Monday, March 23, 2015

Week #31 in Panama!


So Im still in a pretty good state of shock, to be honest with you
all. I thought starting the mission was a dramatic life change, but
thats NOTHING compared to the change of moving to Ustupu (its Ustopu
is the indian dialect they speak here but Ustupu in Spanish, just to
avoid confusion). So Im going to try really hard to get some pictures
to send, but Im not sure how well itll work.

Its BEAUTIFUL out here. I literally live in the middle of the ocean.
On friday we were on a little boat, on the ocean, for five hours. It
was awesome. I loved it. And the sea was super calm so it was sooo
relaxing. It felt like a five hour boat ride on the lake. I kept
telling my comp I felt like I was going on vacation haha it was soo
weird. So we got here and I immediately fell in love with this place.
The people are amazing. The women all wear their specific clothing.
Its called Mola, which is clothes in kuna, their language. The shirts
have the same kind of sewing that I sent you guys home. That
butterfly, thats mola. Im already having my own made! My comp wears
hers every sunday to church. Its awesome. The language is going to be
interesting, I feel a little like Im starting the mission all over
again with the whole not knowing what anyone is saying thing. But we
are going to work SOO hard to learn it! We are determined. It will
open up sooo many more opportunities for us out here in the work.

We live in a very tiny house. Ill try to send pics. But its cute and
perfect. And its all "Anderson-ified" with all my pics so the Anderson
fam has made its mark on San Blas. =) Im literally camping. All day
everyday. I thought I was camping in Panama, but I was wrong. Now Im
REALLY camping. I sleep in a hammock, bathe in bucket water from the
river, drink river water that we have to boil first, and go to the
bathroom in a hole over the ocean. hahaaa Im not kidding. Its awesome
though. Panama totally prepped me though because it doesnt even really
phase me. Im just enjoying the ride. Can you believe it mom? I cant.
haha I never wouldve imagined this. and Ill more than likely be living
this life for a good 6 months or so.

So there is A TON of work to be done. For example. There are about
7000 people on the island, like the town of litch. about 1000 are
baptized. and about 40 or 50 come to church. The church isnt very well
established here, so thats what we are working on. We basically run
the church here, under the direction of our branch president and the
other two or three priesthood holders of course. We teach sunday
school and YW or RS, we speak, and we teach investigators. Church is
in Kuna, but we still do all of our lessons in spanish because most of
them know spanish. There are a lot of changes that need to be made, a
lot of reactivating and strengthening of members and helping the
church to be more organized, along with the normal proselyting that we
still do. We will be VERY busy. But my comp is a rockstar. We are a
lot alike in our thinking and we are going to make a really good team,
I know it. I am sooo excited for the work we are going to do out here
and I know that everything up to this point has been preparing me for
what we need to do here. It will be SOO hard in every single way, but
it will be amazing and all soo worth it.

We did a little island tour a couple of days ago because my comp only
has one change here, so she doesnt know much of the island either. Its
so stinking beautiful. More than one time as we were exploring I felt
like I was in Emerald Isle (North Carolina). Its crazy. I reallyyyy hope I can send
pics. Well thats about the gist of my life now. Im soo happy to be
here and to be a part of the wonderful mission of San Blas, because it
really is like a totally different mission. Our goal is to work to
become a stake by the end of the year, and we KNOW we can do it!!

I love you all sooo much and I hope you are doing great! Have a great
week!! Miss you all!!

Hna. Anderson

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Week #30.5 in Panama!


Sooo my mid week email means that I got some big news yesterday. Im off to SAN BLAS!!! I will be living on an island for the next few months. Im soooo excited. Im also going to be sister training leader out there. My comp is Hna M., a gringa from Florida. Shes super cool and is finishing her mission not this change, but the next change so Ill more than likely <send> her <home>. Itll be great. I wanted to go and felt like I would, but I wasnt sure when, but I was super excited to hear that I would be going this change! My island is Ustupu. We do a lot of prep and buying things we will need beforehand so I wont actually be on the island until Friday. We went food shopping today and got A TON of really good food. We went to pricemart to stock up because for blas they buy a ton of food at the beginning of the change to last the entire 6 weeks since we dont come back into the city during the change. Super funny because Ill be eating a lot more american food on blas than I ate in Colon haha. It was sad to say goodbye to my family in Colon, but it was time! P. and H. are out there, like I told you guys, which Im super excited about because as STLs we will do divisions with them so thatll be really cool and lots of fun. So a couple of fun facts, I will be sleeping in a hammock my entire time out there. They dont have beds. I will be showering with bottled water. all the time. I will wear flip flops all the time because its like the beach with sand everywhere, from what Ive been told. And also I will be learning my third language. They speak an indian dialect out there, Kuna. So I will be doing my best to learn it! They speak spanish as well, but it will help the work a lot to learn kuna. Anyway, thats about all I have time to share right now, but know that I am SUPER excited and this change is VERY inspired!! I will share the story of how it all came about and how I know that this is truly what the Lord wants some day with you all =) Sometimes the computers are slow or have problems out there, so if I dont write one monday or something like that, dont worry, Ill probably write on Tuesday or as soon as I can. But that shouldnt be a problem, I should always be able to write on monday. LOVE YOU ALL and I hope you all are doing great!!!

Hna Anderson

Week #30 in Panama!

Hi all! 

This week was an interesting week for us. Yesterday, especially. First Ill start out with a little bit of gross news. I have another infection, like the ones on my leg, except this one is in my armpit. Ive had it for about a week and have been treating it with the medicine I already had, but it didnt go away and just got worse, to the point where my whole arm hurt. So I went to the doctor this morning and the lady poked a needle in my already VERY painful infection to make it explode. It was terrible. But it worked, I think and Im taking an antibiotic so it should hopefully go away. Its about as round as a quarter and about half an inch tall. Super gross. and guess what else? I keep getting this from shaving. So I cant shave for the rest of my mission, unless I want to keep getting these. So Ill be using Nair for the next 9 months. Super fun! Stinkin Panama haha

So yesterday was quite the day. We went to go get an investigator in the morning before church. V. I dont know if I told you guys about her. Shes 88 and really sweet. But we went to go get her and as we were leaving the house, waiting at the fence is the same jehovas witness lady from last time. The first thing she said was, "Oh hna V., youve changed congregations?" and then shes like no im just going to do a visit. and the lady said to my comp, shes so confused, I understand for her age. We didnt say anything, just kept walking to the street and the lady started saying to V., "I was once confused just like you! But I need you to be honest, are you going to keep listening to these muchachas or to me? You have to decide." Poor V. didnt know what to say. It was really awkward. But then the Lord blessed us with a way out! haha I looked up and there was a taxi turning around at the end of the street so I flagged it down and we started to get in as the lady told V. that she wouldnt be coming by anymore. Super rude. It was soooo awkward, but the good thing was that V. came to church! =) Also, yesterday we were given mondongo, which is apparently something super nasty that people have been telling me not to eat since I was in the CCM. But one thing Ive learned on my mission is that theres ALWAYS a way to get out of eating something. So we threw it out the window and a dog ate it. Hahaa it was my comps first experience throwing out food so she thought it was so funny. It was, too.

We found a really positive couple to teach this week. M. and G. They are really great and we are excited to teach them again. We are still working with M., but she still has yet to come to church and she will only let us come teach her once a week which makes it tough to get her to keep up on her commitments, but we are going to try again this week to see if we can get a second cita in with her. We have really positive investigators, we just have to get them to church, like always! 

Im anxious to hear changes either tonight or tomorrow. Pretty nervous. Id like a change, but I feel like I might have another 6 weeks here, which would be tough but Id make the best of it! We will see what happens and Ill let you all know next week! Love and miss you all!

Hna Anderson

Week #29 in Panama!

Hello all!

I hope you all had a great week. We definitely had a better week this past week than the one before. As a companionship, we finally clicked a little more this past week which was really nice. We are still pretty different people, but we are getting to know each other better which always helps. We were able to find a lot of new people to teach and we also had really good lessons for the investigators that we already have. This week really flew by! We are teaching an 88 year old lady named V. She just lost her husband and is trying to find the truth. She told us that she wants to find a church where she can stay put and that she knows is true. She's really sweet, but we have to figure out how to get her to church because the church she goes to now gets out after ours starts. So we are going to work on that. Shes also listening to everyone and their brother haha. During the last lesson we taught her, a jehovas witness walked in. Talk about awkward haha. We had a good week, but I cant think of much else to share haha. Im going to send pics though! I love you all and hope you have a great week!
Hna Anderson

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Week #28 in Panama!


Another week gone. It was quite the week too. We had some interesting experiences. So first of all, there was a bird in my house this morning. I dont like birds. I didnt like this bird being in my house. They give me the heeby jeebies worse that bugs or mice, I dont know why. I screamed and the thing freaked out. My comp chased it out. It was a traumatic experience for me. hahaa. 

On Thursday we were teaching a lesson with a member. We were teaching two sisters. One of them is pregnant and about to have her baby so she was sitting in a chair and the other was standing next to her. As we were teaching the one standing up all of a sudden stepped closer to her sister and put her hands on her shoulders and looked outside with a face of complete fear. We tried talking to her and she wouldnt move or respond and then she started to have a seizure. It was so scary! We just held her as she seized so she wouldnt fall on the ground. It was super scary for us, but her sister was just sitting there totally normal waiting for her to stop seizing. apparently she has epilepsy and gets these all the time. It was the first time Ive seen someone have a seizure though so it freaked me out. so that was that.

Ive been a little frustrated with my area this week. I think Im just ready for a change. Im hoping and praying that the Lord feels the same way. None of our investigators came to church yesterday, which is always a bummer, and we dont really have many who are progressing steadily. Right now a big problem is that we are working a lot in only one of the five parts of our area. So this week we are going to try and go into the other parts and see if we can find new people. If I do leave in 2 weeks at changes, I want to make sure i leave my comp with plenty of positive people to teach, and if I dont leave then we will have those same people to work with next change. This work is hard! Its great and so worth it, but man it really tests you in every aspect imaginable. We are going to have a good week this week though, I know it! I hope you all have a good week, too, and that youre all doing great! 

Ohhhh also, guess what? My ccm comps, h. and p. got news this week that they have mid change changes and are going to be comps on the islands! Im super excited for them, they are going to have so much fun and success together out there!! Im a little sad because Id love to be out there with them too, but I know the Lord has other things in store for me. 

I love and miss you all so much!!!

Hna Anderson

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Week #27 in Panama!

Hi all!!

I hope everyone is doing well! And staying warm for those of you in the Midwest. Funny thing, everyone here thinks it snows everywhere in the states all the time because they always show on the news the snow in new york so they think its like that everywhere. They have a hard time understanding how big the states really is because Panama is so tiny. 

This week was a really great week. We did a lot of finding and found some really positive people! Theres still so much work to be done in this area and I honestly think I could stay here my entire mission and never run out of things to do. That wont happen, obviously, but I could totally do it. I love my Colon and I love my Nuevo Mejico ward. These people are my family, its going to be hard to leave them when the time comes!!

So we had 2 investigators at church yesterday which is really great! One of them had told us she was going, so we planned on (and hoped for) her, but we passed for another one and found that she was already up and getting ready to go! It was great and such a miracle. She told the sunday school teacher that she actually woke up with a really bad stomach ache at about 9, but then it went away but she was up when she normally sleeps till 11 so shes like well now I can go to church! Its great. She still has a ways to go in progression, but shes really special and we know she will accept this gospel one day! Shes only a year older than me, so we connect well. I love her! Her name is E.

So on Wednesday we went to Panama to hear Elder Duncan of the 70 speak. It was AMAZING!! You guys, you know how I very rarely get emotional when I feel the spirit, but I cried like three different times at this meeting. It was so incredible. He taught us something that changed my entire outlook on the work. He taught us to start thinking about the future. He told us how every single person we teach has the potential to become OUR convert, whether it be in 3 weeks, 3 months or 3 years. It doesnt matter if you physically baptize them, they are still YOUR convert because you helping them come closer to accepting this gospel. I LOVED that and it really made me have so much more animo for the work (I dont know the word for animo in english sorry). He also talked about the converts of our converts being our converts as well, because thats the way the Lord will look at it. It was really amazing. This week has been so great and my hija and I continue to work hard! 

I love you all very much and hope you have a fantastic week!

Hna Anderson

Week #26 in Panama!

Hi all!! 
So right now all of Panama is having a big party called the carnavales. Everyone has been telling me about it since I got to Panama and I thought it sounded like a fun time because I thought it was carnival. Nope. It means party of the devil. Haha oops. Super bad. But thank goodness everyone leaves colon and goes to the city to party so our area is super tranquilla right now. 

Anyway, this week was good. My hija is still getting adjusted to everything. Its so stinkin hard starting the mission!! I was in her shoes 6 months ago, and I remember it so clearly. Its not easy, but shes doing well and learning quickly. She completes one month in the mission on Friday so we are going to do something to celebrate. 

We are still floating a little right now trying to find investigators who will progress. We did find a few last week, but none of them came to church yesterday. To be fair, none of them were in town because of the carnavales, we are assuming anyway. But we are going to keep working with them and pray that theyll be able to come next week so they can start progressing! I would say the most frustrating times in the mission for me are when we dont have progressing investigators. Its super easy to get discouraged, but we have to fight that because a successful missionary doesnt get discouraged! This week my goal is to have more animo, because I know it makes all the difference. 

So my hija was having a really hard time on Saturday, and I was kind of bummed to missing home a little more than usual, so we decided to do a FHE with a member family and make the theme the love of Christ since it was love day and all =) I made a cake and we also watched the documentary movie of Thomas S. Monson. It was fun. 

I know I had more to tell you guys but now I cant remember. That always happens to me when I write. We found a lady last week whos a single mom of 5. Shes really great. We only had one lesson with her, but she was really positive and we are excited to teach her again this week.

Okay I think thats about it! It was kind of a slow week. I should have more to share next week! Love and miss you all tons and I hope you have a great week! Also, mom and dad, a lady in our ward added you guys on FB last night. You should accept her because she posts pictures of the missionaries sometimes!

Hna Anderson