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