Monday, January 23, 2012

Hola Fam,
     So this week has been kinda crazy but a fun week. We went to Panama City nearly everyday for different reasons. On Monday  we went for p-day and just hung out at Albrook mall, which is huge but fun to just chill in. It reminds me of America and Walmart because you can actually find things you're used to having... But i didn't buy anything. Then on Wednesday we went to the mission office because Elder Barahona needed to take an English test. I guess every latino takes an English test at the end of their mission and if they do good enough they send them a certificate that helps them get better jobs and into better universities. So we spent most the day there... Well, i just sat there and did nothing and he took the test haha, kinda boring but it was something different from my normal day which i liked. 
And then on Thursday we went again to Panama City to listen to Elder Russel M. Nelson which was awesome. That was by far the best part of the week. We had the meeting in the stake center right next to the Temple so when he got there we took a group photo in front of the temple. We also got to shake hands with him and have a tiny little chat with him. We listened to President and Sister Ward and then Elder Martino of the Quorum of the 70 and his wife, and then Elder Nelson and his wife. The Wards' pretty much talked about the normal things we can do better in with a few nice stories from the mission but nothing too special. Elder Martino and his wife were good, they talked about how to improve our mission, but it was in different ways than the normal things so i enjoyed those talks. But Sister Nelson and Elder Nelson's talks were amazing, especially Elder  Nelson. He talked about coming closer to Christ, and we pretty much studied a few scriptures with him.  There were only like 100 people there, so we were asking questions and stuff, it was great. He said how we need to be more like Gordon B. Hinckley and always to be demanding more of ourselves, and never settle for ok or just enough. Then he gave us a blessing of protection through obedience, and a thirst for more knowledge of the gospel. The amazing thing for me is how he seemed to answer every question i had, even ones i didn't think i had. For me Elder Nelson's talk was one of the most powerful talks I've heard, mostly because it was in person and applicable to me and my life.
    So in other news, this Wednesday i get a new companion so that's exciting. But i really like Elder Barahona so it's sad to see him go too. And he's really sad to leave the mission. I always thought it was weird to hear people say how sad they were to leave and go home. I always thought that at the end of  my mission i would be so eager to get home, but the more time here and the more friends I make, and the more I start to love the work, I can see how it's going to  be hard to leave it all behind.
   As for the baptisms, they aren't going to happen before Elder Barahona leaves which is sad, but we think we're going to have the Trujillo Family (but the doctor still hasn't given us the medical papers), Rodney, and another person named Angel to baptize soon. We have taught Angel 2 times i think but yesterday he came up to me in church and said how he really knew that the church was true and how much he loves the Book of Mormon and i was like great and then he said so when can i be baptized? Haha, which is great because we hadn't really talked to him about baptism yet, he read about it in the Book of Mormon. So i hope that works out. Other than that, our other investigators are going pretty good, except we had this one family who were really progressing and getting into it and we went over there for another lesson and the house was completely empty, they just picked up and moved without saying anything - so who knows where they are now. Hopefully they find the missionaries where ever they are.

To wrap up, i can't believe it's already been 6 weeks here in Panama, and I'm getting a new companion, time is flying! My Spanish is getting better slowly but surely and pretty much the mission is great, i love it!! I think that's the key, you gotta love it and find joy in everything. I know that The Church is true and it's the same church that Christ established when He was on the earth and it's been restored through Jose Smith. I know that if we have faith in the blessings of the Book of Mormon, it will change our lives for the better, I have seen that for myself, both in my life and in the lives of my investigators. I know that Christ lives and is always with us to help us. I'm so grateful for all you guys and all  the love and support you give me, thank you so much! I love and miss you!
Love, Elder Pfister

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