Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Two blogs in one: Feb 16 and 23 - La Chorrera

February 16

Well I forgot my journal XD so I will do my best to remember this week! 

Ive talked with a few other gringos about how they shower. We all came to the same conclusion. The water is so cold (latins are used to it) that gringos play "hokie pokie" with the water XD

anyways XD 

Tuesday... we had a service project. (I think it was tuesday) actually now that I think about it, it was wednesday. I dont remember what happened on tuesday.

Wednesday... we had a service project :) We helped a member big an 8 foot hole in his yard :) we went with the hermanas, but we had to give up after 5 feet because the ground started crying... aka leaking water. apparently after 4 feet the ground in panama becomes a well. so.. we gave up :) alter the hermanas went to the stake center to get my packages!!! super exciting :) I love getting things from my family :) After the service... the wife decided to make us lunch but asked me and the hermanas for help... I literally plucked the feathers off of my lunch. and then watched the sister gut the chicken and chop its head off. super exciting XD 

Thursday...still dont remember what we did XD but I got my first panamanian hair cut XD super interesting to get a haircut in spanish.

OH! thursday I also annointed a lady in spanish :) that was cool. my comp had to write the words down for me XD and her super difficult latina name XD but it was super cool. We returned to her house saturday to do service for her. 

friday... we had zone training :) super fun. I LOVE our zone leaders. they are super cool guys. after that we went to the area of wrigley and romero to do some baptismal interviews for them (since my comp is district leader). the man and kid they were baptizing were super prepared, but the kid counts as a ward baptism and not misionary because we found out during the interview that his mom is an inactive member. 

ALSO my migraine STARTED friday. yes it started in a whole day. that is why I aprovechar-ed my mcdonalds mcflurry :) (aprovechar is a word that means like... take advantage of the situation)

saturday... Woke up with a migraine XD super fun right? Ive never had a migraine for that long! we went to the service in my migraine daze because I told my comp that I could do it. so we went with the hermanas and raked up the ladys yard :) It was super fun and i enjoyed it regardless of the pain XD

after that, we learned that the xone leaders wanted to do divisions with us in a trio... so my comp didnt wanna do that and called a member so that he could leave the area and leave me to work with the zone leader. He asked me if I could do it, and i really wanted to work. I didnt wanna be stuck in the house. We didnt end up being able to do anything, we had to stay in the chapel to fill the font XD but I didnt feel too well with my migraine. oohhh well. Basically by the end of the night, I screwed things up with dinner and made a member mad and so my comp got mad and said that I shouldnt have worked even though I wanted to. oh well XD no me importa :)

sunday... was a good day. I still suffered a little from the migraine but it started getting better. my comp made me sleep in, and made me return to the house early so i could sleep more. 

and... today.. monday. we had a futbol tournament :) against Arraijan (another zone) it was super fun and I got to see other elders from the MTC! it was super awesome :) I also made another friend from the south (arkansas) he is a super cool elder XD one of the ZLs from Arraijan. 

anyways..  I think thats it for this week :) I love you all! Enjoy your hot water and air conditioning please.. because I cant XD dont take it for granted.

pray :) the lord is listening :) no matter how frustrated, angry, or annoyed you feel, he can help you

until next week :)

February 23

Well this week... I actually have my journal with me so I can fill in all the days XD

tuesday.. Was a study day. My companion is directing choir for stake conference... the choir lady told us to be at the chapel at 230 for practice, and the youth were there playing soccer, but nobody showed up for choir. so my companion went home and changed his clothes to play soccer. I brought study materials. Im thankful for the study time :) 

wednesday.. ELDER DUNCAN. our área president came. soooo we had to wake up at 230 am to be in the city on time for our meeting with him :) "supposedly" there would be traffic for the Carnivales... but there wasnt. so our zone arrived 3 hours early XD oh well. we had time to eat breakfast at least. He had a lot of suggestions for our areas and everything :) he is an amazing man. That was a long tiring day, and we learned a lot. He told us we should never be in any house longer than 30 minutes, unless we are eating. that is something we definietly needed for your area. 

Thursday- We had a zone service project :) It was super fun! I will attach about a million photos XD dont worry. I also have a picture of me "eating" a parasite. Ya that isnt a worm. its a parasite. Like the kind that grow in your body. I could have died. We worked hard afterwards, and I started to feel a little frustrated. So I said a little prayer :) The Lord really does answer our prayers :)

Everyday I write 3 or 4 "slogans" in my journal. Thursday I added 2. "Seguir el Adelante" which is basically "follow the straight" AKA choose the right. and Guardar la fe. Keep the Faith.

Friday- Friday was both great and a little homesick. Literally all we did was go on splits. There was a brand new returned missionary of 2 days who went with me, and my comp went with a youth from the ward. It was amazing to see the power that is still in this returned missionary. His testimony and advice both helped me, and made me a little homesick. 19 more months! almost there, right? haha... 

I also learned... in the mission there is no one to impress. So basicaly... I have no reason to eat healthy XD Ive been aprovecharing ice cream and milk shake purchases like none other XD 

Later... we attended the Homecoming of the RM. It was super cool to hear about the challenges and things he overcame. again, it both helped me to know that I can overcome my challenges, and made me homesick XD Life is so bipolar in the mission field. 

Saturday- We had a zone meeting and......... the zone leaders arrived with another package for me XD everybody ambushed me for candy. And I just want to reinstate the fact that CANDY IS NOT CANDY. Candy is the love from home melded and formed into the shape of candy. Just for all those who have missionaries. SEND THEM LOVE. Later, Stake Conference and Chicheme. Anytime we go to the stake center, we always buy chicheme. Its an amazing sweet drink made out of corn. I dont know exactly what is in it but its one of the most amazing things Ive ever had. 

Sunday- More stake conference.. but not more chicheme because Its sunday. Also, my comp got sick :/ which means we couldnt do any work after stake conference. We had one of our investigators come to stake conference which was super cool :) He is super ready.. we are hoping to baptize him this week. We still have to teach 2 more lessons. but he is ready.

Also, we had a stake meeting with the stake president and all the missionaries and ward mission leaders in the stake. He gave the missionaries a huge machete, because of things that had been done in the past. He is known for refusing to accept missionaries XD If they arent hard workers he calls president to complain. 

In that meeting we learned that as a stake we have church attendance of almost 900. Thats 9 wards/branches. some have 130 attendance and some only have 30. And our stake membership... over 5000. For every 1 person in church, there are 6 or more who arent there. how sad! We have a lot of work to do with inactives. Someone in the meeting mentioned that an apostle said that a reactivation is just as good as a baptism. The Stake President asked how many of the missionaries were the result of a reactivation through the missionaries, and almost half raised their hands.

I thought that was very interesting. 

Today was pretty much a lazy day. we cleaned the apartment, and studied most of the morning. and now email :) 

Well hey. thats my whole week. next monday we have a zone activity so hopefully i will have a more entertaining monday to describe XD

I love you all! Siguen el Adelante! you wont regret it. Just remember that the Lord is by your side. If you ever feel down, say a prayer and he will send angels to help you. I now have a testimony of that. I recieve help from my Father in Heaven every day. I am so insuffiecient and immature, that there is no way I could preach His gospel without his help. just keep that in mind. In your callings or member missionary work. The Lord qualifies us.

Love you all! HAve a great week :)

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Feb 9 - La Chorrera

well :) this week. I dont have anything super special to share XD other than the fact that for every bug bite that goes away, like 3 replace it. its crazy!

well, tuesday. Tuesday we were in the temple literally ALL DAY. We got up at 4 am to be able to go with our zone to the temple. I did my first session in spanish! It was super nerve racking but i could understand almost everything. 

After, our ward showed up so we stayed at the temple for the rest of the day. It was pretty fun. We had an investigator come with the ward! super cool! We got to teach him about the temple and the restoration :) super cool.

wednesday... We left the house at 8 so we could give service to our ward mission leader. it is very common here to have a lot of trash and fallen trees and things like that in your yard. we helped groom trees and rake things and clean up trash. It took 3 hours and we still didnt finish completely! it was fun though. 

Thursday... Thursday was a little rough. All of our appointments fell through. and everyone we planned to visit was gone. It was a rough day and satan got a hold of me and a felt homesick. I said a prayer that I would be strengethened and be able to endure. We went to our dinner appointment and the family and I had a great conversation :) it helped distract me and it was nice to be able to talk about something that i knew about (Even in spanish) Tender Mercies of the Lord :) it also helped my confidence with the language

Friday- basically... in the mornings... I am cleaning our house little by little. Its super dirty from elders who havent cleaned the house for at least the last 6 months. so... friday was the kitchen. the dishes have been there since before I got there. There were plants growing from the drain! How crazy! I opened a container, to clean it, and it was crawling with maggots so I had to make an emergency trip to the laundry washing sink to flush it because there is more water pressure out back. It was nasty!

... and then tragedy struck. I yanked it back up, to see it, and bumped the water spicket and.. it broke. We went through the rest of that day with no running water (this was before we showered)

the dueño de la casa was super nice and repaired it without charging us.. I think it was already broken. 

We also had a zone meeting. It was super exciting to see the new members of our zone! We have one brand new gringa... her spanish makes me more confident (i feel bad but its true) 

saturday- we really just did more service

sunday- I had a mosquito bite on my eyebrow that i scratched and it got infected... will be pictures.. 

Monday- today we went to the cascades! they are basically small waterfalls :) it was nice to be able to talk in english :) 

sorry im like out of time! love yall! thank you for all thr prayers and everything :)

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

February 2 Post

alright... some of you may have been able to tell that i was a little bit down last week- lemme tell you that things have definitely turned around. Patience is important in our afflictions- life isnt meant to be easy. If you have the chance read or watch the following talks- "Tender Mercies" by elder bednar "Remember Lots Wife" jefrey r holland. They are amazing talks that helped me this week. Literally changed everything about how I feel. Nothing is MEANT to be easy. Its ok to feel down- its normal, and everyone goes through it. especially in the mission field. But patience in adversity is the most important thing- and knowing that you are learning something beneficial and the Lord will deliver you. We dont go through trials that are too hard for us to handle with His help. 

and learning that, is how i have had the best week of my mission so far regardless of the fact that i have been horridly homesick, have 78 bug bites, a swollen toe, and a broken backpack. 

Now to talk about this week... Tuesday morning the Zone Leaders came for a surprise visit on basically the worst day... our alarm clock was in panga (when someone tries to do something good but really is doing omething bad) and literally forgot the time, so we woke up at 7 and were still preparing when they got there at 8. it wasnt too bad though. they understood. We practiced contacting which definitely helped my confidence. They told me that I speak for good spanish for the time that I have, and even have better pronunciation than a lot of the other gringos with more time than me. This was one of those bad days where all our appointments fell through- we decided to make a ward mission plan and implemented it through out the week. We are going to have family home evenings every night in members homes and they are supposed to invite friends and we bring an investigator- also, we are going to have free english classes

Wednesday... I had to wake up at 330... my comp knows I like to exercise so he made a joke that we should have woken up at 230 so we could have exercise time...XD we had capacitaciones in the city... basically zone conference where the assistants teach us about missionary work. It was nice to see them, because they are my closest friend so far, because I spent so much time with them in the office. They told me theyve seen a huge difference in my companion since Ive been with him... Im trying to slowly improve our obedience. In our mission, we have a big problem with obedience, and missionaries forget why its important to be obedient and follow the rules... even in the small changes I have made in our companionship, we have been blessed with a few investigators and people who are interested. 

that night we talked to a lady we had found the week before. we sat down to talk with her for a minute and we ended up talking to her, all of her children, and her sister, and all the neighborhood kids about the book of mormon and the temple. it was amazing and super spiritual. I can tell how much they wanted the gospel. when we talked about families being together forever in the temple their eyes lit up

On the way home we realized the street lights were out... we had to walk home through a creepy forest in the dark. luckily we carry flashlights. We got to the house and... power was out. luckily we still had water. Im thankful I was prepared with lanterns that I got for christmas XD thanks santa!

Thursday.. We visited a bunch of members to get them to agree to have family home evenings in there homes. it was great to share spiritual thoughts in the homes of members. It was good for me to be able to share my testimony to members instead of investigators. 

Basicallyy... as you can tell from the pictures of the house last week, our house is super dirty. And Really, honestly, I hate living in a dirty place (yes mom... worse than my room...) and so... according to the member we were with I didnt have the "valor" to clean the house XD so he helped me while my comp watched XD now our house is clean because I keep up on the cleaning... the only dirty places left are his part of the bedroom and his desk. so at least im living clean mom XD

Friday- we went to the grocery store because friday was "pay day" to check to see if my mission cards works. It doesnt. So we had to call my good friend Elder Bird to help us out. He gave my 15 day allowance to the zone leaders. After that, we quickly bought some things we really really needed for the house (since we didnt have money before) and went to go give service to an investigator. 

Saturday- Saturday was a depressing day. all of our plans (including potential investigators) fell through completely. We walked all over the entire area all day trying to find people and nobody was there. Our area is filled with hills... but i feel like they are mountains XD we had to walk to the area of the zone leaders to get my allowance as well.. that was basically scaling a cliff to get there. but we made it and got my money XD It was nice to see the zone leaders.. Elder Bradburn wwas feeling a little homesick so we bought ice cream and peach juice. his favorite comfort food here in panama XD

Sunday- Today started out super hard. Its hard to see other families going to church together and I really just want to go to church with my family.We had a random guy in our area just decide to show up to church... He has been to the "mormon church" 7 times in the past and wants to get baptized... no idea who he is. we just barely met him. HUGE blessing! I read my patriarchal blessing and read the book of mormon in my spare time at lunch... It was then that I realized that we just need to be patient during our trials. The Lord will deliver us- of that i am sure. 

on a side note, i gave the opening prayer in church. in Spanish. wasnt so bad at all :)

Choose the right, and follow the light of christ and do what you know youre supposed to be doing- no matter how hard it might be

MONDAY!!!! Well... today was difficult at first XD My comp decided to sleep in till 8 since it was "pday" so I had to wake up alone and exercise and study alone. later we met up with 4 other companionships of missionaries to go to Costa Antigua... Old Coast. Super pretty! its a very old section of Panama City near the coast. We baught a bunch of Panama stuff and took a bunch of pictures and stuff. it was nice to see other missionaries and have a day for ourselves. super fun :) I loved it. we visited a bunch of old chapels and stuff. 

Sorry dad... my backpack that you bought me is slowly dieing... all the metal parts are starting to fail... its been jimmy rigged and im going to use it till its no longer usable... but I bought my eventual replacement bag today XD

looking forward to the coming week! I love you all! family and friends :) Talk to you all next week! Vaya Con Dios!