Monday, June 14, 2010

Mission Week 40/Panama Week 29: Birthday and Baptisms Celebration

Hola Familia,

Thanks for the congratulations on my birthday, everyone.  I didn´t tell anyone out here when it was because I had intended to just work. Out here, the people love the missionaries so much, they´re williong to acommodate them in almost any manner thinkable; even if that manner is very counter-productive to the Work out here. Regardless, I got to go to the Temple here and Albrooks, as well. Albrooks is a very large mall. There, I bought myself some things for my birthday and now I think I´m satisfied. Thanks for the fifty dollar bonus, Dad. My plan to work on my birthday, however, failed, as it was the last day of the transfer. Everyone except me thought that my companion was going to leave, so we spent almost the entire day saying good bye. Someone even baked us a pineapple cake. But he didn´t leave. So, we just wasted a day. But that just means less of a day wasted the next time, right?

Thanks for the complement on the language, Mom. I still have a bit of an accent, but I´m fairly pleased with what I can do in Spanish. I just have to keep working to improve the accent and the vocablulary. If I get good enough, I´ll be able to get jobs just because I´m bilingual, I think. But we´ll see.

As for the moving, I hope that everything goes well. Don´t overstress yourself out, Mom. You´re already loading up your workload.

As for the work here, even though I feel like we´re not doing enough, it somehow seems to keep moving forward. We had two more baptisms this last Thursday and have placed four more dates, all of which seem very probable to go through. But, as always, I´ve got a bit of a hunch of what some of our future problems will be. But we´ll see. The baptism was odd as we had to baptise as a team, my companion and I. Both of them were very stubborn and apparently afraid of drowning. We had to baptise both of them twice because they kept kicking and reaching upward. I couldn´t help but laugh. And for one of them, I had to baptise using a chair and had to say the prayer on my knees. It was apparently nothing anyone had ever seen before. I´d certainly never heard of it before.

As for why she (97 year old Sister) wants to come to America, she just wants to go there. She´s old and feels like Panama doesn´t offer much to her anymore, so she´d like to get out and see the world. Although, she doesn´t see very well, so I don´t imagine it´d be easy to show her the world.

Well, what other things have happened here . . . one of our buses almost caught fire. Some idiot had to scream "The bus is burning!" and then everything went crazy. Women prancing about in a panicked frenzy, people tossing their children out the windows, sixty obese people trying to jam themselves through the exit at the same time. I was practically laughing the entire time while everyone was scared out of their wits. Apparently, a while back an entire bus burned down with everyone inside, so the people here are a little spooked. It doesn´t help that the emergency exits on the sides and tops of the bus have been sealed or removed.

Well, I think that marks the highlights of the week. A new transfer has begun and our current mission president, President Madrigal, will be leaving in the next few days. The month of June will be president-less and President Ward will arrive with his wife in July. I hope you all are keeping well. I keep you all in my prayers each night.

Your Elder in Panama,
Elder Austin Michael Ascura

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