Monday, December 21, 2015

Merry Christmas!

"I hope they call me on a mission...when I have grown a foot or two..."

Christmas party for the ward!
 Hello from San Jose! I guess it doesn't really make a difference when it's E-mail, but we're up here in San Jose today for the mission Christmas party :)

This week was pretty good. I went on divisions with Elder Vela and then with Elder Alvarez, and I stayed in Neily both times.

It looks like our investigators could be getting baptized this Saturday, we'll see how it goes. They're doing well and came to the Christmas activity this week, which was fun. They seem to love everything about the Church and how everything is very simple, which is really great. They really understand in what environments the Spirit lives. I love them a ton.

Apart from that, there was some cool experiences this week, but I can't really remember them... My head's in Paso Ancho right now haha.

I hope everyone has a great Christmas! Remember why we really celebrate it. On Sunday I gave a talk on how different people received Christ in his mortal life, and how the way that we receive our fellow man is the way that we receive Christ nowadays. I hope you can all find that charity this Christmas and share with someone who doesn't have. Whether it be food, or gifts, or time, or a smile, something that you can see they need.

Merry Christmas!

-Elder Henry
Spence at his favorite table, the food table haha

Looks delicious!!! Yummy!


Wow you've really grown, Spence


A fantastic family!

He has made many dear friends in Niely already!


Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Monkeys! Zone Christmas Service Project & busy week!

Zona Sur!!! Zone meeting and service project!
He looks like my little brother haha and he's got a rockin' cowlick like mine!
I taught him what a selfie is :) haha

Zone meeting :)
 This has been a looong week. Lots of stuff happened.

Monday morning we were on a bus headed to San Jose.

Tuesday was leadership meeting, which was amazing, and a bus headed back down to Zona Sur. We got home at like 11 PM and realized that we didn't have electricity. That was interesting.

Wednesday we got Elder Gonzalez headed off to San Vito and got to work a little.

Thursday we had Zone meeting. Zone meeting was amazing. I felt so edified. The zone is super great and way animada -- excited? pumped up. I felt like everyone was friends there and it was just a good meeting. The zone feels nice and united. Then we headed out to the old folks home to sing Christmas songs and chit chat for a while. That was such a sweet experience and also nice to help unite us as a zone. I loved that so much. It was especially awesome because there was a recent convert in our area who got baptized like 3 months ago. He lived with his son in a shack in the jungle with a dirt floor and, frankly, on a cliff. Well his son touched a bare cord and shocked himself to death (he was drunk), and so the old recent convert left the area to go live with a son. That's always sad to lose contact with someone like that, because it's hard to get them in contact with the church again. But, guess who was in the old folks home! And he just seemed really happy, and finally living in a good, clean, modern place. I was so happy to see him there, and now we can find the way to bring him the sacrament.

After that Friday Saturday and Sunday were normal days. Friday I went on divisions with Javier to Laurel, which is about 1.5 hours from our area, to visit a lady and her granddaughter. They come to church like once a month, and the granddaughter isn't a member. They can't come much because the grandma has to go to San Jose a lot, but that was a good visit.

So that was the week. We saw lots of miracles and it was a really good week, but I'm pretty tired right now haha. I'm just grateful for the opportunity to serve people in little ways, like calling a missionary who's birthday was yesterday at 7 in the morning with the whole zone on conference call to sing him happy birthday. 

Oh, and we saw a bunch of little monkeys in the trees, and an iguana right in front of us in the road. So that was pretty legit :)

Have a great week, everyone! Try and find those little ways to serve someone.

-Elder Henry
Hey there Iguana friend!

They all really enjoyed that I put the Santa hat on them haha

Divisions with Javier, after a while of not leaving with him. That was good :)
Panama with Elder Gonzalez and Nuñez! Uush :)
 A type of turkey that Ruma and Ruth have

Life looks more jungly with fog

Monday, December 7, 2015

The Dream Team is down here in Zona Sur!

Puerto Jimenez with Javier!

BBQ with the district president! :)

Some serious farmboy pullups

Hanier and Sofia's baptism! :)

My comp with "our" dog, Shiblon :) hahaha

Well, this week Ciudad Neily turned into Inferno Neily. The rain stopped and the heat came. I can now understand why everyone talks about the famous Zona Sur heat. It is incredibly hot. Literally unbelievable. and not a lick of wind.

That's been interesting, and my poor new companion Elder Nuñez is dying too from the heat haha. His skin hurts from the sunburns, which is totally backwards, since I'm the white one but it doesn't affect me haha. But it's been a great week getting to know him and, we had a surprise baptism! Their date was for this Saturday, but the daughter's going out of town for like a month (it's vacation season for the Ticos), and so we bumped it up to this week. They are super great, but I'll get to them in a little bit. I feel like this area is going to definitely be the most difficult area, in the physical aspect, but I believe that it's where I'm going to see the most success in my mission. Elder Nuñez really is amazing and know a lot about the scriptures, and we both have the same perspective on missionary work and, really, on life. He's so great and I believe that together we're really gonna explode Neily :) if it doesn't explode from the heat first.

Apart from that, Monday till Wednesday was just crazy stressful getting everything ready for the new missionaries and, on top of that, planning a zone service project. But the cool news is that Elder Carter is in Puerto Jimenez, my MTC comp and a really good friend, and elder Gonzalez, my last companion, is in San Vito! Some other missionaries that I know and are really cool also came, and all in all I feel like we've got the dream team down here in Zona Sur. Ooosh! But planning for the new houses and travel and everything was a huge pain in the neck, especially when the 7 mattresses we bought didn't come on Wednesday like they had told us, but rather Saturday. And the salesman wasn't on top of the situation at all. (I got so fed up with him haha dumb furniture salesman). (Spencer worked as a fine furniture salesman his senior year, to pay for his mission).

So all in all this week was pretty stressful for me, but I really liked it and am super happy. Especially for Hanier and Sofia. Hanier is such a great lady. Every time I see her she reminds me of Mom. I don't know why, I just get the feeling that that's how Mom was before she had the Gospel in her life. and I'm so happy that she could also be baptized, just like Mom :) but it was such a miracle this week. We have been working with her since I got here in Zona Sur. She was progressing really well but was having trouble with receiving a sure answer that this was the true church. I knew that we just needed to have a little bit of patience, but I was starting to get worried because a lot of vacations and stuff like that were coming up which can interrupt people's progress. So we went on Thursday to see what was up. She was recently operated, like a month ago. So when we get there she told us that the scar had started to bleed again and that on like Tuesday she had gone and been operated again. Then when we started teaching her, my comp asked her if she was ready to be baptized. I already knew more or less how she was and knew she'd say that she just needed a little more time, and all that jazz. but, to my surprise, she said "yup!"

What?! It was just a miracle. She had received her answer! The Spirit had touched her heart.

She hasn't told us that she had any sort of special experience, I just have a feeling that the operation she had had something to do with it. All I know is that miracles exist.

So we programmed her baptismal interview for the following day, and on Saturday she was baptized. She has been so unsure about it all and then all of a sudden is was so calm and obvious for her. It reminded me that I really am not the one who makes this work work. It's the Spirit. God knows His children and knows when to give them the answers they're seeking.

The other great thing is that our investigators who live on the farm are progressing really well as well! They've gotta get married which will be a little stressful haha but aside from that they're looking good for their baptismal date on December 26th. And their daughter should be moving back home this month too, who they also want to be baptized. Yesterday they came to the Christmas Devotional and it seemed like they liked it a lot. I love them so much. But I honestly just feel like God's calling his people. God prepares the people.

Have a great week, everyone! I love you all and hope you can all see miracles in your lives, too.

-Elder Henry
Guyabana! It makes a pretty delicious drink.


This animal is called a "mountain turkey"
Bad hair day ducks!

This one was me favorite, his stuck up hair doesn't even match the color of his other feathers...

A weird fruit!

Oops, Someone left the fire hydrant open

A cool looking frog that was outside the house

Another pig! With piglets :)

it's a tiny little turtle

Life in Costa Rica (Just kidding - It's just Christian sitting in a trashcan)

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

HOT! hot hot hot!

Screen shot from the video Javier posted on Facebook since "someone" forgot his camera cord ;)
Goodbye November! Crazy how time flies when you're in the jungle.

Well today in Panama I bought a new umbrella but I'm not sure how much I'll use it, it looks like we're entering the dry season. Which is really saddening, because dry = HOT! hot hot hot! And the hottest part of the day is like 11-3, right when we start working haha.

So this was a super great week. I think that last week I wrote about 2 great investigators that we had found.

This week I went on divisions with Elder Alvarez, and apart from being really dead (this next change he ends the mission), we had a wonderful experience with them.

So the father investigator is, I can't really explain how he is, but we thought we were gonna have a pretty tough time teaching him honestly. It just seemed like we were gonna be trudging through mud getting through his questions and everything. But on Tuesday we went with them and decided to explain a little better the Book of Mormon, and how to feel their answer that it's true, and then put a baptismal date.

So we start explaining Book of Mormon, and they just aren't really making any comments, just accepted everything. Really abnormal for them. But we keep going and they're nice and interested and they had read a few pages and connect the dots from what they read and what we explained. 

Then we start to explain how an answer from God feels. They're really well educated about the Bible, and the wife told us that she knows that the Book of Mormon is the word of God, because when she reads it she can feel it and she doesn't feel that desire to put it down that a bad book would give her. that was so awesome to hear. It was just incredible to enter into a house where I'm ready to "trudge through the mud", and they're just accepting it! Then we invite them to baptism and he says "yeah!" and we put the date and he says "Yup!". After explaining that we would be there to help them prepare she says that she would too, because she "didn't want this to just be a thing of one month and then she never comes back". Then he tells us that he wants his daughter to be baptized, too! She doesn't live there right now but might be coming back soon. 

It was just so incredible to see how the Spirit works. They are the living example of the Spirit softening the hearts of the people. I love seeing miracles. and I love being in a work of miracles.

Apart from that, I went to Puerto Jimenez again this week, and scored some goals in the soccer game. And to Panama & bought some new soccer shoes! It was really a great week in the whole zone. This week are changes, we're going from a zone of 10 people, to 14, and 3 areas have changes, so half of the zone will be new (including my companion)! it's gonna be exciting and really, really, crazy hahaha.

Have a great week everyone! I love you all so much.

-Elder Henry