Hola Família and Everyone else who may be reading this! My name is Aleena Catherine Kugath and I am soon to be an Hermana for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints called to serve in the San Jose, Costa Rica Mission:) But you'll hear boatloads about my beautiful CR soon enough so first let me tell you a little bit about myself. As I mentioned my name is Aleena though I've also been known to answer to Leena, Laney, Leen bean, Neena, Ali, Sister/Hermana Kugath, roommate or Nana. I am #3 of 10 talented, beautiful and perhaps wild children. I am blessed to have two older sisters sent straight from Heavenly Father to teach me all things lovely, praiseworthy and well, girly. Both of these incredible sisters of mine have been married in the temple to their exact equals; worthy priesthood holders, returned missionaries and the kindest, most obedient men I've ever met. Not to mention they have both given me the extreme happiness and privilege of being called Auntie! Again my spiritual needs were met as mi padre celestial gave me an extreme lesson in patience and leadership by making me an older sister to 7 rowdy, silly, funny, stubborn, energetic, intelligent, and cute little brothers. My parents.. What can I say about my two greatest role models, teachers, examples, friends, and spiritual foundations that can truly do them justice? To keep it simple, without my parents I would be nothing. To be honest, I know my family has faults and short comings, but to me they're perfect.
Now to the good stuff! My main reason for starting this blog is to keep my family and dear friends (you all! The readers :)) informed while I serve an 18 month mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in the most breathtaking country in the world, my beloved Costa Rica! I decided to serve a mission on October 5th 2012 when the Prophet of our church, Thomas S. Monson changed the age limitation for sister missionaries from 21 to 19. I had turned 18 just the day before and as he made that life-altering announcement I turned to my mommy and said something like, "hey! I could be on a mission next year!". Then and there I knew exactly where my life was heading. And it has been a long time coming! I worked all summer and into the fall at 3 separate jobs in the tiny town West Yellowstone to finance my mission and all the things I'd need to get ready for it. Luckily for me I have the best family in the world and had many dear family members offer to help assist me in all kinds of ways be it financial, gathering supplies, helping me pay for clothing and all other physical and spiritual contributions. So thank you all:) it'll be worth it I promise!
Anyways, I submitted my papers on the 22nd of December and waited patiently (okay, not exactly patiently...) for almost a month to receive my call. But finally, on January 15 it came! My family made me wait for 6 agonizing hours as they gathered together from their various school, work and living responsibilities. That night, surrounded by my family and friends, grandparents on Skype, Kam and Paige on the phone, I finally got to find out where in the world I would be sent to preach the gospel of our Savior, Jesus Christ. As I read the words San Jose, Costa Rica (First in my head, and then out loud) I had to fight between laughing and crying from pure joy! It's funny how a minute before everyone was guessing all sorts of places but the moment I read it suddenly Costa Rica was so obviously the perfect fit for me and the only place that felt right to serve.
I'd just like to say that our Heavenly Father knows us so intimately that he truly understands what will make us the most happy in this life. Lucky for me my true happiness will be found in serving the beautiful people of my very own Costa Rica!