Wednesday, March 26, 2014


Hi everyone, I hope you are all having a great week. Alyssa did not send pictures this week so I have posted pictures of “Stick Alyssa”. I apologize if these are duplicates but they are cute :) Scroll down for her letter. Thank you again for all the prayers on her behalf, she and her companion are truly being blessed because of your efforts so Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Abby, Stick Alyssa and Snowflake

Stick Abby, Abby and Stick Alyssa       

Abby and the Book of Mormon Alyssa left for us with a note on each page

Emily, Stick Alyssa, Delores and Lindsay

Abby and Alyssa
The night before she left for the MTC

Abby and Stick Alyssa at Epcot

Brent's Family, Abby and Stick Alyssa
Mainstreet U.S.A.

Sharon and Kenzie


The Hum's (Alyssa's 2nd Family)

I really seriously am so grateful for all the prayers on my behalf! Thank you thank you thank you!!
I learned something new about myself. I dream when I am stressed. I don’t know if I told you that last week. When I am stressed is when I can actually remember my dreams.
My comp calls me a flechona. Flechona means super obedient. 
Dear Alyssa, did you know that I have the Frozen movie. Mom bought it for me and she got you one too. Alyssa did you know I tried an Orange and I liked it? I love the little doll you gave me for Christmas. Alyssa did you know that I wore my missionary tag you gave me to church today? Alyssa did you know that I had a cavity and did you know what kind of shot I got? The dizzy kind and I did not like it. And guess what kind of bandaid I got? A sticky one and I did not like that either. Did you know I got my ring on? (she means the spacer where they pulled her tooth, and yes all was 2 months ago LOL). I love you Alyssa, I really miss you. Did you know that I like Ritz crackers? Did you know I go to Primary?  I love you so so so much and I miss you too, love, Abby
Dear Abby, did you know that I am going to watch frozen... today!!!!!!! IM SO EXCITED!!!! One of the elders has it!! If you like oranges then you would love panama oranges! They are soooo good!! I am glad you like your doll. What did everyone say about your missionary tag?? Yes I know about the cavities. No more candy okay kid? And no more soda!! Kapeesh??? I love you and miss you too!! I am so glad you go to primary, do you like it? I love you more than most! haha bye!!
Q. What is that lucky little guy's name? He is super cute!!!!  Is his family the Camareina's? I love all of your pictures but I certainly have some that are my favorites. This one of you and this cute little boy is probably in my top 3 :)
A. His name is Henry. What is funny is he also proposed to Medellin when she was here but she didn’t get a ring... L No I don’t know his last name but he isn’t a member and neither are his family. (I bet she is working on that J)
Q. There was a picture of you and Pula? Did you go on divisions with her?
A. No Pula is in my zone.
Q. I really liked the picture of you and Astudillo pointing on the map. That was cute and I know that is one you will treasure. Abby says she loves the butterfly, it is the prettiest one she has ever seen.
A. I love that picture with Astudillo!! Seriously. That kid is my brother now. I am not afraid to say that I found two of my best friends from the life before. One is from Guatemala and the other is from Ecuador.   And that butterfly is bigger than my palm... its huge!! In the exhibit at the canal they have bugs there and there are beetles that are longer than my fingers... I would have a panic attack if I ran into one of those somewhere!! I used to see those in Alcalde Diaz but I could never get a picture.
Q. Carmen S. wants to be your friend is that ok?
A. Yes Mama Carmen can be my friend! She is amazing! She is a member here who pretty much adopts us as her children because she doesn’t have kids.
Q. So how do you like your area? The actual area, the branch, the people, etc.?
A.I like my area and the people are so nice. A family bought us KFC on Friday for dinner!! We have lunch and dinner every single day because I am in the part of the country where the church is the strongest. There are about 30 returned missionaries in my branch.
Q. So do you have any pictures of your new zone I could put on the blog? What about you and Hna. Curtis?
A. I will take a picture of me and Curtis this week and I will try to get one with the zone but I can promise that one.
Q. What about investigators? Do you have any of those? 
A. The thing that is hard with our area is progression. Our most positive investigator is this guy who isn’t married but they are in the process of it. 
I don’t have pictures this week sorry...
We are hanging out at the stake center and watching Frozen today!!!!

I love you I love you I love you!! Thank you for everything! Hug my Abby for me! I will see you in 10 and a half months!!  Chao for now!!

Hermana Wandell

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Panama Canal and a marriage proposal!

I can send pictures this week!!

A 10 year old asked me to marry him!

This little kid proposed to me, he even gave me a ring but it’s on my thumb haha.

There is a family that I couldn’t remember their name and so my comp told me, just think of a queen bed, their last name is Camareina.

We had divisions this week.

 Hermana Pula and Hermana Wandell

 We went to the canal today, it wasn’t as boring as I was expecting it to be. (: It was actually pretty cool.

 I almost bought you something but I decided to let you buy it yourself when you come! (:

Hermana Wandell from Utah and Elder Astudillo from Ecuador


 100 Year Anniversary of the Panama Canal

Hermana Wandell and Elder Astudillo

I am washing my clothes by hand for the first time in my life...woo hoo.

Assignment #3 for all you people within the sight of my email.
 Tithing. PAY IT!! End of story

Mosiah 24:11-15 has new meaning for me.
11 And Amulon commanded them that they should stop their cries; and he put guards over them to watch them, that whosoever should be found calling upon God should be put to death.
 12 And Alma and his people did not raise their voices to the Lord their God, but did pour out their hearts to him; and he did know the thoughts of their hearts.
 13 And it came to pass that the voice of the Lord came to them in their afflictions, saying: Lift up your heads and be of good comfort, for I know of the covenant which ye have made unto me; and I will covenant with my people and deliver them out of bondage.
 14 And I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage; and this will I do that ye may stand as witnesses for me hereafter, and that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions.
 15 And now it came to pass that the burdens which were laid upon Alma and his brethren were made light; yea, the Lord did strengthen them that they could bear up their burdens with ease, and they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord.

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU to all who have kept me in their prayers and offered me words of advice. I can honestly tell the difference in this week. I love you all and really am so appreciative. I really have seen the difference and I know that it is thanks to you guys at home! 

Dear Alyssa, I really really miss you so much. Did you know that I got fish that goes really super fast in the bathtub? It goes zoom zoom zoom. I like the Frozen girl her name is Elsa. Mom is going to get you the movie. It is coming out pretty soon because I saw it on the TV. I am really sorry that people are not nice to you. Tell them Jesus said love everyone and treat them kindly. That means to be nice. I mailed you a letter did it get to you yet? Thank you for the bracelet. I like it really really a lot. I had a cold this week but I started to feel better today. Did you know I can count to 100? I love you so so much. Did you know they lost an airplane? I have to go to bed because tomorrow is Patrick's day and I made a trap to take to school to catch a leprechaun. I love you so so much and I like my letter from you. Love, Abby

Dear Abby, I love you and miss you sooo soo so much! I am glad to hear about your fish that goes zoom zoom zoom! I am excited to see the Frozen movie and I am anxiously awaiting for it to get sent to me. I am glad you like the bracelet. If there is anything that you can learn from my mission experience that I am having is that it is sooooooo important for you to be nice to EVERYONE! And you are right Jesus did say love everyone! I didn’t know you could count to 100 but I am sooo proud of you!! I haven’t gotten your letter yet but I am sure I will get it soon. I love you so much baby sister!! Love Alyssa!

The other 2 sisters in our house are Hna. Caniz and Hna. Torres.

Please tell Catrina that I love her and that I am so blessed to have met her and her family. Especially Charlee! I will make sure to wear my t-shirt on Monday.

Anyways I am fine. Please keep praying. I was also thinking that maybe you could send me some little American flags to give to people when I leave the area.

Thank you for everything! I love and miss you more than words can express. Less than 11 months till I get to see your beautiful faces again. I love you and am so grateful to have the best mom in the whole wide world. Hug my Abby for me! 
Elder Vaca and Hermana Wandell

Elder's Vaca, Astudillo, Mejia and Escobar
Chao for now!

Love Hermana Wandell

These are the pictures she couldn't send last week.

Alyssa and Maru

Hna. Wandell, Maru and Hna. Medellin

 Maru and Alyssa

Familia Nez, Hermana's Medellin and Wandell

Hermana's Wandell and Medellin

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Los Altos de San Francisco

Okay I am in the zone called Chorrera and my area is called Los Altos de San Francisco, there sadly is no sign.  This is the old area of Medellin (her companion she just left in Boquete) and Gonzalez (her “mom”, her very first companion).

Anyways there are tons of gringos in my zone and like half of the missionaries here speak English. There are 28 of us, it is the biggest zone in the whole mission.

It’s hot, I miss Boquete.

Hna. Pula (they were in the MTC together) is in my zone and so is Astudillo (he was in her zone in her first area) !!!!!!!! 

I can’t send pictures today sorry :/ this computer is stupid.

I hit my 7 month mark! 

Tell Kaylee I love her and I said good luck and be strong!

Yeah I will try the flash drive, the hard thing is finding a post office. (she will give us a copy of the video of her and Elder Kipp singing)

We only get an hour to study by ourselves (I asked how much personal study time they get)
We have to wash our clothes by hand... 

I am sad that Aaron and Carissa are moving... 

Dear Alyssa, I really really miss you. I like the Book you gave us. Do you know I love to watch Sophia the first. Did you know I had Mom sew my name on my blanket? I want to know if they have Chick-Fil-A at Panama? Do you Alyssa like mermaids? Are you helping your friends in Panama? Do you know when you say a prayer to fold your arms? Did you know Mrs. King used to have a monkey but now she took him back to the zoo and did you know that he likes to stick his tongue out and his name is Mr. Monkey and when Mrs. King went to put him away he bites the door hahahahaha? If mayflowers bring pilgrims then what do pilgrims bring? hahaha more pilgrims :) night night Alyssa I love you so so so much and I hope you love Panama. Can you tell me all the stuff you do? I love you, Love, Abby

Dear Abby, I miss you more than you know. I miss you a lot little girl. I am glad that you like the book, I like your blankie with your name on it. There is no Chick-Fil-A in Panama. Yes I like mermaids, I wanted to be one when I was a little girl. I am trying to help them. Yes I know that we fold our arms when we pray, I also know that we close our eyes and we should kneel as well. I want to meet Mr. Monkey!! I miss your jokes Abbs. I love you soo soo soo much too!! Usually I just teach people all day every day. I love you more than most, Love Alyssa

I love you more than you know and I seriously miss you.

I love you I love you I love you! Hug my Abby. Chao for now.

Here is a little bit of info about Chorrera, thanks to Wikipedia :)
La Chorrera is a city and municipality in central Panama, located about 30 km south-west of Panama City. It is one of the larger cities in the country.
La Chorrera is renowned for its international fair and famous as being the home of Bollo and Chicheme. Approximately 2% of the country's lumber comes from this district.
La Chorrera is fond of the phrase "La Bella, Enamoradora y Querendona, La Gran Chorrera", reportedly as a tribute to its beautiful women, kind people, and happy night life. La Chorrera is the home of San Francisco F.C.Mariano Rivera (Apaga y Vamonos, New York Yankees), Vicente Mosquera (former World Boxing Champion), and José Luis Garcés.
La Chorrera has a warm tropical climate with heavy seasonal rains in the months of May to November, leading to extensive grasslands that favors cattle-raising, and to a lesser extent, pork.
The fertile lands yield good crops of pineapplericecoffeeorangescassavabeans and sugar cane.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Que Sopa!

Hermana's Wandell and Chavez (her "stepmom")
What’s up???

We had a conference with Elder Amado on Friday. The very first thing he said to us was that the Latinos need to improve their Spanish because they use the word como too much (that is the equivalent of like if you say it in the right way) He told them that the gringos use that to think because we are speaking a new language and that now the Latinos are picking it up. He said it doesn’t make sense that the gringos start the mission speaking English and go home speaking English and Spanish and that the Latinos start speaking Spanish and go home speaking worse Spanish than when they started! Haha I loved it! And he also told them that it is a commandment to learn English and that they shouldn’t be teasing the gringos if we say something wrong because we are learning and at least we are trying. Machete Machete Machete!!

Elder Kipp and I sang in the conference. We sang Oh My Father in Spanish but to the tune of Come thou Fount and Kipp played it on the guitar. My comp recorded it so you can see it once I get home, but I can’t send it because the file is too big... sorry!! (I came up with a plan to get it sooner than next February, stay tuned!)

So on Thursday we stayed with the sisters in David and well they don’t have water at that house... and we all needed to shower... so we went over to the church.... and used the baptismal font....................

Did you ever get the package that I sent in the mail? You should get it this week.

Anyways... Yes I love Boquete but I have to leave. It’s all good and I plan on bringing you here one day. No it’s not hot, sometimes it’s cold, obviously not like Utah cold but cold. 

I do and I don’t like divisions. When you get along with your comp it’s like uhhhhhhh why do we have to do divisions but when you don’t get along its like PLEASE WHEN ARE WE GOING TO HAVE DIVISIONSSSSS!

The pancake kid (story from last week’s email) doesn’t speak a word of English. That’s why it’s funny.

One thing I have most definitely learned is that no matter how hard you pray and no matter how much you fast, you can never change someones agency... 

Hermana Swalm is doing better, she is still stressed but she is getting better.

I finally dreamed in Spanish. The thing is I hardly ever remember my dreams. It’s super rare. 

Q. Do the gringos usually talk to you first because you are one?
A. Yes they usually speak to me first because it’s easier. The thing that is funny is when I accidently start talking to them in Spanish. 

Q. Have you had any arguments/fights with any of your companions?
A. No one of them were bad fights. Oh goodness I have a friend that her companion beat her up... trust me, mine were nothing... 

Q. So have you decided what it is that the Lord wants you and your companion to learn?
A. Yes I think I have learned but I don’t know. It’s one of those things that I think you aren’t really sure until a lot later. 

With the service project I think it was more that the boys didn’t want to make us do manual labor or that the people that lived there thought we couldn’t.. I dunno! 

Q. Do you write a letter back to everyone who sends you one?
A. Yeah if they give me an address I always write back.

Q. So do you have any other investigators? You don’t mention people you are working with very often or the experiences you are having with them or how they feel about the church. What kind of spiritual experiences are you having and same with your investigators?
A. The reason why I don’t say much is because there isn’t much to say... our area is super slow, and honestly the most spiritual moment we had all week was a practice lesson with one of our z ellas... There are about 150 in our branch but we usually only have like 40 in church.

I am hoping that my next area is faster pace than this one...

Q. What is your plan for school when you get home?
A. I don’t plan on going back to school until like August but I plan on trying to get back in with Student Life in like April or May. I want to know if you can get a job working for the church humanitarian program or if it is only volunteer stuff... I dunno!! I think I will still do nursing but not a nurse practitioner. I don’t know. I would like to do humanitarian work.

Hermana Gonzales (her "mom") and Alyssa 

Dear Alyssa, I miss you super duper much. Can I sing you a song? Jesus said love everyone, treat them kindly too. When your heart is filled with love, others will love you. Did you know I was really tired for church today? I wish it didn't start until I wake up. What time do you have to go to church? Do they have Dr. Pepper in Panama? Did you know I miss you so so much and I will until you come home from Panama? Then we can play games and puzzles. Mom wants to go to St. George when you come home but I don't and she wants me to and I don't like that. Goodnight Alyssa, I love you so so so much. love,Abby

Dear Abby, I miss you super duper much too!! I love your song!! I am going to sing you one! "Cabeza, cara, hombros, pies, hombros, pies, hombros, pies, cabeza, cara, hombros, pies, y una vuelta entera!" (This must be the Spanish version of Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes) Our church starts at 9. No they don’t have Dr. Pepper. I miss you so so so much as well and I will until I get home! I want to go to Disneyland when I get home, do you like that idea or no? I love you so so much too!! I love you more than most! Love Alyssa!!

Q. What are you doing for pday today?
A. I am packing today. Nothing fun... I am sending pictures!! One is of my "brother" another of my "mom" and another of my "step-mom"

I love you!! Hug my Abby! Chao for now!! Woo 7 month mark on Wednesday!! 

Hermana Wandell
Elder Ventura (her "brother") and Hermana Wandell