Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Mission Week: 42/Panama Week 31: Week 3 Again

Hola Familia,

I´m glad to hear that the move is progressing. The ending stress of cleanup is always good. It reminds me when everyone ditched me in Idaho with the apartment to clean before the winter. As for Braden´s graduation, it sounds like you all had quite the field day on that one. I guess that just makes it more memorable, right? Congratulations on finally making it out of high school, Braden. Enjoy your summer.
As for pictures, I´m finding more opportunities to take them but sending the CDs hasn´t been an easy thing to get to. Our P-Days have been disappearing a lot faster than I plan. I should be able to get everything in the mail this coming Monday. But I make no promises. I´m horrible for remembering this kind of stuff. In my own defense, the computers and internet in this country are absolutely horrible. And we only have thirty to forty minutes a week to get our stuff done. It is mathematically difficult to send pictures.

As for the work out here, we´ve more or less exhausted our pool of "easy baptism" investigators. We´ve hit the point where we have few options other than to knock doors now to find people to teach. A good number of the people we´re currently teaching love the message we bring . . . but aren´t married to their "spouse". I tell you what, this problem is going to kill me because it´s about the most common problem you find. Everyone out here shacks up and starts the family but they forget to get the paperwork done.

Among one of the more interesting things coming around out here is the coordination between the ward and the missionaries. With all the recent baptisms, it´s becoming necessary to involve members in our teaching to insure that the recent converts don´t inactivate the moment my companion leaves, given how attached everyone is to him. The bishop has obviously been a little irritated by the lack of members we take with us but he hasn´t done much to fix that as far as I can tell. However, this week we received a list of sisters´ hours that they can come and visit with us. We´ll see if things improve and the missionary work here skyrockets as it should or if this is going to be a dead horse to recussitate. We´ll see.

Ah! I almost forgot to ask about this. Apparently the members in this area are very accustomed to missionaries cooking a meal for them before leaving. Given that a lot of gringos pass through here, I´m not sure I want to cook them a stereotypical American dish. Do you have any suggestions on a meal they won´t forget? I´ll likely need a recipe and I´d appreciate it if the instructions are really specific.

Another random question from the members, do we have malt drinks in the States? I´ve never tried one until I got here, but I think we should have something of the sort.

I was going to ask about something regarding missionary work but I apparently didn´t write it in my planner so it will have to wait for the moment. I hope you all are doing alright and that you guys don´t overstress yourselves out as you finish the move. Good luck with everything.

Your Missionary in Panama,
Elder Austin Michael Ascura

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