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.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Huge Changes!!

The family that owns the house from Don Bosco

my friends

Marvin the area drunk..
Every area has tons of drunks. But there is always THEE area drunk.

Me saying goodbye to marvin

Heyyy sorry I couldn’t write yesterday.. But you’ll never guess where i am. Look at the map and put your finger on where i was in san jose and slide your finger down... and down.... and further down till you get to panama. Then go north a tiny bit and you will see a little town called ciudad neily. (Nay-lee) There i am. It was a 9 hour bus ride so we didnt get home untill midnight last night. Im in the area furthest away and it is soo sickkk.

My companion is Elder Bertrand. He is from honduras and was my DL when i came into the mission. He´s been here 2 and a half changes. We’re getting along really well. He goes home a change before i do. Theres no senior comp. We both just tear things up.

My zone has 7 areas and only us and one other area has elders and they live 5 hours away. The rest are sister missionaries. Its completely different then any other zone because basically all the sister missionaries are here. Im coming in Elder Palmers spot. He just left here and gave me the low down. He went to Puntarenas as a ZL still.

But there are soo many sick things to see here. IF you look at puerto jimenez on that little peninsula it has a little branch there that doesnt have missionaries on it. So we work there sometimes and i guess its the coolest place every. absolutely paradise. Elder Palmer described it well yesterday when he said if you want to do a trick you should close your eyes in the bus and when you open them in neily you will be in 1980.

We have a super silly old lady that everyone calls abuela.. grandma.. that cooks for us. She lives in a little shack out in the middle of nowhere. Our house smells and is really hot. nothin special.

Everyone I’ve met so far is completely nuts. (that’s a compliment) They’re just crazy jungle people which is soooo cool. complete night and day difference from where i was. But what my comp explains to me we do everything in the branch. There’s a branch president but we are his counselors and there is a district president for all the branches around here and we are his counselors too. So we have to go work and not only be in charge of the missionary work but go visit all the branches and help them out. We are the Zone leaders so we are in charge of everything in every branch especially since almost all of them only have sister missionaries.

There should be much better pictures next week from my wildlife adventures. Its soo hot here. Everything reminds me of cariari. The bad smell in the house, the heat. The crazy people.

I guess there’s one family that they took to church last week but haven’t really taught so that may be one investigator. Today we’re going on like an hour hike to go meet the branch president and swinging down to the panama border because theres a bunch of markets and stuff dirt cheap and there's a few things we need. our phone broke. I dont have a pillow ect.

I’m out. I love you

Elder Graham

Christmas 2011

Everyone from the gift exchange Christmas Eve

We gave Gael a little lego lightning mcqueen

My desk for Christmas

Sister Mena with her gift

Monday, December 12, 2011

Kevin's Baptism

Kevin's Baptism

ohlay oh lay oh layyy
Hey thanks mom for the jersey!
This is Gael. He is the cutest little boy and loves us so much. His mom says that in every prayer he says he blesses “Gren” and “Chempington.”
And he says he wants to be a missionary, so in church he came to sit next to me
and I put my name tag on his little white shirt and he looked up at me with the
biggest smile ever and just stared at it.

I can’t believe that Brandon (Roy) retired.... That’s the saddest thing I’ve ever heard. Does that
mean we don’t have to pay out his contract? Who are we gonna sign? Who can do even a tenth of what he did for us??

Well today we went up on a hike into Santa Ana which is just south west of San Jose. We went up a mountain to a soccer field that was way up there in the middle of nowhere and we played Ssccer. It was pretty good. It’s such a sweet field.

On Saturday Kevin, Damaris’s son got baptized. He showed up 2 hours late to his baptism. I
wanted to kill the kid. He had to work late. It was pretty good though when he did get there. He’s a good kid. The water in the font is always freezzzing cold. It’s just hose water basically.

Google Mormon message create Uchtorf and watch the video. It’s so sick. You have to watch that mormon message. I have watched it like 50 times and it gives me goosebumps. The most epic thing ever. Tell dad that for a present I want him to burn a dvd with as many Mormon messages as he can.

I heard today that any package that has food in it we have to go get it from customs ourselves. So the secretaries will call me when it comes in because I’ll have to go get it. Or if for some reason it gets through without me having to get it I will get it next Tuesday at zone conference.

The Christmas call is actually gonna be at 1 my time. So figure out for sure what time that is your time because it changes with daylight savings. I will probably get 90 minutes so you can figure out how the calls gonna be.

Didn’t Jacob go in before Christmas? And gets back after it? So he is gonna spend 3 Christmases on the mish??

Here’s an example of why it’s great to have elder Stevens in the house...So there’s a kid that is dating one of the girls that lives on the 2nd floor of our house and she’s 18 and he’s a 27 year old American and the weirdest kid ever. He served his mission in Iowa and said that he baptized 10 people and his Mission president called him John the Baptist so we always call him john the Baptist. Last week he came upstairs because they needed to borrow our chairs and so he came up to get them. When he came into our room he stopped and with 100% seriousness said “Wow, nice bunk beds.” Our bunk beds are the most standard thing you can have and he said it in the most serious taken back way. It was honestly the funniest thing I have heard in my mission and when he left I died laughing. And then when Elder Stevens came home I was dying of
laughter telling him the story and when I told him he died of laughter too. Other kids don’t find that kind of stuff funny but it really was maybe the funniest thing I’ve ever heard. So it’s great to have kids like that in the house.

I’m out.
Love you, Elder Graham

Monday, December 5, 2011

Damaris's Testimony

Last week we went knocking doors and contacting alll night and ended up getting lost wandering around. We ended up at 8:30 next to a baseball stadium and we went and looked to see if we could get in. The guard guy let us right in and we watched a professional baseball team practice. We figured out on a map later that night where we were, and not only had we left our area, but we left our zone!

Hello, I also mailed your Christmas package last Tuesday and they said that it would get there in 2-3 weeks so it should be all good before Christmas.

When you get it don’t open it. Just set it under the Christmas tree. On Christmas Eve when everyone’s there open it and give everyone their presents. They’re all more or less wrapped. Everyone can open them together and then read the letter that I put in there. Luke and Jenny and Jeffer and Gwen’s presents are in there so I don’t know what to do to get them to them. But there’s also a present for dads birthday as well as his Christmas present but he can wait till Christmas Eve to get it. Any questions?

Did you guys watch the Christmas devotional last night? So amazing….

Sooo mommm I did decide on one thing that I really want for Christmas... I really want the new Costa Rica jersey. But it’s like 60 bucks. And it would be way easier for me to just buy it since they sell it right here in San Jose.. :-)

On Saturday we had our ward mission Christmas activity. We planned for our whole district to come and sing but everyone bailed last minute so just me and elder Cherrington sang. It was decent. The biggest turn out we’ve ever had at an activity here.

Saturday Damaris's son is getting baptized. Her daughter and husband live in the area right next to ours and we started teaching them then sent the reference to the
other missionaries. But they say that they don’t like them so they want to come
to church in Paso Ancho and get married and baptized here. So maybe we will baptize them in the next few weeks but we will have to get special permission.

On Sunday Damaris stood up and bore her testimony, that was the first time I’ve seen a convert bear their testimony at a testimony meeting but she was crying and talked about when we first came to her house and didn’t understand how we could be so sure when we said the church is true. But she said that she stands before us testifying with all her heart and soul that she knows that it’s all true.

Thank you very much for the gift for Hermana Mena she will be very very happy.

Also on Sunday a less active member that we have been working with blessed her baby and asked me to bless it. So I blessed my first baby.

And I need to plan out with you guys this week or next the phone call on Christmas. I just got an email from President Galvez. I’m pretty sure it will be in the afternoon like 3ish my time. But I’ll have to plan with the elders in my house this week.

But I gotta go! Love you thanks for everything! Elder Graham