Monday, November 16, 2015

Lighting a fire in Santa Cruz

Hello Everyone!

As many of you know, I flew to Costa Rica on Tuesday of last week.  Sorry I didn´t call anyone. Apparently, pay phones are a thing of the past. and I wasn´t able to use my phone card.

My mission president is amazing, I love him already, even though he doesn´t speak much English at all. The mission home doubles as a chapel, but it´s nice, and far away from me, about five hours. My area is called Santa Cruz and it´s super rural, But the area is huge. We are always walking, many miles, and it is super hot, that coupled with the fact that we´ll go hours without anyone talking to us makes it hard at times. But I´m bound and determined to light a fire in the area, a fire of excitement about the Gospel. My trainer is from Honduras and we speak only Spanish. I have little trouble talking, but a lot of trouble understanding. My trainer is about the only person that I understand, and him inconsistently. Very few people speak English here. I´m told that my accent is super good and that I´m doing better than most gringos, but it´s hard to not understand anything. It is getting better though, hopefully soon I´ll be able to participate more.

My companion! Elder Ferrufino. He´s amazing. He´s only been here three months, so he´s right out his own training. We get along super well. I love working with him, and look forward to the coming months. Like I said, he´s from Honduras. So he doesn´t speak a lot of english. He´s quiet and always patient with me, even though often I don´t understand him, it must be frustrating for him. The other thing is that he doesn´t like to take a break for dinner, so we usually end up going about eight or nine hours without food. I´m learning to control my hunger haha.

This is me eating the giant stick of pepperoni that Christina sent me, I ate a pound and a half by myself. Pura vida. Glorious. 
Life is good! Never easy, but good. It seems like I never have enough food haha, at least I don´t have to worry about getting fat! Funny tidbit, our toilet has no seat, so I´m always worried about falling in! At least it isn´t an out house! Mosty of the day we spend walking, and I pray for the day in which that is easy. Thanks to advice from Lans Jameson, I´ve been keeping hydrated, and that helps a lot. The weather is HOT, HOT, HOT. Always, so much so that I´ve taken to carrying around a sweat rag, which is nasty but efficient. It also rains a lot, and this is the dry season, yikes.

So the members. This is actually the biggest bummer for me here. There are like 700 inactives in my area, and maybe 70 actives. We had stake conference the other day, and literally zero members showed up. It doesn´t discourage me, rather it makes me want to work harder. So I've been praying about what to do. I don´t want you to think that the members are slackers or anything, because they aren´t. They just need to understand better the value of church. There are also some really cool members. For instance, our cook Alfredo, (yes that´s his name, he cooks lunch for us most days of the week, SO GOOD. I love the food here. It´s super healthy and satisfying, Lots of rice and beans, like I thought) He´s also the first counselor in our bishopric. He´s an amazing returned missionary. I'm sure that I´d be super impressed with what he says if only I could understand him!

I get letters once a month, so emails are faster, but I can´t really print them off (it´s pretty expensive) So I'll leave it up to you. I think I appreciate all of my loves ones now more than ever. All of my family is super important to me. I think that´s why I love teaching families. It´s because this Gospel is meant for the uplifting and bringing together of families.

A quick funny story about my sweat rag. We were at the church building for correlation, and I accidently forgot it there. The next morning we were at the ward building for a baptism (not ours) And I found it there and then used it for the rest of the day. My companion then told me that one of the hermanas had used it to clean off her wet feet and the baptismal font the night before. AFTER I had used it all day he told me this. Oh my. Well my time is up, I love you all, you´re in my prayers.


Elder Noah M. Toney

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