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)


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Christmas Time

Hola Familia,

Things are going great this week. We are still struggling a little bit in our area. But I have a feeling that things will change here soon. We are really focused in on our purpose and everyday we are pushing to accomplish our goals. So things are going great and like I said, things will change here soon. 

This week was crazy because it was full of meetings and activities. We had the ward Christmas Party. We invited everyone to the Christmas Party. Everyone. It was crazy because we had more than 200 people there. The church was packed. It was amazing. The members were shocked and were joking around saying the missionaries can't invite people to activities because we invite everyone. We bearly had enough rice and beans and we actually ran out of cake. It was really funny. During the Christmas Party, the primary did a reinactment of the nativity. We ended up singing carols in the choir. Yep, I sang in the choir. It was a first. It was a fun Christmas Party. Everyone was happy and we ended up receiving a ton of references. It was a good day. 

We also had our monthly meeting with the President. All the zone leaders meet up to give a report of how the month went and our plans for the next month. We were one of the two zones that completed their goals for the last month. It was really cool. We have been working hard and it is good to see our hard work pay off. We also had to tell President our goals for the next months. President has changed things so we now have weekly goals instead of monthly goals. I like it a lot better. We had to put a goal of how many baptisms we were going to have every week and how many less active members we were going to bring to church every week. We put a goal of 5 baptisms every week and bring 30 less actives as a zone. Everyone one shocked. Even president was a little shocked. Because everyone else was saying 2 or 3 baptisms and about 4 less actives. I told him the we were going to do it. And this week we had 52 less actives in church and we are waiting to have 5 baptisms the following week. So that was really fun. President has a lot of cofidence in me. I was talking to him the other day and he really just thanked me for all the hard work that I have been doing. It is really cool to know that President trusts in me. It makes my job a lot easier because I know that president supports my decisions. Even if they are a little crazy. 

Today we had the mission Christmas lunch. It was really good we went to sing carols in an old persons home. It was a really special experience to help make the Christmases of these people special. It really made their day and mine. We had a great lunch and President gave a great Christmas message. He talked about the importance of remembering Christ in everything that we do. It was really good. So that is what we did for P-day today. 

I got my packages and I opened the one with the star on it. So don't worry about my packages. We are all getting ready for Christmas. We can Skype and it looks like we are going to do it Christmas morning. We just don't know at what time yet. It looks like things are good at home. That trip to Costa rica sounds fun. I miss you guys a lot and it is almost time to see you guys. It is amazing to see how fast the time goes. Have a great week and I love you guys a ton. 

Pura Vida,
Elder Keysor

Ward Christmas Party 

Christmas Caroling at the Old Folks Home.
Christmas Packages
Moms tree she sent.
The Christmas Shirt Mom sent me - The Santa Look!

My Mission & Sports

Hola Familia,

It was another rough week. We had a lot of people that were progressing really well, but for some reason we haven't been able to find them or they couldn't receive us. It is probably because we are in the Christmas season and everyone is leaving to visit family. We decided to work a lot with the less active members this week. It was good because we ended up getting a lot of references and we were able to help a lot of less active members. Right now, you can say that we are pretty much opening up a new area. It is tough but if we want success, we got to do it. So right now we are just giving it our all everyday. It is exhausting. Not exhausting, like we don't want to keep working but we get home and just want to crash. So it is tough work but who said the mission would be easy. We are in the work of salvation. We are helping people receive their salvation and salvation isn't easy. Jesus had to sacrifice himself for our salvation. So it shouldn't be easy for us either. But I think the thing that has helped me the most in my mission is playing sports. Because you have to work hard in sports to get what you want. You have to understand how to deal with failure. So every little thing that I learned in all the years of playing sports is paying off here in the mission. It is funny because I remember in my first interview with President Wilkinson, he told me that some of the best missionaries are athletes because they understand the little things that a lot of missionaries don't get. And now I can understand what the President meant. So right now things are tough, but that doesn't mean I am going to give up. Everyday I wake up and push myself to accomplish our goals and more. 

So that is how things are going here right now. Besides that I am really happy and the zone is doing great. President is really happy with our work here. He is always telling us that we are one of the best zones in the mission. He trusts us a ton and knows that we are going to push ourselves to accomplish our goals. We are looking right now how to put a new ward in the zone. So President has big plans for our zone and he knows that we can handle it. 

I am doing great personally too. I am exhausted at night but besides that I am really happy. When I read that story of Howie and saw the photos, that just made my day. That was some of the best news I have heard in a while. I am so happy for him. It is great to see how the missionary work is changing lives all over the world. So that was great to see.

It is cool to see that you guys are getting ready for Christmas. Everyone has been ready here for 2 weeks. They really love Christmas here. Plus it is Tamale time. So I really like Christmas here too. It is really cool to see another culture during Christmas time. 

So that's what going on here. I miss you guys and it is going to be tough to be away from home for Christmas. But just remember that it is the last Christmas away from home. I love you guys and have a great week. 

Pura Vida,
Elder Keysor
Christmas and Tamale Time - Yum

Black Friday

Hola Familia,

This was a very busy week. We worked really hard and actually had a really good week. We changed some things from the last week. These changes really helped us during the week. We are recieving a lot of referrals and finding a lot of new people. Every monday we have been playing soccer during P-Day and we have about 25 kids show up from all over the place. We have been going around contacting a lot of them and a lot of them have been receiving us. So that has been good. It was a good week for us but it ended a little rough for us. We challenged a lot of people to get baptized and a lot of them accepted. When it came time to go to church, nobody showed up. We went searching for people and nobody was home or they didn't want to wake up. So that was a little rough but little by little things are changing here. Things are changing not only in our area but the zone too. The zone has really picked things up and we are really pushing the limits of the mission. So every week it is really cool to receive the numbers and see how the week went for the zone. 

But that was the bad news. Well not even bad news. Just the rough part of this week. But this week was really really crazy and a lot of fun. It all started Thursday. So Thursday, we had plans to go to Pizza Hut with members because it was all you can eat. Well, we got there and the all you can eat promotion ended last week. But we didn't care and went to eat anyway. It was fun. It wasn't like Thanksgiving dinner but it was a relaxing way to celebrate Thanksgiving. It was a lot of fun. The Friday was one of the craziest days of my life. A few recent converts that are struggling in their business asked us to go and bless their business. We said that was fine so we put it in our agenda to go Friday to bless their business in San Jose. Well we didn't think about it but Friday was Black Friday in San Jose. I honestly hate Black Friday. We got there and it was a zoo. It was crazy. I am pretty sure the whole population of Costa Rica was in San Jose that day. It really tested our patience. But we got there and we blessed their business and tried to get home as fast as possible because we didn't want to be in San Jose. We were leaving and there was a huge group of people screaming and throwing poppers at the police. It was a huge traffic jam and the police had shut a lot of the stores with people inside it and people wanted to enter. Supposedly someone had beaten up someone in a store. So they closed up a lot of stores and people got really angry with the police and of course the missionaries were stuck in the middle of it. We just had to push our way out of it and I am pretty sure we got caught on TV. There were a ton of news cameras everywhere. So that was a interesting day. Saturday was a really good day. Saturday night we got invited to a Thanksgiving dinner. It was a real Thanksgiving dinner. We had turkey, mashed potatoes with gravy and cornbread. It was sooooooooooo goooooooood. It was the best turkey and the best cornbread that I have had in a long time. So it was a really good Thanksgiving dinner. Plus we had a secret santa. I ended getting a cool pen from Costa Rica. So that basically was our week. 

It looked like you guys had a fun week in Arizona. I wish I was there because it is freezing here. It has gotten really really really cold. Plus I want Someburros. Still craving mexican food here. Everyone here is seeing the new hunger games movie too. They are all getting ready for Christmas too. A member bought us a small christmas tree. So now we have a christmass tree in the house, so we are ready for christmas too. And then New Years. The time is flying by fast. Really fast. But it is a lot fun. I love you guys a lot and miss ya. Have a great week.

Pura Vida,

Elder Keysor
Black Friday in San Jose - Craziness.
Pizza Hut Thanksgiving
Our Traditional Thanksgiving

His tree a member gave them.

Secret Santa Party

Keep on Working

Hola Familia,

It was a very interesting week. A rough one. We had things planned out for a good week but it didn't turn out as planned. We had a baptism planned for this weekend. Everything was planned and it looked good. She went to church and was really excited to get baptized. We went to visit her on Tuesday and she wasn't there but her daughters told us that she had finally found a job and will now be working everyday of the week from 7 to 9 at night. That was huge blow and we were shocked. We called her and she had totally forgotten about her baptism and had very little desire of being baptized now. We started looking for other investigators that were progressing and were really close to getting baptized.  Still hoping to have a baptism this week. We went to visit a teenager that has been progressing a ton. She has given up coffee and has been reading the book of mormon everyday. The only challenge we had was just ask the mom for permission to baptize her. We went to visit her this week and as of right now, we haven't found her. We have called and stopped by multiple times and nothing. So that was rough. We decided that we would help the other areas in our zone so that we could finish the month strong and everything went well until we went to one area. They had 10 baptisms planned out this week and in the end 8 of them fell. We went to help them and it was really sad. We had to call the sisters in this area to help them keep there spirits up. It was a rough week and I don't know how we endure it all. It was a great experience for us and we ended up learning a lot of things that are going to helps us avoid these problems in the future. 

But after all these bad things happened it all ended up good. We kept working hard here in our area and we ended up finishing with a lot of new investigators. We had a ton of new people show up at church and they were willing to listen to us. So we ended up finishing the week well. And in the zone even better. We had 8 fall in one area but we ended up having 12 baptisms in the zone. We had more baptisms in our zone than any other zone in the mission. We ended up with 18 baptisms for the month and our goal this month was 17. We ended up meeting our goal and there was only one other zone that met their goal. President was really happy with us and sent us a message thanking us for our hard work. So that was really cool.  Even with having a lot of people fall in this month, we now have a lot of people that are really close to getting baptized for this next month. So it was a tough week but it brought us a lot of blessings.  

So things are really good right now. Everyone here is getting ready for Christmas and we have been to invited to 2 Thanksgiving dinners. This Thursday, we are going to Pizza Hut with some recent converts to celebrate Thanksgiving. It is all you can eat at Pizza Hut. This Saturday, we got invited to have Thanksgiving dinner with some members and we are supposed to have a secret santa that day too. It is going to be a fun week. Even though I am in another country that doesn't celebrate Thanksgiving, I am still going to celebrate it.  I am really excited. 

It sounds like everyone is doing great at home. That is a really cool project that Dad is working on. And everyone is on vacations. That's nice. Be sure to tell everyone Hi for me. I miss Nana and Tata and everyone there in Arizona. Everyone is starting to cook up tamales here. They aren't the same as Nanas. The other day I found chorizo, just like the chorizo that Nana makes. It was so good and now I have to try it with eggs. But make sure to say Hi to everyone. Hope you guys have a great week and know that I love you guys a lot. 

Pura Vida,

Elder Keysor
Cool Church Building in Town

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Baptism & Birthday Party

Hola Familia,

It was a good week for us. We finished this week with the baptism of C. It was a lot of fun and a huge party afterwards. The crazy thing is that we almost didn't have the baptism. We went to go and visit C before his baptism and his Dad told us a crazy story. Friday at school, C was there fooling around like usual, but in the middle of class, he passed out. He fell to the ground and hit his head hard. His dad went to pick him up and the teachers suggested that he should go to the hospital. His dad agreed but right before they left to go to the hospital, his dad started thinking and realized that if they went to the hospital, C wouldn't leave there until Monday at the earliest and so he'd miss his baptism. His dad had the impression to not go to the hospital and instead go home and rest. So they went home instead and asked C what happened and they figured out that he fainted because he didn't eat anything all day. In the end, he got baptized with a huge bruise on his head. 

We also had a meeting with President and the assistants this week. It was a great meeting and it helped us remember our purpose as missionaries. In the middle of the meeting, the assistants asked me to go up front and challenge president Wilkinson to go to church. That was an interesting experience. I really don't remember what I said, I don't know if it went well or not, but in the end he said yes. So that was cool. It was an interesting experience because I thought back to the beginning of my mission and how before I could have never done that and would have been scared out of my pants. It is normal now. Everything we do now is normal.  That was a cool experience to help me see my progression as a missionary. 

But during this meeting President challenged us to ask for references from everyone. So that has been our focus lately. I always ask for references. We have been doing that more and we haven't seen many results from it yet, but yesterday we had a really cool experience. Yesterday we were trying to find less active members and we were walking in the street and we started talking to a random guy. He really didn't want to talk to us but we kept talking and we finally asked him if he knew anyone that we could talk too. He told us that we could talk to his nephew but first asked if we could speak in english. I was like of course, I'm gringo. And in that moment his nephew walked outside of his house. The man said, go talk to him. So I just yelled across the street, "how's it going". He looked up and said "good". We went over and started talking to him in english. He had a thick New York accent. While we were talking to him he asked us what we did and so I began to explain to him that we share a message that is made for the families. In that moment, something caught his attention and he went inside to ask his wife if we could enter the house. His wife was like sure and we went entered the house. We sat down and he told us to explain everything that I told him to his wife. They had a ton of questions and wanted to know everything. We told them that we would like to come back and they said sure. The husband is from Long Island and his wife is tica. They both speak english and don't attend any church because they don't know which church to attend. The crazy thing is that the husband told us that he was about to tell us he wasn't interested but when he heard that our message was about the family, he wanted to know everything because his family is the most important thing to him. It was an amazing experience. I have taught lessons in english before but this lesson was different. I felt the spirit so strong and I knew that there was a reason we were talking to this family. It was a really spiritual experience. And it all started by asking for a reference from a guy that didn't want to listen to us. 

So that is how my week went. It was a crazy week. We didn't have a ton of lessons but we had really great and productive lessons. Plus I was traveling everywhere doing baptismal intereviews. This week we are expecting 15 baptisms in the zone. But we should have anywhere between 15 and 21 baptisms in the zone. We told President that yesterday, and he was shocked. Now the hard part is making sure we have those baptisms. So it will be another busy week. I am getting used to having weeks like these. Today for P-Day, I went and bought a cool version of monopoly to play. It was really fun and a great way to take off the stress. I am learning a lot about time management and leadership lately. It has been good and it is amazing to see how I have progressed spiritually since I started my mission. I also got my first package. It cracked me up because there was only one shoe. Good thing you guys told me before, if not I would have freaked out. 

It sounds like things are great at home. Dad has a cool new assignment with the missionary work. I would recommend that you read all of Preach My Gospel. Not just read it, but study it. It will really help you figure out how to help the missionaries and the members with the mission work. And also watch the Work of Salvation broadcast that they had a while ago. Those things will really help you to get things going in the stake. I dont know how things are there but I have a feeling that the mission work can be a lot better. The girls are getting ready for vacation. That is fun. I don't need more contacts or blue stuff yet. I will let you know when I do. I am on my second journal. Don't worry I write everyday. My comp makes fun of me. So it sounds like things are great at home. Say Hi to everyone in Arizona. I need to send Nana and Tata a letter. But I just haven't had the time to write it yet. I will get on that. I love you guys and have a great week.

Pura Vida,
Elder Keysor
P-Day playing Monopoly.
C's baptism.
His Party after Baptism.

Members are Great

Hola familia,

This was a really good week for us here. We had a week full of divisions to help get people ready for baptisms and to do baptismal interviews.  Another busy week. Well just like every week. We are really working hard as a zone too. We broke our record of 50 investigators in church this week. We ended up having 53 as a zone. Things are really looking great and the missionaries are really pushing themselves to raise the bar.

This week was cool because when I went on divisions, I was able to see one of my converts from my last area in Alajuela. She is living here close and we went to go and visit her because she is helping a lot with the missionary work. It was great to see her progressing in the church. The crazy thing was that this Saturday, we had baptisms in the zone and because the area doesn't have a baptismal font, they had the baptisms in our chapel. I went to help them organize the baptism. The crazy part was the baptism was at the same time as the seminary graduation and a stake dance. There was about 80 people in the stake activities and it was my job to get people from the stake activity into the baptism. It was a challenge but we had so many people in the baptism that there wasn't enough seats for everyone. It was a great baptism. We filled up the church. At the baptism, came my convert and her son A from my Tropicana area. They came because their friends were getting baptized and they wanted to see me. Also, the bishop from the Tropicana was there too. He was there because he works in the seminary department of the church. It was interesting to talk to him because he told me how the ward in Alajuela has really changed since I was there. He thanked me for all the hard work that I did there in his ward. So that was nice to see that the hard work that we did in that ward is paying off.

We are working hard in the ward. We have gained the confidence of a lot of the members here. Things are looking good for us. The members are feeding us a lot and helping us a lot with the work too. Everyday we have a member with us and we really do get a lot of support from them. It makes our job a lot easier. A ton easier. There is an investigator that we have that is really close to being baptized. She is living with a less active member and they want to get married. She is studying a lot about the church and pretty much knows everything. But the amazing part is that her boyfriend has really changed. He was a little timid before and really didn't know what to think about us teaching his girlfriend. But every lesson he begins to speak more and more and more. This sunday he came to church in a white shirt and tie and offered to give the lesson in family home evening tonight. So things are really changing. The best part is that the members have been asking us about them a lot and they are willing to do anything to help them get married and baptized. Hopefully we can get them married here soon.

We are planning on having a baptism next week. His name is C. His parents are members but he wasn't baptized when he was 8. He wanted to get baptized by the missionaries because his brother is in the mission. So he is waiting to turn 9 and then get baptized. This Saturday he turns 9 and he wants to throw a huge birthday party and then have his baptism too. He wants to have a pinata and play soccer afterwards. So that is what we are going to do. C is amazing. He wants to be a missionary and he is always asking the bishop for permission to got and do visits with us. He is really good doing visits. When we do visits with him we turn into little kids. It is so much fun and crazy. We go around telling jokes and just goofing around. But when it comes time to teach, he is serious. It is a lot of fun and we are excited about this baptism this weekend.

It sounds like things are going great at home. Everyone is doing well and having fun. We are all getting ready here for Christmas. I keep telling everyone here that it is too early but they just think I am crazy. I am working out everyday now. I feel really good. This morning we went to run to San Jose from our house. We went with other missionaries and members. It is about 3 km ( I don't know what that is in miles). But it was a good run. Well I love you guys and hope that you guys have a great week!!

Pura Vida,
Elder Keysor

Out of Control

Hola Familia,

This was a very busy week. Things are always crazy. Seriously out of control. We have been working a lot to get to know the all the members here in this area. We have an attendance of 140 and we only know about 40. So we talked to the bishop and we now have a list of all the members.  The bishop and the presidents of all the organizations have been helping us get to know the area. We weren't finding enough new investigators during the week. We were finding about 5 every week. If we want a successful area, we need to find a lot more every week.  The knocking doors is a waste of time and we know that working through references is the only productive way to work here. So our goal is to get to know all the members and get to know all the less active members too. We have been focused on that and still working to help all our investigators progress. We have been working hard with that and we have seen the results from it too. We are now finding about 10 or 12 every week.  The good thing is that we are getting a lot of investigators in church lately. This last week we had 7 in church and the week before we had 10. So things are going great here in our area. Things are looking great for this month and the months to come. 

Our ward is great. The members here are great. They are really supportive and want to help us out a lot. We have left everyday this week with members.  It really changes the way the investigators progress when we have the help of the members. This week we had a lot of great lessons with our investigators and with the members. We are teaching this young girl and she has problems with coffee. She has been drinking coffee since she was 4 months old and she is 16 yrs old now. So it is a big problem. But this week we went with a member who is about her age. This member is a recent convert and she really wanted to help us out this week. We thought that she would be great with this investigator and she was. During the whole lessons, the investigator was iffy about leaving coffee. The member afterwards bore her testimony and the whole lesson changed. The investigator felt the support of this member and said that she would work on quitting coffee. We went back later in the week she had dropped from 8 cups a day to 1. It was a huge surprise. It really changed the lesson to have the member with us. The members are great and I love working with them. They are giving us lunch everyday. It is so nice. The crazy thing is that our ward has 6 missionaries. All Elders. The members are willing to help every single one of the companionships. They are so kind.  

The zone has really changed since I got here. This week we had changes in the zone. We had to spend almost all day in San Jose, dropping missionaries off and picking up the new missionaries in the zone. Having to run all over San Jose, looking for missionaries. So that really wiped us out this week. But we had some great changes in the zone, and it really helped us improve. We are really doing great in the zone. We have the goal of 20 baptisms in the zone. And we now have 21 missionaries in the zone after changes. After talking to the missionaries and praying to see who is prepared to get baptized, we came up with 30 names as a zone. So things are looking great this month. We could have a record breaking month, if everything goes well. But we had one of the best weeks in the mission. We had the most investigators in the church out of all the mission. We had 50 in the zone! We were one of the best this week in investigators progressing and new investigators. So the zone is really killing it. But the thing right now is that we have about 67 people in the zone with baptismal dates and we have to help every single one of them to follow through. So as you can expect things are really stressful right now. Especially after having a rough month last month. President is really expecting a lot of us. We had a meeting with him this week President and all of the zone leaders. He was asking me a lot of questions about the zone and what we are doing here. He really expects a lot of me because of what I did in my last area. They actually put me in front to explain what I was doing in my last area. I told President that I worked with the members. So he really expects me to put the same principles that I have learned in to action here. And honestly, things are going great here. We are really pushing the missionares here. We are seeing the results of all the hard work. We have been having good weeks but we expect to improve every week. So as you can tell, it is exhausting. having to worry about my area and the zone. But it is good because I have to push myself to do things that I have never done before. Like go on divisions, pick a baptismal date and help other missionares get there areas moving. I have to do a lot of teaching and explaining to missionaries, on how to have a productive area. So it is a lot of fun and everyday I learn a ton. It is crazy to see how much I learn everyday on the mission and how much I have learned in 14 months of being on the mission. Crazy stuff. 

The rain has been slowing down. But it is still raining. Today we played soccer as a zone. And today we also played football. A missionary had a football. We taught the latinos how to play. My arm is really sore too. It isn't used to throwing a ball. So if you want too, you can send me a football. So that I can throw to get my arm strength back. It is a lot easier to throw a footballl than a baseball here. But I honestly don't know what I want for christmas. I haven't thought about it yet. Everyone has put their Christmas stuff up already. It is crazy. Last P-day we went to Smashburger. It was so good. So that was a great birthday present. We didn't do anything for halloween. They don't celebrate it here. 

It sounds like things are good at home. Dad is using all of my clothes. Kylie is still loving soccer. And Kendal is Kendal. Mom is still worrying about me. But that is ok. I love you guys and miss you guys a lot. Have a great week!!

Pura Vida,
Elder Keysor
Birthday Lunch at SmashBurger.
Celebrating his Birthday on P-Day.
Cameron's humble home - his bed is Monster's University.
His study area. 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Happy 20th Birthday

Hola Familia,

Well this week was another crazy and busy one. It is still raining a ton. Everyday it pours. We are getting tired of the rain. We supposedly have another 2 months of this. 

The crazy thing was that we only had 2 baptisms as a zone going into this week. The President was really worried and kept asking us where are the baptisms. So it was a really stressful week. We ended up with 11 baptisms as a zone. We ended up having 9 baptisms this weekend. It was crazy. We didn't know where they all came from, but we were glad they came. So the zone ended the week being blessed. 

Well, I am now 20 years old. Crazy. I really don't feel any different. I feel the same. It was a really relaxed day. I really didn't do anything special. We went and visited all the baptisms that we had in the zone that day. So that was really fun. I always like seeing baptisms. I am always amazed to the see the spirit in the people after they get baptized. The missionaries here in the zone wished me happy birthday and some of the members too. So it was just a relaxed day and today for P-day I think we are going to go to Smashburger or Chili's to celebrate. 

We really liked the new cellphones that we had. The problem is that my companion ended up getting robbed while we were on divisions. So now we don't have a cellphone :(  So back to the boring old days. That is the bad news for this week. 

This week I had to give my first talk in sacrament meeting. It was my first time giving a talk in the mission. After 14 months, I finally have to give talk in sacrament. It was funny because they let me know late Saturday night and so I didn't have much time to prepare. I got there Sunday morning and the lights were out in the church. There were no lights and the microphone didn't work either. So I had to speak really loud. I think I did a good job. I talked about the love of God and our responsibility as members, who have already felt the love of God. I shared the scripture in John 5:5-7 and the importance of helping people get the waters of baptism. I think it went well. 

So that is pretty much a sum of what happened this week. Running around to get baptisms done. That is my week here as a zone leader. It is busy, but it is great when you can see the missionaries start to work effectively and see the results. It is tiring, but all worth it in the end. So I am really happy as always. 

I love you guys and I love all the birthday wishes. It really was a good birthday and I can't think of any other way to celebrate it.  A birthday full of baptisms. What great gifts!  I miss you guys and it sounds like everything is going well at home. Have a great week. Love you guys!!

Pura Vida,
Elder Keysor

P.S. The members are offering us lunch and dinner every day. So now we have food every day and that makes us a lot more happier. :)
Cameron's new birthday tie - Chick-fil-a
My new neighborhood.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Making Friends

Hola Familia,

It was another good week here in Costa Rica. It was a week full of rain. A ton of rain. It has been pouring here and it looks like we will have at least 2 more months of this rain. So that is fun. I have already gotten used to walking around in wet shoes everyday. Besides that it was a great week.

This week we had a meeting with Elder Amado from the Seventy. It was really good and he really helped us learn about the importance of inviting people to baptism. We have been trying to get our zone to realize this and it was good to see someone else talk about the same thing. The biggest news from this meeting was that every companionship here in Costa Rica now has cellphones!! Wow we finally got cellphones. It makes everything so easier now. Before we were using public telephones. Yes, public telephones.  Do they even exist back home anymore?  I got pretty good using the public telephones though. The cellphones will make communicating with everyone so much easier and faster for us.

I had a cool experience this week doing a baptismal interview. The guy knew everything, but was unsure about the sabbath day. In the interview, he told me that a talk in general conference really changed the way he thought about it. The neat thing was that the talk he was talking about was Uncle Kevin's talk. I explained to him that it was my uncle and he was super shocked. From there I talked to him about his challenges and he accepted to be baptized this week. It was really neat to see how Uncle Kevin's talked really affected this guys testimony and I could experience this event.  

I am really liking my area. I am still getting to know a lot of the members, but it is a great ward. The members are helping us a lot and we are really working like crazy. I am really working in 10 areas. I am always traveling to other areas in the zone to help teach them and help them get their areas moving. Every week is exhausting, but it is good because we are starting to see our zone make good changes and starting to raise the bar. We are trying to get ourselves organized and once we get organized, things are going to get moving faster. We are really seeing the results of our hard work pay off. 

I am having a lot of fun. It is stressful but it is really cool when we hear of all the great things that are happening in the zone. We were stressed a little because a baptism fell and the missionaries didn't do anything to save it. We called them and told them to go and look for their investigator. They thought we were crazy, but that night we got a phone call from the investigator crying. She was so happy that the missionaries went looking for her. She just needed someone to talk too. So in the end she got baptized. It was stressful but it paid off in the end. 

It is a little tough without a cook, but I am learning. I will have to cook you guys some rice and beans after the mission. The best thing is that we sometimes receive phone calls from members that just want to invite us over for lunch. So it isn't too bad. I am happy and still learning a lot. I have been really focusing in on my studies more. It is crazy to think back before the mission. I didn't know a thing and now I can use the Bible and the Book of Mormon super easily. It is amazing to see how much I have learned in the short time that I have been here on the mission. 14 months!!! Wow the time is flying by. And 20 years old!! I don't really feel that old. I still feel like a kid. So don't worry mom. The other day we were walking in the street and a homeless guy was selling ties. He had a really cool Chick-fil-a tie. Of course I bought it!! It is funny because we talk to everyone here. This area is really different and there are more people on the streets and it is a little bit more dangerous. The people love talking to us. Everyone knows who we are and when some people start yelling at us, people actually stand up for us and back us up. We are friends here with the homeless people, drug addicts, drug dealers, taxi drivers, bus drivers, the people in the super markets, etc.  It is crazy. Everyone knows us and really respects us. It is fun to see.  

So yeah things are great here. Just loving the mission. I don't know how the mission is there at home. It sounds a little rough. One thing is true that there are always people waiting to hear the gospel. Maybe you have to knock a door or help someone in the street. One thing that I have learned here, is that you can't be a robot. They give us ideas on how to be as missionaries but we need to be ourselves. We are called to serve in these areas for our talents so we have to use those talents. We have to be ourselves and people will respect us and want to know more about what we do. I haven't knocked a door in 5 months. I just talk to everyone I can and it almost never starts out about the church. We talk about sports, the rain, whatever and from there we can talk about the church. Today we were in a taxi and the driver has become a good friend of ours. We really have never talked about the church with him. We usually talk about soccer and our countries. Just like normal people do. Today he told us that he always wondered what we do and had a ton of questions for us. It was really cool because we just acted like ourselves and people come into our paths. I really have learned it is effective here. Maybe it is different in other parts of the world, but it works here and I really love working this way. It is really relaxed and really fun. 

I miss you guys a lot and it sounds like everything is going well at home. Kylie is still playing a ton of soccer. Kendal and homecoming. That is scary. But 100% in Spanish!!  Wow bien hecho hermanita!!!! Keep working hard Dad. You will find something. I love the scripture in Alma 26:27 "Now when our hearts were depressed, and we were about to turn back, behold, the Lord comforted us, and said: Go amongst thy brethren, the Lamanites, and bear with patience thine afflictions, and I will give unto you success." So just keep pushing forward with patience.  Put your faith in God and you will find what you are looking for.  Mom don't worry about the package.  I am here in the mission.  There is no greater gift than being an instrument in the hands of God.  I am happy and that is the only thing that matters.  So don't worry about it.

I love you guys a lot and I am sorry I haven't written that much lately.  Things have been crazy.   I also haven't taken any pictures lately.  I will try to send some soon.  I promise.  Well I love you guys and have an amazing week.  

Pura Vida,
Elder Keysor

Busy in Purral

Hola Familia,

It was a very exhausting week. We really pushed yourselves. I went on a lot of divisions to get to know the zone and help them push themselves to meet their goals. We have 20 missionaries in our zone. So we have a lot of responsibility. We have the best missionaries and I know we'll all do great. It was a really productive week. The zone improved a lot and things are just going up from here. By us really pushing ourselves and we ended up finding 22 new people and 18 of them were from referrals from members. We also got a lot of people preparing for baptism in the next couple of weeks.  Just another great week in the mission.  

We had interviews with the President this week too.  It was good because he told me what he expected of me in my new area. I am really excited to be here. It is going to be a little tougher, but a lot of fun too. After the interviews with the President, we had a zone conference. It was my first zone conference as a zone leader. I think it went well and afterwards everyone was really excited and pumped up to get working. We talked about how to find solutions for our problems and the importance of doing things now and not later. It was really good. So everyone started to pick things up this week. 

I am doing great. The members are feeding us well here. Last night we visited a member and she ended up giving us half of her pantry. We walked home with our backpacks full of food. It was really nice of her, because we needed to go shopping for food. So the members are great here and willing to help us a lot. That is how we have received a lot of referrals this week too. So I really like this new area. It is a little bit different from my other areas. The people are a lot more humble.

It sounds like everyone is doing great at home. Kendal and homecoming. That is scary. Kylie and soccer. I am still better than her. We have been playing a lot here. So I am getting really good. It sounds like everything is good at home. I really don't have much to write, but know I am having a lot of fun and working like crazy. Sorry I havent taken any pictures. I am trying to take more pictures, but it is hard. I will try. We are in the process of finding a cook, so wish me luck.

Have a great week. I love you guys a lot. Have fun and don't do anything stupid.

Pura Vida,
Elder Keysor

P-Day Fun

Me and My new comp Elder R.

New Area & New Responsibilities

Hola Familia,

It was a very interesting week this week. We had a great start of the week. I was still in divisions and we started to receive a ton of references and things were really great. Then on Tuesday night, I got a phone call from the President. President called to tell me that I had changes and I had to be in my new area the next morning. That was really tough to hear. I really liked Tropicana and it has been one of my best areas.  I guess the President has a new plans for me. President only calls when the changes are something special. So the big news is that I am now a zone leader in the zone of Toyopan. I took Elder S spot as zone leader. He had 9 months here. 

My new area is Purral. It is by guadalupe in San Jose. So still in the city. It is a great area and the members here are great.  They love the missionaries. It is going to be a fun area. The biggest problem is that it is really cold. Really cold. I am freezing here. I will get use to it and I don't have a cook here. So I have to learn how to cook. Besides that it is a great area. My new comp is Elder R. He is from El Salvador and is really cool. I knew him before because he was in my zone in Heredia.

I don't feel any different being a zone leader. Just more responsibility. It was cool because on Friday we had a meeting with all the zone leaders and the President. We have this meeting every first Friday of the month. We go over things that are happening in the zone and in the mission. It was a great meeting and I really learned a lot about being a zone leader. During the meeting we got a message from a district leader in our zone that one of the baptisms fell for this weekend. And during the meeting, I had a strong impression that I needed to go and talk with the baptism that fell. After the meeting, we went on divisions and I went with the district leader to go the area of the sisters to see why the baptism fell. On the bus, I said a small prayer to help me figure out what to do. We got to the lesson and it was great. I don't remember what I said, but I remember that the spirit was powerful and afterwards the investigator agreed that he needed to get baptized the next day. It was crazy. So that was a really cool experience. I was able to help someone who was doubting baptism.

I did watch conference. It was really good. It is always different as missionaries to see conference. I think it has a more powerful impact. It was funny to see Uncle Kevin there. I really liked his talk. I really liked all the talks. Now I just have to study them when the magazine comes out.

Things are great here. I am really happy and really liking my new area. It sounds like things are good at home. I hope that Kylie had a great birthday. I really liked her shirt and whatever type of bracelet is fine Kylie. I never really understood dressing up for homecoming. But I guess Kendal likes those type of things and of course she loves seminary. I am going to start up again on the workouts too Dad. Don't worry Mom, I am starting to take more pictures. I am already carrying my camera with me everywhere. I will try to take more pictures promise.

Well I love you guys and miss you guys a lot. Have a great week. 

Pura Vida,
Elder Keysor
New Area and Neighborhood. 

My cooking skills.


Hola Familia,

It was another good week here in Alajuela. We focused this week on helping everyone we could. This week we went and chopped the lawn of members (with machetes of course, I'm a pro now). We also went and helped people with their cars and cooked dinner for some of the members. Yesterday night we went to help a future missionary start his papers. While we were helping them, we got really hungry and it was Sunday so we couldn't buy anything. We ran home grabbed our pancake mix and I ended up making pancakes for everyone while we were helping with the papers. I make some really good pancakes. We got to help a new family that we found move houses too this week. We have been helping fold clothes and moving people all week. We also have been helping people with english because their tests are coming up soon. I am really improving my english skills. So this week was full of service and my body is starting to feel it. It is a lot of fun being able to help someone everyday.
We have been working a lot on helping the recent converts too. The ward is really shocked with what we are doing here. All the members are starting to work hard to help the new members in their transition. Our new members class is so full, that we need a new room. It is super cool. So really things are going well here.

One big problem this week, was I haven't been in my area much. I have been on divisions all week long. I have been working in the area of the zone leaders. It has been tough to leave my area for a week, but it is nice to be working on the other side of the ward. I am really getting to know everyone here in the ward and serve everyone. It looks like I may have changes here soon. But whatever, we will see what happens.
It has been raining a ton here. Everyday it rains. It is pouring right now and we left our umbrellas in the house. At least we are close to the church, so we ran to the church and took big black garbage bags and put them over oursleves, like ponchos. We have been walking around today with garbage bags as ponchos.

It sounds like it was a fun week for everyone at home. Everyone is staying busy at home. HAPPY BIRTHDAY KYLIE!!!!! The big 11. I know it is a little early, but if I wait a week it would be late. I was trying to send a birthday package home. I have a few things that I want to send home but it is really expensive, so I am going to wait until christmas. Which is just around the corner. Pricesmart already has all the christmas stuff out. Have a great birthday Kylie!!! It sounds like Kendal is staying busy with school. That's great. I hated biology too. But really Ice Cream Club?  What is that? Dad keep working out. I need to start up again. Aaron sent me a work out plan to do. Plus I am trying to stop drinking Coca Cola. I have become an addict here. It is so much better here than in the states. I am starting to stop drinking that and only drink water. And yes mom, I am still using my retainers. Same old mom always worrying. :)

I miss you guys. But the time is flying here. I am having a lot of fun here in Costa Rica. It is so much fun being here and being able to help so many different people. Les amo mucho. Nos Vemos

Pura Vida,
Elder Keysor

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Six Baptisms

Hola Familia,

This was one of the craziest weeks of my mission. We started off the week with the news that my comp was going to be training a new missionary. Neither one of us would have changes. So my comp is training and I am still his comp. We are working in a trio right now. So that makes things a little difficult. Plus one of the zone leaders has been sick so I have been working in the area of the zone leaders all week long. I really don't know what happened during the week with my area. I am a little frustrated about that but the best news came this weekend. We ended up having 6 baptisms this weekend!!!

The first two were on Saturday night. They were A and his mom P. A had been investigating the church for 6 months and was just waiting for his mom to give him permission to be baptized. The mom said no. So we decided to work a lot with his mom P. She received her answer fast but she had the fear of being baptized so fast. We worked hard with her and on Thursday she decided to get baptized this Saturday. We had the baptism of A and his mom. It was an amazing experience. Everyone was so happy. P was so happy that we were able to help her get over her fear. So that was Saturday. 

On Sunday we had 4 baptisms. We had the baptisms of F, R, A, and M. F was a reference that we received from another ward. She quickly got baptized and is already working to help get her whole family to the church. Yesterday she brought her grandkids to church and it looks like she is going to bring them next week too. R, A, and M are references that we received from a recent convert. They are amazing. I talked a little about R last week. His baptism was super powerful. He was crying so hard after his baptism. He really felt the spirit super strong. A knew the church was true after the first lesson. He told his family he was getting baptized and there was no stopping him. The best story was M. She really liked the church but had never received her answer. She was really struggling with the decision to be baptized. She didn't want to get left out of the group, so she decided to join everyone in the baptism. After the baptism, she came to me crying and said that in this moment she received her answer and knew without a doubt that the church was true. It was a powerful experience to see all these people change their lives. 

After the baptisms we had a lot of members come and thank us for all the hard work that we have been doing here in this area. It was really nice to see that the members are noticing all the work that we are doing here in this area. A sister here told me that we were the most powerful missionaries that she has seen in a while. I had been thinking a lot about what she said and really we haven't done anything. Every baptism that I have had here was a reference from a member. We haven't knocked a single door. The members here are the ones that are sharing the gospel and we are the ones that just invite them to baptism. It is really cool to see how we are working here and see all the success that we are having. It is actually really fun.

I am doing great. A little exhausted. This week was a crazy one. I am still working hard and having fun. It seems like things are going good at home. Kylie is running for president and that doesn't surprise me. Kendal needs to just relax with the spanish. It is really hard to speak spanish when you are stressed out. Plus she needs to stay away from the boys. It sounds like mom is keeping dad busy. That's good. So things seem good at home. 

Well I love you guys and miss you guys a lot. Crazy to think that I already have 13 months done!! Time flies bye!! Have a great week and don't do anything stupid.

Pura Vida,
Elder Keysor

A is with his mom, P.
F is the lady and A is the tallest one with the beard. 
R is the short one with the red hair and M is the girl. 
M is the friend that baptized them and brought them to church.

Our newest comp - Elder G. 
We went to the Temple.