Monday, May 16, 2011

M:87/P:76: Survived Another Transfer...For Now

Hola Familia,

Note: Because last Sunday was Mother's Day, we got to speak to Austin on the phone for a couple of hours, which took the place of letters.

Well, family, that´s one more transfer down.  I´m not sure what to think of it.  The end draws near.  Anywho, this brings an undoubtable end to my time together with Elder Manolo Enrique Pac Coti as he´s already got three transfers in the area.  However, given some strange circumstances, I think they´re going to send me somewhere else as well.  The general review of my area is that it is burned out and President needs to get ready for these next two transfers.  These next two transfers, about forty some missionaries go home.  And after that even more, and there are very few missionaries coming to Panamá to replace all us oldies.  That said, a lot of areas are going to get closed.  Generally, that means that the weaker areas get closed or wards that have more than one set of missionaries get cut out a companionship.  Our ward has three pairs and is reputably burned out, hence, why I  think there´s a good chance we´ll get closed out.  Plus, I called the assistants and they told me to make sure I leave the area book very good, which, to me, is code for "We´re combining your area with another".  Then again, this is all speculation.  Who knows?  Maybe I´ll go to Blas to finish up the mission.
As for undertakings in the week, Much of our efforts have been used between going to doctors in the city to deal with some minor health problems my companion reluctantly has to treat and preparing for a stake activity called "Flight 703" which is the same activity Spencer did out there in Peru with the airplane and whatnot.  I was absolutely sure that this was all going to be a fiasco.  We received virtually zero help from the wards outside of volunteers to play the angels, flight attendants, pilots, etc.  The day before, we didn´t even have rehearsal and weren´t even half-prepared.  I was so sure we we´re screwed.  I can happily say that I was surprised to how well the activity turned out, both in attendance and preparation.  I had done all I could to help and it looks like the other missionaries did, too.  I got stuck in the  debriefing room where I handed out pamphlets, so I coudn´t get pictures of the whole thing in action.  I´ll try to get photos to you all when I find computers that let me upload my photos.
Speaking of Spencer, the man goes home this week, doesn´t he?  I´d be mighty curious to see how he handles the returning shock.  I´m sure it´ll hit me like a truck.  Send him my regards.
As to what you all have been up to, Mom, when you say "I hope that this will be the last move." are you implying that you all are getting ready to pack up again?  I´m sorry to hear that I was the only thing you had to brighten up Mother´s Day (Lisa had to work on Mother's Day).  It was really good to hear all your voices as well.  I look forward to showing you all around when you get here.
You liked the Paella (reference to Mike's recent trip to England this past week and the Spanish Paella he ate)?  I had that, too.  It was pretty good, with octopi and all.  As for the American food, I´m pretty sure McDonalds and KFC is just about everywhere.  As for the rest of England, I do like history and have a bit of fascination with English history in particular but I´m not sure I´m so good for tourism . . . I mean, I don´t take photos (as I´m sure you noticed *ahem*).  I´d like to visit sometime but I think I might get a little lost in all of it.  England´s got a lot, as your pictures show.
Braden?  A "B" average?  Well, I guess 18 credits is a lot of work.  He told me he hopes to boost his GPA a bit this next semester with ROTC courses.  As for the girls, I hope to help them out a bit with their schoolwork when I get home.  As for Liesy, I did get to talk to her, quite a bit, as well.  Although I couldn´t understand a lot of what she was saying when she was telling the knock knock jokes.  She kept laughing while telling the punchline.  But she is just a little cutey.  It´ll be fun to be the big brother again when I get back.  I also have plans of teaching her (as well as anyone else in the house who cares to try) Spanish.  I think it would be a possible achievement.
As for my English, I think I´ve got a bit of a gift for languages in particular.  All the gringoes here, including me at times, speak a little Spanglish, when our Spanish creeps into our English.  But when I talk with you guys, who I just about never speak Spanish with, I don´t use any of my Spanglishness.  It think it´s sort of a habit.  If you want to learn a language to speak with me, I´d be happy to speak Spanish with you.  Or any other language you please.  I have the goal of learning at least one or two other languages when I get home, so if you want to choose a different one, I´d be up for that.  Or you could always just teach me Chamorro.  Or maybe if they send me to San Blas, I can teach you Kuna.  The possibilities are endless.  Anywho, I´d be totally up for making that wish come true and having a common language besides English between us.
Let´s see, what else is there to cover before I finish up . . . Well, today, we´ll be heading into the city again to get some blood tests taken for my companion in relation to the medical conditions I mentioned earlier.  And then tomorrow we´ll be going again to pick up the lab results as well as make it to another doctor´s appointment.  Then the next day, we´ll probably both go to the city again to go to our new areas.
Well, I can´t seem to remember anything else, so I´ll leave it at that.  I love you all and hope you all are keeping well and staying out of trouble.  I look forward to seeing you all soon.
Your Elder in Panamá,
Elder Austin Michael Ascura
PS I have more photos but the computers here don´t let me upload them.  I think I already mentioned that.

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