Good to Know!

So I'm sure you have all heard that it rains...... Well if you thought that was a rumor you are dreadfully wrong!!! Also if you buy a cute mini umbrella that's so easy to pack or have in a back pack you need to know that will last for about the first ummm 5 mins of your first rainstorm. When you think of raining cats and dogs back home well its that way everyday during the rainy season:) Well most days anyways:) So first things first ... you will need:

Random Things to Bring:
  •  Umbrella(S) - Pack a quality medium size umbrella and buy a Huge one in CR.
  •  Ziplock (or similar) Bags.  You will use these to put your scriptures, books and anything else you don't want to get wet. All sizes are useful.
  • Good Back Pack or Messenger Bag. (Sisters, don't bring an over the shoulder purse)
  • Waterproof case for your scriptures if you can find one - but not necessary (when you get here - you will become creative and make one! Zip Lock Bags and used milk cartons are Great) see photo!
  • Bug Repellent - USE it, we get Dengue here and it is not fun.
  • Good Flip Flops for the Shower and to Wear Around your House
  • Sisters Make-up is very expensive here - bring what you love.

  • A Good Comfortable pair of Walking Shoes - however in the rainy season they will be ruined - due to...Rain!!!  In the rainy season many of the Hermana's are wearing -Crocs Brand of dress shoes - or other brands similar.  They have some nice "Sunday Shoe" type of shoes that handle water very well.
  • Do not bring a heavy towel - it will take to long to dry.  A large beach towel type works well or Micro fiber towel.

Some Good Medications to Bring:
(most of the items, listed below, you can get here in Costa Rica - but they are Expensive)

  • Hydrocortazone
  • Multivitamin - can purchase here but expensive
  • Gold Bond Powder - can purchase power here but NOT power with menthol.
  • Sunscreen
  • If you are allergic to Peanut Butter bring Epi Pens - they don't sell them here.
  • Melatonin - if you have problems relaxing or sleeping. Some missionaries have found this helps
Costa Rica is a safe and beautiful country - missionaries can help keep themselves safe by doing the following
  • There are some areas we don't have Hermana's serving - it is safe for Elders. We inspect our missionaries homes for safety - both location and house itself.  Please keep your house clean or orderly at all times - this helps with bugs, cockroaches, mosquitoes, spiders & more. You can Not feel the Spirit if your house is a mess!
  • If you dearly love something and can't live life without it - Don't bring it.
  • We have had some robberies and break-in's.  NONE of our missionaries have ever been hurt.
  • Don't carry lots of money, valuables, cameras or expensive items in your back pack.  Carry your phone in your sock. If you are ever approached tell them you have scriptures/books only in your bag. Stay calm and do what they say - we have had missionaries robbed, however no one has ever been hurt - Hermana's always keep your hair back & off your plaque so your plaque is visible at all times. 
  • People learn that missionaries carry nothing of value and for the most part leave them alone. Many areas missionaries are protected and respected by locals.  Streets are safe to walk in.  Don't ever do anything that would give the missionaries or church a bad name or reputation.
  • I have never been nervous or worried - however I always try to be smart and safe.
  • WATER is safe to drink - no water filters are needed.

Costa Rica Weather:

  • Temperature is about 65-80F with a lot of Humidity
  • Many of our missionaries do get cold - so bring a light jacket or sweater.
  • There are 2 seasons in Costa Rica:  Wet and Dry.  December - April is Summer or Dry Season (it does rain during this time - just not as much.  May begins the Rainy Season or Winter/Green Season. By October Rain is in Full Force!
When you Google pictures of Costa Rica you will see waterfalls, beaches, monkeys, flowers and more....this is all TRUE but many missionary areas are in cities and will not look like the pictures you see.  Don't be surprised by this - look and find the beauty in all your areas. Costa Rica is beautiful and the people are wonderful, warm, kind and happy.

Random Facts:

The Costa Rican people are called Tico's (man) or Tica's (woman).  

We eat a lot of rice and beans with meat.  The fruit is amazing and fresh.  You will eat and try many new foods here - some you will love and others you will not.  Always eat what you are served - it is rude to not eat what members/investigators serve you - this is offensive.  If you are not feeling well or have a health problem that will not let you eat certain foods- explain to them the problem.  Please always be gracious and kind - sometimes they are offering you all they have - To them it would be a grand feast!

Not just for Hermanas:

This week Mary (our daughter at BYU-I) went to lunch with some Hermanas coming to Costa Rica - she asked me to type up things to tell them:  below is what I sent here - Good Info!!!

Hermanas - close toed shoes - you will be walking a lot, bring good shoes - bring Nice Sunday style Crocs to wear during Wet Season. No flip-flops/sandals except for shower.

Simple Jewelry

No huge or loud hair accessories.  Hair 1 color.

skirts/dresses should cover the knee when sitting

bring Vitamins - Make-up - Ped Socks (all are expensive here). 
Tampax you can buy in San Jose City=not available in the county areas.

Umbrella: you can get one down here

Be Tough - not a wimp

If you don't eat right and exercise you will get sick

wear bug repellent

your living conditions (although safe) will not be what you are use to  

bring sheets and pillow case (you can bring your own pillow if you want)

No Purse (to easily stolen).  Side bag (church is encouraging bags to be nice and reflect quality) large enough to hold the necessities for the day - does not need to be huge.

If it is valuable or irreplaceable - Don't Bring It!

Mission life is not an easy life (but it is an amazing one!)  
Be Tough
Be Obedient
Be Flexible
SMILE - this Gospel is a Gospel of Joy and happiness. No one wants to talk to a missionary with a sad or grumpy face. Be Happy
Forget yourself and Go To Work - best way to combat homesickness.

First six weeks are the hardest - just work through it.  When sad or discouraged, write in your journal, talk to your companion, cry..................get it all out (for about 10 minutes) then get up and move on.  Don't stay there.

Most common sickness is head and stomach ache due to Stress and Food.  Learn early on to combat stress and limit your rice intake and eat balanced meals. (we will talk more about this when you are here)

Be ready to talk to Everyone - Don't be afraid to open your mouth.  Talk - Talk - Talk.  Nothing happens in Missionary Work until you find someone to teach!!!  Strong and Silent type does not work here - TALK, SHARE, TEACH EVERYONE YOU MEET!!!

Don't offend members by not eating their food.  If you  honestly have an allergy or can't eat something explain it nicely.  Don't Not eat something just because you think it is gross or you don't like it.  We need the confidence of the members.

Don't talk about other missionaries - everyone you meet is fighting a battle that you don't know about.  Treat others the way you want to be treated.  Be an easy companion.  Be Obedient and if your companion is not obedient you have an obligation to the Lord and to your companion to help them by telling President - this way we can help your companion change and serve better. Success comes through hard work and obedience.

Some of your companions will become your best friends - others you will endure But you can learn something from everyone!!!  Find things to love about each companion, learn the good things you can from them.  Support each other.

You can baptize each week - it is possible and has been done and is being done.

You will see poverty like you never imagined - you will see beauty you only dreamed of.  Find the joy and beauty in each area you serve in.  This country is beautiful in its landscape - but don't be fooled it is not all waterfalls and beaches!!!

The Tico people are wonderful, kind, giving and happy people.

Pray each night to find a love for the Tico people, when you truly find this love you will have greater success.

We are a Preach My Gospel Mission - learn it, use it, live it.

Read your Mission Manual (white book) - we also live by this book - follow its teachings.

You will have a cook that makes your lunches - make sure she is feeding you a protein, carbohydrate and Fruit or Veggies Each meal.  If she is not, you need to ask her to add in veggies and fruits (most commonly not served)  You are paying her to cook for you - don't be picky, however you need a balanced meal.

Make a sandwich or take the time to stop home quickly for is not healthy to skip dinner and eat snacks at 9:30 at night. Figure out a way to EAT DINNER.

This can be the Best 18 months of your life OR the most miserable - it is up to you.  Come ready to serve - come excited - come willing to learn - coming willing to teach.  You decide what kind of a mission you will serve - decide what kind of missionary you will be, decide NOW and never spend a minute being something other than that kind of missionary. Don't waste 1 minute of your time here - it will go fast.  

The Lord has prepared people for you to meet here in Costa Rica - He has prepared them to hear the gospel - Find them.

Above all remember you represent the Lord - act and dress accordingly.  

We LOVE YOU - We are hear to help you anyway we can

Mark your luggage.........................

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