Monday, October 26, 2009

MTC Week 7: False Alarm: Three Weeks Now!

Hello, Family!
Oddly, Dad, I got your letter with all the pictures of you, which the district really liked, after the one immediately preceding it. Gotta love the postal services sometimes, eh? By the way, Elder Morris is pretty sure you could rip his head off. With the occasional Mom jokes here, it's no wonder no one's bothered me about my Mom.

I got the ATM card, Mom, but I think the Mission intends to arrange for its own special debit card when I get there. But I have both the Credit Card and the ATM card which is still unactivated. If you'd like me to do something, please send me instructions. A side note, if you'd like to get information and letters and such to me quickly, check out dearelder.com and mtcdelivery.com.  It's like e-mail but they print it out for me and I get it as soon as it gets sent instead of waiting for postal services to deliver it all.  I also got the package with the beef jerky you all sent me. I'm the envy of the district with all the boxes I get!  Thanks for everything.

Aside from it being a tad chilly here, there isn't much I could ask for. Something cheap for the mornings.  I have to stand outside in only pajamas for breakfast would be nice.  Disease is rampant! here! Well, a little bit, at least. Flu and Swine Flu and Colds are everywhere here. Lots of people getting quarantined. I've gone in multiple times thinking I had the flu, but my sinus infection's just been throwing wrenches into my system and giving me colds every couple of weeks. Probably won't be a problem in Panama.

The Spanish is coming along pretty well. I can actually speak it fairly alright. Understanding it at native speed is difficult sometimes, but I can almost understand my teachers when they're praying. I'm confident that after a couple of weeks out in Panama, I'll be alright with speaking in Spanish. As for teaching, it's just making sure I talk a bit more. I understand most of the doctrine just fine and anything like that and most of our lessons, with a couple of exceptions, go really well. We'll hope that continues in Panama. I've just got to remember to keep working hard and to keep my nose to the grind.

As for matters of testimony, I'm doing alright. Sometimes, discerning the influence of the Spirit is really hard for me. I'm not sure if it's because I don't know what I'm looking for or what, but I'm alright. I've had some pretty amazing meetings here. And, like your Filipino companion at the MTC, mine cries a lot, too. Sometimes, I worry that I'm messed up or something because of all the tears I see here, sometimes. As for our district, we had 12. Now we have 9. 2 left a couple weeks back for the Guatemala MTC and one went home on week 2. No sisters, just guys. So we're quite the bunch.

We go to the temple every Monday morning for a session before the rest of the day.   I'm actually really excited to get moving out to Panama and I'm not alone. Part of it is the State side elders here. Some of them are pretty neat, but some of them really make me wonder what happens in the States. I don't know if many of them REALLY understand what they're in for. I mean, I lucked out, in terms of a focused district and we're still working hard on it. But I'm also just REALLY curious to see what Panama is like, city or jungle, I'm quite curious. I hear President Madrigal (Unsure of the spelling), the Mission President for Panama is quite gung ho. Heard he cleaned out the whole mission when he came in. Which reminds me. I'm not sure you guys can visit me after the mission. I hear the policy is to ship me out of Panama ASAP after I finish just so they can get me released. So if you'd really like to come to Panama and have me tour you about a bit, odds are you're going to have to wait 'til I come home. And your Spanish will have to be impeccable, Dad. So I'm looking forward to "espeaking da langwich" with you, Dad.

Well, I'm about out of time. Everyone here was impressed by you, Dad. I miss you all, though I'm not feeling wrenched over it, and I pray for you all every night. I hope things are going well for you and wish you the best of luck in all your exploits and undertakings.

Your Missionary in the Field,
Elder Austin Michael Ascura

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