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