Sunday, January 20, 2019

Not an Ordinary Day

 We headed out on our morning walk and just a few steps from the resort 
encountered Howler Monkeys.

At the end of the road we walked down to the beach.
It looked ordinary until we looked closer.

Amidst all the coral were hundreds of spiral shells.

And monkey prints.

Back on the road we noticed these trees were full of monkeys.

After another relaxing day of sitting by the pool reading and later a couple's massage,
we had dinner with the conference group (and Rachel and Jeremy!),
and sat outside to watch the lunar eclipse.

throwback to dinner on Saturday night... always thinking of Marty!
It's getting close!

Saturday, January 19, 2019


I've been so looking forward to relaxing by the pool, reading, sleeping and being warm! Not to mention, having a vacation just before Marty gets home makes the time go faster.

We arrived in Costa Rica late last night. Dan is speaking at a conference and I tagged along. Even though we travelled all day yesterday, the minute I board the plane, I'm on vacation. I had a new book, Nine Perfect Strangers, by Liane Moriarty,  (my favorite author -- you know this, right?), another book by my other favorite author (Fredrik Backman -- Us Against You) and several Real Simple magazines.

Plus treats -- something salty, something sweet, (ok, two something sweets), and a sandwich for lunch. And a water bottle.

Our flight left at 11:00 a.m. We had a two hour layover in Atlanta. Then an hour and a half drive to the hotel. We didn't arrive until midnight, so it was a long travel day. But we could sleep in the next morning and had no plans except to sit by the pool, so we stayed up an extra couple of hours reading. (I finished Nine Perfect Strangers today. Dan's reading it now.)

When we were researching what to do in Costa Rica, we realized our resort is four hours from the most popular tourist attractions and adventures -- Monteverde cloud forest, Arenal volcano, zip lines, and canyoneering. We're here such a short time, we didn't want to spend a day in the car. So we'll have to wait for adventuring the next time we come.

Today we slept in, had a leisurely breakfast, explored the hotel, booked massages for tomorrow, and relaxed by the pool for five hours -- reading, sleeping, swimming and talking. We needed this.

A stranger on the beach took this photo of us and then AirDropped it to me!

Photos from the Journey

Girl talking a mile a minute to a gaggle of ladies--looked like a girls trip--
and doing exercises at the same time in the plane terminal. I know its kind of catty to take her photo.
But I did it anyway.
Both times we were waiting for our flights, two different moms
were working on reading with their daughters with a
whole stack of books and homework papers.
It reminded me of a past life where I was always trying to
maximize every minute.
Watching someone else in the thick of it made me tired.
And grateful to be past that.
Chris called while we were driving to our hotel to see if Dan could warm up the hot tub.
This is Dan using an app on his phone to warm up the hot tub
back home IN SALT LAKE

Friday, January 18, 2019

So What Do You Wanna Do?

One week until Marty is home! 

So as I type this Im currently in my last full week as a missionary and counting from the time that I land in Utah I have 10 days left. Its about to be single digits which is really cool.

This week we were blessed to get a referral from another place in the mission, hes a 20 year old college student and his mom is a less active member but she was kinda worried about him so she was talking to the people in our branch and it eventually trickled down to us so now were working with him, his name is Ryo.

Hes not a member so we're starting from the very basics--who God is and prayer. We had a pretty good lesson on it yesterday. Hes also like an Apple fanatic so we talk a lot about Macs and stuff, getting me pretty excited for that new Iphone hahaha

Ive started writing my homecoming talk, I hope it turns out well, Ill probably get to do a practice run this Sunday at church here so Ill let you know how that goes. Ive also beem thinking lately how I can turn all of these important habits I have on a mission into habits for real life. Just a little bit nervous about it all but its also exciting

Its honestly so surreal 2 years is such a crazy long time but now theres only 10 days left of it, I cant really believe it haha. I hit my 2 year mark on Friday. This week we packed in a bunch of activites and exchanges so it should be a pretty busy last week! Im excited

So what do you guys wanna do when Im home? I'm excited to see all of you again. 

Love Elder Shaeffer!

Im also gonna type a group email so I will send some pictures and stuff in that

Thursday, January 17, 2019


It's not often you find pretzels for sale at your local hardware store. 
Pretzels on display at the front counter.

Thank you, iPhone 10 for that amazing photo! 

Much less pretzels claiming to be "The Pride of Dakota."
The clerk assured me they were definitely special -- some kind of powder that tasted so good.

Yes, they were good! It was a buttery flavor powder 
(comprised of MSG, corn syrup and some crazy yummy tasting chemicals.)

Nick is often whistling and humming. Always has.
But what I'd never noticed until today is that he whistles like this:


Look at his tongue! He's making music like that. Amazing.

Chris and friends bought a ski bungee of some sort. 
And they got a rail from a friend. So they tested it out next door.
I missed all the cool moments while they were on skis, but caught Chris on a sled.

Got a Snapchat from Courtney today. Did you know there are special glasses that block 
"blue light" so your eyes don't get tired? Or ruined. I'm not sure which. 
Here she is modeling her glasses.

And in keeping with this blog's theme, here's a close-up.
Wearing her noise-cancelling headphones too. 
I'd say she's in the zone, but I know she's actually Snapchatting. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

The Temple

Dan and I went to the temple today and were excited to see the new changes. I felt an overwhelming spirit of confirmation while I was there that God directs The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We are his children. He knows us and loves us and understands us. I am grateful.

Jordan River Temple

The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 
has issued the following statement:

   "Whenever the Lord has had a people on the earth who will obey His word, they have been 
commanded to build temples. Scriptures document patterns of temple worship 
from the times of Adam and Eve, Moses, Solomon, Nephi, and others.

   With the restoration of the gospel in these latter days, temple worship has also been restored 
to bless the lives of people across the world and on the other side of the veil as well.

   Over these many centuries, details associated with temple work have been 
adjusted periodically, including language, methods of construction, 
communication, and record-keeping. Prophets have taught that there will be no end 
to such adjustments as directed by the Lord to His servants.

   A dedicated temple is the most holy of any place of worship on the earth. 
Its ordinances are sacred and are not discussed outside a holy temple."

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Life of a Lady

When you're headed out on a beach vacation, waxing is top priority. The salon tries to make a potentially painful experience as pleasant as possible.

Hot wax and tools:

Moral support:

Beach Ready!

Monday, January 14, 2019

We've Got a Ute!

We were pretty confident he'd get in, but he panicked at the last minute while he was
waiting for me to deliver the letter! 
Congrats, Chris!

Does this mean I'll have to wear Utes gear?