April 7, 2014

Hey Mom!

I basically only have 6 days left as a missionary, because I am taking the bus back to San Jose next Tuesday, and then Wednesday I go to the temple and have interviews and dinner with president. Then thursday me jalo para la choza. Today we really didn’t do anything. I cut my hair, and the lady cut it way shorter on the sides than I wanted, then left it long on top, so I looked like a total idiot, so I told her nicely to cut the top short as well so it would be even. Now I’m practically bald, and I can feel the sun burning my scalp when I walk outside haha. But it’s ok. I don’t hold grudges with people who cut hair, I just choose to never cut my hair there again, and I encourage others to avoid the locale as well. I was on divisions with another elder from Wednesday until Saturday last week, and I have to go with him to his area this week to do a baptismal interview. He’s from Utah and is going home in two changes.

I miss home, and the whole family and my friends and my trumpet and everything. I hope I can do a lot better when I get home than before the mission. I thought that since I’m going to have a layover in Texas that it would be possible for Tony to visit for a little while, but I didn’t know that he lived so far away from Dallas, so it’s not gonna happen, but that’s ok. I didn’t really miss him that much anyway. haha jk. I’ve been contemplating for like 17 months now how I’m going to walk out of the tube walkway thing when I leave the plane, like what sort of first words I should say. I’ve been pondering on some sort of wise phrase that would be nice to hear, but I’m not sure what it’ll be. Just wait another week and a half for it. I’ve gotten so bad at writing. All my emails are like one long big soup of ideas that aren’t separated. I’m going to have a lot of trouble in my english classes. I hope everything at home is well. I cant wait to see you all. I miss you and love you!

Elder Kuoha

My comp sleeping on the bus. The video is funnier than the photo.

My comp sleeping on the bus. The video is funnier than the photo.

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March 31, 2014

Hey mom!

It looks like Grandma’s birthday party was awesome, I hope everyone enjoyed it. I feel kind of sad that I couldn’t go, but it’s comforting knowing that when I get home I’ll have my own party, and it’ll be better, so take that, Grandma. Today we went to the beach again, but we went with some members, so it was more fun that last week. We played a little volleyball with just a rope on the ground as the “net” and some lines drawn in the sand. And we were playing with soccer ball, but it was fun nonetheless. We spent like 4 or 5 hours there, and then came back. It was fun, and I am growing to love more and more the people here. I cant wait to come back and visit all of them.

I called two converts of mine on Sunday to see how they were doing, and I felt like it’s not fair that the mission ends. I would love to stay here and visit all these people all the time, but I know there’s a whole bunch of stuff I have to do at home. I’m looking forward to coming home and everything, but I sure will miss all the people and culture and everything. Not much else that went on this week. We found some new people, and there’s still a chance that I can baptize in this area, but it’ll be close. I’ll have to really give it my all. I love you and I’ll talk to you next week!!

Elder Kuoha

 

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March 24, 2014

Hey Mom,

Today was a pretty good day and the week was really good as well. We found some great new people to teach and we have two people on date for baptism for the 12th of April and one more on the 13th, but we’re probably going to have them all baptized on the 13th to make it easier. We’re going to see if we can do the baptism in the ocean haha.

We went fishing first by a park whose ledge overlooked the ocean, then we went to a pier. Today we went to a small beach and had a little fun. We’re going to see if we can go next week with the whole zone to have a great p day activity. The only problem is that it took like an hour to walk there. But it was practically empty the whole time. I played my uke sitting there on the grassy area and really enjoyed the day. My companion climbed the palm tree and grabbed a coconut and I opened it up and drank the water and ate the coconut with him and some kid that we met there. Then that kid broke the A string on my uke, so I restrung it using the extra length of the string I left there when I strung it the first time. So it works again.

I realized today that I have developed a lot of patience here. I just calmly fixed it and put it away. It was weird. Hopefully I can control my anger a little better when I get home and Brittany bugs me and calls me fat haha. In this area we have given talks in church every sunday, and we give all the classes. It’s different but fun too. The adult class likes my classes a lot haha. I cant wait to see everyone, and I guess I’ll only be writing three more times before I go home, but whatever. There’s not too much that could happen in these three weeks. Have a great week I’ll talk to you soon!

Elder Kuoha

 

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March 17, 2014

Hey Mom!

No, we do not have bikes now, but someone let us use them for a minute to do a quick errand, so don’t get too excited haha. I wish we did though. That day we biked about 8 km in less than 20 minutes. My leg muscles were big. But yeah, they were only for that one time. But don’t worry, I’m not getting trunky or anything, and to be honest I don’t focus on coming home at all, probably because it hasn’t sunk in that I only have 4 weeks left haha. I’m still focused on the work and trying to make the best of being a leader in the mission.

Today we went fishing for like 5 hours, and I didn’t catch anything. In total we only caught about 4 fish that were half the size of this email, so it wasn’t really a success. But it was really fun. It was us and the sister missionaries, because the rest of the district couldn’t come for various reasons. I got really sunburned. REALLY sunburned. Even my legs got burned. That’s what I get for wearing pants for 23 months then putting on shorts for one day. I had the line over my shoulder while sitting on the edge of the dock playing my uke. Not even a nibble. I kept thinking about Pokemon the whole time haha. In these last four pdays that remain, we have made plans as a zone to go to a few different beaches. If it’s nice, I’ll bring back some sand from each one, like that guy from Saving Private Ryan.

We have some great members in this area, but we are trying to strengthen them even more so the branch can grow quicker. We don’t have any set baptisms yet, but we’re trying to work with the readiest ones that we know, and finding new people as well. I am trying to have a lot of divisions as well so that I can get to know the people in my district better. We’re all working hard, and trying to work more efficiently. I want to have at least one baptism here in this last area, but I don’t have much time to find new people and prepare them for baptism, but I’ll work hard for it. Ok, well I love you and miss you a bunch, and I hope you enjoy grandma’s party! Take lots of pictures!

Love,

Elder Kuoha

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March 10, 2014

Hey Mom!

So my new area is basically a total success. It’s huge, and there’s just like little tiny towns every once in a while, but I love it. The hardest part is trying to get from one area to another, because the bus only passes like every hour sometimes, or every half hour at the most. Sundays it passes like every hour and a half, so sometimes it makes it hard to get from one lesson to another. It’s super beautiful here, and we see the ocean every day.

Next Pday we’re going fishing in our area with the whole zone, and hopefully the p day after that we’ll be going to a beach. I spent a lot of this week just getting to know the people here in the branch and the investigators, but I still havent met everyone. I hope everything at home is good, and that everyone is ok and happy. I can’t wait to come back here with everyone so they can see how hot it is. Well, it’s really not that hot, like 93°, but it’s suuuper humid, so I sweat like a whole kilo every day. But yeah, That’s pretty much it for this week, so take care everyone!

Elder Kuoha

 

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March 3, 2014

Hey Mom!

Sorry about the wait! On Saturday my companion sent a text message to the mission president telling him that we had a really great week, and president responded, “I want to talk to you both, how long does it take to get to my house?” So I obviously started freaking out trying to think why pres would want us to come to his house, and I got mad at my comp, saying , “Do you realize what you’ve done?!!!! Now we’re going to get sent home!” So we got to Pres’ house and he interviewed me first and told me that he had been thinking about changing my area, but he wanted to know if I was ok with leaving my area in my last 6 weeks in the mission, and I told him that I had felt that I was going to have changes 3 days before, and I told him that I was totally on board with what he felt was right.

So he told me I was going to Golfito, a small part of the Zona Sur, about 8 hours in bus from the capital, and one of the hottest parts of the country, and above all, a beach area. And I had two days with the opportunity of saying goodbye to all the people I had come to love in Tibás. I was able to speak in church and I took pictures with almost everyone. It was hard packing, I didn’t really want to leave because I loved that area and all the members, converts, and investigators, but it was necessary for me to come to a new area. I went to bed at 4am today, and woke up at 6 to say goodbye to a few last-minute people, and then we headed to San Jose and met with all the missionaries that had changes as well, and I got to see a few old faces, which was cool. Then I sang a song with the uke in front of Carl’s Jr with all the missionaries listening and singing along.

Then we waited like 40 minutes for a taxi big enough for three people and 7 suitcases. We waited in vain for so long that we just ended up taking two taxis to the bus terminal for Zona Sur. Then while we were waiting, I realized I left my wallet in the last house. DOH! haha, So I called my last comp from a payphone and he said he saw it and was going to take a taxi to drop it off, but the bus was about to leave, so it wasn’t possible to retrieve my wallet before I left. Now I’m ridiculously far without my card or anything. But the zone leaders have a meeting on Friday all together, so they can hand it off there and hopefully within a week I’ll have my wallet back.

So then I slept a little on the bus and I woke up at one point and saw a whole bunch of water, and I almost broke down in tears at how beautiful it was to see the ocean. I took a ton of pictures of the bus ride, and then we stopped and rested for a little, and I asked for a glass of water from the restaurant because it was the only free thing they had, because I didn’t have any money or my wallet, oh, and all the money I had brought with me wasn’t even sufficient for the bus ride, which cost $18. So I had to borrow money from the other elders that were going with me. After about 2 and a half more hours of bus ride, we got to Ciudad Neily, which is the zone leader’s area, and we met up with them, and they told me to do internet, and after I finish here, I have to take an hour and a half bus ride to get to my area haha.

But yeah, that’s what’s been going on. I’d send pictures of the people with whom I took photos, but it would take me like 3 years to send them, and frankly I’m sure it doesn’t interest anyone to see pictures of people they don’t know, and a whole bunch of me with the same pose for each picture, haha. But hey, I’m really excited to work hard here in the small branch of Golfito, and I hope I can work wonders with my companion. His name is Elder Gutierrez, and he’s from Costa Rica, but he said he’d never visited Golfito in his life. He only has 3 months in the mission, so I get to help him a bit, and I’m looking forward to learn from him as well. I love you all and miss you, and can’t wait to see you!

Elder Kuoha

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February 24, 2014

Hi Mom!

Well, here I am, enjoying life, doing what I do. Taking advantage of Mondays, where I can play sports and wear jeans and climb mountains and whatnot. Today we went to a Mason place. I don’t know what they call their institutions in English, but the guy told us that the guy who could give us a tour came at 4pm, but it was like 11am, so we missed out. And the Muslim place said that we missed their service at 9am, because we stopped by at like 10, so we decided on going to a gnostic church, where the guy used a whiteboard and shouting to help us understand what their religion is like. We wanted to go to the Jewish synagogue too, but it’s closed on Mondays. Then we ate pizza and came back to San José. Now we’re in an internet cafe writing people, including you.

It was a pretty good day. I found out last week that I didn’t lose all the pictures from San Carlos, just all the pictures from before january I think. So that’s half good news. Not much else is going on here, just that this week is the last week of changes, and next week my comp or I might have changes. I hope not, because a lady in the ward here promised she’d make me a cheesecake, and I’ve been cheesecakeless for a while now. So yeah, That’s what’s been going on for now. We’re trying to plan some great P days as a district so we can take advantage of my last 7, so hopefully we can hit up a volcano or maybe even a beach, so we’ll see. I love you and hope everything is going well!!

Elder Kuoha

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February 17, 2014

Hey Mom!

This week was kind of long. We had a great experience on Saturday though. We had a stake activity, and we had a youth come out with us to visit investigators. But all the appointments we had planned fell. We still got to have a few lessons, but it was difficult because we had all the plans fall, even back up plans. We just kept thinking and asking ourselves why did everything go wrong. But as the day came to a close and we both felt like it was the worst activity that the youth Isaac could have ever attended, he told us that he had learned a great lesson of hope and humility throughout the day. At first he was uptight and arrogant, saying that he didn’t want to visit any poor areas, because the elders that he goes with always take him to the rich part of their area. It just so happened that our first citas were in the poorest part of the area. He was really negative the whole time we were there, asking me for hand sanitizer after shaking anyone’s hand, and constantly saying “I don’t ever want to come back to this place.” But at the end of the day, he bore his testimony in the testimony meeting and talked about how great the day was for him. How much he had learned, how much it helped him understand that the mission isn’t all butterflies and rainbows (even though here in Costa Rica there are a lot of butterflies and rainbows), but that sometimes there will be bad days, but there’s nothing to do but keep working and find a solution with a smile. I felt greatly blessed to have had Isaac come with us on Saturday. He taught us a lot about missionary work.

Other than that, our week was ok. Today we had fun. I jumped on the back of a kid who always invites the missionaries to eat breakfast and he carried me halfway up a hill. He’s 18. Then I walked up the rest of the hill with him and his 17 yo brother on my back. It was hard, but then I felt like I weighed nothing (obviously mental, because I still weighed plenty). It was fun. We played a little basketball and football, and I did a pull-up and got tired. I am losing a little bit of weight again because we bought the blender and I’m getting back into the habit of making shakes again. I hope to get home like Tony did, haha. But you know, a lot better looking.

Not much else this week. I am still doing great with my companion and everything. I love you and Miss you, and I’ll talk to you soon!

Love,

Elder Kuoha

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February 10, 2014

Hola familia!

Espero que puedan entender este correo ya que están practicando el español. Bueno, esta semana fue muy buena, logramos tener 44 lecciones en total, y tuvimos dos lecciones con unos investigadores muy buenas. Estos dos investigadores nos dijeron que iban a orar acerca del Libro de Mormón, cuando antes nunca lo han dicho con tanta sinceridad, y una nos mandaron un mensaje diciendo que tuvo un sueño después de orar. Zing. Ahora solo tenemos que ponerle una fecha para que se bautice.

(Hello family!

Hope you can understand this email because you are practicing Spanish. Well, this week was very good, we have 44 lessons in total, and we had two very good lessons with investigators. These two researchers said they were going to pray about the Book of Mormon, when they have never before said so sincerely, and they sent a message saying he had a dream after praying. Zing. Now we just have to put a date to be baptized.)

I got tired of Spanish haha. So anyways, today has been a good day so far, I bought a pair of shoes for the street so I can enjoy being out and about for my last 10 P days without having to wear boots or running shoes or flip-flops. we’re going to eat with one of my comps friends from Pavas, and hopefully we can introduce her and her family to the missionaries there. I have to plan well what were going to do for these last weeks so that I can take advantage of the vacation country I’m in, without going to the beach though, because it’s really far. I hope everything is going well at home, because everything is great here. I love it here, and I hope I can make these last 2 months count. I miss you all and hope to see you soon!

Elder Kuoha

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February 3, 2014

Hey Mom!

This week was great! We had a baptism on thursday, and it went great! His name is Roger, and he’s really quiet, but he’s cool. He got confirmed yesterday, and he met a lot more of the members that day as well. My comp and I bought a blender today and peanut butter, strawberries, and oatmeal. Not all of those things go together, but they are all for beverages. When I get home I have to show you the oatmeal drink they make here. It’s DELICIOUS. Well, at least when I make it, it is. We had a lot of members go out with us this week, so we were able to have a lot of efficient days.

I feel like I struggle to speak in English more than I struggle to speak in Spanish, and in part, it’s cool, but it also means that I’m going to sound like a total weirdo when I get home. Maybe I’ll just put my member records in the Spanish branch in the stake so I won’t have to deal with embarrassing situations. I’m not sure what I want to do when I get home. But I am positive that I want to sleep for a week, then start boxing again. I feel like I’ve lost weight, but I haven’t kept in shape. I don’t run anymore, and we don’t eat very well. We don’t eat bad, but it’s always rice at every meal. And everybody drinks coke here. So when we go to lunch, usually they have coke for us.

I heard about the Super Bowl disaster. It was the worst massacre in New York since colonial times. But that’s ok. We believe in the resurrection, and as the Chargers always say, “Next year…” But hey, I’ll talk to you soon, and I hope everything is well with everyone!

Elder Kuoha

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