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,