Happy New Year Everyone! This post is broken into 2 parts. The first being her letter from yesterday and the 2nd being part of our conversation with her on Christmas. Any of you with a missionary out or has ever had one knows that that Christmas day phone call or Skype session is the greatest gift ever!! I am extremely grateful to the Presley’s for letting Alyssa and her companion come to their home and use their computer.
Hermana Valdez and Hermana Alyssa
(Not certain who the cute little boy is)
My notes are short this week.
I used an iron to straighten my hair the other day!! Wooo
So I am sending that package with Elder McEntire but the instructions I left don’t really apply now because I wrote it like 2 months ago and I took some of the stuff out. (the package she sent to me that got mailed to her)
Both my zl told me that they are going to tell President that they think I should train (:
Our baptisms fell through because they didn’t come to church... L
Okay now your email...
The presents were all unopened, that’s the smart way to do it is to wrap it all. Everything is here, no need to worry. (I asked if she got all the candy I sent, I wrapped it like it was a present, and it appears they, customs or postal workers, whoever goes through the packages when they get to Panama did not unwrap them, so other missionary moms, take note, might be a good way to send candy, wrap it like a present!)
Did you give Emily and Carissa the letters? (anyone who writes her an actual letter via either the mail or dearelder.com she has been writing back!)
So we may not get to go to the temple, it turns out that 3 of the 4 families getting sealed can’t go now. L
I don’t need anything really, other than patience and time to go by quickly. Which doesn’t make any sense. I don’t really have much to write... kind of boring I know...
I am hoping and praying that I get to train Sarah, but like I said. It’s not very likely. Or that I at least get to see her. (Sarah is the girl from Florida that I became friends after Alyssa was already in Panamá. Sarah and Alyssa have never met but Sarah followed Alyssa’s blog while getting ready for her mission. She is such a sweetheart, I truly hope their paths cross!)
I got the pictures you sent.
You just need to pay shipping. (Her scripture covers she ordered while she was at the MTC finally came, they are quite neat actually).
Send me her phone number and I will give it to the zone leaders to figure out who's area she is in. (there was a lady I met here at Meridian a few months ago who is from Panamá and told me to have Alyssa call her if she ever needs anything. She lives in David which is in Alyssa’s zone. Jill, I am wondering if she lives in Austin’s area) I am gonna explain real quick how Panamá works. There are provinces which is like the equivelant of a state (Chiriqui). Then there are cities but they are more like counties (David) and then there are neighborhoods but they are more like cities (villa olga).
Tell Bryndi I said happy birthday, and tell Jamen and Emily happy belated birthday.
Chocolate. chocolate, oreos, chocolate, the granola bars that I like that are squares and have chocolate, Utah truffles, oreos, chocolate, take 5, chocolate... yeah I think that will be good. I am already out! (I asked her what she wanted from home in the next package I sent her)
Okay I should go now but I love you! talk to you next week!! Wooo only 401 days left!!
Sorry my letter was so short, I didn’t have much to write this week...
Okay choa for now!
I LOVE YOU AND HUG MY ABBY FOR ME!!!!
The two guys are both kids in our branch about to leave on missions. The first doesn't know yet where yet and the second is going to Mexico.
Hermana Valdez, Romell, Hermana Wandell
CHRISTMAS SKYPE SESSION!
Q. What is the best food you have had in Panamá that you had never eaten before?
Q. How well do you get fed in your new area and where do you buy food?
A. The members don’t really feed us and there are no chinos. There is a super market that’s small that we buy all our food at. We only have meals with members like 2 times a week, if we're lucky.
Q. How long did it take to get to Boquete from Alcalde Diaz?
A. From here to Panamá City it is an 8 hour bus ride, or about 6 in a car.
Boquete, her 2nd area in Panamá
Q. How far away from Costa Rica are you?
A. We are probably like somewhere between 1 or 2 hours from Costa Rica.
Q. How many investigators do you currently have?
A. Right now, 7. We have lots of discussions and 4 baptismal dates set, it is a family.
Q. What is your new area like?
A. Sort of like Park City. Kind of cold and in the mountains.
Q. Is it hilly like your last area?
A. No, it’s pretty flat.
Q. What is a normal temperature in Boquete?
Q. How big is your church house?
A. We don’t have one. We meet in a mall. A tiny strip mall.
Q. Do you ever ride a bike?
A. No, just walk, take a taxi or the bus.
Q. Are you currently teaching English classes?
A. No, no English classes right now.
Q. How do they celebrate Christmas differently that we do in the United States?
A. Fireworks! The light off fireworks at midnight. They have really big nativities. Not big as in large but big in amount. Like 500 animals and pieces in one set.
Q. Do they carol?
A. No caroling
Q. What is something strange that has happened to you?
A. A dog pee’d on me.
I can’t remember the exact question but she did tell us that they live with President Carmack’s 1st or 2nd Counselor (she couldn't remember which) and that they have a daughter who got her mission call to Costa Rica.
Q. Does anybody ever say anything about your knee or tell you that you have a sting ray on your knee like they do here?
A. No, nobody usually sees is. It is usually covered up.
Q. What is the worst thing you have eaten?
A. I have been pretty lucky in the food dept.
Q. Would you ever want to get transferred to the San Blas islands?
A. That would be hard because you don’t get to talk to your family for 6 weeks. They have no internet out there.
Alyssa and Hermana Swalm
(she knows my Aunt Lynda)