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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

"There is absolutely no room for fear."

Hola everyone and PURA VIDA! :)))))                                                    August 25, 2014

Whew I have so much to say! Well, this week was a week of miracles. We made it. Despite starting off a little rough by losing my suitcase, and going on a 4 hour adventure to find it, (never found it. :( but it´s really okay.) This week has been incredible.

First, my mission president and his wife are incredible. The first night in Costa Rica we went to the San Jose temple and stood on the grounds. Our mission president gave us an amazing introduction. He has a very strong presence and there is power when he speaks. This mission expects a lot from us. He said that there is absolutely no room for fear. Fear is not from the right source. He said that there is no such thing as being shy here. You open your mouth. It doesnt matter if you know the language or not.

Here we do things called LPEs. Its when you have a conversation with someone, teach a simple truth, and invite them to do something. In this mission, we are asked to do 20 a day minimum. He said that he takes new missionaries to the temple so we can begin with the end in mind. This mission is not about just helping people be baptized, but work towards the temple.

We spent two nights in San Jose before going to our areas. I loved it. The drivers are crazy. Also there is no such thing as cross walks and so people just cross the street whenever they want.

I had the most amazing experience going out with one of the sisters in San Jose to teach a family. We taught the plan of salvation and it was honestly so amazing. I wish I could explain what it is like because there are no words.

The next morning we went to the presidents house for breakfast and to meet our trainers. It was so fun and exciting. The new missionaries were on one side and the other missionaries on the other side and everyone was cheering and it was just a thrill. My trainer is Hermana Bram and is a Tica. When she saw me she was crying and she told me when she saw me she knew she would train me. She doesn{t speak any english except a few words here and there. She is an angel. A very sassy, sassy angel. She is super direct and bold and very motherly to me. Every night she asks me to sing songs so I sing her to sleep every night. I have learned so much from her already. She teases me a ton and is hilarious.  But she is very patient with me and speaks slow so I can understand. HAHA!

We are in Florencia. It is so beautiful and different. The houses are very colorful and it is like the countryside. There are horses in our backyard. Today when we were walking someone was just riding a horse on the road, no big deal.

Florencia is a new area. The church is not very strong here. They have never had sisters here before. They asked the church leaders what to do, and they said; send us sisters. So here we are. We live in a teeny, old chapel. When we first got there, it was terribly terribly dirty. But we{ve worked hard to clean it up. When we were cleaning, there were tons of spiders, cockroaches, and even a toad!!!!!! But its a lot better now.

The people here are so nice. They are really truly so special. We are really close to this family already- the Wong family. The mom, Angie, is seriously the best. She cooks for us every day and she is a professional chef. I have had the best food!!! Like platanos, yuka, exotic fruit juices, and  things I have never tried in my life. She has 4 kids, Marvin, Samantha, Gabriel, and Pamela. They are the cutest kids I have ever seen in my life. Its a really humbling experience when these kids are talking to me and I have absolutely no idea what they are saying. But I love them so much and they always hug me and kiss me and we are super close already.

We have seen miracles while teaching! We met the nicest woman named Helen and her two kids. She let us come in and teach her and we taught her the first lesson. I tried my best to contribute but it is very hard to express myself. I was able to share the first vision, and as soon as I started saying the words, the spirit was super super strong. she accepted to be baptized the first lesson for the 7th of September!!!!!!!!!!!!!! She even came to church yesterday, which is a huge deal. she is so prepared. at the end of the lesson, she said the prayer. She simply said that she felt happy to have missionaries in her home and she felt good and was grateful. It was amazing.

We are also teaching another family. They are a little more hesitant but they are very kind to us. Everyone will let us in their house. People are super super kind.

One more story: we saw that a woman was selling ice cream in her house so we bought some and she invited us in and we saw that her 97 year old mother was lying on the bed. We spent half an hour holding her hand and singing her hymns. She was so cute and sweet. I sang a verse of something in english, hermana bram sang a verse in spanish, and then we sang together. Even though I can't say a lot of things, it doesnt matter because love is universal. Happiest feeling ever.

Some cultural things:
I love how people kiss you and hug you every time they meet you. People are very affectionate ( a man tried to kiss me yesterday but got a firm NO! from Hermana Bram.)
Everything is chill here. No one is rushing around. There is not a set time for anything. One of my favorite sayings they say here is tranquila. It means, its all good. 
People can talk for hours. They are very, very animated and I love it. There is so much passion! It makes me laugh and I love it. 
My name is super hard for them to say, a lot of people just simply call me Hermana.

Overall, I feel a very special connection here. The people are so special. Lots of people have almost nothing and its hard to see. but they are just amazing. Of course, I am struggling because I feel like I cant express myself or understand, but i know it will come. I have faith. I am just so grateful to meet the people i have so far. thank you so much for your prayers and i love you with allll my heart. friends, please forgive me if i don{t answer right away. but I love you and read your emails and smile and love it!!!

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