Monday, March 28, 2011

Chicken Bones

With this Monday came transfers! I'm still in Costa Rica. Elder Brassard left to Culiacàn, and I am now with Elder Merrell from Parker, Colorado. He seems really funny; I was immediately impressed by the way he works as we stepped of the bus to Costa Rica. He was greeting everyone, and we talked to a few people in a hair salon, and he had them laughing in a few seconds. So, I'm really excited to work with him for this transfer.

A missionary who is just leaving the MTC will be Elder Richins' companion (a missionary who currently living with us). Elder Richins and Elder Merrell will be at Concilio (I don't know what that is in English) for Tuesday and Wednesday, so during those two days, I'll be training the new companion. I'm pretty excited, but I'm honestly pretty nervous. Mostly it's going to be really fun, and involve a lot of "¿Cómo? ¿Cómo? ¿Qué dijo?" unless he's just a Spanish whiz.

We had a baptismal service for Fernando on Saturday. His mom is a member, but has been less active in the last few years. Their family has come to church every week since we met them, and there are always a few neighbor kids tagging along. We had 13 people in the van that we brought by to give them a ride to the baptismal service! His mom, Hermana Luísa, is seriously a referral master. She usually won't even let us start teaching until she has brought some of her neighbors over, and we have found a lot of new investigators that way. Fernando's baptism was really neat. He is impressively mature, being the man of the house at 12 years old. Him and his younger sister, Yadira, are total jokesters. Their favorite joke is just to tell us that our pen fell, and then yelling "Made you look!" It never gets old! A lot of members and friends and investigators came to the baptism. Those services are like magic for investigators who are considering getting baptized.

Dad, I think you need to reconvince me why motorcycles are dangerous. The more time I spend in Mexico, the more I want one. Also, is there any health reason not to eat chicken bones?

Elder Tingey

Monday, March 21, 2011

"One, two, three" in English, French and German

Lupita and Luis

Elder Davis, Elder Tingey, Luis, Elder Brassard


Today we had our last district meeting for this transfer. Things sure happen quickly. Elder Brassard and I have had a lot of success here in Costa Rica II. This past Saturday, Luís was baptized, which was really fun. His girlfriend, Lupita, bore her testimony before the ordinance; it was powerful. She said how worried she was about her family members that are becoming less active, and they all ended up coming to church yesterday when Luís was confirmed.

Next week, Fernando will be baptized. His mom, Luísa, is member who has been less active in recent years, but is now super active after the two weeks that we have been teaching. She's the queen of referrals; I'm convinced that all of her neighbors will be active members in a few months. We teach at their house nearly every day, and everytime there are various neighbors there. We taught the ten commandments a week ago to 9 kids that had gathered in the house, using hand symbols to remember each commandment. Every scripture all the kids yell, "No, I want to read it!" "No, me!" and they all fight over who gets to pray at the end.

We always sing at the beginning of the lesson, and someone always counts to three to start us off. I think I've taught a good portion of the city how to count to three in English, French and German. I want to learn how to count to three in some other languages so I don't run out of creative ways to start off.

Lots of kids in the street like to practice English or learn new words, so they always yell at us, "¿Habla Inglés?" It's actually been a cool way to find families to teach, once we have the kids show us where they live. Earlier in the week, some kids asked if I speak English, and I just yelled, "¡No, solamente Alemans!" (Only German!) They all started yelling and chased after us. I guess word spread pretty quickly and now a lot of kids in that colony call me "the German." (El Aleman). I feel like Marcus Arelius in Gladiator.

We found a woman, Amalia, on Saturday. She has definitely been divinely prepared to hear from us. We talked to her in the street, gave her a pamphlet about the Restoration, and set up an appointment. A few hours later, we had extra time so we went to her house to teach her, and she had already read the pamphlet and loved it. She essentially challenged us to baptize her. Her mom, Marguerita, is this tiny woman in a wheelchair who is really sassy and hilarious when she knows what's going on. Amalia is really silly and funny and had the whole Gospel Principles class laughing in church on Sunday. She's living with Cándido, who as it turns out was baptized, but never went back to church afterwards, not even to be confirmed. But they are planning on getting married later this week, and Elder Brassard and I are going to be witnesses for that! So, they will probably be married and baptized and active members in two weeks. We taught the Plan of Salvation last night, and she was just in tears for most of the lesson. The Spirit was testifying very strongly as we explained what is happening to her father, who passed away recently, and how they can be an eternal family.

The amount of les active members here in Costa Rica is sad. We're trying to help the members realize the impact they can have, especially in supporting the less active membvers and helping them come to church. We find a lot of them, but we really don't have the capacity to fellowship everyone. When the members of the chuch have friends visiting them or accompanying them to church, they stay strong.

Things are going very well here in Mexico. Thanks for the support!


Elder Tingey

Monday, March 14, 2011

Special Musical Number

The Warriors - This is for David Bybee and Dylan Self. When I saw this I laughed and laughed.

El Dorado Zone Conference
We've had a really fun a complicated week. Last week we had a conference all of the zones near Culiacán. President Cantú gave us a lot of counsel. It was a lot about having faith. The missionaries who are having yhe most success in the mission have the most faith that their investigators will get baptized, demonstrated by the fact that they have always set goals for baptism during the first lesson. We've been changing the way we teach by following this counsel: we challenge new investigators to be baptized during the first lesson, and if they're not interested, we invite them to church, but don't really spend more time teaching them. We spend our time finding those who are prepared to be taught and to really gain testimonies.
Elder Larkin and Elder Pearson (missionaries from the MTC district) and I sang a special musical number for the conference, which was extremely fun. I miss singing with them. It was strange to see how much they've changed just in the amount of time that we've been here in Mexico. It makes me wonder how much I have changed.
Love, Elder Tingey
Elder Brassard and my cliche mexican wedding photo without smile.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Lots of Pasta

Angie's Family

If you want to send Spencer a letter:

March 7, 2011:

It is so cool to hear about what's going on with everyone. I can't believe these mission calls! Hearing about Tyler going to London and Dillon going to Brazil makes me so excited! My guess for Oliver is Paris, the one in France.

I love getting letters from people in the ward. I'm so grateful to read them and have that support. Thanks to Sister Young's class! I've gotten a couple from Sisters in the ward. It's difficult to respond to everyone, but I really enjoy them. Thank you!

Packages should go to the mission office. Everything goes to the mission office. I can always do with more ties and food. Oh man... I was really hungry and I started thinking about Extreme Air Heads recently... that was bad. I'm really enjoying living as cheaply as possible right now. I just bought a bunch of fruit and eggs for this entire last week. Tomatoes are one peso! Can you believe it?

Dad, Elder Brassard reminds me a lot of you in the way the he doesn't go halfway with anything. Uncle Chad told me about how he recommended a brand of beef jerky to you, and you bought one of every flavor to find the best one, which was a ton of jerky. I made some pasta for Elder Brassard and he said, "This is SO good! And cheap!" and the next Preparation Day he bought 12 bags of pasta. I believe he now has 10.5 bags of pasta.

We're teaching two brothers, Noe (Noah) and Noel, whose older brother, Alfredo, is a recent convert. They remind me a lot of myself, Jacob and Ben, if we were constantly in a really frivolous mood. They're insane. We met them while looking for Alfredo, and then taught them about the restoration of the Gospel. They are both really excited to get baptized. We left a part of the Book of Mormon for them to read. When we came back the next day, Noel had read the chapter we left, and then hid the book so Noe wouldn't be able to answer any of the questions about the reading! Aside from that, they're really smart. Noel was quoting parts of 3 Nephi 11 to us after having read it just once. People usually don't really understand everything the first time reading it.

We are also teaching Luís, who is dating Lupita, who is a member. I think young women in the church attribute to about 75% of missionary work in the world. They're awesome. Luís is really fun to teach. We challenged him to be baptized and he accepted.

Costa Rica is awesome. Why didn't anyone tell me how much fun missions are? We're really enjoying ourselves and helping a lot of families by bringing them the message of the Gospel!


Elder Tingey