Hello family! This week was probly my hardest one yet.... a lot of hard hard work and a few small trials here and there - but a good week nonetheless! I know trials make you stronger so I´m not worried :)
So I had immigrations on Tuesday - had to go back to the city and fill out paperwork with a new group of missionaries that arrived. It was fun - except for the fact I was seperated from Elder Rich for a few hours and I started to miss him!! Hahah.... it was a weird feeling.
The next day (Wednesday) we had changes - LUCKILY Elder Rich and I have another change together. We´re really grateful and excited - we´re gonna do WORK! our goal is to have 3 more baptisms together before we part. Wednesday though, Elder Magnusson chilled with us for the first half of the day while his comp. went to the city for changes. We had a great morning study together, and I liked seeing how another missionary worked other than Elder Rich. Later in the day, we met our new zone - they are awesome!!! I LOVE our new Zone Leaders - Elder Villalobos from Puerto Rico and Elder Biesinger from Utah. They are sooo sweet. Our district leader is sweet too - Elder Lainez.
|Here is a picture of my house.|
So I mentioned we´re gonna get three more baptisms...... let me introduce you to some investigators :)
1) Shaít (pronounced Sigh-eat). About 50 years. He is amazing!!!!!! So amazing. We are for sure baptizing him on the 31st of this month. He has been so prepared by The Lord - I feel so blessed to teach him. This guy had an accident about 10 years ago that paralyzed him from the waist down - so he's in a wheelchair for the rest of his life. When all that happened, he started drinking hard core - he was always drunk. Ever since I arrived here, Elder Rich and I would pass him and see him at a Chino (just a little shop they have everywhere here). We would always just tell him to stop drinking, haha. But this one day he told us he would do anything to turn his life around - he told us he knew we could help him, and he was just miserable. We told him that we could only teach him when he was sober, so we planned a day to go and teach him..... turns out, he wasn´t drunk!! We took advantage in that first lesson, and challenged him to baptism and to stop drinking right there! The Spirit was so strong!!! Elder Rich and I were on the same page and everything. So where is Shaít now? He stopped drinking COLD TURKEY. He hasn´t yet taken another drink of beer! Like, seriously? After 10 years of drinking every night, he hasn´t! WHAT AN EXAMPLE. His desire to change and strong will is unbelievable. We made a compromiso with him that if he couldn´t drink beer - we couldn´t drink soda..... Elder Rich and I haven´t drunk soda in two weeks! Haha! He´s so awesome. Also, he hasn´t missed church yet! Wow! What a guy.
2) Melissa. About 40-ish. This girl...... awesome. Again, we feel like she´s been prepared. She is really good friends with the Lou family, and so that´s how we met her. Idk why, but we never thought to contact her or teach her. We thought maybe the missionaries before us had or something, idk. But anyway, one day she was like "so when are you gonna come teach me?" haha! What the! She contacted us! She is awesome - she has a desire and has been to church before with the Lou´s. We´re gonna start teaching her the lessons cuz we just got serious with her this week.
3) Rod. My man Rod :) this guy is like in his 30´s, and he´s the MAN! And the best part? You´ll never guess but... he speaks english! I´m really happy about this cuz I can say more in the lessons and stuff. Rod is from the states (I think Louisiana?) and he came down here for work since the economy is so bad in the states, and he also has some family here. On a p-day, we were eating at our favorite chicken joint by our house (the chicken here is In.Cred.I.Ble.... they work magic down here with it.) and he came up to us to see if we could speak english! (Anyone and everyone that even speaks a little bit of english always wants to talk to us.) Your best contacts always contact you. He has been so prepared too!!! He had really good questions about our church and has done a lot of research on religion! He wants to know the truth, and we´re giving it to him. Haha :)
So ya, those are the three investigators we´re most excited about right now. The Lou family has really been struggling lately - they won´t come to church and just don´t have time to sit down and listen to the lessons.... it makes me so sad.
Anyway, it sounds like everyone is just doing WONDERFULLY back at home! Seriously, I love to hear that everyone is doing so well. Mom and Dad, you both seem to be recovering from your injuries well. I love you :) Also, AWESOME news about my tax return!!!! Seriously! I am so blessed. I´m gonna thank Heavenly Father for that in my prayer tonight :) Dad, thank you for your letter and i´m really workin on writing back. You guys are the best, I love you so so much and I´m so happy to be on a mission! Bros and Katie, I love you too!
P.S.... this week at investigators, I ate cow liver and octopus. Sweeeeet. Haha :)
|This is a picture of my ear soon after surgery. I wasn't able to send the picture until now.|
Q: Are the Panamanian people nice to you? You know, on the streets and at church, wherever you go?
A: Everyone is so open! So different from the states, really: And EVERYONE beleives in Christ and openly lets it be known. Pictures of Christ everywhere, and almost in every home. Very down to earth and religious people here. I love it!
Q: Do you sleep well? Are you well-rested?
A: I hit the bed every night like a ROCK. I¨m soooo tired after the day is over. I get tired throughout the day too - missionary work is rough! I sleep really well all through the night (except for the nights when Elder Rich and I have to keep an eye out for cockroaches on our beds... .yikes) haha.
A: Ya, sometimes we have combined activities, but Elder Rich and I haven´t been to any lately cuz we...... play BASKETBALL!!!!!! Yep, that´s right. We´re SO LUCKY..... there´s a court by our house. So we do that. :) It´s the best. I´m hoping to go to the temple soon on the p-day (but you have to do that one as a zone since it´s outside of our area). I´m really so lucky I have a companion that´s so alike me.
Q: What has been your favorite food you have eaten there? What has been your mosted disliked food?
A: PINEAPPLE!!!! It is CANDY here!!! OH my gosh seriously I love it so so so so much. It tastes nothing like the pineapple in the states. It´s soooo good. Gosh. My most disliked food here is I had to eat some "chocolate flubber" thing - but the reality is I had no idea what it was. I could barely swallow it. haha. This past week though, I ate octupus and cow liver at investigator´s houses. They were pretty good! And ya, coconut water is pretty good!! I like it.