Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Week #10 in Panama!

Hola mis amores!! 

How are you all doing? Family, I thought we had an understanding about weekly emails. Wheres this weeks? =) (Family did email, but she did not receive.). Shoot this past week has been such a cool one. So many things have happened. This email is going to be a lot better than last weeks!

So first off, a bit of bad news, our one investigator who we thought was going to progress super quickly didnt come to church yesterday so his baptism cita fell. That was sad. But we are going to keep working with him and hope and pray that he will someday get there! Hes so awesome and is in a really perfect time in his life to accept the gospel.

So last Thursday night I think it was, we were leaving a cita in Nuevo Mejico 1 and we needed to get to Nuevo Mejico 2 for cena. So we started to walk and then my comp asked if I wanted to go by taxi since we were already late. So we stopped and not 5 seconds later a man called over to us from across the street and wanted to talk to us. Hes about 25 or so. So we started talking to him and he told us that hes been looking for us and he asked where the chapel is. Turns out his girlfriend lives in another part of panama and shes LDS and hes been learning about the gospel with her. Hes been going to church faithfully with her and hes been reading the book of mormon! And he lives SO close to us!!! We couldnt believe what he was telling us. It was such a miracle. So we are going to start teaching him and he said hes going to start coming to our church here. We are so excited about him. We feel like he is so prepared. 

So we have cambios this week because this was a short change of only 4 weeks. We are 99.9 percent sure that my comp will be leaving me because she only has two cambios after this one before she dies <goes home> and shes been in our area for 7 months, so shes due. Which makes me sad, but Im also super excited to experience another comp, possibly a latina who speaks little or no english. Ive learned SO much from J. and I am SO SO grateful to have had her as my comp. From what Ive heard from basically everyone is that you eventually come to really not like your trainer during your training just because its a difficult position to be in as a missionary, but that has not been the case AT ALL with her and I. Shes so great and Im going to miss her so much but Im so excited for this next phase of my mission!

Also, something you should know about latinos is that they are super blunt and a very popular talking point with them is the weight of others. Its not offensive to them. At all. They will tell you if youve gained weight or not. The other night we were at Hna S.'s house and she just looked me up and down and said Id gotten fat. I just said yo se hahaaa. And everyone always comments on the tummy pooch Im getting haha. Its not offensive though somehow because its just so normal here. I embrace it haha. I just hope I dont come home calling everyone fat, my comp is really worried that shes going to do that when she goes home because shes so used to it here haha. Its awesome. Latinos are awesome. 

We have a menos activa that we are working with who is sooo ready to come back, she just doesnt know it yet. We have been working with her for a couple of weeks and the other day when we went to visit her she was reading the bible so we asked her what she had been reading and she said she was studying it with a folleto that some <person of other faith> brought by to find out, get this, what the true church is. She asked the <people> that question and they told her no one knows what the one true church is. Silly silly. WE KNOW!! She was baptized without a testimony when she was really young, which is why she doesnt have a testimony of the true church yet but she really wants to know and she will realize it. We are going to work a lot with her.

I made patacones all by myself in my apartment!! I really wanted to cook something because itd been so long since I had so we bought the platanos and the oil and I made them. They were ugly but oh so good. I will send pictures.

Okay now for the best part. We went to the temple on Saturday to be there for the sealing of a family in our ward who were baptized a year ago. Oh my gosh you guys it was the most amazing thing ever. We all bawled. Id never seen a whole family be sealed together, it was so wonderful. It made everything so real listening to the words of the sealer. We really can be with our families forever. It was amazing to witness such a beautiful and spiritual moment for that family. Im so grateful to have been a part of it.

I love you all and miss you SO SO much!! Have a great week!

Hna Anderson

Week #9 in Panama!

Okay I had a ton of emails to read this week so this email is going to be a little shorter.
First of all, I FINALLY got to go to the temple this week! It was all in Spanish, but it was so so amazing. I couldnt believe the feeling I had there. It was unlike anything else. Does that make sense? My english is starting to suffer. But seriously, it actually hurt me to have to leave the temple. I was so sad! But we get to go again this saturday because its the stake temple day and we also have a family of recent converts in our ward who are getting sealed!! They are soo great  and we are so excited for them! They invited my comp and I to be there for the sealing so we are extra excited!
I did divisions again this week. I went with our new zeta ella. Shes so great but I have a super hard time understanding her spanish for whatever reason. haha. We had some super awesome lessons though. We taught almost all of our current investigators that day actually. That always seems to happen to me on division days. She really pushed me out of my comfort zone though because she basically made me run all of the lessons! It was super hard and I was super tired by the end of the day, but my spanish definitely got better after that day. I really want a latina comp next change who speaks no english because even though it will be SO hard, it will be so worth it in the long run because I know my spanish will improve so much.
Ummm. I cant remember what else happened this week. I know there was more haha but I didnt have time to look over my journal this morning, so this is all you get this week! Haha sorry! But I love and miss you guys so much and next weeks email will be better I promise!!
Hna Anderson

Friday, October 17, 2014

Week #8 in Panama!


So I received a TON of emails this week, thanks so much you guys!!! i love hearing from everyone. Okay so ... this computer is super slow so im not going to have as much time as usual. But Im going to try to respond to a few emails anyway after this one. 

so First of all, I finally have some things to share about the people we are working with because we finally have consistent people! Ever since I got here we were really just looking for new people and working a lot with menos activos. But now thanks to some really great references from other missionaries who have served in this area and from members, we have steady investigators! First of all, we have m. and m. and they are just SO sweet! We love them. They are brother and sister and theyre older and dont really have good memories so every time we go back and ask them what they remember from the lesson before, they have forgotten haha but we´re working on that haha. M. came to church on Sunday and he seemed to really enjoy it. He said he learned a lot which is really good. The only problem with M. is that she has a tienda in her house that she runs all day every day so we are really going to have to figure out a way for her to be able to come to church. Prayers would be appreciated!! then we have O., who I told you guys about least week and shes still super positive. She told us this week when we visited her that ever since we started coming by shes felt something different inside her. Yay! We told her about that being the Spirit and she was super happy.

So the other night was a rough one for my stomach. We did a service project in the morning of cleaning another house and we expected it to only last through the morning but we ended up not getting done until 2p so we didnt get to out lunch cita until 4p <or so>. I think maybe thats what freaked my stomach out because my body is super used to getting food at very specific times since we have the same meal schedule pretty much every day. But my stomach was feeling a little weird right after we ate but it wasnt until we were walking to dinner a couple hours later that it hit me. Super painful stomach pains! So what do you do when that happens as a missionary? You bathroom hop. The first time we were by a members house so we went there so I could use their bathroom and I thought I was good. But when this happens, it comes in two different rounds and I knew that but I was hoping it wouldnt come back for the second round. Well it sure did so we went to a random house and asked to use the bathroom. It was super interesting haha. My comp was able to contact the lady while I was in there though and we found out that her brother is LDS. Super cool and super funny that entire experience. And then I felt great and went and ate a whole other meal.

We had a stake service project cleaning up colon centro last saturday that went really well. We had a really good turn out. We cleaned and painted. However they forgot to tell us that the paint we were using was oil <based>paint not water <based> paint. Which means water and soap does not get it off. Only gasloine and other ridiculous things like that. So of course by the time we found this out, we were a mess in this paint and my comps leg was on fire because she spilled a ton of it on herself and its super bad to have that much of it on your skin. So we ran to the store to get paint thinner to get it off. She was in so much pain. Dont get oil paint on your skin! Just use water paint like normal people. 

We get to FINALLY go to the temple tomorrow! We are taking a couple from our ward who are married and have both only been through the temple the first time and thats it. They also havent been sealed so we´re taking them to do a session to help them make that decision. Im SO excited. Its been WAY too long! Itll be super interesting in Spanish though.

Okay thats probably good for this week. Im going to try and respond to some emails now. Love and miss you all!! Talk to you next week!

Hna. Anderson

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Week #7 in Panama!

Soooo great news! I got to keep my comp for one more change!!! I´m super happy about that and she is too. However, this change is a short change. Its only four weeks so it will end the last week in October. Sad. But that just means we have A LOT of work to do in the next 3 weeks! We have some big plans and ideas for the people we are working with. We wont have any baptisms together because people have to attend church 3 times before baptism and the only one of our investigators who can still do that this month isnt married to his girlfriend and they live together so marriage has to come first. Our goal this change is to get a lot of our investigators married actually. Such an interesting job we have as missionaries hahaa.

So last week we did a service project at a members house whos really sick and whos mom is also fighting cancer. Its a really sad situation. We had to just show up ready to work because they wouldnt accept our help otherwise. Good thing Im bossy and the member we went with is bossy too haha. So I was cleaning off the kitchen table that had all sorts of goodies on it and I lifted a bag of rice and cockroaches scattered everywhere from underneath it. The elders were determined to make us not afraid of them so they made us squish and kill them. We killed a lot that day. And those suckers are the size of my thumb. Ill send pictures. So that was fun.

Its felt really good to be in the second change. Way better than the first change. I think its because I know Im making progress now and time really is passing afterall haha. This past week has been really cool because Ive really started to understand the Spanish. Even Panamanian Spanish. It blows my mind how much more I understand than even just a week ago. Gift of tounges! Super real. I also know its real because my spanish goes in and out. One lesson I wont be able to speak for anything. And then the next lesson Ill be able to speak again just fine. I know thats the Lord humbling me. 

Conference was AWESOME wasnt it??? I LOVED it! We watched in in the church in English upstairs in a classroom and the rest of the stake watched it downstairs in the chapel in Spanish. It was so nice to listen to in English. I was remembering how I was THERE in the conference center last year. Its insane how much has happened and changed since then. I want to hear what you guys thought of it and which talks you liked best!

It was superrr cool because in the last session, we had an investigator come for the last hour of it and it was PERFECT because of Elder Bednars talk specifically for non-members. We couldnt believe how happy we were. It was so so perfect. We hope she was able to really hear it and that the spirit testified to her of the truth of what he was saying! We didnt get to talk to her much after because she had to get going quickly, but we are hopefully going to see her tomorrow so we will have to see what she thought.

Well I think thats about all I have for this week!! I love you all and miss you lots!!! I hope you all have a GREAT week!

Hna. Anderson