Wednesday, December 31, 2014

week 25


It sounds like you are in a more rural area. What is it like? What kind of work do the people do? With the big flat area, do they have farms? or just open countryside?
The area around here is much poorer. I live in an area called the Providencia.  It is like a big subdivision. Aguadulce is a lot less complicated than Arraijan. The houses  are pretty close together.  The town is just really far away.  And our area is far, too. It is flat and grassy like going to Granny and Papaw's house. Lots of people work in the segoro.  That is the cheap doctor’s office.  It is for people without insurance.  There is some farming and a lot of soccer and baseball fields.

How often do you go to the city and why do you go?
I go to the city to go to the temple and migracciones.  Elder Gonzales still has my machetes and I should get them when I go to the city in January.

Does your area have a mall? or chain stores or just the chinos like
your last area? 
There are lots of chinos.  There isn´t a mall until Chitre and that mall is really small.

What do you like about you comp? and your housemates?
They are very relaxed.  The days are less stressful here.  Maybe because we are not in the city, but everything is much more laid back.  It isn´t rushing everywhere. They all just mess with each other. I said hi to their families on Christmas.  They thought it was funny when you said "Hola."  They thought it was good that you tried.  I don't know much about their families, I wasn´t paying attention when they talked to them.  Elder Alejandre bought cards and while others were talking, we were playing.

Are there any local sayings or slang? 
¿Qué xopa, loco? ¿Qué lo qué, frend?  I can´t think of more.  That is just two ways of saying what´s up?

How do you find people in your new area?
We walk down the street and talk.  We also walk to random houses and start talking to people.

I´m doing good.  I am wearing my running shoes today because they are more forgiving.  The toe is better.  We will see how it is after soccer today. Then it is back to regular shoes.

Our house. I have the top bunk.  My feet hang off a little bit, but not much

And a piece of fruit from a tree on the side of the road, I don't know what it is called.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

week 24


Now that you have been in your area a whole week, tell me more about it. You
mentioned  Aguadulce, Panonome, and Chirtre, They are far apart on the
map. Explain more.
My area is the Aguadulce.District.  We have  a small Branch (very small congregation) and we are working to get a chapel.  We need 100 people in attendance every week for 6 months to get one.  This past week we had 45. The church rents a house that we use as a chapel. My branch is nice.  We just aren´t many.  My district is 3 gringos and 3 latins.  Elder Romero and I are the only Elders.  
Penonome is about an hour away.  It is not part of our area.  I just said Penonome for a reference point.  Chitre is the Mission Zone and the District presidency is in Chitre.  Chitre is also about an hour from my area. Our area is really big and really flat.  There are lots of papaya and coconut trees.  Lots of monte.  We don’t randomly pick fruit off the trees, but a sister gave us papaya.  It was good.  I don´t know how far it is to get to the beach.  I haven´t been there, ever. 

Do they feed you in your new area?
Yes.  We have one person feeding us 4 days a week. She lives right behind us. She does not have children, so she adopted the missionaries.  We also usually have lunch and dinner the other day.  The food is pretty much the same.  A lot of rice and chicken.

Tell me about your comp/housemates. What do they like? what do you do
at night? to relax?
Elder Romero, my companion, is from Argentina.  He likes to play soccer and sing.  Elder Lopez is from Guatamala.  He likes to play soccer.  Elder Alejandre is from Mexico.  He likes to play soccer.  We like to play Uno at night.. THey are from families of church members..  They get emails from home. Elders Romero and Lopez go home in February.

Do they like to work hard?
We all work hard.  Alejandre works the hardest because he is new and is trying to find the rhythm of the mission

What do you do for p-day?
Today we went to watch a movie, “The Best Two Years” with the zone and then did a gift exchange.  I got homemade cookies and a change pouch. When we go back to the house we will play soccer.

Most important...What about Christmas plans?
I think that I will call at about 10:30 am.  We are supposed to have an hour

We will be using skype.  We have to call from the church because no one close by has skype.  The exchange was all little stuff. The others don't have packages from home, just me.

Then there was the wait on Thursday. Ten Thirty came and went with us realizing that the church computers never have a camera. I thought my call would not come.  Finally about 3 o'clock, Amber noticed I had a contact request from someone named Romero!  Then a quick "hurry up Mom, it's me!" 
He told us that the 4 missionaries had all chipped in and bought a camera and they were able to use the computer at the church. I know four Moms were thrilled with the purchase!

We got to talk on Skype for an hour. Andrew looked great and sounded even better. He is happy and well. We "met" his companions with a wave and a nod; they don't speak English. It was funny because he slipped into speaking Spanish several times by accident. It is good to see that he has gotten strong enough in language that he can communicate easily and confidently. 

His area is huge and the bus is expensive and more for long distance. He walks just about everywhere he goes. His feet are taking a beating. And he has lost weight. They are requesting bikes, but it has to be approved. 

That is it for talking to him until Mother's Day, but he will email Monday. :-)

Thursday, December 18, 2014

week 23


Last Monday was Mother's Day in Panama. The cafes were mostly closed. We did not get a chance to go Tuesday to email. Wednesday was transfers.

Questions from the first week:

Tell me about Zone conference. 

Well, we went to the orphanage and did a nativity scene and sang songs with them.  Elder Barker was Santa, and Elder Dastrop was the elf and we gave them presents and hung out with them.  It was cool. Then we went back to the church and had our meeting and sang carols.

How are you doing with the people in Aaraijan? How is R. doing? Do you know your whole area now, or do you need a map?
The people in Arraijan were good.  I think that he is good.  He comes to church every week. I did know my whole area.  

What is new and exciting?
I got transferred.

so, more questions...
Tell me about your new place.
 I`m in a new area close to Penonome.  I am in the interior. It is about 4 hours from the city. It is a branch so the area is huge.  It is Chitre. It is hotter and dryer here, away from the coast. Elder Romero is my new companion.  He is from Argentina and speaks no English.  He will be finishing his mission and going home in February. My comp is District Leader.  And Elder Lopez is also a DL.  We all live together, but are in different districts.  Transfers happened by my old Zone Leader calling and saying that I was leaving.  I went and packed in 30 minutes, then a local member drove me to Albrook bus terminal.  I bought a ticket and sat on a bus for four hours.  I finally got to Aguadulce.  I went to the house and fell asleep because it was 11 at night. I forgot my machetes.  :(  I will get them in January.  We will use them here, there is just not as much opportunity to use them here.  We paint here.  The transfer wasn't too hard. The suitcases were just really heavy.  It was long and I couldn`t read or anything.  The bus actually was nice like the ones we took to NYC. I will send pictures next week.

Who are the others in your house?
Elder Romero is from Argentina, Elder Lopez is from Guatemala.  Elder Alejandre, nuevo, is from Mexico. Lopez and Romero will leave in February. We have a really big house now, with a washing machine! I like my companion.  He is helping me with my Spanish, because I am the only one of 4 in my house that speaks English.  I am taller than all my housemates.  

Tell me about your ward.
It is a Branch. (a small congregation, less than a ward) The branch is Aguadulce in the Chitre district. The branch has about 60 people in it.  The building is small, and it is a house. If they can say Broadhead, then they call me Elder Broadhead.  But most of the time, it is Elder Bro.

Have you been teaching anyone new?
Yep.  I have 5 investigators that I met Thursday through Sunday.

And we will get to Skype at Christmas, depending on internet access at some church member's home.

Elders Andrews & Broadhead

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

week 22

Zone Conference

Andrew had Zone Conference on Saturday. They went to an orphanage and did a nativity, sang songs and Santa came to visit. I got pictures off the mission blog. He was in the crowd somewhere.
Monday was Mother's Day and the internet cafe was closed. We did not get an email this week. I know he is doing fine and will email next week.

At the Orphanage

Friday, December 5, 2014

Week 21

Thanksgiving, sort of

I had my first baptism here. It went well.  There were 10 people getting baptized that day.  I baptized our friend, R.  I had to dunk him twice because the water was low and I forgot to tell him to keep his knees down the first time.  (Our church does baptism by immersion and you have to go all the way under.) We did have a regular baptismal font, but the water was really low this time. It is just that the font was not stopped up.  It was full to start, but was slowly draining. It only came up to about my knees and it was cold.

Tell me about zone conference pictures on the mission blog.
That wasn´t Zone Conference.  That was a training about baptisms.  We saw all my MTC friends and we talked and had a good time. It is good to talk to someone fluent in English. I have on a white tie because Gonzales wanted all the elders of my district to wear baptism ties because it was training about baptisms.

This week,  we will have ZC on Saturday. There will probably be pictures on the mission blog.

Did you do anything special for Thanksgiving? 
We didn´t do anything special for Thanksgiving except go somewhere for lunch.  The closest I could get to fried turkey was fried chicken...

Did you learn anything new this week?
I learned that I am still really bad at football.  We had a turkey bowl today and it was fun, but I am terrible.

Tell me about the animals.
The spiders are enormous here.  I hate them.  Not any really bad run ins, but  I am not over my fear by any means.  I still can´t stand spiders. There are also lots of dogs. They just try to chase us sometimes.  I use my umbrella to hit them if I need to.  I do not have pets.

The rainy season should be ending.
It is still really hot here.  The temperature hasn´t changed.

Friday, November 28, 2014

week 20

Working Hard

What is new and exciting this week?
Well we will have a baptism on Saturday. Our baptism is R.  He is the son of a recent convert.  I will take pictures.  It is my first baptism. I´m not sure what else is exciting...  

Have you learned anything new about Panama or any of the people?
The people here like to eat even when there isn´t much.  Also, They all think that Adelyn is the cutest little girl in the world.  It is really funny sometimes. I have shown them the pictures that Amber has sent. Maybe they like the blonde hair.
Do you think and/or dream in Spanish yet?
I think in Spanish sometimes, like when I plan what I should write.  I try to count in alternating to keep my English going.  It´s one, dos, three... I hope that my Spanish is moving fast enough that I can learn Cuna. Cuna is the language they speak on the islands. I do speak more quickly now.  Not as fast as Panamanians, but faster. 

Tell me about something funny that has happened.
Well on Sunday, we were in Sacrament meeting and the first counselor in the bishopric is at the pulpit.  He said ¨This Sunday we will have the privilege of hearing about missionary work¨ The first speaker was Hermana Contreres (2 weeks in Panama) and the 2nd was Elder Gonzales.  So It was a very quick talk to come up with.  They both had to give 15 minute talks.

Tell me what service you did this week. 
Well this week, we didn´t get to use the machetes.  This one sister has a creek in her back yard for run off water.  The hole at the end of the creek was clogged so I had to wade into knee high water with a shovel and a rake to clear it out.  It wasn´t very fun.

Have you done any sightseeing? What is there to see around your "huge" area?
We have not been sight seeing.  We have 2 malls within an hour.  Apart from that I don´t know what is around here.

Are the grocery stores like here or like convenience marts? 
So if you go to a place called Rey, Fuerte, Pricemart, or Xtra, it is a store.  If you go anywhere else, it is called a Chino.  That is because it is usually Chinese people that own them.  They are more like gas stations without gas. Recently we have been shopping at Chinos, but everything is cheaper in Stores. As far as costs in Panama, if you are buying American stuff, it is more expensive, with other local stuff, it is cheaper.

Friday, November 21, 2014

week 19

A Party

Hi,  Sorry about not emailing yesterday.  We had a surprise Birthday party for Gonzales and it took all day.  We made sure to come today so that everyone can use the computers.  We don´t have much time, but we are trying. The party was a surprise for Gonzales. We mostly just ate.  Then one of the Hermanas started a cake fight.  She threw cake at Gonzales and then everyone started throwing it.  I didn´t do anything, but I kept getting hit... Our district and a Hermana that loves all of the missionaries were there. We had fun.

What has been the most exciting thing this week?
We have 2 baptisms set.  one for the 29th and the other for the 6th. Well one is a person that has had some problems that wants to change.  He is the son of a recent convert and he has come to church twice.  The other is living with a member family,  We showed him Because of Him and he wants to be baptized.

What kind of lessons have you been teaching?
The Restoration, Plan of Salvation, Gospel of Christ, Word of Wisdom, Tithing and Chastity. The teaching is fun now because Gonzales is a good teacher. 

Did you finally make it to the grocery store?
Not yet.  But we haven´t had to buy food yet.  We cook a little, but not much.  We have a small electric stove. Sometimes we do pick fruit off the trees nearby, but it is a lot of coconuts.  I still don´t like coconut.  We get fed twice a day, sometimes.  We don´t go hungry. There are a few banana trees, but they aren´t ripe yet.

How are you feeling? You look thin. Your hair is curly there!
I am always really tired.  I have lost some weight, but a lot was just the angle.  I need a haircut, but there isn´t time.

Tell me something interesting that you have done or seen.
I have 2 machetes now... This new one is smaller though.  It is the length of the blade of my big one. The big one is for stuff like monte.  That is kind of like pampas grass. The small one is for smaller jobs. The small one is for stuff like coconuts too.  We are very well equipped because Gonzales bought one too. I am the only Gringo in my district

This Nativity is a display in a mall here. It was strange seeing it in a mall.  I don´t think that that is allowed in the states. We were on the second story to take a picture of it.

1 minute left.  Bye I love you.  I will try to email you on Monday next week.Thanks for the support.

Friday, November 14, 2014

week 18

Doing Great in Arraijan

So, last week was Independence Day in Panama. What did you see or do in your area to celebrate?  
There was a parade, but I didn´t watch it.  I honestly don´t know the customs.  I just know that they have basically every other week off of school.

Rainy season ends in November. How is the weather? 
It still rains a lot here, but not as much.  It is still really hot.  I wish I had AC

What kind of service have you been doing? 
Lots of stuff with my new toy.  I bought a machete and that is really fun.  We have cut a lot of grass and a couple of trees. We plan service ahead.  It is illegal to walk around with a machete for no purpose.  We have to make plans.  I have used it 4 times. We are careful and they are all more competent with a machete than I am.

btw, you said you need sport shoes. What happened to the ones we bought before you left? 
Well... They were getting destroyed from service and sports so I bought some to only use for sports and my blue ones are my service shoes.

Sam will like these.

When you do divisions, what areas do you go to? 
Because Gonzales is new, I am mostly in my area.  Lately, I have been going with Elder Mendoza.  He is new.  He is getting trained by Polio.  

Have you gotten your mail? 
Yes.  This past week from consejos, I got lots of DearElder, 2 cards, and my Christmas packages.  I think that they are all getting here.

Have you cleaned your apartment more?  How are you eating at your apartment? 
My apartment is a lot cleaner now.  The shower is clean.  We´re not eating at home any.  We haven´t gone grocery shopping in a while.  We get more money this week. I hope we go to the grocery store.

How is it working with Elder Gonzalez? 
He is fun to work with. He told the other missionaries that I am senior companion. They thought I was training him. It was funny. He calls me his consejero.  If the meeting isn't just for District Leaders, I have to go.  He says that there are 2 of every other type of leader so I am the DL without a title. I think that it is better to work with a Latin.  The locals like him a lot. Gonzales works harder.  With an awesome comp, the work is a lot easier. 

Do you always speak Spanish or sometimes English?
Outside the house is Spanish, and at home we speak English, If I say something in English that Gonzales doesn't understand, we go back to Spanish.  He wants me to speak English in the house. He is learning English. He has an accent and is working on fixing pronunciation a little.  He helps me more than I help him because we aren't in the house much.

How long will you be in Arraijan?

I want to stay here through at least Christmas.  Then I will probably leave for a new area.  That will give me 6 months here.  I want to stay her especially since Christmas is on Thursday.  We eat at the Angulos on Thursdays and we love them!

(I sent some fall pictures in email)
Please keep sending the pictures.  Here it is all green. The trees are just green. Just send pictures. Any pictures.

This is my hat.  You can take the missionary out of Georgia, but not Georgia out of the missionary.

Friday, November 7, 2014

week 17

A New Comp

Today is Independence Day for Panama. Most places are closed, but we found an open internet place. I am doing great this week.

Halloween was last week. What did you do to celebrate?
The missionaries don´t do anything special except head home early.  It is hard to find families on Halloween.  They do celebrate Halloween and trick or treat a little bit.  It was funny because we were having dinner with a family and the little girls came out as a witch and a princess.  Elder Gonzales and I laughed.

Tell me about one of your appointments or contacts this week
Well, this week we were shopping for a speaker or something and a lady that works in the store said ¨Do you have one of your books¨  We didn´t have any left, so we are going back after internet and I have one with me.  It was funny.
There is this one investigator who wants us to call her abuelita because we are young enough to be her grandkids. They still can't say my name. I tell them my name is Elder Broadhead.  Then they try to say it and I tell them that most people call me Elder Bro because it is easier. Hermano Otero (2nd counselor bishopric) introduced me as Elder Broadway one time.

Tell me about your companion.
My new companion is Elder Gonzales.  He is from Hondorus.  He has 8.5 months in the mission and he is 18.  He has really helped with my Spanish and he only speaks a little English.  He has a lot of sisters and one of them is on a mission.  He likes to play soccer and just have fun.  He really likes doing service. So do I, so that is great. It is like a fresh start with a new companion. Everything is good. He is also my District Leader. And my Zone Leader, Elder Teichert, is one of the Assistants now. We have a new district now.  It is me, Elder Gonzales, Elder Polio, his son, (new trainee), Hermana Flores, her daughter,(new trainee) and the Zone Elders. It is easy to talk openly with Gonzales . Also he designated me a Senior Comp because I know the area.  Now I can actually speak in a competent manner.
We have divisions at least once a week. I go with someone else.  It is like having a new comp for a day. The Zone Leaders want us to do that 3 times a week.  We have to go do a lot of Baptism interviews.   We are teaching a lot of people.  We get to go to baptisms.

Anything funny this week?
We were playing soccer this week and I saw Elder Meine and my friend Elder Bitter.  We played them.  I got body checked by Bitter and that was kind of funny. But I still don’t like soccer.

What do you do for service?
This week, we went to the first counselor in the Bishopric´s house and he has banana trees in front of his house.  He gave me and Elder Gonzales machetes and told us to cut a lot of the leaves off.  I have some pretty bad blisters from that one. I didn’t have my work gloves with me because we didn’t know that we would be working.

Have you gotten any more mail? 
No, but I hope to get some Thursday.  There are ZL consejos and that is when the ZLs can pick up the mail.

Tell me about your bishop.
My Bishop was not the friendliest at first, but then we found out from President that he is one of the hardest working bishops.  We started being more patient and he likes us a lot more now.  He has to work a lot, so if we have a meeting with the bishop, it is usually just with his two counselors.

We´re going.  Bye. love you. Talk to you next week

Thursday, October 30, 2014

week 16

Still in Arraijan

My week this week was good.  It was just a little strange because we got invaded again, but this time by the Zone Leaders.  They do surprise visits all the time just to see how we are doing, etc. Don't worry, they didn't eat our food like the assistants did.  We have dropped a couple investigators and we will probably end up having to drop more in a week or two.  We will see. It is hard for them, and for us.

Transfers are this week, will that have any affect on you or your comp this week? How long will this next transfer be?
We will get a call at 8 tonight to find out about changes.  This next change will be the regular 6 weeks long. Elder Bartleson has been here three changes and thinks he will probably get moved.

This is, I guess, a family portrait.  On a mission, your "Dad" is your trainer and your "Mom" is the sister in your zone with the most time.  This is Elder Bartleson, me, and Hermana Moreno.  Yes, she is very short.

Have you met any interesting new people?
We haven't really met anyone new.  It is hard to find new people here sometimes, just the same ones. 

Tell me about your area. What kind of plants, trees, etc. Is it all hills like the one I saw? or flat, too?
There is lots of that kind of grass that grows really tall.  I'm not sure what it is called.  It is like the one we have in the back yard that dad cuts with a chainsaw. (He means pampas grass) There are lots of palm trees.  Some of the roads are better.  A lot are like Austin's driveway. (gravel) There are lots of big hills, and a few smaller ones like the ones near our house.  There aren't any flat areas here, but there is a zone in the mission that someone said is like Wyoming.

How is your Spanish?
It is getting better.  I can usually communicate my thoughts now.  I just take a little bit longer to talk.  I understand pretty much everything people say to me as long as it isn't on the phone.Description:

Have you adjusted to the heat?
Pretty much adjusted.  But it is still hot, and rainy.

This is my district the day before our leader went home.  He will be going to college in January.  In mission language, he died.  Also in mission language, Elder Machado killed him.

Well,  I think I am about to go, so Bye, I love you I will talk to you next week and tell you about my new comp that I am probably going to have.  It should be interesting.

Elder Broadhead

Thursday, October 23, 2014

week 15

In Arraijan

What is the name of your ward? and what is your building like? How many wards in your building? and how many people in your ward?
 Our ward is Caceres.  We meet in the stake center.  It is big and has some air conditioning.  There are just 2 wards that meet here.  We have about 100 people that come every week and we have about 200 or more people on the records that don't come much.

Are most of the people long time members? Are they mostly from Panama or move-ins? Are they converts or do they mostly grow up in the church?
Some converted when they were teens.  A lot are from Panama and a lot aren't.  If they are converts, they usually served missions, but some are more recent.  

What do you do at church? Are there lots of kids?
Sacrament meeting, Sunday School class: Gospel Principles, eat lunch, and go to Elders quorum.  There are a few kids, but not a lot.

now the regular questions...
Have you done anything new or interesting this week?
Not really.  Mostly the same stuff. We did have basically a Zone Nerf war for P day this morning. We all have Nerf guns now.  The Zone Leaders went to the store and bought them and we then we paid the ZLs back for them.

Have you met anyone interesting?
Not really.  We usually go to the same places a lot.

Any strange food?
Not anymore.  I'm kind of used to it.

How are you doing ?
I'm doing good.  I just don't have long today.  Sometimes mission life is hectic. When it rains, it really isn't fun to be outside. 

How much longer is the rainy season?
I'm not sure, but the rain hasn't started slowing down yet   We take rain gear if it is raining when we leave if not... not so much.

Have you gotten any more mail?

No, but I should get it tomorrow.  Elder Teichert said I got most of the mail this past pickup

I guess it is time to go.  Bye.  Talk to you next week. Tell everyone hello!