Called to Serve

Called to Serve

Monday, April 27, 2015

Week 12 - A huge relievement :)

Hey family and friends!

So, first of all, I'm not sick anymore! Por fin! (Finally!) So thank you to everyone's prayers and wishes. Looks like they worked :) 

So this week was great! I went to the doctor on Wednesday and he said more or less "Welcome to Costa Rica - you're all the way better" which was a huge relievement. They're still no 100% sure what it was because the test I had has a 50% chance of coming back as a false negative (haha that really isn't a great test at all huh?) but the antibiotics I had worked and they were for a really bad infection that you get through animal contact. It was probably something I ate or something... I don't really want to think about it hahaha

This week we had a lot of great lessons! The gangster that we have been teaching wants to be baptized and so does a family that we have been teaching for a long time. So this week we set a baptismal date with 5 people. For a long time we have been looking for new people to teach and finally we received some references. I know that the Lord blesses us after the trial of our faith.

Haha in church yesterday, I tried to play a hymn for sacrament meeting. But the thing was that it was a hymn that we don't have in English. So I played the introduction and I thought it sounded great but turns out, when the congregation started singing, I was completely SLAUGHTERING the song haha so the chorister (the person who leads the music) stopped me in the middle of the song and we changed the hymn to "Come Follow Me" - the easiest song in the whole flippin book haha. I thought it was really funny and so did the ward..

Elders Mejia, Stott, Dunyon and Navas  4-9-15
So my Spanish is coming along really well. I'm finally starting to understand what people are actually saying and I can communicate (more or less) what I want to say. The thing is though, and it's kinda funny to me, is that people here say that they speak perfect Spanish. HA - not even close. People here slur their words, they whistle at the end and almost everyone cuts-off the end of almost everything they say. So, I'm still getting used to that.

Haha. This week, I heard "Love on Top" by Beyonce (yes, I'll admit, I really really like that song) in the street. And I started to dance and sing but my companion stopped me because people were stopping 
in the street to watch the crazy gringo haha.

So it seems like everyone is telling me I'm skinny now. I hate it haha.  BUT, they also say I'm more handsome now haha

Well, this week wasn't very interesting but I'm finally feeling better which is great! And I can finally eat the rice and beans again (yayyyyyy).

So I hope everyone has a great week and I will update you guys again next week!

Cuidese! (Take care) and Pura Vida!

- Elder Stott :)

Monday, April 20, 2015

Week 11, 12 or 13??

It's hard to tell if all of the "haha's" in this email are from delirium or a twisted sense of humor.  Or perhaps, it's just Elder Stott trying to make all of us, who are concerned, feel like he's starting to feel better.  Whatever the case, there are a LOT of them - fair warning!

Sister Wilkinson, the Mission Mama, has been keeping us updated this last week.  He has an unidentified bacterial infection.  No appetite, raging headaches, body-aches and very high fevers since April 9th.  He's been resting and sleeping a lot.  In addition to the Costa Rican Dr's he's been seeing, there is a mission nurse and a retired Dr, who is a Senior Missionary in Guatemala, who are checking on him regularly.  

Just today, Josh went to the Mission Home in San Jose.  Sister Wilkinson let him send me a quick message.  He said, "...I'm doing a lot better, the fever is super low now, like 101.  I'm feeling a lot better.  I'm just taking a lot of antibiotics and Advil for the headaches.  Apparently I look really skinny hahaha!  (insert grumpy face)  So I know it's like the mother's instinct, but you don't need to worry, I'm getting better!"    

....and now it's the mom's turn to say haha!  Don't Worry??  I don't know if I've ever been grateful for a fever of 101, but we'll take it!   Small victories :)

Thank you ALL for your love, support and your PRAYERS for Josh and our family.  This has been so hard, but we've been carried and comforted.  Elder Stott sounds certain that he's improving.  PLEASE, keep those prayers coming!

Hey everybody!

At the Internet Cafe today
Thanks for tuning in for weekly updates with Elder Stott!

So I am doing a whole lot better! After antibiotics, antibiotics, and more antibiotics, and faith - I am starting to feel a little better!

So this week, I went to the Hospital on Tuesday because I was not getting any better. I'd had a 105.1 fever and I went in to get my blood checked. I had been taking an antibiotic but it obviously was not helping (I could've told them that haha). After they tested my blood, the doctors still didn't know what I had. One thing: So a part of the test, tests for protein in my blood that tells if I have an infection. 40 mg/L is considered VERY high - I had 235 mg/L haha.  I was a walking petri dish or something... So they prescribed me 3 antibiotic injections for the next 3 days starting that day. Those where the most painful and uncomfortable injections EVER. It was like they were shooting me up with play-doh. And plus, I couldn't walk normal or straight this whole week (I'll let you add up those dots haha)

On Friday I had my second blood test. So the numbers were improving but they still weren't great. I had about 100 mg/L of the bad proteins in my blood. We met with this guy who walked in with a big gimp and a cane. HA!  I thought to myself that this was kinda like the show House because he looked kinda grumpy and old and had a gimp and a cane... hahaha. Anyways, he was really great and is a specialist in infections and I feel like he knows more than anyone else. He started me on my 3rd antibiotic and were going to see if adding it helps and to see what infection I have on Wednesday! 

On an interesting note: our Doctor in Guatelmala who reviews all medical cases here through the Secretary and Enfermaderas said that my amount of Protein C (235 mg/L) is the highest he's ever seen in 40+ years of working as a doctor HAHAHA!  BUT I'M DOING GREAT :) I promise hahaha

So as for this week, it was really boring. I just had to stay home and rest. I figured out I can sing a little bit higher. Apparently I've lost a lot of weight because I haven't had an appetite at all these past 2 weeks. haha I'm praying that our hot water will be back because even though I'm in Costa Rica, I'm using water from the freakin ARCTIC haha.

They have this weird massage-therapy-medicine thing here in Costa Rica. I don't believe in it haha but people here swear by it. So this guy shows up at a member's house. He was pretty old and he had mineral oil... I had no idea what was going on hahahah! He walks up, starts speaking really fast and rolls up my sleeves and starts massaging my forearms and hands SUPER, SUPER HARD. Yeah, it hurt a lot. And I dont think it helped AT ALL. It's supposed to help with stomach problems or something - and I know what you're thinking and you're right. Haha its complete garbage haha BUT my skin was super soft and I was knot-free which was an exceedingly great blessing hahaha!

Well that's all folks! Hope all is doing well! Pura Vida!

- Elder Stott :)

(Elder Holk)

Monday, April 13, 2015

Week 10 - Not feeling so great

Hey everybody, 

As far as this week, it was the longest and most difficult I think I have ever experienced. Before I start, I don't want anyone to worry because I know that the Lord will bless me soon!So I'll be fine, I promise :)

So on Thursday, my feet started to ache really bad. I thought it was the shoes or something so I just "put my shoulder to the wheel" and kept going. Later in the day, I was exhausted and had no clue as to why.. And by nighttime, I had the worst headache ever and had chills and muscle aches everywhere. I went home a little early and checked my temperature. I had a 105.1 degree fever.. so I immediately took a shower and some NyQuil and when to bed. The next morning on Friday I felt a tiny-bit better and most of the fever was gone but I still had all the aches and the headache. And once again my fever got worse throughout the day and was a 104.8 when I went home and checked. The next day (Saturday) was almost exactly the same except for I asked for a blessing. And then Sunday and now today are exactly the same too. I have been taking huge but safe doses of ibuprofen and acetaminophen but they don't really help. 

Turns out I have a mix of a sinus infection, respiratory infection and pneumonia. Pshh, get a load of the mother-of-all bombs haha. The whole time though, I have been working as hard as I can, it's just that I have little-to-no energy and anything other than water upsets my estomicho :( There's a light and the end of the tunnel because I started taking a super heavy antibiotic so hopefully that blast any bug to smithereens haha. 

So like I said, please don't worry, I could just use some extra prayers! 

Oh and to add insult to injury, our power went out yesterday so our stove, hot water and fridge doesn't work so I'm praying really hard for two things now haha.

Always happy but never satisfied!
Elder Joshua Douglas Stott 

Remember, you are always greater than your circumstances! Sorry this was so short, it'll be longer next week and I promise there will be pictures!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Week 9 - General Conference and beat-boxing

Hola Familia y Amigos!

Como le va? (How's it going?)

A little view of Alajuelita
Things here in Costa Rica are going better than ever! The weather is great - high 70's without rain, and Semana Santa is over!

Haha so about Semana Santa here... So Semana Santa is a big celebration of the last week in Christ's life. All week the church bells are ringing and there are bible videos and movies all over on TV. Everyone has vacation - it's kinda like Spring Break. The ironic thing here is that most people go to the beach and party and drink when the real celebration is about Jesus Christ. BUT, the thing is, people are either at the beach, or at home with all their family. So we weren't able to teach many lessons, but the lessons we taught were with whole families and the Spirit was so strong because we taught about what is most important in our lives: our families.

My Birthday package from home
For my adventures of the week: 

Last P-day (Wednesday) I ate 10 big slices of pizza because I was super happy that I wasn't eating Rice and Beans haha.

We had General Conference this week which was amazing! Almost EVERYONE talked about the familiy and the world-wide efforts to protect the sanctity of it. I loved our Prophet's talk about the temple - it really makes me appreciate the blessings we can have today through the ETERNALLY binding
                                                                      covenants we make in the temple.

My very humble abode
I didn't eat anything too weird this week. I actually had ka-bobs at a part-member's house and they were delicious! I had a lot of rice and beans and a lot of Pizza haha. Two of my favorite drinks here are Refresca Avena and Aqua Dulce. Refresca Avena is a drink made from oats, water and sugar and it's actually really good - it's like if you made the runniest oatmeal you could possibly make. The other is a drink made from cane sugar and is super molassesy but it's good too.

At conference, I saw a family that I met my second day here in Costa Rica, and before I saw them, 
Sean Paul, their 16 year old son jumped on me yelling, "Elder Hulk!" haha but I love that family. They're doing super well and they loved conference too!

I am the Cockroach crusher.
None shall dare to scurry in my presence

I'm starting to dream in Spanish and talk in my sleep in Spanish too. That's cool and all but I still can't understand anything, so I guess it's more of a nightmare hahaha

There's one super poor area here where the kids are always outside playing soccer. Every time we walk into their little village they always run up and hang on my arms. They like to see how many of them I can lift up at one time and they're laughing the whole time - it's pretty funny.

Me and my tiny companion.
I love him!

One night when we were walking home, my comp and I were rapping and beat-boxing. Some kids heard us and begged us to do it for them. Most people can't beat-box at all here so they freak out when they hear someone who can kinda of do it. Every time I walk by when they're outside they always try to beat-box and I tell them to keep practicing! 

I'm still working to love the people here even more.  They are really great people! They're humble and friendly and family means EVERYTHING to them which is such a great starting place for learning about the Gospel.

Until next time!
Pura Vida!

- Elder Stott   

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Week 8 - Papayas and an earthquake...

We had to wait a couple of extra days to hear from Josh.  But his email finally came!  We are all looking forward to listening to the Prophet, Apostles and other church leaders this coming weekend.  It's General Conference!!  We would love for you to check it out - it's a great way to recharge your spiritual battery, whether you are LDS or not. Also linked is an AWESOME 2 minute Easter video...Must Watch!!  He Lives.  Happy Easter!

Conference: Saturday and Sunday 9:00 - 11:00 and 1:00 - 3:00 (PT)

Here's Elder Stott's letter from April 1, 2015:

Hola familia and amigos! 

As always, I hope everyone is doing well!

This week has been a long a crazy one but at the same time, I loved (almost) every minute of it! haha

First of all, I love it here in Costa Rica. I'm really starting to love the people and the landscape (I say this in a really manly way) gets prettier every day. Right now is smack in the middle of the "Summer months" in Costa Rica meaning that it's hot and dry rather than hot and wet. The rain, I'm sure, is coming haha.

Apparently there was an Earthquake here but, I was probably sleeping because I definitely did not feel it - so that's interesting.

This week was awesome because we had two different meals where we DIDN'T have rice and beans! YES! We had Pizza Hut one night and on the other, we had really good Chinese food. I've figured out that papaya is disgusting. It has this weird texture and it tastes EXACTLY like vomit. I mixed it with pineapple so then it just tasted like vomit with pineapple hahaha. 

The people here are amazing. They are generally pretty dang poor but at the same time, they're so humble. They always invite us in and they're always willing to listen to our message of the gospel which I love! I love how religious it is here as well - when you ask someone how they're doing, they'll often say "bueno! Gracias a Dios!" meaning "Great, thanks to God!". It's frustrating sometimes because the people often tend to be a little lazy. A lot of people don't work and they sometimes don't follow through with commitments which is necessary for conversion. I can't do it for them - it's their choice, but I always am there to support and encourage them!

This week, an American guy from Washington rolled up in a car and said ¨Hey buddy, where you from?" before I knew it, I was answering him in Spanish and then caught myself haha so I guess I'm starting to pick Spanish up just a tiny bit!

We have been teaching these two young boys C and O. O is 13 and C is 11. C is the one that thinks I look like Captain Kirk from Star Trek.  He loves that I call him "Spock". Well anyways, they've been taking lessons for a while and they have finally committed to be baptized. It's been amazing to see the change in their lives as they convert themselves to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I know that it is meant to bless the lives of all of Heavenly Father's children.

I'm so stoked for this weekend because we all get the chance to hear from our Prophet and his Apostles. I know that the world has a Prophet today, Thomas S. Monson, and I know that he guides this church and receives revelation for all of God's children. The Apostles as well hold the same keys of the priesthood and I can't wait to hear what they have to share with us this weekend in General Conference!

My birthday this last week was great! I didn't get any eggs smashed on my head (I guess that's a tradition haha) and I got two different cakes from members and investigators! Thank you for all the birthday wishes! I can feel everybody's love!

The reason I'm writing today and I didn't write on Monday was because of the fact that we got to go to the San Jose Temple today. Pres. Wilkinson does not like to waste time so he changed our P-day to the day that we were going to the temple so here I am writing today haha. Anyways, the temple was amazing! The spirit you can feel there is so special and sweet, and is unlike anything else. The whole experience was in Spanish but since the Spirit resides in the temples of the Lord, I was able to understand everything that I needed to know. The Gift of Tongues is REAL because I'm not very good at speaking in Spanish but somehow, I did it!

Thank you for your prayers! The work is hastening here in Costa Rica and I'm thankful to be a part of this great work!

Pura Vida

- Elder Stott