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 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

The pics of the little kids are so cute! Those are the silliest little guys. I’ve asked several times and no one has told me does Calvin wear glasses?

That’s soo exciting about Nick Hess’s job! They really have been called to serve their lives in the Portland area. I’m hoping I am too.

Happy Halloween! What’re you guys doing for Halloween? We’re celebrating by getting our heads chopped off. As a zone we didn’t meet our goal. But As a district we did! Hopefully that will save me a little.

Elder Cherrington is good. He does make me think of me a year ago but he’s a little different. He’s a much more quiet person then me. With members and people he’s not quite as crazy. I’m always running around chasing the little kids and joking around with the members so that they feel comfortable with me. You can see that he’s a way good hardworking missionary but he’s just gotta come out of his shell a little. Yesterday we were walking in the street with a member and I was chatting with the member and all of a sudden I looked around and didn’t know where my comp was. I looked back and a block behind he was contacting a guy alone. That’s something I wouldn’t have done a year ago. He teaches me a ton. He’s a very sincere missionary that just wants to do the right thing at all times. We set a family and a man over 18 as our goal for November and that’s something that if you set and don’t get everyone hates you and you just get your head destroyed. So I haven’t set it in a while. But we knew we could do it so we’re working hard to do everything possible to do it. He’s my first comp since Elder Felipe that really doesn’t hold me back. I can work as hard as I want, be as obedient as I want and he will never complain. I’m really in the best work rhythm I’ve ever been in.

I got a weird allergic reaction last week.. I thought, where on all my joints I had weird spots like mosquito bites that itched a ton. I called the mission nurse and she explained that that’s just a result of being tired and stressed.

I can tell that the lord knew I couldn’t handle stress before the mission so he puts it on me where I have no choice but to perform. Before the mission when I has stresses about school or anything I would just run away from it. If I was worried about a class or homework, instead of being stressed about it I just wouldn’t go. Or I wouldn’t do it. And I would just try and forget about it. But the lord put me into a place where I have to do stuff and I don’t have a choice. I can’t run. I have to work under high expectations. I’m a training district leader. Really probably the hardest thing to do, because even as zone leader you have a companion who’s a zone leader. But I just have to do it all. And I have no doubt that that’s not by accident. The lord puts leaders and trainers there because they have a lot to learn.
Alright I’m out. Love you. Elder G.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Another Week in the City

There’s a family from California that was in don bosco for 3 months while the dad was working and they always had us over for dinner. They don’t speak Spanish so we would go to the primary to translate for them. The dad is from India so they always made us Indian food and they
eat the rice with their hands. So that’s us eating with our hands. For some reason the kids who were always jumping all over us got really shy when I wanted to take a picture with them.

Well hey there. I don’t feel like much is new. Last week we found 3 families that we taught and all got really excited about baptism and then they all had to get married and they all wanted to get married. But 2 of them need to get divorced from their old husband/wife to be able to get
married. And the other one came here from Nicaragua when she was little and has no id or passport or any sort of papers. She’s basically a ghost. So those were all very exciting moments that got really discouraging. I’ve already called the lawyer about all the cases and he’s already
gotten the divorces going though. But a divorce takes from 1-3 months. So we will see how they come out.

Training is coming along great. I’ve never been so tired in my life. I never have time to even sit between district stuff and then working.

Next Monday and Tuesday there’s a 2 day leaders conference with all the district and zone leaders and elder Martino who is in the presidency of the area of central America will be there. We will have to present our goals from last month with what we met and what we didn’t meet. President Galvez and he will just be sitting in chairs right in front of me with all the rest of the leaders behind them. But we already met our district goal so that’s good.

Last week I went to Hatillo in my district to do a baptismal interview and I didn’t go on divisions. I took Elder Cherrington with me. When we got there the lady was just completely set
on not being baptized. Elder Solomon who is also training and I had about 2 hours of her saying no and we just had the best lesson and it ended with me doing the interview and her being baptized. That was my first real call as a district leader to fix a problem with someone’s investigator.

Today we played soccer.

Last week price mart was good I bought a bunch of stuff! Peanut butter, instant oatmeal, a giant thing of Gatorade powder that will finish my mission, etc.

I gotta go. love you.
Elder G

Monday, October 17, 2011

A Great Week!

Baptism of Damaris, Pablo and Paulina

Damaris, Pablo, Paulina

Well. We had a baptism last week. It went pretty good.
Training has been the most trying thing I have ever done. I was reading the attributes of Christ in preach my gospel and every single one is tried in training. He always says that he has no idea what to do and so he just follows me and does exactly what I do. Which is nice sometimes but I have to be so careful always. I really have to be perfect. The hard part is doing everything.
Literally everything and more. I feel like I’m making a documentary. Because someone just follows me and I have to explain literally every single thing I’m doing. But the good part is that I feel good helping him. We get 2 hours of comp study and we watch videos and stuff in the
house and he thinks I’m the best missionary in the world. After every lesson he tells me that I killed it.
President Galvez called the other night for the ZLs and I picked up and he asked me how I was feeling. He told me that I was going against every norm training a gringo because he needs
extra help with the language and that he trusted in my Spanish to help him. I feel really bad because he really wants to help more in lessons but he doesn’t understand anything and really can’t say anything. I don’t say that to bash him. He really tries and is the most humble kid I’ve ever met but it makes things very very difficult. I had him baptize on Saturday so he already has
baptized in his first 3 days.

We have set a goal to find a new family to teach every single day and Thursday we hadn’t found one and it was 8:15 PM. So we went to start knocking doors and in this country people go
to bed at 8 and get really mad when you knock their door past like 7:30 but he had to find our family. I knocked several doors and everyone was getting mad at me. So I finally told him it was his turn. He knocked his first door in his mission and a lady came out and he said in super broken Spanish that he had a message for her family and she said ok. And then he looked
at me not knowing what to do at that point and so I talked to her and for maybe the 3rd time in my mission (the first time was MY first door knocked) knocking doors people let us right in. She had a beautiful family of 3 and I alone had to teach the first lesson.

But I’m offf.. And we’re going to go to pricemart today, the store like costco. Will you pay me
back for the things I buy there? thanksss..

Love, Elder Graham

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

I Have Posterity!!

My brand spanking new companion....Elder Cherrington!
Baptism of Damaris's grandaughter
Cutest little girl!

Hey mom! Some news! I have posterity! I’m
a trainer! I’m training a gringo! Which almost never happens.
His name is Elder Cherrington. Hess from Orem and basically doesn’t
speak any Spanish. But he’s so excited about everything and I know he’s
gonna whip me into shape. He seems very humble and very very excited about

After changes we had a special meeting with President Galvez
and he explained to us the new training program. We have 2 hours of
companionship study every day and we have a book that we need to follow that
tells us what to study every day. Along with a portable DVD player and
dvds of examples and things to watch in our comp studies. In the meeting I
looked around at the other trainers and everyone had been zone leaders and 2
had been APs. President told us that we are the elite and the chosen of
the mission and that the trainers are the best of the best and that we are
there not only because president has complete trust in us but because the lord
does. It was pretty special and makes me feel a little overwhelmed.
If I mess up in the slightest I’m done.

But everything will be good! All the baptisms for this
weekend are solid! And I’m pretty excited that the first weekend of his
mission he’s gonna baptize. I took him around San Jose and explained the
important things and bought him some fruit that he’d never seen. I did
get the package. Thank you so much. I am currently uploading the music
from the flash drive.

At changes meeting a ton of people came up to me and told me
that they saw my brother. I didn’t believe them. I am pretty speechless
about all of it. I just wish he would have told me he was coming so I
could have told him some important things to do and see.

The District is doing good.
It really has amazed me how much revelation I really get to receive for
my district. I haven’t had any issues for ideas for anything. Ideas
just come to my head. Last week we had a zone conference and I had to
present our goals and my plans to meet them in front of president. I was
a little nervous because he always chops every leader’s head but he didn’t cut
mine! Being district leader I feel like is being like a dad. I have
to look how to help everyone in my district but things to really help them.
I can’t be too strict or to loose with them and I have to guide them but
not do it for them.
I’m out. Love you mom.
Elder Graham

Monday, October 3, 2011

Sister Mena- Best Member Missionary!

View from Elder Graham's bedroom: the mountain we climbed today
Top of the Mountain
Doing the "O" on the top of the mountain

Elder Whittaker and Elder Graham

View from our bathroom
Our Balcony

Hey there. I did love
conference. I watched it in the stake center which was my old Don Bosco
building. The people I watched it with weren’t as fun as the last time
but conference was still great. My favorite talk which may be one of my
favorites ever was Elder Uchtdorfs first talk. When he talked about how
compared to God we’re nothing but to him we are everything. It was an
amazing talk. It made me think of my last high adventure when dad talked
to us about how there are countless stars and we are like the stars but God
knows and loves each of us. Which was your favorite conference talk?
I’m putting on my ipod a bunch of the talks from last weekend
Today we took a vigorous hike to the top of a huge mountain.
Remember the mountain we went to for my 1 month check up? well we went
there but to the top top of that mountain and there’s a giant cross on top.
It was absolutely beautiful and ridiculously tiring. It’s
completely straight up. And on the way back down we decided to take a
different route and got lost and did some pretty intense mountain jungle
climbing to get back down.

I have started to see a little of what being a district
leader is. Thursday I went to don bosco to meet a family that they’re
teaching and Friday I had to do my first baptismal interviews! So I didn’t
work in my area for a few days. And Thursday i had my district meeting
and Friday was a zone meeting and all the dls had to do a training about
something for the whole zone then present their district goals and their plan
to meet them. A little tiring but it was good. I liked doing the
interviews but I was way nervous before them.

As far as investigators I have to tell you about a sister in
our ward named Sister Mena. She is nuts but in a good way. She’s
the best missionary I’ve ever met. She contacts people in the streets.
Anyways she contacted a lady in the street like a month ago and got her
phone number and said she could visit her with us and then when she called to get
an appointment the lady changed her mind so nothing happened. There’s a
sheet that we use with the members where they write down a bunch of names of
people they know and they pray for those people and we work with the members to
contact them. Anyways she told me that she filled out that paper and
prayed for over an HOUR with that list and when she was done she got a phone
call from that lady and told her to bring us over. When we got there the
next day she told us that she had a dream with me and Elder Reinoza and Sister Mena
and others, before she ever met me and we were really happy and doing joyful
things on a cloud and she was miserable on the ground and wanted to be where we
were. So she called Sister Mena and then we came over. And then she
asked us what she needs to do to be where we are on that cloud. She and
her kids are getting baptized on the 15th. An awesome expierience of the
power that members have in missionary work when they really want to.

Now that were only 4 in the
house we moved to the 3rd level in the building were in that’s smaller and sooo
sick! There’s a balcony outside and all the walls are basically glass.

Wellll, gotta go!
Love you, Elder Graham