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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Thank you for celebrating my birthday with beans!

Thank you for celebrating my birthday with beans! That really got me! And of course THE DANCING.
 Seriously my birthday was one of the best birthdays I have ever had.

I had divisions the day before, and lets just say it wasn't my favorite experience. Being on a mission, I have realized a lot of things and traits that I didn't know I had- for good and for bad. One is that when I'm under pressure, I crumble. So with this Hermana that came for divisions, she was watching me like a hawk and so I felt under pressure and that day was pretty hard.

So the next day, my birthday, I still felt a twinge of sad. But when we went to go pick up my companion again, Hermana Acosta bought me a pastry and put a candle in it and sang Las Mananitas in the middle of the street! And then she made me a treasure hunt and I had to go find 20 clues around the house. It was so creative and fun! And then at the end, she gave me chocolate and a message, and confetti and a bunch of cute little things. It was really nice!

 Then we tried to study, but I could not sit still! So I jumped out of my chair, put on the zumba disc, and I started going CRAZY. It was the nicest thing I have ever felt! I felt so good and myself and free! Hermana Acosta was looking at me like I was crazy but i didnt care. Then we went to ma,s house and she made me lunch and we talked and laughed and then we went to go visit Channy. She was there with her mom and sisters. They are jehovahs witnesses. So we talked and they were a bit sad for some things that were happening, and just needed to clear their minds. so do you know what we did? we danced. and danced. and danced. We danced some salsa, merengue, bachata. I even taught them some gringo dance. and it was so fun! It was soooooo funny. I love them.............. then we went to go visit a less active member who is 80 years old and our grandma. she bought me cake and put on a birthday song! And then we went to eat cake with nataly and her family. it was the best day! I love the feeling of being so close to people and feeling their love and loving.

Look at my hair!
They told me there was a fly..haha!

Yes....i had changes and I was really sad but from the moment they told me i felt peace. I know it will be hard. I am so grateful for the time I had in san rafael and the TRUE LOVE AND FRIENDSHIP  I made there! I dont feel alone here in Costa Rica. I feel completely supported on all sides and I feel so grateful for that. 

My new assignment is Training Leader.....I am so happy and feel at peace. But a little nervous too. and shocked. Its like a zone leader but for the hermanas. we call the hermanas every night and check up on them and see how they are doing and the people they are teaching are doing. and we do divisions which is where we change companions and work in their area for a day. We have to do them very often. Imagine what a great opportunity to learn! And that means i have to learn my area FAST. We also go to meetings with all the leaders in the mission and have to go up in front of everyone and say our numbers and be responsible for them. I have heard the meetings are amazing, but President always cuts our heads off. WITH LOVE. But sharp. WHEW! And we have to be examples at all times. 

My companion is Hermana Montoya. I just met her today but we get along really well. She is down to earth, funny, and she is Gringa but her parents are Mexican. She is from California. I think we will get along just great. And am I a little nervous? Yes. But I know the Lord is trusting me with this assignment and I will give it all I have. Im in Alejuela again, which is the same zone I was in when I started my mission! Its so weird, because i recognize a lot of things, and it reminds me of my first 6 weeks in costa rica. Full of anxiety and fear! And now I feel more happy. so weird to be back!
Ill let you know how everything goes! Thank you for your prayers. I feel like Ive been given a special strength because even in stressful situations, I find hope and have strengthened faith. I still feel deeply, but the Lord is strengthening me. Esmeralda teases me and says i have no heart because i haven't cried in so long but its just a joke. Leaving was sad, but HERE COMES ANOTHER ADVENTURE!!! Bring. it. on. I love you!!!
ps: And I got your valentines card and tell grammy I love all her cards she gives me! And kel and mark sent me some really really good cards. And tell Granmama thank you so much for the birthday money! HAPPY: Love you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Please don't smash an egg on my head!

Here in Costa Rica there is a tradition that when it's someone's birthday they get an egg smashed on their head!! But I hope that doesnt happen because that is just nasty! Here people dont celebrate a whole lot but i dont mind. I know it will be a great day. :) I cant believe im turning 20! This is the craziest decade. why is everybody growing up? (old granny voice)

I love the scriptures. My goal is to always read them an hour a day when I come home because I have seen how they truly come alive and help us everyday.

Are you still planning on coming to costa rica to come get me? Better start practicing your spanish! hee hee.

We had a baptism on saturday for andres. He was seriously a golden investigator and is a great example for his family. :) When he gave his testimony I had the feeling that he will be a great missionary someday. 

I love the members here! I dont want to leave san rafael but I have a feeling I am going to have changes. :( I know that everything will be okay no matter what happens. 

My branch president, president briseno and his wife want to meet you!! I think they are coming on thursday or friday. They have our address and number so I hope you can meet them!! 

Yesterday I heard a really sweet quote. Its a saying about different languages.

English is for business
French is for speaking to your love
Italian is for singing
German is to scream at your dog
and Spanish is for talking about God.

I am so grateful to speak Spanish and teach the gospel in this beautiful language. To these special people. I love my mission. Thank you for supporting me and always inspiring me to fulfill my dreams. I have never felt happier, despite all the challenges or weird or hard things that happen. I love you and hope you have a wonderful week!

p.s................... I hate to drop the bomb but.......my camera is broken. I'm so sorry! I have no idea how it happened. Boo. 

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

I am still having crazy Spanish adventures in my dreams.

How is everybody? :)

This week was a wild ride! Semana Santa ended. The majority of the people here are Catholic. This past week they did some interesting traditions where people dress up like Jesus and Mary and carry crosses, and play drums and march around at night with candles.  It was really interesting. We passed by a few of these procesiones. 

I just have to start by saying that I am still having crazy spanish adventures in my dreams! Everyday my companion tells me new stories. The other night I sat up straight in bed and took her hand and said, Hermana, I just want you to know that Im always here for you and that if you need anything im here. and then she asked: like what? and I said cualquier cosa. (anything) haha. Im so crazy. And then another night I said really loudly: what do you want from me!! and then another night I gave a whole lesson about the word of wisdom. hahaha. I just need to practice a lot. Also do you want to know what Im famous for? Making up words. To this day I make up a ton a words and people laugh because I say it with such confidence that its almost real. I have my own dictionary. HA!

This week we had the most amazing meeting with president wilkinson. The zone leaders called us the night before and told my companion and I  that we had to do a demonstration in front of EVERYONE. I was like aaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh! So the next day we had to go up and do a practice lesson in front of the whole 3 zones that were there. And president stopped us and corrected us and we were both shaking and lets just say it wasnt the best lesson in the world, but at least we tried! And I learned A TON. I am serious we have the most amazing president. We learned how to plan and teach better. and it was specific and clear, and after hermana acosta and I made a plan to put all the things in practice and we have seen a huge difference in just 3 days!!! I am so grateful that I am literally learning so much. I am weak, but the lord strengthens and teaches me!!! And I have to rely on him every second to do this work.

S and C couldnt get baptized this week, because C is still having problems smoking. But after, he said a kneeling prayer that he could quit smoking and when we talked to him today, he said he hasnt been smoking in three days!!

Guess what?? I have great news. My branch president, president briseno and his wife andrea are coming to utah!! They are going april 20 and they told me that they want to visit you!! I gave them our address so that they can come. So if there is anything you want to send with them or anything, just let them know. Im so excited!!! And they both speak english. But how cool is that! :)) 

And Mom thank you for always being so thoughtful. you are literally the most amazing person I know. Thank you for always helping me with my needs.  And YEP. My health is good. 
And I heard that KELLY IS HAVING A GIRL!!!!!!!!!!!!! That is so so exciting!!!! I cant believe that kelly is going to have 2 kids! max is literally the most precious thing I have ever seen. Also I had a feeling that the baby was going to be a girl! Have they thought of any names?

Have a wonderful week and I love you all!!!

Never too old to have matching rings!

This is andres....getting baptized this saturday. :)
Gabo, the little guy, taught me how to tie a tie.
I have been taught a billion times but
he is the one who actually taught me!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

If you have the Spirit, you will always have the words to say.


Conference was the best! I got to watch a little bit in English which was really nice! I loved all the talks and I liked the theme about families and that it is the key to happiness. I know its true! I think its interesting that whatever phase of life we are in, we always need to strengthen our testimony and keep doing the basics. one of the basics really is reading The Book of Mormon. What I have learned is that when we have investigators who read the Book of Mormon, they are the ones who truly become converted.

We had a really lovely experience yesterday in conference. Our investigators told us they would come but they didn't come and didn't come...and we were worried and sad, but then we just prayed a lot and had faith and THEY CAME! They are the cutest little couple that has been through a lot in their life but have desires to follow Jesus Christ. Afterwards, we went into a little room and had a lesson with them that was very powerful and the elders came to give them blessings to help them keep the Word of Wisdom. This weekend they are planning to be baptized, and what an amazing day it will be!

Today was Hermana A's birthday so we had permission to go to the zoo!! My favorite animal was the sloth. THE GOOGIE! It was the funniest little animal. But you know what? Zoos make me a little sad. But it was still fun. And we went to the children's museum that used to be a jail. So that was a bit strange. And then Hermana A and I bought matching rings. Haha. 

This week we went to go visit a huge list of people in the Relief Society. We ended up finding some families that are really in need. It made me sad because one of these families is the family of a past branch president. He has been inactive for 6 years. and another family was a gringo family. He worked in the temple and everything. He is really off in his ideas right now and has all these piercings and turned hippie and said a lot of things that actually had my eyes filled with tears. But I was praying the whole time to know what to say.

 You asked for some impressions I've had. I have been thinking about how humbling a mission is. Because you realize that you don't know anything, but you have a mantle. And if you have the Spirit, He will always give you the words to say. There are some really DIFFICULT situations sometimes where I don't know how to handle it, but I trust in the Lord and in the Spirit and everything works out. At the end, this man gave us an amethyst to put our positive energy in and he said it was a really special gift and he doesn't give it to anyone. So that was funny and cool.

Another thing this week was we met a man who says he has the gift of seeing peoples' spiritual gifts and reading eyes. He told me that I have a special gift with children and that to find people and get to peoples hearts, is through the children. So that was interesting.

I love you! Thank you for telling me everything and the pics that are always so precious!!!

Friday, April 3, 2015

I was afraid you would be wondering if I died.

Im glad you're not worried that I'm writing on wed because I was afraid you would be wondering if i died...haha always jumping to conclusions like me. ,) 

I went to the womens broadcast and saw all the utah hair and skirt and jacket combos and I missed you, mom!

Yes i felt the earthquake! it was in the middle of the night and i woke up with my bed shaking. almost every night i have dreams that im home from my mission and every time it feels so real!! My mission is flying. But i love it so much. I cant wait until we can talk and talk and talk and laugh about all sorts of things. 

Thats so fun!! Im so proud of dad for always working so hard and winning that trip! And you got to see the michael jackson show! And see kel and mark! I cant believe how sweet maxy is. I really miss you all but can you believe that I have been here for 9 months! Thats halfway done!!

Things are going really good right now. N is super strong. She is going to be a strong member all her life. :) We have seen miracles in this family literally. All who needs to get baptized now is her dad. He is this super passionate man who is really funny and intimidating, but hes actaully been progressing a lot. Before, he never listened to the missionaries, but he gets along well with hermana A and he is now listening! He even gave up coffee.  And we had family night with them and he watched a video with us about Jesus. It was amazing. We are such good friends with them and if you come, you HAVE to meet this family. We laugh with them a LOT. 

This week in costa rica is called semana santa. that basically means its reaaaaaaaaaaaly catholic for a week. And they do a bunch of activities like prosessions in the street and put crosses outside their houses.

Our investigators are doing well. Right now we are working with a couple who want to get baptized because they want to get married in the temple. They have been married 13 years but they wanted to get married for the church. We explained to them about temple marriage and thats its forever and they really want it. They are really sweet. We were teaching their son too, but his sister told us yesterday that he really isnt interested. other than that, we are just running around like crazy! I love hermana A so much. We literally act like sisters that sometimes get a little snappy but then forgive  fast, and then talk about everything without judging.

Im still having crazy dreams and talking in my sleep! The other day I woke up singing [I see my mother kneeling, with my family each day!* and I sat up straight in my bed and said. [hermana, tomorrow we need to talk to everyone in the street.. and then the next night i woke up saying what do you want?! I am crazy. But every single night I am having conversations with people! in spanish! hahaha

We had a talent night in our branch. I dont know if i already told you. It was fun because the young women wanted to do a dance and asked us if we could choreograph it. So we got to choreograph a dance for them! we didnt dance it, but we got to do a reallllly fun service. Also we sang an adele mash up with the cup game as our talent. It was fun. :) Today we went to the temple and it was so wonderful. 
You should be getting a letter soon. 
I love youuuuuuuuuuuu! :)))
Playing the uke for the old folks for a Relief Society activity

Us. :) My sister

Natalie's baptism!

Eating lunch in the mall for p-day. Life size legos as tall as Hna Acosta!

Dolls that Hermana Carmen made for us. She is Natalie's mom and she is AMAZING.