BYU Pathways

A few months ago an elder from our mission returned to his home in El Salvador. All through his mission he had diligently studied English. Just before he left for home, he took an English test on his missionary portal. His score was good enough to earn him a BYU pathways scholarship that cut his registration fees significantly. Missionaries allContinue reading “BYU Pathways”


My favorite Saturday activity?? The Saturday morning street market. It is the best! The fruit is the freshest! We make a fruit smoothie every morning for breakfast, so my motivation is high for seeking out the very best fruit. Plus, I get to try my hand at understanding the natives and using numbers and money! It’s a test! Vanilla cinnamonContinue reading “Feria”

Independence Day!

It isn’t the 4th of July – its the 15th of September! It marks the day that all Central America gained their independence from Spain. The celebration has television announcements at 6pm with fireworks on the 14 of September and parades on the 15th. Elder Hofhiens and I were able to catch this one in our Escazú neighborhood. It featuredContinue reading “Independence Day!”


Steve makes a very good chocolate-banana smoothie. I love it! Add granola and it’s even better. A few days ago, I bit down on that granola and came away with a strange piece of material in my mouth. It turned out that it was my tooth! Really, it was a partial crown I had fixed 10 years ago. Lucky forContinue reading “Ouch!”


I love to set goals. And I truly am driven to complete my goals. Going on a mission was a goal I had since I was 14. When I met Steve I wasn’t thinking about marriage. I was still in High School and I had the goal of going to Rick’s College in Rexburg, Idaho. Even though I received inContinue reading “Becoming…”

how many airports?…

Every now and again we have to take a missionary to the airport. This particular trip started at 4 in the morning. It was dark and foggy. Our headlights barely penetrated the darkness! I programmed the GPS to take us to the airport, and we started out confidently. As we got closer to the airport, the rising sun started burningContinue reading “how many airports?…”

Life doesn’t stop!

We go out on our mission and hope all will be well while we are gone, but life goes on and things change. We’ve missed a few things, some big and some small, and some that really changed our world. Little Kate is hitting her milestones! Born a week before Christmas, we got to hold and cuddle her before theContinue reading “Life doesn’t stop!”

Some days are just like that…

I’d like to say that every day of the mission is golden. I’d like to say it… but it isn’t true. Partly because we’re human and we’re not 100% golden all the time, and partly because life is night and day, good and bad. Darkness defines the light so we know without a doubt when we’re having a difficult, darkContinue reading “Some days are just like that…”

Young Adult Rally

Steve and I were invited to speak at a Young Adult Rally. The rally was in four parts -Spiritual, Academic, Occupation, and Mission. They invited us to talk about our mission and the blessings we’ve received in being a part of Heavenly Father’s Gathering of Israel. I spoke about one young Elder Huezo who had just returned home to ElContinue reading “Young Adult Rally”


Today, July 31, 2022 marks 6 months on our mission! When I was 14 I decided to serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. After 43 years – I’m finally realizing my goal!! Wow! And with my very own Steven as my companion! It really couldn’t get any better than this. This week we spentContinue reading “Celebrations!”

Too much?

I have been so busy I felt like I’m juggling – and I don’t even know how to juggle! I have defied the laws of gravity and kept more balls in the air than I could ever imagine. And yet, the electricians of Costa Rica are even more amazing at defying natural law than I am … . Just aContinue reading “Too much?”

And many more!!

For the last 5+ months Steve and I haven’t done many touristy things. So when Steve had his 61st Birthday on a p-day, it was an opportunity we couldn’t let pass! We had to do something to mark his special day! So we went to La Fortuna to see the Arenal Lake and Volcano. This is Arenal Lake – itContinue reading “And many more!!”

Vale la pena?

In John 6 Jesus taught the disciples of His Gospel and His sacrament. Many were offended and went away never to follow him again. Jesus turned to his twelve closest disciples and asked. “Will you also go away?” Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the awords of eternal life.(John 6:67-68) When you truly live theContinue reading “Vale la pena?”


Every six weeks we have Cambios! Cambios, or exchanges, is the time when new missionaries come into the mission, and missionaries who have already served for 18 – 24 months head home. This time we had 15 leaving and 11 coming into the mission. It was busy! Cambios are always emotional, but this time it was also wonderful! Because –Continue reading “CAMBIOS!!”

Noche de Milagros

Night of Miracles Every Sunday the mission has a zoom meeting where we all get together and discuss the work – the gathering of Israel – in Costa Rica San José Oeste Misión. There are many miracles shared – from amazing near-miss car accidents, to serendipitous meetings on the street, to prayers answered in surprising ways. It is a spirit-filledContinue reading “Noche de Milagros”

Bored = Aborido

We work in the Mission Office so, of course, we are going to get audited sometime. Preparing for an audit is very boring. There is so much stuff to do that no one wants to do! Going through old records, sorting 2019 and up documents into binders, and then shredding everything that’s 2018 and older. Btw, I love shredding oldContinue reading “Bored = Aborido”

Doctrine of Christ

Who would’ve thought that you could find the Perpetual motion machine on your mission. You can! It’s in the scriptures, and it’s very easy to figure out. It starts with fe, faith in Jesus Christ, which then leads to arrepentimiento, repentance or sorrow for actions not in accordance with Christ’s teachings. Third is Bautismo. Baptism is a covenant you makeContinue reading “Doctrine of Christ”

Alone time…

It’s normal to need time alone. And just so no one would have hurt feelings, our trainer suggested using this phrase as a cue. “Honey, I just haven’t had the chance to miss you for awhile.” Most married couples aren’t used to spending 24 hours 7 days a week together. And alone time is necessary for everyone! Personally, I loveContinue reading “Alone time…”


I had to make Visa appointments for 5 people, and the woman on the line only spoke Spanish. The call wasn’t cheap either so I had to get it right. But, when she didn’t have the dates I wanted, I panicked! I took the date she offered. Unfortunately that date was the same date as Cambios.…which in the mission isContinue reading “OH…hmmm.”


It may sound like a way out – but it really means “success”. This Elder is a success because he memorized 4 scriptures in English. Now, he gets to enjoy the sweet awards of success. English speaking Elders and Sisters memorize 4 scriptures in Spanish to earn the same sweet awards as the Elder pictured above. Usually missionaries speak ofContinue reading “Éxito”

Hidden Talents?

it’s a bit crazy, but I am as surprised by my new (lucky) talent as anyone. I have only hosted occasional family gatherings and when I did those, I really only concentrated on the food – not the decorations! In the mission, however, the Office secretary is expected to do many things. Decorating the tables for zone conference luncheons forContinue reading “Hidden Talents?”


We live in Escazú, San José Costa Rica. Escazú is a suburb of the big city and it is considered one of the nicest areas in the city. On our way to the office we pass this street sign. It is a funny sign. It helps us laugh at ourselves, forgive ourselves for the follies of youth, and look atContinue reading “STREET SMARTS?”


It seems that even though WE try to be very diligent about it, sometimes we fill out the paperwork incorrectly. A visa can’t be awarded if the information is wrong – and we got an Elder’s name AND his nationality wrong. Unfortunately, this type of error can only be corrected at the main Immigration Center in downtown San José. ItContinue reading “ERRORES”

Blessed to Serve

“Some people go through life feeling like they hit a home run, when in reality they were lucky enough to be born on third base.” This expression is a reality check that provides a humbling perspective of our achievements – and engenders an awareness of the burdens others may carry. Many young men and women sing –“I hope they callContinue reading “Blessed to Serve”

Semana Santa

This is a week long celebration here in Costa Rica, with parades, special dinners, and sacred assemblies. Elder Hofhiens and I were leaving the office late one night – around 8 pm – and were flagged down by neighbors. A neighborhood parade was taking place up the street in celebration of Jesus the Christ’s entrance into Jerusalem. Jesus Christ hasContinue reading “Semana Santa”


General Conference in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is held twice a year. People come from all over the world to share messages of faith and hope. Members take time to watch 5 (2hr) conference sessions over one weekend. WE honestly didn’t ask family members to share their conference experiences but they did! It’s a modern dayContinue reading “CONFERENCE!”

Henrietta Boggs

A woman who took part in much of Costa Rican political history, Henrietta Boggs was a fiery, southern lady and a writer. She first came to Costa Rica in 1941 to visit an Aunt and Uncle, but she ended up captivating the young José Figueres – a man who went on to shape Costa Rican history and is now affectionatelyContinue reading “Henrietta Boggs”

English in Costa Rica?

“Today, English practice was really hard,” Elder Suarez says as he leans towards me. “Did you know there are 20 words that signify ‘to get’ in English. It’s crazy!” I laugh, feeling his pain. “English is hard work Elder, but this is the best time to learn English. You already have time set aside every day for language study, andContinue reading “English in Costa Rica?”

Costa Rica Animal Rescue Center

Our grandchildren love animals. When they learned we were going to Costa Rica for our mission, they gave us homework. Find sloths, toucans, and crocodiles! We found an animal rescue center about an hour away from San José. We found about 10 sloths! Most of these animals are in cages – mainly to protect them from human interaction. These animalContinue reading “Costa Rica Animal Rescue Center”

Mission Conference!

Wednesday morning we woke to the news that Brian K. Taylor, our Area General Authority, was coming in person to speak to the whole Mission the very next day! Cue the Craziness!!! Enjoy the Slide Show — 1. Élder y Hermana Hofhiens 2. Tres Élderes 3. Presidente Hermana Cates 4. Dos Hermanas 5. Dos Hermanas y Élder 6. Tres ÉlderesContinue reading “Mission Conference!”


We had 12 young missionaries come from the US, Panama, Honduras, and El Salvador this past week. It was a busy week! We made bank deposits of @ $3000 to ensure that each Elder and Hermana started the process to obtain a Religious Volunteers Visa. Added to that, each missionary had photos to take, legal papers to sign, and fingerprintingContinue reading “Immigration”

Mission Life…

But first – there is much to do when it comes to establishing a life in a foreign country. To establish residency, it takes money, fingerprinting, a lawyer, (more money), and paperwork. Who does all this for all the missionaries? The office missionaries. I am in training to do it for all the missionaries in the Costa Rica, José WestContinue reading “Mission Life…”

Into the Unknown…

It’s a strange feeling to walk around with this badge. I am at once proud and awkward. Standing out doesn’t come natural, but now I am a representante de Jesucristo and I am meant to stand out … and be recognized! This week we finished with the Mission Training Center. While we didn’t understand everything they were trying to teachContinue reading “Into the Unknown…”


Welcomed, encouraged, taught and engaged in Gospel instruction at the Missionary Training Center (MTC), our schedule was full! We taught lessons, completed assignments, created experiences, and listened to inspiring devotionals. Mainly, we explored the Why of our Service. Yo Iré, Yo Hará! I will go, I will do! To Invite others to Come unto Christ, to more fully understand HimContinue reading “Preparación”


Even the word – aspire – sounds like breathing, and breathing is life, and this is your life! What do you want to do with it this year. Actually, one month of 2022 is gone, but there is still time to dream, aspire, work, and enjoy the results. What will you do to breath new life into this new year?Continue reading “ASPIRE”

This Time

I may have mentioned that I’ve lived overseas before. I’ve even learned languages — but only enough to give directions to a driver or shop in a supermarket. I didn’t really form any meaningful and lasting connections with locals. At that time, my focus was on creating wonderful memories and raising my children. But, this mission to Costa Rica isContinue reading “This Time”


I had lived overseas for many years and I really didn’t want to leave my new home back in the USA, but it was time. WE had time. So we put in our papers and took a sight-seeing trip around our beloved country. We were in Florida when the e-mail informing us of our 18 month mission assignment showed upContinue reading “Becoming…”


It’s time to get excited about a new year and a NEW YOU! One good thing about Covid is how it makes us focus on our lives – not just what we do, but how we do it. Henry James, a great writer, once said – Three things in human life are important. The first is to be kind. TheContinue reading “2022!”


Not too far from Serpent Mound is the Hopewell Culture National Historic Park in Chillicothe, Ohio. This ram’s horn is in the display case and it carries with it a very interesting cultural significance. The ram’s horn is a very important instrument that is used to practice the Law of Moses. The horn, or Shofar, is blown every weekly shabbat,Continue reading “Shofar”

Seeing Clear

In that moment, the wind spoke and all three, the Prince, the Prime Minister, and the young steward stopped to listen to the song until it finished. “Did you hear that?” The Prince asked. “Only the birds on the wind, Sire” the Prime Minister said. He snapped his fingers in front of the steward’s face. “Wake up, lad! The PrinceContinue reading “Seeing Clear”

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