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