Tuesday, December 30, 2014

¨Thanks for Eating all the Macaroni¨

That´s an inside joke, I hope some of you understand it!!! =) 

This week went super well, I got to baptized J, his mom came and everything and we actually got the support of the ward this time! It was perfect, more than the Bishop who usually comes with his family we called the young men's leader and he ended up bring some youth and the other leader. They also brought refreshments!! Not macaroni... but still. We always have those who are baptized share a little bit of how they felt during their baptism. J came to the front, and described the strong, good feeling he had felt in his chest when he entered the water. Everyone knew it was the Spirit, because everyone in the room had felt it. It testified of the true love of our Heavenly Father for every single one of us, His children and it testified of the truthfulness of this His church on the earth. I have no doubt in my mind that this is actually the Church of Jesus Christ; that he is at the head of this church and that through modern prophets this church has been restored and has continually revelation to bless each and every one of us and our families. I´m extremely thankful for all your letters and support and hope that you guys had a very merry Christmas and hope that you enjoy your New Years!! 
J's baptism
Christmas Eve Skype with the birthday boy! LOVE = )

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

White Christmas

Thank you everyone for all the messages of encouragement and love that you´ve sent me during this Christmas Season. I really hope that you all have a wonderful Christmas and that you are able to remember the real reason for it.
This week we had the opportunity (finally) to speak with a family, we have an investigator whos wife has been in Puntarenas (like 2 hours or more away) and he doesn´t want to be baptized until they decide to make this decision together, because he doesn´t want his family to go to two different churches or anything like that. So, we´ve been waiting a super long time for her to finally be able to leave her job and make the change to here in Heredia. This last sunday we finally were able to meet with them as a couple, and we taught the message of the restoration. At first the wife seemed slow to accept what we were saying, like she was judging our words. But, with time, she came to understand our message and began to accept it. Interestingly enough the changing point in our lesson came when we taught the message of the first vision, when Joseph Smith saw God the Father and Jesus Christ the Son in the Sacred Grove. We testified, and the Holy Ghost added power to our words, her heart was softened and she began to grow in her faith.
To be able to see a situation like this, the changing power of the Holy Ghost unto conversion, is very rewarding, and it strengthens my testimony. We should not doubt, we should not fear, and we should not wait. Our Savior and Redeemer paid the price already, all we have to do is press forward following his example. I love you all very much, and as I said am very grateful for your messages of comfort and encouragement. I hope that in this Christmas Season you find joy in our Savior, in his birth, and in his sacrifice. Feliz Navidad Amados Hermanos Mios! =)
        Elder Lohberg

extra emails info:

Hey, not sure how much you know, but the mission is splitting in july of this year. The missionaries are all going to be called to a new mission is what i heard. like, the prophet and apostles will pray again and we get put in one of the two. Everyone WILL get a new mission call i think, that´s what president said.  The first mission is Costa Rica San Jose West that´s the one i want to be in (along with everyone else here haha) it includes: Guanacaste, Alajuela, Heredia, and part of San Jose (La Sabana) the other is San Jose Costa Rica East, which is: Limon, Cartago, Puntarenas, another area, and part of San Jose.

oh hey, we went to the temple thursday too, forgot to mention that. It was cool, a little weird to do it in spanish and the video was way old.
another mom sent these to the elders

stocking given to the elders from the bishops wife I think

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Shorter message this week!‏

Hello Everybody,

Everything is super tuanis with my new companion Elder Toledo. We work really well together and we´ve been able to see the Spirit testify to what we teach in our lessons. The other day we were walking down the street in one of the neighborhoods we visit a lot and we saw a lady standing in front of her gate smoking a cigarette. I remembered that one day we passed by and spoke to her and her husband and he sister really quickly when I was on divisions with Elder Aviña but that we hadn´t said much because they didn´t seem interested. Anyways, we passed by and started talking to her about Jesus Christ because, well, it´s Christmas, the time to celebrate his birth. We spoke for about 3-5 minutes and she had remembered the last time we passed by (about 2-3 weeks ago) and I don´t know, from the bat I thought she was either sick or sad, because her eyes looked watery. We were about to leave when I felt prompted to ask if she was sick, or if she was really sad. Instantly, she started to cry and she didn´t explain much but right then and there we testified and promised her that this message we share can help her. We gave her a Book of Mormon and my companion marked a verse for her to read in Ether that talks of a better world. 

Yesterday, we passed by again and talked to her and she told us that she read the verse and it really helped her calm down and she loved the message it had and that she had read the first 4 chapters also. We were like, WOAH,that´s awesome!!! (People here don´t read that much so when they read 4 chapters in a day that´s really good) And we set a day for us to pass by and share a real message with her and her family. I know that this is the Lord´s work, and even though it´s hard sometimes, and there are things that I personally don´t like, the Lord knows what he is doing, and I´m grateful for the opportunity I have to participate. Thanks for everything and I hope you guys have a good week! 

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Feliz Navidad, ch-ch-ch-ch-ch, feliz navidad, ch-ch-ch-ch-ch‏

I would formally like to wish you all a merry Christmas. It occurs to me now that I probably should have saved this for the week of Christmas, nevertheless it has been finished. Verily, verily, I say unto you, the weather here right now feels kind of like Washington in the summer haha. Everyone is whining about how cold it is and i´m like, yup, summer. So, finished my week with Diego (a member) as my companion, it was interesting, nobody here has ever heard of mini.missionaries, but I guess that´s a thing=) 
Elder Toledo and Elder Lohberg ( :

My new compañero= Sooooooo, yesterday I went to San Jose in the morning to get my comp, so Diego and I went and bought a dozen donuts at price smart (cosco) for $4 and a gallon of milk $4 and then we went to get him and drop off one of the Elders from the other area near ours who was leaving. My companion ended up getting one of his suitcases robbed that had alllll of his clothes, so we´re working that out right now haha. His name is Elder Toledo, he is from El Salvador and he has 5 months in the mission, so he came 2 changes before I did. He´s cool, he was in Guanacaste haha so he had to wake up at 2 in the morning to take a bus all the way to San Jose. Apparently, he is really good at soccer so I´m looking forward to Friday to see if his reputation is legit. Then we´re really just kind of trying to talk to all of our investigators who are really spread out and basically are ready for baptism. We´ve got one set for the 20th of this month, named J he is super cool, but we´re hoping for at least 3 more of Heavenly Father´s children to follow Jesus Christ this Christmas and be baptized! 

Todo es super tuanis y esperamos para, oramos para, y trabajamos para tener éxito, para encontrar todas las personas que están preparadas para la mensaje de la restauración del evangelio de Jesucristo. Gracias por todo! =)

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Pues pues pues... something sad

Whelp, no se lo que debo decir. I´m going to go head and hit up the highlights of this week, it´s been a weird past couple days. So, we had visited a member who had a tiny Christmas tree with like flashing lights and all and so Elder Parker and I asked how much it costed to get all that. She told us it was about $8 more or less, but we were basically broke haha because of some poor decisions shopping wise =P. Highlight Incoming........: Sunday at church she came and she handed Elder Parker and I a bag, in it was the set; a tree, lights, and little ornaments. We were so stoked!!! So, we worked super hard for the rest of the day, we visited some members to pick up Elder Parker´s boots, a member had been fixing them. (There are lots of Zapateros here, people who fix shoes and such) and they looked really good, he used airplane tire for the bottom of the shoe. 
Elder Lohberg and Elder Parker - note the "fireplace" ( :

Then that night we got home, and got to work on making the Christmas season real! He made the tree and set it up and everything, I used a protein can thing that we had and made a fireplace that we were going to use. I cracked open my chexmix and we started eating. Everything set, so we decided to take pictures. I lit up the fireplace I made (I had a glass of water nearby just in case) and we started taking pictures. Then the fireplace uhh.. overheated.. and started to fall apart. So, we used our emergency water, and then we went back to taking pictures.. without the fire. Then after we finished taking pictures we were sitting around eating chexmix and drinking coke when we got a call. The assistants called and told Elder Parker that he was going to be a zone leader in Limon. It was kind of a shock, I don´t know, weird. I helped him pack his 30 sports jerseys and everything he had and that was about it. I´m now in charge of the area. The assistants had also mentioned that I would have a mini companion for a week until I got my next companion. 

Elder Lohberg & Elder Parker

Elder Parker asked Diego to give us a ride in the morning to the office because he wanted to say goodbye to him. We drove, it was a pretty sad ride haha. We stopped at the office and I was supposed to get a new companion but it turns out they couldn´t find a mini companion but Diego was there, so the assistant Elder Cude was like, hey can you be his companion. He said yeah and here we are haha. So, yeah, Diego is my companion until Monday when I get a new companion, I don´t know if I will be training or what, we also don´t have a district leader yet, not sure when we will get one, probably Monday. Diego is a member that we work with all the time, not sure if I mentioned that. But yeah, sometimes changes are sad haha! 
Aaron and his comp "elder" Diego ( :

I love hearing that everything is going well out there in Washington and other places where you guys are at haha. I´m in Alma in the Book of Mormon right now, reading about Alma the younger! Such a change!!! But I would like to actually send you guys a video to watch! It´s a BYU devotional talk by Holland when he was the President. =) I know  that what he says is 101.5% verdadero! Escuchalo! 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Costa Rica es mas tuanis que Mexico (bromas)‏

Haha, everything is going well here in Costa Rica! This week went really well. Elder Parker finally got some money (he lost his card for personal money), which is good because we were cutting it pretty close on not having any money haha. But we are all good now! 

We´ve been working really hard with a family (well, partial family) that includes a mom, 2 sons, and a daughter, and then they also have 2 friends living with them. We´ve taught them a few times now and we´re really trying to help them! Our challenge with them right now is that they tell us that they will come to church after we teach about the Sabbath Day and we get 100-100% promises from them and then they don´t come, and so that´s what we are really focusing on. I think what the problem is that we have taught the kids a lot more than the mom because the mom is working all the time so it´s hard to actually be there when she is to share a message with her and her whole family. But the son is really into League Of Legends, so we´ve found a youth in the ward who also plays and we´re going to try and help him with actually coming.

What is the coolest thing that we do here? Good question. Thanks. Well, here in Heredia, Costa Rica we have the opportunity to play soccer every Friday and it´s super fun haha. We play at the chapel and honestly it is basically like playing in the parking lot but with huge cement walls and fence on top of them, so we don´t lose the ball (that much - I have gone retrieving a few, Elder Parker too..). We end up getting about 25 people there every Friday night and we can bring a ton of investigators to it because everyone here loves soccer. We divide into like 4 teams of 6 and essentially play king of the court where you score 2 goals to win and you get to stay playing if you keep winning. Our team did really well this last week because we have a less active we are working with named J and he is actually killer at soccer, so he came in and is winning it for us. When we first started playing on Fridays, it felt a little bit like the Hunger Games, not that people killed each other or anything haha just that there´s a team from the other ward in our building. It´s like 6 youth who have custom shirts because they´re the ward team or something and they are pretty good. They play really aggressively, so Elder Parker and I ramped it up and we beat them this week. All the investigators have a good time there. I would say this is one of the greatest things here; that we have a constant activity that all our investigators can come to and enjoy every week where they can make friends to help them go to church each Sunday! 

Vamos a ganar cada semana, les prometo, pero estoy muy agradecido por su apoyo y correos electronicos! Que lo pasa una buena semana amigos amados! 

**this is from a personal email answering questions (:
The week's been good. I think you know already but our internet is Tuesdays now with all our district together because missionaries were being disobedient and doing bad things - President told us. We had a meeting with him this last Thursday in Alajuela (the place where my soccer team is from, la liga!) and he put each zones' numbers up (there were 3 days of meetings, so the country's zones were split. We were with Alajuela, a part of San Jose, and then us, Heredia) of the three zones. We got our heads cut off the least. President cuts heads off a lot haha, like Jesus Christ did. The people from a zone in San Jose stood up and he put their numbers for the month so far on the screen and then he started hammering them with questions (it´s called cutting heads off when you get chastised essentially=) ) and our zone got the least. Granted, we still got some but not much because our numbers are all increasing. Guanacaste almost never gets its head cut off though because the success there is so high and if you ask anyone their favorite place it is Guanacaste. It's not even close and that's also where all the tourists go - ONLY to Guanacaste, or the temple if they are LDS. 

Elder Parker and I are doing good. I think we were a little bit less than 100% obedient but we´ve gone into overtime. It´s never anything super bad, but we know we´ll get more miracles if we are obedient with exactness to the point. We never fight. I do most of the dishes and stuff and cook but he has to do district things so it´s all good, plus practice for marriage! =) We live in La Puebla. It´s a poor, dangerous part of Heredia and a kid got shot like 4 weeks ago, but our house is one of the biggest and nicest ones in the mission haha. So it´s worth it! =P Our cook is also the cook for the mission for meetings and stuff. She is really good, even though food is super expensive - she always gives us good stuff! We´re about 15 minutes away from Los Angeles, more or less. Walmart is just about in the Carpintera where all our ward leaders are. We work really close to Carptinera, but like 15 minutes away from the Walmart, or a little more than that normally. Our zone is Heredia, districts don't have names. Our zone leaders right now are Elder Guerrero from Mexico and Elder Gutierrez from El Salvador. They are both cool and Elder Gutierrez and Elder Parker have been companions before, in Guanacaste. 

I got EVERYTHING in the suitcase as it was sent. =) We´re eating fast, but I stowed away some mac n cheese and the steak strips for later in the mish. Our ward is San Francisco but we meet in the same building as the Heredia Ward; it´s a stake center. 1 ward in our area, 2 that go to our building and it´s huge. We only work in a really small part because all our leaders are there (near the Carptinera) and we have more success. 
beef jerky in the shape of Costa Rica ( :

There are about 7 stakes in Costa Rica; like 4 in San Jose, 1 in Heredia, 1 in Alajuela and 1 in Puntarenes, I think. But we just found out that the papers have been sent for a new one in Guanacaste and soon a new one in Limon also, I´m pretty sure. I think President said he has no doubt that the mission is going to split while I am here. I´m praying I get the side with Guanacaste if they split it like that haha. It´s very possible that I will go to Guanacaste. EVERYONE in my missionary genealogy is from there and Elder Parker´s other kid, Elder Cuevas, is in Guanacaste still as a district leader, so I should go there I think! 

I didn't have my camera for the first two baptisms. I was hardly there for their teaching and I didn't know to bring it haha but I had it with the most recent one. I think you can send me like 1 or 2 in an email or you can dropbox, whichever you want but dropbox has a size limit. I don't know what it is. 

Danilo baptism
Anthony baptism.  Moises baptized him.

I think I got all your questions now! 

Gotta go. Love you, Mom!!! =) Tell everyone I love them too, Dad and Kara, Jessie and Spencer.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Sticky keyboard again, but I will try my best to make this message nice!‏

Pura Vida, everybody! This week we had our 3rd baptism, on Saturday. That would probably be the highlight of the week, to be honest. Everything we did this entire past week was focused on ensuring that the baptism went through as planned. The person who was baptized had some problems before in his life that required the mission president, or his counselors, to do the baptismal interview (to make sure he is ready to be baptized), but the mission president and his wife were actually at a conference somewhere. So, we had to ask his counselors. One of them agreed to do the interview on Friday, but then on Friday he called us and backed out saying he was too far away or something. Luckily, our zone leaders called the president, even though we weren´t supposed to and he gave us permission to use the stake president to do the interview. The baptism went well; we had a better turn out then last time, about 10 people. But, the confirmation needs to be redone, I believe. The bishop keeps saying ´´By the authority that we hold´´ instead of ´´by the authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood that we hold´´ and we told him that we´re pretty sure that doesn´t count/that it´s not valid, but he said, ´´We hold the priesthood, so thank you for your care Elders but it was done well.´´ So.. then we went to the stake president's counselor who served a mission haha because we´re in the stake center. We found him and told him what happened and he agreed with us and is going to talk to the bishop... but... in the meantime we have 1 maybe 2 converts walking around without the gift of the Holy Ghost. 

Follow-up on Jorge! We did go back and teach J. We taught him most of the message of the Restoration, but we noticed that he has a lot of addictions he is dealing with so it may be a while before he is baptized. But, we are going to keep working with him because he definitely seems willing to change and better his life. This is something that has been hard here in Costa Rica; people agree with every message we leave, even if they are Catholic and we teach about the need for prophets. The problem is they don't want to act on anything. So, the key is to find people that are willing to change and want to change their lives. These are really the two things I have for you guys! Kind of a short message, but I encourage you guys to constantly search for some way that you can better your life - some way you can change your life to be more like our Savior, Jesus Christ. The Christmas season is all about Jesus Christ. Take the time to find at least one thing you can do better for your Savior. He gave all for you; one thing is nothing in comparison. 

Until next week mis amigos! 

**A dear friend of mine one day shared that she visit taught a sister in her ward who was from Costa Rica.  She asked this sweet sister who was going to be traveling "home" to visit family if she might be willing to take a small package to my son for me.  One thing led to another and we were able to actually send a whole suitcase to him! Thank you Gilda!

Gilda had explained that we may or may not get everything to him as she would have no control obviously if security or customs decided to take something out.  We (I) fretted over that for the next week waiting for news of the suitcase.   I had given her $100 to cover the cost of the suitcase on the plane and then the extra could go towards travel expenses to get it to him. 

Gilda and the 50lb suitcase ( :
It was arranged that she would meet up with Aaron at Los Angeles Park which Aaron had said was a park that he and his companion went to almost every day to catch a busline.   I believe these photos are of that park.

I think this is Los Angeles Park

Yeah, I got the suitcase today. I haven't opened it completely though because we had another set of elders with us for mejenga, soccer, and basket so I was waiting til they leave. We´re on divisions right now, so I´m with Elder Avina from Mexico and then Elder Parker is with Elder Whitlock from Arizona. Hey, I hope that you know Hilda really well because to take a taxi from where she lives to us is about $200. I think she told me she is friends with her taxi driver but she kept saying, ´´Don´t worry your mom said she would refund me the money.´´ I wish I had been smarter when you first told me. Diego could have just met her at the
airport the first night and grabbed the case for free haha. It´s only 20 mins from us. She also could have made the trip easily for about $40. I really hope she didn't just cost ya so much haha.

Elder Avina

Gotta go, Mom. Love you very much. Tell Dad I love him too! And Kara and everyone!!! =)

Elder Whitlock 
**Little did I know that she would take a $200 taxi to him! BUT IF he got everything then it was well worth it since we knew that if we had mailed a small box it would have cost $82.50 and would have taken weeks and may or may not ever even shown up. PLUS the added customs expense if they decided to charge a fee. It was a LONG week as we waited for the next email to arrive letting us know if he had actually gotten everything that was in the suitcase!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Pues, pues, pues. ¿Que es nuevo en Costa Rica?‏

we found it!
Fetch. So, I had an idea at the beginning of the week to write down any super cool experiences or just awesome experiences I had each day on a piece of paper. That way I could remember what happened when it came time to write this email; however, I left the paper in my apartment sooooooooo, we´ll see how much I remember. Starting with Monday - right after we got off the computers, we went shopping and it was just in a general (what we thought was more expensive) store. But, as it turns out, we found Mountain Dew and Dr Pepper there for like 300 colones, which is about half where we found it a week before. Then we also found like a powdered milk (it´s good here) in a bag that makes like 18 liters for only like 7 mil, which is an amazing price. We also found Lucky Charms for super cheap for only 1250 when we´d been buying them for 2500, which 500 = 1 dollar in case I didn't tell everyone this. And last but not least, we were looking around when I found a powder that I think is for women, not exactly sure, but it had like 50% of your daily protein in a single serving which is like the same as protein shakes; however, protein powder here is extremely expensive. Elder Parker was laughing at me at first, but then later on during our shopping he repented of his mockery and went and bought two hahaha. I discovered the way to get protein in Costa Rica for cheaper; I am awesome. 
Cocoa Crispies ( :

Something more spiritually enriching and tuanis (cool): 

So, Thursday Elder Parker and I went to pick up a less active youth who is 18 named J and also his neighbors who are investigators to go and mejengear (to play soccer) and on the way to the chapel where the soccer field is we got stopped and yelled at by a man. He sounded drunk, so we didn't think much of it and I ended up just talking to him myself while Elder Parker talked to the nonmember youth with us. Throughout conversing with this gentleman, I found out that he had in fact been drinking a little that evening and that he thought that Joseph Smith was our God of the Americas. We explained to him how Jose Smith was a prophet not a god, that our God is the same as his. He accepted that and then he talked to us from the heart. Apparently, that day was his daughter's birthday, and she had passed away to cancer the previous year. He said that he lost his daughter, and then his wife left him, and it was weird because even though he was drunk I could see the tears streaming down his face and I knew that he was speaking clearly - that he was understanding. We testified of the Plan of Salvation: how his daughter and all the children of God can be with God again. We ended up just kind of listening and comforting him for about 45 minutes, then I promised him we would call him in the morning to come and visit him when he was more sober. We ended up not being able to meet him until Sunday night. We were actually heading back to the apartment when he finally called us back and wanted to know where we were and if we were going to come visit him. We told him where we were (which happened to be in the area where he lived) and he ran out of his house and came and met us. After walking around for a while to find somewhere to talk, we found a swing set with two seats. I told him to sit and Elder Parker sat and then we basically gave a lesson purely under the direction of the Spirit. I told him to never forget how he felt the day he came to us, when HE approached us and told us his sorrows. Then we talked of what we do as missionaries and how we´re going to help him make changes in his life. It was one of the best lessons I have had and afterwards Elder Parker and I gave him a hug, and he told us that, that day was the first time in over a year that he had received a hug and that we were his 2nd and 3rd in that day. I knew the Lord was blessing him and showing him that what he was doing what the right thing. His name is J, and he seems pretty tuanis! 
cheap fried chicken $2 for 2 pieces ( :

That was about all I had planned to write for you guys. Hope everything is going cool there in Washington! I heard about the shooting, so horrible. We´ve been keeping you guys in our prayers! 

Siga siendo tuanis! Pura Vida!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Bit of a Short Message This Week

Hello, everybody! This week has been pretty busy because Tuesday night we got rid of Elder Solis and he went home because he finished his mission. So, we have been trying to get accustomed to just the two of us and really we´ve been trying to learn our area because it´s massive and we don´t know most of it.

**above is what came - and then we got the following shortly after ( :

Okay... it wasn´t supposed to be that short... this computer is really bad and it randomly like saved my message and then sent it. So, the highlight of the week I guess would be Thursday where Elder Parker and I were really trying to put into practice all the things he had learned at a leadership meeting the day before with President Wilkinson and also from the district meeting we had gone to. Really what our focus is is that we are trying to find families, because that´s what the gospel is all about and that´s also how we´re going to meet our goals as a mission, so that day we just started talking to everyone, and it must have been guidance from the Spirit and blessings from heaven because we found a family of 5 and another family of like 4+ so we taught them both and had extremely Spiritual lessons and it really just gave us a lot of energy for the week. When we left the lessons that night we knew we had been blessed and it felt really good! I want to write more my friends but this computer is pretty bad so i´m going to cut it off here! Keep being awesome.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Viva la Liga!‏

Pura Vida,

Hello, so this week went pretty well. Gunna hit up some of the highlights: Elder Solis leaves us tomorrow and catches his plane for the states on Thursday in the morning, so he has been super trunky.. which means he talks about going home a lot and is more lazy. It has been harder to try and work every single hour because of his trunkiness haha but we had a good week. We had a baptism Saturday, the second one that I've been here for. There weren't very many members who showed up. There were only about 8-10 people there, including us three missionaries, but it was good. The spirit was there. The person we baptized is named E; she's a friend of Diego. I'm not sure how much I have told you guys about Diego, but basically he's been a member for about 8 months now and he goes on divisions with us and drives us around. He's really cool. Only his nephew and him are members but Elder Parker and I are planning to really buckle down on getting his whole family baptized and then working off references from them. So, that's basically our big goal right now.
Que Mas, I bought a Costa Rica jersey today. Elder Parker tempted me to buy it, but it's really cool looking so I can't complain. He also gave me a Liga shirt for free, and it's pretty much new it's only missing a *r* for one of the words on the front but I don't mind. He has like 14 jerseys; he's buying tons of them. I have two now. Also, I should probably explain that Liga is one of the three biggest soccer teams here inside Costa Rica. Elder Solis and Parker are both originally Liga fans so even though I started my mission in Heredia and Heredia is one
of the three big teams, I chose to be for Liga haha. The actual name is like Liga de Alajuelense or something like that, but the short is just Liga or you are Liguista. The other two big teams are Saprissa and Heredia. Heredia apparently sucks but Liga just lost to them. So yeah, soccer is pretty fun to talk about here. Everyone has a team they follow and so you almost instantly become friends with someone if you follow their team. Surprisingly, a lot of people here in Heredia are Liguistas. I think it has to do with the colors of the teams because Liga is black and red, Heredia is yellow and red, and Saprissa is like maroon/pinkish and white. 

Highlight of the week: 
My companions and I did splits on like Thursday or something like that and I went with C. A.. He's a return missionary from a family we eat lunch with every Sunday and we got a reference from a member for a neighbor of their's who she said was a family. The big focus for us is families and so we decided to go talk to them. C tapped his coin on the gate and I gave the common greeting *when you knock on gates here you say like "upe, buenas" but in Guanacaste where Elder Parker just came from they say "upe, tuanis" so I use that here, which people find funny because it really only makes sense in Guanacaste. Basically they mean, excuse me, good day, and excuse me, cool people are here* and so the husband came out and wasn't very friendly but we managed to get him to get his wife who was technically the reference we received. When the wife came out she didn't look very excited to see us and was like a little annoyed but C started to say, "We asked all the neighbors who around here was the most popular and they all said you, R, so we decided to stop by because we're missionaries..." and her face instantly turned into a smile and she let us in hahaha. So we taught this family, that we found out was Catholic, all about prophets. The father literally said that he saw a need for prophets and they were like grateful for our message haha, which I found super funny because they're practicing Catholics. They quickly say they see a need for a prophet but don't have one. We're going back this coming Friday to teach them more. C kept telling me that we need them in the ward, that the dad would be the next bishop. I found this experience really cool and also pretty funny:).
repollo, chincharon and chilerepollo is cabbage basically. chincharon is fried pig rinds and the chile is just like vegetables that they leave soaking in something on their table.

Spanish for you guys!:
Algo que he estado pensando sobre es una escritura in segunda Nefi. No recuerdo donde esta en este momento pero lo que dice es que cada dicipulo de Jesucristo tiene una cruz como el. Y este me da una poca de revelacion, que necesitamos ser como Jesucristo, si somos sus dicipulos verdaderos, necesitamos ser como el, y hacer las cosa que el haria. Entonces, mi invitacion para ustedes es que les invito de ser como Jesuscristo, guardar los mandomientos, ayudar personas que necesitan ayuda, orar para cambiar su vida mas como la vida de nuestro Salvador. Y sigan los susurros del Espiritu para cambiar and mejorar su vida.

Translation= Something that I have been thinking about lately is a scripture in second Nephi. I don't remember where it is at this moment but what it says it that every disciple of Jesus Christ carries a cross like His. And this gave me a bit of revelation, that we need to be like Jesus Christ. If we are His true disciples we need to be like Him and do the things that He would do. So, my invitation for you all is to be like Jesus Christ; keep the commandments, help people that need help, pray to change your life to be more like the life of our Savior. Follow the promptings of the Spirit to change and better your life.

Hope you guys are enjoying life, thanks for all the support!  

**side note in our typing that I thought was funny: 
I'm going to buy a backpack probably. Elder Parker has a friend in the mission who dies this transfer and he's going to bring him a bag when his parents pick him up here, I think. He said if he does bring him one he would be okay with giving me his old one, which is pretty well used but I can sew it up no problem. It'd still probably outlast what I buy here:) I love sewing haha I'm soo good at it.

I sewed Elder Solis's shirt pocket, and Elder Parker's pants, and Elder Solis is dying so he gave me his kit haha it should last pretty long. I also sewed an umbrella for Elder Parker and fixed it and I sewed a button on my umbrella for where you roll it up and I sewed my BYU shorts, the ones that I ripped the crotch on haha. Elder Parker's pants have ripped 5 times, but I sewed it and he's had it for a week and he played basketball and soccer in them and they've been fine, so I'm basically a master sewer.

Catholic temples / churches by his apartment

pictures of the money

Monday, October 20, 2014

¿¡What´s new in Costa Rica!?‏

Hello there, Washington! I'm going to try and keep this general email organized. The main reason for why all my thoughts jump around and such is because it's so hard to remember what I did this week - time passes so quickly. In fact, I believe it was Thursday night that I went to write in my journal because I had forgot to Wednesday night and I sat down and just stared at my journal because I couldn't remember anything I did the day before. It's crazy how it works out here. 

So, this week was really busy. We had a lot of scheduled things we had to attend and they ended up taking a lot of the time we would have spent teaching and serving. In order to make up for the time we lost going to our zone meeting and the police station, we had to work extra hard on the other days. We tried to use every hour as best as we could and really take advantage of what time we had. 

Tuesday- On Tuesday we had our zone meeting so we had to wake up, skip our studies, and catch a bus to Belen, which is about 30-45 minutes out by bus. We had to travel so far because for our zone we swap buildings where we have our zone meetings every time, so last time we had it at our building, and as such this time it was in the Belen church building, which is just right behind the temple. Entonces, we also had to the opportunity to see the temple, even if just the outside =). Then we had about a 20 minute wait for the bus, a 40 minute bus ride, and then our studies! I can´t think of any good transition words. All I can think of is transition words in Spanish and so, in English. Anyways, after we got back we had to wait for Brother and Sister Coleman to come bring us a new stove, mattress, and closet. (No, the stove wasn´t a coleman.) Then we did our studies for 3 hours and then we went out to teach for roughly 2 hours and then we had to catch an hour long bus ride to San Jose and spend the night in the secretaries' home because in the morning I had to go and get my finger prints done for my visa. 

Wednesday- We woke up in the secretaries' home. Every elder that came in with me and their companions stayed there, so there were about 20-30 elders in this house. Some elders slept on the floor, not me though.=) Then in the morning the secretaries directed us to a van where the elders I arrived with and I got in and we drove over to the police station! The secretaries didn´t know this but we actually had to fill out another form before we could get our finger prints done, and two of the necessary things were weight and height in kilos and metros, so we all just kind of guessed on what we were. (I´m having a hard time remembering how to spell words in English. I´m not sure why, it hasn´t been that long.) So, we all got separated in the police office and we talked to the agents there and then we got our fingers printed! After that, they took us to the Mission Office where we met up with our companions and proceeded to go back to our areas. 

Those were really the two highlight days from this week! However, I didn´t mention this but last Sunday was fast Sunday and Elder Parker told me that we needed to go up and essentially introduce ourselves to the ward. So, we went up and did a full opening line in Hawaiian and tried to make a joke out of it but absolutely none of the ward got it. It was pretty funny just watching him try to be funny and everyone just stared at him blankly. I went up after him and basically just really tried to give the ward motivation. I told them that we were here to help them do the Lord´s work and to help them bring their brothers and sisters to Him and to help them follow Jesus Christ. We both thought it went pretty well. It was weird because I had basically thought out everything I was going to say before I went up and in my mind it was super powerful, but then I got up there and forgot everything and just kind of used pretty simple (but correct) Spanish haha. 

Que mas, hmm, I can basically understand 100% of the Spanish now. The only time I struggle is when they directly ask me a question; I think it´s just like being put up on the spot. But! The thing is, I don´t like listen to the words. I´ve found that if I try to understand what they´re saying I understand very little, I just kind of find myself listening and understanding; there´s 0 thought to listening and 0 thought to speaking. If I focus on trying to understand them or like the words they´re saying, I come out having no clue what´s going on. It´s like a subconscious thing, and when I speak I just kind of talk... I think of sentences before I open my mouth and then once I open it it´s just like I forget to think, words just come out. I often find myself not thinking to be honest, just kind of talking. So, if I like pause in the middle of talking and realize that I´m not thinking, I struggle to get back into it haha.. This is probably really confusing; it kind of confuses me. 

Spiritual Thought for this week!: 

There was a scripture that I read in 2nd Nephi (I believe) in my personal study and unfortunately, I can´t remember where it is exactly at the moment because I highlighted it in my English scriptures and I don´t carry them with me normally. But anyways, the scripture says, ´´And they lived after the manner of happiness.´´ This really stood out to me. I was kind of thinking about how my attitude has been lately, how my perspective has been, and I realized that I wasn´t exactly living after the manner of happiness. (Prelude thought, I´m going to connect this thought with another in a little bit) In the MTC, I watched the ´´Character of Christ´´  by Elder Bednar, his talk, and he said near the start that by the time you get to his age every member should have a collection of about 200 Book of Mormons. He said that each time he reads the Book again, he takes it and writes a topic he wants to study in the front of the Book and then he focuses on that topic throughout the Book, and he has about 200+ copies like that. (Connecting Piece) So, I decided that I wanted to start my collection. I got a Book of Mormon from the mission office last Monday and chose the topic of ¨Finding Happiness¨ and I´m going to focus this entire read of the Book of Mormon on how we can find happiness and what true happiness is. I encourage each of you who have read the Book of Mormon previously to get a new cheap copy, I think they´re only like $1 or so or something like that on the website, and then choose a topic for this read through and highlight the scriptures that talk about your topic or are related with your topic! If you have yet to read the Book of Mormon, I encourage you to open it up, begin with the introduction, and then read it from front to back. I promise you that if you will read the Book of Mormon, whether for the first time or for the 20th time, you will be blessed and you will learn how you can better align your life with the life of Jesus Christ. 

Thank you guys for all your support and messages and I wish you the best! (If there are any typos I apologize, the computers here are programmed for Spanish, so as far as I can see I have yet to spell a single word correctly.)

¡Les amo mucho y ojala que ustedes tengan una semana buena! 

**extra emails back and forth:
MOM: Hi Aaron! How's your week been? With Kara's help, I've finally got your blog up to the end of the MTC - so I'm going to try and get the rest of it entered today so I can post it all and publish it on Facebook for everyone to read
Aaron: It´s been good haha. I´m sorry if my general letters are bland as far as details go. I honestly can hardly remember the things I do the day before. But I´ve been writing in my journal, don´t worry.

MOM: I love reading every word of your emails, Aaron! Thank you!! Sounds like you've had a busy week then with zone conference and finger printing. Did you get to teach any lessons this week? Is this the week Elder Solis leaves or is that next week?
Aaron: Yeah, we teach lessons every week, but the problem is people here don´t have as much education. They don't really go to school until they´re older and so their answers aren´t very good, their understanding of the gospel. Their answers are always Jesucristo o orar (to pray) even if it´s like right after we give them the answer haha. The hardest thing is just trying to get them to keep their commitments. A lot of them know it´s true or say they do, they just don`t act. 
He leaves next week. Hey, watch this video later, it´s good. I´ve seen it so many times.

Depends, I´m honestly never exactly sure where were are. the mission office-secretary home is actually in Zapote, which is outside of San Jose, I think. We take a bus for 20-30 minutes to San Jose, and then catch another to Zapote, so maybe like 20-30 minutes but that´s because of traffic, stopping to pick up more bus riders, and the roads are just built by kindergartners. =P

MOM: Did you ever get your letter at the office? I sent that early enough that I thought you would get the letter when you arrived in Costa Rica. Also - I had it wrong - it's Dropbox not Google drive - lots of the missionaries use that down there Sister Wilkinson says - and several of the moms say they get pictures that way from their missionaries - they just take the card out of the camera and bring that to the internet cafe to upload the photos to drop box.
Aaron: Yes! Elder Parker grabbed it for me on Monday and I´ve read it twice now. The first time I didn´t realize you wrote on the back page. I love it, thank you! 
Hmm, I´m not sure how drop box works, I just googled it, but everything is in Spanish so I´m not like 100% what I read. Reading Spanish is different than listening. I can read the scriptures pretty well and Liahona talks, but it´s never a perfect understanding. It´s like 80%.

MOM: I'm glad things are going well for you, Aaron - did you feel the earthquakes down there? I saw you had several last week and that the volcano had an explosion or something? Looks like it's sort of your direction - did you feel that?
Aaron: No haha. I called on like Monday or something to report numbers to the district leader, and in Spanish he´s like, ¨Did you feel the earthquake?´ and none of us felt it. We were all awake, we´re on the second floor though, so we told him no and he said he felt it for like 10 seconds, and the other district leader felt it too.. I was so mad. I´ve NEVER felt an earthquake. I heard this one was like 7.5 or something though off the coast right? I heard about a volanco but only that it was like smoking or something. I can´t remember but from what the missionary said I thought he said the volcano thing was a long time ago.

MOM: Well the 7.2 I think was in El Salvador - but in Costa Rica (by you actually) it was a 4.5 and a 5.3 that happened and the volcano thing happened at Mt Poas and that happened that same Monday! They closed the tourist visits for a while because of it - apparently there have been a ton of small earthquakes (with the one in El Salvador being the largest) for weeks now on the west side of the country.
Aaron: Hmm, weird. Nahh haven´t felt anything unfortunately=(

MOM: It's a program that you log into - so I could set it up I think on our end and you would then log into it and upload the photos - your computer there should have it since other missionaries are using this program. I'm thinking it's probably loaded on the internet cafe computers.
Aaron: Yeah, I got on the website but I don't have an account. I think that´s what is necessary; whip one up for me, would ya? =) I can't do winky faces here.

Outside the mission office today, the rain storm and the loudest thunder I've ever heard.  This happens all the time inside San Jose-Zapote.

You can't see the rain which sucks, but it was crazay.

My Missionary Genealogy
Elder Lohberg, Elder Parker (trainer - so "mission dad"), Elder Moss (so "mission nephew"?). Elder Cuevas (also trained by Elder Parker - so "mission brother"?)

Lunch today, 850 colones, so less than $2
Gotta go, bye, love all you guys! Time snuck up on me this time!