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