Monday, August 25, 2014

First week in the mission field!

Hola from the jungles of Panama!
I don´t even know where to begin with this one. there´s so much to tell and so little time. Excuse my grammar, the keyboard is spanish haha. Anyway. So when we landed in Panama on Tuesday I felt the greatest feeling of peace. So calm and no fear whatsoever. The humidity was and is gross but I´m rolling with it haha. So they put us hermanas up in this way nice hotel that first night and gave us pizza haha little did we know that would be our last even somewhat american experience haha. Our worlds changed SOO much that next day but it´s all good. 

Let me first tell you about my new comp, Hma. J. She´s gringa which I had said in the CCM that I wanted a latina comp, but now I am SOO grateful that I have my gringa because we can actually talk to each other! It´s made all the difference for me this past week. She´s from Utah and has a year in the mish. She´s the sweetest most selfless person EVER. I want to be her when I turn a year old in the mish. She´s seriously so great and I thank Heavenly Father every day that he put us together. Cool story about that by the way. When we met the mission pres he told us that he hadnt yet decided our comps and that he would during our interviews with us. Super cool. So I was the first to be interviewed because I volunteered because I was ready to go haha. So he asked me a few questions about myself and my family and then he just sat there for a minute looking at his ipad and he tells me I´m just waiting for the spirit to tell me who I should put you with. SUPER COOL RIGHT? So it was like half a second after he told me that and he´s like okay you´re going to be with Hma. J. Guys, Heavenly Father knows us all so well. I know he knows me sooo much better than I know myself because He knew I´d need to have Hma. J as my trainer. I don´t know what I would´ve done if I had gotten a latina comp and not been able to talk to her. It would be even more <difficult>than it already is. 

Which brings me to my next point. This is HARD. I´m living the hardest days of my life right now up to this point and that is a super difficult realization to come to. Suprisingly, it´s not really hard because of not knowing the language because I know that if I work hard to learn it, it will come. What´s hard is the culture shock. This is a different life than I´ve EVER experienced or will ever experience again. Also. I think I stink. haha. Like all the time. This humidity is a killer and you sweat constantly. Literally the only time I´m not sweaty is during the 5 minutes right after I´ve showered. You can´t smell anything really in Panama because all the smells just blend in together, but I know that if I were in the states right now no one would want to be near me because I´m sure I just smell so nasty and sweaty haha. But it´s honestly so great. The mission is humbling me so much and I´m having to rely on the Lord SOO much. I could NOT do this without Him. He sent me here for a reason and I know that He also sent me here because He knew I could do it. I´m here for Him and I´m here for the people who I need to share this wonderful perfect gospel with. I KNOW I can do this and I KNOW I´m going to learn so so much. I´m excited for all that is to come.

I LOVE the people here already. I´m going to try to send you some pictures that I´ve taken. Mom, don´t freak out about the surroundings in the pictures. My casa is a really good casa and super safe. This entire place is so safe and I really am so happy to be here. Panama is a great place for me to be serving my mission! Anyway, about the people. They are just so kind and loving and welcoming! I love them so much and they try their hardest to talk to me, and are so patient when I don´t understand what they´re saying. I´m getting super good at acting things out haha. Also, the children are the BEST. I have so much fun with them, even with the language barrier. I teach them english and they teach my spanish. It´s the greatest. When I leave them I say chowwww and they say byeeeee haha. It´s the cutest thing ever. 

It´s insanely beautiful here. So so green. I wasn´t kidding when I said I live in the jungle. Smack dab in the middle of it. It´s fantastic. I love my life here, even if it is hard, it´s so so worth it. Plus my comp has experienced every feeling that I´m having right now and she helps me a lot. I know that I´ll become better adjusted to this new life of mine day by day.

Hma. H <previous MTC companion in Provo> is in my ZONE!!! She´s actually sitting next to me right now. It´s the BEST. We´ll see each other at least once a week for the next 11 weeks while we´re in this area, possibly longer if we stay in Colon longer. Colon is my area by the way. So we were both born in Colon. As a missionary. You´re born in your first area and it´s called dying when you go home so if I ever talk about a missonary dying, I don´t actually mean they´re dying. My comp freaked me out with that when I first got here haha. 

Sooo we went contacting the other day and had the coolest experience. We were about to start and we were on the corner writing our names and phone number on our pamphlets and this man pulled up in his car and asked us IN ENGLISH if we were looking for someone. We said no and told him that we were missionaries. Come to find out he lived like two houses down and we asked if we could come visit with him and he said yeah so we went and seriously had the greatest lesson. He´s super heavy catholic, but he said he´s been wanting to know if he´s on the right path in his life, and he felt like we are an answer. It was so good and he spoke english so I got to contribute so much more to the lesson than I usually do. We´re meeting with him again on saturday so hopefully he keeps the appt. and opens his heart to our message because I can just see him in white!!

Anyway, I gotta get going on sending pictures, but know that I´m doing great and I´m powering through! I know my Father in Heaven is mindful of me, just as He is of each and every one of His children. He has so much love for all of us. I don´t have time to respond to any other emails today since I had so much to write about, but for those who emailed me, I´ll try my best to respond next week! Love and miss you all so much!!

Hermana Anderson

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