Monday, March 27, 2017

Revelation 14:2


Had a juicy week.

On Tuesday, we had a conference with President in the city in which I learned many things and got excited for many more. On the way there I was looking out the window and all of a sudden I didn't recognize anything and realized we took the wrong bus. But we stayed on a while longer until I did recognize something and we got off and walked a couple miles to Panama Viejo  and took a bus through there which was a hoot. Haven't been there in over a year, but nothing has changed. Same old men sitting out front of their houses like they haven't moved. Two of the original Panama Viejo Carti squad took the same bus as us, and I was happy happy.

What I got most out of the conference was the part I play individually in reaching this year's goal for baptisms in the mission, which is 1017. It's easy to think that even if we don't have baptisms somebody else will have more to fill in for us. But if we got to the end of the year and we missed the goal by 2 it could have been because we didn't work harder in our area. So we've started working really hard on finding new investigators.

That night we were just getting to a family home evening when the power in almost all of Panama went out. Twas fun because it was pitch dark everywhere and we could almost not even see where we were going. So we bought a bunch of matches and went around visiting people we thought would need them and totally saved like two families.

On Thursday, two missionaries from the ward, who were serving in Guatemala, got home as well. Super solid guys and one of them just got called as our new ward mission leader. We had an activity on Friday for them and brought our investigator friends Heidi and Rosaline, who were super stoked to help with everything. They don't want to get baptized but they're always asking about the activities... haha.

We also had interviews with President this week in which he gave me a special assignment. He said that some missionaries in the zone asked what they do when they find Kunas that really want to listen but don't speak Spanish. So he said that when that happens they can call me and I can go with them to teach them. My Dule has been dwindling however! Super sketched on losing it so I talk to myself in Dule all the time. Still remember all the names of fish, however.

And turns out I have 4 changes left after this one! The math does not add up but President says so. Keep praying for me to go back out to Blas! It is the only desire of my heart.

Love you all!

The pics I sent were of all my shoes, my zone leader Elder Herrerra of Honduras, and the bounteous mango trees behind Roldan's house where we always have our lessons.



Elder Green

Monday, March 20, 2017

" he didn't have an excuse."


This week was alright. I don't have a lot to say, but I've got a few stories...

On Friday, we had planned to have an activity for the whole ward where people could bring their friends who weren't members and it would be fun. But we didn't really plan it, we just had the idea and they announced it. But it was gonna be cool and we went on splits with some kids in the ward the day of to go around Mañanitas and invite everyone. Literally went to every house of people we knew, then went and bought food. Not a ton of people showed up but it was still fun. We ended up just playing volleyball for like 2 hours. And some investigators that we met this last week, that live right by the church, came. First just two of the girls who we taught once, but then they went back and brought their sister and their mom whose birthday was that day. I felt bad that she had a boring birthday so I invited us over the next day and we brought a birthday cake and had a party with them and now were best friends...haha.

Saturday night, we went to visit Roldan one last time before his baptism on Sunday. And he said he could make it to the baptism but he couldn't come to church because he had to get his hair cut and iron his clothes. So we went to his house at 7 in the morning, before church, to cut his hair and iron his he didn't have an excuse. That was only the third time I've cut someone else's hair and he didn't care how it looked, so it was easy.

And the baptisms went really well. Lots of people stayed after church for it. Elder Bàmaca baptized him and I helped lift him out of the water because he is a gordo. That's why were both dressed in white in the picture.

Not a lot else happened this week. Sounds like you had fun in Elk. I am not really looking forward to coming home in a few months.

Anyways love you!

Elder Green

Monday, March 13, 2017

"The elder that baptized me was named Elder Green."

The trees are loaded with mangos.


This week was pretty full and exciting. All the niños are back in school so the streets are loaded with little children walking to school all the time.

On Wednesday, this week, we had a mission conference with Elder Gay of the Setenta. Also got to see some buds like Elder Ricks and Hancock, and a bunch of people I've never seen before. Didn't realize I had so much time in the mission. But it was a super good conference in which I learned many things. He mostly focused on how missionary work is revelatory work, because if we don't do it with the Spirit we aren't really doing anything.

The next day we started at 10 and asked to have the Spirit guide us to some new houses and decided to go to a place called 3 de Mayo, which has a lot of little dead end streets. We made a goal to contact at least one house on every one. Found some solid people, then an inactive member, then an old guy form Cocle whose daughter is also an inactive member, then at the end of one of the longer streets we walked up to a house with the entire family outside and I said "Hola soy Elder Green". And this lady's eyes got super wide and she said, "The elder that baptized me was named Elder Green". Yet another 2 inactive members. It was a mother and her daughter who both have a mountain of unbaptized children and haven't been to church in 11 years. It was funny to talk to them because they remember all the members and hymns and what not, but said they left they church like a year after getting baptized because they didn't understand baptisms for the dead. But we explained it and now they want to go back to church. The mother said "1 year in the church and I stopped gambling, and smoking, and being an alcoholic, and lots of other things, and 11 years out of the church and I've accomplished nothing". And I kinda doubt the elder that baptized them was actually named Elder Green because nobody can say my name...but it was probably something close.

We've also started to go out on visits with some of the youngsters in the ward which has been super fun. Our new incentive is that we buy smoothies for those who go out with us, and we're gonna make a board of pictures of everyone that goes.

Enjoying our smoothies while we tract.

About my hammocks...nearly every night I enter one, and wake up in the other, or in my bed. Or start in my bed and wake up in my hammock. Always freaks me out. I don't know how it happens.

Spiritual thought this week comes from the Parabóla of the Sower. There are those that hear the word and share it 100 fold, 60 fold and 30 fold. There are those who hear it but get offended or don't understand something and leave. And there are those who believe but the cares of the world get in the way. But there are also those who believe in the word and stay in the church but don't do anything. Everyone needs to help in some way.

Love you!

Elder Green

Monday, March 6, 2017

"...Padre Celestial always pays us back with something better."


First week of the new change was alright.

I don't have many highlights but we did have a few miracles this week.

On Tuesday, we were leaving from a zone meeting to this really busy bus station, called 24 de Diciembre, and I saw a Kuna fam I recognized from Tikantiki, so I ran up to talk to them. They don't speak any Spanish but they said they had moved to Tocumen like 2 months ago and didn't know where the church was so they hadn't been since. I got their number and address to give to the Elders there to visit them.

And today we went to buy groceries at a store we usually don't go to. As we were checking out, the lady at the cajero asked us where the church was here. She said she's a member from Bocas del Toro and hadn't been in a couple years because she didn't know where it was either.

There's a scripture in Doctrina and Convenios, somewhere, that says that there are people kept from the truth only because they know not where to find it. And that doesn't only apply to people who aren't members of the church but also those who are members and move from one side of the country to the other and don't know where the chapel is.

We also got a reference from a family in the stake for their mother who lives in our area, so we went to visit her the other night with our ward mission leader. She was super stoked that we came by and invited us in. She said that she's a Mormona seca, or a "dry Mormon," because she loves the church and everything but has never been baptized. Nor does she want to be because she's Catholica. But she knows basically everything about the church and invited us over for lunch today and to have a family home evening this week where she's going to invite her neighbors, so we can baptize them...haha!

Other than that we finally got our investigator Roldan to church yesterday. He's the guy who called us over to talk to him when we passed in front of his house a couple weeks ago. He lives right by the Bishop and they already knew each other so we visited with him and Bishop offered to pick him up for church, which he really liked. When the Bishop dropped him off he found out he's had a super hard time because he lives alone and is kinda sick and can't work a lot and basically has no food in his house. So in the evening, us and some of the young men drove around to all the houses of members to collect food for the "Bishops storehouse?" I think that's what it's called. We got a lot of rice and coconuts and what not and we all went to bring it to him. He was super surprised and super thankful and almost couldn't talk. And we didn't put the baptismal date yet but were gonna baptize him on Sunday.

Spiritual thought this week is that we should always look for opportunities to help people whether they're big or small, for members or nonmembers. And not to worry about spending our time or money in doing so, because Padre Celestial always pays us back with something better.

Make sure when you go up to Washington that you section off my acre of the land that's left.
And tell everyone I love them!

Elder Green