Called to Serve

Called to Serve

Friday, March 20, 2015

Week 6 Welcome to Costa Rica! Volcanos, cold showers and awkward questions...

The Turrabilda volcano
So...a little excitement from Costa Rica!  The Turrabilda volcano, just outside San Jose, erupted last Thursday and Friday temporarily closing down the airport due to the heavy ash.  But Elder Stott landed safely Monday night!  He was even able to call during a layover in Atlanta, GA.  The airport payphones there didn't end up working, but a VERY nice lady let him use her cell phone to call home.  It was SO good to talk with him.  He sounded happy and excited.  

I did hear from his Mission President's wife, Sister Wilkinson, on Facebook :) She let me know he'd landed, had already interviewed with the President, and had his first Costa Rican meal.  He didn't immediately get assigned and sent to an area (which is typical) because all of the missionaries in Costa Rica were going to be coming to San Jose for a special conference today.  So we will find out which town he'll be serving in - in his next email!!

Here's his email from March 18:

Hey everyone! 

I have a little bit to write today so thought I would send y'all an email! Sorry if it's kinda scatter-brained.. there's a lot of stuff going on haha. Next P-day (Monday) I'll have a better email but this will have to do for now.

Pretending like these phones work...
Costa Rica is amazing! Really humid here (its about 80) The landscape around San Jose is gorgeous. Very green!

I'm with two Zone leaders for yesterday and today. They're awesome and I'll get my Trainer tomorrow. 

I arrived with all of my luggage which is such a blessing haha. 

Guess what my first meal was? You guessed it! Beans and Rice (with pasta and HOT chilies) 

The people here are amazing! They're all so kind and friendly! We went to a couple appointments but mostly tracted (knocking on random doors) which was really fun, kinda haha. You tract by yelling "Upe buenas!" outside the door and they usually come out or ask who's there. They all seem very interested in the gospel so I think it might be a challenge to see who is really interested.

The city is very "hilly" and the houses are super small with concrete walls and tin roofs. I was playing with a kid yesterday who had a baby chicken. Haha he jumped up and grabbed my neck and was yelling "mae!" which means dude. He also said a really bad word too and it was kinda funny.

The water we use to shower is colder than the water that people give us to drink so that's great haha. I was the only gringo in a group of about 15 to show up this week. Whenever we go teaching or tracting, my companions always talk about my muscles and people just laugh and laugh. The people here all pretty small (like smaller than mom) haha. There's stray dogs everywhere too.

I was pumped because I heard the song "Hotel Funk" by Bruno Mars while we were teaching yesterday. All the people can't really pronounce my name. They call me "Elder Eh-Stott" but that's fine with me. 

People in the street always yell "ay gringo gringo" at me and I yell "ay tico tico" back (that's what Costa Rican's call themselves)

Even though I can only understand about 50 percent of what people are saying (they speak fast and slur their words, que bueno no?) I'm still able to feel the spirit and bear my testimony which I think is the most important part. They all say that they can understand what I'm saying so that's good. 

Yesterday I thought a man asked me if I like women so I answered "of course" but it turns out he asked if I have multiple wives or girlfriends. It's okay though because he turned out to be a little punk (I say this lovingly) who just wanted to argue with us. Another lesson, a lady asked if I had showered and if I wanted to take a shower with her... my companions quickly answered no before I could even figure out what she had asked. So that was pretty interesting. 

These next few weeks will probably be super long but some of the most memorable. I'm trying my best to learn and to serve as Christ did.

Hope everybody is doing well! Todo bien & pura vida!

- Elder Stott

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