Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Mission Week: 41/Panama Week: 30: Schedule Change/More Baptisms

Hola Familia,
As the subject says, sorry for the mixup in schedule. I had no idea that I´d be writing on Tuesday instead of Monday. The Mission President had his last interviews with everyone over this last week and will be leaving later on in the week. Our new Mission President, President Ward, and his wife will be arriving July 1st, if I´m not mistaken. I am kind of sad to see President Madrigal go, as he´s been a very helpful source of support and guidance out here but his service here is finished here. But now I´ll have the opportunity to learn from someone else. I´m fairly curious to see what happens when he finally arrives.

Well, Winter has officially started here with the first day long torrent. We had two baptisms set this last Saturday and the storms did not deter us. But I´ve come to the conclusion that umbrellas aren´t going to keep me dry. I was almost completely drenched by the rain. And the fact that I´ve burned through four umbrellas in the last two weeks isn´t exactly encouraging. I´m beginning to wonder if pneumonia is worth all the money I´d burn buying umbrellas.

Anywho, I got to try a Panamanian dish the night of the baptism called "Pa´ Ella", which means "For her". Oddly enough, we served it for Father´s day. I wasn´t sure if Father´s Day was celebrated the same day in this country as the States, as so many seem to be different in different countries. But seeing it´s the same, Happy Father´s Day! Sorry that I can´t be there to do something, but I suppose you´d prefer me out here for the moment. Anywho, the food was really good, but the best part was that it had octopus in it. I´ll try to snag pictures from my companion, since he has pictures of almost everything on his camera. Octopus is really chewy, as a sidenote. But the winter weather is much more bearable than the summer as it´s much wetter and cooler. It´s just that I have to walk in the rain. And it gets cold, walking in drenched pants at night, after a while.

Workwise out here, the majority of our likely baptisms have gone through but we´ve got a couple more that will probably be baptised in July. But the emphasis of our efforts will likely be centered on finding new investigators. We´ll also be trying to work out a functioning system of work between the missionaries and members to make sure that the converts don´t go inactive right after confirmation.

Before I forget, the shoes are 10.5s and Dockers. The Dockers last much longer and work better than the second set. Hope it gets here soon. I might have to buy a second pair of shoes out here, anyways. With getting soaked and all, you have to switch off to let them dry.

Well, I´m not sure if there´s much else I can think of to write. It seems that I always remember the things I want to write here after I leave the computer. I did have one question from the scriptures. My mission president didn´t have an answer on this one and neither has anyone else, so I guess it´s up to you guys now. One of the other elders has an investigator that asked about a passage in the Book of Mormon that says that Jesus would be born in Jerusalem even though the Bible is abundantly clear that he was born in Bethlehem. Any suggestions on the topic?

Ah, I remembered one of them. One of my baptisms out here, the older man, was very sick this week. I was kind of worried that he might have died, but I think he´s beginning to recuperate now. His eyesight kind of disappeared and he had something like a big fever and cold, and I discovered that he´s rich. Just some interesting notes out here. We´ve visited him a couple times while he´s been sick but I wish the ward would´ve helped a bit on that. A lot of the members out here don´t get word of this stuff or just don´t feel like they can be bothered.

Well, things are improving out here, more or less. I think the work shouldn´t be too slow in the coming weeks, but we´ll see, I suppose. I hope all of you are doing well this summer, doing whatever it is you all happen to be doing.

Your Elder in Panamá,
Elder Austin Michael Ascura

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