Tuesday, April 26, 2016

April 25, 2016 - this is the prettiest country ever!!!

Baptism of Iraida, Johan, and Mariaelena
Hi everyone!!!
Sorry, there's not a lot of time today .....but....everything is going super great!! :) This was another good week. And...yeah! Iraida and Johan and Mariaelena got baptized, yay!!! So that was exciting! and...I can't really remember what else happened. But it was all super good! And we went to a super cool place this week for a Relief Society activity where we saw orange frogs and toucans and rivers and stuff....this is the prettiest country ever!!! Behind Logan, Utah, of course. :) And...yeah! Everything's going great preaching the gospel here. 

Kiana and Hna Dominguez at a river
Thanks to Jyc Beita Molina for this picture of "an excellent missionary"
Anyway. I love you all so much! Sorry this email is super super lame! Have a great week!!
Poison dart frog in the wild - Kiana said she thought the plastic toys we had were fake colors, but no, this is real
and one from Wikipedia that's not blurry

  And since Kiana said that Logan (Providence) was also pretty, I thought I'd share some pictures from our back yard last week.

Just some spring blossoms
We can see the Logan temple from the back yard

Our neighbor's horses

April 18, 2016 - What am I willing to sacrifice to show my love for Jesus Christ?

Hi family!! :) 

One of my favorite parts of the week is Sunday. Well, haha, usually. Haha lots of times it's super stressful, hoping and waiting for people to get to church, and sometimes they come, and sometimes they don't. But then we get to take the Sacrament, and I love learning in the classes here, and we always get to eat good food...and I love seeing the progress of the people as they come to church, as they feel the Spirit and get to see really how the church is, as they notice the difference in their week from going. And we saw more miracles this week in the church, especially with our investigator Ileana. 

 With Ileana...we really hadn't been able to see her for almost a month. But we went with her this week, to have a lesson and to celebrate the 11th birthday of her daughter Brittany..and it was her first birthday in her life, because in their religion before they couldn't celebrate birthdays. So it was really exciting for her. Anyway, we had a super good lesson about the Book of Mormon with them, and they committed to reading the Book of Mormon every morning at 5, before work and before school for the girls...and, I was glad I got to testify about the difference family scripture study made in our family! I'm super grateful for the example of mom and dad for getting us up every morning super early to read. Aaand then I felt bad about how I didn't go lots of times and stayed sleeping............ but, I could testify about how the times I went I could see the difference! [note from Mom - I don't remember her ever skipping family scripture time.] And then it was incredible, because on Sunday, Ileana came to church! And she walked an HOUR to be able to come. Because they live really far away, and don't have money to pay for the bus, and her daughters had taken the bikes to go to a school activity. So she walked an hour by herself in the hot sun, to be able to keep the commandment of going to church. I'm seriously amazed by the faith of a lot of the people here. It makes me really think, and ask myself, would I be willing to walk an hour by myself to go to church? What am I willing to sacrifice to show my love for Jesus Christ? 

We also had a special lesson this week with Marcela and Marvin. Marcela shared with us how in the short time we've visited them, and from going to church,  they've really felt a difference in their home. They've fought a lot less, they've said nicer words to each other. And they could tell that it was really the gospel of Jesus Christ that had made the difference!! I know that the gospel blesses families, and that God really wants us to be happy, and have joy with our families, and that the gospel is really the way we can accomplish it! And we talked about baptism a lot. Marcela really wants them to do it as a family...but she also wants to be 200% sure. She says she wants to be able to go to the pulpit in the front of the church and be able to say that she knows!  She says that there's a person that she hasn't forgiven in her life...and she says that until she can forgive them, she knows she won't be ready for baptism. But, I love that they really understand that baptism is a promise with God..that it should really change their lives! so, we're excited to keep teaching them, helping them recognize the Holy Ghost more in their lives! 

And yeah. Javier and Ivannia are doing great, they came to church again! With them, they're just looking for the way to find the money to be able to get married. It's hard, because he just lost his business.... so we're praying lots!! I know that the Lord really does miracles, and we just need to have faith! :)

Also, it's fun. The stake is doing a choir for Stake Conference in two weeks......and no one in the stake plays piano........so I get to go to Guapiles, it's like a half hour away, on Sundays in the afternoon to play piano for the Primary choir! And they sound super good!!! It's just been reminding me of like the practices for the Primary Program. So so fun. I love gospel music! 

And yeah. It was a great week! And we're excited for this next week...Iraida and Johan and Maria Elena passed their baptismal interviews, and Iraida's getting married on Friday, and they'll be getting baptized on Saturday!! :) I'm so grateful for the opporunity we've had to teach them, and see the sacrifices they've made as they've strived to keep the Lord's commandments. 

anyway, yeah. The Lord has blessed us so, so much with so many incredible people here to teach. I love the Lord, and His gospel, and these people here. Being a missionary is great. :) 

and I love you all! sorry this is super long!  have a great week!! 

Love, Hermana Moon 
This is Ron, the lizard that lives in their house. He is not a pet.

April 11, 2016 - I love Costa Rica and the children of God here!

I feel happy. :) This week was really, really good. 

So like back in February, Hermana Tabora and I knocked the door of a house, and there was a lady there, Marcela. We later went back in the week with her whole family, her husband Marvin and their daughters Mariana who is fourteen and Maria Fernanada who is four. And we visited with them like 2 times a  week for like 3 or 4 weeks, and they were really good, and really liked everything...but they never came to church, and we always invited them and they'd said they'd try, but never came! And we just got really busy, and we didn't mean to not go back, but there was just a lot of things to do! And we had like 3 weeks without visiting them! And, I wasn't sure if we were going to keep teaching them. But when Hermana Dominguez got here, we went to introduce her to them...and it was super cool. Marcela said she had felt bad for not going to church when we had invited so much, and she had had a dream with me in it, and she said she knew it was a sign from God saying this was the right church..and they came yesterday!!! And they loved it. It was a really really good testimony meeting, and all the members were super good with them, and it was awesome. 

Also, Javier and Ivannia and their three kids, also came to church for the first time yesterday too!!! And they really liked it too. And now we need to start planning their wedding! haha we'll see what we do... 

I've just loved seeing the hand of the Lord in working with these two families, and all the other investigators also. It's just so cool, seeing how the Lord's timing is just perfect, how the Spirit really tells us which houses to talk to, what to say, where to go. We've been super, super blessed with incredible investigators, who are so willing to change their lives and do things that will help them come closer to Christ. 

Also, this week I was thinking a little bit about remembering. Jose now has more than 2 months of being baptized, and we were talking to him. He was saying how the other day, he had gotten mad at someone..someone he'd had a problem with for a long time. He said that normally he would have said some really mean things, maybe even physically fought wit him...but this time, he remembered his baptism. He said, 'I remembered how I felt while I was preparing for my baptism, and that I had the goal of getting baptized, so I avoided all the bad things. And I remembered all that, and my baptism...and decided to walk away, avoid saying or doing anything mean to this guy.' I just loved seeing how he remembered his baptismal covenants. When we were baptized, we covenanted to be a witness of God at all times, and in all things, and in all places. And every week, as we take the Sacrament, we promise that we will always remember Him. Jose was a super good example to me, in showing that when we make covenants with God, they should really change us. We should be different people after the covenants, than who we were before.As we make decisions every day, we should remember those covenants. I'm grateful for all the things that I'm learning from the faith of these people here! 

But, yeah. It was a great week. And the weather was super great and sunny and really hot and beautiful too! and I love Costa Rica! and the children of God here! and love you all!! :) 

Monday, April 4, 2016

April 4, 2016 - and welcome, Hermana Dominguez!

with Hermana Tabora at the temple

It was a good, crazy week...most of it spent in a bus or in San Jose! But lots of exciting stuff happened!

1. New companion!!! Yeah, it was super sad saying bye to Hermana Tabora. She's so great. But, I know she'll be so great where she is now. :) And now I'm with Hermana Dominguez! :) She's from Yucatan, Mexico, and she's 24, and she's really really smart..she just finished studying biochem engineering, came 5 days after presenting her thesis! And she is so willing to learn. She's so sweet...she was sad, not because she missed her family at all, but because she wanted to be able to just have the right words to help the people here. But, she doesn't need to worry, she knows Preach My Gospel waaaay better than I do jaja. So, I'm excited to get to know her better, and to see the miracles here with her! 

2. Temple!!! I love to see the temple :) We went on Thursday, and it was so great. Temples are such a blessing in our lives!! I know it's literally the House of God. And how cool that there's 150 in the world now!! And yeah. In Conference, I felt like I just heard about temples and family history work! So I know I have lots of work to do in family history when I go home. 
Kiana, Hna Dominguez, Hna Tabora, Hna Gonzalez
3. and yeah...Conference!!! I loved Elder Hallstrom's talk, about how we're children of God. Even in the times that are difficult and all the trials, we can always remember that we're children of God, that He loves us. And, I liked how Sister Oscarson talked about how membership in the Church is an unmeasurable gift. And it's so true!! I don't know how we got so lucky to have this knowledge, but now we have the responsibility to share it with everyone else.  Going to the temple this week helped me realize that, there's so many people in the world who don't even know!! But yeah. All the talks were super good, I'm excited to be able to read them again! 

Putting brown paper over the windows at the church so they could watch conference

4. Experiences with Investigators! With Javier, and Ivannia, it was so great. They're a family who just looks like they're Mormons already. Ivannia went to the women's conference, and Javier went to Saturday afternoon, and they really liked it. They're such an adorable family, they have three kids. But they're going through a really hard time. Javier owned a hardware story, but last week, he went bankrupt, and they don't really have anything. But we put a date with baptism with them to get baptized, and married, and they really, really want to...they say they want to start completely over now their lives, and they know that baptism and getting married will be a great way. so yay! :) So we'll keep working with them, and praying that they can be baptized on May 7!!! The challenge is kind of going to church for them, cuz he has to figure out a lot of work stuff. But we're praying a lot! 

But yeah. Lots of stuff this week that were good, some things that were kind of disappointing, but we're excited to keep working hard here. :)
Love you all! 

March 28, 2016 - goodbye, Hermana Tabora!

Hi all! :) 

Transfers this week! Aaaand...Hermana Tabora is leaving. :( We were so sad!! It´s been such a fun, fast three months together, and we saw so, so many miracles together. She is such an amazing missionary!! She really taught me about having faith, about loving people, about how to really share your testimony. And, everyone is so sad. For a lot of the converts it´s their first experience with changes, and they´ve just been crying like it´s a funeral! The people here love her so, so much. I¨m so grateful for the time I had with her! And, she´s so cool. She just finished her training, and she´s going to finish the training of another hermana in San Jose! so that´s fun. And I´ll be getting a brand new missionary tomorrow too, so that´ll be exciting! I don´t know why I´m kind of nervous. Well, I always am with changes. But it´ll all be good. 

We really are so blessed with some amazing investigators. There´s a girl named Morelia, and we love her sooo much! She´s 20, so she´s our age, so it´s just fun. She´s gone to church the last three Sundays, and she didn´t like it the first time, but now she loves it. And, she is such a member already. She asks peopl if they´re new, so she can help them, and helps with people in the classes find scriptures....so so cool. We kind of messed up on the teaching...she thought she was Mormon before being baptized...she goes around telling people on the bus saying that she´s a Mormon, sharing the gospel with her family! but, it´s cuz she talks a lot. But we finally got to explain that to be baptized she needs to get married to her boyfriend, or break up with him. And he´s great, but works all the time so we can´t teach him. But Morelia said she´d talk with him last night about getting married....they have a year and a half living together so we hope so bad that he´s willing to do it!!!! So we´re praying! But we had such a great lesson with her yesterday, about the Plan of Salvation. We asked her where she thought she lived before this world...and she was like, I´ve never even thought about that! And we´re so blessed to have this knowledge. It´s so cool to testify that they lived with God before, that He really knows them, and loves them, that they lived with Him before. Yeah. I love the gospel. 

What else cool happened this week.... well, I´ve thought a lot this week about faith! This week in a meeting President told us that really everything depends on faith. And, thinking about it, it´s so true! Before, I was so so worried that I wouldn´t be able to do things. And then one day in personal study, I had  like a moment of revelation....it´s not me who is doing anything in this work! Everything is the Lord. This is His work. I´m just here to be an instrument. But I need to be humble, and trust that the Lord is in charge. And if we´re obedient, and humble, and faithful, really we´ll see miracles! We´ll find the people in this minute who are ready. And we just need to have faith in the Lord that really, He will work miracles in the lives of these people. And yeah. :) 

But yep. It was a great two changes of testifying and laughing and miracles with Hermana Tabora, and I¨m looking forward to what this next change brings! 

Love you all!!!!!!