Thursday, June 25, 2015

week 50


Did anything exciting happen this week?
We will go to the temple tomorrow. That will be my p-day.  I just got to come to internet today to email home. We have a new rule by President.  Temple day takes the place of p-day.  We can still use internet because our families will be expecting Mondays.  We don`t really have anything fun this week.  Polio got sick and then I got a mild concussion.

Did you have any great lessons? expound...marriage dates?...
I can't think of one particular lesson that stands out.  The Mexican couple is working on their visas though.  We are trying to get them married. They are foreigners.  They need to have a visa so that Mexico and Nicaragua will support the marriage.

What service did you do this week?
We were dropping mangos from a tree for one of the families.  I was on the ground picking up the mangos and Elder Polio was in the tree knocking them down. Elder Polio hit one that was about 5 meters up.  It fell and hit me in the head.  He just knocked one down when I had told him not to hit more while I was under there.  I just got dizzy and went down.  Thus explains the mild concussion. I had to take it easy a few days, but it is okay now.

Tell me what you have learned about playing soccer? 
I am not very good at offense but I have learned how to play defense well.  I can kick the ball far because of my band muscles.  It helps some. Who would have guessed that about band?

How is the bishopric in your new ward?
They are all young.  Bishop Rodriguez is a hands on bishop.  We have Family Home Evening with him tonight.

What do you do on days that Elder Polio is sick?
I study and do what I can.  And I read old Liahona Magazines.  I had a list of scriptures and talks and stuff for you, but I forgot to bring my agenda.  The best talk was "Safety for the Soul", Elder Holland 2009.  There is also a song that I like a lot. It is Vocal Point Noyana Come, Come ye saints. Google it.

I listen to Vocal Point during internet time and this came up. You should watch the half time show Wisconsin /BYU now 2010.  Vocal Point is singing marching band music. You will recognize a lot of it. And remember the other one, Noyana Come come Ye Saints also by Vocal Point

Sunday, June 21, 2015

week 49

Still Chorrera

What changes happened? 
I am still in Chorrera with Elder Polio.  There are only 4 new people in the zone.  Elder Senden from Florida came.  He will be trained by my DL.  We did good. Elder Polio goes home in 4 months, so he will probably get transferred next change.

Did you have interviews with President? 
I did.  We talked about normal stuff.  We normally just talk and I ask permission questions.  Like if I am actually allowed to do the part of Joseph Smith in the play.  He thinks it would be great for me to be Joseph because I ¨have such a strong testimony of the restoration and{by the play} can help other get one.

What did you do for p-day? 
We played soccer and went to have a welcome lunch for Elder Senden.  Elder Senden is a really good player.  He might be the best of us.  I haven´t learned how to play very well.  Elder Polio is trying to teach me, but it is hard.

What kind of service did you do this week? Did you get injured? 
We didn´t do service this week, so no one got hurt

What do the people feed you? and how often do you get fed? 
It is normally white rice and chicken.  This week I get fed almost every meal.  They send around a calendar every 2 weeks and those families feed us for 2 weeks.  We have 6 set meals regularly.

Do you ever cook?
I cook sometimes, but it is only egg sandwiches.

Is your apartment clean? do you have sheets on your bed? 
I got a brownie... The secretaries with Elder Nysetvold, said that my apartment is clean.  If they come to inspect your apartment and it is clean, they give you brownies. Yes, I washed my sheets last week and they are on my bed.

What advice do you have for the missionaries getting ready to go to the MTC? 
Get ready to work.  That is all.

Tell me about Chorrera. 
There are a lot more people than there are in Newnan.  It is one of the larger cities in Panama, but not nearly like Panama City. There are a lot of things going on and activity.  There are lots of cars and lots of people on the buses. There is just a lot going on and lots of people. A lot of the people are pretty friendly, but some are not. Many of the people recognize us as missionaries.

Tell me something good or fun.
J hasn't been going to church since I left Aguadulce. I am going to start writing to him.  He sent me an email is in my inbox.

There is not really anything new.  We talked to a guy that doesn´t believe that man is capable of worshipping God and that God is the only one who will be saved. He came to church and that is where he got up and said all that.

Elder Barker got malaria on the islands recently. He had to move in with the assistants in Panama City. He is being treated. It makes you think twice about wanting to go to the islands!

That's all for this week. Thanks for the letters.

Friday, June 12, 2015

week 48

Zone Conference

You had Zone Conference, Did you get your mail?
I did get letters.  One was from when I was finishing up in AD.  It is 6 weeks old. It is slow, but I did get them.

What did you learn at Zone Conference?  Who did you get to see? 
I saw the guys from Aguadulce and Elder M.  I got to talk to a lot of people. I did learn a lot at ZC.  Elder Alonso is the 70 that came to see us and talk to us. He said some interesting stuff. The problem with explaining the stuff we learned is that I am not sure if the way I can type and say it will do it justice.  He explained some very powerful stuff and Plus I don´t have notes with me.  But he did promise us that if we use the area books, we will have 300 baptisms in July. I wrote down everything that Elder Alonso taught us.  He was the one that we were listening to in the mission blog pictures.  When the Zone Leaders came back from consejos with him, Elder A said that it was almost like listening to the voice of Jesus Christ himself. We learned a lot.  The picture on the blog of Jerusalem, to Jericho was an explanation of the Parable of the Good Samaritan.  I can´t explain that in writing. I am not good at that. 

Did you have interviews with Pres? How does he challenge you or encourage you? 
I didn´t have interviews this week.  Those should be next Friday.  He challenges me by giving me hard situations to figure out....In this companionship, I take the lead every other lesson. I also take the lead in most of the days' activities. In interviews, President asks us how we feel and some people tell him what they want to do. It doesn't mean that is what they will do, but he takes it into consideration. We talk about how things are going with companions, and the people and the work.

Any guesses about changes this week?
My guess is that I stay and and Elder P moves.  Elder P thinks that I will leave, go to the city, and he will stay. We will have to wait and see. I will let you know next week.

How big is Chorrera? 
Chorrera is one of the bigger cities away from Panama City. It is broken into areas. My area isn´t too big.  It is about 10 minutes long in a bus.  It is terrible trying to walk it. We are glad for the bus and that it is cheaper than some other cities.

You have been in Chorrera for a transfer now, do you  have a favorite person or family?
There are 2 families that I like the most.  One is Jorge R.  I told you about them.  The other is the Family R.  They are from Venezuela.  

Have you done anything new? Had any adventures?
Not really.  I was asked to be Joseph Smith (Adult Prophet JS) in a program for the primary. I played soccer, watched volleyball, and played capture your flag. I play soccer every morning, so I am practicing some.  I am getting better. We have fun

What do you do at church?
We take turns teaching Gospel Principles with the sister missionaries.

Tell me something good.
I finally got one of my mola ties. The tie says Malta Vigor.  It is a natural energy drink.  I drank a lot of those in Arraijan. It just has protein and sugar to keep us going. It is my souvenir to remember Arrajian.

Panama City Temple 

Picking mangos for some friends

Friday, June 5, 2015

week 47


So how are you?  Are you well?
I am good.  We are working everyday now and neither of us is sick.  I have been taking my vitamins. I think they are helping, but I need to buy more.  I only have one more. They are just expensive.

Have you met any new contacts? are you teaching anyone good?
New contacts, not so much.  We are working with 2 investigators that are married to members so that is going good. It is good to work with the members, and good to get the whole family together.

You were supposed to meet up with Arrijan. Did you see old friends? What did you do? It sounds like you do more with your district now.
I saw a couple of my friends from the MTC as well as some that I have served with in other places.  That was when we had the soccer tournament. Also, I finally got back my machetes... hehe.  But I did not get the jackets I left behind, they were gone.  We just usually go and play soccer. When we played zone soccer last time I did cut my leg on cement, but don't worry, it's okay. Our district covers a smaller area and we are closer together so it is easier to get together for service projects and activities.

What is your church building like?
 Our ward meets at the stake center.  Just look for my description of the building I went to in Caceres. It is the same kind of building. The other missionaries we do stuff with go to a different ward.  They are in the only branch in Chorrera.  

Tell me about the area around Chorrera. 
My area is more flat, but there are some small hills.  Some areas of Chorrera has a lot of hills.  There are the same kind of plants as all the other areas I have been in. Mostly that tall mondo grass stuff, like the pampas grass at home. A few trees, etc.  I have lizards running in my house all the time. They are plain brown ones and they annoy us...

Have you been teaching? We pretty much teach the same things as always.  We went on divisions with the District Leaders and I helped teach a new investigator.  She was really positive.  Also, someone I taught while on divisions with the Zone Leader got baptized on Saturday, and the other one I helped teach will get baptized this Saturday. It is exciting.

Dad said you finally tried the fresh coconut. How was it? 
It was good.  Elder P got it and did it all.  You use a machete to cut off the outside until you get to the hard part and then you use the tip of the machete to open one of the holes.  You drink the milk and then you normally use a hammer to break it open.  He used a machete... It was really good, not like coconut at home from the store.

What kind of service have you done lately?We knocked down an old tree house and cleaned up the area.  We used a baseball bat as a hammer to tear it down.  Elder G and I did the best with that. It was for a woman in Progreso, where the District Leaders live.  It was all rotten and was a mess so she wanted it down.  It took us about 4 hours to get it all taken care of. 

Tell me something funny or good from this week.
The Zone Leaders baptized someone I taught. The rain hasn't been to bad yet. I did go to dinner one day and get soaked, but not everyday. It does rain at night a lot.

A note from me:  Dear Elder has stopped their free pouch mail service. You can still email him at or send letters or cards, etc to the address on this page with an international stamp. It takes about 6 weeks for him to get mail. He has a hard time getting a letter out, I have not gotten one yet. But he does email every Monday. He loves hearing from friends and family at home. Thanks!