Tuesday, January 27, 2015

A Week of Miracles

Dear Family,

We saw so many miracles this week! It was a amazing! Monday to Thursday we didn't have a lot of success, only finding one new investigator and not able to put a single baptism date. We decided to fast Thursday and when Friday came around we managed to find 6 new investigators. One of our last lessons for the day was a referral, Reiner, from a new convert, Gretel. We started teaching the lesson and everything went well, at the end we invited him to be baptized and he accepted. We were about to end with a prayer when another man walked in. 

"Ask him the question," Gretel said.
"What question?" I said.
"The same question that you asked Reiner."
Realizing that Gretel wanted us to commit him to baptism my companion and I looked at each other in surprised silence. Though we were willing to ask him Gretel saw that we were both still a little shocked and so started in saying, "As you learn the missionaries message and know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true will you be baptized?" 

It was awesome! And a little humbling (As we were to shocked to take the initiative). Reiter accepted to be baptized and Gretel even put the baptism date as well! It was super rewarding to see our new convert taking part in mission work. The next two days we were able to find 4 more investigators and they all accepted a baptism date! 

 I know we are going to see more miracles this week! I'm excited for Turrialba this year. I think a bunch of things are going to change for the ward here. We've started a new initiative where every family has a huge mission plaque with their family name on it (it rotates through the families) and they have an assigned week where they have to have a family night with the missionaries and less actives or non members. We just had our first family night with the bishop's family yesterday. It was a great experience.

We taught a lesson to Hermano Gerardo and his wife Grais.  Our ward mission leader, Hermano David, accompanied us as well as Axel (Recent Convert).  We taught a lesson about repentance.  It wasn't the best lesson, but not too bad either.  However, we expected Axel to be quite and not talk during the lesson, as normally the teenagers we bring a long to lessons do.  Instead he stared teaching as if he was the teacher! 

We had him read a verse in the book of Mormon that mentioned Eternal Life.  "They'll have eternal life, ah see.  Eternal life.  Did you see Hermano and Hermana?  Eternal.  Life.  Pay attention," Axel said.  Then he had to leave a little early and when he was going out the door he paused  and said"  Repent repent! Before you experience what I have experienced."  After he  left he returned a gain saying, "Repent repent!"  It was a bit funny, but good for him to be a part of the lesson.  Luckily our investigators weren't offended.

Remember when I told you how Hno Alfonso had a dream that he needed to come to church?  Well he told us the whole dream this week. Hna Samayoa and I were walking with a glowing man in a shirt and tie.  The man told Alfonso that he needed to go to church and be married...to me!!!!!  Alfonso said that in the dream we were boyfriend/girlfriend and everything.  Uh oh.  He said he woke up feeling happy and relaxed the whole day.  He was a little embarrassed to tell us his dream, but assured us that he's never had any feelings for us or anything....I hope he's telling the truth!

Transfers are next Monday.  I won't know until Sunday night if I am going to change areas or not.  I hope not.  I'm going to  miss every one here!

Yesterday we went with Hna Rosa and her family to a park and had a picnic.  It was fun!

Love you all!!!!

Hermana Bratt

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Week 28

Dear Family,

There's only 2 weeks left until transfers!  I don't want to leave Turrialba, it is going to be hard!  However, I'm not going to lie that I'd like to see other parts of Costa Rica.

Yesterday we were cleaning our apartment and found a hidden door!  It was behind my dresser and although I've been here 6 months I didn't know it existed! It leads to Narnia!  (A little patio behind our house).

We have an investigator that received the missionaries about 15 years ago. At this time Alfonso was drunk a lot and had dreams about Joseph Smith and in them people chased him saying "Joseph Smith is the perfect tool of Satan".  However yesterday he told us that he had a dream and a man in a white shirt and tie told him that he needs to go to church and not spend Sunday in the mountains (as he usually does), and there was also a wedding in the dream. He told us this dream as we were passing his house, so Thursday we are going to visit him again.  Let's hope he follows the advise in the dream!  He' has to be married before he can be baptized. 

 We've been having trouble helping investigators attend church any advice?

This week I have been feeling a little weird, but a good kind of weird.  I've felt humbled.  My personal study has really helped me.    I've been re-passing over my study notes of Captain Moroni and how amazing of a leader he was.  I also read Ether 12 this week, under direction of my zone leaders.   Wow.  I don't know how to describe it, but I've had something like butterflies in my stomach all week. 

One verse I've been thinking a lot on is Ether 12:27 And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.

It's amazing how you can think you have a lot of faith or are pretty humble and then through experiences, scripture sturdy, etc you realize that you are missing a ton!

I love my mission!!  And am so happy to be a missionary!

Hermana Bratt

Our Secret Door

Us On a Bus

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

One Super Great Week!

Dear Family,

Well this week we experienced some really awesome miracles.  First  on the list was Hermana Tere.  Tere is the mom of Maryori.  We've passed their house 5 or 6 times at the first of the week and they were never home so we were a little worried, however Wednesday night we decided to pass by once more.  Maryori wasn't feeling too great and not the most happy to listen to us so she went into her room, however not without arguing with Tere for twenty minutes first.  Hna Samayoa and I weren't the most excited to teach a lesson to only Tere after the argument we saw.  Tere also talks a ton and it's so hard to get a word in.  However, this night she really listened to us and started to tell us that she wants to prepare herself and she's going to attend church with us.  As we ended the lesson we were able to commit her to baptism the 1st of February!  However, she didn't attend church this week on account that Maryori was in the hospital and so the baptism is going to be delayed. 

Hna Rosa almost died the week before last.  She was in the hospital over New Years.  She had water in her lungs and her heart separated from it's cavity. But luckily she's at home and recovering!

Another day this week we had 10 lessons again!  We also committed two other people to baptism, new investigators Edlema and Katia.  We found 9 new investigators this week!"

Another experience we had is that one day through street contacting I talked with a girl, Audriana and her parents Carlos and Cedri.  They told us we could visit them, though didn't seem to enthused.  Well Thursday we went to visit them.  Wow.  When we entered they definitely didn't want us to be there.  We taught a pretty rough lesson but by the time we left they were a little more friendly.  We also discovered that Cedri, the mom, is a member!  She left the church when she was 14 and says she's not coming back but that we can visit her.  The family was still kind of against us visiting them again, but we scheduled another appointment for this Thursday.  Something tells me that they are going to be baptized one day!  Although the atmosphere was hostile, I felt so good because I had a feeling the moment we walked in the door that we needed to be here and we are going to make a difference in their lives.

You are all in my prayers!  Only three more weeks until this transfer ends!  Also....we weighed ourselves yesterday.  Hna Samayoa was gained 20 pounds and I 13!!!!!!! AHHH!!!!  Luckily I don't feel to bad because of the culture in Costa Rica.  It's completely normal to call people Gordita, or fat.  However....We definitely bought a bunch of fruits yesterday and started exercising a bit more :)

Love you all!

Hermana Bratt

The View from a Bridge that Crosses the River Turrialba

Our Cook, Carmen, and Her Boyfriend Javier

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

And A Happy New Year...

Dear Family,

Well, what to say. I'm a bit stumped today.  

For New Years we went to our cook's house and had a delicious barbecue dinner with out...dun dun dun...rice!!! It was like I was eating  Sunday dinner at home. Yum.  We also played a super awesome game called Onga Onga.  We'll have to play it when I get home!

This week I have been thinking a lot about the things I've learned in my 7 months as a missionary and how I have changed while being here. It's kind of amazing how many things can go unnoticed if we don't look for them. I was reading a talk from General Conference that talked about how we need to live up to our potential. There's a quote from Elder Carlos A. Godoy that says “if you continue to live as you are living, will the blessings promised in your patriarchal blessing be fulfilled?” When I read this I also thought about my setting apart blessing as a missionary, as I have a copy of it. I realized that there a few things I need to change or do better to achieve the amazing blessing I was promised!

Yesterday for P-day after changing up our desks and beds a bit in our apartment (Because after 6 months I'm a bit bored of it) we went to a members house and learned how to make pan casero which is like sweet bread.  It's pretty yummy.  Hopefully I'll remember how to make it when I return home!

We haven't had too much success this week in the work, but we have some possible new investigators that seem promising.  

Well, Sorry my email is so short, but I really can't think of anything else to say!

Can't wait to hear about Sebastian in the next week or so.  Send me photos! I'm still waiting on tal's bubble boys soccer games.

Les Quiero,

Hermana Bratt

A Drawing I did for Helaman's Birthday

Our New Year's Eve Dinner

My Pan!

Don't Worry They are Supposed to be Brown on the Top Like That

Me and My Comp...We're Twinners...Almost.