So, I´m in Costa Rica!! It´s beautiful here and it rains EVERY DAY in the afternoons. President & Sister Wilkinson greeted us with smiles and hugs/handshakes. We all then went to the temple and stood in a circle in front of it where Pres. gave an inspiring speech. He told us that there are 3 enemies to faith: Disobedience, Fear, and Doubt. Then he called up an elder and asked why he wore the tie he did. I thought he was going to chastise his choice of tie but after a few nervous responses to why he wore the tie he wore, the president turned to the PAs and asked them and they all proudly said: Para bautizar y retener! In English it means: To baptize and to retain! He then called up a few other Elders and Hermanas and asked them why they wore what they wore and every answer was: Para bautizar y retener. We do everything on the mission for the Lord´s work.
Then we got our trainers on Wednesday! And I love my companion! Her name is Hna. Yac and she´s from Guatemala! She´s so great! I´ve had a hard first week and she´s always there to lift me up. We live in a cute little apartment by a mall.
Pero este primero semana en la mision fuera muy dificil para mi. I came here with what I thought to be a pretty good background in Spanish to find out that I don´t understand as much as I thought I did. I think talking to locals scares me and I can´t think straight because I´m worried I won´t be able to understand what they´re saying. Everyone seems to be impressed by how well I speak but I can´t understand half of what they say. So the language has been very hard. But through this I´ve found that I really need to rely on the Lord. I cannot lean unto my own understanding. This is His work, after all and it requires all that we have. Prayer, bearing testimony, and Priesthood blessings are where we can find God´s power. But I don´t think I´ve ever cried so much in my life. It seems that every time I think of my family I want to go home. But then something amazing happens. It doesn´t have to be huge or a Book of Mormon example of a miracle but it´s enough to keep me going. The other night we were visiting a part member family. The mother is a recent convert and she has two children and a husband. I was scared to talk to him because I didn´t think he had an interest in the church... but come to find out, he had had 3 dreams recently of him in a jungle or grove by a river and God coming to him and telling him to partake of the water of the gospel/life. 3 SUENAS!! I was astounded. I bore my testimony to him at that moment that I KNEW it was from God and he told us he wanted to follow Christ. Then we invited him to baptism and we found out that he´s already a member! How crazy, right? So we invited him to church and he said he would come. He didn´t end up coming, even after we went looking for him, which was devastating but another one of our investigators that seems pretty hesitant came which was amazing. I also got my first kiss on the mission after church! Haha there is an older man in our Branch (we only have a branch, not a ward... yet haha) with special needs and after church he planted one on my cheek! Haha he´s sweet.
Earlier today, we passed a nice woman that we gave a pamphlet to with our names and number. When she was walking away I told her I liked her earrings and she gave them to me! Just straight took them off and gave them to me! I kept saying no but she kept on insisting, "No, es un regalo!" That was probably the highlight of my day. :)
I just got done sending a text message to another investigator. I haven´t met him yet but his baptism is set for the 30th and we were supposed to have a lesson with him today which fell through. We´re worried for him but he just told us that he believes the Book of Mormon to be true and Jose Smith to be a prophet of God. That alone was enough for me. I see little miracle every day, you guys. Whether it´s someone accepting a pamphlet, having a good lesson, or even having someone smile at me in the street/giving me their earrings straight from their ears haha. I love this church and I love sharing this gospel, even though I have fears.
This church is true!
Pura Vida! Para bautizar y retener! :)