Costa Rica, Wendi Thinks

3rd time in 4 years

Today was a privilege for me. I was given the opportunity to give a talk in my branch, with the help of a translator of course. My Branch President is so thoughtful!

It was a tremendous joy to be able to share my thoughts and feelings with my branch today, because it allowed them to get to know me in a way that they don’t normally get to have with me.

It must be so frustrating for them to have a fully capable woman in their ward, yet she is incapable of doing so many of the things they know that I could do, but in English, not in Spanish. 🤦🏻‍♀️

I truly feel today was as much a blessing for them, as it was for me. I have actually only been able to give a talk 3 times in the 4 years we have lived in Costa Rica.

The first talk I gave was a horrible disaster. It was just months after we moved here. I think people expected me to receive the gift of tongues but instead they had to suffer through my terrible pronunciation, which made my talk 5 minutes longer than it should have been. 😩 It was that bad.

Then my second bishop asked me to speak sort of last minute, so I insisted it wasn’t possible! But he said he had a translator able for me. A wonderful couple had recently moved into our ward, after living in Utah for a few years, and they felt inspired to personally make sure that my family could hear the gospel in our native tongue.

So the husband used translator equipment during sacrament meeting, via headsets, which was a huge blessing to ALL the English speakers. Then Bishop Whitchurch asked the wife if she would translate for me, and other English speakers, and she did an EXCELLENT job! I did feel badly that I didn’t have the gift of tongues, but my translator did!!! That taught me a valuable lesson!!!

You can only give what you have!

I don’t have the gift of tongues, but I do have: courage, experience, the gift of not being afraid to share truth, a sense of humor to laugh at myself, humility to let others help me, and a testimony of the restored church of Jesus Christ. That is all you need if you have someone who has the gift of tongues. Because what good is that gift if you have nothing truthful to share!

So here’s my talk, in case you would like to read it. It is pretty short for a normal talk, but due to translation time, I had only 5 minutes to speak. I hope you enjoy it.


I am grateful for the opportunity that I have to share with you my thoughts and feelings about temples and family history.

President Thomas S. Monson said: (April 2011)

“Each of our temples is an expression of our testimony that life beyond the grave is as real and as certain as is our life here on earth.”

“Cada uno de nuestros templos es una expresión de nuestro testimonio de que la vida más allá del sepulcro es tan real y cierta como nuestra vida aquí en la tierra.”

• For me, the temple is a place of refuge from the everyday struggles in my life. It is a place that allows me to feel close to my Father in Heaven. It is a place where I can go to feel the love of those that have passed away. It is a place of joy and hope, because I have faith that I can receive personal revelation to problems or challenges that I am experiencing in my life. And it is most importantly, a place where I can learn about Jesus Christ and how to become more like Him.

• Family History is a special way for me to use my time. I enjoy learning about the specific details of my ancestors: where they were born, what year they were born, what age they were when they were baptized, what age they were when they got married, how many children lived to adulthood, how many children did not live to adulthood, what caused them to pass away! I also love to write down stories that I know about these people so that my own children and grandchildren can know more about them.

But my favorite part of family history, is that it reminds me what is most important in my life . . . And that is my Family. My earthly family and my eternal family, for they are the only “possessions” that I can take with me when I die. Family history also teaches me what kind of a person I want to become, now and in the future. Family history helps me make better choices so that I can have what is most important to me when I die, and that is eternal life.

I challenged myself to sacrifice 30 minutes of television watching or internet viewing and instead learn about one of my ancestors. After that 30 minutes, I felt more peaceful, hopeful, happy and I had a feeling of satisfaction that I can’tseem to find any other way.

And now with Family Search’s new changes, I can easily receive names of people that I am related to, that need their temple work completed for them. I thoroughly enjoy taking names of my family members to the temple. I feel a deeper connection to heaven when I do this, for I feel my family connections are coming closer to me.

President Thomas S. Monson also encouraged:

“If you have not yet been to the temple or if you have been but currently do not qualify for a recommend, there is no more important goal for you to work toward than being worthy to go to the temple. Your sacrifice may be bringing your life into compliance with what is required to receive a recommend, perhaps by forsaking long-held habits which disqualify you. It may be having the faith and the discipline to pay your tithing. Whatever it is, qualify to enter the temple of God. Secure a temple recommend and regard it as a precious possession, for such it is.”

“Si todavía no han ido al templo, o si sí han ido pero actualmente no son dignos de tener una recomendación, no existe meta más importante para ustedes que la de esforzarse por ser dignos de ir al templo. El sacrificio de ustedes quizás sea poner su vida en orden con lo que se requiera para recibir una recomendación, tal vez al dejar hábitos de mucho tiempo que los descalifican; quizás sea tener la fe y disciplina para pagar los diezmos. Sea lo que sea, háganse merecedores de entrar en el templo de Dios. Obtengan la recomendación para el templo y luego considérenla una posesión preciada, porque lo es.”

I love attending the temple as often as I can. I also completely enjoy learning more about my ancestors. But putting both of these experiences together, allows me to feel tremendous joy! For I can do this anywhere in the world that there is a temple! And that is what home feels like to me. I testify of these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

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