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