"Be strong and of good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest." Joshua 1:9

Monday, May 27, 2013

He wasn't the missionary that taught her but she wanted him to baptize her ...

Well Howdy Mother,
          I had two baptisms this past Saturday.  One was a nine year old girl named Karla, and the other was a nine year old named Andrus.  The funny thing is Andres wasn't my investigator. I spoke to him for a bit before his interview and apparently he chose me to baptize him.  Karla was a girl we taught and she also wanted me to baptize her as well. It was very cool.
          As of now, we have 5 more people with baptismal dates.   There is a family of 4 boys and their mom who want to be baptized but we're struggling to get permission from the father.  He is always drunk when we try talk to him, but the rest of the family really wants to be baptized.  I think we can convince him though to let them get baptized and we could possibly baptize him as well.

So how are you and your face?  (I told him his dad was ready to buy a plane ticket to Ecuador to go and get him.  He said…)  Tell Dad to not buy a plane ticket just yet, and that I'm getting things handled, or trying to.  I had an appointment this morning with the eye doctor and he basically told me that he has no idea what's wrong.  He looked at me and said, "Huh, well what do we do now?"  I said, "I don't know, because this is about the time I’d usually ask that question to the doctor."  Anyway, he told me to take two days of rest and go to a different ear doctor.  He gave me a name and set an appointment up for 4 o'clock tomorrow.  But I happen to believe that the new doctor isn’t going to have any answers either so I called President and asked for an interview and we're going to figure out what to do.  It might be tomorrow.

(I told Michael his cousin Alexa won’t be going to the Peru MTC at all because of her VISA issues and that she’ll stay at the Provo MTC.  He wrote …)  That's no fun for Alexa.  I haven't been to the Provo MTC, but the CCM in Peru is sweet.  (I told him that Kelsey was able to visit a friend in England who had just returned from a two year mission; that she was having a ball but had mentioned a couple of times that she was missing home.  He responded), “I'm glad Kelsey is having fun!  And she got to see Luke Nichols (said like Lumpy the Heffalump).  That's awesome.  I imagined that she might get homesick.  She's a family oriented person, sort of like her brother haha.

I GOT MY PACKAGES both of them, one from Dad and one from you Mom.  I have been happily snacking away since.  I got them last Tuesday, although the chips you put in exploded somewhere along the way hahah.  Thanks so much, it was so much fun :)

I’ll keep you updated.  I love you all so much, and make sure you tell Matthew and Regan that I love them!



Monday, May 20, 2013

Mom, we are so blessed...

Hey Mom,
So you wanted to know about my head ... it's still large (hahaha)   I just finished the treatment with the eye patch and medicine.  I don't know anything else as of now. I will have my appointment this week with the doctor, and then I will call President. I still feel the same, but don't worry too much. I'll get things handled :)
I received your envelope today with Dallin's, Eric's and Briana's blogs and the questions from Mrs. Jordan-Hick's class.  I will try to respond to all them this next week. I also got two more Dear Elders from Grandma and Brooklyn. Tell Grandma that I'm going to try to write her this next week and that I love her letters. Tell Brooklyn I'll write her too and I loved getting her letter.  (Michael can only write letters sent by regular mail every other week because he has to travel an hour to a place where he can mail them and it's another hour home.  THANKS FOR WRITING HIM).
Mom, we are so blessed.  You've never seen poverty until you walk around this city. I feel bad when the people ask me if I'm rich (which is pretty often) because I am.  (I ask Michael about Marthita, a woman who friended me on Facebook who sends me pictures of Michael and ask if she had an address where I could send something.  He just said it would be tough to send her anything...)   The address would be a bit rough. She lives on a mountain in a bamboo house like all the other houses there.  They don't have real addresses.      
I'm so glad Kelsey is having a good time! I hope she has the time of her life, and that Dad has so much fun when he goes over!
I don't have time for a story but I'll send one next week. We have about 7 people with baptismal dates and I'll let you know what happens.
Anyway mom, I love you so incredibly much. You are wonderful! I'll talk to you next week!

Love you Mom!!!
                               The pictures are of some favellas in the middle of the city.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Random things ...

Okay so this is from Michael's mom, not Michael (his letter this week is below) but I wrote a few random things down when we were able to talk to him on Mother's Day that I thought would be fun to share.

- KFC is the only food chain he's seen in Ecuador.  Half of the KFC sell mainly beans and rice.  The other half sell only ice cream.

- Milk is sold warm and it comes in boxes or bags.

- We ask what he misses.  He said his Dad's turkey sandwiches, his mom's enchiladas and Byron's carne asada.

- While we were talking to him on Skype, children came over and stood behind him and just wanted to talk to him.  He was so cute with them.  He says that happens everyday, all day.  They want to touch his "golden hair"and hear him speak English.  The other missionaries call it "The Gift of Barney" (yes as in Barney the purple dinosaur) because children follow him around wherever he goes.

- He said the worst meal he eats is cow stomach with peanut butter spread on top.

 - Ecuadorians put Christmas lights on everything all year round, including their phones and cars.

- We ask what most people do for work in Ecuador.  He said every house is a store.  You just knock on a window and they open it up.  He also said every car is a taxi.  The restaurants are also in homes and they serve mainly chicken with rice. 

- We ask about his apartment.  He said the outside is pink and green; mushrooms grow on the ceiling and three and four inch long cockroaches and spiders are everywhere.

- We ask him what he loved most about his mission.  He talked about how kind and loving and good the people are.  He talked about Sis. Elma, his Ecuadorian Mama who tells them to come in each time they are walking by and feeds them.

So love this kid!!!
Michael's Mom

... and we taught every lesson

My dearest and most beloved Mother, (alas, I am his only mother :)

It was fun seeing you and everybody yesterday!  One of the best days since I've been out by far.   I think it's a good idea that you don't email the President, at least not yet.  He knows what's going on, and I'll make sure he knows it is serious. I'll talk to him before too long. Only 7 days until my next appointment, and I'll call him after that.

I'm so glad summer is so close and that you and Matthew will get a break from all that work (in his school class)... that is, until Regan gets into third grade. hahaha.
So I wanted to tell you about my first two converts because I didn't have time before.  Their names are Jennyffer (17) and Carlos (14), and they are wonderful. We were teaching their grandma, and they sat in on a lesson with us about the Plan of Salvation. When we were closing up, I asked Jennyffer if she had any questions. She said no but that she felt that there was something wrong when she had heard how other churches describe God's plan for us. I challenged her to pray about it. People hardly ever pray when you challenge them the first time.  When we came back the next day, I asked the Grandma if she had prayed, and she said no, as expected.  But then I asked Jennyffer, and surprisingly, she said yes. I asked her how she felt, and she very matter-of-factly said, "Good. I don't know how to describe it but.. I believe all that you're teaching is true."  At this point in the story, I would just like to add wee note ... If you're reading this, and you're not a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and you've had questions similar to this one "Does God have a plan for me?", I would highly encourage you to talk to the nearest set of missionaries you can find. If you don't know how find them, ask my mom. She runs the blog and she can help you.
Jennyffer and Carlos are the best converts I could ask for. The other day I was stopped in the street by a teenage girl and she said, "You baptized my friend!" I asked her who her friend was and how she knew we were the missionaries.  She said that she had met Jennyffer the day before on their first day of school, and Jennyffer challenged her to come to seminary and church, and she was going to attend. The next day, we went by to visit Jennyffer and Carlos and we had an appointment to teach their mom.  Jennyffer and Carlos were at the table teaching one of their friends with all the old pamphlets that we'd given them.  They made their friend stay there for 4 hours, and we taught every lesson; from the Restoration to the Law of Chastity. The poor kid was mortified when they wanted to demonstrate their good work: "Ronald, tell the Elders what the Law of Chastity is. You remember. Tell them Ronald."
Anyway, they're wonderful, and are so much fun, and that's my story.
So keep on informing me of everything going on at home. I love you all!


Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Have some faith in me...


                     Michael's first two baptisms

Hi Mom!
    (Last week Michael said he almost passed out during a meeting and he had to go to the hospital.  He said the doctor gave him an injection and put him on a couple of different medications.  As is typical Michael, he didn't bother to say what they were treating him for and what the injection or medication was - just inconsequential stuff - so the following is his response to my questions).  First, I have no idea what they injected me with or what the medication was.  Previously they had put me on Celebrex and some red pill (I looked up Celebrex and the website said it's used for osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and acute pain).  The ear doctor gave me some new stuff because he said that the ear pain was just change of climate.  (Is it just me or did he still not tell me what they treated him for at the hospital and "some red pill" and "new stuff" is not informative Michael).  I've been trying to figure out what to tell you what's been going on with my health, because I don't want you to worry.  So as a precursor, this might sound worse than it is, but don't worry about it, and have some faith in me. We won't do anything without talking to you first.  I spoke to the ear doctor, and he said that my pain has nothing to do with my ears; that it is a problem with my vision. He also said that there is a possibility that I might have to come home for a while and undergo some treatments, and possibly an ocular surgery.  This isn't definitive yet.  I still need to finish my treatment with the eye-patch, and then I need to speak to the optometrist again.  I still don't know too much about it, but we can talk about a bit more on Sunday.  I didn't want to say anything about it, because now you'll be agonizing all week, but yes, I know you deserve to know what's going on with me.  Sorry Mom.
     And heck yeah! I'm so pumped for Sunday! I'm so excited to talk to you all!! There's so much I can tell you about that I don't have time to write about.  (I sent him a picture of the houses going up across the street that are almost finished).  I don't like that they're putting up houses. That's where my forts are. I'm not going to be able to find any of them when I get back.
      So, my week twas good. We taught a lot and I can teach all the lessons without any problems now.  I know everything I need to be able to say about the gospel so I'm able to communicate with the investigators without any problems but when we talk about anything else, I still get lost.  I love it here.  I really love my investigators and the members of the ward. They're the best.
     Mom, I can't wait to speak to you on Sunday. It still looks like it should be around two o'clock your time.  You're a wonderful person for doing all that you do. I pray for you all individually every night, right down to my niece and nephews.
Love you all so much!!
Elder Costello