Monday, February 27, 2017

"Everyone’s telling us to stay inside because people like to throw water and eggs..."

Hello!

So Carnavales has begun and our area has been pretty empty… but there is still a lot of partying going on. Everyone’s telling us to stay inside because people like to throw water and eggs, but we’ve only gotten sprayed with a hose twice. Once by a little girl, and another time by a guy who asked if he could spray us. I wish they’d spray us more because the heat is unreal. The fans are just blowing hot air.


Elder Bamaca and I getting ready for the baptism.




But yes, we had a baptism on Saturday! David is like 15 and he lives pretty close to the chapel here but he’s been going to another ward with some friends for a little over a month and we’ve been visiting him for the last 3 weeks. We wanted him to start going to church here, but we figured if he’s already comfortable in the other ward then we might as well baptize him there. It was a not-so-stressful baptism. Started right on time…as planned…only an hour and a half late!

We got the transfer call last night and for the first time ever I’ll be staying in the same area with the same companion. Feels weird but I’m stoked. Elder Bamaca has been doing really well, although despite many very serious talks about walking far behind, he still struggles to keep up.

Other than that, we almost had a baptism in 6 days. Since we only need 1 assistence to church before baptism now, President said if we could get them ready in just a couple days then we could have the baptism. We’d been teaching this lady and her daughter, Celia and Marioles, and on Tuesday we invited them to get baptized on Sunday. They really thought about it a while then said ‘yes.’ But a relative of theirs died and they had to go to Chiriquí, so it didn’t happen. Bummer, but maybe next week.

For P-day, today, we went with some friends to the swimming hole to go fishing. Got some less active guys to come too. We caught two fish in like 30 seconds and then none afterward. We explored up the river for like 2 hours and started a fire and had a hoot. 

Spiritual thought for this week is about oración (prayer). I read in the Liahona about how we can prepare for our nightly prayers by making a list of things we’re thankful for and such. So, I wrote down the names of many people… all of my converts and frennes…and a special blessing to ask for. My next area will probably be my last so I have “get sent out to Blas (San Blas Islands) again” on there. Anyways, doing this has made me think a lot more about the things I want to talk about with my Padre Celestial.

Wick that Kate and Dad jumped out of a plane! And I am not afraid of heights, I could do that easy.






Love you all!
Tengan una semana pretty loco!


Elder Green

Monday, December 26, 2016

Feliz Navidad!


Hey,

So I think I told you everything yesterday...but I'll still recount the last few days.

This entire week has been a party. On Friday we had the mission Christmas conference thing which was fun. President spoke about how well the mission has been doing lately. Like we're averaging something like 13 baptisms every week, and sometimes more. And in the White Elephant exchange, I won a surprise visit from the assistentes at 6:30 am, some morning.

Christmas Eve we were running around all morning looking for keys to the church to fill the font for the baptism. There were no buses so we could only take taxis but we eventually got it filled and listo. When we went to pick up the Familia Rodriguez, Melissa had like cut her foot the night before and could hardly walk on it...I swear something always happens...but we still made the baptism happen and it went super well.



We tried teaching some lessons but everyone was busy and partying early so we went to the one place we were sure there wouldn't be any music or craziness, the pueblito La Colorada up the mountain. The place was basically empty but we found two people to teach and it was really cool. Super humble people who were happy to talk to us.






In the noche we ate with the Familia Rodriguez. The ward helped out a lot and visited them this week and brought them food so we didn't have to bring much.






There were fireworks all night. Legit the entire sky was lit up from like 12 - 3 in the morning. And when we got up in the morning there was still music blasting from every house. People never stop partying here...haha. But we opened our presents, then went to church. It was kinda empty but we got the confirmations done and everything was listo listo.

Our Christmas tree and gifts.



Making tamales for Christmas lunch.

There was legit zero lessons to be had but we went out and visited everyone we knew then went to call y'all.

For a spiritual thought this week I guess I shall bear my testimony. Specifically from the past few weeks of knowing the Familia Rodriguez, I've seen how much the gospel blesses families. After the first baptisms, their life got super hard, especially finding out Edil had cancer, but the ward helped them a lot and everyone has been their friends to support them. Edil's husband, who works a lot and hasn't been able to come to church, told us how grateful he was for bringing his family into the gospel even though he hasn't been able to experience it personally yet. I know this church is true, and I know that in our personal attempts to be more like Christ it will bless others and ourselves.

Love y'all!

Elder Green






Monday, December 19, 2016

"Elders!"

Hey!

We didn't have time to go looking for Kunas this week but we did find a family from Playon Chico right by our house and they say there's lots of Kunas right in our neighborhood too.

And I haven't gotten the Christmas package but I'll be in the office on the 23rd for the mission Christmas conference so I'll check then.

And we got a place to Skype so we´ll probably be going over there around 3:00 or so, but I don't know if Hancock wants to Skype first or last so I'll try to let you know beforehand.

On Christmas Eve we're going to the Kuna fam from Mamartupu´s house. A sister, who we just baptized, got diagnosed with cancer this week and there's like 10 of them in a tiny house so we figured they probably wouldn't have a lot of money so we invited ourselves over and we're bringing the food. We're also hoping to baptize her sister, who just came from the island recently, and her other daughter that day too.

Also, wild spiritual experience this week. So every morning at 10:00, everyone in the mission is supposed to say a prayer that all the missionaries will find people to teach, have the valor to talk to them, and that the Spirit will be there. And this last week we were supposed to add that people who were looking for the verdad (truth) would find us.

So we were exploring on the far end of our area, in Genesis, and we said that prayer before we went out looking for someone. Then we started walking up the mountain. We got kinda lost but a guy passed us and said "Elders!," then kept walking. So we stopped him and started talking. His name was Steven and he's from Colombia and is 19 years old and a member. He's only lived in Panama for like 4 months and went to church for a little while but hasn't in like 2 months. So we had him take us to his house which was like 20 more minutes up the mountain on a little dirt road. His mom was super excited to see us and said that it had been forever since missionaries had visited. They knew the Bishop and were good friends with him. So we talked with them a bit and invited them to church and the ward Christmas party on Saturday, and they came to both. They took us back down to the main road, in the back of their truck, after and Steven said when he passed us he was walking to the chino, which he almost never does because it's so far. I did the math and he literally must have started walking down from his house right when we said the prayer because we went walking for 20 minutes before we ran into him and it was 20 more minutes up the hill.

Legit bonkers that Henry is about to get home! He must be mad bummed.



Anyways, only took this one picture this week, and I'm not in it, but I'll try for more this week. We're going fishing today with the two boys from Mamar squad.

Love y'all

Happy Christmas Harry
Happy Christmas Ron

Elder Green

Monday, December 12, 2016

"...when it comes to sharing the gospel we shouldn't be afraid of sharing it with potentially sketchy people..."

 Hey!

So yeah this area is pure hills. Hancock is still struggling but this is fun for me.

It's all uphill here in Las Mananitas!








It sounds like they've been working mostly with referrals for a while, so most of this area is new for contacting and that's all we've been doing. Had like 38 new investigators this week. Few were solid but there's still so much to explore. After we email today we're going to explore a place we found way up the mountain called La Colorada. It's just a neighborhood of stick houses and little corn fields.

And there's bucco Ngobes here but I have yet to find where all the Kunas are. I think there in a neighborhood at the bottom of the mountain and I hear there's a bunch in a part of town called Genesis. Only Genesis is just a long road up in the hills with a few houses on the side of the road every once in a while. But we did just have a baptism for a family from Mamartupu. We're working with the rest of the family and hoping to have like 4 more from there in the next two weeks. I gave a talk at the baptism all in Kuna and nearly shed a single tear!



Also I got sick again this week. Like super bad food poisoning. Totally nearabout passed out in the bathroom at church yesterday. I know it was some bacon I bought at a chino, but I'm back to normal.

The ward here is super solid and kind of decrepit, which is good because Arraijan was a little stressful with everyone doing things correctly. The bishop is awesome though. And yesterday in Elders Quorum we had an unplanned lesson on how to make a type of rice they eat around Christmas here.

This week was 'Dia de la Madre,' as well. We had lots of drunk people wanting to talk to us, but not so much when we went back two days later.

One day this week we were walking in an area called Nazareth, which is kinda wealthier, and there was a big house that had "Osama Bin Laden" and "Al Qaeda" painted really big across the front of it. We stared at it for a while then felt like we should go and contact it. Turns out it was just a nice lady whose parents were super inactive members and she hadn't been to church in like 25 years, and her daughters. And I guess her husband hates Americans so he painted that on the house. But they were super solid! So my spiritual thought this week is that when it comes to sharing the gospel we shouldn't be afraid of sharing it with potentially sketchy people because there are people who are prepared to hear it everywhere.

Love y'all!

Elder Green


Bathroom selfies are always a favorite!


New apartment




Yes, Kate we have hot chocolate in Panama.





Monday, December 5, 2016

"The sun has been legit fire."

Yes, that is a crocodile!

Hey y'all!

So this week was nuts but I'll just tell the highlights.

The sun has been legit fire. Like unreally hot. The other day we went to an investigator Ana´s house, who had invited us over for lunch, and I had gotten hecka sick. Like I could almost hardly walk. Got there, starting barfing, passed out on the table, barfed some more. Passed out again. Then died. We were there for like two hours but still managed to teach a lesson and I struggled to eat afterwards but did it. Then she called her husband to come by to drive us home. That was a hectic day.

We had the baptism later that night for Carlos and Fula. She's not in the picture because she refuses to take pictures, but she's his 20 year old daughter that's been super hard to get to church but we finally did it. We went walking to pick them up and we were gonna get a taxi to take them and the rest of the family that wanted to go, then our best friend Vidal who's a kinda an inactive guy in the ward and taxi driver who always shows up when we need to get somewhere fast and don't have money, showed up and took them. Some Elders from another ward had a baptism at the same time so we combined with them. I was surprised at how smoothly everything was going because usually baptisms are hecka stressful but I realized this was like the third attempt at this and it was finally happening. It was awesome though and we confirmed them all yesterday.

Baptism of Carlos and Fula in Arraijan.

I guess we're supposed to be doing this Light of the World thing but we don't get anything from the office here so I still don't know about it. We've been waiting on Libros de Mormon for like the entire change.

Also changes! I took pictures with lots of people yesterday in case I was leaving, which I didn't think I was...but I am! Already in my new area actually. It's in Tocumen on the other side of the city, in a place called Mañanitas, or 'Early mornings.' I was soooo bummed because I really didn't want to leave all my Kuna friends and I thought this place was the city, but it's legit. It's basically a ghetto built on a mountain. It's pure hills and trees everywhere and we live in a big ol apartment with some Jamaican neighbors. My comp is Elder Hancock who's from like San Diego. And there's lots of Kunas and Ngobes here so I'm wicked stoked.

Luis

Solis

Ngobe family Miranada

Our neighbors in Arraijan, Los Granado. The husband is from Carti Suidup.

Literally haven't had an area yet in which I haven't reactivated and baptized a family from Carti Tupile so I'm starting looking for one today. Legit have full faith that there is at least one here.

Spiritual thought this week is that Christmas is good! Remember to help people and what not.
I can't think of anything else to say.

And yeah, I think the kids have some sort of break here. Arraijan is already out but doesn't look like they are yet here.

Anyways love y'all! Pray for many new Kuna investigators for me.

Elder Green

Little Ngobe girl trying to eat my carrot tie.