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)