Monday, April 29, 2013

Esta sweeeet acá!

Q paso
     Things here got alot better this week for us. We didn´t have a ton of people in church this week, but we have some new positive people and fechas so we should be baptizing some people these next few weeks. The changes for the mission are going to be the week after Mother´s day so i still have a little time left to work here. I really don´t want to leave Colon, but the more time that i´m here the harder it is going to be to leave so it´s probably better that they change me soon. It´d be awesome to go to San Blas but i doubt it, i feel like it´s too late in my mission now, unless i die in San Blas, o sea, end my mission there. 
      So the best news is that we put a fecha con E_______l after teaching him yesterday. The fechas is por the 11th of mayo, but he could be baptized today. He´s been to church like 5 times.  Anyway he´s cool it´s great because we´re baptizing more priesthood which is what this branch needs badly. If we could baptize more priesthood and the branch paid their tithing we would be a ward.

      As for the D________s, we had a great lesson with them on Saturday and the spirit was strong and we brought up the tema of baptism and they avoided it. They say that they want to be baptized but that right now no. The mom isn´t sure when, the daughter wants to be baptized now and the aunt, someday. The problem that we recently found out is that they all want the dad to baptize them but he´s got WOW problems so now we gotta work through the hermanas to fix his life so that he can save theirs through baptism. I have hope that they will eventually be baptized, probably not in my time here and maybe not here in Panama, but they say that the church is stronger in the dominican republic and they said they are going to explore the church there so hopefully they get baptized there when they go back. They are an awesome family and they invited me to go hang out in their house in the DR so i´ll keep in touch with them and make sure they get baptized eventually, haha

      Y____a and her husband did their examenes so they are close to getting married, we are hoping that they get married this Friday and we have the baptisms unofficially planned for this Sunday so finally we´ll get that done too. She is really animated to get baptized so it´ll be great. 
     We found another hermana named M______e who has also been investigating the church for the last year or so and has already read the Book of Mormon twice and she really wants to be baptized but..... she is living with this guy who doesn´t want anything to do with the church and doesn´t want to get married either so she has to choose, leave him and get baptized or not. They have 13 years living together so i don´t understand why he doesn´t want to get married, it´s not really going to change that much just make their living together official with paperwork. Anyway we´re starting in on that process. 
     Also we found this old investigator named, J_____n, who is the companion of this lady who is a member but long story short... Juan wants to be baptized too but he´s married to another lady-  they are separated not divorced, so first we have to divorce the man, then marry them, then baptize him.... Long process especially here in Panama, like 3 or more months to divorce plus a few weeks to marry, but someone has to have the big picture in mind and start the process, so we will. 

    Hey so my compa gave me this idea to share pictures, as he uses SkyDrive from Microsoft to share photos and so i´m gonna try it out. You can put pictures up on your end and i´m going to put pictures up on my end and you can take them off and save them over there to have them. Let´s give it a try. 

     I don´t even know half the people that you say you meet on facebook but then again everyone puts weird names up so maybe i do know them i just don´t recognize their user name. Like this Etienne Lima i have no idea who that is, did she say where or how she met me?

    Hey thanks for the quote from Elder Holland, it´s a sweet one. That pretty much wraps up this week for me. We have lots of good hope for this week with the new investigators we have, the more we have the more likely that one turns out to be that golden investigator. I know that this is the Lord´s Church and His work because of all the great lessons we´ve been having, for example in the lesson with the Dominicans the spirit was so strong and i know that they felt it too, the spirit is the real teacher, it touches hearts. I love you guys! Soon we´ll be skyping again!
Elder Pfister

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Mas o menos!

Buenas familia,
   Well this semana was kinda a bummer, we didn't make a lot of progress with some investigators but we did have a really nice baptism. S_____i the lady who we´ve been trying to get married finally got married last Monday and on Saturday she was baptized after two years of waiting. 
   So the girl S__i who´s mom told us not teach her, well, she´s way bummed too that we can't teach her, so we've thought about secretly teaching her.... maybe that's a bad idea but it was her idea, ha ha. I doubt she´ll be able to come to church or anything, but she has questions about the Church so we can at least help her out and then in 3 years she can make her own choice about getting baptized.
Yulma´s husband did his medical exams and she was going to do it today, so hopefully she did so that they can get married and baptized in the next week or so. I´ve become a pro at marrying people here in Colon. We also found this other lady that we need to get married because she already has a testimony of the Gospel, but her husband doesn´t want to get married because he says that she´s only getting married to get baptized and not for him, which is kinda right.  I think that reason to get married is ok because like it says in the Bible in Luke 8:37-39 you have to love God more than anything or anyone including your kids and wife, and when you do this you find your real life. 
    S_____i´s baptism this past week was sweet because of all the support she received from the branch members. We had a group night there in her house the night before her baptism and pretty much the whole branch showed up to congratulate her on her marriage and support her with the baptism. We had a nice lesson and then lots of food and they just stayed and talked.  It was really good because her husband who is not a member was there, and he was able to make some friends and feel the Spirit, he really enjoyed it I think. Then the same thing happened at her baptism,  we had good asistencia and they brought cake and all that. We weren´t able to confirm her because it was stake conference this last Sunday so we´ll do it next week. Speaking of baptisms, Nino (or Chantier) the guy I baptized in February got the Melchizedek Priesthood and got called to be the secretary of the ward a while ago and is trying to get a mission into his plans so he´s coming along really well. 
    E______l is still coming to church but he works so much we haven´t been able to get a lesson in. I think when we do teach him we´ll invite him to get baptized and he´ll accept. He´s come to alot of church activities and liked it all. 
    Haha that´s funny that Bishop Anderson used my dog attack story in his talk at ward conference.  So about missionaries emailing people other than family - I didn´t hear about being able to email friends and priesthood leaders, what´s that all about? We went to the temple yesterday by the way, that´s why i´m writing today.
    Other than that, we´ve just been contacting and looking for new people with not much luck, kinda a boring week as news goes, but we gotta just press on with faith that sooner or later the Lord will put someone in our path. And don´t worry, no incidents this week with dogs,  ha ha. I´ll just close by saying I know that this is the Lord´s work and whatever happens in life it´s for our benefit to either learn from or to prepare us for what´s coming up, so i have no doubt that the Lord is in control of it all. Take care everyone!
Elder Pfister

Monday, April 15, 2013


Q´ Lo Q´ Mae!
     Well this has been an interesting two weeks with some positive and not so positive things and a funny story but all in all i enjoyed the last 2 weeks.

     Starting with the story... Last week we got a reference from the sister missionaries for this guy who is supposedly really positive who lives way far away in this village called Piña (Pineapple, haha) which is located on the other side of the Canal in the middle of nowhere. So we call this guy named Vergara, and we set up an appointment for 4 o´clock in the afternoon on Thursday and that morning we called him to confirm and  he said that everything´s good so we headed off. We get to Colon and take another bus that takes us out there, after about 2 and a half hours on the bus, with it driving fast we get to Piña and get off. We find the local phone and call him to find out where he lives like he told us to do and this is our conversation...
    Us: ¨Hey Hermano we´re here in Piña, where do you want to meet us?¨
    Him ¨Oh elders... There´s a little problem, it´s that I´m in Colon right now. We´ll have to do it another day.¨
    Us ¨What? and you´re not coming home soon or anything? (Click.... phone call cut)................................. Crap. Now what?¨
So we decide to not waste this time so we go and work a little and check out the beach for a few minutes, then go get a drink and as we´re drinking the owner of the store asks what we´re doing here, and we explain that we´re missionaries and she says "well be really careful, because here there is a lot of crime and robbery. Do you have someone to stay with here"? We say no that we´re going back to Colon right now and she says "well you better run because i think that is the last bus over there" (like 100 yards away). So we say thanks and break out running towards the bus and it drives away but luckily someone saw us and stopped it and we were able to get on... all good, right?  Not quite.... We say we´re heading to Colon and the bus driver says "no you´re not, the last bus to colon left about 3 hours ago (before we had even arrived), there´s no more buses going there." So we get off and just think... What are we going to do now? We´re stuck here in this dangerous middle of nowhere fishing town with no bus and like 3 hours away from the next civilization when using a bus, so who knows how long it would be walking to get to Colon. We asked this one guy what we should do and he was like "well you better get started walking and ask for rides on the way and pray to God." So we did just that. It´s about 6 o´clock and we start walking home and everything goes well for the first hour then around 7 it gets pitch dark, we´re in the middle of the jungle on this little road completely alone with no lights or anything. We couldn't even see where the road turned and so we just walked on the yellow line in the middle. It was freaky! Anyway, we keep walking and we see this light and a house on this hill and think, we´re saved! We get to the gate and here come the dogs, lots of dogs barking and growling so we back away from the gate and the dogs, like 6 of them, stop at the gate but we realize there is no way we are getting to that house alive and it´s too far away to yell so we give up and keep walking, when all of a sudden the dogs crawl under the gate and start chasing us! We just turn around and start throwing all the rocks and garbage we can find at them and they finally give up but it was way scary because they were big dogs like Pit bulls and German Shepherds, the perfect guard dogs. Anyway, we keep up the trek, and it goes fine for a while, till yet again we hear barks and growls but this time there is no light near by and we can´t see anything. This time it was actually terrifying not being able to see the dogs coming, but hearing them get closer, so we just got on our hands and knees feeling around on the ground for more rocks, but we couldn´t find anything and the dogs were getting closer, so i just went off the road and found a banana tree and ripped off two branches, which aren´t too good as weapons because they are more like just big leaves, but we used them and just started swinging like demons, and after some close encounters where the dogs almost got our flesh, we were able to swing and run and get away from the scariest dog encounter i´ve ever had. After that we got into this part of the road where the moon shined pretty well so we spent some time to gather rocks and real sticks to defend ourselves. At this point we had decided that we were going to die if we kept going so we were going to get to the next house, call if they had a phone and if not, just sleep there with them if they seemed nice. So after like 3 hours of walking, praying and fighting off ferocious dogs, God sent us help. This bus for employees of the Canal Company passed and usually they aren´t allowed to pick up anyone, so it just passed us by without stopping, but then it finally stopped at the end of the road, and when we got on I asked why he stopped he said he looked back and saw that we were Mormon missionaries and he felt that he had to stop and help us. So he took us to the Canal and we got a taxi home safe. The bus driver said that we hadn´t made any real progress towards home, and that if we had walked the whole way it would´ve taken like 10 hours. So that was our adventure of the week, really scary, exciting, funny and testimony building, haha. But don´t worry Mom, we´re not going back there unless we go with a member who has a car to take us.

    Now getting to real missionary work, S_____i is finally getting married today at 2 pm, so she is going to get baptized this Saturday, finally!! She´s been trying to get married for over two years now and it´s finally coming true. Also Yulma the other lady we were helping to get married has gotten a renewed interest in getting married and baptized, so we're working with her again.
    The D________s came to church again and the wife said that she was dropping coffee and that she wants to plan a temple trip to the visitor center, which i took as she is getting ready to get baptized!! She still says it´s not her time but she´s getting there slowly but surely.
   This one night when we were walking home from dinner this girl in the street called us over and when we went over she explained how she wanted to learn more, so we gave her a little folleto and said we´d come back the next day. When we got there she had read the folleto and answered her own questions about it o sea, she is really positive. Then her dad came out and started talking to us and explained how he´s a preacher for a church and he started tearing down the Book of Mormon and the Church, and normally i´m not one for Bible bashing, but he made me kinda angry so i just threw out a few scriptures and tore down his argument haha and he just stood there in silence because he had no idea what to say, and then we just left because we didn´t want to argue. A few days later we went back to talk to the girl, and while talking to her, her mom came out and said how she doesn´t want us to preach to the daughter because she wants her daughter to follow the traditions in her church and that we can´t come back. And that was right after the girl said she was looking for a church of peace that focused on families, which is exactly what our Church teaches and provides, so that was a super bummer, but we hope we planted the seed with her.

    We have another really positive new investigator named Ezequiel who is the friend of this ward member who brought him to the General Conference and he liked it alot so she brought him to church this week and we were talking to him and he seems really positive. We have an appointment with him this week so we´ll see how it goes but i have high hopes.

   Also we found this Colombian lady who is our neighbor who happens to be the sister-in-law of this member and this member is the son of our cook Noris, haha, it is a small world. Anyway when we talked to her, she had alot of really good questions about religion and she is looking for the true church sincerely; well she found it, she just doesn´t realize it yet haha.

   For conference i was able to watch all of Saturday and Priesthood sessions in English, but on Sunday we had investigators to go get, so we missed some talks.  All of Sunday sessions were in Spanish. And to answer your question, the subtitles for the music are in English even here in Panama, haha.

    Well, that´s what´s going on in my life right now. With some luck we should have some good baptisms this month. Even though we´ve had some rough days of pure contacting without any lessons, the blessing are coming into view. Love you guys tons! Take Care!
Elder Pfister

Monday, April 8, 2013

Breve pero dulce...

Hey Fam,
   This is going to be a short letter because i used all my time writing to Brett Reynolds about his recent mission call (to Washington D.C.) and Whit (Whitney Norton) who is now getting married. To wrap up the week... I loved LDS general conference but we didn´t have many investigators go to the church to listen. The D_______s are slowly retrogressing, but the B_____e family is getting better, and their kids did go to conference. Life is good and i loved the pic of  Elder 'Atuake and the crocodile. Love you lots and i´ll write a better letter next week! Take care!
Elder Pfister

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

No me gusta semana santa como misionero!

Que Onda,
     Well, this wasn´t the best week, mostly because it was semana santa here in latin land and that means vacations, parties and beer... which means no one has any time for the word of God or church, haha. But we did have one baptism and have some positive things coming up. 
    So changes are this Wednesday.... but.... i don´t have changes.... and my comp doesn´t either so we´re staying the same here, which is what we wanted. I wanted to either go to San Blas Islands or stay with Elder Collier because now i don´t have to reteach the area and we´ll be able to keep going at full pace. 
    We didn´t have anyone come to church because of the parties and stuff but we did have a baptism after church. It was a really stressful baptism because we had trouble getting a dress for the 13 yr old girl, but we improvised at the last minute, so everything turned out perfectly. This girl is named Anyel and is the adopted daughter of this member in the ward. She has like one month living with him. 
     So the D_________s didn´t go to the temple visitor center as we had hoped, because they planned a vacation over our temple trip...... super depressing but oh well.  We'll try again...
     N____a says she's having her baby on the 5th so we´re still waiting. S____i will hopefully be married at the end of the week and baptized on Saturday. The B____e family had family over all weekend, so we couldn´t teach them and they didn´t come to church. The shy girl and the kunas were also on vacation somewhere, so like i said kinda rough week in terms of getting much done with teaching.
     To answer your question- yeah i´ve been District Leader (DL) for a while now, that´s why i got invited into the meeting with Elder Duncan; guess i forgot to tell ya but now you know!
     The slang-as you guessed- Yaa pa´ q´ means pretty much ¨yeah what´s the point¨ and 'Be nuegambe' is kuna meaning 'how are you'?  The reason that you would never have figured that last one out is that it´s not really even a language, it´s just a dialect. 
     Well, this is a shorter letter, because nothing really happened that was too exciting this week, but i´m sure I'll have some good stuff coming this next week, so don´t worry. Everything is still good here, I love my comp and my area and my branch so it´s cool. I know that "the church is true, the book is blue, Moroni is always on the ball in 138 locations worldwide." Love you guys!
Elder Pfister