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!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Another Week in Arraijan

Now that you have been there awhile, tell me about the people. What kind of stuff do they do for work or fun. What are the families like? What are their homes like? etc.....

The people are really nice.  Their houses are a lot like mine, but usually bigger.  They also usually have a big tv.  They love tv here because it makes them feel rich.  They do a lot of manual work here.  Hermano A. is a office worker I think and Hermano F. is a security guy.  I don't know much about anyone else.  There are some huge families and others that only have one or two kids.

What is your area like? There are lots of hills, do the houses line up along a straight road like here.
Most of the houses are like mine, but bigger.  They are usually up and down hills off the road.  There are a few American-like subdivisions, but not in my area.

Where you are, do most people, other than missionaries, have cars and drive? or do a lot of people walk everywhere? 
There are lots of cars here.  Mostly older models.  There are lots of people that take the bus like we do.  The people that drive have jobs in the city or are taxi drivers.

Are you in a city? What place here would you compare it to?
Technically we are in a city.  Probably most like Newnan.  It isn't that big.

You haven't talked much about appointments and going to peoples homes. Do you make contact with people? do you teach any? Do you talk with people at church? do you just wander around all day? 
We go to a lot of appointments.  We usually contact on the buses and hope that we get a call to go teach.  Sometimes we do, sometimes we don't.  We talk to everyone at church and sometimes, we do have to just wander around in an area.

What ever happened about the one that wanted to get baptized, 
We are still working on teaching him.  We are also teaching his brother now.

How about the kid that plans on going on a mission someday?
He was a little off and on for a while, but he has started coming back again.

How are your finances? Are you hungry?
We try to only live on the money that they give us.  I am still doing ok.  We suffer together.  But we are ok right now. 
My Spanish is still improving. I can understand all Gringos and the Latins that I am around a lot.

This is the mission logo.  Preparad el Camino del SeƱor.  That is Prepare ye the way of the Lord.  That is a mola style temple

Friday, October 10, 2014

In Panama

Did you watch conference? in English or Spanish? If so, What was your favorite talk or at least something you remembered. I loved the mtc choir from Priesthood Session. And Carlos Godoy that spoke in Portuguese in the last session. He spoke about decisions and patriarchal blessings. Also Elder Bednar talked about why we share the gospel.

Yes we watched General Conference.  And President Carmack has a rule that you have to watch conference in your native language.  I liked Bednar's talk.  As missionaries we liked Jorg Klebingat from the second session.  We also wanted the leaders of our ward to watch the one in Cantonese.

Did you get your hair cut? and groceries? any interesting stories to tell?

Yes I got my hair cut.  It is nice and short again.  We did go get groceries so we are happier now.  We don't really have interesting stories this week other than I got a card from you, one from Rachel’s kids, and 5 pages of DearElder this week!

I have watched your movie so many times...Did you not like the food or were you uncomfortable on camera? You hardly ate and made a funny face. 

The food was good but a little dry.  I made a face because it was hard to swallow because I didn’t have anything else to drink.  I was also pretty much done by the time they pulled out the camera.  

You said there will be short changes this time. When will it be and how does that affect the next one? 

The short change happens every year.  President Carmack doesn't like switching people at Christmas.  The next transfer will be 8 weeks long instead of 4 weeks.

Have you been shopping any? Are there open air markets or just stores? Do you barter or just pay?

We only have stores in our area.  You just pay.  There are some areas where you barter.

How are your teaching appointments going? any golden contacts?

Ok, The problem is that people aren't there when we have an appointment scheduled.  We have one named M. He is ready to be baptized.

Have you taught any Family Home Evenings?

No.  Nobody has wanted us to come teach.

This is my zone from the last change

This is Elder Bitter and Elder Nysetvold.  Bitter left to become a ZL and Nysetvold is leaving to finish Elder Hoeft's training.  I think he is also a DL

You are so much taller than most of them, are you the tallest? Do they ever mention it?

When we went to the temple, they wanted a picture of everyone who went.  I had to kneel because all the men kneeled.  I was almost the same height as one of the hermanas
They don’t say much about my height, it is mostly.  Your name is hard...  We have letters and letter combinations that they don't say. They call me Elder Bra-de-odd.

It doesn't matter what they call you.  Just relate to the native people and make them love you and serve them. That is what will count.

Talk to you next week
Love you,

Elder Broadhead

Friday, October 3, 2014

First Change in Panama

Transfers are this week. Any changes? I don't expect you or your comp to change, but any others?

So Bartleson and I don't have changes.  I don't know of anymore except that my DL and one of the Hermanas is going home at the end of this change.  It is a short change because President Carmack doesn't like changing people during Christmas.

Did you get your haircut? and are you feeling well?

No haircut. We ran out of money. We will get more tomorrow.  Yep. I feel better except for the lack of food, because we had invasions and the Assistants ate most of our food. But we do eat well at lunch. But being sick was just hard.  I'm ready for a break.

Do you have a favorite member family? Do you eat anywhere regularly? Have you had anything crazy to eat?

I like the familia A.  They are the ones with the limo driver.  They love us and they cook really American food.  They also spent 15 minutes one appointment talking about cheese. :)
We have set lunch appointments everyday. Our one dinner appointment got tired, so no more dinner. 
Yes, but it was a joke.  Hermano F. gave me a Chicken foot.  (Really he wanted to eat it though.)  When he went back to the kitchen I asked Bartleson how to eat it.  When Bartleson started laughing F. knew that he had gotten his reaction. I didn't have to eat the foot. He just wanted to mess with me. He just wanted a reaction
We go to a Chinese restaurant on mondays if we have extra money, but it is a bit expensive.  It is $6.25 per plate.

How was the talent show? Did you have to sing?

The talent show was good.  It was just long.  I didn't sing.  I might do it next time.  Apparently they do one every few months.

Have you gotten any mail yet?

I got 2 more.  It is the ones you sent the end of August.   I don't know why it takes so long to get mail.

And tell me the most interesting thing from this week. 

Well, I'll go funny this time.  We were eating with familia A. and their daughters came home from school.  The mom looked at the first one and said "Did you behave?" The daughter responded "more or less..." Then a short explanation of what she had done.  Then looking at the other daughter, the mom said "And you?"  The other daughter said "Better than her!"
Oh, I keep forgetting to tell you something interesting.  It is a common sight to see two police officers on a motorcycle... One driving and the other sitting on the back holding an assault rifle. I just think it is weird.  They are just there.  They don't have to do anything. 

 Has your language gotten faster?

No, but my leaders think that my language is awesome for having one change.  Peterson says my only problem is that I talk slow.

(Click on this link for a clip of missionaries in Panama.)

This is what the Assistants do during invasions if you are interested.
It is us, the elders in another area and the Hermanas in our ward.
The hill that we look at is really big and hard to climb.  That is where my lunch is tomorrow

Are you getting used to the heat?  I know it will always be hot, but is it less bad than when you got there?

It's getting better. Everything is still green here.  It's weird.

Any big plans this week?  

Yep.  We get money tomorrow so tomorrow I get a haircut..  Working a lot everyday.  General Conference  Yep.  We still walk everywhere.  My area is Caceres, Arraijan, Panama.  I live in Tres Marias de Cerro Silvestre
Oh btw I found out that my black shoes will last my mission.  Elder Hinckley has the boot version and his are still good.  He goes home the beginning of December
We email at an Internet place in Vista Alegre.

Bye talk to you next week

Elder Broadhead