Monday, January 18, 2010

Mission Week 18/Panama Week 9: Transfer #2, Assignment 3: Chorrera

Hola Familia,
First off, I am very proud of my heritage. Jerryrigging things is so awesome (referring to relatives in Guam rigging up an old inoperable oven, by placing a regular single burner in the bottom of the oven and using that to heat the oven.  It works...; and breaking out the leaf blower and hair blower to blow the fire and get it going for a barbecue.  I called them Guamanian Rednecks). I have a fun time explaining my heritage to people out here, too.

They ask where you from? I say, "United States".
"What part?" "All of them"
"I don´t understand, where were you born?" "Germany. But I´m not German"
And then I drag out the pictures and show them my family. It´s proven to be a really good way to break the ice with members and get to know them better. From the family pictures, they call dad the Spanish equivalent of "Fatty" (WHAT?????).  Then it´s funny to watch all the people´s eyes bug out when they see the picture of dad working out in Afghanistan. I tell them my dad is made of All American Steel!

Yes, I did get moved, but not to San Blas as many other missionaries had anticipated. I got moved to Chorrera, which is about twenty miles away from the city. I´m not sure why they took me ALL the way across the country for two weeks just to haul me back, but that´s what happened. I was pulled out from our trio to fill a hole that opened up when another missionary went home. I got to eat breakfast with the mission president, though.

The new area is actually really likable. Not many hills; we have all the stores and stuff in a corner of our area, and there´s ALWAYS a really nice breeze, and there´s a good amount of stuff here, like a waterfall we´ll be visiting next P-day. The members here are really nice and likable, even though we have a lot of inactive members to work with. The church we go to is right behind our house. Lots of buildings because we´re in a city like area.

Package? Didn't get it yet. I heard that I had mail sitting in the Zone Leaders´ house back in Concepción, but they didn´t think to bring it to me the day before I left. I don´t know why, but they just didn´t think about it and so they´re going to resend it to Chorrera later.  I don´t know if it´s my letter that I´ve been waiting for or the package but something has arrived in Panama for me.

I should be pretty set with most of my food needs and such. We are close to the city. My area is actually the city center, and a ton more. They´re actually going to send two more missionaries in to our area to split it up a bit.

I´m glad that even the Catholic side of our family is excited to hear about my mission. It is kind of sad that not every one could come visit again. Maybe when I get home or somthing.

Fort Sill for your next assignment, Dad? Sweet, I intended to visit that place again.

Braden back to work with his collarbone messed up. Why am I not surprised? Keep me updated with his school plans. As for touring the country with me, I don´t know what´s going to go down. If I don´t leave the country first, it sounds like I´m going to have to remain a missionary in Panama with you as a companion and still obeying the mission rules. Well, my letter´s getting cut short again for time and I´ve got a lot to say. Maybe I´ll write it by hand. I love you all and will keep you in my prayers.

Your Elder in the Field,
Elder Austin Michael Ascura

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