Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Puerto Viejo, Heredia, Costa Rica 12.23.14

Dear Family,
Merry Christmas! What a wonderful time to be serving the Lord and following His way. Things have been pretty good here. I HAVE INCREDIBLY BIG NEWS WHEN WE SKYPE! DONT LET ME FORGET!!!
We have been having many miracles this month. We will not baptized this month but January is going to start off killer! We have a man named Luis that will be baptized on the 3rd of January and a little family of 3 on the 10th. I'm so very grateful to a loving Heavenly Father for preparing the way for us. I know He lives and watches over us and our many situations. We decided to start working in a new barrio to begin finding new people to teach. Our plan was to talk with as many people as we could and teach to find new investigators when they allowed. As we were walking past one house, i felt that we should stop to talk with them. As we continued to walk, i felt more and more that we should go back. So we turned around and began talking and eventually we got into a lesson. We spoke for some time about who they are and what we could do to help. They said nothing just like everyone else. I then offered to say the opening prayer. "Is there anything that you would like me to ask in specific?" The mom of the family began to cry as she asked for unity in the home and that love could return. 
I offered the prayer and we had a fantastic experience with the Dadiva. She and her family all came to church two days later and we have been teaching them since. She absolutely loves the church and cant stay away! Her and her two kids will be baptized on the 10th of January. 
My spirtual experience ends where we started. She later told us her experience of when we found them. She knew the moment that we walked by that we would return to talk with her family. She said that we were going to use the excuse of finding someone else to begin the conversation, which we did. Both the family and us were prepared to reun into the other that day. What a great miracle.

This week I was able to download some wonderful Conference Talks. One of them is called "The Lords Way" by Quentin L Cook when he was only a Seventy back in the day. I love it so much. I began to cry when he said that "We are not Spiritual Orphans". It was incredibly powerful for me. I know what it feels like to be an orphan in an adopted family. My Mom and Dad, Kelly Loosli and his wife, having talked to me in the longest time. 
It's great to see you all busy for the Christmas season. Dad has been quite a lot of characters lately. I've tried showing what my Dad looks like to my new companion but the only pictures I have on this email are of Santa Clause, a Doctor, the Rock Star guy from Halloween, and one other I think. 
Way to be Corbin! Front Row in the picture with 4 girls on each side. Thats my boy :') 
Slap Brendon for Christmas for me Megan. Pretty please? 
Other than that things have been good. Being District Leader is great. I get to work with the other missionaries a ton. My uncle in the mission is my Zone Leader. Its pretty awesome. 
I've gotten the packages of Mom, Grandma, and Grandma. Hermana Coleman called today to say that a one "BJ Hunt" sent a package. I sat there thinking, "BJ? I don't know a BJ" I recognized the last name and screamed "BG HUNT!" Hahaha. He'll think thats funny. It was really uinexpected to get a package of my Deacon Quorem Advisor. I love that guy. Thanks Hunt Family!

Love you all,
Sigan Adelante,

-Elder Neider

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Puerto Viejo, Heredia, Costa Rica 12.16.14

Hello again,

Well, this week has been crazy. I have some good news! I have been assigned to be a District Leader in the Zone of Atlantica. This is the best zone on Earth and we need to keep working hard. I have big shoes to fill. I'm doing my best and we are just gonna keep moving forward. 
This week was also a little tough. We had three people ready to be baptized but night after night, one by one, they began falling through. One of them had a little doubt about being baptized, So he talked with the fellowshipping family about it. Now the family is saying to him, "Don't be baptized" and won't let us talk to him. WWWWHHHAAAATTTT?  Super frustrating, but what can you do? 
Another is named Luis. The only thing that is preventing him from baptism is times in church. If he didn't come Sunday his baptismal date would have fallen. We did everything that was in our power. The Saturday before we said we could come get him in the morning. He said ok. We asked his wife if she would like to come too. "I cant because we are leaving for Heredia to see our new grandchild for the first time! Did Luis not tell you...?" WWHHHAATTT? You gotta be kidding me. So he now has a baptismal date for the 3rd of January.
The last one doesn't want to leave drinking tea and coffee. We said if he doesn't leave it, he can't be baptized. "Fine then. I don't want to be baptized..:" WWWHHHAATTTT? Oh bother.
SO great things have been happening and baddish things have been happening. But we love a new love for the people and we are working hard. We know the Lord is preparing others for us. Just gotta go out and find 'em. 
Anyways, I love you all. We are going to be able to Skype on the 25th. This Sunday we are going to talk to our Group Leader who have offered us dinner and their internet :) Next week I will finish the planning of what hours. I don't remember the account name. Sorry!

Sigamos Adelante,
-Elder Neider

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Puerto Viejo, Heredia, Costa Rica 12.9.14

I hope everything is going well with the family this week. 
Yesterday Elder Hernandez had transfers so now im with my new companion. His name is Elder Alvarado. He is from the same part of Honduras as Elder Rivera was. He is an older missionary. Only has about 4 transfers or 6 months left. He thinks that this well be his last area. He is super cool and we are ready to get to work. 
This last week I've been learning a lot about our agency and our potential. I've learned that we truly are the sons and daughters of a loving Heavenly Father. He is perfect. He knows all things. He knows me and what I should become. He knows of my potential to become like HIm. He is a perfect being that we can all part a perfect trust in Him because He will not lead us astray. It's difficult at times to act by faith. But my faith is in a Father who will not lead me down crooked paths. He knows me and I love Him. I know He lives. I just need to choose to follow as He speaks. 
I love you all too. I hope that this Christmas year we can all learn a little more about who our Heavenly Father is and that we can learn to trust Him more. He trusts us and wants to bless. It's very simple to remember that part during this time of year. I love Him and im so very happy that He sent His Son for me. 

Siga Adelante,

-Elder Neider

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Puerto Viejo, Heredia, Costa Rica 12.2.14

Dear Family,

I'll start this week with commenting on the photos. The bloody hand and knife is because we were throwing knives in the backyard for Thanksgiving and mine slipped accidentally. Just kidding. It's the Kool-Aid mix that Grandma sent in the Birthday Package! Thanks grandma! The other photos are of me and Elder Hernandez in our homemade ponchos.
This week has been pretty different. We have been doing our best to help our investigators progress. We lost about 6 of our progressing investigators. They like reading the Book of Mormon, but they have all said "I like your book, but I will never go to church." Well saying that shows that they don't have sincere desires to follow Christ. We tried teaching each of them about 4 times after those comments pleading for them to pray to know what Heavenly Father wants them to do. One even said, "What's the point of asking God if I'm not going to follow the answer? Even if He said that your church is true I wouldn't come still. I don't want to be a Mormon" Well that just about killed us on the spot. 
Other than that the week has been great. We have been starting to find more investigators that want to come unto Christ. We are dedicated to find those that the Lord has prepared for us. 
This last month President Wilkenson made the goal for us to baptize and confirm 200 souls for the month of November. The whole mission worked hard with prayer and fasting and every ounce of work we could give. In Costa Rica, this mission has never baptized 200 people in a single month. We worked hard. This last weekend we finished this month and President Wilkenson sent a message to all of us to give thanks to a loving Heavenly Father who answers our prayers. We finished this month with 203 newly baptized and confirmed members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. What a miracle!
Heavenly Father loves us. If we are willing to act in faith, He will bless our efforts. I know this to be true.

Siga Adelante,

-Elder Neider

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Puerto Viejo, Heredia, Costa Rica 11.25.14

Dear Family,

I don't think you understood my tone of voice. Sorry about the comment about the ACT Mom. I read that and I feel that maybe it come off snobby. Sorry. I was trying to be funny :S
So writing family has been moved to Tuesdays. So that is why I'm sending this email today. Things are going great in Puerto Viejo. This last weekend Narciso was baptized and confirmed. It was nice to have another baptism. We have been really worried because our investigators haven't been wanting to come to church. If they don't come, we cannot baptize. It's stressful at times, but we keep moving forward. I love this area. I am improving and I'm hoping to see much more success here. When I came we had 30 people coming to church every week. We had 45 this last week and this week we had 36. I have been seeing those less actives we are  visiting returning. I feel great about that. 
Lately I've been getting rashes all over due to the sweat rubbing against my clothes. It's not too fun. 
It's cool seeing that you guys are doing so good with activities. I'm surprised Dad wasn't arrested for posing as a doctor. That's the law isn't it? Or is that only for posing as policeman? 
This last week I went to San Jose again to receive my residency. Elder Mills and I went down together to wait 6 hours at a DMV federal building. It wasn't too fun, but we made the most of it like only missionaries can. We doodled... and talked about the Gospel with people! Hooray! Ha Ha.
Well that's about it. Thank for writing and I'll talk to ya next week.

Sigan Adelante,
-Elder Neider

Monday, November 17, 2014

Puerto Viejo, Heredia, Costa Rica 11.17.14

Hey Family,
This was a very good week. We had 4 investigators come to church. It was a good time to be humble and pray for help. We have a coming baptism named Narciso this Saturday. I'm so stoked. He is awesome. We found him by asking if he needed help in his lawn. We taught him for 10 mins and he cried twice. I know the spirit was there. Ever since then, he has accepted every invitation. He is ready and he will have his interview this Wednesday. Tomorrow is a Multi-Zone Conference for us missionaries. We will be headed to San Jose to receive some training by President Wilkenson. It's going to be great.Then again on Thursday I'm headed back to San Jose to obtain my Green Card with my district from the MTC. ROAD TRIP!!
It's good to hear things at home are great. Things are smooth cruising here. Nothing to big to report. 
Love you guys.

Siga Adelante,
-Elder Neider

Monday, November 10, 2014

Letter from Sister Petersen about our Elder Neider 11-10-14

Hello Sister Neider,

My name is Hermana Petersen. I'm a Senior Sister. My husband (the tall one in 1 of the foto) are P.E.F./Self-Reliance Missionaries from South Weber, Utah. Elder Neider tells us he reigns from Pleasant Grove. We actually lived there for a short time about 25 years ago. We live now in San Jose, but travel all of Costa Rica, speaking in Sacrament Meetings & Elder Petersen teaches the Y.S.A. &/or entire adult Sunday School Class about the P.E. Fund & Self-Reliance when we're in any given ward, branch or group. I double as a helper to the young mission nurse, as I'm a retired R.N. I field the phone calls from the North Americans, so if Elder Neider needs to talk to a medical person, he calls me. You'll be happy to know, I've not heard from him.

Last Sunday, we were in Puerta Viejo & got to see your sweet son. He & his companion, Elder Hernandez were scurrying about in this first foto, before sacrament meeting started. They pretty much ran the show, but waited patiently for the group leaders to conduct the meeting. He ran the CD player for the hymns, while his companion led the music. After that, they taught another Sunday School Class. I asked him how the work was going & he said they'd "found" almost 20 people the previous week (the number was in the teens anyway). He was happy beyond belief. I wanted you to know that! OH, & he attended his first Relief Society class, as he interpreted for me. Also, he said he was thrilled to talk to us in English, because he hadn't spoken it for a month.

The 2nd foto is of the Priesthood brethren preparing for the Sacrament. We're so spoiled in Utah are we not? I couldn't resist taking this 3rd foto, the holder for their tithing slips.

He's doing a great work Sister Jeanine!! Thanks so much for your sacrifice in supporting him on his mission!!

Most Warmly, Hermana Petersen

Puerto Viejo, Heredia, Costa Rica 11.10.14

Dear Family,
So I know I gotta catch up from last week. Really quick, the photos are of my district from the last transfer. The pictures of the sky if you cant see them, and the birds that came. Our Halloween costumes. And birthday food.
Ok, so this past week was Halloween. Elder Hernandez and I dressed up as each other, (switched tags for the day) Pretty creative if you ask me. What more could we have done? Later that day we were teaching a woman named Anna. I looked up into the sky to find that that the birds had begun their migrating season. I thought this was especially funny because this year Mom decorated the house like the movie "Birds" and here I was in Costa Rica actually in the movie! Elder Hernandez didnt make to the end.... I really enjoyed your costumes this year.  
For I received my birthday package the Monday after. It was awesome. Those ties are incredible! Good finds. The last picture their was my birthday dinner. Chopped bananas with strawberry jam. Nothing beats a good missionary birthday. 
Things are going great here. We have a man named Narciso that now has 3 times in the church. We taught him the Word of Wisdom with his devote Evangelist wife Tomasa. They both accepted to live it. They both fell in love with the Book of Mormon. Narciso will be baptized the 22 of this month. Tomasa refuses to come to church, but cant put the Book of Mormon down. Oh well. Shell come eventually. But we taught the Word of Wisdom and we invited them to live it. Now we are two missionaries with two packets of coffee. We don't know how to destroy them still.
We've had many miracles and we are just moving forward. I love this area and its beginning to progress. I love you all. 
Talk to you next week, 

-Elder Neider
PS Happy Birthday again Ma

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Puerto Viejo, Heredia, Costa Rica 11.3.14

Alright Gang, 

Lots of awesome things happened this week. But I don't have time to write. We have been waiting all day for this teenagers to stop playing video games to let us write. The costumes look great. I loved Corbin's. That is easily one of the coolest costumes I've seen. I'm going to write down everything that I want to write next week. I got the package and it was just in time. My companion loves your costumes too. I gotta go because PDAY is already over and Elder Hernandez needs to write his family and President Wilkenson still. I love you all and I am sorry that I don't have more time to write. I'll write next week real good.

-Elder Neider

Monday, October 27, 2014

Puerto Viejo, Heredia, Costa Rica 10.27.14

Cumpliaños Feliz,
Te deseamos a ti
Cumpliaños Mommy Dearest,
Cumpliaños a Ti
Howdy Ya'll,
Happy Birthday Mom! And a happy Halloween to the rest of you. I actually have a great halloween story to share with you all. This is a Halloweenie Tender Mercy of the Lord to Elder Neider.
We were in a lesson teaching a family of Less Actives. Their daughter is incredibly active and is planning on turning in her papers some time next month. She ask a question about a parable that she was having a hard time understanding. It was the Parable of the Laborers in the Vineyard. I gave Elder Hernandez the opportunity to answer to which he responded that he didn't know. This is one of my favorite parables of the Lord and had just finsihed reading Jesus the Christ, so I was incredibly prepared. Her little brother left the room and began playing the piano. My back was toward the dark street behind us. He began going through all of the music he knew how to play. He finally came to a song that both my beloved mother and I are terrified of. blasting his piano with full blast he began playing the theme song to the horror film, "Halloween" having my back to the darkness I began to be petrified. I yelled for him to stop playing that song. He asked "Really?" My heart was pounding. My companion finished the lesson and we had to start back to get to our next appointment.
We were walking in the dark night with lamp posts every 200 meters. Naturally I kept peering over my shoulder to make sure that Michael Myers wasn't following us. I know it's an irrational fear. But it's MY irrational fear.
I was like that walking all the way to my next appointment. It's the family of one of our recent converts. We always have our lessons in their unfinished basement. Never upstairs. I began to pray in my heart for help to feel peace. My companion entered their dark, unfinished basement (which we all know isn't a good idea in any horror film) and said Upe! Buenas!, (also not a good idea) Olivier came down and turned on the lights and said, "Lets go upstairs tonight. Alright with you guys?"
I know that Heavenly Father is watching over every single one of us. It doesnt matter how irrational or small your problem may seem. He is there waiting to send blessings if we will just ask. One of my friends named Aryn Espiritu wrote me for the first time this week and shared a similiar experience in asking for help over something little. I know He is ever listening. Ever willing to answer the small, fervent prayer.
"Ask and ye shall receive,
Seek and ye shall find,
Knock and it shall be opened onto you."
It's a great and true scripture. I know it to be true.
I love you all and I'm so very thankful for all your prayers and help. Have a good week! Happy Halloween!

Siga Adelante,
Elder Neider

Monday, October 20, 2014

Puerto Viejo, Heredia, Costa Rica 10.20.14

Dear Family,

First off that Wreath of Birds is disgusting. Good work Mom. Thats cool that Dad got that calling. My only advice for helping people prepare is helping them to understand the Atonement. I don't know if it is a public video, but there is a video by Henry B Eyring and Jeffrey R Holland called "The Atonement and Missionary Work". It's incredible. Also "Because of Him".
Well, same old same old here in Costa Rica. We've been having a lot of success lately. We found 17 new investigators this week. I feel that I'm really good at getting in the door. I've been learning a lot this last week about the Atonement. I'm close to finishing Jesus the Christ for my second time in the mission. It is a wonderful book. Full of great doctrine and its all about the Savior. I have always thought that it would take forever to finish. Nope. 
I've also started reading the Old Testament for the first time. It's very interesting. I'm about to hit Leviticus. It's really interesting. I asked my Mission President about some funny stuff I had found. Like Noah was a drunk in Genesis and how it says the Lord repented. His answer, "Elder we believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly" Thanks President.
So in Puerto Viejo, things are going great. We should have about 5-7 baptisms already. But..... they all need to get married. There is a law here called Union Libre. Basically if an unmarried couple lives together for about 3 years, they receive all of the right and privileges of a married couple. They don't understand the importance of marriage. But through that challenge, we get the opportunity to bare testimony of eternal marriage. We are finishing up some paper work to help those families become eternal. If we can do all of that, this means I'll be able to come back in a year to 3 temple sealings. I really want to watch those families do it :)
Health has been good, companion has been good, food, weather, and lessons have all been good. 
I've been saving 4 of my white shirts and 2 pairs of garments for when I hit 1 year, I can have pure white new clothes. I've been thinking a lot about Elder Holland and that one Seventy who spoke of caring for the poor. Their are 2 recent converts who received the Aaronic Priesthood, but don't have shirts, slacks, or ties. I thought a lot about those talks a I felt the desire to give them 2 of my shirts. I felt really good that service. To me, they were just shirts. To them they were just shirts. But to their mom and wife, she had a spirit of gratitude. (She's awesome. the Elders before taught about marriage and she said,"Ricardo, marry me or I'm leaving you. I will be baptized") She's cool. I felt a pretty good. It was a good spiritual experience. 
Anyways that is what happened this last week. We just keep moving forward. Love you guys.

-Elder Neider

PS For Christmas, President Wilkenson said that we will watch "Meet the Mormons" together as a mission. Super cool. Can't wait.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Puerto Viejo, Heredia, Costa Rica 10.13.14

(Family:  This was difficult to read, but it was priceless so I left it)


So this keyboarde is brokden so you're going to see a lot of typos. 
This week I had my first baptism in a rivder! So cool. I was scarded for a timde that a snakde or a crocodile was going to come. It was a gredat succdess this wdeek. I love this new areda. It's a littled diferrent herde bdecausde it a group. Asistancde in thde cahpdel was only 32 pedoplde. Thed members ared gredat. We havde bdeden having gredat success and im learning a ton. 
We hade a redally cool ldesson about thed Atonement last night. There is a video callede Because Ofd Him. its incrdedeibly powerful and then we bored our tdestimonieds. It was a cool dexpderidence. Somdetimdes wde havde lessons that the spirit is prdesdent. But thden theird ared othder ldessons whden its not redtraindede dan ddddddddddevderyonde is truly edeifiede.
This letter is probably increddeibly difficult to redad. sorry.

Siga Adeelante, 
Eldeer Ndeideer

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Puerto Viejo, Heredia, Costa Rica 10.6.14

Dear Family,

I received the package from Grandma Margo with all the little notes from the last Neider reunion. Thank you for sending that. I felt very happy to receive it. Sent mail is easily one of the best things in the mission field. Just ask any missionary. So I haven't had the opportunity to be in my new area much. I had about 2 days in it this last week. I was in Guapiles on Divisions while investigators were being interviewed for baptism in my area. I still don't know my area very well and I found that all the members live far and spread out. We a a part of a Group of about 35-45 active members. They are an attachment of a Ward of 160 actives. Once there are enough people here in Puerto Viejo, maybe they will put a chapel here. I'm still trying to feel out what the Lord wants us to do here. 
I loved conference. The speakers in their native languages was very cool. Especially cuz 2 of the speakers where Spanish! Hoo-rah. Richard G Scott speaks his talks before hand in Spanish so Latin America can actually hear his voice and not a voice over. It was a good conference. I needed the recharge from it. I was good to see the things I can improve on. 
In the photos you can see that in Puerto Viejo we baptize in the river! Oh cool. Even cooler is that their is the precaution that we need to find river that are clear. They have problems with crocodiles here. The water needs to be clear for us to see them easier. I made the joke, "At least we will know for sure or not if she's worthy." " Why Elder?" "Because if she isn't that croc is gonna eat her Buford" (deep southern accent) 
I think I'm funny. Whatever. That's the update for this week. I hope that everything is good. I love hearing what's going on.

Siga Adelante,
Elder Neider

PS Corbin: Did you see Blaine Johnson in the MTC choir during the Priesthood Session?

Puerto Viejo, Heredia, Costa Rica 9.29.14

Como estan?

So today was transfer day. I am currently serving in a new area called Puerto Viejo, Heredia in the Zone Atlantica. I'M STOKED! Our house is the church. Here they don't have enough members to become a branch yet. So it's only a group. We have a presiding Bishop here that lives 3 hours away. It's a small little town in the mountains. I walked in and I fell in love with it here. "It may not be on a mountain height, or over the stormy sea. It may not be at the battles front my God would have need of me. But if by a still small voice He calls me to lands that I do not know. I'll answer dear Lord with my hand in Thine, I'll go where you want me to go" I'm ready to get to work here. I love it in Puerto Viejo. 
I don't know much else more about this area so we shall see next week. Oh yeah. There isn't a baptismal font so we will baptize in the river! SAAWWWEEEETTTT!!!!

The pictures are of early morning seminary, selfies, a super cool sunset, and my new home/chapel.

My new companion is Elder Hernandez.

Elder Neider

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Canas, Guanacaste, Costa Rica 9.22.14

Hey Family!

Thanks for that quote Mom. It's exactly what I needed to hear. I got stabbed in the bum today by a syringe! My bum is killing me! We ate lunch with a woman named Odi. She has a son named Banardo. He is special. Everyday he comes and gives as a big hug. We walked in the kitchen to see what we could do to help out. My back was to the door so I didn't see it coming. I felt a pinch in my bum so I turned around to see Banardo backing away laughing. The syringe was bloody and bent. I understand what had happened and the only words I could think of was "No!" Everyone began to panic and I began hobbling over to the bathroom. My companion began asking me about my heart. I said, It's not my heart it's my bum dude!
Turns out if air enters it will travel to your heart and kill you. No bueno. I'm doing fine and just feeling some pain right now. But it's all good. 
We've had some pretty cool teaching experiences too though.Their are two youth here that have a hard time paying attention in lessons. They didn't understand the importance of baptism much. We entered the house and we found that they both really love futbol and basketball. We read 2 Nephi 31:5 which talks about Christ being holy but needs to be baptized, how much more do we need it. We picked up a soccer ball and asked them,"Quien son sus jugadores favoritos?"They said Mario something and Michael Jordan. We asked them to you think that they practice? They said yep. So we used that verse. If Michael Jordan is a professional, and he needs to practice, how much more do you, being a teenager need to practice? He said a lot. We then re-explained that Jesus Christ is a professional and still showed us that we need to practice. 
It was a very cool experience of us because we knew the Spirit was speaking through us in that moment. It was super simple to understand and their attention was fixed. 
We just keep moving forward. 

Siga Adelante,
-Elder Neider

I was able to contact Caden immediately after he emailed me.  This was my response to his syringe stabbing.

Hey. Could you get a disease from the syringe?  Tell your president what happened and seek medical care at the mission office. It is important that make sure to get it looked at. I'm not kidding. I will contact your mission president. Holy cow!
This was Elder Neider's response to me email.
Calm down. It's alright. We are all good. Already called and we are fine. Hahahahaha love you too Mom. It's fine. Haha. It was a clean syringe, never been used. If I was going to die it would have happened already. Hermana Garnder is the nurse for the missionaries and she said I'm all good.

Then I responded with:


Monday, September 15, 2014

Canas, Guanacaste, Costa Rica 9.15.14

Hola Chicos,

Corbin is going to sing Goodbye! Dude that's a fantastic song. It's my favorite broadway song by far. I think you'll do really good with that. Just need to learn how to hold that super high note at the end for 30 seconds..... Good luck! 
Things in Cañas are doing great. President Wilkenson and us missionaries are trying to put a new stake here in Guanacaste so we've been incredible busy with reactivating less actives and trying to prepare people for baptism. It's been difficult because people aren't following through on commitments much. But that's the story of the life of missionaries. 
Today is the Independance Day for all of Central America. There's parades going on in every city in Centroamerica. Its crazy. The sad thing is that the law enforcement here isn't the best so just about every teenager has a big jug of Imperial Beer in there hand. Its about a liter for only $2. It's sad. Luckily we haven't seen members drinking.... so far. 
My scripture study has really changed. I ask the Lord to help to learn a principle in Preach My Gospel and a story in the Book of Mormon or the Bible pops into my head. Once i really start studying the story the doctrine just starts flowing. It's incredible. I know that the Lord is preparing this area and me. He has big plans. Kinda like the Plan of Salvation. But that plan isn't really that big.... Just kidding... I don't preach apostasy like dat. 
A really cool thing happened the other day. We were trying to go teach a youth named Heiner. We said Upe Buenas, and an old man came out saying he isn't home. Feeling a little discouraged because we knew his baptism date was about to fall, we began to turn to leave. As we did that I heard a distinct voice or impression. "Aren't you going to teach him?" I turned back to look at him. We made eye contact and he walked toward us. "I have a question for you boys." Ok what is your question? "Is Hell a real place?" Great question Hermano. Do you mind if we come in to teach you about it? "Sure. Come on in" 
The Lord is hastening His work. As we do our best to be ready for His promptings, He will send help to point us where we should go. I love being a missionary and I'm doing my best to do His will. I love you all and please keep writing me.
Almost forgot. If you could send new ties for me that would be great! After 8 months the same 10 are a little old. A new long sleeved shirt would be great as well. My companion says if you guys can please send the Girl Scout Chocolate Mint Cookies. Other than that I can't think of much else. Thanks Mom and Dad.  Love you.

Siga adelante,
-Elder Neider

Monday, September 8, 2014

Canas, Guanacaste, Costa Rica 9.8.14

This week was great. But to be completely honest, i dont have any good stories. So im going to spend my time sending photos and videos. 

Siga Adelante,
-Elder Neider

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Canas, Guanacaste, Costa Rica 9.1.14

Ok Gang,
I got some cool stuff this week. 
My whole district had baptisms this week so we were all pretty happy. Hermanas de Union had one and the Hermanas de Cañas Unidas had one. We had 3! Incredible! The Lord is preparing His children. We also had a Noche de Talentos or Talent Night. Elder Rivera and I performed "Let It Be" by the Beatles with a less active named Yafeth. Through praticing with him and visits, his whole family minus his dad came to sacrament meeting. We performed and people loved it. Yafeth felt great. The best part was they cheered for an encore and Yafeth and I sang "Wake Me Up" by Avici. I felt great singing in front of people again. I hope you get audio from the video clips. 
We baptized that woman named Nubia. She's super happy because she was baptized on the 2 year anniversary of her son's baptism. He is currently serving in Guatamala. The other 2 were the sons of Marco and Sobeida named Eduardo and Fransico. Eduardo has a pet monkey named Cleopatra. I got a couple photos with her. 
All is well here. We are beginning to change our aproach to the work. Instead of finding on our own a lot, we are now encouraged to reactivate less active family and then have them bring us to there friends to reactive and baptize. The goal before this change was to have 20 progressing investigators. With the change the goal is now 40-50 progressing investigators! If the Lord thinks we can do it, thats good enough for us. So we are on our way to 50. 
The work goes good and I hope youre all not missing me too much. 
Two funny things that are beginning to happen as well. When my hair is short I like to spike it up in the front. But my hair is now too long to spike in the front so I try to do the formal combed to the side thing that mom did with my hair when I was little. In my attempts to recreate that, my district has now nicknamed me Elder Bednar. If the video goes through you'll hear Hermana Chatwin and Garcia call me by Elder Bednar. The other funny thing is that i am continueing to testify and talk about mission work in my sleep. My companion said I woke him up to testify last night at 1 in the morning and continued teaching until 2 before he asked who I was talking to. I apparently said "To nadie" and fell asleep. I speak Spanglish in my sleep! haha.
Love you all and I'm praying for you guys. Have a great week,

Siga Adelante,
-Elder Bednar

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Canas, Guanacaste, Costa Rica 8.25.14

Buenos Tardes Family,
So this week was both good and bad. We've been working hard and been receiving tender mercies. One of them was when we were on divisions with members. I went up to Vergel with Hermano Diaz. The son of Sobeida and Marco is progressing incredibly well and will be baptized this coming Sunday. The tender mercy was the other son though. He feels broken and that God doesn't want anything to do with him. We were teaching Eduardo about the Plan of Salvation when Joel walked in. Joel sat down just to see what was going on. We were teaching "Where do we go after this life?" and we began to explain. Joel leaned over to Eduardo and said, "Things guys are teaching the exact questions we had last week dude" and Eduardo, "I know. Shut up and listen." and we taught them both. Haha they are totally brothers. Eduardo went fishing for us the other night so tonight we are gonna be eating the 15 fish he caught. WHOOHOO!
On the other side of those divisions, Elder Rivera was with our Ward Mission Leader. Their lessons fell through so they began to walk to an activity back at the church. Hermano Luis felt an impression to knock on a door. Those people said they weren't interested. But it stalled them for time enough for the next door neighbor to get home. They began talking and the woman said Come in immediately. They sat down and she introduced them to a named Alejandro. They both began to cry. My companion still didn't know what was going on. The woman was a inactive member of the church. She had been praying that God would send her help because Alejandro was having suicidal thoughts. He said if they hadn't come that night he wouldn't have made it through the night. He will be baptized the 14th of Septiembre. 
If I baptize a man named Alejandro here in Costa Rica, does that mean Elder Diaz needs to baptize someone named Caden in England? i think it does. He would answer Challenge Accepted. We'll see his response haha.
Anyways I love you guys and I'm doing my best out here. We are having a lot of success and I know the Lord is preparing the people here. 

Siga Adelante,

Elder Neider

Canas, Guanacaste, Costa Rica 8.18.14

Howdy Family,
So this week was really cool. I went on divisions with Elder Tidwell in Liberia. He's a former Assistant to the President. He showed me around the city and we visited a few of their investigators. We visited this one family, and when Elder Tidwell was baring his testimony, the 3 year old peed on her skirt. It was pretty funny. We joked that she didn't like his testimony so she peed on it. We visited them again the next day and when I was bearing my testimony, the same little girl pooped her skirt. She disliked my testimony more.... 
We had a lot of success this week! We had two baptisms! Marco and Sobeida. They received the Holy Ghost yesterday and things are going great. She is incredible. We contacted her on a Saturday and she brought her whole family to church the next day. This is amazing because they live in Vergel, 8 kilometers away, and they don't own a car! She was converted the minute we walked in. After baptism, the converts have the opportunity to share their thoughts and feelings. She said that she had prayed that she could become a better mother, wife, and person. She asked if He could help her with that when all of a sudden she heard, "Upe! Buenas!" She looked out the window to find a Gringo and a Latino with ties and plagues sent from God. Hahaha she tells it better. 
She brought her oldest to church yesterday. He said that for the last month he has felt worthless. He began asking himself questions like, Where did I come from? Why am I here? Where am I going after I die? Well thats the beautiful thing about this Gospel. He met with us third hour of church where we taught him of a divine potential and where he came from. We taught him that he is a child of a loving Heavenly Father who is very mindful of his situation. This gospel is awesome. 
We have two baptisms set up for this weekend and 2 more for the week after. We want to work hard to get them going and progressing. It felt so good to be back in the font! I've also had opportunities to bless the Sacrament and teach the youth of their Priesthood. I love the Aaronic Priesthood. 
Speaking of Priesthood, I have one more story to tell. I met a man yesterday named Hiro. He is a member of a local Evangelist church called the Promise of Faith. Man, he knows his bible good. He was quoting verses like no one ive ever seen. We began teaching the first discussion which is about the Restoration. We began explaining how Christ set up His church with 5 basic principles. Prophets, apostles, priesthood authority, revelation, and the scriptures. We began talking about revelation when he interrupted with "I have dreams" (Every Evangelist Tico thinks God speaks through dreams to them) so we spoke of how we can know if it is revelation or not. We figured out it wasn't. When we explained about the 5 basic principles I felt impressed to say that the Holy Ghost is given through the laying on of hands and we shared scriptures to back it up. We asked him if he had received the Holy Ghost through the laying on of hands and he dodged the question. We asked it again and his wife made him answer. He said yes. We then asked,"Where did your Pastor receive his authority to do that ordinance?" We explained how authority is then given. We said that it had to come through a Prophet of God because "no man taketh this honour unto himself, except he be called of God, as was Aaron" -Hebrews 5:4 
I looked right into his eyes and testified that I had received my authority through my father Shawn Ryan Neider, who received it through Kenneth Boyd Neider, who in turn received it from Herbert Boyd Neider, from Errol Smith Phippen, from Merlin Joseph Ballard, from Heber Jeddy Grant, from George Quayle Cannon, from Brigham Young, from Oliver Cowdery, Martin Harris, and David Whitmer, who they received it from a Prophet named Joseph Smith Junior, who received his authority from the resurrected Peter, James, and John, who received it from Jesus Christ!. I testify that i hold the very same priesthood that Jesus Christ has." He was absolutely speechless. 
My company began to speak exactly as Amulek had done after Alma confounded the "wise" and he bore powerful testimony of the same things and then we left. 
It was incredible.
I know that Christ lives and that He has delegated his priesthood through his worthy servants since the beginning of this world. Im proud to be a missionary and to be a Neider. I love you all and ill talk to you next week. Chao!

Siga Adelante,

-Elder Neider

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Canas, Guanacaste, Costa Rica 8.5.14

Dear Home, Family, Friends, 
So I know it's weird for me to write on Tuesday,but we had a Zone Activity to go to the Zoo today. It was super cool. I sent an email with as many pictures as could work. Hope you enjoy them. 
So Elder Rivera and I have been working hard. In the last two weeks, we have started teaching 40 new investigators. The only problem is that a lot of them either are beginning to drop us, or refuse to keep the commitments. The commitments are the door to repentance and a testimony about this Church. If they aren't keeping them, they aren't progressing. It's really hard pleading with your whole soul, "Just read the book!" and to hear the reply, "I just dont want to" They don't understand what they are missing.
We come home every night feeling exhausted. We literally are working with all our heart, might, mind and strength. We are doing everything we can to help them make the right decisions. But as always, they have their agency. I love this area.
Elder Rivera is super cool. He loves to listen to Josh Groban and Christmas music. Luckily he has about 20 Christmas songs that are sung by Josh Groban. We have been preparing for Christmas early this year. His birthday is coming up this Friday. He has 25 years and plans on marrying his Missionary girlfriend next June. She is serving in Paraguay.
It's great to hear from home that everything is going great. Break a leg for Barnum! And of course you found a great find mom. It's like your sixth sense. Remember when I was little and you'd tell me to go get something? I could never find it but you could walk right in and find it in two seconds. Its not that I wasn't trying. It's that you have super powers.
Speaking of super powers, my companion and I were finding super powers in the scriptures. Heres a quick list that I can remember.
1. Samson has super strength
2. Nephi shoots lighting at his brothers
3. Jesus walked through people and on water
4. Nephi teleports 
5. Samuel the Lamanite is unshootable
6. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego are fire proof
and many others that we found.
Obviously these aren't super powers but are the manifestations of Gods power amongst His chosen servants. Likewise, we, meaning all mankind, can be strengthened to any situations we are placed in do to the Atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ and our own personal worthiness. 
Well, there you are for this week. Love ya guys.

Siga Adelante,

Elder Neider

Friday, August 1, 2014

Canas, Guanacaste, Costa Rica 7.28.14

So, it's raining really hard right now. We were drenched in about 2 seconds. With a flash of lighting that hit what felt like only 50 meters around the corner. That was super loud! I love lighting. It's how I got my super powers...
My new companions name is Elder Rivera. He's from Honduras. While I was waiting for an interview with President Wilkinson, Elder Rivera and I played the piano and sang. After my interview I walked out and President said, "Elder, meet your new companion" We hit it right off before even being companions. We got right to work and found 12 new investigators in the first day. He just got done with surgery on his knee so he has been using my knee brace. He is super cool and he taught himself English, Chinese, and Portugese. He has a girlfriend who is currently serving in Paraguay. They are planning on getting married June of next year. He's a hard worker and super funny. 
Because we serve in a Branch, its a lot more simple in design than a Ward. They only have a Presidency for the Branch, and Presidents of the Relief Society and Elders. Interesting. There's a lot to do here. 
This week, I did a lot of studying about the Atonement. It truly is universal, infinite, and ready for everyone. One of the Elders that I met in the office, Elder Pugh, told me a little about what he had learned. In the story of Nephi, his brothers tied him up right. What did Nephi pray for? The strength to be able to break the bands. The Lord does not take our burdens from us. But gives us the strength to endure them so that we may learn and grow. (Read Elder Bednars talk about "The Load" from this last conference. Brillant) 
It's been both a really great week and a very trying week for me. I come a lot closer to Our Heavenly Father. He's begging us to come to him. But, he also respects our agency. "I the Lord God will force no man to Heaven" Its sad to me how far people will go to not come and partake of the blessings of the Gospel. Satan truly has done a good job at making, "the good evil, and the evil good" 
The other thing that I learned is that anyone can fall into apostasy if we aren't strengthening our testimonies. Or more importantly our conversion. I read about King David in the Bible this week and im amazed and what i found. He spent his whole life doing good, being a servant of the Lord. But because he looked upon the woman Bathseba and the actions that came from it, he has lost all possibility of exaltation. (D&C 132:19) Keep your covenants, keep the commandments, and keep moving forward. The word for "to keep" in spanish means "Guardar" which looks a lot like the word guard. Im not simply saying do the good things in the gospel. But guard them. Defend them. Defend your covenants, defend the commandments, (there are no excuses for breaking them) defend them enough to keep moving forward. (Siga Adelante) 
If you have broken your covenants or the commandments, I direct you back to my earlier statement. The Atonement truly is universal, infinite, and ready for everyone. Repent, change, and keep moving forward. If you have fallen, take the saving, redeeming hand of the Savior. Now is the time. Dont procrastinate the day of your repentance. From what I hear going on in Israel, we don't have much time. 
I love you all, I'd appreciate more letters from people.

Siga Adelante,
-Elder Neider

PS.  I withdrew some money to buy stuff from my camera. It's a little frustrating. Oh well. Love ya Mom and Dad.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Canas, Guanacaste, Costa Rica 7.21.14

''I have a Family here on Earth. They are so good to me. I want to share my life with them for all eternity. Families can be together forever through Heavenly Father´s plan. I always want to be with my own family, and the Lord has show me how I can. The Lord has shown me how I can''.
The childrens Hymns have a lot of profound doctrine don't you think?
I know that families can be together forever. I know that the Neider Family is living worthy of that blessing and that we WILL BE together with Grandma again. I can't explain how I know that to be true. Nevertheless it is. It is an eternal truth which means that it will never change. Never. I love my Grandma Donna with all my heart and she always emphasized the family. Always telling stories and experiences that have helped and blessed every life she has touched. I remember that for an assignment as a junior, I interviewed Grammy D. I was trying to get her to bear her testimony to me with my last question. I remember asking,''Grandma, do you believe you will see Grandpa Boyd again?'' To which she replied,'' Let me put it this way, when I get up there, if he's found another woman...'' and then she gave the dirtiest look I've ever seen an 86 year old woman give. Looks like that moment has come and passed. Can't wait to ask her what happened!
So I've had an interesting week. Right now I'm back at the Mission Office writing. I'm waiting to receive my new companion. Elder Gutierrez had changes. So I've been going on divisions with the Secretaries. We had a cool experience last night. We tried everything that we could and then put the day in the Hands of the Lord. We found two super ready people that accepted the date of the 19th of August for baptism. I really feel like I'm becoming an instrument in His hands. With the changes of Elder Gutierrez, this means that both me and my new companion will have a total of 2 weeks in the area of Cañas worth of time. Even better, one of us needs to be the District Leader. We'll see tomorrow.
Sorry it's a little short this week. I don't have a lot of time. P-Day ends soon. I'll write a little more later.
BTW, tomorrow I will have officially have left home 6 months ago. Crazy how fast time flies. To quote the words of Elder Johnson, ''I've been preparing my whole life for this moment. I blinked my eyes the I realize the moment is almost over.'' -Elder Johnson, Zone Leader of Cartago with 20 months in the mission.
I love you all.

Siga Adelante,
Elder Neider

P.S.  Where are the emails from Uncle Donnie's family and Aunt Cami's family? Yep. I'm calling you out.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Canas, Guanacaste, Costa Rica 7.14.14

What?!?!?! Why are you guys meeting some of the coolest people on Earth without me?! John Bytheway and the Prophet! What the hey.
We can start praying for the two of them. 
So I'm in Cañas right now. It's a part of the Province called Guanacaste. It's hot a lot, but there's also lots of wind which is a tender mercy. My new companion is named Elder Gutierrez. He was born in Nicaragua, but he moved to San Jose when he was 7 months old. He has lived in Costa Rica for 20 years. It's his birthday today. We made him a cake, got Pizza Hut, and hung out in a air conditioned room! 
Elder Gutierrez has a very special gift. I've haven't seen this gift before, only heard of it in stories. He receives revelation through dreams. The only problem is that he doesn't know how to interpret them very well. We sat down one day and he said, Elder I had a dream. In my mind I began thinking of Martin Luther King Jrs speech but I let him continue. He began to tell me that he had a dream about me and it was completely accurate. Heavenly Father sends him those revelations. That gift is real. Pretty cool.
This last week we found a woman who is Canadian named Lisa. She barely speaks any Spanish. So I taught her the Restoration because Elder Gutierrez doesn't know English. We have a lot of investigators here and we are working hard. This last week Elder Gutierrez got Dingue. It's a disease that comes from a mosquito. I remember Elder Johnson explaining what it's like. Every joint aches, huge migraine, and you feel like your skin is sloughing off. We missed a day of work cause it just wasn't going to happen. He couldn't walk. Terrible. But he's fine now.
Tell Caden, Pura Vida y Tuanis.
I have some very exciting news. I've officially gained 24.6 lbs here the mission! Yes!
About reading the scriptures. Two things have helped me a lot here. The first is in my prayer to begin study, I tell the Lord that I would like to receive revelation and that my study is in His hands. Then I open to some random part of the Book of Mormon and begin reading. If I don't find something that really pops out and grabs my attention, I start over by opening to another part. This helps me to see His hand a little more. The other thing I do when I'm reading straight through, and there's something I don't understand or would like to know more about, I just change my study to that new thing I've found. Hope those things help. 
ESO! Will is out and about in the mission. That's great! If you have his email I'd like to send him some helping words of encouragement. The first few days in the MTC are a little tough. By a little, I mean a ton
Also, if you could, when you see Brother White, Brother Moore, Brother Wright, Brother Warner, Brother Willie, Brother Maxwell, Brother Hunt, Brother Lewis and the Bishop. Again, tell him thanks for everything they have done for me, my mission, and my life. I never really did thank my leaders. I did, but now I really understand the value of great youth leaders. Their preparation has helped me immeasurably. And last of all thanks to my parents. Thanks for making me the missionary I am now. Love you all lots.

Pura Vida,

Elder Neider

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Canas, Guanacaste, Costa Rica 7.6.14

Como esta en los Estados Unidos?
So today was cambios or transfers. I'm currently writing to you from an internet cafe in San Jose waiting for my new zone to all get here to go to our new areas. That's right. Elder Neider has left Cartago and is heading to a new area called Cañas in Guanacaste. Guanacaste is the northern most part of Costa Rica. Apparently it is crazy hot there. It's the area where my grandpa Elder Johnson served and my last companion Elder Guevara came from. I dont know much more than that in this moment. I do know it's a Rama or Branch and there's my companion and I and 2 companionships of sisters. 
I love Cartago and I know I worked with my whole heart. It was hard to say goodbye. One of the families I have told me off as I was saying goodbye so that was a little hard. But I have like 8 elders who served in Cañas so I have a lot of referencias to get started. Guanacaste is the zone that has had to most baptisms consecutively for like 3 years. Incredible. This zoneis sacred to the missionaries and president. He only puts those he trusts here. Awesome. 
I said goodbye to Guevara, Johnson and Gomez here. They are brothers to me. I love them and wish them all the success in the world. 
It's good to hear that the family is doing great and having fun. How was the fly over? What is Barnum about? Love ya guys.

Siga Adelante,
Elder Neider

Monday, June 30, 2014

Cartago Costa Rica 6.30.14

Hahaha I knew that you'd like the mugging story.
Anyways, this has been a difficult week for me. I've felt very down on my efforts as a missionary and as a person in general. But I love the scripture in Ether that talks about how the Lord gives us weakness so that we will be humble. I understand that this is an opportunity to grow and to come closer in line with God's will and not mine. Its a painful process but its definitely worth it.
Costa Rica won again in the World Cup so they will be advancing in the next round. Its crazy how passionate people get about sports. It actually helps us find people who are ready to hear the gospel. Anyone that isn't drunk! Whoo hoo.
So I'm still here in Cartago but next week is transfer day so we will see what happens. About Hermana Jenkinson, I don't personally know her but the other missionaries do and say she is wonderful.
I dont really have many stories to tell right now. A lot of my spiritual experiences I've been having, are just when I'm praying on my own.
One of our investigators, Gregory, came to church the other day. He was in a car accident and so he understands like a child now. He came and during the sacrament, he got bored and started trying to fix the window that wasn't broken. Haha. He loves the Gospel and has already read the entire Book of Mormon. He wants for his Mom to be baptized as well. Hes a really good guy.
This is both the most fun and most depressing time of my life. On one hand im helping families become eternal. On the other, theres a lot of people who simply choose not to listen or follow Christ. It's hard to not think it's your fault they don't want to listen. But in reality, it's their  agency that is preventing them. There's nothing more I can do. Just invite the best I can. It's hard watching people make bad decisions like that. But its all right.

I love you all lots,
Siga Adelante,
Elder Neider 

Monday, June 23, 2014

Cartago Costa Rica 6.23.14

Dear Family and Friends,

I got mugged for the first time this week!! We were on Divisions in my area of Cartago walking around after a pretty great lesson with a none active. I was with Elder Gomez, one of the Zone Leaders, and we were walking to our next appointment. Elder Gomez and I were talking about how great it went and things we could work on. We heard people running behind us and we turned around with only like five feet in between us. They both had on hoodies and bandanas to cover their faces and they sound to calm down and just give them our telephone and our money. I surprisingly understood everything and reacted calmly. Elder Gomez was telling them to take it easy and the one that was coming toward me pulled a kitchen knife. We gave them what they asked for and they ran off. It took probably 30 seconds and was crazy intense. We returned to our house and called the Mission President using the landlords phone. All is well. Elder Gomez said that he had felt an impression that something was wrong earlier but he didn't act on the prompting. I had walked down that road 100 times so if I did receive a prompting I probably shrugged it off too. Always be listening for the Spirit. He knows more.
So I bought a camera, and it sucks. Its low quality and is basically a piece of junk. All the other cameras were about $400 US currency. I bought one that was about $100. If we want good pictures it's better if you guys buy one and send it. The only upside to this camera is the photos are formatted that I can send a lot through the email. So look at the photos and if you like the quality then I can keep using this one. Anyways there's the deal with that.
Lately I've been really frustrated. I feel like no one listens to me. Members, investigators and especially my companion think that I either don't know what I'm talking about because I'm Gringo or simply talk over me. They don't listen to the advice I give. It's especially frustrating when I testify to people about how the Gospel can bless their lives. They say they want those blessings but they don't want to work for them or do their part. Elder Johnson says you'll come to find the Ticos are some of the laziest people on Earth.
In other news, Costa Rica won again in the World Cup which means they are advancing to the next round. I Elite 8 or the Octavos A Final. England lost again so they are out. Hahahaha Alejandro. And the United States tied against Portugal so they might advance as well.
The funny thing is that we don't watch the games but you can hear the echo of whats going on because each house is watching the same thing with their windows open. Hahaha the things I don't understand my companion explains. I love Futbol now.
The work is going great. I'm learning the language very well. I can now understand about 90% of whats being said and can voice what I want. The Gift of Tongues and of The Interpretation of Tongues is real.
Everyone thinks I have changes this change which is on the 6th of Julio. I feel that I'm ready for a change but at the same time I don't want to. This is where my heart is. This is what I know of missionary work. This has been my mission so far.
I gave Hermana Guevara a blessing because she was feeling sick. She asked for me to do it. We butt heads a lot. It was a great opportunity to develop charity. Shes been struggling a lot and has voiced many times to President about going home early. This last week she decided to stick it out and finish honorably. Then she got sick and I could see in her eyes that she was thinking of home again. In the blessing I felt prompted to give her a voice of warning that Satan doesn't want her to finish. She began to cry and the I know that the blessing was inspired. It's cool being the Lord's instrument.
Anyways I don't have much that I have to share that I can think of. I love you all and I'm doing my best for you. Please continue writing and never forget who you are or what you stand for.

Siga Adelante,
Elder Neider

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Cartago Costa Rica 6.16.14

Como esta familia?

So this week has been crazy. Here are the highlights.
1. The World Cup started last week! It's awesome. We aren't allowed to watch but you can wake and feel the excitement. Costa Rica won their first game against Uruguay which was a huge upset. 3-1. It was intense. As we walk around we can hear the echo of all the televisions screaming, GGGGOOOOAAAAALLLL! Super tuanis. I love Futbol.
2. Our investigator who had the miracle with the Temple Presidency dropped us.
3. Both of the new Hermanas in Cartago wanted to go home and President wanted to send them. He said for the Zone Leaders and the District Leaders to bear their testimonies and exhort them to pray and fast like Enos to know if that's really what God wanted them to do. Hermana Guevara changed her mind and decided to finish her mission. She only has 3 months left. I dont know why she wanted to leave with that little of time left. Hermana Villanueva got to call her Stake President in Mexico and he ripped her a new one. She's staying in the mission but she left this morning for Emergency Transfers. Emergency Transfers is just a name for when missionaries have transfer in the middle of a change.
4. The Zone Leaders got white washed because Hermana Villanueva developed feelings for Elder Gomez. As a result all 3 were transferred. Our new Zone Leaders are Elders Tidwell and Brackett. Elder Tidwell was an AP when I got here. He baptized 18 weeks in a row.
5. Happy Father's Day Dad!
6. There are rumors that ill be sent to Cainyas this next transfer. This is the zone where District, Zone, and APs are trained. But they are only rumors. 
7. We had a baptism yesterday for a man named Sergio. He will be a bishop later in life.
Thats basically it for me. I love you all and im excited for the future. Just gotta be patient and loving and the rest will come.

Siga Adelante,

Elder Neider

Monday, June 9, 2014

Cartago Costa Rica 6.9.14

Hola from Costa Rica,
Here is one of the miracles I saw this week. One of our investigators is named Roberto. He is looking for the logical answers instead of the spiritual. We say something and then he checks to make sure its correct through the Bible, Internet, and other people. Obviously and inevitably lead to him finding Anti-Mormon Literature. Ugh. He found a man named Packer who is an Apostate Mormon. This man wrote many articles about the things that happen in the temple. This lead to Roberto having questions. 
Elder Guevara and I prayed about the situation because we were stumped. We decided that we would continue teaching and hope the that the Lord could find a way to fix it.
The next day was yesterday. He had a lot of questions about the temple and the Lord had prepared a way for him. We stood outside the chapel welcoming people in when my companion told me to look at one of the cars that was pulling in. We saw that they had missionary tags and they were an older couple. We were not informed that we would be receiving Senior missionaries. So we decided to help the Hermana out of her car. As we took her hand we read her tag. There wasn't Hermana anyone. Just a regular name and the word Assistante. I was a little puzzled. Her husband walked around the corner of the car and I read his tag. "Ricardo Rivera (Last name) 1st Counselor of the Costa Rica San Jose Temple"
We were able to have a one on one chat with him and Roberto for a full hour during 2nd hour after he and his wife gave talks solely about the temple. What a miracle!
Right now we are in a finding stage of the work. We had 22 investigators, but because of the rules that come with Hermanas entering an area, we now have 4. We are not allowed to teach groups of women. Only men or families. If there is no man taking the lessons in the house, they become the investigators of the Hermanas. So our faith is being tested now in the sense that we have to basically stat over in this area.
Elder Guevara is the District Leader and I'm his companion. We have equal authority. There isn't a senior or junior companion. Neither is training the other. Its very different now.
We have one baptism this coming week which will make my 6th baptism in about 4 months. Before I came, Cartago was known as the Dead Zone.Now its thriving and I'm happy with the work I've done and am doing. The Lord truly blesses His missionaries. But we are neer satisfied.
I love you all.

Siga Adelante,
Elder Neider

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Cartago Costa Rica 6.2.14

Hello Family, Friends, Loved Ones, etc
So things in Cartago are very different. My new companion has the "Here let me do it" mentality. So he is constantly taking stuff out of my hands and in lessons he just goes on and on. But through this I'm learning patience amongst other things. I don't understand why I can't have patience right now. Anyways, two sisters also got transferred into this area. Hermana Villanueva and Hermana Guevara. My companions name is Guevara as well. So two Guevaras from El Salvador here in Cartago. Weird right? Oh well it set up for a great joke.
The new bishop wanted all the missionaries to bear their testimonies and introduce themselves. First my comp said my name is Elder Guevara and I'm from El Salvador. After his testimony, Hermana Guevara stood up and said the exact same. I was next and said and my name is Elder Guevara as well. And I'm from El Salvador. Lots of people laughed.
Through Elder Guevara's personality I'm learning patience. I'm also learning to really truly think before I speak. In lessons, he speaks and teaches about 4 principles and shares about 8 scriptures in one turn. So I pray and think really hard about "What is the one thing that I can testify of and really make an impact?" I actually feel that I speak the Spirit a lot more when I do that. I've had some pretty strong spiritual experiences with that.
My camera broke the other day. A freak rain storm hit us and it got wet enough that I can't take pictures. I'm gonna try and figure out how to send it and the SD Cards home. I'll wait for a response before I do it. Not using Ronald this time. Check.
I love my area and we are set to have around 6 baptisms this month. I made a promise with Heavenly Father that if I'm exactly obedient, and hard as hard as I can, that He´ll help me to fulfill that goal of 6 this month. I feel like we have two for sure this month. It'll be a test of faith for the other 4. I know He can do it though.
I love my Heavenly Father with all my heart. My view of the world and of life has changed here. I was thinking about it, and if any of you know me, I like superheroes. I was thinking about that the other day. How we live in a world where people don't have powers. We are just ordinary people. And then I was reading my scriptures and watching a video about Doctrine & Covenants 84. "The Powers of Heaven are inseparably connected with the Rights of the Priesthood". I testify that we live in a world of miracles, revelations, and mighty works. The power of authority of God is here on the Earth and we are chosen representatives of that privilege. Through the priesthood all things are possible. The veil is a lot thinner than we think. There have been times where I almost feel as if a can physically remove the curtain from before me and see the angels working here. But, that isn't expedient for me to do that. So I press on in faith. I know that one day I will see the face of my Savior with my family and watch my converts, companions, and friends enter into into His presence. I love you all and this is a humble part of my testimony and hope, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
Siga Adelante,

Elder Neider

Monday, May 26, 2014

Cartago Costa Rica 5.26.14

Ok, transfers. Elder Estrada was transferred to serve in San Miguel in San Jose. I learned a lot from yesterday. I'll write a lot about that in a second. I'm still here serving in Cartago. My new companions name is Elder Guevara. He's from El Salvador and is my cousin. Elder Johnson is our grandpa and Elder Estrada and Elder Celida, (our fathers) were brothers. So I'm serving in Cartago with my cousin and our Grandpa is still our Zone Leader. We don't know who the new Lider de DIstrito is until tonight. Elder Guevara has 9 months in the field and is pretty cool.
The lesson I learned yesterday was about pride, humility, and charity.
Elder Estrada was confident that he was going to be transferred. So he took a notebook with him and had people write down parting words of wisdom and other stuff. He filled our day fill of all the people he wanted to say goodbye to. They each gave about 5 minute talks about what a great Elder he is and how much success he is going to have. At the time we didn't know which of us was going to be transferred. So in my mind I began asking questions like, "What about me? I might leave too ya know" But as time went on,  recognized that that was actually a very prideful thought. I decided that now was a good time to learn to swallow my pride and learn how to be more humble. I took comfort in the thought that even if I was going to be changed, I knew that I made a difference here. I didn't need all the praise. One day I will see those people enter into Heaven. That's good enough for me. So I swallowed my pride and just let go. Once I did that, I began to experience charity. I love my investigators, recent converts, and the members here. But every once and awhile we have a brush with true charity. There's a reason why Moroni or Mormon exhort us to pray with all diligence of heart for that gift. It is some of the most beautiful, wonderful, feeling I've ever experienced.
I don't know who the new District Leader will be. It really doesn't matter who. But think it will be my companion. He's humble and I'd follow him already. He's a great guy.
I almost forgot to write this. We had two more baptisms!! One on Sunday and one on Saturday. One was a little 8 year old girl named Grace and the other was the daughter of Patricia and Juan Jose named Stephanie! Slowly helping that family become eternal. Its excellent. Anyways I love you all lots!
Siga Adelante,
Elder Neider

PS. When you send packages, make sure to pack some new ties...... It's the only part of the clothes that changes besides gray or blue pants....

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Cartago Costa Rica 5.19.14

So I'm figuring how to send pictures. Its a slow process. This last week was good. This next week is going to be crazy. We have tranfers this coming monday and a lot of crazy rumors. Elder Johnson might become an AP. Elder Estrada is probably leaving Cartago and we are all pretty interested to see what happens to me. Well see.
We have one baptism this Saturday followed by 2 more next week. The work is starting to pick up here. I love it! I'm having a lot of success and I feel great. I need to go report to my leaders though so I need to log off. Sorry for being brief.

Siga Adelante,
Elder Neider

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Cartago Costa Rica 5.5.14

Dearest Family,
Hello once again. I did the math and on April 22, one eighth of my mission was completed. I was talking to Elder Johnson and he said that this May 26 will be the end of this transfer. We did the math again and at the end of this transfer, one fifth of my mission will be over. Once we were done with that short activity we quickly went back to work because we realized we are running out of time. Him more so than me.
Elder Johnson went to West Lake High School in Utah I believe and has been in the mission for 17 months now. His birthday is this Wednesday. Elder Johnson is one of my Zone Leaders. We go on Divisions or Splits from time to time. It's nice talking with another Gringo from time to time.
So I've been talking with my companion, Elder Estrada about Mother's Day. He says he has no idea how to plan for it. Luckily Elder Johnson called us later with info on it. We will be going to a members house were both Elder Estrada and I can talk via Skype with our families for 30-40 mins. The plan right now is Sunday some time between 3-5. The people here suck at planning. I'm sorry but that's the best information I can give you at the present.
Patricia, (The tico Jeanine) and her husband, Juan Jose, will be being baptized and confirmed members of the Church this Sunday as well!! The best part about baptizing people in your first year, is that you get the opportunity to attend their temple sealings in one years time. Obviously you cant attend those after the one year mark because you'll go home before the sealing. But I'm so happy. Easily one of the happiest experiences in my life is teaching them and seeing the change. They started off as a kinda ,"Ok we will listen, but you can't make me give up our coffee" Well, when investigators actually keep their commitments, ie reading the Book of Mormon and praying about it, conversion happens. Last week their conversion has been so thorough that they began teaching us the discussions because the study so much about the things we ask them to read. No joke. They legitly taught us the entire Law of Chastity. Super cool.
So I want to talk about to rumors I've heard through word of mouth but I can't look them up. One is about a disaster in New York that happened last week? If you could keep me updated on disasters that happen around the world, that would be very great. Earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes. You know the signs of the times verdad? The other is very cool. Apparently, in Guatemala, ancient ruins have been uncovered with the names Laman and Lemuel written all over the place. Super cool. Please do some research on that for me.
As for Corbin, dude, you're living your High School years right. Lots of people sit around doing nothing. But you're constantly doing lots of activities and are actually enjoying life. I look back on my High School experience and I loved it because I went out and did the fun things that brought me joy. I pray for you and the rest of the gang everyday.
The Kiosk was a major success. Usually we can talk with about 15 people a day and share a few principles. But with the Kiosk we easily talked close to 50 every 2 hours. It's super successful, but we would rather be in a house teaching.
Anyways, I see posters of Amazing Spiderman 2: Rise of Electro. (Correct name?) Is it good? I miss movies.
We finally got the package in my hands on Saturday and we did the activity last night. Elder Estrada wants to use it to explain the Expiacion or Atonement sometime. He thought it was super creative and cool. He asked if you were the Relief Society President. I laughed and said yeah. But even if she wasn't we still would've gotten it.
Tell the Warners Hi for me. Ustedes son super tuanis.
Siga Adelante,

Elder Neider

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Cartago Costa Rica 4.28.14

So we got to do something pretty cool and a historic event in the Church.
The Church decided that it would be a great idea to put up a Kiosk about the Church and as people walk by we talk about the church. We were the Pilot missionaries for this Kiosk idea. First one in the world. Super cool. Usually we contact 10-15 people in a day. With the Kiosk we got over 100 contacts in about 2 hours. Very successful. One of the ladies Elder Johnson talked with accepted a baptismal date right there on the spot. Super tuanis.
Entonces, life is pretty usual down here. Super stressful, fighting with companions, preaching the good word, and changing lives. We were frustrated again yesterday when no one showed up to church from our investigator pool. People use the excuse, I can't go to church because I have this. When in reality they should be saying, I can't do that because I have to go to Church. It's a little backwards but we sigamos adelante.
This week I relearned that I were my heart on my sleeve. When I'm angry, everyone knows it. When I'm sad or happy, everyone knows it. I decided that the mission is the perfect opportunity to begin to change that. I need to learn to control my emotions. I started wondering about how I can do that. My mind went to the Savior. He was the perfect example of Self-Control and Self-Mastery. Even after we was whipped, betrayed, spat upon, crowned with thorns, smacked, unlawfully condemned, and nailed to a cross, we still had the self-control to not become angry. He still looked heavenward with a perfect love and said,"Father, forgive them"
This week I've been trying to learn more about how the Spirit talks to me and how I can learn to rely on Him. It's difficult. But what I have learned is that in order to receive revelation, you must be doing something. You have to be moving and acting or it will never come. The idle brain is the devils playground. When you sit and stare at the wall, you think yourself into depression and the cannot instruct you. I will liken our lives to a car. We have tremendous power and potential under our hood. But we when we sit at a light that Heavenly Father has turned green, we are simply idling. God cannot stir a parked car. So move forward and listen to the GPS or Gods Pure Spirit, (Holy Ghost) for where you should be going. The Spirit will help you get to you need to go. If you're heading in the wrong direction, He will reroute you. He sees the collapsed bridges and the roadblocks in your way. And when you break down on the side of the road and think you cant keep going, He is still your 24/7 Road-Side Assistance who dispatches employees to come help you. Namely Mom, Dad, Bishops, Leaders, and even the Prophet. So dont worry about it. Enjoy the ride. Everything works out in time. We will all get to Paradise eventually.
Love you lots,
Siga Adelante,
Elder Neider
PS Happy Birthday Brendon. I was going say that last week but esta bien con saying it now. BTW, There's a menos activo here that thinks you super cute and says you wont message her back on Facebook. HAHAHA classic
PSS The package got here last Tuesday and is being held hostage in the office until the Lideres de Zona go and get it. Also I finally sent off the SD Card last monday so its on its way.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Cartago Costa Rica 4.21.14

Ok Team,
This week was very...... different. Lots of good, lots of bad, tons of weird.
Easter in Costa Rica is very different. They celebrate the Semana Santo or the Holy Week or The Final Week of Christs Life. For one whole week almost every pulperia is closed and on Thursday and Friday even the buses weren't in use. Friday was especially hard for us to teach because we couldn't use the buses to travel to the other towns where our investigators live. So it became a Finding New Investigators day. But it was hard because it was Viernes Santo or Holy Friday. Ahhh.... Semana Santo, the only week of the year where everyone lives there religion. Good times.
We watched one of the ceremonies that they do as well as drove by the same ceremony in the week. About 200-300 Costa Ricans march, dressed up as Roman Soldiers and march around the block in the slowest manner possible. It takes 3 hours of march for the march to be complete. It was funny because Elder Estrada and I were walking with Michael, our landlord, in the opposite direction of where a lot of the Ticos were traveling. We were in Agua Caliente which is the shady part of Cartago. Me, being a white, blonde haired, blue eyed missionary of a different Church than the ceremony in the shady part of my area, I felt like I stood out a little bit. I dont know why I felt that.
The work goes forward.
Elder Johnson told me that I would find the Costa Rican versions of everyone I know from back home. So far I have found the Costa Rican versions of Grandma Margo, Mom, Brittany my cousin, and Jennifer Lawrence. Thats all I can think of right now but if I remember others I'll write them in. BTW, one of the Ticos named Angie looked at my facebook profile and all my friends and thinks that Brendon is muy guapo. She's looking for a husband and has decided to move to Utah to find one. Your welcome bro.
Anyways, the Tico version of Mom is named Patricia. She is awesome. Her and her husband are our greatest investigators right now. Yesterday they came to church and they just eat up the information we give them. She gives her husband the same exact look that Mom gives Dad after he's said something just to bug her. It's hilarious. She calls him Tanto all the time too!!! The translation for the word is silly but when you use it in this sentence, "No hace algo tanto" it translates to "Dont do anything stupid". She said that and my mind immediately translated it to "Moron". Her hair is the same style, does the same faces, and even insults the same way!!! JAJAJA.
Elder Estrada lost are house keys last night so we couldnt return home until our landlord came home. This was no accident, him losing the keys. Divine Intervention. We decided to travel down to one of our investigators houses deep in Cocori to fill the time. They couldn't talk with us but as we were walking back, Elder Estrada followed a prompting to turn and contact a house. The mother was an LPE or someone he spoke with on the bus the previous day. We went in and began to teach them. This is where it gets interesting. We sat down and the woman he contacted was drunk. We talked with all 4 people but the drunk mom wanted to practice her English with me. She told me about how hard life is and how mean this family was to her. She told of how she wasnt married to the man in the house and how mean he is. She spoke of how it is the perfect time for her to receive the Gospel. She also told me of how she is 4 months pregnant and yada yada yada. So my attention was on her. Elder Estrada focused one the other three and we now have 4 new investigators and 3 of them now have baptismal dates for May 18th. We returned to the house with me in bewilderment because I've never talked with a drunk for a long period of time. We walked into the house and immediately found our keys.
The Spirit knows us. He knows all actually. He is preparing every one of us for special experiences and opportunites for coming unto Our Father in Heaven. We must be as Nephi and go forward with faith, not knowing beforehand, and sometimes not even afterhand, the things we should do.
Mom, one of the things that has revolutionized my scripture study, is studying for other people. your calling is that of the Relief Society President and as such you are entitled to that stewardship of receiving revelation for those whom you serve. The scriptues are the doorway to revelation. Always begin your study with prayer and ask for direction. Think specifical about one of the sisters in the ward that is having a hard time or needs some help. As you study, I promise that the Spirit will lead to those things that you can do to help. This is what we do every morning. When we study for others and begin looking for opportunities to serve, we begin to realize that the Lord molds us into a tool that He can use to move His work forward. I love in the scriptures where Jesus is teaching both his Apostle in Luke, and the Nephites in 3 Nephi. "If your eye be single, then shall your body be full of light" In Doctrine and Covenants Section 4 we learn that having an eye single, means having it single to the glory of God. And again in Moses 1:39 we learn that the glory of God is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. In other words, when we focus on helping out others, we can be full of light and move forward as an instrument in His hands. I found this earlier this week of I've been waiting to share that :) Maybe that can help you with your studies.
About time with Pebbles, jajaja
Anyways I love you all,

Siga Adelante,

Elder Neider