Thursday, September 12, 2013

Week 5 at the CCM


Hi everyone J

Here is the link to the blog

http://alyssawandell.blogspot.com/

Okay so before I respond to your email I have a bunch of things to say, I kept notes over the week of what happened so here it goes.

Oh will you tell people that if they want to write me then they should send me a letter, not email me. It takes away from the time that I have to email you and we only have an hour. So give them my mailing address instead of my email address please. I will be able to write letters back easier than email. (I would say write letters as missionaries love letters but if it is the difference between no letter and an email, just email her and tell her to mail you a return letter)

Hermana Alyssa Morgan Wandell
Panamá, Panamá City Mission
Carrasquilla Entrega General AP 0834
Cuidad de Panamá
Provencia de Panamá
 Panamá

We asked one of our investigators how we could help him to stop drinking coffee, and so we decided to try to give something up as well, chocolate... haha that didn’t last long. So we wrote him a note a few days later telling him we had given in but that he should still stay strong and that we knew he could do it and that if he asks the Lord for help he will provide. So then we saw him the next day and he said he got the note. We taught him about the Book of Mormon, which he already believed in!! Then we read the James 1:5 scripture that Joseph Smith read If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him” and he was like I want that same wisdom. Anyways then he told us that he was so appreciative of our note and that it helped him a lot because he was able to not drink coffee even though he had an opportunity to. He said (and at this point we were all in tears) that he knows that we are leaving next week but he wanted to know if we could write him a note everyday to tell him to stay strong, because he can’t do it alone right now but he knows he’ll be able to soon and then he said he wanted to be baptized!!!!!! He totally set it up for us!! So we set a date for 3 weeks later and he said he would be baptized before that if he could!! WOOOOO First committed investigator!! He’s fake, and just pretending but it didn’t feel fake!!

Okay next thing, I was thinking about how you have a hard time understanding what the Book of Mormon is saying, and this is a total missionary response but I’m a missionary so who cares. Try praying before reading. They teach us here all the time that we are more likely to receive help if we get down on our knees and ask for it. And I have seen it work. One day Hna. Latu and I were trying to figure out what to teach our investigator, and one of our teachers said well did you pray about it?? So we said a prayer and then started looking for scriptures, and literally the first scripture I found was PERFECT!! Also I definitely think that there is a direct correlation between our ability to pick up the language so incredibly fast and how often we pray. On average we pray about 20-25 times a day, sometimes more, and that probably goes up in the field depending on how many lessons we teach in a day. At the CCM only 3 of those prayers are said when we aren’t on our knees, and that’s because you can’t really kneel in a cafeteria that has 300-400 people in it...

Okay next so I ordered some leather scripture cases, but leather apparently rots in panama so I am having them sent to you. The guy needs you to pay for the Fedex and then he’ll send them. Yeah I gave him your phone number (don’t worry he works at the mtc, not some random guy) and he just like calls you up as I’m sitting there!!! But your phone went straight to voicemail...

Okay so more about those scripture cases, he carves them. They are really cool!! I will give you his email so you can talk about how he will send them. That was my souvenir for the MTC they were $43 but they are awesome!! He carves a picture, a scripture, your name and your mission in there. So they will be waiting for me when I come home because I don´t want them to get ruined in Panamá. Oh and his brother lives in Sandy!! Kinda of a small world!! He lives right by Macey´s grocery store on 13th. Okay I am going to email him your email. Sorry I know that is not a lot of explanation and it probably sounds a little sketchy but he has been doing this for years and a bunch of the missionaries buy them. Oh here is the website if you want to go look www.sudartes.com (I couldn’t make it work)
Next thing Elder Faerber broke his finger and had to go to the hospital. I know that’s not all that exciting but when your days are all the same, little things become exciting..


Hna. Latu and I got yelled at by this grumpy teacher guy. He told us that we needed to be speaking in Spanish and blah blah blah and we were telling our teacher about it later and how the guy was really rude and our teacher knew exactly who we were talking about!! And we didn’t even give him a name!! Haha our teacher goes "oh does he walk around like this??" and then proceeded to walk around with his nose up in the air and walks around like he owns the place. It was hilarious! And then he goes, I’ll tell him not to mess with my missionaries!! haha.




Okay 1 more week and I’m excited and scared out of my wits.. There are things I will miss about the CCM and things I won’t.



Next I don’t know if I will be able to have anyone email you when I get to panama so I will email you right before I leave the CCM and you might have to just wait until my next P-day. But I’ll get there, it will be fine. I have more need to worry about your safety than you do about mine. I’m a missionary. I have like 20 angels guarding me at once. Haha. So if you don’t get an email then don’t panic. Okay?? Okay! Oh and if I can find a pay phone do you want me to spend the money to call or not?? I’m not sure what time it will be at, it will most likely be around 3 in the morning.. Just let me know, but don’t expect it cause I can’t guarantee it.

Next thing, so Sunday morning a moth flew into the cafeteria. Why is this important you say?? Oh well the moth was the size of a small bat... about the size of a mans palm. HUGE!!! (:

Next thing... I learned that on average sister missionaries gain like 60 pounds... which freaks me out, so I am going to make sure I exercise, and try to eat small portions and btw, if I send pics and I start to look like I’ve gained weight, PLEASE TELL ME!! I don’t want to come home looking like a whale...

Next thing, its Mexican Independence day sometime this week! How awesome is that, that I am here during their independence day?? We are having a fiesta on Thursday (:  (I know someone oyt there has to have had the same thought as me, “I thought that was Cinco de Mayo”, So I Googled it. Turns out September 16, 1810 is Mexico’s Independence day from Spain. Cinco de Mayo is a celebration held on May 5. It is celebrated in the United States and regionally in Mexico, primarily in the state of Puebla. It originated with Mexican-American communities in the American West as a way to commemorate the cause of freedom and democracy during the first years of the American Civil War and today the date is observed in the United States as a celebration of Mexican heritage and pride.)

Okay crazy thing happened today!! We were at the temple and there were these two elders standing there that are actually out in the field right now. So we said hi, well one of them was white and he caught my eye because he looked somewhat familiar. So I looked at his name tag, his name is Elder Patey.. hahahaha so I was like uhhh your dads name wouldn’t happen to be Ken would it?? Totally his son!! Crazy!! And it was funny because Elder Ballsteadt was like down the street a little walking up, and so I was like hey Elder Ballsteadt look who it is!! Cause they know each other.

Oh I forgot to tell you the funny part about Hna. Barth knowing Ben. After we found out and we both said we love that kid for 10 minutes straight, I was talking to Hna. Howe and I was like "Ben Brockbank is the nicest human being on the planet, if I could give one gift to the world it would be to know Ben Brockbank." And then I was like "actually no, I would give them the gospel, and then I would give them the gift of knowing Ben. Ben is the greatest human being to walk the face of the earth, except for Jesus." (anyone who knows Ben would agree)

Okay now I will respond to your email.

Not sick anymore, sorry you are sick. Thank you for taking those to Zach for me (flowers and a Panama flag on his grave). I knew Kenna (her friend got her call to Detroit, MI) was going and I’m so excited for her! Tell her I say congrats please!!

Thanks for letting me know! I will look out for him, and yes I know Hna. Palmer is from there (Ventura, CA) (: I’m excited for my package!! (I got an offer from a sweet friend of mine to take something to Alyssa as her Nephew left for the Mexico MTC yesterday. I know it was hard day for his family but I am so grateful for his willingness to deliver something to Alyssa – on a side note, it just goes to show how we see small blessings everyday. Literally 5-10 min. before Tammy came in my office and told me her nephew was leaving on Tuesday I received and email from my other friend who’s daughter is already in Panama telling me her daughter’s wallet was stolen in Panama and she didn’t know how she was going to get her a new debit card, J one of those blessings, it is now or will be shortly in Alyssa’s hands who as you know leaves for Panama next week)

I figured you would like the mosquito thing (: I love that you are doing things to help other people. It definitely takes your mind of things to serve your brothers and sisters who are not quite as blessed as you are. I think that will be really good for her  (Abby) to learn.

I WOULD LOVE TO BE A TEACHER HERE!!!!!! (I told her to enjoy her last week at the MTC as she will probably never go back unless she went as a teacher) Oh my gosh I totally forgot!! We watched a devotional that Elder Holland gave in Provo when dedicated 3 new buildings there. I cried the whole way through the dedicatory prayer!! He was blessing it that it would always be a place of safety and that no one could ever come in to hurt or make afraid. He asked that that there would be angels guarding the gates to protect the Lords servants from any harm. And I just knew that a very similar prayer had been given here. This really is one of THE SAFEST places on earth. And you can totally feel it and you can totally tell. I wish I could remember all that he said. It was amazing. Also he said that we should come home with at least one convert, ourselves. You could try to find it if you want. (I couldn’t find a video but I found a story http://www.lds.org/church/news/elder-holland-tells-missionaries-to-invest-in-the-work?lang=eng ) It is from January 15th (I think, I know it’s January) of this year.

I’m sending some more pictures. Yesterday we all wore polka dots so we took pictures, so that’s what that is (:

Please tell Abby how much I love her and that I miss her! SHE´S SO STINKING CUTEEEEEEE!!!!!! Hug her for me please!!

Only 73 more weeks!! Keep her safe for me please! Thinking of you guys and giving each of you a big hug when I get home gets me through the hard days. Thank you for everything!! I love you so much!! The two of you are literally the best friends that I could ever ask for! I love you I love you I love you!!!

I have to go now, I LOVE YOU I LOVE YOU I LOVE YOU I LOVE YOU!! (: TTFN!! Hug the Abbster for me!!

Hermana Wandell and Hermana Curtis

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