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.