She is already making plans to go on a Mission!

October 25, 2010

This last week was crazy. Saturday Stephanie was baptized. She was set to be baptized this Saturday, but President Galvez visited her and seeing that she was ready, he invited her to be baptized a week earlier, and she agreed. She is already making plans to go on a mission. Its sweet!

Last Monday we just rested, something we never get to do. That night we went to Laura’s house to help her prepare for a talk she was super nervous about giving at church on Sunday. On Tuesday morning our zone had capacitation (Training *Ü* Capacitacion in Spanish), with President Galvez and his Assistants here in Rio Claro. We watched "The District 2" and practiced the 8 points in teaching that we learned a few months ago. It was a two-day training and since some of the areas in the zone are so far away, we had to put those missionaries to work in the areas close by. President and Hermana Galvez (mission President) went to Golfito with the Elders there. Elder Trost (AP), Elder Galarza (my comp) and Elder Lopez-Carrasco went to Perez Zeledon. The Hermanas (sister Missioneries) stayed in our area and went on divisions with Yassini and Sabrina. Elder Clark and Elder Thomas also stayed in our area to work with me. The rest of the elders went to Ciudad Neily. The next day we finished the training, and President and Hna. Galvez went back to San Jose. The aps (asistents of the president) stayed to help in areas.

Elder Centeno (AP) and I went to Golfito to do baptismal interviews. Centeno interviewed Stephanie, and I interviewed Virginia. I was supposed to interview Virginia’s husband Randall as well but there son had to go to the hospital because scissors fell in his eye. In the end he got sent to the hospital in San Jose, and since Virginia didn't have money to go, she was crying, because her son could lose his eye. In the end the AP's took her to San Jose in their car the next day. Their son is going to be OK. They wanted to return quickly to be baptized on Saturday as was planned, but since their son had a surgery on Monday, they have wait until this Saturday to be baptized. While they were in San Jose President took Randall and Virginia to the Temple, which made them want to rush home and be baptized as quick as possible. This week they will finally be able to do that. They were investigators in Larita when I was in Cariari, so they’ve been waiting a long time.

On Thursday the AP's (Assistants to the President) left and Elder Thomas from San Vito came to do divisions with me. When he arrived we immediately left towards 'Puerto Jimenez'. After the 3-hour bus ride we arrived. Pte. Conejo (President) picked us up and drove us around taking us to different references and inactive houses. After a few lessons, he took us back to his house, where his wife had prepared lunch for us. After lunch we went around with the whole Conejo family making more visits on the outskirts of 'Puerto Jimenez' and in 'La Palma'. We then went to Ronald and Lilibeths house in 'Centro Jimenez'. Afterwards Elder Thompson and I went to a member’s house and helped him prepare the talk that he had to give on Sunday. Then we went to the weekly Noche de Hermanamiento (Brotherhood Night) activity, that the 'Puerto Jimenez' Group has every week. We watched The Restoration video but at first the DVD wasn’t working so we sang hymns about the first vision while we waited for Ronald (who is a big tech guy) to fix the technical problems. There were some nonmembers at the activity as well so we aprovecharred *Ü* New word??? (took advantage) and my comp and I explained a little bit and shared powerful testimony about the first vision. It was a great experience and in the end we saw the movie and had a great night.

Early (5am) Friday morning, Elder Thomas and I returned to 'Rio Claro'. We worked there the whole day, I think. I can’t remember what we did exactly. *Ü*

On Saturday morning my companion Elder Galarza returned from divisions from San Vito and Elder Thomas went back to his area. After Elder Galarza arrived we had to go to the Church to give our weekly English and Guitar classes. This time more people arrived for English, but it was complicated to teach because everyone was at different levels. Before the classes started we started to prepare everything for Esteffany's baptism that we were going to have at 2:00 pm, and we started to fill up the baptismal font. We soon realized however that there were going to be complications. First of all, barely any water was coming out of the faucet in the font. Secondly there was nothing to cover the drain hole. We plugged the hole with plastic bags and a big rock and that worked, but there still was barely any water coming out of the faucet. After classes we saw that at the rate it was filling up, it would never be ready in time. We had to act fast so we asked the neighbors if we could pay them for water, and they agreed. We started filling up buckets of water at the neighbor’s house and carrying them to the church and pouring them into the font. After sweating a lot and pouring many buckets of water into the font, we realized that it would be easier and faster if we brought the neighbors’ hose over the church fence and tried to fill it up like that. We stuck one end of the hose in a huge bucket of water the neighbors had, and the other end (The hose wasn’t long enough) we attached another hose to it and used the suck the hose technique to get water going from the big bucket (balde) through the hoses and to the font. It worked, but just as before, there wasn’t enough water because as the water transferred from one hose to another, it was leaking water and pressure. In the end we used one of the hoses attached on one end to the big bucket of water, and the other end filling up the buckets inside the church grounds. As the buckets were filled we just carried them inside, and dumped the water into the baptismal pila (font), and we were able to fill up the font just in time for the baptism. *Ü*

The baptism was amazing. Elder Galarza baptized Esteffany, and after coming out of the water she had a huge smile on her face. Esteffany's mom was there and I think she really felt the spirit. It was really special for Esteffany that her mom was there because her mom is really Catholic, and when Esteffany started listening to us, her parents were very opposed to the idea, but after awhile they softened up and it was neat to see how they ended up supporting her. While Esteffany was changing into her baptismal clothes her mom asked me if I thought Esteffany was ready for baptism. I told her that she was more ready than many people are when they are baptized. And she really is. She is awesome. She accepted the baptismal invitation we made to her, before we even taught her anything, because she had already felt the spirit at church, and knew it was true. Now she is super excited and she is preparing for a mission. The Lord has been preparing her for a long time.

After the baptism we had the almost weekly Rama activity, but this time the activity my comp and I planned was for the whole Rio Claro district. It was Noche de Talentos (Talents Night). It was a really awesome activity. There were many talents displayed. The branch president from Ciudad Neily Pte. Bella did a whole bunch of cartwheel and handstand type move and through himself on the ground, which is crazy because he’s an old man. Elder Perez and some of the Jovenes (youth) from Ciudad Neily sang some songs, and Elder Perez has a pretty good voice. Elder Amador told an inspiring story and showed us some of the drawings he made. He had the only talent that ended in the name of Jesus Christ amen. Rosed and Carla danced to some Latin music. Nelson and Sabrina, showed a lot of guts and played a song my comp taught them in Guitar classes. Elder Galarza declamo (told a sad story) about a dead dog in a deep and monotone voice. I did a juggling act. My comp and I and two young men did a funny missionary skit. My comp and I also played and sang a song (We both played the guitar and I sang) and there were some other talents shown as well. It was a really fun night and everyone had a great time.

On Sunday morning we woke up at 5am (Every Sunday we wake the whole zone up at 5am, so they can get ready and go wake up and pick up investigators and menos activos (Less active) like always. We got ready and then went with Pte. Cruz to wake up and animate (encourage) the members to come to church. Pte. Marin told us he couldn’t help that day, so we only had one car. While waking people up we saw Didier, and he told us that he had to go to San Vito, so he wasn’t going to be able to pick up Timoteo and take him to church. We had to act fast because if Timoteo didn’t go to church he wouldn’t be baptized this month. I told Pte. Cruz to take me to Pte. Marins house and leave me there, and I would talk to Hno. Marin (brother Marin) and get him to take me in his car to pick up Timoteo. Pte. Cruz and my comp dropped me off at the Marin home, and after explaining the situation to Hno. Marin, he agreed to take me to Didier’s house, which was kind off far away, to pick up Timoteo. We went and surprised Timoteo by picking him up and taking him and some of Didier’s children to church. Meanwhile my comp and Pte Cruz went around inviting the members to church.

In the end at church, we had the second week of high assistance. The assistance was 44. It was down from the week before of 55, but it is still pretty good for Rio Claro, so our efforts are giving fruits. My comp gave a talk about Spiritual Progress, and continued our exhortation to the members to put in all their efforts to progress spiritually individually, as a family, and as a branch. Afterwards we taught TImoteo in the Gospel Principles class. Then the last hour I gave the Elders Quorum class about Family Responsibilities.

After church we did the same we do every Sunday. Have our meeting with Pte. Cruz to count tithing, etc., clean up and close up the church. Then we ate lunch. Then we went to citas. We went to a young woman RC (recent convert) named Daniela, who was inactive, but has started coming back to church. We went there with Carla. We taught the nonmember mother of Daniela who said if she finds out that the Book of Mormon is true she will be baptized. Then we ate dinner at the Merly/Yassini Gonzalez home.

Today (Monday, Oct 25) my comp and I went to Paso Canoas, on the border of Panama and Costa Rica. Everyone goes there to buy stuff because it supposedly cheaper. There are a couple store/mall things there, and on the outside of the stores, there are the little market style open tiendas where they sell the stuff cheaper than inside. Technically I've been to Panama now because the stores are directly on the border and as we were looking for things to buy we asked where something was and the lady said that maybe we could find it on the Costa Rica side. So I guess in that store, we were in Panama. In the end we only bought some little Panama flags, and then took the bus back to Ciudad Neily and then Rio Claro. Weaccidently took the scenic route bus back to Rio Claro, because we went on the bus that goes through all the fincas (farms), and takes like half an hour longer than the normal bus.

Timoteo was supposed to be baptized but we have the worst luck ever. I'll write more next week about it.

Elder Tobler