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