There is so much that I want to tell you but I only have a small amount of time and I have to pay for the amount of time I am on the computer. I am emailing you guys from a Internet cafe in San Jose. But I first want to tell you that I love it here. It is beautiful here and so much fun. The people are amazing here. Everyone is so nice and they understand what I am trying to tell them in Spanish. It is great. They are amazed that I already know so much and I have only been here for a few days. I tried to read your letters you had sent me but I don´t have too much time and I know who guys want to hear how everything is going. So I will try to tell you guys everything. Sorry if I don´t say everything. There is so much to say in so little time.
To start off, my mission pres is great. He is a great guy and his family is great too. He is really nice and during my interview he said he expects a lot from me because of baseball and that sports help people to focus on the little details. He also wants me to play catch with him and his son when I have time. The first day we stayed at the mission home and the following day I found out who my companion was. My companion is Elder Siddoway. It is funny because I had met him before the mission. He is really good friends with Mason ( BYU teammate) and he hung out with me and Mason at BYU. So it was really funny when our mission pres said we were companions. He is a gringo like me but knows a lot of Spanish and has been very successful in our area. So I am learning a lot about the language and how to teach. Plus it is fun because we knew each other before the mission.
We live in a town called San Rafael. Our area is called Ojo de Agua. It is a area that has been growing a lot and because of that they recently split the area into two parts. So there are now sister missionaries that have one half and we have the other. The sister missionaries are great and hard workers. They are Sister Stone from Provo and Sister Villa from Mexico. Our half is pretty much a new area because there are only two members in our whole area. So we are pretty much opening a new area. It is hard and it is such a big area and we have to walk everywhere. It would take us about 2 hours to walk our area from one end to another. Plus it is all hills. So my legs are dead by the end of the day. Sometimes we will take the bus to get to places but we don't have a lot of money and it is more efficient to walk. We live in the back of a members house. It is nice because the member will usually make us breakfast in the morning. The only thing that is not great is that we sometimes don't have hot water to shower. They don´t have water heaters here. They just have electric wires that connect from the wall to the nozzle. So there is some technique to getting hot water. I didn´t know this until 3 days into my mission so I had to shower with ice cold water for the first 3 days. It was horrible. We also have a cook. Our cook is great. She cooks us lunch everyday and also washes our clothes twice a week. It is amazing. The food here is the same for every meal - rice and beans - breakfast, lunch and dinner. The only difference is they will sometimes put eggs in the rice for breakfast. The juice is great here and everything is so sweet. I love it. We usually wont eat breakfast or dinner so we can keep working so I'm not getting too fat. But I still need to workout in the mornings.
The people are great here. Everyone is so nice. They are always willing to talk to us. The problem is that the directions are horrible here. The addresses for the houses go like this: 200 meters from the bar turn right then there will be a dead dog turn right go 50 m and there will be a fried chicken restaurant then go another 50 meters and turn left at the big tree and it is the green house on the left. It is almost impossible to find anything here. So finding investigators is really hard. But that is just how Costa Rica is. They also have funny ways to call people. They call their wife "gorda" and their girlfriends "gordita". And it is considered polite. It is so weird. A quick funny story is that one of our investigators gave me some cake after our visit and then we went to a members house. And I told them the I had "caca" in my backpack. Well "caca" translates to poop. I meant to say "queque" which means cake. So the member looked at me funny and my companion laughed at me. It was funny but they sound the same when spoken so I mixed them up. Oops, but oh well.
My birthday on Friday was amazing. Our cook and the sister missionaries set up a small surprise party for me during lunch. It was really sweet. We had cake and everything. Everyone here thinks that I am 25 years old. Just because gringos are huge compared to Ticos (that is what someone from Costa Rica is called). So they were really surprised to hear that I'm only 19. The rest of the day was a lot of walking and teaching. But at night, I opened up my packages you guys sent me which was really nice. I cried when I read all those letters from family and friends. Thank you so much. I wish I could tell everyone individually thank you. It was the best birthday ever. Thank you so much for making my birthday so special. Besides that, my birthday was great. Thanks again for making it so special. I also wrote a letter to Nana for her birthday so I will be sending it soon.
The kids here just play soccer, it is huge. For mutual the ward just plays soccer. It is great because the church has a huge field that everyone can play on. There are a few kids that live next to us that play baseball everyday. They play with rocks as bases and they carved a bat out of a stick and use a stress ball as a baseball. It was cool cause they asked us to play with them the other day. So we played for a few minutes and now they want to play with us everyday. Their parents are cool about it to. So we are going to try and teach their family as well. The members are great and always willing to help the missionaries. We are always teaching lessons with the members. That is the goal in this area, it is to get the members involved.
I don't know what else to say. I hope that is enough for now. I will try to send some photos. Love you guys and miss you guys a lot. Hope everything is great. And go Giants! That is so cool that they won. The bishop here told me about it. He speaks pretty good English. Well adios or as they say here - "Pura Vida"
|My group first day in Costa Rica at Costa Rica Temple|
|Me and the Mission President and his wife ( President and Sister Wilkinson)|