Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Week of January 26 - La Chorrera

All right. Im starting this out with some interesting facts. So in Anatomy class we learned abot this called cilia that are hair like things that increase the surface area inside your intestines. Lets just say that I now know what those look and taste like.

2nd... The mission is freaking hard. Im in a foreign country this time, my comp doesnt speak english, i dont know the lessons as well as i thought i did, and i have strange bug bites all over my body that itch. I swear that it is 100 degrees outside everyday and nobody has air conditioning. and Dad, just for your knowledge, the showers are not ¨"unwarm" water. turn the faucet in the kitchen all the way cold. That is my shower every morning. 

amongst all that... I guess im learning a hard lesson. The Lord calls us to do dificult things, to teach us tough lessons. 

Lemme go into a little bit more depth... 

Basically this week consisted of hanging out in the office and really doing nothing. So the reality of the mission never hit me. On wednesday I got to go with the assistants to work in their area. that was super fun.

On thursday... I found out where Id be going. Chorerra, in the biencherry 3rd ward. To replace my comp from the MTC, Elder Mcgraw. I know this is where the Lord needs me. For whatever reason he needs me in Chorerra, in an area that needs seeds planted. 

My companion is elder Martinez and he is from Paraguay. he seems like a cool guy but its hard for us to communicate a lot of the time.

friday we went to have lunch with an hermana in the ward. she made us some kind of soup that was made from pig spine. It was good... I guess. the meat was very chewy. After that we taught a few good lessons to some inactive members and that went great. 

Sunday was pretty great. I did not understand most of what happened at church, but I felt the spirit and that was something that I really needed. After church we went to the house of the ward mission leader to have a meeting and lunch... we ate lunch and he fell asleep... so we were there for like 3 hours and got nothing accomplished XD it was kinda fun tho. After we went out with a member of the ward to go out teaching. We taught the restoration to a cool kid that we are going to see next sunday. After, This lady asked if I wanted to try mondongo and I said yes.. nobody told me what it was... turns out that it is Cow intestine. (back to the anatomy class...)

Anways :) I am out of time. I love you all! Ill talk to you again next week :)

Monday, January 19, 2015


Dad's Prologue:

Tuesday, January 13 at 11:30, Blake received his travel plans for Panama and 48 hours later, we said goodbye. Suffice it to say, Cynthia and I are ecstatic that Blake has finally made it to Panama! It has been a challening few months, but I can say through all of this that I have never been more proud of Blake. He has kept his focus on his goals and persevered. We are grateful for Blake and his example he sets for those around him, his family...including his parents. Saying goodbye was easy this time. We were so excited!!! The only tears were tears of joy and relief. And now, back to Blake and his first four days in Panama!

Monday, January 19:
Alright... first things first... I apologize in advance for any typos... spanish keyboards dont have some symbols and things are all in different places. 

Thursday - THE FLIGHT- I had a very boring long uneventful flight. I got in around 1130 Panama time so I didnt get to bed until almost 130. I'm so very thankful that i learned spanish before I came... I almost didn't make it past customs.

Basically, there is paperwork that you have to fill out and they arent allowed to let you into the country if you dont know the address of where you are going. and BASICALLY, no one told me about that so I had to leave it blank. I had to talk my way past both security desks at customs, because there were 2 different forms for different things. I had to explain in spanish that I didnt know my address and that i was a missionary and that there were other missionaries waiting outside to take me to my house. sooo... they filled in an address for me XD 

Friday- We went to the office first thing in the morning after we woke up. I read my scriptures and stuff until president arrived at around 12 for my new missionary interview :) He as an amazing man and im super excited to serve in his mission. So grateful to finally be in panama!! Basically, president told me he had 2 places i could go, and that he would pray and let me know by the end of the day, and if he didnt receive an answer, then the lord wants me somewhere else... aaaaaaand I havent gone anywhere yet. I get to hang out with the office elders and study scriptures all day everyday :)

Some interesting things I learned on the first day... there are 4 forms of travel. Walking, obviously, but that is unrealistic a lot of the time. 2nd, taxis, which are expensive so also unrealistic. 3rd, is the metro bus. Which is like a city bus. We mostly use those. the 4th, is something called Los Diablos Rojos. The Red Devils. They are basically school buses that are spray painted all over and have lots of bright lights and very loud music. They also drive very fast and dangerous XD The office elders told me outside panama city they are the only form of transportation.

2nd. We really dont have hot water. and not only is it not hot, it is FREEZING cold. so.. we are the only house in the mission that has a water heater (office elders and APs get priveleges) . It is connected to the electricity in the house and can{t go above "lukewarm" or the power blows out. lukewarm showers are still cold when you wake up in the morning XD

3rd. Panama is so very very hot. like mississippi summer hot. and nobody has AC. the only house that has AC is the house of the APs. 

4th. the people here take southern hospitality to a whole new level. We can literally knock on any door and talk to someone we have never met for 30 minutes about anything.

5th. It is too hot to sleep with a blanket... but at 3 or 4 am it drops to the 70s and  it is nice to have a blanket (thanks mom for telling me to take my blankey)

Saturday- We woke up early to go do a service project, but the elders forgot to call ahead. and on the way home it started raining! apparently the term "dry season" means it is very peculiar to have even a little bit of rain like that. 

Later we went to the office, and had a group meeting with president (I wasnt really a part of it because Im not an office elder), and did a little bit of teaching that night. 

I inherited a panama license plate! we found it that morning in the apartment and nobody wanted it :)

I discovered that my desire to buy a machete is not misplaced... Elder Nysenvoldt recommended I buy one because we use them a lot... they cost like $3 or $4 for a nice one. 

Sunday- I love sundays :) Me and Elder Fernandez (another elder who is stuck with the office elders) had the blessing of being able to bless the sacrament in our ward. I took a lot of notes in sacrament. Even though some speakers are hard to understand.. you can still learn from the thoughts and feeling you get from the spirit in the room. 

After church... me and elder mejia had 3 lunch appointments. and everybody tries to make you eat seconds. and then there was a dinner appointment. Me and elder mejia ate 5 plates of food between 3pm and 8pm

we went tracting between appointments. It was fun being able to tract without being told "oh Im a member" XD #provo mission probs.

Anyways :) I love you all! I hope everyone is doing well at home :) 

The lord accomplishes the things he wants done in the way HE needs it done. and i am finally here at the right time :) Keep the faith!