This week was pretty awesome! So much happened, as you can tell my the length of this post, which is so amazing. Love this work!
Here is the run down of this past week as a Missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Monday was an amazing day! As all P-day should be. In the morning we planned out the day, got ready and cleaned the apartment. The other Elders wanted to go shopping, so we let them. When we finished cleaning, we played board games and wrote emails. I am so sorry if I didn’t get around to responding to any of your emails. Please forgive me. After sending emails we drove to the gas station. We were super close to being out of gas. We thought we were going to run out by the time we get to a gas station that is pretty far away from our apartment. We made a correct turn and found a gas station closer than expected. Small miracle! We filled up the tank, drove to Walmart and got me a new shirt and pants. Then we passed a post office and grabbed some stamps. We also dropped of Elder P’s suit and my ties off at the dry cleaners. We had some good from a deli near by. I got a Chicken Ceasar Salad Wrap. SO GOOOOOD! We drove to the stake center and I tried on my new clothes. Well, it turns out that I don’t fit 29/32 jeans. I went and checked the jeans I actually fit and find that they are 16 Regular . . . like boys size pants. What an embarrassment. I’m still wearing boys clothing . . . I just a skinny person, alright!!! We will be returning the jeans and getting boy’s jeans next P-day. YAY *with a hint of sarcasm* After changing into my new shirt and some shorts, we played basketball, volleyball, soccer and a bit of ping pong. We also did this crazy activity! Everyone brought some random food item and set them in the middle. We got split into 4 teams. An Elder and a Sister were on my team. Then we one by one selected items from the pile. We got expired tortillas, two jams, chocolate syrup, crisco, and chocolate bars. So we made a stack of tortilla, jam, chocolate dessert. Then we had three judges taste test them. Team one had this kind of bean like chilli. Team two did a grape taco mix. We were team three. Team four made a Nesquick soup with tuna fish and chocolate bars. Guess which one won? Yeah, team four . . . just by one point. Everyone got 17, except them, they got 18 points. Some kind of secret combination was going on. We continued with our sports afterwards and called our families. Then we changed, did our Facebook for the day and had Zone Kickoff. We set goals for this transfer! 84 “church” attendance!!! We can do this! We also got to know everyone. We told our name, where we are from, our spot in our family, how long we have been out and some fun thing we did at home. I said books and cubing. Didn’t want to flex with surfing, scuba diving, zip lining and waterfall cliff jumping. Hahahahaha After that Elder P and I ate a dinner that Elder Bo made for us. He was so awesome to do that for us. He made us each a wrap, pepperoni and cheese for me. (Its my FAVORITE!!!) Then we came home, saw a beautiful sunset, called the Sisters for District prayer and knocked ourselves out.
Tuesday we had exchanges because of Mission Leadership Council. The Zone leaders left their companion, Elder Bo, with us for a good majority of the day. Right after finishing up our morning routine, we had a language study. We normally have those later in the day, but we found it easier to put in in the morning. We tried to visit a friend we had called with the Assistant, but she wasn’t home. We said we would come back later. Then we visited the man that served a mission in the South Pacific Islands. I forgot to mention these amazing attributes that he has. He is SUPER smart with his words. He uses words that most people do not know. His has a massive vocabulary that is filled to the brim with unique words that are so formal and neat. I envy his knowledge. I wish I could speak like that. He could take one small little subject and cover every topic around it. Then we would finish with a solid conclusion concerning the first subject. We commented on all his pipes he had and he went on to how tabacco, tea and coffee had major roles in the building of the USA. So crazy! After that brain working moment, Elder Bo said, “After (name) had finished talking I wanted to say, (name), I didn’t understand a word you just said.” Hahahahaha. It’s true though. I would read old English books for homeschool and I recognized, in the moment, a few of the words he was using from the books I read. Crazy awesome. We had lunch, studied and did our Family History for the week. We then visited our friend that visited Africa to help build a church of her faith. We talked about families, their role in today’s society and how important they are in the plan of God. She is super sweet, and really dedicated in her faith. I hope she comes to know of the more whole truth sometime in the future. After spending time with her, we returned home and had dinner. The Zone Leaders came home from their meeting right before we were leaving to go on our Purposeful Walk. Nothing exciting happened during the walk. We tried to visit the lady from the morning, but we got some sad news. She sounded super excited to talk to us when the Assistant and I called her. A woman at her home told us that she doesn’t want to talk to us. So we left and put a note on her contact information. We then planned out our Facebook meeting for Wednesday. A whole bunch of changes have been enforced and we had to redo our meeting because of them. SO much fun *with a hint of sarcasm*. After planning we had a video chat lesson with our broken legged friend. She was super responsive during our lesson on missionary work, priesthood and auxiliaries, and enduring to the end. It was a super nice lesson. After saying good night, we went home and crashed.
Wednesday morning we all had waffles. Super yummy! Then all five of us left in the same car to a district service in the Sisters area. We helped move dead foliage to a fire pit for burning. We also moved a bunch of concrete blocks from the front yard to the back yard. Then we helped make a few steps with cinderblocks from the backyard to the back porch. It was so much fun to help others with the district. It unified us and helped us feel apart of something rather than alone in this work. The Sister we were helping gave us some pizza for lunch. Super sweet of her! After that we went and helped the Sisters with their AC. Yes, we were careful and had the Sisters stay outside while we worked on putting in their AC. They had a pretty nice house on the inside, but they live right next to a gas station and a huge parking lot. Kind of a weird location for a house. Sister H gave us Otter Pops for our work! We returned home, ate a second lunch and headed out early to prep for a Facebook meeting. We had the meeting, explaining the new way of using Facebook. We will now be doing three really good quality posts every week. Super different from a quick and a quality post everyday, both mediocre. Then we did companion study and language study. We had dinner with Elder S’s brownies. So good! We tried calling people and checking out other mission pages for post ideas. We tried visiting our young friend H. He wasn’t home but his Grandpa was. He shared a bit of his beliefs. Then we visited R and J. R was not home, but J was. He was a tad bit disappointed that we hadn’t seen him for a while. We would just miss him everytime we would go over. We talked about the income of the Prophets (there is none from the Church) and polygamy (we stopped because God said so). We talked about other things that are not worth mentioning. We left a bit ruffled. Then a Sister in our ward wanted to check if we were still good for service for Thursday. We had completely forgotten about it and had planned another service. She was a bit flustered and disappointed when she heard we couldn’t help. We felt awful. We came home and tried to sleep everything off.
Thursday we had a service in the morning. We helped the member that is on oxygen with his lawn. We were there for two hours with our mowers!!! My mower was horrible! I had to do one section about 8 to ten times over just to cut everything. I did get a few good photos of flowers and a dandelion. We left a bit frustrated because of the length of time we spent on a monotonous project with horrible equipment. We had lunch and did our Weekly Planning. The planning took 2 hours. We visited our friend that believes in Big Foot. We read 3 Nephi 6 with her. Then we talked about her life. She had a really hard life. She is so amazing and so strong to still be okay. We would be talking about her hard stuff and she would see a hummingbird and get super excited and giddy. So sweet! Then we ate dinner. I kind of dozed off for a bit. Didn’t really sleep sleep, but I did lose a tad bit of awareness. We did our walk and left to go grab something from a member. The member’s son had passed away a few months earlier. She was still a bit sensitive. She gave us her son’s white shirts for future baptisms or converts. She talked about how she baptized at least two people every transfer during her mission. She was in the Western States Mission. After hitting my head twice on her empty bird cage above my chair, we left to the member’s home we had mowed in the morning. He gave us no bake cookies, cherries and dipped chewy Quaker bars. We read a bit of come follow me with him. We loved how in Alma 31:1 it says “dumb idols”. SO funny. Then we set up Facebook documents for the zone and posted a few posts. We then had a video chat with the young women and our broken legged friend. We read 1 Nephi 7 with them. It was a super good lesson. Then we came home, talked about our strangest dreams with the Sisters and hit the hay.
Friday morning we had Joint District Council. It was fun because when we got to the roleplaying part, our Zone Leaders and their companion dressed up in regular clothing. We went to the gym and actually “contacted” them. We walked up and started to talk to them. Our friend had a cut off long sleeve from one of his old shirts, full of drawings. We just had to assume they were tattoos. We asked him a little bit about his tattoos, what sports he plays, and a bit about his family. We sadly didn’t get around to inviting him to church, but he was willing to play basketball on Saturday. That’s literally what we did. Elder C was so funny to do that! It was good practice though. We returned home and ate lunch a bit late. While I was making my lunch, a pair of senior missionaries knocked on the door. They gave me a package with a new mouse my Dad got me. Thank you! Then they asked if we had had a house inspection this month. We hadn’t, so they did one. We will be getting two new mattresses and a fixed garage door. After they left, I called my family. I thanked my Dad for the mouse and found out that they are finishing up packing the RV they’ll be taking across country. SO EXCITING!!! Then we planned out a bit for Sunday sacrament meetings and did our studies. We also started our online training for technology usage. There are five courses, 22 lessons in total, that help us learn how to use technology in a way to find people to teach. After the educational moment or two, we ate dinner. I had Lucky Charms for a snack after dinner. We went on a walk and visited a previously taught woman in our neighborhood. She is a identical twin and loves photography. She also has areas of her hair dyed purple. One of her Sisters cracked a joke not worth putting on my blog. If you want to know what the joke was, send me a private email. We hopped into our car right after our talk with the purple haired twin and went over to a less active truck driver. He is less active for that very reason. He is gone for three or four weeks and then home for one. He had a friend over that was helping him fix his lawn mower. While we were there, they almost fixed it. It wanted to start, but didn’t have enough motivation. It just putters a bit and then dies. We invited the friens to listen to our message, but he told us to look up some Fen____ train. I’m not putting the entire word because it just might be “anti-mormon” stuff. We don’t want to be in the very appearance of evil, right? We don’t think we will be looking it up. We went over to an old friend’s home. He showed his home, his bikes and his man cave. He also gave us a little circle piece of cardboard that is seriously worth 10 cents. We didn’t get to teach him anything because he just wouldn’t stop talking. After practically escaping his grasp of conversation, we went to the church, did a couple of Facebook posts and called a WHOLE bunch fo people. Not much to report on those calls. Then we came home to a full fridge and a bunch of sweets from a friend of the other Elders in our apartment. I really loved the Poppy Seed Muffins. So heavenly!
Saturday is a special day. It’s the day before the day before . . . _‐___! Do you remember the last words? If you’ve read my blogs you’d know . . . so read my blogs if you don’t know!!! Hahahaha *wink wink*. We started off our day with a good gave of Basketball. We woke up at 5:30, did our planning and played for an hour at the church. I took some pretty cool (my opinion) slow motion videos. I finally made my rainbow shot!!! So proud! We came home, had breakfast, showered and studied. Then we watched a Missionary Devotional. Those things are pretty educational, if I might say. We had a bit of an extensive personal study, language study and companion study right after. I lunched a tuna fish sandwich and a small veggie tray. Then we planned out our Sunday church attendances and a District service for next Thursday. We will be going over to the Senior Center again. Then we slid on over to our birthday party friend. He had a few of his children and friends over. They started ribs a bit late for us. We had to leave before the ribs were done. We did get some food though. We left, had a bunch of hit and miss a whole bunch of less actives and old friends. We also called a bunch of people, but almost no one answered. We did Facebook and watched a family history Devotional. We had a pretty chill night though. I wish we had done so much more. We slept though. That’s something.
(sorry, the videos wouldn’t upload)
Sunday morning a member came by and gave us a bunch of bags and boxes full of food. So much food! Then at 9:00 we had ward council. It was so weird to have so many people at the council. I am so used to going to small branch ward councils. Tell the truth it was a bit intimidating. So many people and so many opinions. It was kind of nice. Then we had zone Sacrament. There were only three companionships that actually could get on. We are planning on not doing them anymore. Why you ask? Well many of the wards are having church again. So now we are going to church! During zone Sacrament I shared a little bit on the attribute of Christ that I am studying. Knowledge is a bit of an extensive attribute though. After the meeting we did companion study. We ate lunch and prepped for lessons. Then we had a member lesson. They are so awesome! Last time we went over, one of the Assistants was with us. We had dinner then. This time we shared a discussion on the Holy Ghost. They had a few experiences from their missions that they shared. After our lesson, the Brother came with us to a lesson with our Big Foot believing friend. She had accidentally let hot butter go down the wrong tube earlier. So she could not talk very well. We sang I am a Child of God and shared a lesson on the Holy Ghost. We invited her to be baptized. She was super worried about the travel it would take. There is a church building eight minutes away, so we were a bit confused. She thought she needed to go to Utah to get baptized!!! Kind of funny. After explaining that she could get baptized here, she started coughing. Then started coughing harder and harder. Then she had a mild asthma attack. She threw us her Book of Mormon and glasses, wobbled over to her house, Elder P ran and opened the door and she got her inhaler. She sat down and breathed in her medication. After relaxing a bit we asked if we could give her a blessing. She said yes. Elder P was not sure if he had enough consecrated oil, so the Brother that came with us went and check in his car. He did have any, so with faith, we poured what was left of Elder P vile onto her head. There was one drop left! We gave her a blessing and told her to go take it easy. We left worried but happy we could help a daughter of God with His power. We had a member lesson to go to right after, so we didn’t really have time to process what had happened. When we got to the member home, they were a bit interested in why we looked so flustered. We explained and they understood. We followed up with them concerning their previous invitation. Only the parents had done it. So we re-extended the invitation to their boys, and challenged the parents to memorize a scripture related to the attribute of Chirst they had selected to study. (That was the previous invitation). We met their daughter and her husband. They weren’t there the last time we were there. So it was nice to meet them. After the member lesson we ate dinner and prepped for ZLC. We also got a referral during dinner. A FACEBOOK referral!!! So awesome. Facebook finding really works. We set up a service for the beginning of the following month. We went to the sister that had lost her son and visited with her. She has a pretty mild case of dementia, so she would repeat a lot. We met her granddaughter as well. Hopefully we can teach her. Then we drove to ZLC. I was invited in because now we will be having a Facebook time during ZLC. It went pretty well. We found out that a super duper close relative of a Sister in the zone had passed away. Pray for her. She needs it. Then we returned home, I did Duolingo and we lost our air conditioner. The owner wanted it back for his brother. So we gave it back. We slept pretty bad. Super hot. But hey, the mission is for the good and the bad.
Anyway . . . I am super grateful that I can be here on the mission. All the Elders that came with me could not go back out because they were in the MTC for three more weeks than me. I am eternally grateful for that. If it wasn’t for the move to Costa Rica, I wouldn’t have learned Spanish or the Latin Culture, nor would I have gone to the MTC for 3 weeks. Just because of that, I am out in the mission field serving God and my fellow men.
God loves us. I say it so often that I feel as if I bore you every time I do. BUT IT IS TRUE!!! He loves us SO much. He gave us his only begotten Son to be crucified because he loves us so much. Believe in him. He IS real.
Thank you so much for reading. It means a bunch.
I love y’all! Have a fabulous week!
El Gringo CR
(Just to let ya’ll know, Elder Whitchurch’s blog post may take a while to upload since we are traveling the U.S.A and we don’t have very good internet. Thank you for your patience.)