Monday, October 28, 2013

Panama stands for PAdre Nos AMA,

Hi everyone, here is Alyssa’s latest email. She seems to be doing pretty well!

Here is the link to the blog with the pictures
Okay my notes:

Hard rock was closed, they either moved locations or it’s just not there anymore…

I found a dead cockroach in my bed on Saturday…

We found two giant spiders in the house, on one day…. I will send pictures.

Apparently two years ago, Elder Russell M. Nelson came and spoke to everyone and he said that the missionaries that are called to Panama are the most valiant of spirits and that they were the ones at the front of the battle field defending Christ’s side during the war in Heaven… kind of awesome!!! An apostle said that… let’s just let that sink in!…
When Pres. Monson dedicated the temple here he told the people that Panama stands for PAdre Nos AMA,  Or Father loves us, kind of cool.

This week we didn’t do very much because Hna. G’s knees have been hurting her due to the hills. So I did a lot of studying this week while she rested. Her knees have been super swollen and on a scale of 1-10 they have been hurting her a 7 most of the week.

3 Nefi 13:24-27, does that sound like you could relate that to the story of the 3 little pigs or what?? (I think this may be a typo somewhere because I cannot relate any part of that scripture the 3 little pigs, I will get a clarification for next week)

We went to the temple on Saturday.

I lied apparently they open all the packages, so be careful about what you send. (ok I guess we are back to easy on the candy??)

Did Zoey ever go on her mission?? (Zoey, will you send Alyssa an email, I am not sure when you leave –

Tell Sarah to bring a backpack and a shoulder bag, buy some of those crocs, bring tennis shoes for p-day/service projects, bring vitamins, and start practicing the lessons in Spanish now. Bring a light jacket because some of the areas are cold and some get cool at night. Also the bus can get really cold sometimes. She will use the jacket more than she thinks. I hope that I get to train her, she sounds awesome!! I will keep an eye out for her.

Okay so we live in a part of a member’s house. We have two rooms and a bathroom and she has the rest of the house, her kids live 10 feet away in another house. I don’t know how to say her name. Hna. Fransua or something like that, it’s French.

So we don’t have changes but we are trying to get that changed because Hna. G. can’t handle the hills for another 6 weeks. So the AP’s email the ZL’s and then the ZL’s tell us. Those who are being changed go to the temple (not really the temple but there is this building there and a chapel that we meet in and the temple just so happens to be there as well. The building is where we stayed the first night. ) If you are getting changed and are close to the city then your comp usually goes with you, but if you are in the interior your comp can stay home with another set of missionaries. (I asked how the transfers work)
Hermana Gonzalez, Elder Fajardo and Alyssa

They don’t take both people out of an area at a time unless they are closing the area or switching it from elders to sisters or vice versa. The reason is because if you take both out then the people there after you won’t know the area. They won’t know where the church is or the members or anything. So they keep one person there to show the new one around.

Bowling was fun, we went again this Pday because hard rock isn’t there anymore and we had nothing else to do.

No Cherry Diet Cherry Limeade (Abby asked if they had that in Panama)… I am excited to see her costume too!! I am glad she is feeling better as well. I loved her hair for crazy hair day too.

No they came from costco!! Love it!! Haha!! (Funny Abby story, I was reading the story on the back of the Hi-chew candy bag about how a guy in Japan invented them and Al asked so did these come from Japan? And Abby replied, “No they came from Costco”)

So while I was reading the whole thing about the court case at first I was reading it but it was all numbers and what not so I just skimmed it and then I got the good part. I cried the whole way through it. I am so glad to hear that everything went well. I am so grateful for prayer and fasting and the whole shazam!

I am so glad to see that you guys are receiving blessings. But I honestly don’t think it has anything to do with me, especially after we didn’t do much this week. That was all you mom. It was your faith and honestly I would venture to guess your character. You are so kind and patient and I could go on and on. I could write a 20 page paper on it. I am so glad that things went well. Tell everyone congrats for me and that I hope they are all doing well. Give Garreth a great big hug and tell him thank you for me!

I miss you guys to pieces, I love you and think about you everyday.  Tell my Abby that I love her and I miss her and that I can’t wait to talk to her on Christmas.  I pray for you guys every night. I find it funny that last week when the elders gave me the priesthood blessing that Elder Kipp said during the blessing “Heavenly Father wants to you to know not to worry about your family, because they are fine.” AHHHH THE CHURCH IS TRUE. Okay I love you I love you I love you!!!

My meal that I made, patacones with salchica, and pear juice.. haha

The spider, one of them anyways
Zone Meeting

Elder Kipp and Elder Quimiz
Elder Quimiz, Astudillo, Jensen and Ulloa

Elder Tzep and Alyssa

 Hermana Wandell and Elder Ulloa

(I am not even sure how this is possible)
Alcalde Diaz Zone

Our crazy elders

Elder Tzep (Guatemala) and Elder Ulloa (Australia)
Elder Willis (Arizona) and Elder Fajardo (Peru)

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Que Sopa?

The title just means what’s up in Panamanian. Yes I said Panamanian because that is what they speak, not Spanish.... Okay so notes first
Pear juice, the greatest thing on the planet aside from Abby and Funeral Potatoes... yeah it’s that good.
Laundry, the lady we live with never lets us use her washing machine so we have to walk a mile to a different members house in order to do laundry.. yeah
Fajardo, Jensen, Kipp, Gonzalez, and Tzep are all probably leaving this change L
Trunky books, so you buy a notebook and then everyone writes in it and puts pictures and what not. I will have to show you when I get home.
So I was sick last week and so the Elders gave me a blessing and then I felt worlds better!! No more congestion!! It was actually kind of awesome.
Let me know when Sarah is supposed to get to Panama so that I can keep an eye out for her. Maybe tell her look up YouTube videos of Panamanian news channels or something so she can start to learn the accent. Oh and tell her to enjoy hot showers while she can cause she won’t see one for 16 and a half months once she gets here.
There are no lawn mowers here. I don’t know if I already told you this or not... but they use a machete to cut the grass. Oh and I have eaten sugar cane. It’s weird.
So I took a bunch of pics of the animals that I saw this week for you to show Abby and Lindsay.

Panama has amazing birds

I love the picture of us with the stuffed animals, I look like I am 5. haha. And the one in the massage chairs is pretty funny. So the stuffed animal I have was a HUGE caterpillar, it was seriously like 10 feet long (: 

Quimiz, Fajardo, Alyssa and Gonzalez

Alyssa, Astudillo and Jensen

Quimiz, Fajardo, Wandell and Gonzalez
At the temple there were two sets of couple missionaries. One is from South Jordan and the husband knows Grandpa because they worked together in the temple, someone Shumway. And the second couple, their last name is Broadbent... yeah... and they have heard of Grandma before, probably because if anyone tries to do family history work it is basically impossible cause she did all of it already. They live in Wyoming.
Last pday we went bowling and I got the highest score out of everyone!! Wooo!!
Wandell, Kipp, Quimiz and Jensen

High Bowling score

Elder Astudillo

Hermana Gonzalez, Elder Quimiz and Hermana Wandell

So a sister named Hna. Dawson called us yesterday to ask how some families in our branch are and she asked to talk to me. She was born (not literally, she means her very first area when she came to the mission) in Alcalde Diaz as well and I guess when she got there Pres. Ward (the mission president who left in July, President Carmack is her mission president) sent her an email that said something along the lines of "Congratulations! You live in the ugliest house in the whole mission!" Yeah... I live in the same house... On the bright side that means you can only go up from here (:
You definitely have to have tough skin for this job. Yesterday we went to go visit a member's daughter who is inactive and she was SOOOO RUDE to us. I just laughed it off but it made my comp really mad and she started crying. I guess I just am used to it.
Also the members here are so incredibly lax. They think everything is our responsibility and a lot will not help us but that’s Panama. There are only 7 stakes in the entire country...
Okay now to reply to your email. I am sorry that techonology is stupid sometimes. (when I emailed her back last week I had to start over 4 times, it kept erasing my email L, by the time I was done I was frustrated) As a precaution I am writing this in word and then copy and pasting it.
I think that is a good idea about the missionaries. (my plan for “feeding the missionaries” consists of gift cards I am carrying around in my purse for when I happen to run into the missionaries and then treats, the sisters in our ward are reaping the benefit of living so close to someone who makes great treats) And it doesn’t make me feel bad, it just makes me realize how lucky I am to be a Utah Mormon. Because trust me there is a difference.
Elder's Kipp and Astudillo and Hermana's Gonzalez and Wandell

I would LOVE to stay with Hna. G but at the same time I want someone new because otherwise I will have to stay in Alcalde Diaz for 3 changes.  
Alyssa and her first companion in Panama, Hermana Gonzalez (Guatemala)

Enereida's whole family is awesome and so generous. My umbrella broke and she gave me her really nice one that is huge and it cost her like $7, which is a lot for an umbrella here. And her brothers bring us ice cream all the time. They are awesome, and sometimes they feed us cause they know we don’t always have food.
If possible please find one of those little battery powered fans, please. Yeah the whole treats thing is kind of a lie (I guess we can send food afterall, we had been told not to send food or candy of any kind, you have no idea how happy this makes me!!), because I know so many people that get stuff just fine. Tell Grandpa happy birthday for me as well please.
Tell my Abby that I love her and I miss her and that I hope she is liking school and that I can’t wait to see her Halloween costume. Okay I love you guys!!
Today we are going to Hardrock cafe... :)  

Quimiz, Tzep, Wandell, Fajardo and Astudillo
(does anyone beside me think she looks really tall in this picture?)

Thats awesome!! She is in the 2nd best mission in the whole world! (I told her about a really cute and extremely talented girl in Brent’s ward in Florida that got her mission call to the Salt Lake City South Mission, yes that is the mission I live in) Okay I have to go now!! I LOVE YOU I LOVE YOU I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  

TTFN!! Only 15 and a half more months!! Woo!! See you soon!!

Elder Fajardo (from Peru)
Astudillo, Gonzalez, Wandell, Quimiz, Kipp and Jensen

Elder Jensen (Spanish Fork, Utah)

2 Utahn's in Panama

Elder Fajardo
(I am glad we don't have lizards in church in Utah)

 Astudillo, Wandell and Fajardo
Alyssa and Hermana G.

Elder Astudillo (Ecuador)

Elder Austin Kipp (Riverton, Utah) and Alyssa

Elder Astudillo and Alyssa

Alyssa and Elder Quimiz (Ecuador)

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


 Hi Everyone,
Here is Alyssa's email from this week :) She has a clear message for us !

 Alcalde Diaz is her 1st Area
 Okay so first I want to address the title of this email... If it wasn't clear enough here is another reminder FEED THE MISSIONARIES!! Because I know what it is like to have to live off crackers because no one feeds us. We only get one meal a day, and sometimes even that one meal is like pulling teeth. So to any and all who may be reading this if there are missionaries in your ward FEED THEM!! Or if you run into them somewhere, give them money or invite them over so you can FEED THEM!! Okay I think I made myself clear... (: Please and thank you!!! Oh and don’t make them pay you if you feed them, not cool Robert Frost...(Alyssa loves kid president)

Elder's Kipp, Willis, Jensen and Ulloa
(I think they are hungry)
The lady who lives next to us has invited us to have lunch and dinner with her every Sunday which is nice!!!!!! So last night we had lunch and then she bought us food and let us use her kitchen to make patacones for dinner. (SOOO GOOD!!)

Anyways I will start with my notes.
I AM A TERRIBLE HUMAN BEING!! I killed a living breathing animal this week... I killed a mouse. I'm going to hell. But Hna. G. made me do it and at least it’s not in our house. I found it in our garbage bag and I made her try to kill it. Well the weirda (that’s our thing we made up cause I kept calling her a weirdo and she kept saying weirda cause I’m a girl and that’s what they do in Spanish.) popped the bag and so I made her step on the hole so it wouldn’t get out and then she made me kill it... kind of depressing...

Anyways I've seen lots of cool animals here. I saw a dead possom yesterday (I took out the gory details that followed). I don’t know why I mentioned this...
The other day the power went out for like 4 hours and so finally I was like okay it’s hot we are saying a prayer so these lights will come back on and we can use the fan. 3 minutes after our prayer... THE LIGHTS CAME BACK ON!! WABAM!! Power of prayer my friends, power of prayer!!

Hna. G thinks that Robert is guapo! J

I bought a photo album to put any pictures you send me. (missionaries love mail and her address is on the blog)
There is a picture of Fajardo. When he wears my sun glasses, he looks like Bruno Mars. Yes? 

Elder Fajardo
We had a teaching competition between districts the other day because the AP's (one of which is from Sandy) were teaching us. Well my district won by one point so we all got mission t-shirts!!!!   
Hermana's Gonzalez and Wandell

We went to the temple and the four of us were there so we took a picture. Also these are our shirts and I took a picture of a sun set. kinda cool

Alyssa, Hermana Johnson and Hermana Palmer 
(I am sorry I don't know the name of the first sister but I am guessing she was at the MTC the them as well)

I’m sick... again... Not happy!! But I’m recovering quickly! (: Woo blessings for being a missionary!!

We had another baptism this week, YAY!! Okay now I’m done.

I have turned into a picture taker, you are welcome. I'll take more (:
The Abby hug was in the mtc package, I kept it, and the pictures were in this one and I put them in the photo album that I bought. All the elders think that Kallie is a babe. J
We have a weirdly small zone. There are as many people in my zone here as there were in my district at the CCM.  I LOVE MY COMPANION!! She kills me! I love them all!!

She found the spider in her sheets but it didn’t touch her. We are having our house fumigated this week.
I will be with her for probably 6 weeks. L kinda sad cause we get along really well. I LOVE IT HERE!! OH MY GOSH IT IS GORGEOUS!! I am starting to understand why everyone says that it is the best time of your life. Not to make you guys feel like chopped liver but I haven’t even been home sick at all because I am having so much fun and we work so much you don’t have time to think about it. Pray for us to find people that will keep their commitments.  That is the hardest thing because when it comes to religion Panamanians are super lax. (After listening to Elder S. Gifford Nielsen’s conference talk I asked her who or what we could pray for to help her and her zone)


I don’t let her give up on the English. I make her speak in English when we are at home. The new thing with the Elders is they say you speak really good Spanish, you just never speak it. Yeah when I’m with you I don’t because I can speak English!! 
The Be-you-tiful picture was in the house here. (it’s on last weeks blog) There really isn’t much of a difference with the umbrellas. (I asked what is different about a Panamanian umbrella vs. one from the US as we have been told several times not to buy one until you get there) If she is gonna buy one tell her to buy a really big one that is sturdy. (Sarah this is for you)

Please tell the sisters hello from their fellow sister missionary. I hope the Chili cook-off was fun.

We have a lot of people that we talk to and teach so I won’t really go into that but this week was Saul's baptism. He is 17 and his brother and sister are members. We are really close to his sister. She has a cute little boy.
Saul's Baptism
Okay I took pictures of my zone this week, wow great minds think alike!!! haha. (I told her in my email back last week that I needed a picture for her blog with her whole district) Please send some of those rubber CTR rings like the one Shauna gave me because everyone wants one. Fajardo wanted it and so I made him trade me his ring for mine. Also maybe some more of those HLJ tie tacks?? The book Jason and Leesa gave me. It’s in my room somewhere but I’m not sure where. I want it so I can mark my Spanish scriptures. If you find one like that for the Bible and D&C then send that maybe because it’s super convenient. Oh and maybe an English BOM or two because everyone wants one. Let’s see what else... Ummmm candy. haha and those B12 pills you were talking about because I am being eaten alive.
Her Zone

Elder Fajardo and Hermana Wandell
Elder Jensen, Hermana Gonzalez, Elder's Kipp, Willis and Fajardo
Elder Astudillo

Elder Fajardo

 Okay I love you I love you I love you!! I miss my Abby!! Give her a hug and a kiss for me and tell her that I love her more than most!!

Elder's Tzep and Astudillo
Elder Ulloa
Abby I love you sooooo much!! You are the best!! Please be good and try some new food for me!! Maybe try rice, that’s what they eat in Panama!! I love you more than most!!  

Hermana Wandell (:

OH!! GUESS WHAT I FOUND OUT!! WE CAN TOTALLY WATCH DISNEY MOVIES!! I wish I would have known because I would have brought some. okay bye love you!! 

Oh I forgot to say that today for P-day we are going to Albrook and are going bowling and then going to... wait for it... CREPE Y WAFFLES!!! I’m excited!! Kipp says he takes pictures it’s just that the computers we use won’t recognize his camera. L
Pay attention to how hilarious the Elders are in these pictures. Also pay attention to the fact that I stick out like a sore thumb because I was the only one not wearing black or white... and I am right in the middle...

Her Zone
Elder's Tzep, Fajardo and Ulloa
Elder Kipp and Elder Fajardo