). Yesterday we were able to go calmly to Zone Council and report to Presidente Galvez that we had met the goal. He was really happy with our work. He said something like this (not exact, but parts of what I remember) …Como se sienten al lograr la meta? se siente differente, verdad? Es algo muy maravilloso. No solo lograron la meta, la zona bautizo 8 varones, 4 familias. En San Vito solo hay 2 posedores del sacerdocio ... How does it feel to achieve the goal? different feeling, right? It's really wonderful. Not only you achieved the goal, the zone baptized 8 men, 4 families. In San Vito there were only 2 Priesthood Holders (the new branch president who was going to san vito, Elder Silva, was present and looked worried after that comment) y ustedes bautizaron 8 este mes. Bautizaron una rama, en un mes. Es algo historico en este pais. Algo envidiable en centro America. Algo envidiable en el mundo. Buen trabajo elderes. and you baptized 8 this month. You Baptized a branch in a month. It's something historic in this country. Something desirable in central America. Something desirable in the world. Good job elders.

It was a really tiring month, but was well worth it and amazing. We did a zone fast, and prayed a lot to meet the goal, and I know that your fasting and prayers made a huge difference as well. Our new zone goal is 11, and we hope to meet the goal in two weeks, before I, Elder Fotheringham, Elder Lopez-Carrasco, and Hermana Hadley leave the zone and go home.

So more details about this last week, on Monday we planned out a sweet p'day in Puerto Jimenez. But things never go out as planned. I was going to go to Pto. Jimenez with Elder Fotheringham from Golfito, and we were going to meet the YM from the ward Moroni, in La Palma, so he could take us to the beach, but Elder Fotheringham showed up to Rio Claro 2 minutes after the bus to Pto. Jimenez left. We jumped quickly on a bus that was going toward San Jose, to see if we could catch up to the other bus, and catch it at Chacarrita, but when we got off the bus in Chacarrita, the other Pto. Jimenez bus had already passed. We tried to hitch hike to Pto. Jimenez, but no one would take us, probably because it was 2 hours away. Luckily, while we were waiting for the bus back to Rio Claro to give up on having our planned p'day, a bus from san José to pto. Jimenez passed and we hopped on. While on the bus I tried to borrow someone’s cell phone so I could call Moroni, but the first people I asked were Spaniards, and didn’t have a cell phone, the second couple I asked were from Switzerland, and they didn’t understand me, and the last guys phone didn’t have signal. When the bus made a rest stop, his phone did have signal and I called Moroni and told him we would be late. Then we talked to the Spaniards, and I tried talking with the Swiss people in a mix of German, Spanish, English, French (I think), and Italian, and we were able to have an interesting conversation. When we finally got to La Palma, Moroni wasn’t there, and we waited for an hour, then decided to just go to the beach. We asked where the nearest beach was and we walked to Playa Blanca. We saw the ocean and took some pics and then we walked out to the main highway and took the bus to pto. Jimenez. We then went to Ronald and Lily’s house. Behind their house there is an airport, where Ronald works. There is also a river swamp thing that flows into the ocean. Ronald took us to the swamps to see crocodiles. It started to rain a lot, but we were able to see a crocodile, and take some pics. Then we also went to the beach nearby. That night we went to the weekly activity of the Pto. Jimenez Group and we watched Jose Smith Profeta de La Restauracion (Joseph Smith, Prophet of the Restoration) movie. In the end it was a great P'day.

The next day we went to Jesus’ finca, and Elder Fotheringham did his baptismal interview. Jesus told us he couldn’t wait for his baptism on Thursday. We returned to Rio Claro that afternoon. On Wednesday morning Golfito had the wedding and baptisms of Felix and Margarita, and Ezekiel and Yorleni (Luz Neimy), and Virgita. It all took place in Rio Claro, because Golfito doesn’t have a baptismal font. It was a great ceremony, we helped decorate the chapel, and I lent Felix my suit and a tie, and many people attended. It was the classic marriage ceremony, my comp played the marriage song on the piano, as the brides were escorted in, and there was a flower girl (Dianara) and ring boy, and there were the rings. There was even cake. After the marriage everyone was taking pictures and eating cake, and then we moved to the baptismal part. The baptism room was full, because there were so many of the family members of Felix, Margarita, Ezekiel and Yorleni there. It was awesome because none of them are members and they all really liked the baptismal service. The baptisms went smoothly, even though I was worried about Virgita (only has one leg), but it all went well. While the baptizers and baptizees were changing I taught all the people present about the authority to baptize and about the Restoration of that authority. It went really well, and everyone present (mostly non-members) loved the marriage and baptismal service, and were really grateful to see how much effort we put in to making it special.

On Thursday the Assistants of the President (AP's) came to Zona Sur. We invited them to come that day because we needed their car and cell phone, because it was the day of Jess’s baptism. The AP’s picked us up in Rio Claro (they showed up late) and drove us to Pto. Jimenez. The baptism was supposed to start at 2:00 pm, but it ended up starting at 4 pm, because we had a lot of back ups. First the AP's picked us up late so they had to drive super fast to Pto. Jimenez. Second the roads toward Pto. Jimenez are terrible, especially after the landslides a few weeks ago, so that slowed us down. Thirdly, the AP's were supposed to bring the Hilux, but ended up bringing the Carrola, because the first counselor of the Mission, Pte. Soto, decided he needed the Hilux more than us (hahahaha), he obviously hasn’t seen the roads we had to drive on. When we finally got to Pto. Jimenez, we had to pick up Jesus and Belizario, who live down a bumpy, muddy road, deep in the middle of the jungle, and take them to the baptism. We had to cram in the little car because it only carries 5 people and we were 6, and Jesus is a very large man, so we had to get comfortable. Also before going to the baptism, we had to pick up the baptism clothes, which were in the church house in Pto Jimenez Centro, the opposite way we wanted to go. So that the police wouldn’t arrest us, Elder Centeno, Belizario, Jesus and I waited at the bus stop while my comp and Elder Smith drove to pick up the clothes. Then they picked us up again and drove us to the beach near Hno. Martins house, where the pto. Jimenez baptism take place, because there is no font near, so they baptize in the ocean. Although the baptism started 2 hours late, it was a great service. My companion baptized Jesus, and I baptized Alain´s 8 year old son, Jacob, who was also being baptized that day. It was amazing to be able to baptize in the ocean. What a blessing. There were about 36 people present at the baptism. Basically everyone in the Group. I think it’s the best assistance I've seen. Jesus was super happy about being baptized. He is such a great guy, and Hna. Nieves and him will make such a great couple. While we drove him home he kept telling us that he was "tan contento" (so happy) about being baptized.
After the baptism we made the long drive back to Rio Claro.

The next day we had Esteban's baptism in Rio Claro. It was also a great experience. Although the assistance was pretty low (about 8), Esteban was happy about being baptized. After the baptism Didier Gonzalez invited everyone out to eat fried chicken. It was really cool because it was basically us, our recent converts (Stephanie, Timoteo, Esteban), some of the Gonzalez Family (Didier, Sayleen, Yasini, Moroni), and Pte. Cruz. We ate some good chicken.

On Saturday we had English and guitar classes. We also talked with Pte. Soto (Mission 1st counselor) about some of the callings and suspensions in the branch. Afterwards while going to take a bus to a cita (appointment), we found his wife, Hna. Soto, trying to start the Hilux (remember the Hilux we were supposed to have a couple days before), because it wouldn’t start. We tried to jump-start it with cables connected to Hna. Julies car, but nothing. Pte. Soto showed up and his wife told us that he knew what to do, but he told us that he didn’t, and she looked kind of disappointed in him, but oh well *Ü*. The alarm had activated, but it was making noise, it just wouldn’t let it start. We finally pushed it to a car shop, and the guy told us it was because the battery wasn’t connected well, and once it was connected well, we could charge it up. That we did, and then Hna. Soto took us to get ice cream and then took us to our cita. Our cita was to climb up Mud Mountain again to get to the Charpantier finca (ranch/farm). This time the mud was even deeper than before, but luckily Carolina had left some boots for us, and even though they had holes, they sure did help a lot. After sweating a lot and making it to the Charpantier house we ate food that Carolina and Hna. Charpantier prepared. We played a little guitar, and we taught Raul about the purpose of life. Then we ran, or slid down Mud Mountain, this time with it raining super hard, and the path converting itself into a mud river. I felt like I was in Africa, and had the Africa song playing in my head. When we got to the bottom of the hill to the main road, we washed the mud off with the rain, and waited for the bus. It passed by and didn’t stop when we waved it down, so we began to walk, soaking wet and muddy. We tried to ask for ride, but no one stopped so we kept walking. When we weren’t paying attention, we saw what we thought was Didier’s car pass by, and we didn’t react in time to flag it down. My comp said it was "bad luck", but I told him that it was "good luck lost" *Ü* (Buena suerte perdido). In the end it wasn’t Didier’s car the first time, because 10 minutes later he and his family, really did pass by, and they stopped and gave us a ride in the back of the car, to Centro.

On Sunday there was good assistance. Timoteo blessed the sacrament for the second time. Moroni and his brother Mosiah passed the sacrament. Celtin prepared the sacrament. Its great that now the missionaries (us) aren’t the only ones who do this each week.

Elder Tobler

We were greatly blessed with a little miracle!

November 22, 2010

These last couple weeks in the Zona Sur it has been raining, and the rivers over flooding, and we had been complaining about having too much water. This last week the rains stopped, and we got what we asked for, but not exactly the way we were thinking. All of this last week the whole city of Rio Claro was without water. I don’t just mean without rainwater, I mean without water in the pipes. It was a pretty tough week because of it. There were some problems with the tubing that takes the water into the town, and they actually told us, we could be without water for a whole month. During the week, trucks with tanks of water drove around passing out water to the people. Everyone had to fill up buckets and bottles they had, with water, to use for washing, bathing, and drinking. Unfortunately for us missionaries, the times that those trucks passed by our house during the week, were times that we weren’t home, so we only got to fill up bottles once. But we were greatly blessed with a little miracle. After Timoteos baptism, the day before the water went out, we pulled the plug to drain the baptismal font, but for some reason, when we went back the next day, the pila was still full of water. During the week we were able to go to the church to use that water. We would go to use the bathroom, and we also filled up our bottles with the baptismal water, and took them home to use for washing, bathing, and flushing the toilet. After a full week without water, we actually got kind of used to it. In the end it was a great experience because, although the people were kind of sweaty and stinky, the fact that no one had water brought everyone closer together.

We ended p'day early this week, because we had some important citas (appointments). We started teaching Esteban, and he told us he wants to be baptized, so he has a fecha (date) for the 27th of November.

This week we visited Jesus in Puerto Jimenez, and he is looking really good for his baptism next week. We had to do the usual hitch hiking to get to and from his house, which is always interesting, because you meet some good people. After the lesson with Jesus and his friend Belizario (20 year old Panamanian who lives with Jesus), we took pictures of the toucans’, and even saw some monkeys. It was fun. We visited Ronald and Lilibeth at night.

Also this last week, we went to the Charpantierre house. A year ago in Heredia, I dedicated the grave of an old man who passed away, and the grave of his wife. He was a Charpantierre, and I knew he was from the Zona Sur. Turns out that his family is from Rio Claro. Sadly the only active member of the Charpantierre family here in Rio Claro, is Don Charpantierre's granddaughter Carolina. She is about 20 years old. Right now she lives with her mother and two brothers. They live in km 31, but about 2km into the jungle. The trail to their house is the muddiest hill, I have ever seen. The trail is literally a foot or more deep of mud. No cars can make it up this trail, but obviously we had to. Carolina asked us to show up by surprise and visit her mother and brothers, who have been inactive for a long time now, because of some offense against them I think, partly I think because the father of the family left them, and they were sealed and everything, so it was really hard on them. Carolina was supposedly going to leave us boots, so we could climb the muddy hill, but we never found the boots. My comp tied some white plastic bags around his shoes, and they looked really funny, kind of like we were on the moon, except for in mud. Unfortunately, I was forced to just get muddy. We were miraculously able to make it up the trail, without drowning in mud, and we got to the Charpantierre house. Carolina wasn’t home, but immediately her mother, welcomed us in, and she gave us food, and we just talked with her and her sons for a long time. They are a really nice family, but they have something holding them back from coming to church, but we don’t know what it is. After awhile we told the hermana that we had to go take a bus, because there was an activity at the church but they keep talking and in the end we missed the bus and had to run down the muddy mountain. When we got to the main road, I desperately flagged down a car, which luckily stopped, even though we were muddy, and drove us to Rio Claro. After changing quickly we went to the church to prepare for the activity.

For the activity we showed the Jose Smith Profeta de La Restauracion (Joseph Smith, Prophet of the Restoration) movie. There was good attendance again, about 25, and the Relief Society even prepared un Gallito (a little plate with a tortilla, rice, and chicken) for everyone to eat after the movie. That’s awesome because we didn’t even ask them to do it, but I guess they have seen our efforts in helping the branch, and now the people are starting to help us on there own accounts. It was great activity, and Mainor and his daughters came and liked it a lot as well.

Elder Tobler

P.S. Feliz Cumpleaños Mama! I wish you the happiest birthday you could ever imagine!
I love you and I hope you have many birthdays more.

Timoteo was finally baptized after two weeks of unplanned delays.

November 15, 2010

This week we finally had Timoteo's baptism. It was a really great service. Many members went, mostly the Gonzalez family (which make up half the branch), but Didier and Julian gave good talks, my companion baptized Timoteo, and we shared the memories of our own baptisms while they were changing. Our investigator Mainor came to the baptism with his two daughters, and he really liked it. Timoteo shared a great testimony at the end of it all. It’s awesome that Timoteo was finally baptized after two weeks of unplanned delays.

On Monday we finally arrived in Rio Claro after being absent for almost a week. The Elders in Perez Zeledon and Hnas. In San Isidro had been trapped in the city of San Isidro de Perez Zeledon for a few days because of the floods and landslides, and they didn’t have water for a couple days, but now they are basically back to normal, just in need of a few new roads. After going to Internet we went to Merly and Yasini`s house for dinner.

On Tuesday morning we took the early bus to Jimenez. We got off the bus a few km before Jimenez at the parada de Ñeque, so we could visit Jesus. Jesus is the boyfriend of a strong member in Puerto Jimenez, Hna. Nieves. We started teaching him last week, but he already has a baptismal goal for this month. Jesus lives deep in the middle of nowhere, and he has a finca (Farm). After getting off the bus, we were supposed to get a ride in a little blue car, that supposedly always passes at that time, and takes people 8km in until El Tigre (the town just passed Jesus’ house, named after the River that passes nearby) for mil colones each. The little blue car, or " el Carrito Azul", never passed by, so we had to "Pedir Ride" or hitchhike, to get to Jesus s finca. Luckily the owner of a hotel near El Tigre, "El Chocuaco", took us in his car all the way to our destination, even though it was passed his hotel, and he didn’t charge us either. We taught Jesus about the word of wisdom, and the Sabbath Day, and he committed to keeping these commandments. He gave us his coffee and we through it out. After the lesson we ate lunch that Hna. Nieves had prepared and explored a little bit. In his finca he has platanos, sugar cane, African palm, pigs, chickens, etc. Afterwards we left with Hna. Nieves, this time in the little blue car, to the main road, and then took a bus to Jimenez. We took a little bit of P'day (preparation day / day off), because there was nothing to do, and we had canceled p'day in the zone this week (we suggested it to the zone, since we had lost the whole week before trapped in san José). Then we went to some citas (appointments) and ended by eating dinner at Ronald and Lilibeths house.

On Wednesday (which was our p'day this week /changes) we decided to work instead. We visited some inactives, knocked doors, and did service (washed dishes and swept) at Daniela and Elizabeth’s house. We finished the night off by teaching Timoteo about the Aaronic Priesthood he was going to receive after his Baptism. Julian and Krissia accompanied us to teach Timoteo.

On Thursday we had district meeting and started 3 way divisions. I went to Golfito with Elder Oseguera, Elder Fotheringham went to Ciudad Neily with Elder Amador, and Elder Perez went to Rio Claro with my comp Elder Galarza. While I was in Golfito, we put 3 baptismal goals. We put a baptismal goal with Golfitos cocinera (cook), Xiomara, for the 27th of this month. We also visited the couple Ezekiel and Yorleni, who are going to get married and baptized on the 24th, and we put a baptismal date with Yorlenis mother Virginia for the same day. Virginia has an amputated leg, and has difficulty getting to church in her old wheelchair, so we talked to President Galvez and they are going to get her a new wheelchair, through the wheelchair program the church has. Afterwards, we went to Felix and Margaritas house. They also are set to be married and baptized on the 24th, but their 9-year-old granddaughter Dianara, who lives with them, she had some doubts about if she should be baptized. But after talking with her and showing her a picture of Jesus being baptized, she decided to be baptized as well, on the 24th. We finished divisions off by visiting our RC (Recent Convert) Stephanie (who lives on the limits of our areas) and watched "Between Heaven and Earth" Temple movie with her, and taught her about Temple and vicarious work. She is really awesome.

The next day we went to Rio Claro early to eat breakfast, while Elder Fotheringham and Galarza went for Timoteo's baptism interview. Then we ended divisions. The 3 way divisions were a huge success, because Elder Fotheringham, was also able to put a baptismal goal in Ciudad Neily, and my comp had success in our area. We are going to do these type of divisions every week. That afternoon we visited some less active members, like Hernan Medrano. Hernan is an older man, and he was desanimado (discourage) with the branch, so he said that he had done all the work he needed to in the church, and he was done serving in the church. I talk to him, and he changed his attitude. We told him about the progress the Rama was making, and that everyone threw in the towel, then no branch in the whole world would ever progress. We made him understand that even with his health problems, he could still do so much in the church. At the end of the lesson, he admitted that we were right, and he committed to keep coming to church, and he has been pretty firm ever since.

That night we had Timoteo's baptism, and had a reunion with Pte. Cruz, who is really excited with Timoteo, and is actually already thinking of him as a counselor in the branch.

Saturday morning we had English and Guitar classes. Afterward we taught my English student Walter about the purpose of life. Although he is a joven that thinks he knows everything, we taught a very clear lesson, and hopefully he meditates it and prays about it. That afternoon we visited Hna. Rosa, who is the mother of all the Gonzalez brothers and sisters. She has 11 children and I know 10 of them. There is Didier, Merly, Marbei (Coca), Saida, Juani, Jonathan, and Jeffrey who live here in Rio Claro. There is Xenia and Karen who live in Cariari. Maira lives in Puerto Jimenez, and the one I don’t know lives in San Vito. Not all are active, but it’s a big family. Only until know do I know who is a Gonzalez and who isn’t. Rosa told us a lot about the history of the family, and its sad that almost all of her children married non members because there aren’t much options here, and probably most of them are now divorced because the husbands didn’t want anything with the church.

That night we had Noche de Hermanamiento. (Fellowship Night) All of the activities we've had so far have been a success, with great attendance, about 20 to 30, but this time only a few people came. The idea was that it would be a simple activity, where everyone would come with a game or something to do, and we would just have a good time, but not many came. It was still really fun anyway. Those who came were Merly, Yasini, Rosed, Felssy, Felssys little sister, and Stephanie (all woman, except for us, kinda weird, but oh well). We played the games "Stop" and "Do you love your neighbor". It was really fun, many people missed out.

On Sunday we had a great day. Our investigators Mainor and his daughter Yuli came, and a young man named Esteban that lives with Didier and Timoteo came as well. After church we did the weekly ajuste de diezmos (Tithing Settlement) and then visited some members. We visited Marbei and her daughter Natacha and Rosed, and taught them about Alma 50 and left them a picture I drew while we told the story. They wanted me to sign it. Later we went to Mainor and his wife Oli, and Yasini accompanied us there. We had a great lesson about The Restoration, and they are super good investigators. We then visited the Hna. Martha, who I met in Cariari and have started coming back to church after being inactive for a while, we taught her and her ex husband Eliezer and son Carlos. Then ate dinner at Merly and yasini. The end.

Feliz Cumpleaños S! I hope you had the bestest birthday in the whole wide universe! Did you save me any cake? I'll be home in about a month, so i think the cake will still be good
by then, maybe.

Elder Tobler

Problems cause by Rain!

November 8, 2010

I still haven't written about last week, but I’ll write about it next week. I don’t have much time because we’ve been trapped in San Jose all week and just barely made it back to Rio Claro an hour ago.

This week we went to Puerto Jimenez on Tuesday. We taught Hna. Nieves's boyfriend Jesus. He has been to church a couple times and told us he really likes it. He is an older man that has gone to many different churches in his life, but he hasn’t found a church that he feels good in until now. He told us that he feels that God has been making him feel like he's finally on the right path since he started learning about the church. We had a good discussion with him where we really didn’t teach very much, but we just talked with each other, but the spirit was with us in our conversation and we put a baptismal goal with him for the end of this month. Later that day we went to visit Ronald and Lilibeth. It was Lilibeth and her twin sister Lilianas birthday, so we had food and sang happy birthday. We bought them a cake at the local super market, but when we opened it, we could tell it was expired. It was all smashed, and it smelled and tasted awful (like it was fermented or something). So in the end, instead of cake we ate birthday cookies. Also at Lilibeths house we taught her neighbor Jennifer. Jennifer is a young woman with a lot of worldly problems, but she has true potential to change, and she really wants to go to the Celestial Kingdom. We talked about the purpose of life with her, and it gave a new perspective on things. She will just have to decide if she wants to serve God or Mammon.

On Wednesday morning we took the 3 hour bus back to Rio Claro and then prepared for our trip to San Jose for Zone Conference. It had been raining all week, so a lot of the rivers over flooded, and many bridges collapsed, so we had to take the 8 hour bus ride to San Jose, by a different route than usual. We went up through San Vito, in the Jungly Mountains, and then up to Buenos Aires and Perez Zeledon. We usually go directly up to Buenos Aires instead of going around through San Vito. The Elders from Golfito, Ciudad Neily, and San Vito all came with us in the bus Wednesday Evening. We arrived at the AP house at about 11 pm and we stayed the night there. The Elders and Hermanas from the Zone in Perez Zeledon were supposed to come early Thursday morning, but because of all the problems caused by the rain, they were trapped in Perez Zeledon, and couldn’t come to the Zone Conference.

On Thursday morning we had Multi Zone Conference with Elder Falabella of the Seventy. He gave a great Capacitacion (training), and we learned so much. He is a very humble but powerful man. When I shook his hand, he told me he liked the Toblerone chocolates. After the conference the rest of the Zone was supposed to go back to their areas in the Zona Sur, but due to the rain that continued to pour down all across the country, but mostly in the south, they couldn’t travel back. All the roads to the Zona Sur were blocked off because of floods and rock slides, including the road we had taken to get to San Jose, so the whole Zone was trapped in San Jose until the way was cleared and the rains stopped. My companion and I were supposed to stay in San Jose for one more day anyway, because we had Zone Council. We had the missionaries in our zone that were in San Jose work with the missionaries in one of the San Jose Zones, Zona La Sabana, until they could get back to their areas.

On Friday morning my companion and I had Consejo de Lideres de Zona (Zone Conference) with Elder Falabella and President Galvez. In these monthly Zone Councils we have to give informe (report) of our Zones goals and logros (achievement) from the previous month. We also have to share our goals for the next month and our specific plans for meeting those goals. We did not meet our Zone baptismal goal in October. The goal was 11 baptisms and confirmations, but we only had 9 confirmations and 7 baptisms. It was embarrassing not meeting the goal, but we stated our plans for this month in meeting our new goal of 10 baptisms and 12 confirmations, and I basically committed myself, in front of everyone, to meeting the goal this month. President stated that he trusts me, and now I’m kinda nervous, because some of the investigators that all the missionaries in the zone promised were golden don’t seem so golden after all.

Friday after Zone council we went to work with the La Sabana Zone Leaders, because there was still no way to get back to the Zona Sur. My comp Elder Galarza worked with Elder Sangster (Elder Galarza trained him, father and son reunited) and I worked with Elder Lopez. Elder Lopez and I put two baptismal goals that night, and my comp and his comp put another one as well. We stayed the night in the Don Bosco missionaries’ house. There are usually six elders in that apartment, but with us and San Vito staying there, there were 10 Elders. We had to put two mattresses on the floor and sleep laying across both of them so 4 of us could fit, and it was very smashed and uncomfortable.

On Saturday we were desperate to get back to Rio Claro, because we were supposed to have Timoteos baptism, but there was no paso (crossing) and there was nothing we could do. We talked to Timoteo and explained that he could still be baptized, but he really wanted us to be there so he decided to postpone his baptism. We worked with La Sabana the whole day again. In the evening, while I was on divisions with Elder Lopez, I called Tracopa (the zona sur bus service) and they gave me the good news that the next day a bus would finally be leaving for the Zona Sur at 10:00 am, and we would be able to get home around 6:00 pm. I called President Cruz and Timoteo and arranged for Timoteos baptism to be held the next day at 7:00. That night I called everyone in the zone, that were scattered around in different areas, and we all prepared to leave for the Zona Sur the next day.

Unfortunately, when we went to buy the tickets early the next day, we found out that the buses that were supposed to come from and take us to Zona Sur, couldn’t make it through the passes, due to more floods and rockslides, and so they had to turn back. It’s no surprise, because it had been raining nonstop all week long. It was really disappointing, because I had to call and cancel all the plans I had made. We weren’t going to be able to have Timoteos baptism until Friday at 6:00. We attended church in one of Elder Galarza's previous areas on the mission, Asseri. It was cool how the people in the ward were so happy to see him again.

That night President Galvez invited us (the entire zone) to dinner at his house (although we forgot to invite Elder Perez and Elder Amador. Oops.). We had a large meal prepared by Hermana Galvez, with cake and Guatemalan Ponche, which is common there during the Christmas season. We were also informed that the next day (today) at 7 am. There were buses to Zona Sur. It was a great dinner, and Pte. Galvez also informed us that the only one in the zone that had changes was elder Clark (who was still trapped in Perez Zeledon).

This morning we took the bus at 7:45 to get to the Zona Sur. We went a different route than vie ever gone before. We took the Coastal route, which is a highway that goes south by the side of the Ocean. We passed by Jaco, and around Quepos, until getting to Rio Claro an hour ago. I’m exhausted but glad to be back home.

Elder Tobler
Presidente Galvez & Elder Tobler

The river had taken two of his nephews away!

November 1, 2010
On Monday we went to Family Home Evening (FHE) with Jose Marin and Laura. Jose is 1st counselor They are going to move back to Tres Rios this next month. After FHE we payed Laura to give us a haircut.

On Tuesday we did Service at (sister) Hna. Krissia and Julian's house. We helped them peel platanos (plantains), so they could make patacones and sell them. In the afternoon we visited Carla's mom Carmen, a menos activo (less active) woman. We talked with her about her problems, and applied Mosiah 24 to help her understand that God never forgets his promises and if she renewed her covenants by taking the sacrament every week, the Lord would relieve her of the burdens she was carrying.

We also visited Timoteo and put a meta (goal) for him to be baptized this weekend. At first he was unsure, because he felt it was too fast, but after talking about all the preparation he had received from the Lord, even before meeting us, and talking about all the blessings he would receive, he agreed to be baptized this Saturday, and was very excited about his decision.

On Wednesday we did divisions with Golfito, and I stayed in Rio Claro with Elder Fotheringham. We visited Timoteo for his bap interview. We visited some members like Hermana Marbei (Coca) and her two daughters Natasha and Rosed, and shared Alma 47 so they could remember to never let Satan convince them to lower their standards, even a little bit, because he attacks us bit by bit. We also visited the menos activo member family who were recently re-activated, Melvin, Patricia and their children. We taught them about Alma 50, and left them a signed picture about the lesson, so they could remember to prepare themselves spiritually for Satan’s attacks.

On Thursday we went to (president) Pte. Cruz's house and did service by cleaning up the wood and trash that were all over the land around his house. At 2:00 in the afternoon we took a bus to San Isidro de Perez Zeledon. After a 4-hour bus ride we arrived, so we could do divisions with the elders there. We met their investigator family of Elicinio, Ruth, Elicinio Jr., Dilan, Yoxidan, y Nathan. They are an amazing family and the 4 that are over 8, were baptized this weekend. We had a family home evening with them.

That night the four of us Elders slept sideways on two beds we laid across the floor. Its very uncomfortable sleeping like that, but Im having to get used to it. The next day we did divisions with them again. I went with Elder Lopez-Carrasco and my comp with Elder Clark. Elder LC and I had a really good day. We worked really hard, found a few new families, taught good lessons and at night we met up with our comps at Elicinio and Ruths house again. My comp and I did two baptism interviews each (I interviewed Elicinio and Dilan). They are awesome and gave us dinner. That night we set the alarm for 3:30 AM because my comp and I had to take the bus at 4:45 am the next morning, so we could get back to our area in time for English/guitar classes and Timoteos baptism.

The next morning we woke up at 4:40 am, and to our terror realized that the alarm hadn’t gone off and we only had 5 minutes catch the bus to Rio Claro. We desperately got dressed as fast as possible and ran like a kilometer nonstop, just in time to catch the bus. Even though we didn’t wake up at the time we had planned, we are super lucky, or blessed I should say, that we woke up before the bus pass, even if we didn’t get to shower. Unfortunately in our hurry, we forgot our agendas and a few other things in Perez Zeledon, so we were a little dis-coordinated with citas (appointments) and phone numbers and such.

After getting back to Rio Claro we showered (luckily there was water), began to prepare for Timoteos baptism that evening, and went to English and Guitar classes. At the classes we received bad news about TImoteo. The night before Timoteo went to Puerto Jimenez to visit his brother. It was raining intensely many days this week so, the rivers were over flooding, especially in Puerto Jimenez. When Timoteo arrived in Jimenez, he was informed that the river had taken two of his nephews away, and they hadn’t been able to find them. So immediately Timoteo began to help in the search as well. He was in the river and rain, basically all through the night, and because of this, he got really sick. They had to send him to the hospital, and he will be in the hospital for a few days until he can recover. Por dicha (thank goodness), his sobrinos (nephews) were found alive and well, so that was good news. Timoteo will make a full recovery, but because of this incident, he was unable to be baptized this last week in October.

Timoteo's baptism had been canceled for Saturday night, but we still had the Noche de Peliculas (Movie Night) activity. There was good assistance once again, and the members watched up with their families on the huge projector, while we cooked popcorn. That’s right, this time we didn’t just buy package popcorn. This time we made them home made (technically, church made) popcorn. This time we also passed the popcorn out in plastic bags instead of paper towel cones from the bathroom. *Ü*

On Sunday we had a reunion with Pte. Cruz. It was another good day at church, and the assistance remained constant with 45 assistance. I gave the 3rd hour 5th Sunday class about Patriarchal Blessings and other asuntos (bussiness). That night we went to visit Elizabeth, mother of menos activo (recent convert) young woman Daniela. We ate dinner at Hna. Merly and Yasinis house like every Sunday night. They cook really good food. Yum.

Elder Tobler