Monday, March 8, 2010

Transferred to San Rafael

With Eveling Salazar and Javier Valverde -- Awesome Members of Santo Domingo!
Good-bye to Hermano Douglas -- The Coolest Ward Mission Leader in Santo Domingo!
Hello Everyone! This week has been a really good learning experience for me. This week I've started to learn that the next 20 months are going to be about "not what I want but what the Lord wants". There have been a lot of changes this week. This week I had to leave my first area Santo Domingo and go to San Rafael which is about 20 minutes away. When I first heard this I was sad and the first couple of days this week were really rough. I didn't want to leave because the members in Santo Domingo have been super awesome and I loved them a ton. Also I got a new companion--let's just say that I miss Elder Zavala. Elder Benitez is great but a lot more serious. Haha!
So about the new area, San Rafael is a pretty big city and half of it is in the mountains. Its super windy and it gets pretty cold at night which is good because I hate the heat. We live with a lady who rents out her upstairs bedroom and its really awesome cause I have a full sized bed and lots of pillows just like at home. San Rafael has had missionaries in the past but they keep getting pulled out. There haven't been full time missionaries here for about 2 years so the members here are super excited to have missionaries again. The members I've met so far are really awesome and one family is from America and have been living here for about 3 years. Luckily the members here are super chill and really funny.
Also there are a ton of less active members here in San Rafael. This is a big problem in Costa Rica and I think its because the Catholic traditions are so ingrained into the people from childhood that members have a hard time breaking away from their old traditions. A lot of the members get baptized for the wrong reasons and don't stay active in the church very long. This is part of the reason why I think there haven't been missionaries here for so long. We have spent the whole week knocking doors, which by the way is one of my least favorite things to do, and its hard to get into houses cause everyone responds with, "I'm Catholic" and when we tell them that we aren't here to take any of their beliefs from them, we just want to strengthen their faith and testimonies in Christ, they just respond again with "I'm Catholic." So it gets pretty frustrating sometimes. That being said we have had some success and we are going to spend this week working with the investigators we have.
So yeah, at the beginning of the week I was a wreck but now I'm doing a lot better thanks to the scriptures and the fact that my Spanish is getting better. I love you all and I hope you all have a good week! Love Elder Smith.