Friday, June 26, 2015

June 22 - arrival in Ustupu Island

Nuegambi! Como estan?! Im now living on an island in the middle of the atlantic ocean, bathing from a bucket, eating dehydrated mashed potatoes and mac n cheese for every meal, and learning a lot. Ill talk about it more, but, i learned the hard way that you cannot drink the tap water. 

sooo... im just going to skip straight to the San Blas part of the last week. that will keep my blog a little shorter and more interesting this week XD

Thursday- We had to wake up at 4am to get to albrook airport before 6, to catch our planes. (they sent us in plane because its actually cheaper than the normal way, taxi and boat, and we didnt have to take supplies so we could fit on an airplane). I got to my island at like 730, to meet up with Elder Teichart (my comp) and Decio. a member, who speaks spanish. Spanish is actually the second lanugage here. Decio however, was one of 3 essential members involved with the translating of the Book of Mormon from spanish into Tulegaya (the native indian language here). We had to wait till 12 for the airplane that brings supplies and my luggage, and then took a boat to our house XD

we dropped off my stuff in our little one room house, and went straight to work. but he introduced me to the house. Our toilet is a hole in the dock over the ocean, or shower is a bucket filled with water, our food as i mentioned earlier isnt the most interesting, and now im being thrown back to the early days of my mission! I can no longer speak the lanugage! the people here speak a native indian language. some people in the richer parts speak spanish, but my spanish is better than most on the island. My bed is a hammock, and the people here are amazing. Their history actually says that they came from the East (towards egypt) and a lot of their beliefs and traditions follow things from the Book of Mormon. We taught a man about the Book of Mormon the  other day, and explained how it was written and how Nephi and his family came from jeruselam. the man told us that that sounds a lot like their history, and showed us a book about their history. They actually believe that a God came to visit them, and to teach them how to live. We know that it was Jesus Christ, but they call him Ibeorgun. They were taught to love their neighbor, and many other things that Christ has traditionally taught. 

Friday- The children all run through the straight and run to hug us whenever we walk by. we can go anywhere on the island, and the little kids will chase after us XD its so cute. During the day, we went by Branch Presidents house to learn a little bit of Tulegaya. I know enough to say hello, ask their names, and a few simple sentences that actually help us. In panama, little lizards randomly walk through peoples houses. here, crabs randomly walk around XD 

We were walking to a lesson when a Mu (the old old women) was running through the island with a huge heavy bag on her forhead. so, after trying to ask to help here, we realized she didnt speak spanish, and so we started robbing the plantains out of her basket. We followed her back to her house and she realized she didnt have any more in her basket and we had all of them XD in that house, we talked a little bit, but mainly we met an old old man named Thomas. He speaks English!!! turns out he was an o.d WWII vet. He was a cook for the army and picked up english like that. 

Saturday was basically the same layout, helping peopel out as the walk by and teaching people (sorry im going to start writing shorter because im exhausted)

we taught an english class at the chapel, and I drank tap water not thinking anything of it (in panama, you can drink the tap water) 

Sunday- I didnt feel so well, so we took it easy, but i didnt eat much.  I gave a talk in church that had to get translated from spanish to tulegaya. that was pretty cool. My comp also took us to visit our baptismal font, AKA a little cove in the atlantic ocean! super pretty.

Monday-  Monday, guess who got put in a broken down hosital on his island for 3 hours? I woke up at 2am and have been violently throwing up with diahrea since then. so.... we went to the Health department on our island. I actually wasnt going to go but the Mu (grandma) who lives next door came and said "we oelege?" are you sick? and I said "elle" or yes. she pointed and said something, and realizing we dont speak very good tulegaya, pointed again and said "hospital". so we ran down to the hospital. because at this point, only 9 am, I had vomited more than ten times, and used the bathroom close to 15. So i was exhausted. Showed up at the health department, told us there was no space until 1. On the way back home, I collapsed, and someone recognized us as missionaries and ran to the Branch presidents house. when we got home we got a phone from him. He works there and he told us "Elders, we made a spot for him. come back here". Ive literally never been so sick in my life. They gave me an iv filled with fluids and medicine for 3 hours, and then sent me home. and now im here emailing :) Im still super weak, but at least I know now im going to make it XD

soooo.. .thats my week :) so im gonna live! Im gonna live long enough to write yall next week! Ill keep you update as usual, every monday Ill write home, and my dad will post it on the blog. we have internet service in the church.

I love yall! I know this church is true! I know that christ is our savior and redeemer, and i am so greatful to be spreading his work! I have a feeling im going to gain a larger testimony of the book of mormon in my time here, among the literal Lamanites and Jaredites. 

Nuedi!! chau!!!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

June 15: San Blas - Ustupu island!

alright... so lets talk a bit about the last week of my mission. It has been a crazy time. This week has literally been nuts. However, it also involves very little actual missionary work (sadly.. after 3 weeks of being in the house) but its still been a cool week.

Monday- Well, we went to email, and realized we didnt have a phone, so from there we went home and hung out in the house and waited for my companion and the other Elder to get home. They got home at 930 PM and The first thing my companion says to me, "Bradburn, I have a piece of advice for you. Start packing." Aww man, changes. Where am I going? "You are going to Ustupu (San Blas) and you need to be in the APs house tomorrow morning at 9 AM. 

Sooo... I was up until 1 AM packing. and arrived the next day to the city. Basically that entire day was spent shopping and everything for Blas. Basically, all the missionaries stay on their islands, but the ZLs come back to the city to buy everything everybody needs for the entire change. including food. so... a lot of money goes into San Blas. 

Wednesday- More shopping, packing up food, and some upsetting news. An Elder from San Blas was diagnosed with Malaria. annnnnnnd he needs to stay in the city until they finish his medication. and they need someone to stay with him. Soooo the natural solution for this problem, is Elder Bradburn. So that I can finish resting and make sure thinks are totally ok after my infection. Fun times :)

Thursday- well... lots of resting. so not much really happened. 

Friday- bsically the same thing. lots of studying. resting. talking to the sick Elder (because we happen to have been in the MTC together so we are pretty good friends)

Saturday- Suerte :) I got a break of good luck :) well... another elder had a case of bad luck... So. basically wel live in a house with Elder Wrigley, Elder Rapalo, and the office Elders, Elder Taylor and Elder Nysetvoldt (all of which are close friends of mine.. me and wrigley were close from Chorrera, Taylor was also with me in the MTC, and I lived with Nysetvoldt for 3 weeks when I first got to Panma).

Basically what happened, is Elder Rapalo got sick. Sooooo... I got to go on divisions and teach with Elder Wrigley :) It was super fun, and the first time Ive done real missionary work in almost a month. super cool. They have a cool area, but I dont really like it. Panama City is so crowded :P I like my little Chorrera. But ya :) We basically had an investigator ask to get baptized, but they arent married, and wrigley mentioned marriage, and the guy said "well, we have been together so long, i dont even have to think about it" so they have a marriage and 2 baptisms coming up :) 

Sunday- welllllllllll not much happened again. we got permission to bless our own sacrament, and ya. just chilled in the house again.

Alright. soooooooo....... that is all the has happened. but, here is a little info about Blas. Basically, we have 14 missionaries. 12 elders, and 2 sisters. The Blas missionaries are known for going toBlas, and not being heard of for a while, because we dont come back to main land until we leave Blas. uhm... the men, speak a little spanish, and most women barely speak spanish. So, basically, the best thing to do is for us to  use the gift of tongues to learn Dulegaya, which is the language they speak. My area is Ustupu, the largest island, and the richest. Rumor has it (because my companion is there, so ive talked with him through phone) that we only have electricty for certain times of day, our bathroom is a hole in the dock, and, we do not have beds. we literally sleep in hammocks. So... I will very literally be camping for the next... several months of my mission. Super exciting :) My plane leaves Thursday morning, so, Ill let you know what the islands are REALLY like next Monday! :) 

Love yall! talk to you later. 

chauuuuuu. Nade (bye in dulegaya)
Dios les bendiga :)

June 8

alrighty... so I owe everyone a blog post that sums up the last 3 weeks. I guess ive gotten a little bit behind on the times. Basically, to make things brief and short, ive been sick and unable to leave the house for the last 3 weeks, but Im doing a little better and I can start leaving again on wednesday. so everything is going alright :)

When my companion found out that I was sick and not allowed to leave the house, he called president and begged him to send us 2 extra missionaries so that he could continue working in the area... and thats exaclty what president did. We have been living with Elders Cordoba (from miama, florida) and Sanchez (Baja California, Mexico.. not sure what city... somewhere close to the US border) and its been a blast with 2 extra missionaries in the house. its been nice living with another gringo (well... cordoba is 100% Tico, but he was born and raised in the US)

These last few weeks have been a mix of not a whole lot of action for me, sneaking out on pday to teach a lesson because my comp wasnt there to keep me from leaving, lots of trips to the doctor in Paitilla in Panama City, and a visit from Elder Alonzo.

Elder Alonzo came last wednesday :) i technically disobeyed (technically they didnt tell me not to go to zone conference.. they just told me i couldnt leave the house.... somehow it makes sense) but I couldnt not go listen to a general authority speak to us. he had a lot of great insight for us and taught us a ton of stuff. He talked a lot about the importance of the atonement, and the symbolism in the Plan of Salvation and the Parable of the Good Samaritan. I never thought that that parable was literally the Plan of Salvation. Basically, we are traveling from Jerusalem (the high ground, literally, and holds the temple of the Lord) and traveling downhill to another city, when we are left half dead and ignored by other people who cant help us, however, there is one who has the power to save us through his own sacrifice. 

Elder Alonzo also did interviews with a select few missionaries... and turns out... im not special enough xD but oh well. It would have been super cool. 

Keep fighting for what is right :) Keep your standards. My Dad always told me when growing up, to rememer who i am and what i stand for. It is so important to actually FIGURE OUT who we are and what we stand for. and then, its not enough to remember it. we need to live it, and fight for it. Its something that even I as a missionary have to work harder on. Anyways, I love yall so much :) good luck y Dios les bendiga en esta semana que viene :)

uhm... well. Not much else has happened for the last few weeks. Ill let yall know what happens this week as I start getting slowly back to work. Changes are on Wednesday and President told me he already has had a strong feeling that Im going to leave this change, so next week ill have some interesting news, a new companion, and pictures of a new houseand new area. super exciting!