Wednesday, June 22, 2016

week 102

Last Week!

No email this week.  But that is okay because he gets home on Thursday!!!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

week 101

Getting Close!

How has your week been?
My week was good.  We had divisions last week and I got to stay in
Carti and Elder Wrigley came out here.  He has been my DL for 5
changes now and he has done divisions with my companionship only once.  Oh
well, I guess he figures we are doing things right.

Tell me about fishing.
Here, they don´t use rods.  They just buy reels of line and tie a hook
on the end.  If they want big fish, they go out in their canoes to the
deep water and start fishing.  It is really interesting sometimes. My comp loves to fish.

Tell me about the ladies that own your house.
I don´t really know them.  One is really old and makes really nice
mola.  She only speaks kuna and if you can understand her, she is
really funny.  The other isn´t as old, only 60 something.  She speaks
basic Spanish and she is the one that talks to us.

Tell me about the food.
Normally, our food here is fried.  It is usually fish and platano.
Sometimes, we eat Dulemasi.  It is a kind of soup that I will explain
when I get home.

Tell me about teaching.
Here, you have to use examples and your very limited kuna vocabulary.
If you have ever heard really bad Spanglish, it gets worse with Kuna.

Do you have a calling at church?
I am the ¨Assistant¨ clerk.  I am trying to teach the real clerk how
to do tithing and stuff.

What was the best thing this week?
We are getting more people to come to church.

I'm doing good.  Just a little tired.  We just got back from a private island for p-day. The islands are really cool.  We just went to the Branch President´s
island to hang out.  It was fun.  There were lots of little cabins all
over it.  It is $60 per person per day.  Not too bad of a price. When we come back to visit, we can go there.  So for all three of us, it is $180 per day.  That includes
food and cabin.  Out there on those islands there is sand.  Here, it is just corral.

I am taking lots of pictures.  I will take pics of people this week. And I will try to be in some.
I will go in to the city next Monday.  I probably won´t email next week.  I have
to go to a couple of areas to say bye to people.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

week 100


Hi Sister Broadhead.  It´s Elder Broadhead.  Your son just wanted me
to tell you that he is alive and well.  He also wanted me to tell you
that he got his internet back...  Hehe.  Hi Mom

I´m doing good.  We have been working and doing lots of stuff.  I have
been trying not to die (missionary talk for quitting work) until I get home.

Now answers for 5 weeks of emails....

What was the alarm in your Mother's Day skype?
We have a line of batteries that we use to power the church.  Whenever
they get really low, they set off an alarm so that we don´t fry the
church.  That was just telling us that we needed to turn off the power
really quickly.  There wasn´t any problem

What did you do while your comp talked?
We took turns sleeping.  It was nice.  Just a nap in the middle of the
day.  It felt really good.  Especially since you don´t sleep much
during the city trips.

How are the water levels now after the flood?
The water levels were normal when we got back from the city.
Especially now, everything is normal.  There was no damage.  They are
all used to heavy rain storms. Our spigot started working this change.

How was your trip to the city?
The trip was good.  We left Carti early on Monday morning and went to
port.  Then we sat there and waited for the cars to show up to take
people back in to the city.  After a long drive, we were back in the
city and getting ready to start our normal stuff.  We went to a store
called Pricemart to buy  our food.  It is mostly pasta, canned meats
and stuff like that.  Then we went to the temple to buy white ties and
church supplies.  We went to the Super 99 to buy more food, and we
went to Albrook mall to buy cameras and stuff.  We stay at the
Assistants house the whole week.  It was good.

Have you been teaching?  
We have been teaching lots of Less Actives.  A guy named Elio is the main one,
but pretty much everyone on the island.  Almost everyone on my islands are members
of the church,  just inactive.  We have about 20 active people.
Oh, I don´t know if I told you, but I have a new companion.  It´s
Elder Green from my last 3 changes in the Office.  He knows most of
the youth on the island from his time in the city so he is having a
great time.  He´s a good last comp.
Now only one person from each area dies at the end of this transfer. (goes home)

San Blas missionaries in their last transfer

Have you been doing service? 
We helped fix some walls on a house and that´s about it. Sometimes we are building new houses and other times, we are replacing walls.

Have you had any adventures?
We went fishing last week.  I only caught about 6 fish, but I did ok.
We went in a canoe. Elder Green likes to fish, so we eat lots of fish. I don't know
what kind, just fish.

Have you had any blessings?
I got my internet back after 5 weeks.  I count that as a big one. The internet stopped working because someone broke the satellite.

Have you had any challenges?
Stubborn people  Drunk people.  That´s about it.  That and I am getting
ready to come home.  That comes to mind a couple of times a day. I try not to think about it, but people are all telling me that I am leaving.  President Alvarado
(branch president) announced it over the pulpit yesterday.

Have you had your big district conference?  
President came and spoke.  He talked about the difference between
Power and Authority.  He also told the leaders that he had called them
to lead the church, not the missionaries.   He told them that we are
there to help.   We are not there to do everything.  He did my last
interview as well.  After that, I just think ¨I´m about to go home...¨

The Adult Women's Choir in San Blas District with Pte Carmack and Elders B and G

This is what pte said about our conference

Ayer y el sábado tuve la gran oportunidad de participar en la
conferencia del Distrito de San Blas. Pude sentir el gran amor que la
gente Kuna (o Dule) tiene para Dios y Jesucristo, y el gran amor que
existe entre ellos y sus muchos hermanos. De verdad es un pueblo
humilde y preparado por el Señor. También me tocó hacer la entrevista
final con tres misioneros allá que terminan su misión al fin de este
cambio. De verdad han servido al Señor fielmente y serán bendecidos a
lo largo de su vida.

Yesterday and Saturday, I had the great opportunity to participate in
the San Blas District Conference.  I could feel the great love that
the Kuna people have for God and Christ and also the great love that
exist between them and their many brethren.  It is truly a humble
people and one prepared by the Lord.  It was also my responsibility to
do the final interviews with three missionaries out there that finish
their missions at the end of this change.  They truly have served the
Lord faithfully and will be blessed for the rest of their lives.

It´s been a good two years.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

week 99


My email for the week...

Hi this is Elder Wrigley. Your son wanted me to tell you this.

¨I'm still alive. I don't have internet still here on Carti. I'm doing

Monday, May 23, 2016

week 98


My entire message this week....

No time to email.  I am alive and fine.  We are at ZC in Ukupa.  I
probably won't email for a couple of weeks.  Tell Nathan that he has
full control of classes and stuff because I can't email.  Bye Love
you.  Talk to you when I can.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

week 97


No email this week. I am guessing it is all the rain.

Friday, May 13, 2016

week 96

Mother's Day!

Andrew got to skype home on Mother's Day so no email this week. He was heading into the city to buy supplies and get himself a new camera this week. I told him to fill the memory card with pictures of the island!

The Skype connection was not great, but I got to see him smiling!!!

He is doing well. There was a storm that blew through the night (and day) before his call. It rained hard from 9pm to 5pm. The whole island was flooded, but fortunately he was still able to call. He said everyone had a foot of water standing in their homes. They cancelled church that day. He is on the second floor above a store, so no flooding but he said his roof leaks. Luckily hammocks dry quicker than a mattress would have.

He did tell me about a tradition in the islands. The grandmother of one of his friends died last week. He was able to see the traditions of their funerals. They do not embalm the bodies. Her body was kept in her home until the funeral the next day. They dig a grave about 6 ft deep, 6 feet long and 2 feet wide. They stand a stick at either end. Then they take the hammock of the person and lay it out. They place a tarp on it, then a sheet. They place the body on top and wrap the hammock around them. Then they go to the cemetery (on the mainland) and hang the hammock between the two sticks. They place boards above the hammock to protect the body and place a number of traditional mola clothing on top. Then they cover it with dirt. The clothes are because they believe they will need them in the next life. They still wear the traditional clothes daily on the island.  It was interesting to experience.

He is on his last transfer now. Time is flying by.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

week 95


Tell me about the long congress? 
The long conference starts on the 20th.  It involves all of the San Blas territory.  It is something
like general conference. People from all the islands will come to our island on the 20th.
Every island has their own congress house. But it is like our General Conference.  It is like
how we all have chapels, but we only use one building for a General Conference center.  Even
the ones that live forever away from us come here.  We will probably stay here during the

The People here are normal again after the last congress.  Some people still drink,
but not as many and we can call them out now because it is just beer, not their tradition.
We actually did that yesterday.  Some guy on the dock was saying that he went fishing
and prayed to catch fish, but God didn´t give him any.  So we called
out to him *Maybe it´s because you´re drinking, and smoking, and you don´t
come to church even though you got baptized.  God wants to bless you,
but you need to show him that it is worth it.

Did you go fishing? 
We are going on Friday.  We will fish out of boats and we only use
line.  No poles or anything.

Have you learned anything new?
I talked to some of my friends and we figured out that we are all a little
nervous to come home.  We don´t know what to expect about the
countries that we return to.

What have you been teaching?
We have been teaching a recent convert.  He doesn´t read the Book of Mormon and
we are trying to get him to do that.  He is the one we are going fishing with on

What kind of service have you done?
We help people build houses.  We have gotten wood for walls and put up a roof. We go to the mountains to get the wood.
The lady who got hit by a car is doing good.  She has been sitting up and talking to us.  She
isn´t in that much pain anymore.  She still can´t walk though. She was on a sidewalk and someone wasn´t paying attention. They hit her on the sidewalk.

You have mentioned the mountains....where are they? on the island?
No.  We live on an island and when people want to work on the farms,
we go to the main land to work in the mountains.  A few people live on
the mainland.  It is a 15 minute canoe ride to the main land.  Only 5 minutes if
you have a motor.

It is just called the monte.  It is not tied to a single island.  The ports are owned by
my island.  The language on the mainland is older kuna. My island is sort of the head island, even though it is smaller and less of a city than Nargana, because it is closest to the main land.  Just cause its close.  Nargana is the Church District headquarters because that is where the District President lives. (Like the bishop, but of a district not ward.)

We mostly do the same stuff on P day as on other days.  We go to the river to get water.
Someone takes us in their boat. They prefer to paddle, but if they need more than 2 people
they hand me and McGraw paddles too.

Tell me about someone. 
We have a friend named Elio.  He is a teacher on one of the other
islands and he loves playing sports.  He is one of the Taller kunas,
but he is still short.  He is funny and wants to do stuff with us, but
he is always busy.  He was going to go fishing with us one day, but he
had to cancel.

And the Kunas want to know how tall you are.  They think you must be a
giant if I am your son.  And Amber and Lindsay too, because they want to know about
how tall a typical gringa is. I left my pictures in the city.  I will bring them next change to show them..

My Kuna is improving, but I still can understand more than I can say. It is strange. You can hear the letters, but the words form in a strange manner. My companion is helping me. "Hi mom"  is Na Nana. That is just weird to say. The native food is different.  I take my malaria meds.

We ate these!

Monday, May 2, 2016

week 94

Chica Fuetre

Anything fun or exciting this week?
Not really.  We went to Zone Conference in Playon Chico and then we
had a Chicha Fuerte.  Chicha Fuerte is a tradition that the Kunas
have.  They believe that after Christ came to the Americas and taught
them, He left and angels came within the next few days and instituted
Chicha Fuerte.  They believe that they can´t get into heaven if they
don´t participate.  It is all alcohol.  We have had missionaries go
before their main leaders to fight the tradition a little.  The hard
part is that we can´t call them on the traditional drink, but we do
call them on all the beer and vodka that they drink with it.  It was a
really interesting and long week.

Zone Conference was simple. We mostly talked about our investigators and The Assistants
didn´t really have a lesson for us.  President was busy and couldn´t come.

Have you had a chance to do any service?
Kinda.  There was a member that went to Colon for a few days and while
she was there, she got hit by a car.  Since she came back, we have
been the doctors because we have some common sense when it comes to
medicine.  We actually took her medicine away because she was overdosing
and was vomiting blood.  She is doing ok now.

What is going on with your district activity that was planned?
So every year, the Kunas have General Congress.  It is like General
Conference, but Kuna.  That Congress was planned for the same day that
the San Blas District Conference was scheduled.  We still don´t know what will
happen with that. And the sahilas (leaders) are talking about having another chicha.
On certain islands, the leaders are members, but on most they are some of the few
non member Kunas left. It´s really funny.  The leaders that are good members will
fight the traditions when they can.

What do you do with the children on the island? 
We watch movies to get them away from bad stuff.  We watched lots of
movies last week to get them away from the Chicha Fuerte.  They go to
school and it is not very modern, but that is a Panama thing.  Not
just a San Blas thing. The school is right by the dock. It is a 2 minute walk from home. We are typically working when they get out of school.

What is going on with congress? 
Almost everyone drank.  They get very drunk. But lots of the members didn´t. We were asked to
protect a sober guy while he went to get his son.  We didn´t have to do
anything.  The drunk 20 yr old was trying to pick fights so his dad
(former Branch Pres) went to go get him.  We were just there in case the
drunk guys tried to get at them while they couldn't defend themselves.  We
didn´t have to do anything.  The kids watched movies with us during the whole thing.

What did you learn at church yesterday?
Yesterday we talked about why Christ was tempted so much.  It was a
good lesson.  Especially with Chicha fuerte.

For baptisms, we just use the ocean by the chapel.  The water feels really good here.  When you go to the monte and get water and stuff, that is what you do to get all the mud off.  We wash off in the water. It's okay, President knows we do that.  There aren´t really beaches here.

We are still waiting for it to rain. There is a well in the mountains and our spigot is connected to that.
We need the well to fill up.  We don´t always have fresh water.  We have to go get it from the river every few weeks. Sometimes people will give us water just because we are the missionaries.

San Blas Zone Conference

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

week 93

Zone Conference

How did it go with the long congress? 
They rescheduled the long congress.  Now it is the last week of May.
We have a District conference planned here for all the members, but now we
don't know if we will have it. That's because we can´t have church
activities during Congress.  At the Congress, the leaders sing in old Kuna and then
someone translates it.  After that, they discuss community stuff and
give people permission to leave.  We don´t need permission because we
aren´t Kunas.  It is a little strange.

 How was your zone conference?
It was good.  There were only 14 of us.  The 12 zone members and the 2
assistants.  So we left our island at 5:30 in the morning to get to
port and then we waited 2 or 3 hours for the assistants to get there
so we could leave.  We took a boat out to the Zone Leader's area.  We picked up
all the elders from my district on the way.  It was a 5 hour boat
trip.  Elder Meine got sea sick.  I did not. We stayed from about 1 pm yesterday and we
left at 7 am today.  The return trip only took about 3 hours.  We had
a better boat this time.

What have you learned about the Kuna people
I can cook some food, but I can´t cook it at home because it would be
really expensive.  They use vegetables that we don´t have at home.
Men mostly just work. The women sew mola.

Tell me about a fun adventure this week.
The fun adventure was probably Zone Conference.  We even took a
picture of all the people that will die out here with me.  (missionaries 
that will all be going  home at the same time. They call it dying when 
they go home.) oh and speaking of.  I didn´t get my camera back.  The bishop
said that the camera wasn´t in the car when he got home. He had given other people rides.
I thought my camera would get wet out here on the island, so I didn´t bring my old memory
card.  I bought a new one.
Zone Conference was fun.  My district is Elders Taylor, Wrigley, Green, Sagers,
McGraw, and me.  We are the 3 close islands.
The other district is Elders Mann, Senden, Gibby, Hoeft and Sisters
Bullough and McGowan.  They are the far islands.  if we ever come out
to blas, we will probably go out to Playon or Ustupu so dad doesn't have to ride in a boat. They
have airports.  Or we come out in boats... and go to any of them.

How is Carti different from Panama?
Well, I live on an island.  Also, they only have canned food and
stuff, but it is all a lot cheaper.  In the city, I walk by ferrari
dealerships and lamborghinis, but here, people want to sell me the
clothes off their back so that they can buy food for their families.
It is hard to talk sometimes because people see us and start pulling
out everything they make (traditional mola, ties, the mola clothes
that they wear) just trying to sell it to us.  And my comp doesn´t have
any money left because we buy from them and he has been here a while. We have to
get our water from the well. We are just waiting for rain to fill up the well. It rained
for 5 hours last night.  It pretty much flooded my island, but everything is ok
because everyone has sand floors

What do you like best about the island?
I am doing good, but I am just tired from the trip.  I have met pretty much
everyone and they are all really really nice. It is nice On Tupile, but I haven´t spent much
time on any of other islands. Their peoples' names here are weird to me.  My friends' names
are Zobe, Lilia, and Elio.  Also, we call lots of people Profe because they are the school teachers. Now they call me Flacco.  That just means skinny.  Island life is nice. I am getting tan.
It does get cold at night. it is the wind.  We have the coldest house in Blas. Elder McGraw is
pretty fluent in kuna. He has been here about half of his mission. The Kuna people are tiny.
Someone described it as Europeans are normal sized. White people are like pulling the top middle button on a picture in powerpoint to make them long and skinny.  Guatemalans are like pulling
that same dot down so that they are short and fat.  the Kunas are like dragging a corner
button down into the picture so that it goes tiny all together. That is about right.
As far as food:  We are normally given mangos.  There are tons of them. We have banana trees around. When they come off, they are green and used as plantain.  I haven´t had a banana out here. They feed us just dulemasi.  It is weird soup.  And I have eaten lobster 2 or 3 times in the last week. Here, we bought 2 lobsters for $6.  It is funny because they are so poor and eat lobster.

On Sundays do people come from other islands to church?
We try to get that to happen, but it is hard. The church is out over the water on stilts. It is for lack of space. The island is small. We have a dock on the other side of the island for boats to arrive.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

week 92


Tell me about the people. 
Well, the people here are all really humble and kind.  Do you remember me talking about a Kuna family in Cinuentenario?  The guy named A...?  His family lives here and I met them.  His aunt is making me a mola tie.  On this island and the other 3 islands of my area, it is all a tourist economy. Fairly regularly, Americans will come out to our island.  In the rest of the province, they farm.  They play soccer and the women sew for fun and money.

What is church like?
It is a weird mix of Spanish and Kuna.  We had about 50 people show up this week. The building is out over the water. We have a metal roof and deck floors.  The chapel is mostly open to everything. On p day we actually hang up a hammock for when we aren´t writing. We exercise in the chapel.  It is just wooden deck boards and hurts our feet. We only wear flip flops here. We live about 3 minutes from the church.  The chairs in the church are plastic chairs like we would have at the pool. There are lots of kids. We sing without a piano.  The kids don´t really sing or anything.

What about showers?
We go to the river and get water every so often and we come back with lots of water.  We use a bowl to pour water on ourselves.  When we get a spigot, it will be easier.

Do you have a routine for every day?
We have Government 3 times per week and we can´t do anything during that time because all the Kuna have to go.  It is called Congress. It starts at 5ish and ends at 8:30ish. It isn´t fun.  We can hear most of it because the congress house is in front of our house.  We eat dinner and relax during congress. During the rest of the time, we try to get people to give us references or we don´t really teach. We go visit people and see who will listen to us. Most of the island is less actives.

Have you done any service? Have you taught any lessons?
Yeah.  We went to the mountains.  We went to get the sticks to make someones house.  It was easy and we were only there for about an hour. E. McGraw says that it is usually harder.  We have taught a couple of lessons, but nothing spectacular. They should come, but they don't.  We are working on that.  They almost all follow the old Kuna traditions.  There is actually a problem for us now because of that.  They have a drink called Chicha Fuerte (Strong juice... aka alcohol) they will start
drinking that on the 15th until the 20th and on the 20th, they start a 4 day long congress of the province.  They Kuna have totems that they leave in a basket outside when they go in to congress.We don´t have a totem because the Kunas put spirits in them. We figure it is better not to have them.

How small the island?
There are 1000 people in my area.  That is the 4 Carti islands.  My island, Tupile, only has about 350 people.  I have been to 3 of the islands.  I am on the second smallest.  The smallest only has 80 people. The houses on my islands are pretty close together. There aren´t any wild animals here.  I have seen monkeys.  They had some when I went to the other island. The only animals on Tupile are pets.  There are lots of plants, mostly grass and mango trees. It is really windy and only rains when we are asleep.  At night we hear just the waves and the wind. Sleeping in a hammock is easy. Our windows are holes in the cinderblocks walls.  Most of the other houses are about the side of our downstairs.  They are made of something like bamboo.

How is the language coming?
The language is weird.  I can recognize common phrases now.  McGraw is the only one that will help me. The thing with Kunas is that they are all super shy.

What is your favorite thing this week?
Well, we went to another island on Tuesday. We used a boat called a panga.  It is a really old speed boat.  That is how the elders usually travel out here.  They have outboard motors anywhere from 8 hp to stuff like the police use.  There is a boat out here that the missionaries call the battleship.  It is a police boat with 4 motors that are 200 hp each.  The trips get interesting. While we were on the other island, a cruise ship pulled up. They send small boats in to bring the tourists to shore. We just started talking to all the American tourists.  We think that we met every nonmember from Utah.  They all thought that they had gotten away from us, but we were the first thing that they saw on the island.  hehe

We ate something called dulemasi.  It had chicken, pumpkin, plantain,
yuka, and something like potatoes.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

week 91

Carti Tupile

So how was the trip to the island?
It was good.  It was really long.  On Thursday night, we were packing
our clothes bags and our food bags.  When we finally finished that, it
was about midnight.  From there, we slept a few hours to be ready to
leave at 4:30 Friday morning.  When our driver showed up, we put
everything in the trucks and we were off.  We drove on the highway for
about an hour and a half.  Then, we got into the hill country.  I did
take pics, but I can´t send them with the internet here.  Also, I left
my camera in the car so I am waiting for the driver to bring it out to
me next transfer.  After an hour long roller coaster ride (or at least that is what
it felt like), we made it to port.  My comp was waiting there for me.
We loaded up our stuff into a small motorboat and we were off.  It was
about a 5 minute ride from port.  I won´t see any other missionaries for a
while.  The closest missionaries are 1.5 hours from here.  That is an
island called Narganá.  The locals call it Yandup because that is the
Kuna word for it.  It was a hard ride.  That was the worst car ride

Tell me about your island.
I can walk from one end of the island to the other in a couple of
minutes.  It is tiny and I think that I have met every single person
that lives here.  They are really humble and kind.  They are kinda
crazy, but it makes things fun.  We walk on narrow sand paths.  The
houses are everywhere.  We live in one of the only houses made of
cement. (cinderblock) Everyone lives in stick huts.

Tell me about where you live.
We live in the middle of the island.  It is kinda hot.  We eat
whatever we can.  Today for lunch, a member made us something called
Dulemasi.  That translates to Kuna food.  It is soup with plantain,
some kind of meat (today was pig tail), pumpkin, something called
yuka, and another vegetable called ñame.  We cook easy food.  It is
mostly canned stuff.  We have a gas stove.  We pay someone to do our
laundry.  We don´t have running water right now.  We are going to the
river to get water tomorrow.  We do have some electricity and lights.  In
the house, we have solar panels so it isn´t much. We have a spigot right outside the back door.  There is just a broken pipe somewhere so no water until that is fixed. We have a neighbor that has a well. We get water from her.  We have the second story of a house.  It is 3 small rooms. There is a store down stairs.

Do you stay on one island all the time or go to any of the others?
We pretty much stay on one island.  We can go to the other Carti
islands, but we can´t do that very often.  Our island is small. The other missionaries are in the islands
called Tikantiki, Nargana, Ukupa, Playon Chico, and Ustupu.

What is the ocean like?
The ocean has been pretty smooth lately.  There are small waves on
shore.  I will show you some shells when I get home.  I live in the
middle of the island.  It does smell like ocean.  It is mostly wet

Are you teaching people?
We haven´t taught yet.  We went and met some people.  We moved some
sticks on Saturday. I can understand some of the language, I just can´t speak it at all.  I am working on it. They think that I am enormous, but I don´t get the Big Man name, Elder Dastrup was on this island a while ago.

What was church like?
We only had a few people because of General Conference.  They are all
really cool members.  I had a friend in Cincuentenario and I met his
aunt a couple days ago.  She is funny.  She is also the one that
washes our clothes. We watched conference in Spanish and just the Sunday sessions.

How is your comp?
Good.  He has spent about a year of his mission on the islands. This is his second assignment here. He likes it. The people here call him Pipi suli.  Pipiwa is Kuna for small and suli is Kuna for no or not. They say that he is not small.  If they can´t say my name, I am Elder Nunud.  That is Kuna for head. We just choose to get rid of the Broad part or they will make fun of me. They like to tease.

Internet is hit and miss depending on the weather. We may not get an email every week, It is wait and see. And no pictures yet.

Monday, April 4, 2016

week 90

and again...

SO.....Where at you going????
I am going to an area called Carti Tupile.  It is in the San Blas Zone. It is one of the smaller islands.  There are about 1000 people.  I will mostly be teaching, but I want to do lots of service. We go out there on boat.  We stay on our own islands except for divisions and Zone Conference.  I will buy a new SD card and leave my old one in the city to make sure the old pictures are ok. They do speak the Kuna language and I will need to learn at least conversational talking. I know a little bit, but not enough to hold a conversation. On Carti, I will have to go to the tribal meetings once per week.  We leave the city on this. We don't take much stuff, just a duffle bag with 3 pairs of pants.  3 or 4 shirts and flip flops.

Who will be your comp?
The first change out, I will be with Elder McGraw from my MTC group.  It will be fun.  I may just have my last 2 changes with him and Pte will whitewash the area when we leave.We will be co-senior companions.

Are you helping the secretaries?
Everything is going ok.  We are pretty much done with transfer stuff.  My big job is just helping the Blas ZLs get out to Blas. They send in the shopping lists.  We buy their groceries and and stuff then send them in boat to the islands.

Did you have p-day today?
Nope.  We were doing some secretary stuff.

How was the move over to the new place?
It took a while, but it was good.  I will send pics shortly. I will stay there until Friday when we leave for the islands. They are going to close out our old place at the end of the April.

What other changes are happening?
My district in San Blas is Me, Elder McGraw, Elder Wrigley, Elder Taylor 1 (all from the MTC), Elder Green (I lived with him this past change), and a new kid named Elder Sagers.  The rest of my zone members are Elder Hoeft and Elder Gibby (from my MTC group), Elder Mann (He was my comp of 1 weekin the office), Elder Senden (friend from Chorrera), Hermana McGowan (I helped her mom with money stuff while I was in the office), and Hermana Bullough (I don't know her). It is a lot of people I know, but we will only see each other once per transfer.  We have one zone meeting over the course of 2 days, then we leave.

This is the last email that I will be sending from the city for a while.  I just want you to know that they are working on the internet on my island and I may or may not email on Monday.  Also, if I do email, my internet will be slow.  Sorry about that. There is electricity for a only few hours at night.

Monday, March 28, 2016

week 89

Moving Again

How has your week been? 
My week has been ok.  It got more stressful just now.  I just got on the mission site and president has started on changes... My name is at the top of the list. I don't know where I am going yet.  I have rested a little, but this week will be hectic again.  We have immigrations tomorrow.  Moving boxes on Wednesday, Moving ourselves on Thursday, and Maybe getting a drivers license on Friday.  It is getting busy.

Have you been able to teach any lessons?
Nope.  Just teaching my new secretaries.

How was zone conference?
I went to some of the meeting, but we were also going to the airport and banks.  I was there to eat and about 10 minutes of the rest of it. We had lots to do that day.

Did you get to do anything fun for p-day today?
Nope.  We came in to the office and built shelving units.

What was the most exciting thing this week?
I dunno.  Changes starting, I guess. Changes are next week. We have 12 new missionaries coming in, and I will be changing.

What was the hardest thing this week?
Trying to keep up with everything while trying to get packed to change houses and areas.

What is the best thing you see each day?
I drive along the cinta Costera everyday.  It can be nice. We see lots of people playing soccer and just the ocean because Cinta Costera translates to Coastal Belt. There are palm trees and stuff.  We drive the truck back and forth to the office everyday now.  It takes too long if we don't. I will try to take pictures.

Do you still live with Elder Green and comp?
Yeah, but this week we are moving in with the APs. President wants the Secretaries, the Assistants to the President, and the Zone Leaders of the Panama Zone to live together. That is where we are moving on Thursday. We will be moving to an area called Los Angeles.  It is off the road called tumba muerto.  That is where the APs are living already.  It is a bigger and nicer place. There are 3 bedrooms.  The downstairs is a hotel for missionaries. In general we use their house for the San Blas elders when they come in and for missionaries that are on their way home.
It will just be the secretaries moving from our place.  We don't know what will happen with Elder Green and his comp.  The arrangements will be the ZLs in one room, the secretaries in another, and the third room will be The APs, and me for a week. I am planning on sleeping in a hammock.  I will be in the aps room because they already have a hammock up.

What do you do in the evenings after office?
Eat and sleep.  We don't really have time to do anything else. We are working there until 7:15ish or 730ish every night.

This highway is the interstate system entering the city

From the church lot

Monday, March 21, 2016

week 88

Still Training

Tell me about Zone Conference. 
I dunno what they did.  I only went to part of the Arraiján one.  And I have to go to the airport tomorrow so I may not go to my zone conference either...  Secretary Life, I guess.

Did you see any old friends?
I saw a few people, but I usually see them at consejos because they are Zone Leaders. A lot of my old MTC group are in leadership positions now.

Did you do anything fun for p-day this week?
Nope.  Just secretary stuff. We went to the lawyer's office and did immigrations stuff.  And I have immigrations again on Wednesday.  It was disappointing.  We were going to go to 5 de Mayo, but stuff happened. Someone is sick and needs to go home.  I have to make all the arrangements and legal stuff. We were going to go there to buy some souvenirs and stuff.  And to get haircuts.  That's about it. Still no haircut.

The nurses-The Brinkmans and Andrew

Did you do any service this week?
Nope.  Just secretary work.

Did you teach any lessons?
We went out and taught some Less Actives yesterday.  They are doing good.  They haven´t gone to church in a while for health reasons.

Did you have meals with anyone? 
We went to dinner with the Renterias again.  They did chicken and pasta.  The food here is good.

Have you had to give any talks lately?
Nope.  Our bishop doesn´t make me give talks here. I haven't given one since my first change here.

How are you feeling?
A little tired and thirsty, but ok.  I am a little tired and ready to get out of the office. I have been here for almost 9 months. I am ready for a change. The new secretaries are trained. Two more weeks.

Secretary Trainees-Elders Nelson and Young

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

week 87


You bought tickets for your group. When do we find out?
I got the tickets. It goes from us to the Stake President and Missionary. The missionary gets the itinerary and is in charge of sending it to the family. Whenever the missionary gets it and decides when to tell is when the family gets it.

What was the strategy meeting on the blog?
The strategy meeting was just stuff that we want to make routine before the new mission president, President Current gets here in July.  We are trying to fix all the issues we normally have and make them easy for the new president.  President was always saying stuff like "Elder Broadhead is the only one with a lot of time here so...."  I am the only one with more than a transfer in the office...

What did you do for p-day?
We went to immigrations

How are things in the office?
The new secretaries are almost trained.  I will be done teaching them at the end of this week.  I will just need to get them drivers licenses. They will have learned everything at that point.

How is the office band doing?
We haven´t practiced or anything.

Have you taught any lessons?
We have an FHE tonight with the Bishop and a less active woman.

Have you gone on any exchanges with 3 of you?
No.  I am always trying to help them. I stay here with one to train while the other goes out with other missionaries. I do more routine.  Just normal stuff. The APs are just lunch buddies now. We don't get to hang out with them much.

How are you feeling?
Tired, but apart from that good.

Crazy stuff going on right now. we are sort of in crisis mode.  A missionary is being detained in the airport right now. He is returning from another country.  He has arrived in Panama, but they won't let him out of the airport.  He is not new to Panama. Things are beginning to calm down now.  Now we can only wait.  He is a missionary coming back after he left.  The problem is that he "Doesn't have funds to support himself" They don't want to let him through customs without a way to provide for himself.

Monday, March 7, 2016

week 86


So, How was your week? Have your trainees taken off a lot of the load?
My week was ok.  It is still hard with all the craziness of training, but it is getting better.  We'll see how things hold up. Nothing really exciting.  I do the same thing everyday.  They can do almost everything now.  They wanted to learn everything quickly and review through the rest of the transfer, Not just wait and learn until the end.  I work more general secretary stuff because that is what I know best.  I should buy the tickets for my group this week

strategy meeting

Did you have lunch with the nurses?
Lunch with them is always good.  I haven't let them wash and bleach my shirts yet.  I forgot the first time and then she was sick last week and I didn't want her to do too much while she is sick.  You said the Mapps are cruising through the canal. If they come through on a Friday, I may see them, at least their ship. On Fridays, when we have lunch, I can see all the cruise ships.  The Brinkmans house is on the harbor.

Did you have lunch with Pte? 
We didn't go today.  It will just be me, him, and Sister Carmack.  I may suggest waiting until Taylor 1 comes back and we can all eat together because Taylor and I both have had 6 changes in the office.

I see you got a new senior couple. What are they assigned to do?
They are in the city of Santiago as helpers.  The Elder will probably get put in as a branch leader and his wife as a RS leader.  They are just there to help a weak branch.

Tell me about the baptism last week.
His name is Antonio and he is 39.  I started teaching him with Taylor 1.  He got baptized last week. A youth from Caceres (my first area) came up to baptize him because they are friends.

I hear from someone that y'all have made up an office band. 
Everyone here in the office did something with music before we came.  Everyone but me sang before the mission and I started here.  We may do something for one of the zone conferences.  Depends on if we can get it ready or not.  Meine would take lead and Nelson would sing bass.  Young and I would take 2nd tenor and 1st baritone.  Then we'll see how it goes.

What was the most exciting thing this week?
I dunno.  It was a long week. For p-day, we went and ate lunch with the aps. And we had the baptism.

Nice picture of the Temple

Saturday, February 27, 2016

week 85

A Hectic Week!

So how are things going now, with help?
Things are going ok.  Things are mostly calm now.  We are working on getting everything not based solely on me.  I am still kinda stressed, but it is getting better. They are doing good but it is still weird. They are learning pretty quick. E. Nelson is doing Baptism records right now. He is doing well. Nelson has been out 10 months and E Young has been out 6 months.  They are both from Utah.  They are both a little crazy. They were in drama in high school.   

What interesting things happened with changes?
It was a lot of work, with renting rooms and arranging travel for so many. Someone missed his flight so we were running around everywhere trying to fix all of that.  It was hard.  

Anything funny?
One of the Hermanas made me that funny sign about how to handle my stress.  I laminated that today so that it will survive the rest of my mission.

What did you do for p-day today?
I washed clothes and worked.  I have to do lots that I am trying to do. We did get to play soccer one day last week. It was great.

Have you done anything new or interesting?
Nope.  I may buy flights for my group tomorrow. It will be weird.... And we had a baptism yesterday

What is the best thing about Pte? 
He is a VERY patient man.  Also he wants to take me out to lunch next week.  

I know it has been a busy week....have you rested any?
A little bit.  I went 3 days without eating last week because I was so busy and stressed with so much going on.  I have been eating again. While I was driving the San Blas missionaries around, we started talking about a song from the Nashville Tribute band.  We just started talking and one missionary said that Christ felt all this dumb stuff that we have to do and wouldn`t have sent us if we couldn`t do it. We have help now and They are there to go through it with us. 

Monday, February 22, 2016

week 84


Well, How are things going this week?
Things are going well.  Just a bit hectic trying to run everything by myself.  I am working hard and barely keeping up.  But that´s the way it goes I guess. Transfers are this week. There is a lot to get ready and the lawyers is not being very co-operative.

How is the new comp? 
He is good.  He is Elder M, trained by Elder Meine.  He is from California.  He´s been out about a year.  He is going back to San Blas and I will get my new comp tomorrow.

How was the trip to AD? 
It was good.  We went and visited the J family, Hermana Trejos, the one that always fed us, and J´s family, the one I taught.  It was fun.  We just went and talked.

Are you ready for transfers?
More or less.  It is all basically done.  I just need to welcome the new people.  My short-term, current comp does not really know how to do anything in the office. He is just my sidekick so I am not alone. He does the stuff that doesn´t require training.  I will be getting 2 comps this change.  I will train one as the general secretary and the other as a financial secretary. This is a first time thing, being the only secretary.

Are you back to riding the bus to and from the office again?
Yep.  That´s way cheaper. I do pretty much all the driving that needs to be done, now.

What has been the hardest thing this week?
Running everything.

What has been the funniest?
Some sister missionaries came in and cleaned the office because they were bored.

What has been the best?
I got to have p day.  We played soccer today.

He was only able to be on the computer about 30 minutes and in that time he was making hotel reservations for the new missionaries, etc. He was really busy this week. Hopefully next week will be easier.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

week 83


How are you feeling this week?
I am doing good.  I am trying to learn how to be a financial secretary. My comp is leaving and President hasn't decided what he will do.  I may just finish my mission in the office...

Did you get to do anything for p-day today?
We went to Cinco de Mayo to go shopping.  I bought some mola from the kunas there.  I didn´t play soccer today, but my ZL wants to play so maybe next week.

Where is your new apartment?
It is in a downtown area.  We drive past our old apartment to get there.  I want our old apartment back because some people in the new building are not as nice as the old ones.  The other day, some one took our parking spot and so we parked in a spot that is assigned, but never used.  The owner went out and let the air out of our tires.  Stuff like that never happened in the old apartment...We do keep a small air compressor in the car so we were able to fix the tires, but we talked to security.

My Apartment

Do you have your new office organized?
The office is set up now.  So we are doing ok. I am learning the financial stuff when I can. So far, I can pay rent, make checks, and do reimbursements.

Do you have fun with the group of elders you are around? 
We have fun with the APs. We don't try to scare Elder G anymore, we are nicer. We might play soccer some.

What is going on this week?
There is another week before transfers. Carnival has started.  I will probably see more of it tomorrow. My comp got permission for us to go to Aguadulce tomorrow. We will visit people like Juan and Mama Trejos.  We are sure we are going to visit her. Maybe we will see some Carnival.

An old church in Casco Antiguo

Monday, February 8, 2016

week 82

Another Week of Server Problems!

How was the visit from the General Authority?
The training with Pres Christensen was good.  I wasn´t in the one pic on the blog with my comp because I was waiting at the outside door for Pres Christensen.  I was doing my job. My job, along with Taylor 2 and the APs was to greet him as he walked into the chapel.  One of the other elders said he felt weird because he was the only missionary greeting a GA without a suit on. We thought that it was funny. I wore mine.  Then Elder Christensen went and greeted an injured elder that couldn´t walk. Then during the training, I had to run around with a microphone so that the missionaries could participate.  He taught that we should teach repentance, not just baptism.  Everything went well with the program and I just ran around a lot.

Did you get everything moved for your apartment?
Yeah.  Now we are just organizing before house checks on Thursday.

What is good about the new place?
It is clean.  The apartment has a laundromat in front.  We have a balcony, but no hot water.

Did you do anything for p-day today?
Nope.  I have worked all day today.  I haven´t even gone for lunch or anything.  I am making phone calls to get some people US visas. They are Panamanians who are going to the US. to serve missions.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

week 81

Birthday Dinner

The ldsmail server was having issues and so Andrew didn't send much this week.

Who is the visitor coming to the mission?
It will be Elder Christensen of the Presidency of the 70.  He was going to be accompanying Elder Cook, but Cook had to drop out for some reason.  They are coming to visit the mission. He is coming and doing a training for half of the mission.  Not everyone gets to come. I will be able to go to the training thing.  I have to help set up the microphones and everything

Will you get to talk with him?
I may talk to him a bit for an office visit, but not much.

Are you settled in your new apartment?
Yeah.  I am trying to get my bags unpacked. The kitchen is big. We have an electric stove, a big fridge, a microwave, and a toaster.  I cook eggs for dinner and sometimes cook pasta. It is generally everyman for himself.  We don´t have air conditioning.

Tell me about your new neighborhood.
We live across the street from a Super 99.  It is basically a grocery store, but it sells some hardware stuff too.  We live on the 7th floor of an apartment building.  The skyline that is well known is on the other side of the building.

Did you get to do anything fun this week?
Nope.  Just working and finding things that are just missing .

Was there anything new or exciting?
Not particularly. We saw the Worldwide Missionary training in Tocumen.  We were working out some housing issues and didn't have time to make it back to the city to watch it there.

What do you do in the evenings?
Go home and sleep.  We are exhausted.

Are you eating okay?
Yep.  3 square meals at subway everyday.

20th Birthday Dinner

A Pizza and a liter of Coke per person....and chocolate ice cream for dessert!

Saturday, January 23, 2016

week 80

A Birthday!

What did you do for your birthday? 
I went to church and packed.  We moved houses today so I spent most of yesterday packing.  We did go to dinner with the Renterias.  We have Sunday dinner with them usually.  I will send pics of them when I leave the area.
The other elders told people it was my birthday, but they didn´t have time to do anything for me.  I got lots of emails and I really appreciate all the messages? I don't have time to write back to everyone, can you say thanks for me?

Did you have pizza? ice cream?
That is dinner tonight.  On the way home, we are going to buy everything.

Has anything new or interesting happened this week?
We moved.  I will send pics of the new house later. It is about 15 minutes from my old house. It is further from the office.  It is by the metro bus station el balboa.  Remember we have two other elders that live with us? It is in their area.  It is smaller and there isn´t room for our hammocks. We are in an apartment, on the 7th floor. our area, district and zone are all still the same.   We are using the truck for the move. We still have to move more tomorrow. Almost everything is out of the old place.  We are moving the entire house.  All we are missing are the dressers. The new house is nice.

Did you get to go anywhere this week?
Nope.  Well, I went to Immigrations 2 times. Missionaries have to come to get their paperwork done.

How are the missionaries doing with teaching all over Panama? 
The mission work is doing ok.  Some people are reactivating, but a lot aren´t.  I was busy with Immigrations so we didn´t really get to work this week.

What can I do here to help you there?
Sign me up for housing.  (Andrew was able to email on Thursday and Nathan was able to get Andrew set up in housing for next year at BYU. I can't believe we are thinking about school already! Huge Thank yu to Nathan!! He got a great room)

What is something fun from this week,
We found out that anything can scare Elder Green.  He is one of the other elders that lives with us. I walked out of the bathroom and he screamed. It was funny.

Thanks again for the birthday messages! They were really great on such a busy day!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

week 79


How did changes and arrivals go? 
Changes were good.  Everything went smoothly in the airport.  We went to pick up the new missionaries. The only weird thing is that Elder Meine is the new AP now.  He was in the MTC with us. I think he will do a good job. And I still am not training in the office so I will have 6 changes here. I should probably train someone next change.

Have you done any Home Teaching lately?
We visited some recent converts this week.  That was good.

What was the strangest thing to happen this week?
I played soccer for the first time in 3 months.  I was really bad.  I haven't played in a really long time. Now that E. Meine is here, maybe we will play more often for p-day.

Do you ever meet anyone on the bus?
I recognize some people, but we don´t really talk to them.  They are all half asleep. It is the people going to work and don't want to talk to us.

Did you have p-day?
Yeah.  We played soccer.

Have you gotten mail lately?
We don´t have money, so we haven´t gotten mail in a while.

Has there been any thing interesting in the mission that you know about?
A General Authority is coming to the mission on Jan 26th.

Pictures of the new building where the office is located.

This pic, with a gap in the curtains, is the cultural hall. On the other side of the gap is the chapel

Soccer and basketball courts

Even though the church uses similar plans everywhere, it looks very different from the church at home. The floors and the walls are tiled instead of carpet. There are pews instead of couches in the hallways, but the chapel does not have pews. It has the hard molded plastic chairs.

There is no big heavy furniture in the offices here. It is very interesting. It is a big bright building and very nice. There is some of the same artwork that is at home.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

week 78

A New Office

Andrew did not have long to email this week and was even working while we emailed. As the time passes, he has less to say and just concentrates on his work I guess. 

How was your week?
It was good.  Just long.  I am trying to get people out of the country and other people into the country.  It is a bit stressful with changes, but it´s going.  Pte. just finished changes and we are waiting for him to finalize them now.

Are you ready for changes?
We´re ready.  Elder Taylor 1 is leaving the office. Elder Taylor 2 will be the financial secretary.  There are 16 new missionaries coming in.  6 Sisters, 10 Elders. There are 4 gringas coming from Provo, 2 Latinas and 10 Latins from somewhere else. I have another change before I train a new general secretary.  Taylor 1 is probably going to Tikantiki in San Blas, but that can still change.  Until president has the APs call everyone, it can change. Sometimes things happen last minute.

Was there anything interesting with Consejos at the new building?
We had a problem where you could hear what we were talking about all throughout the building.  

Tell  me about the building.
The building is 2 stories.  The offices (mission, central services, and Education System) are downstairs.  We have an underground parking deck.  Then upstairs is  a normal chapel.  I may try to take pics in a little while. We have a Subway and a Domino's nearby for lunches.  Then there is the Metro station and that is about it. I am kinda close to the Cinta Costera.

Did you do anything for p-day this week?
Nope.  I had to do secretary stuff. We just worked.  For New Year's Eve there were lots of fireworks and stuff, but I went to bed at 11. Last year we bought and set off fireworks and that was fun.  But in the city, you can´t do as much. We just went to bed.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Week 77

A Phone Call!

Andrew looked great when he got to skype at Christmas. We got to talk to him for an hour and it was wonderful. He is happy working in the office and feels like he is really accomplishing things. He has been in the office for 6 months now and is working hard. They have moved into a new office and it is good to be in their own space and getting work done. He handles the visas and passports, travel arrangements, scheduling, technology for meetings and trainings, and general secretary work. His comp handles all the money dealings. It is kind of scary thinking a couple of 19 year old kids are keeping everything together! 

typical Christmas Lights

and email

 Are you settled in the new office?
We are doing pretty good here.  The office is more or less organized. I got my license this week. The driving test was that we had to park like regular in a parking space, parallel park and back into a parking space. Elder Taylor used the truck, so I got to rent a small car like a smart car. It fit in about only half the parking space! I haven´t driven that much.  Elder Marchant wants me to drive because he doesn´t like how one of the other elder drives. He is kind of crazy.

What did you do the rest of the day Friday?
We were here pretty much all day on Friday.  We all took turns talking and we all talked about an hour. I didn´t really do anything after I called you, just talked and worked.
Everyone enjoyed their calls home and everything, but we didn´t really talk about the calls home.

Tell me about your Christmas dinner.
We ate lunch with the Assistants, the other elders of our ward, and the Garcia´s.  They are older. Hno Garcia is a former  Area Seventy.  We ate a little bit of roasted turkey, rice with something like black eyed peas, bread, and potato salad.  It was good. It was their traditional Christmas dinner. It was good and we had a lot of fun with them. We like visiting with them. They are some of my favorite people here.

Any plans for New Year's Eve?
Not really.  I´m not much of a partier, especially as a missionary. We have our regular curfew.  I will try to make all the immigrations stuff this week. The offices will be closed and we have missionaries going home and more coming next week. I need to get it done before things close.

My weekend was good.  I got to sleep late today.  We went to Hardee´s for lunch today. I haven't downloaded pictures lately because I had to wait until after Amber had finished her Christmas present calendar. I can download them now.