Tuesday, January 26, 2010

First Area: Santo Domingo

Hello Everyone! Sorry I didn't email yersterday, but I had to go do some things to make myself a resident of Costa Rica. So first of all my companion's name is Elder Zavala and he is from Honduras. He can speak a little English so that is good! My first area is Santo Domingo which is a city like 30 minutes away from San Jose. It´s pretty cool and very ghetto. My apartment is super small but it´s cool! One family we are teaching live in house made out of wood and sheet metal, but they are super cool. The Dad and the Mom are members and they have a 14 year old daughter who isn't baptized. We are teaching her and she has a baptism date set for in a couple of weeks. We're also teaching a few other families--I don't remember their names because they are in Spanish. Names and directions are going to be the hardest things to learn. Also Spanish will be hard to learn. When we taught our first lesson I kept thinking to myself, "This ain't the language that they taught me in the MTC!" HA HA! Oh well I just need to study more. I read all your emails and I don't know where all the other elders in my district were sent to. Yesterday I did see Elders Whittier and Romney while we where getting our recidency paperwork done. They are both doing good. I know that Elder Whittier is in the Jungle and Elder Romney is in a City. Well I'm doing good and next week I´ll write a more detailed letter and I´ll sent some pictures. I forgot my camera cord. I love you all and have an awesome week! Love Elder Smith

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Arrival in Costa Rica

Hurray I'm in Costa Rica finally! I've only been here for one day and I love it and I never want to leave! Haha! So Monday morning at 1:00 my flight left from Salt Lake. I sat in the very back next to Elder Romney, Sangster and Whittier. It was really hard to sleep and I only got an hour of sleep for the 3 hour flight. After we landed in Atlanta I ate at McDonalds. It was the first real food that I had since leaving the MTC. After I ate I went to my gate and tried to get some sleep cause I was super tired, but it was really hard so I just sat there for an hour while we waited to board the plane.
After getting on the plane I fell asleep finally. I slept through takeoff for about an hour and a half. When I woke up I had to fill out some forms for customs and stuff like that. The flight to Coasta Rica was 4 hours long but after I got some sleep I felt a lot better. As we were landing in Costa Rica there was a lot of turbulance and Elder Romney almost threw up. He has been having some problems with his eyes. And he got kinda sick on the plane. After we landed we went through immigration and customs without any problems and Elder Romney threw up in a garbage can.
After all that we walked out of the airport and President Galvez, his wife, and the AP's were there to greet us. We loaded all our stuff into a van and drove to the temple. The temple is super cool and we took some pictures there (which I will email to you on P-day which is Monday) After that we drove to the AP's home and they let us sleep for a couple hours. It was way cool cause I thought they were going to make us start contacting immediatly. After my nap we ate Subway, my first meal in a foreign country. Then we chilled for awhile and talked to Elder Lee who is one of the AP's He is really cool! His companion, Elder Rogler actually went home today along with 6 other Elders. They spent the night in the same house so there were a lot of people.
After chilling for a while Elder Rojaz, who is Elder Lee's new companion took Elder Brazington and me out to do some contacting. It was super fun and we talked to a few people. I didn't understand a thing they were saying, but Elder Rojaz would tell me what to talk about and I did the best I could to tell them about the gospel. We talked to one guy for like 20 minutes about the restoration and prophets it was super cool. Then we went back to the house and got ready for bed. I wrote in my journal and then went to bed.
This morning we all went to President Galvez's house and ate breakfast. I had waffles, cereal, fruit--watermelon, pineapple and papaya. It was super cool. President Galvez and his wife are super awesome!! Today we are going to do interviews with President Galvez and then do a little training. Tomorrow I get my trainer, travel to my area and start working. I'm so excited!!! I LOVE YOU ALL!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Monday, January 11, 2010

MTC: Week #8 (Last Week!)

Guess what I got my travel plans this past week!!!! I'll finally get to leave this place and never come back. HAHA!! Actually it hasn't been that bad and its gone by super fast. The Spanish is coming along great. Its going to be hard for the first couple of months but by my birthday (or sooner) I hopefully will be fluent. Spanish is a pretty easy language and I'm suprised that all my school teachers were poor at teaching it. Maybe I'll be a Spanish teacher...not!
Here's my travel plans: I leave with the 7 of my district members who are going to Coasta Rica(Me, Duncan, Sangster, Romney, Johnson, Brazington, and Whittier) from the MTC on Sunday night at 8:30pm. Our flight leaves from Salt Lake Airport at 12:50am. Then arrive in Atlanta GA at 6:20am. Then we leave from there at 9:40am and arrive in San Jose at 12:45am. So I'll either call home before we leave Salt Lake or Before we leave Altanta. It'll just depend on how long it takes to get through. Also I hope some good food places are open cause I'm done with the food here. We heard about the attempted attack thing on Christmas so IDK how tight the security will be.
I started packing on Thursday so that I'll be prepared. We are flying on Delta and we can have 2 checked bags and two carry ons. The first checked bag is free but the 2nd is $50 but I have been told we get reimbersed for that. They told us we should have $100 bucks in cash for emergencies and the second checked bag.
So ya, I'm super excited to leave. I love you all and the next time I write you I'll be in a different country. Love Elder Anthony Smith

Monday, January 4, 2010

MTC: Week #7

I hope you all are having a Happy New Year. I can tell you that I don't like writing 2010 on stuff. Last Monday was a pretty chill P-day. I did my laundry, emailed you and ate food. Then my district and I helped clean the temple. We cleaned lockers for 4 hours. It got pretty boring but it was still a good experience.
Tuesday I went to a Large Group Meeting (We go to one every Tuesday). We talked about the importance of bringing investigators to church and how they need to keep their commitment. It was a pretty good meeting. Then Elder Duncan and I went to a Teaching Evaluation appointment (TE). We also got help with our task for this week. Every Wednesday we have a different task. This week it was buying clothes in Spanish. After the task we teach a lesson. The lesson this week was Lesson One in Spanish. In the evening, Allen F. Parker, son of Boyd K. Paker spoke to us. He talked a lot about faith and how missionaries and investigators need faith.
Wednesday I was supposed to go to the TRC and do our task and lesson but none of the volenteer investigators showed up so Elder Duncan and I taught Elder Lafrance and Holbrook. In the Afternoon, Elder Duncan and I taught Hermano Fernandez in a TE appointment. We taught him a little bit from the first lesson. We focused on how God is our Heavenly Father and how we are His children. Also how families are very important. That night we had a substitute teacher because our regular teacher was gone for the new year. The subs name is Hermano Jimenez. He is awesome and every time he teaches us I get excited to learn Spanish.
Thursday was New Year's Eve and instead of celebrating it at midnight we celebrated it at 10:00pm. We just pretended we were in the East Coast. Haha! On Thursday I did a lot of studying and also read a lot from the Book of Mormon. I'm in Ether. We also learned about the Subjunctive: Noun Clause form of verbs. I cant wait to come home and speak Spanish all the time and drive you all crazy. Haha!!!
Friday was a really good day. I finished reading the Book of Mormon. I started it when I got here and finished it on Friday. Hermano Jimenaz was our sub again and he taught us the importance of Preach my Gospel and Planning. It was an awesome lesson.
Saturday was a really long day. Our class was supposed to have a sub in the morning but no one showed up and so we just had personal study for 4 hours in the morning and 3 hours in the afternoon. I kinda liked it though cause I have a lot to study. Also, I finally had gym on Saturday. On Thursday and Friday we didn't have gym for some reason so I was really excited. I played volleyball and dominated the court. Haha! Its really fun and actually there are some really good volley ball players here and so it makes it a lot more fun.
Sunday was Fast Sunday so I didn't eat until 5:20. For dinner I had ham, potates, rolls and veggies. I won't tell you how much I ate. I'll just let you imagine that I ate as much as a normal person would. Haha!!! Its all good cause I'm going to be walking and sweating for the next couple years. Sundays are my favorite days of the week. They are really chill and I just study all day and go to sacrement meeting. In the evening I went to a devotional and President Willam ? spoke. I saw Jacob Thompson--He was in my grade and is going to Wisconsin and Jordon Groff ( Nick will know him) and he is going to The West Indies. They both came on Wednesday. I love you all and Stay safe. Also write more Haha! Love Elder Smith