Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Turriabla, Cartago, Costa Rica 12.21.15

Dear Family,

So I am officially one week away from coming home. Little by little, I can feeling it all coming to a close. It went by crazy fast though. Lately i have been thinking about my mission looking back and seeing how I have changed. I can see that i have changed just a little bit here and there but overall I feel pretty the same. 
I had a pretty cool experience a couple of minutes ago actually. We were eating lunch at a local Carl's Jr. in San Jose. A man walked in a began to hand some papers to the people. He came to me and I read what it said. Basically it was him selling lollipops to take care of his family. Usually missionaries and members here have the attitude of I'm not going to give because you are probably just going to buy alcohol. But as I saw him I just felt a great sense of love for him as my brother. I gave him a card with the "A Savior is Born" incentive and gave him a few dollars without purchasing the lollipop. 
I felt as he walked away, the thought of "why did you just give him the money?" And the only thing I could think of was that I loved him. I felt that it was just a brief brush with charity. But it was meaningful for me. I feel that I have a sincere love for the ticos and I want them to truly come unto Christ and receive these blessings. 
I know that Heavenly Father has a wonderful plan. He is very conscience of our needs. He knows our names. 
I recently have found that the thirteenth article of faith is a promised blessing for believing the Articles of Faith 1-12. As we do and believe those things, we will become honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and will want to do good to all men. We will begin to look for that which is "virtuous, lovely, of good report and those things that are praiseworthy". We will have faith and believe all things, hope for all things things, and be able to endure all things. 
I know that the scriptures are to be lived, not just read. I know that the promises that the Lord makes us are real. May we all receive the gift of becoming this christmas. Have a very merry one!

Sigamos Adelante, 

-Elder Neider

Monday, December 14, 2015

Turriabla, Cartago, Costa Rica 12.14.15

Dear Family,

Glad to hear that Grandma is doing better. I hope that they can make it up. It just wouldn't be the same without them.

Well bueno. Hermana Flor will not be getting baptized on the 19th. But she is converted and has made goals for January. She is just struggling a little with coffee and cigarettes. But she is a fighter and I know that she'll be ok in January. But it is possible that we might still have 2 baptisms this month. Yorlene and Carlos were waiting for a wedding in January but we found a lawyer that said he could marry them free when they want. So they want to get married this week or next week, as well as get baptized. So we are holding out for that. We could use some prayers that all will go well. I sure hope so. It would be 2 baptisms the saturday before I head home.
Haha I don't have too much to report on nowadays. We are just working hard and trying to stay focused. My companion loves reminding me how many days left I have. Some times it bothers me but I feel like I have learned a lot of patience with stupidity. I have lived with 12 latino jokesters so I am pretty used to it.
Anyways hope you all have a good week!

Sigamos Adelante,
-Elder Neider

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Turriabla, Cartago, Costa Rica 12.7.15

Dear Family,

Well I got some good news and I got bad news. The Good news is that the couple that was going to be sealed, are still going to be sealed. The bad news is that it will be sometime in January. The husband has been a member all his life. But the branch secretary didnt register that he was ordained an Elder. Therefore they did not meet the qualifications for sealing on Saturday. But all is well. They will be getting sealed sure enough.
Today we had a cool zone activity. We went to an old folks home and cleaned a little. I felt very accomplished because I took time to sit down and get to know some of the residents. Their stories are pretty cool. I think I learned more Costa Rican history today than all of my mission put together haha. At the end of the cleaning, we found a little guitar in the back. One elder fixed it up a little bit. When he was finished, I started strumming what I could and it worked out pretty well. The head of the center heard me playing and singing and decided that it would be cool for us to go sing for the center. So the Zone Leaders said, we need you to play The First Noel, Angels We Have Heard on High, and Silent Night on the guitar. I said ok and I actually was able to play the guitar for a performance for two of the three songs and it gave the zone pitch to sound good. Silent Night was a fiasco haha
But it is going great. We have one baptism planned for the 19th and a lot of activities until the 30th. We are just moving forward. But its coming to a close pretty quick. It's already the 7th! Crazy how quick it goes by.

Sigamos Adelante,

-Elder Neider

Monday, November 30, 2015

Turriabla, Cartago, Costa Rica 11.30.15

Dear Family, 

Well this week was a little stressful. A bunch of members came up to me and asked what my thoughts were about World War 3, to which I replied, ''I sure hope that it doesn't ever happen. I don't know why?'' Apparently they have forgotten that I am not in the circle of news. This was completely new to me. If someone could inform me about this, that would be great. Because a couple of the members were also asking me, ''What does 'The Draft' mean?'' Let's just say that made me a bit nervous. So a little update on that might put my mind at ease on that subject. 
It's great to hear that everything is going well with Grandma. I hope that things continue to get better. 
Last night we were informed that Elder Godoy has transfers which mean that I will be meeting my last companion on Wednesday. This is Elder Godoys first time getting transferred in the mission so he is a little anxious. He has served here in Turrialba for 10 months. That's a long time. But he will be a great companion. I am gonna miss him. 
This Saturday I will be going to the temple to seal another family from Sarapiqui. There's a big group will be coming as well from the branch. I feel deeply blessed that I have been able to see all of my past areas before I leave. I have seen them in Stake Conferences and in the temple. I get to say a few goodbyes at the very least. I am also glad that on the 21st we will have our Christmas Dinner so I will be able to see the rest of my missionary buds. 
Our Ward Mission Leader also taught us a new way to work with the members that was incredibly effective. We brought a couple of people to church and they were fellowshipped flawlessly. We are very excited because there is one sister here that is preparing to be baptized on the 19th. Please keep her in your prayers that she can have the way prepared and blessed. Her name is Flor. 
I loved the videos of Oliver laughing. You look good Megan. I love seeing how happy you are with that kid. He looks like a lot of fun. 
Anyways I love you all and I hope that Thanksgiving was good. I had a blast. 

Sigamos Adelante, 
-Elder Neider

I asked Elder Neider some questions and these are his answers
Yes I got the package. 
Anything special? Not really. I have lived long enough with just my own clothes and scriptures that I can't remember anything that I used to do before my mission that was worth the time. Maybe a soccer ball. I am going to be pretty easy this year haha. Surprise me :)
I have been trying some acne stuff here but still nothing has really been helping. I think we are just fighting with a law of nature at this point. I am doomed.... doomed..... doomed! But it is worth a shot maybe. Nothing too expensive though.
Garment size.... The writing on the tags have long since been erased due to two years of washing haha so I don't know. Whatever you have been sending me for my mission is a great fit though. 
Clothes? Just a good pair of shoes and some jeans. I don't know how much I have grown. The jeans that I am wearing right now are a little tight and they size 32'30. I forgot what the numbers mean. Man writing this part of the letter I feel inadequate to come back to the real world haha.

And food? Christines good punch, Grandmas Tacos, Dads Cheesy Cheeto Eggs, Shrimp Enchiladas, and I don't know if this exists in the States, plantains. Its looks like a big banana. I hope it does!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Turriabla, Cartago, Costa Rica 11.23.15

Dear Family, 

I was actually thinking about Bam Bam this week. About 3 days ago i thought to myself that he is probably getting old and might not remember me when I get back. But if not at least he could be my cuddle bud during some of the movies I'll be watching. Darn. That actually made me a little sad to hear that. But everything will be ok. Maybe we can get a Golden Retriever, Great Dane, or Rott Weiler to feel the void. Just spit balling here of course.
Yesterday we had the first Stake Conference of the Cartago Stake. One of the many blessings of this area is that I tend to see my two old areas frequently. People began to make plans to say goodbye to me seeing as I'm nearing the One Month Left mark. We will be headed to the temple on the 5th of December for a sealing of my converts so ill be able to see the members of Sarapiqui as well before I head off. The only area that I won't be able to say goodbye to is my area of Cañas because it is in the other mission. I have been trying to call my converts there for the past year but I think that they changed cell numbers. I have been trying to find the way to contact them but we will see how it works out. 
The conference was great. All of the messages were great. Haha the new patriarch went a little trigger happy calling the members to repentance with a moving talk about the signs of the times. Haha it was like watching an Evangelist preacher. One of the members leaned over to me and said, "Do you feel like he is laying it on a little thick or is it just me?" haha it was pretty funny.
We are just working here a little bit more in Turrialba. We have found a couple of new families that look like the Spirit has already given them their answers. You can see the it in their eyes the moment that they understand on a deeper level that this is true and is going to bless them. I realized how little we do in the work. We liiterally are here to invite others to accept or reject this message. If they accept they progress. We are here to baptize those that will accept right now. So it's awesome to see who the Lord has prepared for us. 
Anyways I love you all and I'll be seeing you soon. 

Sigamos Adelante, 

-Elder Neider

Monday, November 16, 2015

Turriabla, Cartago, Costa Rica 11.16.15

Dear Family,

Today we woke up and did our Spring Cleaning. The house is officially spotless. It was a little gross. My companion cuts his own hair and he put me in charge of cleaning the bathroom. I realized how little he cleans up after a cut. Oh well.
This week has been a little frustrating for us. We worked as hard as we could to bring people to church. We passed by everyday and recommitted them to come. They always answered "Of course I'll go!" Super enthused, right? So we even called Sunday in the morning and a lot said yeah we will see you in a few minutes. But once the service started we realized that no one had come nor was in their way :'( we just felt a little disappointed. My companion said it's like waiting at the restaurant for your girlfriend and she never came. Haha that made me laugh a little bit cause I totally felt that way. Our relationships and love for our investigators is weird haha.
But everything is going great right now. We are working and seeing little miracles here and there. We are loving our missionary service and we are just moving forward. We love you all and we are praying that you will all receive testimonies to keep moving forward. The best thing that we can do is be humble enough to be obedient, even though we may not understand perfectly what is going on in the world.
Nephi said that he was ''guided by the Spirit, not knowing beforehand the things which he should do''. He first obeyed the Spirit, and then everything worked out. Let us be obedient and He will provide the way for us. 
Have a great week!

Sigamos Adelante,
-Elder Neider

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Turriabla, Cartago, Costa Rica 11.10.15

Dear Family, 

Yesterday we got back late and didn't have the opportunity to write. So I am replying right now :)
Good to hear that Honda is doing great. He is still a goofball. We write every so often. We will see how things all work when we are all back home. 
I put Grandma and Grandpas names on the prayer roll. Hope that all is well. 
So some good news is that on the 5th of December we will be going to the temple to seal another family of my converts. haha I love going to the temple.
This week has been a little strange. We haven't been able to be in our area for a while. We went and got my green card renewed, had zone conference with President, went for divisions, and a bunch of other stuff. 
We had a funny experience though. We had a member tell us that he made an appointment to speak in a local Evangelist congregation. The thing is that the Pastor does studies of other churches and teaches his group about them. So this member said lets go. We asked our President for permission. He said it was ok as long as we only testified. So we went. 
Apparently the member didn't make an official appointment so obviously the Pastor felt like we were intruding. We walked into a little building that was pitch black and all you could hear was angry shouting about the Holy Ghost, power of God. When he noticied that we were there, he told his wife to continue with their service as he went to speak with us. We walked out into the hallway and without us saying a single word, he began to speak I'll of the church and of Joseph Smith. He yelled at us that the heavens were sealed and that God doesn't speak anymore because He left us with the Bible and that is all we need. 
I asked him why he thought that the heavens were sealed and if he knew of a verse that said that there would be no more revelation. He leaned in close and said, When Christ was on the cross, one of his last words were, It is finished. SO there you have it Elder Nayder, the Lord himself said that there would be no more. No man can claim to have written more scriptures after this moment. 
I simply said, that is a great answer hermano. Except for the fact that the Lord revealed the Books of The Acts, Galatians, Ephesian, Colossians, Thessalonians, Romans, Hebrews, Corinthians, 2 books of Peter, 3 books of John, two letters to timothy, letters to Titus,, Philemon, Jude, and the Prophecies of the Apocalypse known as Revelations. He didn't say a word. To which i testified that the Lord does love us and continues to speak to us through living prophets and apostles. And then my companion testified. And then he threw us out. hahahaha
Classic
Anyways I hope that everything is going great at home. I love you all lots.

Sigamos Adelante, 

-Elder Neider

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Turriabla, Cartago, Costa Rica 11.2.15

Dear Family,

What a wonderful week in the CR. Man, we felt of a bunch of really cool experiences. 
We got to go to the temple on Saturday to seal a family together. I had never been to a sealing ordinance before. It was an incredibly beautiful experience. The temple president did the ordinance. He has been taught a lot by the Spirit in the temple so many great things. 
It was actually a pretty interesting experience leading up to the sealing actually. In the morning, Elder Hatch said our District prayer and asked for a personal miracle for each missionary. It came to pass. My companion was complaining the whole trip that he didnt want to go and wake up early and be there which bothered the pants off of me. When we got there, we learned that there was another Honduraño there to be seal. He was from the same stake as my companion so that was his miracle. One of mine was that all the youth and leaders from my last area came to do baptisms so I got to spend time with those saints as we waited for the endowment session. 
We went into the temple for the endowment session and as we were getting changed, they started the session so we werent able to attend that part of the trip. But we soon learned that their wasn't sufficient temple workers in the temple to assist a family baptize and confirm 56 of their ancestors. If there wasnt two Melchezedek Priesthood holders present they would have had to go home without the work done. I know that Heavenly Father was very present of the needs of those in the temple. After finishing that, we went into the celestial room to just study and pray until the sealing ordinance. It was easily one of the best moments of my life. I feel very filled for all that happened. 
Anyways lots of cool things happened. It was a pretty great birthday as well. Because it was a Sunday and a Fast Sunday at that, we couldn't do too much to celebrate. But it definately went a lot better than last year. haha
Love you guys and I hope that everything keeps moving forward. haha

Sigamos Adelante, 

-Elder Neider

Turriabla, Cartago, Costa Rica 10.26.15

Dear Family, 

This week has been pretty good in Turrialba. I have been having a blast with my companion Elder Godoy. We are getting along very well with the members. Man, we love them as if they were our own brothers. We know that they would do whatever for us and they know that they would do anything for us. We have been going on a bunch of divisions lately. It been pretty funny. In this area I'm in divisions more than I do visits with my comp. haha but it's all good. 
This week we had a couple of difficulties finding quality investigators. There is a place here called La Rocha or in other words its short for Cacroaches. Its a little group of houses for coffee harvesters. The thing is there is that if the harvest isn't yielding much, these families pack up and leave within hours. Basically they are nomads. A lot of them were incredibly receptive but had to turn us down with accepting baptismal dates because they didn't know if tomorrow they had to move or something. A little sad but I know that Heavenly Father has a plan for them to receive the gospel fully. This week is going to be SAWEET! Monday: P Day, Tuesday through Thursday: Divisions in San Diego, Thursday: Mom B Day and Skyping with the family. Friday: Returning to my area to do divisions with the Bishop. Saturday Morning: Sealing Ordinance with my Converts. It's gonna be a very fulfilling week. 
I am going to send the photos in a separate email so stay tuned. 
I love you all and I'll definitely put G and G in the temple roll. 

Sigamos Adelante, 
Elder Neider

Monday, October 19, 2015

Turriabla, Cartago, Costa Rica 10.19.15

Dear Family,

This week has been kinda crazy. It was the week of changes. We went to San Jose to play soccer as a misión and it began to rain. But it was pretty great. I don't play so great right now because I had an ingrown toenail.
Which reminds me... haha this week I got my toenail taken out. haha it was getting worse and worse and then a fungus got into it. So we talked to a member here in Turrialba to check it out. She told me that the only thing to do was to get the whole nail removed. So we did. We went to the hospital in San Jose and we had a little surgery. Stay tuned for photos.
We haven't been able to work too much because the doctor told me I had to take a day of rest. So my companion went on divisions and I stayed in a members house. Good heavens how boring that was. No TV, no video games, nothing to read, etc. I am so glad that I can walk now because sitting on the couch all day is just plain dumb. I realized that I am an outdoor person and I love to work. Man that was so lame.
Cool decorations. We probably wont be able to decorate much here. The Ticos think its a satanic holiday. oh well.
Love you all lots. Thanks for the video of Oliver. Cute kid. I think he gets it from Corbin.

Sigamos Adelante,
-Elder Neider

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Turriabla, Cartago, Costa Rica 10.13.15

Dear Family,

Sorry that I couldn't write yesterday. We ran down to San Jose for awhile to play soccer and by the time we got home to write, P-Day had ended. So we got permission to write today.
Yesterday we had a pretty cool experience. We have a young man named Pablo. He is a drug addict. So we took him up to a rehabilitation center because he really wants to change. We sat in on a AA meeting. I can't remember the correct name in English! haha I can only spell it in Spanish. Weird right? Alcoholicos Anonimos. It went well but we found that they wont take him in because he needs a certain medication to sleep. To quit the crack, cigars, and alcohol but keep the medication going wouldn't bring results so they refuse to take him. oh well. Eventually we got kicked out because he tried giving some cigars to the people in the facility. oops...
I got my temple recommend renewed yesterday as well so I'll be headed to the temple with Patricia and Juan Jose this October 31st to have them sealed together! I'm so pumped for that. It'll be a great week. Skype on Moms B-Day, Baptism on the 30th, Sealing on the 31st, Birthday on the 1st and our mom in the area is having her birthday on the 2nd. As the late great Maria Antoinette once said, "Let them eat cake".
Poor girl doesn't have a head now... shucks that's rough.
Things are going great here. We well have baptized 3 people this month so I'm feeling great. We are preparing for November now.
Yesterday as well was transfers. My companion, Elder Godoy, will be staying here with me for another change. He will at the very least stay here in Turrialba for 9 months. This is his first area. hahaha. It's possible that he'll be my last companion. If not, my last companion will only be with me for 2-3 weeks. haha it's coming to a close pretty quick.
Anyways I love you lots and I hope that everything is great.

Sigamos Adelante,
-Elder Neider

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Turriabla, Cartago, Costa Rica 10.5.15

Dear Family,

This week was pretty great with the temple and conference. Haha I know that none of my predictions were right but oh well. haha. I have always really liked Elder Rasband. His talks always are about a verse that I've read thousands of times but he teaches it on a whole new level. Elder Renlund gave a talk last conference in Abril about a Saint is a sinner who keeps trying. And Elder Stevenson, I recognized his face but I didn't know anything about him. I could feel the Spirit strongly during their testimonies. I know they are called of God to help all of us. 
This conference the major themes I could gather were: The Sabbath Day, being an example, and searching for testimony in the basic principles of the gospel. I really enjoyed this conference because I could feel the global need for change. I felt that it was a true warning voice and man did they promise blessings for us all. I felt their council was direct and easy to apply. 
The temple was amazing. We all left feeling the spirit of consecration. Our mission president, after the session, pulled us all in to the chapel across the street to speak to us for a second. He spoke of consecration and what kind of blessings it could bring us. I can definately sense a difference between President Hayes and President Wilkenson. Both incredible. President Wilkenson really wanted to push us to do our best. President Hayes feels like he is on a higher plane spiritually than us and is beckoning us to come on up. I love these two men. 
This week we had a cool baptism. Camila. Her father, who was baptized as of 4 months, performed the ordinance. We will baptize another youth named Leiner this coming weekend and both will be confirmed on Sunday. The work is doing pretty well. 
That's about all that happened this week. Thanks for all your support! Love you all,

Sigamos Adelante, 

-Elder Neider

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Turriabla, Cartago, Costa Rica 9.28.15

Dear Family,

This week has been pretty tough for me. Just a lot of learning and eternal progression stuff. We have a great month of baptisms coming up and this Sunday we had a big scare that people weren't going to come to church. Others haven't been answering their phones or returning calls. So we have been a little on edge. But, everything seems to be ok now that we have been able to contact them all again.
Well, this is going to be an interesting conference don't ya think? 3 Apostles are going to be called. I'm placing my money on Elder Tad R Calister, Chad Wilkenson, and Michael A Neider. But who knows? Anything can happen. Btw, what has Uncle Mike been doing since his release as a Mission President? It just dawned on me that I have no idea what he has done for a living. haha oops.
Tomorrow we will be going to the temple as a zone. I love the temple with all my heart. I'll have the opportunity to go regularly as I'm finishing my last 2 transfers here with sealings, zone trips, and the last visit in December. It's crazy how fast this is coming to an end. I don't like it haha but there is a time and a season for everything right?
I don't have much to report on other than that. It's been a pretty normal week. I'll end with a quick experience.
This is a man here named Hector. He is 66 years old and is originally from Limon Costa Rica. This is the zone where everyone is black and speaks a pigeon english called Patwah. But he is a small white Costa Rican... so imagine how he talks. When we came to his house the first time, he had his walls lined with pornagraphic material and photos of Jesus as a baby. haha it was kinda of a weird like, "I guess you can serve God and Mammon" thing.
We have been teaching him for a little bit and we invited him to church. The next visit we decided to invite him to remove the porn and replace them with pictures of Christ. He said he used the magazines to cover holes in his walls. So we left him a bunch of pamphlets with photos. When we came back, he had gotten rid of most of the porn and his walls are literally lined with the words and photos of the pamphlets. He said, " I couldn't get rid of all the girls I have because you didn't leave me with enough photos to cover up those walls. Sorry elders. I tried though." We laughed together and gave him a pat on the back. He really likes the changes that he is making in his life.
Yesterday he left his house at 8 to come to church. But forgot the way to the church. He eventually showed up at 9:47. "Listen gringo. I didn't break my promise. I left at 8 to get here on time but I couldn't find it. Not my fault" haha he is very sincere about coming unto Christ.
Anyways that's my experience for today. I hope you all enjoyed. I'll talk to ya next week.

Sigamos Adelante
-Elder Neider

Turriabla, Cartago, Costa Rica 9.21.15

Dear Family, 

This week just flew by. I have already been in Turrialba for a month. We are seeing a whole bunch of miracles here. We are preparing many people and everyone is receiving us well. One member told me, Elder Neider, you came just in time to harvest many. haha I can't complain about that. We have 10 possibilities for October right now. I'm super pumped. 
As well my converts from my first area have just had their final interviews to go to the temple and be sealed together. President Hayes is giving us permission to go and attend the ordinance. I have never been in a sealing before so im just plain tickled to see them in my first time as well. 
This coming week is Conference and I can't wait! I love conference so much. Please find some way to snag tickets. We take living so close for granted. GO! You'll always always remember and cherish being in a room with the living Apostles and Prophet. 
In other news Lauren got called to go to serve in the Florida Orlando mission! She´ll go in the MTC the 27th of January. SO cool!
Other than that there isn't much to report on. I love you lot and I hope you prepare yourselves for Conference.

Sigamos Adelante, 

-Elder Neider

Monday, September 14, 2015

Turriabla, Cartago, Costa Rica 9.14.15

Dear Family, 

Haha Brendon looks a little like he either doesn't know how to hold a baby, is uncomfortable doing it, or just let off a ¨spooky¨. hahaha. 
This week has been pretty great. We have a couple of possible baptisms coming up in October as well as a couple sealing ordinances in the temple with some of my first converts. I'm so stinkin´excited! 
Ok this is the story about the kid. One year ago, I had changes from Cartago to Cañas right? Well my first companionship there lasted only 2 weeks for many problems. (Now that's a story for another day) So we had emergency changes and we went to San Jose for 5 days. During that time we did divisions with the secretaries. One night Elder Lewis and I were working and we came to a point where we had no idea what to do. Everyone canceled on us and all the members were busy. So I suggested that we say a prayer and ask Heavenly Father where we should go. Elder Lewis offered the prayer and we began to walk. About 10 feet later we stopped to a woman how was sweeping her patio. We offered our help and she said no. We then presented ourselves and she invited us in. We asked if she wanted to invite her family to come join us. This is when the young man came out to listen. We taught with power and authority and invited them to be baptized. At the end of the lesson the young man asked when we could come back to place baptismal dates with his father and brothers. haha then I went back to Cañas with Elder Rivera the following day. 
Every once and awhile when I would call the office, I'd ask how this family was. It seemed as if the secretaries stopped teaching them a few weeks later. But every time I passed the office I knocked on that door to see if they were there and invite them to church at the very least, but they were never home. But I felt drawn to that door. 
Elder Vandermeyden became the secretary later and I asked him again about this house. He said we would go look for it. One day he found it and told me what had happened. 
This young mans name is Jorge. After our lesson with him, he became converted. Sadly his family no. He was 17 which meant he needed parental permission to be baptized which was denied. So this young man continued to attend church for the following 8 months until he turned 18 and was baptized. He is currently preparing to go to the temple to receive his endowment in preparation for his mission this following year. 
As I was leaving to come here to Turriabla, one of the sisters called him over to speak about things in his ward and I recognized him. So I went over to talk to him. I asked him if he knew who I was. He said that I looked familiar but that he couldn't recall where because he only knows the missionaries that have served in San Jose. I then told him how Elder Lewis and I had found his home. He began to remember and he told me his conversion story. 
It was a pretty cool moment that I had been looking forward to for a long long time. He is the convert that I only had to teach once. Pretty neat huh? 
Anyways, I love you all lots. Hope you have a great week!

Sigamos Adelante, 
-Elder Neider

Monday, September 7, 2015

Perez Zeledon, Cartago, Costa Rica 9.7.15

Dear Family, 

Hahaha what a head of hair! Congradulations! He is going to be such a stud. I'll teach him everything I know. I hope that he keeps growing great. What it feel like to be new parents Megan and Tim? How great is that. 
So I had transfers to a place called Turriabla. I'm still in the Zone of Cartago. I'll end my mission with 13 months in the same zone. My new companion is named Elder Godoy. He is from Honduras. He is super cool and has won a lot of confidence with the members here. It's a ward already so our goals are to purely baptize. It is pretty nice to not have to focus on anything else. He is the district leader so I also don't have to worry about that stuff either. 
We have had a couple cool and funny experiences. We talked with a man in the street and my companion testified that the keys of the priesthood have been restored. To which he replied, I have those too! He then continued to pull a set of plastic keys out of his pocket that had some verses of the bible written on them. hahaha um..... brother we don't mean like actual keys... haha esta bien. haha 
I actually came here once on divisions in my first area so I have seen a few of these places before.
Last night we met the pioneer of the ward. 81 year old Odily. I had actually given her a blessing 18 months ago. We asked her about the story of her conversion. One of the things that kept calling my attention was the way she talked about Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. She said that they just have been so good to me. I know that she knows them personally and that they have poured out blessings on her. 
I'm still learning the area so I'm pretty lost all the time. It'll come with time. What I heard is that I'll be here for this change and then President wants all missionaries to train the last 3 months. It'll be cool here. Plus the 2nd counselors legel name is John Baptist so how can we go wrong? haha

Sigamos Adelante, 
-Elder Neider


PS the only things that I would need in a package would be maybe a good long sleeve white shirt, (the last one was also kidnapped by a company), Doritos, Smores Pop Tarts and Oreos. Haha I'm doing pretty good. My companion was wondering if there are those little chocolate eggs from Easter. He likes those. But really just good old american junk food. haha thanks.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Perez Zeledon, Cartago, Costa Rica 8.31.15

Dear Family, 

Numbres, I was sitting there on the bus when it hit me. Megan is having a baby right! Haha I was waiting for the photo but looks like I'm just a few hours too soon. We have been praying hard that youll be physically ok with the birth and that Oliver we come with great health. So excited to see him next week!
Today was suppose to be changes. They never did end up calling so it looks like 7.5 months in Perez Zeledon. But then we received word that changes will be on Wednesday, so we still don't know. Looks like we will have to see. 
This week has been a very humbling and rewarding week. Although for the last change we haven't had a single investigator come to church, i feel like this has been one of the most successful weeks personally. 
I found that my prayers for the last little bit have been without faith. They have been very routine without a l...
Wait a second. Elder Jackman just received a call from the zone leaders. haha i have changes. I have to be in the office on Wednesday morning. We dont know where i am headed off to. President wants to look us in the face and select by revelation where we will go and with what companion. Sounds pretty cool. 
Anyways with my faithless prayers....
...ot of vain repititons. I would ask for very general blessings and without much effort. So this week I decided to repent. Oh what joy cometh to the soul! Repentance is the smartest thing you can do. I grabbed the Ezra Taft Benson book and I read the Pray Always section. I read a bunch and decided that I needed more faith. As we went home, I kinda just collapsed to my knees and prayed name for name for those whom I love. What a beautiful experience I had Since then I feel like I have been searching for more opportunities to pray one on one with Father in Heaven. He truly does listen and answer every heartfelt prayer. 
This week we found another 21 investigators. They show a lot of promise and we are going to work hard to bring them to church. My companion will be training here in Perez and im off to who knows where. 
Anyways, that been my week. Lots of cool things to be looking forward to here as we get changed, have a baby, and keep moving forward. Sigamos Adelante, 

-Elder Neider

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Perez Zeledon, Cartago, Costa Rica 8.24.15

Dear Family, 
It's all good. Haha I know that only the most dire of circumstances would prevent a letter. No se preocupe. 
This week we had a pretty cool experience. We had a video conference with President Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve. What a blessing! It was cool because we heard from 2 of the mission presidents in Honduras, President Duncan of the Area Presidency, Elder Cordon of the Area Seventy, and President Nelson. What really stood out to me is the difference of how they talk about Heavenly Father in their own words. In General Conference, they kinda have to follow the talks they write for the translators. But in the meeting they all had the "freedom of speech" 
Elder Nelson told us of an awesome experience. But, "the Spirit stoppeth mine utterance and i cannot write more" I think I'll save this story for when I'm back. 
It was really nice to have had that conference. 
Yesterday we meet the husband of one of our investigators. Thats always an interesting experience because we don't know how he'll interpret our meetings or if he'll accept us. Luckily, he did accept us. We feel that they have been prepared. They have lots of questions. We learned in the conference that we don't preach about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon enough. Usually we only say, "We believe that the Lord continues to call His servants in our time" and really dont expand on that. Yesterday i was more specific. "We believe that the Lord continues to call His servants in our time, first beginning with the Prophet Joseph Smith" This immediately grabbed their attention. We invited them to read and to pray. I felt like it peaked their curiosity a lot. 
I love my mission! Such great experiences. I've been in Perez for about 6 months now. And my mission president sent me a message that gives me a feeling that I'll have changes next week. "Get your area ready to hand off to someone else" I think I've got one more area in me :'( 

Sigamos Adelante, 

-Elder Neider

Perez Zeledon, Cartago, Costa Rica 8.17.15

Dear Family, 
Well this week has been a different kind of a week. We went on divisions with my Zone Leader Elder Parker. We had a great time and we worked hard. During that time, I could see that the Lord has been preparing some more people in this area. I'm really excited to see what happens as we move forward. 
I have begun to understand my companions humor lately and now I'm constantly chuckling. Man this kid is stinking funny. I realized that he wasn't the problem but that I was. So I said a prayer and I decided to look for the divine within him. Now we get along very well and we are enjoying the work. We still aren't having too much success with baptisms or investigators coming to church, but we have been able to find happiness in magnifying our callings. 
There is a man here named Alberto Navas. He is the Costa Rican version of Uncle Donnie. This is the guy in the ward that you can tell he gives his whole heart to be serving the people in his ward without demanding or even expecting a reward or thanks. He simply does the work that the Lord has asked of him and is silently serving in the kingdom. This is kinda how ive always seen Donnie in his home ward in Idaho. You can just tell they put their hearts into the callings they have been given. 
Yesterday, we had the opportunity to help a family change houses and Hermano Navas was their to help. Afterward we left with him to do his Home Teaching. Really, they were the normal things that a Latter-Day Saint should do. But he was giving his all for those that he was serving. Before the home teaching, he kinda vented to us about the load he has to carry. He asked why it was him that the Lord has chosen to be that one member that the ward calls when they have problems. He said that they have a branch president, home teachers, elders quorum and Relief Society to help them. Hermano Navas doesn't have a formal calling and yet he serves more than anyone i have ever met. 
He is a great example to us missionaries. In response to his questions we answered and told him,"Hermano, it does not matter WHERE you serve, but HOW you serve" He doesn't need a formal calling to do what the Lord has asked. 
I know that the Lord is more than willing to accept what we choose to give. He loves us and only asks for our best. I know that if we do so, He will have room to shape and mold us into what He would have us be or other words to help us to be like Him. 
I know that this is the True Church of our Heavenly Father and He has revealed to us His plan for our happiness. I love you all and invite you each to more fully give yourselves to your callings. I promise that He will bless you for it ;)

Pura Vida, 

-Elder Neider

Monday, August 10, 2015

Perez Zeledon, Cartago, Costa Rica 8.10.15

Dear Family, 

Well bueno...  This week we went up to San Jose twice for a couple of special conferences. President Kevin R Duncan of the Seventy came to talk with us. He is the Area President of Central America. He is super cool. At lunch time I sat down with Elder Jackman to eat our food. And turned out that the only other seats in the room were at our table. So we ate with President Duncan, President Hayes, his wife and daughter, and the secretaries. It was awesome. Elder Duncan was full so he gave me his pork. SAWEET! I thought I made a funny joke. He asked,"Would you like my pork Elder?" "Sure thing Elder Duncan. I think I'm still within Word of Wisdom limits" he thought that has a little funny. 
My companion and i became a little sick from all the traveling. Thursday was a nightmare. I felt like there was a mouse in my brain, trying o push my eyes out of its sockets. It was horrible. But we are feeling good now. 
I have recently been praying a lot for direction in my area to find prepared families. SInce the baptisms of Daniel and Maria Elena, we haven't had people in the church again. So we are just looking for the next family that is willing to work on this message. I have learned a lot more about Heavenly Father's plan for His children. He knows what they need and when they need it. He doesn't seem to be too worried over all this. He is in control and He knows when it's time for what. I just asked Him for help to recognize when it's time for what. 
I love you all lots. I don't have much more to write this week. Sorry :P

Sigamos Adelante, 

-Elder Neider

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Perez Zeledon, Cartago, Costa Rica 8.3.15

Dear Family, 

Well...bueno. Today we are in Cartago, (my first area) for a Zone Activity. Man, it was only a testimony meeting but man was it what I needed. It felt like every testimony was about overcoming hard trials and how the Atonement has blessed everyone. I was super grateful for all of what was said. 
We will be returning to San Jose on Tuesday night to stay with the secretaries for a multi zone conference with the Area President, Elder Duncan of the Seventy. Its gonna be SAWEET!!!
This last week I have also been having a little hard time with stress. It resulted that Hermana Markle thought it best to called the Mental Therapist of the Area, Elder Plaskett. Today we had the chance to touch base a little and we found that I have been having minor panic attacks. I don't have to take medication or anything, but we talked about a few exercises that I can do to calm my body down and relief stress. Nothing too major.
We have been enjoying El Dia de La Virgen in Cartago this last week. Basically its a celebration of the catholics of Mother Mary. Everyone walks by foot to Cartago Centro to get to the Costa Rican Vatican. Once there, they kneel down and walk on their knees to the altar to worship a volcanic rock which symbolizes her. It makes no sense and is the perfect example of idol worship but hey, it's all good in the hood. haha.
Not too much more to write except that I love you and I'm glad to hear of some much good news up there in the States. Please make it a priority to go the temple. Do what you need to make that a central part of your lives and youll always have enough energy, revelation, and strength to combat the adversary in the days to come. 

Sigamos Adelante, 
-Elder Neider

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Perez Zeledon, Cartago, Costa Rica 7.27.15

Dear Family, 

This week has been a little stressful. To start off, my pants didnt make it. He suffered a sever laceration on the bottoms of his legs. Hermana Elena did everything she could. But you just cannot physically add fabric to the pants to make them longer. She told me that it was time. So they are currently in the dresser of my companion. I had come to terms with it already. But this morning he said, "I want to go buy a nice pair of dress pants. All the ones I have are garbage" That ticked me off a bit but I resisted the urge to say something rude. Those were my favorite pants :'( 
The new sisters came in today. My area took a hit with as much time i had to leave to attend to them moving in. Last night they lost their telephone which meant i had to run down to San Isidro Center to get their numbers this morning. We spent an hour and a half looking for them because its P-Day and they were out buying food and stuff. Eventually we found them and they laughed at us and our misfortune. "Sorry Elders, but it wasnt our fault" hahaha its ok Hermana. Once again I had to resist the temptation to say something rude. 
Yesterday was pretty cool though. We went to San Jose for a special conference. The Stake of La Paz was divided and we are now a part of the Cartago Stake. What a blessing! Unfortunately, will are still a Branch. The members have stopped working again and so we lost the autorization to become a ward for now. But i have 5 weeks to get it back. 
This month of August we have as a goal, 9 confirmations. It will require a lot of planning, work, and faith to accomplish. I know that we can do it though. I have been trying my best to be a good leader and missionary. We will see what happens
ON Saturday, we had our two baptisms. I was super stoked for them. They are going to be such an awesome family. 
That's just about all that happened this last week. We shall see what this one brings. 

Love you all, 

-Elder Neider

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Perez Zeledon, Cartago, Costa Rica 7.20.15

Dear Family, 

The pants are currently under reconstruction. The doctors are trying to save my pants the best they can. He is doing ok. He'll be just fine buddy. Hang in there. 
Today is changes. Ill be staying here in Perez Zeledon for another 6 weeks. The Lord has a little more planned here for me. I hope that I can be humble and receptive to the Spirit to find out what it is He desires of me. 
After much planning and prayer, we have been given the assignment to find a house for a new pair of sisters to come to this area. WHAT A BLESSING. Here in Perez the majority of houses are single mothers or all the men are out working. As such, we as elders cannot pass and teach them. With this blessing we will have a lot more success coming through. I hope that all goes well. All I know is that the new sister will be training so im excited to see what miracles the Lord has prepared. New missionaries are always just so focused and obedient. We just gotta get over the trunky hurdle. 
This following Sunday we will be headed to San Jose to organize a new stake of Cartago! For this stake to form, they need 5 active wards. They are, Turrialba, Cartago Centro, Tres Rios, Paraiso, and we are missing one. OH WAIT! Perez Zeledon is turning into a ward! Hooray! Stake Cartago. Que Bueno.
Also we have two baptisms for this Saturday. Daniel and Maria Elena. They are the coolest two siblings. All of the ward members were talking to us and asking who reactivated this family. Haha we said we didnt reactivate them but that we are going to baptize them. And all the jaws dropped because these converts are just so stinking great. I love the Lord and His plans for these families. 
I am especially grateful because i havent had a baptism in almost 2 and a half transfers. 
I love you all and i hope all is going great. 

Sigamos Adelante, 

-Elder Neider

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Perez Zeledon, Cartago, Costa Rica 7.12.15

Dear Family, 

"Hey Elder, have you seen my nice blue dress pants?" "No" "Maybe Elena is washing them" Later that day.... "Hey Hermana Elena, have you seen my nice dress pants?" "No Eldersito. Try checking your apartment one more time" "ok" even later that day.... "There they are" (Elder Neider senses that there is something wrong with the pants so he puts them up to legs to see what's up) "Elder Espinosa, why do my nice blue dress pants only come up to my kneecaps?" (The fear of God enters the face of Elder Espinosa) "Oh..... those were YOUR pants? Oh.... I'm sorry. I had Elena fit them to my size" (Elder Neider stares at pants, then to his companion, then back to pants) "................................................................................................" 
Well I'm down to 3 pants for the rest of my mission. 2 pairs of grey pants and one tiny blue that has been shrunk in the wash after so many uses. Hahahaha he took my pants hahahahaha and got them fitted hahaha im going to kill him hahahaha just kidding hahahaha he is already dead hahaha
Nombres. There are just some things that happen in the mission that you never expected to experience. Oh well. haha 
It's been very interesting to me, the lengths that investigators go to, to stop receiving us. The other day we lost a family of 3 because I showed a lack of respect. The wife didn't want to talk to us so she left to go into the other room. We taught her son and husband the Restoration again. Upon leaving, I wanted to just say hi to the mom. So i popped my head into the room to say it. I watched her as she was climbing out of the closet to hide from us. She kept her face into the wall as a way to "conceal" herself better. Obviously she didn't want to say anything so we left. We came back two days later and the husband left all angry that I had popped my head in. He said it was very disrespectful and that I real servant of the Lord would never do that. So he told us we weren't welcome there anymore. I apologized but he still insisted that we leave. 
It was very hard to fight the temptation to not say, "The real disrespect is hiding in a closet to avoiding saying hi to someone who's only purpose is to help you be happy" but I felt the Spirit tell me that in the future they would accept the Gospel and I shouldn't be the reason the next missionaries are rejected. Man, it was just another instance of like what the heck Satan? hahaha
Things are going great though. We have 2 baptisms planned for the 25 of Julio that we have been waiting ages to do. I fear I may have transfers the Monday before though. Whatever the Lord wants though. :) Everything works out in the end. 
I love you all lots and im just trying to do a little bit better everyday. 

Sigamos Adelante, 
-Elder Neider

P.S.  Elder Johnson is my grandpa in the mission. So glad that my mission family is meeting my real family hahaha.

Perez Zeledon, Cartago, Costa Rica 7.5.15

Dear Family,

Well the 4th of July wasn't as fireworky as usual but oh well :P 
This week has been a little long. The normal finding a lot and then leaving us. It's very interesting. People actually believe that we worship Joseph Smith. It drives me bonkers because then they don't even let us explain what we actually believe. It's a little frustrating. But then I learned that that is where testimony is hidden. Those that can hear, Let them hear. 
This last week I had two cool experiences. The first was with a family who are actually keeping the commitments. The Spirit in the room was incredible as they spoke of the love that has entered their lives. Hermana Patricia actually received a compliment from a nonmember friend. "Patri, what's happened with you? You just seem to be glowing and happy all of a sudden. What have you been up to?" It's experiences like that that make it all worth serving. What I would give to find more families like this and to feel that kind of love. For those that are preparing to serve, man, you're in for something incredible that can only be experienced and not explained. 
The second cool experience was that of waiting for our lunch. This little girl named Fernanda came into the room and began to sing and dance. I have recently been studying a lot about the Plan of Salvation. I know that little children are saved in Christ, so they dont need baptism until the age of accountability. So I tried to picture her spirit and I knew that I was in the presence of a celestial being clothed only in a tiny "tabernacle of clay". It was a beautiful experience and I eventually began to cry because I was so touched to feel that honor of seeing her. It's like that with every child.
I don't have much more to report on. Only that this week I also learned of the 3 kingdoms of glory and who goes where. We need to work harder to help Grandpa and Cami to be baptized and make these important covenants IN THIS LIFE. This is their opportunity. The Spirit World temple work is for those that did not receive an opportunity in this life. We must work with more earnestness. We can ask our Heavenly Father more fervantly and petition Him what is our role to help out. I love you all and I know we shall all be together forever. Stay strong and stick to the Lord :)

Sigamos Adelante,

-Elder Neider

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Perez Zeledon, Cartago, Costa Rica 6.29.15

Dear Family, 

Many awesome things have happened. Lots of struggles and let downs but it's expected right. 
Last week, we performed the Haka for Fathers Day. It was pretty sweet. I'm gonna try and snag a copy of the video to send you right now. It's called Send Space.com I hope you get them. 
We have been having a little rough time here in San Isidro. We had 2 weeks of 120 people in the chapel and then it dropped to 73 yesterday. In both areas, not a single investigator nor recent convert came to church. Our Gospel Principles class was completely barren. So we went to the married couples class to learn of the Atonement. It was a pretty good lesson. 
We've just been struggling with having investigators continue receiving us. My companion is pretty stiff and doesn't smile. He cant show his love for the people too much and so it comes off as, "Here's the restored gospel, take it or leave it" He is a great missionary and is always working hard. But that turns a lot of people off of the gospel. So I just sit there smiling with the hopes that it lightens up the mood. 
Not too much been happening. The Mission was divided today. At 8:33 tonight President Hayes will be here. The moment the wheels of the plane touch down, we will divided and ill be in the Costa Rica San Jose East Mission. I'm excited to see what new plans the Lord has to reveal here in this country! 
I hope the videos get there all good. 

Sigamos Adelante,
-Elder Neider 

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Perez Zeledon, Cartago, Costa Rica 6.22.15

Dear Family,

So great to hear that the vacation was all good. I hope that you enjoyed the beach and what not for a little while. I'm still living in Paradise hahaha well technically no. I'm living in Perez Zeledon. Paraiso is in Cartago.
Well I'll give the bad news first. That jolly man that I told you about last week, dropped us. It was a little hard for me to understand mentally because he even testified to us that he knew that Joseph Smith was a prophet. It made no sense why he dropped us. Basically what happened is that his family gave him an intervention. "Grandpa, you are a Catholic. You are already baptized" hence, he gave us back the Book of Mormon. I wasn't sad though. It's kinda just a numb feeling to it. So our 2 baptisms for this month fell through. 
On the good news, I got my ingrown toenail removed. It was huge. I don't have time to send photos but I'll make sure to send them later. 
We are heading to San Jose again today. That really has been the reason I've been pulling out of my card. It's expensive for us 4 to go to San Jose so many times in one month. it's about $24 for each companionship for an all around trip. We've already gone 5 times and one more right after I get off from writing. So I've been buying a little food here and there so that we can make it through. The mission will be giving us more for the months to come to compensate. 
Things are going great. Starting Friday, we will have a new mission president and the mission will be divided. Muy animado por eso. 

Sigamos Adelante,

-Elder Neider

Monday, June 15, 2015

Perez Zeledon, Cartago, Costa Rica 6.15.15

Dear Family,

This week has been pretty great if I do say so myself. I have quite big news. 
The Branch of San Isidro will be converted into a WARD!!! Next month when the mission divides, the Area Presidency will be coming to also put into place 3 new stakes in Costa Rica, one being Stake Cartago. San Isidro will be converted by the end of July. I really hope that all goes well. 
Last night we had such an incredible experience. There is an inactive named Xiomara. She has 3 kids but only one is baptized. She has been inactive for about 5 years and has always slammed the door in the elders faces. But when me and my companion came around, she was already outside. haha no door to be slammed :P and so we began to speak with her and we found that she has felt abandoned by God and that she just doesn't understand why she feels so terrible all the time. We couldn't get in to teach but we planned to come back. 
Her mother, who isn't a member, told us that if we could reactivate her, she too would come to church. Haha challenge accepted. 
Yesterday we swung by and we somehow got in to teach her with her 3 kids. Alejandro has 20 years, Karen has 16, and Sebastian has 9 years. We began by speaking about eternal families and how great they can be. My companion wiped out 1 Corinthians 2:9 which happens to be my favorite scripture from the new testament. He tried to explain what this verse meant, but from the expression on their faces, they werent all into it. I felt that I should try to help them understand a little better. I asked them to close their eyes and to think of the happiest moment in their lives. (Those reading can do this as well) I asked them to picture it as vividly as possible. Who is there? What colors do you see? What can you smell? Etc. Then i asked them to make it ven better. Who else would you have liked to be have been there? Your favorite song began to play, They brought out your favorite food, etc. Then, I said, now I want you to imagine that the Savior himself entered the room. Everything has just become perfect and glorified. And I allowed them to then think and about this perfectly happy place that they made. 
I said that when they were ready, they could open their eyes. One by one they eventually all opened their eyes and I asked how do you feel? The mom bluttered out Que Rico! or in english, How rich! They were all smiling and then I asked them to reread the verse in Corinthians. 
Eye hath not seen, nor eye heard, neither hath entered into the hearts of the children of men, those things that God hath prepared for them that love HIm. 
I testified that the Lord has prepared a place a million times better than what they had imagined and that it could be theirs IF they obey His commandments. My companion then invited the two youngest to be baptized and i invited the two older to prepare to take the sacrament so that they could all go to the temple one day, clean and ready. They all accepted. Alejandro in his closing prayer asked Heavenly Father if He could watch over them as they prepared to become an eternal family. What a great experience that we had. 
I know that this promise is the same for our family. I know that as we continue forward with faith in the Lord and His Atonement, that we can be together forever in a place that we cant even imagine how great it shall be. I love you all and invite you to prepare to take the Sacrament this Sunday. I would even invite you all to prepare to go to the temple this or next month as a family. Whether just a stroll around the outside or actually performing ordinances, it doesnt matter. Just go and keep in mind our eternal goal.

Sigamos Adelante, 
-Elder Neider

Monday, June 8, 2015

Perez Zeledon, Cartago, Costa Rica 6.8.15

Dear Family,


What an eventful week. I gotta think where to start. 
First, Elder Mendoza had changes today. It was a little sad for me because he had really helped me to be a better missionary and person. He has gone to Guanacaste which means he will be apart of the other mission and I probably wont have the opportunity to see him again until the last mission conference before the split. It's all good here in Perez though. My new companion is named Elder Clemente from Mexico I think. I am still waiting for him to get here. 
Somehting funny that happened. The Catholic Church here is very big. They put up in the mountains a statue of a Saint that they believe protects San Isidro. haha well this last week it was struck by lightning. HAHAHA we were laughing so stinking hard! Sign from God? haha
Other than that, we are still working to convert the branch into the ward. We need an attendance of 120 people for 3 weeks at the least. We are working our tails off but it's a slow process. I have been trying good to be the best missionary I can be. 
This last week, i made up my mind that I would fast for everyday for 7 days. We haven't had investigators come to church. So I made up my mind to do that. After the third day I realized that this was not a very healthy practice so I stopped haha. But was able on Saturday to do the monthly fast. We ended up with 3 in church. They were all miracles. I was very happy with the success. Now we just need to help them to get baptized this month. 
Not much else happening. Love you all, enjoy your vacation.

Sigamos Adelante,
-Elder Neider

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Perez Zeledon, Cartago, Costa Rica 5.31.15

Dear Family,


Hahaha is Corbin taller than Brendon?!? HOORAH. Looks good for the graduation bud. Congratulations. 
Hey Mom, two things before I forget. How did the audition for Brigadoon go? and Can you send me instructions for French Toast? I'm done with Ramen noodles every morning..... 
This week has been good and bad. It was full of JW's', investigators returning the Book of Mormon without bothering to read it or pray, empty chapels on sunday, and unexpected miracles. I'm sure glad that the Lord has a perfect plan for us all, because my plans and thoughts aren't working out so hot. 
We are trying to clean up the Member Registries to help convert it into a ward. We are making a lot of progress. but at the same time it could be faster. The members are a little slow on the "let every man learn his duty and act diligently in the office wherein he is appointed" thing. But I'm not perfect in my calling either. Oh well.
We have found many cool families that seem super ready to receive the gospel but they are taking their time with the commitments. I am certain that if a person would read the Book of Mormon and pray, there is no power on Earth or in Heaven or Hell, that would stop them from being baptized. Those that actually do them, baptize. Even if they say they've done it and/or have received an answer, and they don't come to church or be baptized, I know that they actually havent done these things. It's really funny their reactions when you call them out on it. They give you this,"Is he reading my mind and heart?" look. "Yes I know it's true" "How do you know?" "It speaks of God" "Wonderful. But did you ask God if its true?" "Um... no" "Yeah we know" hahaha They are funny sometimes. But other times, it's just plain frustrating. haha what is SO hard about, read the book and ask your dad if it's true? oh well. We keep moving forward. 

-Elder Neider

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Perez Zeledon, Cartago, Costa Rica 5.25.15

Dear Family,

So good to see the Drama Banquet was a success. Congrats with the Stewie Award. What a cool gift that you guys got Wilcock and Shelley. I bet they loved it. 
This week has been pretty weird I'll admit. Things were going great. Giving service, teaching good, you know, the usual. All of a sudden, out of nowhere, popped up 6 companionships of Jehovah's Witnesses. It was like a plague that struck us in the core center of our area. Once again, we are back to square one with finding. The work goes on. 
The status with become a ward. I had an interview with President Wilkenson last Monday. I walked in like the normal interview that it was. We talked for awhile about the normal stuff, (how are you?,your companion?, your area?,have any questions for me?) but then he changed the subject. Elder, I want to show you something. He turned his computer around and showed me how I can help this branch become a ward. 
We have been working hard to clean up the ward registry because their is a great difference between active members to inactive. Many have simply moved or have passed away so they are reflecting bad on the branches progress. Once we clean it up good we will have helped out a lot. President is trying to put this new ward into place to create another stake here. I'm trying to fulfill my part of the load. It's stressful but good :)
We also spoke with a lot of members about how they came into the gospel. One of the newest members to move in told us of how as a teenager she couldn't ever get into reading the Book of Mormon. She found a Jehovah's Witness Bible that had pictures in it that she really liked. She said one day she was sitting on her bed with both books. She said she began to pray to ask which book would help her to come unto Him more. She said that after finishing the prayer, she reached for the JW bible because she liked it more. As soon as she touched it, she said it burned or shocked her. She obviously dropped that book. She wondered what had just happened. She looked at the Book of Mormon and said that she felt full of joy and peace when she touch it. 
The Church is true, the Book is Blue. (Go Cougars)
I know that this church is true and that we are all in this school of life to learn to put on perfection like our Father. He loves us so much. He gives us these trials not to punish us, but to teach us and help us grow. 
I love you all lots and I hope that this week treats ya good.

Sigamos Adelante,

-Elder Neider

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Perez Zeledon, Cartago, Costa Rica 5.18.15

Dearest Family,

This week has been a little bit of a let down yet we still had incredible miracles. This will be my 2nd week without investigators in the church on Sunday. Yet I know that the Lord has people prepared. We just gotta go find 'em. Happy Hunting.
This week we had a couple of cool things happen. I have an exciting moment to share. We got off of a bus one night on our way home from working our best. As we began to go up a hill, I saw a man looking at us. I felt for a reason that he was waiting for us, which in the mission rarely happens to us. I stretched out my hand and introduced my companion and I. We began to walk and he told us "I feel that you have something to tell me. Tell me anything" This is the point that we began praying for exactly what he needed to hear. We began teaching of the Restoration and how richly it could bless his life. He began to tell us of some family problems that he is currently passing through right now. We testified of the truthfulness of our message. This is where he told us of his experience. He said that in the bus, he began to pray as to what he should do with his problems. He said at this moment, he looked up and he saw us enter the bus. We sat down on separate parts of the bus and as we continued to travel, he prayed again to ask if this was a coincidence. He said that he then heard a voice tell him,"They will wait for you". So we he got off the bus he began to walk. Out of curiosity to see if we had gotten off the bus, he turned back towards us for just a second or two. As he did, he said he saw my hand and a gringo accent saying, "Hola! Me llamo Elder Neider"
I find it incredibly interesting that Heavenly Father can answer prayers like this. He can put us missionaries exactly where we need to be, exactly when someone is praying for it. The most fantastic part is, is that He does this completely without affecting our moral agency. He truly does guide us as we choose to listen to His still small voice. I would say this was a weird coincidence as this man named Edison did. Except that it has happened to many others like this in this same area. He hears and answers everyone of His child's prayers,

Sigamos Adelante,

-Elder Neider

Monday, May 11, 2015

"The Forks in the Road" 5.11.15

The Forks in the Road 
by Elder Neider

My mind is often called to ponder and think
Of the life that I want to pursue.
I think of the choices, the forks in the road 
And realize I don't have a clue

On the one hand, there's a path made of gold 
Lined with cars of an exotic style.
There are stadiums and pools filled with people of fame
Inviting to stay for awhile

The people all walk with the greatest and latest
Of clothes, entertainment, and more
Surely this path is the one I should take
All of these blessings could I possibly ignore?

I glanced toward the other path at this fork in the road
Just to see where this way would go
It was a rocky dirt road full of holes and uneven
And to where it led was easy to know

There was a pole that lined this straight and narrow path
To help travelers like me on there way
That lead to a tree of pure white like the snow
And it shone as the sun at midday

I continued to ponder the path of my feet
And which was the way I should take
I thought and I prayed as hard as i could
Who would want to make a mistake?

I felt drawn to the path that I saw on the right
Something was pulling and urging
I took hold of that rod with all of my might
And now I could feel this warm surging

I continued on this path which lead to the tree
Steady and slowly I moved
But I heard many voices of laughter and mocking
I was pointed at, scorned, and booed

I don't know why, out of all you could do,
that was found on the other path
The activity of choice of all who were there
was insulting me to make others laugh

The road was hard, I had to keep going
Don't know why I wanted so bad
To get to the tree of Heavenly light
Under which I think I saw my Dad

I looked and I strained to see who else was there
Enjoying in the rays of this tree
My mother, my brothers, my sister, and cousins
I knew this is where I should be

The closer I got to fulfilling my goal 
The harder the path seemed to become
But there was always something urging me forward
And I knew exactly where it came from 

The Savior Himself walked this path long before
as rocky and thorny the way
He asks us to follow and hold to the rod
To always kneel down and to pray

May we continue to keep moving forward
and carry our individual load
But remember to listen to the voice of the Spirit 
when we come to those forks in the road

Sigamos Adelante,

-Elder Neider

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Mother's Day 5.10.15


Mother's Day smile!


video
He shared this poem he wrote with us on Mother's Day.  "Forks in the Road" by Elder Caden Neider. 





Saturday, May 9, 2015

Perez Zeledon, Cartago, Costa Rica 5.4.15

Dear Family,

So this week we have the opportunity to Skype! I'm super excited. We planned to Skype at 7 pm. I know it's a little late but that is because Elder Mendoza can only Skype at that time. His family is a bunch of Indians that have to travel or something to access Skype. 
This week has been a little tough for the two of us. All of our investigators dropped us. We now have to start over from scratch again which means that we are 3 weeks away from the next possible baptism. It's getting to that point in my mission where I know I don't have much time left so I want to work and baptize. I don't have time to wait like this. But the Lord knows best and is teaching us patience. I have been asking to develop this attribute so I guess it's my own fault :P 
I love this area a lot. We don't have much member help or their enthusiasm. We are planning on doing a Variety Show or talent night. It's worked in the past. 
Other than that, not much is going on. We will see what this week brings :)

Sigamos Adelante,
-Elder Neider

Monday, April 27, 2015

Perez Zeledon, Cartago, Costa Rica 4.27.15

Dear Mom and Friends,

Today is transfer day. I will be staying in Perez Zeledon along with Elder Mendoza. We have been having some great success. This last week we had the opportunity to baptize 2 sisters. My district is doing very well and we have plans to convert this Branch into a Ward. I'm hungry for it so I'm working as hard as I can to get the baptisms and reactivations to do it. I can really use some prayers to pull it off. 
There isn't much to report on. It was a pretty normal week. We had a Multi Zone Conference in San Jose that was incredible. President Wilkenson showed us how to teach with power and authority. Incredible. I've never seen someone teach like that before. It was like he flicked the spirit switch.
I love you all. Sorry I don't have much to write.

Sigamos Adelante,
-Elder Neider

P.S.  Happy Birthday Brendon you big ol' goofball. I love you buddy. Merry 28th old man. haha just kidding. I know youre 27 :P

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Perez Zeledon, Cartago, Costa Rica 4.20.15

Dear Family and Friends,

I call be the fun uncle! Awesome. A little baby boy. I can't wait to meet him. I saw the photos and Megan still doesn't look like she's growing. Does all the baby growth take the last 2 months or what? Also, have you thought of names yet? I think Barry, Bart, Wally, or Jay would be good names. Just saying. And Caden or Donevan. Just throwing those ones out there as well.
This week I had a pretty cool experience. We were walking to go give service to a less active family. They weren't home so we began to start walking back to the apartment to get in missionary clothes. As we walked, I began thinking of Soccer as we passed by a field. I was wearing the Selection jersey of Colombia so I was thinking about what it would feel like to walk onto the field in the World Cup. Representing your nation on the biggest stage right? I began thinking of the Olympics and how that would feel to enter and hear all the voices chanting USA. I began to recall one of my favorite films called Miracle. It's about the USA hockey team that defeated the Russian team in the 70s or 80s. I dont remember which. I began thinking of what it would be like to put on that jersey and walk out. I remember the sign where Kurt Russell says, "You are about to go up against the best teams in the world" and picturing myself with my team as they walked out. One of the most powerful scenes is as they are walking to play Russia, they touch the letters of their loved ones wishing them luck like they were about to fight for something so much greater than a game or themselves. 
It was at this moment the Spirit pulled me back into reality and I felt the weight of my plague. I had an impression come to mind and once again a quote came into my mind. "Elder Neider, who do you play for?" as I walked my sports fantasy changed into reality and I began to understand my purpose as a missionary on a whole new level. 
I know that I am a representative of Jesus Christ. I know that this is His church. I testify that He lives. And because He lives, He continues to call living prophets and apostles to help us on our journey home. I love my family with all my heart. I hope that those that our struggling right now can look to the Savior now. He loves you. He knows your name. 
To close with this "Miracle" experience, ill end with a quote from President Gordon B Hinckley addressed to the holders of the Priesthood but which i think applies to all members who have taken upon themselves the name of Christ. 

"May you walk as you should" 

Sigamos Adelante,

-Elder Neider