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, September 26, 2011

Settling in to Paso Ancho

When Elder Amador was in the hospital

Pictures of our house

The hammock is so comfy!

Hey there mom. This week we have just gone through Paso Ancho trying to meet all the members and figure out our way around there. I’ve gotten pretty good at that since it’s my 3rd time now. But it’s super weird to be in my own ward here. I’ve had to be in a 4 missionary ward since I entered Moravia so it’s nice to have an entire ward to work with. The members seem pretty good. They have a weekly schedule for food and we have a different family every day that feeds us lunch.

As far as being a district leader so far I’ve just had to work with the district’s numbers and I’ve had to receive nightly reports from the missionaries in my district. It is super weird feeling for me because I’ve never had to give someone a nightly report. I was junior comp in Cariari then when I went senior comp I lived with my DL in Moravia and in don Bosco so I just chatted with them every night about what happened in the day. Since I’ve never called and given a nightly report, I didn’t even know what I really have to ask or talk about. But it’s all coming along.

It might be good that the dishwasher died. Now you get to do it the way the ticos do it. No one in this country has a dishwasher. Not even the really really rich people. They literally don’t exist.

I’m not really sure how Alfredo is doing. I didn’t get to say goodbye to anyone in don Bosco and I haven’t seen anybody from there since last Monday.

That’s crazy about aunt Jan.. holy smokes. And do you know what’s even crazier then Jacob coming home in 3? I’m coming home in 10...

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Crazy, Craaaazzzzzzzyyyyy Week!

Baptism of Alfredo, second from left

Baptism of Luis, 9 years old

Four Missionaries

That's a plate of gallo pinto. (Gayo peeentoo) Thats your typical plate here in the CR. Plantains and gallo pinto with natilla which is a thick super sweet and delicious sour cream.

The 15th was the independence day of Costa Rica. This was the huge parade that they had in San Jose. It was IMPOSSIBLE to work that day.

They love Costa Rica here.

Ok mommmm... You ready for a crazy week?? Well PDay was changed to today because we went to the temple.

Ok. Right when I got to the Don Bosco area there was a drunk guy that found us in the street and told us to change his life. That happens at least 15 times a day... And every time we give them the same answer. Come to church on Sunday and we will help you there. They never show up. Ok. But this guy did show up. And he showed up every single Sunday since. His name is Alfredo. And he left after sacrament meeting every week and we always asked him when we could come over but he always blew us off and never told us where he lived. Over the weeks he started becoming more and more clean and in nicer clothes. Until finally we told our mission leader to follow him home after sacrament and he did then came back with the info. Last week we went and found his house and he let us in so happily and told us that his life completely changed since the first time he entered that church and that he hasn’t drank since that day. We put a baptismal date in the first 5 minutes and interviewed the next day and baptized the next day. He was so happy and his life has completely changed and all just for getting to sacrament meeting. It was pretty awesome. The Lord hooked us up pretty good. And we had activated a less active lady and they had gone for like 6 weeks straight and Friday we found out that her son wasn’t baptized and was 9 so we baptized him the next day too.

All last week Elder Amador the new ZL in the house got a nasty fungus on his foot and went into the hospital and had to have his foot completely fileted and can’t walk for a while. So we had to do weird divisions all week to put Elder Reimschuzzle with someone. And Monday we met at the house to hand off Reimschuzzle and the phone just happened to ring.

President called and asked to talk to me first. He told me that something happened in the mission and now we don’t have enough missionaries to have 4 missionaries in don Bosco. So he first congratulated me because I’m the new district leader. And then told me that me and Reinoza had changes but to Paso Ancho. The missionaries from there live in my same house, in the same district. I have changes to an area touching don Bosco. And Elder Kurta from Paso Ancho had e changes to another place along with Amador who had the foot problem had e changes after being there 3 weeks. And the dl was in Paso Ancho but got changed to don Bosco with Reimschuzzle. I don’t know if that make sense but it was the craziest thing I’ve ever heard. Now we only live 4 in the house. Ok just to recap just so it makes sense. ME and Reinoza were taken out of don Bosco 2 and put into Paso Ancho. I’m now a district leader and don Bosco 2 was closed. Suppperr nuts. Butttt this means that I opened 2 areas and I whitewashed an area. I’m in my 4th area and no one has showed me an area since my first area with Elder Felipe.
Before this, we lived 6 in the house. Don Bosco 1, don Bosco 2, and Paso Ancho. The district leader was in Paso Ancho. Don Bosco 2 was closed. The district leader went up to zone leader and went to Don Bosco. His comp went somewhere else. Me and Reinoza went to Paso Ancho.

Now there are just 4 of us in the house. There are 3 areas in my district. The 2 in my house and one called Hatillo. I had to run a district meeting yesterday and teach the district something. I do have to do baptismal interviews and I’m terrified. I have to worry about getting our district goals or president kills me. I have to get a report every night from my areas and they have to tell me what they’re doing and I have to help them with their investigators and if someone has a big problem I have to go on divisions and help them out.

The US soccer team played 2 games a few weeks ago. Only two. One against Costa Rica and the other against Belgium. Do you find that an odd coincidence? And we lost them both :(

But I gotta go. I love you. talk to you monday.
Elder Graham

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Errand of Angels is Given to Women in the Relief Society

Alberto, Irene, Gloriana and Elder Graham
Alberto, Elder Graham, Gloriana, Irena and Elder Reinoza

After the baptism all these kids grabbed us to play soccer

and it started pouring down rain

Hey there mom. Well. Irene the rich single mother that we were teaching got baptized last week with 2 of her kids. I just felt like they needed to get baptized even though they only had one time at church so we went and challenged them last Wednesday to be baptized and because I’m your son J they accepted and I just had to call and talk to president and he said that if they pass the baptismal interview then they can get baptized. So we went on with it for last Saturday and Friday she was hit with some complicated house stuff and had to move on Sunday. So we had the baptism on Saturday, confirmation on Sunday, and then Sunday afternoon we helped her pack up and she’s already gone to Alajuela. So the good news is we finally baptized her. But the bad news is she’s already gone. But I know that’s why I had the impression to make it happen last week. Because if she didn’t get baptized here, then it is too tough to have the transition with houses and missionaries and she may not have gotten baptized.

But the best part was on Sunday she told the women in relief society about how she was leaving that day and how it was all of a sudden and she had 3 hours to pack up her entire house. So after church about 15 sisters from the ward came with us directly from church in their skirts and everything to her house to help her. The majority didn’t even know her and she was leaving so it really didn’t matter to them if they helped because they never have to see her again. But that mob of sisters entered that huge house and just started going packing without asking any questions. They made Irene sit down and not help because they said that moving was too stressful and that she needed to relax. I went and talked to her and she was crying and told me that even if she hadn’t received an answer that the church was true that that was enough for her. To see the charity that the members of the church have and how there is no other group of people on the earth that are sweet enough to do that.

I feel fine. After taking the antibiotics I’m good. I went and got the package today and I’m wearing the new shoes now! They’re perfect! But I don’t know how to make the herbalife mix. What do I do? Someone at an activity stole a 20,000 colon bill from me which is like 40 bucks so if I take some money out of my account to cover me until I get money Friday? I’m literally completely out of money because of that.

If at all possible, I could use some more socks. Over this year in the field the ladies that have washed my clothes have managed to lose a good number of them.. And I’m in need of wool ties if you are in the business of looking for ties. I love brown…
People always talk about how tall I am and all talk about how I’m American. People here don’t really like us. People aren’t nearly as friendly here as in my other areas especially not as friendly as in Cariari. But people just don’t like Americans in general. People yell at me almost on an hourly basis to go back to my own country because they don’t need Americans here. With plenty of bad words mixed in. It’s a little annoying. You get used to it though. The other night a bum lady followed me for like 20 blocks and kept telling me to kiss her and was grabbing me and I kept yelling at her to not touch me and to go away. She started screaming and making a scene so we dipped out. But the bum and crazy people situation here is just way too outrageous. At first it was a little amusing but I just get sick of it. Ever 5 minutes people are begging me for money and following me saying that I’m not of god because I don’t give them money.

But I gotta go. I love you.

Elder Graham

Monday, September 5, 2011

Chastisement for Mom

Hello mom. Before you freak out, everything is getting better and it’s what the lord needed. But I have been sick in bed for the past 4 days with strep throat. Every day I have tried to leave and work but by 4 everyday I’ve been almost to where I pass out so I’ve had to go home. I talked to the mission nurse and with the symptoms and the white puss pockets I saw on the back of my throat I’ve got strep throat. But I’ve already bought the antibiotics and I’m all good.

It was a little annoying here having to listen to the ticos after that game. (Costa Rica beat US in soccer) I was really really looking forward to smashing them 50 to 0. Buttt Rodney Wallace, the player from the timbers is the player that scored! Did you know that??

I have been worried about you because I know that you have been worrying too much about me and it made me think of Sariah. She never complained about anything but right before her sons got home she was complaining to Lehi. Then afterward she was praising the lord for everything. I’m sure that when you worry about me the lord gets a little annoyed saying you trusted him with me for 2 years. Just trust me on this one that it will be alright. I honestly can’t get on here and act like I have been super satisfied with my week if I didn’t really achieve much as far as what I’m working for. But don’t think that just because I’m not having success doesn’t mean that I don’t want to be a missionary or that I’m homesick. Trust that the lord knows that right now this is best for me.

As for investigators, I thought we found a few this week but Sunday morning we woke up early. I was sick and we went by a bunch and no one could come. So we went to church and after the sacrament we left again because I couldn’t just sit at church with no one. So we left and knocked the door of everyone we’ve ever taught at all in this area. And we couldn’t get anyone to church. I even asked a few random people in the street hoping that the lord would bless us with a miracle because we were trying so hard. But I came back just in time for priesthood. Sweaty, lightheaded and wanting to throw up.

Ohh You have to find the February 2010 ensign because there’s a fatty article on a family in my ward, the family Calderon. I know them very well. We eat there every Sunday.

I gotta go. Love you
Elder Graham