It has been an interesting week, as I have not been able to do much walking, so we end up spending the entire day in the office. But, I can get all my work done, so it is not too bad!
The things I do as the mission secretary are things like ordering flights for missionaries, and President Carmack when he goes to the other side of the country or to conferences. I order all the mission supplies from Utah like missionary name tags, pamphlets, books of Mormon, Bibles, stuff like that, and I take care of all the mail. So now, I can be sure that my mail gets sent when I want it to be sent, and I can get my mail when it gets here, and I don't have to wait until transfers to get it! Talking about mail, I did quite enjoy the quantum mail, and yes, I did get the green card, the only problem is that there are not a lot of places accept American Express here. I haven't tried Taco Bell yet. I haven’t been able to get there within the past week, but let’s pray that they accept it! Also, is there a security code that I need to use when I use the card? I tried to use it at Subway, but I needed a security code or something.
This new area is cool! It is called Cincuentenario, and Panama Viejo, those old ruins of the cathedral, are in my area, so we are always passing by there! Our house is sweet, we live in an apartment building on the third floor, and there are four of us in the house. We have hot water, a washing machine, and two balconies, so it is pretty cool! But, we aren't even in the house that much, we spend more time in the office, and I have a perfect view of the Lego building out my window! It is one of Donald Trump's buildings here. He has another one, where we gave the blessing to the guy from South Jordan, and it is shaped like a letter D.
Elder O is sweet; we have really similar personalities so we get along super well! And, since we already knew each other in the MTC, it was exciting when I came to the office. He is from Yakima, Washington, and he went to school at BYU Hawaii, and he is making me think about applying there and learning how to surf! Haha!
Everything with the surgery went well. I went back to the doctor two days after, and he said everything is normal, and I don't have to go back unless I want to. He told me that I could walk to the extent of what I could do in my own house with slippers on, but that has been a little difficult, with the secretary work we have to do. I feel alright, he said I will have pain for about three to four weeks, but it is not terribly bad. I am really trying to take it easier now so I can get all healed up faster, but everything is pretty normal.
Our investigator from Nicaragua told us that he didn’t want us coming to his house during the week, but that he was going to come to church on Sundays and we could teach him there. So yesterday, he showed up with his wife, and we taught them about being united in your family, and having your family being united with God. Then, that night, at dinner with the R family, we had a family home evening with C and his wife, more about being united and having goals in the family that can help us grow nearer to God, and it was a great lesson! He is progressing well. He is just really busy during the week, so we can only teach him on Sundays. As for the familia Latino, we haven't been able to visit them again because we can't really do much right now with my situation, and they didn’t give us their telephone number, so we can't call them. In about two weeks, we will go visit them again! It has been frustrating to not be able to get out and teach, that is all I want to do right now!!! But, I am doing another type of missionary work in the office, helping other missionaries be prepared to teach their investigators, so I am happy.
I am excited for conference this weekend! Last conference was my favorite, I took notes, and still look back to them often, and am excited to take more this time. Sometimes, as I am studying the scriptures, or listening to a talk, I get an impression to write something down. Usually, I think it has no relevance to anything in my life and I don’t even know why I felt to write it down. With my conference notes, as I have looked back on them the last six months, I have found that many of those promptings that I wrote down were what I needed during different times of my life. They weren't needed when I wrote them down, but weeks, or even months later, they helped me learn something. I have been amazed at the guidance the Spirit gives me, and how I have grown to be able to recognize the voice of the Spirit more in my life. These are things that I couldn't learn anywhere else, at any other time in my life.
As for the office assignment, I will most likely be here for six months, or four transfers, so when I leave the office, I will only have about eight months left in the mission. As for the weather, it is still hot, but it is getting to rainy season. Here, the heat doesn’t change a ton, it is a little cooler because of the clouds, but the rain still hasn’t started yet.
Well, I love you guys so much! I pray constantly for you, hoping that you are well, and that the Lord is blessing you. I know He is. I love you all!
Elder Austin Michael Kipp