Tuesday, December 6, 2016

December 5, 2016 - saying goodbye

She didn't really write an email today, but sent me some pics and some quick messages.  Thank you all for the prayers and support you've given her. 

Todd wrote her:  Holy Cow!  Last week!  Not that we are counting down, but you have fewer hours left than Spencer has weeks.

Are you sure we don’t need to come down and pick you up?  Because it is bound to be warmer down there, and it has gotten really cold here.  You are going to freeze!  Maybe we should all have Christmas in C.R. and stay until it warms up again in Utah.

She wrote back: yeaaaah come here pleeeaase!!!!!!!!!!!!! let's live in costa rica til may!! I have lot of friends here. and you could get lots of latino frineds. and practice your spanish. and we could preach the gospel together!! commmeeeee 


this doesn't even do it justice. It was a lot bigger here it is kinda curled up.

My companion killed it with the broom. 

Really it was like the size of my face 

I am gonna come home with zika (not really)

We're leaving Moravia! woohoo! Actually it's sad. Moravia is super cool. 

and Hazel and Ariel. LOVE them. They gave me the cutest note. I am excited to show you it .

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

November 28, 2016 - her umbrella and shoes know she's been out longer than 18 months now

Hi family!!

This week was so, so wonderful. We just worked a lot, and felt so happy. And, we've seen a lot of members get super excited in the work, and wanting to leave with us, and it's just been super fun. 

One of my favorite parts of this week was with an investigator named Julio Cesar. We just knocked on his door, sang a hymn, and explained things like 2 weeks ago. And we have passed by a few times but never gone to talk to him, because he's always had people over. But we passed one day, and a little boy comes running after us, and says, hey come back!! And Julio said that hymn we sang has been in his head for weeks, and he wanted the boys he was with to hear it. And he is like a 55 year old man, who just hangs out with all the teenage boys in the neighborhood, so they're not in the street doing drugs and bad things. And said he's going to talk to all the moms of them so they can all go to church on Sunday!!! I just met him... but I think he's one of the greatest people I've met in all my time here. 

Also, SUCH GOOD NEWS!!! Hazel and Ariel came back to church yesterday!!!!!!!!!!!! They were the ones who had some problems with  members, and stopped coming for like .... I don't know, almost 2 months!! but we've been visiting them, and they came again!!! And always they go in like street clothes, but they came in a white shirt and a dress!!!! I was so so excited when I saw them walking down the street coming. And we've been able to teach Ariel a lot more, because before we hardly could, and we explained on Thursday the Book of Mormon, and by Sunday he'd read up to 1 Nephi 9 and had a lot of questions!! So we're so so happy that they knew it was the right thing to come back. Hazel has such a strong testimony that it's the true church.

And also, it was neat, Jessica, the girl we met last week, read up to Alma in a week!! And had lots of really really great questions. And we invited them to church, and said maybe...... But Sunday she said that her parents didn't give her permission because they're very evangelicos. But she said she's going to keep asking permission this week!! She said she woke up at 8 and thought about escaping haha. And we know that's not right, we told her just keep praying that her parents give her permission haha. But it's been neat seeing how when we met her, she said she didn't want anything to do with a Church and wasn't sure if God existed.... but now that she has so much desires to keep learning. 

And yeah. lots of other great things 

Love you all!! Have a great week!!
These aren't the only shoes and umbrella to wear out, just the latest.  Just in time.

Her crocs and umbrella know the 18 months are up (yesterday was her 18 month date). She says she's carefully rationing contact solution and shampoo and everything.

Quick note: there was a hurricane in Costa Rica last week, but Kiana's area was not affected.  She said that the day it hit was the only day she's seen sun in the last month.

November 21, 2016 - finding people by helping them decorate for Christmas


Sorry I don't really have much time to write this!! 

But this week was good!!! We were really really blessed to mostly just be in lessons, the whole week!! Just finding and finding and talking to people, and we've really found people interested!! we found more people by helping them decorate for Christmas so that was fun, and found a girl who said she was so interested in the Book of Mormon that she'd read it in a week... so hopefully when we go with her tomorrow it's true! :) And yeah. 

My companion is wonderful, and we're just willing to work a lot and teach and hopefully see a lot of miracles these next couple weeks!!! next week I promise I'll write more. 

But, I love you all!! And hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!! :) 

Love, Hermana Moon 

​she also wrote this to me:  and it's good because I don't feel like I'm ending, I feel like just starting and wanting to do good!!! I just don't want them to have to close the areaaaaa :( because there's 2 girls (me and Mendoza) leaving right now, and 5 more with Zerilli (Kiana's friend who leaves midtransfer at the end of Dec)... and only two more coming. Sooo they have to close areas :( and it's not that we don't have anything..... but it's cuz our ward has 6 missionaries, so it makes the most sense to close our area. :( I hope notttt!!!! because the relief society president talked to us yesterday and they have a plan to do divisions EVERYDAY with us next year....

November 14, 2016 - even dropping phone in gutter is tender mercy

Hey family!!

this week really was just really good. we just worked a lot harder, I felt like, than the week before, and I just felt a lot better!! We found a lot of really great new investigators... really, like every person we met really was interested in listening to our message, instead of just preaching their church to us hahah! because almost every week me and Hermana Vargas have only found people who like to preach to us. So we feel really blessed to have found such incredible people this week! And, we found two inactives who live ridiculously close to our house... like, two minutes walking..... one has been inactive for years, but her grandpa is a temple worker here, and she just got married four months ago to someone who has never heard anything about the church!! and she said we can come whenever we want, and theyre really interested in learning about how they can have a stronger marriage... and the answer is the gospel! :) And then the other, the guy is the member, and he was baptized years and years ago in nicaragua, but now he's living here with his wife who isn't a member! but he has a super strong testimony. They got here, and looked for the Mormon church!! But, they didn't find the church in Moravia, they found one in a close by city, because the church in Moravia is kinda super hidden haha. But the bishop there gave the reference to the elders in Coronado, who gave it to us, and we've passed by like... five times looking for them but haven't found them. And last night we tried again, and the people said that she didn't live there...... So we were like well.... that's weird! but then I dropped the phone in the gutter (like I do like three times a week.......) so we had to dry it off and fix it and all, and in all that time, she left the house!!! so the Lord had a purpose in us dropping the phone so we had to wait more time there so she could come out. And we had a great lesson with her, and she's super intersted in being baptized and the church and everything. So yay! So hopefully we can go back soon with her too!! 

What else happened this week.... well, everyone here is suuuper obsessed with Christmas!! People started decorating in September haha. and they all put SO many decorations and everything. And this week we were just walking, and saw a lady decorating her Christmas tree, and we asked her if we could help and she said yes! and it was my first time decorating a tree in two years so it was so, so fun. and then we got to teach her!! :) 

Also.. we invited So many people to church yesterday, ...... and at the end, no one could go. So I was feeling a little big sad.... but we get there, and a guy named Onasis shows up!!!! He is the guard in like the little grocery store they have right by our house... and I think we invited him my first week in Moravia.. so like... 5 months ago! And yesterday, he finally came!! and, he loved it. So that was a great tender mercy. :) 

Anyway. talk to you next week! 

Love you all! Love, Hermana Moon

November 7, 2016 - I have met so many wonderful people here

Hi family!!

This week was good!! Honestly... I can't really remember what happened.... but it was pretty normal!! 

We had had good lessons with Karol and Bryan this week, with members and everything..... but neither came to church, Karol's mom came and took her for the weekend, and Bryan we don't kn
w what happened!! So hopefully everything is fine! 

Something else cool.... well, we invite a lot of people to church every week! and, sometimes people say yes, but just don't show up. But there's this lady that we found a few weeks ago named Wilma, and we've gone with her like two times, and she always says she's super super Catholic, but she said she'd come to church! That was on Thursday. We didn
t see her til Sunday morning, and we pass by her house at 7:50, and she's there ready waiting for us to go to church! :) So that was neat, people who really are true to their compromises! and in camino to church, she just kept saying, that she was just going because she likes us, and that she's not going to change religions ever. But, really, it was like the most perfect Sunday ever. Testimony meeting was perfect, principioes del Evangelio was perfect, and it was like the best Relief Society Class ever. and she was participating, and I think she left really, really, happy. So we'll go tomorrow with her, and hopeful
y she'll say she wants to keep coming!! I left church really really happy and motivated, so hopefully she could feel that too!! 

Also, we met the nicest family of Jehovah's Witness yesterday night!! Normally they don't real
y talk to us, but yesterday we were just walking and a guy yells, Elders!! We're sisters, but, it's okay hahah we understand. So we went, and he was like come in, wife, make them hot choco
te and give them cookies!! And we talked to them, and they said the Mormo
s have ran into them like four times!! They are VERY religious in their religion, but they said that whenever we come to Costa Rica to visit we can go to their house to stay so we don't have to pay for a hotel! hahaha so that's nice! But no, we're going to try to go back this week and just talk more to them about the Restored Gospel ,because really, they're wonderful. 

And that's a thing I love about being a missionary. I love meeting people. I have met so, so many wonderful people here, who are so kind to us, without even knowing us, why we're there, or anything. I've felt so much love!! And I hope I can learn to show such love to strangers when I get home. 

What else..... oh, we had zone conference! That was fun. I like being with missionaries. It's so fun. 

anyway, I love you all lots and lots!! 

​Toyopan Zone  - she's the only gringa​

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

October 31, 2016 - things will always work out!

Hi family!!!

This week was good! Super super super crazy.... but it all worked out wonderfully at the end because Maria Elsa and Alejandro got baptized!!!!!!!!! They told us Monday night that they wanted it to be that week, so we talked to members fast, and they had their interviews.... but then, they've told us since....forever ago that they have passports cuz they're from Nicaragua so they need those to be baptized. But we sent the papers Wednesday morning to the lawyer, and he told us that the papers from Alejandro didn't work, that he'd need to go get a provisional passport for 25 dollars. So Alejandro went Thursday morning to get it... we send the papers again... and the lawyer tells us now that the papers of Maria Elsa had to do the same thing!! so she goes Friday morning, the morning of the wedding and the baptism to get hers.... and we didn't know for sure until like 3 hours before the baptism that everything was fine! But, all ended perfectly and we saw so many miracles and the Lord helped us so much, and so so many members helped us so much. The members in Moravia are the best. And they were able to be married and baptized!!!!! The daughter, Anais, who is 8 was also going to be baptized... but she is like terrified of water, so she stepped into the font and started to cry and cry. So, not yet! one day!! it was really sad. But, all ended super well, and they're happy, and we're happy! :) 

And I'm trying to think if anything else neat happened this week...honestly mostly we just were running around for the wedding every day! But, Bryan came to church again, and we've had some good lessons with him, so hopefully in the next couple weeks he can stop drinking coffee! the lesson in Principios del Evangelio on Sunday was about sacrifice, and it was really good for him to hear Alejandro share his testimony about sacrificing coffee to be baptized. So, yeah. :) 
Maria Elsa and Alejandro got baptized!

The Relief Society president in Moravia really magnifies her calling with decorating for weddings for the investigators.
And....everything is great!! next week I'll have more stories about different people hopefully. But yeah. I know that the Lord loves us so much, and that this is His work, and that things will always work out!! 

Love you all! 

Thursday, October 27, 2016

October 24, 2016 - and a really, really good week

Hi family!!

This week was really really good. 

Miracle!!! So Alejandro and Maria Elsa went to a Noche de Grupo on Friday night, the member was super great to go to their house to pick them up with all their four kids and bring them there cuz they live suuper far away and they really, really liked it. On Saturday, Alejandro told Maria Elsa that he wanted to be married and baptized as soon as possible, and told us that on Sunday when they came to church!!! so we are so so so so happy!!!! So, we just need to figure out if we could plan things for this weekend.... it's just there's the worldwide service day on Saturday in the morning, and we need to ask the members if they could on Saturday night, and do the baptismal interviews like tomorrow!!! But we are so so so grateful for the members here who are being wonderful with them, and for the Lord who really is changing the heart of them and helping them realize the blessings of the restored gospel!! So happy. So, hopefully this weekend, or the next!!!!!!! 

Also this week we went with Bryan! He had had a fecha for the 22 of October.... but... he didn't stop drinking coffee and we couldn't really see him because he had a lot of karate tournaments. But, we went with Humberto, who is seriously the coolest convert ever, and he gave a great testimony about how the sacrifice is worth it, and how Bryan should just start drinking hot chocolate. So we put a new date for the 5 of November, so hopefully he can do it!!! 

What else was cool this week... ummm..... oh, last week we found a 20 year old kid named Diego who said that in the bus he sat by a missionary and she gave him a book, and it was the Book of Mormon, and he said he'd read like most of it!! so we explained to him the Restoration, and he said, he felt something! That listening to people from other churches, he had never felt something like that before, that he just felt good, and felt like it all made sense!! So, we're hoping that we can keep meeting with him and that he can go to church and really really feel that this is all true!! 

saying goodbye to friends she'll see at BYU
jump roping for a lesson at leadership council
And yeah. I love you all! Have such a great week!! 

October 17, 2016 - a hard week

Hi family!!

This week was..... honestly a little hard! But it's okay. Because I know when it's a hard week, the next week will be a lot better. and, sorry, I don't like to just share sad things.... but, this is really what's happened this week! 

We've been blessed with some really, really amazing investigators who love going to church. Hazel and Ariel had 2 months going to church, and were progressing.... slowly, but progressing. But, some members said some things to them last week, and now Hazel tells me she's pretty sure she won't go back to church again. She said she'll still let us come over, but she doesn't want anything to do with anyone else in the church. Sooo that was kind of hard to hear. But hopefully in a few weeks or months they'll decide to come back, because I know that they know that the church is true. 

and, all week we've been really excited working with Maria Elsa and Alejandro.... Tuesday we went with a great member who shared their testimony about how he would never leave the gospel, Friday we went with a member who helped them learn to make cafe of corn cuz dropping coffee was really hard for them and they committed to doing it and they really liked the corn coffee, Friday a member made pupusas and we all sold them to help them have the money to get baptized and they said for sure they were coming to church on Sunday..... and they didn't show up. So we go visit them Sunday night, and they say that now they can't get married and baptized because they're  having a lot a lot a lot of problems as a couple. So, we testified about forgiveness, about the power of the gospel, and all that.... and we're going to keep working with them. But it's just sad to see people so close have so many trials so fast, and the enemy making them feel like they can't change more... and it's just sad, because they say they've seen so so many changes and blessings as a family. But, we know that with the gospel is how really every family can have happiness. We know God doesn't want to see them separated.... but together, as a family, so that they can be sealed. So, we're going to be praying a lot and keep working with them. 

And... we were super excited because Humberto gave us a reference of a family, a mom and dad with five cute little boys all under the age of 9,  and they came to church!!! But the husband told us flat out that he was pretty sure that he was going to go back to his old church after Sacrament Meeting. 

But, it's okay that all these things are happening. Because I know that the Lord wants to see how much faith we'll have, how willing we'll be to keep working and keep loving and keep trying.... And, I honestly feel like Alejandro and maria Elsa will be able to get married and baptized. When, I have no idea, if I'll be able to see it or not. But we're going to keep sharing our testimonies, keep helping them see the blessings in their lives and noticing the changes. Same with Hazel and Ariel. Maybe they won't go back to the church while they're here, but I know that someday, they'll come back. 

Honestly, experiences like this I'm really grateful for. They help me a lot to recognize how blessed I really am to have the gospel in my life, make me super grateful for my ancestors who listened to the missionaries and were faithful and sacrificed to help us have this knowledge, grateful for the people I've met here, for the members and their testimonies.... but mostly grateful for the power of the Atonement. I'm grateful that I can change and repent, and that I know that these people I love here also will, one day.

I love you all so much!! Have a great week. :) 

October 10, 2016 - chequo de mes

Hi family!!

Everything is great!!

I am sorry this week there is not very much time. But everythi​ng​  is great. 

One of my favorite parts of this week was that we knocked on a door that we had visited like... a month ago, or more! And the daughter answered the door and the first thing she said, Have you guys eaten? she had like 20 years. And we said uh...no! So she made us food and we talked to her and got to know her... and she told us that she was raised Catholic, but she doesn't really believe in God, in religion, in scriptures. So, we had a lesson with her about faith. And it was super interesting ... I had never taught someone before who didn't believe in God. I was j​us​t trying to think of Ammon And Aaron teaching the great Lamanite kings, trying to take what they did believe to help them realize that they did believe! And we talked about the faith, and everything. and.. I have been meditating a lot about the faith in these last few days. really... all we do is for faith! the ordinances.... baptism, sacrament, all of that.... could just be actions that don't mean anything if we don't believe that they mean something. But, we believe in God, believe in Christ, believe in these actions and these symbols and they give us happiness, peace, and joy that so many people in the world don't have because they don't belie​ve! 

So anyway. I have a lot of thoughts that I don't really know how to put into words.... but I'm so grateful for the faith I have in my Savior Jesus Christ. T​hat we're not only in this world to live a good life and love other people... but that there is so, so, so much more. 

chequo de mes - all the missionaries at their one month mark (and trainers)

October 3, 2016 - miracles with Conference

Hello family!!

It's been a good few days since I've talked to you!! I absolutely loved General Conference. I learned so so much. I am so grateful we have a prophet and apostoles today. It's such a blessing!! That so many other people do not have, and don't realize what they are missing! I wish everyone in the world could feel the joy I feel in watching General Conference, that every person had the knowledge of this great experience we have every six months! I loved Elder Anderson's talk, and Elder Cornish's, and Elder Eyring's, and Elder Nelson's.... but really, all of them were so wonderful. I felt like the conference on Saturday was really focused on missionary work, so I really liked that, and it motivated me to share the gospel more, and love the people here more. And, I couldn't help but think about Spencer the whole time I was seeing the missionaries in the MTC choir. I can't believe he leaves today to Spain!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Spain will be so blessed for my favorite little brother being there. :) 

And, we saw some miracles with the Conference! Bryan went Sunday morning, and right after the session my companion said that he stood up and said, Well, I'm going to fight to be able to be baptized the 22nd of October!!! I was watching in English, so I wasn't there, but she said he was super concentrated the whole time, but especially in the talk of Elder Ballard... where will you go if you leave the church? And it's incredible, on Wednesday he was drinking 6 cups of coffee a day, and he told us on Sunday he has cut it down to two and a half!!! So, we're amazed and super happy that the Lord is working so much with him, and helping him change his life! and, Bryan loved Conference so much that he decided to stay for the afternoon session!! 

Recently, I've been noticing how much they talk about JOY in the scriptures, and joy with the gospel.  A couple weeks ago I read President Monson's talk about Finding Joy in the Journey from 2008... we have that Liahona in the house, I have no idea why, but it rocks, and since then I've just really been paying more attention to joy, striving to find joy in all the days, walking in the rain, in the sun, visiting the people here. And then I noticed this week as I was reading the scriptures that from Alma 17 to Alma 29, in the chapters where Alma and Ammon and all of them are preaching to the Lamanites, it mentions joy at least 22 times... I might have counted wrong. And then, I noticed that so many people in their talks talked about joy... finding joy where we are... how being grateful in all things we are joyful... joy from repenting, joy in sharing the gospel. Really, this gospel is about joy!!!! This life is about joy. And, really, it's so true. All the things that help me feel joy, are things that have to do with the gospel. My family, seeing other people change their lives, repentance, steps of the plan of Salvation.... all have to do with the gospel. And, I want to keep helping other people find joy in the gospel.. not just here in the mission, but my whole life. We are so, so blessed. :) 

Love you all!! Happy October. :) Love, Hermana Moon 

September 28, 2016 - ashes, ashes


Everything is great. :) Sorry I probably won't write very much.... because we went to the temple today!!!!!!!!!!!! It was wonderful. :) But, so, there is not too much time. 

Umm... what's been happening... oh!! We were super, super blessed last week in finding three new families. And they are all super interested in the gospel. They all have challenges.... they all have member who works on Sunday. But, they are willing to learn, and we have been loving inviting people to General Conference, and they are all really interested, so hopefully we can see miracles with that!!! Two we just felt like we should talk to them, and the other is a refernece from Humberto....who is like the best member missionary in the world. Yesterday he sent us a message, saying that he had two more families who wanted to meet us. He is so so wonderful. God prepared him so much to receive the gospel, and now he is so so happy to share it with everyone he meets. It is so fun. So, yeah. We are excited to keep teaching these families, and hopefully see them progress!! 

And, we have an investigator named Bryan, he is 19, he came to church on sunday for the second time, and he loves coming to church!! And we invited him to pray for the 22 of october... we're going in like an hour with him with a family so hopefully we can see more miracles with him!! :) 

Other great things.... Man. I loved the women's conference. I left inspired. And I am so, so excited for general conference!!!!!!! And, the temple was wonderful. We are so blessed to have the gospel, because we have  the knowledge of things like the temple! And general conference!!!! When I think about those things, it inspires me to talk to more people so they can have the same blessings. 

Oh! And something exciting! haha like I said Christmas is coming last week.... and it's snowing too!!!! ;) haha the volcano exploded so ashes have been falling all around so that's been exciting! 

okay!! Anyway. I love you all so much!! Have a wonderful week!! 

so, yeah. we had to walk around like people in
China living in a polluted place with these mask things.
yay temple!
Love, Hermana Moon 

Monday, September 19, 2016

September 19, 2016 - Day 1, Year 0 of his new life


This week was good!!! Some great things! 

1. New companion! :) She is named Hermana Vargas, and is from Tegucigalpa! She´s the tallest companion I´ve ever had, so that´s exciting (.....I´m still taller, but, she´s almost as tall as me)...and with that, she walks the fastest! so it´s been fun haha. It´s been fun seeing her do things for the first time... yelling UPE to knock the doors, teaching the area, studying and teaching and everything. I´m remembering a lot my first few weeks as a missionary. I´m excited to learn a lot from her, and to see miracles together. 

2. Humberto got baptized!!!! He´s been so excited all week. He kept saying, that 17 of September is Day 1, year 0, of his new life. And that before he was a mason... (like the freemasons, in national treasure! haha. I don´t know a lot about them... just that they are very smart and that Joseph Smith and a lot of the prophets have been them)...but now he´s going to be  a Mormon. And on Saturday night, he was baptized!! And lots of members came to support, and it was just such a wonderful day. I am so so grateful for the opportunity to be a missionary, for the huge miracle we had in finding Humberto and seeing his conversion process. Being a missionary is the best life ever. 

3. It´s been super sunny!!! I love the sun. It rains a lot a lot here... and I like the rain. But the days where it´s sunny all day it just makes me feel even happier. :) 

4. It was independence day here the 15.......so that means..... now Christmas is coming!!  Therés no Halloween or Thanksgiving here, so right after independence day it´s just time for Christmas, and Christmas decorations! haha so it´s fun seeing stores starting to put Christmas stuff out, singing Christmas hymns always. 

....and I know a lot of other great things, I just can´t remember and there's not a lot of time. But, everything is going really well. We´re ready to learn and work a lot more in the work of the Lord this week, and see more miracles and invite more people to come unto Christ. 

And, I love you all!!!!!! Have a great week. :) 

the money is so cool in costa rica. and in those little animals it totally says pura vida in letters super super small. it's so cooool!! i just found that out this week. it's so neat. 

and humberto!! yay! 
la zona.... before changes! 

September 12, 2016 - adios, Hermana Madrid!

Hola familia!!! 

This week was good!! Best news....Humberto said he is getting baptized the 17th!!!! So, it's super sad because Hermana Madrid flies out of Costa Rica on the 15th..... but it's okay, she knows she helped so so much in his conversion. And, he is so happy to finally have decided, and is telling everyone, and it is great. :) We are so grateful for the decision he has made!!! Thursday he told us that he was watching the news and seeing stuff about the wars and everything and all the problems in the world.... and he said he had the thought, why am I still doubting about making this step? if there's so many problems, why will I add more to the world? So he stopped smoking, and yeah! :) yay!! I'm so amazed by how the Spirit has worked in his life, and his love for the scriptures, and learning, and repenting, and becoming better.   He is seriously incredible. and hahah now I think the goal of the ward is that he gets married.... we're going to do a family night tomorrow with another woman in the ward who is single with the familia Jimenez haha, they planned it out.... so it's great! Haha I love this ward so much. 

And....everyone else is doing well! Maria Else and Alejandro came to church again! But, it was sad.... they live super far away, and have 4 little kids, so they got there late again, like at 10:45. But, I love seeing how much they are trying to do the right things, to keep the commandments and receive the Lord's blessings. :) 

We had the leadership meeting this week, and I can't say enough that President Hayes is the best president of mission in the whole world. He asked us, what our mayordomia... I think that means like stewardship or responsibilities as a leader are. And everyone was saying like, have a perfect area, be a good example, be perfectly obedient.... lots of things. And he told us, that it's to love. That we need to learn how to love the Lord, love the other missionaries, love our areas perfectly. That he is here, because he loves us and loves the Lord. And, that we should learn to develop so much love for the Lord that we are always perfectly obedient, that we can help the other missionaries have this same love so they can have all the success the Lord wants for them. I don´t know, I wish you gys could all just sit and listen to him teach!! !! He just has so much love, it's so inspiring, and listening him makes me want to be so much better. So, I want to be better, want to learn to love more...love the Lord, my companion, the whole mission, the people of Costa Rica. 
  ​last day with the compañera!!! so sad. 

we have a cosechas like 2 minutes from our house. it's the best. 

And, I'll be having a new companion, because Hermana Madrid is leaving! I'll be training a new missionary. Haha, I always get super nervous training.... but I'm excited, it'll be a great adventure. And all the new missionaries come from Honduras, so I'll get to keep enjoying baleadas, the typical food of there, and hearing her say cheque, pues. haha it'll be fun. :) 

and with Humberto and a family who has been so wonderful to let us always teach in their house!! he kept saying to her, ''foto sin pila''.....picture without the baptismal font haha. we will send her lots of pictures on saturday
Anyway, I love you all so much!!! Have a wonderful week :) 

September 5, 2016 - campeonas de zona toyapan

Hi family!!

All is well!! Yesterday we had Stake Conference. I love seeing the strength of the Church here when lots of members are together. And, it was great, Humberto could go to both the adult session Saturday, and on Sunday! and Hazel and Ariel came on Sunday. We hope they could feel the Spirit we felt, and that they can receive answers about baptism. 

Humberto is doing really well....but he still just says he hasn´t felt an answer about being baptized, and he says always he´s a man of his word, and so he is scared to be baptized if he can´t keep the commitment! But, we feel he´s so ready!! He hasn´t missed church for 2 months now, hasn´t missed a day of reading... so, we just keep praying for more faith that he can pray and really get his answer!! Because he is so, so good. 

We also had a good lesson with Maria Elsa and Alejandro. They work in selling clothes, and Sunday is the day when most people are in their houses, and they really do need money, because they have four little kids. But, we shared the lesson with them about Elijah the prophet when he told the widow to give him food to him first, and then after they didn´t lack in food ever. So, we talked about sacrifice, and having faith in the promises of the Lord, with not working on Sunday and going to church. And...it was a really good lesson. they said that after this Sunday, they will not put appointments for Sundays, so they can go to church, and not work and keep this commandment of the Lord. and, they also committed to getting married!!! So, it was a great week with them. They are loving reading the book of Mormon as a family, and I love visiting with them. 

And yeah! Everything else is great!! It´s been raining a lot, so that´s been fun! :) And we´re ready to have fun the last week of Sister Madrid´s mission and see miracles!! 

Bye, love you all lots!! 

I had one of the proudest, best moments of my mission this week

There´s this game we play here, where someone goes in front and starts reading a scripture and we all look for it and when we find it we stand up and start reading from there. we play for like 10 minutes, and give points and everything

anyway. I´ve been dying to win!!!!! I always win a couple of times, but my zone leader always ends up winning. 

but finally, finally, this Wednesday, in zone meeting, WITH President Hayes there watching..me and my companion finally won!!!!!! so we have the honor of having the cup with us this week. campeonas de zona toyopan por fin!!! 

August 29, 2016 - a big sacrifice for them to come to church

Dear family, 

This week was good!! 

Humberto is still doing well. He´s completely stopped drinking coffee, for a week now, and he says he doesn´t miss it anymore, and that hot chocolate is the best thing ever haha. But..he is still having troubles with stopping smoking. But, he´s working so hard to be able to do it!! He understands repentance so well. We´ve been having lessons about that in gospel principles, and I¨ve loved listening to his testimony about the Atonement, and that we learn and progress from the mistakes we´ve made. And, this week is Stake Conference, so I don´t think his baptism would be this weekend. But we´re hopeful for the next! 

This week the ward did a Noche de Grupo...it´s like family night but as big groups. It´s so fun. And, Hazel and Ariel and Humberto could come. After, they all commented how they loved that the church focuses so much on families. Humberto shared with everyone that he felt like he was now part of a family, and that he had never really felt that way before. I´ve loved seeing how the ward has really loved these new people, and showed charity and service to them. Moravia really is such an incredible place. 

We´re also teaching a family, they could only make it for the last hour of church last week...but the husband said he absolutely LOVED it, because he could see that the church is a church of order, and he knows that God is a God of order. They have five little kids under the age of ten, and it was a big sacrifice for them to come to church last week. And, we had talked to them about baptism a lot before, but they said they needed to come to church to see.... and they accepted a date this week! It´s not til like the end of October, because there´s a lot of things to work out with them...they need to get married and everything....but we´re so happy because they have really shown that they want to be closer to God and have sacrificed to be able to keep commitments. 

And....I don´t really remember what else happened this week! But everything is going well! :) We keep working on finding new people, and strengthening our own testimonies in the restored gospel. I know that the Church is true, and I´m grateful for the opportunity to share this message every day. :) 

Love you all! 

Monday, August 22, 2016

August 22, 2016 - look at the church through an investigator's eyes

This week was super fast. 

On Tuesday, we had a super great lesson. There was a girl named Hazel, she´s 19, and before she went to church for like months in the area of Coronado because she didn´t know she should go to Moravia. Anyway... like two weeks ago her and her boyfriend, Ariel, came to church!! And we´ve been having a hard time going with them but finally we got to go with them! She told us that she has already read like up to Jacob in the Book of Mormon, and has prayed and knows it´s true. And that she went to a lot of different churches before, and went to the church, and LOVED it. Her boyfriend has never really believed in God, but his grandpa died a while ago and has lots of questions about the Plan of Salvation. And Hazel went again yesterday to church, and they´re both reading the Book of Mormon. So it´s exciting teaching them! 

And Humberto is doing good!! He had his interview on Saturday, and passed! And it´s so cool, because the elder who did the interview said that honestly it was like doing an interview with someone who had been a member for like 40 years! But... he said that today, Monday, is his last day of drinking coffee and smoking. And, he really is a man of word. But we´ll go with him tonight and see, and so hopefully this weekend he can be baptized, but if not, very soon. :) 

And Yadira came to church yesterday!!! She´s super super Evangelical, but has always been super open to learning... and yesterday finally she came to church, and she said just to see how it is, because to really learn how are the Mormons she had to come. And, I think she loved it. She was paying so much attention, asking questions in the classes, said she really felt the Spirit during the Sacrament.... and she just looked so happy at the end!! 

I love the Church. And I know it´s true! We were talking to a member, who has been incredible with Humberto...he´s the elder´s quorum president, and he like takes Humberto to do visits with him and everything. Humberto said to him that when he came to church, he was so surprised because he found people who believed like him!! But he didnt know it existed. And he said he loves everything, that everything is so new to him and amazing. So the member was like, sometimes when we´ve been members for a long time, or our whole life, we fail to realize how perfect and incredible really the church is. So, yesterday, during the meetings, I was trying to look at the church through an investigator´s eyes. And yeah. The Church is so perfect and incredible. It´s so focused on the family, and the progression that we all need to have to become more like our Savior, Jesus Christ, through learning and teaching and serving. I´m so grateful to be a member of the Lord´s restored church, and share this message of hope. And yeah. Everything´s great. I love my companion so so much, and love the members and people here. And I love the gospel, and my Savior, and the experiences we are having here. 

Falling asleep again after planning.
eating lunch at the church building
okay! bye! have a great week! :) 

Sunday, August 21, 2016

August 15, 2016 - He will always be our Father

Hi family!!

Humberto is doing well. Well, last Monday he told us that he had stopped smoking and drinking coffee completely!! We were so happy and excited!!!!! And then..on Wednesday he told us that he felt too sick, and couldn´t do it. So that was really sad. But he´s lessening and lessening every day. And, he´s doing great for having drinking coffee for all....60 years of his life. We´ve always heard that the Ticos give their kids coffee from the time their babies in a bottle...but this week was the first time we saw it!!! me and my companion were shocked. I couldnt even believe it!! But, no, Humberto is doing great, and is really esforzandose a lot. He wakes up at three every morning, and studies the scriptures!! And he cancelled a lesson this week haha because he was too busy sharing the gospel with his sister and forgot to look at the time!  Haha, it´s seriously so fun teaching him. He´s just really, really intelligent, and understands things really well. He loves the Restoration. And, he loves the book of Mormon. haha, in a lesson on Friday a member tried reading a scripture about baptism from the Bible. But Humberto said, No!! I don´t want anything from the Bible...only the new things, from the Book of Mormon!! And he talks really strongly so it was just funny and surprising, because usually everyone wants things from the Bible. But yeah. So we´re praying a lot for him, that he can stop smoking and drinking coffee, and that he can receive an answer about his baptismal date, because he doesn´t feel ready. But really, it´s incredible teaching him, and seeing how willing he is to accept the gospel, and the joy he is feeling in his life from it. 

Also, this week has been really interesting, because we´ve had lots of different lessons with different investigators who are super Evangelicals and they don´t really understand authority. They think that everyone who accepts Christ in their life has the authority to preach, to form a church, to be a prophet, an apostle. So I´ve really loved studying more about the Restoration, about the laying on of hands, and how important it is!!! I´ve never really realized before how important it really is that Peter, James, and John came down to give that authority, to make that unbroken chain. And...lots of times the people don´t believe in these events, because, they really are incredible. But that´s what makes the church true. The unbroken line of authority, the incredible events, the manifestations that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and so if there were events in the Old Testament with angels and visions....today we will also have that. and I´ve loved this week being about to testify a lot about that. And, then testify that reading the Book of Mormon is how we are going to be able to know all these thinds, and resolve all our doubts. I´ve thought a lot too, about the talk from Elder Stevenson...Where are the keys? And we are so blessed to know where the keys of the Priesthood are. I´m so grateful for the Restoration. I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the only true church here on the face of the earth. I know that only in this church is where we can receive the ordinances necessary to return to the presence of our Heavenly Father. And...it was kind of interesting, because we found one of these girls yesterday, and she said she´s getting baptized next week in her church. So we explained to her to pray, and ask God if what we said was true! So hopefully she does that. 

And, also, I´ve loved being able to testify this week that we are all children of God. It´s another doctrine of the Evangelicos that I´ve heard a lot here.... that everyone is just a creature of God until they have received the gospel. And...honestly, I have always just felt so, so sad hearing that idea! Because the first principle that we have to teach is that God is our Loving Heavenly Father. of everyone. Even if we´re making good decisions, or bad, or if we believe in Him, or not. So this week our investigator Yadira said that everyone on the street were just creatures of God, and I couldn´t let her say that. So we testified that God is the Father of EVERYONE. That he loves EVERYONE. And, she didn´t really believe it. But, when we went back a few days later, she said she had meditated a lot...and said that we were right, that we are all children of God. So, I´m just grateful for these simple gospel truths that we have. I´m grateful that God loves all of us. And He knows us. Even when we are wandering in paths we shouldn´t go...He will always be our Father, waiting for us to come home. 

Tico Mother's Day - it's a big deal
Anyway, I´m glad for these experiences that I am having to help me strengthen my testimony in the restored gospel. I know these things are true. And I am happy for that knowledge. And I am happy sharing it with these people here. 

I love you all so much!! Have a great week :) 

August 8, 2016 - we've found lots of new people

Hey all!

Humberto is doing so so great. I´ve never had an investigator like him, someone who wants to know everything all at once!!  He told us this week that he wakes up at like 3:30 every morning and studies for like two hours the Book of Mormon, the pamphlets, and everything. He loves everything. He showed up last week at church with a button up shirt and tie, and yesterday also, even without us saying anything. He now has a lot of members who are friends, and he gave a pamphlet of the Plan of Salvation to his sister and wants us to meet with all his family. And, we taught the Word of Wisdom... and he said that when he feels like smoking or drinking coffee, he reads the Book of Mormon. It just makes me so happy to see how he really is changing his life through the gospel!! He said though, that he is struggling with praying. He said he hadn´t gone to a church since he was seven, so he is having a hard time having the habit of praying, and feeling like God is answering him. So we´re excited to teach him tonight more about that.  And we just keep praying that he can keep lessening how much he smokes and drinks so he can be ready for his interview! I´m just so grateful for the opportunity to be a missionary to be able to meet such incredible people.

Also, we´ve been teaching a woman named Patricia for a long time. She´s really good, she really understands that she can choose the things of the world, or the things of the Lord. And, we´ve seen lots of tender mercies in teaching her.... it was incredible even finding her, because her house is really hidden, but we met her one day when she was outside... she was going to start working on Sundays but we taught Sabbath Day and she prayed a lot and felt like God told her No to working on Sundays.... and she really wants to do the right thing. She went to church like...three weeks ago, and she loved it! but she hasn´t wanted to accept a baptismal date because she has a boyfriend and so felt bad about all of that. But we taught the  Law of chastity, and told her she had to talk with him, but she was afraid to do it. But she talked to him this week, and they said they could get married!! So she said yes to a baptismal date! so that was exciting, we´re hoping that she can keep listening to the Spirit in helping her make the right choices. 

And, yeah. Lots of other great experiences, but honestly the days all kind of blur together and I can´t remember a lot of things! But we´ve found lots of new people, it´s been a sunny week...like half the time and super rainy the other half... and yeah. Everything is great. :) 

it rained so much and my scriptures got wet :( :( they were in bags but yeah. they still got a little wet. and they´re so hard to dry!!! so so sad :( 
And, my companion is wonderful! :) It´s fun being with a missionary with a lot of time on the mission! I haven´t had a companion with a long time for...a really long time, and it´s actually really fun to just be able to talk about experiences, areas, converts, trials, blessings and miracles..... I don´t know. It´s really fun! I love my companion a lot, and I´m grateful I´ll get to be with her for her last weeks of her mission. :) 

Anyway, I love you all a lot!! Have a great week! :) 

August 1, 2016 - pants? maybe not...

Hi family!!!

So kinda sad news... my companion has changes!! :( I really loved these six weeks with Hermana Ascencio. She's such a great friend and great missionary. I learned so much from her about humility and just really loving everyone. But... it's honestly not too sad because she's going to the ward right next door and we'll see each other like twice a week for district meeting and Mondays to play futbol! So it's all fine :) And my new companion is Hermana Madrid and she's also coming from a ward right next door on the other side haha..... and she only has one change left!!!! So it'll be kind of interesting! But I'm excited to work hard and have fun and it'll all be great! :) 

So we had our first real lesson with Humberto this week...and it's incredible. he LOVED church, said it was marvelous, and he can't stop learning more. He went to the church's website and loved it, he wants to know all the rules and commandments of everything, he's been reading so much of the book of Mormon...well, mostly the guide in the back so he can learn everything!! So we put a baptismal date with him for the 29th of august, and he's super excited. We just need to work a lot with the word of wisdom, because he smokes a lot and says he likes coffee a lot. But it's okay. The Lord prepares people so much, it's incredible. 

And what else has happened this week...Oh!!! President Hayes came back!!!!!! So we are so so happy. He was gone for more than a month but he came back!! I sure love him and Sister Hayes. In the meeting on Saturday he talked a lot about why we're obedient. And he has really changed my perspective on obedience. He said, we're not a mission that has a checklist of things to follow, because we don't follow the law of Moses. We follow a higher law...where we're obedient for love to our Savior." And this way of thinking has really changed me so much in this last year. Because, I think before the mission sometimes I was obedient because I was scared what would happen if I didn't, or obedient to have all the blessings... but really, we should be obedient because we love the Lord, and that's the higher law that Christ gave when he came to the world and did His Atonement. And I hope I can remember that always, remember to be obedient always because I love the Lord, and His gospel. :) 

Oh. And. We got our pants this week. Hahahha they're so funny. I just don't feel like a missionary! But we don't have to use them often. Thank goodness cuz everyone just makes Elder jokes all the time haha 

And pants.  Yep.  She's taller than the Latinos. 
​She and Hna Zerilli were so happy to see each other at leadership mtg.
Oh... and news about Guacimo because I still love that place so much :) last week, finally, they teared down the chapel and started going to church in a high school because now the people just don't fit in the chapel!! haha, since I got there in December they said they were going to start in March... and finally now they did it. And they're sending a bus around at 8 in the morning to pick everyone up because the school is super far away... and last week 130 people went!!!!!! That's more attendance than I think we ever had. I just got so happy hearing that. I'm kind of sad because I totally wanted to be a part of the bus picking people up at 8 in the morning haha because it sounds so fun... but it's okay. It's fun hearing the stories from the people. :) 

And yeah! That's basically it! Have such a wonderful week everyone! :)