December 27, 2014

Costa Rica San Jose Mission

Here are free resources about the Costa Rica San Jose Mission:

*Other Mission Pages: Costa Rica LDS Missions.

Costa Rica San Jose Mission Address

Here’s a recent address for the Costa Rica San Jose Mission. We try to keep this info up to date, but it’s a good idea to check the address with several sources, including your mission packet or the mission office.

Costa Rica San Jose Mission
Apartado Postal 249-2010
San José, Zapote,
Costa Rica
Phone Number: 506-2234-1940
Mission President: President Chad R. Wilkinson

Costa Rica San Jose Mission Map

Here’s a link to the mission map for the Costa Rica San Jose Mission (LDS). To access the official, up-to-date LDS.org map for the San Jose Mission:

  1. Log into your LDS account here.
  2. Click here.

Videos with San Jose RMs

Here are in-depth YouTube video interviews with returned missionaries from the Costa Rica San Jose Mission.  We interview hundreds of returned missionaries each year, so check back regularly to see new RM interviews.

mission interview  mission interview

LDS-Friendly Videos about Costa Rica

Here are LDS-friendly educational videos about Costa Rica. We scoured YouTube to find the best quality videos about Costa Rica, that are free from inappropriate music, immodesty and profanity.

LDS Church  places  history  food  nature  People and Culture  Traditions

San Jose Missionary Blogs

Here’s a list of LDS missionary blogs for the San Jose Mission. This list includes the missionary’s name, URL and when their blog was updated.

*Send your missionary a gift (mission-specific shirts, ties, Christmas stockings/ornaments, pillowcases, etc.)

Elder Spencer Henry elderspencerhenry.blogspot.com 2015
Elder Tanner Nelson eldertannernelson.blogspot.com 2015
Elder Ferrin elderaferrin.blogspot.com 2015
Sister Aleena Kugath aleenakugathmission.blogspot.com 2015
Sister Brittany Whitman hermanawhitman.weebly.com 2015
Sister Erika Hubler hermanahubler.blogspot.com 2015
Sister Camilee Bratt camileeincostarica.blogspot.com 2015
Elder Caden Neider eldercadenneider.blogspot.com 2015
Elder James VanderMeyden eldervandermeyden.blogspot.com 2015
Sister Shaleah Anderson shaleahanderson.blogspot.com 2014
Elder Hunter Black elderhunterblack.blogspot.com 2014
Elder Keith Skousen missionsite.net/elderkeithskousen 2014
Elder Dallin Pace missionsite.net/elderdallinpace 2014
Elder Jacob Kuoha elderjacobkuoha.wordpress.com 2014
Elder Cameron Keysor elderkeysor.blogspot.com 2014
Mission Alumni mission.net/costa-rica/san-jose 2013
Elder Michael Ellsworth missionsite.net/eldermichaelellsworth 2013
Sister Anne Jenkinson annejenkinson.blogspot.com 2013
President & Sister Wilkinson costaricamission1.blogspot.com 2012
Elder Logan Whittaker missionsite.net/elderloganwhittaker 2012
Elder Anthony Constantino missionsite.net/elderaconstantino 2012
Elder Brendan Baca missionsite.net/elderbrendanbaca 2012
Elder Taylor Graham ripcitycostarica.blogspot.com 2012
Sister Kaylie Turnbaugh hermanakturnbaugh.blogspot.com 2011
Elder Anthony Smith elderanthonysmith.blogspot.com 2011
Elder & Sister Munroe munroesincostarica.blogspot.com 2011
Elder Anthony Tobler eldertobler.blogspot.com 2010
Elder Tim Malone costaricamissionreunion.blogspot.com 2009

San Jose Mission Groups

Here are San Jose Mission Groups- for LDS missionary moms, returned missionaries, mission presidents and other alumni of the San Jose Mission.

  1. Costa Rica San Jose Mission Facebook Group (677 members)
  2. Costa Rica San Jose Mission: Claybaugh Years Group (306 members)
  3. Costa Rica San Jose LDS Mission Group Group (163 members)
  4. Costa Rica San Jose Mission Facebook Group (75 members)
  5. Mision Costa Rica San Jose from El Salvador MR Group (42 members)
  6. Mision San Jose Costa Rica El Salvador-Honduras Group (42 members)
  7. Costa Rica San Jose Mission Facebook Group (22 members)
  8. Costa Rica San Jose Mission Facebook Group (13 members)
  9. Mision Costa Rica San Jose: Eager-Muren Group (6 members)

San Jose Mission T-Shirts

Here are T-shirts for the Costa Rica San Jose Mission!

Shirt designs include Costa Rica San Jose Mission logo/emblem shirts and Called to Serve shirts. The shirts make great gifts for pre-missionaries, returned missionaries and missionaries currently serving. LDS Mission shirts come in all sizes: Small, Medium, Large, Extra Large, up to 4XL.  The mission designs are printed on white shirts and are shipped to you.

*Simply click on a shirt design to view the details and submit an order. The designs on mission t-shirts may also be printed on other LDS mission gifts, including: Costa Rica San Jose missionary aprons, Christmas stockings, ties, pillow cases, teddy bears and Christmas ornaments.

*Click here to browse Costa Rica Mission gifts

costa-rica-san-jose-mission-t-shirt-1 costa-rica-san-jose-mission-t-shirt-2 costa-rica-san-jose-mission-t-shirt-3 costa-rica-san-jose-mission-t-shirt-4 costa-rica-san-jose-mission-t-shirt-5

San Jose Mission Presidents

Here’s a list of current and past Mission Presidents of the San Jose LDS Mission.

  1. 2015, Mission Renamed to Costa Rica San Jose East Mission.
  2. 2015, Randy H. Hayes
  3. 2012-2015, Chad R. Wilkinson
  4. 2009-2012, Sam M. Galvez
  5. 2006-2009, Luis Ricardo Arbizu
  6. 2003-2006, Manuel Fred Acosta
  7. 2000-2003, John Dale Claybaugh
  8. 1997-2000, Jose Luis Gonzalez
  9. 1994-1997, Boyd L. Cardon
  10. 1991-1994, Thomas G. Hendricks
  11. 1988-1991, Randy H. Bowler
  12. 1985-1988, Mervyn B. Arnold
  13. 1983-1985, R. Kay Holmstead
  14. 1980-1983, James L. Shurtleff
  15. 1977-1980, Joseph C. Muren
  16. 1974-1977, John E. Eager
  17. 1971-1974, Quinten Hunsaker
  18. 1968-1971, Milton E. Smith
  19. 1965-1968, Ted E. Brewerton
  20. 1964-1966,  Terrance L. Hansen
  21. 1962-1964, Leslie O. Brewer
  22. 1959-1962, Victor C. Hancock
  23. 1955-1959, Edgar L. Wagner
  24. 1952-1955, Gordon M. Romney

Costa Rica LDS Statistics (2015)

  • Church Membership: 44,627
  • Missions: 1
  • Temples: 1
  • Congregations: 74

Helpful Articles about Costa Rica

Coming soon..

San Jose Missionary Survey

Here are survey responses from Costa Rica San Jose RMs, to give you a snapshot into what it’s like to live in the mission.

*Click here to take a survey to help pre-missionaries going to your mission.

When did you serve?

  • 2011-2013 (Torrin)
  • 1992-1994 (Jason)
  • 1980-1982 (Roger)
  • 1984-1986 (James)
  • 1991-1993 (Lynne)
  • 2012-2014 (Daniel)
  • July 2012-April 2013 (Braydon)
  • 2004-2006 (Aitu)
  • 2008-2010 (Trevor)
  • 2007-2009 (Kevin)
  • December 2005-November 2007 (Andy)
  • November 2011-November 2013 (Javier)
  • 1995-1997 (Ben)
  • 2006-2008 (Garret)
  • 2014-2016 (Micah)
  • 2010-2012 (John)
  • July 2014-January 2016 (Makensey)
  • 1980-1981 (Opal)

Which areas did you serve in?

  • La Rita, El Tejar De Alejuela, Cartago, Ciudad Neily, La Campiña. (Torrin)
  • Alajuela, Liberia, Cañas, Puriscal. (Micah)
  • Naranjo, Puerto Viejo (Sarapiqui), Montelimar (Calle Blancos), Canas. (John)
  • Escazu, San Francisco, Concepcion. (Makensey)
  • Most of them. (Opal)

What were some favorite foods?

  • Cacau. Patacones. Ranchitas. Arroz con pollo. Arroz con leche. Pan con natilla. (Torrin)
  • Salsa Lizano, Gallo Pinto, Tamales. (Jason)
  • Carne asada. Arroz y frijoles. (Roger)
  • Pop’s Ice Cream. (James)
  • Gallo pinto, platanos, picco con pollo, manzana de aqua. (Lynne)
  • Rice has to become one or you’re in trouble. Same with beans. Chicken and potatoes are also staples. Tacos in Costa Rica are basically giant taquitos filled with pulled beef and Salsa Lizano served topped with shredded cabbage and ketchup. Surprisingly good. Oh, and get ready for fruit the likes of which you’ve never seen before, and all delicious. (Daniel)
  • Gallo Pinto. (Braydon)
  • Aros con pollol. (Aitu)
  • Pinto con huevo, pan y queso, arroz con pollo, casado. (Trevor)
  • Gallo Pinto and guanabana. Please don’t sing the Muppet song. Thank you. (Kevin)
  • Gallo pinto. Refresco de Mora. Pina Fresca. Plata nos. Chikis. Rice and bean. Arroz con Pollo. Macaronies de stephanie. (Andy)
  • Rice and Bean (it’s a native dish from lemon). Arroz con pollo. Bebida de avena. (Javier)
  • Gallo pinto, empanadas (any kind, albeit fruit like pineapple, or savory like chicken or black bean), rice and beans in general, and there tamales were made in banana leaves so they were much bigger than Mexican tamales in corn husks. (Ben)
  • Chicharrón, patacones, fried yucca, pupusas, rice and bean (limón province). (Garret)
  • Gallo Pinto, arroz con pollo, arroz con leche, tortillas con queso frito. (Micah)
  • Gallo pinto, empanadas, pati, Arroz con pollo, tamarindo, flor de Jamaica, sopa negra. (John)
  • Gallo Pinto, Trits Ice Cream, Arroz con Pollo, Dos Pinos Yogurt, Platanos Chips, Chocobananos. (Makensey)
  • Pineapple and bananas. (Opal)

What was a funny experience?

  • We were fed chicken hearts and lungs and my companion hid them all in his pocket until after dinner and fed them to a dog in the street. (Torrin)
  • Being chased by some type of lizard. (Jason)
  • Thinking I was saying sins when in fact I was saying fish. (Roger)
  • Anything that dealt with mud in Panama. (James)
  • Probably the time stray cats got in our apartment through the window in my first area. The sight of my trainer chasing them around the apartment. Priceless. (Daniel)
  • I asked my companion if he liked penne pasta. That doesn’t translate well. (Braydon)
  • When my companion would spend all his money for the month, I’ll buy us rice and beans and that’s what we eat until next month…lol (Aitu)
  • It is literally impossible to name just one. (Kevin)
  • Hitch hiking police on Semana santa. Also while still learning Spanish, telling a family we had pancacas instead of panqueques. (Andy)
  • Pretty much any experience with a drunk person. (Javier)
  • Trying to overcome the Gringo accent when learning Spanish. (Ben)
  • In general, I laughed the most having good times with my comrades. Other missionaries, members I got close with, companions. Some really funny times! (Garret)
  • When we were contacting a guy on the street and he asked me to marry him. (Micah)
  • Getting absolutely drenched in a crazy, heavy downpour a few kilometers from our house and wading our way home. (John)
  • Learning Spanish is great! You will mess up and mess up. Your companions will laugh at you, investigators will pretend not to notice, and members will correct you. But you will learn. I once told my companion I wanted to eat my children, trying to say feed my children. (Makensey)
  • Robbed of scriptures, lesson, lesson material and cash in Puerto Pilon, Panama with Sister Kelso. (Opal)

What was a crazy experience?

  • My companion and an accompanying member and I were robbed at gunpoint in Cartago. (Torrin)
  • Falling down stairs. I busted my elbow and it got infected. I was in a hospital for a week. (Jason)
  • Getting caught downtown Panama City in a student riot. We looked just like them in our white shirts and ties. (Roger)
  • Getting pulled over by the biggest, armed PDF guy down there. I didn’t understand the language that well at that time. (James)
  • Almost got mugged a few times. I got lucky, though. If you’re big, they generally don’t want to try on you.  (Daniel)
  • I got assaulted with a pistol and they took all my stuff. Even my scriptures. (Braydon)
  • Walking through the market and two men starting to fight and one gets stubbed to the ground. (Aitu)
  • Guy pulled a gun on us but we were able to hide and were taken care of. (Trevor)
  • There was a time where I saw a dog get run over by a car. The dog turned out okay, but the taxi driver made sure to get out and tell the dog that he was sorry. (Kevin)
  • Getting robbed at gun point in Eden de Ipis. (Andy)
  • I watched a guy get stabbed, and the building I was in got shot in a drive by. (Javier)
  • Getting mugged. Some places were very dangerous. (Ben)
  • Our entire town flooded! We spent a few weeks being service missionaries. It was a flash flood and the water can up to my tie knot and I literally had to grab on to stuff to not get swept away in the current. We finally got home and climbed to the roof to wait it out. I opened my bag expecting to see my beloved set of scriptures completely waterlogged. To my surprise, they were perfect. Not a drop of water had touched them. Not a drop! I know it seems unbelievable, but it really happened! (Garret)
  • We got lost on a mountain road late in the evening and the buses had stopped coming. We ended up running the whole way to our appointment. (Micah)
  • Having my bike pulled by a motorcycle (while I rode it) because it broke while we were far away from home. (John)
  • I was mugged three times. Once by one man, another time by three men with knifes, and the third time by two men with guns. That will definitely teach you not to carry your nice set of scriptures with you! (Makensey)

What was a spiritual experience?

  • The Spirit prompted me to knock a door even though we committed to never door knock any more and instead be more productive with our time than door knocking. The woman was later baptized. (Torrin)
  • The baptism of Elena, but there were many. (Jason)
  • Teaching people who lived in a shanty house made of card board and dirt floors. Teaching them from the light of can of oil and a rag out the top. Many great experiences. (Roger)
  • Teaching an older guy to read so that he could read the Book of Mormon. He got baptized. I came back down 1 year later and he was getting ordained as an Elder at Stake Conference. (James)
  • Doing a baptismal interview for a lady who was deaf and mute, didn’t know sign language and couldn’t read, but had gained a testimony through pure feeling. That was the best game of Pictionary I ever played. hahaha. (Daniel)
  • Being able to meet Elders Eyring, Ballard, and Christofferson. (Braydon)
  • Seeing a young man marrying his wife then receiving the Melchizedek Priesthood then sealed for all time and eternity. (Aitu)
  • Seeing the gospel change people’s lifestyle and countenance. (Trevor)
  • There were many spiritual experiences, one of which being one of several opportunities in which I was able to lay my hands on people and give them blessings. (Kevin)
  • Being able to discern the heart of a man that needed help. Multiple times bearing testimony and seeing the hearts of people really feel the Spirit. (Andy)
  • One of the investigators I taught went from needing anger management help, to being the most spiritually sensitive man I know. (Javier)
  • Seeing people gain their testimony and the spiritual growth that happens with that. (Ben)
  • I had plenty. Too much to type and it’s hard to choose one! Maybe next time. (Garret)
  • An investigator that was progressing for her baptism the next week informed us that she had a previous commitment that she’d forgotten about and would have to cancel the baptism. (Micah)
  • Finding people who needed the gospel in their lives and seeing that after they accept it, so much good flows into their path. (John)
  • Every day we had spiritual experiences. Mostly small blessings here and there, but often large miracles. One time our investigator was about to go in for surgery, but two nights before she received an answer that she needed to be baptized before the surgery. And so she was. (Makensey)
  • Watching the Kuna Indians accept the Gospel as if it had always been part of their lives. (Opal)

What are some interesting facts about the San Jose Mission?

  • They use their lips to point. They’re really are a TON of Nicaraguans. People are generally genuine and friendly.  (Torrin)
  • My first area Limon. I spoke more English than Spanish. (Jason)
  • Fire flies. Humidity. Fleas. Cock roaches. The use of machete’s to cut their grass. Great people. (Roger)
  • Two countries required to complete mission offices, including immigration secretaries. (James)
  • The people are generally very open and nice. If you are a guest in their home, they consider it rude not to offer you something, and it is ruder to refuse it. You’ll run into a few Bible-thumpers here and there, but it only gets bad if you play their game. (Daniel)
  • It is now 2 missions. (Braydon)
  • It’s considered the hardest mission in Central America but has a high rate of members staying active. (Aitu)
  • Everything closes at 8:00 pm, the people are very nice. Additionally, there are scorpions, but the only one I ever saw was already dead. (Kevin)
  • Pura vida! I was in 3 of the most dangerous areas. Beautiful country wherever you go. People are amazing. (Andy)
  • It’s now two mission! It’s always hot. Except for one area called Cartago. (Javier)
  • Regarding the language, I was fascinated about the various differences in accents and nuances of the Tico dialect in the many different regions. (Ben)
  • 1. The buses are packed! But they’re cheap and efficient, also it’s a great way to contact potentials. 2. There’s no army in Costa Rica! No military at all! 3. Gallo pinto is heaven in Guanacaste. Other regions it’s like, meh. 4. There are tons of volcanoes! Check one out on a preparation day! 5. There’s a remote village called Bribri. It’s an indigenous tribe. If you get a chance GO! (Garret)
  • It’s the best mission in the world! 🙂 It was recently split, due to the amount of growth. (Micah)
  • I was freezing cold in one area (Naranjo) and I had to sleep with a jacket and three blankets on my bed. Not everywhere was super warm! (John)
  • Most Costa Ricans are Catholic, the toilet paper cannot be flushed down the toilet but instead placed in a trash can, each ward or branch has their own building that meets at 9 am, geckos live in almost everyone’s house, and there is no carpet. (Makensey)
  • Sisters were not allowed to wear nail polish. We had great district and zone leaders. Traveling from island to island in a kayuka. Returned to the islands on my honeymoon. (Opal)

What was the weather like?

  • Very, very hot and humid on the east coast and in the south by Panama but in the city it stays around the high 70’s which was so nice. (Torrin)
  • Rainy, hot and even cold sometimes. (Jason)
  • Very humid. (Roger)
  • Hot. Summer = dry. Winter = wet. (James)
  • Warm overall; surprisingly chilly in the city areas some evenings, rainy in the city areas sporadically, hot and dry in Guanacaste; hot and humid in Guapiles/Limon. (Lynne)
  • PREPARE FOR RAIN. Buy an umbrella when you get there and not a cheap little one. It will do you no good. (Daniel)
  • 80ish every day. (Braydon)
  • Tropical so can be great sometimes and others you want to stay inside. (Aitu)
  • Rainy and hot. Very humid. (Trevor)
  • HOT and HUMID. It rains for 10 months out of the year. (Kevin)
  • 70s or 80s in the city with lots of rain. Hot on the beach with not as much rain but still a lot of rain. (Andy)
  • Hot and humid for half the year. And then got  hot and humid and rainy for the other half. (Javier)
  • It rains 6 months of the year and each day rain starts at nearly exactly the same time. (Ben)
  • Tropical. May to October is constant rain and monsoon. November to April is dry and hot.  (Garret)
  • In Guanacaste, it’s HOT and dry. Other places are humid and hot. I’ve even been in really rainy places that rain all day in the rainy season. (Micah)
  • Rainy for 6 months, less rainy for the other 6. (John)
  • Mostly hot and humid. And rainy. Hot, humid, and rainy. (Makensey)
  • Wonderful every day. (Opal)

Any things you really like about the area/people?

  • Too many to list…. (Torrin)
  • They were amazing, genuine and friendly. (Jason)
  • The people are humble and want to learn. (Roger)
  • Humility. (James)
  • Very humble, genuinely sincere. (Lynne)
  • I served in areas where the Gospel was practically all a lot of the people had. It was inspiring. (Daniel)
  • Super friendly and kind. (Braydon)
  • Chilled out, humble, happy for what they have. (Aitu)
  • Very simple and easy going people. Pura vida! (Trevor)
  • Just about everything except the food. The food isn’t BAD, per se, it just isn’t spectacular. (Kevin)
  • The people are amazing. Always so nice. They live giving directions or doing something for you. The culture is very peaceful and laid back. The country is so beautiful. (Andy)
  • The people are so easy to connect with. It’s a very work hard, play hard sort of country. (Javier)
  • I loved that nearly everyone has a common belief in Christ. I don’t remember even once meeting an atheist. I appreciated that and it made it that much easier to build on common beliefs. (Ben)
  • The people are SO friendly! Anyone you meet is happy to see you and hear about your message and usually, they offer you some cookies and a drink. (Micah)
  • Very welcoming people. They are always friendly and patient with missionaries it seems. (John)
  • The country is absolutely beautiful. And so are the people. I feel like the people are not so trusting with their belongings, but they are very trusting with their emotions and thoughts. They will tell you anything, confide in you, and want to be your best friend almost instantly. (Makensey)
  • Very loving, curious about our lives in the United States. (Opal)

Any packing/clothing advice?

  • Don’t go cheap on shoes. Spend the money to get really sturdy boots or you’ll have to buy 5 or 6 pairs while you’re there and be uncomfortable the whole time. Treat your umbrellas well and they’ll last. Only bring one suit. (Torrin)
  • Take good shoes. (Jason)
  • Polyester pants. (James)
  • Practical clothing; avoiding clothing that is too dressy. We wore skirts and nice short sleeves (no collars – kind of like a nice t-shirt style), sandals (usually Tivas for durability. The Elders would hang up their suits from the Mission Training Center in the office closet when they arrived and would wear short sleeved white shirts with dockers and hiking boots usually. (Some durable church styled shoes.) (Lynne)
  • Mesh garments, sturdy heavy grade umbrella, same goes for shoes and boots. Get a high quality waterproof backpack (not the one they try to sell you at Mr Mac). (Daniel)
  • Get a towel that dries quick. (Braydon)
  • Don’t take a suit. (Aitu)
  • Get umbrellas there. Bring 2+ pair of shoes that can get wet. (Trevor)
  • Leave your raincoat at home. Spend a little extra to get a heavy duty umbrella too. Silk is a nightmare. (Kevin)
  • Rain gear. Light clothing that can get wet. You will get wet and shoes will get wet a lot. During rainy season, we switched out three pairs of shoes. Giving each pair of shoes 2 days to dry out. (Andy)
  • Bring nice durable socks. Seriously though. Don’t go cheap. Forget about a rain coat and just invest in a nice umbrella and waterproof shoes. (Javier)
  • Forget long sleeves and sweaters. Waterproof boots are great for the rainy season and well suited for regions away from the big city. Don’t bring an umbrella from home, buy it down there, it is cheaper and better suited for the conditions. (Ben)
  • Don’t bring anything with long sleeves, don’t bring a suit coat. If you do, ship it home when you leave the Mission Training Center. It’s not a super developed country, but they have modern conveniences. So don’t bring like, paper to write on. They have that. But do bring your favorite pen or whatever cause quality stuff is hard to find down there. (Garret)
  • Crocs for sisters are a lifesaver! Don’t worry about being the cutest. Practical is much more important. In most areas, I didn’t even want to think about long sleeve shirts or jackets. A simple cardigan was more than sufficient for most my needs. Bring sunscreen and bug spray! (Micah)
  • Buy thick socks. (John)
  • Simple Crocs shoes for the girls, good umbrella that is small and lightweight, clothes that are breathable and don’t require layering, large zip lock bags, a good medium sized backpack, and jewelry you don’t care about. (Makensey)
  • Be prepared to leave clothing in the mission when going home. Difficult to find clothing to fit for sizes larger that size 8. (Opal)

What blessings did you receive from serving a mission?

  • Self confidence and a solid love of and appreciation for the Lord and His church. (Torrin)
  • Too many to name. (Jason)
  • So many. The hardest two years of my life, but the best two years also. (Roger)
  • Appreciating the blessings I have, the redemption of the Atonement, and the plan of salvation. (James)
  • Learned Spanish, learned patience, learned forgiveness. (Daniel)
  • Language. Loving people. (Braydon)
  • My beautiful wife and my kids. I’m happy. (Aitu)
  • One is a love of the Spanish language, which I use every day as a Spanish interpreter. However, my greatest blessing was the gift of coming to know who Jesus Christ is, and how much I love Him. (Kevin)
  • Knowing another language. Loving people more than I knew I could. Happiness in serving. Learning how the church works. Learning to work with difficult people. (Andy)
  • I don’t know if I can number them. I am who I am today because of it. Life seems so much more clear. (Javier)
  • How can I possibly answer that in this space??? 20 years later I still feel like I am learning from my experience in the mission. A strong testimony of the gospel is top, understanding and caring for others, learning to feel, recognize the Spirit, and how to follow it’s promptings (but still learning that). (Ben)
  • Endless! Mostly patience and long suffering :). It changed me in more ways than I can count and every one of those are a blessing. But most of all, when I see people join the church and reach their goals…there’s nothing like that. (Garret)
  • I truly came to know my Heavenly Father and love Him. I learned how to love other people and serve them. I learned more about myself and how being exactly obedient makes a difference. (Micah)
  • Great job opportunities because of learning Spanish and other skills I developed. (John)
  • Educational, spiritual, emotional, and physical blessings. I have found good work and education since returning home. And my understanding of the Gospel has grown immensely. I know have an eternal perspective and know why I am here. (Makensey)
  • Love for the people, love for scriptures, appreciation for an inspired method of study, love and appreciation for my family. (Opal)

What are some skills you gained?

  • Talking to people. Spanish. Social awareness. Relating to people. Empathy. Love for others. (Torrin)
  • I still to this day, speak fluent Spanish. (Jason)
  • Spanish. Leadership. Persistence. Love of others. Conflict resolution. Many more. (Roger)
  • Speak another language, understand service, leadership. (James)
  • Direction (they have no addresses), cooking, mowing grass with a machete. (Daniel)
  • Talking to strangers and making friends. (Braydon)
  • Your gonna struggle at times…it’s part of the job so stop moaning and get on with it. (Aitu)
  • Spanish speaking, interpersonal communication, compromise, and even crocheting! (Kevin)
  • Spanish. Goal setting. Leadership. Public speaking. (Andy)
  • People skills! Spanish language skills. I learned not to be a slob….etc. (Javier)
  • Language skills, working with others, how to get along with a companion that is constantly with you. (Ben)
  • Spanish, passion, and charisma. (Garret)
  • I learned Spanish. I learned how to make tortillas by hand. I learned how to wash my clothes by hand. I also learned how to step out of my comfort zone in talking with people. (Micah)
  • Spanish, hard work, how to care about another person and serve them, humility, listening. (John)
  • Spanish, talking to strangers, dedication, obedience, cooking, cleaning, leadership. (Makensey)
  • Espanol. (Opal)

What do you wish you knew/did at the beginning of your mission?

  • Don’t worry about numbers. Just talk to people and listen to them and love them. (Torrin)
  • I wouldn’t change a thing. (Jason)
  • How hot if was. (Roger)
  • Have a DEEPER testimony of the gospel. Oh, sure, I grew up in the church, and had always been faithful, but I wish I had a deeper spirituality. Understanding not how hard it would be, but also how “simple” it is. (James)
  • That 9/10 weeks in the Mission Training Center (back then) did not make me an expert in Spanish…so much slang and many dialects made us feel like we were learning it from day 1 again when conversing. (Also the kids spoke “Ka” a lot so we wouldn’t know what they were saying when we were new. It was like pig latin in English.) Wish we knew to bring American deodorant, toothpaste and soap. You could get it, but it was really expensive. (Lynne)
  • It’s not always a sunny experience. You will go through some of the toughest experiences in your life. Always remember that God is on your side, even when it feels like he’s not doing anything to help you. (Daniel)
  • My anxiety was going to be a big factor. (Braydon)
  • Language. (Aitu)
  • YOU WILL NOT BE THE BEST MISSIONARY WHO EVER WALKED THE EARTH. Consistency matters more than short bursts of productivity one day followed by lackluster service for several days. (Kevin)
  • Setting goals before looking at what you have in your agenda for the day , and then filling it out to reach your goals. (Andy)
  • I wish I knew how to teach people not lessons. And not to get so wrapped up in the politics of a mission…hoping to make the next “rank up”. (Javier)
  • Memorized the discussions, I wish I would have been more obedient to mission rules. Not just at the beginning, but I wish I would have worked even harder. (I worked hard but feel I may have been able to do more.) (Ben)
  • I wish I knew how strong I could be. (Garret)
  • I should have studied Preach My Gospel more before the mission. Also, I wish I would have made a scripture marking system. (Micah)
  • Spent more time with the scriptures and getting closer to our Heavenly Father. Overall spiritual preparation. (John)
  • Read Preach my Gospel all the way through before going, study Spanish before going. (Makensey)
  • I wish I had learned to study before my mission. (Opal)

Any advice/testimony for pre-missionaries going to Costa Rica?

  • You’re going to absolutely love it. I struggled with Spanish for a couple months and those in my group were better than me and I was frustrated, but by the end I ended up being one of the best in the mission at Spanish and it wasn’t a problem, so don’t worry about that. The gift of tongues is 100% real. Love your companions. Become their friends. I’m getting married in 3 months and 3 of my 4 groomsmen are former mission companions. Love and appreciate the intricacies of the people and their culture. (Torrin)
  • It’s a great country with friendly people. Get used to rice and beans. (Jason)
  • Be ready to teach and baptize. You need to have a strong testimony. The culture is very different than that in the United States. (Roger)
  • Get your life in order, RIGHT NOW, know and love the scriptures, have a personal relationship with your Savior. (James)
  • Get ready to never be the same again. (Daniel)
  • Don’t have any set expectations other than loving the people. (Braydon)
  • Desire to remember you’re there to work. If you don’t like then love your job. (Aitu)
  • Have fun, lose yourself in the work. It’s hard but the best time of your life. I miss it a lot. (Trevor)
  • Just because we have the true Gospel of Jesus Christ, you are not licensed to talk badly or mock any other religion, no matter how tempting it may be. Let Heavenly Father direct the work. He will bless you. (Kevin)
  • Love the people and they will love you. Don’t worry about home, life goes on without you but nothing really changes. Enjoy the moment and love it because it goes by fast and you will miss it when you are done. (Andy)
  • Exact obedience means nothing if you don’t love the people. (Javier)
  • Love the people and learn the language well (study it as much as possible). (Ben)
  • Trust yourself and trust the Lord. Never give up. Missions are hard. You need to know how hard it’s going to be so it won’t slap you in the face when you get there. (It’s really, really hard). (Garret)
  • I loved the mission! I would strongly encourage every young person to serve! The mission can change you, but you must let it. Always remember the most important principles- faith, diligence, exact obedience and LOVE! For the work, for the Lord, for your companion, for yourself and especially for the people you serve. (Micah)
  • If you choose to do so, you will love your mission. You will bless the lives of everyone you choose to love and in turn will be immensely blessed yourself. (John)
  • Don’t worry about the Spanish, it will come. The first few months are rough…know that. Decide now to stay out for the entire 18 or 24 months and keep that commitment. Do not go home when it starts to get hard. Know that this will be one of the hardest things you have ever done and push past that. The rewards outweigh the work by far. You will learn Spanish, you will start to like the daily routine, you will learn to teach with the Spirit, you will succeed. Be obedient and happy and you will succeed. (Makensey)
  • Be positive and obedient. (Opal)

What was a funny language mistake?

  • I kept asking a new mother how she felt Jesus going through her baby. The mother gave me a blank stare like, what? I tried several more times unsuccessfully. A new missionary thought the word for “groceries” would be grocerias but that means swear words, so that was pretty funny during a lesson on tithes and fast offerings. (Torrin)
  • Oh goodness. So much slang is used. I made many mistakes. (Jason)
  • Thinking I was telling someone that I had already paid for an item, when in fact I was telling him I already hit the guy. (Roger)
  • Confusing the word “embarrassed” with the the word “pregnant”. Lol (James)
  • If you’re ever at a wedding remember this: rama is branch, ramo is bouquet. Don’t mix the two, or you’ll be telling everyone that the bride wants to throw the branch… Still haven’t lived it down. (Daniel)
  • Huesos y huevos. (Trevor)
  • I told a family we had pan cacas for breakfast instead of pan queques. (Andy)
  • The first lesson I taught I explained that God had a body of “carne y queso” which is meat and cheese. I meant to say flesh and blood “carne y hueso”. (Javier)
  • Instead of asking where the investigator worked, she asked where he bathed. (Micah)
  • A companion said the platypus was the only mammal “con juevos” instead que “nace de un juevo” (juevos means eggs, but is also slang for testicles). (John)
  • I told my companion that I wanted to bathe her. I told my companion that I wanted to eat my future children. I told my companion that it was a very spicy day today. (Makensey)
  • I wanted to say I was embarrassed but told a family I was embarasada. (Opal)