Current Mailing and Email Address

Current Address:

Letters and Packages:
Elder Cameron Keysor
Misión San José Costa Rica
Apartado Postal 249-2010
San Jose, Costa Rica

Phone: 506 2234-1940 ( for packages only)


Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year !

Hola Familia,

So Christmas was a lot of fun. We had to work all day which was actually really fun. We just went and visited every investigator and member in our area. We gave them some bags of candy as gifts and I handed out the Christmas pencils (mom sent me) to kids on the streets. It was cool because we went to one investigators house and they told us that their neighbor didn´t have a good Christmas. So we stopped by but the mom wasn´t home. So we just talked to the kids and I asked if they wanted some pencils. They had a huge smile on their faces and took the Christmas pencils and started running and jumping for joy. It was really neat to see how the little kids were really excited to get something small for Christmas. It was a real eye opener that I am not in America. But it was a fun day and to top it off, it was raining. So that was fun too. 

We have been working really hard this week. Most people are on vacations from work and school so it is a great time for us to visit people. We have been trying to find people but a lot of people go to the beach during vacation. But it still has been good for us. We have found some new people and we have done a lot of service. We helped one of our investigators move into a new house the other day. Service has been great for us. It really shows people that we are different than most people who preach religion. Also soccer has been great. I totally play safe. We tell our investigators that we are going to play and they almost always show up with a friend. So we get to play soccer with them and get a reference. It is pretty fun. 

Everyone is getting ready for the New Year. Today is supposed to be a huge party. Supposedly bigger than Christmas Eve. So a lot of people are going to San Jose for the big night. We should be fine,  but I know that Elder Marshall in the Philippines isn´t allowed outside today. So we will see. The holidays are really cool here. They set up these huge nativity scenes at their houses and at midnight on Christmas Eve they put the baby Jesus in the nativity scene. It is really great. Plus Christmas is a huge party with fireworks and everything. I will have to send some pictures and stuff. 

I have been thinking a lot about what you said about me always being happy. Because the mission isn´t easy. Yes, I may not have all the same trials that other missionaries have but I still have my trials. There still are days that are really frustrating. But I have been thinking about why I my attitude toward it might be different compared to others. I don´t exactly know but I was reading a talk by President Uchtdorf this week from conference - "Of Regrets and Resolutions". It was really good.  What caught my eye is a quote he said. (Yes mom, I am quoting an apostle now. :))  "No matter our circumstances, no matter our challenges or trials, there is something in each day to embrace and cherish." It is totally true. I have noticed that it is really hard for me to remember or focus on the rough times that have happened on my mission so far, but I can tell you all the fun and great things that have happened. Plus I was reading in Alma 26 and what is says is great. It pretty much says that we should be happy because we are instruments in the hands of God. It is really cool. But really, the mission can be hard, but to me it is fun because there is always something that makes me smile and feel good everyday. That is why I love my mission.

It sounds like everything is going well at home. Aunt Stacy is getting married!!!! Finally!!!  - just kidding... that is great.  Tell her ¡Felicidades! Tell everyone "Hi" and Happy New Year for me. Tell the girls to get back to school. It sounds like it is time for them to get back in school. I hope you get the package I sent soon. If not, oh well.  Did you guys ever get that SD card with photos I sent home awhile back? I hope so. I can´t remember if you told me you got it or not. 

Also ¡feliz Cumpleaños Kendal! You are so old. Es muy triste que yo no puedo estar allí para su cumpleaños. Pero espero que usted tenga un cumpleaños muy bueno sin chicos. Todavía usted es tan joven para pensar sobre los chicos. Pero ¡Feliz Cumpleaños! I hope you can understand all of that. If not you need to study more in spanish or just ask Nana and Tata. 

Well I hope everything is going well for you guys.  The holiday season wasn´t the same, but it was so great to see you guys on Skype.  It was the best christmas present I received this year. Miss you guys and love you guys a lot. ¡Nos vemos!

¡Feliz año nuevo!
Elder Keysor

My area

My area - soccer fields were the kids play are in the distance

Painting on the wall - we are in the Alajuela area

Elder Siddoway and Elder Keysor in Apartment in front of Christmas tree from Alamo 2 ( Danville) ward primary 

Christmas Eve at my cook's house

Christmas Eve at cook's house

My area

my area - restaurant on corner makes great doughnuts

Area where we track and teach families

It's Almost Christmas! Yes, I can Skype!

Feliz Navidad,

It is almost Christmas!!!! Things haven´t been too crazy this week. Just getting ready for Christmas. This last Friday we had a Christmas Party for the mission. It was fun. We got to hear from the mission president and got to play some games. We also had some amazing food. That is the best part about these meetings is that we get real gringo food. It is so good.  I was also able to get the other two packages that you guys sent me. They were really big. I had to take them out of the boxes and put them in my backpack so that I could get on the bus back home. So I opened up my presents before Christmas. I tried to wait,  but Elder Siddoway tempted me - ha ha.  And I LOVE THE FOOT MASSAGER. It is great. After a long day of walking, it feels great. We have already put the mac and cheese to good use. Thank you so much for the presents. It is almost like being home. 

Tonight we are going to our cooks house for Christmas Eve dinner. We are going to have Tamales and they are having a secret santa so today I am going out to buy some presents for people here. Everyone has been so nice to us this week. We have been invited a lot to go eat tamales with people and we have been caroling this week with the youth. It has been a lot of fun. Christmas here is similar but the only difference is that Christmas Eve is when they have their parties. So it will be fun to go to one tonight with our cook´s family. 

It has been a rough week for the mission work though. We were supposed to have a marriage this week but it is getting delayed until January because the place to get paperwork is closed for the holidays. So that also pushes back the baptism. We have had a hard time finding people because everyone is leaving or traveling with family. We found some new people who we are excited to teach. And a lot of people came to the Ward Christmas party on Friday. It was a lot of fun because it was a crazy party. They had an inflatable for the kids in the church and there was confetti and music. It was crazy. I have never been in a church party like that. I guarantee that more people would go to things if they knew how the parties were here. 

The biggest news is that La liga beat Heredia in the championship on Saturday. It was crazy because between 7PM  till the end of the game, nobody was outside. It was a ghost town. But at night when we were getting ready for bed, it all of a sudden went crazy. Cars started honking, people started screaming, fireworks were going off in front of our house. It was insane. It was a party all night long. And the next day at church, nobody was there and everyone had sore voices. It was so funny. They take soccer as a religion here. 

But that is about it for this week. Not much going on but Christmas and soccer. The exciting news is that yes I can SKYPE tomorrow! The zone leaders told us we could last monday night. So I have been trying to find a place to skype. We are planning on going to a members house and using their computer.  We are planning on heading over around 8:30 am tomorrow. Elder Siddoway will go first and then me. So expect a Skype call around 9:30 am Costa Rica time so whatever that is California time. We can try video but it may be slow so we may just do voice. But yes I can use skype. I am going to try logging on to my account. I think I remember it. So that will be easier. So yep, Skype tomorrow for Christmas.

I can´t wait to talk to you guys tomorrow. I know there isn´t much time to talk but it will be great to hear from you guys. We have a really neat house right now.  We walk down the streets and everyone wants to play soccer with us. It was funny because they all thought the world was going to end on Friday so they were sad that we couldn´t play soccer. It was so funny. But nos vemos manaña, les amo mucho, y no puedo creer que manaña vamos a hablar por medio de Skype. Pues, adios y ¡Feliz Navidad!


Elder Keysor

Christmas presents received from family

Christmas gifts - SF Giants Championship cup and Massage slippers!

Eating my Mac and Cheese ( sent by my Mom) 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

We moved to a new house

Hola familia,

Everything is going great here. It has been a crazy week, but it has been a good week too. Every week is a good week on the mission. We started this week by moving into our new house. We are now living on in a one bedroom, one kitchen, and one bathroom house. It is really cool. We don't live with members so we don´t have anything for the house. But the mission is going to be sending us some things here soon. The were too many problems living with the members so we needed to move. We just live down the street from our old house. I will send some pictures.

Today isn´t our P-day. We have permission to write our families and that is it. Our P-Day will  be this firday when we have a Christmas Party for the mission. Everyone here in CR is ready for Christmas. It is really cool.  Everyone makes tamales for the Christmas season, just like Nana. Everyone is outside cooking on a fire in the middle of the street. I have had a couple tamales already. They are really good. The only difference is that they aren´t spicy and have vegetables in them.  I think we are going to a members house for Christmas Eve to eat tamales too, just like at home.

The biggest thing this week is that we invited a family to be married. It is a family we have been teaching.  They have 6 kids and the oldest is 12.  They have been a tough family to teach with all the kids. But we invited them to get married so they can be baptized. They are supposed to be married this Thursday. It is really exciting. We also invited another famiy to be married yesterday. They said they wanted to but needed to clear things up between them first. This is a big challenge here in Costa Rica. Nobody is married and nobody wants to get married. So it is really tough to teach families and get them baptized. We also invited another person to get baptized the 5th of January. He has been investigating the church for a couple years because his girlfriend is a member. Missionaries invited him to be baptized but the girlfriend doesn´t want him to do it because of her. So we have been working hard and invited him again. And when we did, his girlfriend and him starting crying. They felt the spirit so strong and he accepted. They actually felt like we cared for them and really want to help them. It was so neat. So we are doing well with teaching.

Soccer is everything here. We play a ton of soccer and we have gotten a lot of new investigators from it. They are more comfortable to talk to us because we play soccer with them. That has helped a ton. We also have been working a lot with the members to get referrals. That has been good for us too. So the finding people to teach has gotten a lot better.

So you always give me a sports update, so here is the sports update here. It is finals time. LA Liga vs Heredia. Yesterday was the first game and La Liga won. During game time is our dead period. Nobody is in the streets. I am serious, NOBODY. It is like a ghost town here. But when someone scores a goal, you can hear screams and people screaming for like 5 min and then dead silence. After the game yesterday, everyone was going crazy. It reminded me of when we went to the the national championship between USC vs Texas. It is crazy.
It has been a good week. It sounds like everyone is doing well. Tell Nate congrats on the wedding.  The mission here is getting ready for the new missionaries. I can´t believe it is in a week until Christmas.  It will be different being here for Christmas. I am almost positive that we can only call home and not Skype. We will probably be at our cooks house and call you guys and then hang up. Then you will call me because it is cheaper for you guys. I will try to have more details on Monday. But all I know for sure is that it is a phone call of 30 min. So I don't know why other mom's say they will Skype. I miss you guys and can´t wait to talk to you guys. 

The mission is great and I am so glad that I came here. I have learned so much. I finished the Book of Mormon today. I have learned so much from that. I wish I could tell you everything I have learned but I would be here for days. Tell everyone Feliz Navidad.  Miss everyone a lot. Nos vemos muy pronto. Adios

Feliz Navidad,
Elder Keysor

New House - kitchen & study area. 

Study area with view of the bedroom/entrance
Entrance and sleeping area.  Yes that is my Sponge Bob blanket, a member gave it to me.

Christmas tree and ornaments sent from Danville (Alamo 2 ward)  Primary children

View from bedroom to kitchen. Notice the Christmas light/decorations mom sent

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Semana 6 - Everything is "Solo Bueno"

Hola familia,

How is it going? Everything is going well here - "Solo bueno" ( as they say here in CR). We are getting ready for Christmas here. The ward decorated the chapel for Christmas. We are planning on going caroling this weekend with the ward to help us find new people. Finding new people to teach has been a huge challenge for us this week. We try not to contact in the street or knock doors. The investigators that progress the most are referrals from the members. So that is our focus - working with the members. 

We also have been working on finding young men to teach. President wants the focus to be on young men from 15 to 25 yrs old. That way they can prepare to serve a mission. So we have been focusing on going to mutual. Because in mutual they play soccer (surprise uh), they get about 5 members and 25 non members to play soccer. So we go and get to know the kids that show up.  Sometimes we'll play soccer with them as well.  It is cool because when we are walking in the streets, the kids know us by name and we are now friends with them.  It has been a good thing for us to go to mutual. 

We haven´t been able to meet with the catholic family much. We stopped by once last week and they had read a lot. The grandma actually didn´t want to share the book we gave them. They really liked the things we teach them. They totally agree with it and it makes sense to them, but when we invited them to be baptised they denied. They didn´t want to change their beliefs, so we are going to still stay in touch with with them and hopefully they can change their minds.  We just wont see them everyday as we need to find people that want to move forward.

We had a cool contact last p-day. We were playing soccer at the church because they have a cement soccer field. We were playing against the members and two random people showed up. They had heard that we were teaching English classes and wanted to join and they also wanted to learn things about the church. They want to stay off the streets and change their lives. So we taught them and they are great. They are two 25 yr. old guys. We teach in both Spanish and English. It is tough, but we are helping the people in any way we can. 

They had the Primary program this weekend in church. It was really interesting. We showed up and there were ballons and streamers all over the chapel and in the sacrament room for the program -  It was really weird. The church is really new here and the members are just starting to figure things out. It was a really cute program. There are about 20 kids in the primary. One kid went up there and was really nervous and instead of saying his part he said "estoy nervioso" and sat down. It was really funny. 

Also the championships for soccer are next weekend. Heredia and La Liga are playing. It is a big deal here. Yesterday was the semifinals and people were screaming and honking horns whenever there was a goal. It is really cool. It also makes contacting fun. We just talk about soccer and people will listen to us. It is also crazy because everyone is La liga fans. But a church member in another area just bought the Heredia team. So it will be an interesting final for the members here.

I haven´t put up the paper Christmas tree you sent. We are moving to a new place sometime this week. The house we were leaving in wasn´t good for missionaries so we needed to move. There were some problems. But we are really excited about our new house. 

For Christmas we call, we can´t skype. I think we call from our cook´s phone and then you call us back. It is a lot cheaper that way. And I am pretty sure we can only talk for like 30 min. But I don´t know all the details yet. I will let you know when we get closer to that time. 

Dad, about your question on how to prepare for a mission. You can´t prepare for all of this. You think you can be totally prepared for all of this, but you can´t. The only way to prepare is by doing it. But one thing that I wish I knew before my mission was "Preach my Gospel". I would say -  read that before your mission.  The best thing to do is decide to go on a mission and be able to go.  Yes, things can get tough with the languange and a different culture, but they really haven't bothered me too much.   I think baseball and sports helped me a lot. I learned how to get back up when you fail. You have to learn how to accept challenges and do your best to beat them. If you do your part as a missionary, God will do the rest.  The mission has helped me to realize this. I have only been here a month and a half, but the lessons I have learned have already changed my life. It is amazing and I still have a lot more to learn!  That is my only advice for the mission, and just enjoy your time as a missionary. You are helping people come unto Christ  - what could be better. 

I am glad to hear everyone is doing great. I miss you guys a lot and I will try to take more pictures for you guys. Especially around Christmas time. I love you guys and it will be different without you guys for Christmas, but the mission is a happy time so I will be fine. Tell everyone "Hi".  Love you guys a lot!!! Adios!

Pura Vida Mae,

Elder Keysor

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Semana 5 - Yes, I need a haircut

Hola familia,

Things are going great here. It has been a little tough this week because we don´t have many people to teach. So this week we have focused on finding new people. Bismarck and Jazmin ( our baptisms) are doing great. It is neat to see them progress in the church. Yesterday Bismarck blessed the sacrament. It was cool. Plus he bore his testimony. It was so strong. He made the whole congregation silent. It was really great.  

About the tie - . Jazmin gave me the tie the day before the baptism and asked me to wear it the next day. It was her tie from her school uniform. She didn´t need it so gave it to me, it was a nice gesture.  

Yes Mom, I do need a haircut. I use gel but it has been so windy her lately. Like "tornado" windy. So my hair looks insane. I am getting my haircut today. There is a salon down the street that I will go to. 

This week was a little crazy. We had to travel a lot to San Jose this week. We first had a zone conference. It was my first one and it was great. President Wilkinson spoke about the power of the Atonement and how it gives us a ton of power. It was really good. We also had American food for lunch. The President's wife cooked sloppyjoes for everyone. It was so good. The following day I had to go to the office for my one month checkup. I got to talk with President and talk about how I am doing. Then after I got to eat at the presidents house with all the other missionaries who entered with me. It was BBQ food!!! So good. It was great to see how everyone else is adjusting to the mission. Everyone is doing really well.  I got to talk a lot with President Wilkenson. he is a neat man. He is such a nice guy and always is joking around with me. He is planning to come out and play catch with me one of these P days. It will be fun and he wants to bring his son too. 

I ate cow stomach the other day. Our cook had made a soup for herself with cow stomach. She asked if I wanted to try it. I said "why not, how bad could cow stomach be?". It was really chewy like fatty chewy. But there was no fat on it. It wasn´t horrible but I don´t think I will be ordering it at a restuarant anytime soon. I haven´t gotten sick. I think the constant beans and rice "solidify" things. So I am good. 

One contact we had went well. We went and knock on this door and a young girl answered and said her mom would be home the following day if we wanted to stop by. We came back the next day but the mom wasn´t there. But the daughter said we could talk with her aunt that was there. So we did and then the mom showed up and then the grandma. We started teaching them and they are really open to us. The mom has a ton of questions and we answer them all. She can´t believe it.  We visited again yesterday and the mom invited her whole family to listen to us. There were 4 different families listening to us and enjoying our message. They can´t pronounce our names so they call us amigo 1 and amigo 2. It is funny. It has been a neat experience this week.

Everyone here is getting ready for Christmas. I got one package you sent when I went to the zone conference. It was the one with the tree and decorations. So I set it up in my room. I didn´t take any pics yet cause I am not done. The other two packages haven´t arrived yet. Hopefully I will get them on Wednesday when we go in for a meeting. We will see. For future reference send packages to the PO box address. I think it is safer, addresses here are hard to pin down. But don´t worry. I should be getting the other ones soon. Hopefully Wednesday. 

Sounds like everyone is doing good at home. Kendal needs to watch out for those tree guys. They are dangerous. Take a picture of the "Griswald" house. I can´t believe Dad put up extra lights. He is usually is lazy when it comes to putting up decorations and lights. How does the Christmas village look? Kylie better do a good job. There are a couple members here that have villages too. It is fun celebrating Christmas in Spanish. The other day we where in a store and they were playing Christmas music.  I couldn´t understand it, so I asked the lady at the store "¿Este no es español?" and she looked at me like I was crazy. So she started singing the song and it was in Spanish. I felt so stupid and my companion was laughing because he had the same question. It was funny. The music is still hard for me to understand but everything else I can pretty much understand. 

Well hope everything is going well. I miss you guys and love you guys a lot. Keep me updated with things back home. I feel like I have been here forever. I can only imagine how it feels for you guys. Know that I love you guys and pray every night for you guys. Tell nana and tata les amo and also granma and grandpa I love them too. Kendal and Kylie study hard. It is really sad to see these girls here drop out of school when they are 15. It happens a lot. So study hard in school. Pues adios.Y les extraño mucho y les amo much tambien. Nos vemos.

Pura Vida,
Elder Keysor