Sunday, December 27, 2015

week 76

Almost Christmas

Andrew had a very short email this week, mostly making plans for our chance to skype with him on Christmas Day.

When will you call on Christmas?
I have no idea now.  You will just have to be ready that day.  They took the internet out of the office and we are looking around for anything that we have.  We may go to the nurses house and use it there. There is no internet in the entire church office.

Has anything good happened this week?
We went to the canal today.  I will send pics next week.  I need to get them from other missionaries. I forgot my camera in the office...The canal was not exciting.  There wasn`t a boat passing when we were there and we had to leave before the next one was scheduled to come through.  We did meet a British member that was visiting.

Have you done anything for Christmas? 
We are going to an old folks home on Tuesday. We will probably sing hymns and talk to them.
Christmas Zone Conference with the MTC guys

What fun has happened this week?
We are working on getting the new office for next week. Also, it was really weird putting together the stuff for the Hermanas that came out with us to go home.

Did you get your history done and turned in?
nope...  President hasn`t come in to help me with it. I need computers for statistics...and we don't have any internet in any office.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

week 75

Staying Busy!

The blog had pictures of a zone conference. Were you there? 
I am in Zona Panamá.  My district is Distrito Cincuentenario.  My ward is the Cincuentenario Ward
The secretaries only went to the Panama zone conference.  President didn´t want us to go to all of them this year. No, I was not at the one on the blog that went to the orphanage. That was Colón, Arraiján, Chorrera, and Chitré. We didn't get to do that. No orphanages would let our conference come.  We only had a short conference then watched Cokeville Miracle.
I went and did normal missionary stuff during the Panamá one.  The other zone conferences, I was in the office doing stuff.

I saw that a bunch of the kids left the island for the city for summer vacation. 
School here goes from February until November.  They mostly come to the city to visit their families here.

What was the hardest thing from this week?
Everything.  We have been running nonstop to get everything done here. We are doing pretty good, we are just tired.  We are pushing to get things done before Christmas... Everything shuts down so we need to get everything done quickly. We will still come in and work as usual, but everything else is closed. Oh, and my camera won't turn on, so no pictures.

What was the best thing this week?
Don´t question it.... The few hours that I have gotten to sleep.

Have you worked on getting your license? 
Taylor 2 and I will go get our licenses next week.

How is Christmas the same and different from here?
We have been singing Christmas stuff. It is all pretty generic christmas stuff here. It is a lot like home.

President is coming to the office to help me with something tomorrow. It is just a routine thing that he has to help me make.  It is a history of the mission that is to be sent to Salt Lake.  We may move the office in 3 weeks.  It will be good. It is cramped here and I want my space again.

bye, love you, talk to you next week. I will probably call in the afternoon.  We have a lunch appointment on Christmas day. It is with the former 70 and his wife. They like us.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

week 74

It is Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas!

Have you  gotten your package? 
I have gotten them.  I have been good and haven´t opened anything.   My two comps weren´t as good and opened their stuff you sent. This is some of the mail we have picked up from the post office so far. We have handed out some already. Most of the gringos get packages for Christmas.

Some of the Christmas Mail

Anything fun or interesting with the new missionaries?
We live with one of them.  He is good and ready to work, but we don´t see him very much.  In our apartment, it is the 3 secretaries, (Elders Taylor1, Taylor2 and Broadhead), Elder Gonzalez, and Elder Green(he´s new),

What kind of Christmas stuff is in the city?
There are lights up in most of the city.  For the houses, the lights go on the gutters basically.  There aren´t that many nativities here. For our Christmas Skype, I will be here in the office.  There is a ward thing on the 19th.  And a zone thing on the 25th. We will have a zone breakfast.

Did you learn anything new at leadership training? 
The new equipment is better than the old stuff.  Pres didn´t say much about the stuff they did in Costa Rico.

Have you gotten to do any more service?
Nope. We are just working a lot. We may be in the new office in the next couple of weeks. I am looking forward to being in the new office. It is nice.

Have you done anything for p-day?
I came to the office this morning at 10am and worked for an hour.  Then we left and went to San Miguelito and then came back. We played sports there with the missionaries there. Now it is just regular work at the office.

How are things in the apartment, with 5 there?
It is good.  Just cramped sometimes. The old District Leader went home last transfer. His comp is still living with us.  And the new elder. We don't see them very often. The new DL lives in Juan Diaz.  We had a bunch of changes. The Zone Leaders and Assistants live on the Tumba Muerto.

I need to get back to work, I am working on some stuff for some of the other elders. I will write next week.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

week 73


What did you do on Thanksgiving?
I didn´t really do anything.  We went with one member for dinner.  It was chili or something like that. I was wishing for fried turkey. Next year I will have fried turkey! Probably with Nathan in Utah.

Did you do anything for p-day?
We have been doing office stuff all day.

How did transfers go?
Transfers were weird.  Lots of work.  We got Elder Taylor.  He is the Elder Taylor who is from Norman, OK.  He will be the new financial secretary when Elder Taylor from Houston leaves. We have designated them as Taylor 1 and Taylor 2. Taylor 2 was transferred from Blas. He was in the MTC with us.

Tell me something funny about the new arrivals.
One of the Latins lived in South Carolina for 12 years, so she speaks better English than some of the Americans.

Did you celebrate the last independence celebration of the month?
They just didn´t work that day.  There wasn´t anything exciting

Tell me something good.
I don´t know.  I am trying to work still.
We just had our house fumigated. we don´t have any bugs.
I sleep in my hammock still.  It is pretty nice. Taylor 2 will start sleeping in his hammock tonight.
We should be moving the office before next year.  They are finishing up the certificates today.  We are mostly moved in anyway .

What are the members' homes like in your area?
Depends on the area.  Sometimes it is just cinderblock houses.  Other times, you walk past a Ferrari dealership to go to the 45th floor of a sky scraper.

I have an appointment, I need to go.

With Pres Carmack at Changes

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

week 72

Busy Times with Transfers

From email Nov 23

Tell me about transfers this week.
We are more or less ready.  President hasn´t finished changes yet.  There are 13 new people coming and 11 leaving.  They are really mixed up and crazy this change. Elder Taylor is probably going to train a new secretary.  Changes for the mission are the day before Thanksgiving.  President is in Costa Rica so they don´t want to send new missionaries here then. Some of the ones going home have already left.  The rest of the gringos leave tomorrow. (Tuesday) The Latins leave on Thursday, Thanksgiving Day for you.  Then on Friday, after Thanksgiving,  the new Latins from the Guatemala MTC arrive. Dec 1st for the Americans from Provo MTC. Pres Carmack does have a counselor here. His name is President Bram.  He mostly does baptismal interviews that would have to be done by President.

Have you had any time to go around and teach? 
We have chances to teach recent converts and less actives most weeks.  It is hard to go find new people.  We have an area, but it is all apartment buildings with security.  We can´t proselyte there. That is why it is the secretaries area. We are so busy with work that we don't have much time.

What are your plans for Thanksgiving?
We don´t really have plans for Thanksgiving.  Mostly coordinating Changes.

Did you do any more service?
Nope. We usually home teach in Elder Wrigley´s area.  We go visit people for about an hour after church.

Did you do anything for p-day?
We went and had a Turkey Bowl.  It was going to be with the Cardenas Ward, but it ended up being me, Taylor, Ah Sue (ZL), Machado and Marchant(APs), Murray and Bartleson (going home), Taylor and Stracener (San Blas, but are in the city for a doctors appointment), and Hermanas McGowan and Stanger (Cardenas missionaries).  Or in short, every gringo in the zone.  We played for a bit, but we are all kinda out of shape.

Has anything interesting happened?
I started sleeping in my hammock.  It is comfortable, just different.  You can´t really sleep on your side or your face will be shoved into the fabric.  It isn´t that bad sleeping in a hammock.  It´s nice not having to make a bed in the morning.

What was the funniest thing to happen this week?
We went Home Teaching yesterday (people here don´t do it) and as we were finishing up and trying to figure out what to eat for lunch, a random woman drove up in a car and said that she sold food for a living.  She gave us all of the extra food that she hadn´t sold.

Our Zone before the Service Project last week

Cleaning out the ditch.