Monday, July 16, 2012

Letter from Elder Pfister July 16, 2012

     Well these changes (transfers) were big for me, lots of things happened. I am now in Penonomé, Coclé Province, the very center of the country. In fact about 30 seconds from our house is the pin-type monument for the geographical center of the country, so now you know exactly where i am, haha. This change i am now training, my kid (new companion) is Elder Segura from Lima Peru. And to add on to that, we´re opening a new area which makes things kinda tough. I didn´t even know i was going to train, we arrived at changes late so we just waited with the bags till everyone else got back and one of the first to get off was like ¨Hey your kid is looking for you.¨  And i was just thinking yeah right, they always tell trainers a week in advance and the leaders have a meeting with them. Then someone else got off the bus and was like ¨Hey congrats on training and opening an area at the same time.¨ At this point i was kinda freaking thinking, oh man i really am training (a new missionary) and opening an area. Apparently either the AP´s or my ZL´s (leaders) forgot to tell me about my being assigned as a trainer so that all came as a big big surprise for me. 
     My area is huge, about 1/4 of the province of Cocle. The house is pretty good, but we live in a house with 4 Elders together and my companion and I got stuck with the not so great part of the house. We sleep in the kitchen and there isn´t even a door so i´ve been getting eatin alive by bugs at night. Our shower is nothing but a pipe with a little stream of water that comes out,  it´s interesting, but overall it´s fine, i´ve seen worse here in the mission. The other senior Elder that we live with is also training so that´s pretty fun since he doesn´t have much more time on the mission than I do, so we can relate really well on everything.  Starting off the work has been really hard, because no one knows our area and we don´t even know where our area is, where dinner appointments are or anything. but we´ve been going out with the youth of the branch and having them show us around and stuff and now i´m starting to get the hang of it.
    The Branch that we´re in is tiny, i´m not used to only having like 40 in the sacrament meeting, haha.  Apparently our branch has a lot of inactive people and has a lot of potential because President Ward said that if we reach and maintain a certain attendance every week then they are going to build a new chapel there for them, and that he´s already signed the papers.... now we just have to get more people to church on a regular basis. The goal is 150 people on average every week and right now we get about 40 to 70, so we got some work ahead of us, but apparently there are some really good members who help out a lot and when the missionaries have asked them for help in the distant past, they´ve had a lot of success. Of the people i´ve met so far they all seem really cool and really strong in the gospel, so i´m excited to help them reach their goal. It would be sweet to be able to visit the new chapel before i leave panama knowing i helped them earn it. 
     The actual area, so far, i love. It´s really beautiful out here. It is mainly jungle and mountains and no traffic and skyscrapers. I really like the country (rural) feel and it´s way more peaceful out here than in Panama City. The people here are a lot more chill and relaxed, too; we went contacting a little and nearly everyone let us in their homes to talk and they were super nice. It´s kinda deceiving because i know most people won´t progress to baptism and that they mostly just want to talk, but it´s better than door to door rejection, at least this way i can ask for a glass of water, sit down and get out of the sun. 
     My Kid (new comp) is pretty cool too. He has so much excitement to go out and work it´s almost overwhelming. i don´t remember being that excited when i got here but maybe i was... It kinda makes me laugh because we didn´t really do that much missionary work the first few days while we were organizing everything and getting to know our area, and that was rough on him because he was always like, ¨Hey let´s go work, when are we going to work, let´s go let´s go let´s go¨  but one day we did work way hard and he started out the day with tons of energy and talking like there was no tomorrow, and when we finished the day he was dead quiet. We got back to the house and i went to report numbers and when i got to the room he was already asleep, haha. I do remember that when i started, going from the MTC to the field was super tiring, and the heat here doesn´t help at all. Being a trainer is definitely a very different experience and i´m learning alot already. My comp is super excited to start conversations and give out tons of information and then after like 5 minutes of pure lecturing he just stops and turns to me with this look like, ok i said everything i want to and i don´t know what to do now, so it is your turn. 
     So that´s what´s new with me, i´m training and opening an area in the very center of the country.  I´m enjoying the changes and life right now. I´m pretty much over my sickness so i´m super happy about that. 
    I´m glad to hear everything is going well back home. I got that picture of me skiing that you emailed to me, and man that brings back good memories.. I really miss the snow here. 
    So i sent my handwritten letter a few weeks ago with the camera card so i hope you get it soon along with the packages i sent. 
    Dad and Mom, sadly no, we can´t go see any movies like some missions apparently are allowed to do. I guess Pres. Ward missed that memo from SLC, haha. But i have seen some trailers for some movies and wow there are some sweet movies coming out. By the way, I have no idea who Anny Ramos is, but maybe some family member of my old comp? 
It´s funny to hear that those squirrels are giving you guys trouble, they´ve always been your backyard pets right? I think your solution will work fine, haha. i can´t wait to get home and have you cook me up something on your new grill, makes my mouth water thinking about it. Eating a nice juicy burger next your fountain sounds really nice. 
   i think that´s all i got for you this week, it´s been a crazy week but i liked it. I´m excited to get to work here in this new area and i get to teach my comp how the mission works, and that should be fun. We´ve already found a few positive people to teach. i know that this is the true work of the Lord and that He is preparing the people to hear and accept His gospel message, and i´m pumped up to be the one to share it with them. i love and miss you guys! 
Elder Pfister

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