The area that I am in right now (Nicoya) is HUGE. Like the actual city of Nicoya is not that big… maybe a little bigger than Sandpoint. But our area extends all the way down to the beach and all the way to the east to the beach over there. And that’s like an hour and a half or 2 hours. In both of those directions. A little overwhelming for sure. Here in Guanacaste (guanacaste is basically all the western coast of Costa Rica… it’s where the tourists go and also just a more humble type of living… lots of farms and such) anyway here in Guanacaste the church is still getting started. Aunt Suzy told me this week that the first stake in Costa Rica was organized in 1977 so I guess that really the church in all of Costa Rica is still relatively new but especially here in Guanacaste. Nicoya is a branch. There’s 399 people in the ward, but this week only 28 of them came to church. So it’s going to be a little different that Tropicana. Because Tropicana was literally I think the best ward in the whole of Costa Rica with the best bishop NOT KIDDING. So basically the ward in Tropicana was really good at helping the less actives, the converts, at coming to church. And so we could focus more on finding people. In Nicoya I’m my main focus is just to help this branch become a ward! Right now the retention (the converts that were baptized within a year that come to church) isn’t great. There are 10 recent converts in the ward, and before we came only 1 was consistently coming to church… yikes. But already more are coming to church so that’s been really good! Obviously we’re also still looking for people to teach but I think something that will help the converts to stay active in the church is to see the members consistently attending church as well!! Anyway we’re going to see how it goes haha.
I’ve definitely felt a little overwhelmed the past few weeks. Because I don’t know Nicoya and obviously my companion doesn’t either jaja because she only has like 2 weeks in the mission. And the missionaries before us had some investigators but they haven’t been very receptive to us visiting them so we’re bastically starting from scratch and just trying to find people to teach. It’s been really hard. And it was so hard to leave Tropicana haha I cried a lot. I just love everyone there so much :) It’s been hard to have the confidence in myself to believe that I can do it. But this week I read the conference talk ”Do we trust in Him? Hard is good” and I felt a lot of comfort in that. Because Heavenly Father knows it’s hard and He knows that I can do it. He trusts in me, and now the question is do I trust in Him? Something that really touched me this week was that I was reading in the Book of Mormon about when the Lord commanded Lehi and his family to travel in the wilderness and then 2 verses later gives them the Liahona… the way for them to accomplish what he has commanded. And then I got a prompting to read chapter 4 in PMG which talks about recognizing the voice of the Spirit. And I felt the Spirit so strongly in reading the second paragraph which basically just says that God loves me and He loves the people of Nicoya and He has promised me that He is going to lead me to them so that I can help them. I need to trust in that promise and in His love! And then I noticed that the picture they used for this chapter was when Lehi found the Liahona in the wilderness… and I was like woah… I was just reading about that. And then I looked back in my libro de mormon and I had written in the margin ”The Lord provides the way to fulfill His commandments” and right then the Spirit just hit me that God will help me and that He will provide the way because He loves me and He loves these people and it’s through the Spirit.
And also this Sunday we gave talks in church and I gave it on the talk ”Do we trust Him? Hard is good” because it had touched me this week and none of the other topics I could think of were flowing really well. And after I gave my talk this sweet lady from the United States came up to me and said that I had said exactly what she needed to hear. She’s in her sixties and learning to be an attorny for immigration. She’s already passed the exam to be an attorny but because she wants to help with immigration, she needs to learn Spanish. She’s really felt that this is God’s plan for her. So she came to Costa Rica this month to learn Spanish.. and it’s been really hard. And she was thinking that it’s just not going to work. But she could understand my Spanish and my talk and it was what she needed to hear. And it was just so incredible that I could be an instrument in God’s hands to help her have confidence in herself and in His plan!
And this week the STLs talked about the talk ”I have a work for thee” as well and I think Heavenly Father’s trying to tell me that I need to find out what His plan for me is haha. So I’m going to study that talk when I get home too.
I love you Mom! Thanks for everything :)