Tuesday, May 26, 2015

New People! New Experiences!

Dear Family

I realized this week that when I decided to serve a mission I didn't have ANY idea what I was getting myself into.  It's hard sometimes, to be so accountable to the Lord.  One leaves high school where your biggest worry is if you are popular, or if you can get good grades, to a different country, where your worries suddenly quadruplify and become worries about the salvation and happiness of the people around you.  One has to grow up fast here!

I don't know how our Heavenly Father copes with agency.  This week we had two investigators, Nicole and Monserat, who had their baptism interviews and were ready to be baptized this Thursday. However when we passed by Sunday morning they told us they didn't want to come to church this week, as their grandmother, Beatriz, couldn't accompany them.  We tried to do everything possible to have them come, but nothing worked.  I wanted so much to shakle them with chains and drag them along.  It hard when people you love use their agency to choose something other than the Lord.
This week we found 25 new investigators, 13 of the yesterday. That was awesome!
One couple, Evelynn and Johnny, we walked past in the park and my companion paused to talk to them.  Evelynn seems really open and told us that she's seen our church and wanted to attend it before, she also told us that when we meet again she is going to bring two friends along with her. she and her boyfriend accepted a baptism date for the 4 of July.  They have to get married first, but they are really awesome!
Another person we found is Elisanias (or something like that).  He is the buisness partner of Nolasco, who is the first counselor in the branch presidency.  He told us that after 5 years Nolasco never had invited him to church, so we invited him and he came to church Sunday.
We also found another family that is REALLLLY interesting.  The wife, Yirlani is really quiet and her husband in the lesson wouldn't stop talking.  He told us that we have to be very frank and ask direct questions.  He also commanded us to "convince him of the truth".  They have four cute kids though, and gave us some yummy food.
About a month ago we started teaching 4 people that were related.  (Mom, son, cousin, and cousin in law).  The son, Amet, said he was a member, but yesterday we looke dup his records and couldn't find anything. We can only meet with them once a week.  When we do our lessons are always really great, and they are the perfect investigators during the lessons, asking awesome questions, accepting with only a few doubts what we say.  However they never keep committments  Every time we come by to visit more of Amet's family is there.  Yesterday we were teaching his extended family and friends, and they totaled about 10 people.  This week is district conference for Guanacaste.  The church is going to bus us to Liberia free, so we are hoping that they will join us.  They seemed really interested in coming.
Well, I'm sure I'm forgetting a lot of things, but I've got to go.  Love you all!!!!!! (Sorry, there aren't pictures this week, my computer con't send them)
Hermana Bratt

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Short, But Sweet Week!

Dear Family,

This week's email is going to be short, sorry!

Katalina was baptized Saturday, it was a great baptism service!  My companion and I sang "Nearer my God to Thee"  and we had members give talks.  Katalina was so happy, we really saw how the Gospel changed her life!

We just got back from making pizza at the branch president's house.  It was sure yummy, and mine was definitely the yummiest!

Saturday a recent convert of the Elders brought his mom and brother to the Church for a lesson.  His mom could be his girl-friend, she looks so young! (He's 29, she's 38).  It was a great lesson, they accepted a baptism date for the 13th of June.  

We've been teaching a family that were Jehovah's Witness, well at least were studying with that religion for years.  The dad, Ronald came to church Sunday and in gospel principles we shared stories of times that our prayers were answered.  One investigating couple shared how the father doesn't have work right now, but that they have been praying a lot and know that he will receive work soon.  Then, after the class, I saw Ronald talking to them and telling the father that he could work in construction under him.  That was their answer to their prayer!

A drawing I did for an Hermana in my region

Katalina's Baptism

Making Pizza

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

This Work is AWESOME :)

Dear Family,

This week we weren't able to work in our area for 3 days due to that we got to go to San Jose for a monthly leadership conference and we had to go to Liberia twice for a zone conference, and divisions with the Sister Training Leaders there (on account that my companion couldn't come to san jose with us). That ment that I was with Hna Cook and her companion for a day!!! WOOOOOT :) (Woot is something all the missionaries say here.)

However, we were able to still see miracles this week!

One of which is Katalina, she is going to be baptized this Saturday, but because of conflicting schedules we weren't able to see her for a whole week. Which was a little worrisome. Saturday night we finally taught her a lesson, in which she broke down, crying about her trials and how she couldn't come to church the next day because of work. That lesson definitely lasted more than an hour, but by the end through testifying and sharing our love she was able to have the courage to tell her boss she couldn't work. Yesterday she was ready to come to church when her baby fell and her head cut open. Katalina had to rush her to the hospital, but luckily the hospital is across the street from the church and so she was able to arrive...45 mins late, but she got here!

Then in relief society she shared her testimony about the Book of Mormon and how God answerse prayers. One day, after we invited her to baptism she prayed to know what she should do, opened the Book of Mormon to a random page and read:
  3 Nephi 23:5 And whosoever will hearken unto my words and repenteth and isbaptized, the same shall be saved. Search the prophets, for many there be thattestify of these things.
It was so spritually rewarding. This work really is the best!
IT WAS SO GREAT TO SEE YOU ALL YESTERDAY! I'm not ready to come home, but I can't wait to see you again in 6.5 months!  Miss you guys!  Thank you for your love and support!
Hermana Bratt

Divisions with Hermana Cook

My New Name Tag!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Finding Inactives and New Investigators Through Miracles

Dear Family,
Well, all in all this week has been great.  We have had a lot of rain. FINALLY.  After my last area I never wnated to see rain again, until I came hear and was under the hot sun all day long.  It's been nice because the rain makes it a little cooler usually, sometimes there's more humidity though and so it's even hotter.
This week we've seen a lot of miracles in finding inactives.  We've been focusing a lot of finding new investigators, and almost everyday we found new investigators, only to find out that they actually were already baptized in the church.  We are working now on reactivating 4 new inactives each with their own families. We are hoping to be able to convert their families as well. :)
Speaking of inactivse, guess what! Beatriz is actually a member.  We have been teaching her for more than a month and she was super excited about her baptism, but about 3 days ago she commented:  I was baptized in the mormon church a long time ago...WHAT!  At first we didn-t beleive her because she doesn-t have a very good memory,but it turns out that she is a member.  We laughed for the rest of the lesson.  So she wont be getting baptized this month,. one less option for a goal of 7 baptisms, but I guess its a good thing we found out now rather than after the baptism.  Her grandaughter Monserat is going to be baptized the 23rd.  We also met three of her other grandkids.  Nicole, Sharon, and Jean Carlos.  All of them want to be baptized the 8th of June.  Sharon, the oldest, is 16 and she is awesome.  When we met her we had such a Spirit filled lesson.  We finished the opening hymn and prayer and the next thing I knew she was bawling.
We have been trying to use stragem to convert our cook, Hermana Marisol, and her family.  They are really catholic, but amazing people.  Today we are going to have a family night and teaach them about the Plan of Salvation.
Yesterday we had a goal to find 5 new investigators. At about 7:30 pm we still hadn't found a single one, so we said a prayer and asked God to put a famliy that was prepared in our pathway as we walked in the street towards the church.  Well, about a minute after the prayer we passed a couple sitting outside of their house. My companion and Iwere both sure that hte missionaries had already talked to them, because they live really close to our house.  We walked past them without saying anything, but I felt prompted to return and talk to them.  I think my companion said "Hi, we are missionaries.  Can we share a message with you?"  And well, they said yes, let us in, and after a super short but great lesson they accepted a baptism  date for the 30th of May.  The funny thing is that the girl friend, Marielos, is someone that we have contaced in the street many times.  We've even had appointments set to teach her, but both times that we passed by her house she hid from us or said she was Catholic.  Well yesterday she was a little embarassed to recieve us, but her boyfriend was very welcoming and she warmed up to us as well afterwards.  Hopefully this time she listens to God's call!
We have been teaching two parents and their daughter.  Ronald, Sigri, and Pricila.  Sigri and Pricila were Jehovah's Witness and Catholics before and so they have a lot different beliefs that are making it difficult for them to acheive a testimony of the resotred gospel.  But they have both come to church and are progressing slowly.  I think they'll be baptized soon.

Katalina coudnt come to church this wee because of work, so she won-t be getting baptized this Saturday.  We were a little bit bummed.  It was definitely the opposicion working against us!  We are planning her baptism for the 16th.
This week we had 43 lessons!  YAY!  I finally had more than 40, now we will have to shoot for 50 ;). 
Costa Rica is so amazing!
Love you all!
Oh, and last but not least.  I am shooting for calling home Sunday at 4, but it could be anywhere between 3:30 and 4:30.  Is that alright with you guys if not please send tell me within 20 mins!  Also, can I have your skype user ID again?
Hermana Bratt