Thursday, August 28, 2014

First Week in Panama!

I waited by my computer most of the day, waiting for that important email letting us know he made it to his new home.  Finally, I heard from him, but not much.  He only answered a few questions then he was gone until next week. Sorry, this is all I have this week...

How was your trip? Especially getting to Panama.

It was good.  Just really long.  I got to sit next to Elder B. and I got a window seat.  The flight attendents helped us with the immigrations and customs forms.  In Panama, we went through the airport and waited for everyone to get through.  Immigrations was a hassle because none of us knew the mission homes address.  Then we went to the hotels in Panama City and went to bed.  We got up the next morning and met our trainers.

What did you think of the Mission President and his wife?

They´re really nice, they are just very business like.  We weren't there very long.

Tell me about your home. Where do you sleep? Where is it?

I sleep in a small shack basically.  There are 3 apartments in our house area. It is a small apartment in a shack.  I think our living room at home is bigger.  We only have cold water so showers feel great at night.  My mattress is a spring mattress that creaks every time I move.  

Two "closets"...The clothes line in the picture and another one over the beds.  :)

 It is a city that I don´t know what it is called. Our area is Caceres 3. The city has a weird name, that I can't remember right now.  It is very green and it rains a lot.  We have to walk everywhere and our area is mostly hills.  
Who is your companion? tell me about him.

My companion is Elder B.  He´s really strange and funny.  He likes to dance and play Pokemon.  He is from Utah, so he speaks English!

What is your first impression of Panama? (besides boy, it's hot!)

It is REALLY hot and humid here.  It´s very green.  The traffic here is worse than Atlanta.  We ride buses everywhere.  I live off of 220 dollars a month.  The food is good.  They just give me too much of it.  I had two enormous meals within an hour of each other.  My first cita was actually for lunch.

Have you taught any lessons yet? How is the Spanish? :)

We had 3 citas the first day I was here.  We have taught a lot since then.  The Spanish is hard.  Everyone here talks so fast that I can´t understand them at all.

And how was church? Where did you meet? Ward or Branch? How many? etc.

Church was good.  We have a large capilla.  Here a capilla is the word for the whole building, not just for sacrament.  We have a ward with another set of Hermanas to help.  I don´t know how many, but there is a 16 page list of people to visit.

And then he was gone.  He must have run out of time without realizing it before.  I guess I wait until next week.

Friday, August 22, 2014


He made it to Panama!  We got to talk to Andrew from the airport while he waited for his flight.  And a extra treat we got was that our friend (Thanks Ruel!) that works at the airport was able to drop in at the terminal while he was there and take a couple of photos.  

Elder Broadhead at the gate

Some of the elders calling home

Then we got an email from the Mission President and his wife. (in red)

"We welcomed 14 new missionaries to the Panama Panama City Mission from the Provo MTC -- 10 elders and 4 hermanas! They received training and are heading out to their areas later today."   We will have to wait until P-Day to find out where he was assigned and who is companion is.  

If you wish to send letters or packages, the mailing address for the mission is :

Elder Andrew Broadhead
Mision Panama (very important to have Mision Panama in the address)
AP 0834-02987
Republica de Panama

"There is no delivery of mail in Panama because there is not really an address system. Mail has to be picked up at the post office. The office elders pick up the mail and it is distributed to zone leaders, district leaders or the missionaries themselves as soon as possible. It is typical for it to take 3-6 weeks for your missionary to receive mail. Also, please make sure that Mision Panama appears in the address. This will help mail get through easier. PLEASE NOTE: It is illegal to include food or medications (including vitamins) in packages to Panama. Almost any food they desire can be found here in Panama, so consider just giving them extra money in their account to purchase food here.  Please do not send cash to your missionary through the mail." 

New Elders and Hermanas

Friday, August 15, 2014

Missionaries heading to Panama from the Provo MTC

Week 5 at the MTC/CCM


It has been another long week, but we are almost out of here.  Yes, I got my travel plans last Friday.  I have to be at our travel office at 4:35 in the morning on Tuesday, Aug 19.  We go to SLC and fly to ATL for a 2 hour layover.  Then we go down to Panama.  There are 14 of us going to Panama in our group.  That is all I can remember about it because I forgot the plans in my room.

To answer mom's questions:  (I tried sending a list of questions on Tuesday so he could think about answers and maybe give me a bit more information than he had been.  :)

The most important lesson I have learned here is to follow the Spirit.  That has helped a lot in our lessons with Silvia, David, and Juana.  Those are our three investigators played by our teachers.

The best part of the CCM is the class every evening with Hermano Davis.  He teaches us mostly about the doctrine and how to listen to the Spirit.  We sometimes read the LdM with him for an hour or so.  Last night we read 18 verses in 2 hours.  I know how to follow the Spirit better.  

Oh, I do have proof that Hmo Davis is one of the Three Nephites.’s his scriptures.  They are so worn and marked up.  He says he did it in 5 years... there is no way.  Also he has a geezer NT and geezer triple combination that are spiral bound.  He went to NY once, but it was a long time ago.  He has never gotten sick.  He has over 1000 tabs in The BoM alone

I have been trying to grow and lead by trying to keep my district on time but it is hard.  They aren't used to dealing with Mr. Armstrong. (Ten minutes early is on time and on time is late.)

My strongest aspect as a missionary is that I can understand everything that our investigators say.

I got two packages, they were awesome!  

Elder Broadhead

Sorry no pictures, He left his camera cord and the computer wasn't reading his card.  I plan for great pictures from Panama soon!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Week 4-MTC

It was another long week.  But I am doing great!  Due to circumstances outside of my control, I was not able to write down what I wanted to remember to say.  One elder has to go home.  We had a little farewell party for him.  My comp and I are doing well.  I loved the card from the carwash.  It was great.  

Just ask me questions and I will answer them as best as I can

What is your apartment/room like?

There are 3 rooms.  We all share the same bathroom.  One elder always turns the thermostat to 60 so it's cold.  We're all getting along great. 
Our Schedule:

6:30 get up
715 breakfast
8-1140 Study time
1140-1230 lunch
1230-120 gym
150-450 Spanish class
450-540 Dinner
540-840 Spiritual class
840-915 planning
930-1015 prep time
1015-1030 quiet time
1030 Bed

I get up at 6:15 every day.  I get up just so there aren't 6 people trying to take showers at 6:30

How is your Spanish? Do you know anything about going to Panama yet? Do you know flights or anything?  
Spanish is good.  I'm getting better at it.  We get our travel plans tomorrow.

That’s exciting!  I heard that there is a chance that you will come through Atlanta.  I wouldn’t be able to go see you.
I know.  But I see home every time I open my wallet.  I bought a new temple recommend holder that has the Atlanta Temple on it.

Have you had any General Authority speakers?
Not Apostles.  We have had a couple of Emeritus GAs.  
The MTC is good, just stressful.  We do get to go to the temple every P day.

What was the best thing this week?
We got Hermano Davis back.  He is an awesome teacher.  We really think that he is one of the Three Nephites.

The first Broadhead in Spanish

When you go to Panama you won’t be getting mail so often. Just remember it is the mail service.
I love getting letters.  It's fun to have something at mail time.
I will remember it

 We love you and are proud of you,
I love you too.  I miss everyone there.  I don't want to skip my mission, but I can't wait to see them.

Bye love you.  Talk to you next week

 Elder Andrew Broadhead
Misión Panama
AP 0834-02798Panamá

Repucblica de Panamá

This is my new mailing address in Panama.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Week 3 at the MTC


It has been another long week.  We have three investigators that we are teaching.  One is our teacher, the other is our sub while our other teacher is on vacation, and I think the last one is an actual investigator.  So it is cool.

The six of us going to Panama are Elders Dastrup, Barker, Meine, David, Gibby, and me.  I can teach the lessons in broken Spanish.  I can pray and testify in Spanish and on Sunday, I gave a talk in Spanish.  Because we aren't all going to Panama and neither of our teachers went to Panama, we only learn Spanish.  We don't learn about the culture at all.  

I've only been to the temple once here because last Thursday was Pioneer Day and they were closed.  I did a session the one time I went.  

Q and A time.

I got the pictures last week.  Did you buy a card reader or figure something else out?

Yes I got my camera to work.  It just depends on the computer.  No, I do not need a new camera.  I like this one.  Yes, Dropbox is blocked and yes, I will need a refresher on how to use it.  

What did you have to speak about?  How long?  And how did you do?  Were you concluding speaker?  I guess you and dad got to speak the same day anyway!

I gave a talk on recognizing the spirit.  I was the second speaker.  Missionaries speak for 3-5 minutes and branch presidency members and wives speak for the rest of the time.  There are always two missionary speaker.  I mostly read it.

What kind of letters, etc. do you want to get?  I don’t want to make you homesick.

Just write letters.  I've done ok with stuff about home and I like to hear about stuff I care about.  Not just talks from General Authorities.  I hear a lot of those now.   If you want to send food, it won't get wasted.  If we don't eat it we donate to the Zone stockpile that the oldest district has.  When that district leaves, it is given to the new oldest.  
What do you do in your free time?

About fitness time... for the first few days we went to the gym, but my comp has been tired, so we stay at the apartment and I do what I can to work out.   We went to the gym yesterday to watch D. dunk on someone.  It was funny, but he got thrown out of the gym because you aren't allowed to touch the rim, net, or backboard.  
Apart from that we do the same things every day.  It's not particularly interesting, but oh well.
We don't really have free time.  If we do we sleep, plan lessons or joke around.

Can you go walk the track or something?  You need to get out in the heat and get used to it.  :)
Have you met the other elders?  They are at Provo West MTC.

We are out in the sun wearing long pants most of the time.  We don't have a track.  We have met some of the other elders.  We met the three Hermanas going to Panama.  I don't know their names.  They are not in our zoneThey are nice.  The Spanish MTC is the West Campus.  We are all here.
Is Provo West the old married housing?  Lindsay and Cameron lived there when we went to their house for Christmas when Amber and Nathan were on their missions.  

Yep.  It's Wyview.  The classrooms are at Raintree.

What lessons have you been learning?  I have been studying the one about sharing
We learned the one from Elder Holland about teaching people not lessons.  We walk into our lessons with very little planned.  They aren't great, but Elder D. and I are hard on ourselves

Have you adjusted to the food?  You need to get used to rice.  Sis McCally had a picture of all kind of treats and stuff she brought home from Panama so they must have some good stuff you can get there not here.

Kind of.  I don't feel as bad.  They don't have rice often.  We have two options for food here.  The Main Campus has more.

Do you have everything you need?  Did you prepare enough?  Is there something I could do now before you leave for Panama?

It would be great if you could send me a light rain coat and umbrella before I leave,  just something to keep the rain off of meIt's rained a couple of times here.  We walked to a devotional in the rain.  I got the package.  The mints are saving my life.  They help my stomach feel better.  They help settle it.  I haven't used the pepto pills yet because I will probably need those more in Panama.

You will be ready to speak in the Spanish Branch when you get back. Do you enjoy speaking Spanish?  I was waiting in the hall last Sunday and a group of women from the branch sat down and started talking.  It is very strange to me that you will be with people that are saying important things and I would not be able to understand them and you will, and you can add important info to what they are saying!  

It's weird because we have a bunch of words that all go into one of their words.  It's hard to get used to

Do you do total immersion or do you speak English to your comps when not in class?

We are supposed to Hable Su Idioma.  It is kind of hard to do so outside of class is mostly English.  HSI is Speak Your Language btw

I think I remember that Nathan had a time that they HAD to do only HSI.  I guess that is what you missed by not going to MexicoYou are really good at learning language, so I am sure you are doing better than you realize and will do great once you get there.

I guess. HSI is different in French probably.  It's SYL in English, and HSI en Español.  haha

Are you getting along with all the missionaries in your district?  Are you getting used to them?  
Yes.  We all get along except when one turns the thermostat to 60 at night.  They gave us an airplane blanket.  We just have to sneak the temp up when he isn't looking. Elder M. and I have a lot of fun together.
The Elder that picks up the mail in Panama said they have a new rule of no food in the mail.
They will confiscate it.  So, no beef jerky  :(

Next Sunday is fast Sunday, do you have anything you want us to fast for, for you?  Anything you need special help with?  

We´re not supposed to ask people at home to fast.  It´s in the handbook.

You aren't asking.  I am asking what you need.  If you don't know of anything, I will just fast for you learning Spanish.

Be positive and upbeat. I want to tell you I am so proud of you.  I miss you, but I am not sad you are there.  I couldn't be happier about who and what you are. You are in our prayers always and we know how amazing you are.  You will be a real asset to the work in Panama.  You will touch many people and be a great influence.
I love you!

Thanks.  I miss everyone at home.  I can't wait to get out in the field.  Love you and talk to you next week

I saw Zach at the devotional on Sunday.  I will send a picture.

E. Broadhead