Monday, January 9, 2012

Letter from Devin January 9, 2012

¡¿Que Tal?!
So I forgot to tell you guys about New Years Eve here! It was pretty tight here, a party of course but they have some pretty wild traditions here. Everyone here makes this scarecrow like thing, but here are more details… I should’ve taken a picture of one but I didn’t think of it but anyway they make these dummy like people and dress them up and make them look cool and then the best part, they stuff them with really flammable things and fireworks and firecrackers and bombs and they set them ablaze at midnight along with all their fireworks too. And that I do have pictures of, our neighbor’s dummy exploding with fire and fireworks, Haha. Anyway so for New Years Eve we couldn’t sleep just like Christmas because everyone is setting off fireworks and playing music and stuff, pretty much partying hard and as loud as possible. So we couldn’t sleep so we went out and watched the fireworks which was way fun because everyone has the huge fireworks like the kind the city sets off for 4th of July but the thing is everyone in every direction has them, so everywhere you look there are huge fireworks going off. The whole sky was just lit up with tons of fireworks, it is quite a sight, and really noisy too because they all love setting off bombs that don’t light up or anything they are just really loud, like bombs, and they shake your house if they are close… I wanted to explode some but I couldn’t find them cheap. So like I was saying along with all these fireworks, you look down the street and in front of most of the houses are these burning exploding dummies. It was cool to see and very much unexpected. The whole week I had seen them sitting in people’s yards but I didn’t really think anything of it, and then I came outside on New Years Eve and they were all setting them on fire. Next year I’m definitely making one! So afterwards when all the dummies were dead and gone and most the fireworks were done, you could barely see anything - the whole city was covered in smoke and smog. It was cool… kinda an orange mist that covered everywhere with the occasional fireworks in the distance. So after all that we went and visited a member who lives like 30 seconds from us and just like Christmas, everyone has a huge meal at midnight. As we arrived they invited us to eat with them and they had sooooo much food for how many people were there! It was a family of 2 brothers, 2 sisters and the parents so 6 people total and they had 5 big hams, a huge turkey, the biggest thing of lasagna I’ve ever seen, and tons of cake and cookies and sweets. So much food and it was so good! But I was already stuffed from our earlier dinner appointments so I didn’t eat a ton.  So that was New Years Eve for us pretty much, I think that’s the interesting stuff we did.

So I got some mail from you guys this week and that Christmas package. The Mail was addressed on the 18th of December so a little late getting here haha, and I’ll be sure to use those Christmas ornaments next Christmas, so no need to send another package next year because I’m already prepared! That’s the boy scout in me, prepared 353 days before haha, but thanks anyway for the package, I’m sure we’ll find an unproductive use for that fake snow like covering someone’s house in it during divisions. We’ll find a way to have fun with it. And thanks for the mail too. And Brittany, I got 2 letters from you, one saying a short message and another being worried if that short message went through or not, so I’m not sure how many you sent but that’s what I got. Oh and I am going to try to email you guys pictures this time so I hope you get them and I put all my  pictures on that hard drive so I’ll send my memory chip home eventually… So did you guys ever get my package I sent from the MTC?
The only thing i want right now that I can´t get here is a 50 states quarter collecting board because it´s kinda a game or challenge here to collect all 50 states quarters while on your mission without cheating at a bank or something. But i don´t need this anytime soon, just sometime the next package whenever that is, no rush at all. 
So this is the address that they told me is the best address to send physical mail and packages to:
Elder Pfister
Misión Panamá
Entrega General 0834
Panamá, Republica de Panamá

I’m pretty sure this address will work for my whole mission so you don’t have to worry about getting new addresses. And if I do happen to get a house with an actual address and house number maybe we can experiment sending a letter there to test their mail system to see if I get it, who knows.  

So random other stuff that has happened here… We found a rat in our house, well more like my companion found it. I was reading one morning when I hear my companion screaming, “Pfister! Help! Come quick! I need help!” so I go running in to see him on the bed next to our dresser freaking out because there is a rat under it, but it was more like a mouse or a tiny rat but it was funny to see him freak out over it haha. And we eventually caught it took pictures and all, but I figured out that he does not like animals. Another time when we came home there were 2 bats just chillin on our front porch and I wasn’t sure if they were dead or what so I kinda tapped one and it jumped up and started flying towards my companion and he started freaking out and yelling and it turned away from him and flew right into the wall and just dropped, it was great. Anyway we poked them a few more times to try to get them off our porch; my companion wanted to just kill them but I wouldn’t let him, and eventually after lots of running into the wall they flew away. 
In teaching I feel pretty good, if they are talking about normal gospel topics and I can usually understand most of it and I teach about a third of the lesson usually. I feel good with my spanish if i know that words i need to use, the grammar is there for the most part i just don´t know enough vocabulary. Elder Barahona goes home the 26th of this month but i get a new comp the 25th. I feel ok about the area but we´re really working on learning it. I lead us everywhere now and Elder Barahona only helps if i get really lost. So yeah i´m getting in more study time now, and I ask Elder Barahona if i need help with spanish so it´s all good now. 
There is this gym owned by a member who lets us in free when he´s working so we went there and worked out and it felt way good! Way sore the day after, i could hardly walk, but we´re going to go a few times a week now. 
The family we´re teaching is an unmarried couple around 30 years old i think with a daughter who's 11 and a son who is 8 and my comp has been teaching them for a while now and i really like them now that i´m starting to get to know them and teach them. They seem to have good testimonies and are ready for baptism. 
Tell Delma happy birthday for me! 
So yeah, everything is going good for me here now. Spanish is coming along, teaching is good, i like the people and the food and the other elders. I´m nervous about my next comp but i think i´m going to be nervous about all my new comps. 
I love and miss you guys so much! I had a little testimony builder yesterday in church, singing I know my savior lives. I challenge you guys, next time you sing that, to really pay attention to the words because they are powerful. ¨I know my Savior lives, what comfort that sweet sentence gives¨ and it´s true, we should take great comfort in that He lives. I know that He lives!
I love you guys so much!
Les Amo muchisimo,

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