Monday, October 28, 2013

Todas las cosas buenas deben llegar a su fin!!

Q´ Xopa Mo!
    Well it makes me sad to write this, but this is my last letter... I´m having major mixed feelings right now of being excited to go home and at the same time sadness for leaving all this behind. My last week was normal, we taught some peeps and said goodbye to people there in David. I¨m already in Panama (city) visiting people here, and tomorrow we´re going to Colon to see all of them there... Speaking of which, i don´t know if you remember the Dominicanas from Colon, well G_____ the youngest apparently got baptized yesterday, gotta confirm it but that´s what i heard. It almost took a year but it finally happened and that´s the important part. Y____ is probably going to get baptized too but in a few weeks, she is having a hard time getting used to going to a new church because right now she doesn´t understand a lot, she says she likes it but doesn´t feel good about baptism yet. N_____, the dude that has come a few times is progressing really well and is really cool, we hung out for a while after church, they call him Pitbull at church because he looks like the rapper pitbull haha. 
    On Saturday the zone had a good bye surprise party for Elders Aguilar, Alvarez and me, it was sweet. We had a piñata and they gave us signed flags. Then after we had a multi-ward activity which was a soccer tournament and they asked us to make a team too so we did. Our team was good, we made it to the finals but lost at the end. But that´s ok because the team that beat us was a bunch of gangster fools who play all the time and play very well. The first game we won 9-2 and the second 6-3 but then lost 3-5. It was a good way to finish my time in David, i really loved playing street ball like that, i´m going to miss that alot. 
    Well the time has come... never thought the day would come but it´s here so all i gotta say is - see ya Thursday! For food i´m really feelin Texas Roadhouse or homemade BBQ ribs like you said with mashed potatoes and gravy and rolls and brownies and milk :)
    I love you guys and i´ll see ya soon, take care!
Elder Pfister
P.S. i sent a pic of N_____ and the goodbye party

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Hermoso amanecer en el Volcán Barú

    Sorry i didn`t write yesterday, we had an awesome p-day but it didn`t give us a chance to write. For p-day we hiked up the Volcán Barú - a giant volcano, it was an adventure!! First we left David at 9:45 pm on Sunday night up to Boquete, from there we got a ride up to the trail head and started hiking at 11:30 at night. The hike is 13.5 km or 8.5 miles and apparently it usually takes around 6-7 hours to do. We did it in 4.5 hours arriving at the top around 4:15 in the morning. The problem was that we wanted to see the sunrise at 6 in the morning and on the very top it was way too cold to wait so we waited like 10 minutes down from the summit. We found this little hut thing (in the pics) and we made a fire since we were freezing, and we took a little nap for an hour in the hut. We were so cold so we cuddled up together; I was with Stegelmeier and Perez cuddling for warmth, haha.  Anyway at 6 am we went up to the top where there is a weather station and then at the very top there is a cross. We stayed up on top for like an hour taking pictures and messing around, and around 8 am we started back down. Going up wasn`t all that hard; thanks to the exercises we have been doing all change, i didn`t get tired going up and neither did Steg but a few people struggled. But on the way down it was a challenge, more just because of the mental aspect of wanting to be off the mountain. We got down around 11 am, taking lots of breaks to chill and take pics and stuff. Going down we explored alot more because going up it was dark and we couldn`t see anything, but in the morning we could see the beauty of the jungle and surrounding area. We found strawberries and raspberries and other things, fun times. Volcán Barú is 11,397 ft or 3474 m in elevation and i didn`t believe people when they told me but it really does get really cold up there. Maybe because i`m used to Panama heat or something but we all froze! We didn`t go super prepared because i wasn`t willing to buy new clothes or jackets to go, i just took my rain coat and a pair of polyester pants that i found in the house, it helped with the wind but i still was dying. I really loved it, the whole thing was an adventure, hiking in the middle of the night, finding a random hut and sleeping there after making a make-shift fire and then conquering the tallest point in Panama and the one of the tallest volcanoes in Centro America. And i did it with some of my best friends in the mission. We were 10 missionaries -  of the people you know there was Perez, Collier, Stegelmeier, Mendez, Aguilar and some other people you don`t know plus two guides from Boquete that are guides of mine for the area plus one recent convert of Steg`s (the boxer guy who we work out with in the mornings). So anyway, probably my favorite p-day of the mission and my last p-day because next week i`m just going to be visiting people in the city. 
   Anyway as spiritual things go, it`s marchin along slowly. Y_____ came to church, she has always been Catholic and in church she said she felt really weird and not comfortable because she didn`t understand much of what was going on, which is a huge bummer because she wanted to be baptized this Sunday but i`m not sure now... we`ll see. She still wants to listen to us, but the church service confused her, because it`s not like the individual lessons where we can explain everything slowly and clearly. I still have hope for her baptism, but i don`t know if it`ll be during my time here. In fact i know she`ll be baptized because she said she wanted to still, but we`re going to go and clear up all the questions she has.
   Last Sunday this new dude showed up to church named N____, apparently like 3 months ago his wife left him, and left him with the 3 kids, the oldest has 10 years. He is struggling with all that has happened and was really cool, he participated alot in the classes. I met him when we were in the investigator class; he gave such good answers i actually thought he was a pastor or something but nope he doesn`t go to church right now. Anyway, we are going to have a noche de hogar with him and his kids tonight, and including the neighbor who invited him to church, so it should go well. 
   Other than that, our other people are kinda just in limbo, not progressing really very fast, so not much to report on there.
   It`s really weird to be so close to finishing the mission, i`m not sure what to think, some days i get really excited to go home and other times i get really sad to be leaving Panama and finishing the mission. Oh well, i feel good about my mission, no regrets. These really have been the best two years of my life and for my life. I`ve learned so much and grown so much in everything from the gospel to life in general, it`s been amazing, I wouldn`t trade it for anything. Having a knowledge of the gospel brings peace to one`s life because you know what`s to come, how to confront challenges with God`s help and how He can help us in all situations. I know that God loves us and wants the best for us and is willing to help us get there. He forgives us for our errors and gives us new chances to be better and become better. He also gives us the love, peace, and joy that we all look for in life but that we can`t find in any other place except with Him and our families. The mission has opened my eyes and i have realized how important the gospel is in our lives. I`m not even sure what to say about my mission, so many things to say, good times, lessons learned, miracles and blessings, so much that words can`t describe it. It`s been a good time.
   Take care fam, i love you guys and i`ll see you very very soon! 
Elder Pfister

P.S. Anything you guys want or want me to do? Beside the videos  and lots of pics?

Monday, October 14, 2013

Corto pero dulce

Hola fam,
   Well this letter is going to be a little weak for lack of time, but this week was alot better than last week. We were able to baptize Z_____ on Saturday, my two year mark, and it was a really special baptism because she had been waiting so long for it. She had an interview with the stake president and this resolved some questions, and now it`s all good. Other than that things are still kinda going slow... We're trying to help people get back into church, and find new ones and little by little it`s working. 
Speaking of getting trunky, i`m not trunky yet but i was wondering - could you guys get me appointments with the dentist and eye doctor and all those fancy people? ;) ha ha 
   Anyway gotta go, but everything is good on this end, trying to finish strong the last few weeks. I still think we can baptize a few more people before i leave so we`re working toward that. Take care!
Elder Pfister

Monday, October 7, 2013

Fuerte hasta el final

Sup Trunky Fam,
    Well this week was an interesting one... Some good and bad. I'll start with the bad so I can end with the good. So last week as you guys read was an amazing week, we had like 10 investigators in church who could very easily be baptized. Well it all happened on Tuesday... We had appointments with E_____ and the fam, R_____, Z_____ and R____ and S_____.  So, we eat lunch and go to the first appointment which is with Z_____ and she's not home, but that's not the bad part; we call her and she explains how she got into a fight with a member about some stuff and she says i don't think i'm going to stay in the church and hangs up immediately. We call the bishop and he confirmed it all to be true with the fight and that she may not continue. First blow. Then we call K_____ (the girlfriend) and R______ to go with them to get the medical papers so they can get married. Anyway K_____ answers crying and explains how last night they had gotten into a fight and he moved out to live with his dad and that lots of really ugly things were said. We called R_____ after we contacted her, and he says yeah it happened and says there is really no chance that they will get back together. We were in contact with both of them the whole week and K_____ is super down and R____ is still not wanting to make up. We haven't been encouraging either way because we know that sometimes people need to breakup;  instead we have just been comforting and helping them not to get far away from the Lord in this hard time. Anyway so after calling R____ and hearing that, then we call E_____ to confirm the appointment that we had with them. His wife answers and she says yeah you guys can come over but E_____ is not here, he disappeared yesterday and never came home.... oh no we thought and so we went over there to hear what happened. She explains how his sister had come over and she gave him some money so he could go out and look for work... Well, he went out and got drunk and arrested and he was still in jail. Then his wife goes on venting about all the bad in their lives and stuff... ugh super depressing. Well, then we went to R____'s house which was going to be the one good thing of the day because they are always super happy and positive... Not that day. We get there and they are both gloomy and we ask what's up and they explain how there is a member that is saying lots of ugly things to them and now they don't want to go back to church. We tried talking  but they were set on it. And from there we got on a bus and went overnight to Panama for the Mission Leadership Council.... So this was probably the worst day of my mission as far as people progressing (or not). Anyway, to finish with the not-so-good part of this letter, almost no one went to watch general conference either. 
     Now the good part.... R____ and S_____ did go to watch conference and they said that that week was just a strange one and that Satan was working hard on them and they let him in for a while but learned from it. R_____ (even though it won't be with Kristel) wants to keep going with learning about and going to church and hopefully he will get baptized. He doesn't want to lose everything he has gained and changed in his life. Y____ is still going good, really busy with the University so we couldn't visit her much but she's still progressing. And well the ZL meeting in Panama was good; the mission here is changing a lot with all the new missionaries that are overflowing into here, plus our new Presidente  Carmack is changing it too. Change is always tough at first but i´m really excited for the mission and what it´ll be soon. Plus the best thing of the week was obviously general conference. The best line in there for me was from President Uchtdorf, "Doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith." That´s my new motto for life. The whole conference was really good, really focused on missionary work and other great things. For my birthday, we were dead because we got home at 4 in the morning from Panama and the mission meetings, but we still just got up and worked a normal day, and at the end we had a little dinner with cake at a cool member´s house, simple and sufficient. 
   It´s weird and freaky to hear that Dad is essentially locked out of work, hopefully that gets fixed soon. Also Mom, do you have a girl in your class named Cristal Collier? Anyway that´s Elder Collier's sister, my old comp; we had a laugh about how small this world is. 
    Well that´s what up in my world right now. Even though it really wasn´t a good week at all, i learned from it. No matter how bad it gets there is always an end and a blessing there if you follow with faith and you can learn from it. Trials are for our own good. Love you guys, don´t be too trunky! Take care!
Elder Pfister

Monday, September 30, 2013

Que hay de nuevo!

Q´ Xopa!
    Well the trunkiest thing that can happen has happened as you already know... i got my flight plans! Enough talking about that, don't wanna get too trunky.  This week was a good week, we have a bunch of positive people right now and everything is going great. I had to give a talk yesterday in Church too. I talked about the small and simple things that the profetas tell us to do that will greatly bless our lives. Everyone liked it, except R_____a didn't like one line i said haha i said that while attending church we need to participate in the classes and ask questions to get more out of it and i said, everyone has heard the saying, there are no dumb questions only dummies that don't ask. Well she gave me a loving ear full for that, haha. 
     Well the coolest thing that happened this week was with E_____ and his family, so we committed them to coming to church and they said yes. On Sunday we called to make sure they were coming and when we get there he comes out with a new haircut and all new clothes, same with his kid and wife. They all got haircuts, new clothes and washed the car saying how only the best is allowed when going to church AND... they even invited their neighbors to come with them. This was the first time E_____ had ever come to church, but he still  invited friends, it was awesome! Sadly they could only stay for sacrament meeting but he said, next week we have to fill my van, I'll think of who else I can take to church because everyone needs this gospel. This dude is awesome - and to think he used to have so many problems with his wife and drinking and wow he is now progressing so well! 
   There isn't that much time this week to write so I'll make it shorter.. Everyone else is progressing normal, we should baptize Z_____ this Saturday but lately she's been kinda flaky so we'll see what happens. As for everyone else all is going well.   R_____ will hopefully finish the marriage process so he can be baptized, and he's ready and excited. 
    This week we have to go to Panama (city) again for the ZL meeting, more traveling and on the week of my birthday, haha. I think I'm just going to celebrate my birthday when i get home, haha. It was all over the news about Mariano Rivera retiring; he was the big news the last few weeks. I can't believe Speedy is home from Paraguay
    Well i know this is the true gospel because of the changes I've seen in people's lives like E_____ who had been drinking constantly for 40 some years and now with the gospel is able to drop it with the help of the Lord. 
Love you guys take care!
Elder Pfister

Monday, September 23, 2013

Bautizar el mundo!

   Well everything is going good over on this end of the earth and sounds like things are moving along over there as well. My new comp is named Jose Mendez from Puerto Rico. He lived there for most of his life then moved to Florida for 6 years before coming on the mission. He is also close to finishing his mission with 20 months. He`s cool so it should go well this change.
  This past few days we`ve really put in practice what Elder Ochoa taught us which is inviting everyone to be baptized from the first cita and it`s going great.
   So our first day we were walking on the street and this random lady stopped us and says, hey do you guys want to preach the word to this guy who used to listen to you guys? We answered "Sure why not?" and we went to the address that she described and it`s this guy named E_____ and apparently the missionaries used to visit him but he couldn`t get baptized because he has a huge addiction to alcohol and can`t drop it...yet. Anyway we invited him to be baptized the 19th of October and he accepted and we have set up a plan so he can drop alcohol. We also talked to his family, wife named I___ and son named T____ and they are also willing to get baptized with him if he can change, although his wife is kinda doubting which doesn`t help at all but we`ll change that... correction... god will change him. 
   We also went back to this lady named M____ who we had been teaching but she wasn`t progressing so we dropped her several times, but this time we were very direct and to the point and she also accepted a fecha for the 19th of October. We have to help her fix lots of problems that she is having with her husband which will be tough, but like i said, everything is possible with faith. 
    Another new person we have is the daughter of one of our dinners. Y______ doesn`t live with her but the mom invited her to listen to us one day and she showed up and we also put a fecha with her for the 12th of October. She didn`t seem positive at first - only talking about how she already has a church and doesn`t want to change but after some simple explanations and a powerful spiritual lesson she decided she likes our religion and is going to go to church this up coming Sunday.
    So Z_____ is still struggling because of her physical problems. She was really down, but then found the Book of Mormon and started reading it and it saved her, she felt a new hope to continue on instead of giving up. But she didn`t come to church and we haven`t been able to find her this week, so i`m kinda worried what`s up. 
    R_____ is going strong as ever, on Saturday we gave him the videos of the Doctrine and Covenants and Sunday he said he stayed up all night watching them and understood everything and is almost done with them. He is progressing faster than we can teach him.  We will show up with a lesson plan and turns out that during the week he had looked it up on his own and learned everything, it`s sweet. This week we are finishing the marriage process so we`ll see when they can get married, hopefully this week to get baptized on Saturday or the next week. 
    We made contact with D____, W____ and H_____ too. We had a good lesson with them on Friday; we took two young woman from the ward with us too and they all made friends and it was cool. The girls had been in a national violin competition and won second place in all of Panama, and they are only 10 and 14 years old, they are geniuses. We also put a fecha with them for the 12th of October.
   So far if everything goes well we will have 10 baptisms, one the 28th of Sept, one the 5th, 3 the 12th, 4 the 19th, and 1 the 26th of Oct. So we have some good plans, plus we have some references that we still haven`t been able to contact that could be potential baptisms too.  These two random people came to church and after church they asked us to go to their house to teach them so we`ll see how that goes. Lots of potential for my last change, and i am determined to finish strong;  I`m giving it all i have, no regrets. 
   I know this is the true work of the Lord because Elder Ochoa said that we needed to invite everyone to baptism and that the Lord would put prepared people in our way, and that`s exactly what`s happening, He is blessing us with people ready to repent and come unto Christ. Now it`s our turn to help them to be ready to take the leap of faith and be baptized. I love this gospel, it brings so much joy, happiness and peace into our lives knowing that we have a loving Heavenly Father who wants us to return to him one day and that He is always willing to forgive us for our errors and help us to get better everyday. Nothing more beautiful than that.
    I love you guys, take care and you`re always in my prayers!
Elder Pfister

P.S. I haven`t been able to make pumpkin chocolate chip bread yet because we can`t find the pumpkin stuff. And i`m broke right now so aebleskivers will have to wait till October when we get money again haha. But thanks for sending me the recipes.

Monday, September 16, 2013

El fin se acerca!

     Well the great day of changes has arrived yet again, well on Wednesday, and my companion is leaving so i`ll get one last comp to send me home. I`ve got a really really nervous excited feeling now... partly because of a new comp and my last, going into my last change as a missionary and just all that. It`s a strange feeling to end the mission, with everyday i get a little more excited to see you guys, but at the same time i get a little more sad for leaving all this and the new family that i have here. But oh well, i hardly think about all that because this change we made ourselves so busy i didn`t have time and the time flew by super fast. I hope that is how my last change is, packed full of things to do. 
    This week was a great week but super tiring... Z____had some physical problems and we had to postpone her baptism; hopefully it will happen when she recovers.  To finish off the week, yesterday after dinner we intervened with this lady getting assaulted. We were walking home and this car was parked on the side of the road, and all the sudden the door opens and the lady screams for help so we run over and this guy is all over her and beating her kinda and so we get him to let her go and she runs home and the whole time my comp tried calling the cops, but they told him to call another number when we got ahold of them, really dumb. But apparently it was a married couple that got into a fight and the husband had taken it to the extreme and the wife thought he was going to kill her... weird thing is the husband is related to someone we know, so it's a small and sometimes very sad world.
    R_____ is going strong, actually really strong. During the week he looked up on YouTube stuff on the Mormons wanting to learn more and of course found lots of junk that isn`t true but the cool thing is that he realized that it couldn`t be true, because the way he felt about the church couldn`t be wrong. We had to explain some random stuff but he accepted it all. It`s always scary to hear that your investigator was looking up stuff on YouTube but this time it turned out fine. Hopefully we can get them married this week and baptized the next week. 
     So part of the reason this week was so busy is the meetings - we had a Zone Leader conference in Panama City on Wednesday with Elder Ochoa, one of the General Authorities;  it was a good experience; also, there are alot of changes coming to this mission with Presidente Carmack, he is making it his own, and i think it`ll work great it`ll just take some time for everything to settle in and for the people to get used to it. So the plan was that we had another meeting with Elder Ochoa on Thursday with the zones in David, Bocas, and Concepcion and so President didn`t want us to get there super dead from the long bus ride, so he bought us plane tickets so we could sleep at the AP's house and fly out rested but..... the elders that were going home were also staying there so we didn`t sleep at all, we just stayed up all night talking,  haha. Elder Tucker from my MTC group was there heading home, and it is weird to think that he is home already. Anyway so we flew back to David on a 30 minute flight, super short and arrived dead tired anyway haha. The conference was great, i learned alot that i hope i can apply for my last change. It was fun hanging out with Elder Ochoa, we enjoyed the flight with him and everything, he is a really nice guy and fun to be with. First time chillin with a general authority for me, haha. 
    So that`s what was going on here in my world this week. Crazy busy, but crazy fun, i wish every week could be like that, we had days where we would leave at 7 a.m. to start working to get everything done. Well this week i can testify that in the Church we have true profetas that are servants of God, and being with Elder Ochoa you could feel the great spirit he has in everything he does. I love you guys, take care and be safe!
Elder Pfister

Monday, September 9, 2013

Día de Brujas- Regreso a casa

    This past week was also very busy and stressful but very fulfilling too. I got some biggish news and random cool things to say.
    Starting with the biggish news... They changed my going home date to October 31st o sea Halloween, not that big of a change but a change nonetheless. 
    Other coolish news... We have a meeting in Panama (City) as mission leaders on Wednesday with Elder Ochoa of the Seventy and then on Thursday morning we will have a meeting with all the missionaries of the Bocas del Toro, Concepcion and David zones with him, but the cool part is that we are going to get to fly back to David from Panama in a jet with Elder Ochoa and Presidente Carmack. I`m gonna be flying on a plane with a Seventy haha, and we`re totally going to make a video of it and he`ll be in it, you`ll see. Also it`s going to be really weird getting on a plane and not go home, as i`ve had it in my mind the whole mission that the next time i got on a plane it would be to go home, haha. 
    Random favor that i am asking:  can you send me the Aebleskiver recipe we used to use at home? I found an Aebleskiver pan in my house and now  i gotta make them!
   Now on a spiritual side, more big news... A____ (from my old area in the other part of David) got baptized this last Saturday and he had me baptize him! It was super cool because i guess the sisters hadn`t really been visiting him, but he was still studying and praying on his own and with the family, and one day he just felt that it was time and he called the Bishop and told him he wanted to get baptized and the rest is history. The baptism was really special because the family shared their testimony how their family was a complete wreck and they didn`t even talk to each other and then the missionaries arrived, and the gospel changed their lives, and now they are preparing to go to the temple in a year. The gospel had worked such a change in their lives in like 2 months, imagine living it for a whole lifetime!
   R_____a and S____n are cruising along well. We went there to teach them and we were going to have them start reading the Book of Mormon from the beginning and when we started talking about it she says, i`m already doing it, i`m on chapter 18 already. She used to wake up at 4 in the morning not being able to sleep and she would watch tv, but now she wakes up and reads the Book of Mormon all morning and she is understanding it too. 
   So we have this guy named R_____ that we're teaching, and he is the boyfriend of a less active member, and this week we put him a fecha baptismal for the 28th and we put the wedding goal for the 21st of September, so we started helping them with that. He`s a cool guy and is really interested; he always has tons of good questions and stuff. 
   This Saturday Z_____ is going to get baptized finally - i`m pretty sure i told you guys about her, she was living with someone who didn`t let her go to church, so she prayed for help and he suddenly left. Well, we got a ton of appointments with her this week to prepare her. Every time we talk to her about baptism she starts crying she is so excited, so it should go well.
    This upcoming week is going to be a crazy week, we planned it and we have every minute planned out with appointments and meetings, and I`m busier than ever in my mission and it`s sweet. 
    Well i gotta go but just before I sign off I gotta say i love you guys and miss you. Stay strong in the gospel, because it changes lives for the better, and i`ve seen so many miracles because of it, and I know it`s true.
Elder Pfister

Monday, September 2, 2013

Qeu lo Que...

Que hay
    Well this has been a very busy week for us as Zone Leaders and missionaries. We decided to do alot more things for our zone and we started those things this week and we had some baptisms so it was a good week. 
   First of all, R______ and S_____ got baptized and it was one of the most special baptisms of my whole mission. This last week was an extremely tough one for them. So R_____'s other kid is actually an inactive kinda anti Mormon member baptized like 15 years ago, and this week Satan really attacked R_____ so that she wouldn't get baptized. Her own mother talked about disowning her as her kid because she said it was a stupid thing to do. R_____'s  kid talked about how this church is of the devil and that Satan himself was working on R________.  R_____ said one day that that morning when she would go to pray she would start but that something would kinda take over her and she wouldn't been able to think or say anything at all, and that she felt that something was blocking her from talking to God, and she wasn't sure if that was God saying no to her question about baptism or if it was Satan. Well, we shared the Joseph Smith story again and it really helped her a ton and she realized that it was Satan. She also never drinks coffee, never has, but this week she's had a huge temptation to drink coffee... coincidence? I think not, she has real potential in the church and Satan didn't want her to be part of the Church. It was a scary week for us because she would call us randomly and say elders you have to come over we need to talk and then she would say I'm not getting baptized because i can't take all this stuff that's happening to me, but we would share something and we gave her several blessings and then when we would leave she was wanting to get baptized again, but that happened pretty much every day this week. It's hard to describe but I've never seen someone so influenced by Satan in that you could tell that he was attacking her. Normally she's super happy always smiling and there were times when he had her just super-depressed. Of all my baptisms I've never seen Satan work so hard against someone like this time.  But the great part is that we defeated him, visiting her twice a day and sending members over there daily and having them call her daily, we were able to help her overcome all those temptations and trials, and i know that our Heavenly Father was working through her younger son S_____ because no matter what happened, he was always there saying, Mom don't say that we can't get baptized, please get baptized with me, don't let Satan win this Mom, we can do it together. I'm almost crying typing this thinking about this baptism and everything that happened. It was amazing, absolutely amazing, one of my biggest testimony builders of the mission. Like I had said in earlier letters, she was our true golden investigator, but what i hadn't realized back then is that with someone so chosen and prepared by God, Satan also has had his eyes on her to keep her back. But anyway i think you get the picture, it was an amazingly stressful experience, but a rewarding one. In the baptism we got alot of ward support and when she got baptized she started crying, and when S_____ got baptized he said that he felt something amazing in his chest that he couldn't describe but that it felt right. AMAZING BAPTISM!
    That was the great news, this week we have also been using the area book alot, which is the book where all missionaries write down a description about their investigators with their needs and where they live and how they are progressing so that missionaries that come in can look at it and go find them and know exactly what has been taught and what some of their trials are. Anyway so we did a week of ´´Carpet people´´ finding, carpet people because in Spanish it's the 'carpeta de area' and in spanglish it's the carpet book and people ha ha, we invented that actually but it works. I'm amazing at spanglish ha ha. So this week we found alot of really positive carpet people and we already think that there are a few that could be baptized soon so we'll work with them. 
    Sadly with M_____ we haven't been able to make contact or even see him. They are sealed off and I'm worried he may be lost for now...
    W_____ and H_____ haven't been able to see us lately because they are in a national competition for viola and are practicing like crazy. I don't know if i told you but they are super geniuses. W____ is going to graduate from high school at 15 years old with tons of scholarships and stuff, crazy smart! But the tournament is the 4th so after that hopefully they can see us. 
    Z____ just got back from Concepcion where she was working all week, so we'll meet with her this week, but we're pretty sure she'll get baptized the 14th and maybe with W_____ and H_____....´´si dios quiere´´ the great Panamanian frase. 
    So this week as ZL's we decided we needed to do some extra things to help people more. In our zone there are 7 companionships of sisters and 5 of elders and the thing is that there are so many new sisters coming in that they don't have enough trainers for everyone so new sisters are getting trained by other new sisters that don't know too much so they are really struggling, but the thing is as male leaders we can't go out and work with them or anything so we don't know how they teach or work and so we don't know how to help them. But this week we started a companion study with them, we take two sisters and we teach them like they were investigators and they teach us the same way, and this way we can help them out on a more personal level, but wow its been tough organizing all that and with so many its very time consuming, but its working great, we did it for a few of them and it turned out great. Also we are meeting with all the bishops of the stake to make sure everything is running well and that they are doing everything that they should be doing. This has worked well too because we now have the confidence of the bishops and they have told us the problems they have in their wards with the missionaries and the good things that are going on so now we can really help them out. We also implemented alot of programs that we had planned out with the stake president and the stake mission leader. In a few words, the coordination between the wards and the missionaries is about to skyrocket with these things that we are doing with the stake leaders, and I'm excited to see the results. But with all that it has been a very long and busy week, but it was totally worth it and we have going to continue doing it this week. 
    Thanks for the pictures, actually last night i realized i had around 50 days left too...crazy! Time is flying by! I was able to open all the pictures by the way so thanks! Try to fix Skydrive if you could, i can't from here because we have the mission cell that doesn't receive international texts. I wanna share the baptismal pictures with you and i have pictures on there that had been deleted from a memory card by a virus so i hope to save them. 
    I always feel that i have more to say but for now i can't remember so I'll close saying that I'm now almost completely healed and that this week was sweet, i hope the next is even better. Also this week as made me realize the reality of Satan and his power, but also the power of the priesthood and the power that we have inside us when we are doing the right things. Satan is real and wants us to fail and be miserable and every temptation that comes from him will make us miserable in the end even though the world wants you to think the opposite. I know that we have to do the small and simple things everyday, read, pray and keeps our minds turned unto God and when we do that, hell has no power over us and we will be able to help others come unto Christ. I know this church is true and that Christ lives and he loves us. I love you guys a ton, take care and be safe!
Elder Pfister

P.S. Feliz Cumpleaños Papa!

Monday, August 26, 2013

La vida es buena!

Meto! (famous saying here in Chiriqui)
   Well, first things first, i`m feeling a lot better, nearly completely better so don`t worry. I went on some hardcore drug that this doctor gave me, and it made me super, super sleepy every day - and i was falling asleep in appointments and everywhere.  It was embarrassing but it worked so it was worth it because i`m better now. 
    So news on all our peeps... R_____a and S____ are progressing towards their goal of baptism for this Saturday; i put a picture of them on Skydrive and pics of the dinner they gave us. A very typical dinner here with patacones (fried and smashed plantains, pretty much a Latin french fry), a hot dog, a salad which was tomato and lettuce plus some aguacate this time. Anyway, so we announced their baptism this week in church, and we forgot to tell them that we were going to do that and they were really surprised to suddenly hear their names in sacrament meeting, but it all worked out, and it`s as sure as it can be that they are getting baptized this Saturday. They really are our golden investigators because since day one they have been progressing and understanding everything and they prayed and accepted a fecha the first lesson. 
   With M_____l it`s not so good... So we put a baptismal fecha with him, but when we asked his mom she apparently got offended because she felt that we were pressuring him;  we do push a little but with him we didn`t really push because he already had come to church for 8 Sundays, and he had told us he wanted to get baptized. We just had to ask him in front of his mom to get permission from her because he is not 18. Well i`m not sure what it was but i think they have very anti-Mormon neighbors, actually we know that but we think that the neighbors are telling them bad things about the church, because all of the sudden his mom won`t let M_____l go to church or even talk with us and when we go over they pretend to not be home.  We went over to apologize with sodas and other stuff but nothing worked.
    We have the two super smart girls named W____ and H____ that we are teaching but they are always involved in recitals or some activity and so we have lost contact with them for a week or so but we have an appointment today with them, and a we'll take a few young women from the ward to make friends with them. They could very easily be baptized on the 7th of Sept so we`ll see if they accept. 
    Also there is this lady named Z____ who has been going to church for a few months, but is living with this guy who didn't`t want to get married, so she couldn`t be baptized - but now all of a sudden after lots of prayer and fasting on her part, he suddenly left her. She had been praying for an answer because lately he hadn`t been letting her go to church and she didn`t know what to do, but the Lord helped by getting him out of her life so that she can not only go to church but be baptized too, so we put the goal for that baptism for the 7th of Sept because she is gone this whole week working or else we would just have baptized her this weekend, she`s so ready ha ha. 
   I think that`s all the big news for this week. Thanks for the recipe for pumpkin chocolate chip bread;  we are going to make it with our dinner on Sunday. Thanks for looking up all that stuff for USU, the closer going home gets the more stressful it gets too, ha ha. Mom I hope you had a great birthday and that you got my birthday email. 
   Everything is going great for me here, i think we can have lots of success here in the ward, we are really gaining the confidence of the members and they are helping out alot. I know that this is the work of the Lord because every time i testify of the truthfulness of it, which i do alot as a missionary, the Spirit testifies to me and my own testimony grows as well. This gospel is the best thing in the world, and I`m glad i was born into it and that i can help people to find it and enjoy the same blessings it offers to all. I love you guys, take care and say hi to everyone for me!
Elder Pfister

Monday, August 19, 2013

todavía enfermito

Hey hey hey,
    Well i´m still pretty sick, during this week i felt like i was on my death bed a few days and so we didn´t get that much work done this week sadly, but i feel that this week i´ll be feeling good enough to work hard again. Anyway i guess i can catch you guys up on what´s going on here.
    R_____ and her son S____ are our golden investigators because we meet them on a referral from a member and just from the first appointment they haven´t stop progressing. They had gone to lots of different churches, but they didn´t like any of the other churches, and one trip here to the LDS Church, and they already know that it is true. They read everything we give them and they actually try to re-read it a few times to understand it better and they pray and read together always. S_____ is only 10 years old, but he is understanding alot of it, as he is just really into it and always excited to go to church. They have a baptismal date for the 31 of August. Satan is already working on them because since the first appointment they have had friends and even her Mom come up to her saying that the church is crazy and teaches lies, but even so, with the very little knowledge they have, they have defended it. So even though i´ve been really sick, we´ve always gone to these appointments to keep them progressing. 
    So the reason why i was sent here to this area is because in my old area we were working with pure families and families with lots of marital problems, and in a lot of the cases we were able to solve problems, or help out a lot, and to me that joy of seeing a broken family get fixed with the gospel was the best in the world and it got me super pumped to go find more families like that to help them. So when i get here, i was talking to my comp and he was telling me how they were thinking about dropping a few families because... take a guess... they had marital problems. But i arrived super pumped and prepared for just that so now we´re doing work in that area. I know that God was preparing me in my last area to come here at this time and help these families we have right now and i´m really hoping i can do some good. 
    M______ (the determined kid) is this 12 year old kid who comes to church on his own every week for the last 8 weeks or so. We finally had a formal appointment there with him and his mom and she was telling us how she has noticed a big difference in his behavior, as he´s a lot more respectful to everyone and does better in school and everything now that he is going to church. His mom also said that she was looking in the Book of Mormon for something to prove that it is wrong and she couldn't find anything like what she was looking for, and she kinda admitted that she thinks the church is true, so we´re hoping that the baptism of M______set for the 31st can help her to progress, and what's more she told us how her husband is shy but would like to learn more also and M_____´s little brother said he wants to hear the lessons too, so there you are, through this kid coming to church and allowing the gospel to change him, a whole family might find that joy and peace that there is to find in the gospel. 
Questions: Is Mckay going to go to the same mission in Ukraine? Can you guys send me the recipe for pumpkin chocolate chip bread that we make every Christmas? When are sign-ups for class for spring semester at USU?
Anyway i think that´s all for now; i am getting better health wise so don´t worry too much, but keep me in your prayers. I know that this is the work of the Lord and i´m pumped to be an instrument in the Lord´s hands to help bring families to Him and make them eternal. I love you guys and miss you, take care!
Elder Pfister

Monday, August 12, 2013

¿Cómo va todo?

Hey fam!
   Well this change is going great so far, but this letter might be short again, i`m really sorry it`s just that being a ZL I have to report all the numbers of everyone online, plus take pictures and put them online of all the baptismal registros and that usually takes half an hour or so - just so you know why i can`t write too much lately - and now our zone went from 14 missionaries to 26, little bit bigger haha but it`s cool, other than reporting things i like having a bigger zone. 
    To answer the questions... My comps name is Levi Wright from Pleasant Grove i believe. Elder Collier is still in David, and Elder Stegelmeier is actually in the same ward as me so we have church and a few lunches together. I got the package you sent last, and in thinking about it i can`t really think of anything i need that i can`t get here... 
    So we have some really positive investigators right now and a few have fechas for this month. Next week i`ll make sure to write a better letter and explain in detail everything but for now a quick overview. R_____ and S____n are like golden investigators that we just found, but are going to get baptized already. M____ is a cool determined young man who wants to get baptized and through him we might be able to baptize a whole family of 5.  And yet again we are fighting the government bureaucracy because we have 3 people who would get baptized right now, but they need to get divorced from their past spouse, and married to their current partners, so we`re in that struggle now. Those are the most positive i can think of for now. 
   Overall my comp is cool, the ward is nice and my area is sweet, really hot sadly but oh well, i`ll lose more weight sweating alot. Right now i`m actually really sick with a terrible cough but nothing else, my comp thinks it is bronchitis because he had it earlier in his mission and it was the exact same thing, i went to the doctor and they gave me some meds which i`m taking, so this week is the test to see if i get better, but the bummer is i think i may have to take some sick days and stay in because in the house i feel fine but once i go out to work in the sun is when it hits me hard. We`ll see but don`t worry too much i`m not going to die and i won`t do anything dumb like work myself beyond my capacity. 
    Anyway, I know that this is the work of the Lord because I am already seeing a purpose for me being in this area, remind me to tell you next week about that story. I love you guys and you are always in my prayers! Take care!
Elder Pfister

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Hola Familia!!

Hey hey hey!
    Well this week is full of surprises! This Wednesday are changes and in theory i was supposed to get a new comp but they are changing me. What happened is that there were two zones here in David but now they are making them into one zone and they are sending me to be ZL but working in the other ZL area so i already know who my comp will be and where i`m going. I will be in Barrio 2 here in David with Elder Wright a gringo that i think is from Utah, but i`m not really sure. I`m always excited to have changes and meet new people but this time i`m really bummed too because i`m not going to get to work with A____h to get him baptized - and the new missionaries won`t know him so it`ll be hard for them to get to know him like we do, just a big step backwards in his progress i think because even if we explain everything it`s not the same because of the confidence and trust we've built.  But it will work out ok I hope.
    So this week the mission work has been tough because we`ve been going back and forth from my area to Elder Collier`s so it slowed us down alot but everything is pretty much the same. A___h is still on the fence on whether he wants to get baptized or not. I____ doesn`t think that she will be able to go to the temple for work reasons but she`s doing good and will go in November on the next ward visit. N____ is being tough especially when we went with the hermanas, as he doesn`t take the sisters as seriously as he does the Elders for some reason, so that`ll be tough. 
    My finger turned black in Colon when we were doing a service project. We had to get cement blocks from one side of a little river to the other so instead of walking that whole distance we started throwing them. A crazy Tongan would throw them to me and i caught them so they didn`t break, but one time he didn`t throw it hard enough and i went down to catch it and my finger got smashed  and it did hurt. But the fingernail just barely fell off recently. 
    We have actually gone to Boquete nearly every p-day this change, it`s amazing there because its cool and fresh, i don`t sweat constantly over there in the mountains. We usually eat and then just find a hike or something to do. 
    The last bus ride to Panama city was ok, i was able to sleep a little. None of the bus rides are really that great but oh well. Luckily this time i don`t have to go, they are only paying for one of the zls to go and i think it'll be Elder Wright not me for the next meeting. 
    Speaking of mission blogs president just send me the link to his blog this week here it is...

    Well i gotta go but i`m excited to see my new area and what it has in store for me; they say that it is a cool area and i know that my comp is chill. I know that this is the work of the Lord and that if they are changing me it`s for a reason and i have a purpose there! Love you guys!
Elder Pfister

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Buenos momentos aquí!!

July 29, 2013

    Well this last week was the most stressful ever but it paid off big time! We had two weddings go through and a baptism.
    So the first wedding was N_____ and A____ L_____. She is already a member that is reactivating herself and he is not a member. They got married on Friday after a whole week of complications with the medical papers; first they didn't show up then the papers were missing a doctor's review and then turns out that they hadn't done one of the more important tests and wow it was a big mess and we had to pull every string possible to make it work, but with help from above, they got married! I put fotos on Skydrive so you can see.
    The other wedding which was sweet, was A___ and I____, & they got married on Saturday and it was a cool wedding. For one they were way pumped to get married when 5 weeks ago they weren't getting along at all. Also when the judge said 'together till the death separates you', he corrected her and said, nope we'll be together for all eternity. Then a few hours later I____ and V____ the daughter got baptized. A____ still isn't sure if he's ready but I am sure that he will get baptized soon. In the goodbye of  Elder Reed we gave our testimonies and A____ was crying a little and he said how much the family has changed and how he wants to go to the temple with his family and not just go but enter too. He will get baptized i know it and they will get sealed in the temple for time and all eternity and it will be awesome! 
    As for D____, we went with the Bishop and it was a sad lesson. He opened up finally and he has big problems with the church even though he says he knows its true. We also talked about him getting married so his girlfriend can get baptized and he threw out a bunch of excuses.  They have some big problems between them but the sad part is that the girl J_____ really loves him. Anyway the bishop just said that that visit made him really sad after because of the potential this guy has but its gonna take a miracle to change him. He's convinced himself that he doesn't need the church and that he knows better than everyone else how to be close to Christ. 
    So this is my comps last day with me, tonight he goes to Panama to chill there and now i'm gonna be with Elder Collier again for a week or so, it'll be a party!
    China looks sweet! Nice fotos that you put up. McNabb is an eagle again???  We got to A____ house right as the Gold Cup (soccer) was ending so it was fun bugging him a little cuz he's a huge soccer fan. yeah thats amazing about Patrick getting gored in Spain, and the sweet foto that he has now.  By the way, last week i got the package with the ties and candy; thanks a bunch but one of the ties already got ruined a little because of the huge rains we're having here. 
   Well i'll end by saying that my testimony has grown so much about familias eternas working with the A___ family because they have captured the vision of having one and they are working towards it, and while I was testifying of it to them, the Spirit testified to me that it is true. I know that families can be together forever through the temple! Love you guys and take care! 
Elder Pfister

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Hola Gente: Combined letters July 15 and July 22, 2013

July 15th, 2013
Hola gente ,
    So bad news..... I'm not really going to be able to write because i had to put in baptismal reports because my zone baptized a lot and it took up the whole time  -sorry.... but the good news is i`m fine and things are going great here! I`ll have a good report next week! Love you and take care!
Elder Pfister
p.s. have fun in China!
July 22, 2013
 Hola Fam!
    Well i gotta make this one a shorter one too but i'll give a short wrap up.
We are having some really good progress with 4 investigators (A____, I____, N____, and An_____) , they are all getting married hopefully at the end of the week and hopefully with a little help from above A___ and I____ and V____  their daughter will get baptized Saturday too. That's the biggest news of the week and the fact that this upcoming week is the last week of my comps mission, we'll see how it goes, haha. 
So to answer your questions:
- the new mission president is awesome, he's gonna be amazing once he gets the hang of it. he's a real cool guy too.
-the bus rides to the meetings in Panama City were horrible, one really cold and the other amazingly hot plus it was kinda like 3 days without sleep,so i was a zombie. 
-the weather here is hot then really rainy and hot again. 
Sounds like China is crazy, that story with you guys and the rickshaw people trying to rip you off sounds frightening - way too show them they can't rip off gringos! haha.
Sorry for the really short letters just that we have to do alot to marry people here, and man this has been the most stressful week of my mission.
Love you guys lots! Take care in China!
Elder Pfister

Monday, July 8, 2013

Gran semana

    Well guys, to start off i just gotta say that the bbq ribs that you guys had on the 4th of July looked amazing!! i got really jealous looking at the pictures, delicious mouth-watering ribs with watermelon and fam, what more could you ask for! 
    Here is Chiriqui things are going great! We have had positive progress with pretty much all of our investigators and i mostly just have good news. But before i forget i'd like to ask a favor.... we are yet again stuck without a cook for lunch and we decided to just cook at home because it is healthier and less of a pain but i'm getting bored with my normal meals that i make everyday and i was just wondering if you guys could send me a few recipes of simple meals that are cheap and easy to make but tasty of course! All we have is a little electric stovetop thing and a blender. 
    Ok, so last week i forgot to mention this one family that we are also teaching. A_____ is the husband, I___ the wife and they have two younger kids. Last week we taught them about marriage, because they are not married, and baptism and I____ told us that she is down with it - she wants to get married and baptized but.... A____ no. What happened is that when we found them they had alot ALOT of marital problems and the only reason they were together was for the kids. They had both cheated on each other multiple times and it was a mess. They decided to listen to us because their neighbors also had lots of problems in their marriage, but Elder Reed and his past comp taught them and they fixed all those problems and got baptized - so A____ and I____ decided to give us a shot. So this week I____ was way positive but A_____ not positive, and to make it worse we had set up an interview with the bishop for them and they didn't even show up to church.... We were way bummed out, so we asked the bishop if he could come with us to teach them (running out of time, going to long story, short mode) we had a meeting so we got there to their house late, the Bishop had already talked to them and said that now they both wanted to get married and baptized on the 27 of July - which pretty much means our Bishop is a boss and used his priesthood to work a miracle with them. But it's actually a secret, A_____ doesn't want I____ to know yet that he wants to get married. More details later in another letter, because it's a really cool story, but I don't have time to share it. 
    D_____, J_____, her son and E___ all came to church again and are progressing. J____ after church told us that she wants to meet with us sometime when her husband isn't there to talk without him. I have no idea what it will be that she wants to talk about, but i'm really anxious to find out. 
    We have this other part member family that is close to wanting to be baptized. J___ is the mom, and she has two children, one is already a great member but the other is not a member. Her problem is that she works from 6 to 8 then comes home to take care of her mom and children and do all the house work because she is a single mom. The Relief Society promised to help us out there, more to come on this story. 
    We took the sacrament to this really old lady this week who is pretty much gone, she is days from passing on and you can tell when you see her. The cool thing is that she can hardly say a word, but after we gave her a blessing she started bearing her testimony, and she said that she knows that Jesus lives and that Jesus and Heavenly Father are waiting for her to come home and all "in the name of jesucristo amen." It wasn't a long testimony but coming from her it was a miracle, everyone there in the home that works with her was completely surprised she could say that and it was amazing to hear! It brought such a strong spirit hearing her say that. She will be well received in heaven because she has been strong in the church her whole life.
   Well that is all that time permits for now... have a great time in China and be safe! I'm glad to hear everyone is doing well and had a good time for the 4th of July, we did too with fireworks and burgers, but not quite as good as your ribs haha. Take care and i love and miss you!
Elder Pfister

Monday, July 1, 2013

Meto! Soy chiricano por fin!

Hey Hey Hey!
    Well, it sounds like Hermana Noris already informed you guys about the biggest news... Yep i´m now a Zone Leader in the Zone of Chiriquí in the city of David, faraway from the city of Panama (30 km from Costa Rica). My comp is Elder Tanis Reed from Houston Texas i believe. He has 23 months in the mission and is going home on August 1st so i have the pleasure of sending him off. Something interesting is that Elder Collier is also in my zone with an elder that also goes home on August 1st which is before the changes, so it appears that Elder Collier and i are gonna end up being comps again at the end of the change for a few weeks, haha. 
     So far i´m loving Chiriquí, it´s in the rainy season right now, but it hasn´t been raining very much but it´s been really cool so it´s felt great. Supposedly it´s really hot here when the suns comes out strong but i have yet to see that so i´m happy. The people here are really chill and the life style is more relaxed and easy going and it feels like the size of Logan, big enough to have shops and stuff but not too big that it´s a snarled mess so i´m diggin it. Yeah, the two coldest (temperature wise) areas in Panama are close by Boquete which is in my zone and then there is this volcano that is like 2 hours away so i´m excited to go feel the cold again.
    The bus ride does take like 7 to 9 hours to get here depending on traffic and it´s a pain but the buses are pretty comfortable but traveling that far in anything is uncomfortable. And i have to go back to Panama on Wednesday for the monthly ZL meeting so that will consist of leaving Tuesday night and traveling the whole night, going to the meeting Wednesday morning and then heading off back to David to arrive here sometime around 3 or 4 am; sounds exhausting, we´ll see how it goes haha. The cool thing is that i will have a chance to meet Pres. Carmack.
    During changes to say goodbye to President Ward we all just gave him cards and pictures of ourselves with things written on them. At the end of all the changes they both talked to the entire group, it was sad but they gave good talks. Hermana Ward talked about how she has an eternal family and how she wants to see all of us in the Celestial Kingdom with our eternal families. Pres Ward talked about alot of things and pretty much just talked about obedience and how much he loves us and has loved being our president, and encouraged us to work hard and do everything right in the mission and after. Well, Presidente and Hermana Ward should be getting home today to the States....
     I talked to Elder 'Atuake in the changes, he is ZL in San Miguelito and he said he didn´t get the packages yet but someone told him that they had arrived i think and he just needed to picked them up i think. 
     So my zone is half of the city of David and everything to the north. We have 14 missionaries in the zone, 6 elders and 8 sisters. The areas are Doelguita with us and 2 sisters. Las Lomas with 4 sisters. Lassonde with Collier and his comp and 2 sisters, and we have Boquete with sisters there.
    My area is sweet so far because we have some way cool investigators and they are all families that we are helping so here we go, the rundown....
There´s D_____ and J______. D_____ is already a member but inactive for 20 years. He´s a very successful lawyer who has some impressive stories of standing up for what he believes in in his job. For example he works with land and this politician wanted to take this beach front land from some poor people to build a hotel and when they went to D_____ to tell him to allow it he said he wouldn´t do it, so the people he was dealing with said you will do it or we will fire you and he said "fire me then", and that´s what they did, they fired him, but he took them to court and won. He has quite a few stories like that because the government and other powerful people can be corrupt here i guess. So he is really smart and stands up for everything, so he would be a great leader in the church.  i really like him, he is really cool. And one funny part is that he´s starting a screen printing company on the side and i helped him set up some of the stuff that they weren´t familiar with because that is exactly what i was doing with Jason in the Logo Shop. Anyway, J_____ is his girlfriend of 13 years and is not a member. She is really sweet person too and when we explained the Book of Mormon she accepted it really well and she has a desire to read and study more. We´re trying to help them get married so she can get baptized because she does like the church. Lots of her family are members but their problem is that they have always invited her to church and talked about the church but they never explained anything about it so she needs to be taught and guided into the Church.
    Another part member family we have is N____ and A__ L____.  AL has been a member for a long time with a few times going inactive but right right she is really active. He husband doesn´t come to church because he went once and was just bored  so yesterday we talked to him and explained the difference between going to church and doing church stuff and being converted to the church and how with everything we do with God, we have to do it with faith and a sincere desire to learn and progress or else we won´t go anywhere. After helping him understand that he has to put a mental and spiritual effort in and not just physically showing up,  he kinda had a light bulb moment and was like wow you´re right and got really excited to start reading and going to church again but this time with his new way of looking at things and studying. So that was last night, and they are not married either and he never wanted to get married... until this morning when she called us and said, hey my husband wants to get married, what do we have to do? We were in shock but then like, um ok well this and that. We´re heading there today or tomorrow to start that whole process, exciting!
    We have a few more people and families but i haven´t really gotten to know them so i can´t say that much but as time goes on i´ll let ya know what´s up. My ward has about 80 people coming every week but we have one of the best Bishops in Panama, he is way awesome and way involved in the mission work.  The stake president wants to split the ward, but we hope that doesn't happen for alot of reasons.
    One cool thing is that Elder Collier lives in the apartamento of some gringo from Texas and we live close to them so they are inviting us to a 4th of July party. I´m way pumped for this change, we´re 4 missionary gringos way close and good friends so it´ll be a party on that U.S. holiday (we'll talk Church to the non-member gringos too). Also my comp is going to play tennis for BYU so he wants to go back in shape so we´re starting to wake up at 6 to do exercises so i can get back into that now. 
    Thanks for all the news from home, i can´t respond to all of it but i read it all! I´m glad to know everything is going well for everyone. I was thinking about when i would like to come back here and i think i would prefer before school starts like December but if it´s not possible that´s cool too, whatever works. Well i think that wraps things up for this short week. 
Working so much with families here has been awesome because it´s helped my testimony alot about how the families can be eternal and how that is our purpose here on the earth, get a family and raise everyone in the gospel. There is no greater joy than having a family centered on Jesus Christ and when it is centered on Him, it´s a happy and united family that can work through any problems and always coming out winning like champs! I´m unbelievable pumped to help all these families reach their dreams of being eternal. And i gotta say, thanks a ton Mom and Dad for raising our family with the gospel and making us an eternal family, it´s always a comfort to know that we will always be together forever! I love you guys, Take care!!
Elder Pfister

Monday, June 24, 2013

hasta luego Arraijan!!

Hola familia,
    Well, yet again i'm gettin' changed after a short time in this area. On Wednesday i'll be leaving Arraijan for my new and possibly last area. I'm not sure why they are changing me so fast because my comp has 3 going on 4 changes here and i have 1 but oh well, i hope they send me far away to Bocas del Toro or David, somewhere far away where I've never been. I can't believe i only have one area and two comps left. Elder Brown already went home last week, and i remember being with him when i had 3 months and he had 7 months and we talked about how the mission was never going to end and that was kinda our joke sometimes, and then talking about what the first thing we'll do when we got home and wow now he's there already and soon it'll be my turn. And instead of you guys picking me up, i've decided that i want to go home first and enjoy the USA some and then come back to Panama with you guys. I don't want to be a missionary when i visit Panama so that i can swim and other things. As to whether we go back in dicember or march... undecided still haha. But i'm totally pumped for the Hawaiian family vacation that you have planned. 
     So on Sunday afternoon we had a world wide conference with the apostoles and they announced how they are going to make big changes in the missionary work integrating technology into it. They said how in the future missionaries are going to be using Facebook and social sites to find and teach people and how they are really stressing working with members together. It was cool and i think the whole thing about working with members will work but here in less developed missions, changes like that are long ways away, especially the whole Facebook thing. 
     As for investigators, we have this way positive guy named Jose O____, not sure if i have told you about him or not but here's the story. This member gave us a reference for her friend that she works with and that has been looking for a church, she said that she had gone to lots of different churches but hasn't liked a single one yet because she wants a calm family oriented church and not a dancing falling to the floor church... sounds like a golden investigator right? I thought so too. So we went to her house and she wasn't there but her husband was, so we gave him a pamphlet to read and put another appointment for the both of them. We passed by during the week just to check on them and found the wife and she said how she was ready for the appointment the next day but only for her because she said that her husband doesn't want anything to do with religion - and we said, well he asked us if he could come too and we said yes, that's ok with you right? And she was way surprised but ok with it. When we show up for the cita, the wife wasn't there but he was and we decided just to do it and it was a way good cita. The next cita, the same thing, the wife didn't want to come out because she was tired but he listened to us again. And apparently he went to church but got lost on the way and never arrived. And this last Sunday we went and picked him up so he didn' t get lost and he loved church and said immediately how he's coming next week alone and that he now knows how to get there and wants us to come over again to teach him. Anyway the point is that our leaders teach us to talk to everyone because maybe the person that we contact isn't the prepared person but someone in the house is... this is the perfect evidence of that, the Lord sent us to him through his wife and now he's progressing beautifully. When i asked him how he felt reading the Book of Mormon he said that he feels a change, everything is better like leaving the world. i think he'll get baptized and he's already married so we don't have to worry about that. Too bad i won't be here to see it all happen!!
    M____ sadly is not progressing, he still likes the church  but his work has him tied down and he can't come to church plus it's slow going getting him married. Also he lives in a ghetto area far away from most of our area and so we don't visit him as much. 
    I'm way interested to see what's gonna happen in the coming weeks with the change of mission presidents. This change meeting President Ward is having everyone come in to Panama City to have a giant meeting. I love President Ward and Hermana Ward, it'll be sad to see him go but I'm getting to the end of my time too, so i won't get to really know the new mission president nearly as well as President Ward. 
     Elder Christenson is in the same ward as Ryan? That's super weird, the world is way too small. I know him, not way good but he's cool. It's weird to think that someone i know from here will be in my house on Sunday
    To answer your questions, i'm here in Arraijan but here we have two zones here, one is Arraijan and mine is Alegre, so that's why you saw me in the Alegre blog photo.
    Well my time here in Arraijan has been short but i liked it here. The changes are all related to getting things in order for the new President, especially us older missionaries, so that's OK.  I'm happy and sad to leave because i like changes but i wanted to stay here more time, i really like the ward but oh well, my theme is I'll go where you want me to go dear Lord. Take care and i love you guys!
Les Amo,
Elder Pfister

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Hola familia...

      Well this was a rough week as investigators go because of little difficult things that have come up.  Also I've been sick - a cold i think.... just runny nose, headache, and sore throat.
      M____ who we now need to get married, doesn't have his official ID card because he lost it so we have to get him a new one somehow and then start the whole marriage process which might take time to get all that. Plus with his new job he isn't able to come to church too much.
       With C____, she is traveling so we haven't been able to teach or see whats up with her. I hope she doesn't get cold feet about the church because we haven't been able to meet with her this week.
        With the family that was a good reference from a member lady, we haven't taught the lady but we have taught her husband and he is slowly accepting things. The wife said that he didn't want anything to do with us and now its the wife that is avoiding us, haha. 
      Well because i spent alot of the week in other areas doing divisions I can't say too much about other investigators in our area; also i had to do baptismal interviews for other areas. Its been fun to get to know other areas and people but its kind of sad not working as much in my area with my own investigators.
     I'll miss President Ward when he leaves.  i love the way President Ward has handled missionaries because he's letting us choose to be obedient in a way that we have to decide and not be forced and its helped alot of people, including me, to choose to be obedient. i have learned to be obedient for the blessings, not because they are rules to be followed or anything.
      Re: money, I've learned to budget my mission money and not spend personal money on normal everyday mission living. I think I've finally learned the difference between wants and needs.  It seems to me that is the way that Heavenly Father does it with us right?  I decided that the mission is a mini-life, in the mission if you learn to be obedient using your own will, do things right, you'll do it in life too.
     So i have my camera card that has like 500 fotos on it from all my time in Colon, and last week when i think it gave me a virus or something but different from normal. normally the virus just hides everything and i can unhide it, take it off and clean it but this time i can't find any fotos but the card still says its full. i ran a virus program and everything and it cleaned it but still nothing showing.... ideas?  i think i'll wait till I get home to try to get at the pictures on this card.  I have a ton of fotos and i would hate to lose them because i wasn't able to back them up. 
     Just so you know, changes are the 26th, and i think I am leaving my area. More on that later.
    As for sickness, getting better so no worries, by next week i should be fine! sorry for a short letter, I"ll get a good one in next week! 
Love you tons, take care!
Elder Pfister

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Ceviche sabe horrible y se ve peor

Hey There!
    So it´s been good down here in Panama for me. We had the baptism of D------ and that went well but sadly i think we lost some up coming baptisms for the moment because the couple is not married...and we hoped to baptize the whole family of 5.  
    To recap:  D------s baptism went well, we got some ward support and he seems very interested in progressing, and he wants everything that everyone has like shirt and tie and triple and stuff, it´s funny.
    M..... sadly isn´t married so we won´t be able to baptize him this week like we were planning plus his new job is making it difficult for him to come to church which is a bummer. But we are starting to do everything and get it all lined up so he can get married but it appears that it´s harder to get people married here in Arraijan than it was in Colon. 
    C..... is progressing kinda... she is really smart and understands everything and reads and comes to church, but she says that she feels good in life right now and doesn´t feel a need to change anything - but she´s gonna pray to see if it´s something that she needs to do. Also every other weekend she goes up to Penonome to visit family which is slowing things a little but i have faith in her.
    We got a really good reference from a member this week for a friend of hers at work. We went to their home, and we were waiting for this lady to talk to her when her husband came out and explained how she wasn´t feeling well, but we talked with him for a while and he got really interested and we put a cita with him and from what the friend has explained the lady is really interested too. She has been going from church to church looking for one that feels right and so far none have felt right for her so far, so tomorrow we´ll start to guide her to our church to see how she likes it. 
    Well this letter is shorter this week because i don´t feel that great and can´t really think very well - but i put some more fotos on Skydrive. You´ll find that i finally tried ceviche and downed it! i didn´t really like it that much but it wasn´t as bad as i thought it would be. We tried mussel (the black stuff in the photos), octopus (the pink one), and two different shrimp dishes. Mussel was nasty, the octopus was rubbery, and the shrimp tasted pretty good. But it was a fun adventure; i´ve learned to eat anything now! Anyway sounds like everything is going well for you guys, take care!
Elder Pfister

Monday, June 3, 2013

Todo bien aquí....

Hola Fam,
     Well this week passed by really fast and it was good. We´ve had some good progress with our investigators and i spent a few days in a different area for divisions with other missionaries, and the change was fun.
    Well, we´re going to have another baptism this weekend but just one when we were hoping for more. The baptism is a kid named D_____o and normally kids aren´t that cool of a story when they get baptized, but this kid is 10 years old and is going to church alone, which is the amazing part. His family is part of a different church and one day a friend of his invited him to go to church with him and he went. That was like 2 months ago and the funny part is that the friend now doesn´t go to church, but D_____o goes to church every week without missing, waking up on time and getting into his Sunday clothes and everything, and doing all that against his parents will, because at first they were against it but he would sneak out haha (we didn´t know he was sneaking out).  Then when we went over to his house to ask permission from his parents to teach and baptize him, they explained all that and said that he couldn´t be baptized. We then explained how good he was doing in the church and we called him over so he could explain what he was doing every Sunday - when he had been sneaking out - and he expressed his desire to be baptized and then his parents said yes. I felt the Spirit really strong when he said how much he was learning in church, and i think the Spirit moved and softened his parents' hearts to allow him to be baptized. Anyway this kid is pumped to be baptized, and  yesterday in church he runs over to me to set everything up with the bishop, he´s cool. 
     The pastor, M__o he´s called, is also progressing well but he recently got a job that makes him work every other Sunday so he couldn´t come to church this week. If he had come to church we would´ve baptized him on Saturday too, but i think it´ll be for the 15th of June. I really hope his wife does it too, she is more shy and doesn´t express what she feels so i don´t know exactly what she needs to take the final step, but she accepted to be baptized with him so we´ll see. Also there´s a chance of getting an entire family because he said that this Sunday his whole family was coming to church, him, his wife, and his 3 kids so that would be a miracle to get a golden family like that. 
     We have some other kuna kids we're teaching named Maria 15, Ana 10 and their neighbor, i don´t remember what his name is but he´s got 10 years. The mom of the girls doesn't come but she lets and encourages her children to go. I decided the key to getting kunas is getting them involved while their youngish (16-25) before they get stuck in bad habits, haha. 
   We have another young lady named C___y who is the daughter of an inactive member but she is really positive arriving to church alone and she is smart so she progresses really fast. The only problem is that we invited her to be baptized and she said that it was going to be tough because she´s been Catholic her whole life but that she was going to pray and search for guidance.
    Lately we have been helping this family build a house, this family aren't members or even friends with any members of the Church, but what happened was we had a service project to do close by but when we got there someone cancelled it, so we just start wandering around the neighborhood looking for someone to help, and we ran into them and started helping them. My comp had contacted them before and they didn´t even talk to him. But now we have like helped with their project for 7 days here and there and they are now starting to come to church with us, first to show their appreciation and now a few of them liked it alot so they came back again. Sadly its just the women that come because the men are working but hey, it proves that through serving people you can touch their hearts and open up doors. 
    Random things time.... I got the package last week & i really enjoyed it, all the chocolates arrived safely so thanks a ton! It´s always nice to get a taste of home every once in a while. I was talking to this guy who just got home from spending 6 months in the States and he was talking to me about all the good stuff in the States and the American food and it made me really trunky (miss home) haha that whole day i was just thinking about all the goodness waiting for me in 5ish months, haha. But don´t worry i´m still focused on the mission, just not for some of that specific day, haha. Also i´ve gotten really tan here, tanner than most gringos i guess because people now mistake me for an Argentino or a person from Chiriqui here in Panama because they are the lighter skinned latinos. I like being tan like a latino!
     Hey the backyard looks really good, i like it alot what you´ve done with the patio and jardins. Is it finally summer there? Here it´s finally cooling down a little but that comes with a ton of rain which is worse in my opinion haha. And when it doesn´t rain it gets hotter than normal. I used to want to live in a tropical climate but ya now, i really miss the change of seasons. 
    Well to wrap this up I'd just like to testify of the truthfulness of this work, i´ve been paying attention and i´ve noticed so many little miracles that happen everyday. I haven´t gone a single day this week without seeing something that i considered a little miracle from the Lord. This is His work and we are His tools so when we work right, we can see His hand guiding us in everything. I love you guys, Take care!
Elder Freezer (as everyone calls me here because that can´t say my name)

Tuesday, May 28, 2013


    OK this week will be a shorter letter for lack of time but i`ll try to hit the important things. First of all my dog bite wound is healing up nicely with no ill effects or infections so no worries. We had a baptism this Saturday and we are hoping to maybe have another one this Saturday if not the next Saturday. We have about 8 baptisms planned out right now; we've just got to help the investigators out so that they stay strong. We`re working hard and i`m seeing the blessings, i feel good about it right now. Take care and love you!
Elder Pfister

Sunday, May 26, 2013

No confíe en cualquier perro!!!!!

Q onda,
    So you guys already know (from Hermana Jaramillo via FB) that i´m in Arraijan now as DL. My comp is Nolan Villanueva from Peru. He has a good desires to work hard which is nice. He has 4 months in the mission. The ward is great, it´s really big, like 160 people every week. There are 6 missionaries in the word here, 2 elderes and 1 hermanas but i really like it so far. We have some good investigators that we have found, can´t really give details because i have so many new names and things going through my head that i can´t keep everything straight, but this Saturday we´re going to have a baptism. In this area there are alot of Kunas so i´m starting to learn more Kuna, super confusing dialect, but it´s kinda fun. This Sunday we were able to have 4 investigators in the meeting and the key has been because of the ward missionary leader in our area and he knows everyone in his neighborhood so he just takes us around to everyone to teach and we get in easy. I have lots of hopes for this change. 

     So i know you guys don´t like when i talk about the bad things that have happened to me but i had an experience that i just can´t keep from telling.... So on Tuesday night i was getting ready to leave Margarita and i was saying goodbye to all the members. We got to this one member place and their house has a little patio in front with a little cement wall like 2 feet tall and a dog that chills there protecting the house... you guessed it, another dog story. So this dog is a mean dog to people it doesn´t know and other dogs, but to missionaries, because we all dress the same, he likes us and especially me because i give him lots of attention and always played with him from day one. Anyway, we´re good buds and everything so when i got to the house he  jumped up on the cement wall with his front paws to great me and i started petting him and all good. So there we were waiting with the dog for the family to answer the door when all of the sudden another dog appeared from behind me and this dog that is my friend the dog went crazy and in the mad scramble, my friend the dog bit me hardcore.... [Long story short:  bad deep and bloody dog bite; visit to Doctor, treatment, and antibiotics for awhile].   But really, don´t freak out, i´m fine! I talked with President and Hermana Ward and the nurse and the mission doctor and it´s all good. Just an interesting way of ending my time in Margarita, Colon. 

    Back to spiritual things, We have this guy here in Arraijan that we found and are teaching named Mito who is an old pastor i guess. We taught him the first time, normal. But when we went back the second time we asked him if he had read and prayed and he said no that he hadn´t read anything but that he had prayed and he said that when he prayed he felt something super special that he had never felt before and even though he has been baptized in his church he felt that this church is the true church and that it´s where he needs to be. And even better he went to church on Sunday! We´re probably going to put a fecha with him this week. 
     We have some other good people but like i said, everything is a blur for me with so many new names and faces. And of course, more people who want to get baptized but need to get married... i feel like cupid marrying so many people here in Panama. 

     This week has a been a good one, getting adjusted to the new atmosphere and new people. Arraijan is a lot more chill than Colon. People say it´s getting a little dangerous but i feel way safer in the dangerous parts here than i did in the safe parts of Colon. I think i´m really going to like it here, just gotta make it work with my comp, but it´s a testimony builder that two people so different can unite for one cause and work in unity for one purpose. I know that this is the work of the Lord because i have seen so many lives blessed from it and i hope to bless lots of lives here in Arraijan with the good news of the Gospel. I hope you guys have a great week, don´t freak out about my story and take care! I love you!
Elder Pfister