Monday, March 25, 2013

Yaaaa.... Pa´ que!

Buenos dias querida familia! Be nuegambe?

      So this week was super priti! Mostly because of the sweet reunion we had with Elder Duncan from the Area Presidency and how it´s been working as we apply his counsel to the area. We weren´t able to baptize anyone but hopefully this Saturday and Sunday we´ll have some people baptized. 

     To start off a short funny story. We were teaching the timid girl and trying to get her to pray. We tried and tried but she wouldn´t pray for nothing. So i said, ok i´ll offer an example prayer and than you pray and she said yes. We had done that before but she didn´t pray. Anyway, this time, i start my prayer and everything is going good then all of the sudden i hear this crack and thud! Everyone just breaks out in laughter and i look up and see my comp on the ground next to the broken chair with this stunned face on him hahaha he slowly just gets up, puts the chair back up and sits down saying, keep going with the prayer. It was soooo funny! Anyway the cool part is that it lightened up the girl and she ended up giving a little prayer which happened to be the first prayer of her life. She still doesn´t really talk to us but we take this other girl with us and with the 2nd girl there and using lots of head nods we have been able to figure out that she´s nervous about being baptized, and she is not sure if it´s something she really needs to do because she doesn´t really even know who Jesus Christ is, so we may have to start from the very beginning with her and teach her again.  

      The D_______s didn´t come to church.... But we have them scheduled to go to the temple this Saturday because the husband doesn´t work for Semana Santa and the temple will be open - we couldn´t get permission to open the temple visitor center just for them last Saturday like we hoped. We've got some random dumb problems to fix with them, but we'll get it worked out, haha. 

      The family B_____e is coming along slowly.  The son E_____ came to church alone because the dad was working and his sister didn´t have modest clothes and his mom was sick. He´s a tight dude and i think he´ll be baptized but i´m not sure if we want to wait to try to baptize the whole family together or baptize him alone so he can be an example for his family. The dad is also positive but there are for sure problems coming in the future but we´re up for the challenge! We took the second counselor in the branch presidency, and his wife over to their house to visit with us and it was a really spiritual lesson. They shared their testimonies and everyone talked about that for awhile so it was good. 

      N____ still hasn´t had her baby, we´re going to visit her on Tuesday to see how she´s doing. We´re not going to be able to do anything with them till a few weeks after she has her baby. 

      We found the K___a family that we were teaching  and she´s still up for being baptized and accepting todo but she is always gone on Sundays. We went to pick her up after agreeing on it but this Sunday she went to Panama (city). If she comes to church, she´ll get baptized really fast. We´ve been taking this K buddy over to help us translate and it helps alot. 

     We are almost done getting S_____i married and then we´ll be able to baptize her. We have the medical papers with a nurse so we just need to go get them back, and turn them in so that they'll give us a date for the marriage. 

     So we had a cool visit from el Elder Duncan of the Area Presidency. First we had a meeting with him as district leaders and zone leaders, and in that meeting, he taught us how to be better leaders and how to really care for and get to know our zone, investigators and wards. It was an amazing meeting the first one, i got a ton out of it and i hope to put it into practice right now!  The second meeting was for all missionaries not just leaders, and it was equally good. He talked to us about getting the vision of our ward, and not our vision but God´s vision for how He wants us to work and how the ward can end up at the end of our time. We need to have the big picture in mind and not just think about the time that we are in the area. It was sweet, obviously because being able to talk one on one with a general authority is a once in a life time opportunity and to have a meeting with him and only have like 20 other people there was awesome!   You can really feel the power he has when he´s in the room. It´s a goal for me to have such a spirit that when I walk into the room others can tell I have a good LDS spirit.

     Do you guys remember the package that you sent like over a year ago with two bags and a jersey and chocolate? Well, surprise! I got it! The chocolate tasted horrible, but the bags and the Jersey and the Rubik cube were still in there, it was a nice unexpected surprise, haha. 

     Well to finish up I would just like to say how i know that the profeta and apóstoles are called of God. Elder Duncan talked to us in a way that you knew that he was a true servant of God and it usually feels like every thing has already been said about missionary work and there is nothing that can be said to improve it but then he came and totally blew our heads off with new revolutionary ways to improve the work. I know that our leaders are called of God and i can´t wait to hear from them again in the coming General Conference. Take care everyone and be safe! Life is good here in blazing hot and getting hotter Panama! Love you guys and miss you!
Con mucho amor,
Elder Pfister

Monday, March 18, 2013

Todo Cul Tranquilito

Woppin Mo!
     That is an example of the Jamaican English that they speak here in Colon and in other parts of Panama, it means "What happened" just really poorly pronounced. And Mo is the short form of mopri, that is the weird form of primo that they call everyone here, pretty much they all mean buddy. Panamanians and especially people here in Colon uses a form of Spanglish, for example everyone here says, estoy full (i´m full) or estas ready? (are you ready) but then they say it really fast and cut off letters so it turns out to be ´ta redy which is sometimes hard to understand because they talk like that all the time with all the words, but it´s fun. 
     So as for the week, the week went really well. We were able to find alot of new and positive people and put fechas  with them, and we work with the branch alot too. The downer came on Sunday when no one came to church. Also these two weeks were kinda tough because my comp has been really sick and just got over it around Thursday so that slowed him down a little. He couldn´t really talk at all but he´s good now. 
      The D________s are still stuck on the decision to get baptized. We had a good talk with them about the differences between this church and the church where they used to go in the DR;  with A_____s, the mom, she´s all on board with the LDS Church about how things should be done. R___ her sister doesn't agreed and prefers her other church. G____s, the daughter of A_____s, likes the church but doesn´t want to get baptized unless her mom gets baptized. The differences that we talked about are how Mormons sing and worship Christ. They came from an evangelical church that dances and sings and R____ feels that that is how you should worship. We explained how we Mormons worship with reverence and peace so that the Spirit can be there too and that dancing and the other things is mostly adrenaline and the spirit of the world. But to keep it kind of  light, we explained that any way that one worships Christ is good as long as you are worshiping Him, but there is a good way, a better way and the best way. And we know that our way is the best way.  We plan on taking the whole family to the temple this Sunday and we´re trying to work it out so that the temple and mission president are there and that we can enter in the waiting room of the temple with them so that they they really feel the Spirit really strong, and they can get the spiritual confirmation that they are waiting for, because i have no doubt that if it happens like we want it to, with two spiritual giants there, and being inside the temple, there is no way they won´t feel the Spirit if they are looking for it. 
     We got this reference on this family called, the family B____e with 6 people. It was a cool story because when i got there i asked them how they got to know the church and how we got their number. The dad explained how there is this guy at his work who is Mormon and that he gave his co-worker his number to give to the missionaries, and that he wanted to get to know more about the church because before, this friend of his wasn´t a member and they had some marriage problems, same with R____B_____ and his wife. But R____ noticed that over time the friend starting to seem happier and that his marriage improved and everything was way better than ever. He asked what the difference was, and the friend said that he joined the LDS Church and that that has made all the difference in his life and marriage, and that he is happier now than he has ever been before. And now we are now teaching them and we put a fecha for 4 of them for the 30th of March. The other two weren´t home to get taught, and the dad was really sick on Sunday so he didn´t go to church. It was a real testimony builder of the power of a good example. This friend of his didn´t know that R_____ was watching but he was and because of this good LDS example, he made a difference without even opening his mouth. Now we have an appointment with the family and this friend and wife are going to come with us to the next appointment. 
     S_____, one of the ladies that we are getting married, is almost done with the process;  she did the medical stuff and now we´re just waiting on the results to turn them in to get the marriage date. The other lady, Y_____a, couldn´t go to the appointment so she has to wait 15 more days for another appointment and she started working again so that makes it really tough because her job is as a full time mom working in the S____ house. 
      The shy girl is so amazingly shy it´s not funny. When we go there to teach she doesn´t say a word. So we brought with us another young woman to help us out so that she would talk a little and guess what... she didn´t say a word to her either! But we were able to put a fecha using head nods so hopefully she gets baptized this Saturday or the next. The interview should be interesting, ha ha. 
      The P___ F____ family is still chilling because the mom N____ still hasn´t had her baby and she can´t leave the house, so we are just visiting them every once in a while to keep them going until it all works out.
      The K_____s who we put fechas with haven´t gone to church yet because they went some where else both Sundays and we haven´t been able to find them in their house at night so that fecha might be falling if we aren´t able to get in contact with them soon. We even bring our K___a buddy to help but they are never home. 
      Those are all the fechas and positive investigators i can think of right now. We have more people that we need to visit more to see how they progress but overall things are going well except that no one comes to church. We even have a bus that is free for investigators but they still don´t go, that´s the frustrating part,  but President Ward told me how the miracles come after the test of our faith, so i´m hoping this is the test of faith and that soon we see the fruits. 
     My knee is doing fine, sometimes after walking alot it hurts, or if we have to climb a mountain or something to get to a house it aches a little but overall it´s good. When i do my exercises it feels stronger and pretty sturdy. I use my brace when we play sports but it kinda feels like it doesn´t fit as well as it did, either my leg shrunk or grew, not sure. The only thing i kinda want is another Frisbee because my Frisbee broke again, but don´t worry about it, we don´t play that much - it´s not that important. Other than that i think i´m good. I wanna see a picture of Brittany and mike´s new car,  ha ha. 

     Things here are going great, i love Colon, it is my favorite area by far, lots of cool experiences, hard work, and a fun atmosphere here too. The testimony of this week is the power of a good example like i said above. I remember from my job in the Logo Shop and here in the mission i have seen countless times when a good example from a member of the Church has helped someone join or at least respect the Church more. People always seem to know that we are members of the Church or by our actions and examples they figure it out, because they notice a difference in the way we Mormons act,  and that difference comes from living the gospel and the blessings associated with that. We can´t talk and share the gospel with everyone we see, but we can be a good example to everyone, and everywhere we go, and i know that it makes a difference. I know that this is the true Church and that Jesus Christ lives and is the head of the Church leading it through His servants here on earth. I love you guys so much and I'm super grateful for all the support and love you give me. Take care and be safe! Love you!
Con Amor,
Elder Pfister

Monday, March 11, 2013

Woppin mo!!


    This was a good week for us for the most part. We were able to find a bunch of new people and put new fechas with some new investigators that i feel are going to progress. We had some pretty cool experiences too.

    Starting with the new people we found... We went with this member who is kuna, and active, to visit these two families that he and another kuna, who was less-active, had been working with, and it was super interesting. At the beginning they were just speaking kuna and i understand a little, like a tiny bit so pretty much i had no idea what they were saying and then he said, well go ahead and speak to him and i was totally lost, but once we started conversando in Spanish it went pretty well. The parents didn´t really understand because they don´t speak much Spanish but the daughter did and she accepted the fecha with her son... but they didn´t come to church yesterday so we´ll see when they are getting baptized.
We also found this less active family who live in the rich neighborhood, and we had a good talk with them and they have this lady living with them that is really interested in the church, and she asked us to give a blessing to her daughter so we think we can put a fecha with her too.
 We finally found the pink house we were originally looking for that I told you about last week, and it paid off because we found the girl who lives there; she likes the church alot, she´s really shy so she doesn't talk very much to us but according to her parents she really liked going to church, and is interested in getting baptized. 
 We had this really interesting thing happen to us, really more interesting for me than for Elder Collier. So we were taking these kids home from a family home evening one night and coming back from the home these guys who had been drinking called us over so we went over to them to talk. We started talking and this one guy said how he knows Mormons in Penonome and i was like 'oh that's cool cuz i was there for a while' and then randomly his wife called on his cell phone, and he says 'oh this is my wife, she´s Mormon too, talk to her a little bit, and then he passed me the phone and was like 'talk to my wife for me.' So we started talking and the lady asked who i was and i said Elder Pfister and she was like, Really!? Elder Pfister, weren´t you here in Penonome? Do you remember Hermana Vicky?, well i´m her sister, the mom of Ikaika who you baptized! And i was like 'wow what a coincidence that i find your husband here in Colon after baptizing your daughter in Penonome.' Then i talked to the guys and I asked the husband if he realized that i was the Elder that baptized his daughter, haha.  It was really interesting and funny, but they became really friendly with us after that, offering us everything and now were teaching them a little, so we'll see how it goes. 

I got both the packages you sent this last Monday by the way, so no worries - they almost always get here eventually haha, thanks alot i really enjoy the pictures and i´m wearing the dri-fit shirt, and using the athletic bag right now! As for a winter ski pass to Beaver Mountain, yes, i´d love to have one, to be able to go skiing shortly after returning home from the mission, 3 years without skiing now (because of my knee surgery)...would be great!

     Thanks a ton for everything you guys do for me, all the love and support i really appreciate it alot! I love you guys, take care!
Elder Pfister

Wednesday, March 6, 2013


Hola family,
   How´s life in the cold states going? We finally got some rain here in Colon and it felt amazing! This week was an interesting one but kinda a slow one. We´ve been focusing alot on the D______s so they would be baptized but they still say no... They go to seminary and institute and all the activities and church every week, so i´m not sure what´s up but we´ll keep pressing on. I´m still convinced that they will be baptized in time, just not yet. We also went on a huge menos activo hunt because the branch leaders gave us a list of possible less actives that could come back and we got some good results. 
    One cool experience that happened while we were looking for menos activos. The direccion (address) of the house was like this: A pink house on the main street of Puerto Escondido, which is a terrible direccion but that´s how they come here in Panama. So we were contacting all the pink houses looking for this Kuna family and we would pass a few houses because we could tell that there weren't Kunas living there. Well, we passed this one house because we knew it wasn´t them but then as we were walking my comp said, nah let´s go back and contact that house. We went back and contacted them and it was normal, they asked what we needed, we visited with them and asked them if they knew the Kuna family.  They didn't, so we were just about to leave when the hermana said, I´m Mormon too. We turned around and we were like, what? Really?? That´s cool and then we starting talking to her and getting to know her and there are 8 members living there who are menos activos so it was a great find and they seem really positive and ready to come back to church. 
   Also in our menos activo mission we found this other Kuna guy who is just coming back to church and he came this Sunday, but while he´s been inactive he´s been teaching this family of three the gospel and according to him they are really interested and probably are going to be baptized. We haven´t met them yet but if it´s really as he described they should be a solid family to teach. We have an appointment this week to go find them with him.
   Like i said it was a kinda slow week, but this week we have big plans to put lots of fechas with some investigators, and really work hard so that we can pull these baptisms through before the end of the month. I know that this is  the work of the Lord and there will always be difficult weeks, but those times are for us to learn from and improve, and my feeling is that they always help me in some way. Love you guys!
Elder Pfister

P.S. I love the photos of Porter from everyone!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Todo Cul!!

Q´ Xopa Mo!
     Ofi, this week was a pretty good one. We had changes and now i feel weird because i don´t have a latino comp by my side, i´m with a gringo! I´ve had a latino comp for the last year so this is a big change. My comp is Andrew Collier from Riverton, Utah and he has 11 months in the mission. He is huge, 6´ 5¨ and 250ish lbs so now I have a giant to protect me in the mean streets haha. He´s cool and chill so it should be a good change. Perez, my old comp, is now comps with Elder Mayo who was my roommate in the MTC, and they are both crazy, so that should be interesting.  Elder Atuake my MTC comp, is now in San Blas Islands, so you probably won´t be hearing from him for 6 weeks and he won´t get any packages or letters just so ya know. But he was pumped to get sent out there, i´m still hoping to go but we´ll see.
    As far as investigators go, the D________s had a cool experience. So on Wednesday we took one of them (R____) to seminary and she enjoyed it,  but on the way back we were talking and i asked her when she was going to get baptized, and she said as soon as God confirms her prayers.  So I asked how she was going to get that confirmation and she said by praying and reading the Bible. So i told her that if she wanted a response about the Book of Mormon she has to read the Book of Mormon, and I left her with a bunch of homework to do. And while we were sitting and talking i was showing her my favorite scriptures, and my comp said that while we were reading she was on the verge of crying because she felt the power of the Book of Mormon. We went back there the next day and i didn´t even ask if she and her family had finished the assignment, because for most people it takes them a whole week to read one chapter in the BOM. But we were  talking about other things and she told me that they studied and i asked what had they studied, and it turns out that they sang hymns, prayed, read the upcoming lesson for the investigator class in gospel principles, and they looked up every scripture, and read the chapters i left for them in the Book of Mormon- and then finished with prayer again. And the best part is that they did it all by themselves without a member or a missionary helping them along. And even better, they said that they loved what they studied and they were super happy about everything. Sounds just like Family home evening, right? Just missing a game and refreshments haha and they aren´t even members.... yet. Anyway it was all great and we were going to put a fecha with them but then the husband found out that his brother had been murdered back in Brasil so that killed the mood with them, but we have an appointment to meet them this Tuesday.
    We are getting close to getting two more couples married and baptized, and we have appointments for the medical papers this week and then we just gotta turn it all in and wait for the date that the officials give us. I´m now a pro in marrying people here, the people in the court place even recognize me now haha. The fam p___ f___ are still going slow but the mom is going to hospital this week to give birth to her baby and then after a week or so of rest i think she´ll be coming to church with us again and she´ll be baptized i think. The branch has a little party planned for her for the baby birth and stuff so they are really supporting her. 
    Well it´s really weird to think about a new mission president coming here but President Ward and his wife are almost done and soon it´ll be a new gringo President. I wonder how well the incoming Pres kept up his Spanish. I remember that the apostle Christofferson had amazing Spanish, and that most the other gringo General Authorities that came also had really good Spanish. They must get a lot of practice traveling and visiting people.
    Well, my sunburn peeled off on my neck, it was really painful the first two days with my shirt collar rubbing it but now it´s good. I´m super tan right now because the sun is really strong here and we walk alot in the sun but it looks funny because i have a really bad tan line from my watch and my shirt sleeves. Some people say i look latin now except for my eyes haha. Sometimes i miss the cold so much i stick my head in the freezer and pretend I'm back at home,  hahaha. 

    So this last change was probably my favorite change of the mission but i hope to make this next one even better. The plan is the branch will have us work some in this upscale neighborhood to try to baptize a few families so that they can split the branch and have two branches, because the chapel is really far away from the poorer neighborhoods so that keeps lots of people from coming - so they want to make a branch that takes in the richer neighborhoods and then make a new one in the poorer area,  and I'm sure that the less-well off branch will soon be a ward because there are alot of people there. It´s an interesting plan but we´re going along with it. 
    The best part of this week was definitely the D______s and their experience with the power of the Book of Mormon. I´ve had lots of times when people just read a little bit of it, then they feel the power of the book, and they realize it is true, so it´s super book in reality, haha. 

    Take care everyone and it´s good to hear everything is good and everyone is doing well. Enjoy the snow for me and I´ll enjoy the heat for you guys! Take care and i love you!
Elder Pfister