Monday, April 11, 2011

M:82/P:71: New Area: Arraijan

Hola Familia,

Feliz Aniversario. La Gran Veinti-séis!  (Happy Anniversary! The big TWO-SIX!)

Well, the mission did kind of surprise me this transfer. Actually, they kind of didn't because my companion Elder Estrada got to see the board of all the transfers beforehand so I knew I was leaving. I am now in Arraijan.  (Arraijan is just about 15 miles West of his former area in La Chorrera.)

On the other hand, I was actually considerably surprised as well. I thought the mission was just going to stick me in another crazy area like San Miguelito for all my complaining. I'm in Vista Alegre 2 with Elder Manolo Enrique Pac . . . . I can't remember his other last name. I'll ask him about it. He's still pretty fresh. This is his third transfer here in Panama. I've noticed that the mission likes putting me with newer elders.  I suppose that that means they trust me, at least.
The zone is reputable for its baptisms. It´s generally first, second, or third place in the mission as a zone. The area itself is pretty hilly and suburban to rural, and like my last area, requires a lot of tracting and door to door work. I´m not at all thrilled about it but it means I´m going to learn how to tract well out here. Now that I´m in the "fertile" part of the mission, I´d like to take advantage of it.

As for the hotel, Dad, I guess there´s something special about cooking your own food, right? We don´t have all our food out here so I´ve been doing a little more cooking lately too. In fact, I found weevils in my pasta noodles while I was cooking them. I picked a couple out and just ate the rest. What´s the worst that could happen?

I didn´t know that Mom liked England so much (referring to my trip to England for a conference in May). Enjoy the trip.

I´m sorry to hear that Riss has had it rough as well. At that window of time, that kind of stuff is really important, especially for girls. I suppose I could also see it possible that she could have forgotten. And it is true she probably could have gotten another ride. But even so, I think it would be important to understand that she´s the artsy type. Artsy types usually like everything to turn out perfect. They can get moody and finicky when things don´t go their way, even when there´s perfectly practical alternatives at their disposal. It just sort of comes with being romantic. Just try to cheer her up. She´ll bounce back.

Liesy said WHAT???  Whoa, I guess I do have that one her. Uh, where did she pick that up from? And why did she do that? I think you guys should monitor what comes on TV when Liesy´s around. Kids pick up a lot more than we give them credit for sometimes.

You´re going to live in Washington (Washington State; potential job offers there after retirment), then? I don´t suppose it would be too much trouble to visit you out there from Idaho. It´ll be interesting to see what you do with the new crib. I will note that having you and Mom living in different states makes it funny to tell people where I´m from. They always look a little pensive for asking where my family lives before I explain that you´re only working in California.

Spencer (Spencer Broomhead, Austin's old roommate at BYU-Idaho returns home from his mission in Peru on May 12th)?   I´ve heard a bit from him but I haven´t received a reply to the last letter I wrote him. I´ll have to write another and . . . oh, why bother, the guy´ll go home before the letter even gets to him. If it´s possible, I´d like to arrange living with him again. I don´t think living in an apartment with other guys will be so hard this time around. I´ll just have to get up before they start singing, that´s all. All this time out here in the mission will help me with said task. Why waste the money to live in the dorms? And I won´t just blow the money on video games or new computer parts, I promise. I do intend sooping up my computer when I get home but I´ll do it at a reasonable pace and price. That reminds me, though. Will I have a car in Idaho? Or will I have to call shotgun with Spencer to get around?

Yeah, I got Yuto´s email from you. I´ll drop him a line today to see how he´s doing. I´m glad to see his English is still in tip top shape. I´ll have to help him out. I hate to bother you all again with more contact information, but could you get me Scott´s mailing address. I´m not really sure why, but I´d like to send him a letter and I don´t like the idea of breaking the rules to do it. I appreciate it.

Your butt dialed Grandma, huh? Well, Dad, God works in mysterious ways. Maybe you could help stop our family from shredding our family. Grandma told me that she wants me to visit to tell her all about the mission when I get home, so I´ll try to help out as soon as I get back to American turf. Honestly, I don´t know if I can respond to nearly anything going on right now just because I don´t know what all has been going on other than Grandpa being in the nursing home. Although I do feel that those with contention problems should suspend their temple recommends if they can´t sort out their enmity. Those sorts of feelings shouldn´t be brought there.

As for my retainer, Mom, I, too, am equally worried about letting foreign orthodontists going to work on my mouth. I´ll let it go for a couple weeks and we´ll see how this goes.  I´m sorry to hear that you´ve been worked so raw without any breaks. Don´t let yourself get too stressed out. I thought unions were supposed to help workers.

Mom, I had a question about the house. What´s the weather like in the winter? Does it ever snow? Does it ever get freezing cold? I´d like to try planting some seeds of an exotic fruit tree I´ve found out here over there but I don´t know if it´ll grow. When you guys get here I´m going to try and have "Graviola" ready for you. It´s tasty and fights parasites and cancer! There´s been a lot of medical studies on it. Just a thought.

Well, everyone, I can´t seem to recall anything else I needed to ask you all. I hope you all are keeping well and that you guys don´t overwork yourselves.

Your Elder in Panama,
Elder Austin Michael Ascura

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