Called to Serve

Called to Serve

Monday, July 25, 2016

Week 76 - Fire-Blowing and the Lost and Found

Hey guys! 

Hope everyone had a super sweet week! Mine was super hot with lots of dust and lots of interesting people and fun stories haha. I still do kinda stink at taking pictures of it all but I legit promise to be better at it this week.

Well, this week was miracle week and it went pretty well. It's always for some reason the hottest week of the month so I got the top of my head burnt pretty good but NO PAIN NO GAIN BABYYYYY! Haha and interesting side note - the missionary dress guidelines might change here soon and we might be able to wear sunglasses and hats in hot areas (we're in the hottest zone of Costa Rica so it's pretty likely that we'll get to wear them) 

A miracle (although small) happened to me this week. So in the MTC, I bought a little Spanish hymn book and I've had it with me my whole mission. It even has little Oregon Duck Mascots that I drew so yeah I know, it's pretty sick. Well, a couple of weeks ago, I left it in a taxi which means I'd never see it again. And I was pretty bummed out. But this week, we were walking in the street when a guy called us over. He held up a little hymn book and asked if we knew Elder Stott. SICK. He found it in the street in front of the church and somehow we happened to pass in front of his house. MIRACLE WEEK BABY! 

This week for funny stories. So we found out that one of our investigators can dance with fire. I was blown away because he's as good as those Hawaiian guys in luaus (I think it's spelt like that haha). He spit fire after and then he told me to come walk out by him then told me to try spitting fire. So knowing me, I was totally down. I blew a cool fireball and felt like I was a dragon haha. We're going to take some cool pictures and videos this week for you guys, it'll be sick :) I'll be teaching him guitar here soon too so that'll be cool. He's a really cool guy (his name is Didier) and he's 18. Actually, he's going to be baptized this week on Saturday so I'm super stoked for that! Another baptism baby! 

Also, we played more with the chickens this week - but this time we didn't kill them haha. For some reason, Elder Vorwaller knew how to hypnotize chickens (he looked it up on YouTube one time - I decided not to ask haha) and it totally works! You put them on their backs and they freak out until you draw a line in the dirt with a stick by their heads. They like fall asleep until you kick them again. It was pretty dang funny! Also played with a cool cat.

Things in our area and zone are pretty good. Our zone is kind of struggling (and I just got here) so we've been working with that. We're going to have a zone conference to talk about that. 

I'll have more about the investigators in our area here next week. We've left some and are finding a lot more! We found a lady who came with us to church too so that was really cool! There are lots of people here who are willing to listen but it's hard to get them to change or come to church. But yes, things are good :) More info coming soon :) 

Love all you guys so much. Enjoy your summer and go out and serve someone. The best currency we have in our lives is the impact we have on others. A life lived not serving others is a life hardly worth living.

The church is true! Pura Vida!

- Elder Stott

Trying to do a smolder with grandpa glasses - haha

Monday, July 18, 2016

Week 75 - CYOD *Graphic Content

CYOD - Catch Your Own Dinner
**Disclaimer - graphic content ;)

I hope everyone is loving their summer so far! Now I'm in a hot zone (90+ degrees almost everyday) so I feel like I'm in summer with you guys (even though it's technically cold and winter here haha weird)

Man, I got here and I fell in love with Guanacaste again. It's totally different than San Jose and Heredia but I love it. It's 5 hours (in bus) northwest of where I just was. It's different in that its SUPER HOT and people don't wear very much clothes here, dang it. It's also a lot harder to find stuff that you can find easily in other parts of Costa Rica.
I love being Zone Leader here with Elder Vorwaller. It's funny because we're so completely different but we spend all day laughing and working hard. You literally sweat all day here in Guanacaste but after a couple of days I got used to it again. We brought 26 investigators to church as zone which is really good compared to the past average of 10-13! We're super stoked to be here and to work with our missionaries! Sunday church is awesome because it's at 11:00 here, so we can pass by investigator's houses to invite them to come to church. It's a super sick ward!!  Lots of gringos come to church here while they're on vacations which is nice because I get some time with my culture and language - it's a really weird feeling because you miss home but at the same time, you remember how cool Costa Rica is haha :)
Just a little run-down of what ZL's do, so we're responsible for our whole zone (20 missionaries). Also in charge of the 2 District Leaders and we have to give lots of follow-up with them. We help lead the whole zone and have meetings with the Stake Presidency and President Laboriel every month here in Guanacaste. Sometimes we travel to San Jose for meetings. It's a lot of responsibility but I love it because I get to help other missionaries out. It's a little stressful but fun because ZL's can make a huge impression on missionaries. I hope that my impression is one that's firm with obedience, hard-working but fun and chill at the same time. So far, so good. 
Also, there's two zones in our stake (Estaca Liberia) and Elder Navas and Elder Escobar are the other ZL's here so we always see each other! Elder Navas started the mission with me in Alajuelita.

Me with  Elder Escobar and Elder Navas at the internet cafe

Guess What?? I killed a chicken this week and we ate it yesterday! It was at our cocinera's house - it's pretty cool because her house has an outdoor kitchen, but like rustic, and she cooks with fire. It's really yummy. So, I had to grab the chicken, tie it up by its feet and slice the throat to drain the blood. I was wearing a plastic bag because after you kill the chicken, it flaps around and blood flies around everywhere. Talk about the Guanacaste experience! That family is so cool and the little kids love me so I'm sure I'll be sending lots of pics in the next few weeks from there!

What's for dinner??

I bought a little toy top that you throw with a string because all the kids play with it in the street. So I've become famous here with the little kids here :)
One thing I've really learned on my mission. I've realized that prayer is one of the most powerful things we have in our lives. It changes lives and is a way we can show our faith to our Heavenly Father. Bad things happen when we stop praying so make sure we pray everyday! The Lord truly listens to our prayers and answers them. It's always in His time and in His way but He ALWAYS answers. He heals broken hearts and lifts heads that hang low. I love the concept of prayer and invite everyone to work on making our prayers more personal rather than scripted and repetitive. We just need to talk to Him like we talk to our parents. I love this Gospel and everything it offers in our lives. I've seen the blessings in my life and I love having the opportunity to share it with other people!
Well, hope you guys are all doing well!
I miss you guys tons! But just know that I'm loving it here. It's hard but I'm happy! Pretty tired BUT HAPPY. :) The church is true y pura vida!

- Elder Stott 

Monday, July 11, 2016

Week 74 - Hello Elder Vorwaller, Hello Guanacaste - Part II

Hey everyone! 

Hope everyone is enjoying their Summer! Sometimes in life changes have to happen, including in the mission! And that's exactly what happened to me! 

I got a call yesterday from the AP's - it's usually really good or really bad when they call... So I was nervous haha. They told me that I had changes and that I'd head back to Guanacaste... oh great haha and then the real kicker is who they told me would be my companion: ELDER VORWALLER! I thought they were joking and asked him, "No, really, who is going to be my comp?" and they told me it was him. THEN, I remembered that he is a Zone Leader... and my jaw dropped. They told me that tomorrow (today), I'd head to Guanacaste. They said it's been a zone that's struggled for a long time in the mission so we need to pick it up and Presidente said he trusts Elder Vorwaller and me to do the job. I'm going to try my best! 

By the way, I'll be writing earlier in the mornings now because I have to report numbers, so like 9-10ish.

But really the chances of having a companion 2x is really really rare so this is pretty cool! 

Well I'm in San Jose right now, but later I'll head to Guanacaste. My area is called San Roque and it's super hot so... Skinny Elder Stott time! But I'm excited, it'll be good stuff. Elder Vorwaller was so excited that I was coming because his last companion was a pill, the dynamic duo is back!

Special shout-out to my cousin Wyatt who just finished his mission in South Korea and my best man Trevor, for doing work in Bolivia - love you guys a ton!

I've learned something really special to me throughout my mission. Some people think that if you live the gospel, you have to be a completely different person which is COMPLETELY UNTRUE. You can live the gospel and be you at the same time. The gospel is something that is lived everyday. I think the best way I could define the gospel of Jesus Christ (In my own words) is "creating a better tomorrow, starting with today". The Gospel gives us innumerable chances to try again, and I know and testify that every time that we are willing to try again, the Lord is willing to give us that chance. A quote that I love by Elder Uchtdorf says, "Many of the deepest regrets of tomorrow can be prevented by following the Savior today."

To be honest, things are really hard in life. People come and go, things change, we fail, a lot of things happen that we don't expect or we feel we can't handle. But one thing that I am absolutely positive and I testify as a representative of Jesus is - no matter how far we've strayed from where we're going, the gospel always lights the path of return. I know from personal experience that this is SO true. I love this gospel with everything that I have!

Thank you guys for all the support and love - keep that coming baby!

Love you guys!
Pura Vida & the church is true

- Elder Stott

LOTS of pictures this week - I promise
An apron mom had made for my Abuela - I'm going to miss her!

Monday, July 4, 2016

Week 73 - Happy Quatro de Julio

Hey guys! 

Happy 4th of July! I am really really REALLY proud to be from the United States. Enjoy the freedom that we have! I sang the national anthem this morning with my American Flag tie :) Very patriotic! 

So this week was pretty good! We hit up price-mart this week to buy all our food! Last month we bought a ton of sugar and junk so this month we bought tons of veggies (I got my V8, chia seeds, and of course HONEY BUNCHES OF OATS BABY!) so I'm really stoked for this month. Ever since I've eaten with the abuelos, my stomach has been more sensitive to anything that's not straight veggies or meat so we're trying things out. But my stomach problems aren't that bad - just sensitive! 

We had to leave that mom who had lots of questions because she wasn't really looking to make any changes in her life. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is exactly that: changes and new beginnings. I feel really sad because she has a lot of potential and she just doesn't seem happy. I know that Gospel of Jesus Christ can change that but sometimes we have to open our hearts for it. I know she'll accept the Gospel later in her life, I did all I could and testified of the only person I can testify: our Savior. I love that Man so much. 

Things as a District Leader are really good! We're getting better little by little because progress seems to always be slow but steady in the mish. I love it because I get a more in-depth in the lives of other missionaries and try to help them out. The most important thing on my list is to make sure they know I love them! 

This coming week is changes - I really hope I don't have to leave Heredia because I love it here! It's a paradise and my comp is super sick! I love the branch here and everyone - it's going to be hard when it's time to leave. We're going to have a BBQ with grandpa today so I'll send pictures next week! 

I finally got my package after a 5-hour customs battle haha. This is the first time they freaked about candy, saying that I needed permission to get it - and I couldn't just leave the candies, it's all or nothing. So I had to go to the office of health to get a lawyer's stamp and then finally got it! Don't worry about it - Costa Rica is dumb sometime. Stupid stamp. Pictures of the package coming next week!

Life sometimes hits us really really hard and especially when we don't necessarily feel prepared for it. But I know that there is someone who is always looking out for us. He suffered every temptation, sickness, pain, feeling, everything. He knows how to help because he carried it all by himself FOR US. I love my Savior so much and I've really come to appreciate how close I've come to Him. He's truly become my best friend and my older brother. I love Him and am so thankful to help others come unto Him and to share in His love. He always offers us peace, comfort, happiness, love, and forgiveness. No one is ever too lost to be found and changed by His love. All we have to do is let Him. I know and testify that He lives and lives. Through Him, we can return to our Heavenly Father. 

Thank you guys for all the love and support! Keep those prayers coming!

Pura Vida! The church is SO true!

Elder Stott

Tres Leches for Kevin's Birthday