Called to Serve

Called to Serve

Monday, June 29, 2015

Week 21 - Captain America in Costa Rica

Elder Stott's mission was divided last week -they are growing!

He'll be serving the West-side of Costa Rica.  (Official name, Costa Rica San Jose West)  His new mission president, German Laboriel Guitty, is from Honduras.

Today is day 146 :)  Here's his letter from this morning!

Hey everyone! 

Sounds like this week has been a scorcher back at home so I hope everyone's been staying cool!

My week was hot and a little bit rainy but hey - I think I'm used to that now haha

This week was a really really good week with some ups and downs! (I think I'll always have those haha) 

So first of all, we had our last mission conference with President Wilkinson! It was super sad and I really don't want him to leave or change mission presidents. Something pretty funny - so my first mission conference back in March, President called me up in front of everyone with my companion to show the size difference between us both and he said that now Elder Mejia could go anywhere he wanted without problems! haha Well this conference he had a few demonstrations and asked for someone who was really strong. The room was quiet for like 2 seconds and then all of the sudden people started chanting my name and next thing you know, the whole room of 250+ missionaries was chanting "Elder Stott!", so President called me up in front of everyone haha. He had me break some strings and pencils (and because I'm so strong, I broke all of them haha) but he had a pencil taped to a baseball bat and asked me to break it - I definitely couldn't! He also gave me a hard time because I want to play football for BYU after my mission and he went to University of Utah (they're rivals) so that was funny. And he called me Captain America and now, the whole mission knows me as "Captain America" or "Elder America" haha. 

That was my 3rd time in front of the whole mission - I think I'm one of the President's favorites ;)

My companion and I are still working at getting over our differences. He's maturing a little and we're working on having him talk a little less. He still likes to bring up jokes that happened a month ago but hey, at least he thinks they're still funny! haha

For the mission conference, we had 4 extra elders in our house and it was nuts. We went to bed super late because people kept talking.. That day we had divisions with the Elders (we switched companions around for that day) and I couldn't go to our family's house that we always visit. But my companion brought back a bag with some sodas in it. They had bought me a A&W Rootbeer, Mountain Dew, and Dr. Pepper.  I couldn't tell if it was sweat or tears but I was filled with indescribable joy haha :)

We had a baptism cancel this week which was really really hard for me. I thought we had helped him prepare the best we could but it turns out that he had some problems to work out.  I was super frustrated with myself because I thought I had done something wrong. It was tough to deal with and honestly, I let the news ruin the rest of my day. There is no such thing as a bad day in the mission, but there are definitely some really hard days. We talked it through, he made a new baptism date and we are going to keep helping him. I'm going to make sure he understands all of the lessons to ensure that he will be ready next time!

Sister Amarilis got baptized!
But to finish with good news, WE BAPTIZED SISTER AMARILIS! I was sooooooo stoked to be able to baptize her. For 23 years, she has been off-and-on investigating the church and now finally decided that she wanted to be baptized! She asked me to baptize and confirm her as well which was super special for me. The baptism went perfect.  I also got to play the guitar and sing "I Need thee Every Hour" in Spanish. It went really well :)

I'm practicing my beatboxing because the ticos really love it. They always ask Elder Navas to rap and to have me beatbox and it's funny to see their faces. There's always kids that like to run up to me and hang from my arms too - I love those little guys!

I hope this week will be awesome for everyone and happy 4th of July!!! I'm going to have my own little celebration here haha :) 

Pura Vida!

- Elder Stott 

Monday, June 22, 2015

Week 20 - Patience is a virtue...

Hey everyone, Elder Stott here writing in the tiny internet cafe here in San Jose! 
Making tortillas

How´s everyone doing? Hope all is well :)

So this week again, was a really great week. The days went by super flippin slow but the week went by fast. That's usually how it goes here in the mission. 

I was stoked that I have nothing to write in my "Appliance or Animal of the Week" section! WHAT A FLIPPING BLESSING :)

Alejuelita squad
So I´m getting along a little better with my companion. Hes a little immature but that's just something that Ill get used to haha. He does have a lot of really cool music and its nice to hear something other than the Mormon Tabernacle Choir every once and a while. He still likes to ask a lot of questions but I'm working with him on that. We actually have the same amount of time total in the mission and he's my District Leader so I'm helping him learn how to be a leader as well (my last comp. was a savage DL)

We're going to have 2 baptisms this week. We had to reschedule Amarilis' baptism because the ward wasn't really prepared. So that will be on Saturday and on Friday, we have the baptism of Jean Carlos. Hes 15 years old and he's super awesome. He actually started coming to church with his friends who also aren't members. He really progressed fast and wants to be baptized and it's no surprise that we were stoked! :)

Mi favorito
We had stake conference this week and President Wilkinson was able to come! I don't have very much time with him being my President but I have SO much respect for that man. He's done big things and he's going to do big things as well - I wouldn't be surprised if he was an Apostle someday. He gave a really good talk about being a Pastor and an Administrator and being balanced between the two. He invited all of our investigators that were there to be baptized and the Spirit was SOOO strong. He reminds me a ton of Elder Holland and he can singe your eyebrows a little too. I always leave with a new energy to be the best missionary I can possibly be - it's always a much needed recharge!

There's not a whole ton to write about this week because nothing else too exciting happened haha :) I'm very thankful to be here and to be serving our Heavenly Father's children each and every day. It's truly a blessing in my life. The mission has by far been the toughest thing I have ever done but it's been the toughest thing that I have ever loved as well :)

Thank you for everyone's love and support and like always, it's much needed!

Until next week,
Pura Vida!

- Elder Stott :)

Monday, June 15, 2015

Week 19 - Bad eggs and Hot Sauce

Hey guys! 

Hope all is well in the US of A! 

This week was honestly one of the longest week of my mission ha ha ha... 

New Elders in Alejuelita - my comp is on my left
So first of all, I'm getting used to my new companion. Like I said, he's from Mexico and his name is Elder Contreras. Haha he says "dude" and "man" a lot for someone that doesn't speak English. He's a little bit touchy, meaning that he likes to punch and poke at me and it's a little much for me - but I'm learning to be patient. He likes to make strange noises like a pig or this squeal thing.. I'm not totally sure what it is haha. Most of all, he loves to talk. LOVES to talk. He asks a ton of questions like "what are you doing?" but I think he just likes the sound of his voice hahaha. REGARDLESS of the strangeness, I'm learning to love him little by little. He teaches well, so that is one thing that I do like. Who knows, this change is probably only a month long (because Pres. Wilkinson is going home)  so we'll see if I'm changed out of the area.

We have a lot of great investigators. All of them were really sad when my old companion left - and a lot of them cried too. So it's been hard for them to get used to my new companion. But, they're all grateful that I'm still around. Our next baptism is this Friday - her name is Armarilis and she's amazing. She and her family are honestly like a family to me. Haha she call's me her corazon de fresa (or strawberry heart) and the joke is that it's small but VERY sweet hahaha :) She always cries when she talks about me leaving so that's going to be tough for her and her family when that happens. But she is finally prepared to be baptized! She has over 15 years investigating the church and has never really liked the missionaries... but Elder Mejia and I changed that :) 

So this week I got sick again for a couple of days. I had a really upset stomach and I threw-up for a whole night. It really sucked because I was throwing up so hard that I had those little red-blood-spot things all over my face :( It was something I ate that day (I think it was the eggs that we had for lunch). Honestly, I'm kind of scared to eat our cocinera's food now... haha I'm still sick but in a different way now. My tonsils are killing me and I have a bad headache but, oh well. It's pura vida over here in Ticolandia haha.

So I've decided to open-up a new seccion in my letters. It's called "animal or appliance of the week" This week's "animal or appliance of the week" spotlight goes to the stupid pigeons in Alejuelita. I was sitting in the park waiting for an investigator when a flippin pigeon decided to bomb on my pants. Not 10 minutes later, the other leg of my pants was bombed too. So, I'm planning on buying a 20-gauge, and destroying every last pigeon in Alejuelita - I will have my revenge haha.

Spikey red fruit things
HEY! I finally got a chance to try a fruit that I've always wanted to try but could never find! They're these little red and spiky balls and you open with your fingers and you eat the fruit around the seed on the inside. They taste like a grape and apple put together and they taste SUPER GOOD.

I finally feel like my Spanish has "clicked". I can talk to people in the street and can talk about what I want more or less. It's a really great boost of confidence because it's really hard to talk to people when you're not sure what you're saying haha :) I hope by my year mark that I'll be able to speak perfect Spanish!

LOVE my little bottle of Frank's Red Hot!
A sister in our ward, that we always eat dinner with on Tuesday's, gave me a little bottle of Frank's Red Hot sauce!!! It is SOOOO flippin good and I literally danced around the room when she told me that it was for me. I was beaming from ear-to-ear :) But, she said that we're going to eat Mondongo soon and that dampened the mood a little haha. Mondongo is cow-stomach and people here like to eat it I guess... I'm really scared to try it because #1, it's STOMACH 
and #2, I've heard that people can get super sick from eating it. Please pray for me that she forgets ha ha ha...

Well folks, that's all for this week! Thank you everyone for all your emails and updates! It's good to know that everything is going well!

Take care & Pura Vida!
Elder Stott :)

Monday, June 8, 2015

Week 18 - The watcher in the window, and the haha police.

Hey everyone! 

Elder Mejia and me - we ball hard, Tico style
I say this every time but I hope that everything is going well and that life is good!

Since my "haha's" are getting out of hand, I'm going to take it easy on them. I think it's just a way to express myself somehow more than just a boring email, I'm not quite sure...

So this week was a great one with a big change!

The big change is that I'm done with my training now. I'm staying in Alejuelita and I got a new companion today. His name is Elder Contreras and he's from Mexico. He only has one change more than me (month and a half) and he's going to be the new district leader. The Zone Leaders asked me to kind of help him with the ropes of being District Leader because my last companion was the same thing. I don't know a whole lot about him yet.. There's always something to learn with each companion so this will be an adventure of some sorts haha!

Diany's baptism
This week I had another baptism! Her name is Diany and she's living with a member family. Her boyfriend has been out in the mission-field for 1 month and she was super interested in the church because of him. She was prepared and everything to receive the gospel and she progressed super fast! She's awesome and I'm excited to keep meeting with her and helping her progress!

So, I thought that this week would be normal and I wouldn't be attacked by an animal or have exploding appliances BUT, I was definitely wrong. So, our new apartment has two windows that open out to a roof. There's this cat that won't leave us alone and it's super annoying. The first night it came, I had just woken up in the middle of the night to get a drink of water. The cat was literally watching me in my sleep and it scared the crud out of me because the window is right next to my bed. HA  I may have screamed because my companion woke up too. A couple of days later, the cat got in while we were gone. We came back to an over-turned garbage can and half-eaten food. I found the culprit in one of the rooms. The cat was hunched in the corner hissing at me!  So I grabbed my handy-dandy umbrella and fought this devil-cat out of my apartment. It was flying everywhere around our whole apartment and eventually it escaped out of my window. BUT, during it's escape, the freaking cat peed on my mattress! I was TICKED haha. So that was my adventure for this week! 

The Alejuelita gang
We have been having a lot of success in this area and I'm excited to see what we still have in store. I've learned that it is through obedience that we receive blessings and it is through exact obedience that we receive miracles. I know that this is the Lord's work and that He is preparing His children for His gospel! 

I don't have a whole ton to write about this week so sorry for the shortish letter. I already miss the missionaries who left my district, but I'm excited to see what great things the new missionaries are going to do here in Alejuelita!

Thank you for all the prayers in my behalf! They don't go to waste!


- Elder Stott :)

Monday, June 1, 2015

Week 17 - Cats and Dogs...Grateful for my umbrella

Hellooooooo family and friends! 

How's everyone doing? I hope all is well in my paiz (place) :)

So this week (like every other week) was a great week! 

Brittany's baptism
First, I HAD MY FIRST BAPTISM!!! Here name is Brittany and she's 9 years old. She's super smart and super kind. Her mom was an investigator for a long time but never got baptized (that's a long story) but her daughter really really wanted to get baptized. She learned everything super quickly and she is sure that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the true church :) Hahaha on Friday, when she was coming into the font, it was really cold and there was a bug in the water. So it took some encouragement for close to 10 minutes to get totally into the water haha. But after that, she was super happy and had the biggest smile on her face. The Spirit there was super strong, and I'm glad to know that I can help make a difference in someone else's life! :)

dulces de cabra - goat candy :)
Second, I tried goat milk candy. It was REALLY good and was like a caramel thing. It was kinda salty too but I might buy some more... haha we'll see!

This week, I met a lady who has 15 cats. Hahaha and they all are super funny looking and LOUD! She is what you would consider a "crazy cat-lady" in the States. My favorite cat was this Himalayan (Sophie would die if she saw it haha). Its face looks like it was smacked by a semi-truck. It is completely flat hahaha and there is this other one that looks just like the Grumpy Cat. It was pretty dang funny.

So I tried this breakfast soup thing that an Elder in my District always makes. It starts with chocolate corn flakes, fruit loops and then oatmeal. Then, you pour the milk in. After, you crush up these little cookies to put on top and then, (because it definitely needs something more) you put powdered milk on top! BUT, you don't mix it. You eat it with the powdered milk like it is. Surprisingly, it was pretty dang good. Its really creamy and sweet and, the flavors mesh well which is strange. You might have to try it sometime haha but I think I'm gonna stick with my 4 egg omelette ;)

Bug of the week
This week, I literally fought off a dog with my umbrella. I was walking back to the apartment one night and this dog started to follow us. It was a pretty big stray Labrador and it started to bark and chase me. Haha I ran for a little bit, but then, remembering that I am a stud, I turned around and fought it with my umbrella. HAHA the dog fought for a while but in the end, it was no match for my sheer strength and spirit. So now, I shall be known as the conqueror of stray dogs and cockroaches hahaha. Pretty funny huh?

It's super funny to come to San Jose because you will always see a couple of gringos marching around, looking like a bunch of tourists haha. They always yell out to me "GRINGOOOOO!" and I always yell back in Spanish to them. They're usually super funny to talk to and they all have cool stories to tell.

This could be my last week in Alejuelita, because I have almost two changes (each change is a month and a half) OR I could stay for longer. I will figure out this Sunday night if I need to pack and leave on Monday.. We'll see!

I'll try to do some crazy stuff this week to take pictures of.. Alejuelita is kinda ugly so there's not a whole lot of cool stuff to take pictures of haha. 

Hope everyone will have a great week!

Be strong and be kind!

Pura Vida papi!

- Elder Eh-Stott :)