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

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