Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Pictures At Last

Finally, for the first time since Austin has been in Panama, we received pictures from Austin attached to his email.  Such an arduous task for that young man, sometimes.  But...we are grateful for anything at this point and it was such a thrill for the family to see him engaged in the work. 

Elder Ascura and Elder Bryson Alley.  Proselyting isn't the only work missionaries do on their mission.  They are also engaged in service projects for local residents, both members of the church and nonmembers.  This could be just about anything, yard work, assisting in renovations, painting, or anything that can be done in a couple of hours.  Most of the service projects are also done on their preparation day, the only partial day off they get to do their chores, recreation, or other personal business.  So service projects are a real sacrifice for missionaries to give up their only free time of the week, and there are never any regrets, just a feeling of gratitude for the privilege of helping and serving those in need of their assistance.
Elder Ascura and Elder Luquez having dinner at a church member's home in Mananitas.  They are eating a meal that Austin prepared for a family(s) in his area.  It is a tradition in some areas around Panama for the outgoing missionary to prepare a meal for one of the families that feed him during his time there.  Before he left Colon, Austin asked us for a couple of non-traditional American dishes that he could prepare.  The dish in the bowl is your standard Chicken soup with assorted vegetables that we make in Guam.  What looks like a tortilla wrap is called Chicken Kelaguen. It is a mixture of chicken meat, onions, chile peppers, and marinated with lemon, salt, and pepper.  And to add a local flavor, he added cilantro and wrapped everything in a flour tortilla.  These are actually gigantic compared to the spring roll size that we normally make.  Austin said the members enjoyed these new 'interesting' dishes.

And of course, the fruit of every missionary is a baptism of one of their students. 

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