Well, this week was a normal week and kind of a slow one
because it was the last full week before changes (cambios/transfers), we have changes
tomorrow and my companion Elder Perez is leaving so I´ll be getting a new one tomorrow.
We were able to baptize one person this week, but the D_____s weren´t ready
yet they said, but they said that in March they´ll be ready they think.
So the cool thing i wanted to tell you is about E___'s baptism last week, and what he told me afterwards. His baptism was nice, but nothing out of the ordinary in terms of talks or what we did. After we got done changing into our dry clothes, he starting talking
to me and he said, ¨I feel super clean, it feels great to be baptized!
When you dunked me i felt like I went up to heaven and while i was there,
i saw another person standing there and it was God and He was smiling
and super happy for what i had done, and then when you pulled me out of
the water, i got pulled out of heaven and i fell back to earth but with a
good feeling that i knew i did the right thing. Man, i feel this burning
inside of me, it´s like a flame inside of me, it feels so good.¨
That´s what he said to me and it made me super happy to see and hear how
much his baptism affected him and how special it was to him. What a great spiritual experience. Sometimes
as missionaries I feel that we lose the special feeling of a baptism
because we baptize alot of people, and for us it´s another soul brought into the Kingdom of God, but for
that individual, it´s one of the best days of their life, and the way he described
it made me feel and remember how special it is.
The rest of our investigators are slowly progressing, we had 5 investigators in
the sacrament meeting yesterday, and we are marrying 3 couples to be able to
baptize the wives. This week we didn´t really find more people because
my comp was saying goodbye to many people, and finishing up his final wishes in our area.
This p-day we went to this island and chilled on the beach all day, so
i´m super burned, but it was way fun, but now i´m super drained so i´m
going to keep it short this week but things are going good here, i´m
excited and nervous for changes as normal. This change the last 9 weeks with Elder Perez has been one of the best in my mission. Take care and remember that I love you!
Friday, February 15, 2013
So this was a pretty good week for us. We had one baptism and we´re hoping for four this weekend. There aren´t alot of new things to tell you about because right now we´re trying to help our near fechas arrive at the finish line to be baptized so we have been working with them alot, and not so much looking for new people, but this week and next week we´re going to hit it hard looking for new people to teach. We are also working hard getting people married which is a pain but it´s worth it because once we get them married, we have some couples that will be baptized. This upcoming week should be interesting because it´s carnivales (Carnival) so i´m not even sure if they´ll let us work because Colon is a crazy area normally and who knows how it´ll be during carnivales when everyone is drunk and partying haha.
We baptized E___ on Saturday and it went great. The branch here is also gaining in strength and we think our work is helping. When i got here the asistencia (attendance) was around 50 people every week and now we´re getting 70 to 80 people every week with lots of menos activos coming back to church - and with our investigators. One thing that helped is that the members have noticed that we are working so they have more confidence in us to give us references and they are more inspired to work and do their calling so everything is getting better here.
One interesting experience that we saw yesterday with the carnivales... These men dressed in devil outfits were dancing up and down the street with some people playing music for them and then this really large lady that was drunk started dancing with them and one of the devils pulled out a whip and whipped her and she went running away fast but then 5 minutes later she came back and they did it again. Apparently it´s a game they play during carnivales, the people dress like devils and dance in the street and people get in between them and dance too, but the catch is that when someone gets between the devils, they start to whip them with a real whip, it looks like it hurts too. It was super funny to be honest, that and the other crazy things they do during this time. I´m kinda nervous that while we´re working this week they are going soak us or whip us or something haha, should be interesting. I really wish i could get some video of the craziness, but i don´t usually carry my camera because it isn't safe to do so, haha.
We finally finished getting one couple married, well almost. This Friday is the wedding date and this Saturday is their baptism. It´s a Kuna couple that we are marrying and then the wife is going to get baptized, as her husband is already a member. We are also helping 3 other couples to get married, but we´re just starting the marriage process for them, so hopefully we´ll be finishing in 2 weeks and then we´ll have 3 sure baptisms and maybe 2 more if things go well. Also this weekend we´re hoping that the D________s will get baptized but i´m not sure if it´ll happen... pray for them! We are going to take them all to the temple to teach about eternal families, and we think that´ll be the key to baptizing them, but we have to do it this week because the temple is going to close for a few weeks after this week so we´re kinda rushed.
I haven´t gotten any packages yet, but Atuake is closer to Panama city than me so it´s easier for him to get them so no worries. I´ll let you know if he needs anything else and i was also thinking about just gifting my comps shoes to him. I´m going to send you some stuff before the end of this change, like some Christmas presents and my camera cards haha just so ya know, soon you´ll get some stuff in the mail.
I´m glad to hear that baby Porter is doing good and that he is pretty well behaved because there are alot of really misbehaving kids here who sometimes drive me crazy and i´m glad my sobrino isn´t like that, haha.
Question... Have they announced who the new mission presidents are and do you know who will be Panama´s next president?
Well that´s what´s going on here with me, remind me to describe how my baptism felt on Saturday i just remembered but i´m out of time....So i'll tell you next week. Glad to hear everything´s going good for you guys, take care and enjoy life! Love you!
Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Well this week was a good one for us! We had a baptism of this girl who´s family just recently got reactivated in the church, and we had 7 investigators in sacrament meeting two weeks in a row, which is not a normal thing here in Panama - so we´re pumped about that! We are going to have two baptisms this Saturday, E___ and A____, two young men from the C_______ which is the community center place. They are both going to be baptized, and then the branch is going to the temple on the next Monday, so we´re hoping that they can get permission to go there after the baptism, so that they can have a super spiritual weekend with their baptisms, and then a trip to the temple. Also we´re teaching and hoping that N___, our most recent convert, can also make it to the temple with the branch. The temple will be a great experience for them if they can go because just being by in the temple you can feel the Spirit and have a peace within you that you can´t get anywhere else. I know because this p-day we went there, and that´s why i´m writing on Tuesday. The D_______s came to church also, and really enjoyed it so we´re hoping to be able to baptize them the16 of febrero if all goes well.
Again, sorry, i don´t have much time because I downloaded some new music and spent most my time doing that... :) ha ha but i´m trying to get the important things in here in the few minutes that I have left.
The debit card works, you´ll notice that i spent some money, i bought new shoes for me and my comp but he´s going to pay me back. Hush puppies again and super comfy. I sent you the mission video of me and Elder Perez, so i hope you got it. Elder Atuake is right - my go home date is the 24th, but i don´t want to talk about that yet...
Mom, Hermana Ward said it´s important that you check to see if my scholarships are declined until January and not just august because i think we just delayed them until august.
Question - where did you guys live in Brazil again? We´re teaching a braseleño.
That high school in Mexico City that´s going to be the new MTC is where my companion Elder Perez went to school, so he´s sad that they are closing it because he said that it helped him out alot to gain a testimony and stay in the church.