Monday, February 22, 2010

Three Month Mark!

Hello Everyone! This week has flown by super super fast! It has been really windy and has rained a little bit. The rain here is more like a mist kinda like in the vegetable section of the grocery store. This is also my last week with Elder Zavala. I´m super sad because he is super tuanis and is a super awesome missionary.
Tuesday we had district meeting and then had Blitz which is where all the missionaries in a disctrict go to one area and knock doors for a few hours. This month everyone came to our area and we got about 6 refrences. Also we visited with our recent convert, Carla and her mother. Her mother is very old and is an atheist, but she is going to let us start teaching her. Then we went to the Velasque family. They are members and the mother is about to have a baby in a week or two. They are super super awesome and always feed us really good.
Wednesday we walked a ton. We walked to one end of town to an appointment and they weren't home. Then we walked to the other side of town to meet a lady who we have already taught the Restoration to and she wasn't home either. Then we walked all the way down the train tracks to visit a less active member and she had to reschedule with us. And then we took a bus to another less active family. They were all sick but they fed us cookies and chocolate milk. So we walked a ton.
Thursday I hit my 3 month mark. Hurray! We went to visit Hermano Enrique who is a member. We were visiting with him and two other ladies came to his house. I guess they come over every week and pray with him. The members here who were Catholic have a hard time not making their prayers long and showy. It's a problem that we are working on fixing. So these ladies came over and first they all said their own prayers and then Hermano Enrique prayed for like 30 minutes.
Friday my companion wrote his final report so he spent most of the afternoon doing that. Then we went to a member's house and they fed us Chicken Cordon Blue. I didn't get to eat 7 of them but it was still very good.
Saturday we taught an American lady the Restoration lesson. She is friends with our recent convert. She is from California and lived in Idaho for 10 years and was married to an LDS man but he died. She claims that she was baptized but I don't think she was because she doesn't remember anything about Joseph Smith or the Restoration. I also helped a member translate a project he is working on from Spanish to English. He is working to become an English teacher and speaks the language very well. Then we had FHE with a less active family and watched the Restoration video. After the video, we gave the mom and daughter blessings. The daughter is going to be having a baby very soon.
Sunday we got a new Bishop, Michael BolaƱos. Also we are going to be working with a missionary who returned home because of health reasons. He is going to work with us everyday this week.
Monday (today) all the new missionaries went to San Jose for a visit with the President. So I got to see all the Elders from my MTC district. It was AWESOME and they are doing really well. It was super cool to hear all their stories. I weighed myself today and have lost 15 pounds in the past 5 weeks!
Well I hope you all have an awesome week! I Love You All! Love Elder Smith

P.S. I recieved the package from Grandma today. Thank you! I´ve received a couple letters from Dear Elder but no hand written ones. If you email me every week that will be just fine. Also I took out about 30 bucks from the bank for emergencies. I hide all my money in Jesus The Christ. Haha! Also I bought a 4GB flash drive to backup my pictures. I'm going to try and find some more cheap ones. Or maybe you could send one in a package. Also I'm going to upload more pics on that good web album thing today.

Monday, February 15, 2010

February 15 Report

The day we arrived and met President Galvez at airport

Hello everyone! This week has been okay and it has gone by really fast. We´ve had a lot of appointments fall through this week so we´ve spent a lot of time working on reactivating the less active members.
Last Monday on P-day and we helped a Hermana(Sister) buy school supplies for her kids. I think I told you this last week but oh well.
Tuesday we had zone conference and my companion, Elder Zavala gave his final testimony. He leaves in two short weeks. That night we had Family Home Evening with Hermana Carla, the recent convert who is in that picture that you found mom. We are trying to teach the gospel to her 14 year old daughter. She unfortunately has already started doing drugs and smoking pot. Right now she isn't very receptive to our message.
Thursday we did service for an American lady named Nancy. She was born in California and lived in Idaho and shes been living in Costa Rica for 3 years. We helped her clean her house and cut her lawn. It was fun cause we got to do it with machetes.
Saturday was Spencer's Birthday and I hope he had a Happy Birthday. We worked a lot with some less active members and hopefully we will have more people coming to church in the future. Right now there is about on average 35 members every week in church.
Sunday I went to church and then went with Hermano Douglas and we worked with some more less active members.
Today for P-day we went to a funeral. Our district leader´s cook´s stepson died. I guess he was handicaped. It was sad. Well I love you all and hope you all have a great week! Love Elder Smith

Monday, February 8, 2010

February 8th Report

Our Arrival in Costa Rica!!

Hello Everyone, This week has been ok I'm starting to understand Spanish a little bit better. So on Tuesday I had disctrict meeting with the District leader Elder Hansen and his comp and another companionship. We also got paid for the month. We get about 20,0000 colones a month which is about $400. We have to pay for the apartment, the lady who does our laundry, and the lady who cooks for us. The rest is for food, the bus and other stuff I need. I haven't been eating a lot a food. Just the food that our cook makes for us and for breakfast I have a slimfast shake and fruit. Im starting to lose weight and can fit into my jeans again. Hurray!!!!
On Tuesday we also contacted a couple of refrences. One of them is named Yamilet and she has been accepting everything we have taught her. When we went back to her the second time and asked her if she prayed to know that Joseph Smith was a prophet she said she had. When we asked her if she recieved an answer to her prayer she said that she had a dream that was very similar to the dream that Lehi had about the rod of iron and the tree of life. We explained what the dream meant and it was really cool. The only thing she needs to do is get married to her boyfriend and then she can get baptized. That night we went with the ward mission leader, Hermano Douglas, to the recent convert Hermana Karla and had FHE with her.
Wednesday was kind of a sucky day cause a family we have been teaching kinda quit on us. They really liked what we have been teaching them especially the Plan of Salvation because two of their kids have died--one was a baby so they liked the scriptures in Moroni 8. The problem is they are heavy smokers and coffee drinkers. When we told them they needed to stop at first they said that they would and we said that we would help them out. Well, when we went back they said the things we are asking them to do are too hard and they won't let us teach them anymore.
Thursday was a pretty good day. We bought a new phone because our old one broke. We also ran into Juan Andres. We had taught him and his wife the Plan of Salvation and they really liked what we taught them. Well, we forgot where they lived and so we've been looking for their house for two weeks. Luckily we ran into Juan and he was really excited to see us so we set up another appointment with them. Not very much happened the rest of the week...we had lots of appointments and we've been working on reactivating the less-active members. Elder Zavala and I are doing awesome! I love you all and stay safe. Love Elder Smith

Monday, February 1, 2010

February 1st Report

My 1st companion, Elder Zavala, Hermana Carla, and Me!
Dear Everybody, Hurray another week has gone by and it is now P Day! So I still suck at Spanish. Usually during a lesson I say my part and then just sit in silence. This week we visited a member who is American and has been living in Costa Rica for three years. He said that its really hard to understand Ticos, thats what Costa Ricans call themselves, he said its hard to understand them cause they slur a lot of their words and use a lot of slang. Haha! Other than that this week has been pretty good. First I´ll answer your questions.

Food. The food here is pretty good. Usually for breakfast I have something small like fruit or yogurt. For lunch we go to Hermana Ziada´s and she cooks for us. Usually its some kind of rice, potatoes, soup, veggies, meat. Ya its pretty good. Then for dinner we go to a Pulparia and get something small. Pulparias are small little shops that are everywhere. Like there is at least one on every street.

Apartment. The apartment is super small. There is a room to study in, a kitchen, a bedroom and another small room. Lots of the houses here are super small and super ghetto. We either walk or we take the bus. We take the bus a lot cause our area is pretty big. Yes I´m getting along with my comp. He is from Honduras and he only has 4 weeks left until he goes home. Luckily he isn´t trunky. He´s also trying to learn English so he can go to BYU after the mission. Can´t wait til I only have 4 weeks left. The weather is ok. It´s not as hot in the city as it is in the jungle. I´m starting to get a tan and I have a watch tan. Haha! This week it´s been pretty windy which is nice cause it´s not as hot.

The best experience I had this week was watching a hermana get baptized. Her name is Karla and she was already set to be baptized by the time I got here so I didn´t do anything but it was cool to see her get baptized. The worst experience I had this week is that same experience I have every day. I don´t understand Spanish and it sucks hardcore!

Church is pretty cool. The church building is pretty small and only about 35 members came yesterday. And yes I did play the piano. A hermana asked if I could and I didn´t want to lie. Luckily they have a book of simplified hymns so I just played those. Also Costa Ricans and Latinos in general cant sing at all. It´s awefull listining to them during church. Haha it makes our ward sound like the Mormon Tab. Choir Haha!

In my district there are 4 missionaries. Elder Hansen, the district leader, his comp. Elder Recinos, who is also a newbie but he´s from El Salvador so he speaks Spanish. Then there´s Elder Zavala and I. We don´t really work with them that much cause their area is like 30 minutes away. But they helped teach a lesson with us this week.

Yes I exercise. There is a gym by our house and we go there almost every morning. So the member here are freakin' awesome. We have been working with the ward mission leader a lot. He is feaking funny! He is the Costa Rican version of Brother Fraughton. Haha! So I hope you all have an awesome week. Stay Safe. Especially Nick cause he´s accident prone Haha! Love Elder Smith

P.S. Hey Nick see if they have my picture up in the seminary building on that wall with all the missionaries. If they don´t, get one up there.