Called to Serve

Called to Serve

Monday, October 26, 2015

Week 38 - Machete Master

Hey everyone, hope (as always) that things are going good over in the US of A! I'm getting all gear-ed up for Halloween even though a lot of people don't know what it even is haha.

So this week was pretty dang sick! We had a Multi-Zone conference with President Duncan - a big 70 who's the President of the Central American Area. It was a really really long meeting (almost 8 hours) but we learned a ton! I was super stoked for all the good advice that he gave us and I'm excited to apply it in my area and in my mission. We got to sing in my little group to the Mission Hymn of Costa Rica San Jose Oeste which went really well. President Duncan said that we should all be in Mo-Tab haha. I didn't get a good video of it so that was kinda sad. I'll just have to do it again here sometime soon.

There's this little puppy that always comes running out when I come to the house of a member. The member is seriously like my 3rd grandma because she always gives us food and she's one of the sweetest old ladies that I know. The little puppy's name is Tommy and she's super duper cute haha. I like puppies :)

We did a little service project in a poor part of our area (where they kill a lot of people - it's a really nice place haha). We had to "chopear" someones back yard with machetes. Man, my hand was so blistered and sore afterwards. I felt like I was chopping through the jungle because the plants we're all bigger than me! Never under-appreciate a lawnmower haha they are a blessing!

Our area is doing pretty well. We're struggling with getting people to come to chuch on Sunday's because it always seems like something comes up! Dang it! We'll just have to keep working hard - we'll be blessed for efforts, it just may not be instantaneous.

Not much else to write about. I'm doing good and I'm loving the mission. It sure is making me skinny but I'm still me haha. I am able to say almost everything that I want to and I can almost understand everything that people say to me. I feel like Spanish has "clicked" for me finally and now I can really get to work!

Thank you everyone for prayers and support - keep it coming!

Sending some pura vida vibes your way!

Elder Josh Stott

Monday, October 19, 2015

Week 37 - Incense, Chicken and the Guitar

Hey everyone what's up?! 

Hope that life is treating you well, really missing the TRUE Fall season. We just have boat-loads of rain and mud and water and stuff. I'm now used to wet feet. But hey, welcome to the mission!

So this week was pretty good! We've worked a lot in the most dangerous part of the most dangerous part of my area. It's called Sagrada Familia or Sacred Family. Most of the houses are tin or plastic and there's a lot of pintas - or gangsters- walking the streets. One guy was chillin in his van smoking marijuana and had a gun that he tried to hide when I walked by. I just spoke some slang and he spoke back - so now you could say we're chill haha.

Serenading mi compañero
Things are going good with me and my comp. We're getting to the end of his training and he's still got a LONG LONG way to go but we're going, step-by-step haha. 

I've finally gotten used to the food here now and sometime.... I kinda.. crave rice haha. Not really, but it's pretty good. I bought a bunch or brown rice and chicken breast and veggies. I'm gonna try to eat better and get a really good work-out routine in - I REALLY miss working out :( haha but I'll get everything back sometime! 

Hey, this week we have a big multi-zone conference with President Duncan - the President of Central America and a big-whig 70. I get to do a special musical number with 5 other missionaries. We're gonna sing the mission hymn (it was written for only our mission) acapella. It doesn't have sheet music or parts so we had to make our own parts and it sounds REALLY good. I'll make sure to get a video of it! 

Me relieving some stress :)
I've been playing a lot of guitar here and I love it because it really takes my mind off the stress that you have in the mission. It can really eat ya alive if you let it. That's when I just get some incense, cook some chicken and play guitar haha :) 

Well, hopefully I'll have some cool experience to write about this upcoming week. Thank you everyone for all the prayers on my behalf - keep those suckers coming! haha

Love y'all! 
Pura Vida

- Elder Stott 

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Week 36 - Gotta get your protein!

Hey everyone!

Hope everyone is enjoying the pretty fall weather and the cool air - something that I honestly miss a lot! I have PLENTY of rain though haha and sun.. Tends to fog up my glasses a tiny bit.

So things are good here in Hatillo! I'm loving to be able to have 4 missionaries here! The work is a whole lot easier and we have more time to focus on smaller parts of the area - it's really a blessing for me.

Yesterday, Jose Perez got ordained to be a Priest in the Aaronic Priesthood and he'll bless the Sacrament next week. He'd asked that I'd ordain him too which was super special for me. I've seen the gospel change and bless his life as well as the life of his family. The gospel of Jesus Christ is meant to bless families - we have the chance to be together for ever, what can be better than that? :)

I got to FINALLY try turtle eggs this week! I'll try to attatch a video but here's how you eat them: You tear a hole in the egg, dump it into a little glass with some tomato, lemon, salt and then you drink it. I had 5 because hey, they're a good source of protein so why not? ;) I'd pay for that a little later with an upset stomach the next day but really, I think that was because I had a soda, bread and a bunch of other dense stuff. And no, I DIDN'T HAVE DIARRHEA, hahaha but my stomach did hurt a lot. So, if you decide to eat 5 turtle eggs, don't drink soda or eat bread the next day (along with many other things). The eggs look exactly like ping-pong balls and if you imagined those balls soaked in water - that's what they feel like. They kinda taste a little gamey but it's mostly just a glob running down your throat haha.

This week I've been getting good at playing and singing hymns in a park and inviting people to come to church. Nobody came to church (other than our normal investigators) but I'll keep trying. I had a big group listening and recording but I didn't get to take a picture of it :(

Well I hope everything has a great week this week! Really enjoy this time of year - don't take it for granted!

Love all you guys - keep praying and reading your scriptures! 

Pura Vida

- Elder Stott :)

Monday, October 5, 2015

Week 35 - 8 month missionary!

Hey everyone! 

Hope everyone had a great week this passed week and a FANTASTIC conference weekend like mine!

So first of all, we had another baptism! We baptized this girl named Nitzy who is 16 and is actually the sister of Jeimy - the girl who we baptized a few weeks ago. Nitzy has a super strong testimony and she has a heart-felt desire to follow Christ. She is going to be such a strong member as long as she sticks to it with tons of faith!

So General Conference was SUPER SICK! I was so stoked to see 3 new apostles called to the the Quorum of the 12. I felt the Spirit super strong as they took their seats and I knew from that moment that they were called by the Lord. My favorite talks were by Elder Holland, Larry R. Lawrence, and Russel M. Nelson. Elder Holland and Nelson both talked about the power of the women of the church and their importance. I want to add my testimony to theirs...the power that a woman has to influence the lives of others, as well as lead in the church is amazing. I loved how beautiful Elder Holland's talk was about mothers and how nothing comes closer to the Christ's pure love than the love of a mother for a child. THAT IS SO TRUE! And although it made me miss my mom a lot, I realized how true that simple truth is in my personal life and I'm so very thankful to have the pure love of a mother in my life. I love you Momma Stott :) The Prophet's talk was powerful and simple! He has lived his life testifying of Jesus Christ and he is doing an amazing job. He's looking pretty old and frail but I know that he's got a job to finish before he ends his ministry!

This week I had a really cool experience with some alcoholics. These guys live in the sketchy-est part of our sketchy-est area. This guys live in a old abondended school gym or something like that. We'll we've been working with them so fix their alchohol problem that got them living in the streets. They have families and lives but alcoholism took that away from them and I'm sure that they never imagined they'd be where they are today - no wonder the Lord needed to reveal the Word of Wisdom to us! I found that I really love this guys and have found that I see them as our Heavenly Father sees them, not as the world sees them. I see them in who they can become: their potential. So I was going to leave some Books of Mormon with them to read but they had been drinking just a tiny bit - even though they promised not to. So I was thinking to myself if we should leave the BofM's with them or not - when a thought came to mind, "Give them a blessing." I thought it was kinda weird but I followed this prompting and we went inside this dark and damp building to give them all a priesthood blessing (they're 3 guys in their 40's) As I put my hands on the head of one of them, I felt the Spirit the strongest I have in my whole life. I started tearing up as I blessed this man and for a moment, my eyes were opened and I could feel the love that our Heavenly Father had for him. It was so sacred and the Spirit was so strong. I'll never ever look at someone who lives on the streets or is "rough around the edges" the same. They are children of God too with a divine potential just like every one of us. Heavenly Father loves and knows them and I know that to be true!

This last week was long and tiring and this coming week is probably going to be even longer haha - we have sacrifice week this week. We're going to wake up at 5:30 every day and leave at 9 to work until 9 at night with only a 1 hour lunch break. That's 3 extra hours of working but I'm excited to see the blessings that will come through our work as we are diligent and faithful!

I got a package from my family.  It was AWESOME!  I loved it.  I laughed so hard for so long about those fox socks.  Pretty sure my President won't let me wear them.  They'll be P-day socks.  haha

I'm so thankful for this opportunity I have to be serving in Costa Rica! It is for sure the hardest thing I have ever done and it can be really tough at times, but I have loved it along the way!

Remember that we are all trying to get to the same place! Let's help one another get back home! 

Until next week: PURA VIDA!

- Elder Stott