Monday, August 30, 2010

A Wedding and Baptismal Service

Baptismal Service of Arturo, Paula(10), and Luis Enrique(10)
Dear Everyone, It has been over a year now since I recieved my mission call. This has been one of the fastest years of my entire life and we are now in September. Only 2 more months till my 20th birthday! Yay!
So this week has been super awesome! On Friday we had the wedding of Arturo and Wendy and then on Saturday, we had 3 baptisms--Arturo, Paula, and Luis Enrique. Arturo was baptized by his father-in-law. Paula was baptized by her brother, Joel who was baptized the first week of Sept. of last year. And I baptized Luis Enrique. It was super awesome!!! Also for the wedding and the baptisms, Elder King and a couple of members sang musical numbers. So we spent the whole week just getting everything ready for the wedding and the baptisms. This Saturday we are looking at a possibility of 3 more baptisms, Micheal, Melvin and Luis. They wanted another week or 2 to prepare so we will see what happens.
Not much else happened and I'm going to put up the pictures that my comp. took 'cause the camera that I have is garbage. Please put up more pictures. I want to see how the family is lookin'! Love you all and hope you all have an awesome week! Elder Smith

Monday, August 23, 2010

I'm Assigned Two New Areas: Pavas and Bri Bri

Elder Smith on P-day with The Colonel himself! (ha ha)
Dear Everyone!
I hope you all had an excellent week and I hope your all excited to start another year of school. This week has been super awesome and a ton has happened. I am in Pavas and Bri Bri--yes I have two areas and two wards so we have a lot of work to do especially on Sundays. We are basically in church from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. My new area is right by San Jose by the new stadium they are building. I can actually see my old area, San Rafael, from where I am assigned. My new companion, Elder King, is super awesome and we are working super hard together. He is from Jackson Hole,  Wyoming and has 20 months in the mission. He is super funny and we have spent the whole week laughing.
This coming Saturday we are looking at a possibility of 6 baptisms. First we have Michael, who is 18, and his sister Paula, who is 10. They are both super cool, but Michael is one of those kind of rebellious kids, but he really wants to change and the only problems are his friends, but we are working super hard with him and he got super excited when he found out his older brother could baptize him, he didnt know that before. Then we have Melvin and Louis who are two teens and brothers of a lady who got baptized right before I got here. Then we have Louis Enrique who is a 10 year old of a menos activo that we have reactivated. Then we have Arturo who before I got here stopped smoking, drinking and is going to get married to his girlfriend who is a member. I have to tell you about a crazy story that happened yesterday with him. Well he didn't come to church and Elder King was way worried cause he hasn't missed church for a while and he told us on Saturday that he was going to come. So we went over to his house after church and he told us that he got into a big fight with Wendy, his girlfriend. To make a really long story short, there are some problems with Wendy´s sister and she has some problem with Arturo. Also Wendy has been getting mad at Arturo because she hasn't  seen the wedding rings. Well we sat and listend to them for like an hour and Wendy kept bringing up the fact that she hasn't seen the wedding rings and so she´s not sure that they exsist. Then we were like, "Wendy you don't even need wedding rings to get married because the rings are just a symbol that your married." So Wendy was like, "What I thought you needed the rings to get married." So yeah, luckily we figured that problem out and got it fixed because Arturo was like ready to almost not get baptized. It is funny to think about how the smallest thing can ruin a relasionship. Also goes to show just how hard El Diablo is working. Everythings cool now and Arturo is ready to get married and baptized.
Last Wednesday, the district leaders from our zone had a capacitation (training session) with President Galvez. I'm not a DL but President asked me to come. In the capacitation, President taught us a ton of stuff. It's basically a new way of teaching investigators by asking questions, listening, and teaching to their needs. The new motto is "Teach persons, not lessons." Also there are new PMG movies that we watched. This new way of teaching is really awesome and it´s so more effective. Elder King and I have been using it and we have had some really awesome lessons.
On Thursday, we had interviews with President Galvez. My interview went really well and he said my Spanish is very good. I can basically understand everything and I can talk pretty well too. I actually like talking in Spanish, but Elder King and I talk in English because it's just better. Also the American Embassy is in our area, I want to go in so that I can step on Americal soil again.
My new comp., Elder King!
So on like Friday we were knocking doors and we walked by this house with all these banners on it. There is this new religion trend that is getting big here in Costa Rica. There is a guy who calls himself Jesus Hombre, (I don't know if you´ve heard about him) but he has started this crazy religion. We talked to the lady who lived in this banner-covered house and basically they do not believe in repentance. They believe that when Jesus died on the cross he destroyed the devil and wipped out all sin, so you can basically to anything you want and you will still be saved. Also they have 666 tattoos. This one lady had like 3 or 4 of them on her body. So they believe this Jesus guy is going to destroy the Vatican and then be transfigured and eveybody will be saved. Its a pretty messed up religion and the lady told us that this Jesus Hombre has prophised that something big is going to happen on September 3 so keep a watch out for that. He is basically and Anti-christ and its a messed up church. That's about it for this week and I hope this week is just as good as last week. I love you all and hope you have and awesome first week at school. Nick have fun at college. Love Anthony Smith

Monday, August 16, 2010

Transferred to San Jose Area

I am so excited!!!!! Today was transfers and I had transfers. My new companion is Elder King!!!!!! Yes I finally have a Gringo Comp. and he is super awesome. He was in my zone for a couple of changes and he is probably one of the funniest people I have ever met in my entire life!!! Oh he is from Wyoming and hits 20 months in the mission tomorrow. In 2 days I will hit nine months, that is really cool. It was really hard to leave my last area though. On Saturday we had the baptism of Ticxie, her dad baptized her and I confirmed her on Sunday. Their next goal as a family is to get sealed in the temple. They are a super cool family and I'm going to miss them a ton.
Sunday was my last day in San Rafael and it was kind of sad. In sacrament meeting I gave a talk on "Enduring to the End" and it was my first talk in the Mission and the first in Spanish. It went pretty good and a lot of members told me I did a good job. After church we had the baptism of Sophia and Oscer. They weren't going to be baptized until the 28th, but Sophia is really good friends with a member family in Heredia and one of their daughters leaves on the mission this week and so Sophia wanted to do it before. It was super cool and I did the confirmation of Oscer and it was really cool to be able to see them get baptized. Well after church I spent the rest of the day saying good-bye to people and it was really sad, I think I almost started crying like 5 different times.
Well I love you all and we´re gonna see how my first week goes with Elder King. I imagine its going to be awesome!!! Love Elder Smith

Monday, August 9, 2010

Splits with Elder Jelalian

Elder Vellejo has been an AWESOME companion
Elder Jelalian and me
The Gringo Club!

Hey Everyone!!! So this week has been really fun! First, I did divisions three days with Elder Jelalian while our companions were in a conference with President Galvez. Elder Jealian has only about 5 months in the mission so he is still learning the language so I pretty much did all the talking in all our lessons. It was a good experience and I learned a lot. It was so much fun being with a fellow American and we would spend the night just talking. It was so much fun!!! 
So this week we also have two baptisms! YAY!!!! Trixie and Stephani are going to be baptized on Saturday! Trixie is 9 and I've told you but we are working on reactivating her family for the past month and they have all been coming to chruch so that's good. Stephani is 8 and we are also working on reactivating her family. Her brother, Andrez, was going to be baptized on Saturday too, but he asked us if he could have another week to get prepared. So he will be baptized next week.
Also we put 2 baptismal goals this week! We recieved a refferal from a member family that lives in Heredia. They have a maid named, Sophia, whose 3 children are members of the church, but she and her husband, Osker, aren't. So we traveled to Heredia to teach Sofia a couple times and she had also gone to church with her husband in Heredia a couple times. On Saturday we went to their house which is in the mountains, part of our area is in the mountains and it gets pretty cold up there somethimes, I love it. So we took a 30 min. bus up the mountain and we met Osker at the bus stop and then we walked for about another 30 min. to get to their house. It took forever! So when we got there Sofia had to leave for work so we only got to talk with Osker and we found out that he has had problems with smoking and drinking and he really wants to change his life around and he really liked the church and he wants to learn more. So we talked about repentance and baptism and we set a baptismal goal with him for the end of the month.
After the lesson we walked another 30 min. waited for about 30 min. for the bus and then took a 30 min. bus ride to get home but it was worth it. So after we put the goal with Osker we were like "why don't we go to Heredia and put one with Sophia". So we went to Heredia and we told her about the goal and she was very excited. Then we asked her questions about the church and what she thought and she pretty muched talked the whole time. I think I said about 3 sentences and my comp said like 5 and the rest of the time she just talked and told us how she felt. We asked her if she thought Joseph Smith was a true prophet and if the Book of Mormon is true and she told us that she wouldn't have let us into her house if she didn't think it was true. She also told us that she wants to be baptized and so we put a baptismal goal with her too. It was way cool!!! The said thing is that this will probably be my last week in San Rafael cause transfers are next week and I think I'm going to have transfers. I even had a dream about it!! So we will see what happens. I love you all and I hope you all have a good week. Also summer vacation is almost over so enjoy going back to school. HAHA!!!
Love Elder Anthony Kent Kohkonen Smith
p.s. Oh yeah, the reason why blue eyes are a curse is 'cause for some reason this week there have been a ton of random girls walk past me and say, "Oh you have really pretty eyes", or "Oh your eyes are so blue". Haha its funny, but I can't do anything with these compliments. Oh well, only about 15 months to go!

Saturday, August 7, 2010