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, November 1, 2010

Week Six in Cariari: 2 Baptisms!

October 30 Baptism of Jose and Carlos
From the left: Elder Felipe, Carlos, Elder Graham, Jose, Kevin
Kevin is the Young Men's President. He's 19 and waiting for his mission call.
"I baptized Carlos and Kevin baptized Jose"

The trees in the jungle here legitimately have vines strong enough to swing on like Tarzan if you wanted, and I want to go deep into the jungle to do that.
The thing about here is.. when you picture in your head what you would think Costa Rica looks like, with jungle and trees and dirt roads and all that jazz, that really is what it looks like. I keep forgetting what it looks like here then I look up and smile because i feel like I'm in a postcard.

We had 2 baptisms Saturday! Alright, so the first full day that I was in my area Elder Felipe and I were walking through some neighborhoods and were passing many houses. All of a sudden Elder Felipe stopped at a house and ¨knocked¨ the door (we call it knocking on doors but we don’t knock because everyone has fences so we stand at the gate and yell jupe! (hoop aye)) Out came a mom and José, and long story short we baptized him Saturday. I have no idea why we stopped at the house at that time but we were definitely guided by the spirit to someone who was completely ready for the gospel. The rest of his family isn’t quite ready but he was. From the first lesson he loved reading the Book of Mormon and kept every commitment. He had some problems with coffee but gave it up. One day when we were in a lesson his friend Carlos was waiting for him so we invited him in and he had no interest in listening to us but we talked to him and invited him to the next time. Every time after that he was more and more interested and started asking for different chapters to read out of the Book of Mormon. They have been to every activity and church every Sunday since we met them. And the first door I knocked on my entire mission was my first 2 baptisms. And I had a big testimony builder that we are guided to those who need us and are ready. If we do what we need to the Lord works a lot harder than we do and will put it all together for us. Yesterday José went out with us all day to lessons and took us to a few of his friends’ houses too. We introduce ourselves as missionaries and he introduces himself as a future missionary.

It was sooo cute I went back to Puerto Viejo and I saw that family I sent you the picture of. When I went to their house the little boy was soo happy and he showed me the hackey sack i gave him and I wanted to cry. It was sooo used and soo dirty and his mom had stitched it because he used it soo much. Elder Malan who is there told me he literally never stops playing with it and he was so proud to show me how he could use it and he showed me all the tricks he taught himself. They wanted me to show off so I did a few things for them and I saw him afterwards off to the side trying to do the tricks that he saw me do. But was so cute and I was so happy to see how much he loved it so I gave him a new one.

Every morning I make sure I’ve got one in my bag ready to hand out, and in lessons with toddlers that are moving and whining I give it to them to hold to calm down. And really I have only given out 2 of the ones you sent, not that often, only to the worthy ones. The ones I give in the lessons are just to borrow so they stop freaking out.

Oh oh and I got to eat my first really nasty haggard food. I ate what’s called mondongo. I think.. Its cow intestine. it’s the grossest thing ever. It’s super soft and rubbery and I had to just smile and eat it without throwing up. but it was close...

Maurice Lucas died??? That makes me want to cry.

Did Tracey get the postcard I sent?

Spanish is good and bad. Very tough and a lot of headaches but it’s coming. I feel more confident then I did and that is half the battle.

(I asked him how he likes his mission president, President Galvez) Oh yeah he’s awesome. I love him. He is always so happy to see me and give me a huge smile and huge hug and is always very genuine and concerned when he asks me how my area and I am.

(I asked him if he thinks he or Elder Felipe will get transferred next week) naw there’s no way. He’s only been here 2 transfers and me one. There hasn’t been a baptism in la Rita in 9 months and we’re having success and we have more coming next month. I know it. President called us and told us we’re doing well so he won’t move us. We’re close with more baptisms for this month. We have the goal of 3, and 2 in Cariari which hasn’t seen a baptism in years. I will probably be transferred 4 days before my birthday and Elder Felipe 3 days before Christmas. But we’ll see.

I would love to have more pictures. I bring my photo album with me always and I show it to everyone who asks about my family and they love to see pics and always tell me about how beautiful of a family I have!

Yeah I thought I had seen rain in Portland. I am dripping wet from head to toe with my umbrella. You have no choice. Speaking of which the umbrellas here are AWFUL! everyone is super cheap. I’ve bought two and both have broken. If you could find a nice quality one, not too big but decent wingspan and send for Christmas that would be nice too.. if you want... but not too big because I have to carry it always. I wore my North Face rain coat once but it’s tough to judge when I need it because it takes about 30 seconds to change from pouring to sunshine.

P Day is Wednesday next week because of Transfers

well I have to go. I love you lots! Tell everyone I love them!

Elder Graham

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