I hope this letter finds you all Quantum!!! I am doing quite quantum down here this week, even though it has been incredibly hot this past week. We have been having either blistering heat, or pouring rain, but I love it. I am sweating a ton regardless, and it is satisfying when I go to a person's house we haven't been to for a while, and they tell me I look a lot skinnier! I am feeling great down here!
So, we are having kind of a frustrating time with investigators losing enthusiasm and desire to be baptized. We are still working with the family of six kids, and the two sisters, but they are not really keeping their commitments that they make, and it is disheartening. We keep praying and fasting for them, and if we have faith, I know the Lord will bless us. We are already planning on taking Andy with us to help teach some investigators about the Book of Mormon. I know the reason he was converted was because he truly loves and understands the importance of that book. We talked to him this week about serving a mission, and he says he wants to, he has some commitments with the university where he has to work in a job of the subject he is studying for at least a year or something weird like that. But he would be a great missionary! He has already started teaching his family about the restoration, and the word of wisdom.
This last week, our branch did an activity, a Tarde Típica, (typical afternoon). It was an activity that showcased the culture of the natives that live in the interior of Panama, or the western part around the city of David. Go online and look up the Salomar. It is a way that the people from the interior greet each other, and it is hilarious! All the missionaries from our zone came, and we sang Joseph Smith's First Prayer to the tune of Come Thou Fount, and I played it on the guitar.
Thanks for the sports updates. Looks like the Mariners will miss out on the playoffs yet again! (as if I ever even thought they had a chance of making it). It is awesome to hear about BYU beating Texas, and that Taysom ran for so many yards! It will be an interesting season! Also, I am glad to hear the Titans beat the Steelers. I don't consider it an upset, the Titans are decent, they have young talent and have some progress to make, but they are looking promising this year. Also, Peyton beasted it up with 7 touchdowns! Holy Cow! Keep me updated on the baseball playoffs, I know the big deal here right now is the world cup race, and the USA plays Panama here in a couple weeks. Also, Mariano Rivera will be pitching his last game here in the next few days, so everyone is going nuts over that too. Everyone here only cares about the Yankees because Mariano Rivera is from Herrera.
My comp will probably get taken out of the area here in the 18th, and it is a slight possibility that they will put hermanas in this area. It is really safe, and there are 27 hermanas and 1 elder coming this transfer! So, I might get to see some more of Panama pretty soon! It will be good to get a new area and meet some more amazing people. I like my area, but it has definitely been hard. Our zone is the hardest in the mission I hear, so it has been taxing, but rewarding. We will just have to wait and see, though, I might just stay and get a new comp!
I met an elder in my zone named Elder J, from Springville, and I introduced him to all things quantum, including the epic paintball war. Alert General Brown that one more valiant soldier will soon be added to the ranks of the Falcon Corps! He just got back from San Blas before he came here, and he loved it! I cant wait to see if I get the chance to serve out there. The more I hear about the history of the Kunas, the crazier it is because it is literally the same as the Book of Mormon!
Well, not much more to report today. We haven't gone to the canal yet, and next week we are going out to an island, so it will probably be awhile. We did pass it on the way to the temple, and it was cool, but we met a guy who works there and he can take us down into restricted access areas! So, maybe soon! Today, we just hung out at our church and watched a movie, ate, and now we are at Los Andes using internet.
Well, gotta go... Know that I love it, and that I am growing more and more every day. Tell Joe T and Brad H, Mcrae, and Kevin Bacon to email me so I can have their email addresses to write them. Well, know that I love you guys! Elder Duncan told us to always have the end view in sight whenever we do something, and I keep thinking of twenty months from now, in SLC Internationl, when I can return with honor having honorably served and helped many people come to Christ. That vision of who I want to become in the mission is my motivation to go out and teach every day. I love you all!
Elder Austin Michael Kipp