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

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