Tuesday, November 24, 2015

¡Feliz Día de Acción de Gracias!‏

Dear Family,

This week was full of adventures! I cant even tell yall how awesome it was... Okay, okay, I will try.

This week I completed 15 months in the mission! Woohoo!

So first of all, before I forget, those of my immediate family (those coming to Panamá) please (PLEASE) prepare yourselves.. EVERYONE is telling me that they want to cook for you when you come.. I am telling you that everyone we visit is likely to give you food. I have no idea honestly HOW you can prepare yourselves, but when you are here up to your eyeballs in food and you feel like you will explode from the amount of food do not say that I didnt warn you. The food here is good (well, I like it), but they give you a ton and it is kind of offensive if you dont eat it all.. that is why I have gained so much weight... 

This week we got to watch the movie "Freetown". It was so good, but I found it hard to understand.. What happened is that the movie was in English, but with Spanish subtitles. I started laughing to myself because at times I didnt understand their accent so I started reading it in spanish to understand it better... I thought that was funny. I loved the movie, oh my goodness what a challenge that would have been! It touched me so much because their only desire was to teach people about Jesus Christ. I started crying when all of the little children went running to collect pictures of Jesus. That movie is very special, if you havent seen it, it is worth it to watch. 

So we have two women in our Branch that are deaf and mute. They are the cutest! We had lunch with one of them this week and she would not let us leave her house! She was so excited to have us there. She just made sounds and signs with her hands the whole time and at times we understood, at other times a would say between my teeth, "no entendí" and my companion would say, "yo tampoco" and then we would laugh between our teeth. She came to church on Sunday and we asked a Sister to translate for her, she did and it impacted me quite a bit.. She sat there, next to her family but facing away from them, translating into Spanish Sign Language for an hour... she did it all.. The talks, the prayers, even the hymns. It was so special to witness that. I was so thankful for her sacrifice. 

It rained a lot this week, there was a lot of mud... my companion fell in mud... she was so mad.. I tried so hard to not laugh, but I couldnt hold it in. She got mad at first, but then started laughing too and it became a good memory.

So, there is a Canadian community that lives here in David. They live in this place that is gated and I had never seen them before. It is in our area and the moment I found out that people who spoke English live there it has been my goal to contact them... but I never see anyone. This week we were walking and I saw two people who looked like americans walking down the street towards this gated community... I decided to contact them, "Hola! Somos representantes de Jesucristo y tenemos un mensaje para ustedes" Then the man tells me, "poco español"... ... ... yall cant imagine the excitement I felt in that moment. I started talking to them in English and they are so funny. The man has heard little about the church but he knew we dont smoke or drink, his wife said that she knew the church decently well because she had a boyfriend who is a member when she was in highschool, but when he left for his mission they split up. The wife was so cute! She says, "We would like to invite you for lunch one day" and then her husband says, "You two would be perfect guests because I know you wont use any of my cigarettes or alcohol".... I laughed, but later when I told my companion what happened she looked at me like "are you serious" and I said, "I know, we need to baptize them first".

So, I know I told yall, but my companion is from El Salvador. This week she made the most popular dish from her country... PUPUSAS. They are so good! I totally am going to have her write down the recipe because I helped her make them and I totally know how... We are going to have pupusas when I get home. I am also learning typical dishes from Panama. They are not hard to make. Panama food isnt very complicated. 

So there is this fruit that grows here that you cant eat, but what the people do is they take out all of the fruit (you cant eat it... they say that the only thing you can use it for is to boil it and give the water to women who just gave birth to clean out their system.. like the blood and stuff... nothing else) and they scrape the carcass and they put it out in the sun for two days so that it dries completely and it makes what we call a Tutuma. This fruit is actually super cool. The people who live in the outskirts, who are poor, who arent very civilized, use it to make bowls, plates, spoons, forks, pots, etc. It is super awesome and my companion and I found some that were super huge and we made Tutumas!! We actually failed the first time.. we did it by ourselves, but we are going to try again because we know what we did wrong... So cute and exciting!

Almost all of our investigators this week decided to stop progressing.. it was really sad and a little depressing. What was awesome what our young couple Alison and Gair are still really positive. They need to get married, but they have a ton of support from the Branch and I know they are going to get baptized.. well just her, he is a inactive member. We are super excited for them and are focussing a lot right now on finding new investigators. 

My two investigators from Chorrera got baptized.. I cried because I wasnt able to be at their baptisms, (Ines and William). I feel like I have been a sower my entire mission, which is sad because I havent been able to see the fruits of my work, but I know that everything is for a reason. I am so so SO excited to see them in February!

I love yall so much and hope you have a wonderful week! HAPPY THANKSGIVING! I am thankful for each one of you!

With all my love, 
Hermana Eardley

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