I have been called to serve for 2 years in the Costa Rica San Jose Mission as a full time missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Week Two in Cariari, Costa Rica

Hey! You definitely don't need to worry about me at all in any of those ways! All the differences that are here I love! I would be mad if I lived in a normal house with everything I had back home. I wanna live like a tico not a gringo. Ill start by answering your questions!

For a package I honestly don't know. Just random treats would be nice. Don't send chocolate though. It would melt the second it gets here. But it would be awsome to get any little treat. We have been buying little drink package things that are way good and cheap that are like kool aid.

I really have liked Elder Felipe. He really wants to work hard and not do nothing. I've heard about a lot of elders here who are lazy and don't want to do anything and I really am glad I don't have that problem. Sometimes it's hard to understand him, but it's good because when he says things I don't understand I write them down and learn new stuff!

The lessons I have had all went pretty good. The Ticos speak outrageously fast. Like I really dont understand a word they say. And it has been frustrating at times. So i don't say much in the lessons, just explain scriptures and bear my testimony and stuff. Its not that hard to get into houses and teach lessons. They're all sooooo nice! All the people here just sit on their porch all day and do nothing and when we meet them they will always let us in for a lesson. But getting them to progress is tough. And getting them to commit being at their house for the next lesson, they sound like they want to do it all in the lesson but when we go back they're usually not there.

I met the branch presidents (we have 2 branches) and they're both awesome! All the members are soo awesome. I love all the ticos. All the houses here are litterally the size of my room. Every house. and there will be a family of like 5 living in it. I'm not exaggerating. You wouldn't believe how small these houses are, but they're all so happy and proud of their houses and want to offer whatever litle they have to us.

Im not scared, i get excited when something is really weird.

I'm not lonely but at times I have gotten really frusterated that I can't understand. I worked so hard in the mtc so I thought I was good. Then I came here and these people don't even speak spanish or anything I've ever heard before. So at times i don't feel lonely but I feel like I can't understand anyone and I have a hard time saying what I want to.

We eat rice and beans. We dont have a cook. Other areas do but we don't. We jsut make food in our house. We make rice and beans and we fry plantains for lunch and for breakfast usually cereal or toast with delicious jams. There are people on the streats in the town with carts and sell like the most random foods but it's all soo good. The other day we got these things called copas. They're like snowcones but with this cream stuff on top and a powdered suger thing on the inside and when you stir it up it's like a creamy snowcone. It was sooo good! We have a lady who does our laundry.

Our house actually is huge. Compared to the regular houses we have a mansion. It's alright. Theres not much in it. Our shower is just a hose faucet that comes out of the wall. We put water in a big dish and put it on our stove and heat that up, then put it in a bucket in the shower and pour that on us with a cup.

We watched all of conference in Guapiles with the whole zone. Not every building shows conference and its not on regular tv so like 10 branches meet in guapiles to watch. Its about 45 minutes away on bus. All the gringos went into a different room and watched in English. it was sooo nice and relaxing to listen to it in English and talk to the gringos. Elder Miller is in my zone so I got to hang out with him during it, so that was cool.

As for investigators it's tough to have many because we have taught like a million people once but are impossible to track down again. There are a few families that want to be baptized but one big thing in Costa Rica is that literally no one is married. They just don't get married here. They willl live together forever and have a million kids but they won't ever get married. But we're working on that. There are also lots of less actives who got baptised but never come to church, so we teach a lot of lessons to them.

Our areas are huge! We have 2 areas. I'm not really sure why. La Rita and Cariari. (Car ee ar ee) Every other day we go to the other town. We do a lot of walking! We take the bus from town to town or sometimes if it's on the other side of town. I swear we walk 30 miles a day.

Thats great you have the pin! (on the map of Costa Rica) You should also put a pin in for the rita! (a pin for each of his areas, Cariari and LaRita)

Honestly this is the coolest place! Whenever I'm discouraged because of the lenguage, I just look at where I'm walking and I smile because it's amazing. The other day we were walking at the end of the day to the bus to go home and we were crossing a bridge. It was pitch black. In the streets at night there's no lights. When we were crossing I couldn't see where I was walking and I completely stepped into the fattest hole ever in the ground. My whole body fell in and my arms caught me and I was completely hanging over a river. I gashed up my arms, legs and side. There was blood through my white shirt and my legs and arms looked haggard. It was pretty sweet though. I wish I could have seen myself fall, then catch myself in mid air from falling into the river. It was smooth.

Send this to everyone. I dont have time to write everyone. I am loving where I am and what I'm doing. It's definitely very very hard and at the end of the day I fall asleep before I can get into my bed, but I love this place and love these people.

I can't begin to talk to you about how much I love all the little kids. They're SOOO cute and they just play in the dirt road with packs of like 15 just running around kicking cans and stuff. I gave one a hackeysack and I've never seen a happier person in my life. If you could find a way on ebay to get me a bunch for pretty cheap that would be awesome.

But I love you and I hope all is well with you because it is with me!

Elder Graham

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