Monday, December 1, 2014


My Most Adorable Family...

Hey:) I miss you all so much!!! I just want to start out my Thanksgiving letter Giving Thanks. For you all, for my friends for my extended family, for my mission call, for my Costa Rica, for my blessing, for my trials, for the Church, for 20 years of love and support, 20 years of enjoying thee blessing that come from a Christ centered home and 20 years of having wonderful, amazing, talented, lovely, children of God placed in my Path:) More then anything this year I am thankful for the knowledge I have and cherish of who my savior is and what he has done for me. 

It’s the heartbreaking truth but here in Costa Rica they don’t celebrate thanksgiving....... why not? I’m not sure, I mean come on. All we do is eat, hang out with the family, eat, watch football, eat, cook, and well eat! Who doesn’t want to celebrate this day?! Obviously It means a lot more to me then that, its the day when I really remember and think about the things that are the true blessings of this life. In the spirit of this holiday I’ve been trying really hard to have a grander spirit of gratitude in my prayers. This week I stopped asking my Heavenly Father for things, and have been doing my very best to just tell him thank you. It’s hard and I’m not perfect at it, but it helps me to focus my prayers a little more and remember to whom I’m speaking and all the things I have to be grateful for. Every night my personal prayers are a little longer as I remember more and more things that are blessings in my life. Sometimes I have to say 3 or 4 prayers or I just pray like the little boys and say in the name of Jesus Christ...... wait wait wait, ......... all the extras I forgot, okay for real now, in the name of Jesus Christ...."  I hope that each one of you this week accepts the challenge to say 1 prayer only giving the Lord thanks and not asking for a thing. Its fun, try it:)

This week alone I have so many blessings that I don’t even know what to do with them all. We had all kinds of fun activities this week. 1. I’m finally legal!!!! I got my "cedula" ... which basically says that they can’t deport me for at least a year. Yay!  It took almost a whole day to get it, but it was worth it! Plus I got to go with all a lot of other elders and hermanas and it was a fun flashback to the MTC. 

2. This week we had a Multizone conference that was super sweet!! I learned a lot from everyone who talked to us. Its incredible how literally everything that we learn in PMG we can find a story in The book of Mormon that demonstrates this principle or idea exactly. My President is en serio incredible. (Hermana Montoya and I agree that he’s at least a future apostle, if not one day prophet:)). He showed us a clip of the Utah Utes and Oregon game that just happened where the player dropped the ball like 2 feet before the end zone because he was celebrating to early and gave us some very good advice, DONT DROP THE BALL. This month we have been working so, so hard as a mission to achieve the goal of 200 baptisms and were sooo close! This is the last week we have and us personally we have a baptism planned for the 29th! That’s cutting it close... but don’t worry, were not celebrating to soon. 

The baptism that we have planned this week is a very, very special one. Joni is the husband of our cook Jovana. They have 5 kids. She’s been a member more then 16 years but he hasn’t ever taken getting baptized seriously. He has had a lot of missionaries pass in and out of his house without giving them a second thought, but something happened and he’s began to change. He’s been cafe, cigar, and alcohol free for 2 weeks now!!!! Wow. What changed is the knowledge he has about the temple. They want to be sealed.....!!!  Anyways so we’ve been helping him to get ready and it hasn’t been easy, but were so close now. A miracle that happened the other day is we were talking to them and Jovana said you know why your baptismal day is the 29 of November...? Because I was baptized the 29th of November 16 years ago...... we didn’t know that when we gave him the date, but the Lord knew it would be the motivation he’d need to accept so he told us the 29th:) wow. The other beautiful thing is that 1 week after Joni is baptized and confirmed he can receive the priesthood and baptize his 8 year old son Andres:) and in 1 year we will go to the temple with them!!!! What great things I have to be thankful for. 

Anyways, the time is short and their souls that need saving! I love you all and hope, no no I order you all (as a representative of JesuCristo ;) haha)  to eat at least my portion this thanksgiving. You’ll eat it and you’ll like it! I love you all pero tanto! Prayers and gracias from Costa Rica,

All my love, Hermana Kugath

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Love my home and away wards :)

My Most Beloved and Beautiful Family....

Hi:) First of all, sorry if I scared some of you with the gunpoint mutual story haha. More then anything I was just letting you know that I know that I’m protected. Its funny but we walk these cold dark streets and I don’t even feel afraid. Maybe I’m just suuuuper naive... haha but I personally just like to think my faith is just greater then my fears.

I really just want to take 1 second to express how truly grateful I am to everyone of my home ward. I just love you all so so stinkin much!!! My mom has been letting me know how generous and incredible you’ve all been helping me and watching over my family. There isn’t a ward in the world that could compare with how much I love and appreciate you all! This week I have been searching out ways to bless the lives of others like you all have blessed my life. My favorite was taking a future missionary to the mall today and letting her pick out a whole outfit!!!! Shell be serving in Mexico, leaving in January and her family doesn’t have the money or support that my family enjoys. Some people may look on it as a sacrifice, but I look at it as a way to give back when vie been given so much. Hermana Rodriguez is going to Mexico lookin goooood!

My heart is broken for the Conrad family and certainly for Elder Conrad. This is a trial I couldn’t even imagine having to face. But don’t worry, the plan of salvation and the atonement have the power to suck out the pain and sorrow from even the deepest, harshest wounds. There is life after this; death is just a stepping-stone to the reino celestial! Knowing Hermana Conrad she is happily serving right alongside her son in the glorious work of salvation, she’s just been called to serve in another mission.

This week has been wow long..... We played so much ball last p day that I was extra tired. Also one time we tried to walk from our district meeting in Ipis to our first appointment in paracito. Bad idea, don’t ever try that. We walked for like 3 hours straight!!!! Up and down and up and down..... Whoa. I was exhausted en serio. But this week was incredible really. This week our miracles stacked up! I just should let you all know I am literally spoiled to live and work here in Moravia. We have the best ward!!! The most supportive bishop, the sweetest sisters, the best members who feed us day in and day out, and the Lord is blessing us with so many investigators we don’t even know what to do with them all!!!! Oh wait, yes we do..... BAPTISMS BABY! Hermana Montoya and I have a dream for Moravia. We want 2 companionships here. But to have 2 we have to have excellent success in this month. We have the ability to baptize 12 people this month, but our meta (goal) is 10. That’s a lot...... please, please pray for us to achieve this goal. Its seriously a crazy goal and we are going to have to work ourselves to the very ground, but we want this second pair of missionaries. Moravia is a HUGE  area and we need the help.

Anyways, sorry this letter was boring, my minds a little wacky today. Just know that I love you all and the Lord is the author of our lives, he is the perfect planner and we can always trust in his will. I miss you bunches upon bunches|! Prayers from Costa Rica,

All my love,
Hermana Kugath

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

More Miracles

My Dearest Darling Family and Friends....

Wow what a long week it has been. It feels like I say this every week but en serio, this week was jam packed with miracles. Let me start with my very favorite one.

MARLON GOT BAPTIZED!!!!!!!!!!!! I’m going to cry. Wow. Marlon for all you who don’t remember is the husband of MY DANELIA. la mia! Wow wow wow. That means in less then a year I get to go to the3 temple with them!!! I could die from happy tears right now. I can’t tell you how happy I am. (It will be really close to the end of my mission when they can enter so maybe mommy and daddy you guys can be here too! vamos a ver vamos a ver).

Another miracle is that a few weeks ago on a bus I lost my plaque. I was wearing the magnet one so the front just fell off and I didn’t realize it until it was to late. But yesterday on the bus the driver handed me a little black square... MY PLAUQE!! I thought it was a goner for sure and I was so so heart broken cause it was the plaque that I started my first day in the MTC. But because My Heavenly Father Loves me and he knew how much it was worth to me he found a way to get it back to me... wow, the love of a father.

Miracle three... this one is a little hard to explain so bear with me.. This week Hermana Montoya’s mom sent her a package. It was really big and so our ZLs went to the office to pick it up and brought it to the stake center. We had to go pick it up during the next district meeting. We decided that we would just take it from the stake center and put it in our chapel because to take it to our house would be extra money and time and then at the end of the day we would just pick it up on our way home. When we got to the meeting Hermana Montoya told me that she had forgotten the chapel keys so we ended up having to take the package home. at the time it was a little annoying and we were kinda grumpy because then we just had to go back to where we were. BUT!!! the next day we found out that that night there had been an armed robbery at the church during mutual... in between 8 and 830 which would have been exactly the time we would have gone to pick up the package again had it been in the church........ whoa. we could have very likely been on the outside of the chapel when these gunmen showed up. Our dear Heavenly Father was protecting us without our even knowing it. Luckily no body was hurt and the only things taken were a laptop and a few smashed windshields. But we weren’t around which was a huge miracle because it was our plan to be there. Thank goodness HE has different plans then we do.

This week has been filled with wonderful members, delicious food (until I was stuffed fuller then a turkey on thanksgiving day (they don’t even celebrate thanksgiving here!!)), good friends, uplifting lessons and meetings and more then anything this has been a week of spiritual growth for this little Hermana. I have so much to be thankful for. I’ve learned so much and felt the spirit so strong. I’ve strengthened relationships, made friends, lifted up the weary and been lifted in return. I love to be a missionary!

Today we had a special zone conference. We talked a lot about our responsibility as missionaries and our attitudes. We watched the most powerful video clip about the atonement. The point was this.... you want to become like Jesus Christ. Well, then you have to be willing to sacrifice like him. You have to be rejected like him, you have to act like him, talk like him, react like him. If you want to be like Jesus Christ you have to be more then willing, you have to pay at least a teeny tiny itty-bitty bit of what he paid. Or how else can you expect to be like him.   Christ was the perfect missionary; the perfect missionary and the world literally crucified him. I can take up my little cross and try a little harder to be a little better. There is NO easy way when it comes to missionary work. It’s not suppose to be easy, it never has been. But for those of us who are willing to pay the price the rewards far outweigh the sacrifices. I feel honored to be rejected, delighted to be disliked and at peace in the war of the world. I am becoming like my savior, my father, would have me be. THIS is MY mission.

The truth is I love you all so so much! You are my teachers, examples, my reason to be here. Everything that I know about the gospel is strengthened through my loved one. I literally pray for each and every one of you, by name, every night. My family will be forever. I love you guys!!! Prayers from Costa Rica;)

All my love,
 Hermana Kugath

Monday, November 3, 2014


My Dearest Family...

Another week come and gone so fast! I can’t believe this week is already Halloween! wow.. The sad thing is that they don’t celebrate it here in Costa Rica. Why?? Beats me. Its like free candy and you don’t have to wear normal clothes, why isn’t Halloween every day?? Hermana Montoya and I are really excited because were going to celebrate it alone if we have to. (We heard that the missionaries aren’t allowed to leave the house this day or something like that because there might be crazy people in the streets..... but were not sure so we’ll see.) But for our costumes were currently planning on switching our nametags, we'll see! Anyways, yesterday was the day of cambios but luckily were safe and will be spending a minimum of 6 more weeks here in Moravia:)  I’m actually really glad! I love everything about my area. My companion, my investigators, my house, my ward an members, the town, the way we do things.. I’m really comfortable, happy and grateful that Heavenly Father still has a purpose for me in this place that I love so much. Of course we have a purpose here! Hermana Montoya and I are a powerhouse team:) we've had the opportunity to be part of a big change here in our stake, Toyopan. The Hermana Especialistas told us that for a long time president wasn’t really pleased with the numbers and results we were putting out because he knew that the zone could do more. But we’ve been working super, super hard this last little cambio to change that and this month our numbers were 2nd only to Guanacaste (which is like the promised land!) !!!!!!! So we were all very pleased. In fact, president was so pleased with us that he gave us permission to go to the cascadas (waterfalls) of Coronado today! We even have the privilege of wearing normal clothes! Whoa... ha-ha that’s a big deal folks; I'm wearing PANTS in PUBLIC! eso!!!

This week was really fun. We got to do divisions with the Hermana Especialistas so I got to go work with Hermana Pizza in Purral for a few days! A little bit of change now and again is refreshing. It was really good to have the chance to see someone else’s area and be someone else’s companion for a little bit of time because it helps us to see the things that were doing wrong and the areas that we need to change, work harder or be better. But also the areas that were doing really good! The areas of our strengths and the things we do the best. I learned a lot from my few days in Purral and were excited to make Moravia even better then it already is! One of my favorite parts of this mini transfer was that we got to play soccer in the mornings with some other missionaries. Everyone knows I’m not the hugest soccer girl, but these two days that we played it was pure joy! We had to wake up super early, but it was worth it to get to run and play around and for once get a good work out. The two days after we played my body of course hated me and rebelled.... but the pain was nothing compared to how happy I felt playing so it was okay. 

This week Gerardo was confirmed a member and given the Holy Ghost! In this same sacrament meeting we had one of our special investigators. Yamelet is an older blind woman that were trying to teach. Wow it is difficult trying to teach someone whom cant read and cant get to church themselves!!! But we have been commissioned to preach to everyone and so our struggle with blindness and people who simply don’t know how to read rolls forward. It was really sweet though because the members were all so ready and willing to help us! We had a couple come and pick up yamelet and take her to church while we were there others helped her find the bathroom, got her water, helped her to a comfortable seat, sat by her, talked to her, introduced themselves and welcomed her in every way possible. After church one family even drove her to the clinic because she asked them to. I LOVE BEING  MORMON!!! There’s no other people like us in the world. 

Anyways, I’ve got to get me to a waterfall sooo.... I love and miss each and every one of you! Please all of you eat at least 10 pieces of Halloween candy for me this weekend :) and remember that I am continually sending my love and prayers for you from the land of the lamanites ;) haha. Prayers from Costa Rica!

All my Love, 
Hermana Kugath

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

BOGO- Baptize one get one :)

My Darling Family and Friends-

Hola:) Wow what an exhausting week. Hermana Montoya and I have been working super hard this week to help Gerardo to be ready for his baptism (which was yesterday!!!!!) and so we've been a little more then exhausted. I’ve also had to wake up early every day to catch up in my journal writing. I got behind at the beginning of this cambio and it’s been a real fight to get caught up, but today I did it. Every day something happens to me that’s miraculous, incredible, special, beautiful, etc. and I want to always remember the experiences from my mission and so my journal has become something really important for me. I’m glad to report that I have written something from every single 145 days that I've been a missionary. Its crazy to believe that I’ve actually been gone that long but its true! I’m coming up on my 5-month mark already, wow. It's weird but there are some days when I don’t remember what anything but mission life is like. Like those days when I slept in until 12, those days I didn’t read my scriptures for 3 hours, and those days when I didn’t eat rice and beans... hhmm, those days existed??? I can’t remember haha. What did I do for 19 years before this?

I’m sorry I’m having a brain dead moment on all the things I wanted to tell y'all....

One of the funnest things were doing right now is helping the Garcia family in their Soda (its like a little family restaurant.). Every Wednesday we go and give service to them by working for free for an hour or two. They’re a big family of 8 kids. The youngest just got home from his mission so they’re all grown up. We work a lot with this special family! The third oldest is Jovana, our cook:) she has 5 kids and were at her house everyday! She is an awesome cook so we always leave happy. There are 2 brothers, Keni and Luis that help us to do a lot of things in the work. They’re both on the high council so they help us visit people, organize baptisms and all ward\ stake business. There are also 3 sisters and the mom who are inactive. We're working really hard to help them. When we give service in the soda we always leave them with a spiritual message and a prayer. They’re all really funny, happy people! We just have to help some of them sort out their priorities;).

The ward I’m in right now is really incredible! en serio. The people are true saints and have been taking really good care of us. We're fed everywhere we go (now I understand why people say that the hermanas always leave Moravia chubbier then when they got there) and were also given umbrellas from everyone! Hermana Montoya and I stopped carrying umbrellas after we lost 2 in 2 consecutive days, but then it began to rain like in the days of Noah..... So now were a little bit fatter and our house is filled with umbrellas!! No complaints. Another incredible thing about our ward is the youth. They’ve all got the missionary spirit like mad! This week we did divisions 3 times with young women. Every member we visit had a reference for us and asks us to go out teaching with us. This week we had our first baptism together. His name is Gerardo, he’s 14. The ward, especially the young men’s program has just succored him in! Before he was baptized he was invited to every mutual, seminary activity, ward activity, church event, etc.  For the last 3 weeks. He attended a missionary farewell, mutual, a young men’s hike campo out thingy. General conference, seminary graduation. The list goes one! For the youth of the church here, their friends in the church are almost all the have so they’re all knit in really tight with each other. And we don’t even have to tell them to do it! The other day during one of our divisions the young woman I was with invited an investigator girl to go to mutual with her then next day (I didn’t even think about it let alone ask her to do that!). Another example is Javier with Gerardo. At general conference he brought him a white shirt and tie so he wouldn’t feel uncomfortable. He also brought him a notebook to take notes. Later he gave him a book of Mormon with the steps of prayer written in the front. It’s these little acts of service by these youth that have really touched me. Missionary work isn’t this huge deal, its a lot of little thoughtful acts that bring the spirit and help people feel the difference of who we are as members of the church of Christ.

One other quick experience. This week we had the opportunity to share a few choice moments with a Jehovah’s Witness. It turns out we were both visiting the same person and one day we showed up at the same time... awkward. Haha, being the naive little girl I am I thought itwou7ld be a good idea for us all to talk together. The moment we sat down she began to attack the book of Mormon, the church and us. This went on for a little while until she made the comment that we didn’t know whom Christ was. Well, as missionaries we didn’t take to that too kindly... My companion (she’s so great!) Looked her right in the face and said, Hermana, as true representatives of Jesus Christ we know who he is, the significance of his sacrifice and the role he plays in our lives and in our eternal salvation... it was awesome. Needless to say we gained nothing from that lesson except a testimony of our own literal authority as the messengers and disciples authorized to represent Jesus Christ and His true Church.

How blessed are we to know the truth? To never have to doubt? And if we do have doubts we have fountains of sources to search out the answers! I love this gospel, this church, Moravia, I love this work!! But more then anything I love my Savior and Redeemer, my Brother and friend, My Lord and King, My very own Jesus Christ. I love you family and friends:) prayers from Costa Rica!

All my Love,
Hermana Kugath

Tengo 20 anos?.... Que?...

Si señor, yo te segire. (Yes, Lord, I will follow thee)

My most dear, adorable, lovely family!

I’m 20!!! whoa, que awkward. I’m antigua haha. So yes, this week was my birthday, thank you thank you thank you for all of the notes, cards, packages (even if they weren’t received :| ), thoughts, prayers, songs, and love that was sent to me! What a beautiful day I had. You should know I was spoiled in all kinds of manners. My zone leaders found out it was my birthday a few days before and surprised me with a super rico cake after the second session of conference Saturday afternoon. It was really delicious and even said happy birthday hermana! I don’t know how they did it with such short notice. But they did, it was delicious, even split between 15 hungry missionaries:) Also it turns out that our cook’s birthday was the same day! so we were invited over to her house where we ate meat, real meat!!!! steak, pork and chicken. soda and to top it off, a giant 3 chocolate cake! We got to blow out the candles and share the special day with my new borrowed/adopted family! So I hope no one worried, I had a very special and beautiful day. More important then all the goodies and queque (cake!) I ate was that I had the opportunity to hear the voices of our beloved prophet and apostles! Wow was this conference powerful or what!!!

I'll admit it was a little hard because it was totally in Spanish. (I loved the first 4 or 5 words of every talk because I could listen to their real voices but quickly the translation would take over... I’ve missed their voices so much!). But si, I listened to all 4 sessions in pure Spanish and boy did I learn my Spanish was lacking. It was like I could pick out the main theme of every talk and understand mas o menus what they were saying, but I did miss that I could understand everything. It was a little hard to focus also because we were constantly worried about "what are our investigators feeling" "why isn’t so and so here yet" "did they hear that part? It was so good and exactly for them!” so needless to say my mind was a wee bit unfocused and because of this my Spanish listening wasnt up to par. HOWEVER, i still did have an incredible experience. The things I did hear, the doctrine I received and the spirit I felt were exactly the things I needed to study and understand. One of my favorite parts was the 2 talks that were given in Spanish. I don’t know if it was translated for you guys or if you only had subtitles and could hear him speaking, but the 1st (elder gaveret??) was incredible! Him I could understand almost perfectly. wow. I’ve adopted his saying to be one of mine personally... si senor, you te segire! One of my other favorites that was really sweet was Elder Scotts. Mommy and Daddy this I felt was exactly for our family. There are some things that maybe are optional but the 4 that he talked about aren’t. 1. Prayer 2. Scriptures 3.FHE and 4. Ir al temple! (go to the temple!). I know I was always a bum and it’s my fault we never had fhe those Monday nights but this is a commandment from an apostle. Monday nights are for the family... no importa what else is going on, no team, sport, dance, activity, concert, class... nothing takes precedence over my family and our time together.    I didn’t always feel so strongly about this, but now I do. Our family will be eternal. My track team, my boyfriends, my etc. etc. obviously weren’t meant to be eternal and I am so sad for the time I missed with you guys those monday nights I wasn’t at home. Don’t let the little boys, mis hermanitos, have this same regret! Juntos familia:) ser juntos. The last talk I was in love with was that of elder Ballard! whooooooo. Wow. If anyone wanted to know how a missionary feels all you have to do is read that talk. He described the whole reason missionary work exists. Some days it’s really hard to face rejection after rejection (and let me tell you this was a week of rejection!) but when we remember why, It’s easier to take. I'd encourage everyone to read that talk again and find your own desire, your reason, to share the gospel.

Moving on because there’s soooo much to say!!! There have been so many miracles in this last week I can’t wait to tell you. so much new so much good! Primera, mi compnaera! My companion is Hermana Montoya! She is also the Twin of my very own Paige Crittenden! They look totally opposite but act the same, I love it:) she is 22 years old, from California, her parents are both from Mexico, she’s hilarious, speaks Spanish incredibly (but I mean her parents are from Mexico....), she isn’t shy para nada and she is an amazing missionary! We’ve only had 1 week together but already I have learned so much from her example. We have a lot in common- were both terrified of sharks, like to play sports, vampire diaries fans, we both run about 5 minutes late... and our differences balance each other out. We’ve been working so hard here you wouldn’t believe it!

Miracle #2 we have a house! A dream house I tell you! Space oh beautiful space:) we have a 2 story, 2 bathroom house just for us. In Santa Ana we had that itty-bitty apartment to share but not now! I don’t now what I did to deserve such a blessing. The lady who rents to us (she’s not a member .... yet... ;) ha-ha) also comes in regularly to clean and does our laundry. Its like I’m back home again! jk mommy jk, she doesn’t cook for us so its nothing like home. But seriously. It’s so wonderful!

Miracle #3 Our Ward is awesome! We have a chapel even:):):) we have a bunch of ex missionaries who go out with us to teach and also the young men and women are really involved! The other night we had a noche de grupo (like a family home evening ward style). It was awesome! I have never heard so many jokes (scripture jokes even!) and laughter in 1 short hour. I’m excited to get to work with all these great people! Hermana Montoya and I have a gigantic area but that gives us tons of room to find news and to teach. The members here are equal to the members at home (except I cant always understand what they’re saying....) but they are converted through and through and are ready to spread the good news with us!

I am so grateful to be only 1 of more then 88,000 missionaries and 1 in 15,000,000 members in this amazing moment in time! The whole world is going to Meet the Mormons! The only way that people will meet the gospel is through us... we are the converts, the teachers. The world needs us. Today we had a meeting for the hermanas of the zone all about having faith. You can’t have faith if you have fear.... be bold! SI senor, yo te segire! Share the joy that you have that IS the gospel of JESUS CHRIST! I love you all and am so grateful for your roles are helping me along my conversion. Each of you is an important, beloved, irreplaceable part of my family. I love you!! Prayers from Costa Rica:)

All my love,
Hermana Kugath

si señor, you te segire!

Friday, October 10, 2014

A baby, A wedding, A Confirmation and a Transfer

(You all should know Aleena's sister Maddie had her baby on June 25th June Elyse Cline)

Oh My Most Beautiful Family!!!!!!

I’m an aunt!  Una tia J otra vez!!!! Yay. Oh welcome Little junebug. You are so beautiful. I can’t wait to meet you and imp so happy you’re here, that you’re safe (you to maddle). Ah! I love her so much!

Wow dearest family this has been one of the best weeks of my life. As you can tell from the title of this email, it has literally been a week of countless miracles. So many more then just 17. I wish I could tell you everything that has happened to me in these past couple days, ill do my best to explain as much as I can.

So as you guys know we had a wedding, a baptism and a confirmation all planned for this week. There were many moments of doubt when we didn’t think we could get everything done. But there aint nothing can get in the way when Heavenly Father sends Hermnanas Kugath and Bojorque to do something! Especially when its something as important as a weddingJ The truth is it’s a lot harder to get married here then it is in the states. You have to have a ton of paper work, a lawyer, witnesses, yada yada etc etc…. We found out that Marlon would have Wednesday free at 1 in the afternoon on Tuesday and immediately began to plan the wedding for the next afternoon. Decorations, paper work, guests, food, lawyer….. We sent them to San Jose in the morning to get his provisional passport and to make copies of all the documents we needed. Somehow in between my companion’s final interview with president Wilkinson, decorating the church for the wedding, coordinating with the relief society and our district meeting we somehow got everything sent to the lawyer so that he could have the documents ready for that evening. (Lucky for us the lawyer is a member of the church so he could do it for us more cheap and at the last minute).  Hermana Bojorque and I did all the decorating ourselves (which was extremely difficult because we were practically out of money and I’m also not very creative or artsy which yall already know.).  Against all odds we had our wedding! And it was beautiful…. Pink and purple! We lent Daniela clothes and helped her with her hair and makeup and the elders even lent Marlon a suit and tie! (Our family bought the cake… and I ate a great big piece in honor of you allJ haha). It wasn’t big, grand, and fancy… but it was beautiful.  She didn’t need a fancy white dress or a great big ring, they just wanted to keep the law of chastity and start to unite their family! (pictures to comeJ)

Following the wedding there was still so much to do. We kept teaching and visiting and helping them understand the next steps. Their responses to the doctrines of tithing, fasting, and service in the church were full of faith and trust. They began paying their tithing right away regardless of the fact that Marlon can’t be baptized soon. We prepared her for her interview and she passed with flying colors~! (You should hear her say the name of president monsoon, it’s so cute!).   But we ran into a little snag Saturday morning, the very day of her baptism. She called us crying because they didn’t have any money to come to the chapel that day for the baptism. For a minute we were devastated because we also were literally out of money, Wed used everything we had for the wedding and food. but we said a prayer and Hermana bojorque picked up her book of Mormon (her secret place for her money) and turned it upside down shaking it to see if there was anything left. Out fell a 20 mil bill!!! I am not kidding when I tell you this money came directly from our Heavenly Father. We had searched that book maybe 16 times in the last 2 weeks and hadn’t found anything! And here, in our moment of need it just fell out. And so, Daniela was baptized on the 27th of September and confirmed the next day! My very first, and last baptism, in Santa Ana. That’s right folks. The same day as our confirmation we got the call, cambios… But more about that in a second. That night (knowing that wed probably have transfers) we visited our little familia one more time. We taught them a sweet little lesson about eternal marriage, the sealing power of the temple, and helped them to start their family history. When it was time to leave we all knelt down to say the closing prayer. Marlon prayed so sincerely that he would be able to find a different job so that he could go to church, be baptized, and go to the temple with his family. He prayed for us and thanked the Lord for sending us to them…. When he ended it we all had a few tears in our eyes. Everyone knows I’m not good with goodbye, and this one was hard. To walk away from someone you’ve grown to love, someone you’ve watched progress so, so much in so little time, and really not having plans to ever see them again… that’s hard. But as missionaries its what we have to do.

On the way home we got the call from the Zone Leaders.. They’ve decided to close the area of Santa Ana and I’m being sent to Moravia. My new companion is Hermana Montoya! I’ve only known her a few hours but she’s from California and only has 1 change here. Ill let you know more about her in my next letter! So in the last 24 hours vie had to say some very hard goodbyes.  All the members of Santa Ana, Daniela Marlon and esmarlan, and finally my very own Hermana Bojorque! Wow, dificil. But I’ve added 1 to my forever family and for that I am more then grateful!

As a missionary I continue to learn, change and hopefully progress. But as a daughter, sister and aunt I’m always the sameJ I love you all so much. The lord is watching over me, and I know He’s watching over you for me! Bienvenida little Junie! Prayers from Costa Rica!

All my love,

Hermana Kugath

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Rice pudding, a wedding, and a baptism

My Most Adorable Family and Friends,

Wow what a week! We have just been working away here like the busiest of bees and so I have some awesome progress to share!

First of course I want to say happy birthday again to my mommy:) she has been the most incredible example in my life and there really aren’t words to describe how grateful I am for her and how much I love her! She’s always taking care of me and helping me to grow in every aspect. When I grow up I want to be a mommy like her, but maybe not with quite so many kids, I don’t have as much patience as she does. But, I hope it was a happy day mommy I was thinking about you and trying to share your love with the people of Santa Ana! I’m really grateful you got your present from Mary the other day; I found out that you got it the day before your birthday and I was so relieved. Happy day momma!

This week marks the beginning of the end of my time with my amazing companion Hermana Bojorque. We have one more week together before she ends her mission and heads home to her family in Argentina. How sad! We try not to ponder on this because it makes us both really sad. I’m a little scared/ excited to have a new companion. Scary because what if we don’t get along! And excited because what if we do?? no importa really, I know there will be a reason that I’m with this new Hermana and there will be opportunities to learn and teach one another.

So let me start by telling you about my miracles! The first is that I received a letter from each of my grandparents:) oh you should have seen how I smiled to have a letter from my adorable nana and an early birthday card from my ever loving and consistent Baines Grandparents. Que lindo! As a granddaughter it really meant a lot to me and I am so grateful, glad you’re all safe and well and that I still have a place in your thoughts and hearts:)

I am so grateful for the Saints of the Santa Ana Branch of the church. This week we have seen so much sacrifice and service on their part for us. We have an investigator, Daniela, Who is just about ready to be baptized EXCEPT... she’s not married to the man she’s living with. They’d like to be married, but they don’t have enough money to pay for it. I don’t mean the wedding or the cake or the dress, they literally don’t have enough extra money to pay for the certificate. We’ve been teaching them that when they start to keep the commandments the Lord blesses them for their efforts and so one at a time they’ve been keeping the commandments. Keeping the Sabbath, reading their scriptures, praying, etc. etc. and so the Lord has decided to bless them through us! His full time servants:) but more then us, through the members of the church here. This week we did a fundraiser to help the family have the cash to pay the lawyer for the certificate. We decided to sell arroz con leche (rice with milk, a simple kind of dessert). We gathered together at the chapel (me, hmna B, Daniela and her boyfriend Marlon, our district leader even came with a member of the church who cooks really good, along with our neighbor Hermana chacon (your twin grandma!) and a nonmember neighbor who just wanted to help us (actually Lillian, our golden investigator gone wrong.)) We all worked for hours trying to prepare it, running to the store or the neighbors house various times and trying to teach lessons in between, all in the midst of the hardest rain storm I’ve ever seen, wow what a day. but!! In one moment of distraction all of the rice began to burn to the bottom of the pot...... within 3 minutes the taste of burnt rice and milk filled our giant pot of ingredients. We were almost devastated. My companion and I ran to the back room and said one of the most sincere prayers I have ever said in my life. This pot of rice and milk was everything to this family! wed already paid the ingredients, spent hours together and all their (and our!) hopes and dreams were riding on this stinking burnt pot!! We prayed a good 10 minutes having all the faith in the world that if heavenly father could split the red sea or teach Nephi how to build a ship he could save our rice and milk. Needless to say, the Lord answers the prayers of the faithful! With a little more sugar and a lot of effort it was all saved and the result was 60 cups of delicious desert ready to be delivered!

So many people sacrificed to make this possible. Our neighbors gave us an entire day, their car and even helped us to pay for some of the ingredients. Our district leader came from his area to spend the day helping us. And the members, oh the members. Many who are out of a job and barely have enough money for their family, bought all of it. All of it, even though it was an expensive and they could easily prepare it for themselves. Everyday I am grateful to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, but there are some days when my gratitude feels like my heart will just burst! In this one-day we sold more then 100 dollars worth of arroz con leche... Thanks to these members, their sacrifices, and the mercy of our Lord were going to have a wedding for this little family!! Wednesday will be the wedding (mommy I wish you were here to help me decorate!) and were planning her baptism for Saturday!

Wow what a novel... lo siento. But it really was one of the greatest miracles I’ve seen in all my life. Miracle after miracle that whole day.

One other thing I learned this week that id like to share. I know, I know that Heavenly Father knows our needs and our situations personally. This week I was studying my book of Mormon and I found my Future Husband.... Moroni!! haha in chapter 48 of alma (verses 11-13 and 17-18) heavenly father told me exactly the kind of person my husband will be, exactly what he has planned for me. I feel spoiled to have 3 examples of Moroni in my family already; my brother in laws and my very own daddy are this definition to a T. I would encourage all my girl friends (paige, kam, you ladies especially:)) to read these verses and not settle for anything less then what you find there. And all you fellas reading this, friends, family, missionaries:) and more then anyone my baby brothers, be this sort of man!! Study these characteristics and develop them! Be the men of God that his princesses (yes me included!) need. If you have any questions on how, please feel free to call my brethren in law (that cant be correct? brethren??)    They can help.

2 other quick miracles

1. This week there was a moment when we were just about to die from heat when we passed by a shop and an investigator came running out and handed us 2 giant icecream cones!! The Lord takes care of us:)

2. Benita came to church!!! Yay!

Wow sorry this is forever long. Really this week has built and fortalized my testimony. Miracles happen, Heavenly Father is aware of us personally and Faith is everything. I LOVE YOU all and hope you all have a beautiful week!! Prayers from Costa Rica!

All my love,

Hermana Kugath

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Companion Letters

From Aleena's trainer: Hermana Anabel Bojorque (from Argentina) She is going home in two weeks! So sad we will miss her:

Hi Serena and the Kugath!!!!
I'm so grateful for your email it significate a lot for me!!!!
 I love your daugther like my sister (and she look like my real sister!!) She inspire me a lot and I know that is because you and your husband were such a good example!!! She is training me. She is crazzy but is the most better crazzy girl that I know in my life!!!
I'm going to prepared a good email for the next time but this is the most important things for me!!!! I'm so proud of her.
I love Kugath's family

Sister Bojorque
My Dearest and Most Adorable Family.....

From Aleena:

Happy Independence Day of Costa Rica!
Ha-ha yeah that probably doesn’t mean anything to you guys, but here it’s like the fourth of July for everyone! I like it because their colors are Red White and Blue just like ours so I feel like imp just celebrating America all over again. They have some sweet decorations though.

Anyways, this has been a really difficult, tough, emotional, taxing but rewarding week of miracles. As you all know, it’s started out a Little tough. But you needn’t worry, I found my motivation again and this ice princess moves forward. The first thing that really blessed me was my visit to the temple!!!! It was my first temple trip here in Costa Rica and was special for a number of reasons. We got to go to Belen (which means Bethlehem) were the temple is with all of our zone and another zone. We filled the rooms! It’s a teeny temple, allot like the Winter quarters or Idaho Falls temples. It was bursting with missionaries! We got there really early in the morning to take some pictures and it was flat out gorgeous... thanks to grandma and grandpa and this wonderful Little camera I have you’ll all be able to enjoy it too! I was admittedly a Little nervous because well everything was going to be in Spanish, but thanks to my previous experiences in the temple and an amazing gift of interpretations I understood basically all of it! I was shocked actually, but it was really cool. It was also a really special experience to share with my wonderful companion Hermana bojorque!!! Our time together is running out all to quickly so it was a sweet experience to have.

We had some other miracles to that might not seem so miraculous to you normal folk, but to us it was awesome! The first one is that for once we decided to have pizza. Wed saved our money and practically starved so that we could eat in san José during district conference. Lucky for us pizza hut was having a special the day we were there so we went in and ordered a large, pan, meat lovers..... We waited and waited and weren’t really sure why it was taking so long (keep in my mind were starving, and you know how I get when I’m hungry... yikes) but is, when it finally came it turned out that they didn’t have a large pan available to bake it, so they gave us 2 médiums for the same Price!!!!!!! I could have cried. Basically we ate pizza for 3 days straight and those were probably the best days of my misión... ha no joke, but really. It was literally a blessing. Heavenly father has a way of doing things like that, he tests our patience and if were good we get doublé the reward! Also in this day I received 4 letters!!!! Thank you to those of you who love me enough to write, how blessed I am to have family and friends like you :)

Another miracle we had was that we found 14 nuevos! That’s 14 new people to teach who accepted a challenge and scheduled another appointment. We found 2 beautiful families with 3 children each and 2 other single women who are both buenísimo!

This week I was having a really hard time. We had walked for what felt like days and couldn’t find anyone to let us in. it began to rain as we walked down another dark road. I was praying in my head and heart to have lessons when I made a promise to the Lord that if the front door of any house was open, id contact there. We came to an apartment complex with every door closed... except the very last one. There were 2 kids playing outside and so we walked up and started talking to them. Eventually the mom came to the door took one look at us, opened the door wide and invited us in with hugs and kisses!!! como  que?!?! Ha-ha turns out this woman had been receiving the missionaries before moving to Costa Rica from Nicaragua. She knew exactly who we were and had her libro de Mormon and everything! Wow.

In this same night we were walking another Street we passed by and all the doors were closed. The Street ended in a gate and we were forced to turn around. On our way back we noticed that one of the houses, whose door had been closed before, now had an open front door! We called in and a woman came to the door. She also knew exactly who we were! She told us her father had been meeting with the elders almost 5 years ago before had passed away and she invited us to come back the next day. doublé wow! What a miracle! To find 2 people who’d already had contact with the missionaries in one night! This was a beautiful night to be sure.

The miracles never stop coming and we enjoyed far more then I shared today but I really only have time for one more today. Yesterday I had to give a full 15-minute talk in Sacrament meeting. A full 15 minutes of just me, trying to speak this confounded language, Spanish. I was worried about it all week and dedicated allot of time trying to get ready but as church rolled around and they were finishing passing the sacrament I felt almost physically ill. Somehow I made it to the pulpit and began... I didn’t share anything earth shaking or deeply profound, but there was a momento when the words began to come without my trying. All of a sudden I was speaking the best Spanish I ever had! Then it left me and I stumbled through the rest of it until my testimony. When it was over I was so relieved. But I knew that at one point in time it literally was not me speaking. (My topic was examples and how the good examples we give allow us to be tools in the Lords hands Alma 17:11 if anyone was curious:)) Afterwards there were allot of people who complimented me on my Spanish! There was even a sister whose getting her masters in Spanish who told me that if she wasn’t a member and knew about the gifts of the spirit it would be impossible for me to speak like that in only 4 months... I felt really good after that:) now if only I could understand other people.

Wow, my fingers are tired, and I bet your eyes are tired from Reading this novel... but I hope that all is well at home with the ones I love! If I could ask for one thing, if you could pray for me to understand the language. I can speak mas o menous, but understanding is the key to helping these people accept the góspel. Thanks! I love and miss each one of you and am sincerely grateful for the support I’ve had this week! Prayers from Costa Rica!!

Also, Happy birthday to my most beloved Mommy this week!!!!! Turning 29 again I believe:) I couldn’t ask for a more lovely, caring, kind, sweet, spiritual, teacher, best friend and mother. I love you!!!

All my Love,

Hermana Kugath

Friday, September 12, 2014

dia 103!

My Most Darling Family and Friends....

First of all let me just explain something, today technically isn’t my pday because..... Were going to the temple on Wednesday!!!!!!! and so my pday has been changed (for this week only) to Wednesday. So we’ve had a regular workday today and my thoughts are a bit scattered because I haven’t had the time to plan out what I want to say like every other week.
1. HAPPY BIRTHDAY LIJAH LOU!!!!! Wow I can’t believe your 13. Freakin me out really. I hope you watched all the PG 13 movies you’ve been dying to see for years and finally can! Yay!

2. HAPPY ANNIVERSARY JESSLE AND SAM!!! What you’ve been together like 40 years now?? Well I hope that your still acting like the newly weds of the family and are spoiling your preciosa for me!

3. I had dia 100!! Yay:) 100 days as a missionary. (Mommy I had the same thought and almost threw myself a 100-day party... then I remembered that I’m living on a Budget.... darn).

4. Dear family, if anyone adds you on Facebook from Costa Rica, they’re my friends!!!!!! The Ward members here love to look at our parents’ facebooks so its okay to add them. especially anyone named Magali, marbel, jasmin or anyone with the last name carvajhal. They’re safe and my friends:)....... sometimes they go to your pages to show me what’s up hahaha like for example, josh.... who’s the girl?!?!?!?!?! And why don’t I know anything about her? Yeah that’s right, I’m still your sister, I still know things. Even 3500 miles away;)

Bueno so let me tell everyone a Little bit about this week. First of all, this week we got to go to Price Smart! What a blessing:) pricesmart is the sams club of Costa Rica. We bought a ton of food and have been enjoying the luxuries of peanut butter, real American ham and hot chocolate! si we are getting fat..... But to combat the food we have been running every morning
This week! I’m super proud of Hermana bojorque because before the misión she had never been running. She’s a great companion!

It finally started to rain like I’ve Heard it can. Basically for days on end. It started raining at like 7 in the morning and hadn’t stopped when we went to bed that night. And this was more then just one day. Needless to say almost everything I own has been sopping wet! One of my favorite quotes is "life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, its about learning how to dance in the rain", however I’ve decided to change it a Little bit and substitute to Word preach for the Word dance. This week I learned how to preach in the rain!

There’s one experience that id like to share that happened on one of these rainy rainy days. There was one night when it felt like everything was going wrong... it was pouring, freezing, pitch black and my companion and I were hiking up this mountain that seemed to never end. wed had next to no success this day and basically our moods matched the weather, gloomy. But instead of sitting down and crying like I know we both wanted to, we began to sing. The words from the hymn "I know that my redeemer lives" came to me and we just began to sing while we walked. Eventually we got to the 3rd verse (I think its the third) and as we sang the words " he lives my mansión to prepare" I had the image in my head of my Savior diligently adding tiles to the floor of my mansión, or adding crystals onto a chandelier, for every step I took up that infernal mountain he added one more, and then another. Maybe its a Little material of me, but this motivated me to keep on trekking.

1 other thing. This week we have been focusing on a family. Amber and Carlos are the parents and Hans, Jordan, Luis Carlos and daleska are the kids. We out a goal to baptize this family by the 28th of September but its not looking so good. They’re really against the idea of being married and everyone plays soccer Sunday morning so they struggle to come to church also. They really obviously need the góspel in their lives; they need to know their savior and his plan for them. Family, if you could just pray for them. To open their hearts and their minds to his teachings...... also this is the 3rd to last week of Hermana bojorques misión. We would love to have a baptism together. But an investigators needs to have 3 attendances in church in order to be baptized so this is the last week we can find people. Please pray for us to find people who are ready and to have attendance in the church!

Sorrys I know this letter is really short and probably doesn’t make much sense. Just know that I love you and I’m doing my best. Thank you for all the support I received for your thoughts and prayers. I hope all is well at home! Prayers from Costa Rica!

All my Love,

Hermana Kugath

Thursday, September 4, 2014

dia 97

My Darling Family, Friends and Fans....

Wow has another week gone by already?? Don’t get me wrong, I miss y'all but literally the weeks are just flying by. I know because once again I am here feeling the stress of writing this letter haha. this is the best, hardest, funnest, most stressful hour and a half of my week! I try to say exactly what I thought, saw, said, and felt in this last week so that our lives don’t grow to unfamiliar. But if I can’t say anything else, I love you all and am eternally grateful for you in my life!

bueno, time to start then. First of all, I got a package!!!! Oh mommy:) I don’t know how you did it. You would find the one lady coming to Costa Rica willing to deliver a package for you. Thank you thank you thank you|! I want you to know I literally shed tears, what a sweet surprise. I love everything about it and diligently and excitedly make a smoothie for hmna bojorque and I every morning using our adorable mugs, the powder and usually followed by a bite or 2 of chocolate... cause you know, we wouldn’t want to be tooo healthy or anything... To go along with this wave been really working on our healthy goals and have started running every morning *and by every morning I mean we started on Saturday... haha) but were doing our best! Maddle you would be proud of us, I am spreading your love of the infernal exercise to someone else. Were also sacrificing a whole half hour of sleep to do it so were obviously committed.

This week I wanted to let you all in on a secret. If you want to know what missionary life is really like all you need to do is read Alma chapter 26. It practically describes word for word my daily thoughts, words, experiences, etc. First of all there’s a group of missionaries all together and they talk about how wonderful it is to be a missionary. Of all the lords’ blessings, to be his representative is one of the greatest! After that it goes through a normal day.... teaching in houses and in the streets. Basically a lot of walking, being rejected, following the spirit, being rejected, being hungry, tired, thirsty, and well, being rejected. But we know our purpose, we have a plan and we have a promise. In verse 12 of this chapter the Lord says that if we are patient in our afflictions he WILL give us success. He never says how long we need to be patient or puts a limit on the kinds of afflictions we’ll have, he just says to be patient. And so we wade through it all, really I am beyond lucky... of all the things the missionaries of the book of Mormon suffer I have claim on hunger, thirst, fatigue and that pretty much covers it. I’ve never been bound with cords, through in prison, cast out of a city, stoned, not even slapped or spit on so I think I’m doing pretty darn good, but sometimes it still feels like I have afflictions. However the promise is the same, be patient and have success. I love that in this chapter Ammon says that when they had started out they had the hope of only helping a few people. Through all this tribulation they had the hope in their heart to save one or two. They had no idea what kind of success was in store for them and so they suffered, so they thought, for "some". If one or two maybe even three people were all who believed all would be worth it. There’s also a verse in there that says that these macho dream missionaries at one point had doubts, were discouraged, and even thought about going home. How is that possible you might think?? These guys are legends, but its true, and it comforted a little Hermana 2000 some odd years later to know that others had doubts too, but were patient and ended up baptizing thousands!

But not only baptizing thousands.. Retaining thousands! These people weren’t just baptized, they were converted!! We know this because at the end of this chapter these people were ready to be killed rather then sin against God again. Wow.. We cant even get some of our investigators to the church for 1 hour a week and these people were willing to die for their beliefs! If that aint conversion... well anyways yes, these people were whole-heartedly converted to Christ. Sometimes we cant see exactly how converted someone is right away or even how their progressing, but there is one key to know if this person is ready to accept that gospel and that is by how they treat the missionaries.... In the scriptures (alma 27) the people adored their missionaries! They were dearly beloved to them. It says that they treated them like angels sent from God to deliver their souls.     Don’t get me wrong, I’m not here to be loved, adored or treated like anything special. But we know how soft and open a person’s heart is to Christ by the way they treat his personal representatives. The truth is if these people want to progress they will want us in their house, they will want us to stop by, to call, they will want to keep their commitments, they will want to be baptized more then we want to baptize them! (And believe me when I say we want to baptize, bad.). With this realization we have been able to take a good hard look at our investigators this week and id like to share a few stories....

Ambar: amber is a less active member whose spouse, children and brother are not members. This week when we came to visit her she was so happy to see us! She shared openly with us and in her prayer at the end of the lesson she prayed that we could continually visit her family. True, she didn’t attend church yesterday, but it’s a process.

Daniela: Daniela is an investigator we’ve been working with for a few weeks now. She is thrilled to see us and her daughter knows us by sight. She greets us on the phone and tries to have us come by more often. She’s agreed to be married and is trying to sell empanadas to have enough money to pay for the marriage certificate thingy. This past week when we were leaving her house she demanded us to take her only umbrella because we had forgotten our. SHE was serving US!

Hathaway: this week we had a funeral. It was sad, but as an lds family they know it’s not the end, just a step. We didn’t have any part in the funeral, didn’t really do anything but show up, but the family came over personally to greet us and thank us for being there telling us that it meant so much to them to have us there and that just our presence strengthened them.

Wow. right???  Now compare these 2.

zorida and family: this family when we stopped by to visit them "weren’t home". didn’t answer their phone, texts, ni nada. didn’t keep any commitments and had to reschedule on us twice.

Vanessa and family: this family called us 10 minutes before our apt to tell us they wouldn’t be home either. this was the 3rd reschedule....

It’s sad really. were here to bless the families of Costa Rica! we have the knowledge, the tools to make their families happier, richer, closer and better in this life and eternal! To reject this.... que triste.

Anyways, moving on... this week we also had a multi zone conference! this was so awesome for us. First a moment of pride... one of the assistants asked me to say the opening prayer. technically I’m still "nueva"because I’m still in training so I was a little nervous to say it cause you know oh yeah Spanish and all 200 plus people listening. But I did and as I was sitting down President Wilkinson said "Hermana Kugath, please tell everyone how long you’ve been here in Cost Rica...." well, 2 months.. "And your Spanish is that good in 2 months? near perfect. Muy bien hecho hermanas! (trainer and student!)."       ahhhhhhhh:) yay! what a compliment!  haha sorry, prideful moment over. anyways, president taught us something that is called the cycle of faith. It starts when there’s a teacher who preaches truth (any kind of truth, because the spirit can testify of anything that is true.). the hearer listens and feels hope.... hope to change, hope to be better. This hope leads to an action.... and if this action is completed it leads to a testimony of this truth. 2 parts of this cycle are critical. 1. that the teacher is in tune with the spirit and 2. that the hearer acts. It’s like when you have anew year’s resolution. You have the hope to change! you have a vision of a different you, a new you. you set goals, make a calendar, get a running buddy , whatever... but if you don’t do the action, you gain nothing.

bueno, I hope some of this made sense, I know it’s really long and jumbled.. haha lo siento! But I love you all so much. thanks again for everything! prayers from Costa Rica:)

all my love,
Hermana Kugath

p.s. missionary mottos:
Alma 26:12
26:36 this work is my life
27:10 inquire of the lord and if he says go, well go!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Double Divisions‏

My Most Darling Family, Friends and Fans:)
Wow what a wonderful week!! I should start off by saying thank you a million times a million. This week I received 6... that’s right, 6 letters!!! 2 dear elders, 1 baby shower invite, 3 letters from some of my favorite stevensons and 1 big, beautiful packet of pictures!!!!!! oh I have never been so happy for the invention of pictures in toda mi vida:) que linda es mi familia!~ muchas gracias for all the emails too. I ve spent so much time reading all my "fan mail” I barely have time to write you all! They say if you love a missionary, fill her mailbox/ inbox... I am obviously so loved!

Okay I have a super ton to talk about this week so let me get right down to it ya? This week has been absolutely incredible. I have received so many blessings and seen miracles. The first thing I want to talk about was the opportunity I had to do divisions this week. Twice! The first time the office called and asked if we could come take a couple new missionaries with us to Santa Ana for their first day in the field! How exciting!!! I was so so excited to do this because I remember exactly how I felt my first day and hmna bojorque and I knew we would be able to really help them. We decided to do the kiosk with them. The kiosk basically means we talk to anyone and everyone for hours and hand out pass along cards. We thought this would be perfect to help the little sisters’ quitar su miedo (quit their fear) of talking to people. In the space of 2 hours we talked to 51 people!!! It was incredible. We helped these new sisters and I reached a new level of confidence for myself. I could speak Spanish!!! Perfectly? No. Fluently? No. But how much I had improved from the MTC in only 6 short weeks was literally crazy! I could help these newbies to have a conversation, to open their mouths and to share the incredible message that we have with the world! This was also a great thing for us because we had the opportunity to sacrifice for these new sisters (we didn’t have a ton of food in the house and there was only 2 beds so..... you can imagine how that went down). BUT as we all know, sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven! And let me tell you after the teeny tiny sacrifices that we made the heavens open and poured out blessings like the rains of Costa Rica in august!

The greatest blessing came in the form of our second set of divisions. We got to spend 2 days with the Hermana Especialistas:) *those are like the sister training leaders of Costa Rica* Hermana Zapatta came to work with me in my area. She is an adorable spunky little sister missionary from Colombia. She’s 23 and has about 7 months in the mission. She is the tiniest person I’ve ever seen (except for hmna boza my MTC teacher haha) but I have never seen anyone work harder. Those 2 days we spent together I have never worked so hard probably in all my life. She taught me a lot about how to teach and how to be a better, more effective missionary. Our time together was really fun and interesting and by the end of it we were really good friends. Another unforeseen blessing from this was I realized how grateful I am for my companion. I love Hermana bojorque!!!! She really is splendid. Like every other thing in my life, I only realize how wonderful it is when its taken from me... when will you learn Hermana Kugath to appreciate everything you have in the moment you have it? Anyways, when Hermana bojorque returned it was almost like being with my family again. We had an awesome companionship inventory where we were able to set goals to implement the things we learned from the hmna especialistas and become better missionaries in every aspect. I also got to tell her how grateful I was to have her as my trainer and tell her everything she does well and how much I love her! When I was talking she started to cry... it was the sweetest thing! Then she told me how proud she was of me and everything I was learning to do. (This was super special because usually she is a rock! I don’t know if I’ve ever seen her cry before. and her she was with leaky eyes telling me what a great missionary "daughter" I was. awwwhhh!:)) 

Okay, so yesterday was a very special day too. first of all, HAPPY BIRTHDAY NANA!!!:) haha I hope it was special and lovely, I miss you and love you a whole bunch! Anyways, yesterday was a really good day in the chapel for us. We had 3 investigators accompany us! Some of them for the second time (lilian *our lost baptism* was even there! that was a nice surprise!) We also got to teach the young people Sunday school. We taught a really awesome lesson on the family proclamation. I have learned to really adore this document! It is literally inspired revelation. The lesson was extra good because the branch president was there with us. He commented a lot and all the youth were really engaged. Also I do love a good opportunity to show off my family pictures....:) And to make this day even better the chapel celebrated with a baptism! The elders got to baptize one of their investigators names iliana. Even though she wasn’t "our" baptism it was still my first one here so it was still special. Another child of God, another member of the church, another sister in Zion! It was also super powerful because we had one of our investigators there to watch and realize how special it was. There’s a funny story to go along with this baptism, but that’s for another day I think.

So here’s an experience from this week that’s really awesome that I want to share. One of our investigators, Daniela, is really starting to progress! She’s saying her prayers, doing all her reading assignments, attending sacrament and even defending the church! We visited her the other day and while we were there she shared with us an experience she had latter in the week. So a group of Jehovah witnesses had stopped by to share a message with her, but she told them that they couldn’t come in because she was already meeting with other sister missionaries (us!) they asked which church we represented and when she told them they began to get really angry and told her not to let us in anymore because the book of Mormon was a book of deception and lie written by man. She told them that she believed it was inspired scripture written by God and there wasn’t anything they could say to make her doubt it. Then she kindly asked them to leave and shut the gate in their face....... woohooo Daniela! What a woman! She’s only been reading the book about a week now and her testimony of it is growing immensely!

There are 2 experiences I want to share this week that both have a similar theme. Follow the spirit. I had 2 mini miracles this week from following the promptings I received. We were in the street contacting one night and I had the thought to talk to this man and his son who were walking really fast and obviously in a hurry. I asked if I could give him a little card and handed him a pass along card that had a slogan about forever families. He looked at me and said, "How does this work?? I want this."  He then had his 5 year old recite me his telephone number and address and we have an appointment with the whole family this Tuesday! The other was last night. We were attempting to visit an LPE of ours who obviously wasn’t home; we didn’t have a back up plan but really didn’t want to waste the precious Sunday time. I saw an open door and a little head popping through, I had the impression to go over and talk to the little boy standing there. When his mom came to the door I asked if we could come in and share a message with her family. She invited us in and introduced us to her 3 children. As we began to talk and share a message about families it was obvious how ready this family was. They shared with us that they knew they needed to be baptized and would gladly begin working toward a date with our help. At the close of the lesson the mother, Vanessa, told us to please tell our companions "the muchahos in the white shirts, ties and plaques like ours" that they didn’t need to come by the next Tuesday... haha it turns out the elders in our area were planning to visit this exact family in a few days and we had accidentally stolen them! Evidence that if someone is ready the Lord will send not 1, not 2 but 4 missionaries their direction!

uno mas cosa... This week I was sitting on the bus when a very white, obviously not tica woman sat next to me. I started to speak to her in English to try and contact her. But something strange happened to me... every sentence I spoke I began in English and finished in Spanish!!! I had the hardest time trying to explain my little message in English! What a blessing! Turns out the gift of tongues works when I want it to and when I don’t! It was crazy but I’m glad for it because my Spanish really is a lot better.
Anyways, I hope something in this letter today has helped one of you to feel the spirit. I am so blessed to be a missionary at this time, the Lords work is rolling forth and nothing can stop it. I hope everyone back home is catching the wave also:) I love and miss you all so much! Prayers from Costa Rica!!!

All my love, 
 Hermana Kugath


Cambio 1 complete‏

My most Darling Family and Friends...

Well, like the title says, 1 cambio complete! (A cambio is a transfer by the way, and technically I have 2 one here and one in the MTC. but you know what I mean).
So, little surprise to no one, I don’t have transfers!! and get to complete my training with Hermana Bojorque here in my bonita santa ana! whew.

Just a little heads up, I woke up incredibly early today to teach seminary so if the letter makes little to no sense I am literally fighting my eyelids, the traitors. How grateful I am to have gotten to go to seminary in the daytime... This has been another long, full, exhausting, dirty, hot, busy but great week of missionary work! 

Lets start with the bad happenings first shall we? This week Lillian (our miracle investigator who had a baptismal date of next Sunday) decided that she didn’t want to be baptized anymore and that she didn’t want to keep seeing us. ouch, sucker punch to my heart..... We talked with her for a looooong time (well she did 98% of the talking..) and really all she gave us were a bunch of excuses. She wasn’t ready, she didn’t want to leave her husband for 3 hours every morning, her kids in the states were having problems, etc. It was s little heartbreaking to be honest. The best description I can give is Alma chapter 8... I think its chapter 8, but it might be 9. que triste! My companion is great though; we went home, said a prayer for her cried for like 3 seconds got up and got back at it. A little while before I came the area presidency came to visit the missionaries, with them came Elder Quinton Cook. He said something that we have sort of adopted as our motto, our catch phrase.. "you were called, to be rejected".   Well, if that’s my purpose here I guess it wasn’t so bad:) 
Now for the good news! Hold on tight there’s a lot!

1. This week we had a multi zone conference with presidente Wilkinson. He said a lot of things that were really interesting and helped me to grow in my calling. Let me give you the highlights:

- Faith without works is dead, but works without faith is dead also. If we don’t believe in our work, if we don’t set baptism dates with inspiration, teach with a plan and the spirit and plan every aspect of our service, if we don’t have faith in our work, then its dead. It won’t go anywhere.

- God is always ahead of us. He knows what’s happened he knows what’s going. He knows what were going to do and what the investigators, members and less actives are going to do. We don’t need to prove ourselves to him, he already knows. We need to prove ourselves to ourselves. 

-  Satan is here to destroy this work through an attitude of complacency, mediocrity and complaining. It is easy to find the path of least resistance; it literally takes no work to be there. Do nothing and you’re on the path. The only way to prove your character, to change yourself, to go somewhere is by searching out the will of God and doing it, regardless of how hard it is. The more adversity there is in an area the greater potential for miracles. If you are facing challenges and rejection right and left its because Satan is trying his hardest to counteract the good you are doing and keep those who are ready hidden.

- There are thousands upon thousands of people in my area who are ready and willing to accept this gospel. They just need to be found. 

2. This week, august 15th, was el dia de madre!!!!! mothers day for Costa Rica:):):) I asked if I could call you mommy, but they told me no. Sorry, have to wait for Americas I guess. But yeah, so we got to celebrate moms for a few days! We had special fhe lessons and a great activity at the chapel on Saturday. It was really a great opportunity to bring investigators, less actives and the members together for something that was "normal" and fun! My favorite part was the lesson we got to share with some of my favorite substitute moms. John chapter 19:25-28. In this moment Christ is on the Cross... he’s already suffered the pains, afflictions, sicknesses and sins of every human being who will ever live. He’s already been wrongly accused, humiliated, whipped and tortured. His body is literally hanging from the cross by nails in his hands and wrists... and he looks down and sees his mommy, and thinks if I die right now there is no one to take care of her. He then gives responsibility of the care of his mother to his apostle. And then, ONLY AFTER he knows that she will be okay, he says that all is finished and complete. What a testament to how important his mother was to him. The savior is our example in all things, including the way in which we should honor, love, and care for our dearest mommies.   I love you momma!!!  

Okay, only 2 other things I want to say. The first is that the driving here is loco! They have stop signs, but no one uses them. Walking the streets imp afraid to be hit by a car, truck or bus almost all the time. You get used to it... and when you’re the one in the car, it’s like your living fast and furious! These people are literally crazy and incredibly talented with these cars. (Although aint nobody as good as my daddy!) 
The other is that I had an experience that I found really interesting. My whole life people have always told me how old/ mature I look for my age. Here everyone tells me how young and innocent I look. At first it kind of bothered me... I mean who likes to be told that they look like a 13-year-old right?? Well I decided I actually do like it. To be innocent is to be clean, to be inexperienced as to the things of the world. To be new, to be kind and to be compassionate. Everyone always says that the eyes are the windows to the soul.. This week 4 days in a row I had someone tell me I have beautiful eyes  (yes one day it was a child, one lady who liked my eye shadow and one drunk lady who told me I had "the eyes of an angel") but every time I had the thought that this was my Heavenly Fathers way of letting me know that he thinks I have a beautiful soul:)

Well I hope everyone knows how much I love and appreciate them. Nothing beyond this gospel means more to mean then the people reading this. I love you, pray for you and am grateful for you everyday of my life, every moment of my mission. You all are my world!

 All my Love,
Hermana Kugath