Went to the Costa Rica Temple one last time as a Missionary

December 14, 2010

This week was really good. On Monday morning we played soccer for p'day. It was the first time I've played soccer in forever. We played with the Ciudad Neily Elders, Golfito Elders, San Vito Elders, some members/RC from Neily, Timoteo, Esteban, Moroni, and even our investigator Mainor. We played in an outdoor futbol 5 (the synthetic fields that can be outside or inside but are smaller and have a net or wall around the field and you pay to play in) for about an hour and a half. The sun was super strong, and because of it everyone ran out of energy fast. It was fun though. I had a got a hat trick (?). Our team won, but it was a close a game. I got sunburn.

After playing soccer we went back to Moronis house with Esteban and Timoteo. We went fishing in their finca. Didier has the coolest finca. They have a lot of land with a lot of things planted. There are many animals in their finca, like cows, horses, chickens, dogs, rare birds, etc. There are also two rivers that run through the finca. We went fishing with bottles and fishing line and bait. Esteban caught a fish in his first attempt, and he flung it out and threw it toward me. We went deeper into the finca to the other river that runs through it, and we tried to catch more fish. We had to walk across through the first river to go to the other one. We saw a crocodile from a distance, but it entered the water and swam away. It began to rain so we went back to the house. We played the guitar a little bit as well.

Tuesday morning we helped Merly build her pesebre de navidad (manger scene). Then I started divisions with Elder Fotheringham, and in the afternoon we took the bus to San Jose.
We arrived there at night, and the next morning we went to the Temple with all the missionaries finishing their missions this month, and with presidente Galvez. It was a very special experience to be able to go to the Costa Rica Temple one last time as a missionary. After the Temple, I went on divisions with Elder Lopez-Carrasco so I could go to Perez Zeledon. We went with Hermana Hadley and Hermana Orellana to San Jose Centro and went to Gringo Alley to buy some souvenirs. Then we went and took a bus to Perez Zeledon. The bus ride was fun, and took about 3 hours. We got home, in time to go home.

The next day Lopez and I ate lunch with the branch pres. in Perez. Next we went to Xinia and Jennifer’s house. We put a baptismal goal with Jennifer for the 18th of December. She is already in 2nd Nephi in the BOM, and she loved church. I know she will receive an answer. Her sister Caroline also agreed to baptism. Their mother Xinia needs to get married or separated. Her companion went to the Elders house while drunk the other night and yelled at them for visiting his "wife". If she gets rid of him shell be set to go. Afterwards, we visited the investigator Andrea. We taught about the sacrament and she is preparing for baptism.

That night we went out with Hermana Hadley and hermana Orellana to go Christmas caroling. We visited some investigators, Menos activos, and Recent converts, and sang to them. We sang decently and had a great time. We had some Christmas Santa hats with lights on them. On the last song we sang (En la Judea, en Tierra de Dios), we did different levels of voices like bass voices, etc. and I did a bom bom bom bom sound on one part as well. When I did this the Hermanas started laughing and almost couldn’t finish singing. It was a fun night. We ate at Pollo Campero to finish off the night. The Aps. came and stayed the night with us.
The Aps. drove us to Rio Claro in the morning for the Zone Training we were going to have with Presidente Galvez. The training was very good. We saw an impacting video about a member boy who wanted to share the gospel with everyone. We learned and practiced new ideas. We also had a game or activity to learn some mission principles. We broke off into two teams, and changed into sports clothes. We had to do running, basketball, soccer, and fly a kite. While doing these things we had to accomplish many things that seemed near impossible, like everyone doing a slam-dunk, etc. but we were able to accomplish everything when we realized what President Galvez wanted us to understand and learn through each of the exercises. We were able to apply many things like how to work in a team, follow the leader, help and want others to meet their goals as well, do things differently or try diff things, how we need to run at the beginning of the month so we can play at the end, etc. It was a great training for the zone, and afterwards we ate lunch at a restaurant in town. During lunch I found out that on his mission, Pte. Galvez had 14 comps (just like me) and 5 areas.

Before pte. and hna. Galvez went back to san José; they accompanied us to visit Mainor. They talked to him, and gained his confidence. He seemed glad about there visit, and we were able to find out that what really might be holding Mainor back is a fear of losing Oli if they get married, because he’s seen others living together for years but when they got married they had problems and separated. He also might have more of a drinking problem then he admits.

That night I went to Ciudad Neily for divisions with Elder Perez. I did Jose baptismal interview. It was the night of "el Tope" from the Festival de los Luces", so no one was home. Everyone was in the street. We contacted a family.

Saturday we ended divisions. Finally in Rio Claro again, we visited hermano Medrano and hno Melvin in the afternoon. Then we went to the church to open for mutual. Only Carla (the yw president) and Rosed (yw) showed up, so we played soccer with them. I was on Carlas team, and Rosed was with Elder Galarza. It was a pretty close game. In the end Carla and I won by one point, at the last second (20-19). Afterward we taught Paola about baptism and she agreed to be baptized in the beginning of January if her parents let her and if she receives an answer. Then we visited Paola and Mia and shared about Christmas and Light. We finished the night by visiting Mainor real quick.

On Sunday I had a talk. I started the talk out by saying, "Hypocritas.........Dijo Jesus a los Fariseos." My talk was about pride and hypocrisy and I kind off chopped the member’s heads a little bit, but they know I did it with love. When I started out with hypocritas... I didn’t really think anyone was going to react, but actually everyone noticed and they laughed in unbelief. During my talk I acknowledged that I was a hypocrite as well, especially for giving that talk. But I exhorted everyone to try to understand others, put on other peoples shoes (not literally), and not get offended so easily. People asked me after why I didn’t say goodbye to everyone at the end of the talk, but I didn’t feel it was that appropriate.

Stephanie also gave a talk about faith. She did really well. After church we had some meetings. Then we went with Pte. Cruz to visit Mainor, Isidro and Julie Segura, and Guillermo and Anais.

Today is Monday and this morning we dug a grave. Its pretty ironic because in mission terms, I'm "dying". The grave was for an inactive members non-member son. He was only 20-years old. It was really sad and weird digging a grave for someone my age. We started digging at 8 a.m. and finished at 12:30 p.m. We had to dig about 8 feet deep. It was hard work because the spot they picked for the grave was all full of big rocks and hard dirt. We had to use picks and shovels to soften it up a little bit. We worked on the grave in the hot sun all morning with 4 other men. We took turns so that no one would die of exhaustion, and we'd have to dig another grave. The end.

I'll see you soon.

Elder Tobler