First off, Happy 50th Birthday to Dad, hope it was a good one! I hope the surprise party went well! So how does it feel to be "over the hill"? Haha, I hope you had a good party, and have a good birthday tomorrow! Second of all, Panama is great! It has been super rainy here this last week, the worst storms I have seen here so far! All the houses have tin roofs, so if it starts raining, we have to wait to start teaching because we can´t hear anyone talking! It is kind of frustrating, but it usually passes pretty fast. It is always super humid after the rain, but my skin is super soft now! When I come back to Utah I´m gonna dry up so bad!
So, Andy is progressing pretty well, we still have to teach him a couple commandments, but then I think he will get baptized. Also, he has to come to church or seminary one more time, but he works every Sunday, so he can’t ever come to church! But, hopefully he will be baptized in two weeks. We are also working with two sisters, Evelyn, who is 20, and Leslie, who is 11, and they love the church. They come every week, and I am pretty sure they will be baptized in two weeks as well! It is exciting to have baptisms, but I am learning that I am not here to just baptize people. Honestly, if I finished the mission with the one baptism I have, I would be completely satisfied with myself because I know I am doing all in my power to find and teach people, and I have changed so much as well. That is all the Lord requires, that we do all in our power to help others, and He will do the rest according to his will.
These past few weeks we have found some more good investigators, a couple contacts we made, and a reference we got from a brother in our ward. The lady says she already wants to pay tithing, because our church is the only church that doesn´t use tithing to buy cars or pay the pastors! Haha, we will see where it goes with her, she is pretty evangelistic, but we will continue teaching her, and hopefully she will feel of the truth of the message. It is exciting when we are able to see someone´s mind finally "click", and they begin to understand everything we teach them. That has happened with Andy a ton, and it is very pleasing to see how the gospel can change lives. I have not only seen it in the lives of others, but my life as well. I have changed so much out here, and can´t wait to see what else is in store for me here in Panama!
Today for P-Day, we went to a place called Causeway, which is on the coast. It is a big tourist attraction, with hotels, yachts, and places to rent bikes and stuff. I ended up renting a gas-powered scooter and drove it around for about an hour! It was good to see the ocean, and we got to see the Bridge of the Americas that spans the Canal. After that, we went to Los Andes, the mall where we use internet, and that brings us to now! P-Days are always fun, it is good to have a day to relax from the strenuous life as a missionary!
So, I read in D&C 31 this past week, and it was amazing. It talks about staying strong in my calling, and how the Lord will bless me if I do so. It was a perfect chapter to read, I hope you will go and read it as well, and feel the same spirit I did as I read it. Also, I am studying the New Testament and Jesus the Christ, I have never before studied much the Life of Christ. It has been a great experience to learn more about the man whose name I bear on my name tag, and who I represent. No big spiders this week. I religiously check my shoes for them every time I put them on. We have smaller ones all over our house, but I am becoming less scared with them, so it is not so bad. But every once in a while, a huge one sneaks in, and we have to get it out with the broom then kill it. Other than that and ants, the bugs aren´t bad here at all!
I am staying in my area with Price for another change, or six weeks. I am excited about it, because there are people here who I want to see get baptized, and I love it here! Also, I talked to the assistants, and they said they will try and send out that package this week sometime. The letter I wrote when I was in Mexico, but it talks about all things Quantum, all the Quantum plans for after the mission, and it also has the names, numbers, and emails of Elder C and Elder A´s mothers, so you can get together and start "The Quantum" blog! That would be sweet!
Well fam, time is running short! I hope this next week goes well for you guys, know that I love and pray for you every day and night! May the lord pour out his richest blessings upon you like he has with me! Know I love this work I am doing, and I love Panama, and even the language every day! I love you guys so much, thanks for everything you do for me, for your love, support, and prayers in my behalf! Give the family and the Ward my love and thanks!
Love You All!!!
Elder Austin Michael Kipp
P.S. I got another sweet Panamanian tie (mola tie) this week, the family we eat dinner with on Saturday nights had some kunas (native Panamanian Indians) make them for us, and gave them to us as a little gift! It is sweet! Love ya!