Monday, May 17, 2010

Esterones, to San Jose, to Denver, to Home!!!!

We left behind a life style and comforts to which we were accustomed. In return we had the joy of seeing ones respond to the kingdom good news and experience the strong bond of brotherly love. This we will never forget and we now have a better understanding and greater appreciation for our brotherhood and the true meaning of Psalms 133:1. The love that we received from our brothers this last week was overwhelming. The letters and the long hugs brought us many tears. It was very hard to leave. Especially leaving behind friends who we now consider family.
Kevin, Laura, Brian our beloved kids! Oh yes we have 6, I am a young mom.

Raul and David on there last study!
We felt like we were blessed by Jehovah in our last week of service here. Amber and I both were able to find our studies home. This in itself can be very challenging since people in Costa Rica seem to be unaware of the importance of keeping a schedule and time. We really wanted to find them home and let them know we were leaving the country in a few days and tell them how much we've enjoyed our studies and how we hope they can continue there progress in learning more about the bible.

One study I had this week was with Luis a young man from Nicaragua who lives in the bodega (workshop) of the hotel he works at. Luis works 7 days a week so I have to come after work around 6 or 7 pm in order to have our study. So last Wednesday during our study I had planned on giving him a new copy of the bible, so when we started our study I first asked if he owned a bible. He said yes and went to his room and came back with an old beat up new world translation and asked me "will this work". Of course I said yes and I was surprised because when I first called on him several months back he said he never really spoke to witnesses before and so I asked him if he had received it from a witness and he said no but that his roommate had given it to him in Nicaragua. So I guess that illustrates that when you place a bible you never know where its going to end up. I was also able to find Raul one last time and hand him over to one of the need graters in our hall Josh Potvin.
Josh and Nina, our late night card playing amigos.

We took turns going to meeting our last week staying home with sick kids, David went to Thursday night to do the bible highlights his last time in Costa Rica, between the sound of the rain pounding on the tin roof and the dog in the audience I think all was good, laid back Costa Rican Style. Then I went to Sunday morning Spanish and David switched off and went to afternoon English. We wanted to make sure to say bye to all the ones in the congregation. It was a very tearful goodbye.

We are now home, recovering from a bad case of the varicella virus (chicken pox) and of course everything including chicken pox is bigger and stronger in Costa Rica. This has hit us hard, we hope to get back in the swing of things soon. We already miss Costa Rica very much. We were nervous they weren't going to let us on the plane.

We made it Through customs not sure how, people were staring at the kids and whispering about what kind of flesh eating disease they could have. "Hello I can hear you" and yes it did look bad (those pics I will spare you) but it got way worse we can only hope it doesn't leave scar's.

So now back to life here in Portland Oregon.

We have lots of goals that are keenly in focus, and we are now more than ever determined to keep our lives simple and our family happy in service for Jehovah where ever he needs us to be. We know our lives will be rich(prov 10:22)!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


So everyone always is asking me what is the food like in Costa Rica. So I have been collecting some photos to show everyone back home and let you take a look and see what it is we eat! So exciting I know, this for me was a big adjustment because of not having all the ingreance at my finger tips. The things we buy at home like peanut butter are so spendy here too, so we have to adjust the things we like!

Ok everyone back home, here is a sneak peek...

Our Fridge!

Our Pantry!

We had just got back from the store, love a full fridge, doesn't last long...

So is it just Beans and Rice?

Typical dish

No, we also have Rice and Beans!

This is were I get our fruit and veggies. On one of the main streets in town.

Check out these mango's in comparison to Ruby's arm look at the top. They are huge. I love the small ones too. We will find the trees out in service and eat and take home quite a bit. So yummy, con sal y limon muy rico!

So all in all we eat pretty good!!! Cant wait to cook everyone a good Costa Ricen Dinner!

Its really green here now cause the rain and things grow like crazy, so lush just from a few weeks of rain, Here is a photo of our view now.

Beautiful!!! Huh?

oh and we do have to buy Noah's fav. this is like 5/6 bucks...

Ahhh it hurts to say that.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

The week of the C.O. Visit

What a great last couple of weeks we have had! Irene was here from the states as I mentioned before. She is so wonderful, and her ability to slip right into our schedule here with service, walking a ton, and being very busy was no problem for her. We miss her already and cant wait to see her again back in the states!

We did a lot in just a short time..

We had a spacial week with it being c.o. visit while she was here. Brother and Sister David and Jennifer Nelson, from Canada. They have been here in Costa Rica for 6 yrs. This is their 1st circuit assignment here.
I was able to spend some time talking with sister Nelson about my goals and returning home. She had lots of questions for me and lots of advice. Her knowledge and perspective on things was very insightful. Brother Nelson was able to go in service with David in the afternoon, he was very kind and encouraging. They both mentioned how the 4 months that we have spent here is a stepping stone for us spiritually and how now we have tasted just a little of the missionary life. Our pioneer meeting here was awesome, it was about conducting bible studies and their progress. He stressed the importance of understanding what is a progressive study and what is not. After meeting on Sunday we left in tears, we are so sad to think of the day coming so soon that we will have to say goodbye. His visit was all in Spanish of course but at the end of his public talk on Sunday he thanked all the English bros & sis for being here and it sent me straight into tears, to hear from the brothers what help you have been and how they understand and see all we have to go thru and give up to be here. It was very sweet, and a great end to the visit.

We wanted to make sure Irene had a good time and lots of fun but with c.o. here and low on funds, we needed to stick around town so we had a congregation dance party for her to be able to meet all in our congregation. The ticos love to dance. It was a blast!
Marcos and Gretal, a sweet young couple in our hall were so excited to come. They love love love to dance and are really good, they always work on Sundays so they were happy to come Saturday night. They work full time but took vacation all week for the c.o. visit to be able to have a share in service, what a great way to spend your vacation. they are such a good example. They brought their bible study a family with a young boy. They had a lot of fun and were all at meeting the next day.

Marcos and Gretal.

Kevin, Jair, David and Aldo, oh and Ruby

Amber, Claudia, Marylin and Karina.
Only in Costa Rica would I have a dance party and forget about my laundry hanging, and it not be a big deal.

We had a lot going on the last couple of weeks, nearing the end of our trip. We have been stressed about bills, life, and leaving our calls and studies here and all our friends and the new spiritual family we have made. Last week were able to sell our car so that was a huge relief even though I have to say selling a car in a foreign country is a huge ordeal.
However Saturday in service was an amazing day. We wanted to try and reach some of our studies and calls since we only have one more week left in service here. So David had a study with Raul, it was amazing. He shows his appreciation so much for what he is learning. They just got done studying the chapter on what happens to us when we die. At the end of their study Raul said being Catholic all his life he has always looked up to the Pope as someone who is supposed to be the closest person to God, and yet never has he (the Pope) or the Catholic church been able to teach him this basic bible teaching from the scriptures. He was so relieved to see what Jehovah really says about what happens to us. Everyone that has gone with David on this call says that they can really see Raul's genuine desire to learn the truth and on two different occasions ones have come back to the car after the study and said how they could just see him in the truth someday. One more thing that was amazing and very cool to see was, when we pulled up to his house he was working on someones moto and he told them they would have to come back because now he has to study the bible! It was awesome to see.
Just a few houses down the street I had a call on Marie a study that works and goes to school all the time and is very hard to get home, but she was there and we had a great study she gives all the right answers and is very friendly. It was great to get her cause I had to other studies fizzle out, I was really let down. However, to have the morning we had was amazing. We left crying because its hard to see the light come on for ones, to see them get bible truths and then to have to leave, and make sure they get there questions answered, but we know Jehovah is the one that makes them grow, we just would like to see the progress of them learning about all the truth. Who knows maybe we'll see these ones here in the truth one day. The sisters with us were telling us how great it was for us to be here and how we were a blessing for them... we made them stop talking it was just opening the flood gates! We have learned so much from the brothers and sisters here. We are the ones blessed for sure.

We also got to work a territory we had mapped that had a territory card, It was really neat to see it thru from the little note book paper to a card with all of the houses numbered. And a week before this we did house to house records for the first time here! Let me tell you, that's hard to do with out address's and st names! But it needs to be done.
-Ok until next time-

David, Jair, and David Nelson

Friday, April 30, 2010

Just a few Picture's!

The Boys!

School time!

Oh yes totaly worth walking a mile up hill to find this house abandoned!

3 peas in a pod!

These Guys are so much fun!

Adria, a Lifetime Friend!

Oh Jair & Karina, so in love.....

Kevin Hard at Work!

We are going to miss Our life here!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Count down is on, only 3 wks left!

Well it is now the rainy season! Its wet and humedo! The bugs and monkeys are coming out like crazy, Brooklyn is so happy with the lightning bugs, she has her jar ready to get one. Its been beautiful to see the lightning hit the ocean at night, and its amazing to see how much rain comes down too... we have an area on our deck we have to put a bucket under and it takes no time to fill up. Also exciting highlight for me last Friday we took Irene to a beach up north a bit and spent the day with some ones from the states that are here on vacation. We surfed and I got up!!!! I rode a a few waves, I couldn't believe it! Finally! I got up and couldn't believe I was standing, then I did it again, and again, like four times, I am hooked! It was awesome. I really wanted to be a good surfer before I came home but its hard with only having the car half a week, and when we do have it we need to be out in service. So not as much time for surfing. I will try to get a picture up on the blog of me surfing before we leave.

We have a friend here Irene, she is awesome helps me so much with the kids and cooking and so supportive with our preaching work in Spanish. It's so nice to have a girlfriend here from the states to talk to, and who knows what its like were we live, and she now see's first hand how hard it can be here in Costa Rica and/or any were out side of the states. She also makes me realize even more how much I miss all my friends back home. She translated for me last week so I could say more then usual and share many scriptures and it felt great to have her help so I didn't need to think about the language but only about the what to say to reach people, oh I miss service like that, only thinking about your presentation not how to say it! But who am I kidding! I love it!

We had ran into a guy last week I thought looked so familiar then it hit me so I turned around and said,"usted CarneSeria guy?!", he said "si"! and came up to us on his moto I get my meat from him in town and had witnessed to him a bit just telling him what we are doing here but this day with Irene I was able to tell him a little more and give him the new mag on Jesus Christ, he said how important this is and what we are doing, so I read to him also Matt 28:19 and told him exactly what we are doing here because of what Jesus had commissioned. I'm looking forward to having another informal conversation with him this week.

Monday, April 19, 2010

What next!?

So this has been no less of an exciting week then all the rest! Car troubles one after another always little stuff but still things that keep you from being able to drive, the kids and I are now pro's at helping David push the car even a few times bare foot, thank goodness we seem to always find helping hands, locals always stop and Bill has helped us tons, not to mention Josh he is always able to put in the parts for us. There have been a couple of scorpion and bee stings but I really was hoping for nothing much more then along these lines. Silly me! Three kids in a foreign country for 4 months...

So Ruby was playing on the hammock Thursday and flipped off onto her chin! Well I took one look and knew she had to get stitches, I called David and Bill to look and they agreed and Bill quickly called Dr. Freddy the Dr in town to see if he was in. He was about to take lunch but waited for us so he could fix up poor little Ruby.

We drove down to Samara as fast as we could. I never want to have to do that again, we had to hold her down as the Dr. put 5 stitches in her precious little chin, I was at her arms holding them down and her body, (with a clear view of all the going on's of the procedure)David was at her head and the nurse at her legs, then the Dr. called in the waiting room for a man to help with her feet! She is a fighter. It was so hard hearing her cry for us to let her go and we couldn't, we were all in tears! I could barley tell her its ok. I just couldn't get words out with out sounding helpless to her. It was pretty deep, all the way to the bone, not a pretty sight but she is all better now and we can cut out the stitches on Friday!

Then Noah was boogie boarding in some tough waves on a heavier board then he is used to and it came up and smacked him in the face and broke the board... oh and his nose! Well now he matches his parents! Builds character right!

Oh well nothing too bad and its all over... wait Brooklyn! At assembly Bill comes up to me and says Brooklyn's knees are all bloody! Great! I go to find her and take her to 1st aid, it wasn't to bad she scraped them up really good, but she's a trooper and after a scorpion nothing will stop her. It was difficult to translate to the brother what I needed in 1st aid so he gave me on tiny band aid while he drank his coffee. So good thing I had the gauze from Ruby's chin it came in handy. Well that's all for now we are all alive and feel just fine, just have some more memories to add to our stay here in Costa Rica.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Zone Visit and This week in Service

We wanted everyone to hear about the zone visit that we got to attend here in Costa Rica. Its a special Assembly only had in countrys outside the united states about every four years or so. Last sunday our congregation had to all ride in a bus to attend the assembly. This was under the direction of the Costa Rica Branch since the entire country of witnesses was invited to attended this one day assembly they felt the only way they could get that many people in such a concentrated area was to have everyone bused in and then bused out the same day. So you can imagine this was a pretty long day for many of our brothers and sisters across the entire country. Some had been transported in from as far as 6 to 8 hrs one way. We only had a 5 hr ride so our day started at 3am when our congregation all met at the kingdom hall and we piled into two buses and headed for the Zone Visit. Amber and Tinisa (a need greater sister from Michigan) were up the night before 2 o'clock in the afternoon until 10 at night making breakfast burritos in homemade tortillas for our entire congregation.

This assembly was held at a HUGE soccer stadium just outside of the capital of costa rica near San Jose. This assembly focuses on the needs of the entire country it was quite a seen, there were over 14,500 of our brothers and sisters packed into the stadium in anticipation of Brother Loosch of the governing body to give his wonderful talk. There was total silence when he got on stage, just the sound of the strong wind. This was only half of the country. It was really amazing that how in one day they had the entire country enjoy this very special visit. Half the country enjoyed the program Sunday morning (we were in the morning) and the other half of the country enjoyed the program in the afternoon. The program was 3 hrs long and consisted of a summary of the Watchtower and 2 talks that focused first (this talk was givin by brother Dilinger one of the secretary's of the Governing Body)on "praising God with our thoughts, words and actions. And the concluding talk was givin by brother Losch which was titled "Do you have the evangilizing spirit". These talks were all givin in spanish so David did his best to translate them in english by taking notes and every once in a while handing them to me so I could understand what was being said since I only get every ten words or so. A couple of the points that we really appreciated from the visit were first in brother Dilingers talk he mentioned Psalm 139:1,2 about how we can praise Jehovah even with our thoughts. Sometimes we think praising Jeh is all about our acions or what we do in service but what a nice reminder. Another point that we appreciated in brother Looschs talk was how he opened by mentioning that there is no greater work that we can be doing than the preaching work to glorify Jeh and that by declaring the goodnews we actually are following the example of Jeh (Gal 3:8)since he also declared the goodnews. He also focused on specific needs like using house to house records. Our congregation elders are setting a fine example in following the direction of this need because since Tuesday the first day in the ministy since the Zone visit each morning in service they have been handing out the slips and explaining how to use them. Hard to believe this has not been a regular part of there ministry here. So you can imagine how dificult this could be since most roads dont have names and most houses dont have addresses. It was truly an amazing experience to be here for this wonderful event.

We also wanted you to here about some more of our experiences in the ministy. Amber conducted her first bible study in spanish this week! She went back to a young mothers home named Naudel who we had placed the bible teach book with the week before. Amber took a Tica sister named Marilynn with her who assisted her with the study. The nice thing about ticos is that they are very patient when it comes to foreigners trying to speak their language. The sister and her householder patiently allowed Amber to fumble around with the language while she attempted to read the questions for each paragraph. They were able to cover the first subheading and made arrangements for Amber to return next week! That same day she went to another call (Maria)in spanish all by herself who she started a study with last saturday. She did not intend on going alone however the sister who was with her on the call had to return to the car because there was a horse on the trail that leads up to the home. This sister looks at horses the way Amber looks at bridges. She is deathly afraid of them. So Amber went to the home and rescheduled the bible study for next week. Somehow she was able to communicate that the other sister was afraid of horses and that she needed to reschedule the study. It was really good for Amber to be thrown into that situation to give her the confidence that she can communicate with the people here. I am very proud of her. We are very anxious to return to Maria because all three visits we have had up to this point seem to be very good and Amber has a real good connection with her.

I'm also very excited about a couple calls I made this week. The first was Tuesday morning in an area called San Fernando. I went back to a call that had previously excepted a study but who I hadnt found home for a few weeks. His name is Geraldo. I took a sister who is fluent in spanish with me and she was able to help me conduct the study. When we were about to begin the study the sister (Arianna) mentioned to Geraldo that we always start with a prayer. So I looked at her and said you want me to say the prayer in spanish dont you? She of course said yes and so I did it. I cant remember being so nervous to say a prayer in quite a long time. I got thru it and the rest of the study went really well. Geraldo wanted to know what the bible says about why there is so much badness in the world and why people lie so much. so we studied the first subheading in chapter 11 of the teach book titled "Why God allows suffering?". It went really well, his answers were really good and I look forward to going back next week. (this experience has givin me the confidence to say prayers in spanish now and so when I was asked to say prayer the next day for the service group I told the brother I could do it albeit not very good)The other call was with a man named Luis who is from Nicaragua. He lives in a Bodega behind one of the local Hotels in Samara. He works 7 days a week and is very difficult to find home. I was able to reach him on Tuesday and of course he was working as well and so I left the April special watchtower with him on Jesus and made arrangements to have a study with him next Wedensday at 2:00 oclock. Each time I call on him he seems to really express alot of interest but it's just so hard to get him when he is not working.

We finally feel like we're developing some nice calls and making some real progress with them. After being here for over 3 month now we are really starting to feel connected with our congregation as well. We look forward to coming home but sad to leave our friends here.