Monday, January 28, 2013

Letter #88 1/28/13 District Conference!

Querido familia
í´m still here in Costa Rica and i´m still with Elder Knowles. Actually our whole district stayed the same and there were only a few changes in the zone. I´m glad to be staying here. It´s an smaller area than what i´m used to, but we teach a ton here. We also have some investigadors that are really starting to progress. The branch here is awesome. We recieved a ton of support this week. We had 12 lessons with the members which is the most i´ve ever had in one week. We regularly don´t have more than 7, one every day, but we have been getting the members pumped to teach with us and give us references. We mainly work with the recent converts. There´s about 5 here that have gotten baptised in the last couple years that are are super excited and always willing to help us. Sometimes in the lessons the even talk a little TOO much because of their love for the gospel and sharing it with others. It reminds me of how i felt when i had just left the MTC, wanting to talk with EVERYONE and thinking that EVERYONE was going to accept the gospel and be baptised because "who wouldn´t want to get baptised in the only perfect church?". We sometimes have to tell the Recent converts to let us do a little more teaching and invite them to simply share their testimony. I´m just greatful that they are willing to help us. It makes up for the lack of support we have from the leaders and "members since birth" that have lost their desire to share the gospel. Don´t ever become one of them! 

Yesterday we had the District conference. It was in la cruz de lota. A little city about the same size as Costa Rica that´s about 2 hours from here. We had one bus for the 2 branches that left from the church at 7 in the morning. Following the 2 hour conference we ate lunch, and then the leaders had a special 2 hour training meeting. We brought C, an investigador, and she had a great time. She sat through all 4 hours and said she enjoyed it. We didn´t get back to Costa Rica until almos 5 so she was able to spend almos the whole day with members, making friends, and being nourished by the good word of god. She was definately spiritually uplifted. 

Hno A got super sick and went to the hospital, i still say he has cancer. Hno B is still progressing but didn´t go to the conference. We´re going to be working a lot with him so that he goes to church this week. If not, we´ll have to consider leaving him for when he´s more prepared. 

I attached pictures of the house and of me making salsa in a rock. I love serving the Lord and I love the gospel. Elder Mecham

Monday, January 21, 2013

Letter #87 1/21/13 News from Mazatlan!

Hey everyone!
Good week. We taught a lot and found a few new investigadors. I´ve enjoyed being here in Costa Rica. I have a really small district, unlike my district in Culiacan, so i´ve been able to focus 100 percent of my time here in our area. This is the last week of this change, i almost can´t believe it. We shouldn´t have changes because after this change we´re going to have a mini 3 week change while waiting for the load of new missionaries that should be arriving from the MTC.

We are working a lot with an investigador named B. He´s awesome, he´s somebody i could definately be friends with after the mission, even though he´s 40 years old. He looks after his mom, who´s missing a leg, so he doesn´t work. His mom doesn´t really want to listen to us anymore. A, the old man who wants to get baptised, got really sick in the past week and wasn´t able to attend church. We´re going to pray for him so that he can get better and get baptised!

One of my highlights of the week was when i received a call from Elder Roman, who´s still in Mazatlan. He told me that 3 of the people we were teaching got baptised! First was hna S. She is the one that couldn´t get baptised beforehand because she was living with her x husband. I wasn´t surprised when he told me that, i always knew she would do it as soon as it was possible. What really surprised me was that this last Saturday her x husband got baptised! We taught him almost every time we taught hna S and i honestly didn´t have much faith in him. However, little be little i saw him change. When i left the area he shared told me how much he had appreciated our visits and that he would never forget the things he felt and learned. I still didn´t think he´d be getting baptised any time soon, but that shows that the Gospel literally changes lives. It helps people leave drugs, it helps people get out of debt, it brings families closer together, and i´m glad to be the tool by which people are hearing it. The third person is R, the Dentist that had been listening to the missionaries for 30 years. I almost cried when he told me that. I had so much respect for her and wanted SO bad that she joined the church. Í´m glad that she finally made the decision.

Thanks for everything you guys do! I´ll let you know what happens with the changes. I love being a missionary and i love the gospel. Love you all!!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Letter #86 1/14/13 Buena!!

Feeding the Lord's Sheep!

Dear family, Sounds like it´s cold! I know that the cold here is nothing compared to the cold in Utah, but it´s been cold here as well. During the day it´s fine, but at night it cools down a ton. I don´t know how cold it was last night but it felt like 35 degrees. Here insulated houses and heaters don´t exist so when it´s 40 degrees outside, it´s about the same temperature in the house. But no worries, last week a bought a sweater and i have some clothing that you sent last year so all is good.
Our house here is decent. It´s really small, but it´s on a giant piece of land. We have a massive back yard, and a patio in front. Definately way too much to clean on Pdays. We´re thinking about moving soon. The house is just 2 rooms; 1 room to sleep and study in, and a kitchen. Elder Knowles is from Smithfield, not springfield. We get along great. He´s 21, he left on the mission a little late. He studied at Utah State before the mission and worked. He´s gringo so of course all of his family members are members. We have a lot in common. He really likes hiking and being outside. He was studying something that has to do with gardening. He reminds me of dad because he loves plants. Here Costa Rica there are 2 branches. They´re both relatively small, but we have a chapel for both. I really don´t understand why they don´t join the 2 and make it a ward.. There are a lot of great members here. The Branch President is great, only problem is that he works a ton. Every week he leaves to the surrounding villages in the mountains to cell ice cream and is gone all week. Supposedly the people that live in the mountains here love Ice cream.

We had a good week feeding the Lords sheep, metaphorically and literally( I attached a pic). We have a lot of great investigadors right now. I´ve never had so many people that we´re teaching. We have put 12 baptism dates in the last 2 weeks, our only problem has been church. Only acompanied us yesterday. His name is A, and of all the investigadors we have, he lives the farthest from the chapel. He´s about 70 years old, lives in a little town about 10 minutes away, and is sick. Yet he was still able to make it to church! He should be getting baptised this month. I think i mentioned R last week. She´s missing a leg! We´re teaching her and her son. They weren´t able to go church, but they´re doing awesome. It just so happens that we found another guy without a leg! His name is I. That makes 2 legless investigadors. 

This past week we had interviews with Pres. Cantú. He´s an awesome guy. I have definately felt his love and have much respect. He has a very direct way of teaching, but there´s nothing wrong with that. He talked about how we need to do the will of the Lord, and not our own. 

About the cat, i get the chance to play with kittens and puppies here almost every day. There´s WAY to many here. I´m almost getting sick of it. I won´t be sad if i get home and the cat is already big. Do whatever you guys feel is right. 

LOVE YOU!! Elder Mecham

Monday, January 7, 2013

Letter #85 1/7/13 Hey Family!!

Dear family and friends. We had a great week this last week. It was the last week of the hollidays here. The hollidays don´t end here until the 6th of January. It´s the day of the 3 reyes magos! The reyes magos come to your house and give you gifts, kind of like santa clause. Yesterday a lot of members from our ward had a special meal together to celebrate and they invited us. It was nice, except for when a sister spit a mouth ful of fruit punch all over my companion and i. She litterally drenched us with punch. My shirt was completely red! It was an accident so we forgave her.
This week we worked super hard. We are blessed here in this area because we litterally have no problems teaching people. There are tons of people that are willing to listen to us, and tons of people that are willing to accept baptism dates. This week we put 8 dates with new investigadors that we found, but unfortunately its really hard to bring them to church. We are teaching quite a few elderly people (ages 60 and up) And they always come up with the same excuses that they´re sick or tired. I have felt prompted several times to share Mathew 11:28-30. "come unto me and i´ll give you rest". I think it fits perfectly for all the elderly people we´re teaching. They all want to rest! We explain to them that they only way to find true rest is by coming unto christ (or going to church). I put a lot of emfasis on "COME unto me". We have to act in order to get the blessing. It was very clear with everyone that they had to go to church, but Sunday morning they were all still sleeping. We´re going to be searching this week for people that have a real desire to come unto Christ. 

Yesterday we taught an awesome family. It´s a mom and her son. The mom is 70 and her son is 45 and single. They both have their problems; the son is a drinker and the mom is missing a leg. They were both really excited when we invited them to church for the next week and accepted baptism dates for February as well. 

The branch here isn´t too big. We had 40 people in church yesterday but only because there was a baby blessing. I´d say about half the people came from the other branch that´s here in Costa Rica to support the family. Here, about half the people work in the field, and the other half work in Culiacan, so there´s a giant mix of people here. Some rich and some poor. The neighborhoods are also really weird. You´ll see a giant mansion and the neighbors house is a single room made of junk.  I love being a missionary and i love the gospel. Have a great week!!! Elder Mecham