Thursday, September 25, 2014

Week 11-

Zone Conference

Last week you were researching Family History. How did your NdH lesson go? Did you help teach? How is the family doing?

So funny story about that...  We went to the NdH and the mom and some of the others weren't home.  So we just talked with the dad and two of the sons.  Then we heard a bang and the dad came running back in and said "Choke"  In Spanish that means wreck.  So we ran down to the street.  There was a destroyed car because the guy had hydroplaned.  Elder Bartleson and I stood at the front of the crowd basically saying "Missionaries... WE CAN HELP!!!"  We just asked every minute or so if they needed help.  The guy broke his back for sure. He was facing the sky and his toes were facing the ground. The ambulance came.  I'm assuming he was alive because he was talking to the people trying to help him. We don't know how he is doing.  But the family were are teaching is doing fine.

Did you have the baptism on Saturday? 

We didn't because we didn't get to set up an appointment for a baptism interview because we got rained out of our appointment.  It flooded that day.

You told me about the rain last week.  How are your shoes holding up in the rain? Do you ever get dry? I check your weather everyday and it certainly does rain a lot.

My shoes are fine.  The black ones really are waterproof.  Now if only my socks, pants, and shirts were too. :P

How was Zone Conference? What do you do? I think I saw a lot of your old MTC district. Did you get to meet lots of people?

Zone Conference was good.  Just long. We learned about endurance.  Our mission will be hard, but we can do it. We went to the temple with our ward afterward.  At the conference, we had a lot of talks by Pres and Sis Carmack and the Assistants.  Yes I got to meet people.  I took a picture with one person. In Spanish his name is Elder Pajaro.  


Elder Broadhead and Elder Bird
Elder Bird's sister was serving here in Newnan when Andrew received his call to Panama.
So during zone conference we had to practice teaching and we divided up according to companionships.  I am probably in the back with Elders Peterson and Machado. My Spanish is okay. Elder Peterson, my district leader, said the only thing wrong with my Spanish is that it is slow. My ring is from the MTC.  It is a CTR (Choose the Right) ring.  It has CTR written in 6 languages.  I know it has English, Spanish and I think Japanese.
I know my hair is long.  We were running late so I couldn't get a haircut.  Hopefully this week.  

Zone conference-Andrew is at the top near the center, laughing behind his hand.
Dinner with Elder Bartleson and a few friends

Tell me about something new you have seen.

I haven't really seen anything new this week.  There are lots of wild dogs.  We eat a lot of rice.  I didn't see anything cool this week.

Tell me about something interesting or funny.

We got a new lunch appointment this week.  They moved here from South America.  The husband was a limo driver at a rental company.  He used to drive for some well-known people apparently.  I thought that was interesting

Here are some pictures of our house.  Yes I know it is dirty.  We were both sick this week. I just felt dizzy and almost fainted going to ZC. I have felt a little off since then.  The hard part is that my brain is fuzzy and I can't understand Spanish well.
Home Sweet Home

Our Kitchen and Office

That is all until next week.

Elder Broadhead

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Sorry I was so slow getting this up this week.  My computer died and I had to work extra hard to get my emails put together.

Week 10:

In Arrijan

I am emailing early this week because we are getting ready to go teach.  Elder Bartleson wants to teach some lessons using the Spirit of Elijah and connecting to our Family History.  
This week I have Conferencia de Zona en Miércoles.  Maybe I will get my mail. I only get mail after consejos (council meetings) and maybe at Conferencia de Zona. (Zone conference is when the whole area of missionaries get together for planning and training, etc.)

What have you done interesting this week? Have you had an interesting contact? Or been somewhere new? Or learned anything?

I went on Divisions with the Zone Leader this week.  I went to their area.  It has bigger hills than ours.  That is because their area is between two mountains.  I learned that other missionaries can understand my Spanish, but locals can't. Sometimes locals pretend they can't so they don't have to listen to you.

Tell me about the weather.  I know it is really hot, but does it rain all day, or off and on? And how heavy is it?  And how do you deal with it all?  

When it rains it pours.  We have almost gotten flooded a couple of times.  If we are at the house when it starts, we are encouraged to just stay there.  It will rain hard for 3 or 4 hours then turn into a light drizzle.  Rain here is more like a storm back home.  If we are out in light rain, we keep going.  If we are out in heavy rain, we are supposed to get to a member's house or our house because it is really easy to get sick here.

Have you run into any spiders yet?  I hear they are pretty numerous down there.  

Yes.  We had a spider that was enormous.  And others that were really big.  We mostly got rid of the cockroaches.  It's mostly those and big flies.  When they land on you, you can feel the weight of them on your arm.  

Who do you teach and what do you teach?

We teach pretty much everyone.  We try to teach new contacts, but the members don't always trust us.  We have a 16 page list of members that don't attend that they want us to visit.  We do visit some recent converts and old members too.  We are actually teaching a Family Home Evening (In Spanish, it is Noche de Hogar.  That's Night of Home)  about Tonight we will be talking to a unmarried couple (because the first husband won't sign divorce papers) and 5 or 6 children ages 18 to 9.  The 15 year old son is really awesome.  Elder Bartleson put his name tag on the kid. I can see him being a missionary. 

Time to go, talk to you next week.

Elder Broadhead

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Week 9

What is your neighborhood like?  

We live in a place called Tres Marias by Cerro Silvestre.  There are groups of houses, but they are usually far apart.  I live about 45 minutes from Panamá.   The drivers here are bad, but I haven´t come close to getting hit. Mostly we walk everywhere, but we do take the Diablos Rojos some.  That is what they call buses here because they used to run people over and run cars off the road.  But no one has tried to hit me yet.

You said you get lots of meals. What do the people feed you?  

It is a lot of Chicken and rice.  Sometimes noodles.  Lots of fried plantanos.  And always chicha.  That is what juice is called here.

Do you have any funny stories or experiences to share?  

Well.  We were supposed to go teach a Family Home Evening, and Elder B’s old companion said that there was an entrance to Tres Marias from Bique.  We walked 4 miles looking for the entrance before someone told us that it didn´t exist.  So, we walked 8 extra miles yesterday.

My shoes and feet are fine. My feet are just getting tired.  No, I don´t wear sunscreen, but I also don´t get sunburned.
Have you been teaching any more lessons?  How did they go and do you have any repeat appointments? Do you knock on doors?

Yes. We teach Sunday School every other week.  It is good.  We teach this one woman every Tuesday and Friday.  Her name is J.  We have been teaching about the Book of Mormon.  We don´t knock on doors.  If we want to talk to someone at their house, we have to stand at the road and yell "Buenas."

Wednesday, September 3, 2014


First and most important- How are you doing and feeling?  

I am doing okay.  I am just really tired.  It has been really tough at times.  It is hard not being great with the language.  Some people deliberately try to talk fast to make it hard. Elder B speaks in Spanish, but changes to English when I don’t understand.  It is getting better. We get an hour of language study every day.

What is the biggest thing that has happened this week?

I helped teach in Sunday School and I am being more useful in helping teach lessons rather than sitting there trying to understand.

Did you find the name of your city?  Tell me more about the area and people.

Arraijan is the city.  It is west of Panama City.    There are lots of hills, lots of rain, and lots of less actives.
The Westland Mall is nearby.  The people here are really nice most of the time.  About a week ago they gave us a list of less actives for us to visit because they don´t Visit Teach or Home Teach.  Apart from that, they are great.  They give us plenty to eat, and I haven´t died from the food yet so I am good.  J  I also had to help give someone a blessing this week.  It´s way harder in Spanish.

Tell me more about your living arrangements.

We have our own bathroom.  Ours is about the size of the powder room at home.  We have an electric stove, but Elder B and I mostly do peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
We spent three hours one day just getting rid of the cockroaches.  Next p day is cleaning the back half of the apartment.  We have cleaned the front and kitchen.  Now, we will clean the bedroom and bathroom.

Bye. I love you talk to you next week.

Elder Broadhead