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.