Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Panama Week 3

Dear Family,

Wow another week down here in Panamá. Thank you so much for all your letters and it sounds like you´re all going to have a fun, but quiet Valentines day this year.
Dad, to answer your question, yes we tract a ton and it´s all walking...it´s tough because most of the families work during the day so it has been tough to find families at home during the day. If anybody has some ideas of possible things that we can do please let us know because we are up for trying new things always!!

Ok so our area. It´s about the equivalent of Draper and Sandy in Utah. We live about thirty minutes away from the city and it´s the richest part of the city. As a result we encounter a lot of people who have good lives as is and don´t really seem to think that they need the gospel in their lives. This week was interesting because we had good lessons with both of our most promising investigators.

The Family Martinez was a good lesson but they hadn´t read the book of mormon much. So we taught them the Book of Mormon and how it can answer the questions of the soul and also work hand in hand with the Bible because for real so many people here think that we don´t believe in the bible...But they committed to keep reading and to come to church on Sunday. Unfortunately they are a very poor family and have 8 people so even to take the bus is a lot of money and so they didn´t make it...Hopefully this week because once they get to church they are going to be baptized I know it.

Hermano Martinez, our other golden investigator, is so freaking awesome. He has such a strong testimony of prayer and it´s power and has seen a big time change in his life and relationship with his family. In our second lesson with him this week he invited his family to listen and we talked about prayer. It was funny because he ended up doing most of the testifying about prayer for us!! It´s so neat when the people have faith and then act on it; changes come every time.

Ok so a few funny experiences. First of all my Spanish is coming...however slowly it´s coming. Haha but this week we were tracting and ran into a woman and it was my turn to take the lead with the contact so I started it and we talked for a minute. I´ve developed a bad habit of saying sí when i don´t understand. So she was talking and I had no clue what was happening and I just kept saying sí. But she invited us up to her house and Elder Barrera asked me if I understood what she had been saying and I confessed no. He looked at me and laughed and said, "She said she heard that we don´t believe in Christ and you said sí" ...yikes that made me feel dumb haha but it´s ok I quickly told her yes we definitely believe in Christ and then we went on to teach her a quick lesson. Another is that we were teaching with a member, Caesar, and he was talking and explaining the Book of Mormon to the family Martinez when all of a sudden in through the door came a huge cockroach!! The nasty kept coming towards us and without skipping a beat, or even a word for that matter, he stepped on it and smashed the cockroach!!! It was classic and it took everything I had to not bust out laughing.

Overall we had a tough week though and unfortunately we had no investigators at church. This area has had some not so great Missionaries for the past year and so we are doing a TON of our own finding and teaching. So this change may not be the highest baptising but we´re setting the stage I think for the next few changes.

Finally we eat dinner with la familia Iglesia all the time. OK to be honest the only time we eat at the house is breakfast and the members feed us every other meal.  We have some good luck I know...But they are Kuna and actually the grandma is the head priestess of the San Blas islands and so last night we talked about their traditions and how they are similiar to those of the Nephites and Lamanites. It was really so fascinating and the best part was that I understood about 70 percent!!!

Well that´s all for this week. Pray for us and also for our investigators that they can come to church. This gospel is true and to be honest I´m so thankful for the power it has in our lives and for how true it is in every single way!!

All my love especially during this Valentine season,

Elder Andrew R. Hawks

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