It is crazy that it is already Christmas. This year went by so fast. I am excited to see what the first Christmas away from home will be like. The R family who feeds us lunch five days a week, invited us over for the whole day for lunch and dinner, and we are going to ask them if we can use their computers and tablet to use Skype! I will know for sure for sure by next Monday, I promise! We have a Christmas party planned tomorrow with my zone, Bocas del Toro, Chitre, and Concepcion with the AP's and President, so I am excited! I will talk to president and see if he has been able to get a hold of the doctor tomorrow. He knows the surgery needs to be done before the end of the year, so I think within the next two weeks I will go in. I will keep you updated.
So, my Mexi fry companion left this last week. He left on Tuesday night at midnight so I went on divisions with my quantum brother Elder H and it was awesome! We worked in his area for the day then came to my area and talked for the whole night until we had to go to the terminal in David at 2 in the morning to get our companions. My new companion is Elder C. e is from El Salvador and he is an answer to some prayers. After last change I started praying for a companion that would be excited to work and wouldn't be disobedient, and he is just that. He likes to work hard but he likes to have fun, which is essential or I would go crazy! He kind of has a crazy story. He has a gigantic scar on his wrist and a ton of scars on the back of his head. He told me that he was into some bad stuff as a teenager, and one day he was out walking with two friends, and he saw two guys. One had a gun and the other had a machete. The guys told them to stop, and then they tried to cut Elder C with the machete, so he blocked it with his wrist, and then they knocked him to the ground and cut him five times in the back of the head with the machete, and shot him in the neck, just below his brain. So, he is incredibly lucky to be alive. He said that was the moment that finally changed his life. He was born in the church but just fell away, and now he is back. He is famous here for his story, and he is a spiritual giant! I have already learned so much from him!
As for the investigators, M and his brother have not been found for about a week and a half. We don’t know where in the world they are! Other than them, we didn't have many investigators, just a lot of menos activos, so we have been visiting them and trying to reactivate, because the church assistance in our ward has been going down. We are working with a ton of youth right now too, and we should have three or four baptisms this change, so I am excited! Kipp daddy misses baptizing people! Haha! My companion and I are trying to organize a soccer tournament right now in our stake, where each team has two members, and two non members. Hopefully it will be a good way to find people to teach!
We have been having problems with our bishop not supporting us, so we had a big two hour correlation meeting with him yeterday and he told us that the missionaries that were here before we got here were super ponch (disobedient) and he lost trust in them. So, we are trying to gain it back, and he is really happy and willing to help because he can see that we want to work. Missionaries are only a small part of the work. Missionary work cannot continue without the members helping, and the bishop is the one who directs the members. We share the area here with a companionship of sisters, and they asked all four of us to speak on missionary work. We had to do something big to help the members realize that we can't do it all on our own without their help. So, we kind of machete’d them a little bit, but with love. We machete'd the members with love! haha! The R family is really willing to work and do visits with us, so that will be a good start to activate members! They are awesome, I hope we can Skype from their house so you guys can meet them!
So, for the first P Day of the change, we are going to get in some Christmas carnage by playing paintball!!! We are taking the entire zone, 26 people, to go today after internet! I am stoked! Oh yeah, Hermana W is in my zone again, she told me that mom would be really happy about that because mom can look at all of her pictures on her blog.
Well, not much more time to write. I love you all! I hope you all have a good week! Remember to always keep Christ and his sacrifice in the front of your minds! Not just at this time especially, but every day of the year. He is our strength, and without him we are nothing. I am so grateful I have the opportunity to serve my mission at this time, and I know I could not be doing anything better with my life right now!
I love you all so much!
Elder Austin Michael Kipp