oh my goodness, yes!
but it has been a beautiful experience. absolutely beautiful.
first taller! May 17/18 Mayo, 2012
this was our first group: return missionaries (casi todos) who speak English.
Laura and I have just marveled at what an incredible group it was--such a tender mercy! They were perfect little angels. They listened, learned, participated, practiced, followed the schedule...did everything perfectly! They were sent from above so our first time teaching the taller could go as flawlessly as possible.
this was our first spanish taller! 24/25 Mayo, 2012
i had a blasty blast! granted there is sooo much i need to learn, do, become, better, etc, but i had a super enjoyable experience. :)
they were amazing. i'm excited to watch them go out and conquer the mundo!
this workshop is real, guys. it is absolutely drenched in the spirit and gospel principles. it invigorates and inspires participants to recognize and use their God-given talents to fulfill their potential and reach their goals.
it's different than being a missionary. but it's reminding me of it a whoooole lot.
and i love it.
we're already seeing results; one boy went out for an interview two days after the workshop, and he got the job! he then proceeded to write a testimony of the effectiveness of the workshop to be forwarded to everyone who had been invited to the workshop the following week. and he sent us the sweetest email, too, to thank us.
we didn't do anything.
what a blessing to be a part of such an inspired program!
the church is true!
this guy...rodrigo rivera. es el MAXIMO (aka he's the man).
and he's figured out REALLY QUICKLY just how to spoil us.
we are getting along great. :)
when i first got to san diego, i was assigned to serve in an English ward for the first five months of my mission. don't get me wrong, i absolutely loooooved chula and had absolutely unforgettable experiences and met amazing people that changed/shaped my mission and life.
however, that was a challenge for me in the spanish department.
so when i got changed to spanish, i felt super inadequate and behind. but heavenly father blessed me to be in the BEST branch on the planet! not only that, but also with an amazing district. one elder in particular helped me out a ton--elder callejas from el salvado. he was always happy, smiling, cracking jokes, serving people, and talking to everyone in the branch/on the streets...everywhere. he and his companion set such a good example for me to just forget myself and get to work!
my first sunday here in costa we get greeted by this adorable, way sweet man named hermano callejas. I smiled as laura asked him to repeat his unusual last name, remembering with gratitude this elder and that epoch of my mission. we met hermano callejas' family: wife and daughters. one of his daughters--after hours of talking and being together at an activity--eventually told me that her brother had served in san diego, too. "maybe you know him, elder callejas?"
the world is so small.
needless to say, there's an instabond with us. last week the callejas' invited us over to make pupusas! QUE RICAS!!!!!
it's maza stuffed with freaking delicious carne and semi-spicy stuff (haha really descriptive, tawny).
then you cook em (not fry them! imagine that!), top em with repollo (kinda like cole slaw) and salsita and ya. provecho. suuuuper good.
speaking of food....
I AM IN LOVE WITH FRESH PRODUCE HERE.
no words come out of the mouth.
everything's so fresh and cheap! if you don't eat it RIGHT AWAY it'll echarse a perder...? go rotten. last week, i bought lettuce three times. ha ha, i just kept eating it so fast on/with everything and the remains were bad and the only option was to just get more. oh man. such a good problem.
one of my personal favorites: zucchini.
i saw this gorgeous striped beauty in the supermarket and almost bit into it right then. oookay.
this is chicken, onion, garlic, peppers, zucchini... oh man.
i'm pretty sure hermana mendoza tried to explain this fruit to me once. it tastes like creamy coconut with a hint of strawberry thrown in there. it's called guanabana.
after we arrived here that saturday at 5 am ha ha, we went to the feria--sorta like a farmer's market only 50 billion hundred times better--and i purchased this without really knowing what it was.
pretty sure i had a bite and then craaaaaaaved it all day every day that week until it was gone and i'm still craving it to this second. and i dream about it. no, seriously.
and i didn't even want to put it in a licuado. it's that good. i was afraid of mixing it with ANYTHING because i just want to taste IT. amazing.
so confused by the riconess of this watermelon, strawberry goodness in my cup right there.
we had a neat experience meeting a girl named iza in a moment when we needed each other. she came to the taller, helped us get to institute, and told us some stuff going on in her life. we just felt instantly close to her. she came to eat with us on friday night and we made her...
german pancakes. :)
except we don't have any pans so we just used these pots.
and guess what?
um yeah. it worked WAY better! the pancakes were thick and fluffy and AMAZING and cooked freaking fast. it was bomb. she was pleased. and i was too, especially when she suggested we eat on the floor since we only have two chairs. done!
last weekend we went to heredura to do service, remember? that was on the Pacific ocean side of Costa rica.
well, this past saturday ivan took us to a little place called Cahuita, which is on the Caribbean ocean side of costa rica.
it's a famous national park where the trees grow toward the ocean.
so bomb. it was free admission.
no one was there.
as we walked through the jungle...
we passed perezosos (SLOTHS!) sleeping (of course) and
monkeys threw coconuts at us.
then we found a private. beachy. spot.
and literally swam in the caribbean ocean for four hours.
oh, and it rained while we were swimming.
so that's what's been going on as of late. i hope you enjoy these fots. i love being here.
today rodrigo took us to a place named guapiles to organize our next taller. [listen, i recognize that i'm not the best videographer. the point is that this first video sorta captures the GORGEOUSNESS of the ruta on the way there.
the second is rodrigo entertaining himself and us as we waited in traffic after a huge jungle tree collapsed on a car on the one-way highway because of the torrential tropical downpour. ha ha. classical music...he's just directing it, LOVING his life.
and we love him!]