The Best Two Years

The Best Two Years

Monday, October 21, 2013

The Tempest is Raging

Hey family!

How are you all?  I am doing great here, just trying to avoid the tempest that is raging outside right now! October and November are the worst months for rain here.  I think we get more rain here in a week than Utah gets in an entire year!  Luckily, our roof doesn't leak, so we stay dry!  Storms here can come out of nowhere! We look outside in the morning to a sunny day, and we go out and within 20 minutes a storm comes and we are completely soaked!!

This past week was a great one!  Our only fan broke on Monday, so we had to go on Wednesday, when we received our money, and buy a new one at Los Andes.  I looked at the prices for speakers and they aren't too expensive, ten or twenty dollars, but they didn't have any Ipods there, so I will need to check today when we go to Albrook.  Also, could you put a little extra in my account around Christmas so I can get you guys some cool Christmas presents?

We are still teaching the Catholic family, mostly the dad because the mom and two kids are super Catholic and don’t really want to change.  We watched the restoration video with them this last Tuesday, and the mom had a lot of questions, and it just seemed to me like she was trying to prove us wrong.  She seemed a little disappointed when we used the bible to answer most of her questions, (haha!) but she was happy to have her answers!  The dad is starting to read the Book of Mormon, and the mom is coming little by little.

Henry, the gringo who feeds us dinner on Fridays, made us some gringo breakfast for dinner on Friday; southern style, with hash browns, grits, sausage, bacon, English muffins, eggs, and juice.  It was probably the best meal I have had here in Panama, and a nice break from rice and platanos!  He said to tell you guys hi, he is from Florida, around the Orlando area, and he served in the army for forty years, so he always has cool army stories to tell us at dinner! (Well, to me, because my comp doesn't speak English and he speaks little Spanish). He served in Panama and Colombia right after the invasion by the U.S.

So, we had the opportunity to go to the temple this last week AGAIN!  I have been blessed to be able to go so much!  I will be sad when I leave this area, and I probably won’t get the opportunity to go as much, depending on where they send me.  I SHOULD be leaving my area next Wednesday, but it is not a sure thing yet.  I am 95% sure, because President Carmack only wants people to stay in one area for no more than three changes, and this is my third change here.  (Can you believe it?  Three changes, and five months already!!)  So, I am anxious to see where I go, to get to know more of Panama, and more people!  Maybe I will go out to San Blas!!

Elder Ochoa, the one that talked in General Conference, gave a mission conference here about six weeks ago, and he talked a lot about improving and trying to be better each day. He said, "Always try to be better tomorrow than what you were today."  He gave us examples and things we can do to better ourselves, and I have really been trying to put them in practice, and it is starting to show.  We are being rewarded, even if the rewards don't come in the forms of baptisms, we are being blessed with spiritual knowledge and strength beyond our own.   I have started reading "Jesus the Christ" by Elder Talmage, and it has been a great learning experience to learn more about the life of the man who I represent and whose name I carry on my badge every day.  I would recommend reading it if you haven't, or reading it again if you already have.

Well, time is almost up. We are going to the Panama City Hard Rock Café for lunch today, so we have to get going!  I love you guys so much, and pray for you so much! I love the mission right now, and I know that we are all being blessed!

I love you all!

Elder Austin Michael Kipp

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