Thursday, July 30, 2015

week 55


You emailed that you need your license, so I know you got transferred. Tell me about it. 
I got transferred to the Office. I need my license to get a Panama license to drive the truck and do secretary stuff. My actual comp is Elder Nysetvold.  My job is basically to keep President from having to do a lot of stuff.  I am in charge of making sure the missionaries are in Panama legally, I work on their visas and residence legalities, etc. I have to go to the immigracions office every Friday to make people legal.  I have a lawyer working for me now. I am in charge of all mission materials, and I am in charge of recording baptisms.  I have the transfer board so I know what is going on in each area.  I get to buy the food for the gatherings.  Oh, I also get to pick up the mail and deliver it.  I will replace Nysetvold.  I am learning as fast as I can because I only have 4 weeks to learn before he leaves.  We have one missionary that doesn´t speak English in the house and one that understands Spanish better in the office, so we kinda speak Spanglish in both places.

Tell me about your location.
Well,  I am in one of the richest areas of Panama and also one of the poorest.  We have skyscrapers next to little run down houses.  I am in the city.  The ward is called Cincuentenario. The people are really cool.  Lots of them speak English and they really care about the missionaries.

Tell me about your new apartment.
We live with 2 other missionaries on the 3rd story of an apartment complex.  It is really nice, and we have a washing machine and 2 bathrooms.  So, I live with Elder Nysetvold and Elder Taylor (my companionship) and Elder Wrigley (DL) and Elder Gonzalez.  There are five of us this change and then 4 next change.  Elder Nysetvold will be transferrred. I am a 5 minute bus ride plus a 5 minute walk from the office. My apartment is not air conditioned.  The office is.

What was new and interesting this week?
I met some new investigators that are ready to be baptized.  They are all reading in 2 Nephi or farther in the Book of Mormon and the story is a really cool chain of referrals.

Do people feed you in your new area?
They feed us when they can, We normally have to get food for lunches

Have you been teaching?
Yep.  We have a few great investigators.  They are all progressing well, and the members are willing to help.

Tell me something fun.
I went to the airport this week to drop off some missionaries that finished their missions. That is something else I will be doing for a while.

Tell me what you have learned.
Computers aren´t fun anymore. I use them for work now instead of play. I come use the computers everyday.

The elders from my last district.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

week 54

Still in Chorrera

So did people feed you this week?
Yes.  I got fed almost everyday.  We are doing good.  I think I am gaining some weight.

What did you do for p-day?
We went to a multi-zone activity.  We played soccer, basketball and Ultimate Frisbee with 5 other zones. But there were 120 of us. We were in San Miguelito. That is where the second biggest chapel in Panama is.  Our zone won the soccer match. We beat Panama Zone in the final.  We didn´t get to play frisbee.  It was a tournament, but we ran out of time because we were still playing soccer.

Were you both well this week? 
We are ok.  He is not well tonight. We did work a little bit.

You teach Gospel Essentials class. How many people come to your class? What was your lesson this week?
We generally have 5 people in the class.  The lesson this week was Sacrifice.  Next week is Work and Personal Responsibility.

Did anything interesting happen?
I found out my part in the play for Saturday.  I have to have the vision of Moroni, translate the plates, organize the church, and organize the Relief Society.  All in Spanish.

Have you done any service?
Not this past week.  This coming week we will cut down a tree with machetes. We are going to a place called Fuente del Chase.  It is a members house.  We will use their machetes, not ours.  It is an orange tree.  We are mostly just trimming though. The oranges are really good.

Do you still play soccer for your daily exercise?
Yes.  I´m still not very good.

Tell me a funny thing that happened.
We are all teasing Hna Nuckols.  She is going home this week.  So we are doing our best to make her miss us all a lot. We sang songs like the Spanish version of God be with you till we meet again.  And part of a song that basically says.  {Bye everyone.  It is time to go}  She is going back to the US.

That is the Zone shirt this change.  We are all wearing them right now. Everyone signed them for each other.

Elder Polio, one of the Zone Leaders and Elder Broadhead

Friday, July 17, 2015

week 53

One Year!

You hit your one year mark! What did you do special to celebrate?
The tradition in the Panama mission is to burn a shirt on your one year day. I did burn one of my shirts.  I will send the pictures in a few minutes.  We went to a member´s house. We wrote on them and then we burned them with Elder Gibby.  It was good.

What have you been doing?
I have been studying the conference talks. The one from Elder Holland is still my favorite. In my scriptures, in Book of Mormon I am in Alma and in the New Testament I am in Corinthians.

What did you do for p-day?
We played soccer and basketball and we went to McDonald´s

What is your favorite thing about or in Panama?
The people are really nice. There is a woman here named Hma Carmen. She likes me and is nice to me. She is in the other ward. There is always a Hma that loves the missionaries and helps us. And I like patacones...

The houses are made of cinderblocks.  They are not big houses, just 2 or 3 rooms. Some have air conditioning, but not all.  Most are kind of dark, but they have single socket light bulbs at regular intervals.  The roads here are like regular roads.  And some have fruit trees, but they are wild trees, not planted.

The mission is more than 14 hours from end to end.  There are 220 something missionaries here.
What is your favorite food there?

Gotta go, Hello to everyone and thanks for the emails!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

week 52


How are you doing this week?
I´m doing good.  We went to Pricemart for lunch today.  It  is basically Panama Sam's Club.  We had a zone activity for someones birthday.  Now we are in internet.

We had a 4 hour long meeting this week. A post consejo meeting.  The district leaders just passed on the information that President said in their meetings.   

Did you do service this week?
We took out a bunch of heavy blocks that were used for a pathway.  We had to use a pickax to get them out, then we had to carry the blocks about 20 feet and put them there to level some stuff. We were just leveling someones front yard.  They wanted the path out.  We carried the blocks in our hands, no wheel barrow or anything.  We just had to move out the path that was there. We did not add anything new. They didn't really tell us why other than they just wanted their yard leveled.

Do you speak Spanish all the time now? do you think or dream in Spanish?
I speak Spanish almost always.  I have dreamed in Spanish a few times and I think in Spanish unless I am actively speaking English to someone.

What injuries, sickness, etc happened this week? :)
Nothing really happened this week.  We were boring. :P

Tell me about the youth there. What kind of goals do they have? 
They enjoy soccer.  That is about all that I see them doing.  Their goals typically come in soccer...

This is from the mission letter. Six of the elders (not Andrew) and 2 locals had problems with their boat. It sank and they had to swim for 4 hours. 

Seis de los misioneros (Élderes Maravilla, Laird, Perkes, Marchant, McGraw, y Barker) estaban viajando con el Pte. Díaz (el presidente del Distrito) hacia Narganá. Su lancha se llenó de agua y se hundió. Todos ellos pudieron nadar a la playa en Ukupa. Todos tenían puesto el chaleco salvavidas lo cual les ayudó con la larga distancia a nadar, lo cual les costó unas 4 horas

The moms of these missionaries posted their sons' accounts of the trouble on facebook. They were taking a 12 foot boat to the other island. The ocean got very rough and the overloaded boat was taking on water faster than they could bail. It quickly sank. The missionaries all had life jackets and tried to stay together. They were able to pray together before getting separated. They were several miles out in the ocean and the rough seas soon pulled them apart. The local people realized what had happened and sent larger boats out to look for them. Some tried to swim for land and one by one they were all eventually found and rescued. They were in the water for four or more hours. The Kuna people took good care of them and all are fine. It was a terrifying time for all involved and we are thankful for God's protection. 

That is a really big duro.  It is basically frozen juice. It is a popsicle.  You bite off a corner of the bag and start to eat it like that

Saturday, July 4, 2015

week 51

Feeling Better

How was the temple?   
The temple was good.  We got to see the grounds then, we went in and did a session.  Pres and Sis Carmack were in our session along with their recently returned son.  It was a really good experience.

What else did you do this week?
I worked some and had a couple of lessons with part member families.  The end of the week was terrible because we both got food poisoning from our lunch. I think it was undercooked chicken that did it.

How is the weather?
It is pretty good.  It is raining right now.  That should help it get cooled down.  That is the good thing about the rain.

Have you been able to work this week?
Monday night through Thursday lunch, we worked.  Then with the food poisoning, we were told to stop. My head, where I got hit, doesn`t hurt anymore.  I felt fine after 2 or 3 days.  Same thing with the food poisoning. It only lasted a couple of days, then back to normal.

Have you tried mangos?
Remember my concussion?  The sister gave us almost  200 mangis,  We have been eating tons. I haven`t climbed any more trees.  And the mangos are ok.

Does Chorrera have sort of a town square like AD had? 
It is not really a square.  It is a central area.  There is a grocery store and lots of little stores.  The city is mostly old buildings with a few new ones being built.  They are made of cinderblocks.  Normally all the storefronts are colorful and most houses are too.  My house is a brownish color.  It is not fun. :P

Tell me more about the bishop. you said he was "hands on." what does that mean? 
Well, We don`t have a Ward Mission Leader, so he acts like ours.  He is very involved with us and he helps us out with some stuff.  Also, he is really pushing the Young Men to do their jobs.  He assigns everything for the sacrament. It isn't just whoever.

How do you like the people there?
They are great.  We play soccer with the youth a ton.  The kids are harder because all the kids are under 5. I haven't had a lot of experience with young kids before now. 

Tell me something fun.  
I got to go to the mall for lunch and to buy contact solution. We ate at Taco Bell.
It is like an American mall.  It is called the Westland Mall.  I had to go to Arraijan. It is the mall close to where I lived when I lived there.
There wasn't really anything fun planned for p-day. We didn`t have time to play soccer.  We went and bought my contact stuff.  We went to a sports store to look for a new soccer ball, and to see if they had any cheap original soccer jerseys.  They didn`t have any that I wanted.

Some of the missionaries here get a mini missionary to work with.  Those are missionaries from here that live in the mission and we use them as comps when there aren`t enough missionaries that are set apart. It is a cool way to serve a short mission.

Talk to you next week. Have a Happy Fourth!