Monday, January 25, 2016

First Baptism..."It was a thrill!"


So today was a crazy P-Day. And a somewhat crazy week.

I had my first baptism! It was the niece of a lady in the ward who lives in Aarijan, across the canal, but has been visiting for winter break, which is like 4 months here. So we’ve hung out with her a lot and we found out she’s nine and hadn’t been baptized, so we taught her and then she asked me to baptize her. So the day of the baptism we went around inviting everyone in the ward to come, but they all said they couldn’t or were too busy (didn’t want to). Then we had to go fill the font, and we have keys to the chapel, but not to the gate, so we had to hop the fence and go in. The font was taking forever to fill. We still didn’t have anyone to give a talk or for sure coming, so we went back out asking people. We finally got one family to come and the dad to give a talk, then we called a girl, who’s leaving on her mission to the Dominican Republic in two days, to give one and she said yes. So we got back to the chapel, the second councilor had opened the gate, and the font was half full, and we had an hour left so we got everything else ready. When it was time to start, nobody was there, including the second councilor who had to preside and be a witness. So we waited and played Like 4 Joseph Smith movies and an hour later everyone showed up, like way more than we expected. So the room and the font were full. Such a relief. I was still sketched about baptizing. Like I had been practicing the ordinance and the girl’s name, which was long, in my head all day, but when the time came, it happened so freaking fast. I like wished I had messed up so I could do it again because it is quite fun. I was stoked for like 20 minutes afterward. It was a thrill. Directly after the baptism, her crazy aunt brought out a cake and we had a very loud birthday party. I’d say everything worked out exactly as you should expect for Panamá.

This Sunday was awesome too. We have a Salvadorian family we’ve been teaching. It’s a lady with five kids, and she doesn’t agree with everything but really likes a lot of things in the church. And she acts like she hasn’t been reading the Libro de Mormon, but she knows like everything and I can see the pages of her book that are bent and she’s like more than halfway through, and we’ve only been teaching her for less than two weeks. So they came and I was a little worried because I didn’t think they’d feel super welcome in the ward, but everyone showed up on time this week, we had a bunch of visitors, including gringos which was awesome (and made the chapel smell strongly of bug spray). And there’s already someone that’s the same age as each of her kids in the ward. So they really liked it and want to come back.

Investigators are usually confused when they come to our church because its "tranquilo". All the other churches here have preachers shouting things in a microphone for three hours, so they’re not used to people giving talks or going to classes. Literally I think I could be an Evangelical street preacher and make lots of money. "Hallelujah, hallelujah, Gloria, Gloria. En Coriantanos 20 dice, La palabra de dios!!! Gloria!!"

Also yesterday we were walking through Viejo and a lady in a car starting shouting at us asking where we were from. They pulled over and it was two ladies from Montreal that were members. They were staying with some less active members of the ward so they picked us up and brought us there. So we taught a lesson with the whole family. We sang an opening hymn and the Canadian ladies sang it in French and were balling…hahaha, they were nuts but awesome. It was a really fun lesson. And I don’t want to be lame but I kind of want to learn French now.

Today for P-Day, the six people in our district piled into a tiny taxi and went to the middle of nowhere on a road out to an island. We didn’t really know where we were going. We walked out to the island which was empty, then walked for an hour back into town. I did touch the ocean though! I still have shivers thinking about it, I miss it so much. The water tasted so good. The Hermanas were not down to climb a mountain after that, so we all split up. Nellis and I went to Cinco de Mayo, a street with a bunch of shops, and got very deep into the Kuna black market. Lots of strange things there but mostly Mola, the art they do, I’ll send pictures. There was Kuna lady that was in love with us because we’re white, also I spoke Dule with her, and so she sold us some for super cheap. After that we went to this fishing and hunting store they have here called Abernathy’s. We spent like three hours in there. Half of which was agonizing over what knife to get. I finally made up my mind and the knife turned out to be $400. So I settled for a siiiiick Leatherman for $50. I am very happy with my purchases today.

Elder Nellis- This is why we can't usually wear "normal" clothes on P-Day!

Molas, made by the Kuna people.

I'll try to send pictures of the new house and everything a little later this week. But everything is going well. If we baptize everyone we think we will by the time I’m gone, we´ll have at least 5. (It’s not about the numbers…I just really want to baptize people!)  And we have been trying to do a lot a service this week. We always offer but nobody really takes it.

Anyways love y’all!

Elder Green

The opening of the Canal.

And here's a few more from our trip to the temple last week...

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