Tuesday, December 29, 2015

December 28, 2015 - Feliz Navidad!

Hey family! It was so great to see you all on Christmas. You all look and sound so good. :)
Google hangouts for Christmas!  It's a miracle to get to talk with family all over.

Christmas was really really good. We spent the morning calling you guys, then eating, and then we did more family history for the temple on Saturday! It was wonderful.

Then, Saturday we went to the temple!!! It was so great. I love the House of the Lord so so much, and I miss it. And, all the converts loved it so much too.

Angel's baptism
Then Sunday...Angel got baptized!! Aw, she was so so excited, it was so great. I love seeing youth getting baptized, and thinking of them in the future, serving missions, getting married in the temple--knowing the differences that having the gospel in their life can make!! Super grateful for the opportunity to know her.
So, basically a super eventful week! It was super great. Aaand the last week of my companion, she's going home on Wednesday! But, changes arent til January 6th. So I'm kind of going to run around crazy the next few days, with members and divisions with other hermanas in other areas haha. Nothing is ever boring here! ;)

with the Elders at the Bishop's house
My favorite part of being a missionary is seeing the progression in the people. Okay so just to tell you a little bit about Daniel and Wendy. They're both 17, Wendy is 7 months pregnant.  They are so great!! Our first lesson we asked them about praying as a couple together every night, because Daniel said he never ever prayed. And every night since they've been praying as a couple! They also motivate each other to read the folletos. Last night we went with Wendy--Daniel wasn't there, so we just went with her. When we asked her at the beginning who she wanted to pray, she asked if she could. And it was her first prayer in out loud in public in her life! and it was so great, we could feel the spirit so strong. They couldn't go to church this week, because they were out of town. But Daniel wants to so bad--he asked if he could go to church this Sunday and just get baptized, because he really wants to change his life. So we explained that he needs to do some changes before--get married, stop drinking and smoking and coffee--but he is so so willing. And he wants to change how he dresses, find a job, everything. There are such incredible and prepared people in Guacimo!

Feliz Navidad!
We are so grateful for the  members who provide delicious food to Kiana!
Also, I love seeing the examples of faith of the Saints here. It's seriously incredible. There's a family of a mom and two daughters who got baptized in October, and yesterday the dad got super mad at them from going to Church...but they still came, walking miles to get to church because they knew that was what they should do. Also, like Geraldine and Elidio--they spend 6 dollars every week to pay for buses to come to church, and neither of them have work right now. But they know the Lord will bless them for their sacrifices. I love seeing these examples of faith of these people here, because it strengthens my faith and helps me realize that this gospel really is true, and is worth whatever sacrifice. 

Anyway, I love being a missionary! And I love you all a whole lot! Happy New Year to everyone! :)

December 23, 2015 - We are like Bethlehem

Dear Family, 

Hi!!! Merry Christmas in like...two days!!! I'm so so excited to see your faces. 
Mission Christmas celebracion

This week we had our Christmas party for the mission on Monday night, and I absolutely loved what President taught us. He was talking about Bethlehem. He lived in Jerusalem for like a year, so he showed us pictures of Bethlehem. And really...it's just a small town. Not too exciting, not too pretty...just kind of weeds and rocks and a few little houses. There's really nothing too spectacular about this little town...but that was where God decided that Jesus Christ would be born, our Savior and Redeemer. God chose this humble town to be the place where the King of Kings, Lord of Lords would be born. President then shared the scripture, "By small and simple means are great things brought to pass." We're kind of like Bethlehem. Individually, at times, we feel like we don't have a lot of offer--we have a lot of weaknesses, maybe we're not the best at sharing, the best looking, anything. But we can do great things. We don't know what smiling, what bearing our testimony, what impact that can make in the future! I'm so grateful that 2000 years ago, Jesus Christ was born in this little town, because this changed the life of every single one of us for ever. I'm so grateful for this opportunity I have to be a missionary this Christmas!! I've been able to think a lot more about the Savior, about His birth these days, more than I've ever thought about it any other December of my life. 

making pupusas with members
Also, this week has been really good!!! The ward has a temple this trip on Saturday (and we get to go!!!! because our converts are going. I'm so excited!!!! That'll be like the best Christmas present ever), so we've been doing a lot of family history. This has been so so cool. I've seriously never done family history like before in my life...so it's been so neat doing it with Geraldine and Elidio, seeing the Spirit of Elijah, finding names, I get so excited every time we get to add a name to their tree!!!! It's so amazing. Also, Elidio is so incredible. I don't know. He's in Helaman 13 in the Book of Mormon already, and yesterday he just said, "Yo amo el Libro de Mormon."I LOVE the book of Mormon. I'm so grateful for the testimonies of these incredible people I'm meeting here, because their building my testimony so much too. 

Hasta super pronto, con amor, Hermana Moon :)

delicious food!  

December 14, 2015 - Ha nacido un Salvador

Hey everyone! :)
It was such a great week. We didn't really have too much time to do too much work (we had to go to San Jose for a meeting, service projects, a big party for when the Bishop's son got home from his mission).... but we saw miracles with the time that we had in finding new people to teach, in investigators coming to church. The Lord really is in charge of this work!

We went this week to do service as a zone in an Asilo de Ancianos...nursing home! And it was so great. It reminded me a lot of going to the Providence Assisted Living Center all those Sundays and FHEs...haha, it was just a little harder because I couldn't understand the Spanish very well of them! But, it was fun. I remembered how everyone in PALC loved when we sang old songs from when they were young like You Are my Sunshine....buuut the problem was that I don't know any in Spanish! Sooo I just sang hymns and Spanish and a few songs in English, then I just sang Los pollitos cantan pio pio pio and Feliz Navidad so they could have something they recognized...hahah they just laughed. But it was super great!

Also...we're going to have a White Christmas!!!!! Angel, the daughter of Geraldine and Elidio, has a fecha for the 27 of December. She's so cute!! She's 13 and she is reading a chapter of the Book of Mormon everday and loving it. Also, we have Shirley for the 27 too! It's super cool, Shirley is a girl with 16 years who is SO PREPARED. And it's super super cool because...Hermana Geis was the one who found her! Hermana Geis did divisions here like a month ago and they found her then, and she's seriously so ready and excited. Anyway, so that makes me happy. :) Yesterday we had a lesson with Angel and Shirley together after church and it was just so fun because both of them had so many questions, were loving everything...we taught the Restoration, Shirley had already learned it but we did it for Angel and Shirley was teaching what she remember, and she just looked like such a missionary already! I love all these people that I'm getting to meet here, so so much.

I hope you all have an amazing week, I love you all so much!

Love, Hermana Moon

Full disclosure - she was dealing with lice.  Her sweet companion would spend hours combing the lice and nits out of her hair.  

December 7, 2015 - Venid, adoremos!

Happy December everyone!!! :) I love Christmas so so much.  We're starting to share the Christmas story with investigators now...I love the Spirit that comes as you start to read in Luke 2. And I'm super glad we had the opportunity to watch the Christmas Devotional last night....mostly the music, because I couldn't hear super well the talks haha. But I am falling in love with Motab on the mission! I love when they sing In the Bleak Midwinter, the ending part, ''What I have I give Him, give Him my heart.'' We've been asking people here in the lessons what gift they want to give to Christ this Christmas, and I am loving it!! Christmas time on the mission is the best.
So I have a new area!!!!! After the last change being super loco with three areas and like 7 companions..... I'm now set in a place, hahah I hope for the whole year! But now I'm in a place called Guacimo....I'm so in love with it here!!!!!! All the other areas I've been in have been pretty close to San Jose, the capitol, and they've been kind of cities. And cold!! I used jackets like every day in my other areas, in Cartago we could see our breath like every night... But now....haha I feel like I'm in what I imagined Costa Rica to be! It's SO HOT haha. And rains SO much!! And the whole place is like dirt roads, beautiful green plants, huge birds...and everyone says that there's a whole bunch of sloths but I haven't seen one yet! And our house is like a cute little shed without a real floor, it's like the shed floor....I love it so much!!!!!! I wake up every day hearing a bunch of animals and I feel like I'm camping in the wilderness and it's the best. :) We live in such a beautiful world!!!!
Geraldine & Elidio
And, I'm super happy I have a companion!! Her name is Hermana Ortiz from Guatemala and she's so cute and I love her a lot!! Buuut she goes home December 30, she's ending her mission! So, I need to learn the area super fast haha. And it's super big, and there's no mountains here to help give me direction...so pray for me?:)
So, we had a baptism yesterday of an incredible family!!!! They are named Geraldine and Elidio, and they got married a week ago and baptized yesterday!!! I love that there are so many prepared people here!!! But, it's kind of sad....the Elders here were the ones who taught them, and raised money so they could get married.... but then there were the changes and they closed the area....... the Elders were super super sad they had to miss their baptism...... But Geraldine and Elidio are incredible. Geraldine was SO excited yesterday to pay tithing for the first time! And, they have a lot of kids who aren't members, so we're hoping to be able to visit with them! They just live suuuper far away--like 30 minutes in bus, only can at night and the last bus leaves at 7 at night...but the Lord will help us with the scheduling haha...I'm so so bad at planning. But we just need to follow the Spirit and the Lord will guide us always! 

And the ward here. Holy cow it's so incredible!!!!! It was just a branch less than a year ago, but it's grown so so much, and there's been some incredible convert families who are super strong. I'm super excited to get to know these amazing people here even more.
Anyway. I love you all a lot!! I hope you can all think of what gift you want to give the Lord this Christmas, and spread the good news of our Savior and Redeemer to all!
Love, Hermana Moon 

November 30, 2015 - Things I'm grateful for

Dearest family, 

Things I'm grateful for: 

1. Thanksgiving!! I didn't think that we'd do anything for it because they don't celebrate it here, but a member in Hermana Montepeque's old area invited us over cuz her family always does a big dinner this year anyway! And it was so so good. I seriously think the turkey I had here was the best that I've ever had in my life! Also, it was so nice to see a big happy family here--they had six kids grown kids, all with kids of their own, and it really felt like being back home at a family party! So that was fun.

2. Being a missionary!! I love the experiences and miracles I get to see. Yesterday Nelson got confirmed!!! That was so great. Last week I didn't say very much about him.... but so yeah. He's 79!!!! And he was Jehovah's Witness for like 35 years, but never got baptized because they told him he was too contrary with too many things. And he owns a little shop where he sews pants and suits, and the missionaries came, and met with him, and three months later decided to get baptized!! Seriously he loves this gospel. He always says, "The Book of Mormon is such a good book." And whenever we're visiting him he just pulls out a bunch of fruit that he makes us try. So fun. 

3. The Opportunity to Learn to Live with Change: I've never really liked change. I get super attached to places, and people, and things too easily........but here I'm learning to live with it! I just need to think of every change as a new adventure! :)  Wednesday I'll be heading to another new area...haha, hopefully this time for a good 6 months with only 2 companions. I'll miss Jardin a lot...I've only been here three weeks, but I"ve met some incredible people here. But, it's okay, because I"m excited to start this new adventure with this next change. 

4. The Book of Mormon!!! I finished the Book of Mormon for the first time on the mission this last week, and holy cow. Reading the Book of Mormon while being a missionary is an experience that is really really cool. I know this book is true, and this gospel is true, and I'm so grateful for the opportunity I have to share this book with people who have never before heard of it, sharing the restored gospel with people who really have no direction in their life. 

Life is good. I"m really really happy to be here in Costa Rica, serving the Lord. I love you all so so much, and miss you all, but I really can't think of any place I'd rather be right now in my life than here! 

All my love, Hermana Moon