It's great to hear that you are all doing well! Some interesting things happened this week in Panama! First off, I never thought I would have to go back to drivers ed. But, one of the AP's couldn’t get his license here because his Mexico license wasn't recognized or something, so he signed up to take a drivers ed class, and I did too, because I can get it faster than sending in all those papers and having you guys take them in for me. So, last Thursday, we started the three day class. The first day was interesting, they basically just showed us a lot of really graphic and violent pictures and videos of really bad car crashes. The next day, we learned the laws, and Saturday was mechanical stuff. We took a practice test, and I barely failed. In two weeks we will take the real test and we have three chances to pass before we have to take the class again. I think I will still send my papers in to get my Utah license so I can have it when I get back.
This week was really busy in the office. We got a new senior couple who are the new mission nurses. When the last mission nurse left, I got thrown all the responsibility of the nurse until the couple got here, so this last week has been spent helping them find an apartment, and getting them all settled in and trained in the office.
Transfers are this week also. I won't have transfers, but we have so many things to do. President changed transfers completely, and now there is no meeting with a video. On Monday, all the missionaries find out their transfers, and Wednesday they go to their new area. It is going to save the mission a ton of money, and it is going to save an entire day, the day when we used to do the transfers meeting. This transfer and the next will be weird, because all the people that I met when I got here are now going home! My group is getting to be the older group in the mission, and Elder P goes home next transfer! This will be an interesting transfer. We are assuming that many people will get lost because there is not a meeting for them to be able to ask how to get to their new areas. It will be better in the long run, but this first time we think is going to be a bit disastrous.
C is still progressing well! We have taught him all the lessons, and he still reads the Book of Mormon. We can only teach him on Sundays, so it has taken a while to get everything taught to him. We are STILL trying to work on the marriage papers, it is taking a long time, but now it is not a question of IF they will get baptized, it is a matter of WHEN.
I am joining you guys on the weight loss kick! I have started dieting hardcore, cutting out basically all fat, and all artificial sugars. We are eating basically chicken and fruits and veggies. My companion and I get out every morning and run between two and three miles. We jog for twenty minutes and it is between two to three miles. There is a park about ten minutes jogging from the house, so we jog there with the Frisbee we got, play for ten or fifteen minutes, and drive home. I am noticing the results already. We contacted the drivers ed teacher after the second lesson. She asked us a lot of questions that she had heard about the church, and we talked to her about the plan of salvation, because she asked us how we help people who are having emotional troubles. Her husband died a couple years ago. We explained that Christ suffered all of our pains, and that only through Him can we find true joy and happiness in this life. She told us that she was impressed that such young men are devoting their lives to serve the Lord. We invited her to church, but we don't know if she went because she lives in the sisters' ward. I know she felt the spirit. I know I sure did.
Well, that is about all for this week. Tell Riley I say hi, put some flowers on Grandma Vicky's grave for me. I can feel her cheering me on from the other side. I love you all!
Elder Austin Michael Kipp