Saturday, February 6, 2016

God guides us in simple things

February 1, 2016
Hello Everyone!

So the biggest news this week is transfers! I have a new companion, and if he looks familiar, that´s because he´s my district leader from these past three months. They sent my companion to San José, and the greenie of Elder Lopez (my new companion) to the beach. And they combined our areas, which are huge separately.   Now my area is simply gargantuan. We have easily over a hundred investigators combined. This is gonna be interesting. Now there´s only four missionaries in Santa Cruz, before there were six. My poor shoes aren't gonna last with all the walking we´ll be doing. (Why oh why are bikes banned?) It´s all very strange because I already know E. Lopez very well, He's always lived in the apartment next to mine. I've never heard of transfers like this, but I have high hopes. He´s a dynamic teacher so I´m sure we´ll be fine.

These next two experiences are gonna make some eyes roll, so please just realize that I am only relating what happened.

Magda and Runia are two older women (50 and 60) who love the word of God, they love to talk, and are a lot of fun to be with. Their mother also recently died, so we've been spending a lot of time with them lately. To cheer them up,  I thought it would be fun to do a spaghetti night where the missionaries made spaghetti, as well as Magda and Runia, then we´d test to see whose was best. Wanting my batch to be mouth watering, I called on my trusty cook Alfredo to help me (little did he know, I had an ulterior motive, I wanted his recipe, and so far he has resisted all attempts to obtain it). The night came, and the dinner went off without a hitch, the food was great, the company amiable. After we had all engorged ourselves, (painfully full) we sat and talked. And talked!  Boy, can they talk. And we got on the subject of Elder Ferrufinos imminent departure and the odious (to them) task of getting accustomed to a new Elder. So I mentioned how they had gotten accustomed to me pretty easily. And Runia (50 years old) said, "You know when you first arrived I just thought to myself, wow he´s really handsome." How do you answer that? Thank you? I´m already promised to someone? I decided to play the gringo who doesn't know the language¨ card, works every time. Although I´m sure it was a perfectly innocuous comment, it made me laugh a bit.

The second story is a little crazier. We have this couple as investigators, Randal and Vanessa. They're amazingly open to the gospel, really want to learn more. Only lately they have been avoiding us. We stopped by the house to talk with them.  Come to find out that Randal is very jealous and worried about the fact that "white men like Moreno women."  Really? I´m talking about repentance and salvation and all that great stuff and you´re worried about me stealing your wife? People these days. I'm either really handsome or giving off the wrong vibes. And since I´m not handsome... Something's gotta change. Maybe I can dye my skin.

So actually my part of Costa Rica is in drought season, we haven´t had rain in months. It´s just hellishly hot (although Indiana is worse.)

I learned this week that God will guide us in the simple things. This week I have really been stressed out about the disobedience I have been seeing, mostly because the result could possibly be very damaging to the Church and the other elders. Not knowing what I should do or who I should talk to, I decided to say a short and simple prayer. I felt like I should talk to the person (one in particular) that was having the trouble. I did my best to speak with love, and not as one who felt he was better or more pious. The result was gratifying. This elder opened up a little and told me about how much he was missing his family, and how hard that was for him. Also that he knew he needed to change some things and appreciated me being worried for him. The end result was that the problem was dealt with, and good groundwork was laid for later communication. Which is great cause he´s now my companion. :)

(apparently) Charmingly,

Elder Noah M. Toney

P.S.  This picture with all the missionaries is from a Costa Rica East/West combined mission conference to hear an apostle.
Santa Cruz Missionaries

This is with a family of recent converts, Elmer and Gandy.
We´re very close with them and spend a lot of time with them.

These pictures are from when I was helping make pupuzas, 
which are basically corn tortillas with cheese and potatos inside. DELICIOUS.

This is us and a family :) The pictures at the beach are from
our trip to san José to see the apostol.

On our way to hear an Apostle

Explanation - gerry wrigged wires my companion whipped up to get electricity into our room.

We should all be very scared!

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