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.