"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

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

"You'll never guess who's getting baptized. Okay, maybe you will".

My Dearest and Most beloved of Mothers,

Yes I got the packet and I have plenty of money.  Thank you.  I haven't heard about rule changes like the ties and colors and stuff, but it doesn't really matter to me. I've got plenty of ties as well. Thank you though.  (I ask Michael if the rules changed about carrying cameras now that he’s been reassigned to Guayaquil West).  No, the rules didn't change about the cameras (they don’t want the missionaries there to carry them so they don’t get mugged), but I'll try to take more pictures. It's a little difficult because my camera is gigantic.  Also, it's hard to find a computer that works to send pictures.  I'll work on it though.

I'm glad that lots of people are asking about me and everything. After 5 months I'm surprised they all haven't forgotten.  And yes, five months is a very long time; almost a fourth of my mission! It's going by so fast, you wouldn't believe it.

Martha told me she was going to send you a picture that she took at Saturday’s baptism.  She wanted me to tell you that she loves you too.  She's shown me a few of the messages that you've written, and it's hilarious how bad that translator you are using is, haha.  The messages hardly make any sense at all, but she gets the gist of it.  And yeah, that was the baptism of ___________.  It was cool.  This Saturday we're going to have eight baptisms.  You’ll never guess who’s getting baptized.  Okay, maybe you will.  We are baptizing the four kids whose dad refused to give permission, one of their friends, and another family of three.  So we’ll have 10 baptisms so far this month. 

President Dennis gave permission for the four kids to be baptized with only their mother’s permission due to the circumstances they are in.  He is meeting with her today at five to see if she is willing to support them in coming to church each week.  I can't be there unfortunately because I have a doctor's appointment, but pray for them please!!!!

So, some more stuff; ________________ (the girl who booted her man out) received a calling Sunday.  She is the secretary in young women's.  Then one of my first converts, ______________, after fighting and reasoning with his Mom and Grandma finally received their support for him to go on a mission.  He is only14, but it's really important to him.  I'm helping another youth in my ward, the son of the hermana that made me the pillows, to prepare for his mission.  It’s likely that he'll perform all 8 baptisms this Saturday.... I'm sure there's more going on, but I can't think of anything right now.

And now to the most important part - Matthew.  Big man, it's your birthday tomorrow.  You're going to be 9.  That's huge.  Like gigantic.  I don't think you know just how proud of you I am.  I love you so much.  You're a wonderful example to me and a huge help to Mom.  I love you with all my heart bud, and I'm going to get your present in the mail as fast as I can.
Anyway, that's about it.  I love you all so much and I miss you too but I'll be back before you know it.

Elder Michael Costello

P.S. Logan and Aiden are gigantic and Logan has like really blonde hair. I miss them

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

New Mission - New Mission President

New Mission President of Ecuador Guayaquil West Mission - Jorge Dennis and his wife Anette Herrin Dennis 

Hey Mom!!!

(Michael was transferred to the new mission that just opened – Guayaquil West.  It covers much of the same area as he was in before).  We basically have all the coast, but not the Galapagos Islands. Those are in the South Mission.  I have met and spoken with my new President already. He's a really good guy. He speaks English as well as Spanish. I love President Amaya, but President Dennis has been very involved with everything that's been going on with my health.  Actually, from the first day that the mission opened, there has been only one day that he or the Assistants haven't called me to inform me about
what’s going on with appointments or just making sure I feel well enough to work.  On the first day we met with him, he postponed about 15 other interviews to talk with me so we could decide what needs to be done.
So, I've said it before, but you all don't need to worry. I am getting the best treatment there is in Ecuador. I have an appointment tomorrow (in the clinic that President Dennis moved me to, which is way nice).
This week was good. I had a baptism last Friday. His name is _______________ and he’s nine years old. He is the younger brother of _________ and _____________ (my first converts).  He was nervous, but everything went really well.  My companion performed the baptism.  About the family with the 4 kids; it looks like there's nothing we can do at the moment. We can't baptize the parents, and we just cause problems for the family when we come by.  The father is just terrible, but it's difficult for the mom to just kick him out.  As missionaries, there's not a whole lot more we can do, so we have to hand them off to the ward.  We're going to bring the 2nd counselor in the bishopric by their house, and we have to step back a bit.
We've got another baptism planned for this Saturday; a 13 year old girl named ____________.  In total we've got about 20 people that we are teaching regularly.  It's a ton of work but it's worth it.
So I'm glad things are going well at home!  Tell Matthew that I love his hat, and tell Regan I'm glad she liked her gift. Also, don't let Matthew think that I'm going to forget his birthday. It's coming up, and I know what I'm going to get him.  Sending it will be a bit more difficult, but I'll get it there.
Thank you for your prayers and fasting for me and my investigators!  I really, really appreciate it.  I don't have a ton of time, because this computer is painfully slow, but I love you all so much!  I pray for you always, and I miss you!
Mom, I love you so much! Thank you for caring about me and worrying about me!
I'll talk to you soon!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Transferred to the brand new Guayaquil West Mission

(The address posted in the column to the right is no longer accurate.  Michael has been transferred to the Guayaquil West Mission, which is one of the 58 new missions opening around the world.  I do not have an address yet and it is not listed on dearelder.com.  I'll update the blog with a new address as soon as possible.)

Hey Mom,

Today is my first day in the Guayaquil West Mission which is sweet that I have the opportunity to open a mission.  It’s really cool, but on top of everything, I’m changing Mission Presidents, secretaries and everything.  So it’ll likely be a little time before I can meet with the doctor.  I’m really sorry, but I need to ask one more time, please be patient my loving family!

Also, my baptism that I was supposed to have on Saturday didn't happen.  It’s scheduled for this coming Saturday now.  We've got 3 people with baptismal dates, and about 11 possible baptisms this month already.  It's a lot of work, but it's worth it.  The father of the 4 kids is still arguing with us, but I think he's afraid of me because he comes up to my chin. I promised his wife that we're going to baptize the family, so we're going to.

I received eight letters today, which is AWESOME!! I got one from Dallin, Kelsey, and Grandpa Costello, all from when I was in the MTC. They forwarded them with other missionaries.

Anyway Mom, I'm out of time,
but I love you so much!!