Another great week!! I have learned a LOT and I think we will be seeing great things in the future.
Today we had a joint zone conference with Heredia and President Cordón. It was our first time capacitating... the Zone leaders of Heredia did their part solo... they didn´t even include the Hermanas. We did ours completely as a team. It was awesome. I love our zone leaders. We got home without much time for lessons. Then we remembered that the Hermanas in Trinidad had our keys... so we had to go to el centro to wait for them to get home from their appt. Whilst waiting we decided to contact peoploe in the park. I bought a churro filled with dulce de leche.. YUM... and contacted the churro makers! :) Then a man approached us asking for money. He had a LONG story and basically said that he was addicted to drugs but right now he jsut wanted a hamburger. We taught him the palabra de sabiduria and how he could change. I gave him a little money with the condition that he HAD to come to the Bishop´s classes for people with Addictions the next day. He didn´t come.
Today we had another reunion with President Cordón in San Jose just for the Sister Training Leaders. It was great. Basically we talked about our responsibilities and how we can do them better. Then all the sisters started complaining about their zone leaders and we were able to share how we changed the Relationship with Elders Ballan and Macias (because it was AWFUL when we got here.... and I don´t like contention...). I also had the chance to use my music to help others... Rosy, a recent convert, has been called to direct the music and start a ward choir... with zero experience. So I taught her to lead! It was fun. And on Tuesday Elder Lopez, Assistant to the President that is from Gravilias- my first area, told me that if all missionaries were like me the gates of hell would shake... quoting the scripture about Capitan Moroni. It´s not true, but it is a good goal! :)
Today we taught some older aged woman that they said NEVER let people in the door... we were literally the first.. but something was different about us so they let us in and accepted a second visit. Then we had seven other lessons and visited Reyna- a recent convert that lives by our house. She made the MOST DELICIOUS tortillas I´ve had and we ate them with natilla (this cream that is like sour cream but sweet not sour and it is soooo yummy) with agua dulce... yum yum yum. Those are the tico foods I like :)
At last we were able to contact Wendy again! She is going through some REALLY hard trials right now. She still has a lot of potential... just slow. We were with Natalia for EVER (challenge of having her as our Cook. She doesn´t accept short visits). Then at night we went to help Hermana Jasmine. She recently had a baby c-section and is now giving a baby shower for another pregnant muchacha in the ward- Francis. Jasmin can BARELY walk so we thought we should help her out. We cleaned the house and swept and mopped and made decorations and set everything up all cute. Before we knew it it was 6 and the baby shower was started (lots of time wasted..... we are spending so much time in members houses.... but it was service!!!) Then when the shower started the elders came so we left for our weekly correlacion meeting with the husband of Jasmin, our ward mission leader.
Valentines Day!! A joven in the ward gave me a valentine!! :) We woke up early to go to the wedding of a sister in the ward. In Costa Rica, you HAVE to be married civilly before the sealing so it is legal. You don´t have to do that in Utah right? Just the temple? Then we visited with Natalia and Roney and Nattie told us "Today you have to dedicate TWO hours to us". Oh no. WAY too much time in the houses of members! Then we found three nuevos that all live by each other and taught more lessons then went to a baptisms of the sisters in Trinidad. On the bus home, a muchacho sat by me because he sees us EVERY day greeting EVERYone we pass... the little things!
Today the Church was being remodeled so we all had to take a half hour bus to Trinidad. It started at 1 so we thought we could have more people... but we ended up with only Mayela. We even left at 9 to get people to come... and Nadie. It was super sad. We got to church and were like NO it isn´t enough! Let´s go find people to come! And the first woman we found was a member from Salt Lake that looked a little hippie and she talked to us for twenty minutes and then we had to go because I was playing the piano and H Ortiz was leading the music. The elders didn´t have responsibilities like that so they left and brought five more people off the streets! Then after church Reyna, Relief Society Pres, invited us to Jasmine's to help her make food for Jasmine´s family. We went and I made the tortillas!! and they were super rico!!!!!! So I´ll make them for ya when we get home. But you have to find natilla or they won´t be the same.
Today I ate cow stomach. Tomorrow... tongue.
Today for PDAY we went to Reyna´s again and helped her clean her house and make food. Then we got her help in identifying some people on the list of members that aren´t baptized. We still have two weeks left! I know there is someone waiting for us that can be baptized these weeks!
In my studies today I was so hit by something I read in Mormon... in the book of Mormon. About the people that were fighting fighting fighting for their lives with all their might... yet they were losing! They were weak! And it was because they were doing the work with their OWN strength and leaving out the Lord. I feel like that has happened to us a bit this month... we are focused too much on the numberos the numberos we have to do the work and what are we doing and discouragement and yadda yadda... and I can´t even think of a really spiritually experience. Without the spirit.... you can´t teach. You can´t find. You can´t baptize. People will NEVER be converted. So this week I am going to refocus in having the spirit and doing all I can to have REALLY spiritaully experiences DAILY! I know I can do this work because I´ve got the Lord! But I can´t do it alone! I´ll just be fighting fighting fighting working working with all my might.. tiring myself out... without any results. But the Lord is BOUND when I do my part and rely on Him. Get ready for some miracles people because they´re a comin!
Today...... I really am going to eat cow tongue after this. I forgot my camera last night to take pictures of the cow stomach and the raw tongue she will be preparing today... but Elder Macias took a pic so I´m gonna try to get it from him. For now... just google "raw cow tongue" and then imagine me eating that. Yay. :)
I really do love this work. I am learning so much. This week I learned that we have to be CONSTANTLY evalutating ourselves. Evaluating our pride, our efforts, our faith, our focus. Like the talk in General Conference... if you keep living the way you are now... will all the blessings in your Patriarchal Blessing come to pass? As Baylie Benson taught me this week... there is no comfort in the growth zone and no growth in the comfort zone. We have to be continually stretching in order to progress!!
I love you all. Truly. I hope you are all stretching and coming closer to your Father in Heaven this week. I miss you all :)
Love, Hermana Cook