Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Baptism, Bike Ride and Bus

Here is Alyssa’s latest email. She clarified the address below is for packages and for letters both. I did send her a letter today using the and it is free to Panama so that is a great option as well. I know she wants to hear from you!!!
Hermana Alyssa Wandell
Misión Panamá
Entrega General 0834
Panamá, Republica de Panamá

The address is for both packages and letters. I haven’t gotten my greenie package and I probably won’t for another week or two. I can use Hna. Gonzalez's cord. Did you get my pics last week??
The food is good, or maybe I am just getting used to it. I dunno. But one thing that is really good that they make here is called patacones. It is a cut up plantain that is fried, smashed and then fried again. You eat it with ketchup and they are kind of like chips and they are soooo good!!
We eat a lot of rice... yeah. I got dehydrated this week. I was really light headed and dizzy but I drank some Gatorade and water and I was fine, so now I have to make a special effort to drink water. Also I am gonna gain weight, it’s kind of inevitable... kind of sucks... but there really isn’t anything you can do about it. I will just take Zumba classes like m&ms when I get home.
The temple is awesome, the outside reminds me slightly of Draper and the inside reminds me slightly of Oquirrh Mountain. My favorite temple is probably Panama or Oquirrh Mountain or Manti.

Panamá City Temple

My zone, I love them!! Haha we have Elder Kipp (Riverton, Utah), E. Jensen (American Fork) (I have a hunch this might really be Spanish Fork), E. Willis (Arizona), E. Ulloa (Australia),E. Quimiz (Ecuador), E. Tzep (Guatemala), E. Fajardo (Peru), E. Astudillo (Ecuador), and then two Hermanas that never hang out with the zone so I don’t really know them.
The mall is cool, don’t send a gift card I don’t know that I can use it here. I started taking my sheets off every morning so and folding them so they are sitting on the bed getting humid.
Chinos are very dirty. Yeah but they have Gatorade so that’s cool. I don’t really like shopping there. I would rather go hungry or go to the super market. The terrain is hard on your legs and knees.
Communication is going better, we speak English in the house and Spanish outside the house. Being the muñeca is kind of annoying actually because everyone and their dog stares at me like they just saw a flying pig... and so I politely say holá and they just stare.. so whatever..

I can already tell that my brain is trying to switch over to Spanish because when I am speaking in English I catch myself saying things like what mas? Instead of what else or que mas... yeah..
So we had divisions with our z ellas this week (Zone leaders who are sisters, they are in charge of two zones and so they aren’t actually in our zone) I was with Hna. Bustamonte from Bolivia, I realized my Spanish is better than I think it is because she doesn’t speak any English and I could understand most of what she said. I went to their area and her companion went with Hna. Gonzalez to Alcalde Diaz.

I asked Elder Jensen to take a picture of us, and he took one of himself haha.

Elder Jensen

The four person bike was fun!! That was us, Elder Willis and Elder Ulloa.

 Hermana's Wandell, Gonzalez, Elder's Ulloa and Willis

 (Not sure if that is a jogger or a body builder)

Alyssa, Hermana Gonzalez, Elder's Ulloa and Willis


 Hermana's Wandell and Gonzalez

Random things before I forget, cilantro grows in the grass here, and it smells amazing when it rains because you can smell the cilantro. But it isn’t edible, and it is a different kind than the type you cook with.

The Panamá Panamá City mission is the first mission in the world to have 50% Elders and 50% Hermanas. Kind of awesome if you ask me! (Kind of awesome if you ask me too!!) Also they speak a ton of Spanglish (: and there is a lot of slang in the mission. For example my trainer (Hermana Gonzales) is my "madre".  My district leader, E. Quimiz, is my "padre". His trainer is my "abuelo" and Hna. G's trainer is my "abuela". Hna. G's first "hija" is my sister and E. Quimiz "hijos" are my brothers. I was just "born" and someone with like 22 months is "dying" Also there is a term used for when someone is home sick which is "truncky"
I love taking the bus because it is cold and I don’t have to walk. Then we went to a place called crepes and waffles and can you say delicious???
Her District on the bus
2 things Missionaries love...Food and Letters (don't forget to write)
Elder's Tzep, Astudillo, Quimiz and Ulloa
This week I saw a monkey and A FIREFLY!!! I was kind of freaking out!! I have never seen a firefly before and I have always wanted to. It’s even on my bucket list!! Haha but then there are people here that have never seen snow and want to and I’m like.. uh you don’t know what you are saying right now.. anyways yeah totes saw a firefly (:

Hermana's and Elder's with Luis's Family
We had Luis' baptism and then we went to a gringo's house in one of the elder companionship's area and he gave us apple pie. He told me some story about how George Washington has ties to Panamá because his uncle met some guy named Vernon or something and then named Mt. Vernon after this Panamá person or something. I dunno, you can Google it. Mt. Vernon was named after British Admiral, Edward Vernon, under whom Lawrence Washington (George’s older half-brother) served in 1740 in the Cartagena Expedition. The Battle of Cartagena de Indias took place at the City of Cartagena de Indias which is in present-day Colombia. Present-day Panamá separated from Columbia in 1903. So there is a brief history lesson and the connection of Panamá to Mt. Vernon)

If you have quesions about the BOM I will do my best to answer them, but really pray and read slowly.
The elders never lived in that house, they lived in a different one. (I laughed at the thought of Elder’s possibly living in the house she lives in that has pink walls) The baptism this week helped to lift my spirits, just realizing that this is why I am here. And realizing that a year from now his family can go through the temple and be sealed to each other makes it all worthwhile. We also have another baptism set for the 12th, his name is Saul and he is like 16 but he looks 21. He's super nice and at first he wasn’t really progressing but he prayed and received and answer and before we could even ask the question he was telling us he wants to be baptized.
I can’t believe they are tearing down Mt. Jordan! (The middle school she went to) So weird!!

Abby I love you and I miss you! What are you being for Halloween?? I am assuming it has something to do with Disney but I’m not sure what. They don’t celebrate Halloween here. I love you!!
I got the Soy un Hijo de Dios (I am a Child of God) stickers today and I was stoked!! (Part of the thought of the day envelopes I gave her) I love the kids in our branch. One of the little girls in my branch wrote me a note and the whole thing was in English! It was short but sweet and she drew me a picture.  There is this one lady that doesn’t like me because I don’t speak enough Spanish, and she is an English teacher... It’s hard but then when the other people in the ward tell me that they are surprised at how much Spanish I speak for a Gringa or that I sound like I am Latina it makes me feel a lot better. 
"Stick Abby in Panamá"
 Also I went through and fixed the envelopes and tried as best I could not to look at the cards. There were some that got a little ruined but I salvaged them and the ones with pictures I had to look at because there was glue on them and I had to get it off.  
I love you guys! I miss you! Talk to you next week! AHH CONFERENCE IS NEXT WEEK!! I get to watch it in English with the other gringos and the latingo in my zone (that’s Elder Ulloa because his parents are Chilean but he is from Australia) Okay bye love you!! TTFN!!!!

 Elder Ulloa

Elder Willis, Alyssa and Hermana Gonzalez
Elder Fajardo and Elder Tzep
Elder Ulloa, Hermana's Gonzalez and Wandell
Alyssa and "Stick Abby"

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