Thursday, July 23, 2015

July 20

Alright I guess we will jump straight into this week :) There are a
lot of things to tell about, its been an exciting week :) Gotta love

Tuesday- We went to teach Hno Tomas with Decio :) it was a great
lesson. Tomas actually does communicate bettwe in tulegaya than in
spanish, so we heard a lot more about how he feels about us teaching
him through Decio. I believes the Book of Mormon to be true, and that
our church is a church of God, he just feels too old to go to church.
so we are still reading the Book of Mormon with him :)

We went and taught a guy named Preciliano Gracia, a guy we hd found
and taught before. We left him the restoration pamhplet to re-read and
pray about, and he told us that it is absolutely true and that this
has to be the restored church of christ because it all makes sense.
however, on the downside, he works as a police officer in Panama, and
works a month on and a month off. so he left two days later to work
for another 30 days :/ but its all good. We will teach him again when
he gets back :)

We stopped by to visit the Perez family (different from the other one
we are teaching) and they offered us sooga! so we ate it :) sooga is
crab, and it was a big river crab that they had caught for us. crab is
hard to eat but its actually super delicious! when we finished, he
asked if we would liike to try titi. and we both said sure... he
explained that it was fish. He plopped a piece of meat on our plates,
and I assumed it was just a chunk of a fish. and he then proceeded to
explain that it wasnt one fish. it was millions of rice sized fish
cooked into a patty. They were pretty good too! but that was super
interesting XD

We went to visit Lain that night, and for the first time in a while we
had a lesson alone with him, without his huge group of friends. it was
nice to get a one on one lesson with him, to see how he is doing with
everything. hes a good kid! he just needs to start coming to church so
he can get baptized.

Wednesday- We had a very normal day with studies and exercise and
everything :) super great. I love exercise and studies. those are the
best days. we worked like normal and went home early, because we had
to leave in the morning for Zone Conference.

the low-down: we know have permission to talk about it, as the
families know. Zone Conference was canceled last time, because 6
missionaries piled into a small motorboat to come to zone conference,
and the boat was over weight. If you remember, i mentioned that the
ocean was really angrythat day. so, in their travel, a wave crashed
over the low-floating boat, and the boat sank. the 6 missionaries and
our district president were lost in the ocean for 4 hours. everybody
was found, is safe, they just lost a bunch of their luggage and
scriptures. so... sad, but a miracel that everyone is ok. side note-
someone caught a barracuda in the area they sunk in 3 days later.

Thursday: we headed out for Zone Conference super super early. When we
got to Nargana after 4 hours in a boat, we were let know that the
location was changed! we had to backtrack to Playon Chico, because
nobody could find a ponga to go to nargana. so... we all went to
Playon Chico. it was cool :) the APs came out and brought mail so I
got some of my birthday packages :) super great.

we played barefoot soccer with a bunch of tule kids. they beat us
pretty bad XD gringos who never played soccer in their leave against a
bunch of 14 year old tules who have played soccer since before they
could walk XD plus it was barefoot on rocky sand XD

it was fun :) it was nice to get together with other missionaries,
including my comp from the MTC, elder mcgraw!

Friday- they day was basically stolen entirely by travel.

Saturday- BAPTISM ON THE ISLAND OF USTUPU. Hoora :) a girl named
Jannais, and old investigator of the sisters, that we finished
teaching :) shes a good girl. We also went to the monte in the
morning, to help in the pineapple farm again :) it was cool. this time
there were a lot more trees to cut down, and a lot more ants, but it
was fun :) It started pouring rain on the way back, so I had to
constantly dump water out of the canoe XD

Sunday- We finally got a computer, so we set it up, and did the branch
reports and stuff on the computer for the last 3 weeks. so that went
well :)

Monday- well. today. the plan for today, just hang out. go buy some
souvenirs later :) but ya.

Hey im out of time though :) Its been a great week full of adventure.
But, beyond everything, im just happy to be serving the Lord and
spreading his gospel. We met soem gringos this last week, who came on
a baptist mission trip to the island. One lady thought we were crazy
for wanting to stay gone from home for 2 years, but was respectful of
that fact that we were preaching the word of God. they were there to
help out in the hospitals. it was interesting to see other gringo
people XD none of them spoke spanish, and were confused how we could
communicate withou a translator. We explained that we learned spanish
and were learning tulegaya and they thought we were crazy XD but its
all good :)

I love serving the Lord. Im greatful for this time that I have, and Im
going to keep going forever. sorry mom, im not coming home. ima just
stay here for the rest of my life :) but hey. Its been good. I hope
everything is going well at home! Ill talk to yall next week!

-Dios Les Bendiga
-Anmar nuedi
-Neuegambi :)

-Elder Bradburn

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

July 13 - The Poisonous Insect Bite

Well.. this week has definitely been an interesting one. Im sure you
can tell by the title, that this week involves another story of
adventure... so Ill jump into my week to keep back the suspense :)

well. Tuesday we headed back to our island on another small motorboat.
It was like a 5 hour tripthis time because we didnt have as good of a
motor, and we had more people on the boat. but we eventually made it.
at like 4 in the afternoon. so we lost a huge chunk of the day, and
when we finally got ready to leave, they called an obligatory congress
meeting for everyone. so nobody was home to teach (the missionaries
are not required to be in their meetings and stuff, however we are
welcome to go)

but we just went home and worked on the área book.

Thursday- A day of.. a trip to the jungle. I dont kow if i explained
this before, but the peopole here survive on farming. they keep their
farms on the mainland, in the thick jungle. the panamanian jungle is
so thick, that they couldnt build a road between panamá and Columbia
because the jungle grew back over it too fast. so you literally cant
drive to Columbia from here. So, these people farm in that land. There
are all kinds of dangerous things out there. including pumas,
orangutangs, and crocodiles. but anyways... i came face to face with a
creature of dangerous proportions.

We went with Hno. Lope-Dia to his pineapple farm. We took a canoe out
there, and then hiked 30 minutes into the forest, and went to clean
his pineapple farm. They have to go and cut back the tres and other
plants every so often because the jungle grows back and takes over.
Pineapples grow in like a Little bush, but only one pineapple grows in
the bush. look up some pictures. After we finished cleaning, we
started clearing out a huge chunk of forrest. he wants to plant corn.
so, we spent an hour chopping out forrest. Until, out of no where, a
black insect the sise of Elder Bradburn´s finger lands on his face.
and then it stung me. In the momento, i had no idea what it was. but i
was in so much pain, that i fell to the ground to pretect myself. it
stung me two more times. Hno Lope Dia thought i was attacked by ants,
until he got stung himself! I will never forget what he said after
that. "Nos vamos de este lugar. es peligroso" aka- "we leave this
place. its dangerous". and he then explained that creature, that had
me dieing on the ground, was called "Avispa Negra" or The Black Wasp.
theyre very angry waps that are black, and are super poisonous. He
told me that most people vommit and get very bad migraines and pains
through their body. so i prepared for the worst xD he just acted calm
about it.

I never vomited, but over the next 24 hours My face swwole up and i
was in  a lot of pain. but, the work of the Lord must go on! In my
journal that night I wrote "I can handle a wasp sting. but this wasnt
a wasp. it was satan"

After we went home and washed up, we left to go teach :) We had
contacted a man the night before, who asked us to come teach him the
next day. so, we went to teach him. this guy is super prepared. Hes a
great guy. We tauht him the lesson of the Restoratin, and he said he
wants us to come back, and that hes gong to invite a close friend of
his to here the message as well. s this week we are gong to teach him,
his wife, and his close friend.

Later, we went to the Pere family. I think ive talked about them
before. They are less actives who are attending a cult church here on
the island. A church of witchcraft. They are actually a really really
good family, they are just involved with this cray church.

Whenwe got there, he had a crack in his kayuko. so they were using
styrofoam to fix it. when you dip styrofoam into gasolina, it melts
into a pasty glue substance. and they used that to fill the crack. In
the lesson, we commited them to come back to church, and those who
werent baptised, to be baptised. The spirit was super strong :)

Thursday- well. we were supposed to help a member go hunting, but the
plan fell through, because the rains came.

So... when I woke up... my face was super swollen, and so was my arm.
and both were super super itchy xD so it made for an interesting time.
stil in pain, but no cray body pain or migraine.

well, todayhna gonsales made plantain juice. that stuff is super
good!ill have to make it for some of you sometime.  it was an
interesting day but we worked hard.

Friday- there was some kind of community parade in the morning :) it
was cool. it was actually really interesting but ya. It was a cool
thing to see.

Friday has an obligatory congress sessin,so we decided to go to that,
since we arent allowed to t4each other people during congress, or we
could get in trouble. theywer taling about the importance of the
telephone lines, and how through our island, runs a cable tower that
connects central and south america to the USA. They wanted to raise
the cost of renting the land to the world pone companies.

Saturday. It was a good day. we worked hard as well, and nothing too
major happened. we had a lesson where i had to try hard to translate
tulegaya . it was cray, and scattered. but it ended up ok xD

Sunday- well we had church. they found a dead cat behind the chapel,
so we had to get rid of that. it wasnt too bad though.  We had a slow
day of work, because it was raining a lot, so we used it to catch up
on some stuff we needed to do in the house.

well! that was my week! sorry im running out of time so I gotta cut
this short :) i love you all! hope you have a great week! talk to you
later :) ill try to find a way to send potos, but no promises.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

July 6

well :) It has been an interesting week :) A week of craziness :) My
weeks and months just all blend together. Ive almost been out in blas
for a month! its amazing out here :) im learning tons and getting to
know the people a lot better :) they even speak differently on
different islands! Ive been on nargana for a day now and the people
understand what i say but they say things a little different. anyways
:) Lets talk about this week :)

Wednesday (because I emailed last tuesday) - We were supposed to go to
the pineapple farmers farm with him.. but he left 5 minutes earlier
than we got there :/ shoot. I was excited. We reset the appointment
for this wednesday :) pineapples dont grow on trees. look up how they
grow. its like a funny looking bush.

We went to hno. Decio´s house. He is one of the guys who helped
translate the book of mormon and temple videos from spanish into
tulegaya. He was telling us about some of the witchcraft that was
taking place on the island. the next few days after that me and
teichart both felt uncomfortable at night XD there are some
interesting things that happen. We have a crazy church here that we
think is involved with some interesting dark stuff. its interesting.
but hey :) stick to the positive of the restoration of the gospel :)
We have the restored church of christ and his same gospel :)

Thursday- We worked hard on thursday :) It was a good day. We have
lessons with our positive investigators. there is actually a lady we
are teaching that understands a lot of spanish, but a lot of the time
i end up having to try to translate between tulegaya and hand signals
(i speak more tulegaya than my companion does)

We had a lesson with Lain, a pretty positive investigator, that night
we taught him with his friends :) his friends were taking the lesson
as a joke like "hey the missionaries.. lets make fun" but by the end
they all felt the spirit, and one of them even came to church on
sunday. super cool :)

Friday- The district president came friday with Elder Maravilla, the
missionary district counselor. They actually showed up a day early.
andwe talked to them and elder maravilla gave us advice for working
with the islands. Hes been worried a lot for the members out here.
Basically, we are supposed to train the branch presidents and members
to do their stuff. I realized again that night how pretty san blas was

Saturday- Happy 4th of july! wooooh! We sand the star spangeled banner
on companionship study XD Saturday.. I found myself thinking about how
amazing and different this culture is :) I wouldnt mind staying here
for a long time :) I also realized ive adjusted to hammocks XD theyre
comfier than beds. I would definitely rather sleep in a hammock. Our
hammocks are huge.

While between appoitnemnts, we tried to find transport to Zone
conference for today. We wanted to be in church on sunday, so we
couldnt leave at 4am with the normal travel boats. so we tried to find
people who could leave sunday afternoon, after church.

Sunday- well, My 19th birthday :) I cant believe im 19 now :) its been
crazy haha. its been a good year. A year ago, i went through the
temple, and I got the priesthood. Wednesday will makr a year since I
left home for my mission the first time. a year since Ive been in the

So it was fast sunday and testimony sunday... in one of the
testimonies a member let us know that he witnessed a tsunami. On our
island! The ocean has been acting strange, and has been really angry
the last little while. Thursday, there was a small tsunami that washed
through a few peoples houses. super crazy. but then right after, a kid
came and said his mom (less active) got us a boat. So we went and
basically had time to go back our bags really quick and come back to
catch the boat.

So the rest of my birthday I spent 4 hours on a speed boat basically
on a roller coaster XD the ocean was really angry for that time.
shoot. it was really fun though. the rest of the day we spent in
Nargana. Nargana is a totally different island. its... they have less
influence form their culture. the Silahs here dont do much, and there
arent congress meetings here anymore. almost nobody speaks dialect.
its super crazy.

well.. do to travel problems and angry ocean, the other elders couldnt
come for our meeting. so tomorrow we head back to our island.
supposedly they say the ocean has calmed down enough for us to go
home, but not for everybody to come here. (naragana is closer to the
port... ustupu is the farthest out) so we basically came and spent $80
in travel for nothing, and have to pay another $80 to get home XD oh

ITs been an interesting couple of days :) actually its been an
interesting week :) I love it here! and i love you all! talk to you
next week :) This week, i can't send pics because the nargana computers
are better than ours :) listo :)

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

June 29 - Ustupu Island

An wisi bap machi mae. An wisi el libro de mormon sunsugedi. an wisi
Iglesia de Jesucristo de los santos do los últimos días sunsugedi.

Just my testimony in kuna for yall :) words that didnt exist when the
Spanish arrived, were adopted into kuna as spanish words. so modern
things like computer, etc they actually use spanish words. interesting
to know :)

But hey! how is everyone doing? Ive been doing great out here on
Ustupu. the name of my island, i cant remember if Ive told you, is
Usu-tupu. it literally means isla de conejos, or in english, Bunny

Tuesday- well i still felt bad, so i decided to sleep in to help me
feel better. later in the day, i felt bad enough that we went on
divisions so that i could go home and rest. so we went home and rested
and then i went out again later in the day when i felt better :)

Wednesday- THE CRAZIEST DAY OF MY MISSION. We got up early so that we
could go out with some of the youth to go and meet their friends and
stuff. we visited a few people and hit our daily goals with the youth
before lunch. One of the ladies we visited was an old lady who didnt
speak spanish. We invited her in the lesson to be baptized, and she
said she didnt need baptism. We told her that to enter the kingdon of
god you have to be baptized. She responded "I go to congress, and I
drink chicha fuerte. So im going to heaven and dont need baptism and
im too lazy to go to church".

#traditions of our fathers

We went home, and ate lunch, and just the rest of our day exploded. we
had like a million lessons and i cant explain how amazing that day was
:) the people here are so amazing. we set 11 baptismal dates and had
17 lessons that day. super amazing :) Things arent about the numbers,
but when your numbers are high its easy to feel like youre really
working as hard as you can to bring people closer to Christ :)

Thursday- we actually decided to teach the guys on the columbian boat
and bring them books of mormon and stuff. they are stranded for 20
days at a time on the ocean and dont have even a bible on the boat.
nor any kind of book. so we figure theyll read it even if its just out
of boredom. but they really appreciated to recieve a part of the Word
of god :)

we just saw tons of miracles as we killed ourselves working :)

Friday- it was another good day of work and feeling the spirit :)

Saturday- we woke up at 4 am to take our first journey to the monte..
aka... the mountains on the mainland. we helped a member sahpe up the
tombs of some dead family members. they bury people deep, but in a way
that it leaves a mound called a "parecido" to look like there was a
person there. its really interesting.

we worked again later, but we were exhausted. we carried rocks up and
downa hill for the service.

Sunday- well... sunday is sunday, right? gotta love the opportunity to
go to church :)

Monday- we went with our dueño to the monte... basically... we drove
in motorboat for 45 minutes to a Little cove, and pushed through with
our hands for another 20 minutes, parked, and then walked 20 minutes
through dense forest to his platano farm. we chopped down tons of
platanos, and ended up having to carry them all back in one trip among
the 5 of us. the way panamanians do it, is attatch as many as the can
to a stick, and carry it the whole way back on their shoulder. they
only had two sticks, but i asked to be the one to carry a stick. I
almost died xD it was insanly heavy. and today, My shoulders are
rubbed raw and my back and shoulders are sore xD

also, Elder nysetvold came to teach our branch president how to do his
stuff on the compu. but it happened to break, so we didnt have time to
write home yesterday. so im writing now :)

but hey im out of time soooooo ill talk to yall next week! ahhhhhh

love yall :)