Sunday, December 22, 2013

September 30

Hola Familia, September 30, 2013

Wow so for this month the goal of the mission was to have 200 baptisms, it has never been reached before in the mission and the mission reached it. People had said that it was impossible, but it happened :) There were 204 baptisms!!

As for the mission and my feelings for it, well it is all three. Really depends on the day that you ask me. Some days I absolutely love the mission, other days I just struggle through the day, but i would never change it for anything the good and the bad, the hard and the easy! The thing i hate is so many times I feel so inadequate. I know this week I had a lot of my weaknesses brought to my attention and it was really hard for me, but I am trying to learn and grow from it. It has been really hard to see no one really accept the gospel, but I have really had my own testimony strengthened because of this. I have realized how important it is to live the Gospel, read the scriptures, pray, and go to church. I have seen how the Book of Mormon really was written for our day. The prophets and their writings now have more meaning for me as I have felt some of the feelings that they have described.

The people here for the most part are warm and loving, many don't mind that we share something, but they do not want to change. They like listening, but they do not like doing. Many do not understand the importance of Religion. They all almost say well we are all worshiping the same God, so it doesn’t matter where you go. Authority is something that no one understands here and many refuse to accept even when we show them the scriptures. Many people what to believe that God is the way they imagine and don't understand that they can't choose what God is like. Also no one understands the importance of going to church, including the members. I love the members here, but we have a lot of unique challenges with them. We don't get much help from the members which makes the work really hard here, but yesterday the president started to come out with us to visit less actives and it was so good. They lit up like you wouldn't believe.

We are continuing working with Rocio, but she is like a closed book. She will not admit that anything is wrong and because of that she can't fix anything.

My companion will be going home after this change, so only 3 weeks left for her in the mission. I have a feeling that they are going to take the sister missionaries out of this area, it hasn’t really been growing. Almost all of the recent converts have fallen away. Our recent converts and the recent converts of the Elders have all fallen away. Members are so important in the work. They, you, really have a lot of power. Just a short visit makes all the difference!!

As far as money goes... yes they give us enough money for food, for transportation, for housing, for utilities and for personal items, like shampoo, dish soap, and things like that. Food is super expensive here. Housing is cheap, clothing, i don't know. Gas is also super expensive. The majority of people use buses here.

Of course I have missed you. It is different when you can talk to you everyday, you don't feel as home sick and see you every once in a while. I am so sorry that I have been so difficult in the past to correct me. I was being prideful and I didn't want to change. Thank you for all your hard work and for being amazing parents. I have really had me eyes opened here. You really are amazing parents.

With William, yes that is so unfair. I want you to go to Mormon messages and watch the "Will of God" it is on the 3rd page. I really love Mormon messages and have really helped here in the mission, but there are almost none in Spanish but i have found ways to get Spanish subtitles on some of them. :) Gabby well she will learn a lot while she is out there. She is going to make mistakes that are part of living, hopefully she will learn from them. I don't have spell check, only in Spanish.

I love you so much, I hope that your week is amazing!!!
Con Amor,
Hermana Anneliese Jenkinson

Picking Mamones; Me, my trainer, and my trainer's trainer

September 23

Hola Familia, 23 Sept 2013

I am still in Perez and it looks like I will be here one more change after this as well. This is my companion’s last change before she goes home. So unless they white wash the area I will be here for one more change after this. My district is exactly the same. WOHOO. I love my district so I am fine
with that. We heard that only 10 missionaries changed this change. Elder Guti has been here for one change longer than I have and it is his first area as well. We have about the same time in the mission. This last week has definitely been a learning week. My companion has taught me so much and not just about the gospel. I am learning to be more organized. It is killing me, but she is helping. God definitely had us together for more than one reason we have been able to learn a ton from one another. I love her so much and it is crazy to see how much she has changed in 6 weeks. Change for the better :) Perez is teaching us to have faith and trust in God.

Zone Conference was super good. We didn´t get our heads chopped like we thought we would. It was all about taking feedback and criticism so that we can change and get better. Basically after everything being, like, what can I do better? I think that it is very good and we have learned a lot from it. I know that it helps keep us humble. Normally we get chewed out for our numbers. With the zone leaders, almost everything is about numbers, why aren´t the numbers high, what are they not doing so that the numbers are low, stuff like that. For us, our challenge is that our area is huge and it takes a lot of time to get from one place to another so we lose a lot of time walking.

We follow the rules as close as we can. I will not say that we are perfect but we are working on getting better and better. There are a lot of rules and it is really easy to break some of them. So then we have to repent and work on not breaking it again. A lot of it is like with time. We have to exercise for 30 min every day in order for us to do that we have to wake up at like 5:45. It is hard for me to wake up that early every day and be out till 9 every night. But it is good :)

My baptism, yes we keep working with her,,, so we asked her like 10 billion times if she was married and she always said yes, it turns out they have things like marriage records online here, and it looks like she is not married after all. That was really hard on me to find out. Something very interesting about the culture here is they have something called ‘pani’ which is child’s rights. Basically a lot of girls here at age 15 to 17 will leave their house and move in with a boyfriend who is, like 27-35 years old. The parents can´t really do anything about it because it is their child’s right to do that. The girl ends up getting pregnant and then the guy leaves her. That is basically what happened with Rocio, I think. It is really sad. The hardest thing is that we really can´t work with her because she will not admit to herself that anything is wrong.

You don´t need to send the lice stuff. They are gone - Wohoo. I still have a bottle of lice stuff in the apartment. Just so you know American chocolate like Reeses and cheez itz! I think those are the main things I miss that I can think of right now.

As far as investigators go we really only have, like three. Latins here really do not understand the importance of going to church. That gets really frustrating at times. "The religion doesn´t save you only God" "We all worship the same God" I cannot tell you how many times I have heard that. Satan is really good with the half truths.
Well I love you all soooo much :) Hermana Anneliese Jenkinson

My Crazy District- I Love them all!

September 16

Hola Familia, September 16, 2013

Well this week we went to a zone conference in Cartago. Afterward we ate lunch in a palace!! Well at least it looked like a miniature Indian palace. There is a member in Cartago that has a beautiful house that the zone leaders eat lunch in many times. I couldn´t take pictures of the house because it is private property and the owners themselves weren´t there but wow it was really pretty. This coming week will be Cambios, I don´t know if I will go or stay. It is really common with this mission president to be in an area 6 months. So this time next week I may be here still or I may be somewhere else with a new companion. I could see both happening. I won’t know till Wednesday if I leave and if so I will leave Thursday. They don´t want people to stop working just because they know that they are going to go, so that is why it is so last minute.

We had an investigator come to church this week!! YAY Oh and the 15th was their independence day. It was fun to see the different traditions here. They had like 2 parades one that was tinny the day before and a big one the day of. It was crazy the parade route starts right next to our house so it was supper loud Sunday while we were trying to study. Saturday night they had something called a farrol which is like little paper things, houses, stars, torches, whatever you can think of with a light in it and they do a little parade thing. Well I hope that everything is good with you. I am safe and sound. It sounds like October is when the rain will really come here. That will be crazy!!

Con Amor,
Hermana Anneliese Jenkinson

Playing Tennis with my district

September 9

Hola Familia!! September 9, 2013

This week we had the Sister Training Leaders come and visit us. It was really good and really fun to go on splits with them. I ended up not cutting my hair :) Yay and the lice are gone!! Transfers will be happening soon, not this week, but the next week. I have no idea if I will go or not. Maybe yes, maybe no. It is pretty normal here to be in an area 4 to 6 months. I cannot believe that I have been out for 5 months now!! Time is supper weird here.

I can understand why people are coming home early. The mission is hard. I always thought that it was the physical part that was hard, but it really is the mental part. There are good days and bad days. The important thing is to focus on the positive. There will always be the negative part and you just have to focus on the positive. The thing that has helped me the most is to not just think about the now but about the future as well. The language is not really a problem now, only on the phone, when they talk fast. The mission makes you step out of your comfort zone and that is hard. You have to learn to conquer some of your fears. I have days of disappointment and days when I feel like Iam not good enough, but the Lord has really blessed me. Being a missionary really is stressful. It is not just the culture shock; I think I am very much over that. But every day people are demanding numbers and demanding more than you think you can do. For me I have found having a personal relationship with God is so important and if he is happy with what you did that day it doesn´t really matter what other people think. I love in the mission that you are always working on becoming better. There is always something to work on, but bit by bit you become better.

As far as the girl we baptized, she has only come to church once after her baptism and confirmation. This is very normal here. Our focus this change has been the members more than investigators. The members first need to be strong before they can support others. We don´t really have investigators and none that are progressing. The people here like to listen, but they don´t want to change. Their words are close to him, but many have hearts far from him. Change is hard, Change hurts, during the process one wonders if it is all worth it, but I know that it is. I probably send so many gospel letters because that really is my life here. I have really grown in my love for the gospel. I find as I study for my investigators as I teach them I have been teaching myself. The importance has really sunk deep in me. I really do want to help them come unto Christ.

I do miss things about home every now and again. The other day I missed watching movies. While waiting for a bus for 2 hours I basically told my companion the whole story of “Ever After”. I realized I basically have that movie memorized. There is a dog close to our house that jumps like nothing I have seen. It jumps like it is on a trampoline. It is really funny to see in the mornings. I am getting more flexible! Slowly but surely. I stretch almost every day and go running almost every day too!! We played tennis today it was fun. Oh I will be going to Cartago this week for a zone conference. It sounds like we are going to get corta la hoopa ( get our heads chopped off :) ) Oh well I am excited. I like zone conferences.
I love you :) Hermana Anneliese Jenkinson

The Costa Rican Hermanas

September 2

September 2, 2013

Well the lice are pretty much gone! YAY. These past two days have been crazy and I have learned so much! I don´t even know where to start. Well these last couple of weeks I have felt like I have been hitting a wall spiritually and I couldn´t pass through. I could feel disunion (I don´t remember what this word is in English right now sorry) creeping in and I was trying to fight it back mostly by denying that I had it, but I felt like it was a war I was losing. Then yesterday during ward counsel I received revelation and I heard what I needed to hear. Then afterwards we went and taught a member about the restoration of the gospel. We were not teaching that lesson, rather the spirit was and I learned so much.

I learned that this is the only true Church on this earth because it really is the only one that has the authority of God. Our leaders were called of God. They were not elected by a counsel. Someone did not just decide that they would be good, but they were called of God! When you criticize or wonder why someone is your leader in the church you are really telling God that you think that you know better than him who should be the leaders. You know better than him how the church should be run. Support your leaders. They may not be perfect, but they are called of God. Help them, help them to be better, and do not criticize them. The reasons there have been apostasy in the past is because the people thought that they know better than their leaders/prophets how the church should be run. Sometimes what are leaders ask us to do is uncomfortable. It was uncomfortable for the Jews to stop living the Law of Moses but that did not change the fact that God changed things.

Keep doing the little things, read your scriptures every day, pray every day, go to church!! Satan is trying to destroy you and now more than ever, these are the last days, God is hastening his work and Satan is working even harder too. You can´t miss a day of scripture study or of prayer. These little things protect you from him. When you miss a day he has that much more power to be able to persuade you to do the wrong. It all starts with a thought, then it will go to words, and then it will go to actions and it can bring down even the strongest saint if you don´t stop it fast enough. This is the True church, Thomas S. Monson is a prophet of God and your leaders are called from God!! Protect yourselves and the family from Satan. If you are reading your scriptures, praying, going to church and keeping the commandments Satan can´t get you. Please, please protect yourself. Do not let pride enter your hearts. Pride really does destroy. We do not know everything, but God does. Read the talk by Ezra Taft Benson about pride. It is such an easy sin to commit. I really do love you all and i want you all to be safe!! I am so grateful for this opportunity to be able to serve the Lord. This is his work, his Gospel is perfect.

I love you all sooo much!!! I love hearing all about your different adventures. I hope that you have a fun week :) Chao

Les Quiero,
Hermana Anneliese Jenkinson

Lice Hunt

August 19

Hola Familia! August 19,2013

Wow it sounds like these last two weeks were absolutely crazy for you guys! For me, well I guess I will start with the bad news of the week. So yesterday I woke up with my head and neck itching like crazy!! I was supper confused and I was like, what in the world is going on. I have my companion look at my neck, but it was all so red from my scratching that she couldn´t see anything. The day was pretty good, and I did my best to restrain from scratching and when we got home my comp looked at my neck and saw a bunch of red dots. I then had her look at my head, the lamp dad gave me came in handy. Well, she only started looking and she found that I have lice!!! I am not very happy about it, but I will survive. We had to come down to San Jose today due to the fact that one of Hermana Cruz´s crowns fell out last Monday. The elders had to come down today as well due to the fact that elder Smoot had a doctor’s appointment. So we had a fun trip down here. Well this morning was a little of an adventure. So after we found out that I had lice, we stayed up till 3 in the morning with Hermana Cruz killing some of the dang things in my hair. We get to the bus stop at 7 am and our bus was supposed to leave at 7:15, but it didn´t come till 8!!! We then got on the bus and there wasn´t enough seats so me, Hermana Cruz and Elder Guti shared two seats between the 3 of us. We were very squished, but oh well :)

I really can´t remember what happened this last week, time is going by so fast here. I really can’t believe that it is the end of Aug all ready and everyone is back in school. Where did the time go? I feel like it is still April or may and then I am shocked when I realize that we are in Aug.

My new comp is really amazing; every time I turn around she is serving me. She is also an amazing teacher when it comes to the scriptures. She explains things so clearly that there is no doubt about what she is teaching. She has also been teaching me how to really use questions. I really am so grateful for her.
We visited a bunch of people this week, but no one is really progressing. For the past 4 months all we do is go in circles it feels like. We will find people, start teaching them, they only want to listen and not to change anything. I have also really learned the importance of prayer this week. Prayer is when you have the chance to talk to your father who always loves you. Many people feel that he doesn´t listen, or that they are not worthy to talk to him. THAT is not true!!! God always listen, the problem is that many times we don´t listen to him and accept his response. Also God always wants you to be able to talk to him. Especially when you feel like you are the least worthy to talk to him. If you talk to him and listen to him then he can heal you. The feelings of unworthiness are not from him but from Satan. Satan will do anything to keep someone from really talking to their Heavenly Father. Also don´t be afraid to ask questions. If you put in your part God will help you answer them.

Oh I remember what else we did this week. We had a huge conference with all the Hermanas in the mission. It was supper good. I really liked the part when President Wilkinson gave us a speech and he used the example of Mary the mother of Jesus to show what is a real woman and how it is completely different then what the world teaches.

I love you all so much!
Con amor,
Hermana Anneliese Jenkinson

Anneliese & Hermana Cruz

August 12, 2013

Hola Familia, August 12, 2013
Well I hope that you are all doing well this week. This week we had changes. dun dun dun
I am still in perez zeledon oosh, and my new companion is Hermana Cruz from Mexico!!! She is super awesome. She is 27, but doesn’t look it at all. She is super sweet!! Very serious, but sweet, and is always giving compliments. She is just about to finish her mission she leaves in October oh and she is a doctor. How cool is that. When she goes back home she is planning on specializing. She has been teaching me a whole ton and we have hope that we can bring more people to Christ here. As I have been reading the scriptures I have really found a lot that talks about this time and how many people will not accept Christ and it is really sad!! Well this week is mother’s day here and on Tuesday we will be going to San Jose for a conference just for the sisters :) I am excited for it. I will get to see my two comps from the MTC.
Oh and I found out that my companion is with one of my companions from the MTC. How cool is that? Well that is the most exciting thing that happened this week. I am doing well and I love you all. I hope that everything is good.
Te quierro
Hermana Anneliese Jenkinson

Friday, October 18, 2013

August 5, 2013

5 August 2013

Well this week Rocio got baptized!!! Wohoo my first baptism in the mission. She was so super cute and sweet. I guess about 3 days before the baptism some Jehovah Witnesses stopped by and said some terrible things about the Book of Mormon, and she asked them why they would they say such bad things about my religion? She is so sweet. Both of her babies had a fit when she went up to receive the Holy Ghost though, but in all it all went well.

I am still with Hermana Romero this week; Thursdays are transfers so we will see what happens, we will probably know tomorrow or Wednesday if there are changes. In our mission it is not normal for someone to be in an area that long. Normally it is 4 months; We think it was just so long with her because she got trained here for three months and then she in turn became a trainer for me for another 3 months. I’m already preparing for her to leave, (and maybe I’m a goner too). I am definitely going to miss her a ton.

To answer Mom’s question: Yes, we receive money every month for food, transport, rent, utilities, clothing and personal items. We also get fed a ton here. There are some days when every house we hit feeds us. There are some days we eat so much that I feel like I am going to throw up because I am so full. That being said, I know that I lost the pounds that I gained at the MTC (from sitting in class so much). Today when I woke up I was pretty ill and that was not fun, it is the first time since I have been here that I have been sick. I found out later that one of the other Elders was ill too. We had all eaten lunch together the day before, so we are guessing that something in the food didn´t settle well on our gringo stomachs. Both of the Latin American missionaries were fine. I used some of the medicine that I brought with me from home, and I gave some to the Elder too. I already feel a ton better.

Saturday we went contacting to one of our neighbor’s house. Missionaries in the past have talked with them before and we were trying again. We started talking with one of them outside his house and one of his friends came by during our discussion and he got really interested and so now we have an appointment to visit him this next week. Things are starting to change here, slowly but surely in the right direction. It is really exciting to see the change. Right now they are only small changes, but by small and simple things great things come to pass. I love you all and think about you. Have an excellent week!!

Les Amo,

Hermana Anneliese Jenkinson

Monday, October 7, 2013

July 20, 2013

Hola Familia,

Wow week was a hard week that ended on a good note. So Hermana Romero´s foot was doing really good she had to wear the boot for like two weeks and them it was better, but then this week it started to hurt again, but if a different area so once again i went out with the youth while she rested her foot. This time I understood the people we were teaching the problem was that all of our lessons fell through. When i say all i mean all!! We have been really focusing on trying to gain the trust of the members this week because to be honest in our area we do not have thier trust and we can not do this work with out them. This week was super hard and frustrating and then at the end of the week president came and did interviews with our district. They went really well. He really is an amazing mission pres. He has a lot of expectations, but it makes us work hard. After his interview we went to the house of one of the appointments that had fallen through earlier in the week. The appointment had fallen through because she wasn{t home which was really wierd. Her name is Rocio and she is a 19 year old girl with 2 kids and has been married for 4 years already, which is really odd because almost no one is married here in costa Rica. Anyway she is a super sweet sincear girl and she has already attented church with us 2 times. It turned out that she was at a friends house that night and tried to get back on time but didn{t quite make it. Any ways we started the lesson with her we gave her a book of mormon about 2 weeks ago and so we asked her if she had read any of it and she said very apologeticly, i have only been able to read a little bit, and we where like that is ok how much is a little, and she said, well i am only just starting Jacob!!! And we where both blown away and were like no that is really good, that is a ton. and she was like well by husband is almost done with it. We have never met with her husband and he has already read almost the whole book of mormon!!! We continued on in the lesson and hermana Romero had a picture of the costa rican temple in her hymn book and rocio saw it and asked about it and we explain it a little and she was like i want to go there some day!!! Then at the end of the lesson we gave her a pamplet of the resturation to explain about how to recieve an answer and she flipped through the pamplet and saw the picture of joseph smiths first vision and she stopped and she said, i have seen this before and i was like oh i think we showed it to you when we explained about josph smith and she was like, no i have seen it before that. When i was eight i had a dream and i saw this, except for i didn{t see the two people just the colomn of light. Well to say the least we were both shocked and we told her that was probably god talking to her. We are going to visit her tonight so we will see how it goes.

Well we no longer have problems with mice!! YAY Spanish has definatley gotten easier and i can almost always understand people only in the nights and the early mornings do i still have a hard time. Now when i speak english i speak really bad spanglish. When i come home you might not be able to understand me :) ha Ha I got the pics, i loved seeing them all. Oh my goodness william is so tall!!! I can not believe it. What happened to my little brother! ;) I have a couple of other stories this week but they are best explained through pics :)

Love you all,

Hermana Anneliese Jenkinson

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Giant Hamburger!!

Hola Family and Friends,                                                                                          15 July 2013

Well this week Hermana Romero and I have been focusing on working with the members of the branch. I do not have to do anything in the branch. We do have a piano but several of the youth of the branch play. As far as meals go we normally eat with the same couple of families or cook on our own. There are a couple key families in the branch that we really know and a few we don´t know hardly at all and then a bunch of less actives. As I have visited with many of the less actives I have come to learn that many fell away because of what someone else in the branch said or they were baptized hoping that the church would help with their financial situation. It is really difficult working with the ones who hoped for better financial situation because they act like they really never did believe; they are like investigators who never progress.

Hermana Romero´s foot is starting to hurt again, but this time in a different place. I feel so bad for her. As far as district leaders go, it has been a change, but it has been a good one. My first district leader was definitely very trunky. Our district leader now pushes us to work harder, but he isn´t like a task master. He is a very good leader. I know that he expects nothing less than our best.

This last week I have really come to understand our message more fully. I don’t think I can explain it. Our message is truly incredible and the best part is that it is true. This, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints is the only true church on the planet. It is the only one that has the authority of God to perform the saving ordinances. When we follow God´s commandments He really does bless us when we keep them. Not only spiritually but temporally as well. There are people ready to receive his gospel we just need to find them.

One of the investigators that the elders have is amazing. She is about 17 years old and wow she has totally and completely accepted the Gospel. My companion and I have had the opportunity to be in two lessons with her. The elders placed a fecha (date) for her to get baptized and she moved it up because she doesn´t want to wait. In seeing her it only shows that there are people ready we just need to find them.

Hermana Romero and I are working on changing things because we know that there are better ways to teach than what we are doing right now. Also the Spirit is so essential in all the work we do. We cannot do the missionary work with it. It is not possible.

I love all of your letters. They mean a ton to me. I love you all dearly,

Hermana Anneliese Jenkinson
PS: So after I told you guys about the mice we went and bought rat poison and traps. Our count of dead mice is up to 4 now. Two of which I have killed with my foot. ewww. I will have to tell you more about it later. Love you

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Changing District Leaders

Last photo of my old district- good bye Elder Castellanso

P-day: We played volleyball with our new district leader Elder Smoot

July 1, 2013

Dear Family and Friends,                                                                                               01 July 2013

Wow!! There is so much to write about. Hopefully I can write it all! So I have been in the mission for a whole Cambio (or exchange) now. Last week was our Cambios and our old District Leader, Elder Castellanos went back home to Honduras. It is weird not having him here anymore. So because he went home he and Elder Gutierrez went to San Jose to wait for a new companion. Hermana Romero and I were very curious who our new district leader would be. We expected them to probably be home late the next day so we called to welcome the new elder, but there was no answer. We called again later and still no answer.  We figured Elder Gutierrez was going to be a trainer? This is because only trainers receive there companions a day later. That same day we went to a member’s house and on our way out to work we passed by the bus station where people were arriving from San Jose. Normally we do not pass this bus during the day. Hermana Romero said as we were a ways off from the bus stop oh I wish there was a bus and the elders were on it and we would get to see the new elder! As we got closer to the bus stop we saw a white shirt, black pants and a tie. We both looked at each other and said there was no way there could only be one elder getting off that bus, it must be some other random person! As we walked closer we could see that this person is on the phone with his back to us. Finally he turned and we saw the telltale of a missionary plaque on his shirt pocket!! But where is Elder Gutierrez?!! We welcomed the new elder to Perez and then asked, ‘Where is your companion?!!?’ It turns out there was a miscommunication and Elder Gutierrez was still in San Jose. It was quite funny, but I felt really bad for him, because being without your companion is sort of breaking a cardinal rule. The new elder is Elder Smoot from California. He has been on his mission for over a year now. (He is not related to the Smoots in Lindon as far as he knows).  He played volleyball in college!! He is our new district leader.

Our investigators Carlos and Zulai, who had a baptism date, are no longer progressing. They live in a poorer part and they started to ask if the church could help them with money. After we told them that the church doesn´t just give money to people we have basically lost all contact with them. They aren´t answering our phone calls, they aren´t home when we visit them. It is looking like they only attended church because they wanted money. This has been really sad for us, but we are now looking to other investigators. We are really working on giving good lessons and challenging people to be baptized. We have a girl we met last Sunday who is really good. We have taught her twice and the spirit has been so strong with us both times. She says she wants to read the Book of Mormon... so we will see what happens.

We haven´t had any problems with bugs trying to sleep with us thank goodness. But we have had a little visitor in our house the past couple of days... We came home one night and we were getting ready to start our planning session. I was in the other room when I heard Hermana Romero start freaking out. I rushed in because Hermana Romero normally doesn´t freak out. She said ‘there´s una rata in the house!!’  I looked and I didn´t see anything and I asked which way it had gone. She pointed at the window where we keep all our clean plates. I checked it out, moved some plates around and I still didn’t see anything. I guess it ran out the window, so I closed the window. We finished planning and I went in and heard scratching over by our plates. When I moved the plates I saw a little tiny black mouse hiding under the plates. I opened up the window and scared the mouse out then shut it again. Whew, that settles that mouse problem – yea right. The next day I heard some scratching noise again and I looked at our door that goes out to our back patio. Our back door doesn´t have a knob or latch and is just open. In that knob opening I saw that little mouse staring at me. I told Hermana Romero we needed to find something to cover the hole in the door. She looked at me a little confused and asked why. So I told her pointing at the mouse that it could enter through it and she started freaking out again. During her freak out she got the brilliant idea to take my broken umbrella and put it in the hole in the door. So we now have an umbrella in the door blocking out the mice :).

There have been questions about whether or not there is any technology here. Almost everyone has cell phones. I have seen many smart phones and a couple of tablets. As far as transportation we use the bus all the time here! Fortunately it is normally not too expensive. :)

The hard thing here is that a lot of people will listen to us the first lesson and will agree that we are sent from god, but they won’t do anything about it, or they don´t want to change. These people are not opposed to hearing the word of God otherwise. They really contradict themselves a lot which is really frustrating and they don´t seem to realize it or maybe not care. So we often can give the first lesson but we have very few who accept the invitation for the second lesson. Many times we will set up an appointment to return and they pretend to be interested, but they are not there when we come calling... or they won’t answer the door. Such is the life of a missionary here.

Well I love you all,
Hermana Anneliese Jenkinson

Photos from June 24th

Together with Sister Roundy at 1 month meeting

What Perez looks like

My district with cute members

Me with some cute members

June 24th letter

Hola Familia,                                                                             24 June 2013
This week I had to write this letter a little earlier due to the fact that we have a lot to do this afternoon. This week was yet another week with a lot of travel! So, on Tuesday we had the First Month check. After one month of being in the mission, all missionaries in this mission go to the president's house for a check to see how they are doing; it comes with a yummy meal too. That was so much fun!! It was so good to see my companions from the MTC! They are all doing well. It was another fun trip up to San Jose. Later in the week Hermana Romero’s ankle started hurting again, so I did splits yet again with a different member. The day was actually really good and we got some new investigators from it :) That night we got a call from the Sister Training Leaders and told us we were going to do exchanges with them. So we went on a 3 hour bus ride to meet them in the middle of our two areas. I loved doing the exchanges. I was able to learn a ton. Hermana Cardez and I returned to Perez and my companion went to their area. Hermana Cardez has been here for over a year and you can definitely tell. She has experience. I am very grateful for the things I learned. The next day we met back up with my companion. It was good to have her back and I did miss her. She no longer has to wear the boot!! YAY she is super excited about that. Now we just need to be careful that she doesn´t hurt it again.
Something interesting about the rivers here is that when it rains they all turn a brown orange color due to the dirt.
Yesterday we went out to an area where we don´t have many investigators and did a lot of contacting. During the day it felt like we weren´t doing very much and that we weren´t having any success. We would teach a few people the first lesson and we kept getting the, well we all pray to the same god so it doesn´t really matter what church we go to. That is where we have lots of problems. People will listen to us because it is good to listen to the word of God. But they don´t understand the importance of authority and when we try and explain it they just resist. Very frustrating. Then in the evening we had an amazing lesson where the spirit was so strong. We talked to a girl named Estefani about forgiveness. Wow I am so grateful for the experiences like that. It makes it all worth it to see someone receive hope and a desire to be closer to God.
I know our message is true. I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and the Redeemer of the world. Only through Him can we be saved. I know that through the ordinances of the church we can live with our families for the eternity.
I love you all!!!
Hermana Anneliese Jenkinson

Sunday, June 16, 2013

I came across an American who was on vacation to Costa Rica and she sent this photo home to my mom.

This is our kitchen, we are really lucky to have a microwave and a blender!

This is what we use to wash our clothes. We have to hang our stuff out to dry. There is no such thing as dryers here.

Costa Rican hillside

The rain in Costa Rica just pours down!

Hello,                                                                                                                12 June 2013
Well, Sorry I had to send off the last letter really quick just to let you know that I was okay, and you were expecting something.
Hooray, I was able to get into my email account this week. I really have no idea why it wouldn´t let me in last week!! This has definitely been an interesting week. A week ago I went to San Jose to fill out and submit paperwork at the embassy. And I told you about getting there, but not the reason.
Our district doesn´t go to zone conferences because the rest of our zone is 5 hours away from us. So tomorrow our zone leaders will be coming here to visit.
 So as I am sure you could tell from the most recent note I sent we had to head out to San Jose once again on P-day. This time it is because my companion’s ankle has been hurting her for the last couple of weeks and so she called the mission nurse who told her to take some pain relief meds for about a week and then call back if it didn´t get better. It was starting to get better when Monday night almost a week after she started the pain relievers she twisted her ankle really bad on some rocks. So we called the nurse and she told Hermana Romero that she needed to take a couple of days off so that it could heal.
 While she stayed in a member’s house I went on splits with 3 different members of the Branch. The first member was Angi, a 19 year old who is thinking about a mission. She was fun to go with, but she too sprained her ankle. The next day I went out with Naomi, a 13 year old who wants to eventually serve a mission. This was an interesting day because we didn´t really have any appointments set up, so we were basically contacting. The first family we met was an Seventh-Day Adventist family, 2 of whom were visiting from the states, it was very interesting because they were rude in both English and Spanish. One attacked us for worshipping on Sunday and not on Saturday. The ‘lesson’ finally ended. I really didn´t let them bug me though. We gave our message and then left. At the end of all our lessons we always invite a member of the family to say the closing prayer. Well, one of them was very excited to offer the prayer and in the middle of it he asked God to show us the truth. He really kind of reminded me of the Jews during the time of Christ. I have been reading Jesus the Christ by Talmage and I absolutely love it! It really gives a good look into the spiritual and historical look at His life and in the order it occurred. The next woman we found was really nice and invited us right in. We taught, well, I taught about the restoration of the gospel, gave her a Book of Mormon, and Naomi bore her testimony. In her prayer at the end of the lesson, Naomi said that she had thanked God for giving her an answer. I didn´t hear this part so I didn´t find out until after we had left. We are going to go back a visit her again. She is supposed to start working soon and so she didn´t know when she would be able to have us come back. The 3rd Branch member I went out with was Clarita, a 17 year old who is really sweet and trying to decide if she should go on a mission. We had a hard day with no luck on finding anyone.
There was one day when we couldn´t find anyone to go on splits with me so I stayed in our apartment all day with Hermana Romero. Right now everyone is doing finals so it is really hard to find anyone to go with me. I am not sure why we don´t ask the older members of the Branch to go with us. This was definitely a learning experience for me because I ended up doing pretty much all the talking and teaching and I really had to listen super hard to make sure I understood what they were saying. 
We have a branch here with about 100 members who are active. There are about 3 or 4 families who make up the core of the ward and end up helping us out a lot. I am not sure how many members are less active.  The main reasons I’ve seen for inactivity in the church is because someone had offended them or they are too sick to participate. I have found that our branch area covers an hour and a half by bus ride from the church!! We have mostly been working close to the church because it is fairly expensive to go far out and would be hard to bring these people to the church. We have been having good experience close in so far.
In our neighborhood we have running water, electricity, and telephone service. There is a wide variety as far as wealth goes and they are all kind of mixed in together. In my apartment we have a kitchen with a sink, fridge, microwave and stove type thing. We are lucky because not many of the missionaries have microwaves or a blender and we have both!! 
Well after all the rest Hermana Romero had given her ankle it was still hurting a lot so we called the nurse and she told us she would talk to a doctor. Monday morning she called us and told us that she had an appointment in San Jose for Hermana Romero in like three hours so we rushed around got out the door and rode the 3 hour bus ride to San Jose. The diagnosis was a bad sprain. A boot would be needed to immobilize the foot. Oh, I had had some sports tape in my first aid kit so I had been taping her ankle to try and help. When we arrived the office the doctor said that the tape job was good and mentioned that it was something generally seen in American Sports team medicine. I felt very happy with my taping job. We were in the Doctor’s office too late to return back to Perez so we stayed the night in San Jose. Hermana Wilkinson (mission prez wife), picked us up in the morning to go buy the boot. Anyway, back to Hermana Wilkinson, she had to take her daughter to graduation practice right after so I got to see more of San Jose. She also bought us some yummy food!! It was a fun day. She then drove us to the bus station to go back to Perez. My companion is about ready to die with embarrassment with the boot. Even having the Tape was embarrassing for her so this is, like, terrible! 
Thank-you for the picture of gabby, she looks beautiful! So the other week I showed my district a picture of our family, to show that I really am the shortest. Elder Castellanos saw Gabby and was like, who is that!!! Just so you know, Gabby, there is a Honduran over here who thinks you are really cute.
Well I love you all. I am going to try and send you some pics. Love you all.
PS: yes I feel safe out here. There are just certain streets that we are wise to stay away from during the night because they are really empty and have that creep factor.
Love Hermana Jenkinson

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Hola everyone!                                                                             03 June 2013
Elder Gutierez is letting me use his email account because somehow I locked myself out of mineL. I hope that you are all doing well!
        This week we had to go to San Jose for residency stuff. There was a big group of us there. On our way to San Jose the bus suddenly stopped and we had no idea why. Then we found a landslide covering the road! There was no way that our bus could pass!! Luckily there was a bus on the other side trying to get to Perez so we just switched busses and we continued on to San Jose. It was quite a different adventure.
        I have had a tough couple of weeks here. I don’t know to write to you about them because it makes me more stressed out thinking about it. I am working through it all. There have been some great times too.
        This week has been good in that Carlos and Suli, two of our investigators, came to church again this week. They are from Tiera Prometeda and they brought a friend with them; even better! I think they really liked the church. We will continue to teach them.
         Today for P-day we played some sports with the elders and one of the member families. No surprise they played some good soccer. We also played some basketball, but they didn’t know the rules very well and didn’t shoot well either. Playing with them reminded more of foul ball :) We then played volleyball... they played it about the same as many there in the states who just get the ball over the net by any means necessary, but it was fun. I really like my district.
         Something I really have to watch myself that I always seem to be guilty of is when people ask me where I am from I have to make sure I say the United States, and not America, because, they are from America too.
          Well I love you sorry I didn´t have much time to write you this week and I know this letter is short. Oh also, if you have time. Will you also send me a copy through It takes a long time for me to receive the but they send a hard copy of the letter, and I like having something that I can read at any time. Email is quicker when I can get into it, but can only read it on P-day! I’m just learning all this stuff.
        Well got to go.
Con Amor,
Hermana Anneliese Jenkinson

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Second Letter from Sanisidro

Dear Familia, 27 May 2013,
      How have you been? Life here has its ups and downs. The best way to contact me is through email. We don’t really get snail mail. Snail mail is sent to the mission home and I am about 3 hours away, so I won’t get it very often.
     It is always so wet here. It normally rains every day sometimes lightly and other times it pours. There is also generally lightning and thunder too. The thunder always sounds cool but the lightning is up in the clouds. Another interesting fact about Costa Rica is that nearly everyone has a dog or some dogs - the small kinds.
       The language can be frustrating at times. This I think is where I have been struggling the most. Generally when I have a crummy day it is due to the language. My companion really does try to help. There are times when she talks that I really have no idea what she said or what she asked. With language study I don´t even know where to begin. It’s exhausting. I really just need a larger vocabulary. I have had a bunch of people suggest that I read the scriptures in Spanish out loud, so that is where I will start, I guess. Church meetings, I think, are the hardest for me language-wise, there are so many people talking all at once that it is really hard to concentrate on what anyone is saying. Right now I just have faith that God will help me with the language and I will try my best to understand. I generally understand the very least at night when I am tired and my brain is so full of random Spanish. There happens to be one American family in the ward. I think they live on the beach, so I only really see them at ward functions.
       It is really pretty here, but I am almost always in the city so I don´t see a whole lot more than housing. I will send you some pics soon. I have to be really careful when I take my camera out. President Wilkinson says when people see gringos with cameras they generally get robbed, so I have been really cautious, also because it is so wet I fear the camera will get soaked. I wish I had brought more zip-lock bags. You have to put everything in plastic bags when we go out otherwise it gets ruined. There have been a couple times when I have returned home and I am completely soaked inside and out. I have to dry my clothes out every night when we get home. Sometimes it rains so hard that it doesn´t matter if you have an umbrella and rain coat on you still get soaked.
        As far as investigators go, we are working on that. I guess Hermana Remero´s trainer never really taught her how to contact because she didn’t know how, so when I got here, we really didn´t have many investigators, like none. I suggested that we try a contacting method and we have managed to get 3 families out of it :) we will see if they will progress. 
        The other tough days are the ones where we go contacting or looking for a LA, (less active members), and don´t have any success. We knock on doors in the neighborhood and ask those who answer for directions for a less-active’s house address. We then explain who we are and that we have a message. Sometimes they invite us in but many times they tell us that they are Catholic and don´t want to hear anymore. Directions are horrible around here. We have yet to find a less-active from the recorded address. The only less actives we can find are the ones that Hermana Romero and her other companion had visited previously. With less-actives we generally share a scripture story and then apply it to them. We have managed to get 2 less-actives to church this week. We always ask if there is anything that we can help them with, but normally they say they are fine and there is nothing we can do to help.
      We generally eat lunch with the members. Yes, I get three meals a day. We fend for ourselves for breakfast and dinner. I generally eat cereal for breakfast. My companion is used to having a big breakfast so having a small one is weird for her.
       Dinner is generally pretty small if we have it... but I normally I am not too hungry at night so then we don´t eat dinner. When we do eat dinner it is at 10:00 at night because we don´t have time to eat dinner any before we get home.
       We are working with 3 families right now. 2 we found in Tierra Promitida, It is definitely one of the poorer parts of town. I´m not sure if one of our families will keep progressing. It sounds like they are pretty involved in their own church... so we will see. The other family came to church this Sunday,
       Oh, that reminds me, I accidently drank some alcohol this week. People we visit normally offer us what they call frescos which are a blend of fruits in a drink. One of the investigators offered us a fresco when we went over. I was suspicious of it the moment I had it in my hand. I don´t know why, it looked like all the other drinks I had been offered, I took two sips of it and for some reason I just had this strong feeling that it had alcohol in it. So I didn’t drink anymore. My companion looked like she was just pretending to drink it, but no, she gulped almost all of it and did it in such a way that she didn´t taste it. I felt awful after just 2 sips, but it didn´t really seem to affect Hermana Remero. My companion asked what it was and the investigator replied, ‘oh it is just fermented pineapple, don´t worry, it is all natural’. We haven´t taught them the word of wisdom yet, but we will very soon. That is my first taste of alcohol in my life and it was on my mission!! Ugh.
       Well, I love you all!!! Life really isn´t that bad here, I’ve just had a very difficult week. Once I figure out the language it should help a lot. I know God is with us. This isn´t about me and how hard the language is. I just need to remember that this is God´s work and He will help me learn what I need to do. It will be a much better week coming.
      Love you ,
Hermana Jenkinson

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Hey family!!

I made it here! I love you so much!! What the mission president here does is he posts a picture on the mission blog for the families to see. I guess he is not very good at letting families know about it though. I made it here just fine. After I finished talking to you on the phone I had an awesome missionary experience with a lady at the airport. I was able to give her a Book of Mormon. She is from Argentina. I hope she reads it.

I am in Perez Zeleledón right now. It is a canton (or county) in Costa Rica. San Isidro is the city. It is about 3 hours south of San José. So I am at the bottom of the country. My companion is Hermana Remero from Guatemala. She speaks only a little bit of English so we have been teaching each other our native language. She is super sweet and she has only been in Costa Rica for 12 weeks!! She just finished her training! We definitely have a lot of work to do here, and I don’t know where to start, but it is good.

I have been home sick at times... mostly in the mornings. Despite it, I am learning to Love this place more and more. The food has been really good here. I think I have had only had one thing I didn’t like. There is a set of elders in the city as well, so we work with them on occasion. There are only the four of us in our district. The other two elders are from Mexico and Honduras. So I am the lone gringa here. The elders have been very kind. The one from Mexico studied English before his mission so he has been helping me too. At times I can understand everything everyone is saying and other times I have no clue. A lot of the natives are surprised by how much I know. Many times when we first meet someone they assume I don´t know any Spanish so they turn to my companion and will ask a question about me and she will say, ‘ask her yourself’, and then I will answer their question.

Ok, a little about the country, the first thing I noticed (and it surprised me), was how much this country is like the U.S. For example, you see teenagers walking around everywhere with their face stuck in their cell phone. Also, the clothing they wear is similar. Every house has a TV, some things that are different too. Most of the milk you buy doesn´t have to be refrigerated, (they do have cows here). Eggs aren’t refrigerated here either. They have gates in front of every house and every door and window. I will send a picture sometime soon to show you. Homes generally have doors and windows open to let the wind come in. the people are all very nice here. I have gotten a bunch of frescos here (drinks generally consisting of one or more fruit. super yummy.) Oh, and the water is clean here so the mission president told us not to worry about it. I get warm showers if I turn the shower on correctly. It is interesting because there are wires in the showers to a heater to warm the water; you can see the wires as your shower. All the cars here have the exact same car alarm so everyone pretty much ignores them because they go off so frequently.

Next week I will tell you more about it here. Today we went to an investigators house and she did acrylic nails for us. She is learning how to do it and needed the practice. I will have to show you a picture of that as well. She did a good job... it just took forever!!

Yesterday we went to Tierra Prometa to contact a previous investigator and ended up having amazing experiences. We met two beautiful families willing to listen; we will see what will happen. The branch here struggles a lot with retention so we have a lot of work to do with the less actives; the members who do attend are awesome. I am excited to be able to work here. I have definitely had my ups and downs, but I think I am starting to feel more comfortable. I love you all so much. Don´t forget all the blessings God has given you and don´t forget to thank him often. I love you!!!

Hermana Jenkinson

Oh and I only get an hour and a half to write you and the mission president. I will be emailing you earlier in the day next week. The nails took a lot longer than expected.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Hola Familia,

Sorry I know this email is during a different time during the week then you are used to. On Sunday they announced to us that every 6 months they change the schedules and we happened to be here after one of those 6 month blocks. What this means is that our whole schedule is different, and most of our teachers got put in different zones and so basically we have all new teachers. The only ones who are the same is Hermano Pitcher and Hermana Pinto. Every one else has either been assigned to a new zone or they went home! :( We are super sad about that.

Another thing that changed was our p-day. So for this pday and the next it will be on Thursdays. When I get out to the field I have no idea when my pday will be. Our Gym time got changed as well and I am super sad about that. Because the people I used to have gym time with was a bunch of Elders who were polies from  Samoa, Fiji and other such Islands. They couldn't speak English very well, but they could play volleyball. Despite the fact that we didn't speak the same language we had some fun times playing volleyball, they would set me up sometimes and I would get to kill the ball. I would set them up and then they would kill the ball. It was so much fun. I earned a lot of respect from them by knowing how to play. I think a couple where slightly intimidated by me. oops. Now no one really knows how to play, it is still fun... it just isn't the same though.
Also some bad news, so since I am in the MTC during mothers day I will not get to call you. There are too many missionaries at the MTC and not enough phones to allow us to do this. How ever I will get to call you in the Airport when I am leaving for my mission. What time, I do not know yet, we will be getting our travel plans tomorrow. As far as visas go I will not be given my visa or passport until just before I go. If my visa is not ready before I leave the MTC then I will get assigned to go somewhere state side. However I talked with the people in the travel office and they said that very few people going to Costa Rica don't get their Visas on time. So it looks like I will have a good chance of going straight to my mission.
Oh I looked back on one of my old letters and saw that you asked when my estimated end date was. I will be here in the MTC till May 14th and I will be in the mission until September 30th 2014 approximately. I got the package you sent me. I love the skirt, it fits me perfectly.

Yes I have seen Sister Orsmby's aunt at the MTC. I see her 2 to 3 times a week. She is one of the branch presidency wives in my branch. So I have both Sister Jones and Sister Ormsby's aunt in my branch. Every time she sees me she talks about Wilson and about getting me his address so I can email him. She is supper Funny and we all love her a ton. I couldn't have asked for a better branch presidency with their wives.

Dad, I am still getting along with my district great. I feel like I have known them for years and it is weird to think that I have only known them for a couple of weeks. I honestly will miss them all once I am out in the field. Fortunately i get to keep two of them with me. We have been a little family here in the MTC and I can't imagine going through the MTC with out them. They each bring their unique personalities and we wouldn't have been complete with out that mixture. The Elders in our district attempted to play a prank on us and they failed miserably. They put an alarm clock set for 3 in the morning in one of the sisters purses. Yeah we found it that night before we went back to the room. They attempted to slip in her camera case but we found it again just before we went to bed. The next day before they saw us they were all scared and had been regretting it all night. I am pretty sure they thought we were going to kill them. If it had gone off I know of a couple of the sisters who would have killed them.

My cold is better now. It lasted for a week and i was very glad when it was gone.

Funny story now. So one night, I am not sure what started this but we learned to jump into our pants. I am proud to say that I was able to do it :) HAHA it was really funny.

On a more spiritual note this week has been amazing. I started the book of Mormon again on Monday and I am already to Mossiah. I am going to try and read the whole thing before I leave the MTC. As I have been going through and reading the book of Mormon this time around I have really been studding it and reading it because I have a strong desire to read it. I feel almost like I have been blind my whole life and I am finally able to see the Book of Mormon for what it is. I have never felt such a strong desire to read the book of Mormon before. I have been going through it like one of my novels I used to read at home. I seriously love it. When you learn to apply the Book of Mormon to your life It becomes something so meaningful and precious. I have really learned a lot in the short time I have been here. I have really learned what the spirit feels like and learned what it is like when i always have it with me. I never what to loose the companionship of it. It is such a comfort and a source of strength. You really can feel God's love all the time when you have it with you. Do everything in your power to be able to keep the companionship of the Holy Ghost. It is worth it. There is such a peace it brings. You can be silly and laughing and not talking about spiritual things and still have it so strong in our life. I am so grateful for the peace and warmth it brings.
I love you all. The Gospel is true. Christ is our Savior and through him we can return to live with God again.

Hermana Jenkinson