Tuesday, September 13, 2016

"Also hating shoes."

My Stripling Warrior face.

So we had an awesome week in Carti. Finished the baptisms on Monday and it was another juicy Kuna Yala day. We still don't have very good baptism clothes so to baptize Mu, she had to wear the sacrament tablecloth as a skirt.

Getting ready for Mu's baptism.

On Tuesday, after visiting our investigators in Yandup, I was pretty stoked about them getting baptized, and way off in the distance, like miles away, there's a tiny little island with one house on it, and I was like dude are you down? So we asked people about it and they said it's called Isla Contadora. And nobody would let us go because it's too far away and dangerous. But we went. Took like an hour... and nobody even lives there! Kinda a bummer, but there was another tiny little pueblo like 20 minutes further called Nurdup, so we went there. We couldn't hear a sound, or see anybody on the island, so we thought nobody lived there either. But we paddled around it and to the first person we saw we yelled "anmar be visitarsoe!?", and they said yeah and pointed over to a little wooden dock. So we talked to like 5 women there, none of which spoke Spanish but luckily my Dule has been frosty. So we taught them all about the Libro de Mormon and they all agreed to read it if we brought them. We walked around the island a little more and saw maybe 4 more people. Literally nobody there, but maybe all the men were just in the monte or fishing. It is the only island in the entire Commarca that has a Jehovah's Witness church. But we planned to come back with a bunch of Mormon Kaiya Purba`s as soon as we get them.

Headed out to Isla Contadora

Nurdup Island

We found a tiny little river, on the way back, just a little wider than the cayuco, and we paddled like half a mile up it then ran around in the monte. So sick. Literally so much to explore here.

Don't have much other news except that I've been transferred to Arraijan...half training and a District Leader. I'm still a little upset. It's out of the city, though, and actually really cool here but leaving the island was probably the hardest thing I've ever done. I'm excited though. My new comps name is Elder Duron and he's from Honduras and is like 26. I think he's actually training me, because I've forgotten how to speak Spanish properly and be a normal missionary. We just had normal, uninterrupted study time for the first time in 6 months. It was so boring. There are lots and lots of trees here. Not quite the jungle, but super green. Arraijan is known for having bucco baptisms and especially right now so this will probably be another good change. And I hear there are lots of Kunas here, but I have yet to see one.

Also hating shoes.

Love you!

Elder Green

Goodbye Elder Ricks!

Monday, September 5, 2016

"It was the most unreal juicy Kuna Yala day!"

Our district with the new mission president and his wife...President and Sister Current.

Computer works!

Lots has happened this change.

First of all, don't freak out about the Malaria. It probably wasn't even that...maybe just Zika. And do not email anyone or they'll take me out of here and probably never send me back. Haven't been sick lately, but I have lots of infected ant bites and my pussing arm thing is back but I'll get it taken care of.

So we had a baptism on Satuday for a girl from here in Tupile named Maria. It was the most unreal juicy Kuna Yala day! That's what we call days when it's just juicy as freak. Like super blue water and sunny. She's probably one of the most solid members in the ward now.

Today we had 2 of the 5 baptisms from Yandup. The family owns a tiny island, like an hour out in a boat, called Yaugtupu, that's super small but sick. There are only 4 houses on it. Two of the daughters wanted to get baptized out there so we got a giant 40 foot cayuco with a motor, and our Branch President's panga, and all the jovenes on the island came out with us. We were hoping for another juicy Kuna Yala day but the gnarliest storm came through so we were all soaking wet and the waves were huge and lightening was super close, but it was super fun. We were going to run out of gas on the way back so we had to go around to a couple of islands looking for some, so we got back late and are going to have the other baptisms tomorrow.

On our way to Yaugtupu.

Waiting for the storm to pass.

It was super awesome how we met this family in the first place. We went over to Yandup one day to visit someone and afterward we heard lots of music on the other side of the island so we went to check it out. They were having a 'Chicha Fuerte', which is a big party the pueblo has when a girl becomes a woman or something, so they all drink a ton of fermented sugar cane juice and get drunk. There were a couple of our friends from Tupile there, just for the party not the drinking, so we went a talked to them for a bit. We were gonna bounce but they wanted to use our cayuco to run home and get something then come back, so we let them, and while we were waiting a girl walked up to us and said her mom wanted us to visit her. So the next day we went and taught them in the best Dule (native language) I could, as only one of them speaks Spanish, and the five of them in the family agreed to be baptized. Even the Mu! That means grandma. She's super old.

So anyways it has been super awesome since we bought the cayuco. On Sundays we borrow a giant one and pick up people from Yandup then Coibita. We brought 17 yesterday and had 81 people in attendance which is like the most church attendance has ever been. We've like totally started working on all the islands in Carti, even Mulatupu which is like 30 minutes away in a cayuco.

To answer your questions, we have a lady that does our laundry here and she´ll usually wash it in the river, if there's no water here. But I mostly wash my own clothes just in a bucket.

Love y'all!! I think we´ll definately have internet next week. And I think I might be going back to the mainland this change, but I asked President Current to keep me here one more so I can make sure Ricks learns how to steer the cayuco and so our investigators on the other islands are solid.

Elder Green


Monday, August 29, 2016

"Internet, but no computer!"

"Internet, but no computer," was the caption on these pictures we received today from Elder Green...who has not internet service for the past several weeks, on his island. We are just happy to see he is alive and having fun, as usual! (That internet camera has been the best purchase ever!)

No explanation needed.

Letters from home

Roasting hot dogs, Panamanian-style

Getting ready for bed...

Carti Tupile...where Taylor lives.

Coibita Island

Yandup Island

Taylor, being Taylor.

Having some fun...

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

"I have never prayed harder that I wouldn’t get struck by lightning."


Sorry I didn’t email yesterday, we were gone all day.

So lots happened this week. I had divisions in Nargana for two days at the beginning of the week. Nothing happened there but I saw some big fish.

On Thursday, I think, I was fishing at the muelle and two pangas pulled up, full of white people. It was terrifying. I ran to the first Kuna people I saw to hide because I didn’t want to talk to the mergi´s and ended up good friends with them. But eventually I had to talk to them and they were a group of Christians of some sort that came to do an activity. Everyone in the pueblo was afraid of them because  they would walk up to people and yell at them to repent because Jesus was coming today. And they gave bucco candy to whoever came to their thing. We were hanging out with some people by where they were doing it and all of a sudden there was a bunch of shouting and confessing of sins in this big prayer circle and the Kunas were freaked out and so were we so we went to the chapel to watch Mormon messages and prepare for Institute. It started raining super hard while we were in there and we could hear thunder super loud so we were talking about how cool it would be to see lightning strike like close by. And a few minutes later I walked outside the office and was looking out over the water and like 150 feet away, lightning struck the water and I fell over it was so loud… ha ha. It was so not cool. And the rain was coming down sideways so I ran back to the house to close everything up and it was already half flooded. So I got some kids and we ran around to all the houses in the pueblo to see if anyone needed help. We mostly moved stuff off the ground or built up sand around their house or caught pigs that were running away. We were literally running around up to our knees though so I had boardshorts on and lightning kept striking super close. Like you’d see the flash and instantly hear thunder. I’m sure it struck the island a few times. And there were two tornadoes over the ocean! So sick but so sketch! The best part of it was that everyone blamed the white people for bringing the storm because it doesn’t rain here that often.

I have never prayed harder that I wouldn’t get struck by lightning.

Also I was reading in the Liahona this week about how they translate the Book of Mormon into different languages and how it takes like ten years, but it’s super important because it is said that everyone shall hear the gospel in their native language. So we tried to do lessons this week using the Kuna Book of Mormon. Only it was translated in Ustupu, on the bottom end of the Commarca, and Tikantiki where they speak Dulegaya. Here in the upper Commarca, they speak Dulegaka. Basically the same thing but they’ve got lots of differences so the book isn’t super accurate for the people here. They still thought it was funny, us trying to read it, and we met a lot of the older people on the island who only speak Kuna.

We’ve also been trying to do more activities, so on Saturday we had all the niños come to the church to play Kuna games. We had like every kid in the pueblo there and they all had a ton of fun. The next day at church almost all of them came so it was hectic. Now we just need to get their parents to come too.

Yesterday we had the dopest P-day. Our branch president owns a couple of tourist islands way out there so he took us and a bunch of jovenes out in his panga. First we went way past the islands to this sand bar in the middle of the ocean where the water was like 2 feet deep and we hung out there for a couple hours playing volleyball and what not before going to the big island which was sick. Kinda like the backside of Tikantiki, just a ton of coco trees and playa. We were there for a few more hours and we were all starving because nobody had eaten anything and we brought no food. So I went fishing and the sand drops down at like a 45 degree angle in the water so it’s like 50 feet deep 15 feet out, and there’s like every type of fish out there. So I caught a diece little one right quick but then my line broke and I had no more hooks. But luckily a cayuco pulled up with a bunch of fish. A lot of the Kunas go fishing way out there then bring them to the tourist islands to sell to the white people. So I ran up and bought three beast sized fish they harpooned. Ask them how much in Spanish and they’ll probably say $30, but I asked them in Kuna and got all three for $10. Seriously the most useful language I’ve learned yet. So we headed back to Carti and we all went over to President’s house for dinner to eat them.

It was a sick activity but I wish we had gotten more people to go because a couple of less active members came and I think it really helped them feel like they have more of a place at church. Like everyone already knows each other here but I think the best part of doing activities like this is that they’re all super good friends by the end of the day so they want to come to church more.

And we’ve been getting a lot more rain the last few days. But the water’s still not running on the island. I think the pipe broke somewhere back in the monte so they’re still working on fixing it, but were mostly filled up on rainwater now and it tastes better than well water.

And fish is my favorite food right now. I think I’ve eaten it every day I’ve been here. We always bring it to Zobey because she knows how to do everything but she’s been in Panama the past week so it hasn’t been as good. 

Anyways sick that you’re the new seminary teacher, mom. I’m glad that I am already done with that. My advice is don’t be annoying. If you play movies don’t leave the lights on so that people don’t fall asleep…that’s annoying.

Send lots of pics from Kate in Tonga when she goes. If I don’t live here after my mission, I’ll probably go there.

Love y’all!

Elder Green