Monday, December 21, 2009

Mission Week 14/Panama Week 5: Slow Moving

If you have been reading Austin's letters, you will notice that he jumps from topic to topic, then back to the previous topic...and to think we sent him to college to get organized.   Well, let's hope the mission gets him there.  He has very little computer time so he rushes to get everything in...and at 10 words a minute, it isn't much, but it will have to do.  Just exagerating, of course, but to help him cut thru the chase, we asked him to answer specific questions.

Hola Familia
First, those questions.

1.  Health: So far, so good.  it's a little hard to sleep here because you either freeze with sweat and the fan or you burn.  But I haven't seem to have had anything bad happen to me, yet.  I think I've mostly adjusted to all the food, at least here in the city.  First--changes are coming up and my companion thinks that I'm getting moved.  We'll see.  No strange problems yet, although my skin might be acting up to something.  I think the washing machines aren't the greatest, so, we'll see if it keeps up. (see what I mean about jumping topics, even with questions asked???)

2.  Language: Believe it or not, I can actually understand a good amount of it when they speak slower or clearly.  My grammar isn't perfect and a lot of people use weird sentences, though, so if I don't hve a context, sometimes I get lost really easily.  My companion also talks pretty quickly so sometimes, I don't understand him, and I think he gets tired of it real easily.  But I continue to improve everyday.

3.  Exciting things?: Well, I'm not sure there's much I can write about.  Met some interesting people.  If I had to write something I think that it would have to be a Latin couple fighting when we were supposed to teach.  I think I understand most of it, but I'm not sure.  I think something fishy is going on with the fight, but we'll see this next Sunday when we visit.

4.  How many people are we teaching?  Hmmm.  That's a tricky question, because sometimes, we just stop going to visit people.  I think we've got something like 12 people we go to see regularly, but I'm not sure.  I'll have to mark up some numbers this week.

5.  Tracting!  Despite being abut the most ineffective way to work, we have no other options!  We got into a couple homes, but this last week was pretty crummy, too, and we don't do a whole lot at night.  I think it's because basically everyone just shuts their doors up or is partying, but I'm not sure.  (he sure says this alot, doesn't he?)  Met one guy who seems like he might actually be interested in learning and we ran into an inactive member who was hospitalized for over a year because of his leg.  He stopped coming to church when no one came to visit him the entire time he was in the hospital.  We're hoping to work on that. 

6.  Companionship: I think we get along alright, but I don't think we were meant for each other.  And I think that half of it is the language and half of it is that we're probably really similar in a number of ways.  Like (similar) people don't get along well, but we're alright.

7.  What are Panamanians like?  They are usually friendly, especially active house wives.  But many of them really just aren't concerned enough with religion or anything like it to bother questioning.  Many don't go to church so they don't feel the pressure that religion might have on them and they don't question anything.  But everyone claims Catholic so they basically feel that they're saved, anyways.  It's not an easy position, I think.  Most people just wiggle out with, "I respect all relgions" or "Well, our churches are the same" or something like that.  But they're usually friendly.

8.  Have I run into any of my MTC buddies?  Nope, not yet, except just one run in with my MTC companion.  He's doing about as well as me, except he got a parasite.  Mostly the same for him, though.

9.  P-Days: Almost every week, we play soccer or go shopping for whatever we need for the week.  I usually write or draw, though, sometimes because of laundry, but mostly because I'm really bad at soccer.

Well, I'm out of time.  You'll have to wait til I call on Christmas at 9am.  Love you all.  Bye.  And I couldn't get anything printed off or attached.

Your Elder in Panama
Elder Austin Michael Ascura

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